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  1. #1
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    New rider, quick question

    Hey guys,

    I got my first bike in 10 years, and my first road bike ever. I spent yesterday just getting my bike legs back and trying to not look like a fool. Rode like a mile total in my cul-de-sac. I got off the bike and could feel that I was going to be sore, so I went out and bought bike shorts and gloves.

    Today I decided to go for my first real ride. I live really close to a trail, so I decided to go that way. For those that know, I live in Lake Forest Park, WA and decided to ride to Bothell on the trail. I ended up going 11.5 miles and am absolutely dead. I notice that if I hit any sort of a hill at all, no matter what gear I put it into, I have a hard time, and it really winds me. My route is here: http://www.mapmyfitness.com/route/us...ttle/257603208

    I am not in very good shape, which is part of the reason I want to start biking more, but I don't know if I am going to be able to get back onto the bike tomorrow, I hurt really bad in the crotch area, even with the shorts. I took the bike to an LBS and they adjusted the height of the seat, but told me the angle should be right.

    My question is, is this normal when just getting back into riding? Was going 11.5 miles the first day back on the bike pushing myself further than I should have? How long will it take the sensation in my groin to go away entirely so I can ride without pain?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member xfimpg's Avatar
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    See my responses below...

    I got my first bike in 10 years, and my first road bike ever. I spent yesterday just getting my bike legs back and trying to not look like a fool. Rode like a mile total in my cul-de-sac. I got off the bike and could feel that I was going to be sore, so I went out and bought bike shorts and gloves.
    - apply zinc oxide mixed with vaseline (half-half) to your crotch area to help with the chaffing.

    Today I decided to go for my first real ride. I live really close to a trail, so I decided to go that way. For those that know, I live in Lake Forest Park, WA and decided to ride to Bothell on the trail. I ended up going 11.5 miles and am absolutely dead. I notice that if I hit any sort of a hill at all, no matter what gear I put it into, I have a hard time, and it really winds me. My route is here: http://www.mapmyfitness.com/route/us...ttle/257603208
    - When I got back into riding, I was dead at first too. Just keep putting in the hours and effort and you'll improve gradually.

    I am not in very good shape, which is part of the reason I want to start biking more, but I don't know if I am going to be able to get back onto the bike tomorrow, I hurt really bad in the crotch area, even with the shorts. I took the bike to an LBS and they adjusted the height of the seat, but told me the angle should be right.
    - bicycle seat should always be level to the ground. What's important is seat height and distance (measured with your knee above your pedal - your LSB better know this).

    My question is, is this normal when just getting back into riding? Was going 11.5 miles the first day back on the bike pushing myself further than I should have? How long will it take the sensation in my groin to go away entirely so I can ride without pain?
    - If you're having groin sensation or lack of, have the width of your hips measure and buy a saddle in consquence. If not, it will always be painful.

  3. #3
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    With respect to your conditioning, if you haven't been doing any aerobic exercise, you will get tired quickly. You will find hills challenging for a while even if you have some aerobic conditioning. You might also have ridden too hard - you should still be able to talk fairly easily the majority of the time when you are riding. We all started where you were at one point, and if you can ride 2-3 days a week for an hour or so, you'll be surprised how much progress you can make in a couple of months.

    As for your crotch, there are a few things you can try. First, make sure you aren't wearing anything under your shorts. If you are, there are a few lubricants you can put on the pad (aka 'chamois'/"chammy"/"shammy") to make it better. I like Chamois Butt'r. You may also need a better pair of shorts - as you pay more you generally get shorts that are more comfortable, though each company builds their shorts slightly differently.

    Finally, you may have a seat that doesn't work well with you. If you can go to a bike shop in your shorts and ask to sit on a bunch of different bikes in the showroom, you may find a saddle that works better for you. Many shops will let you try out a saddle and bring it back if it doesn't work.

    Hope that helps.

    You might also head to www.cascade.org and look at their "daily rides" - they have rides across all ability levels, and it's a great way to meet people, have fun, and learn more about cycling.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    It's normal for the parts that you sit on to hurt when you start riding. Even with good shorts and saddle. It takes a while to "toughen up".

