Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Rossimelons
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Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby Rossimelons » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:02 pm

Hi ladies,

Some background from me: I haven't ridden a bike in about 6 years (pre-kids) and even then it was just a lazy ride to the pub and back.

In Feb we're moving to a smaller town and have decided to sell a car to save some cash. I've just bought a new bike and will need to ride to and from work each day. Depending on where we're living this will be between 4-8kms each way. I know that's not much for many of you but I just rode about 2kms (with a break half way) and am sweating like a pig and huffing and puffing like you wouldn't believe. I am not an active person really and I was hoping that having to ride will help me lose some kgs and improve my fitness. But for a newbie - what are your tips on getting back into it? I have two little kids, my husband works full time and we're in the middle of packing up our house to move interstate so I don't think I can commit to riding every day at this stage as much as I would like to. But is getting on and whizzing around a few blocks a few times a week enough for me to see a difference in my confidence and fitness by Feb? I'm very wobbly on a bike, I get very nervous riding on roads around traffic but then feel like a total numpty being a grown woman riding on the footpath.

Any tips or encouragement would be great. Thanks :D

softy
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby softy » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:00 pm

I would suggest get;

EASY GEARS, that would be a 34t (inside gear or known as a compact) up front on the crank and 32t (biggest cog) on the back. Aim at keeping your cadence arond 80 to 90, spin your legs so it feels easy.

This will make you heart and lungs work a little more (cardio) which is the best for burning fat and loosing weight.
Start off just riding slow, drink heaps of water, before, during and after. Increase your carbs as you get fitter and strong.

Glad to hear your back on the bike, enjoy. :)

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trailgumby
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby trailgumby » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:54 pm

Sorry, I'm not one of the ladies, this came up in my "new posts" feed, so hope you don't mind me chipping in my two cents. Hope I can add some value. :)

We've all been where you're at right now, and I think it's simply brilliant that you've elected to lose a car and replace it with a bike. You're setting a great example for your kids for a sustainable future.

Basically, what softy said, spin easy gears. It's what they're there for. There's no need to grind the pedals slowly in big gears, pedalling at a fast rate in easier gears is better for your knees, and your heart. Especially with hills. I've been cycle commuting for almost 10 years now, and I still follow this approach.

Short loops, maybe a few times around the block to get you started, whatever you can manage, stretching your limits a little bit further with every outing. Three to four times a week is plenty. In the beginning you'll make surprisingly fast fitness gains if you are coming off a low base, as I did/was. It won't be long before 8km isn't long enough and you start taking more circuitous routes to get more riding in :lol:

A little bit of sweat is a good thing, it lets you know you're working, and you'll make faster fitness gains. If that is an issue for your employment, the ladies here will be be able to help better than I with managing that, as I am spoiled with facilities and have it pretty easy with getting presentable.

One suggestion you may find helpful if you want to incorporate more activity in your day-to-day life is to use the bike instead of the car for short shopping trips. You know, things like milk, bread, fruit and veg and the newspaper from the corner shops. The practicality of that will be determined of course by where you end up living, but if doable for you, you'd be surprised how quickly it adds up. Saves fuel, burns calories, while being in most cases just as quick if not quicker than using the car. Saves wear and tear on the car too as those short trips with a cold engine are harsh on the engine and gearbox.

If you haven't already, get a bottle cage fitted so that you can have access to a drink bottle, especially during the summer months,

If getting sweaty is a bit of an issue for social reasons, I would recommend getting a rear rack and a pannier bag for shopping items, as it keeps the load off your back and allows for much better ventilation and evaporation. Woollen cycling kit (jersey etc) is surprisingly good at wicking away perspiration and it never smells. Well, it will if you don't wash it all week, but that would be silly.

Oh, one more thing... how old are the kids? Do they have their own bikes? There are options there that can make life easier too. Child seats will fit the rear racks for the tiny tots, and you can also get trailers too.

Does that help?

Well done on getting started. :D

Rossimelons
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby Rossimelons » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:07 pm

Thank you so much for the help so far! I got a rear rack thing installed when I bought my bike and am shopping for some cute Pannier bags as we speak. I really hope to use the bike instead of the car for any outing I do without the kids. My kids are 3 and 5 and absolutely adore their bikes and are super excited that Mum is coming riding with them - but they really only go at walking pace and can't make it too far so our family rides so far have been my husband and I walking while they ride along. But I am very much looking forward to some proper rides as they get older.

