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New to cycling

Old 12-28-16, 08:39 PM
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New to cycling

So I got a road bike for Christmas. I had asked my parents for one because I was planning to use it to get to school, because everybody in the house who can drive is either busy or gone and can't take me, or will be too busy to continue taking me in the near future. Anyway, I rode it around my block on Christmas and pretty much, I could barely walk after and that was only like a 5 minute ride. Now a few days later, today, I rode it again but further. I went around my block, then around the block or whatever that has a park, school and fire station so it's kinda big. That was 1 mile (the app said 1.54 miles, and I'm not sure if that means like 1 and a half miles or what. I'm not the smartest person when it comes to stuff like that) and it took me 11 minutes. So what I'm wondering is about how long do you think it would take me to be able to go about 6 or 7 miles in at least 30 minutes if I keep riding my bike everyday for either the same distance, one mile, or as long as I can handle? Or does it depend on the person and how their body works or like how quickly they like develop muscle?
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Old 12-28-16, 09:35 PM
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If you're riding an upright handlebar style bike then, your top speed is going to be around 15mph. Drop bar bikes can make it up to 20mph. If you get out there & really work it hard you can make 6 or 7 miles in 1/2 hour. If you can only get up to 10mph then, you're only make 5 miles in 1/2 an hour. Top average speed depends more on hills, wind, physical strength & equipment than anything else. (It helps to have drop bars & real skinny tires inflated to 100psi).
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Old 12-28-16, 09:36 PM
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If you think the distance was 1 mile, but the app said 1.54, I'd question whether the app was in kilometres.

And yes, keep riding that distance for a few days, then increase the distance. Ride that distance for a few days, then increase the distance. Keep gradually increasing the distance that way.
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Old 12-28-16, 09:54 PM
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What Machka said. Keep riding.
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Old 12-28-16, 09:57 PM
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Wait a sec... You speak of parents and school, so obviously you are a young person. But yet you say you "could barely walk after and that was only like a 5 minute ride" and you don't mention any health issues or anything of the sort. Hmmmmm... Something doesn't sound right here.
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Old 12-28-16, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
Wait a sec... You speak of parents and school, so obviously you are a young person. But yet you say you "could barely walk after and that was only like a 5 minute ride" and you don't mention any health issues or anything of the sort. Hmmmmm... Something doesn't sound right here.
Probably just lack of exercise in general and specifically cycling.

Although it is possible there may be some fit issues.
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Old 12-28-16, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If you think the distance was 1 mile, but the app said 1.54, I'd question whether the app was in kilometres.

And yes, keep riding that distance for a few days, then increase the distance. Ride that distance for a few days, then increase the distance. Keep gradually increasing the distance that way.
The app said 1.54 miles. Ok, that's what I was planning, I seem to gain muscle pretty quickly too so I think I should get better kinda quick.
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Old 12-28-16, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Probably just lack of exercise in general and specifically cycling.

Although it is possible there may be some fit issues.
No, I'm fine. I'm 16. It's just because I don't exercise much. I haven't ridden a bike in 2-3 years and I don't play any sports. I meant I could barely walk because my legs were tired. After I ride more and strengthen my legs more I won't have that problem. When I was younger, like 13 and younger, I was very active, always running around and riding bikes and stuff outside, but I let losing friends and family issues stop me from doing that stuff anymore so I've just gotten so out of shape, I'm not overweight or anything though, just not like able to do stuff without getting tired quickly.
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Old 12-28-16, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
Wait a sec... You speak of parents and school, so obviously you are a young person. But yet you say you "could barely walk after and that was only like a 5 minute ride" and you don't mention any health issues or anything of the sort. Hmmmmm... Something doesn't sound right here.
No, I'm fine. I'm 16. It's just because I don't exercise much. I haven't ridden a bike in 2-3 years and I don't play any sports. I meant I could barely walk because my legs were tired. After I ride more and strengthen my legs more I won't have that problem. When I was younger, like 13 and younger, I was very active, always running around and riding bikes and stuff outside, but I let losing friends and family issues stop me from doing that stuff anymore so I've just gotten so out of shape, I'm not overweight or anything though, just not like able to do stuff without getting tired quickly.
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Old 12-28-16, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
If you're riding an upright handlebar style bike then, your top speed is going to be around 15mph. Drop bar bikes can make it up to 20mph. If you get out there & really work it hard you can make 6 or 7 miles in 1/2 hour. If you can only get up to 10mph then, you're only make 5 miles in 1/2 an hour. Top average speed depends more on hills, wind, physical strength & equipment than anything else. (It helps to have drop bars & real skinny tires inflated to 100psi).
I'm not sure what kind of handlebar style it is, but if you want to you can look up the bike, it's called Wendy Dawes. My speed was 7mph and there aren't really any hills around here, just flat ground and some desert/dirt areas. It has the really thin tires too. I think if I just keep riding and strengthening my legs I can do it.
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Old 12-28-16, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
What Machka said. Keep riding.
Thank you, I was asking about how long people think it will take me to get the strength to be able to go the distance I want to go in the time I want to. Like if I'm riding one mile every day (and slowly increasing as it gets easier) how long people think it will take until I am able to go 6-7 miles in at least 30 minutes. But it's starting to sound like that really depends on my bike and how quickly I get muscle.
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Old 12-28-16, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Fib View Post
Thank you, I was asking about how long people think it will take me to get the strength to be able to go the distance I want to go in the time I want to. Like if I'm riding one mile every day (and slowly increasing as it gets easier) how long people think it will take until I am able to go 6-7 miles in at least 30 minutes. But it's starting to sound like that really depends on my bike and how quickly I get muscle.
It depends.

