We use cookies, just to track visits to our website, we store no personal details. Close

 

Classic Newbie getting started - Help Please!

1 2 >
EdMoses 17 May 15:20  

Joined: 17 May 2010

Posts: 4

Bike:

Hi All,

Total newbie here. Have been using a static bike at home for some time and have now stepped up to the real thing. Im 37 years ol and approx 1.5/2 stone overweight. The excercise bike was proving valuable but no where near as hard as the real thing. I know yhis because I was doing 100 miles a week on the static, went out this am and had to stop after 2.5 miles!

What I am after are some sound notes of advice regarding getting started on the real thing. If there was something you know now that you had wished you knew when you started cycling what would that be? After as much useful info to get me started as poss.

Any help woul dbe appreiated.

Thanks guys

Ed

mcmille 17 May 16:47  

Joined: 17 May 2010

Posts: 3

Bike:

Hi Ed,

one thing that i've found helps with alot of this kind of exercise when you're not used to it or have been away from it for a while is to do small distances but often and gradually make them longer - that way you dont overdo it and put yourself off going out again plus you build up your fitness almost without realising it! I've been away from the bike for about a year and have recently started commuting to work on it which has really helped get me enthusiastic about going out for longer rides at the weekends too!

Good luck with it and I hope everything goes ok!

Emily


punked 17 May 19:57  

Joined: 17 May 2010

Posts: 1

Bike:

I've just started too Ed,

I'm about 4 stone overweight and because work was on a cycle to work scheme I thought why not. My first ride was 4 miles long, which almost killed me but had a mate to beast me along. My second was 9 miles long, although I stopped 5 times for a breather I managed to complete it and now i've just got back in from the 9 mile track again and done it with only one stop!! A little advice, get cycling shorts, if only for the padding!!


EdMoses 18 May 11:18  

Joined: 17 May 2010

Posts: 4

Bike:

Thanks guys - I learned the cycling shorts lesson early Punked! I think the short but pletniful appraoch suggested is probably the way to go for me. I have planned an 8 mile route that is pretty even going though, my testosterone levels are telling me to do it!

Thanks for the heads up though guys, I appreciate it.


Magnitude 18 May 13:28  

Joined: 06 May 2010

Posts: 22

Bike:

My Profile
Hi Ed, best thing to do when trying a new route or starting to push yourself to do more miles is to take your time, next time you run it try and beat your time, so on and so forth. That way you can directly see that you are improving and that helps give you a boost on the off days.

It's best to take a back pack with you and have a mini-pump, puncture repair kit and some spanners in there because you don't want a puncture when your only half way. Another thing take a sandwich with you and stop at half way and have a break, then when you start off again you'll be recharged and ready for the last half.

My Latest Route: May 2010 West Bromwich to Walsall and Wolverhampton Canal Loop

bloomp 18 May 13:46  

Joined: 14 Apr 2010

Posts: 69

Bike:

My Profile
Hi Ed, I was in your shoes back in March - my first rides were sweat drenched nightmares until I discovered canals! Flat going, good scenery and stamina building - something like your static bike - find some canals! Two months on and I feel like I've a new body - loads of energy! Keep at it regular and gently push your limits - good luck!

My Latest Route: Sep 2010 Middlesborough to Thorpe Thewles Circuit

EdMoses 18 May 15:11  

Joined: 17 May 2010

Posts: 4

Bike:

Magnitude - I really like your advise mate - bring food! In all seriousness I do think this would help me and will be testing it out. I think a punture or in play repair would probably neg me out to the point of testing my committment so bringing a basic few tools sound very sensible.

Bloomp - I like the canal idea but in all honesty i think i need the climbs and falls to test me - plus the need to change my efforts accordingly are what had the most impact on me on my virgin run - i perversley enjoyed the effort needed to get up the hill and the reward of catching my breath as I came down the other side. I will certainly test the canal theory though - thanks.

No one has mentioned any specific apparel that is recommended - i am in two minds as to if i should IPod it or go au naturel - im actually a little nervous regarding traffic to shut the world out through music. Any thoughts guys?

I really do appreciate all of the help folks.


