Beginner Cycling Guide
What you need to get started cycling
Before you start riding you'll need to make sure you have the right gear to ensure you have a comfortable and safe ride.
- Bike - having a bike of suitable size is important. A bike that is too small or big can be hard to control and unsafe.
- Bike helmet - your helmet should meet NZ helmet standards and should always be worn when cycling.
- Bike lights - these are necessary early in the morning or late at night to ensure you are seen and can be seen by others.
- Comfortable cycling - wear comfortable clothing when you cycle. Avoid wearing too loose fitting clothing around your legs as it can get caught in your chain or wheels.
- Covered shoes - wear shoes that are enclosed and appropriate for riding.
- Bright or reflective clothing - particularly if you are riding early in the morning or late at night so that you're more likely to be seen by other road users.
Learning to ride and planning your route
If you're not experienced riding in traffic, take some time to practice to build your confidence and skills on the bike. As a new rider it's recommended you practice in non-traffic environments first, such as in your driveway or a local park. Try out quieter local roads before you try busier roads.
The best route to bike is usually different to the route that you'd drive. Plan you route by incorporating nearby cycleways, shortcuts through access ways and parks, and neighbourhood streets with less traffic and lower speed.
If you're unsure about the best routes, test-ride it when you have plenty of time and during quieter traffic times. If possible, find an experienced cycling friend or colleague to ride with.
To plan your route, check out Marlborough District Council Smart Maps below:
Go to Council's Biking and Walking Smart Map
or you can use the directions function on Google Maps - just select the bike icon.
How to lock your bike securely
With the right equipment and bike lock you can reduce the risk of having your bike stolen. Here are some helpful tips for locking your bike:
- If available, always secure your bike to a purpose built bike rack.
Find the location of Council bike racks
- If you have a quick release wheel, always run your chain around the frame of your bike.
- Lock your bike in a visible and well-lit area.
- Remove any detachable accessories from your bike, such as lights or bags.
Bike maintenance tips and information
Go to the Bike Ready website bike check page
Keep a record of your bike and its serial number
In the event that your bike is stolen this can help with insurance claims and tracking your bike down. Simply take a photo of your bike and record the serial number, ensuring these are stored somewhere safe.
Take some time to familiarise yourself with the Road Code for Cyclists. The NZTA cycling website has comprehensive information on all things cycling.
See the Road Code for Cyclists on the NZTA website
BikeReady is the national cycling education system and contains helpful resources for schools, parents and adults. In Marlborough, the BikeReady deliverer is RideOn Marlborough.
More information on our Cycle Skills Training page
There are plenty of walking and cycling groups in Marlborough: