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Road Bike Virginity Lost

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

Road Bike Virginity Lost

Old 10-01-06, 04:04 AM
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Road Bike Virginity Lost

Yesterday was the first time I ever rode a road bike. Managed to convince my dad to take down his 25 year old 10 speed Dawes Windsor. After a quick dusting off and oil I rode off. It felt pretty weird and wobbly with the gears down by the frame but I quickly got use to it. I could immediatly tell the difference between my XTC and the Windsor in terms of ease of peddling and speed. Only went for a 10 mile ride but this has done the final convincing that I'm going to save up for a road bike!
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Old 10-01-06, 04:44 PM
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"Save up" ? I hope that doesn't mean that you're not going to ride your dad's bike (if he'll let you).

You might want to change the tires and repack all the bearings, but it's a perfectly good bike. The more riding you do, the more you'll know when it comes to buying your own bike and you'll have a much better chance of avoiding those 'first-bike' mistakes.

Having a bike, even an old one, will let you ride with some organized groups where you can meet people who can help you with learning to ride on the road, and maybe with getting a new bike. For some reason, most road bikers don't seem to be as snobby about old gear - many will actually be impressed that you ride it. And some of these guys "collect" bikes; they could be a source of great used bikes that you could never afford new.

Oh, and welcome!
Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

- Will Rogers
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Old 10-01-06, 04:56 PM
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If your Dad's bike fits you well, you would have to spend a lot of money to find a 2006 bike that is a nicer ride.

A road bike DOES handle, shift, and brake differently than a mountain bike. You might want to spend an hour or two in a large empty parking lot, practiciing handling the bike at different speeds, until you can do an "obstacle course" easily. Practice braking until you can do a "hard" brake manuever smoothly, without locking up the front wheel or skidding. Turning, avoiding obstacles, shifting, and braking should be natural and "thought free".

At that point, you will be ready to get out on the roads where you will be surrounding by three ton vehicles driven by the thoughtless, the brain-dead, and the homicidal. Make your mistakes in an empty parking lot, not at a busy intersection full of cars going 40 mph.

The more you practice, the easier and more natural riding a road bike will be. The more often you ride, the more fun you will have...and having fun is the best reason to ride.
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Old 10-01-06, 05:12 PM
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