New Aspiring Road Cyclist

Hey guys, just wanted to put my first post here before I had a good look around the site. I'm a 20 y/o male whose recently just got into road cycling after much persuasion by a road racing mad stepdad.

I've got a long way to go, but I'm looking at getting into amateur racing within the next year and even inherited a rather nice bike :whistle:

http://instagram.com/p/N0t8NfRqbD/

I'm around 5'11, 13 st and built fairly muscular but feel I'm off to a slow start thus far! Would you guys recommend I stick to riding out 10-20 mile flat routes before progressing on to hill training, to build stamina, strength and confidence first?
 

Kiwiavenger

im a little tea pot
It all depends on you! I started off commuting on flat (ish) roads, then moved somewhere where there are loads of hills! Attacked them for a few months then cycled my old commute and was 3-4 mph faster!

Whatever you do, try and build up cadence and time in the saddle along with setting realistic targets! Above all enjoy it!

Sent from the Holodeck on my Tricorder
 

Cheshire Celt

Legend
Location
Alsager
Hi and welcome I've been at it six weeks now started off with 5 milers and built up from there just completed my first 30 miler but I am more than double your age lol .
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Welcome. For your height 13 stone is quite solid so you might turn out to be a sprinter rather than a climber. However the body responds to stresses by building muscle where it's needed so as you increase in strength and fitness some of that bulk might transfer from your upper body to your legs. Luckily for you, at your age your body is flooded with testosterone so building muscle won't be difficult, just don't underestimate the value of good food and plenty of rest and understand that the improvement comes during the recovery time after a ride when the muscles rebuild new fibre after the damage you've done. Don't fall into the trap of over-training; two good rides and one gentle pootle a week ought to be enough for you.

If you have a mountain bike don't neglect off road riding because it helps with bike-handling skills.
 

MattHB

Proud Daddy
Welcome. For your height 13 stone is quite solid so you might turn out to be a sprinter rather than a climber. However the body responds to stresses by building muscle where it's needed so as you increase in strength and fitness some of that bulk might transfer from your upper body to your legs. Luckily for you, at your age your body is flooded with testosterone so building muscle won't be difficult, just don't underestimate the value of good food and plenty of rest and understand that the improvement comes during the recovery time after a ride when the muscles rebuild new fibre after the damage you've done. Don't fall into the trap of over-training; two good rides and one gentle pootle a week ought to be enough for you.

If you have a mountain bike don't neglect off road riding because it helps with bike-handling skills.
Ive noticed this incredibly in the last 2 days from riding trails on my new CX. Was quite an eye opener how rusty I was!
 
OP
The Gamble

The Gamble

Regular
Thanks guys, some really valuable information there to get me started! I'm lucky enough to be in decent health as I start my training, but I'm definitely aware that I'm a long way off where I'd like to be as goals take time to achieve! I suppose knowing my routes would help, as I'm getting (slightly) lost at the moment, but enjoying 10-15 mile rides as I ease into things. Also going to ease back on the 4-5 rides a week also then.

Would it be reasonable to set a goal to be riding 30 miles on a good day after about a months cycling? I do currently struggle with racking up the miles and find myself best at sprinting! I guess it's a little bit frustrating seeing people more than twice my age seemingly gliding along easily, but then again that's the impatience in me wanting to hurry up and get better!
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Yes, 30 miles a day is a sensible target on a road bike. If you really are a complete beginner I'd say you will probably start at 12 mph plus but expect your average speeds to increase rapidly to where 14 mph is routine, 16 mph if you push yourself a little and 17 mph + should be achievable within this year. As I wrote, you've got youth on your side and plenty of testosterone.

The finesse of road bike riding is to be able to achieve good averages by using momentum to get up small hills; as you get fitter you'll find yourself more and more able to attack hills and sprint up them with hardly a change in speed. After a few months hills that seemed big at the beginning will seem small and insignificant.

Do take care that the bike is set up correctly, if you are stressing your joints especially knees they will need to be working in the best way. Get your seat height right and your foot posture on the pedals correct. If you begin to suffer any pain come on here for advice or go to a decent bike shop for a bike fit session.

If you haven't got one, buy a bike computer and keep a log on your laptop of your routes with distance, time, average speed and some notes about the ride. There are plenty of websites like Bikehike where you can work out altitude gained and check the mileage.
 

Arsen Gere

Über Member
Location
North East, UK
+1 for Gobalti's comments, start keeping a log of what you are doing. So you can look back and see where you have improved. Once the novelty wears off training for racing is hard work and your log will show improvements that will motivate you.

If you can do 10 miles, find a ten mile time trial and use that as a base reference. You will be amazed how you wll improve, you will meet like minded people. Most people improve rapidly at first and it helps with the motivation over the winter.
My first tt was 28:50 and I got it down to 23:06 to win a club tt in two years. It's in a diary I have from 1985. It's a hard sport with a lot of rewards and I am sure you will enjoy it.

On the 30 mile a day thing, you need rest too. Some long easy days some short hard days. Not hard every day for 30 miles. It just wears you down.
 
OP
The Gamble

The Gamble

Regular
Thanks again, invaluable information from Gobalti and Arsen I really appreciate it. Just to check, is strava a decent way of measuring my average speed an recording my miles, as I've been using the app on my iPhone to get me going.

I really like the suggestion of finding a 10-20 mile time trial and looking to improve my time, but I'm just wondering where I would find such routes as strata only seems to have mile long tracks?
 

Kiwiavenger

im a little tea pot
on strava i have set 2 mile sections (and longer!) a lot of it is going out to ride, checking strava to see what segments youve gone through then attacking them the following day/week! great for interval training
 
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