Another new rider

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Keeno, 17 May 2008.

  1. Keeno

    Keeno New Member

    Derry, N.Ireland
    Hi All

    At the ripe old age of 28 I have decided to do something about my appalling lack of fitness. I went to a local shop and came away with a Giant SCR 3. Bit more than I had panned to spend but I was assured the extra money was well worth it.

    I've noticed a lot of different things that I didn't expect on my first few rides. For 1, all the roads I thought where nice and smooth in my car are now a complete pain in the arse, literally :rolleyes:

    I'm still really unsteady on the bike, mostly because of the times I have had to try and get my foot back in the straps, 1st day I went out I fell of the bike on a main road because I lost my concentration. I'm lucky I decided to go out really early (6am), otherwise it could have been nasty in traffic.

    Fitness is my main problem TBH, I'm really starting from zero fitness and its killing me, I think the run I am doing is around 7 miles, after around 4.5 miles I am having to stop and take a breather.

    One of the main reasons for getting the bike was to increase fitness and lose a bit of weight, I am 12.5 stone and ideally want to get that down to 11. Any ideas on the level of training I will need to achieve that?

    Any comments and suggestions welcome.

  2. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    welcome keeno. just try and build up slowly, you won't do yourself any favours doing too much too soon, as you could injure yourself and be forever put off this fine activity.

    before you know, you'll be doing what now seem impossible distances at unlikely speeds.

    if you can commute to work by bike, you'll see results really quickly. if you live 5 miles away, do it every day from day one. if ten miles away, once or twice a day, perhaps making it a one-way on the bike trip.

    failing that, riding for half an hour a day at a pace high enough to keep you slightly sweaty (not making you a heaving wreck) will help you build up base fitness and also turn some fat into muscle (so don't pay too much attention to the scales, fat weighs more).

    good luck, and keep us posted.
  3. gwhite

    gwhite Über Member

    Auchtermuchty Fife
    It's quite difficult to lose weight by cycling as the bike is such an efficient machine so eating correctly has to be the answer to that one.
    As for becoming fit, then little and often has to be the way in order to allow your muscle groups to become accustomed to the new activity and your backside to become hardened.
    Don't think about training as yet but just concentrate on short runs and upon using gears low enough to avoid straining. Keep your miles short and reasonably flat until your body becomes used to this new activity and you develop mastery of the bike. Again, slacken off the pedal straps to their maximum and only tighten these when it becomes second nature to slip out your foot when approaching a stop.
    At the moment you seem to be trying to do too many things at once and you are in danger of losing all enjoyment by forcing things. It is important to enjoy your cycling otherwise you lose the motivation to continue.
  4. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    To start with get rid of those pedals. They're dangerous. There's a reason hardly arnyone uses toe-straps any more.

    Just keep riding and eat healthily and you will loose weight and get fitter.

    Suggestions, - Keep posting and let us know how you get on!
  5. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    if that's a rule, i am the living embodiment of its exception. i have lost 11kg, 10% of fat, increased my vo max, lowered my cholesterol in one year, just by cycling to work 5 miles each way, with the occasional weekend club run to top up. and i am more likely to have pizza or curry than salad or steamed fish.

    not that i am advocating an unhealthy diet. i should know better but hey ho.
  6. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Well done! You won't regret it.

    Your bum will stop hurting soon. Honest.

    Take off the straps till you're entirely at ease with the bike. Then put them back on again.

    Don't overdo it. If 7 miles is uncomfortable, do half that. Then build it up bit by bit as your fitness improves.

    See above. Just take it easy, enjoy it, try to keep it regular, let the weight (and the fitness) take care of itself. It will.
  7. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Welcome. Nowt wrong with taking a break after 4.5 miles on day one. Keep on doing distances in the 5-10 mile bracket and slowly build them up and you'll be doing 10 miles, 15 miles, 20 miles before you know it. Your muscle profile on your legs I'd have thought will certainly change over time. I'd enjoy it really and the benefits will come with time.
  8. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    Top tip - and it's been mentioned before - cycle for enjoyment. Once you've got used to the bike you'll find it just gets easier. Next thing you know you'll be eyeing your speed, thinking about previously impossible distances and looking at big hills.

    Don't worry too much about your weight - that will take care of itself. Some fat will turn to muscle, you'll find you start eating more (though probably you'll start craving healthier options anyway) and plenty will get burnt up just riding.

    Just beware- cycling is pretty addictive.
  9. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    that weight will come off and you will get worries there.
    I started riding again after a 20 year break 2 years ago, I have lost over 2 stone in weight, my fitness levels are far higher then they were, my cholestrol count has lowered and my continual indigestion has all but disappeared.
    I started off doing a mile each way to the station, and that near killed me. Now commute over 13 miles to work and 13 miles back. Also get out at weekends for 40-60 mile rides.

    So be patient, keep on riding and enjoy.
  10. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    I started from scratch with 25 miles day commuting and shifted nealry 3 stone in nine months and put on loads of handsome muscle to boot, and that with eating more too

    the first few weeks are always hard, stick to it

    you tend to sit heavy on the saddle in the early days to, once you get fitter and your position improves you learn to 'ride' the bumps better

    carbon forks (and a steel frame) are marvellous if you ever get them
  11. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member


    erm speaking as one who weight twice your weight a year ago I feel experienced enuff to say that, yes it's going to hurt like **** for a while, and yes it's going to be worth it. I lost 4 stone last year...and at the risk of boring the pants off all the regulars hear who know this already, I hav egone from being unable to ride to the end of the drive to being pretty confident I can ride th enetire length of germany this summer...which I will do.

    Keep going, never surrender and above all listen to and implement the advice these guys offer...I did and I havent looked back.

    Every ride you do is one more than the peasant car driver behind you is doing.
  12. rob7222

    rob7222 New Member

    fhew, I thought I was the only one. :wacko:
  13. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Lots of good advice above but the main thing is that you will lose weight by regular cycling however it will not happen overnight. As for the straps, I would say go for clipless pedals and after some time to get used to them will find they are the 'bees knees'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. OP

    Keeno New Member

    Derry, N.Ireland
    Thanks for all the advice guys. Im really looking forward to building up my fitness and heading for longer runs.
  15. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    I'd echo all of the above about the pedals. I recently picked up a Giant SCR2 after two years of riding a Carrera Vulcan MTB, a year and a half of which was using clipless pedals. I couldn't handle the toestrap pedals on the Giant as I rode it back, and they were replaced with the clipless ones from the MTB when I got home. I then ordered another set of clipless ones for the Giant which I'm now using. So - unscrew the toeclip cages from those pedals so you're left with ordinary ones, and then when you're confident on the bike consider changing to clipless.

    I started riding 2 years ago; like you, to combat my appalling lack of fitness and my increasing weight. Now I'm fitter than I've been at any point in my 40 years and loving every minute of riding.

    You're right about the bumpy ride though - after front-suspension MTB with big tyres, you feel every bump with skinny road tyres, even with the carbon fork on the Giant !
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