Simple tips to get more from cycling

The best thing about cycling is the more you do it the more you enjoy it and the bigger the benefits.

If you enjoy cycling but struggle to make time for it, or wish you could do it more often, here are some tips to get you on our bike.

Gradually increase your speed. You can easily go a kilometre per hour faster on your next ride even if you’re no fitter than now. Being an efficient rider and knowing how to carry speed will make you faster and conserve your energy, so it is an important skill to practise on every ride.

You can lose a lot of speed cornering, so remember it is not how fast you enter the corner that counts, but how much speed you carry through it.

To increase your weekly kilometres in the saddle, try replacing your car with your bike for a trip to the shops, visiting friends locally, or even riding to work if you feel safe in peak hour traffic.

If you’re planning to ride for a couple of hours ensure you keep hydrated and have enough energy for the trip. Eating simple foods like bananas, muesli bars and even jam sandwiches will provide you with lots of easily absorbed carbohydrates, while being easy to carry and easy to eat. Carry carbohydrate drinks with you to keep hydrated. It’s always better to carry more than you believe you need and have some left over, than to run out of fluids while still on the road.

Set distance goals for your rides, such as 50 or 100 kilometres, as this gives you something to aim for and allows you to pace yourself, even chat with other riders, along the trip. Plan your trip to include hills, not just flat straight road. Hills make you fit. While they may make your legs hurt and your lungs burn, riding hills regularly builds leg strength and forces you to work a little bit harder than usual. This boosts your cardiovascular fitness too and helps you become a faster rider.

Make yourself comfortable by getting your seat adjusted to your body height. Your local cyclery will help you adjust your seat to the right height and give you advice on the best seat for your riding style.

Always wear a helmet — it’s not just common sense, it’s the law.

If you’re looking to tour Brisbane on your bike, here are some tracks to consider.