British cycling is pretty massive. We’ve even laid down dedicated ‘cycle lanes’ across the country, for all those that choose to pedal their way from place to place. So why do so many of us choose to take it up as a sport?
I’ve never really cycled before. Where do I start?
Beginners are spoilt for choice when it comes to programmes available. Available across the country, British Cycling’s ‘Go-Ride’ clubs are a great starting point if you want to learn with others, whilst Bikeability’s training scheme offers official recognition for cycle skills.
Is it expensive?
Kitting yourself out with the proper gear, including a decent bike, may be a little pricey, but once you’ve got the stuff it should last. Don’t be tempted to buy expensive extras. By keeping your body and your bike in good nick, you shouldn’t be spending too much extra.
Does it matter what bike I get?
The best bike for you will depend on what you’ll be doing with it. If you plan to join a cycling club and stick manly to tarmac, choose a road bike; it’s lightweight frame and skinny tyres will match your needs perfectly. If multi-terrain cycling is your thing, go for a mountain bike with strong suspension, powerful brakes and tough tires.
Don’t be tempted to buy expensive extras. By keeping your body and your bike in good nick, you shouldn’t be spending too much extra.
Does it matter what I wear?
Firstly, stay clear of cotton; if it gets wet, it stays wet and then starts to rub – ouch. Stick to synthetics and lycra based outfits.
Is it difficult to master?
Once you’ve got the hang of the basics, you’ll start to see improvements quickly. From the start, it’s important to have your bike form-fitted to your body. Make proper use of the gears, learn basic bike-handling and join a cycling club; riding with others will help you develop your own ability.
Cycling in numbers
- The longest tandem bike had 35 seats and measured around 67 feet long
- More than 2 million people in the UK cycle once a week
- The largest rideable bike has a wheel diameter of 3.3 metres
- Cycling is three times faster than walking, but uses the same amount of energy
- The UK cyclists have a 97% of staying dry on their way to work
- During the Rio Olympics, track cyclist Jason Kenny was the most successful Brit, taking home a total of 6 medals
- Cycling burns on average 5 calories a minute
- In the UK, roughly 2 million people cycle every, or nearly every day