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Encourage new cyclist.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by postman, 10 Sep 2007.

  1. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Meanwood ,Leeds
    In two weeks we are taking a new guy cycling.We are going over to where he lives near Wetherby.We have a cycling section at our church.This chap has been listening to us laughing and talking about our trips so he wants to give it ago We are going to take him around the York area so its nice and flat.Even if it means we have to keep the ride short we can always extend the riding later.Let's hope we keep him interested.
  2. caz

    caz Well-Known Member

    West Midlands
    Hello Postman,

    What a great idea, having a cycling section at church! When do you get out for your rides, obviously Sunday mornings are a no go? Perhaps it's something I could get started at my church, I know there are a number of cyclists and we will have a new minister from November who is also a keen cyclist, perhaps we can get him on board too!
  3. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Meanwood ,Leeds
    Thank you for your kind words.Saturday is our time out .Men and Women invited no ladies have taken up the offer yet.It could be the full english breakfast we always seem to find that could be putting them off.Nice and steady last saturday Leeds-Liverpool canal.Leeds to Skipton bit rough in places would have been a bit difficult for a novice.So we tailor the rides to whose comimg out.Fav ride this year car to Pateley Bridge on to How Stean Gorge This has a web site.Then on up nice and steady to Angram and Scar house two reservior's.
  4. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Hey Postman
    Sounds great!
    By a variety of social groups, I have recently helped a few 40 some-things to take-up cycling again.
    First there was my 2 neighbours...found out they were both interested in cycling, helped them get bikes and they decided as a challenge to build-up their mileage to do a C2C... then we did a boys cycling weekend where a pub-pal agreed to drive the support car, the following Xmas he also bought a bike, lost umpteen stone and 6 months later did his first 100 miler....now several others hearing our exploits down the pub have signed-up for next years ride!
    The wives of several of the guys have now taken-up cycling as well.
    A pal from Church also got to hear of these exploits and wanted a bike for his 50th Birthday earlier this year, (his wife thought he'd gone mad), but we started with a gentle ride together just like you're planning and now he's hooked...his mate over the road also wanted to start cycling so bought a bike....we did 25 miles together last night, they're going for their first 50 miler on Sunday, (I'm carrying the Malt-loaf!), and so it goes on!

    I think it really really helps being able to ride regularly with others who will ride along at a nice pace over short-ish routes, building confidence and road-skills. In my experience it does not take people long to really start to build speed and distance. Setting realistic goals is aloso a big motivator.

    Hope it goes well....we need more converts.
  5. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Meanwood ,Leeds
    Fab Foodie-What a great reply,twenty years ago ijoined the Leeds section of the CTC .Yhey were a great bunch of riders who gave me my passion for cycling.They nursed me through many of my early rides and encouraged me.I took early retirement last August and this April my mate did the same.So mid week we can do our distance riding.Two weeks ago We cycled over the Humber Bridge then out to Spurn Point and out to withernsea.We have got four of us talking abot a coast to coast including this new guy.Some of our 70 year old members of church tell us about their riding all those years ago.It's a great way to meet and chat with people.We have recently just done two rides along the Leeds-Liverpool canal.The conversations we got ibto with the boat people were wonderful and that's just because of the bike.They have either been cyclists or have a bike fastened to the roof of the boat.
  6. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    I think a lot more people would get onto 2 wheels but they just lack a ride-buddy to help them get going.
    Sounds like you have got a good scene going there postman.
  7. Abitrary

    Abitrary New Member

    All a great idea.

    I find if you press people though, and they are more than often embarrassed about it, especially if they don't drive, you'll find that they like the idea of cycling but are scared of the cars on the road.

    I end up coming up with the line 'Don't worry... in 2 months time you'll be shouting at drivers and giving them the finger...'

    Then they get worried that cycling will turn them into a maniac... tough one :-)
  8. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    great idea!

