Cycling for beginners


Cycling is one great way to explore the outdoors. Even as a beginner, with a little experience and advice, you will soon feel at ease on a bike ride.  
Here are a few tips to help you get started on the path to a happy and healthy cycling lifestyle.

Choosing a bike

Ensure that the bicycle you purchase fits you appropriately. You should have some space between your body and the bicycle saddle when straddling it. 

Several other factors can influence your selection of a bicycle, including how you intend to ride it and your budget.

Make sure your tyres are pumped to the right pressure

Putting the right amount of air in your tyres may be the easiest part of bike maintenance. This will make your ride very effective.

Adjust your seat height to suit you correctly before you hit the road

It is difficult to peddle if the saddle is too low or too high, as this might result in injuries. When your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke, you should be able to feel a tiny kink in your knee. After that, make sure you're riding in the proper position. 

What to wear

Cycling clothing should fit snugly to enhance aerodynamics and prevent flapping in the wind. It is also built for comfort while riding. An additional tip is to choose apparel that has some reflective stripes which make you visible at all times, especially at night.

Cycling shirts

Shirts often have front zippers for adjustable comfort. They come in both long and short sleeve options to suit every weather condition. The shoulders and sleeves are built for arms-forward comfort and back pockets for simple access on the go. 

Bike shorts

Bike shorts and tights usually have a soft, padded liner, known as a chamois, to promote comfort on the bicycle seat and allow for a complete range of movement. An alternative to bike shorts can be bike pants which work better in cold conditions.


Besides offering a good grip on the bicycle handlebar, cycling gloves also protect your hands in case of an accident. A good pair of gloves should also fit well enough to lessen the pressure on your hands during long rides. 

Knee pads

There are all kinds of knee pads, from lightweight, comfortable ones for trail riding to big, heavy-duty ones. With knee pads, you are assured of a safe landing in case you fall on your knees. Some knee pads contain extra cushioning that protects the shins and the sides of the knees. Besides knee pads, there are also elbow pads that offer elbow protection.


A cycling helmet is a must-have protection gear, especially for mountain biking because of the are high chances of slipping, crashing or bumping into rocks on rough terrain. 


Cycling glasses shield your eyes from the brightness of the sun, bugs and dust within the atmosphere. Some glasses come with interchangeable lenses and multiple lens options. You can change the lens depending on the weather conditions. 

Cycling neck warmer

A neck warmer keeps you warm when cycling in cold conditions. They can also protect you from wind and dust when adjusted to cover part of the face. They are made of a breathable comfortable material that feels good on the skin.

Other Cycling gear and accessories

Bicycle saddle

This is also known as a bicycle seat. In terms of comfort, this is arguably the most important component of your bicycle. Most saddles are adjustable and can be set to any height that you are comfortable with.

Water bottle

It’s a must to stay hydrated on your bike ride. This is why you need a water bottle which you can place in the water bottle cage on your bike. Make sure you place some drinking water in the bottle before heading out for a ride.

Water bottle cage

You need a cage that is compatible with the vast majority of bicycles. One that can securely hold a water bottle with a capacity of at least 500 ml. 

Hydration pack

When going for a prolonged ride in hot weather, it’s ideal to carry a hydration pack with its own water reservoir. The average hydration pack has a capacity of 2-3 litres. This can keep you going especially on mountain bike rides. 

Bike lights

Headlights and taillights are essential for your night ride and during bad weather. Headlights range from basic safety models that help drivers see you in dim light to high-end, high-output lighting systems that light up the trail or road ahead. Taillights are meant to help drivers and other cyclists see you when they are coming up behind you. Tail Lights on bikes are red, just like the ones on cars. Most have modes that flash or stay on.

Bike toolbox

A toolbox contains all the tools you need for repairing different parts of your bike.

Bike multitool

Some bike riders also carry this simple and elegant accessory which can be used to fix several issues on your bike in the middle of a ride. The bike multitool consists of small devices that can fix most of the functional parts on a bike. 

Cycling bag

In this, you can put some cycling accessories that you will need along the way. Additionally, you can place your snacks here and an extra drinking water bottle. Having a few snacks along the way will replenish your energy and give you the morale to keep going.

Bike lock

A bike lock is not an essential cycling accessory since it does not guarantee the safety of your bike. However, you can still purchase it since it makes the stealing process more difficult. 

The best protection mechanism is to always keep an eye on your bike, as no lock is impenetrable if a determined thief has a few minutes alone with it and the right equipment. 

How to keep your energy up when cycling

  • Stay hydrated

Without enough fluids in the body, your energy gets depleted. This is why a water bottle is an essential item on a bike ride. You can fill it at home before heading out and refill it during your cycling excursion at a local shop. If water does not work for you, opting for juice or other refreshing drinks works just fine.

  • Grab a few snacks

Snacks can be in the form of energy bars, fruits, biscuits, sweets, etc. 

Where to go on a bike ride

Our team at Sunny Outdoors Ug occasionally organizes cycling trips in various parts of Uganda. Be sure to look out for these opportunities on our calendar every year. Often, we schedule these cycling trips along with cycling tour companies.  

Distance to cover as a beginner

Begin slowly and gradually increase the distance you can pedal.

A traffic-free trail is an excellent place to gain confidence on your first bike ride. If you have not cycled in a while, start with 8-10km and gradually increase your distance. The easiest approach to building strength and confidence is to ride a little but often. Don't forget to have fun!