It feels weird to me to have my legs spinning at that rate - when I rode previously I always had a harder gear (sorry - don't know if that's higher or lower) where I had to really push on each pedal. It felt better than pedal like mad with no real resistance. I might need to change my mindset on that one.This new bike is a lot lighter and faster than my old kmart treadly and it does make me a bit nervous as I seem to pick up speed quickly and feel like I'm always riding my brakes out of fear.

I have to sort out the shower situation for work. I won't really know until we move what the facilities will be but I'm hoping there's a shower there. I'll be working as a midwife so you get pretty up close and personal with people and good hygiene is a necessity!! There's some awesome rides around the 15-30km mark out there that I'm really hoping I can work up to for leisure soon. And I want my kids to grow up seeing their parents be more environmentally conscious and healthy!!

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trailgumby
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby trailgumby » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:44 pm

When I'm cruising on the flats I tend to pedal around 85-90rpm, but when the road points up, that lifts to about 100rpm or higher. You can get reasonably priced bike computers that will measure pedalling rates ("cadence" is the technical term), and I found it really helpful information.

One thing that makes it easier to spin at the higher pedalling rates is to be clipped in (called, counterintuitively, "clipless pedals"), as they remove the worry about your foot coming off the pedal. Also good for wet weather riding for the same reason. I wouldn't recommend that to start with, though, but as your experience and confidence grows they're something to look into. Mountain bike shoes and pedals are probably the easiest to learn with. Until then, perhaps some toe guards and straps, done up loosely, will help.

No need to rush any of this, just things to try when you feel ready.

Confidence and comfort with speed will come with time. Something to look into is a riding skills course. They will teach you scanning the road surface ahead, safe braking, cornering, gear selection and climbing skills, on and off road. It might seem like stuff that people take for granted, but it's better to learn good habits from the start instead of having to unlearn bad habits before you can get back on the right track. I have some personal stories about learning that stuff the hard way - lets just say it's much better to learn them early, from someone else! ;)

softy
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby softy » Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:21 pm

Clip in pedals are good, but it does sound like you have really just started.

Pedalling around 80 rpm is quite easy even without clip pedals, if you pedal slower, as soon as you hit even a slight rise you start to press hard on the pedals. Then your body starts to sway and you slow up very quickly, if you get to slow you have left it to late and have lost all your momentum.

Cycling is about saving energy and being efficient, when you see a rise, change the gears to make the pedalling easy before your pedalling starts to slow. Then you don't loose momentum. Sometime if you get caught unaware you can slow right up and loose your balance. If you keep your cadence up the fast pedalling helps you keep your balance and stay upright.

other things to consider.....
as a commuter, it gets hot, cold, and rainy. Good kit is a must, especially in the winter. Gloves are needed below 5C and you need a good cycling jacket, made from goretex or something similar. These are pricey. Wet weather gear helps as well, but as with all bikes, including motor ones, keeping totally dry is just a dream.

just start riding for now, as you gain more experiencd you will have more questions, we will all still be here to answer them all.

http://www.bicycling.com/training/fitne ... e-shifting


:)

brumby33
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby brumby33 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:23 pm

Hi Rossimelons,

I've also recently just got back on the bike after a long break and it takes time for your body to start adapting to this action that it hasn't seen in a while, legs will burn/ache and so will your backside....but that's ok coz it'll come good.

You don't need the clipless pedals that everyone is going on about but some nice stiff soled gym boots would be ok to start with.

One thing you will need to do is forget having your seat too low so that your handlebars are halfways up your chest......your seat needs to be high enough so that your leg on the downward bottom dead centre of stroke is just slightly bent, don't have it straight but slightly bent but not too high that your rocking your hips to much.....this will ensure that you look after your knees....if you have your seat too low, you have too much pressure on your knees as you don't allow them to have full rotation.

If after you look after seat height and the handlebars too low, a bike shop may help you find a way to safely raise the handlebar height...pending stem type.

Whenever you start commuting, a few things to be mindful of to make it safe and enjoyable.
1\ Don't rush.....be patient, your body has to get used to it again......allow plenty of time...if you think it will take 20 minute to ride to work...think at least 40 minutes allowance...if you think 30 minutes..allow an hour...yeah you'll get there with plenty of time to freshen up and to relax.

I guarantee as I have felt that the first time you ride your bike to work.....you feel that you made an awesome step and even if you're feeling fatiqued at all, you'll also feel great and ready to tackle the day...even that short distance makes her day.

