What tips would you give to someone looking to get into cycling as a hobby?
Enjoy what you’re doing
Most people who start riding a bike do it as they get influenced by someone around them. I have a bike shop in Luxembourg – I advise my customers to start small. You can’t go from zero to pro overnight. For example, in the UAE, one loop is enough for a start. You don’t need to go for big routes like Al Qudra in Dubai or Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi. I say: go out on the weekend, ride your bike and enjoy!
Set yourself some goals
People tend to get bored of new hobbies very quickly, so I would advise to set realistic and achievable goals first. I grew up dreaming of the Tour de France, however, events like the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge powered by SKODA are just as important as the Gran Fondo (Italian long-distance race). Give yourself some targets for what you want to achieve, then it will make it easier to commit to making them happen.
Get the right gear
When buying your new gear, make sure you talk about your goals with the shop assistant as they will advise you on what you need and the correct position of siting on the bike. If you don’t sit well on it, you won’t enjoy it as much. Know what you’re buying and why you’re buying it. I could see that here in Dubai and the UAE, shops not only offer great bike equipment, but helpful insights as well, especially to the newbies.
Listen to your body
Cycling is a sport that does not damage your body. It doesn’t hurt your knees or joints – it’s a challenging sport, but it’s not damaging to your body.
Break the routine and challenge yourself
Take yourself out of your comfort zone. In today’s world, we can find ourselves trapped in a routine. If you challenge yourself, you will find new ways to enjoy other things around you. For example, at lunch time where you only need 15 minutes to eat, you can get together with your peers, challenge yourself and enjoy the outdoors by going for a bike ride in the middle of the day.