One of the greatest things personally I love about cycling is that there are always ways to make improvements. By far it's not the case that you get your bike and cycle for some time and get to the point that you know it all. I continue to feel motivated by cycling because I know at any level that there are new ways to progress, whether it be from technique, fitness or even exploring different disciplines.
However, it's all too tempting to try and walk before we can run. We see other women out on long rides, clipping in and out, riding in a peloton, taking hands off handlebars and gliding down the descents. Cycling does take time, some of us take to it more naturally, but all of us can enjoy cycling and make improvements if we commit to it. It does take dedication and discipline but for us cyclists, that it the great thing about it.
Here are a few things that help us on our way of getting into cycling, you may have done it in a different order, you may have achieved so much more along the way, but most importantly don't feel overwhelmed...
Getting our first road bike
Many of us start on on a hybrid bike. We feel safer and the geometry means that we can see more. But there comes a point when we want to go faster, we want to ride further. A road bike may seem intimidating at first but after a few goes on the bike you will get used to it. It's advisable to find an empty car park and practice to gain confidence and before you know it you will enjoy the weightlessness and agility and wonder why you put it off so long. Here is some helpful advise on getting your first road bike
Don't feel pressured to clip in straight away. It's best that you feel fully confident on the road bike first. You may fall off you, actually you will probably fall off at some point, probably whilst you are stopping, so don't feel embarrassed. You can practice the movement against a wall or on your indoor trainer if you have one. Then the trick is to always remember to clip out before you need to stop.
Completing your first 100km
This can be a great milestone... literally. Something that many of us can feel is a great achievement as we have really accomplished the distances that cycling sometimes demands and also opens up the opportunities that cycling can give us in terms of freedom and exploration. Some feel tempted and just go in and do the distance without the training and build up. You will get round, but you may end up injured and quite possible not want to get on a bike for a while. We advise cycling regularly and building up your distance over time. For example, get out each weekend and increase your distance by 5-10km each time. With a steady 6 months of dedication it is achievable and won't feel like the hardest ever thing you have ever done, but well prepared and conditioned for the distance.
Entering a Sportive or Gran Fondo
Organised events are a great way to feel motivated. Obviously they are not necessarily a race, but for many of us give the motivation to have something to train towards. We could give us the opportunity to travel and enjoy our passion with other cyclists. Many of us would tie in the event with training up to completing bigger distances.
These are just the basics that I think many cyclists go through, but from there we are full of choices of where to take our cycling, whether is be Book a Cycling Holiday, join a club, go bike backing, start racing, improve our skills, go off road, get a coach. The list endless....
The most important part is that we enjoy the journey.