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  1. #1
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    N00b advice clearinghouse

    The great Eldon Nelson wrote that one should be allowed to give no more than three points of advice on any given ride, and no more than five points to any given person per lifetime.

    If more people followed this simple guideline, the world would be a nicer place. Folks wouldn't dread riding with certain individuals, and LBSs would be far nicer places to walk into.

    I tried this rule with my 30 y/o daughter this past weekend while taking her on her first bike ride since having babies. My nature is to drone on with tons of valuable advice, which I suspect would have turned her off to cycling forever.

    I followed Eldon's rule and limited my advice to just thre things, and that worked well. I can give her only two more items for the rest of eternity, and I promise I will choose them carefully.

    Here were the three items:

    -I explained what cross-chaining was and why her bike was making that miserable noise.
    -I also gave her some tips on how to keep from dropping her chain.
    -Finally, I pointed out that if obese people would raise their seat post up some, and not try to look so cool by pedaling in their very highest gear at a cadence of 30rpm, their knees wouldn't hurt so much and they might actually look forward to their next ride.

    In this spirit, and given the recent influx of n00bs here, I invite you to offer your best noob advice, but remember: only three per post and a total of five for the thread. Choose wisely.

    Now I'm going back to bed.

  2. #2
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Eldon's rule may work for bike riding, but it allows at least 2 more advice-givings than is acceptable on a golf course.

    OK, here are mine:

    Don't sit around in your sweaty bike shorts after a ride. It's the quickest way to saddle sores.
    Practice changing a tire/tube at home before you need to on the road.
    In the summer make sure at least one of your bottles has nothing but water in it, in case you need to splash some on yourself to cool down.
    Last edited by CraigB; 06-03-12 at 05:19 AM.
    Craig in Indy

  3. #3
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    Also, make the "water" water bottle a spray bottle, so you can spritz yourself with a cooling mist in place of a huge splash!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    1. Frequency is more important than far and fast. Ride often, even if it's only for a mile or two.

    2. Try not to get into the rut of riding the same course all the time. As you explore new routes to ride farther and faster will come naturally. It's more fun too.

    3. Try not to take yourself too seriously.

  5. #5
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    I see what you are doing here Dudelsack. While you submit the stipulated three only cycling tips, in the future, when being over come by the urge to offer tips, you can link to this thread which may, in the future, contain scores of tips. You, in effect, will have gotten others to do the dirty work. Devilishly clever I say.

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Advice #1 - only give two pearls of wisdom.

    Advice #2 - ignore advice #1 and only give one pearl of wisdom

    Advice #3 - ignore advice #2 and #1 and give no pearls of wisdom

    At least, that is how it works in my household with my wife.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    1 Learn which brake lever works which brake
    2 Learn why it's important to know
    3 Learn to check before each ride

  8. #8
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    OK, I gotta go, but I do have a classic, and it's worth #4:

    I know a well-to-do soul who is a good runner. Each year Ford sponsors the Ironman here.

    She announces to me she's going to go for it. This year. In July.

    "Cool! How much riding do you do now?"

    "I don't ride at all", she says, "but I just bought a new bike to train for it".

    "Cool. What kind of bike is it?"

    "I don't know what it's called, but they told me it goes really fast."

    "Cool (I'm not much of a conversationalist). Let me guess. Does it have handlebars that make you lean way over the front wheel, and did it cost at least $3000?"

    "How did you know? It cost $4000".

    The upshot is that my wealthy friend walked into a bike store with visions of glory and a hefty checkbook and they sold her a TT bike.

    Needless to say, she hated cycling. The bike was no fun to ride, she was sore and miserable and she bagged her Ironman plans.

    I told her to go on Craigslist and buy a Lemond Reno or something, which she did. Now she loves the bike. She might aim for the Ironman, this time for 2014 rather than 2012.

    So, if you're rich, unless your name is Evie Stevens, do yourself a favor and save the TT bike for N+1.

    I guess that's it.

  9. #9
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    I have a system that works for me. Not being a know-it-all is high on my list, so I will announce a tip of the day before any suggestion for help. When I just can't let some act go unschooled, I put it off on someone else sarcastic like with humor. (like) I hear some guy named Bob puts his riding shorts on before his knee pads and shoes.

