When a person takes up cycling as a sport or activity, they will need at least some cycling gear to keep them safe and comfortable during the ride. There are a number of brands that focus just on cycling gear for both professionals and beginners. What you'll find is that the gear available is either suited for mountain biking, road cycling races, or just casual riding. You can find gear that is tailored for each purpose so that you are comfortable and well-protected.
So aside from the fact that you need a bike, what is some other gear that a beginner should purchase?
Biking shorts are one of the essentials for cyclists. Biking shorts can either make the ride comfortable or miserable for the rider. Until recently, they only were only available in tight, spandex material that is rather revealing for both men and women. These biking shorts have panels in them so that they fit the person's body very precisely, but also have padding so that the person's buttocks do not get as tired when riding.
Some might think that an alternative option would be to wear a regular pair of shorts over the biking shorts. The problem however is that baggy shorts eventually begin to ride up. Despite having padded biking shorts on, the rider will experience discomfort because of the pinching. Cycling manufacturers have solved this problem by making shorts that look like any other, but with a girdle inside. It's similar to wearing a pair of underwear with padding typically seen with conventional biking shorts.
A helmet is another essential, though some might tell you that it isn't. Accidents do happen, no matter how cautious you might be. And if they do occur without you wearing a helmet, then you could get severely injured. Some areas do have laws that require cyclists to wear one. When you buy one, make sure that it fits well.
While sunglasses may not absolutely be necessary, they pretty much are in the grand scheme of things. They not only offer protection from the sun, but from debris that flies up from your tires.
You'll also need at least one water bottle to stay hydrated, though two is better. It's important to drink every 10-15 minutes or so to prevent dehydration, even if you don't feel thirsty. Being dehydrated during your ride is going to hurt your performance.
I would also recommend getting a pair of gloves. Your palms will likely get sweaty during the ride, so having gloves get a better grip on the handlebars. Plus, it will provide some protection for your hands in case of an accident.