Wearing your helmet back to front You’ve got your new bike, you’ve bought
your new kit, you’ve purchased a helmet. Please, please, PLEASE, don’t make the mistake
of putting it on back to front, you’ll never live it down.
Wearing underpants underneath your cycling shorts However you call them, underwear, pants, briefs,
knickers, they should NEVER be worn underneath your cycling shorts. The chamois should be
next to your skin. Using a top tube or frame bag The less that’s on your bike, the better.
However, if you MUST have a bag to carry spares on your bike, make it a small saddle bag,
NOT a top tube or frame bag. Not taking enough food and drink out with
you It’s happened to all of us, and it’s the
worst feeling in the world. Running out of fuel, hitting the wall, bonking, whatever
you want to call it, is something you don’t want to happen often, so make sure you take
out adequate supplies, or money! Not being prepared for mechanical failure. You’re out on a lovely ride, a long way
from home, enjoying the scenery and the sense of achievement, then all of a sudden, a loud
hissing noise comes from your wheel – it’s a puncture? Got a spare inner tube and a pump?
No, got money for a taxi? No. Got a phone – yes, lets hope you’ve got some good friends
of family! Remember, always take out two spare tubes, a pump, tyre levers, an allen key set
and a chain tool, that should cover most emergencies. Overeating before a big event You’ve done all the training – months of
hard work, organisation and preparation has done into your big event, the longest you’ve
ever ridden. Right, better fuel up for it – PASTA!! And a bit more, AND a bit more,
actually probably better have that 4th plate too, it’s a long old ride tomorrow. WRONG
– don’t eat too much before your big event, you’ll feel bloated and could get the feeling
of having blocked legs. Eat enough, but not too much.
Getting lost The great thing about cycling is the sense
of exploration, riding somewhere you’ve never been before, even from your own home.
Don’t make the mistake of getting lost, though, or underestimating how long a route
is going to take, or you could be riding home in the dark.
Doing too much, too soon. Cycling is an easy sport to get obsessed with.
The more you do, the better you get, right? Wrong. There comes a point when your body
needs rest to absorb the training you’ve done, if you don’t take it, or if you ignore
the signs of overtraining and fatigue, then you can quickly dig yourself a very big hole.
Not drinking enough No, we don’t mean at the bar, we mean on
the bike. Long rides result in a lot of fluid loss, and it can be easy to forget to drink
enough, especially if you’re on a big event. If it’s hot, by the time you’re really
feeling thirsty, it’s probably too late, and you’re going to pay for it at the end
of the ride. Failing to unclip when you come to a stop. Shiney new bike, shiney new pedals and shoes,
first time with clipless pedals? When you come to a stop, DON’T forget to twist your
foot out, otherwise you’ll do an embarrassing, slow motion fall to the floor.