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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all,

This is my first post on the forum. I just bought my first "real" bike and I am very excited about getting into cycling. My new bike is a Trek 7.2 FX completely stock except for the water bottle holder and a pouch to carry my wallet and keys. I was wondering how I should start off with training. I have put in back to back 8 mile days and I feel pretty good. How many days should I be riding a week and what are some signs that I am pushing my self to fast. Thank you for the help in advance and I look forward to learning and riding a lot.

Andrew
 

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Welcome Andrew,

I also am fairly new to bike riding. I recently bought a Trek FX 7.6 and I'm enjoying it greatly. I think you will find from the different posts on the forum regarding increasing your bike riding abilities is to start getting a lot of time in the saddle. Don't start out trying to be a racer. Don't worry too much about the numbers. Just try to ride as much as you can. That is what I have done and I'm amazed on how I keep getting a little better each week. I try to ride 3 to 4 times a week. I'm now able to do 25 miles at a 14+ mph avg ( when I last checked the numbers). I try not to look at the computer while I'm riding, just check it when I get home. I'm 65 yrs. old and overweight. Anyway, the main point I'm trying to make is for a while just try to get a lot of saddle time. Plus make sure of bike fit and have it adjusted if needed. Also continue to check the different posts out. There is a lot of good advice out there from people with much more knowledge and experience than I have. Good luck!

John
 

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I'd concentrate on Long, Steady Distance (LSD) for starters. Go as far as you can... for some, that's 5-10 miles and for others, it's 25+. It depends on your level of fitness, weight, etc. But lets use your 8 miles as a start. Try to push it to 10 miles at a brisk pace. You don't want to go as fast as you can, but you do want to have a slightly elevated heart rate. Do that as many times per week as you can. Then, push that 10 miles to 15 the next week and see how that goes. Then 20, or 25... whatever. Get your pedals spinning at 90 RPM and keep it there as much as possible.

The key is to get a nice base of time and miles in the saddle before you move on to other forms of training. Getting used to 90 RPM's will smooth out your pedaling stroke a LOT.
 

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Obviously the more you ride the better you'll be...up to a point. Riding too much, especially just starting off, is IMO not a good idea. If you ride too much too often stuff is going to start to hurt. Your butt, hands, neck, and feet are particularly vulnerable. If you're riding too much it may also feel like picking up a pick & shovel & going off to work.

You've stated that you've ridden 8 mi. per day for 2 consecutive days. That's a good start. I'd suggest taking a day off, then try riding 12-15 miles for a couple of days. Gradually increase your mileage to 25+. Give yourself time. One of the things that will help you the most is to join a local cycling club. Your bike shop should be able to tell you how to get in touch. I cannot stress this last point strongly enough. Find a club & ride with them. Most clubs have slow/short/ medium fast/medium distance and Fast/longer distance rides. You won't be left behind.
 

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huvia ja hyötyä
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If you are just starting, your butt might be the limiting piece of anatomy.

Otherwise... if you have the time, try to do some longer rides at easy pace, to develop base endurance. What feels long now might look short after some time. Mix it up and go fast sometimes. Your body needs rest too: easy days or even days with no riding. My approach is totally unscientific: if I feel fatigued, it is time to take it easy.
 

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Congrats on the new bike DitchMiester! I'm sure you're going to love it. I just picked up the same bike this weekend, and already love it.

I'm new to biking too, so I'll let others chime in with the good advice. Just wanted to say congrats and welcome to RBR.
 

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It can be instinctual with a lot of people to push harder on the pedals to get more speed, in other words mashing. Try to be mindful that that usually isn't a good idea and shift down so you can pedal fast instead of hard to get your speed, in otherwords spinning.
A computer with cadance might help but IMO you don't really need one to get efficienct and insure you're not mashing. You just need to pay attention at first and eventually it becomes instinct.
Maybe try some googling on 'road bike cadance'. Maybe others have better instinct than I did but that was my biggest problem when starting out....I tried to get better results by using more brute force and that just resulted in really crappy endurance compared to less outright power per stroke but more strokes.
You'll figure it out, my only point is better to start working on it sooner rather than later.
Oh, and congrats on the new bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you to everyone for all the great information. I am so surprised at how easy it is to ride this bike. When I rode 8 miles last night it felt like I was out for over an hour and when I got home it had only been about 40 minutes. On my old bike a ride of that distance would have taken me easily 90 minutes. So for it is true the most limiting piece of my anatomy is by butt. It isn't really sore just a little after a first get done with the ride. I'm also looking to buy some clothes just for biking does anyone have good advice for what the most important stuff to start out with is?

Thanks again.
 

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DitchMiester said:
I'm also looking to buy some clothes just for biking does anyone have good advice for what the most important stuff to start out with is?

Thanks again.
A decent pair of shorts or bib shorts would be first on my list. Probably best to try them on at a shop.....as tight as possible without restricting movement or creating pressure points might be a decent way to think about the fit you want.
Eventually you'll probably need/want a bike specific shirt because of the rear pockets (you're probably soon to learn you need to carry an extra tube and pump or co2 that pouch alone won't cut it). You don't need any food/maps/whatever on your current rides because of the distance but eventually you'll want pockets that a bike shirt provides.
Bike specific socks are not needed but if you're current athletic socks are cotton you should think about getting something else. Be they marketed as bike socks or not.

