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Brand New To Cycling- Need Advice on Where I'm At...

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Brand New To Cycling- Need Advice on Where I'm At...

Old 06-27-11, 08:18 PM
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jhurley
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Brand New To Cycling- Need Advice on Where I'm At...

Hello all!

I am brand new to cycling. I am a 29 y/o male and I just bought my first road bike after not riding since I was about 13 years ago or so when I was a kid. I had been thinking of buying a bike for a few years now as I always enjoyed biking as a kid and it's a good way to lose weight and stay in shape.

I bought a Cannondale CAAD8 5 on sale for $1,200 at a local shop. I already got a wireless computer, clip on pedals and clip on shoes. I got the jerseys, shorts, helmet, short gloves, etc.-- I really went all in!

I am not sure how much I weigh but I have a gut for sure and I'd guess I'm around 210 lbs or so (about 5'11" tall). I have never been into exercise at all but I did play a lot of sports until I was about 18. I should mention I don't drink or smoke so I've got that going for me.

Here's a breakdown of my first 4 rides:

Ride 1: 6.5 miles on a public road that's fairly flat.
Ride 2: 14 miles on a trail that goes around the lake with lots of hills, turns, etc.
Ride 3: 7 miles on the same trail.
Ride 4: 20 miles on the same trail (average speed 13.5 mph).

This trail has lots of hills and turns that cause you to slow down and brake a lot. Also, it was about 100-102 degrees all 4 rides with heat indexes over 105 for all rides as well. My coworkers who I ride with definitely fly up hills and even descend a lot faster than I do. I am sucking air hard up climbs and have yet to quit but want to so badly sometimes then when it's over I always think it wasn't too bad. They're all in better shape and can go over 50 miles pretty easilly.

How long would you guess until I have the stamina to keep up with them in both speed and distance?

How good or bad would you say I am for a 100% complete novice who is 29, a little overweight and completely out of shape?

Do you recommend the energy gel shots you can buy? Many have caffeine and I thought that was bad?

I usually put Gatorade in my water bottle. Is that better than just water?

Any advice or support I can get from anyone would be much appreciated! I really enjoy the sport but sometimes up climbs when I'm barely moving and/or my friends are blowing me by it gets discouraging.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:31 PM
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Took me 10,000 miles to be able to stay with my friends.

Just ride more. 500 miles for your legs to adjust to the bike, 2000 miles to be ready for faster rides.

Have fun.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:35 PM
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I responded, but my annoying 'free internet' ate it. Try asking this in the Clydesdale forum. Hills are going to be a weak point till you weigh the same as your coworkers, but you'll get speed and endurance steadily and decently fast. I'd skip the energy drinks, just bring water and maybe some trail mix.. someone else in Clydes can probably pull the details in better. You sound like you're doing fine.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:01 PM
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jhurley
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Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
I responded, but my annoying 'free internet' ate it. Try asking this in the Clydesdale forum. Hills are going to be a weak point till you weigh the same as your coworkers, but you'll get speed and endurance steadily and decently fast. I'd skip the energy drinks, just bring water and maybe some trail mix.. someone else in Clydes can probably pull the details in better. You sound like you're doing fine.
I appreciate the feedback!

Of my two coworkers, they're both older. One is in his 40's and probably 275 lbs but he also takes spin classes. I am still surprised how well he climbs considering how 'big' he looks (and not a muscular way either). My other coworker is also older and is in his mid 30's but he's very lean, fit and trim so he doesn't surprise me. They both leave me in the dust in descents and even flat sections. I tend to use the descents and flat areas to stop pedaling a bit and get a break for my burning thighs!

I will check out the forum you speak of but I still look forward to more feedback here!

My goal is to race a 150 mile benefit race in 3 months (75 one day, 75 the next). So one more question I'd like answered is if anyone thinks this is too lofty a goal considering where I'm at right now.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:04 PM
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The bike trail I started on had some little "hills" that really slowed me down, but it didn't take long to get my legs toned up where I could scoot up them quite a bit faster. But it's been a gradual process over the last 4 years or so, and there's still lots of people I can't keep up with. Partly depends on finding the right group to ride with- everyone has to start somewhere, and those other people weren't all born with a bicycle under their butt.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:09 PM
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My goal is to RIDE a 150 mile benefit race in 3 months (75 one day, 75 the next).

New riders begin to have problems at 40 miles. Low energy, aches and pains, hot feet.

Work up to some 50 mile rides and see how you do.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:53 PM
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wow, we're twins. it really felt like i wrote that first post.
I'm 30, new to cycling, bought a CAAD8 5 105 in April for $1,200
Got the computer/clipless pedals&shoes/ jersey/shorts/gloves/etc
Am about the same size as you
Do regular exercise but still out of shape and not super athletic like my friends are (triathletes/marathoners)
Don't drink (regularly) or smoke either
Played competitive basketball until I was 18 and went to college.

The rides that I normally take are very similar to your first few
8 miles on the roads around here
15 mile trail around the lake nearby
and 25 miles on an extended hilly trail.

First few rides with my friends I could barely keep up and was sucking air hard but towards the end it didn't feel so bad. I usually have a bottle of Gatorade and one of water, its hot/humid here in Houston. Even took an energy shot the first time out with them just in case.

Agree with the other posters so far. Gonna take some time and miles to get the stamina and energy levels up. I'm planning to do the BP MS150 next year from Houston to Austin, but I'm giving myself a lot more time than you. Good Luck! and have fun training
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Old 06-28-11, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Rydox View Post
wow, we're twins. it really felt like i wrote that first post.
I'm 30, new to cycling, bought a CAAD8 5 105 in April for $1,200
Got the computer/clipless pedals&shoes/ jersey/shorts/gloves/etc
Am about the same size as you
Do regular exercise but still out of shape and not super athletic like my friends are (triathletes/marathoners)
Don't drink (regularly) or smoke either
Played competitive basketball until I was 18 and went to college.

The rides that I normally take are very similar to your first few
8 miles on the roads around here
15 mile trail around the lake nearby
and 25 miles on an extended hilly trail.

First few rides with my friends I could barely keep up and was sucking air hard but towards the end it didn't feel so bad. I usually have a bottle of Gatorade and one of water, its hot/humid here in Houston. Even took an energy shot the first time out with them just in case.

Agree with the other posters so far. Gonna take some time and miles to get the stamina and energy levels up. I'm planning to do the BP MS150 next year from Houston to Austin, but I'm giving myself a lot more time than you. Good Luck! and have fun training
Nice!

Yeah extremely hot and humit here, too. I'm in Fayetteville (Arkansas) and the summers are brutally hot and humid. Even my rides right now, as I stated, have been at over 100 degrees and it's not even July/August yet!

It's funny to me, a new rider, how at points during the ride I'm concentrating on how much my legs and lungs hurt, then, as you said, at the end of it all I think it wasn't too bad. Once that immediate pain in your thighs goes away and your heart rate calms down (both of which only take a few minutes), you realize it's not that bad and you can go a long ways further! There were points last night during my 20 mile ride that I was asking myself if I could continue then at the end in the parking lot when we were loading our bikes onto or into our vehicles I just wanted to get right back on and ride more!
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