Getting ready to give it a go... 'Hello Nello'

Mandragora

Senior Member
I've been riding bikes all my life, but I'm suddenly feeling like a beginner at this whole 'cycling' thing, if you know what I mean...

I treated myself to a new bike about 18 months ago, and from there the bug has really taken hold. I'm loving it, though still pretty timid about riding in traffic and really pretty slow (nothing new there - I did athletics as a child, and I've come last in races all over the Northern Circuit:smile:). We're miles from anywhere, so there's no club that I could join easily, even if these ancient legs were up to the challenge of group cycling. In a rush of misguided enthusiasm a couple of months ago, I persuaded a friend to sign up for the Nello http://forcecancercharity.co.uk/fundraising/the-nello-charity-cycle-ride and we'd train and prepare together. She hasn't done much of the 'training/preparing together' side of things,but I've been happy to work independently, knowing that we'll work together in the last few weeks, help each other along, etc etc.

So, I've been gradually building up the miles, learnt all about 'cadence' (what a shock that was! My legs sulked for a week when they realised how fast they were supposed to go, just to hit a fairly paltry 70-74) and even braving the traffic as I've ridden around parts of the route. Fast forward though, to this week, and my friend *suddenly* realises she's double booked herself that weekend, and now can't do the event at all. She's been suspiciously quiet about the whole thing for a month or two, so I'm not hugely surprised to be honest.

Which brings me to the reason for this thread and this posting. I'm on my own, in the middle of nowhere, getting myself in the right frame of mind to give this a good old go. I don't mind going it alone, but I think that if I set myself up here with an online 'diary' where I log the rides I'm doing, how they're going etc etc, I will be able to have a record of the work I'm doing, and hopefully get some sort of sense of progress, no matter how snail-like and slow it seems to be.

Mon 4th May:
Total distance: 32.07 miles.
Route : Loop including Cruwys Woods, Morchard Bishop, Morchard Road and return.
Time: 2:43:47
Av speed: 11.74
Weather: Fine, no wind.
Traffic: Almost none (Bank holiday) - no worries.
Cadence: aimed for 70-74*
(*Achieved often enough, though issues with computer and bike light meant I couldn't get cadence reading when light was on. Have now switched light position, so hopefully resolved).
 
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13 rider

Guru
Location
leicester
Well done just getting out . Don't worry too much about cadence go with want your body tells you . Don't try to turn to big a gear its easier to spin in a lower gear .If your doing the 55 miler you should be fine
 

annedonnelly

Girl from the North Country
Which of the rides are you aiming for - the 100 mile or the 100k ?

If you're already doing 30+ miles on your own the 100k should be no problem on the day. There's a good chance that some people will have done no training at all - you'll cope better than they do :smile: In my experience some people on charity rides are very slow so you might find you can't go as fast as you'd like as you're in or behind a slow group.

I'd just aim to enjoy the day and the experience of riding with others. If it's a well attended ride you'll probably not need to worry too much about traffic as there's some safety in numbers.
 

Katherine

Guru
Moderator
Location
Manchester
Which of the rides are you aiming for - the 100 mile or the 100k ?

If you're already doing 30+ miles on your own the 100k should be no problem on the day. There's a good chance that some people will have done no training at all - you'll cope better than they do :smile: In my experience some people on charity rides are very slow so you might find you can't go as fast as you'd like as you're in or behind a slow group.

I'd just aim to enjoy the day and the experience of riding with others. If it's a well attended ride you'll probably not need to worry too much about traffic as there's some safety in numbers.

Ditto
 
OP
M

Mandragora

Senior Member
Thanks to all for the interest and tips. I've *just* gone for the 55 miler - I'll save the 100 miler for next year ^_^ Maybe.....

I know what you mean about the lumps, Saluki, but we're in Devon, at the top of a Very Big Hill, so if I want to ride, I don't have much choice!! One of the positives is that the two worst hills (I think, anyway) are both within 8 miles of our house, and the second one (Cruwys Woods) is a matter of an 18 minute downhill cruise, before I turn round and flog up it, so I've been managing to do that one at least a couple of times a week in the past month or so.
 

annedonnelly

Girl from the North Country
Thanks to all for the interest and tips. I've *just* gone for the 55 miler - I'll save the 100 miler for next year ^_^ Maybe.....

I know what you mean about the lumps, Saluki, but we're in Devon, at the top of a Very Big Hill, so if I want to ride, I don't have much choice!! One of the positives is that the two worst hills (I think, anyway) are both within 8 miles of our house, and the second one (Cruwys Woods) is a matter of an 18 minute downhill cruise, before I turn round and flog up it, so I've been managing to do that one at least a couple of times a week in the past month or so.
18 minutes downhill!! Wow - that's some hill. I can't imagine how long it would take to get back up!
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
If you have a smartphone or other GPS enabled device I'd suggest joining Strava, as that will let you easily log all your rides, and see your improvements.
No need to enter into the strava "king of the mountain" segment willy waving (unless you want to), tyou can log rides as private and see exactly ghow your performance changes.
 
