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Old 05-28-03, 08:06 PM   #1
penelope
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In Iowa, new to biking with questions

Hi! All this is new to me, bikes and forums. I quess this is where you say a little about yourself. Here it goes! A little info--I'm a 27 year old girl and I'm in ok shape but it has been a while since I've trained seriously for anything. I'd eventually like to race.

I've always wanted to get into cycling because I used to swim and the two seemed pretty similar except for the bike part and the outdoors part so I finally got a road bike.

I have no idea what I'm doing but I end up smiling the whole time I'm on my bike. I love it. My big question is how do you know for sure you're bike fits? The reason I ask is pretty long and drawn out so I'll save that for another time.

My second question is how often should a new rider ride a week to get in shape and for how long?

Any advice would completely rock

Thanks
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Old 05-28-03, 08:18 PM   #2
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Hello. Welcome to the forum and stuff...
Great that your getting into cycling, it really is a lifechanging decision.
As far your question about bike fitting.
This is a complicated issue where most people don't have one single opinion on.
I, personally, think that if you feel comfortable on the bike (over long period of time included), then you have got the right size.

There are different suggestions to go by in choosing the size, which includes measuring you legs... standing over a bike and so on.

Sheldon Brown is a person that maintains a bicycle related website with plenty of information on it, including that related to frame sizes.

Here is that web sites address: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/articles.html

Good luck and hope you enjoy the forum.
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Old 05-28-03, 08:27 PM   #3
penelope
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Should you're elbows hurt after riding? I've been trying to keep my elbows bent but even then they ache afterwards.
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Old 05-28-03, 09:02 PM   #4
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at first, don't push it. you've got good weather coming up, so enjoy it. ride often, but don't push your upper limits. your gains in the beginning will be pronounced, but an injury would suck. cycling shouldn't hurt (burn maybe, but not hurt) - there are seat adjustments you can do. relax your upper body and keep your back somewhat straight - concentrate on good form.

listen to your body. you can get real technical, but for now ---> ride as often as you'd like. you've been active, so this shouldn't be too bad to tackle.

go hawks.
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Old 05-28-03, 09:14 PM   #5
penelope
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Very nice. Thanks. I'll fiddle around with the seat. I'm going riding with some people from the U Iowa cycling group on Saturday so that will give me a chance to see how you're supposed to be positioned on a bike.
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Old 05-29-03, 08:03 AM   #6
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Cycling gives a good workout for the legs, but not for the arms and shoulders. You will find the riding will be more comfortable and enjoyable if you do some exercises like push-ups. I am not into fitness, but I find this really helps.

Ride as long as you enjoy it, and ocassionally more. Dont try to ride as fast as you can all the time, but save your energy so you can achieve short bursts of power for getting up hills or making a break-away.
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Old 05-29-03, 08:38 AM   #7
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penelope,

I sent you a PM about Iowa City Cycling stuff. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 05-29-03, 10:06 AM   #8
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Also, I think cycling is physically different enough from most other sports that is seems to bring out some *initial* aches and pains when you first start.

Cycling changed my life, but when I first started - I had aches and pains all over my body. Granted, a lot that had to do with flying over the bars of my MTB all the time (I started racing my first year!), but I had shoulder pains, neck pains, back pains, etc. - but no leg or butt muscle pains!

I find road cycling to cause more pains than off-road riding (now that I spend less time crashing), just because 100psi tires and cracks in concrete get transferred right up through a rigid frame more than roots/rocks on a dirt path with my Rock Shox soaking it all up.

AndrewP is right - a few upper body excercises helps big time. Although cycling doesn't really work out the upper body a lot - it still requires a certain amount of upper body fitness to keep from hurting.

D
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Old 05-30-03, 03:52 PM   #9
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Penelope,

Did you go on the UI Cycling ride? How was it?
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