Just starting out

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by CNS, 29 Jul 2012.

  1. CNS

    CNS Member

    Hi All,

    Only found this forum last night and dusted off my bike this morning! It has been in the shed for months! I went out today and completed 4.21 miles in 25 mins. Nothing compared to what others seem to be doing but not done any form of exercise for many months. I am now planning on leaving my car at home and going by bike to work. It is only 2 miles so should be easy enough.

    What I wanted to know was, how do you build up in distance? I see people are doing 20, 30 and more miles. Do I go for 10 miles after doing the four mile trip or try 6 miles? Total newbie so no idea on the best way to build up distance.

    I have a cheap mountain bike from halfords, not the best choice I know! No point paying out for a good bike until I am going out all the time. I went out when I first got the bike but gave up after a while so need to keep myself motivated.

    Thanks
    Carl
     
  2. wheres_my_beard

    wheres_my_beard Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    Firstly, welcome to the board and welcome back to cycling!

    I would recommend getting your tyres pumped up good and hard (to the max pressure shown on your tyre walls); you'll be glad you did, it makes everything so much easier (more speed for your effort, less punctures)

    I wouldn't worry too much about distances, and just get some time in the saddle, and build that up, and the distances will come. To be honest you'd be surprised how far you can actually get once you feel comfy in the saddle and enjoy riding your bike.

    The cycling won't get easier, you'll just end up going faster, further or harder. Enjoy!
     
  3. Pat "5mph"

    Pat "5mph" A kilogrammicaly challenged woman Moderator

    Location:
    Glasgow
  4. OP
    OP
    CNS

    CNS Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies.

    Pumped up my tires fully and enjoyed the ride yesterday. I will be riding into work tomorrow for the first time. Think I will invest in a mud guard tonight as its raining again!
     
  5. wheres_my_beard

    wheres_my_beard Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    I'd recommend these as a good starter set. They're low cost, do the job, and you can slide them off when you don't need them.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    CNS

    CNS Member

    Thanks for that. Was going to call at halfords after work so know which ones I need now, cheers.
     
  7. Risex4

    Risex4 Dropped by the autobus

    In a nutshell, I think this as concise a bit of advice as you can get.

    Distance really is just a case of steady repitition; how you do it is really a personal thing. I'd suggest perhaps just getting into the swing of cycling to and from work for a week or two, see how that goes, and don't put any massive pressure on yourself to achieve more right away. This will give you a foundation level from which to build on in the coming months, and also re-affirm if cycling is something you actually want to persue. If in a week or so you find you are getting home without breaking a sweat, are doing the comute twice as fast, thinking in your mind "how can I vary the route to get a few more miles in?", and eyeing up hills which previously you would have thought twice about walking up, then you'll probably be on to a winner...

    The reason I personally would advocate this approach - and it is purely my unqualified opinion - is that by getting the foundation level in and getting used to cycling again, you'll probably pleasently please yourself with how far you can go when you turn around and say "right, now Im going for a biggie". Jumping straight onto the bike and thinking I'm going to see what I can do from the off can be disheartening when you pop after 5 miles. And lead to the bike being put away again.

    From what you've described I'm probably about 6 months ahead of you in terms of "returning to the saddle". I started off at the start of the year just having jovial little runs - over to my folks house 5/6 miles away and stuff - and then after a month or so pulled off by first "big run" of 25 miles. Smiley faces all around. Kept the little 5-10 runs going for a while with a few 25/30 milers I knew I could do popped in every week or so, and then soon found that I could break 40-50 fairly easily when I speculated on one of those one day (about 4 months after I started cycling again). Now, the 20 milers are my bi-daily "lesiure runs" and when I want to do (to me) serious milage, I'm looking at 80-100.

    This is just what worked for me. Of course, you'll have you're own fitness levels, you're own level of determination and commitment and so on, so you may end up doing something completely different. Which brings us back to the original point; no matter how you do it, no pressure = enjoy = do more.
     
    Nigelnaturist likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    CNS

    CNS Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply and info. I will see how it goes riding to work and if I can keep it up. Brought my clothes in today by car ready for me tomorrow. Will also keep doing the 4-5 miles and build myself up that way as you suggested. I will then look at going further.

    I did enjoy the ride yesterday and feel ok today. If I keep at it, I will the look at upgrading my bike but want to be sure I'm going to stick to it this time!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    CNS

    CNS Member

    Well first ride into work today went well. Good job I got the mudguards as it was raining. It was also longer than I thought, 2.51 miles each way! Will be doing it again on Thursday and more times after that hopefully!
     
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