Beginner’s Guide to Cycling: Triathlon Edition

Become more comfortable on the bike with this Beginner’s Guide to Cycling

Cycling is the second leg of triathlon. There are several ways for you to become more comfortable and efficient on the bike. Casual bike riding is much different than cycling during a triathlon. Read this Beginner’s Guide to Cycling to become more familiar with what you need to know and expect. This advice will help you now and set you up for success on race day!

Understand your bike

James will tell you all you need to know about your bike.

As a first-time triathlete, you must know the ins-and-outs of your bike. This is an essential part of your training. Knowing what your bike can and cannot do is critical to your training and racing. You’ll want to understand how the gears work, get a feel for the brakes, and practice mounting/dismounting and drinking on the bike. Contact a trusted bike mechanic, like James Balentine with Velofix, for a more in-depth review of your ride and to make sure it’s ready to go. The brand that built your bike might have helpful videos to watch on their website or YouTube.

What to wear

It might make sense to wear cycling shorts on race day since you have to ride a bike during the triathlon. However, keep in mind those are designed specifically for cycling and cycling only. They’re good for training and long rides, but triathlon shorts are designed for race day and brick workouts. The fabric dries quickly which would result in less chafing. 

The helmet you wear should snuggly fit your head. You don’t want it so tight that it hurts, but you don’t want it to be loose either. Consider wearing a pair of sunglasses during training and race day. They will protect your eyes and cut down on the sun’s glare.

Know the rules

You should always wear sunglasses when you ride. Credit – Ed Sparks

Jack’s Generic Triathlon is a USAT-sanctioned event and abides by its rules. Did you know if you don’t wear your helmet when you’re supposed to, the officials can disqualify you? When you get to transition after the swim, make sure you put your helmet on and buckle the helmet strap before you touch your bike. Similarly, after you complete the ride, make sure you rack your bike before you remove the helmet.

You should also know the rules about drafting and passing. These rules are set in place to keep you and other cyclists safe. Drafting is when you use the slipstream of another rider to reduce how much energy you use. Make sure you maintain an adequate distance away from your opponents until you’re ready to pass them.

Reference this Beginner’s Guide to Cycling as much as you need. The more familiar you become the better. You’ll improve as a cyclist and make the roads a safer place. Add to your cycling knowledge and become familiar with these cycling rules of the road.