Tips for Beginner Cyclists

Fort Collins; Photo courtesy of Bike Sports

Whitney Allison | Bike Sports

So you are one of the lucky ones who picked up a bike and rediscovered cycling during the pandemic. Good for you! Fort Collins is one of the best places in the United States to do so with our superior infrastructure and dedication from the City of Fort Collins to continue to prioritize alternate transportation. As our world continues to move towards a new post-pandemic norm, here are five tips for keeping up and enjoying your new healthy habit.

Keep Your Steed Rolling.

Between the pandemic and the Suez Canal fiasco earlier this spring, bikes and parts are pretty hard to come by right now. This means it’s more important than ever to maintain your bike and keep it in tip top shape to extend the life of your bike and parts. You can learn a lot of basic bike maintenance through videos on YouTube, or maintenance classes like through FC Bikes. Finding a favorite LBS (Local Bike Shop) where you feel heard and comfortable will help when you are beyond your ability.

Fort Collins; Photo courtesy of Bike Sports

Understand Rules of the Road and Trail Rules.

Safety is always a factor when riding a bike, whether on paved asphalt or single track, or anywhere in between. Although you can’t control other driver’s knowledge around you, knowing the current laws in Colorado and Fort Collins specifically, can give you confidence as a rider and enabling you to communicate your intentions clearly to drivers around you. The laws have likely changed since you got your driver’s license, so it is beneficial to review. Plus, it keeps everyone safe! Fort Collins also offers a free Bicycle Friendly Driver Program.

Routes

The creatures of habit might like to do the same route every time they ride, but if you are the curious sort, our region has incredible, incredible riding. We have a world-class paved trail system, many of which will become part of a larger network of trails connecting neighboring towns like Loveland, Greeley, and Windsor. West of the reservoir is chock-full of multi-use trails, most of which also allow mountain bikes. Popular road routes can be found on Your Group Ride and our region’s best gravel routes can be found at Gravel Graceland.

Fort Collins; Photo courtesy of Bike Sports

Expand your community.

Like for any fitness activity, having a group to show up for helps with accountability. In the case of cycling, you will also learn etiquette, drafting, pacing, new routes, other riding hacks and all this in addition to new, lasting friendships. The community here is welcoming and there are a dozen+ organizations and teams to get you started. You don’t need to be experienced or a racer to join most of them. Consider it a foot-in-the-door to a brand new world.

Try new things.

Fort Collins has several amazing cycling events coming up this summer. Try one out!

  • June 27th: Pride Ride
  • July 11th: Bike Ride for Black Lives
  • July 25th: FoCo Fondo

The rumor is that short track is also starting up again at New Belgium Brewing. This fun weeknight series from New Belgium is equally as fun to commute by bike over to watch.

Use these tips and you’ll find yourself well-integrated into the wonderful network of riders in Fort Collins. See you out there!

Whitney and Zack Allison are professional cyclists and entrepreneurs. Bike Sports, their most recent venture, seeks to make gravel riding more accessible, inspire cyclists to challenge their limits and highlight Northern Colorado as a travel destination.

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