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Brighton? Not quite yet.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Crock of Gold, 1 Jun 2008.

  1. Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Location:
    London
    Did my longest ever cycle ride (without stopping) today: 34 miles at about average 15 mph. I've put this in the Beginners areaas it is small beer to the more experienced cyclists.

    I was on a single-speed/fixed wheel and cycled anti-clockwise around Richmond Park a few times.

    I have plans to cycle commute to Brighton when I have a meeting there (and return the next day) so need to know how comfortable I would be.

    At the end of my session the area just below the back of my neck REALLY hurt; my hands REALLY hurt: my knees started to hurt when I braked with my legs. I couldn't have carried on.

    But I feel so pleased at completing the session, though I am still aching. My legs are developing muscles galore. And it means I can have a decent drink today as well now, with a clear conscience (I'm off to Twickenham to watch England vs Barbarians).

    Guess carry on practising is the mantra. And maybe get something to support my knees as well.
     
  2. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I have a lot of respect for anybody able to ride a fixed. Thing with Brighton is that the south downs surround it....I for one would want a triple, but then I'm lazy and unfit.
     
  3. That is quite a speed. I am on about 12-13 mph but I have a fair few hills on most routes.

    Not an expert but agree with BTFB - get a triple. I even have an extra small inner cog to help with hills.

    Pains could be anything to do with bike size and posture but I do not think you can look at those if you are on a bike that is not made for the job as problems may come from straining to pull away or whatever.

    Get a second hand drop handle road bike with 3 front cogs and you will be good to go. Then see what aches persist. I found my road bike much better that a mountain bike for comfort.

    You are on a 60 mile each way commute there so would need to get up early. I do a 38 mile round trip commute a couple of times a week but would not go for much more. Also you need to get the work gear sorted etc which is a lot to carry with you.

    34 miles is a good achievement but with the right tool it will only be the start. Keep at it and enjoy.
     
  4. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    Location:
    Mlehworld
    Too much weight on your hands and a sore neck probably means your front end is too low or the stem is too long
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the advice all.

    Not sure if I can justify buying a THIRD bike to the other half as I now own a Spesh Langster and a Spesh Sirrus.

    I'll try the front-end altering thing.

    Incidentally, I was overtaken by a couple of cyclists who must have been pushing 30 on the flat. Scary.
     
  6. yello

    yello Guru

    You're thinking of riding fixed to Brighton? Bonne chance! 15mph is a very respectable average... well done.

    I've seen Ditchling Beacon done on fixed (sorry, I can't tell you the gear) and it was one helluvan effort. I personally would be spinning a little gear but credit to those that can do it!

    Sour knees can be a sign of pushing too big a gear... so on single speed, you'll just have to wait until the knees get used to it... and hope you don't bugger them in the interim!

    If I've not ridden my fixed for as little as a month then I notice 'new' muscles again. The ones on the front of my thighs particularly. I assume I'm using them for slowing the cadence on downhills, or braking. But you do soon get used to it.
     
  7. peejay78

    peejay78 Well-Known Member

    i did ditchling on a 75 three weeks ago.
     
  8. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    I've done it half a dozen times on 73", with loaded large carradice saddlebag and 15 to 20 Old-Holborn/per day.
    That was before my heart Op...
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Location:
    London
    Right!

    THIS Sunday, I shall do 50 miles. Just an extra couple and half of circuits of Richmond Park.

    If I manage that (after adjusting my front-end, whatever that is, though I think it's the reach to the handlebars) at an average of 15mph I shall seriously think about contacting my local cycling group Kingston Wheelers (unlucky lot, having me joining them) about doing a long distance night ride. I fancy the idea of a night ride. Chilled. No Traffic. Just the cycling.

    Not doing the nightride straightaway, mind you, as I will still need to practice more, just about doing it in the very near future.
     
  10. topcat1

    topcat1 vintage Mercian 2012

    Location:
    here
    I did my longest ride yesterday to Box Hill and back from central London 55 miles, got a little lost but great fun. Today I could only do 1 lap of Richmond park I was so tired.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Location:
    London
    Well done!

    That's impressive.

    Did you go by yourself?

    I always thought of cycling as a solitary thing (unless you are team racing a la Tour de France) but having discovered this site, cycling long distance with others actually sounds good fun as you pick up tips and encouragement etc...
     
  12. topcat1

    topcat1 vintage Mercian 2012

    Location:
    here
    Yes, I was following one of the routes from BR.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Location:
    London
    Well, that went well (not). Everything that could go wrong, did.

    I’d planned my 50 mile jaunt on Sunday morning.

    The Saturday pm before, my friends made the mistake of letting me go near sharp implements at a BBQ. After I’d had 5 pints of London Pride. Of course, much gushing of blood as I cut through the fat of the inside of left forefinger. Used up a whole toilet roll before the blood finally stop gushing. Fortunately, I felt no pain due to the beer. So I had another four cans. Purely for medicinal reasons.

    Woke up Sunday at 5 am. Took off the tissue tied firmly with sellotape (!) and the blood started gushing again. Bright red clean spurty drops all over the kitchen floor. Managed to wrap some kitchen tissue around the cut and stem the flow with tight sellotape. Thought if that keeps bleeding I’ll need to go to the A&E for stiches. Palaver. And made mental note only to use my back brake.

    Anyway, got on my fixed. And off I went. On the first slight incline about 2 mins away the back wheel started rubbing the brake. Bugger. Bolt not tight enough and I only had a useless spanner thing (good one was at home). So tightened up on the roadside on grass near bushes. WHERE A SWARM OF MIDGES JUST HAPPENED TO BE AND WHO STARTED TO BITE MY BARE LEGS WITH IMPUNITY.

    Anyway, got on the bike and the CHAIN FELL OFF as I tried pedalling.

    Bugger. Off bike again. Untighten. Taught the chain. Tighten. And off I went. Front whell making a “click” “click” “click” sound at every revolution. Irritating.

    Anyway, got to Richmond Park. Wahey! Thought I’d go clockwise. All going well. Doing really well going up the steep hill. 20 metres from the top and the back-wheel slipped again. Bugger. I was feeling really good going up that hill. This time it took me 15 mins to tighten it properly. (Thanks to the bloke who asked if I needed help as he cycled past). I made sure that no other cyclist was nearby to see me, as I mounted the bike with all the grace of a hippo and set off.

    Then I forgot to keep pedalling at Roehampton Gate and my feet were thrown out of the pedals. I braked quickly and then “nonchantly” found a post to balance against to get my feet back in the pedals.

    I then did a few laps of the park but avoiding the slopes at Robin Hood Gate (I just did u-turns at Kingston and Robin Hood Gates). I left home at 6 and was back home at 8.45. Probably did about 37 miles. My legs not yet ready for a 50 miler (bike still not set up right – too much weight on the handles).

    But the good news? I didn’t use the brakes once – I was able to use my legs to control the speed and stop all the time (apart from the one incident).

    Oh – and my finger finally stopped bleeding due to the pressure of being against the handlebars for all that time.
     
  14. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Oh dear, I think there are days when it just isn't meant to happen. :biggrin: That said I'm impressed you even got out of bed after nine pints the day before! :biggrin:
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Location:
    London
    I was in bed at 9.30 pm. And I stayed off the wine and spirits. Beer's just beer.

    And it is 95% water! :becool: