A My first bit of advice would be to look around for a local club or a group ride.

Bike shops often offer this too – the Ride-It series Evans offers is organised mountain bike and sportive bike rides that take place all over the country, with events to suit all levels.

This should provide gentle introduction to cycling in a group. British Cycling also has a club finder facility on its site.

As a road racer, good bike handling skills are a must for riding at high speeds alongside other cyclists so it can help to learn the ropes in an encouraging environment if you’re new to racing.

You’ll also need to get clued up on equipment – racing bikes are lighter and this tends to make them more expensive.

It’s important to get the material and frame size just right so don’t be afraid to road test bikes.

And sort safety. That includes helmet, proper cycling gloves, elbow and knee pads and plenty of hi-vis gear.

In the gym add do little strength training. Compound moves such as deadlifts, squats and lunges will help keep your lower body strong.

Upper body moves such as rows help to strengthen your back. Work that core too for on-bike stability.

Follow Laura on Twitter @laurafitness

For more advice from Laura go to laurawilliamsonline.co.uk .