How to get back into cycling after a spell off the saddle

There are lots of reasons why you might take a break from cycling. Perhaps you’ve had an injury or been laid low by a bout of illness. Or, maybe you’re more of a fair-weather cyclist – you like to get out and about when the weather’s good but baulk at the idea of getting in onto the saddle when the temperature starts to plummet.

The problem of course Is that once you get out of the habit of cycling, it can be tough to find the motivation. But here’s the good news, with a bit of patience and persistence, you can get back on your bike and back in shape in no time at all.

Don’t talk yourself out of it

Ok, so you might not feel quite as fit as you used to. And maybe you’re a bit out of shape too. But don’t worry about that. Remember, you’re not trying out for the British Cycling team or the Tour de France, you’re simply trying to get back into the habit of cycling. So, start in a positive mindset. If the best you can do is half an hour a couple of times a week then that’s your benchmark. See if you can up your level each week – you’ll be surprised how quickly you get into the groove again.

Try out new cycling routes

One of the simplest ways to get back into cycling is to channel your inner explorer. After all, why take the same cycling routes you’ve always taken when you could try something new? Perhaps you could switch up the terrain you tackle at the same time. For example, if you’re used to riding the roads, why not give some off-road trails a try. It doesn’t have to be proper mountain bike trails, just a cycling route that’s gets you away from the traffic and out into open spaces – you’ll find it’ll do wonders for your mood!

Remember why you love cycling in the first place

People become cyclists for all sorts of reasons. Some love the challenge of steep hills and the feel of the wind rushing through their air as they hurtle down the other side. For you it might be something simpler. Maybe you just enjoy cycling to work rather than getting in the car. Perhaps you’ve decided that being a cyclist is the way you’re going to keep fit. Whatever your reasons, it’s worth jotting a few down to help you reconnect with your love of cycling.

Make sure you’ve still got the right kit

There’s no need to spend a fortune kitting yourself out in the high-end cycling gear. But there are a few items which are pretty essential. Every cyclist should really wear a helmet and if yours is a bit old then make sure it still fits you. If it’s looking a bit tatty it’s probably worth investing in a new one, too. Getting a puncture when you’re out and about is no fun either, so consider buying some spare inner tubes, tyre levers and either a pump or some gas to make roadside tyre repair a bit easier on yourself. Finally, given how rubbish the British weather can be, a high-viz waterproof cycling jacket is a good shout, maybe even some cycling gloves too, for when it’s a bit nippy.

Remember to eat right

It’s important to eat well when you’re cycling, especially if you’re planning a long ride. A good breakfast of porridge with bananas, or even a light omelet should see you through until lunch time. If you’re cycling after lunch, then try and have a good carby meal before you set off. Nothing too heavy – a bowl of pasta with some form of protein should be enough. And if you’re worried that you’ll start flagging en route, then you could always take some Jaffa Cakes with you to give you an energy boost.

Plan your route

It’s easy to plan your route with the right materials. Either dig out your old Ordnance Survey map, or fire it up on your computer or smart phone. Look for long red dashes or red dots and dashes, which indicate bridleways and byways. Modern OS maps will show cycleways too, which are highlighted with green dots. If you’re not comfortable with these traditional types of map, then simply download Google Maps to your smart phone. Just type in your destination and it will guide you there via quiet or largely traffic free roads.

Find an easy way to store your bike

Making it easy to store and access your bike is crucial if you want to get back into cycling. And that’s where the Thane Bike Nook upright storage device is really helpful. You simply roll your bike’s wheel onto the ramp, tilt the bike frame upwards and click it into place. The base is designed to fit pretty well any thickness of bike tyre. And thanks to its easy upright design, you’ll never struggle to stack or lift up your bike again.

Find out how you can store your bike and save space with the Thane Bike Nook here.