Advice for beginners

For Roadies

A guy is running up your ass on a busy three laned road. Beeping, swearing and gernerally irritated. Do you?

Ignore Him
13
52%
Raise your middle finger
7
28%
Mount the kerb
5
20%
 
Total votes : 25

Advice for beginners

Postby gururug » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:14 pm

There are plenty of good repositories of information on beginning to cycle on the net.

I thought I might share some of the most relevent ones to me;

1) ride in a closed road (no cars / plenty of space) the first couple of times and get comfortable with the handlebars / steering / different grip positions. Find a good site the explains how to lean on corners, crank position etc.. I was paranoid when I first read about this but you'll find it will come naturally if you relax. It's all in the timing. Don't worry about the gears too much at this early stage, your body will tell you when to change gears soon enough.

2) Make sure you know how to use the cable screw tensioning knobs for gears and brakes. (only use if needed don't go overboard)

3) Make sure you are riding at the correct tyre pressure and carry a pump / repair kit and or spare tube, multihextool at all times. Know how to use them. (Don't need to become an expert overnight just take it one thing at a time, when you have time.

3b) Learn how to "go light", your rims will thank you for it!

4) When you are comfortable with steering, teach yourself to break. Again find a friend or good site that explains the optimal way to break. This is probrable the hardest thing to master (except for climbing).

5) Carry water (on frame) on all but the shortest of rides. Drink when beginning to sustain exertion or cracking sweat(also vaies on temp) not when your mouth is dry and you are panting of exhaustion. NOTE: Two or three GULPS are motabolised better than heaps of SIPS. Also room temperature liquids are also better motabolised. (I keep mine betwwen fridge and room temp).

6) Dont forget to, vary your grip position, don't be afraid to use the drops, especially if there is a headwind. Use the tops up hills.

6b) Don't use the handlebars to turn, for small moves, flick your elbow out, for larger turns lean and flick your knee out as required.

7) Get a good pair of nix, wear thin shorts over the top if you are modest. Your ass will thank you. Probrably also mandatory would be sunnies, gloves (if doing more than say 10-20kms), sun protection especially in the middle part of the day.

8) Learn how to maintain your bike (bare minimum: lube, clean, check parts)

9) And probrably most important HAVE FUN;

Ways to have fun;
- Stick to a set route and record your times etc. Try to better yourself.
- Ride with others if its your gig or get an ipod shuffle (or other branded mp3 player)
- Take yourself for a drive one day to a bike path in a suburb you would never otherwise visit.
- Don't always ride at 100%. While impossible it would server you better to change up your exertion and riding mood (distance and speed)



Anyone else have any input on this?
Last edited by gururug on Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:11 pm

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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:11 pm

close personal friends do stupid things all the time. If you deliberty challenge him, it may overload the capabilities of the small quantity of grey matter somewhere between their ears.

Think to yourself "LOOSER" and do whatever you feel thats confortable.

If its a regular problem, attach a pair of boxing gloves to the outside of your backpack (like you are going to/from the boxing gym), you would be supprised how much more polite people suddenly become.
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Postby gururug » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:08 am

SOme more points;


a) Make sure you have a FITTING pair of padded knix/shorts
b) For optimal development cycling alone will not develop enough muscle groups / impact strength for joints so cross training with another activity is highly recommended for at least two days per week. i.e. Jogging / skipping / basketball etc.
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Postby sogood » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:41 am

mikesbytes wrote:If its a regular problem, attach a pair of boxing gloves to the outside of your backpack (like you are going to/from the boxing gym), you would be supprised how much more polite people suddenly become.

Karate black belt might work better. And it would be more compliant to the cycling weight weenies ethos! :wink:
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Postby tuco » Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:44 am

mikesbytes wrote:If its a regular problem, attach a pair of boxing gloves to the outside of your backpack (like you are going to/from the boxing gym), you would be supprised how much more polite people suddenly become.


Nunchucks in the back pocket of your jersey would be better. I've heard of a guy who rode or rides with them, and he's used them.