Could be 6 or 7 weeks if you increase your distance by 1 mile each week.

Or if you are riding 5 days a week, and you feel comfortable with a distance after 3 rides, you might be able to do it in about half that time.
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Old 12-29-16, 12:10 AM
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You have an upright riding position. Cute bike, btw. I was looking at the Dawes bikes on Ebay awhile ago but decided to get a used road bike instead. I'm going to echo others and say ride and increase the distance over time.

It didn't take me too long to be able to go more than a few miles when I started riding again. I hadn't ridden a bike in well over 10 years, and I was far from regularly active, or healthy for that matter. I started on a mountain bike and within a couple-few weeks I was able to do 12-15 miles comfortably. I rode 3 to 4 times a week, give or take. On the mountain bike I was only going between 5-12mph though, depending on the section I was riding (hilly area here). The speed & distance increased quite a bit and was much easier once I switched to a road bike.
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Old 12-29-16, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Hardrock23 View Post
You have an upright riding position. Cute bike, btw. I was looking at the Dawes bikes on Ebay awhile ago but decided to get a used road bike instead. I'm going to echo others and say ride and increase the distance over time.

It didn't take me too long to be able to go more than a few miles when I started riding again. I hadn't ridden a bike in well over 10 years, and I was far from regularly active, or healthy for that matter. I started on a mountain bike and within a couple-few weeks I was able to do 12-15 miles comfortably. I rode 3 to 4 times a week, give or take. On the mountain bike I was only going between 5-12mph though, depending on the section I was riding (hilly area here). The speed & distance increased quite a bit and was much easier once I switched to a road bike.
Ok, cool. The handlebar on my bike is actually slightly different though. I'll try to post a picture of the one I have. This is the best picture I could find(don't know how to post a picture I take myself) I think I'll be able to do 6-7 miles hopefully in 3 months at the most, but most likely a month or maybe sooner, but I think since this time I went a lot further I seem to already be doing better, plus I haven't got sore [I]yet[I]. Anyway, thanks for the reply it was very helpful.
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Old 12-29-16, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
It depends.

Could be 6 or 7 weeks if you increase your distance by 1 mile each week.

Or if you are riding 5 days a week, and you feel comfortable with a distance after 3 rides, you might be able to do it in about half that time.
Hmmm... I feel like I can do it sooner than 6-7 weeks. I plan to ride every day, or maybe 5 days a week. I need to look up stuff about what's better to do. I know I should probably take about two days as a break, but some people say that if you're sore, then to do the same thing that made you sore. So I'm gonna look that up. I've done other stuff though, like one time I went from not being able to do 1 pull up then being able to do like 15 a week later because I did it everyday, but that's upper body strength so I guess it might be different.
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Old 12-29-16, 06:35 AM
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The real answer is "However long it takes." Why worry? You are going to keep at it until you can do it, and then will keep doing it thereafter ... so now that you have already started, it will take however long.

None of us here know you, so none of us can gauge how fit you are, what you eat, whether or how much you stretch, what other activities you engage in .... none of us (nor you yourself) know how hard you will push, how much yo will enjoy the process, how quickly you will change ...

Everyone's body and mind are different.

I hope that you like cycling, since you plan to do it daily. Most posters here do like cycling and many even find it to be an important component in a happy, healthy life. if you find you like cycling you could further find that it becomes one of the joys of your life ... or it could just be a pleasant way to commute short distances, or something to do on bored evenings or weekends .... whatever suits you.

Just go do it. Don't worry about average speed or comparing your performance to others' .... you can do that later if you like, but for now, just ride the bike and see what it's like.
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Old 12-29-16, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The real answer is "However long it takes." Why worry? You are going to keep at it until you can do it, and then will keep doing it thereafter ... so now that you have already started, it will take however long.

None of us here know you, so none of us can gauge how fit you are, what you eat, whether or how much you stretch, what other activities you engage in .... none of us (nor you yourself) know how hard you will push, how much yo will enjoy the process, how quickly you will change ...

Everyone's body and mind are different.

I hope that you like cycling, since you plan to do it daily. Most posters here do like cycling and many even find it to be an important component in a happy, healthy life. if you find you like cycling you could further find that it becomes one of the joys of your life ... or it could just be a pleasant way to commute short distances, or something to do on bored evenings or weekends .... whatever suits you.

