Ladies: Want to get out on a bike, but not sure how to take that first step? So many of you would love to ride a bicycle for the pleasure of riding with loved ones, for the satisfaction of moving by your own (green!) power, and for doing something active to keep our bodies and minds healthy.
Here’s your opportunity to learn how to ride a bike with the support and encouragement of other women who share your enthusiasm and willingness to try something new and challenging.
This ride is open to women only in order to ensure a comfortable learning environment and will start in the parking lot behind the shop and travel on the un-congested streets of Village Park behind the shop.
We cannot promise that you will be riding with your hands in the air (like the young lady on the left), but you will know to ride with a helmet on and will have just as big of a smile on your face after the ride.
Woman's Beginner start times:Tuesdays @ 9:00am
If you need your bike checked over come into the shop the night before the ride and have us do a safety check of your bike
Things we’ll cover before our ~45 minute bike ride:
Helmet & Bike Fit
Bike Safety Check
Parts of the Bike
Riding Practices (what you should always have with you when riding)
Tips for Cycling in North County
Email Dave (or call the shop) if you want to ride on any Tuesday. RSVPs are required.
Get the Right Bicycle We'll help you choose the perfect bicycle from our wide selection! Having the right bike makes riding even better! We have many styles to choose from and are happy to point out the differences so you're sure to find one that's perfect. First, it will help if you think about how you plan to ride your new bike. Do you want to cruise the bike paths for a little exercise? Are you signed up for a local charity ride? Are you looking to trade your commute by car for one by bike? Knowing the answers to these questions makes finding the right bicycle much easier.
We can help you with the next important question, too, which is what size bike you should get. Just swing by the shop in some comfortable clothes (since you'll sit on some bikes), and we'll take a look and help you find the right fit. Keep in mind that while many manufacturers now make bikes specifically for women, not all women require these models and you may fit a standard one just fine. This is because the parts, such as the saddle and handlebars, can be easily adjusted or changed if needed (we'll help you with that, too). Once you hit the road on the right, perfectly fitted bike you'll be amazed at how comfortable and in control you are and how much more fun riding is.
Accessorize You might be tempted to ride in basic athletic shorts, a T-shirt and running shoes, but genuine cycling clothing is so much more comfortable, safe and practical you should really give it a try. Start with a helmet. All of ours pass all the safety standards, so choose the one you like that's in your price range and most comfortable. Helmets have gotten so airy and light you probably won't even know you're wearing it.
It's also a great idea to not ride in regular shorts, but to wear a good pair of cycling shorts instead. This is because basic cut-offs or gym shorts have seams inside that can cause chafing and numbness. True cycling shorts (available in different styles from baggy to spandex) breathe to keep you dry, offer padding for comfort and are seam-free so there's no chafing.
The right cycling accessories keep you comfortable and safe! Many are made with antibacterial fabrics, too, and some have pockets. Find a pair that fits like a second skin and remember that your skin is the only thing you wear under them (unless you choose to wear cycling-specific underwear, which is as seam-free as the shorts).
Equally important for comfort is riding on a saddle that fits your anatomy correctly. Sometimes the seat on your new bike will fit perfectly, sometimes not. When a seat doesn't feel right you should try a new one. Keep in mind that most women's saddles are designed to fit a wider pelvis, so if you have slim hips, you may want to consider different men's saddles, which are narrower. It takes a while to get used to new saddles so try it for a few rides before deciding if it's right.
Other important accessories include cycling gloves, which have padded palms for additional comfort and protection, cycling eyewear that blocks glare, UV rays and airborne debris and cycling jerseys that wick and breathe to keep you dry and comfortable plus usually include pockets for carrying essentials like your I.D., energy bars and cell phone, and all in an easily accessed location.
As you ride more, you may also want to consider cycling shoes. Unlike running shoes, these have stiff soles to keep your arches from collapsing when pedaling, which keeps your feet from getting sore and tired. We have a great selection of women's clothing and accessories and are happy to help you find just the right gear.
Practice Makes Perfect When you're confident in your ability to shift, brake, turn and ride in a straight line, you'll have less to worry about when you're riding on the road. And the best way to tune these skills is to practice them in a safe location like an empty parking lot or smooth grass field.
Ask some friends to join you to make it more fun. Practicing basic shifting and braking and getting on and off smoothly is easy when there's no traffic and you'll improve a lot with some repetition. There are essential skills no matter where you ride. Practice riding in a straight line while glancing over your left shoulder as if you're looking for traffic (try not to swerve off your line when you look back). Drills will help you develop better handling skills and riding near traffic and flying down hills will feel natural and safe.
Know the Rules of the Road Be safe by following the rules, riding predictably and staying alert. Another key way to improve your confidence and safety riding in and around traffic is knowing the rules of the road and your responsibilities. One of the most important safety rules is to always ride with traffic and never against it. Another is to follow the same rules as drivers because cyclists and motorists are the same under the law.
Be sure to ride predictably and defensively, signal your intentions and give yourself plenty of time and space to maneuver, too. Pay attention to your surroundings and you won't be caught off guard. For example, if you're aware that a car is passing you'll be ready should they suddenly turn right in front of you cutting you off.
Some riders like to use a mirror to keep track of things behind, but even if you use one you should also always look and listen for cars. Sometimes you'll need to take over the middle of the lane, such as when you approach a stop sign or make a left-hand turn at an intersection, so give yourself room and be assertive!
A great tip when you want to explore unfamiliar roads, is to drive them first to see what kind of traffic they have and use the car's odometer to find out how far you'll be riding. And, if you see other cyclists on those roads, it's a good sign that you've found a popular and safe cycling route you'll enjoy.