10 ways you can get started on your bike

A woman smiling and cycling along through a quiet street
Heading out on your bike for the first time can be exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. If you’ve recently attended one of Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival events and now have your bike back in shape here are a few top tips to help you back into the saddle

The good news is, that if you’ve attended one of Cycling UK's Big Bike Revival events – you have the first step done and dusted – a working bike!

1. Make sure your bike is right

This may sound like the easy part, but getting the right bike for you is important. You don't have to spend a fortune to find a good bike, as you can often pick up a good quality secondhand bike from a bike recycling centre or trusted online forums like that operated by Cycling UK. We also have some handy tips in our guide on buying a secondhand bike. If you are struggling to find the right one for you, why not rent or hire a bike?  

2. Watch Cycling UK’s how to teach an adult to ride a bike video

If you want a quick recap on how to a ride bike, watch our how to teach an adult to ride a bike video. There are plenty of top tips from getting on and off your bike easily to demonstrating how to balance and ride unaided. 

3. Practice in your local park or garden 

Start small. Take your bike to your local park and practice getting on the saddle. Set yourself a target, whether that is to cycle a few metres or just feeling comfortable mounting and dismounting your bike, every little helps and will enable you to gain confidence in the saddle. 

4. Join a local cycling club

Joining a cycling club is a fantastic way to meet other people who are learning to ride, and will also help you learn some local routes. Most of the clubs will offer rides aimed at beginners, so why not use our online clubfinder and find one near you?

5. Learn how to fix a puncture and other basic maintenance 

You might not want to try this straight away but once you’re up and running it can be handy to know how to look after your bike. Learning how to fix a puncture is an essential skill, and do make sure you always carry a repair kit (tyre levers, new inner tube, puncture repair kit and pump!) when you're heading out. 

6. Ride safe

One of the most important things is to stay safe on the roads. Here are a few tips on how to make yourself more visible on the roads. 

7. Wear comfortable clothing

Cycling UK would always advocate wearing what you feel most comfortable in when cycling - but do try and avoid wearing overly loose or baggy clothing which might get trapped in your chain or wheels. Cycling is all about the fun, freedom and feeling at ease in your saddle.

8. Make a cake stop

Cyclists LOVE cake, so when you head out for the first time, find your nearest coffee shop and treat yourself … but in all seriousness it's important to stay fueled while you're on a ride to keep your energy levels up and avoid becoming overly tired!

9. Keep your bike clean

If you want your bike to last then we highly recommend cleaning it regularly. Normally a splash of warm soapy water and a sponge will do the job. But if you need something a little stronger take a look at our guide to cleaning your bike. A clean bike is also much easier to do any maintenance on - you'll see what we mean should you ever get a puncture!

10. Have fun! 

Lastly a very important one - have fun! Everyone who cycles does so because they enjoy it and the more you practice the better you’ll get and the more comfortable you will feel in the saddle. Even just a short ride to the shops can help!

You can find out more about how to get start cycling with our beginners guide