With traffic quieter than ever and governments encouraging people to find socially distanced ways to travel, lockdown has been the perfect opportunity for new cyclists to find their pedals.
If you’ve recently strapped on your helmet and gingerly made your way out into the world of cycling, you’ve probably learned a few key things already. Mainly that windy days really suck, vehicles turning left are a major concern, and that seasoned cyclists can spot you a mile off.
Here are a few other thoughts new cyclists will probably be able to relate to…
1. It’s not as scary as you thought it would be
In the past, you recoiled in fear at the sight of a lycra-clad cyclist hurtling along a main road beside a busy stream of traffic, but with roads feeling quieter during lockdown, it’s been the perfect time to build your confidence.
Sure, the first time you encountered a car on your bike you may have screamed and gripped the handlebars in terror, but now you’re used to the rules of the roads, and it’s really not as alarming as expected.
2. Quiet routes and cycle paths are your go-to
Junctions, main roads and roundabouts can be a common freak-out point for new cyclists, but with a bit of research, you’ve realised back roads and cycle highways are your secret weapon. And you’re happy to leave the house 10 minutes early to take the scenic route and skip confusing traffic light situations. Frankly, we don’t blame you.
3. Hills are not your friend
Any seasoned cyclist will tell you the sight of an upcoming rise in the road is enough to make your heart sink to your saddle, especially if you’re riding a single-speed bike.
Despite extensively Googling the matter, you’ve come to accept there are no shortcuts here. You either need legs like steel to power your way to the top, or you need to admit defeat and humiliatingly push your bike on foot.
4. Saddle chafing is the worst
The chafing you experienced on your first few rides was a uniquely painful process. Friends who cycle regularly told you an initial period of aches and pains was normal, but that didn’t make it any less excruciating. Thankfully, you’ve now invested in some good cycling shorts so your inner thighs don’t have to suffer.
5. You feel pretty smug about all the money you’re saving
Seriously, you’re pumped at all the extra cash you have lying around since you started cycling. You’re kind of mad you didn’t learn sooner and you dread to think of the money you spent on train tickets and petrol in the past.
6. That being said, you’ve spent a ton of money on your new lifestyle
The initial excitement of finding a new hobby hasn’t been great for your bank balance, but hey, you really needed that fancy cycling jersey and matching waterproof backpack.
7. You love that your new form of transport is environmentally-friendly
You can sleep better at night knowing you aren’t adding to outdoor pollution.
8. You feel fitter than ever
Is it just you, or do your legs look leaner, stronger and better since you started pootling around on your bike? Adding an extra form of exercise to your routine is working wonders for your fitness and has really boosted your mood too.
9. Cycling is the best. Period.
Discovering your local area, travelling at your own pace, getting out into nature… learning to get about on your bike has easily been the best lockdown decision you’ve ever made. Yep, even the rain doesn’t put you off.