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Thread: cycling newbie!

  1. #1
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    cycling newbie!

    Hello everyone!

    I've signed up for a charity bike tour in August of 75 miles. I need to get myself into some serious shape. I know nothing about bikes, what to wear (It will be VERY hot at that time), how to build up my endurance, what exercises should I do to prepare etc.

    Any direction you can give me would be great! I'm really excited about this, and am thinking of doing shorter tours through the summer.

    Hopefully, this will be a lifestyle change for me.

    Thanks,
    rose

  2. #2
    Mercrudgeon Bikedud's Avatar
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    Welcome Rose.

    Starting with a clean slate is challenging.
    One good source of info is a reputible bike shop. If you need help finding a good shop let the forum (us) know what area you are in and I'm sure someone can help direct you to one. If you live in a metro area there are probably several shops you could visit. Local cycling clubs are also a good source of info.

    There are some specific cycling clothes you may want to purchase. Shorts are very helpful, and tops made of a wicking fabric like coolmax are more comfortable in the hot weather. Helmets, gloves and shoes are available and will probably increase your comfort and safety level.

    There is a wealth of information on the web; Retailers, forums, clubs, periodicals.

    It helps to have specific questions or goals. Doing 75 miles by August should be a breeze.

    Do you have a bike?
    What is your current fitness level?
    Do you have access to trails or safe roads to ride?
    Do you know anyone in your area who rides?
    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
    Somerset Maugham

  3. #3
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    See above ^^^^

    Also define "HERE" south Texas is 105+ in the summer......North Canada is 85- in the summer...we need to know!

    This is a wonderful website that is more than willing to help, but....we gotta know!!!!

    We have people from all over the universe (don not believe ATROLL he/she lies), and all want to help.....we have all been where you are now.

    We need more input!!
    I can't ride and Frown!

  4. #4
    Honorable Member beowoulfe's Avatar
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    Ride, ride, ride.....make it a habit.
    Greenspeed GTO 1027

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    75 sounds a huge distance, but for anyone who rides regularly it is not too difficult.
    You will need to get plenty of regular riding in. If you can incorporate cycling into your everyday routine it can save you excercise time. Try commuting and shopping on your bike. Any saddle-time is useful, even if you only ride for 1/2 hr.
    Make sure you get a bike of sufficient quality, not too heavy, and most importantly, that fits you well. And ride.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all of your responses. I am in Canada, and I began my day today with a 45 minute ride. I have trails in my area, I definately need to purchase more appropriate clothing and a good pair of shoes as well. I agree that i basically need to ride everywhere, but are there any exercises that I should do at home as well that will strengthen my muscles? I had a baby 8 months ago and am back to feeling "normal" again. I need to strengthen myself.

    Additionally, how do i know if a bike fits? I'm 5'4" 120lbs.

    Thanks for your help!
    Rose

  7. #7
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    The bike is about the right size if:

    When you are sitting on it with your leg stretched out, you can just touch the pedal with your heel, when the pedal is at the bottom.

    When sat on the bike holding the handle bars with a slight bend in the elbows, the handle bars hide the hub of the front wheel.

  8. #8
    Mercrudgeon Bikedud's Avatar
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    For a rough fit estimate try;

    http://www.totalbike.com/service/frame_size.php

    There are other fit kits on-line, try a google search.

    A bike shop if you have access, is your best bet for fit and other advice.

    45 minutes is a good start. Keep it up.
    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
    Somerset Maugham

  9. #9
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    On the cycling gradually try to work up to where you can consistently do 30 mile rides (or approx. half you tour milage)and you should have no problem on your tours.For strengthening at home you can try some weight training exercises they complement cycling very well.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by AndrewP

    When sat on the bike holding the handle bars with a slight bend in the elbows, the handle bars hide the hub of the front wheel.
    This only works with certain styles of road racing bike and riders of certain proportions riding in certain styles. It doesnt work for me using a slightly more upright touring position, and it may not work for you.

    2 useful sources of info.
    The best fitting guide on the web, esp for people who are not average male racing athletes.
    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

    Stacks of useful advice from an experienced woman touring rider, esp on fitting women's bikes.
    http://www.myra-simon.com/bike/tips.html

    Your daily 45min ride is plenty of training. Fit in some longer rides at weekends, up to 50 miles, and you will be good longer distances. There is no need for other training, but stretching, swimming etc always help.

  11. #11
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Also define "HERE" south Texas is 105+ in the summer......North Canada is 85- in the summer...we need to know!
    Not wishing to be too defensive, but what part of Canada is minus 85 in the summer?
    Is that Fahrenheit or Celsius?

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