What do you wish you knew on biking day one?


I have worked with people of all skill levels and abilities over the years, but I had a revelation this weekend when I took my sister out riding on our local Galbraith mountain for the first time. I have ridden with her a bit before but the Pacific Northwest can be a bit of a different beast, and it is intimidating. She is a super casual rider, and most of her experiences have always been with me - and on a different bike each time - so she hasn't had the consistency or opportunity to build her own knowledge base. I don't know if it is just because she is my sister and she feels 100% comfortable asking me "stupid questions" (They are not stupid questions...we have ALL been there) but she had so many questions I had never really thought to answer before...

  • 'My seat moves?' - What is a dropper seat post and why do we use it?
  • 'What do I wear? I am not supposed to wear panties with my chamois?' - What do I need to ride comfortably?
  • 'But I want to go for a beer after - how do I not get my fancy bike stolen?' - How to keep your gear safe
  • Gears and braking 101
  • 'How do I decide where to go? What is proper trail etiquette?'
  • 'There are so many bikes! What bike is for what?'
  • 'If I want to demo a bike, why do I need to bring my pedals?'
  • 'What if...something gets loose, I get a flat...

These sound like super basic questions but how is someone that doesn't ride bikes supposed to know these things? I know I didn't know when I was starting out.

I am going to build a small section here on the blog - 'I want to try biking. Start Here!' - which answers the most basic of questions.

So, my question for YOU! Are there any questions you hear time and time again? Anything you didn't know when you were first starting out, you wish you had known?