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Thread: First time out

  1. #1
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    First time out

    I am finally getting my bike tomorrow it will be my first bike in 20 years and will be taking it out for a ride as soon as I get it home. My question is for a very first ride is there anything I should be doing or not doing? On your first ride how do start easing yourself into riding do I just go a couple of miles or do I play it by ear? I am justing going to a local park that has a 2.5 mile loop with a couple of tiny hills. My cardio is pretty bad. Any advice you can give would be appreciated....oh by the way it is a Bad Boy Disc.
    2009 Cannondale Bad Boy disc rider.

  2. #2
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat_RI View Post
    I am finally getting my bike tomorrow it will be my first bike in 20 years and will be taking it out for a ride as soon as I get it home. My question is for a very first ride is there anything I should be doing or not doing? On your first ride how do start easing yourself into riding do I just go a couple of miles or do I play it by ear? I am justing going to a local park that has a 2.5 mile loop with a couple of tiny hills. My cardio is pretty bad. Any advice you can give would be appreciated....oh by the way it is a Bad Boy Disc.
    My first suggestion is relax. You are over thinking it. Just ride as far as you can, as long as you want to. Just don't get so tired that you shout "Never again!" and mean it.

  3. #3
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Are you buying your bike from a bike store? If so, make sure they help you check your fit on the bike. If your fit is off it can make the first ride a painful experience.

    If not buying from the LBS, check your fit yourself (seat & handlebar positions) to make sure you're good to go before you ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    Are you buying your bike from a bike store? If so, make sure they help you check your fit on the bike. If your fit is off it can make the first ride a painful experience.

    If not buying from the LBS, check your fit yourself (seat & handlebar positions) to make sure you're good to go before you ride.
    Yes I am buying from an LBS and they actually gave me times to come by to get fitted. I am actually going to take the bike out for an hour or so and then head out to kayak a bit we have to take advantage of these nice NE fall days while we can.
    2009 Cannondale Bad Boy disc rider.

  5. #5
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Just take it easy and enjoy the expereince. Your park path of 2.5 sounds like a good start if you don't currently do any type of regular cardio work.

    Where at in RI? I lived right off Clarks Falls Road in N. Stonnington, CT off of 95. My neighbor across the street was in RI, lol.

  6. #6
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Just get on the bike and take it easy. How long you go is up to you, but try not to get yourself too winded - take fice if you start getting close, or just coast along for a bit. Don't hesitate to walk hills if you feel you need to until you get in better shape.

    A bike path is a good first ride, even though you have to deal with unpredictable pedestrians. Learning how to deal with traffic can come later when you're more comfortable riding.

    If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right and need to keep biking until you get it right.
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    I would add if you are riding on a bike trail with lots of pedestrians, get a bell. I almost ran over like 3 elderly folks who just couldn't hear me coming. It is really something that comes in handy.

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    As yet another suggestion.
    Have a think is there are any mostly empty parking lots around that you can use. Or any other largish open space. They are good because you don't have to worry so much about having to go in a straight line. Good for practising cornering too.

    Try to get into good habits when you start as well. A good start it not to watch your front wheel but looks a good distance ahead so you can see any oncoming obstacles. Also, keeping looking where you are going to go, not at things you are avoiding.
    I want to live.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    +1 on all the above. I don't have a bell but yell out "on your left" or "on your right" as appropriate to warn those I'm overtaking. Be prepared for them to go the wrong way (or, if there are several, some will go left, some right) and you'll need to react quickly.

    Take your time (it isn't a race), don't go too far (you can build up distance in the future) and expect your rear to be a bit sore for a while. Keep riding more and more often and increase your distance slowly and you'll be amazed how quickly you'll rack up the miles.

  10. #10
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Don't be surprised if your first ride is short. My first one was 3 miles, and I was wiped out. A month later I was riding 30 miles or more a day. You will improve fast, so don't sweat day 1.

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    I made it back alive

    Thanks for all of the information guys I picked up the bike this morning and went on a 2.5 mile loop this morning and when I was halfway around I wanted to turn around but figured the big hill I coasted down I would have to go back up so I kept going. I was dodging people and dogs left and right at my crawling pace. I think I overdid it though I should have probably stopped a couple of times to catch my breath but it seemed the every time I thought about stopping it was a the bottom of what to me was a "big" hill and I don't remember this park having sooo many "hills". It felt like my heart was beating way too fast for the speed I was going. I think I am going to keep doing this loop until I get my wind up and when I do go the opposite direction because then I will have to go up these "hills". When I got off the bike my legs felt a bit Jell-oish (is that a word?) and it took a while to get my wind back. I think I kind of rushed the ride and should have stopped caught my breath and enjoyed the foliage.

    Now on to the bike I haven't ridden a bike in years and wanted something that would be comfortable to ride and could be both good on the road and also used on trails so I went with the Bad Boy disc and all I can say is wow. It is a big improvement on my old Huffy and the disc brakes were crazy. Providence Bicycle where I bought the bike were very helpful and sized me up for the bike, explained switching gears (need to go over that again), disc brakes, how to inflate the tires, etc. I ended up buying a lock, water bottle, and helmet the one thing I did not buy which I regret is a small bag to attach to the seat or somewhere else because when I got to the park to ride I didn't have anywhere to put my keys I had on pocketless shorts. The bike is nice all blacked out and in my opinion was lightweight compared to bikes I use to own years ago. The seat was uncomfortable at first but I think I got use to it or forgot about how uncomfortable it was while I was trying to huff up a couple of hills. The handgrips (if that is what they are called) also seemed a bit big for my hands but that could have been my hand placement.

    I just put the bike away and threw the kayak in the truck to go fishing for some blues and stripers hoping for a nice sleigh ride. I am going to try and do the same loop tomorrow if I am not sore from my little trip today. I am going to have to look around here for how to properly switch/use gears. I stayed on the middle sprocket the whole ride and was unsure if that was okay or should I have switch to a lower/higher one when riding.
    2009 Cannondale Bad Boy disc rider.

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    Don't push it too much. It is very easy to strain your knees early on in your comeback. You are probably pedaling very fast now to get up hills which is a good thing. It reduces the strain on joints. Everything will start to get easier in a month or so. The hills that used to make me say "oh crap" at the end of my first month of riding are now nothing to me. I mashed the pedals for 2 months and still power climb hills but I also started spinning more to build cadence. Now it is all about spinning and intervals. At least read up the the techniques.

    I started riding on a mountain bike for the first 2 weeks but ended up picking up a road bike for when I want to ride pavement which is always now that I am in better shape.

    Best wishes!
    Old enough to know better and old enough to forget that I do.

  13. #13
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    when i first started riding i couldn't go around the block a couple times which would be like 3 miles totally flat, i worked my way up to a path around a lake that was around 7 miles. Now i go around the same lake 3 times. What everyone says about building up your muscles is so true, so much more than i realized. In addition the seat part will hurt less and less the more you ride. I don't even have any problems with my buttocks anymore and prefer a hard seat.

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    I headed out again this morning to do the same route. As soon as I hopped on the bike I could feel that I used muscles that I usually don't use and thought I was in trouble right from the start. Wrong. This time I took a couple of breaks for a minute each was still winded but I recovered much quicker. At the end of the ride I went just a bit further just to say I am moving forward. One thing I realized I did yesterday was I spent the whole time in the seat and today when going up the "hills" I got off the seat and the hills went much easier. Thanks again.
    2009 Cannondale Bad Boy disc rider.

  15. #15
    Cute, fluffy, and illegal gotls1's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new bike and getting out there and doing something good for yourself. Take it easy starting out and give yourself time to build up your muscles and your cardio endurance (as well as breaking in your behind on that saddle ). Before you know it, you'll think of a 10 mile ride as a quickie.

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    +1 to all of the above,

    And most importantly :

    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post

    If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right and need to keep biking until you get it right.
    Congrats and enjoy !!!
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  17. #17
    Rabbit Habbit! Jerry in So IL's Avatar
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    Relax and have fun! Don't worry, if yoiu are doning it wrong, the Bike Police will set you straight!

    Get out there and ride a little everyday til you get your wind built up. Don't do too much too soon. But do something.

    Jerry
    I'll be needing that for squirels and such....

  18. #18
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    Congratulations on your first ride, awesome work!!!


    I too was wiped out by a three mile ride my first time getting back into cycling so I'd say you did great if you had enough energy left over to kayak. Take things easy, try not to over train when just starting out. Give your muscles plenty of time to adjust to the new exercise and you'll be fine. Also, jelloish is word that is perfectly understood here .


    So, any pictures of said Bad Boy?

  19. #19
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    I'll try and take a picture tomorrow it is a sweet looking bike if I say so myself. I am actually looking forward to going for a spin tomorrow I am going to try and do a bit longer ride tomorrow I have been only doing about 2.5mi and I am going to try for 5mi tomorrow at a nice pace so I don't overtax myself then it is trout fishing time for a reward....Can't wait. What I really need though is a bag to carry keys and the like it is a pain carrying a key chain and stuff in my pockets.
    2009 Cannondale Bad Boy disc rider.

  20. #20
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Get one of these. You can store keys, snacks, flat kit, cash, cell phone. Some items I always leave in it so I don't have to unpack it. Things like a flat kit and such will become more important as you take longer rides.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbikingman View Post

    What is the brand and price range?
    2009 Cannondale Bad Boy disc rider.

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    Looks like a "specialized wedgie bag" ....... $20 range .

  23. #23
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    Or you can get no-name bags for about $10.

    My advice is to make sure you get a helmet! If you're going to crash, you're most likely to do it when you first begin. I started commuting in February and went over the handlebars the second time out. I was glad I bought a helmet less than a week before, let me tell you.

    Water bottle, lock, etc.

    When you're first on the road, adopt the mantra that no matter how visible you think you are, the cars can't see you. If you don't believe me, watch this. Keep your head on a swivel. As you get more experience, you will better know where the hazards are coming from, but early on remember that riding a bike is a lot different than driving a car. Obey the traffic laws, especially staying on the right side of the road.

    I rode sidewalks early on, but eventually I felt more comfortable being out on the road most of the time.

    You'll be fine. Enjoy the ride!
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  24. #24
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Hey Pat, sounds like you are getting along splendidly with the new bike.

    Don't let your enthusiasm get the better of you for a couple of weeks. Keep doing a distance and pace that you're comfortable with and enjoy. this will let you adjust to the activity and start building some fitness. After that, consider upping your mileage 10-15% each week or so. Early on it is really tempting to tell yourself I only did 2.5 but 5 sounds so much better. Nothing happens overnight, it will take time. Don't be afraid of stopping and taking a breather. Any time you see a ride report of mega mileage you can bet your sweet saddle sore butt there were breaks involved, lol.

    As for an inexpensive seat bag alternative, WalMart has Bell accessories. I think our local store has the bags for around $8. They aren't all that big but will hold keys and flat repair kit with no problem, along with a few dollars and a granola/energy bar or something of the like.

    About that shifting thing. Your LBS probably went over it, and you probably know this but let's start at the beginning.

    Your front chain rings. Shifted by your left shifter.

    Big wheel equals taller gears and are for going fast. They require more muscle effort to spin while using. Early on this can wear you out and make you very sore.

    Middle ring. Moderate effort, and a good plalce to spend time in while working on cadence (rate at which you are spinning). The middle ring is your friend.

    Smaller ring. Best used while climbing or when your legs have blown up and you can't imagine making one more pedal stroke

    Back Cog. Shifted by your right shifter.

    Hardest, highest gear is the small ring, easiest lowest gear is the big ring. Your absolute lowest, and easiest to spin gear is when you are on your small front ring and biggest back ring. Highest and most difficult gear to spin is when you are on your big front ring and smallest back ring.

    This why the middle ring is your friend and gives you a great amount of range to shift in. You can pretty much use every ring in back while in the middle front ring. Conditions to avoid are being in your little ring up front and smallest ring in back, and the opposite being in your big ring in front and big ring in back. This called cross chaining and not an ideal situation to be in. Just look at your chain from the rear of the bike and see how ever thing lines up from your rear cog to your front rings. keeping as straight of a line is the goal. Your rear dérailleur can most likely handle any combination but it puts undue stress on your equipment.

    The little ring up front is your friend when facing a hill. I'm a firm believer that you are better off sitting and spinning your way up a hill than standing and mashing. On long hills, standing for a few strokes helps with circulation and lactic acid build up but it is not the most efficient method. It may be faster, but you will burn more matches doing it.

    I don't know what components you are running but I'm going on the assumption you are well set up. There are a couple of other shifting rules of thumb to keep in mind. When up shifting try and do it in no more than two gear increments on the rear. Don't just hit your thumb shifter and run it 4 or 5 clicks over.

    Be aware of which front and back settings you are in before "dumping" as well. This is when you hit your right shifter and bail from a high gear to a lower gear. It's easy to get cross chained this way. It's never a good idea to shift your left shifter (front rings) more than one ring at a time for the same reason.

    It sounds like a lot of info, but once you get the feel for your gearing it will all fall into place. Since you are using your middle ring most of the time (most of us with a triple probably do around town or on paths) you keep yourself in a good situation for moving around your front rings. Every shift should be already be one ring at a time. If you are ever on your big ring and for some reason dump to your small ring, the bike will teach you to not do it again, lol. Same goes for going from snall to big in one swoop.

    Lastly, it's perfectly fine to shift while pedaling. If you are going up hill and putting lot's of torque on your drive train, just give a slight pause long enough to hit your thumb shifter and keep going. The pause if like a blink of an eye lash type pause.

    Hopefully your LBS offers a 100 mile tune up. After about that many miles your cables are going to have stretched and your shifting and braking adjustments will need to be tweaked. It's also my recommendation to get a sharpie and make a mark whee your seat post adjustment is now. Over time you may want to try incremental changes but if you lose your starting point, it might be hard to keep track of what is better is what is worse.

  25. #25
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    Thanks Txvintage for taking the time for the explanation I think switching gears is much clearer for me now. I still have only stayed on the middle ring because I really haven't had a reason to move to another one yet. I do get a free tune-up from the local LBS and they said take it to them in a month or so for the tuneup. I still need to get a pump, bag, and computer and hope to pick them up this coming week. I want the computer just to track my progress. Well I am actually heading out shortly for a ride thanks again for the advice.
    2009 Cannondale Bad Boy disc rider.

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