How do I get better at cycling?

Anonymous1502

Active Member
I am a beginner cyclist so far the maximum distance that I have managed to do is 30km in one go. How do I get better at cyclist and be able to endure longer distances while still maintaining speed?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Ride your bike more :okay: that’s it
You’re riding more than 90% of the population in one go already. Or stop, have a coffee, enjoy the scenery and then ride some more.
Riding in built up areas and traffic is more tiring too due to stop start so get out into the countryside if you can or go out very early or late
 

vickster

Legendary Member
A good start. I rarely ride more than 30km a day, I just ride almost every day. It’s all my knackered body can cope with it! And work restricts longer time out ultimately.
Who really gives a stuff though, unless you’re planning on competing in longer races. I’m not being paid to cycle :whistle:
 

HarryTheDog

Veteran
Location
Basildon Essex
A good start. I rarely ride more than 30km a day, I just ride almost every day. It’s all my knackered body can cope with it! And work restricts longer time out ultimately.
Who really gives a stuff though, unless you’re planning on competing in longer races. I’m not being paid to cycle :whistle:
Funny you say you don't get paid to cycle I was showing my partner the rides of someone I follow on Strava who in lockdown has been doing 60 to 150 miles per day, instead of being impressed she said if he isn't been paid to spend those hours on a bike he is a bit of a sad person with no social life. ( or words to that effect)
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Don't think too much about distances, think more in time spent on the bike. You must be doing 60-90 mins at the moment, so just wait until that becomes a comfortable distance, then add 15-30 mins until that becomes comfortable and repeat. You will get to an optimum time, that fits in with your life style, with the occasional epic rides when you have the time.

When you get to Uni, search out the cycling clubs at the Uni and join in with them. Group riding is the best for extending your capabilities. At the moment, we are in the nice summer months. The test will be if you can carry on thru the gloomy months. If you can, you will emerge a much better and fitter cyclist.

Good luck
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Funny you say you don't get paid to cycle I was showing my partner the rides of someone I follow on Strava who in lockdown has been doing 60 to 150 miles per day, instead of being impressed she said if he isn't been paid to spend those hours on a bike he is a bit of a sad person with no social life. ( or words to that effect)
I don't follow?

Is he furloughed or retired?
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Funny you say you don't get paid to cycle I was showing my partner the rides of someone I follow on Strava who in lockdown has been doing 60 to 150 miles per day, instead of being impressed she said if he isn't been paid to spend those hours on a bike he is a bit of a sad person with no social life. ( or words to that effect).
An old club mate once said - "if he spent half the time he spent cycling, on studying, he would be in a much better job by now".
But would it bring as much happiness? Don't think we will ever know, because last time I saw him, he was still cycling.
(Austin - if you ever read this, let me know)
 

JRTemple

Biking Enthusiast!
Location
North London
I've built up from 20 miles in a day twice a week to 40 miles 3 times a week in 6 weeks, it does help working from home due to CV19 and the sun being up early, changed my gravel tyres to road and got clip-in shoes, it takes me about 150 min for 40 miles, oh and did I mention I have an electric bike :whistle:
 

HarryTheDog

Veteran
Location
Basildon Essex
@vickster he is only in his 30's goes like a bat out of hell, he seems to commute into work on his bike twice a week and then other days cycle all over essex and then do something mad like do a Zwift tour or race in the evening some nights as well. So I would say he is partially furloughed.( He used to commute 5 days per week before lockdown) He's a real nice bloke but I have only had a few words with him on the commute over the last couple of years so dont know his situation at the moment.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
A common newbie error is to push too hard and turn pedals too slowly. Try riding in a lower than normal gear and spin at higher than normal revs. Once you get used to the style you can sometimes ride more efficiently. NB does not work with short legs and long cranks or for big guys.

To improve bike handling skills you need to ride very slowly.
 
As a fellow newbie to the actual cycling part (I just pretended to tinker with bikes in my shed before) I think you can over think it.

I've mainly been doing a circuit of my town, using residential roads which is about 10 miles. I then started adding bits on and got up to 12 and then 15. I'm now up to 21 miles in about 1 hr 20 on a 40 year old bike with not many gears (so I'm forced to freewheel when I'd rather be pedalling).

I think part of the barrier to getting out further afield is being confident of being able to fix punctures etc on the go. I can do it in my back garden with varying degrees of speed but never fancy being stuck on the roadside in the middle of nowhere. I'd also recommend by some cycling shorts if you haven't already. I resisted this for ages, but it does make a real difference in terms of comfort. Though good luck finding a reasonably priced reliable pair as a starter.

Strava has been a useful tool to use as you can track your progress with things like average speed and it shows you where you've done particular sections faster than you did on previous roads. Seeing and feeling an improvement has really helped.

30 miles is my next target, but suspect it will take me time to work out a route.
 

al78

Veteran
Location
Horsham
If you want to improve stamina, note your furthest ride, and next time try to beat it, even if only by one or two km. When that feels like your previous best, increase the distance again.

If you want to improve power and speed, I'm not totally sure, but interval training might help. Warm up for a few miles, find a quiet straight stretch of road with no junctions, then bomb along it as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then 30 seconds gentle riding, then 30 seconds bombing it. Repeat until you barely have the energy to get home. Another alternative is to find a hill a few hundred meters long, with no more than about 5% gradient. Start at the bottom, put it in the biggest gear you have, and sprint up it. Once at the top, coast/soft pedal back down. Repeat until you fall over.

Overall, you have to push yourself beyond what you have already achieved, as that is the stimulus for the muscles to strengthen.
 
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