I have to disagree with riding with ipods. You need all your senses when dealing with traffic.
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Postby timbo » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:00 am

I agree with disagreeing about ipods. After seeing a girl nearly get cleaned up by a semi-trailer because she didn't know it was coming (you would have heard it a long way off without the earphones) I try and encourage people to leave them at home. An AK-47 should help keep the loonies in cars at bay.
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:21 am

tuco wrote:Nunchucks in the back pocket of your jersey would be better. I've heard of a guy who rode or rides with them, and he's used them


Too small, the !!! spammer !!! growing out of the drivers forehead, as small as it might be will obsure the vision sufficiently to not see them.

Its funny how dirvers can't see an entire bike, complete with rider but can see the boxing gloves attached to a back pack.
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Postby tuco » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:36 am

Actually one bit of advise I didn't see was when in busy traffic, stare directly at the driver.
If you're at the lights and they're waiting to turn left and you're next to them then look directly at the driver.
I don't know if it's that the drivers just see an annoying obstacle until they notice there's a person on the bike or that they realise that you, the rider, are also aware of them.
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Postby europa » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:00 am

Making eye contact is a good strategy - it makes the other person notice you. The trouble is, while you're making eye contact, you aren't looking around and it's the one you don't see that gets you.

Assume the other driver/rider/pedestrian/tree is a homicidal maniac that's just had a big fight with his boss after a night on the cheap red - that's doing the majority of road users a grave disservice, but they don't know that. Remember, even the best drivers make mistakes, sometimes really stoopid ones.

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Postby Mulger bill » Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:01 am

europa wrote:Assume the other driver/rider/pedestrian/tree is a homicidal maniac that's just had a big fight with his boss after a night on the cheap red....
Richard


Works for me :)
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Postby tuco » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:36 am

Mulger bill wrote:
europa wrote:Assume the other driver/rider/pedestrian/tree is a homicidal maniac that's just had a big fight with his boss after a night on the cheap red....
Richard


Works for me :)


Okay, maybe I exaggerated. Not a homicidal stare, but enough to get their attention and let them know you're there and you're aware they are there.
Like a mutual acknowledgement of each others existence.

But in case they are a homicidal maniac that's just had a big fight with his boss after a night on the cheap red then don't forget bikes can go where cars can't.
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Postby Parrott » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:01 pm

I say get off the road. By shouting swearing and sounding the horn this fool has already shown he has lost contact with reality. If you get out of his way before he quite possibly runs you over, you may then have the opportunity to forcibly remove him from his car at the next set of lights.
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Postby purplegolden » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:09 pm

When you're out on the road, and a rude, insistent driver decides that they want to take you out for daring to ride on THEIR road - take down the car make, colour and license plate - then report them to the police. Time and place (road names) would probably also help.

Well, that's the idea anyway, though how you're supposed to carry pen and paper with you with your tools, spare tube, etc. Personally never done it myself.
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Postby Mulger bill » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:00 pm

I reported a dooring to a couple of VicPols not 30 seconds after it happened, they were in the same block of traffic b/n lights.
Their response?

"Yair, saw it. Nah, not worth chasing up." :roll:
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Postby ShanDog » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:24 pm

Mulger bill wrote:I reported a dooring to a couple of VicPols not 30 seconds after it happened, they were in the same block of traffic b/n lights.
Their response?

"Yair, saw it. Nah, not worth chasing up." :roll:


That's such a joke. I've met officers who have that same 'don't care' attitude. Just can't believe it.
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Postby tuco » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:25 am

Mulger bill wrote:I reported a dooring to a couple of VicPols not 30 seconds after it happened, they were in the same block of traffic b/n lights.
Their response?

"Yair, saw it. Nah, not worth chasing up." :roll:


You should have got their names and reported them to their senior officer.

I bet they'd care if you rode through a red light!
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Postby stevos » Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:29 pm

i was in a cop shop once when a cyclist came in and reported someone who was driving along side of him and abusing him and then pushed him off his bike, the police basically laughed at him and didnt do nothing, having tried to deal with the police in small issues before i wouldnt bother with the police.
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Postby DrEvil123 » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:52 pm

purplegolden wrote:Well, that's the idea anyway, though how you're supposed to carry pen and paper with you with your tools, spare tube, etc. Personally never done it myself.


