Fear of the first bike ride in the city

10 Ways to Stop Being Afraid and Start Cycling

Many people would like to cycle around the city but hesitate, fearing the perceived dangers of city streets. Here's how to overcome this fear.

Passing by a crowded bus stop, I overhear a phrase: "That's the best kind of transport!" An elderly lady nods at her friend, pointing at my bike. Or, "Good for you!" - a friend praises me as I post another training video on Instagram. Bicycles evoke a range of pleasant emotions in people. Most are ready to use bikes for transport and sport, but something stops them - often fear. City cycling paths are few, and car roads seem unsafe. It looks chaotic, as if every other driver is a maniac out to harm. Fortunately, it's not as bad as it seems. In fact, it's not scary at all.

Here are 10 tips that will help you get rid of your fears and become a happy cyclist.

If fear is the first pedal stroke, then courage becomes the ride.

Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Just like beginner climbers don't start with Everest, newbie cyclists shouldn't immediately hit busy roads or national highways. If unsure about riding on the road, stick to bike paths or wide sidewalks as allowed by rules. Plan your route through parks and along promenades – it might be longer, but it's safer and more enjoyable. Remember to be considerate of pedestrians.

Choose Detours

Often, busy roads have quieter side streets and alleys. Surprisingly, even during rush hour, these can be almost empty. Bonus: exploring alternative routes can help you discover your city in new ways.

Find Companions

Join group rides, flash mobs, bike parades, and Coffee Rides. Riding in a group helps you get comfortable on the road, even if the event doesn't involve road closures. Look for daily companions – people who ride the same route as you and are willing to share their experience. Check out our club on Strava for more.

Don't Overdramatize the Situation

Don't think that drivers are just waiting for the right moment to hit a cyclist. In fact, it's quite the opposite: they make maximum efforts to avoid such incidents. Of course, there are drunk and irresponsible drivers, but they are a minority. And the danger they pose is not limited to cyclists – they are equally dangerous to pedestrians, other drivers, and their passengers.
Overcoming cycling fear is about enjoying the journey and trusting your learning. Each push on the pedals takes you away from fear and closer to being confident.

Aleksandr Grigorev

Perfomance Director

Communicate with Drivers

Firstly, use special signals and gestures to indicate your maneuvers. Secondly, connect on a human level: make eye contact with drivers, exchange greetings, nod when they give way to you. More communication equals less danger on the road.

Light Up Your Bike

You can never have too many lights – the brighter your bike shines, the better. Don't wait for total darkness to turn on your lights; start using them at dusk, and during overcast weather, they are useful even during the day. It’s important to be visible.

We prefer trusted products from Sigma Sport.

Plan Ahead

If you're venturing into unfamiliar areas, study the route in advance using Google Maps or plan it on Strava. Street view functions help you get a clear idea of what to expect. Remember, if you encounter any problems, you can always get off your bike and walk for a while.

Know Your Place on the Road

Cyclists should ride on the right side of the rightmost lane, but avoid squeezing too close to the curb, which risks falling into storm drain openings. Maintain at least a one-meter distance from parked cars to avoid being hit by opening doors. At traffic lights, try to position yourself ahead of cars.

Don't forget to study the traffic rules of the country you're in before hitting the road on your own!

Don't Chase Records

It's said that bikes are faster than other transport forms for distances up to 5 km, but there's no need to prove it immediately by speeding through the streets. Over time, you'll find the most comfortable routes, get used to the road, build up strength, and one day realize that cycling indeed saves a lot of time. Let this happen naturally, without compromising comfort and safety.

Stay Positive

Focus on your progress and the joy of cycling. It's crucial to maintain a positive attitude while learning to ride a bike. Remember, cycling is a journey, not just a destination. Concentrate on the small achievements and improvements you make every day. Acknowledge the progress you've made in controlling the bike, increasing your stamina, or simply feeling more comfortable on the road. Celebrate these small victories, as they are important milestones on your path to becoming a confident cyclist.
Staying positive and focused always helps to better handle difficult moments while cycling.


Staying positive while learning to cycle is key. Remember, cycling is a journey, not just a destination. Focus on the small achievements and improvements you make each day. Acknowledge the progress you're making in handling your bike, increasing your stamina, or simply feeling more comfortable on the road. Celebrate these small victories. They are important milestones on your path to becoming a confident cyclist.

And most importantly, remind yourself why you started cycling in the first place – be it for health, enjoyment, or exploration. Let the joy of cycling drive you forward.
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