Road Cycling: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Road Cycling: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly man riding bike in countryside

TGR Staff | Photo Via - 09/30/2022

If you’ve ever seen a road cyclist in action, you’ll know that they have a look at them. A certain swagger, if you will. They ride with confidence; but how do they do it? Road cyclists have to be nimble and agile. As well as strong and fast. This article will cover everything from basics to the ugly parts of getting into road cycling. If you’re ready to start exploring the masses of road riding that awaits outside your front door, read on! 

The Good Parts Of Road Cycling

The feeling of freedom, the sensation of being one with your bike, the sight of the open road ahead of you, the satisfaction of beating your own personal best time on a ride. All of that and more await you in the world of road cycling. Whilst the more experienced cyclists may scoff at the notion of a “newbie” jumping into road cycling, there’s no reason to be put off. There are plenty of road cyclists who got into the sport as beginners and are now passionate about it.

The best thing about road cycling is that it’s accessible to pretty much everyone who wants to try it. No special equipment or bike is required, so anyone can get involved. It’s also really great for getting fit, as it’s a very efficient form of cardio. This is both a plus and a minus. It’s a great way to get into shape, but it’s not as good for building up strength. And being outdoors exercising does wonders for your mental health. The key is to find a road cycling style that fits your strengths and weaknesses. You don’t want to try to be something you’re not.

Road Riding 101

When you get into road cycling, you’ll quickly discover that it’s rarely just a case of “go ride”. Road cycling is all about getting the basics right. That means building your fitness, developing your technique, and learning how to ride in traffic. Once you’ve done that, you can start to focus your time on the smaller aspects of your cycling that can take you from good to great.

Finding A Road Bike

Whilst some might be tempted to start riding on their trekking or hybrid bike, this is a bad idea. Not only will your fitness and technique be sub-par, but you’ll also lack the confidence to ride in public. You’ll feel and look ridiculous. There are two main types of road bikes to consider when getting into road cycling: road bikes and mountain bikes. Road bikes are designed for road riding only. Whereas mountain bikes can be used on any terrain and come with a focus on off-road riding. Which one you choose is down to the type of riding you want to be doing.

Road Cycling: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: Man riding bike on mountain road

The Bad Parts Of Road Cycling

There are lots of good parts of getting into road cycling, but there are also a few bad parts. The bad parts of road cycling are that it’s very hard on your body. It’s mostly a solo sport, you’ll need to be committed to training. And you’ll need to be fit enough to be able to keep up with it. It’s a very unforgiving sport where injuries are common. You need to take great care of your body if you want to be a successful road cyclist. And practice self-compassion, as it’s easy to beat yourself up when you’re not doing well. A lot of road cyclists say that it’s a lonely sport, but not everyone will mind that. And there are opportunities to join cycling groups. 

The Ugly Parts Of Road Cycling

No matter how smooth your ride goes, there are always going to be road hazards out there. Sometimes these hazards are just cars that come unexpectedly out of a junction. Other times they’re other cyclists that you have to pass. It could be cars running a red light. Or even pedestrians that aren’t paying attention. All in all, hazards are always going to be the challenging and ugly part of road cycling. Overcome them by staying vigilant. And if you do get into a collision, have your bicycle accident lawyer on speed dial. 

Still Interested? How To Get Into Road Cycling For Beginners

Whilst the good parts of road cycling are plentiful, the bad parts can sometimes be a bit too much. If you’d like to give road cycling a go, but are wary of getting into the bad parts, here are a few tips to get you started. 

Go In Strong 

Many new cyclists judge themselves harshly at the beginning. This is human nature, but that’s unfair of you. If you can keep yourself positive, you’re well on your way to getting into road cycling for good. 

Build A Community 

Finding a supportive community of road cyclists is an excellent way to get into road cycling. The people you meet and interact with in your local cycling community are likely to provide valuable advice, help you with your technique, and offer support when you’re riding in traffic.

Final Words

There you have it; the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of getting into road cycling. You’ll need to get a road bike, some gear, and get yourself into shape. The good news is that getting into road cycling is really easy, thanks to the wealth of information online. There are also lots of beginner road cycling clubs and groups, so you can meet others and practice with them.