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  1. #1
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    How much time a week do you guys spend cycling?

    Just about to take this sport up and was wondering how much time do you guys spend? Should I start off slow as a beginner? Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    About 7.5 to 12 hours a week depending on how I feel. Yes start out slow and work up to it. I started back into cycling with a Semi recumbent Giant Revive. Maybe the most comfortable bike I have ever owned. I started out with three mile rides, then five mile rides and finally got up to 20 mile rides on that bike. It was comfortable but slow. I moved onto a MTB and extended the distance a bit. Yes you will take time to develop legs that don't hurt. But that isn't the limiting factor at first. For most new cyclists it is getting biker bottom. The ability to sit on a bicycle saddle comfortably for 20 to 40 miles. That took about 700 miles in my case.

    The thing about cycling is the more you do it the better you feel about it. Just remember there is a truism that seems to work every time. Your first bake getting into this life is simply to teach you what you all the things you should look for in your next bike.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  3. #3
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    For a beginner I would certainly recommend to just get out for a little bit several times a week, whatever you ENJOY. Don't turn it into a CHORE. I would say if you have the time go ride 15-30 minutes a night, or every other night. Enjoy it. A little time will dictate how much more time you will spend on the bike. If you start out by doing too much too soon your rump will hurt, your legs will hurt and you may get discouraged.

    As for the imbalance it can be a real thing even if you focus on using the full spin.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Just about to take this sport up and was wondering how much time do you guys spend? Should I start off slow as a beginner? Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance?
    When I decided to get serious about cycling back in 1990, I thought I was in reasonable condition, so I hopped on the bicycle to do a few laps around down. I managed 1 mile before I had to stop and take a break, and then I struggled through the second mile back home. A bit disappointed with that result, I rode 2 miles straight through the next day, and then gradually started building up my distance riding 4-5 days a week.

    So yes, you should start with a short, but manageable distance ... and then gradually build up.


    The only time I've had very sore legs was when my distances (plus intensity) started increasing significantly.


    And cycling tends to train 3 of the 4 quads. There can be an imbalance with the 4th quad which can be remedied by doing things like leg extensions (yes, recommended to me by a physiotherapist to deal with that very imbalance issue which was causing me some knee problems). But you probably won't run into this sort of problem in the near future. It is good to cross-train ... mix it up with various activities.


    As for the question, "How much time a week do you guys spend cycling?" ...

    Right now, not much. Not nearly enough. We've been putting in about 3-5 hours a week, on weekends, this winter. But it is early spring, and we'll start increasing our cycling again soon.

  5. #5
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    I ride Walmart bikes. I ride 7 hours a week averaging 80 miles for the week. I take off 2 days a week of no cycling, it was Tuesday and Saturday this week. Recovering is important.

  6. #6
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Just about to take this sport up and was wondering how much time do you guys spend? Should I start off slow as a beginner? Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance?
    1. Not enough time. Maybe when I retire.
    2. YES! Cycling is harder than it looks.
    3. Yes, but most people complain more about sore butts.
    4. Yes.
    5. My physical therapist wants me to do more stretches rather than any resistance training.

    Welcome and enjoy the ride.

  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Just about to take this sport up and was wondering how much time do you guys spend? Should I start off slow as a beginner? Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance?
    Start with 5 miles rides.

    Give your legs 500 miles on the bike before you get serious about speed and distance.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Just about to take this sport up and was wondering how much time do you guys spend? Should I start off slow as a beginner? Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance?
    I ride 2-3 hours a week, typically doing an hour or two of that in races. For a couple months in the off season I'll train a bit more, maybe 7-8 hours a day. I'm a long time racer. Early on I was training a bit more.

    Any substantial amount of work will result in sore legs the next day. It's not like running, though, where you fall down the stairs or something. Sometimes I'll struggle to go down stairs but that's about it. Cycling tends to use muscles that you don't use as much when you're not riding.

