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Pedal Ready: Biking Tips for Beginners, Occasional Riders, and Experienced Cyclists 

Bike chalk drawing

Who could turn down outdoor time, good exercise, and a great way to get places after being cooped up this past year? Whether riding for basic transportation or fun, there's never been a better occasion to get on a bicycle than Bike Month. Here are basics for beginners, suggestions for the casual cyclist, and bonus tips for those who have already logged miles and miles on two wheels.

Bike Riding Rookie 

Proper fit is important, so start there. Before taking your bike out for a spin, it needs to be comfortable, safe, and ready to go. Don't forget to make sure your helmet fits as well. 

Next, practice getting on and off and get used to braking this is a crucial skill.

It's time to start moving! Learn how to glide without using the pedals. Here's where you can also hone your balance and vision. As you finesse coasting, practice steering and turning. 
Once you can maintain balance, practice pedaling circles in a flat open space, then practice navigating obstacles. 

You'll get the hang of it and soon be off and away!

Casual Two-Wheeler

Perhaps you dusted off an old bike, purchased one during the pandemic, or took advantage of the neighborhood bike share system. Regardless of why you started, here's how to maintain momentum. 

Start planning routes  it's always a smart idea to think ahead — and try longer trips. Regular riding will bring you many health benefits. 

Upgrade your gear. Essentials include a repair and maintenance kit, water bottle, and reflectors. 

Riding confidently at night and in traffic are also good skills to master at this stage. Make sure you can see and be seen in the dark, and when sharing the road with motorists, be aware of your surroundings, know your hand signals, and obey traffic rules. 

Lastly, consider bike commuting back to campus when UCLA reopens. You'll save money not purchasing a parking permit, help the environment, and improve your health. If you live far from campus, supplement biking with a ride on public transit. Use the bike as a first and last mile solution. 

Practiced Pedal Pusher

Applause for achieving forward mobility on sustainable transportation! For frequent riders, we've got these recommendations. 

With 2020's bike boom came bike thieves. Always lock your bike in a well-lit, busy area to a solid, immovable object. Use a U-shaped locked and heavy steel cable lock for extra security. 

Encourage others to hop on a bike! The more riders take to the streets, the safer it gets out there, not to mention the improved air quality that comes with fewer cars on the road. 

Beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders, take note: when you get on the bike, have a wheelie good time. It's way more fun than being trapped in an automobile!