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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > June 2015 > BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO CYCLING

BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO CYCLING

What better way to explore the world’s most beautiful places up close and at your own pace than atop two pedal-powered wheels? So, get on yer bike...
A cyclist ventures down into the Cumberland Basin on the Colorado Trail, USA

How do I get started?

WHAT TO RIDE? There’s only one requirement for tackling your frst cycling holiday: a bicycle that you can comfortably ride for several hours at a time.

Bikes come in many different shapes and sizes. Ensure that you’re riding one that fits both you and the terrain you’re going to tackle. Hybrid bikes are a cross between a road bike and an MTB (mountain bike), and can handle everything except hardcore off-road trails. Cyclo-cross bicycles, which look like a road bike but are designed to go off-road, are another good choice.

You should try out any bicycle before you buy, and a local bike store is the best place to do that and get specifc advice about what’s most suitable. Your second essential item is a well-ftting helmet.

If you’re tempted to use the old bike gathering dust in your shed, a thorough service is essential to make sure that your brakes, cabling, chain and tyres are in good order. Before you commit to a few days in the saddle, ride your bike for a couple of hours, including up and down a hill or two. This should alert you to any mechanical problems.

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