    Cycling tends to tighten hamstrings. Your quads will get stronger. If you have clipless pedals your hamstrings will get stronger too. I've never consistently done exercises to "minimize imbalance" or to stretch.

  9. #9
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    The majority of us ride far less hours than we'd prefer.
    Start slow...5 miles is good...and go from there as you feel up to it.
    You are not going to notice, and there isn't going to be a "muscle imbalance".
    Make sure you start a stretching routine and stick to it. Stretch before you ride then after the ride...maybe an hour or so. It doesn't take more than a few minutes and will improve your flexibility overall which is a good thing.

    I generally ride seven to ten hours per week. I'd rather ride more but work and life keeps me on a shorter leash than I'd prefer.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    I ride daily for about an hour after work. I am not riding because I love cycling, I am riding because it is exercise that is enjoyable and sustainable because it is enjoyable. Weekends when my wife is home on the weekends, I ride for longer. My longest is only 25 miles and I don't shoot for personal records or anything, just can ride for as long as I want when I don't have to be back for the kids.

    I only started about a month and a half ago as a fat guy. I'm still a fat guy. I also ride a junk Walmart bike. Most peoples' saddles seek to be more expensive than my entire bike. So saying that, I never had a problem with tired or sore legs. My limiting factor is the butt. It gets better the more I've been riding. I may do 30 miles today, or I may do 20, or perhaps longer than 30. I won't know until I'm riding. It depends on how the butt feels, not the legs.

    Even when I started out and I was using too high of a gear and thus mashing the pedals the legs didn't tire out. It was still the butt.

    One thing that helps me in the rear end is, every so often I stand up for a few seconds. I can't pedal because of the junk bike but standing up and coasting for 10 or 20 seconds helps to lessen the butt pain.

  11. #11
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    how much time do you guys spend? This varies a lot (this is the "general cycling" forum) from around 2 hours to about 20 hours per week. As a commuter plus recreational cyclist I'm in the middle of that range.

    Should I start off slow as a beginner? Generally yes, bearing in mind that it's relative to your potential. An athlete in good shape might start out with more miles or at higher speeds than other beginners and improve from there, but the general idea is to increase the distance and effort consistently and quickly at the beginning. Early improvements are so easy that it doesn't really matter where you start.

    Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?
    No, not like you'd get starting out in a track program, football fall camp etc.

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? Over training of anything cycling will be doubtful, at worst rare. What does happen is that cycling does not train weight-bearing muscles so it doesn't really help with running, climbing or other intense sports and older cyclists can find themselves with weaker skeletons if they don't complement it with other exercise.

    If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance? A lot of fitness cyclists also spend some time in the weight room. Or running and swimming.
    Last edited by wphamilton; 09-22-13 at 04:41 PM.

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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I ride usually every other day approx 30 miles for about 10 hours a week.

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    Senior Member stevebiker's Avatar
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    After work each day, about an hour (15 miles)

    On weekends, I try to do one 50-miler, which takes about 3.5 hours.

    So about 10 hours a week.
    Last edited by stevebiker; 09-24-13 at 02:29 PM.

  14. #14
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    ... how much time do you guys spend?
    An hour or two after work, if I can. 3 hours or more on weekend days, if I can. So something like 13 hours a week, if I can.

    Should I start off slow as a beginner?
    I recommend starting very slowly. I started with tiny trips around a few blocks by my house. Little by little the trips grew longer. I think trying too hard at first would have discouraged me.

    Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?
    Not here. But I built up to longer trips very gradually.

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance?
    I have no idea. I don't even know how I would know that. I remember there was a quad back in college. I always cut the string off the ham before I eat it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Yankeetowner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Just about to take this sport up and was wondering how much time do you guys spend? Should I start off slow as a beginner? Any stories of extremely sore legs the next day?

