Beginner Ride

Beginner Ride

Postby Dr.Nate » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:41 pm

So I just bought my first roadie, a Giant Defy Composite 2012, went a little over my budget but im more motivated to get out there and ride. Im new to cycling and still getting used to clipless pedals. I live in Rhodes and have started riding on the cycleways around the area. Still not confident to get on the actual road with cars etc ... Do you guys have any tips on getting used to a bit of road traffic as well as clipless pedals?

Any recommendations on good beginner routes and rides? I'm pretty fit and could do and 1.5 to 2 hours no problem.

Thanks for the help!

Dr. Nate
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by BNA » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:05 pm

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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Old and Rusty » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:05 pm

Dr.Nate wrote:So I just bought my first roadie, a Giant Defy Composite 2012, went a little over my budget but im more motivated to get out there and ride. Im new to cycling and still getting used to clipless pedals. I live in Rhodes and have started riding on the cycleways around the area. Still not confident to get on the actual road with cars etc ... Do you guys have any tips on getting used to a bit of road traffic as well as clipless pedals?

Any recommendations on good beginner routes and rides? I'm pretty fit and could do and 1.5 to 2 hours no problem.

Thanks for the help!

Dr. Nate


Get your basic skills in handling the bike, cornering, braking etc to a point where you're confident then get out on the road in a bunch. Safety in numbers and all that, once you feel up to speed then hit the back streets of Rhodes, meadowbank etc. Olympic Park is probably a good spot to share some road with the tin tops.
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby zozza » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:12 pm

Re the clipless pedals..

You WILL clipstack a few times :twisted:

everyone does :lol:
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby markusm » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:27 pm

zozza wrote:Re the clipless pedals..

You WILL clipstack a few times :twisted:

everyone does :lol:


I think you have to before you can learn not to! :D
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby stevecassidy » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:51 pm

Dr.Nate wrote:Any recommendations on good beginner routes and rides? I'm pretty fit and could do and 1.5 to 2 hours no problem.


Baybug run regular rides around your area, the Saturday ride would be the ideal place to gain confidence on your bike. They run groups at different speeds from a slow plod to flat out. The ride is around 30km finishing in Concord West for coffee.

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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Rockford » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:32 pm

Drive out to the M7 Cycleway. 40Kms of uninterrupted cycleway.
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Dr.Nate » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:41 pm

Thanks for all the help guys will definitely check out the BayBUG group once I have a had a few more rides on the cycleway.... Will also check out the M7 cycleway.

The gentleman who sold me the bike at the LBS changed my pedals to MTB pedals because he said that they were a little easier to get used to then the Ultegra pedals that came on the bike... So I'm hoping that will assist me. I also invested in a little carry bag for a spare tube Co2 pump, patches and tyre levers. Haven't changed a tyre yet but watched a few you tube videos... Hopefully the day I need to change one I'll know what I'm doing.

Just got to get some riding aparrel like a jersey and shorts etc any suggestions on this ? At the moment I'm riding in running shorts and a wind breaker ... Not the best look!

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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Dr.Nate » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:05 pm

Also have read about the bay to bay cycleway is the same as the cooks river cycleway? Was thinking of doing it this weekend with my fiancé is it an easy ride?
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby wombatK » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:11 pm

Geez Dr Nate, you live in the perfect place to get used to road riding. There's a stack of off-road cycleways you can practice on 'til your clipless pedals are second nature, as well as options to venture further west via the M4 cycleway to the Liverpool rail trail and prospect dam etc.,.

Then there's the roads around the SOP stadiums, with great shoulders completely devoid for parked car door hazards, where you can develop some confidence in what is mostly light traffic. Just makes sure you get one leg (probably your left) unclipped well before traffic lights, bollards, wayward pedestrians or other hazards where you might have to stop or put a foot down.

When you're ready, you can tackle some of the routes into the city at light traffic times where you have to take to on-road cyclepaths until you get to Haberfield.

The advice on the MTB clips is pretty spot-on. Double-sided SPD cleats are easier to get into than SPD-SL, which makes them better for noobs.

As for apparel, just stick with what's comfortable for now - it's not worth buying winter gear now anyways. Cycling specific clothing, especially knicks, are worthwhile once you start hitting longer mileages (say, > 20km). Or if you really need to look like a MAMIL at the coffee shop.

Bay to Bay cycleway aka Cooks River Cycleway is a doddle - pretty damned flat with the biggest "hill" being the climb from homebush railway line up the east side of the golf course to Barker Rd. Easily tackled by anyone with even modest fitness.

Some women can get issues with bikes not fitting sensitive areas (e.g. if seat is too narrow), so best to take in some shorter rides first. Or just go as far as the Adoro Chocolate shop at Illawarra Rd, Undercliffe.
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Old and Rusty » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:49 pm

zozza wrote:Re the clipless pedals..

You WILL clipstack a few times :twisted:

everyone does :lol:


I know this excruciatingly good looking guy who has been riding in clipless for over a year without a stack, must be the awesome stability of his Jamis bicycle. I won't name him in case I jinx the handsome devil :P
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby CommuRider » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:11 pm

wombatK wrote:Bay to Bay cycleway aka Cooks River Cycleway is a doddle - pretty damned flat with the biggest "hill" being the climb from homebush railway line up the east side of the golf course to Barker Rd. Easily tackled by anyone with even modest fitness.