Depending where you live and how late in the year you want to ride, knee warmers and a bike specific jacket would be nice. And a really thin hat for under the helmet. Gore makes some really nice jackets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello to all. Today I went out and road a total of 11.5 miles. This is the farthest I have ridden at one time ever in my life. I want to say it felt great. I didn't have any pain at all after words. Except for maybe in my butt a little bit but it only lasted about 30 seconds. This new bike is amazing. I really think I am already getting addicted to riding. Oh I also timed my self this ride and did it in exactly 1 hour. I don't know much about riding so I was wondering if that is a good pace for a beginner?
 

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Hello and welcome . Congratulations on finding a bike you love to ride . It really can be life changing . It certainly was for me . I can't go more than a day or two not riding without going through withdrawals . 11.5 miles is one of my lunchtime routes and I love it . If you find a comfortable and safe route, enjoy it until you need a change of scenery . Repeating the same route will help you track your progress . Don't spend too much time thinking about your speed or time or distance , just ride on .
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
Obviously the more you ride the better you'll be...up to a point. Riding too much, especially just starting off, is IMO not a good idea. If you ride too much too often stuff is going to start to hurt.
is that what happened here?....I hurt all over in the morning....lol

Welcome Andrew, my best advise is to listen to your body.....you'll know when you did too much!
 

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Touch0Gray said:
is that what happened here?....I hurt all over in the morning....lol
HTFU! :D
 

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Exactly, just ride what feels right. There will always be someone faster than you, and someone riding more miles than you. Enjoy your bicycle and don't forget to take days off for recovery.
 

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Caution: Sticker shock ahead

DitchMiester said:
Hello to all. Today I went out and road a total of 11.5 miles. This is the farthest I have ridden at one time ever in my life. I want to say it felt great. I didn't have any pain at all after words. Except for maybe in my butt a little bit but it only lasted about 30 seconds. This new bike is amazing. I really think I am already getting addicted to riding. Oh I also timed my self this ride and did it in exactly 1 hour. I don't know much about riding so I was wondering if that is a good pace for a beginner?
The biggest thing to consider at this point in the game is negative training, meaning too much too fast. You could get yourself a decent (Cateye or Sigma) computer for your bike that gives you the 7 basic stats for a comparison ride to ride. You can make this as complicated (collecting stats) as you want(weather conditions/food intake prior-after/clothing worn/how much rest the night before) and then journal the results.

Clothing. For whatever reason cycle clothing is expensive. I would start with a pair of bib shorts and expect to pay around $100. Voler is a good place to start or maybe Performance top of the line stuff might be a little cheaper. I say bibs because the fit is usually better. You might feel that "I'm no pro level rider I don't need bibs" but it is not about ability and the extra money spent on bibs for fit is worth it. I started out in shorts and tried bibs and the difference was night and day. I'll never go back.
 

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Fierce Pancake
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Congratulations DM, I bought a 7.5FX a year or so ago and got the road riding bug. So now i have a Trek 2.1 as well and the FX does commuting duty. I fully expect to hear you tell the same story shortly. Enjoy your bike, have fun on the road!

+1 for bib shorts with good padding, your butt will thank you and they are comfier than shorts (no horrible waistband). Bike clothes may look weird to others but it's mostly for good reason - comfort, practicality, efficiency (garishness I can do without).
 

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ARP said:
Clothing. For whatever reason cycle clothing is expensive. I would start with a pair of bib shorts and expect to pay around $100. Voler is a good place to start or maybe Performance top of the line stuff might be a little cheaper. .


Performance Elite ($59) and Ultra ($69) bibs.......also can be had for even cheaper if you catch their Tuesday lunch discounts or other sale specials.

**
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello to all. I am making good progress I think. Today I went for a 14.5 mile ride and averaged almost 13 mph. This is my longest ride this week and it gave me a total of 45 miles this week. I was wondering if that is a good total for my first week cycling? Also what is a good average number to increase in a weekly total?
 

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any ride is a good ride and better than sitting on the couch!
You don't need our approval......your work will speak for itself...you'll see!

edit...ok...proofread THEN hit send
 

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LMWEL said:
Hello and welcome . Congratulations on finding a bike you love to ride . It really can be life changing . It certainly was for me . I can't go more than a day or two not riding without going through withdrawals . 11.5 miles is one of my lunchtime routes and I love it . If you find a comfortable and safe route, enjoy it until you need a change of scenery . Repeating the same route will help you track your progress . Don't spend too much time thinking about your speed or time or distance , just ride on .
I think LMWEL, Hooben and ToG (among others) have given some good advice. If you're out riding, feeling good and having fun doing it, you're doing great.

It's not a numbers game, so for now just keep in tune with what you're body is telling you and notch up your distance/ effforts accordingly. And yes, that was purposely vague. :)
 
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