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Hello, it's me again. Since I am just starting out and new to cycling, how should I be riding? Should I ride fewer miles, but steady pace? More miles, but at a comfortable pace? Or should I just get on my bike and see where and how far the day takes me?

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Well

jessica47201 said:
Hello, it's me again. Since I am just starting out and new to cycling, how should I be riding? Should I ride fewer miles, but steady pace? More miles, but at a comfortable pace? Or should I just get on my bike and see where and how far the day takes me?

[email protected]

As a relative newcomer myself, I think you should build up base miles, now is the perfect time of year, and this involves lots of riding at a tolerable pace, to build up your aerobic base. I would vote for more miles at a comfortable pace, then you can work on strenghtening and intervals....
 

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All of the above

You should do all those kinds of rides, fast (for you), slow, hilly, flat, long, short, fun, workout. When you've done them all, you'll know which you prefer.

I don't know what's up with your knee, but the other advice I would give you is to focus on learning to ride at a high pedaling cadence, by which I mean around 90 or so pedal revolutions per minute. I believe many people find that this is easier on the knees. I know I do. Many bike computers include a cadence function so you can keep track of your cadence.

But really, the most important thing is finding a (safe) way to ride that satisfies you.

Welcome, and good luck.
 

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Apa kabar?
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set goals

I think that a very important aspect is to first identify what your goals are for riding your bike. Are you wanting to improve fitness? Race? Lose weight? This will help you figure out what type of riding you should be doing. Make sure that you write your goals down so that you have something to shoot for. Once you reach those goals, set new ones. Good luck!
 

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classiquesklassieker
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jessica47201 said:
Hello, it's me again. Since I am just starting out and new to cycling, how should I be riding? Should I ride fewer miles, but steady pace? More miles, but at a comfortable pace? Or should I just get on my bike and see where and how far the day takes me?

[email protected]
If you're completely new to the sport, to be honest any kind of riding will be helpful. When you're already comfortable with cycling for 2 hours at a time, then you can start worrying about more specific training strategies. The most important thing now is to remember to have fun!

Checklist for new riders that I can think of, not necessarily in order:
- figure out your best fit on the bike for the time being
- learn to have a smooth pedaling motion
- learn to be relaxed on the bike, don't stress your back/hands/neck
- learn to be comfortable in all seated positions (on the tops, hoods, drops)
- learn to be comfortable switching on- and off- saddle pedaling
- learn to be able to turn your head without running off the road (for survival)
- learn to be able to ride no-handed (in a safe stretch of road)
- learn to be able to take your water bottle and take a drink without running off the road
- learn about riding with other people and not get into an accident

After all of the above, then you can start worrying about training strategies, etc.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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And find some buddies to ride with, check out the local bike club if you have one. There's nothing better for morale than people to share the fun with and learn all the ins and outs. Have fun on the road (but be responsible, mmmkay ;) ). :)
 

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don't worry about structuring your riding yet

... just ride. Your city or county may have a bicycle coordinator, try asking the transportation office. There may be a bicyling routes map made by a local government. Even better would be a cycling routes guide book written by a private party. These can show you routes that others have found to be good riding. Ask your LBS (local bike shop) as well, they ought to know.

A touring oriented club (as opposed to a racing club/team) would be a good way to get into riding with others. Clubs have rides of varying distances and speeds.

Don't forget to bring water. I never start a ride without at least one bottle. When you work up to longer rides of a couple hours, you will need to bring food as well.

To add to the list of skills someone else posted, I consider being able to take a water bottle from the cage, drink, and put it back while pedalling the entire time to be a big milestone on the way to becoming a serious cyclist. Even better when you can do it without looking down.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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The last thing you said

Just ride. Enjoy randomly tooling around before you become a psycho addict like the rest of us...

The bug will bite you soon enough.
 

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Well if your just getting into riding, and you want to get into riding 'shape' start out riding about 5x a week for about 30-45 min. Easy pace, don't push your self after about 2-3 weeks. By about a month you should be able to ride over an hour, build up from there. I suggest getting a women's specific training guide if your really that interested.
 

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rogger said:
And find some buddies to ride with, check out the local bike club if you have one. There's nothing better for morale than people to share the fun with and learn all the ins and outs. Have fun on the road (but be responsible, mmmkay ;) ). :)
I am a newbie too and here is a good thing to consider. I enjoy riding with groups, so my training goal is to be able to keep up with them as soon as possible. They have been very gracious in their pace to allow me to ride with them so far, but I am training so that they do not have to slow up for me.

I have welcomed any riding advice from them as to how I can get up to speed as soon as possible, and one overwhelmingly consistant bit of technical advice is to work on spinning. This, to me anyway, is a combination of a smooth pedal stroke at a relatively high rpm. This is great cardio exercise and will enable you to go farther, faster. Mashing the gears (or trying too hard in too high a gear), which is what they called what I was trying to do, builds up lactic acid in your legs and makes them want to stop whatever they are doing. How true! ;)

If you want to ride with a group, find out what they are doing: total miles, avg mph, and type of route and use that as a guideline as to what you are trying to accomplish. Then get out and ride as much as possible, and if you don't have an indoor trainer, try to get one soon so weather doesn't stop you from reaching your goal.