2/ Scan......be assertive, look at everything around you,try and anticipate what the car drivers are going to do but the way they drive and position themselves in the lane. Also be very vigilant about riding your bike closed to a parked car, the last thin you want is someone opening a car door on you...it hurts big time!!

3/ Enjoy the moment.....it's not a race unless you leave stuff at the last moment.....relax, enjoy the scenery, the smells and the feeling of freedom as you peddle your way to work. Some may disagree but I think that sticking ear phones in your ear to listen to music at this stage is a no no..you need to keep your wits about you and your hearing acute to your surroundings. Just enjoy cycling for what it is.

4/ Untill you get some pwer in your legs, just use the appropriate gear for how your legs are feeling...if you feel they are loading too much, change down a gear and if your coming towards an incline (uphill) start changing down early and try and keep a good cadence (pedal spin) but don't try and race it.....nice and easy but maybe a little faster than peddling on a flat coz you have to top that hill.

Theres lots more....but that'll do for now.....4-6 kms is a great starting point.

Cheers

brumby33

Dave
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR -2013

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wombatK
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby wombatK » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:08 pm

Rossimelons ...

1) don't talk yourself into feeling like a numpty riding on the footpath. While it's not
strictly legal in some states (unless with a child), I don't think the plods are likely to trouble you for it
in those states where it is. Ride where you're not frightened.

Eventually, you'll discover that riding on the road, especially the less busy local roads with
decent shoulders, is not as scary or as dangerous as you thought it would be.

2) its easy for us here to forget how scary talk of cadence and gears can be, and that
to a newbie it could make it sound a lot more complicated than it is. Cycling can be
quite easy ... A simple rule is to choose a gear that doesn't have you straining your
leg muscles. Mostly, you won't sweat a lot if you do that.

After you've been riding for a few weeks, you might find you can choose
a higher gear and travel a little faster without raising a sweat.

If you want to get into competitive cycling or commuter cup racing after
you've been doing it a while, then you might want to get on top of
optimum gear choice and cadence theories.

3) If you haven't bought a women-specific bike or thought about this,
check your seat is wide enough. A lady's pelvis is much wider than
a man's (childbirth designed), but most bikes are sold with seats to suit 65 kg skinny boys.
If the seat isn't wide enough, instead of your sit-bones supporting
your weight, you'll have your lady bits trying to do it. That will be
painful ... the most common reason women give up on cycling.

4) If you're still worried, an exercise bike at a gym could be a good way to build initial leg
and cardiac fitness (does the hospital have one for pt that staff could
snitch a ride on ?)

--- Good luck and 'onya for having a go.
Last edited by wombatK on Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
WombatK

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zebee
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby zebee » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:09 am

When I got back on a bike I was knackered after about 5 minutes. Heart rate through the roof. I was so unfit I was walking up speedhumps...

The only thing that worked was riding.

I second the point about seat height, not just because it is kinder on your knees but because riding with very bent legs is more tiring.

Don't worry too much about actual cadence right now, just realise that slightly faster pedalling does work. However until your fitness increases you will just run out of go faster! I really remember trying this "spinning" stuff but I would run out of puff so fast... low speed pedalling I ran out of legs, high speed pedalling I ran out of lungs.

Yes really, 15 mins of riding at a speed that you are puffing, and doing that 3 times a week will have an effect. It won't be instant, you won't find you aren't puffing anymore but it will have an effect.

What will work is that daily commute you are moving to. IN the beginning you will have to really force yourself to use the bike because it will take a long time and be a lot of work. If it's 8km you should allow an hour to do it in which is a long time... but even if that hour is twice a week to start with then 3 times a week, after a while it will have an effect.

You allow the hour so that you can ride till you are panting and your heartrate is high, then you stop for a bit until the heart has calmed down a bit and you aren't breathing as hard. Then you get back on and do that again. You give yourself a lot of time to get to work so that you feel OK resting like that and OK walking up any hills.

After 10 or 15 rides to work you will find that it's a bit easier and you aren't stopping as often. That you take less time. The more often you ride to work, the easier it gets.

Learn to use the gears so that you aren't pushing with your legs like you are doing leg presses at the gym, especially up hills. GIve yourself permission to stop and rest and to walk up the hills, just try and ride a bit further next time before you get off to rest or walk. Even though the first couple of months you will be a lot faster and more comfortable in the car, ride anyway. It will be slow and hard to start with but it will get easier.

