Used to cycle quite a bit, had an accident about 4 years back and haven't really been involved in any decent physical activity since. Picked up a bike last week and have started to go at it pretty hard, trying to get back into shape. I have a few questions tho, hoping someone can help me with.
1) When cycling, what muscles should be doing the primary work, and which should be closest to maximum capacity? I find that my thighs are completely fine after extended rides, however my calves are rather worn. Is this just due to developed upper leg muscles but underdeveloped lower leg? Possible problem with position or gear?
2) Is it better to do one medium length ride or several shorter rides that combine to an increased distance? I find that after around 10-15 miles, my legs (again the calves) become quite tired. Resting for 15-30 minutes allows me to continue on with my ride.
3) I am rather light (5'10" and 125lbs) and would like to gain some weight. I would also like to add some kind of substance to my drinks to keep me better hydrated throughout my ride. What are some good protein supplements for home and additives (or drink itself) for on the go? I've also been using just the powerbars for in ride snacks. Are those sufficient for now?
4) Are there any other exercises I should be performing, other then just getting out there and riding, to increase my level of fitness? My daily routine is a stretch in the morning, followed by a <10 mile ride, with slow start and stop. Daily life in the afternoon. Come home and do a quick stretch, ~20 mile ride, slow start and stop, and a longer stretch after.
Any help you can provide is appreciated.