Happy Cycling.
 

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Misplaced priorities?
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There are a lot of very good tips being offered here, but the best one came from B-Fun:

"I think that a very important aspect is to first identify what your goals are for riding your bike. Are you wanting to improve fitness? Race? Lose weight? This will help you figure out what type of riding you should be doing. Make sure that you write your goals down so that you have something to shoot for. Once you reach those goals, set new ones. Good luck!"

Forgive me if I sound too much like a parrot, but it's awfully difficult to figure out how to reach a destination if you don't even know what that destination is, so absolutely identify what you ultimately want to accomplish while riding your bike. Then, seek out some advice on how to reach that goal. Incidentally, since you're so new to riding, any riding you do right now will help you reach any goal that you might have. Also, check out the sticky "Advice-Post Your Top 10 Tips" thread if you haven't already. Plenty of good stuff there.
 

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I agree!

dpar said:
Stop trying to figure out how to train and just learn to ride your bike for the first year or so. Have fun
When I started riding 2 years ago (30 lbs and 3 pants sizes gone!) I just went riding.

I got fitted to my bike so it was comfortable, bought a few items of clothes to stay comfortable and dry, and just WENT! I could barely make 10 miles without wanting to puke, as we have lots of hills where I live. I kept riding though. And I'm reaping the rewards now, as I'm fitter than I've ever been in my life, and riding 3-5 centuries per year time permitting. I'm having a blast!!

I got here by just riding my bike. No matter what is going on in my life, I make time to ride my bike almost everyday. Breathe and pedal...repeat!

ride safe and far...
 

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Most has been said already, but were I you, I would just look at the clock. Pay attention to speed and distance later. Before you worry about anything else, make sure your caboose is comfortable in the saddle for 30 minutes, then an hour, then an hour and change.

Starting out, your butt will be your first concern. You can then figure out after a few rides if it might be your riding shorts, your saddle, or your position if you are still uncomfortable.

After that, set the goals.
 

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Have fun!

I am 54 and started riding last year to lose weight. 3,200 miles and 100 pounds plus later and 10 inches off my waist, here are a few suggestions;

If you are heavy, get a nice riding hybrid. I got a Trek 7300 and had to have a custom wheel built to stop blowing spokes.

See a doctor. Make sure you're banging on all six cylinders.

Join a club. Most have training rides in the spring. They start slow and work up. In mine, no one gets dropped. There were always experienced riders who would hang back and encourage me. They went through the same learning curve and remembered how people helped them. I'll be hanging back this year and helping newcomers too. Club members are great. I'm a proud member of the McLean County Wheelers in Bloomington, Ill. the best bunch on the road.

A good book to read is Bike for Life. It has loads of information on nutrition, cross training and interval training. Lay a base first, then mix in sprints with the distance riding. That way, you are working on your aerobics, your endurance and your strength.

Lift some weights twice weekly too. Bikers often neglect the upper body to their detriment.

Most of all, have fun. Riding is a blast.

By the way, I bought a road bike at Thanksgiving. I can't wait to get out and ride it in earnest. The hybrid will get used, too, especially on workouts on the trail that runs through town. I can do 25 miles a night easily. But a friend and I both got road bikes after riding the hybrids to lose weight and strengthen. He is 50 and had heart surgery and saw how much fun I was having so he joined in. Now he just bought road bikes for himself and his wife who is riding with us too. It's contagious.
 

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Orange Julius got it right. Have fun and enjoy the sport. If you don't, you may well end up quitting. Pick rides you feel comfortable with. Don't tackle the Wall early on and end up being discouraged because climbing is hard work. As you progress (and you will), then gradually ramp up your intensity/time/distance.
 

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Have fun.

Get familiar with your bike. It should be reflexive, like driving. No thinking about gears, brakes. That comes with riding.

The more you ride the more you'll learn about riding. The one "knack" that's worth learning is finding the gears that keep your pedal cadence smooth and regular. On flats that's 90 rpm if you're RACING. Most serious touring riders do about 70/80. This takes some time and skill to develop. Climbing is a whole different game, different cadence. That's a "skill set" too.

Have fun, ride with others. Vary where you go. Vary routes. If you get into "training" you'll get into standard routes, times, loops, and all the obsessive stuff involved in getting faster.

But for starters just get out and ride. Have fun. You can't help but get better.
 

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Start out easy. Ten miles, then twelve, etc. Pay attention to your form on the bike- Knees in, elbows bent- and your spin- stay around 80 rpm, then work up to 90. Do not mash monster gears. Show your back, crotch, neck, and legs some mercy at first. Pay attention to your breathing- breath rhythmically. Now is the time to develop good habits.
 

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it all depends on your goal

do you want to race? touring? just bust a sweat on a nice day?

focus on what you love about cycling.

learning to climb well will take you to the best views :)

the feeling you get finishing your first century is pretty sweet too!

racing is pretty sweet too. It can take many races before you are first across the line. Most will never get there. But damm it feels good. To look back and to think that on that day you were the best. Not the strongest, not the fastest, not the smartest, but the best combination of the three.
 
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