The first few weeks will be the hardest as you have to resist the siren call of the quick easy car. Try for cycling 3 times a week to work, and after a few weeks of that you will find that it's become fun to do and you feel happier at work and happier at home. And you may find you are riding more often and doing things like taking the bike to the shops when you run out of milk.

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bychosis
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby bychosis » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:40 am

zebee wrote:I second the point about seat height, not just because it is kinder on your knees but because riding with very bent legs is more tiring.


Definitely check your seat height. One thing for newbies to note about correct seat height is that it will be too high for you to stay on the saddle while stopped. You will need to get used to standing up off the seat, moving forward and then putting one foot on the ground. Seems a bit counter intuitive, but is much better for your knees long term.

I started cycle commuting a few years ago. I was an irregular confident rider, but what surprised me is that my 6.5km commute got me nice and sweaty when riding at a decent pace and I didn't initially allow for cool down time at the end. My commute takes me around 15-17min riding, up to 10min cooling and up to 10min shower, dressing etc. typically it is 35min door to desk. Seems like a long time when my drive is 10min door to desk, but it's much more enjoyable.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

Rossimelons
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby Rossimelons » Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:38 am

All great advice! I started looking into some road skills courses and was hoping to find a ladies one but there's not much in my area. I could travel into the city for some so I'll see if something comes up before we move. I think I wold benefit a lot from something like that.

We're moving to Alice Springs and it's a stunning place to be on a bike. Luckily for me, most of it's flat and there are pretty good bike paths so I think I can avoid the road a fair bit but I will have to get comfortable there eventually.

I won't really have a choice to take the car to work instead of ride because we'll only have one and my husband will need to for school/kinder drop offs etc. So it's ride or walk!! Hence the reason I'm getting serious now 6 weeks before I start. I need to riding fit for that commute or I just won't make it to work. There's the potential that we'll find a rental next door to the hospital but I think it's more likely it'll be a decent ride.

I think I will look into a wider seat. I got a ladies bike - A Giant Rove 3 and I really like it. It's so light that I can handle it well but seems robust enough to handle the gravelly bits and broken paths I'm likely to come accross. But the seat is very slimline and not great on the behind.

I'm planning another short spin today and I'll see how I go at a faster cadence. My seat is pretty high - it felt too high at first but the guy in the bike shop insisted it had to be like that. But after one ride I think I can actually go a touch higher! My leg is bent when it's straight down. I know it needs to be slightly bent but I think another few cms will help.

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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby zebee » Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:58 pm

Seats are a really personal thing, so be prepared to try a few.

I found a Brooks B67 worked for me, it is broad rather than padded. . The old style broad ones can be found and are worth a try. http://www.reidcycles.com.au/parts/bike ... posts.html night be worth looking at.

Also play with moving it forward and back, and the nose up and down. On a seat that was too narrow I moved it as far back as I could and that was better as my body was leaning a bit more forward. Once I got the broader seat I found it was better to move it forward. But it took a bit of fiddling.

If riding is it, then just allow lots of time. Also, make sure you have water with you and in the beginning take a snack like a bannana or dried apricot or something else easy to eat and sweetish. Yes, chocolate works :) I found I was doing more work than I was used to and got tired and unhappy. But eating something gave me more energy.

You will find you get quite worn out to start with. The body needs rest and relaxation time. As you have to ride, you will just have to power through it... Be aware that if you are a bit listless and tired then it is expected.

I am not sure you need to think about cadence as a number, I find I tend to think of it as not very much resistance in the pedals. So I have the bike in a gear where I am pushing just a bit to get the speed I want to be at. If there's a bit of a climb I change down and speed the pedalling up a bit. When I start off I push more, the way you tend to rev a car more when taking off from the lights. But once you get up a bit of speed in a car you change up a gear and lift the foot off a bit. Same with the bike: you put a bit of effort in when starting up but then you end up in a gear where you are going at the speed you want without much push on the pedals at a comfortable revolutions per minute,

For me, comfortable is 60 to 70, I only do more than that up hills.

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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby softy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:04 pm

Hi Softy again,

something we have all missed is awareness safety.

1. Never overtake a vehicle on the left side unless it is stationary and you can see it is not going to move till you have completely passed.

2. Riding on the shared path, footpath, cycleway is great, but remember cars don't look down paths so will reverse into you or go round a corner when you shoot out onto a road from a path. Check always, especially where houses have front walls.