    My first serious ride, many years ago, was all of six miles. I was a 26 year old runner, very fit and I was beat by the end of the ride. Cycling uses some specific muscles and it takes a while to train them.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xfimpg View Post
    - apply zinc oxide mixed with vaseline (half-half) to your crotch area to help with the chaffing.
    I think most zinc oxide creams have some sort of vaseline base in them. They are more effective if you use them straight, no mixing with anything. BUT they are only necessary if you've got a rash.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    It is normal to hurt at first ... but do make sure the bicycle fits, is set up correctly, and that you've got a saddle that is the correct width for you.

  7. #7
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    Of course you'll be tired on Day One, but 11.5 miles is a great base on which to build.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ctfinnigan's Avatar
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    Your legs will become conditioned the more you ride. Even if you are generally fit otherwise (running, swimming, etc.), cycling does use very specific muscles, as ericm979 mentioned.
    Your crotch soreness could be due to your 11-mile inaugural ride. Maybe try to go for smaller rides more often? Even breaking up a larger ride throughout the day? The soreness could also be seat specific. When I started biking I bought a cruiser and used it to commute and definitely dealt with some initial saddle soreness but I eventually toughened up. When I switched to road bikes this year I thought I could also 'toughen up' when my seat began to bother me but after a few uncomfortable weeks I bought a new seat and just like that the discomfort went away.

  9. #9
    Member whiteoakcanyon's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. I have also very recently gotten into biking. It definitely gets easier as the days go on. I have really benefited from the advice of some of our local bike shops. If you can find one that has cyclists working in them then it can be great. You will need to distinguish between those that just sell, sell, sell and those that are really looking out for the customer.

    I have also gone to the local bike club when they were gathering to take a ride and asked advice about heart rate monitors/cyclocomputers. And even though they are clearly at a very diferent point than I, they could not have been nicer. The sport is filled with really nice people, all of whom have started at same point and like to see the sport grow.

    Take it at a reasonable pace and enjoy! This is what will keep you on your bike. In just a few months, I have found myself in the best shape since college.

    My last thought is spend money where your body meets the bike: shorts, gloves and shoes. It has made my ride much more comfortable.

    Happy riding!

  10. #10
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    You know, if you only did 10 miles almost every day but one or two a week, you would get very fit just doing that much. This is keeping in mind that it should be a fairly crisp ride, because bicycling easily doesn't use all that much energy. It's less strenuous than walking fast. But yes, what you describe is normal, and no matter how you adjust that saddle, your crotch has to get used to the pressure. Even an experienced, fit rider will feel that if he/she has been off the bike a while.

    It's not good to overdo it (overtraining, it's called). You can get depressed that way, just generally run down, and worse, it saps your desire to ride and enjoy it.

  11. #11
    Northern, VA
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    I found my self in almost same situation after winter break.
    So for the groin pain, i found myself to adjusted a seat position the high and the horizontal position as well. it help a lot when you seat on right points of your seat. Also try to hold the bars in lower position. it will tire your spine but will take away a pressure points from your groin. The proper cadence will help a lot, if you don't have computer, just start count 1..2...1..2...and get your self in rhythm. it may be will not fast but you will feel your bike and your muscle better.

  12. #12
    Zan
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    Senior Member Zan's Avatar
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    the angle of your seat may NOT be correct, regardless of what the guy at your LBS says.

    i can't ride my road bike unless the seat is pointing down. others get on my seat at slide off the front end because of the angle. I ride in the drops all the time, and find it highly uncomfortable if the seat is level. this might be due to the bike not being the right size for me (picked it up off the end of someone's drive + refurbished), but at least now i'm comfortable on it. It's user preference.

    as well, some saddles take time to break in. i've not had too much experience with different saddles (small budget = no choice), but i know some take time to break in.

    you'll hurt at first, and get tired real quick, but that's normal. you'll get used to it as you toughen up (as others have mentioned) and as you become a stronger rider. endurance takes a while to build up.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  13. #13
    so cal com John R's Avatar
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    At this point in your training, you shouldn't base your ride on miles, but instead do it by time. How much time are you spending on the bike?. Gradually increase your training time each ride. Be carefull!! You want to make riding as fun as possible, over training will take the fun out of biking and and make you not want to ride. Baby steps at first. Then when you build up a good base, go out and kick some butt.
    Pain is Weakness Leaving The Body[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC].

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