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Tips for returning to biking after a long time off

Hello!  I used to do a fair bit of biking around neighborhoods, trails like the C&O and W&OD.   I’m over 60 and haven’t baked like that for about seven or eight years. I bought a new bike at REI for my birthday last summer and have only ridden once because I’m afraid I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.  I’ve checked the REI beginner bike classes but they are not in my area. Any tips on how to start riding with confidence and be safe? Perhaps a YouTube video? Thanks for any strategies you can offer!

2 Replies

Safety first!  And congrats on getting the new bike!  If you can't take one of the learn (or re-learn) to ride a bike classes I can point you toward one of the REI learn to ride videos.  While this particular video is aimed at kids learning, all the concepts from this video would apply, including safety and best practices.

Hope this helps refresh your riding skills and have fun out there!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.

@Bikey How exciting for you to return to cycling! In my experience new bikes make for the best birthday gifts! 

Here is the good news (and I am trying so hard to avoid 'it's like riding a bike' puns:)): Not that much has changed about bikes. There are definitely some new nomenclature and technology but gears, brakes, and pedaling are all the same. The key is to take things slow and steady and you'll feel your confidence building until you're ready to venture out further. Also make sure to wear a helmet! 🙂

I recommend starting with a short ride on level ground just to get your bearings. If you are close to an REI you can also stop in to have a service advisor take a look at your bike and make sure everything is tightened up appropriately, the tires are full of air, and you're good to go. They can also take a quick look at the seat height and show you how to adjust it if necessary (it is probably a 'quick release' style which is super easy but if not you may need a tool to make any changes). If you're not close to an REI those are things your local bike shop should be able to take of as well.

You can also inquire as to good beginner rides in the area to start out on. I would also recommend checking in with any local bicycle clubs to see if they offer group rides for people in your skill level. Riding bikes is great, but riding bikes with friends is even better!

Good for you for getting back into cycling! I hope this helps boost your confidence to get out there on your new bike. Thanks and good luck!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.