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Author Topic: Bicyclists (Advice?)  (Read 2505 times)

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miles

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Bicyclists (Advice?)
« on: June 27, 2012, 04:33:48 am »

Off the top of my head I can only think of two serious cyclists on the board. Smick and Mr Trout. I remember you both recently recommended a repair book that I have wishlisted. But I think there are others here. Anyway, I want to start biking more seriously. Mostly road but I'm open to mountain biking. Ideally, I'd like to complete the STP next year. I grew up in Seattle and always wanted to do this but never did.

So I'm looking for any advice. Any at all. The best seat to protect my junk, the best shorts to protect my taint, the best way to start training for a 200 mile bike ride, keeping in mind that I am in horrible shape and haven't biked regularly in over a decade, over the course of a year. And eventually I'm going to buy a new bike, so any advice regarding that too. I own a 13 year old mountain bike. It works fine but I'd like a new one.

I went on a really quick ride tonight. According to Google Maps it was 3.5 miles. I only need to do that 56 more times in a row and I'll be all set for the STP.
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theinevitable

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 05:03:06 am »

As a newbie biker, I think I might have some insights since it is all so fresh in my mind:

-get a hard seat. do not get a soft seat. ask them if you can try out a bike that has the seat you are looking at installed. You want to feel the weight on the hard bones in your ass, not in your taint/balls/crotch. Try out a couple of different ones.

-I went to a local bike co-op which sells used bikes that they have fixed up. I got a bike that I love so far for 160$. But I have already spent nearly that much on bike gear (helmet, new seat, lights) because I am silly and scared of being hit by a car.

-I own a 70's copy of this book that my friend found at Goodwill. It is a little helpful, but honestly most of this stuff is on the internet. Neither internet nor this book was able to solve the weird clicking sound I was getting, and then it went away.

-I got an application for my phone that tracks my rides. My biggest problem so far is that I forget to use it when I ride, and then I forget to turn it off so it says that I went like 2 miles an hour the whole way. But it's nice to be able to look at a particular ride and see how much elevation I climbed. Also, looking at this now makes me realize that a lot of rides that I thought I uploaded just disappeared into the aether. That is too bad.

-I am pretty amazed at how quickly you become able to go longer distances on the bike. Realizing that you just went 20 miles is pretty cool, even though I know real bikers do not consider that worth mentioning. My friend who started at the same time as me bikes a few miles to work every day, and is already miles and miles ahead of me (literally) in terms of fitness after only a month or two.

-If it is hot where you live, bike at night. I love this. Get really good lights. Wear bright colors. I bought a small waterproof backpack that is made of a reflective yellow material. I keep a spare tube, tire levers, my lights, extra batteries, and my U-Lock in my bag. This might be dangerous, but it is so fun.

-In regards to lights, You need to be seen, but you also need to be able to see the road ahead of you to avoid potholes. Maybe potholes are not as much of a problem in cities where they maintain roads.

-When biking on the road, think about where cars will be looking, and be there. Drivers are looking for obstacles/cars behind them, and to their left. They do not look to see if you are coming up to their right in between them and the curb. If you are coming up behind a row of stopped cars at a light/stop sign, stop behind the last car in line. Don't be afraid to "take the lane."

Biking in a group or even with a single friend is 10000 times more fun. Explore your city, find cool parks and bike to there, etc. If you want to work up to being able to bike 200 miles, you might want to drive away from the city to someplace with very little traffic so that you can just ride without worrying as much, or something. I'm sure Seattle has good bike trails.

Now that I finished this, maybe I am telling you things you already know since you specified "biking regularly." Oh well.
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miles

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 05:29:55 am »

No that's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Anything to help me stay motivated and any tips. There's this annual night ride next Friday north of Salt Lake that I'm trying to convince some friends to do. I had forgotten how much I do enjoy riding at night. But I do need to get some gear.

I found this: http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-182593.html

It's specifically how to train for the STP but there are some really good general suggestions.
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Bobby Isosceles

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 01:04:46 pm »

As a newbie biker, I think I might have some insights since it is all so fresh in my mind:

-get a hard seat. do not get a soft seat. ask them if you can try out a bike that has the seat you are looking at installed. You want to feel the weight on the hard bones in your ass, not in your taint/balls/crotch. Try out a couple of different ones.


This, this, a thousand times this. Your body adapts to shocks better than poorly mitigated shocks. For that same reason, unless you are barreling down the side of a mountain and then guzzling an Extreem Mountain Jolt Surrrrge Zero with Tony Hawk and the rest of your Crossfit Plyometric Yoga team, I'd say don't waste your money on front shock absorbers.

Also, play around with your gears - remember your ABC's -- Always Be Cycling. Coasting isn't good exercise, and it's a sign you're biking in an efficient and lazy manner. On the other hand, don't be afraid to mash up a hill or two.
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smick

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 06:16:32 pm »

STP is a great rite of passage, that I'd never ever do again.

The ride is too big for the support they offer.   Day 2: I skipped all of the portapoties and food stops and bought my own food/water in gas stations and Subway restaurants along the unending sprawl.  I didn't see a single square of TP on day 2.

For a lot of pretty scenery in the PNW, they picked a super ugly route.

Riders are aggressive, and there are too many in a tight space to be safe.
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pmcd9

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 07:20:03 pm »

STP (Skips Toilet Paper)
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miles

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 02:07:09 am »

STP is a great rite of passage, that I'd never ever do again.

The ride is too big for the support they offer.   Day 2: I skipped all of the portapoties and food stops and bought my own food/water in gas stations and Subway restaurants along the unending sprawl.  I didn't see a single square of TP on day 2.

For a lot of pretty scenery in the PNW, they picked a super ugly route.

Riders are aggressive, and there are too many in a tight space to be safe.

Your last point, was that true the entire time? Did it always feel really cramped?

And that is a shame about the scenery. It's still a thing I want to do though.
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miles

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 03:45:28 am »

-I got an application for my phone that tracks my rides. My biggest problem so far is that I forget to use it when I ride, and then I forget to turn it off so it says that I went like 2 miles an hour the whole way. But it's nice to be able to look at a particular ride and see how much elevation I climbed. Also, looking at this now makes me realize that a lot of rides that I thought I uploaded just disappeared into the aether. That is too bad.

I used Strava for the first time tonight. How is it that I ride 3.6 miles, turn around, take the exact same route back, and end up with 6.3 miles?
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pmcd9

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Re: Bicyclists (Advice?)
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2012, 04:17:41 am »

You said you turned around. When you got home the numbers were turned around too.
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