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What should a new rodie practice?

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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 should a new rodie practice?

Old 05-14-07, 05:17 PM
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What should a new rodie practice?

I am new to road biking, I got my first real road bike (1986 Schwinn Super sport) about 10 days ago.
I added a cyclocomputer, new tires & tubes.
I have been riding at least 5 miles a day some times more...this past weekend i did my first 20 mile session.
Anyway my question is should a new road rider practice riding shorter distances while trying to increase average speed, or should i be trying to increase my distance, even if average speed suffers?

I saw somewhere that a good starting point for a new recreational rider is 5 miles a day for 2 weeks, then increase to 10 miles a day for 2 weeks, then increase to 15 miles, etc,etc.
I just want to be a fast strong recreational rider, I am riding the bike to get into shape.

will riding as hard, and fast as I can for 5 miles everyday make me as strong as or stronger then long distance riding.

right now it takes me on average between 17.5 to 19.5(16.47 my personal best) min to do 5 miles average speed is about 14mph.

I would like to be able to average more like 19-20mph, Im 37 yrs old and In fair condition.

I would also like some opinions on entry level helmets... what works well,? what makes a helmet good quality.

thanks


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Old 05-14-07, 05:21 PM
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I'd suggest general mastery of riding your bike before getting specific on faster/farther.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:24 PM
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Definitely more miles. Don't get hung up on average speed. If you search these forums you will find people talking about intervals, etc. Forget about that for now. Concentrate on riding longer distances.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:25 PM
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Ride lots.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron
I'd suggest general mastery of riding your bike before getting specific on faster/farther.
lol... I have known how to ride a bicycle quite well, every since i was a child. general mastery..... what's there to master? you pedel... the bike stays upright and moves foward... am I missing something....i thought that riding fast was all about endurance.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:29 PM
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more miles
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Old 05-14-07, 05:31 PM
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Some nice skills to practice can be looking over your shoulder without swerving, pedalling technique, emergency braking, and turning at high and low speeds and learning how to ride with groups, safely. Those are just the basics. There's a lot more to cycling than you can imagine. Technique counts a lot with these bikes. A cyclist that learns those techniques can go farther, faster, and more safely.

As far as conditioning, I would suggest tacking on 500 miles or more with longer and longer rides before you target speed. Start out with shorter rides, as far as you feel comfortable going. Slowing the pace can help here. Add on some time or distance each week until you can ride 2 or 3 hours comfortably.

After this base conditioning time, your muscles, tendons, and joints will be ready to handle some intervals for speed training.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:37 PM
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miles...more
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Old 05-14-07, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mach42
Some nice skills to practice can be looking over your shoulder without swerving, pedalling technique, emergency braking, and turning at high and low speeds.
Also bunny-hopping, taking a bottle out and drinking smoothly without swerving, riding no-handed, trackstanding.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ggg300
miles...more
+1
average speed isn't such a great metric.
...I also recommend group rides (like a weekend bike shop organized ride) to generally increase riding knowledge etc
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Old 05-14-07, 05:50 PM
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Old 05-14-07, 05:50 PM
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Yeah, like everyone else said, keep up the mileage. The speed will come as you get miles in you. Try not to fixate on a specific speed. One thing that helped me when I first started was to find a local group ride. It's encouraging to ride with others & most groups have a wide range of skill levels, so usually you can find someone who rides at your pace. Look for "no-drop" rides at first. I got dropped a lot when I first started, but it became a game for me to see how long I could stay on with the group. The more miles I got in, the longer I could stay with the group & eventually I made it to the point where I could stay with the group the whole ride.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:53 PM
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I'd say it's near impossible to average 20mph on an 1986 schwinn for more than 15 minutes.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:55 PM
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To start, I wouldn't worry about speed or distance. Ride for time. Plan to ride an hour, 3 or 4 times a week. One ride per week, ride a rolling hilly course. It might also be a good idea to pick a charity event like a metric century (100km/60miles). Goals are always good motivators.