    I think the reason I avoided bikes for so long was simply because I was scared of people laughing at me...being a big lad on a small bike. Deep down I knew I could ride because I did as a teenager. I also had no clue how to service a bike etc. It was all to easy to sit in a car and kid myself that I wasn't really that overweight.

    Having a companion to ride with would have put me off initially I feel. I needed to do this on my own, at my own pace, when I felt like it. To be honest I rode a lot at night to start with to avoid the embarrassment.

    I have been 'back in the saddle' for nearly 7 months now. Initially it was really tough, even small inclines used to kill my legs and I'd get out of puff even in the mildest of breezes. Since then I have hit various 'milestones'...got around the block, made it to the next village, got up that bastard hill without walking, got to the kids school, made it to the big town, rode with a camping load, did an overnight stay, rode a small 10 day tour , and managed 145km in one day with a fully loaded four pannier bike.

    Now I am easily capable of rides iro 50-70km each day (did 90km today). I have lost 8 inches off my waiste size and have thighs like a racehorse! I have given up booze and learn't the relationship between food and exercise, energy use vs fat build up etc.

    I still take medication for depressive illness, but the cycling is helping with that as well.

    I am now in a position where I want to ride with others, I am no longer embarrassed about my size & ability, and am not scared of hills and headwinds (although I still swear at them!)

    The money i 'invested' in my bike has been the best thing I ever did for myself.

    I reckon next year I will be able to do a long tour...the length of the Rhine, or Calais to the med, something like that... I know it will be a real challenge, but I have exceeded my expectations so far, so why not raise the bar a bit I say.

    One thing that has REALLY helped me has been the support and help i have had on this website. I have learn't a lot of cool tips etc from more experienced riders...things that have saved me a lot of pain and suffereing & expense etc.

    I recommend any new cyclist to ask as many questions as possible, and take off at your own pace, with or without other riders.
  9. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Postman, which church do you go to??? I go to South Parade Baptist and I don't think we have many other cyclists there!!
  10. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    BTFB - Kudos on your progress. The training at night thing rings a bell with me, I did that when I started running (for I was rubbish). Your story gives me hope that my legs might eventually stop aching after the week of commuting :smile:
  11. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

  12. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member


    Seriously - I think you have naturally overcome the bigest two flaws in organised cycle groups.

    THe two most commion criticisms are that they are cliquey and secondly they expect newcomers to fit in withthem, and all too often will drop them if too slow.

    The first is obviously not the case here, and the fact that you are willing to shortenm and slow the rides solves the second problem.

    One thing I found helps maintain interest is after the first couple of rides, is to suggest that they organise one to a local feature / route or pub(!) that thay are comfortable. The feeling of being able to contribute will help the individual feel part of the group.

    As for the ladies - is there a female cyclist who could organise a ladies ride?
  13. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Meanwood ,Leeds
    Cathryn,Well ,well.Did you know Karl Martin?.Great teacher now up in Edinburgh.Moortown Baptist ,King Lane.What a small world.We are looking for a new minister as well.Our chap is moving into a bigger post.We believe great things are coming to Moortown after a little standing still if you know what i mean.I was Asked yesterday if we could cut down our distances by one wife so her husband could come out and not be out all day Saturday.If it means encouraging more cyclists yes we can i replied.
  14. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Meanwood ,Leeds
    Cunobelin,We are very fortunate in where Moortown is we can get out for an hour and ride around Roundhay Park all nice and flat people know the roads because they drive along them daily.Also we can ride country arond Eccup waterworks that is my quick loosen up ride Golf courses back country lanes.Farmland scenery and water.Most of it car free.And that is on our door step.That is the ideal way to start off a newbie.To all of you yhank you for your kind remarks.Iam fortunate that i took early retirement last year at 56.Can get out when i fancy.Like tomorrow a little ride to Knaresborough .
  15. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Karl was the minister there when I moved to Leeds. I had quite a crush on him, he reminded me of Patrick Swayze!!!! Sounds fab stuff in Moortown!!