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    My name's not Bob, but *I* put my shorts on before my shoes. Have I been doing it wrong?
    Craig in Indy

  11. #11
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    -Finally, I pointed out that if obese people would raise their seat post up some, and not try to look so cool by pedaling in their very highest gear at a cadence of 30rpm, their knees wouldn't hurt so much and they might actually look forward to their next ride.
    What was her reaction to this?

  12. #12
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    I give people credit for being able to figure things out for themselves, although that often involves a bit of trial and error on their part. Apparently, the primary means of learning by humans is to copy other humans. My "teaching" style is to do what works for me so that others can choose to copy if they so desire. My techniques might not work for someone else, so I am loathe to advise others.

  13. #13
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    I am quite sad to say that I know... mumble from repeated experience mumble... that it is hard to navigate one's shoes through the leg-holes of shorts, if one does it the other way 'round.

  14. #14
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I try to never call anyone a noob and strive to never give unsolicited advice. When they ask, I often suggest this link.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...0-newbie-rider
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  15. #15
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmccain View Post
    What was her reaction to this?
    My daughter is as skinny as a rail. OTOH, I'm 15, well, 20, OK, OK, 25 pounds overweight

  16. #16
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I try to never call anyone a noob and strive to never give unsolicited advice. When they ask, I often suggest this link.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...0-newbie-rider
    Thanks for the tip. You have 4 more to go.

  17. #17
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHen View Post
    I give people credit for being able to figure things out for themselves, although that often involves a bit of trial and error on their part. Apparently, the primary means of learning by humans is to copy other humans. My "teaching" style is to do what works for me so that others can choose to copy if they so desire. My techniques might not work for someone else, so I am loathe to advise others.
    And to think I wasted all that money sending my kids to school.....

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    This is the best piece of advice I got when I was starting (and probably got it from someone here) - concern yourself with time, not speed or distance. Plan to ride about 30-45 minutes at a time when starting, and slowly increase the time. Speed and conditioning will come. Too many folks worry about their speed, or measure themselves by their distance, rather than focus on time.

    Here's the second most important piece of advice. Rest matters. One of the best ways to sour yourself on cycling (or any exercise, for that matter) is to do too much too soon.

  19. #19
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Two things I told my older sister as she adjusted to a 21-speed hybrid after having ridden a 3-speed for many years...

    1) Let's set the right hand shifter to the middle position and leave it there. Now you have a 3-speed bike again - just shift with your left shifter.

    2) Try to relax every muscle as much as possible when you ride, except your legs, of course.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    Two things I told my older sister as she adjusted to a 21-speed hybrid after having ridden a 3-speed for many years...

    1) Let's set the right hand shifter to the middle position and leave it there. Now you have a 3-speed bike again - just shift with your left shifter.
    Gee, I've told lots of people just the opposite. Think of your left shifter as selecting 3 gear ranges - one for uphill, one for flats, and one for downhills. Then, within those ranges, use your right shifter for fine tuneing the gears. Pedals too fast - shift up. Too hard to pedal - shift down.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I was reminded of another one today. (I rode a DF bike for the first time in a long time.) On a hot day, stand up straight before you try to slide forward on the saddle.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    The great Eldon Nelson wrote that one should be allowed to give no more than three points of advice on any given ride, and no more than five points to any given person per lifetime.

    If more people followed this simple guideline, the world would be a nicer place. Folks wouldn't dread riding with certain individuals, and LBSs would be far nicer places to walk into.

    I tried this rule with my 30 y/o daughter this past weekend while taking her on her first bike ride since having babies. My nature is to drone on with tons of valuable advice, which I suspect would have turned her off to cycling forever.

    I followed Eldon's rule and limited my advice to just thre things, and that worked well. I can give her only two more items for the rest of eternity, and I promise I will choose them carefully.

