wikiHow to Be a Cyclist

Bicycling is a popular activity that can provide an enjoyable and healthy hobby. Whether you're a kid or adult, you can learn what it takes to become an experienced cyclist. Always be safe, respect others on the road, and look the part by donning the appropriate gear.


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    Always wear a bike helmet, even if you are only going a few blocks. (In some countries, such as Australia, bike helmets are required by law.) You can find a stylish, lightweight one for about $40. Don't buy a helmet at a big-box or department store. This is your head/brain protection! Get an inexpensive one from a bike store.
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    Be visible! Use bright clothing by day, lights and reflectors by night.
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    Ride predictably and use hand signals as a courtesy to other drivers when making turns on busy roads.
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    Learn to pedal quickly, using low gears at first. Try to "spin" by pedaling in a circular motion at a minimum of 60-80 revolutions per minute. This will build good form and help protect your knees from injury. It also promotes a great cardiovascular workout.
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    Keep practicing and don't give up riding. If you ride several times per week, your body will soon become accustomed to riding and you'll be able to ride further, faster, and more comfortably.
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    Try commuting to work regularly on a bicycle.
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    Join your local cyclist group/association.


  • Bicycles are vehicles and should always ride with the flow of traffic, on the roadway and never on the sidewalks (which are strictly for pedestrians). Also,
  • The rules of the road apply to bicycles as well as motor vehicles. Always obey 'STOP' signs and red traffic lights, even if you're only wheeling your bike. Also, don't ride the wrong way up a one-way street.
  • Make sure your bike fits you. It is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous to ride a bike that's the wrong height.
  • An inexpensive set of plastic fenders will help keep rainwater and road grit off of you and your bike.
  • Wear bicycling gear. Gloves and bicycling glasses make the cycling experience safer and more enjoyable. Cycling shorts are specially lined and designed to prevent chafing. Try touring or off-road styles if you prefer a more modest look. Gear made specifically for cycling often works best, but is often expensive.
  • Practice in your backyard first, then move on to larger areas such as a park or trail.
  • Cycle in single file at all times. It is always good to have your cycle straight all the time.
  • Do not cycle on pavements. Use the designated cycle tracks.
  • Check your bicycle regularly to make sure that it is in good condition. If you do not check your cycle quite often, it might be badly ruined.


  • If you experience lasting numbness or pain from your bicycle seat, try a different seat. You should be putting most, if not all, of your weight on your "sitting bones", not your perineum (the space between your butt and your genitals), which is full of blood vessels and nerves and can cause serious discomfort when abused by a poor-fitting saddle (seat). If the numbness/pain persists, stop bicycling and consult your doctor. When riding for the first couple of days, some soreness is expected.
  • In case of clip-less pedals, you can unlock your foot by twisting it outward. Be sure to thoroughly test this first. You will want to make yourself used to this before heading into traffic, or falling over in front of companion cyclists.
  • If a car cuts you off or nearly topples you over and it's not your fault, never do the following:

    • Shout abusive language at the driver.
    • Make rude hand gestures at the driver.
    • Tailgate the driver to annoy him back.
    • Damage part of his car when passing.
  • Be careful at night. Make sure to use reflective gear and have lights on your bike when riding at night. A light, front or rear, is necessary, but both are recommended.
  • You could end up in a spot of trouble with the car driver (who may want to start a fight with you) or even the police.

Things You'll Need

  • Bicycle
  • Bike Helmet (even if your country doesn't require it by law)
  • Reflectors
  • Front Light (White)
  • Rear Light (Red)
  • Optional: Cycling gear
  • Optional: Knee and elbow pads

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Bicycling