New to road cycling!

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New to road cycling!

Postby Stacka » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:51 pm

Hi

I am a newbie, having brought my first road bike last week! I have done a couple of short rides (5-10km) to try and toughen up the butt area and will hopefully get used to the sit bone and "other area" pain soon enough. :D

I rode 20km yesterday in roughly just over an hour on an open country road. I am getting used to shifting gears and braking and am feeling a lot more confident on the bike now.

I am wondering if anyone has any tips on a suitable training regime to help me progress to riding a distance of say 50-60km by the end of the year? At this early stage should I be focussing on distance or time? I hope to get a computer soon to measure cadence etc as I know this is important, but any help or advice anyone can provide on how to first start out on a road bike (without a computer to assist) would be much appreciated!

Cheers

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by BNA » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:35 pm

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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby moosterbounce » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:35 pm

Hey Stacka. Welcome aboard.

I think you should be looking at time on the bike. No need to worry too much about cadence either to be honest. You'll find a cadence you feel comfortable with initially, then you can look to increase if you think you'll benefit. Personally I prefer a lower cadence and bigger gear than my husband when we ride, but we end up doing the same speed. It's about comfort.

Good on you for making 20kms. My first few rides back were 10km, then 20, then in what seemed like no time at all I was able to ride 50. Someone once said if you can ride 50you can ride 100. They were right!! So if you can ride 20, then you can ride 30...but get your butt a bit more used to the saddle first, otherwise you won't want to ride for at least a week.

Don't get hung up on a training schedule. If you ride 2-3 times a week, your speed and distance will improve. The. Look at some goal setting.

Of course, that was my attitude initially, now I was more kms in less time on every ride :) No pleasing some people!!
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby Stacka » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:29 pm

Hi Moosterbounce

Thanks for the info, that is really helpful.

Today I rode 25kms in 1h 20m but it included 2 massive inclines, which I thought I may die on, but somehow I made it thanks to my low range gears!

What is a good time goal as this stage, maybe 2 hours in the saddle each ride to toughen up, rather than going for a distance goal?

I know what you mean about cadence as well. I feel a lot more comfortable pushing a bigger gear as well, rather than spinning in a lower. But this may change!

Cheers!
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby arand18 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:42 pm

20km in just over an hour for a newbie is very good. For training to do a 50 or 60km bike ride go on a flat 50/60km bike ride and just take it very easy and time your self, say it took you 3 hours next time try and get it done in 2 hours 45 mins and so on. Also do some hill repeats, find a low gradient hill and just go up it and come down then go up it and come down this will build leg muscle and strength.
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby marinmomma » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:10 pm

Welcome to the forums and to riding.

My advice is to just get out there and ride, add in a few extra k's every few days/week and before you know it you'll be doing the 50/60k rides and probably beyond.
If you can find some hills and work towards repeats that will help build your muscles and fitness.

If you get a GPS enabled computer and join up to Strava your times will increase soon enough as you compete against others who ride around the same area as you :wink: It's addictive stuff this riding caper! But oh so much fun!
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby moosterbounce » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:30 pm

Lisa is right. Just ride. Us CR1 owners know our stuff :wink:

I've found that with practice, your legs get used to pedalling and cadence naturally goes up - even in the bigger gears. I still die on hills, but I blame that on not having too many where I live. My husband though is a mountain goat in comparison to me. It's annoying but I've learnt not to get hung up on it. I get him on the downhill. It's great to ride with someone else occasionally as they will push you a bit, but don't let it get to you if they are better climbers, or faster descenders, or better sprinters. You only have to watch a day of the Tour racing to realize everyone has a different job and different skills

Hill repeats can be fun, but pick your hill carefully. It's not the same if you are doing 5kmh uphill and you fall off at the top!!

20kmh is about what you are doing on the flat which is pretty good. At that rate, 50km is 2.5 hours which gives you a target for saddle time. Don't push it though - you've set a goal to do this within 6 months so break it down.

:)
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby wombatK » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:33 pm

Stacka wrote:Hi

I am a newbie, having brought my first road bike last week! I have done a couple of short rides (5-10km) to try and toughen up the butt area and will hopefully get used to the sit bone and "other area" pain soon enough. :D


Welcome to pedaling Stacka,

A flat 50 to 60 km ride is pretty easy to do if you have generally good fitness - my mid-20's daughters do
Sydney's 50 km spring cycle every year and virtually no other cycling (Okay, I'll admit, one also comes with
me on the 90 km Sydney to Gong ride too, but that's not flat :) !).

If you're a little out of shape, then you might need to do a bit more work.

You're doing really quite well with your rides to date, and as others have mentioned, just ramp it up a
little - maybe aim to add 5 km every week, and ride 2 to 3 times a week. You don't need to ride the longer
distances every time - once a week would be fine.

You're not training for the Tour De France, so you shouldn't need to get technical about cadence. You
won't need to develop huge leg power - so just remember that grinding away in high gears might not
be a good strategy for you.

As for the other area pain, it's a mistake to think you have to "get used" to it. Read Steve Hogg's
excellent article Sensitive Issues.
If you haven't already paid special attention to making sure the seat supports your sit-bones, that's a good
place to start with fixing rather than getting used to.

Cheers
WombatK

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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby Stacka » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:20 pm

Hi all

I have a couple of more rides under my belt and am feeling much better! Although, this cold wet weather is certainly taking it's toll with me not being able to ride at all for the past week. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good indoor trainer?

