Warmin Up/Cooling Down

Cyclists should spend at least 10-15 minutes warming up and cooling down both before and after riding. Not only does this provide you with the opportunity to socialize, but also provides your muscles with the blood flow and stimulation they require before exercising. Proper stretching allows you to perform longer on the trail and helps you avoid chronic injury to muscles and joints.

Mounting Your Bike

Before you can ride your bike, you first have to get on it. This sounds self-explanatory, yet many cyclists encounter start-up problems that are caused by improper mounting. Correct mounting will help prevent knee injuries and set you up so you are instantly ready to pedal away.

The most common method to mount your bike is called the straddle mount. First, straddle the bike, holding it at the handlebars. Raise a foot to your most comfortable pedal, then transfer your body weight to that pedal as you push off with the planted leg, mounting the saddle and pedaling as you go.

Some riders prefer the cowboy mount. Here, the rider stands astride the left side of the bike, holding it at the handlebars (left side so that you don't accidentally crunch your leg into your chain-ring...Ouch!). Place your left foot on the pedal, then push off with the planted foot, swinging that leg over as the bike starts to move. Remember to look directly ahead about 2-3 meters while mounting and dismounting.

Riders using clip or clip-less pedals should also remember that they are, for all intents and purposes, attached to the bicycle. Give yourself enough time to safely engage in and out of your pedals.