Without knowing your level of fitness, it's really hard to make anything more than a general plan. However, the most important thing you can learn is to listen to your body. It sounds simple, but it can be hard to do.
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Old 05-14-07, 05:56 PM
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Thanks to everyone for all of the replies...
I never knew that road riding was so complex
more miles it is......
even though more miles seems boring...... more speed = excitement IMHO
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Old 05-14-07, 05:57 PM
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Take the computer off your bike for the first year. On second thought, take it back to the store and get your money back. A computer will probably hurt you more than help you. For instance, it takes twice as much power to ride 18 mph into a 10 mph headwind than it does in still air. If you try to maintain your "normal" average speed, you're likely to blow up and get discouraged. Your body only knows time and effort. That's all that really matters.
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Old 05-14-07, 06:00 PM
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Just ride more and enjoy it. Eventually you will ride longer and longer distances.

After a couple thousands kilometers, you will know what you like and don't like. Then you will be able to decide about the next step: serious training or not, long distance vs. racing, new bike, and so on.
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Old 05-14-07, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by road racer
Thanks to everyone for all of the replies...
I never knew that road riding was so complex
more miles it is......
even though more miles seems boring...... more speed = excitement IMHO
No one said it would boring.
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Old 05-14-07, 06:40 PM
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I'll tell you that you need more speed in order to go faster.

Ride for one or two hours as often as you can but then spend half your time riding very short distances at high speed, resting and then riding at high speed again. This better trains your muscles and your heart and lungs by increasing your workout intensity. You will get better much faster. You will get faster much better. You will also feel more satisfied with your workouts and will ultimately be a stronger rider.

There are some very good points above about getting used to riding with others and getting to know your bike. But there's no sense in staying remedial when the quickest path to becoming an intermediate is speed.
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Old 05-14-07, 06:44 PM
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Get that helmet today.
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Old 05-14-07, 06:47 PM
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Did the computer you purchased have cadence? Practice cadence. If you are in a high gear and can't maintain 90-100 cadence, then lower the gear until you can. Then work your way up in gears. While you are working on cadence you want to steadily increase distance. That's what I've been able to pick up on from many people's posts. Go on a bike route mapper site (ie. toporoute, routeslip) and create an account. Measure out some rides using that then you can set yourself up on a pattern. Don't go on the I don't know where I'm going rides. It's still cool to do those. But if you want to focus on the training aspect you want to have a plan.
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Old 05-14-07, 06:51 PM
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What should a new rodie practice?
Spelling.

No wait, riding long distances.
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Old 05-14-07, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by road racer
Thanks to everyone for all of the replies...
I never knew that road riding was so complex
more miles it is......
even though more miles seems boring...... more speed = excitement IMHO
Yeah, once you get some base under you, maybe a month or so, start doing more intensity (sprints, intervals, hill repeats). That's when you learn how to suffer and really get faster.
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Old 05-14-07, 07:08 PM
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My understanding you should increase distance by 10% per week. The speed will increase over time. When I first started riding in the fall of 2005 I was averaging 12mph on 5 mile rides and feeling very winded. After awhile of working on speed, I started increasing my distance. Last fall I was up to 15+mph on 40 mile rides, even did a few 50's. I expect to continue to see improvement this year. When you start the longer distances, you will need to take days off. I never ride 2 days in a row. This rest will give your muscles time to recover and grow.
As for helmets, get one right away. as for what to look for: the safety of all helmets are pretty much the same. You should look for light weight, plenty of vents if you ride in hot summer weather. Big enough to wear a skull cap underneath in the colder weather. And if the color is a nice accent to your bike, would be nice to.
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Old 05-14-07, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by road racer
Thanks to everyone for all of the replies...
I never knew that road riding was so complex
more miles it is......
even though more miles seems boring...... more speed = excitement IMHO

ok....more miles + one big hill with one big down hill
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