    On a side note, does cycling tend to over train your quads vs your hamstrings? If so, do you guys do any exercises to minimize this muscle imbalance?
    Last week I rode 15.6 hours (228.6 miles). I started back cycling about 4-5 months ago. My first ride back I rode through the neighborhood on a mountain bike and was winded and sore. My legs have been a little sore ever since, but I have increased my endurance and leg muscles quite a bit. The tops of my thighs seem to feel it the most, but I've gotten used to the feeling, and actually enjoy it.

    Everyone is different, so do what you enjoy. Biking should be fun...not painful, not boring and not a chore.
    ECCLESIASTES 10:2

  16. #16
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    I only get one or two rides in a week and as a returning cyclist after years of down time, I'm only doing an hour to an hour and a half for rides.

    Start slow and easy and if you feel worn out the next day, don't ride or ride in a very light gear for just a bit to loosen up. Keep it fun and keep pedaling.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    When I started, 2 to 5 hours a week, 25 to 75 miles.
    Now I ride from 10 to 13 hours a week, 120 to 180 miles.
    So yes, start slow and work from there.
    Last edited by Chaco; 09-24-13 at 03:27 PM. Reason: add info
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  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I average a little less than 7 hours a week. 12 hours is a big week for me.
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    6 ish. Three kids and a time consuming career.

  20. #20
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Just about to take this sport up...

    PapaGanoosh
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    Well, no sense in rushing things.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  21. #21
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    This year I've been riding 6-11 hours a week. I teach at a university, and during the academic year I usually get in 1-3 hours a week commuting to and from work and running errands (except when the weather is truly dismal, i.e., snow or ice on the ground, freezing rain, etc.). The rest is recreational cycling, training, and the occasional event (a handful each year).

    I started much more slowly, though, with a couple rides a week, 5-10 miles. I remember when 15 miles seemed like a long ride and 22 was a record. Those rides were great fun, and I think had I started out too fast, I might not have reached the point where I am today. I think you should start slow, so you look forward to each ride; start out too fast and you'll likely begin to resent or dread them.

    I try to get in a couple walks every week (beyond ordinary walking around campus) to do more load-bearing exercise, to climb the 98 stairs to my 6th-floor office at least twice each day, and to do some bodyweight exercises a couple times a week, to ensure that muscles that don't get used in cycling get some attention. After I had some severe lower back pain last fall, a physical therapist prescribed a 10-minute set of core exercises 4-5 times a week, which has worked wonders both for my back and for my core strength.

    As for sore legs--of course! But there are different kinds of soreness. When you're new, you'll get delayed onset muscle soreness, the kind where 48-72 hours later, the muscles you used are tender when touched or when you move, but if you keep moving, the soreness abates. These days I get soreness when I've done a much longer or hillier ride than usual (after D2R2 this year, for instance), but it's the soreness that I feel shortly after the event and it doesn't ease with more activity. That's a sign to take things easy.

    Anyway, you'll figure out what works. Have fun!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    Well, no sense in rushing things.
    Haha, I made an account last year looking to get advice on buying a bike. Looked for a few months on craigslist but couldn't find anything. Just found something I liked a few days ago.

  23. #23
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    I ride about 20 miles and time is about 6 hours in a week.Anyhow thanks to all here for nice contribution.









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    Last edited by marrkedee; 10-23-13 at 10:02 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    0 for me. I just surf the web and "ride" vicariously through others.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  25. #25
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    About 7 hours a week - one hour in the early morning three times during the week, then (maybe) two hours each on Saturday & Sunday morning at dawn. Occasionlly I'll go for a longer ride (100km/65 miles), as I'm trying to get used to, and develop a feel for pacing and speed, for some longer rides in the near future. I'll also throw in the occasional hilly workout, doing repeats up a 1.5 miles uphill road in my area, and will also do sprint repeats.

    For starting out, go with what's already been mentioned above an do a few miles and see both how long it takes and how you feel the next day. gradually increase the distance and/or pace over time and you'll eventually get comfortable with it.

    And yes, bicycling works on different muscles than other activities.

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