At least that has a good uphill incline. The one thing I don't like about the cycleway are some 10-20 metre sections that go up 30 degrees around Canterbury and Earlwood. They just go straight up and there are pretty close calls when some maniacal rider decides to speed down these bits. Really, on a PSP those steep inclines haven't been thought of.

Or just go as far as the Adoro Chocolate shop at Illawarra Rd, Undercliffe.


Funny, I always seem to ride pass Adoro. I keep thinking I will stop and sample their chocs but Tempe beckons. I will eat their chocolates one day :-)
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby goneriding » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:10 pm

+1 to the BayBug ride. It will give you a good progression as you get fitter. This one takes in the Meadowbank loop and SOP.

+1 to riding around SOP to get used to the road. I do ~200+ km's a week out there and it is a great place to get some base fitness.

Doing the Cooks River ride you can get all the way to Brighton le Sands which is an easy ride although I recall thinking it was the hardest thing the first time I rode it.

There is an LACC bunch ride that goes around SOP on Sunday mornings for a couple of hours. I think it leaves from the ferry terminal at 6.30am. This is a fairly relaxed bunch. They also ride on Wednesday mornings at 6am from the Olympic Park railway station (?).

If you do get obsessive about your riding you are well catered for in bunch riding by the LACC bunches that train at SOP on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. They'll typically run 4 - 5 groups looping SOP at various speeds. I'd avoid these to start with.

If you are interested there is also racing (LACC and Waratahs) down at the Tennis Centre from time to time on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. Check the LACC and Waratahs websites for details.

Plenty of pain and suffering, sorry enjoyment, there for you :)
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Dr.Nate » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:41 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys.... Once I have the clipless pedals I gotta learn the gears...

Also another question, what is the best beginner loop around SOP ? Is it on road or the cycleway or a combination?
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby wombatK » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:55 pm

"Best" depends on you. If you want to stay off the roads, try this:

SOP beginners loop
It's 25 km for the out-and-back, turn around earlier if it's too much for the GF. Though the promise of
a coffee and treats at the Armory Cafe is useful motivation to push on.

The bikemap.net route shows the opencyclemap - which plots all the on-road and off-road cycleways around SOP and pretty much everywhere else around the country. Very useful for planning your rides.

On road, light traffic, this is a good 5 km loop (uses satellite view on bikemap.net).

On road, in peak hour, this avoids traffic best: http://www.bikemap.net/route/954880 (uses whatever layer/view you used last).
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Dr.Nate » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:33 pm

Done the SOP beginners loop a few times now, to the newington armory and back to Rhodes great track for getting used to the bike , pedals shoes etc...

Think I'm gonna try the 5km loop on road next .... Then the bay bug sat morning ride.

Definitely got the cycling bug !

Thanks for the help and tips
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby vander » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:30 pm

Thought i should ride it in here as it has already been talked about but does anyone know what time LACC go off at in the morning? I was planning on going tomorrow and maybe thursday.
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby Sydguy » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:23 pm

Hi Dr Nate - it is an expensive bug to catch, you should have done something cheap like get your commercial pilots license.

I'll be at the Saturday morning Baybug ride, be wary of the start time! It is going back to 6:45am for this Saturday. July/August it is 7:15am only.

Say hi - I'll be on the black Giant Seek 1 with rack, mudguards, lights, bells, whistles and my eye catching yellow cell long sleeve jacket on. If you can bring a sign on sheet, print t off from website, but it is optional for first ride!

Hope to see you there.
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby stevecassidy » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:15 pm

vander wrote:Thought i should ride it in here as it has already been talked about but does anyone know what time LACC go off at in the morning? I was planning on going tomorrow and maybe thursday.


6am according to their website: http://www.lidcombe-auburn.cc/events_results/training - too early for me...

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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby snowmaan » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:26 pm

Nice thread, good one for opening.
Also starting out and looking for tracks, rides etc

Wonder if anyone here does Brighton le sands bay to the city via the Eastern Distributor?
Not game to do it myself after a scary ride from Brighton to Mascot down it the other day, not nice going through the tunnel at the airport, but the bike lane dedicated after that all the way to the city looks quite nice?

"Thanks for all the advice guys.... Once I have the clipless pedals I gotta learn the gears..."

Lol, I got a Trek Madone 4.5 today, up from a Cell 2200 with Shimano Sora, and I struggled with the gears on the way home today, in the rain
Any quick tips on the basic of changing / managing the gears on a bike like this (a 105)

Not even ready to try the clip ins for a first try, in the rain today at least
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby wombatK » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:17 am

snowmaan wrote:Lol, I got a Trek Madone 4.5 today, up from a Cell 2200 with Shimano Sora, and I struggled with the gears on the way home today, in the rain
Any quick tips on the basic of changing / managing the gears on a bike like this (a 105)

Gear changing on a 105 bike should be easier, if anything, than a Sora (I've made the same upgrade). Has something else changed, like going to a compact crank on the 105 ? That can complicate things - needing changes at front and back more often.

As for the Airport Tunnel - it'd take a really brave man to tackle that in peak hours. Plenty of bunches ride it early in the mornings - but at other times and on your own is a lot less comfortable.
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Re: Beginner Ride

Postby timbo » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:43 pm

Bike North run plenty of rides of different grades, with some starting from Meadowbank wharf.
Check them out at www.bikenorth.org.au
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