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Old 03-15-11, 08:01 PM   #1
smellypants
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An important question about cycling from a newbie

Hi all!

I do bike leisurely when I get the time and I really enjoy it.
Anyway I have a couple of questions that I hope you guys could she some light for me.

  1. I've been reading a couple of threads here and if I am correct the largest problem that most of you face is not being able to bike longer distances (is that correct or have I been interpreting wrong? )
  2. If that is the case, why do you guys want that? Biking longer distances I mean. I can't relate much because I only bike around the neighborhood and it's fine for me.

Thank you very much in advance!
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Old 03-15-11, 08:04 PM   #2
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Old 03-15-11, 08:07 PM   #3
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Old 03-15-11, 08:09 PM   #4
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Read ... and be inspired ... http://www.ultracycling.com/

1a. I've been through a medical crisis, and am now building back up again to cycling the long distances I used to cycle. So yes, one of the difficulties I'm facing right now is that I'm having trouble breaking the double century barrier. Pre-medical problems I could ride 1200K randonnees, post medical problems and 300K is about as long as I can ride.

1b. Distance, however, is not the only issue facing cyclists ... speed is another, good hill climbing technique another ...


If you are happy riding around town, then that's fine ... but some of us like to see what's beyond our immediate neighbourhoods. We like the challenge and adventure of exploring further and further afield.
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Old 03-15-11, 08:11 PM   #5
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Old 03-15-11, 08:28 PM   #6
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Hmmm, I thought your question was going to relate more to smellypants.

Riding around the neighbourhood is great, but I prefer riding on country roads. We've got some windy / rolly countryside roads that take you past some amazing scenary. Entire sections of these roads are umbrella'd with trees overtop. Great way to keep in shape and to grab a few moments of zen.
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Old 03-15-11, 08:47 PM   #7
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Heck, if you have these roads and views around your neighborhood, I'll be happy to come ride with you.










Bear3 by mrbeanz1, on Flickr


Bear1 by mrbeanz1, on Flickr

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Old 03-15-11, 09:28 PM   #8
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Well, I'm less into exertion. I just like to get where I'm going with minimal exertion. But I like to be fast enough that longer distances are no challenge.


And this is just my take, but if you decide you want a new avatar name, contact the moderators and I bet they'll make an exception and let you change it.
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Old 03-15-11, 09:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by smellypants View Post
Hi all!

I do bike leisurely when I get the time and I really enjoy it.
Anyway I have a couple of questions that I hope you guys could she some light for me.

  1. I've been reading a couple of threads here and if I am correct the largest problem that most of you face is not being able to bike longer distances (is that correct or have I been interpreting wrong? )
  2. If that is the case, why do you guys want that? Biking longer distances I mean. I can't relate much because I only bike around the neighborhood and it's fine for me.

Thank you very much in advance!
Nope, the biggest problem isn't lacking distance; everybody has their own limit, determined by too many factors to list. ACCEPTANCE -- not being singled out as the errant urchin child of transportation by the self-entitled -- that irks many of us. People can walk, even in the cold, with kids and grocery bags everywhere, and nobody thinks anything of it (sometimes they are even applauded as "independent"). But RIDE A BIKE, anywhere but in the subdivision, and you're some miscreant social pariah who deserves scorn, sometimes even being targeted like our Vietnam vets were after the Kent State tragedy.

If you're fulfilled by riding your neighborhood, good for you, I applaud you for it; you're doing better than the couch whales. I personally like to spend more than 2-3 hard, huff-&-puff hours causing myself some lactic acid pain, although those days don't happen with temps below 50F.

To each his own.

(BTW, Beanz -- you sure know how to play that trump card! Awesome scenery!)
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Old 03-15-11, 09:58 PM   #10
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(BTW, Beanz -- you sure know how to play that trump card! Awesome scenery!)
Hey, I got a ton of pics, got to post them somewhere....I do delete them at the end of the year then start all over again (with the exception of a few favorites)
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Old 03-15-11, 10:06 PM   #11
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Well, if you enjoy riding, then you'll likely enjoy riding for a couple of hours. And if you're enthusiastic, you'll go fast. And if you ride "around the neighborhood", you either will ride around the block 40 times or you're going to go somewhere else. So we go somewhere else.

I would not say that trying to ride farther is the biggest problem people face, as there are all kinds of problems. A lot of people want to be faster. A lot of people want to be lighter. I think most people that are reasonably fit and have a good bike can actually ride farther than they have. It's not an inability to ride longer that holds them back, but a lack of desire to do so.
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Old 03-16-11, 05:41 AM   #12
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Almost everybody can ride longer distances than they think; just check out any charity event to see the evidence.
The motivation to ride longer distances is something you only discover when you ride them. The ability to explore new areas, see new things, meet new people, challenge yourself physically.
Non-competative distance riding (or touring) is a very addictive thing to do.
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Old 03-16-11, 05:52 AM   #13
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Old 03-16-11, 10:43 AM   #14
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Well, it is not that hard to ride longer distances. It is just a matter of training and setting a reasonable pace. Pretty near anyone in reasonable shape can ride 100 miles in a day.

