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Old 06-01-05, 09:39 AM   #1
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Wanting To Do This Right

OK's where i can use your years of wisdom and experience. I want to do this right so some insight would be very helpful. What I want to do is to put some sort of a checklist together. This checklist would be a list of "to-do's" that would make this effort on my part "ongoing." I do not want this to be passing/short lived effort on my part. My goal is to begin with pleasure riding this year and work my way up to longer/endurance type riding. What i am looking for is a "beginners list od do's and don'ts. Any advice is greatly appreciated as always.


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Old 06-01-05, 09:43 AM   #2
Are we having fun yet?
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I'm not sure if these are what you want, but here are some things, in no particular order, to put on your to do list:

ride in the rain
ride a metric century (100 km/62 or so miles)
ride an imperial century (100 miles)
ride in cold weather
You're east of East St. Louis
And the wind is making speeches.
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Old 06-01-05, 09:51 AM   #3
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I began riding a 6 mile trip to the end of the bike path and back. Things just began to fall into place and now I commute 10 miles each way to work daily. Also on the weekends I do as much as 40 mile rides.
Start riding and see where it takes you.
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Old 06-01-05, 10:22 AM   #4
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My gal and I signed up for a week-long tour last Fed (the tour is this month)
We started doing regular 30 minute yoga sessions to get warmed up last winter
then got a magneto trainer (on sale) and put our old bikes on it a few nights a week for 30-60 minutes at a medium pace.
Then when the weather improved, we started on the bike paths (7-10 miles, then the whole loop, 22 miles)
then in April, we went on the roads and did some flat land loops (20-30 miles) 1-2 a week.
Now we can easily do 45-65 miles, and follow that up on sunday with 25-35 miles.

Mind you we are both 50, and tho I used to ride, I have not ridden this much in 15 years

Feels great!

Last edited by Sigurdd50; 06-01-05 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:47 PM   #5
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Pick a distance, 8 to 15 miles.
Find a trail or bicycle path.
Ride easy.
Ride at least 5 days a week for 1 month. Take a day or two off for each 5 day stint.
You will hurt for the first week, bad the 3rd and 4th days. Sometime in the second week you will be half done before you realize you are feeling it. After the first month you can begin riding longer and longer rides.
Join a club. Ride the shorter daily/weekly rides geared for beginners until you feel you can take on the harder rides. Riding scheduled supported club rides rather than solo can be benificial in case you bite off more than you can chew. I know as I drive SAG for our 3 scheduled rides and have brought in several who were at their limits.

4,500 miles the last 4 years, going for 5,000 miles this year. Think of what I can do once I retire.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:54 PM   #6
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There's really no wrong way to do it, except to not do it at all.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:58 PM   #7
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It helps me a lot to aim for something, a ride that's a little more than I'm in shape for three or so months away. You can find lists of rides in your area online (there's a good one for the West Coast at, then pick something convenient.
I'm lucky to have four or five neighbors about my age who ride faster and farther than I do, and they often sign up for the same rides, so I have somebody to train with when I want (I do most of my riding solo, by preference) and a motor home to sleep in when it's too rainy for my tent (at least in California, many organized rides are in rural areas, and we usually stay at some campsite near the start). Last weekend in Greenville, Calif., we had 40 or so people in three generations from six families, from 16 to 80 years old, for the Indian Valley Century. Only seven of us rode in the event, but the others did rides on their own, fished, kayaked, whatever. We've done similar weekends many times, and usually throw in something like a Dutch oven cookoff on Saturday night for fun.
Have I strayed off the topic here? Main thing, I think, is to keep it fun. If you kill yourself on every ride, you'll lose interest or get injured. Grant Petersen of Rivendell has a list of guidelines on his website,, on ways NOT to burn out. Don't have a copy on hand, but it includes stuff like "Every so often, go for a 10-minute ride, NO LONGER" and "have more than one bike, and set them up differently." He also likes the idea of single-speeds, cruisers, putting old-style upright bars on a bike you don't ride often, things like that. This year my wife, who used to ride with me but gave it up 10 years or so ago, has started again, too, and that's been fun. She did 45 miles of the century with me last week, and it probably slowed me down 4 or 5 mph--but how fast am I going to be at my age anyway?
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Old 06-01-05, 01:10 PM   #8
Time for a change.
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Some of us have been riding for quite a few years and I should think our riding is a bit different to a newbie, but our goals are the same which is to enjoy what we are doing. I occasionally take out a Novice rider, and they are all different. Some are fitter than me, give, me 20 years, and have a lot more money to spend on their new Hobby.

Start gently but set a target. Don't know what sort of riding you do, but aim for say a 20 mile ride across undulating roads to get a sensible sort of ride. Cut the distance or the hills if you don't think you can do them. Sort the ride you are comfortable with and ride it 3 times a week. Within a month the legs will be better, saddle soreness gone and appetite will be back. Then gradually increase the distance by a few miles, say up a 20 miler to 25 or take a few hills in. When comfortable with this, then put on a bit more speed for a few miles on the ride. I have a regular ride I take that is 30 miles, pretty flat but with a few short sharp rises on it. I sprint up the short rises, and then recover. Then occasionally I take a diversion to take in a 3 mile drag uphill. Not steep but it does go on a bit. Once you can do a ride like this, enter your first Metric century. That should be around about September.

Biking can be a lonely pastime. It is better if you can find someone else to ride with. If they are slower than you, you can still improve yourself by sprinting up the short hills, and if he is faster than you, take consolation in the fact that he will be getting cold waiting for you at the top of each hill. I have a group that I ride with and different ages, different fitness levels, and different skills. We all enjoy our group and we all get a decent workout, but the best part is the "Oldun" occasionally beating the Fit youngsters up their short hill sprints.
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Old 06-01-05, 01:37 PM   #9
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Just wanted to say thanks to all who have responded. I will put all advice into a bag, shake it up and see what falls out. What I hope to see is all these ideas rolled into one idea that will be sensible for a newbie like myself. Again, thanks to all!!!! Your a great group of people.

OldGoat (Gary)
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