10 easy ways to dip your toes into bike riding

older couple bike ride together on pathway

Bike riding is a great way to get places, keep our body moving, and have fun. Getting those pedals pumping keeps your muscles strong, has important mood-boosting and stress-relieving effects, and can keep us healthy in the long term by reducing the risk of chronic health conditions. There are so many reasons to give bike riding a go! But, getting started can feel daunting, especially if you haven’t ridden in a while or are new to bike riding. Not to worry though, here are 10 easy ways to get started.

1. Start small and easy

You don’t need to sign up to the tour-de-France straight away. You can start by riding for just a few minutes on your street while you get the hang of it. As your confidence builds, you might choose to explore the quiet streets in your neighbourhood, follow a dedicated bike path, or have a cruise along a flat surface like an esplanade. Remember, start with a short ride, and build up to longer ones.

2. Hit the footpath

In Queensland, bikes are allowed to ride on the footpath. This lets bike riders choose how they want to ride. Be mindful of other path-users so we can all safely share the paths together. Keeping left, using a bell, giving a wave, and taking your time can make sharing the paths safe and easy.

Mother and teenage son and daughter bike ride together

3. Find places to ride

There are lots of places to ride in Queensland, but knowing how to find them can be tricky.

Try searching “easy bike ride near me”, looking at Bicycle Queensland’s website, or visiting your local bike shop for their recommendations on easy places to ride.

4. Meet up with some friends

Bike riding is fun on its own, but it’s even more fun with friends. You could take a ride with your friends or family, or even make new friends by joining a club. There are plenty of bicycle user groups (BUGS) throughout Queensland, as well as special interest groups for every type of bike riding, and every level.

5. Borrow a bike

There are lots of ways to test out bike riding without buying your own bike. You could borrow from a friend, or hire bikes in many of our cities, towns, and holiday destinations. You don’t have to be on holidays to borrow a bike; There are also longer-term hire, and rent-to-buy options for push bikes and e-bikes that deliver to your door. Try searching “hire a bike” in your local area.

6. Try an e-bike

e-bikes are a great way to get back on the bike. They let us travel further, for longer, on terrain and with cargo that might be too hard with an ordinary bike. E-bikes let you set the pace, and you can change the amount of assistance the bike gives you. This lets you take control of how hard you work, and ease back into bike riding. Many cities have street-side e-bikes that can be hired with an app for a low cost. Pack your helmet and you’re ready to go!

7. Stationary bikes count too!

If you’re still not sure about getting outside on the bike, why not bring it inside! Stationary bikes are a great way to get all the health benefits of bike riding from the comfort of the indoors. Stationary bikes are also a great option if you are concerned about balance. You can find stationary bikes in most gyms and in some council parks. You can even buy or borrow a wind trainer – this lets any push-bike be used as a stationary bike.

young woman uses stationary bike at the gym

8. Holiday sight-seeing on a bike

Why not consider using a bike to see the sights on your next holiday. Queensland has some stunning destinations, and what better way to explore them than on a bike. Whether it be exploring wineries in the Granite Belt, an easy cruise along the Cairns Esplanade, or heart-thumping mountain bike trails, there is a bike riding holiday for everyone. Wherever you take your next holiday, consider using a bike.

9. Swap short car trips with a bike

Most of our car trips for social events, shopping, education, and entertainment are under 10Km. This is the perfect distance for bike riding. Think of the shortest trips you do in your car and think about whether those trips could be swapped with a bike ride. Need to carry things? No worries – pop a basket on your bike and you’ll be able to take it for small grocery trips. You might be surprised at how efficient bike riding is for short trips. You can get to where you need to go, get your body moving, and unwind, all at the same time!

10. Planning your trip

Whether you want to join the “happiest commuters” (bike riders), or get out into nature on your bike, it’s always a good idea to plan your trip. Look up trip planners, route finders, and rides in your area. For ride-to-work trips, try doing a practice run at a time without time pressure. This will let you iron out any kinks and plan which rout to take or what time to leave. Let your travel to and from work also be your work-out and your time to unwind. You’ll feel like a new person!