Just go do it. Don't worry about average speed or comparing your performance to others' .... you can do that later if you like, but for now, just ride the bike and see what it's like.
Thank you. You have a good point. I'm not trying to compare myself to others, I'm asking because I'm gonna need to start riding my bike to school very soon and right now I can barely do a mile in 11 minutes. My step dad works out of state and is gone during the week, my mom is very busy because of stuff going on with the family (before anybody assumes anything, she's not a bad mother what she's doing that she's so busy with is something very important and is helping everybody in our family.) and my older brother might be getting a job soon so he'll be working and unable to take me to school. For all I know he could get this job tomorrow. So I just want to get an idea of how long people think it'll be based on like how long it takes the average person to do that. And I do like cycling, I actually love it. I love the challenge I am getting right now, and I'll still love it after it's not that much of challenge to ride it one mile. If I could I would longer than one mile but right now I'd probably injure myself because I don't think my body can handle it right now. Thank you for responding, but I was asking because it seemed important enough to me to ask, because I want to make sure that I have a way to get to school and get my education. When I said I wanted a bike, I for some reason didn't think about the fact that I wouldn't be able to ride as long I used to.
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Old 12-29-16, 01:17 PM
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If you plan to ride to school, take a test run on a weekend when you're under no pressure and experiment with the best route, which is not likely to be the most direct route.

Also, visit the Commuting subforum for tips, tricks, and support.
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Old 12-29-16, 01:38 PM
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just go ride the distance you want to ride, and don't worry about time. if you wanna ride 7 miles, go ride 7 miles, even if it takes you 2 hours lol. the next time will be faster. you could also go out for a while on the weekend and do a LOT more, like 25 miles, again going as slow as you need. after that, 7 miles will seem like nothing.
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Old 12-29-16, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Fib View Post
So what I'm wondering is about how long do you think it would take me to be able to go about 6 or 7 miles in at least 30 minutes if I keep riding my bike everyday for either the same distance, one mile, or as long as I can handle? Or does it depend on the person and how their body works or like how quickly they like develop muscle?
It will get easier and pretty quickly.

Don't ride every day. Your body needs rest to get stronger.

Your leg muscles aren't what will limit how far (or fast) you can ride, it's your cardiovascular system. If your legs were dead tired at the end of your ride, that means you need to shift gears more often.

It will all come together in time. There's a learning curve, and you'll figure everything out with experience.
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Old 12-29-16, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ypsetihw View Post
just go ride the distance you want to ride, and don't worry about time. if you wanna ride 7 miles, go ride 7 miles, even if it takes you 2 hours lol. the next time will be faster. you could also go out for a while on the weekend and do a LOT more, like 25 miles, again going as slow as you need. after that, 7 miles will seem like nothing.
Yeah, I don't really have anywhere to ride though. I guess I could just ride to wherever though and come back. But there aren't like bike trails or anything like that here.
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Old 12-29-16, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
If you plan to ride to school, take a test run on a weekend when you're under no pressure and experiment with the best route, which is not likely to be the most direct route.

Also, visit the Commuting subforum for tips, tricks, and support.
Ok. Thank you.
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Old 12-29-16, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Fib View Post
I'm not sure what kind of handlebar style it is, but if you want to you can look up the bike, it's called Wendy Dawes. My speed was 7mph and there aren't really any hills around here, just flat ground and some desert/dirt areas. It has the really thin tires too. I think if I just keep riding and strengthening my legs I can do it.
Another big thing to consider with speed is your equipment. Make sure the wheels are spinning freely & the brake pads don't rub on the rims. And, most importantly. Make sure the tires are always pumped up to the correct pressure. I would recommend at least 80psi front & back. Tire inflation can make a big impact on rolling resistance and speed. (The harder the tires the faster they roll).
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Old 12-29-16, 03:24 PM
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I have another suggestion to make, two actually but they are related. First, when you start a ride, start slowly in an easy gear. Your body needs time to warm up and get your heart beating. The easy gear will help prevent sore and tired muscles. As you warm up, it will become easier to spin the pedals, that's right, you should feel that you are spinning them rather than pushing on them. Once you have warmed up you can shift to a harder gear, but not one so hard that you have to push rather than spin the pedals. Try this a couple of times and let us know if this helps. I did a 90 minute cycling workout today and 20 minutes of that workout was devoted to warming up and 10 minutes was a cooling down period after the hard part of the ride.
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Old 12-29-16, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
I have another suggestion to make, two actually but they are related. First, when you start a ride, start slowly in an easy gear. Your body needs time to warm up and get your heart beating. The easy gear will help prevent sore and tired muscles. As you warm up, it will become easier to spin the pedals, that's right, you should feel that you are spinning them rather than pushing on them. Once you have warmed up you can shift to a harder gear, but not one so hard that you have to push rather than spin the pedals. Try this a couple of times and let us know if this helps. I did a 90 minute cycling workout today and 20 minutes of that workout was devoted to warming up and 10 minutes was a cooling down period after the hard part of the ride.
Ok. Thank you. I didn't think about that, I just got back from my ride for today though, so I'll try that tomorrow.
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