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First ever ride - Saturday

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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

First ever ride - Saturday

Old 04-08-10, 10:44 PM
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First ever ride - Saturday

I am buying my bike tomorrow (Specialized Allez Sport) and I am a bit nervous to go on my first ride. I am planning on leaving my house some time around 6 to 8am to avoid heavy traffic so I can get somewhat adjusted and I have a pretty good idea of where I want to ride.

This ideal area where I plan to ride is about 5miles or so from my house but I am debating whether or not just to suck it up and ride all the way on unfriendly roads for cyclists or drive my bike in my car to the friendly area. I am also buying clipless pedals, I have never used them before so this also worries me a bit. Every time I think of making a left turn my heart skips a beat…so it will be only right turns for now! Just for a side note I am going solo and I live in Los Angeles - woodland hills and planning on riding through Calabasas.

Any tips for going out on my first ride?
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Old 04-08-10, 10:53 PM
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ya might wanna practice w/your clipping and unclipping technique in a parking lot for a while first. its really not that hard once you get used to it.
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Old 04-08-10, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by catonec
its really not that hard once you get used to it.
OP, I think you will find clipping in and out pretty easy. If you fall, it will be because you forgot that you needed to clip out when you come to a stop.
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Old 04-09-10, 12:07 AM
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Riding from Woodland Hills to Calabasas could be tough for a first ride due to the hills over the pass. Why not drive to Agoura road and cycle back and forth there a bit in the bike lane?
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Old 04-09-10, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest
Riding from Woodland Hills to Calabasas could be tough for a first ride due to the hills over the pass. Why not drive to Agoura road and cycle back and forth there a bit in the bike lane?
Just noticed your in Burbank as well, where do you ride? I just started riding and have been doing loops up and down the chandler path but it's getting boring quick. Any good routes you can recommend around here?
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Old 04-09-10, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest
Riding from Woodland Hills to Calabasas could be tough for a first ride due to the hills over the pass. Why not drive to Agoura road and cycle back and forth there a bit in the bike lane?
I like this idea, I will do a drive by in my car just to scope it out, I just need to be carefull before I jump all the way in.
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Old 04-09-10, 01:21 AM
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I'll suggest that if it is your first time riding, go with platform pedals so that you get used to navigating traffic, etc. There is no point task loading yourself too much right off the bat. And by all means, drive to the more cycle-friendly location first.

Later, as you get more comfy, you can add in the less cycle-friendly areas and also the clipless.

V.
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Old 04-09-10, 07:52 AM
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If you're in the SFV and looking for rides check out the SFVBC. We have rides for all levels every Saturday and usually a short ride on Sunday. We meet at CSUN at 8:00 and our schedule is on-line. You don't have to be a member to ride with us but it helps if you know how to go in a straight line.

For riding in Woodland hills there are plenty of good routes you can take from home. Just go on Valley Circle, it's wide and has rollers. You can go to the Calabasas Commons easily and hang out with riders from all over.
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Old 04-09-10, 08:41 AM
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what's an ever ride?
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Old 04-09-10, 09:10 AM
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Is it your first ride on a bike ever? Or just in a long time/on your new bike? If it's your first ride ever, then yeah, go to a parking lot and get the hang of it first. If it's just the first time on this bike, then still go to a parking lot and get the hang of those clipless pedals first. My guess is you'll be golden in an hour or less.
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Old 04-09-10, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by graphs
If it's your first ride ever, then yeah, go to a parking lot and get the hang of it first. If it's just the first time on this bike, then still go to a parking lot and get the hang of those clipless pedals first. My guess is you'll be golden in an hour or less.
+1 on the parking lot.
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Old 04-09-10, 10:01 AM
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My first set of pedals got me to fall a few times. For whatever reason, i think the cleats were faulty or maybe they just needed some breaking in. They _never_ fastened when I needed them to and they were rather difficult to unclip as well. I switched over to another brand and no problems since.

+1 on the parking lot. If you live in a suburban neighborhood with relatively low traffic, you can do a few laps around your street as well to get used to moving around. When I got my road bike, I had a little bit of difficulty maneuvering because of the higher center of gravity when compared to my mountain bike (I used to ride with the seat set way too low). I didn't feel quite as steady in the corners as I would have liked. Riding around the residential streets in my neighborhood was a huge help in helping boost my confidence.

Now I have no trouble going the ~8km from my place, down the major roads, to the nearest low traffic roads.
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Old 04-09-10, 10:08 AM
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Mr BBQ, I would drive there or wherever you have to. First impressions can be very detrimental or upbuilding. I know your itching to ride, but if you live next to a state park with nice roads, I would head out there to ride. Enjoying your rides is 90% of recreational cycling IMHO, not battling traffic.
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Old 04-09-10, 10:09 AM
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your plan sound sfine

err on the side of safety. you'll be distracted on the new bike and probably looking down at your gears often. drive it.

Sunday mornings are the quietest. most people are up and around on Saturday running errands.

don't be disappointed of the shifting or braking needs tweaking. if you can do it - great - brushup on the simple adjustments.

good luck keeping yourself from smiling like a idiot continuously
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Old 04-09-10, 10:21 AM
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I'm one week into it. I posted a thread on how bad my butt hurt, but the pain is almost gone now. Not sure of your age or condition, but as a 42 year old runner I spent the week leading up to my bike purchase plotting out 50 mile rides to tackle on my first Saturday with the new bike... but no go, 15 miles killed me.

But if you have a similar experience, don't let it discourage you. The improvement curve is steep and fast. Butt pain almost gone by 4th ride in one week. Average speed on my second 20 miler increased from 15 to 18 mph with much less fatigue. No probs with the clip in pedals after ride #1.

My plan over the next couple weeks is to work on technique, learning to take advantage of pulling up as well as pushing down on the pedals, and just getting to know the bike better before I start to increase my distance too much.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-09-10, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
If you're in the SFV and looking for rides check out the SFVBC. We have rides for all levels every Saturday and usually a short ride on Sunday. We meet at CSUN at 8:00 and our schedule is on-line. You don't have to be a member to ride with us but it helps if you know how to go in a straight line.
Yah I was checking out the SFVBC website a couple of weeks ago, just not sure I am ready.

I couldnt hold back i had to go for a ride, I went for about 2hours just riding on empty streets. Probably not the smartest choice but I just couldn't wait.

When riding in the bike lane and it turns to a "right turn only", what do I do if I want to continue on straight and forced to stop at the red light?

It was hard to wipe my smile off my face, I just acquired a new passion!
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Old 04-10-10, 12:11 AM
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cut into the straight lane if you feel like it, but the "best" thing to do is to be in between the right turn lane (i do this on a regular lane too anyways to save any hassle) and the straight lane, but ahead in the crosswalk.
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