Newbie intro and kit advice

TPS72

New Member
Hi all involved in this clearly great forum, reading through some of the posts I've come across nothing but polite intelligent comments and advice which is why I am now proud to be a part of it.

I'm Paul, 37 and have been cursed by laziness for a good 20 years. I blame cars and English weather. The last time I rode a bike was around 1980.

Petrol prices, the recent good weather and a new desire to get fit inspired me to dig out my bike, that was still in my parents garage (I have moved out I hasten to add) and was shocked at the size of it. I was convinced my 1979 silver Grifter would still be too big for me. Grifters were massive!! Weren't they?? I mean Strikers, Boxers and Budgies were small, but not the mighty Grifter.

Time for a new bike me thinks. So i've bought myself a nice looking hybrid, figuring i'd struggle to ride these new racer types, scary looking things with my arse in the air and head on the floor, and I hate mountain bikes.

Now, i've got carried away and done a stupid thing. In my head i'm still the kid on the grifter, biking all day, without rest for 12 hours in the sun. Bear in mind I haven't yet had a proper ride out on my new bike, 5 miles at best and i've gone and registered for the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride.

This is were you, my new friends come in. What should I take? What is best to wear? Any other advice to make my ride slightly enjoyable.

I want to take my ipod, wear padded undercrackers with shorts over the top, a t-shirt, some money and thats it. I don't want to be wearing a ruck sack. Is this normal?

Any of your kind advice is more than appreciated, to think anyone would take time to reply to this is humbling.

Cheers all.
 

Shaun

Founder
Moderator
I've copied this here from the welcome forum so you can get more great kit advice ... :smile:
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Go onto Wiggle.co.uk and get some of their excellent own brand dhb padded undershorts.

Don't use an iPod, you need to keep your wits about you and your ears open on Manchester-Blackpool.

Get a water bottle and some SIS energy drink with electrolytes to keep you going as you'll have run out of stored energy after an hour or so.

Buy a track pump (Joe Blow Topeak is good) and pump up your tyres to maximum pressure. Don't buy a track pump with a fat barrel as you'll need muscles like a gorilla. Owning a track pump qualifies you to call yourself a cyclist.

Shades, suncream, cash, 'phone, spare inner tube and two plastic tyre levers taped to the tube with the air sucked out. Carry all this in your jersey back pockets or a small saddle bag. Attach a small frame pump to your bottle cage. Oh, padded cycling mitts, helmet and buff for shade and to soak up sweat.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
TPS72 said:
Hi all involved in this clearly great forum, reading through some of the posts I've come across nothing but polite intelligent comments and advice which is why I am now proud to be a part of it.
Blimey, you've avoided some of the dafter parts then...:evil:

Welcome.:biggrin:

How long have you got before this ride? Some training would be good - by training I tend to mean just getting out for longer and longer rides, preferably with cafes involved. Once you can do 2/3rds or 3/4 of the ride distance without too much agony, you'll be ok to make the big effort.

I'm less minimal than Globalti, myself. Does your bike have a rack, and do you have panniers? I'd carry a pump, some basic tools, puncture kit, spare inner tube, light waterproof jacket, water (or squash for flavour) a few 'energy bars' (or flapjack type things/Mars Bars). And then probably some random stuff I think I might need but don't.

Wear padded undies and shorts, a tee-shirt or cycling top, whatever shoes you use, Buff or cap, shades etc. I'd probably also carry a longsleeved top, and then not need it....

ipod, is debatable. If this is an organised ride, you'll find there are enough people about to keep you company, and it'll be good to be free of distractions - both for safety and sociality. Sociality? Is that a word?
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
All that Arch said apart from perhaps the long sleeves, it's not winter yet! :biggrin:

Get some carbs in you before you go, pasta is good

Drink your water/drink regularly, particularly if it's a hot day (unlikely in Lancashire I know :evil:). By the time you feel thirsty, it's usually too late and you're already dehydrated.

And finally Enjoy Yourself!!!
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
martint235 said:
All that Arch said apart from perhaps the long sleeves, it's not winter yet! :biggrin:
And yet...

Drink your water/drink regularly, particularly if it's a hot day (unlikely in Lancashire I know :evil:).
Mostly I carry extra layers for when I'm not riding - sitting outside a pub or cafe in a chilly breeze can be annoying.

Anyway, carry long sleeves and you are guaranteed sun, don't take them, it'll be cold.
 
OP
T

TPS72

New Member
Some great advice thank you all very much.

It struck me only yesterday how unprepared I am. And the ride is this Sunday. DOH! Joining this forum, speaking to friends has opened my eyes to the task ahead for which I appreciate now but will appreciate a lot more when i'm actually on the ride.

I have since ordered energy tablets for my water, water cage/bottle, padded shorts, saddle bag and am having my bike serviced by my local bike shop.

I need inner tube, tyre levers, pump, and energy bars.