I am also looking for some suggestions for a front and rear light (to allow me to join local bike shop rides in mornings) and I am also going to invest in a computer. I have a TREK madone, with the duotrap sensor built into the frame already. Does anyone have any experience with those? The local bike shop fellas advised that you can use any computer with ANT + wireless, for example Garmin and Cateye etc.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Indoor training I find quite dull and a test of my motivation, and doesn't work your core muscles which are important for bike control.

My suggestion would be to get some suitable clothing like arm and leg warmers, base layer and maybe some breathable windproof stuff, and get out there. Once kitted out like this, once you've warmed up getting rained on doesn't seem to matter unless it's blowing a katabatic gale off the Arctic ice sheets.

After reviewing some of Ground Effect's stuff for this site I've become a bit of a fan. www.groundeffect.co.nz

They have some nice, tasteful womens-specific stuff that isn't all girly and pink. A good set of knicks is a worthwhile investment for making your butt and "other bits" more comfortable, and GE make some of the best. Sizing chart is accurate and they have a great returns policy if your first choice isn't quite right.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby wombatK » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:38 pm

Glad to hear you're finding it easier.

Indoor trainers don't have cooling - even in winter, you'll be lathered in sweat. Riding outdoors in
the cold and even in the rain is more comfortable if you have the right gear.

What you need depends on where you live - there's a lot of difference between what you'll need
in Brisbane v's Hobart, or between Sydney and highlands like Canberra or Katoomba.

If you let people know where you live (you can put some indication of the general area in your
profile location field ), you can get more specific advice.

There's lots of threads here about the right kind of lights and computers. Depends a lot on your
budget - and how many hours etc.,. you'll be riding. If you can afford it, you can't go wrong with
something like a pair of Ayups for head-lights (full set of 4 isn't necessary for on-road riding),
Garmin 500 for bike computer and (cheapish) Tioga Big Eyes for tail-lights.

I'm sure others will chip in with some alternatives.
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:09 pm

Further to my and subsequent posts, I'd like to chime in with a quote from Billy Connolly.

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes."

:D
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:54 pm

trailgumby wrote:Further to my and subsequent posts, I'd like to chime in with a quote from Billy Connolly.

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes."

:D


Ahhh, that's who said it. I've been using it a fair bit lately on sooks in spring clothing. Thanks Gumby :)

Shaun
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby Tornado » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:49 pm

Welcome and good luck with your cycling.

In terms of pace and distance there is no substitute for miles. Just ride often and it will all come.

If your seat is causing you grief chat with your LBS where you got your bike. Most good shops will switch seats for nothing to get you more comfortable. While they aren't meant to be like riding on a pillow, they aren't meant to hurt either. If you have numbness in those "other areas" you need a different saddle.
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby Stacka » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:55 pm

Hey everyone

I invested in a set of leg and arm warmers and am also sporting a new set of SKINS bibs, and my oh my, what a difference that has made! Those frosty mornings don't seem so daunting now, so I have been out and about and loving it! The cateye light set is on it's way, so I am now all set ready for group rides.

I have come across a training programme that gradually increases distance over 12 weeks which will hopefully prepare me for an 80k ride in October. It starts off at 30km in the first week (over 3 rides per week, 10k, 10k, 10k) increasing k's per week until you are up to riding 145k a week (25k, 50k, 70k). Does anyone have any thoughts/advice on this?

All in all as long as I am out there riding I will get better, so that is my focus, but I like to have a goal to work towards otherwise I will feel like I am wondering aimlessly!

Cheers :D
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby marinmomma » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:22 pm

Certainly looks more than do-able to me, although I find that you might have a slack week every now and then but you'll probably follow it up with a really good week, either in terms of distance or an improvement in your average speed.
The only way to increase your k's and stamina is to get out and keep riding :wink:
Good luck with it!
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby wombatK » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:17 pm

Inch by inch, life's a cinch; yard by yard it's very hard. So the slow ramp up in this program makes it
very reasonable. Don't get fixated on achieving the 145 km per week. You'll easily hand an 80 k ride if
you can build up to something less - like 2 x 20 k plus one 60 to 80 k ride per week.
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby Stacka » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:27 pm

Hi All

I am wondering if you would mind sharing what your riding regimes are? How many times a week do you ride? What distances do you normally achieve etc.

It would be great to share, as it gives a bit of inspiration!

Thanks

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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby marinmomma » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:59 pm

Happy to share but I'm two years down the track from where you are.

When I started out riding I did one midweek ride of around 25-30 k's and then depending on work, two rides on the weekend of around the same distances. Within a few months my work situation had changed and I was able to work on increasing the weekend rides to around the 50 k's distance and starting doing two early morning rides around the 30 k mark.

Since March this year I have been commuting 40 k's two to three times per week plus weekend rides, but I've been focusing on hill work and not so much on distance recently....weekend rides are anything from 40 k's to 90ks of late, averaging 50-60 k's each ride I guess.

Due to our protracted wet season up here there have been some weeks lately where little to no riding takes place :evil:

I have found that being consistent and regular in your riding helps you to get fit and used to riding and the distances add up soon enough.
I started riding my roadie in July 2010 and by late October had completed a 90 k ride over fairly flat terrain. By the following April I'd done a 100 k ride and followed it up with a second by the end of that same month.

My longest single ride to date is 135 k's and I'm working toward an imperial century ride, 160 k's.

Hth and good luck with your journey.
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Re: New to road cycling!

Postby marinmomma » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:06 pm

I guess the other things to factor in would be your age, general state of fitness and how much in...or out of shape you are!

If you're older, unfit and overweight like I was when I started two plus years ago then my guide may help.....if you are already fit and in shape then you should be able increase your distances and speed in a shorter time frame.

Also things like jobs, kids and other commitments come into play....as well as the environment that you have to ride in, eg traffic, hills etc.
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