A person near a park putting on a cycling helmet before going on a cycle ride

Start Cycling and Enjoy the Many Benefits of Riding a Bike

Riding a bicycle, tricycle or any other form of adaptive cycle is a wonderous thing, and can take you to places in your area that you have never been to. Cycling can also give you a sense of freedom and enjoyment incomparable to that of a car. Plus, to top it all off, it can work wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing.

Handy Tips on Getting a Bike

To experience the simple pleasure of riding a bike you’ll first need to get hold of one. However, it doesn’t need to be brand new, shiny or expensive. Borrowing one from a family or friend just to get you started is a great way to learn without the expense.

If you can’t borrow a bike and can’t afford a new one either, then second hand may be the way forward. There are plenty of places to look, and real bargains to be had. Cycling UK have compiled a handy guide in what to look for when buying a second hand bike, and if you’re close to Exeter, it’s well worth checking out the charity Ride On.

Finding the Right Size

Whether you decide to borrow or buy, it’s good to make sure you’re on the right size bike. As a rule of thumb, you want both sets of toes touching the floor when sat comfortably on the saddle. Take a look though at this helpful handy size guide, which should point you in the right direction. Your local bike shop will also be only too happy to help with any advice.

Inclusive Cycling

Adapted cycles make cycling accessible to all, whatever your personal challenges. Whether you’re walking and/or wheeling there are a wide range of bikes and this guide for inclusive cycling is well worth a read.

Simple Checks for a Hassle-Free Ride

Whilst bicycles do not have to pass an annual MOT like a car, getting into the habit of giving your bike a quick safety check before heading off is highly recommended. Simple checks and maintenance can help you enjoy hassle-free riding and avoid repairs.

Taking Those First Pedals

Now you’ve got your bike, it’s time to learn to ride it. A positive attitude and a little bit of patience goes a long way, but it is important to remember everyone learns at a different pace.

We believe nearly every adult, with the right training, can learn to ride a bike, whatever their age or previous experience. Take a look at this video to help you or a loved get started.

However, you may not be completely new to the whole riding a bike thing. If it’s just been a very long time since you last sat on a saddle and you want to become more confident riding on the roads, or you want to hone the skills you’ve recently learnt, there is also support available.

For adults who live or work in Devon, we can offer a FREE cycle confidence session based on your level and requirements. The session is up to two hours long and is delivered by qualified cycle instructors. You will need to book the session in advance by completing a quick and simple booking form. Head over to our Get Cycling page for more information.

You can also read below how a cycle confidence session changed Perrin Fox’s life…

Cycle Confidence Session to Planning a Holiday Around Cycle Trails

“In November 2019 I had a free cycle confidence session with a fantastic instructor. As I was 62 at the time my nine year old granddaughter thought it was hilarious as she had just done the same at school.

I was barely able to ride around the block!

The instructor was patient and kind, and really listened to my biking issues. She gave advice and support and I really enjoyed the experience.

COVID-19 meant quieter streets and time on my hands, so I began to explore locally. Gradually distances increased and confidence grew. This led to me cycling the Granite Way, and I took a friend who also hadn’t cycled for years. We both managed to cycle 29.2km, which we were so pleased with!

Most astonishing is that I am now planning a trip in my camper van based around cycling trails.

I cannot tell you what a change this is to my life and how grateful I am.”

If you have a story of how cycling has changed your life, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us via hello@activedevon.org

Happy Cycling!