New Cyclist Here

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 11, 2012 6:01 PM GMT
    OK well by 'new' I mean, I want to ride my bike beyond just the boring old neighborhood and into more interesting areas. There are like places to specifically bike near me but to get there I have to ride on the road and I'm kind of scared of doing that because the roads that I'll have to ride on will be super busy and have cars flying up and down it and I've never ridden anywhere like that before.

    So does anyone have advice on riding on crazy roads and maybe what I should try to do to prepare for an extra long ride?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 1:59 PM GMT
    Mark,

    If by crazy roads, you mean, very busy, then I would suggest finding some less congested areas to ride until you feel more comfortable. If you are scared, then that is your own instincts telling you that perhaps it is beyond your current riding skills.

    In any event, beyond that, be prepared: Carry a patch kit, but more importantly learn how to patch a flat tire and fix basic mechanical issues. (Actually go so far as to do an actual tube, flat change on both your front and back tires...so any issues that may occur, occur at home, as opposed to 10 miles from home with a dead cell phone) Learn how to stay hydrated, and eat properly (on rides longer than 2 hours).

    At the very least make sure you and your bike are fitted for each other. This doesn't mean it should be a pro fit, but at a minimum that the saddle height, stand-over height and handle bar reach is comfortable and efficient for you.

    At some point, look to invest in some cycling gloves and shorts (they don't have to be lycra) There are many types of bicycling shorts designed to be "normal" looking but have a chamois padding for your butt comfort.

    Also eventually look to invest in some clip in pedals and at least a mountain or walking type clip in cycling shoe. As your mileage increases, the added efficiency and comfort these supply are worth their weight in carbon fibre...

    Build up your mileage, don't try to bite off more than you can chew...Start with sensible mileage for the first couple of weeks and steadily increase it as your strength and endurance and ability to stay on your saddle increase.

    Contact your LBS (Local Bike Store) and see if they have any weekend or nightly rides...not club rides, which can be hammer fests, but beginner level relaxing rides. If anything you may make some new friends, but more importantly, you will discover better roads to ride on, and perhaps pick up a few tips and tricks from more experienced riders.

    best of luck,
    topher

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 2:22 PM GMT
    Crazy roads? Try to find the times when there is less traffic, early evening or mid-morning if you can ride at 10M or so. More people at work, less on the road.
    As for training for a long ride, best advice is to ride long rides. Yeah I know, dopey advice, but it has worked for me. I kick ass in centuries again because when I ride I like to ride hard. Then again, I am getting old, so my definition of kicking ass may be a lot different than others.
    Bottom line, as in any athletic endeavor, getting fit and strong, eating healthy and proper training goes a long way.
    If you can avoid training on "crazy roads" I'd suggest doing that, if not, stick to the right hand side because even though bikes have the right to be on the road, cars don't always care and you may win the lawsuit when you do get hit, it's not worth it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 2:29 PM GMT
    One of the best ways to build confidence is to drive to an area with low traffic roads and cut your cycling teeth on those roads. That's how I got started. Once it was time to start riding busier roads, I made sure I was riding with someone else. Riding in pairs or more is considerably safer than being solo.

    Patrick
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 4:48 PM GMT
    Hi Mark: I was going to suggest that you do an Internet search for greenways and bike lanes, but I see that you are in Trinidad/Tobago so the same rules may not necessarily apply.

    As an alternative, it might be good to visit with your local bike shop and get some feedback, or do an Internet search for cycling clubs in your area that may have web sites (or Facebook pages) with good ride routes.

    I agree with Patrick and others that a good way to get started with highway riding is to get to more isolated roadways and work your way up from there.

    Good luck! Glad spring is here so I can ride again here in NC!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 13, 2012 1:48 AM GMT
    Well my isolated cycling is on the roads around my neighborhood but after like 15-20 my legs get tired and I slow down a lot. I don't want that to happen while I'm on the road going to the place I want to ride.

    I guess I didn't word this correctly, it's moreso I have to ride to the location I want to go to ride. So I don't want to be on the crazy roads, but in order to get to where I want to go (and ride) I have to ride through them or get a car to drop me and my bike off there. Anyway, you guys gave me a lot of advice to take in, lots that I didn't even think about so thank you so much for that!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 24, 2012 1:53 PM GMT
    MarkRoger saidWell my isolated cycling is on the roads around my neighborhood but after like 15-20 my legs get tired and I slow down a lot. I don't want that to happen while I'm on the road going to the place I want to ride.


    Slowing down after 15-20? Are you taking breaks, eating and re-hydrating? When I first started, I was focused on the distance. I got up to 35 miles one time but then I rested and I couldn't move. Stupid me, I wasn't keeping my body fueled.

    I did a 200 mile bike ride over 2 days and it took me about 3 months to get to 100 miles a day. Keep Clif Bars or other (good) carb filled snacks with you. Take a break every 20-30 minutes and each a small bite (maybe half a bar). Your local cycling store will suggest good healthy snacks for your longer rides.

    And stay hydrated. I kept 2 bottles, one with water and one with gatorade.