Magnitude 18 May 15:21  

Joined: 06 May 2010

Posts: 22

Bike:

My Profile
As I cycle the canals I do have an mp3 player with me but I won't use one if on the roads because it's impossible to hear any cars coming from behind. The canals are good at helping with stamina as there's usually a good stretch of towpath that's nice and smooth which you can have a sprint on. If there's no fisherman or pedestrians about you could choose a section of the canal that you can do sprints on a couple of times to get the heart rate up.

I do know what you mean about hills though, I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to hills. At the end of my cycle run, which at the moment is 30 miles I end it with going up a pretty steep hill and I've yet to ever stop when going up there.

My Latest Route: May 2010 West Bromwich to Walsall and Wolverhampton Canal Loop

dudley 18 May 18:57  

Joined: 16 Jan 2009

Posts: 498

Bike:

My Profile
earplugs on the road is a big no no! and for me, a no-no on the bike at all.

a good tip to both improve your cycling, and prevent joint stress is to keep your pedal speed up, and consistent.

dont be afraid to change up and down the gears. Keep your legs spinning. The long slow plod with a huge effort onto each pedal and a nodding head as your slowly grind up a hill is inefficient, and not particularly friendly to your knees.

get used to your legs spinning at a reasonable pace (say 60 total revolutions per minute) and try and maintain that, whether uphill, flat, or downhill. go through the gears to do this.

If you get to the lowest gear and are still slowing to a stop, that's all well and good. You'll get fitter with practice.

you have to love the fresh air over the bike in the house, i'd imagine!


make sure you tyres are fully inflated. tyres naturally deflate over time, so you should check them out weekly.


make sure all is well lubricated and runs freely.

My Latest Route: Nov 2009 Forth Estuary Circular

bloomp 19 May 10:50  

Joined: 14 Apr 2010

Posts: 69

Bike:

My Profile
Hi Ed,
gotta agree with Dudley - need keep up the rpm on the pedals which is why canals are good to start with - also Magnitude raises good point about sprinting sections - good for stamina and muscle building and of course there are lock gate inclines to negotiate so need change downs & ups to keep rhythm going plus extra effort in these sections - and the towpath surface is usually uneven which keeps your muscles adjusting constantly for balance. And you can use your mp3 :-)

My Latest Route: Sep 2010 Middlesborough to Thorpe Thewles Circuit

Provene 20 May 13:01  

Joined: 24 Jan 2010

Posts: 38

Bike:

My Profile
Question: How do you know what 'rpm' you are doing? Never seen an answer to that one.

Canals? Yes, lovely when flat (I have a disused railway line near to the house which has a similar function) but be brave do some hills! Start with some smaller ones and then go for it up some larger hills. Think of it in a positive way. A: The view at the top is great B: the ride down is really good fun! and c: you can see the improvement, the further up the hill you get each time the better, and the feeling when you get all the way up is amazing!

We have a large 400+ hill near us - there are two ways of tackling it. The full frontal assualt (steep, intimidating but shorter) or 'round the back' which takes a series of progressively steeper roads. If I ever take a friend out who isn't very fit we go the back way, once they've done a few rides and got fitter we tackle the front. They they know they have progressed.

My Latest Route: Apr 2010 Waltham Chase to Kilmeston Loop

bloomp 20 May 13:18  

Joined: 14 Apr 2010

Posts: 69

Bike:

My Profile
Hi,
Punked - wot shorts you go for - I'm newbie and just signed up for Prostate Cancer Tour in September at Stoke on Trent but dont want to look a dork - any advice on shorts / top for 14st guy ?

My Latest Route: Sep 2010 Middlesborough to Thorpe Thewles Circuit

Magnitude 20 May 13:23  

Joined: 06 May 2010

Posts: 22

Bike:

My Profile
With RPM just count how many times your legs do a full revolution in a minute. So if you start with your left leg in the lowest position and your right in the highest, one revolution would be your legs returning to the position they were when you started.

Also I'm not sure if some cycle computers have an RPM feature, most have a stop watch/timer so you can use that and just count the revolutions. With the stated 60 RPM just count that one yourself as it's one revolution every second.