3. Some cycle lanes are between the road an parking bays, these are death traps, you ride along and a door opens, the dentist will love you, but your face and pocket will not. Always ride a door length away from cars or in the car lane. Safer

4. Always cross tracks or grooves at a good angle, these can unbalance your riding and your over.

5. Peds do the dumb walk or don't hear due to ipod, iphone, always give them a wide berth.

6. Always head check before overtaking or moving over, who knows who is coming up behind you.

7. Watch for the car overtake you an then does an immediate left turn in front of you, car drivers find it hard to judge cyclists speed.

On a overall summary, be alert and switched on, be careful transitioning from path to road, cars don't expect bikes to shoot out from paths, if in doubt wait. Don't be the shortcut Sally, bunny hop over the refuge, up the wrong side of the road, bunny hop the kerb, ride the footpath, cross the road to the left side to save the red light and those pecious few seconds. Believe me many do!

PS. An easy rough way to set your seat height is to lean against a wall or pole. Place your heal on the pedal. Your leg should be fully stretched. If not raise or lower the seat to set this length. Now when you put the ball of your foot on the pedal it should be slightly bent with your foot level.

if you are going to do a lot of clicks i would recommend a proper bike fit. It allows efficiency and reduces injuries due to incorect pedaling and fit.

Rossimelons
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby Rossimelons » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:32 pm

OK - another silly question from me. I went out for another spin this morning and was trying to keep my legs in motion. When I used to ride I always spent a lot of time just coasting so it's new for me to be spinning constantly. But here's the thing: I seem to be going really fast. So then I'm on the brakes a lot. But I can't pedal and brake at the same time. The route I've been riding is a slight downhill so I really could just sit there and roll down. But that's not helping my fitness. Coming back is obviously uphill so different. But how do I keep my legs cycling without going tot fast.... Or is that just my lack of confidence and there's no such thing as too fast??

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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby zebee » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:09 pm

Fast is fun, as long as it isn't too fast for the conditions. WHich may include your comfort level with speed.

If you haven't got another route you could try, then try a bit more speed each time, so you get more comfortable with it. What is making you think braking has to be done? Is it the sensation of speed or is it something about the road itself like bad surface or intersections?

If you are trying for fitness then maybe turn around halfway down and ride back up, then down halfway and repeat, sort of like laps. Sounds boring to me though, I'd be looking for a different route.

One thing I had to do when I started this cycling stunt was get out of my car thinking when finding places to ride. I was automatically thinking like a driver, looking for the straightest route with the least number of turns and the more traffi, going the places I had always gone. I soon learned that bicycles could go a lot of places cars didn't bother and twisty back streets had advantages like closed off roads where a bike could get through.

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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby Rossimelons » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:46 pm

It''s more to do with my comfort I guess. I'm still nervous about taking the corners or if I had to break suddenly so as soon as I get too fast it makes me anxious. I'm not nanna slow but I'm sure not comfortable with speed yet. I can feel my confidence improving with each ride. I've only been on the bike 4-5 times so am a total newbie and I'm hoping that a few rides a week will see my confidence improve quickly.

I've been using mapmyride and have set a few goals starting next week so I'm hoping that'll prompt me to keep getting out there.

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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby HappyHumber » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:04 pm

My #1 tip is get on the saddle, not in.

;)
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:30 pm

Giant Roam 3 - great choice ! :)

Softy's tip on setting up for initial seat height is on the money. From that starting position, movement of a couple centimetres is quite a big shift. I would expect variations from that to be less than a centimetre for most people.

Where are you based? If near Sydney I can recommend two skills trainers who are very good, and can even do concentrated one-on-one sessions. And they're both female :) PM me for details if the location is a fit.

On the subject of cadence, someone mentioned 60-70 which is quite low. That's only one full pedal stroke pedal stroke (one side eg right side doing a full circle) per second. You need to apply a lot of force through the pedals to climb a hill at that low pedalling rate. Most people are out of the saddle standing up while pedaling at that point.

In my training program I use for mtb events, some sessions do use cadences that low while seated for specific purposes at specific points in the training program. They carry a warning that because of the high forces they are high risk and if you feel anything unusual going on with your knees to end the intervals immediately. And yes I have done so, twice. I'm not saying it's wrong to do it, but it's just something for the person who posted that to consider. 80-90rpm is much safer for your knees. :)

Is this helpful? Keep the questions coming if you feel the need.
Last edited by trailgumby on Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

softy
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby softy » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:39 pm

Hey, sorry if we gave the miss leading info.

