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Sports Then and Now

How to Start Cycling in Competitive Events

Posted on April 20, 2015 by John Harris
Competitive cycling

There are many levels of competitive cycling.

The cycling world might have been rocked by revelations about Lance Armstrong, but it’s still going strong. Cycling is one of the best sports to get involved with, whether it’s at an amateur or more professional level. Once you start cycling in different events, you won’t be able to stop it becoming your whole life. If you already feel yourself turning into one of those people who always talks about cycling, you probably want to get started and enter a few competitions and events. But if you don’t know where to start, it’s not too hard to begin.

Get the Gear

You won’t get very far without a bike. There’s no need to rush out and buy all the latest equipment right away, from a bike that costs thousands of dollars to a lycra bodysuit. But you need to start somewhere, even if it’s just with a secondhand bicycle. First, decide what sort of riding you want to do. A city bike like these beautiful Shinola bicycles will get you around an urban environment if you want to start cycling to work. A road bike or hybrid is good for longer distances while you’ll need a mountain bike for challenging terrain. You’ll also need some appropriate shoes and clothes and a water bottle as a minimum to get you started.

Join a Cycling Group

If you want to meet other cycling enthusiasts and train with them, find a local cycling group. You’ll find like-minded people who meet up to ride together, talk about cycling and maybe even go on trips. You might find that they enter events together too, in case you’re a bit nervous to attend your first one on your own.

Look for Local Events

When you’re just getting started with cycling, you can search for some small events near you. Having a goal to aim toward will give you incentive to get better, so enter yourself into your first event. Even if you aren’t ready for it, knowing that it’s coming up will push you to train. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. It could just be a few miles, a charity ride or a family day.

Put in the Practice

If you want to move onto bigger things, it’s essential to find the time to get better. You can ensure that you get out there by planning rides, whether they’re with other people or on your own. Maybe you could start cycling to and from work or go for a long ride every weekend. You don’t have to stick to small events close to you either. Look for things that are going on further afield for more excitement.

Move on to Bigger Events

If small and local events are starting to bore you, you can start looking for more of a challenge. Perhaps you won’t ever complete the entire Tour de France, but you can keep testing yourself. In fact, you can take part in that particular event by tackling only one stage of the race. As you keep pushing yourself, you’ll find that cycling starts to consume your life and become your ultimate passion.

Cycling can become an expensive sport to participate in, but it’s worth it for some incredible experiences. Start getting involved today and change your life.

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