My Latest Route: May 2010 West Bromwich to Walsall and Wolverhampton Canal Loop

bloomp 20 May 13:25  

Joined: 14 Apr 2010

Posts: 69

Bike:

My Profile
HiProvene,
I just count prm as i go - keeps ur mind engaged in wot u do - it is the "feel right factor" in a ride - change up / change down but KEEP THE RHYTHM and the ride will be easier & enjoyable - you don't need to suffer to progress . . . you just need to keep moving on :)

My Latest Route: Sep 2010 Middlesborough to Thorpe Thewles Circuit

bloomp 20 May 13:45  

Joined: 14 Apr 2010

Posts: 69

Bike:

My Profile
Provene,
Ur right about routes too . . Easy way - canals, flat, circle the hills, keep to the lowlands build up enjoyment, relaxation, achievement and stamina and then . . .
The "real way" of full frontal assault on "the beast", the quarry trails, the climbs out of dales, the fantastic spins down 1:5's 40mph runs preceded by agonising, leg crunching, agonising soul releasing struggles to the top of a rise - U R THE MAN !
In between these extremes are most of the cyclists who cycle regularly, they are not heroes, nor are they sissy dork weekenders, they are committed cyclists trying to become better athletes and maybe just trying to get to work in a coherent state . . . like me they need to start somewhere and . . get somewhere.
I say steady and often - humdrum, but some exciting bits, calm, but some excitement, not impossible, but "really hard bits" sometimes.
Always try to beat your previous time on a section therfore . . always record your times on a section.
If you see another rider and have chance to speak . . ask for their advice & experiences - they will be flattered mostly.
Most of all, keep those wheels turning lol.

My Latest Route: Sep 2010 Middlesborough to Thorpe Thewles Circuit

johnbobsquarepants 20 May 14:00  

Joined: 12 Apr 2010

Posts: 23

Bike:

My Profile
Hi,

bit late to this thread, but made it in the end!

I agree with dudley, anything stopping you knowing about/reacting to dangers is a no no...you wouldnt ride blindfolded or in handcuffs would you?

shorts? generally I wear a pair of board shorts for most journeys (long and short) I have never really had a problem with chafing or soreness though so maybe im different. my friend swears by them...

RPM=Cadence? my best bike has a cycle computer which counts cadence im sure its turns of the pedals. I like to focus on keeping that number steady. having said that im with you on the hills thing. I love a challenge. point me at a hill give me half a mile run up and ill see you at the top! (I might walk part of it but i will get there eventually!)

John


EdMoses 20 May 14:24  

Joined: 17 May 2010

Posts: 4

Bike:

Wow - some truly excellent advice here guys, in awe anad appreciation of the amount of useful stuff here.

Last night i took on the 8 miler i mentioned - i packed a spanner, pump and flat kit. Although its only 8 mils i also took a snack, a bannana.

It wasnt half as flat as I had thought to be honest and was quite testing - i realise now this is most probably because in cycled in spurts rather than a consistent RPM you guys have mentioned. Because of this i stopped 3 times, which I am quite disapponted in if I'm honest.

However I feel fantastic, really pleased to get a proper run out and the bike did ok, I am already be thinking its not really gonna be up to serious punishment however - several gear change issues that were at best distracting and also, strangely embarrasing, mostly due to chain rattle when in a lower gear forcing me to take a higheroption thus making the cycle harder.

Tomorrow I shall be cycling a canal path along the River Nene and will then be able to compare and contrast the ride.

Once again thanks for everything guys - i shall keep you posted.


London_Rick 20 May 17:01  

Joined: 12 May 2010

Posts: 13

Bike:

My Profile
Hi Ed

Great news you are starting the 'real thing'. My own experience is that you very quickly improve and it won't be long before you are going further and up steeper hills than you ever thought possible. The good thing about cycling is that you can go at your own pace and stop for a breather as often as you want. After a particularly hilly or challenging bit you normally find a good downhill bit and are able to recover in time for the next hill!

I live in north London and my own preference is to get out into the country and explore the villages and get off the beaten track in Hertfordshire with friends. This way it is not just a cycle ride but a fun and sociable few hours out with some mates which usually involves a pub lunch! This way I don't need much encouragement to get out on the bike.

Good luck and enjoy :)

Rick

My Latest Route: May 2010 Baldock to Therfield Circular

Provene 20 May 20:48  

Joined: 24 Jan 2010

Posts: 38

Bike:

My Profile
LOL Bloomp - I may ride up some steep hills (and I do, a pig headed ignorance rather than fitness keeping me going) but I'll NEVER be the Man!

Listen to your body - it will tell you if you are doing too much.