I am going to head your advice about the ipod, I will need my wits about me and am looking forward to socialising. I'll need fellow cyclists to spur me on i'm sure as I have done very little training for this.

My bike doesn't have a rack and I don't have panniers, just the saddle bag i've ordered. Does anyone know whether wiggle.com deliver in morning or afternoon normally?

Thanks again, I genuinely appreciate the time you people put in to help others and am sure i'll be posting on here more often as my intention is to take cycling more seriously from now on. My car won't be happy.

Cheers.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
TPS72 said:
It struck me only yesterday how unprepared I am. And the ride is this Sunday.
Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay....

Well, you could try just loading up with Sunny Delight and candyfloss on the morning, and hoping your heart copes with the palpitations...:laugh:

Ah, you'll be fine. Take it easy, pace yourself. Drink and eat little and often along the way. If you feel whacked, it's amazing how just 10 minutes off the bike sitting down can refresh you.

If you survive, let us know how it went!:becool:
 

arallsopp

Post of The Year 2009 winner
Location
Bromley, Kent
Sunday. Hmmm... Ok. Well, best thing to do is probably to calm yourself and get ready. There's not much you can do for fitness with only a few days to go, so its fuel, kit and know-how that'll make the difference.

FUEL: Nice plate of pasta before you go (unless you're not used to eating it in which case it could sit funny). A good few gels / energy bars in the pockets (if you have them, eat one now. Is it revolting? Will it be better when its been packed against your butt in the hot sun for 3 hours? You might not care. If you do, buy another). Drinks on the day (again, don't crack open a new tub of xyz brand super power iso magic drink for the event without checking it doesn't make you gag first... If in doubt, Nuun tablets in water). Some means of carrying the above, possibly a camelbak, maybe a water bottle, depends on what mounts you have to hand and how sweaty your back might get.

KIT: My on bike kit includes puncture repair kit, multi tool, spanners (I don't have QR skewers on the rear), protection from sun, protection from cold, bonk rations, spare tubes, tyre boot, mobile phone (charged), door key. You might want to add / remove items. Its always tempting to overpack, but there's but no point in carrying anything you don't know how to use.

Edit: oops. Forgot clothes. Wear something you've worn before, especially on your feet and (ahem) delicate areas. The big ride is not the time to find out whether things rub or not. Cycle specific clothing (if you have it) is a very good idea.

KNOW-HOW: Knowing when and how to use fuel and tools will help. Simple rule is 'act before it becomes a problem' and applies equally to bodily concerns (thirst, hunger, temperature, sun block, rest, loo breaks), mechanicals (squeaks, rattles, anything embedded in your tyre, pinging, clunking, etc), and technique (when to brake, safe distances, checking the route, etc)


Right. That's done then. Read it. Take confidence. Get some proper sleep the night before, and go for it... I think you'll be fine. If your vision goes blotchy, find some shade.
 

fungusmctavish

New Member
Theres not really much to add except get ready to walk like john Wayne for the next 24hrs after you finish as you'll have a few aches and pains riding such a distance that your body wont be accustomed to.

Don't take your ipod. Your going to be on unfamilar roads which will still have cars, lorries etc.. on them not to mention hundreds if not more people like you who have very little cycling skills. You need to be able to hear anything happening behind you and concentrate on whats going on all around you.

One of the biggest complaints by cyclists about this ride is the amount of people with no road sense or cycling skills which can make it quite dangerous at times and crashes are not uncommon. Especially people cycling on the wrong side of the road and riding 3/4/5 abreast.

Take it easy, be safe and have a great day out and enjoy the ride. If your lucky you wont have that energy sapping headwind for the last 10 mile LOL!
 

g00se

Veteran
Location
Norwich
Just a though - if the starts are staggered, set off as early as you can. That way, you can stop for more breaks and rests and not end up coming in right at the back.
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
Couple of other points.

If the route follows previous years it will be going through Haigh Hall country park after about 25 miles. The section down into the valley is rather steep, the surface is almost but not completely unsuitable for bikes, and there will be gormless pedestrians wandering about with dogs. Take it easy down here, there are always several accidents here, and last year a couple of them were quite nasty.

The ride is billed as 60 miles..... it's not, it's more like 65. Don't get disheartened if you clock 60 and are nowhere near Blackpool - you can see the me anguish on some of the faces at the 60 mile marker ;)


PS - Enjoy yourself, I'll be riding again this year (might even be wearing a CC top if the weathers a bit chilly). Say Hi if you see me.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
arallsopp said:
KIT: My on bike kit includes puncture repair kit, multi tool, spanners (I don't have QR skewers on the rear), protection from sun, protection from cold, bonk rations, spare tubes, tyre boot, mobile phone (charged), door key. You might want to add / remove items. Its always tempting to overpack, but there's but no point in carrying anything you don't know how to use.

You've missed something. Zipties, dear boy, zipties!:rolleyes:
 
Top Bottom