Group Cycling: a Novice’s Guide

Group Cycling is a fantastic way to get fit, lose weight and build strength in your leg and lower body muscles, but starting a new class – especially if it’s not something you’ve ever done before – can be a little intimidating. This is why we’ve put together a guide to help you through your first few sessions until you’ve settled in.

Firstly, it’s always a good idea to arrive about 10 minutes early for your first class, so you can be shown how to set the bike up correctly and learn any key moves.

You should also wear comfortable fitness clothing, avoiding long baggy bottoms as they may get caught in your pedals.  You should also make sure your laces are tied tightly to firstly stop them from getting caught in the mechanism and to help you keep a good position on the bike. You should also tighten the straps on the toe cages to avoid your foot slipping out during the class.

Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water and a towel with you as you will definitely be getting sweaty during the session. While you can nip out to get water during the session, it’s not ideal and you could lose your rhythm and not burn as many calories as you might otherwise have done.

It’s important that, while you’re getting used to the class that you go at your own pace.  You are in control of your bike’s resistance, so take it steady in your first class so you can get a good understanding of the pace. Too many new spinners try to keep up with far more experienced members of the class at their first attempt and crash out halfway through the class. If it gets too much reduce your resistance and slow your leg speed down. Catch your breath and join back in when you are ready.

In terms of clothing, padded cycling shorts can be a good idea, as your bottom can get a bit sore on the first few sessions. Your body does, however, get used to being on the bike if you ride regularly – around once per week or more. Furthermore, cycling shoes – while not essential – can be a good idea as they will help improve your pedalling technique by keeping your feet in the correct position.

The most important thing to remember, however, is to work to your own pace, don’t push yourself too hard and to ask questions if you’re not sure of anything. Lastly, make sure you enjoy yourself, too!