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I just took up cycling again...

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Kid_A Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:43 PM
Original message
I just took up cycling again...
It had been almost four years since I hopped on my bike, so I took it in for a tune-up and now I take daily rides. What's a good distance to ride in one stretch? I usually go around six or seven miles, but the roads are really hilly, so it seems a lot farther.

Any tips from seasoned pros?
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RT Atlanta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. No pro here...
Hell, not even a seasoned veteran. For my 2 cents, I have a mtn bike with slicks on it that I ride around my neighborhood in ATL. For that kind of bike, a good ride to me is 10-15 miles. Anything longer and my bum goes numb and my wrists start to hurt - I dont think mtn bikes were set up for ver long rides like that.

Glad you're doing it again - biking is a great exercise and a good way to really learn about your neighborhood.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Find yourself a "fitting expert" at a good bike store.
Your wrists shouldn't be hurting on a ride like that, and, while there is no ideal bike seat, I bet you can find one that treats you better. Anyway, a fitting expert should be able to set up your bike for your body and for your type of use, allowing you to enjoy your rides more, and go farther if you would like to do so.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Go with whatever you're comfortable with. I started out at
usually 10 miles, worked up to 40 in a single ride.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. Two wheels good, Four wheels bad
I don't really ride anymore so that is the best advice I have. Good Luck.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. All depends on what you want.
If six or seven miles takes you about an hour, and your heart rate is up, that's a good, basic daily work out for most people.

If you want to go on longer rides, you'll have to increase your mileage a few days a week. I was away in South America this spring, and only rode a bike a couple days while in the Ecuadorian Andes, so, when I hopped back on my own bike at home, it felt like I hadn't pedaled in years. The first day, I went out for a flat run of about ten miles, which took about an hour. The next day, I went the same distance, adding some hills, followed by another flat day for recovery. On the fourth day, I upped my mileage to 15, including some more expansive hills, then rode another short flat ride on the fifth day before taking a day off. After that I pushed myself hard to go on a 30 mile jaunt, which left me toiling on a short flat ride the day after, but made a hilly 20 mile jaunt the day after that seem like nothing. I kept pushing further, with a longer ride (by about 10 miles) every three or four days, until I got back to where I could ride 60-75 backroads miles with my wife and friends, one day every weekend. (We usually go on a day hike on the other weekend day, as cross-training is necessary for backpacking treks.)

That's just me. I do a couple centuries a year, and have done some week and two-week long treks for vacation and for fund-raisers, so I ride a lot. But, the point of this example is, if you can push it a little bit further, you can usually make some fairly quick gains in your ability to ride longer and faster. Though, again, it's all in what you want.

Enjoy yourself!
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Kid_A Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Wow, you're hard-core.
My goal is to be able to do 15-20 miles in a stretch by the end of the summer. Part of the problem now is that I live right in the middle of town, so by the time I get to some of the nicer roads with less traffic, I've already gone several miles in heavy traffic. Next month I'm moving into a new place closer to the edge of town only about a mile from some great biking roads. I'm just trying to into good enough shape so that I can go a for a good 20-mile ride by the fall.

Also, I ride a 21-speed mountain bike, which seems to have some trouble with the shifter. I'll be riding up a hill and pedaling harder when it shifts down or up without me doing anything, and it really screws up my momentum. I just had it fixed, so it should be fine, but I have no idea how to tell if something is broken just by looking at the gears.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Sweet.
Yeah, nothing is more of a pain than when your equipment isn't performing. And getting to know what it should do, and how to make it do that, can take some time. I rode a lot growing up, until age 24, when I became obsessed with hiking, and ignored my bike for about five or six years, until running began to take a toll on my back. When I bought a new bike, six years ago, it was completely different than anything I'd known -- and my last bike was a top-of-the-line roadbike in 1990. I couldn't fix anything on the new bike without wanting to throw the thing through the window. Anyway, luckily a local shop offers free classes on maintenance and repair, which got me back up to speed, so it might be worth checking into some shops in your area, as they may offer something similar. Also, Bicycling Magazine puts out a pretty good maintenance and repair manual. Actually, the mag is cheap to subscribe to, offers great tips on many aspects of riding, and helps to keep one motivated.

Happy trails!
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TopesJunkie Donating Member (979 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Go, man, go -
Good for you!
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TopesJunkie Donating Member (979 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. Go, man, go -
Good for you!
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