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4 THINGS I WISH I KNEW WHEN I FIRST STARTED RIDING

I understand that the word “fat” makes some people uncomfortable, but that is exactly who I am: a large lady who enjoys riding bicycles. As a result, my four years of falling in love with two-wheeled adventures have been filled with both on and off the bike problems. So, my fellow fatties, overweight individuals, and plus size riders, I’ve decided to share my pearls of wisdom with you. Whatever you choose to name yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to two-wheeled adventures, such as selecting a bike, deciding what to wear, and locating your companions. And I’d like to save you all some time and effort by sharing with you my Four Things I Wish I Had Known When I First Started Riding Bikes. This isn’t another weight-loss success story. I don’t ride to shed pounds. End of story. I ride for a variety of reasons, including transportation, adventure, and exercise. So if you’re reading this hoping to lose weight by riding a bike, I’m afraid I can’t assist you. In fact, if you ever join me on a ride, I’ll almost certainly make sure you’re well-fed and not in risk of bonking in the middle. Stopping for refreshments, listening to our body, and checking in are all part of this process. Ice cream was also consumed.

1. Find a bike that fits your needs

These Cycling Tips pages are full of slick, attractive bicycles. Light as a feather and lightning fast. While they’re attractive, they might not be the best bike for you.I didn’t do that, and it’s taken me a long time to figure out what I really wanted. It all started with a very cool Nishiki. It was beautiful, but it didn’t fit me. Then I bought a quick small road bike, thinking I wanted to be a road cyclist. I discovered that I didn’t care for it and ruined it by taking it on gravel rides and single track until I had gone through so many tires that I ultimately settled on the adventure cycle I have now.

It goes with me everywhere and is up to the job.

So, consider this:

A. What type of riding do you intend to perform?

Getting to and from work – Shopping or conducting other errands

Getting some exercise by riding every now and again

Taking part in activities such as travelling or camping

Competitive or serious fitness riding

There are bikes that can theoretically perform everything listed above, but you’ll be much happier on a purpose-built bike.

B. On what surfaces do you intend to ride?

– Only on the road – mixed road, trail, and gravel

– Everything and anything!

C. Do you care about the material of your bike?

 Steel, aluminium, and carbon fibre are the most common materials used in modern bicycles (some really expensive bikes are made out of titanium, too.)

The majority of entry-level and cheap bikes are aluminium, but bigger riders should do their research and consider steel, which has higher weight limitations. This is especially important if you intend to transport freight.

If you’re self-conscious about your weight, do some research before going to the bike shop. Most manufacturers publish their weight limitations online, and many bike store personnel, in my experience, are unfamiliar with working with larger persons and are unaware of the bikes’ weight limits.

 Other factors to consider while purchasing a bicycle include:

 Tire width – Examine the tires on the bike you intend to purchase. The more cushioned the ride, the wider the tire (in most cases.) Wider tires also allow you to operate them at lower pressures without the risk of a pinch flat. As a heavy rider, I strongly advise you to purchase a quality pump for your home and inspect your tires before each ride. You’ll be less likely to flatten your tires if you fill them to the appropriate PSI on the tire.

E-bike? – If you want to start on a bike but need to build up your fitness for a longer commute or ride, or if you’re carrying cargo (like kids! ), this is a terrific alternative.

Remember that you can alter the saddle, pedals, handlebars, and other components of your bike after you purchase it. A small adjustment can make a significant impact in comfort!

In short, decide what type of riding you want to do, do some research before going to a bike store, and try out a variety of bikes before making a purchase.

2. Dress in clothing that makes you happy

.When I first began riding, I believed that I needed to dress appropriately in order to be taken seriously. Lycra, clip-in shoes, and those tiny little bike caps were all required. Not only did that become prohibitively expensive, but it also became a source of annoyance as I was continually looking for “cycle apparel” in my size.

(To be completely honest, I normally wear a 16-18 dress size, 18 jeans, and an XL in women’s clothing.) Most conventional athletic brands are out, but I can squeeze into XXL yoga pants from Target or Old Navy.)Now that I’ve logged a few thousand more kilometres, I’ve realised that I can ride my bike in any weather, but comfort is the most important component. I won’t want to ride if I don’t feel secure and comfortable, regardless of the distance.This isn’t to argue that larger people can’t wear cycling clothes. Many people swear by them for their athletic performance, and I frequently wear cycling bibs for extended rides because I enjoy the built-in chamois. In the winter, I wear wool layers, dresses and leggings in the spring/fall, and tank tops in the summer. A rain cape has been my greatest saving grace– it keeps me dry but not too steamy, and it fits any size!

Some athletic brands are improving their size ranges, and all it takes is someone to be forthright and gutsy enough to approach those brands and request better sizing.

So put on what makes you happy. This concludes the narrative.

3. Locate your team. They are present.

Whatever type of riding you want to undertake, chances are someone else is seeking for it or is already doing it. There are cycling organisations for every single interest out there, from planned group rides at your local bicycle club to training rides to get in shape for a charity ride to Kidical Mass rides.

MeetUp.com, your local cycling club, and Facebook are all good places to start. While going for your first ride may be scary, remember that we all started somewhere.

4. You have no obligations to anyone.

People on the street may look and make comments if you are a larger person riding a bicycle. This is nothing out of the ordinary if your life is anything like mine.

Just remember that you owe them nothing. You don’t owe them a response, acknowledgement, or anything else.

You have every right to enjoy your time on your bicycle as they go about their business.

That’s all there is to it. What would you add to this list if you could?

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