Save it in your mobile. I never leave home without it! (...unfortunately)
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Postby Mulger bill » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:55 pm

tuco wrote:I bet they'd care if you rode through a red light!


While I neither ride thru red lights or advocate the doing or attempting of such :shock: , I doubt they would generally care unless it happened near a Krispy Kreme :P
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Postby Mr888 » Tue May 01, 2007 1:03 am

stevos wrote:i was in a cop shop once when a cyclist came in and reported someone who was driving along side of him and abusing him and then pushed him off his bike, the police basically laughed at him and didnt do nothing, having tried to deal with the police in small issues before i wouldnt bother with the police.


Police can make you wonder sometimes. On my way back from work one afternoon, I found three police cars parked bumper to bumper slam bang in the middle of the cycleway and blocking it entirely. They were setting up a sting for speeding drivers.

The worse part was they were blocking the only driveway/layback around. This meant that I had to dismount the bike, hop the gutter, get onto the road facing the opposite direction, scramble across to the other side of the road and ride a good 2km in peak hour traffic before I could cross back onto the cycle way again.

I don't think speeding drivers were the threat in this instance :x
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Postby tuco » Tue May 01, 2007 9:40 am

In most cases the cops do a bloody good job, other times they are lacking and sometimes skin colour ties their hands.
I've had the cops work well for me catching people who've broken into my store but in some cases they told me due to skin tone they were limited to a slap on the wrist. After about 11 or 12 break-ins I got to know the local cops well and they opened up with a few good stories.

I reported a guy for deliberately running myself and my wife (girlfriend back when it happened years ago) off the road and almost making us run into a tree.
I found out who it was because I had friends who were cops and they did a check on the number plate for me but the local guys I reported it to were right onto it and very helpful. Probably because they could see my hand was still shaking 15 minutes later while trying to draw a rough map.
It was good knowing cops especially when going out for dinner in certain restaurants. A flip of that badge could do wonders to the bill.

A cop's job is a job I'd never like to do. I think the cops would get a better deal from the public if they were taken away from traffic infringements and only dealt with real crimes.
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Postby mikesbytes » Tue May 01, 2007 11:31 am

Mr888 wrote:Police can make you wonder sometimes. On my way back from work one afternoon, I found three police cars parked bumper to bumper slam bang in the middle of the cycleway and blocking it entirely. They were setting up a sting for speeding drivers.

The worse part was they were blocking the only driveway/layback around. This meant that I had to dismount the bike, hop the gutter, get onto the road facing the opposite direction, scramble across to the other side of the road and ride a good 2km in peak hour traffic before I could cross back onto the cycle way again.

I don't think speeding drivers were the threat in this instance :x


A few years back the RTA put one of those trailer style saftey signs on the bike path, just near White Bay in Sydneys inner west. The trailer exactly blocked the bike path in both directios and the only way around it was to jump the curb onto a very busy traffic lane and jump back up the curb. So much for safety.

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Postby Bnej » Tue May 01, 2007 11:39 am

tuco wrote:It was good knowing cops especially when going out for dinner in certain restaurants. A flip of that badge could do wonders to the bill.


Police lose their jobs if they get caught doing that. Not allowed to take gifts from the public, it counts as corruption.

i.e, are they going to then give preferential treatment to the restaurant who discounted their food?
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Postby tuco » Tue May 01, 2007 12:56 pm

Bnej wrote:
tuco wrote:It was good knowing cops especially when going out for dinner in certain restaurants. A flip of that badge could do wonders to the bill.


Police lose their jobs if they get caught doing that. Not allowed to take gifts from the public, it counts as corruption.

i.e, are they going to then give preferential treatment to the restaurant who discounted their food?


This was back in the early to mid 80s in Victoria and it definitely was going on then.
Pancake Parlour was one eatery I remember it happening at.
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