Thanks for the advice re: RPM, counting was never my thing really, but I think I do try to keep up a steay RPM naturally - I don't like to stop pedalling downhills unless the pedals aren't actually doing anything.

All time speed record down a particularly steep hill close to home is 39.3 mph (but ssssh - don't tell the husband!)

My Latest Route: Apr 2010 Waltham Chase to Kilmeston Loop

Magnitude 21 May 08:40  

Joined: 06 May 2010

Posts: 22

Bike:

My Profile
I've noticed a lot of people on here say they take energy bars with them, what kind do you have and where do you get yours from?

Cheers

Lee

My Latest Route: May 2010 West Bromwich to Walsall and Wolverhampton Canal Loop

soren 21 May 08:51  

Joined: 09 Jan 2010

Posts: 90

Bike:

My Profile

Hi Edmoses, I started riding my bike in January this year,gentle at first then as others have said build up slowly.On Sunday just gone 16/05/10, I took part in the Macclesfield Bikathon, I did the 52 mile course which includes some very serious hills, the fact that I am still here typeing this to you shows that it is doable and may I say very enjoyable.
Best of luck....Paul.


dudley 21 May 10:12  

Joined: 16 Jan 2009

Posts: 498

Bike:

My Profile
as regards cadence / rpm, you can get all geeky and get cadence monitors all linked wirelessly to your cycle computer


or


like most of us, just get into a rhythm, and get to know it.

We all should be relatively good at counting seconds. We've been aware of them all our lives.
Get into a rhythm where one foot goes round every second, and thats 60rpm.

you only have to look at your watch at your desk at work to get a good grip on what 60rpm means.

60rpm is a great starting point for a consistent rhythm, uphill, downhill or flat.

big distance guys and racers like to up that to 90rpm or so, but that takes a bit of getting used to. You need to train your muscles and likes to fire off regularly at that pace, and for a recreational rider, it isn't essential to get that last bit of uber-efficiency.

Summer's (nearly) here, so happy riding!



My Latest Route: Nov 2009 Forth Estuary Circular

marinrider2011 23 Mar 12:39  

Joined: 23 Mar 2011

Posts: 1

Bike:

Hello All

This is a very interesting dicussion.

I felt I had to suggest a few things.

Some of you might already use bike mounted GPS. I use an Edge 705 with a cycle computer alongside. I think that heart rate monitoring has a massive effect on training if used even near correctly. Results will show that over time the training is working. They also show stress and illness too.

GPS naviagtion such as the Edge even give turn by turn but there is no voice.

I added some gel pads below my new bar tape and that makes ridning my road bike much more comfortable.

In terms of shorts etc. I would always wear cycle shorts either baggie mountain bike or bib shorts.

I also would highly recommend clip on spd types shoes or at the very least cycle shoes or trainers. I was really shocked when I started to use spuds compared to flat pedals and trainers. Spuds take some getting used to but are well worth it and they don't cost anything like they used to.

I'd also suggest a mirror of some sort. I have the Bike Eye mirror. It looks odd as it fits close to the head tube and you do have to look dwon into to see behiand along the top tube but it works. On my road bike I also have a imported drop bar end mirror which a just right to see what is behind. But no mirrrors are as important as a life saver over the shoulder check. I have worn head phone but only one and volume wasn't that high.

A split saddle is also a comfortable option too, It is type with a hole in the middle it takes pressure of your bits. As it a suspension seat post also not as costly as they used to be.

I would say that canals are a real hoot. I love them. It is very possible to really fly down some towpaths but clearly you need to look out for fishermen etc.

I'd love to hear others toughts etc.

Phil


sean8997 27 Mar 18:19  

Joined: 20 Jul 2010

Posts: 43

Bike:

My Profile
Hiya Ed,

I'd just like to add that although it may not look cool, a bell is a very usefull tool on your bike when riding along canal towpaths etc. You will find loads of folks walking along the towpath and may not see or hear you as you zip along, if you sound your bell a few times about 20-30 meters before you get to them this will let them know you are coming, if they move to the side and let you pass always remember to say thanks!!!
Beware of loose dogs though as they can be very unpredictable as to which way they run!!!

Enjoy your cycling.

Sean

My Latest Route: Nov 2011 Bala Lake Vernwy Loop

12>

Announcement

Find the latest cycle gear and who sells them within the UK. Share the experience you have with a product with others to help them make an informed choice.