My first ride on a road bike

road bike

So I got a road bike. Years of spinning and a single duathlon later, I’m now posing as a cyclist. My husband very kindly picked out a nice bicycle for me and with the help of the Cycle to Work Scheme, I purchased and picked up my new ride earlier this week. The easiest way to get it home was to ride it. But I was nervous. The wheels are so skinny and London traffic is crazy. But I mustered up some courage, put on my helmet and went for it. How hard could it be? It’s just a bike!

I found a quiet side street and took a little test ride. It was so wobbly and weird!! It’s not like a normal bike at all and I felt as unsure as when I took my training wheels off for the first time as a child. Everything is different. The way you sit, the way the handle bars are. The brakes. The gears. I was so awkward!

road bike

Isn’t she pretty?

I managed to make it back to our flat without issue but my heart was racing the whole time and I fiercely rode the brakes on every downhill and my hands hurt from gripping the handle bars so tightly. I definitely have some learning to do before my next duathlon: The Dragon Slayer on 8 May. Nope, not intimidated at all.

I haven’t been new at something for a long time so I thought I’d look up a few tips on how to ride a road bike. And like most things, the internet is full of people with lots of advice, not all of it good. I mean, the author of this article sounds like a total jerk. I’m glad the commenters seem to agree with me. I read the whole thing and thought, wow, if you were trying to make me NEVER want to ride my bike, you did a great job. Apparently if I have the wrong kit or get grease on my leg, everyone will laugh at me. And god forbid I leave the reflectors on my bike!

That said, I did find a few useful articles like this one on how to shift correctly, and this one on correct riding position.

I hope to get out a few times before my race. It’s a bigger, longer race than the last one, but I’m hoping to finish strong. Besides, it can’t be worse than riding a hybrid into gale force winds like last time!

Any tips from seasoned cyclists out there?

road bike accessories

A helmet that matches the bike is key. The lock and keys are also necessary. The other little bits… well, I guess I’ll figure out what those are for eventually!


  1. Tina April 30, 2016 / 12:21 am

    Awesome! I totally remember the wobbly feeling. Once you get used to it you’ll love it. On an open road you’ll feel like you are FLYING!! Riding in the rain with the skinny tires is a bit scary though. And if there’s a crosswind, be prepared to get pushed around a bit – hold on tight! 🙂

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