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Old 07-06-07, 09:01 PM   #1
dazedone
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Can anyone help me with a newbie rider in West LA?

Hi everyone,

I used to ride back in my high school days and started riding again about 18 months ago. I have put on about 8000 miles in that time, but I still consider myself a bit of a novice and not a good teacher.

A friend of mine's son just graduated high school and is headed to CSUN in the fall. He did pretty well on the track team, is in good shape and has a great physique for cycling (unlike my 5'9" 210lb frame). He knows I ride and expressed interest, but being a broke college kid, he had hardly any money to get started. I lent him my spare bike, a 54cm, which is WAY too small for him (he's 6'2"). The bike has good components (Ultegra), so I figured we could get him a new frame and move the components over if he decided he likes cycling. I cranked the seat post up and he can ride it, though he seems a bit crowded. I took him down to Performance, where we rooted through all of the sale items and managed to get him all the stuff he needed for $300.

I set up his cleats, got him on the trainer, dialed him in as best as I could and got him used to clipping/unclipping, etc. Got him out for a couple laps around the block He did pretty well and only managed to flop over once from not being able to unclip. The next week, I got him out for a 20 mile ride and he did fine except he is very uncomfortable unclipping, getting out of the saddle and putting his foot down. He unclips in the saddle and puts his tippy toe down while staying in the saddle and I can't think of a way to get his confidence up to dismount properly.

I really want to help this guy out, he is a great kid and could end up being a fantastic cyclist. Is there anyone out there that can help out or any good newbie group rides (preferably in the WLA/MDR area)?

I wouldn't mind finding some CSUN folks as well as it would be nice for him to meet some people to ride with at school.
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Old 07-06-07, 09:56 PM   #2
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he graduated high school but can't stand on the pedals and unclip?






short bus?





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Old 07-06-07, 10:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Go_Fast
he graduated high school but can't stand on the pedals and unclip?






short bus?





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Old 07-06-07, 11:28 PM   #4
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Follow the SFVBC thread in this forum, and the SFVBC website for the regularly scheduled rides every Saturday and Sunday from CSUN. No lack of potential riding companions there.
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Old 07-06-07, 11:41 PM   #5
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Yep, tell him to be at the southwest parking lot Saturdays and Sundays at 8am and he will find plenty of help. Also, CSUN had a cycling team 10 years ago when I was racing, so he should see if it still exists.

Oh yeah, and I unclip in the saddle, THEN stand up on the unclipped foot to get in front of the saddle and put the free foot down. It sounds like you're trying to get him to unclip while standing up.
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Old 07-06-07, 11:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Also, CSUN had a cycling team 10 years ago when I was racing, so he should see if it still exists.
I'm graduating this summer from CSUN. Nope, they don't have a cycling team right now.

I'm actually the president of the Aikido club, and I am sad to say the president (Koester) is trying as hard as possible to kill the sports life in that school. No football team. Baseball, soccer, etc on life support. The Associated Students people are really nice and helpful, but with no support from the top it's hard to keep a club running.

Meanwhile the move to make CSUN the "Cultural Center of San Fernando Valley" is still running strong.

Sorry for that rant.
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Old 07-07-07, 05:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Yep, tell him to be at the southwest parking lot Saturdays and Sundays at 8am and he will find plenty of help. Also, CSUN had a cycling team 10 years ago when I was racing, so he should see if it still exists.

Oh yeah, and I unclip in the saddle, THEN stand up on the unclipped foot to get in front of the saddle and put the free foot down. It sounds like you're trying to get him to unclip while standing up.
I personally unclip in or out of the saddle depending on the situation. 75% of the time, I unclip while still seated. I was trying to get him to try both. He is not comfortable standing on the one pedal with the other foot unclipped. Seems simple to me, but he is wigged out about it. Perhaps more time in the saddle getting comfortable with the bike might help.

Thanks for the CSUN suggestion. Maybe I'll bring him out there one of these days.
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Old 07-07-07, 05:19 PM   #8
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Yeah I know some people who just don't feel comfortable on it. Unfortunately, they all quit cycling. The "CSUN" thing, by the way, is not school specific. It's a club that meets there and does 4 or 5 different rides of varying ability. Great for beginners and hardcore riders alike. www.sfvbc.org
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Old 07-07-07, 05:30 PM   #9
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Why not start out with a regular pedal ? Get him used to the bike and the shifting and handling. Then begin the clipping. Otherwise he might not continue.
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