If going down hill just soft pedal or coast, that is fine, but when you want to drive the bike along, maintain a fairly high cadence. It produces more watts and burns more fat.

Brakes are for controling your speed or slowing down. Don't be afraid to use them, ride at a comfortable speed you feel safe maintaining. It is not a race so safety first.

Rossimelons
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby Rossimelons » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:58 pm

HappyHumber wrote:My #1 tip is get on the saddle, not in.

;)


Haha - good point!!

I'm in outer Western Melbourne Trailgumby - I've seen some good groups/courses bayside but not much out my way and I don't have a rack or anything as yet to transport a bike if I needed to travel too far.

Speaking of equipment - what about kickstands? I read a few posts on here a while back about them and the general consensus seemed to be that they were daggy and a bit useless so I didn't bother getting one. But then today I rode to the local shops for some beers and couldn't get the bike to rest against the bike rack? I'm reluctant to lay it on the floor because it's new and I'm still a bit precious about it and it's shiny paintwork so I had to lean it across the entire rack and chain it on - effectively blocking all other bikes from parking there. Luckily for me it was a quiet day at the shops but I'm sure it's something I'll face in future. Any tips for that? I really don't care about looking uncool to other cyclists - I'm sure them seeing me attempt to ride quells any thoughts about my street cred ;-) Is there another reason why I shouldn't just buy a kickstand? And is it something I can attach myself of do I need to get back to the LBS?

Hey thanks so much guys for all your input - this is all so new to me and naturally I have a lot of questions. I'm reading through a lot of old posts and taking what I can but I do really appreciate people who take their time to reply and help me out. :D

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trailgumby
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:11 pm

Rossimelons wrote:I'm in outer Western Melbourne Trailgumby - I've seen some good groups/courses bayside but not much out my way and I don't have a rack or anything as yet to transport a bike if I needed to travel too far.

Sometimes I take the wheels off, put them in the boot with the frame on the back seat (drive side up of course - don;t want grease on the upholstery). It looks like you have quick release wheels, so won't require tools to manage that. Can you get a leave pass from hubby with the car for half a day?

Another option might be to ride to a nearby train station, commute, then ride to the course location at the other end. Being a weekend, taking the bike on the train won't be an inconvenience for anybody.

Would either of those work?

softy
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby softy » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:30 pm

Get the kick stand, great item for a shopping bike.

some think a bell is uncool to, all to their own.

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Mulger bill
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:17 am

I'm ambivalent to sidestands. They have their uses but your bike can still fall over if they get a knock from passing traffic or a decent gust of wind. If you go with one, invest in a hair tie or similar around the right grip and brake lever to stop the bike moving.

Train transport is always a good option to extend your range, I split commute with a train leg to avoid a freeway section that has scared me once too often. Metro and V/Line will both carry your bike with no problems as long as you pick the right carriage.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011

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V17L
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Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby V17L » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:06 am

hi rossi
Well done for getting back to riding.

The Alice Hospital has a swimming pool for staff, so showers are available there if you want. Lots of staff ride bikes to work. My lovely lady walks to work at the hospital. Depending where you live in the Alice will dictate whether you ride on the footpath or bike tracks. Its flat as a tack.

Your Giant is perfect for riding in Alice.

Suggest you get thornproof tyres and possibly consider slime in the tyres. Other options are tyre liners, and tougher tyres. Glass and three corner jacks are the enemy. Having said that, Alice has a lot of racing bikes with thin tubes and tyres, so its not that bad.

Suggest a helmet, even though you get helmet hair. Good example for the kids.

Happy to go for a ride with you when you hit town. PM me if you would like to.

There is a very active cycling club in town, and early Saturday mornings there is WOW, woman on wheels, who go for a reasonable ride and then drink coffee.

Lots of kids ride their bikes to school, including mine, depends on what school and where you are living.

Simpsons Gap cycle path on the edge of town is magnificent for both riding and walking. 17km one way, sealed.
Re the seat, you should be comfortable riding. If you are not then something needs to change so you can be comfortable.
There are three bike shops in town.
Suggest you consider a drink bottle cradle and drink bottle for rides. Water is great. Freeze half a bottle the night before, the fill up with water before the ride. Nice and cold to drink.
cheers
stevet
Giant Defy 1

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V17L
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Re: Tips for getting back in the saddle...

Postby V17L » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:19 am

forgot to add, all bikes in my family have kickstands, except the go fast racing bike models.
I also have a bike lock and cable that is about 1.8m long to lock up at work.
Giant Defy 1

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