    Here were the three items:

    -I explained what cross-chaining was and why her bike was making that miserable noise.
    -I also gave her some tips on how to keep from dropping her chain.
    -Finally, I pointed out that if obese people would raise their seat post up some, and not try to look so cool by pedaling in their very highest gear at a cadence of 30rpm, their knees wouldn't hurt so much and they might actually look forward to their next ride.

    In this spirit, and given the recent influx of n00bs here, I invite you to offer your best noob advice, but remember: only three per post and a total of five for the thread. Choose wisely.

    Now I'm going back to bed.
    Me thinks you may have wasted your three oportunities.

    Crosschaining....after riding with you a few times she probably would have asked you why her bike is so noisy anyway (assuming your bike runs quietly).

    Dumping the chain....same thing, when it happens often enough she would wonder why and ask on her own.

    Obese riders....were you just getting bored with the current conversation? If it didn't apply to present company then who would really care?

    My noob advise, for what it may be worth, it is better to converse about the beauty of the passing scenery than to nit-pic to your companion about their riding technique.

  23. #23
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredschwinn View Post
    Me thinks you may have wasted your three oportunities.

    Crosschaining....after riding with you a few times she probably would have asked you why her bike is so noisy anyway (assuming your bike runs quietly).

    Dumping the chain....same thing, when it happens often enough she would wonder why and ask on her own.

    Obese riders....were you just getting bored with the current conversation? If it didn't apply to present company then who would really care?

    My noob advise, for what it may be worth, it is better to converse about the beauty of the passing scenery than to nit-pic to your companion about their riding technique.
    Here I had a lovely time with my beautiful daughter and mother of half of my grandchildren, and all you can do is nit-pic. For Gaia's sake.

    The first two points were actually responses to queries from Katy.

    The third I threw in because i knew I could give her no further advice after that, and I didn't want to start nit-picking her.

    I never knew "n00b" was so perjurative. I bought my bent last Thanksgiving. I asked multiple sources, including from the very knowledgable person who sold it to me, and folks on the bent forum, if I could tip it backwards going uphill. I was convinced it could happen. I've asked a ton of questions and gotten all sorts of helpful information. Maybe I should have stayed quiet and observed other bent riders from a distance, but so far I've crossed paths with only one other bent and he was going the other direction.

    Technically I'm still a n00b I guess. How many miles or how much saddle time does it take to graduate from n00b to journeyman (I love that term)?

    I have one more bit of advice but I'll,save it for the next time my wife flips on "Sister Wives".

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Here I had a lovely time with my beautiful daughter and mother of half of my grandchildren, and all you can do is nit-pic. For Gaia's sake.

    The first two points were actually responses to queries from Katy.

    The third I threw in because i knew I could give her no further advice after that, and I didn't want to start nit-picking her.

    I never knew "n00b" was so perjurative. I bought my bent last Thanksgiving. I asked multiple sources, including from the very knowledgable person who sold it to me, and folks on the bent forum, if I could tip it backwards going uphill. I was convinced it could happen. I've asked a ton of questions and gotten all sorts of helpful information. Maybe I should have stayed quiet and observed other bent riders from a distance, but so far I've crossed paths with only one other bent and he was going the other direction.

    Technically I'm still a n00b I guess. How many miles or how much saddle time does it take to graduate from n00b to journeyman (I love that term)?

    I have one more bit of advice but I'll,save it for the next time my wife flips on "Sister Wives".
    So I guess I was right on all three counts.

    The noob advise you asked for. Many other posters have already stated a similar opinion in softer, less direct language previously in this thread. If you don't agree with it...that is your perogative.

    Sorry if I offended you with my direct approach.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Mort Canard's Avatar
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    I just have one piece of advice for novices. On public roads try to avoid bicycling into a sunrise or sunset. The drivers coming up behind you are partially blinded from the sun in their eyes and have even less chance to see you than they normally do. Your reflectors and other conspicuity devices do little or no good in that situation.

    I was part of a group including my cousin on a weekend cycle camping trip years ago. He was riding tail end Charlie, getting tired and probably riding erratically. The car that hit him never even saw him till he was going over the windshield. Greg ended up with a broken pelvis, leg and a couple of ribs. He's ok now but that was a rough night at the hospital!
    "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles" Butch Cassidy

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