So why do I ride "long" (whatever long means) distances? Because I enjoy it, that is why. I don't ride really long distances (at least not in one day) because I discovered that after I have done over 100 miles, I have had all the fun I am going to have on a bike that day. Sure I can keep going. But it isn't fun.
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Old 03-16-11, 01:11 PM   #15
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Distance like speed is relative.
The better you are the further and faster you go.
It never gets easier...
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Old 03-16-11, 09:55 PM   #16
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Distance like speed is relative.
The better you are the further and faster you go.
It never gets easier...
No, it does get easier. Staying on the bike for a couple hours can be tough unless you work up to it. "Seat time" takes training, too. Sometimes going further just means staying on the bike longer.

BTW, Beanz- I grew up close to those hills. Now I've got some pretty nice scenery in my back yard. This is my favorite 80-ish mile ride: http://www.ohpv.org/events/bog/BoG.htm



Adventure Cycling's photo contest gave an honorable mention for a similar shot:
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Old 03-17-11, 09:02 AM   #17
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Each to their own. Nothing wrong with riding around the block a couple times and calling it good. Nothing wrong with doing a 300k every weekend either. I constantly change. I use to do anywhere between 50-100 miles each weekend, but now only get around 20-30. I'm fine with that. Maybe this year I'll do more or maybe not. It's just riding a bike. If it makes you happy just puttering around the neighborhood great, but some like to ride for hours.
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Old 03-17-11, 12:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellypants View Post
...I've been reading a couple of threads here and if I am correct the largest problem that most of you face is not being able to bike longer distances (is that correct or have I been interpreting wrong? )
I don't have that problem; I can go 75 miles or so pretty easily. Takes me all day, but riding alone at a casual pace is my preference.
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If that is the case, why do you guys want that? Biking longer distances I mean. I can't relate much because I only bike around the neighborhood and it's fine for me.
I have rode the bicycle every direction from my house for ~40 miles in every direction that it is safe to go.

I used to think that strapping your bike to your car to go riding was kinda silly and wasteful, but I have to do it now to see anything new.
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Old 03-17-11, 12:33 PM   #19
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BTW, Beanz- I grew up close to those hills. Now I've got some pretty nice scenery in my back yard. This is my favorite 80-ish mile ride:
Nice ! Looks refreshing!
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Old 03-20-11, 08:22 AM   #20
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I only started cycling yesterday after getting a road bike. I prefer rides of 90 minutes- 3hours. I like the roads outside town with less traffic. I wish I stayed on the perimeter of town- it currently takes me about 30- 45 minutes to get out of the built up areas onto the countryside roads.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:51 AM   #21
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It's just fun. Riding longer distances is something that just happens, at least that is the way it was for me. One day you just feel like you'd like to go over another hill, or around the next bend.
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Old 03-24-11, 02:02 AM   #22
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This newbie biggest problem is that the Asthma has returned and at the end of a 4-5 mile ride around the neighborhood I'm sucking birds out of the sky, but I get stronger each ride
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Old 03-25-11, 06:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Read ... and be inspired ... http://www.ultracycling.com/

1a. I've been through a medical crisis, and am now building back up again to cycling the long distances I used to cycle. So yes, one of the difficulties I'm facing right now is that I'm having trouble breaking the double century barrier. Pre-medical problems I could ride 1200K randonnees, post medical problems and 300K is about as long as I can ride.

1b. Distance, however, is not the only issue facing cyclists ... speed is another, good hill climbing technique another ...


If you are happy riding around town, then that's fine ... but some of us like to see what's beyond our immediate neighbourhoods. We like the challenge and adventure of exploring further and further afield.
So, agreeing with what you've said here. I live in Sonoma Wine Country and the bike riding places here are seemingly endless -- loving exploring them. But let me hijack this thread for a moment to ask a question about hill climbing. I'm back to road cycling but was never schooled in the how-tos technically speaking. I'm having to build up my stamina obviously and also my lung capacity (as my screenname suggests, I only have one lung having lost one to Cancer 20 years ago). It doesn't mean I can't do demanding rides but I do have to work my way up to them.

Anyway, my question is about proper climbing technique. Would you mind giving me some advice on what that is and how I should tackle hills with regard to gears and such? If there's a thread I should read, feel free to point that out to me as well. I can ride up most hills on my mtb bike by just dropping down the gear but I have no idea how to do this on a road bike. Again, thanks in advance.
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