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What's the most idiotic thing you did as a new rider?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What's the most idiotic thing you did as a new rider?

Old 02-16-16, 02:32 PM
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WalksOn2Wheels
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What's the most idiotic thing you did as a new rider?

I'm sure we'll be getting an influx of new riders in no time, so I thought I would ask the board what one thing they did so terribly wrong when the started.

Mine was a low cadence. I used to think that if I wasn't in the hardest gear, I was wasting my time. For me, it ended up being 53/12 and I ran that gear everywhere, up every hill. One day I accidentally ended up in the 53/14 and rode significantly faster that day (32 mile loop that I timed start to finish), so I mentioned it in an online forum (not this one) and was educated on "spinning" and told that my bike had multiple gears for a reason. I was shocked.

Similarly, I rode with a friend a couple of years ago who was training for a triathlon and it was immediately apparent that while he was riding pretty well overall, I was leaving him behind at every stop. For some reason, he though it was best to shift to his biggest gear at every stop, while I was shifting to my preferred "start" gear and easily pedaling away from him.
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Old 02-16-16, 02:39 PM
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When I was a newbie, on various rides, I forgot my...

* Water bottles
* Helmet
* Sunglasses
* Tire changing lever
* Extra tube...
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Old 02-16-16, 02:42 PM
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WalksOn2Wheels
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Originally Posted by Sojodave View Post
When I was a newbie, on various rides, I forgot my...

* Water bottles
* Helmet
* Sunglasses
* Tire changing lever
* Extra tube...
I would laugh at you, but there is something about being a new rider that makes you think a flat on a bicycle is as likely as a flat on your car.
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Old 02-16-16, 02:44 PM
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Tried so hard to get a pedal on a crank arm without realizing that it was reverse threaded that I stripped the threads and had to replace the crank arm

Also, regularly ruining my shifting by going nuts on the barrel adjusters.
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Old 02-16-16, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
I would laugh at you, but there is something about being a new rider that makes you think a flat on a bicycle is as likely as a flat on your car.
I started with hybrids and MTBs; we also rode like a mile at a time as kids. So you could go forever without a flat, and then you'd forget while your parents fixed it. When I got my first bike as an adult, I was 30 miles from home with no tools.
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Old 02-16-16, 02:50 PM
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Two things related to safety:

I often went too fast for conditions without realizing it- I would get caught up in the moment going downhill and only in hindsight now realize that if a car or road hazard were introduced to the scenario, I would not likely have been able to react safely. When you're young and having fun you don't realize how dangerous speed can be, or how long it takes to develop decent bike handling skills.

I assumed drivers were paying attention - I now assume every driver doesn't see me and act accordingly.
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Old 02-16-16, 02:55 PM
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Waving.
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Old 02-16-16, 03:00 PM
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When I was 9 I rode wheelies infront of the neighbor girl's house and crashed into a telephone pole. This was the first of many emergency room visits due to cycling.

Years later, I finally got the girl.
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Old 02-16-16, 03:02 PM
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T boned a car at a 4-way stop when I was 10 y/o
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Old 02-16-16, 03:02 PM
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Not realizing my dad has let go of the bike and I was riding without training wheels all by myself.
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Old 02-16-16, 03:12 PM
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Put a kickstand on my road bike
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Old 02-16-16, 03:12 PM
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buying a bike for my wife.....
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Old 02-16-16, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
Put a kickstand on my road bike
Ouch.
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Old 02-16-16, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
Put a kickstand on my road bike
Why is this idiotic? Is it just some custom not to?
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Old 02-16-16, 03:16 PM
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Buying a bike with no regard whatsoever as to size.
Buying from a bike shop that didn't even ask.

I was fortunate that it was only a little too big.
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Old 02-16-16, 03:17 PM
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Buying a walmart bike.... so bad I actually broke the variable cup one day, many other problems as well
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Old 02-16-16, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridelots24 View Post
buying a bike for my wife.....
Yeah, she still hasn't ridden it...
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Old 02-16-16, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Why is this idiotic? Is it just some custom not to?
It took a long time to not be remembered as "the guy with the kickstand"
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Old 02-16-16, 04:17 PM
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Registered on bikeforums.net because I mistakenly thought that was where real riders posted(as opposed to freds)
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Old 02-16-16, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
It took a long time to not be remembered as "the guy with the kickstand"
Not really an answer, but I'll take it as just a custom thing.
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Old 02-16-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bakes1 View Post
I mistakenly thought that was where real riders posted(as opposed to freds)
Do you own a mirror?

If you look into it, you might not like what you see.
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Old 02-16-16, 04:33 PM
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Not really a new rider but returning from a layoff. Any way I bought a bike under the assumption it was a good name, no real sizing or fit and overpaid for a 3year old NOS Redline R740 road bike. Absolutely hated the triple chairing, the frame was different then any geometry picture advertised and it was a horrible bike. Had that crappy Sora with the button in the worst place ever for shifting in the drops. I did learn a great deal from that bike even though it's the kind of discouraging experience that would run most people away from the sport.
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Old 02-16-16, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Why is this idiotic? Is it just some custom not to?
Many people (including myself) relegate kick stands to the same catagory as reflectors and dork discs (ie spoke protectors). Basically useless add ons which detract from the purity of the bike's design. Many others on these forums however will disagree with my entire list.
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Old 02-16-16, 04:49 PM
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I rode around a turn way to fast and taco'ed the front wheel then subsequently rolled down an embankment full of thorn bushes.

This was back in the early '90s so I've had a lot of practice since then. I can roll much better now.
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Old 02-16-16, 05:16 PM
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Leaving on a ride, moving real good, thinking "crap I am improving fast!" going 45 miles instead of the 20 you had planned and then turning around to head back into a 25 knot wind...and I continue to do some version of this more often than I would like to say.
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