Why make life difficult? Knowing you’ve got to work at the other end is stressful enough. Do your first few cycle rides on the weekend when you’ve got all the time in the world and no need to worry about a shower.
Ideally that friend is thrilled to introduce you to the joys of biking, and knows a good route for newbies. Let them do the navigating, while you concentrate on remembering how to pedal. They'll be psyched for the company, and you get a human GPS.
When getting into biking, one of the most important questions to answer is - what do you plan to do on your bike? Commute in cities? Ride on dirt trails? Career down mountains? Join a hard-core team of road-racers? Whatever activity you're going to do the most, there's a bike that's most optimized for it.
At this point, you probably don't know - so try all the activities! See what floats your boat.
Once you’ve secured your bicycle’s main purpose, it's time to look for the "right bike." Borrow your friends’ bicycles. If your city has a bike-share scheme, use it. Check out local rental places and borrow a different one each time. Take advantage of test rides at bike shops.
Above all, be open-minded; try road and mountain bikes, Dutch-styles and hybrids. Hell, hop on a recumbent and a unicycle. Decide which works best for you and your lifestyle.
Hopping onto a road with traffic and no bike lanes can be intimidating, to say the least. Don't hop on too early and get turned off from the lifestyle entirely.
Since you’re only riding on weekends to start, you won’t be in a rush anyway!
"It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster." - Cycling legend Greg LeMond
Cycling is hard work, whether you're a beginner or Mr. Triathalon. Taking breaks makes it more bearable, and less likely to put you off for life. It should be enjoyable, not traumatic.
Can you ride on the pavement? How much space should cars give you when overtaking? What exactly does that sign mean? Especially if you’re not a driver, it’s important to know the basic rules of the road, for the safety of yourself and others. You can buy books of local road laws, but a lot of helpful info is also available online.
This one cuts both ways.
Once you're biking, you get hot quickly. So don't hop on the bike wearing too much. But at night, it gets cold quickly.
Bring layers, my friend.
If you don’t have a bike rack or proper bag, give your additional clothing to your cycling partner. If they don't carry it, find a new cycle partner who truly loves you.
If you’re just moseying about on a Sunday, it’s easy to forget that cycling is exercise. Once you’re comfortable in the saddle, hike up those gears! Get that blood pumping! Feel the adrenalin!
Successful workouts give you a real high that will only make you fall deeper in love with the sport.
Perhaps the best part of cycling is that it doesn’t feel like exercise, even though it is. If you’re put off by sweat, take it slowly. Cycling should be something you’ll want to do again and again, so don’t burn yourself out too early.
Build muscles in the right places, and pick up the pace when you're good and ready.
You’ve done something new. You’ve pushed yourself. You’ve explored a new part of your city.
Time to congratulate yourself, my friend!
Lock your bike outside the nearest bar or burger joint and enjoy some guilt-free munching. You earned this one, hombre.