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  1. #1
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    Real newbie from north MA

    Hello everyone,

    I'm completely new to the whole biking thing - never owned a bike (even as a kid) and in my quest for doing something meaningful signed up for the Pan Mass Challenge (www.pmc.org) soooo, I'm hoping to absorb all pertinent information and make it the experience of a lifetime. I figured by the end of all this I'm either going to really hate or really love biking!

    Wish me luck!

  2. #2
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
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    Holy cow!
    You are welcome! You have a LOT of ground to cover. I believe there is an
    organisation in Mass that can teach you a lot about riding. There are books, see if your library has one. One of the old ones is Effective Cycling. There are better, but it will do the trick.

    Wow, I am having trouble wrapping my head around this.
    1) Physical conditioning. Do a post in Training and Nutrition soon. During the winter, take some spinning classes. Some time spent doing exercises or other aerobic work wouldn't hurt.

    You really could use a coach. I mean REALLY.

    In the spring find a beginner's group ride, you need to learn to ride in a pack.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    It can't be that bad...

    Come on Late, don't make it sound that bad...you're going to scare me out of it I should mention I wasn't a runner and ran a marathon last year and was told that biking is just as "easy"

    Though no bike yet I did buy a stationary and have been doing a half hour (not much but it's something) each night. It's freezing here in Northern MA so I'm not rushing to buy the bike but have my eyes set on either the Specialized Dolce Comp or the Specialized Vita Multisport.

    I know I have a lot of ground to cover and is why I joined - so far have gotten great information from this forum, definitely glad to be here!

  4. #4
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    UMASS, Amherst/ Swick, MA
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    07 Specialized Langster Comp,06 Kona King Zing, 06 Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc; 03 LOOK KG461;(destroyed by suv); 85 Panasonic Team America; 73 Peugeot U0-8; 94 Balance Super B BMX; 04 Diamondback Outlook MTB, Diamondback DBR DH
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    Where in MA are you? I'm down in western MA. Southwick, actually. If you need any help or information, just ask.

    Also, if you need any help with Specialized, I just got back from a training course at Specialized headquarters and I'm dying to share the information I've gathered.

    Good luck on the PMC. If you're local and want some training help or fit advice, PM me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    take your time getting a bike. Do lots of test rides. This will involve some
    traveling, but I suggest Harris Cyclery West Newton to try this..
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/habanero.html
    I have to drive 80 miles to get to my favorite bike shop, Belmont Wheelworks.
    They have a really nice selection of cycling shoes; got my most recent pair there.
    One of my mechanics calls it the 'pilgrimmage'. If you like coffee try Breaking Grounds in Somerville or Reds BBQ ( bicycle valet service in summer) afterwards

    This is my bike, and it is just terrific
    http://www.gunnarbikes.com/sport.php
    But it might not be racy enough for you, so test ride this if you see one
    http://www.gunnarbikes.com/roadie.php

    I suggest adding some intensity to those cycling workouts.
    If your exercise bike is ok for high intensity exercise you can get
    an exercise video like Spinervals
    http://www.spinervals.com/
    You can call them and they'll suggest one for you to try.
    But for starters, you really should try a spinning class. Ask if
    the teacher is certified to teach spinning.

    There was a writer once who was offered the chance to do a luxury cycling vacation in
    France once. He knew of B&R by rep, very bling, so he said yes. He didn't
    actually ride, but spent some time on an exercycle. He spent a fair amount of time on the ground, during the trip, looking at heavily muscled calves. Just thought I'd share that...

    You will want some tights and other cold weather cycling gear, because in March you need to hit the road. Downhill ski gloves work, you can go to the ladies forum for more suggestions there.

    If you don't have a handy boyfriend, get a Park chain cleaner, a bottle of chain cleaning fluid to go with it, and some lube. I use any oil lube in the spring, but as soon as the weather warms up I shift to Boeshield T9 lube. I clean up one a week or so. Replacing the drive train cost hundreds, and cleaning adds greatly to the time it will last.

    Team Estrogen was having a sale, might be worth a try.

    One last item for today... saddles. Everyone suffers for a couple weeks getting used to the saddle. And that is on a saddle that suits you. I went through over a dozen with my wife before finding one she liked. Finding one between now and the ride will be tough. The Terry Butterfly is popular, my wife used one for a couple of years. If you are lucky, you may find another gal who can help you with that. So much riding on a saddle that doesn't suit you will hurt, perhaps a lot.

  6. #6
    Senior Member geofitz13's Avatar
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    Chica...you might want to consider doing Kaitlyn's Ride in Western Mass in early June, if you are going to get into the charity ride thing. They have 10, 25, 50 and 100 mile options, and the terrain is similar to the PMC. Check out kride.com. What route did you sign up for in the PMC? I am doing the Sturbridge to Provincetown route....

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