You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

7 top tips to get into cycling at any age

Posted on 11 September 2018

It’s just like riding a bike…

If you’ve seen our recent video of Tandem cyclists Betty and Graeme, you’ll know it’s never too late in life to enjoy cycling.

At any age, cycling is a great way to improve and maintain physical and mental health, and have fun along the way!

If it’s been a while since you’ve ridden, or even if you’re a beginner, getting on the bike can seem a little daunting.

Luckily, we’ve got a few top tips to help you get into cycling at any age – and don’t worry, the Lycra is optional.

1. Get a bike!

If you’re starting cycling for the first time, it’s a good idea to choose a bike that will work best for what you want.

Firstly, think about your budget – how much do you want to spend? There’s no point splurging loads on an expensive bike only for it to sit in the shed most of the month.

There are loads of different styles of bike on the market, so look online or ask in a shop what is best for the type of cycling you’re looking to do.

You’ll be able to find bikes designed specifically for women, people with physical limitations and many other requirements.

A good option to start out on might be something like a city bike, which can have a lower frame making it easier to step onto, and higher handlebars to put you in a more comfortable, upright position.

A bike with wider tyres may also provide more stability which is better for first-time riders.

a couple about to go on a bike ride

If you already own a bike and are happy with it, then make sure you give it a quick service to check it’s roadworthy.

You’ll also need to have the necessary requirements to go with your bike like a helmet, lights, a bell and a lock.

While cycling is a fun and relaxing hobby, it’s also important to be as safe as possible.

2.Take a course

Cycling has become more and more popular in recent years, and there are lots of cycling courses popping up all over the country to help riders become more confident, or to teach beginners the basics.

Different websites can help you find a cycling course in your area with a qualified instructor who can guide you every step of the way.

3. Visit a park or traffic free area

Until you feel more comfortable, try to cycle in a park or a specific cycle-only route.

One of the biggest concerns people have about cycling can be navigating traffic, so keeping to a park can make a ride more relaxing until you get a bit more confident.

a bike parked in a scenic area

4. Plan a route or stick to routes you know

When you’re beginning to cycle, don’t give yourself any more things to think about than you need to.

Plan a route beforehand or stick to areas and journeys you know well so you don’t have to think about which way to turn or where to go next.

Thanks to the growing popularity of cycling, there are loads of sites on the internet with example routes with ratings, so you can find one to suit your level.

5. Give yourself plenty of time

Going on your first cycle when you’ve got to get somewhere at a certain time will only add unnecessary stress to your ride.

Take your bike out when you don’t have any time constraints and don’t have to worry about being anywhere at a certain time.

Suggest to a friend that you go on a leisurely cycle together and make a nice morning or afternoon of it. If the weather is nice you could take a picnic and enjoy it in the park together.

two cycling couples having a picnic together

6. Join a club

Join a cycling club and let other people give you the motivation you might need. Many clubs have cyclists of all levels so you’ll be able to go for a ride with other people of your ability - and make some friends along the way.

7. Always stretch before and after

Cycling is a great way of working your muscles, getting fit and healthy, and getting some fresh air.

As we get older, we get a bit stiffer and less supple, so stretching beforehand will help warm up the muscles for exercise, and make sure we aren’t struggling to sit down the next day.

We hope these tips will help you get out and on a bike.

Remember to always wear comfortable clothing that won’t restrict you or get caught in your wheels or chain. And, if you have suffered from any injuries, talk to your doctor beforehand to get the go-ahead.

Happy cycling!

At SunLife, we’re here to help you make the most of life after 50. For those interested, we also offer over 50 life insurance with no medical required and guaranteed acceptance.

Read more about why many people take out life cover later in life to give them peace of mind.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.