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how far were you going (distance)? My typical loop right now is 7 to 8 miles. I want to start building toward 10 and then eventually 15 to 20. However, I was wondering how quickly to increase mileage, etc. Remember, I'm a beginner and haven't ever ridden before this summer. I'm also just coming off of knee surgery, so I am enjoying the exercise but am feeling like a fat piece of $hit! (5'9" 189, typically about 183)!!
 

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Sounds like you're ready for a "survival ride".
Next week, do your normal 7 to 8 mile loop.... Then on the weekend, throw in a 25 miler, don't time yourself, don't worry about avg. speeds, just ride it, and finish... Of course, take your knee into account and don't MASH the pedals the whole ride.

The next time you ride the 8 mile loop, you'll wonder if you should do it twice.
 

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I started about 1.5 months ago and thought 6 miles was huge. Then I took a wrong turn and road 12 miles. I was tired but I lived. After about 2 weeks I mapped out a nice long route (long to me anyways) of 20 miles. The road was fairly flat and had plenty of places to turn round if I thought 20 would be too much. Then a few weeks after that I tried a thirty mile ride. Like sprocket said don't rush yourself just pedal along. My first 30 mile ride averaged bout 15mph solo. Next week I'm going to try a 40 and see how that goes.
 

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Where I live, the country blocks are about 5 mile squares. I had plenty of different, but shorter options. I don't know how it is where you live, but if you knew of a nearby shorter route, you could always tack that on to your regular ride to taper up to more distance. That being said, a nice long ride thrown in there can be good too.

Thats similar to the Long Slow Distance training theory for runners. Just keep pedaling!
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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I think it really depends on your level of fitness and how far out of it you are when you start. If you are in average shape, I would say that you could ramp up relatively fast. If your position is correct, I really don't see a huge difference or gain, aside from psychological in a 5 mile increase.... unless of course, you live in the Alps.

The bicycle is insanely efficient, and unless you are out absolutely pegging it... you could softpedal and go for miles.

Instead of mileage, which I feel is a very subjective measure given different terrain, wind conditions, etc... I think the OP should instead use time as the goal. I would suggest increase the total saddle time. The mileage will come naturally, but its almost like that average speed question. As they become more fit, they will be able to ride more miles in the same time.

Another alternative is to hit a group ride. It often serves to increase motivation, and allows the user to use efficiency gains as well as psychological motivation to ride further than otherwise comfortable.
 

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Yeah when I first started 6 to 7 was about the mileage i was at. Then as someone else said I got lost and realized i could go longer. So now I try and increase a couple miles a week. Dont increase too much because this can cause stress on your knees and various other joints,(especially after surgery) so there is no shame in increasing mileage slowly. Welcome to the sport and enjoy.:)
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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Listen... you are talking about a few miles a week... from a cycling perspective that means nothing. So, I dont think you need to overthink this. You arent formulating a plan to make a run at the hour record.

So... there are two types of people... those that jump in or those that tiptoe around the edge and try to get their feet used to it... then their knees...etc.

Which one are you? Physically, increasing 2 miles vs 10 miles on a bike will not be that excessive of a change.... period. Maybe in your mind it is, or if you are excessively obese or have other serious health conditions preventing your ability... then maybe you should only increment it by a few miles a week... but keep in mind cycling is far different than slowly increasing mileage when running, so I dont think its a very valid analogy.
 

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Devoid of all flim-flam
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As funk says, it's probably better to concentrate on the amount of time you spend on the bike more than on distance covered. That being said, forty-five minutes on the bike is doing pretty good when you're just starting out. If that's too daunting (or too hard on the old a$$), try a half-hour. Mileage-wise, when I was starting out I was doing ten to fifteen mile rides. And of course, don't be afraid to push it a little every few times.

Have fun. Don't forget to write home.
 

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It's always easier if you have a companion along. If you're going longer than usual and you get tired - take a break. Get off the bike. Sit down in the shade for a few minutes. Stop for a cold drink. Don't worry about how long it takes you. You're having fun right? Then what's your hurry? It's an adventure.
 

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Tape over your computer and just go. bring chamois creme, headphones, and snacks. just go and dont look at what time it is. I came off of mountain biking 2 years ago and did 70 miles on my first ride when i bought a road bike. forget the numbers while youre riding and just go.
 

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i have also had knee problems. make sure you adjust the seat height so your not overstressing your knee...i was getting terrible kneecap pain with a too low seat height. if it hurts, put it up! ( or down)...make sure the power is coming from the thighs and not putting grinding pressure on the knee directly.
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
It's always easier if you have a companion along. If you're going longer than usual and you get tired - take a break. Get off the bike. Sit down in the shade for a few minutes. Stop for a cold drink. Don't worry about how long it takes you. You're having fun right? Then what's your hurry? It's an adventure.

This statement is exactly what I was thinking. You are on your bike to have some fun and explore. If you're tired, don't think you can't stop for a couple minutes to recoup and get some water. As long as you are enjoying the ride time\mileage should not be your main concern.
 

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I started off riding around the neighborhood a couple times
Went to a 10 mile loop
Then a 20 mile loop
Then 30...
You can see where this is going, right?

For me it was all what frame of mind I was in at the time. I start off kinda slow to warm up and then get up to my pace.

Yesterday I did 47 miles, my personal best so far. I had set 50 as a goal and I'm pretty close to it.

My ultimate goal is to do a century ride next spring.

YMMV but you'll have fun doing it, right? :)
 

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you are ready

When I first started riding again I was 218lbs and I started at 10 miles twice a day 4x a wk. I am now down to 188 2 1/2 years later and ride 30 to 50 miles 6 days a week. Use the talk test if you can speak a whole sentence you can push a little longer. I still get fatigue especially when climbing hills but the fatigue doesnt last long then you are on your way again.
 

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When I got my road bike last year I started out doing near 20 mile loops during the week along with a longer 40ish mile ride on the weekend if I was feeling up to it. Now I can bang out 40 miles a night no problem if I have the time. Longer distances don't effect me as much now.. It usually all boils down to time.
 
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