Cycling mistakes happened to all proper cyclists and will also to freshly baked riders. However, once being aware of them, decent cyclist will tend to correct and prevent them to happen again. But waiting some mistakes to occur and experience them is not a good idea, because the most common are also the most unpleasant ones. Knowing what to do in order to prevent them ahead can help you to avoid some unwanted consequences, like fatigue, exhaustion & injury and achieve comfort, stability, effectiveness of your whole cycling experience.
Poor or No Preparation For Long Cycling Rides
If you plan multiple hour rides, it is curtail to properly prepare yourself. Bring enough food/water and take spare inner tubes with necessary tool kit. Before setting off, check your bike for defects and learn how to remove chain/cassette along with changing tubes/cables. Fully charge your phone and bring enough money to have for resupply or, in some cases if accident or damage happens, for transport. Not following these simple things may result in exhaustion, blowouts and if some trouble occurs (tire defect or cracked battery), you will end up hitchhiking or rolling your bike by foot until getting home.
Bad Handling Maneuvers
These mistakes mostly occur on downhill rides and cycling trough traffic. Keep your head high and do not look down, so you can be more aware of your surroundings and able to react faster. While pedaling, do not tilt your body to much, because it will reflect badly on your crank and gearing. Have steady upper body and push pedal trough your hips. While descending a hill, besides focusing on the road, you need to pay attention on your braking. Squeezing brake levers to hard can result in wheel locking or loosing tire traction and you could easily lose control. Balancing brake grip takes a bit practice, so for starters ride slowly on downhill. If you find yourself in situation for hard braking or sudden stopping, pull both levers slowly at the same time and hold them before the point where wheels can lock and move backwards from saddle a bit to add more weight and balance on rear wheel. That will prevent side sliding and you won’t nose-over front wheel. If you do manage to lock wheels while braking, release levers quickly to return tire grip, then pull them again and hold them until stopping or reducing enough speed. Taking downhill corners can be challenging, especially on wet conditions, so try to reduce speed before taking a turn. Braking in corners sometimes will not do any good and you could easily lose control and fall.
Incorrect Body Positioning On Bike
This will vastly affect your performance and comfort, so it is very important to learn how to have correct position on bicycle to avoid unpleasant things, like pain in crotch/legs and knee injuries. Saddle height needs to be in the same level as your hip, while seat top must be parallel to the ground for maximum comfort. If the bike frame size is a bit unfitting for you stature, is possible to correct it by pushing saddle back or front in order to have better reach on handlebar. Do not pedal with heels or fingertips and for most efficient pedaling place top of your foot. You can further improve pedaling by using cycling shoes, but if you happened to ride them for the first time, always have them unclipped before stopping, otherwise will end up falling like a sack of potatoes.
Poor Bicycle Maintenance
If you want your bicycle and bike parts to last longer, it is at most importance to orderly have maintenance. This includes cleaning frame and mechanical parts from dirt, changing cables to keep gear shifting & brakes in order, checking tires for pressure & scraps that could damage it and of course, lubricating chain for prolonging its durability and smooth ride.
Selection of Clothing
There are few things that you need to keep in mind: Dress yourself for cycling appropriately to weather conditions and if you do not have cycling clothing kit, can ride in regular sweat-suit, pants & shirt, but bring backpack with extra ones for change. It is important to stay dry as long as possible, so that you can avoid catching illness. Try not to wear any pants under cycling bib-shorts, because it is designed to be worn directly on skin for aerodynamic and sweat absorption. Having pants under cycling clothing kit will only worsen the ride and make you uncomfortable.