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Mandragora

Senior Member
18 minutes downhill!! Wow - that's some hill. I can't imagine how long it would take to get back up!
Sorry - I expressed that badly. It takes 18 mins to get there from home... about 14 mins of me puffing and panting along the lane to get to where the hill is, but yes, about 4-ish to get down it. Mind you, I'm a bit keen with the brakes. As I may have mentioned, I'm a coward, and my instinctive stance is 'timid' .

Kestevan: Thanks - Strava's something I'm going to look at, or perhaps mapmyride, but I'm going to need to put on of my kids onto sorting my phone out to do that app thingy I hear them talking about. Again, I don't think there'd be much risk of me joining in with any willy waving :laugh:

Far too windy to venture out today - I'm hoping that once things settle down later in the week, I may get out one lunchtime at work, or slip in a ride home from work on Friday.
 
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I couldn't give less of a monkey's about 'cadence' and 'spinning' and 'POWER', and all the other 'orse poo, that the Wiggo wannabee's I often encounter, seem to spout, with aplomb. Them : "Ooooh, you know you have to have a cadence of 90, don't you". Me : "balls to that, it makes you look like a demented Lycra clad hamster, where's the nearest pub"?. Cue lots of adenoidal mumbling about how I'm not taking this crap seriously :rolleyes:. Ride for your own enjoyment, if that means bumbling along, that's fine Don't be dictated to, by 'experts', unless they are an actual pro, but I tend to find the ones who actually do know their stuff, tend not to bang on, like they've just swallowed a cycling encyclopedia anyway:smile:.
 
OP
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Mandragora

Senior Member
Thurs 7th May:
Total distance: 14.49 miles.
Route : Work lunch-break - took a wrong turn and ended up along the main road heading south - river valley, no real hills. Easier route than I meant to take!
Time: 1:07:43
Av speed: 12.84
Weather: Light wind - out and back route so no overall advantage/issue.
Traffic: Main road. Light to fair. Some HGV's.
Cadence: 72-74 mostly
Easy peasy :blush:

Fri 8th May:
Total distance: 16.59 miles.
Route : From work to home (hilly!!)
Time: 1:35:55
Av speed: 10.37
Weather: Head wind, light rain, occasional sun.
Traffic: Main road, but reasonably light. No issues.
Cadence: 72-74 apart from worst of hills and worst of wind.
Hard work!!

What I have learned this week:
  • Traffic's ok on the whole. Not every driver is setting out to knock you off your bike. Don't fret about it so much. Be alert, sure, but not neurotic.
  • Check route before setting off no matter HOW certain you are you 'know exactly' where to go, especially if you've only done it once before, and that was in January. You have an atrocious sense of direction and a memory that's not improving with age. Deal with it.
  • River valleys on a still day are easier than small mountains in a head wind.
  • Forget my brother's advice 'It doesn't matter what saddle you have; all saddles hurt eventually'. Look for one that's at least a bit more comfortable. Now.
 
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OP
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Mandragora

Senior Member
Busy weekend,and family commitments, so only managed to squeeze in a short ride today, but it's got a couple of the sharpest hills on the route in it, so worth doing, just to build confidence with them:

Sun 10th May:
Total distance: 11.95 miles.
Route : Home - Cruwys Woods - Nomansland - Littleborough Cross - home
Time: 1:02:33
Av speed: 11.46
Weather: Some head wind out of Nomansland, all else fair.
Traffic: One impatient plonker on the back road who couldn't wait 30 seconds for me to get to a passing place. He pulled back, though, when I glanced back at him. I didn't fall off my bike, scream obscenities at him or run home sobbing, so that's progress!
Cadence: 73

Cadence - legs seem to be settling at about 73-ish quite comfortably most of the time on the flat now; it feels so much easier now than when I decided to give bothering with it a trial about three weeks ago. Some time in the next couple of weeks, though, I need to give it a go on a longer ride and see how it goes over three or four hours. I know what you mean Racing roadkill, about not over-complicating it, and not worrying about 'Wiggo wannabees'. When my friend mentioned it to me a couple of weeks ago, the only commitment I made was to try it out for a month and see how I got on with it. As he is a sports scientist, as well as a mad-keen cyclist, I respect his opinion. When he explained it to me, it sort of made sense - though please don't ask me any hard questions about what he said - all the details fell out of my brain the second I walked away from him!
 
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