Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - beginners first trip
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10-03-08, 04:11 PM
hey jus thought maybe there was someone out there who could tell me about how many miles my first trip should be. i have had my bike for a few days and have about 30-40 miles on it and im looking to take a longer trip, how many miles should it be and what should i bring? thanks.
Welcome to BF! Define "trip." If you are just starting, you are not yet going on trips, you are going on rides, as in training rides. It is difficult to remember exactly how long my first rides were, when I resumed cycling in 1998 after about 18 years of not being on a bike, on a "real" road bike for the first time. I seem to remember not having any trouble doing rides of 20+ miles within a very short time. If I recall correctly, I already had a certain level of fitness from other activities at the time, and cycling did not seem particularly strenuous. Getting used to the saddle was the difficult part, as I recall.
The important thing to keep in mind, is that once your rides become physically taxing enough to require actual recovery, you can develop over-use injuries by increasing the time/miles too much too soon, as with any physical activity.
Spend 6 weeks getting used to the bike, getting used to riding, go for a ride every day or two, play around with it, work out where you like the saddle and handlebars. You should be fine with rides up to an hour in length; most people would cover less than 20km (12 mi) in an hour when starting. If that is too easy, try a hillier route or go faster or further.
After 6 wks or a couple of hundred km take it back to the shop to get the brakes and cables and wheels checked and adjusted.
You can then start training if you want to ride longer distances. Start off doing longer rides; as a rule don't increase your total weekly distance more than about 10% each week and you should be fine.
Next time you go past a bookshop or library have a look for a cycling fitness book. Look at the thinnest one you can find. Have a read about training regimens eg. day 1 long comfortable ride, day 2 rest, day 3 brisk ride, day 4 slow short recovery ride, day 5 rest, day 6 hard ride, day 7 rest. Or whatever.
Or if I misunderstood you and you're asking about your first day trip, start with 35-40km (up to about 25mi.) That's enough to be a bit of a challenge and maybe leave you a bit sore at the end, but should be do-able after a few weeks riding.
Bring enough water to allow 1 bottle per hour (eg. if there is a shop or water at the other end you don't need to carry 2-3 bottles all the way), and a snack eg. sandwich or muesli bar or two.
Pump, spare tube, tyre levers, tyre patch kit.
Bike lock so you can leave it for a while.
That should do it!
10-05-08, 07:45 PM
Welcome! I just got back on a bike for the first time in many, many years myself. I was able to ride 20 miles without too much trouble after just a couple of rides. This was around the middle of this past August. Since then, and like others have suggested, I haven't ramped up the mileage too quickly. I've been trying to focus on dialing in the bike, riding smoother and increasing my speed a bit. My last ride, a week ago was 37 miles and that still felt good. I'm sore afterwards for a couple of days, but always just a little. A "good sore" if you know what I mean. Good luck!
10-16-08, 10:49 AM
I find this thread very useful. I am a runner who has recently taken to road cycling. Am building up my miles. Even as a runner, the "no more than 10% increase per week" was a golden rule that has helped me stay injury free for several years now. I see some of you have suggested the same for cycling as well. Makes sense. Thank you. I am getting to 22-24 miles this weekend.
10-17-08, 06:04 PM
Just ride when you feel like it. There's no way for strangers to guess what will work best for some one else.
One thing to remember, its difficult to measure how one's endurance (bicycle distances) is progressing. It takes years of cycling to develop cycling power/endurance that lasts all day.
10-17-08, 09:50 PM
Good topic, i was wondering the same thing.
After getting my bike yesterday i rode 13 miles at a pace that was a bit to fast for me, i was little over zealous. But only reason i stopped riding was cause the seat hurt my back side to much, just wasnt used to a road bike seat.
But i plan on doing at least 20 miles tomorrow or sunday.
10-27-08, 08:14 PM
I too just bought my first roadbike. The saddle wasn't too bad. But what I really noticed is the muscle that is around the front of your armpit was pretty sore. It's also kind of weird bending down so low. I made the mistake of wearing a short shirt on my first little test ride. Sure enough as I bent down to hold onto the handlebars I could feel my shirt ride up. But I just kept going because I was so eager to finally ride it after weeks of yardwork to pay for it (im 14).
But after about a 1/4 of a mile I passed this gay guys house and he happened to be out weeding his garden and looked up and gave me a whistle. I was so embarrassed I just went around the block back the way I came. And rode no handed the rest of the way home. Nevertheless my second ride went better!
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