Things I Have Learned

Taken from an original post in May 2012.

  • Cycling is fun.
  • Bikes cost a lot of money.
  • Bikes are just the start of the money issue.
  • Always inflate your tires before every ride.
  • Keep spare cash in your bag.
  • Keep a spare tube in your bag.
  • CO2 cartridges are the greatest invention ever.
  • There are a lot of historical markers out there.
  • I’m not cool and that’s just fine.
  • Learning to eat (and what to eat) while riding is important.
  • Roads or mixed-use paths? There is no right answer; just pick your poison.
  • There are as many bike types as there are reasons to ride a bike (they are much like cars in this regard). The trick – or fun, depending on your perspective – is to find the type of bike that suits your reasons for riding.
  • Cycling has many rules of etiquette and dress. Some rules are based on practical reasons and others are just silly traditions. Good luck sorting them out.
  • MapMyRide.Com can be trusted only so far.
  • Assume every pedestrian/jogger has an iPod blaring and will shortly move into your path and you won’t be disappointed.
  • Bicycle computers are fun.
  • Before you have a flat, practice changing your tires.
  • Don’t be afraid to fiddle with your bike; it’s not a rocket ship and probably won’t break. If you screw it up, your LBS can sort it for you.
  • Take care of your bike and your bike will take care of you.
  • Follow the rules of the road, no matter what others around you are doing.
  • Helmets are good.
  • Country roads are best, suburban roads are the worst.
  • There is no better way to explore a new place than by bicycle.
  • Cycling blogs are very helpful and entertaining, with the possible exception of this one.
  • Don’t judge others you meet in the middle of your ride; you don’t know how far they’ve come or how far they’re going.
  • Everyone has something to teach you.
  • Pacelines are fun, unless you actually want to see what you’re cycling past.
  • Take the time to study a new route in advance and plan your breaks/hydration/pace/nutrition accordingly.
  • Dogs are out there – have a plan.
  • You will fall at least one time in your clipless pedals. Sorry.
  • Bend your elbows.
  • If you haven’t crashed, you will.
  • When making adjustments to seats and handlebars, millimeters matter.
  • You can lose weight by cycling, but it works better when you eat properly as well.
  • The biggest change to biking technology since I rode in the 80s? Brifters.
  • Invest in good tires and you won’t be sorry.
  • Clipless pedals, aren’t.
  • Sunglasses are more important than you might think.
  • You can ride in the cold if you have the right gear.
  • In the end, it’s not that complicated; just hop on your bike and pedal. Everything else is only a detail.
  • Eating the occasional bug is part of the deal.
  • If you don’t want to run over it, don’t stare at it.

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