Hi, I'm just getting interested in cycling. I've been running for about 18 months now and training for my second marathon this fall. I've loved running and getting in shape and about 2 months ago I started thinking about trying out biking. I'm 33 and the last bike I rode was a BMX bike when I was about 11 or 12, so I am completely clueless when it comes to biking. I have so many questions, so I'm not sure where to start. Maybe some of you all can recommend some good resources (web, books, etc) to answer my questions and help me get off to the right start.
Here are some specific questions I have.
- What is the best way to figure out about bikes and what bike would be best for me to get started? My goal would be to ride for fun, but I imagine I would probably want to race too. I've loved racing various race distances in running from 5Ks to the marathon. So I like short fast races and long endurance races. I'm not sure how that would translate to biking which brings me to another question...
- In watching the Tour de France for the first time these past few weeks, I've wondered how the distances compare to running. I would think those long mountain stages would be like running a marathon and it blows me away that those guys could do the equivalent of a marathon day after day. Maybe it isn't quite as intense as running a marathon (or maybe more so). I can't imagine them depleting their glycogen stores day after day and still having enough in the tank to go at it again the next day or to ride that hard up a mountain and then do a time trail. It just blows me away!
- If any of you run also, how does riding compare to running? Does the running ability carry over into biking? I know in running circles, many have debated about how well someone like Lance Armstrong would do in a marathon (which it seems we'll find out in New York this fall). I would think his aerobic conditioning and leg strength would carry over quite well if he trains properly. Even if he doesnt' train 100%, he'll still awesome I would think. I wonder if being a runner would help someone moving into cycling.
- What's the best way to learn how to ride a bike? I'm planning on riding on the road, so I guess I would just get out there on the road and go for it? I can ride a bike, but getting used to a bike with gears, etc is going to be different for me and will take some getting used to. I guess to be more specific, would it be better to find a group of riders to start with, or go on my own and learn before attempting to ride with a group?
Those are a few questions to start. Maybe I should post all of these in separate threads. If so, I'll be glad to do so. Thanks for the input!