View Full Version : Poll: Best advice

08-30-2005, 05:01 AM
What is the best cycling advice you've ever received / read / heard? It can relate to anything: riding skills, training, eating, clothing, bike-buying...doesn't matter. If you could share only one piece of advice with other (women) cyclists, what would that be? What has made you a better, happier cyclist (mountain or road or whatever)?

08-30-2005, 05:37 AM
incredibly basic but for me it was crucial:

look where you want to go

Pedal Wench
08-30-2005, 05:43 AM
Spin, don't mash. And make sure you're spinning in circles

08-30-2005, 05:58 AM
My hubby teaching me to draft

08-30-2005, 06:00 AM
believe it or not: the Cup in any of it's forms!

nice thread Prof - this will be fun to read! thanks for starting it!

08-30-2005, 07:13 AM
like maryellen, the best piece of advice I've been given is look where you want to go.

Whether I remember to heed the advice or not is a different story.

08-30-2005, 07:33 AM
2 pieces of advice:
1. Sit all the way back on the seat when riding uphill (especially steep ones).
2. Get clipless pedals. It really does improve performance. I love mine.

08-30-2005, 09:04 AM
Bike fit: Get the best fit you can. Make the bike fit you; not you fit the bike.

08-30-2005, 09:30 AM
It isn't as much the bike as it is the rider!

08-30-2005, 09:47 AM
Before my first and daunting long charity ride, my friend passed on this advice: don't eat or drink stuff you aren't used to; keep your shoulders relaxed; use easier gears to spin when your legs are tired; and most of all have fun. Seven years later I still carry a little card with these helpful hints with me on my charity ride.

08-30-2005, 02:53 PM
Butt back and speed is your friend

08-30-2005, 03:27 PM
Give cycling a go, you will love it. (My husband) :)

08-30-2005, 05:29 PM
Best ever is probably to spin the pedals;

But today I got a really awesome mtb tip. It was rainy and the roots were really treacherous, and my back wheel was sliding all over the place. My buddy had me loosen up the tension on my brake cables so that there was more play in the levers before the brakes engaged (in other words, you have to pull the levers further towards you before the pads grab the rim). Consciously or subconciously, you grab the brake levers when you're in a situation when you want a better grip and by doing this you end up grabbing LOTS of brake and the wheels can lock up. After adjusting my cables in this manner, I noticed that I was able to brake more subtly and effectively and when I grabbed the bar for more stability I only got a little brake instead of a whole handful. After that the roots became a lot less of a problem!

08-30-2005, 06:56 PM
You are more apt to regret the things you didn't do than the things you did.

Ask yourself "What's the worst that can happen?" It's never that bad. (Of course, I can get to nuclear armageddon in 12 steps from anywhere, but I'm in practice.)

08-30-2005, 09:34 PM
two things:

1) spin don't mash

2) eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty, rest before you're tired


08-31-2005, 08:44 AM
Ride with cyclists who are stronger than you are...it will make you a stronger cyclist.

It works! :)


08-31-2005, 09:16 AM
commute advice:

get everything ready the night before, tires pumped, clothes laid out. nothing spoils your resolve to ride as "I can't find my helmet, oh s***, I'll drive".

If you're ready to go you'll go.

charity rides/centuries:
have a routine to get into and outa the rest stop quickly. mine is: keep spare cliff bars etc in jersey pocket I ride in, park the bike, try to remember where it is, doff the gloves, rotate my water bottles, get into the porta pottie line

eat, drink, stretch in line. Exit porta pottie stage right, wash hands *then* go get food. Eat if I'm still hungry and get an extra bar or two for the same routine next stop.

for our TE ALC'ers-inflate your tires on your way OUT each day. Many ALC riders try to save time by pumping the tires full when they come into camp. I tried to remind them to top it off in the morning.

Remember HS science class? Hot air expands, cold deflates. You come in from the ride your tires are hot, your bike stays outside all night that air you put in? Gone and you're more likely to get flats.

So when you get into camp park the bike and enjoy a good meal, hot shower, massage, concentrate on recovery. Leave the floor pump for the morning.

latest I learned from jobob:
need a break on a hill? The best place is right before a switchback. Likely it's flat, visible and best place to get going before the turn.

08-31-2005, 10:27 AM
1. Sit all the way back on the seat when riding uphill (especially steep ones).

I've taken to doing this recently and it seems to have helped my hill performance significantly (not to mention the fact that my crotch seems to appreciate the change of scenery as I rarely stand :p ). That and riding more regularly than I had been. Distances still aren't increasing (I'm still blown at the end of the ride), but I'm riding faster and feeling stronger. :)

08-31-2005, 12:51 PM
Hold your body up with your core muscles (only they weren't called "core muscles" at the time), and you'll feel an obvious difference in the power going to your pedals.

08-31-2005, 12:59 PM
I've gotten lots of good advice over the years but most recently... to relax and take a rest while climbing up hills. OK what does that mean? It means use your low gears, start out slowly and comfortably and once you hit a nice cadence, pick it up slowly. Near the top you shuld have enough left to stand and dash (or on a mountain bike, pick up the cadence and push). I used to rush the hills and peter out towards the top. No more!!! I used to avoid hills and now I seek them out. I eat hills for breakfast!

08-31-2005, 07:47 PM
Draw a circle with your toe.

I think about this when I'm in a particularly tough climb or otherwise feeling puny. I think it works because it forces me to really focus on that one image (and motion) and I find that I usually end up going a little faster without extra effort.

08-31-2005, 08:53 PM
road: learning about drafting

mtb: stand up and pedal in technical sections

Abarensfield7, if it's really wet and your mtbing on wet roots, letting a little bit of pressure out of your tires will give you more grip. Not enough to pinch flat, just enough to give you a little more tread on the roots.

09-01-2005, 02:25 AM
Mountain Biking: When faced with a difficult part of a trail: Do, or Do Not. In other words, make a decision to ride it fully committed, or get off and walk it. It's when I am hesitant that I am likely to wreck.

09-01-2005, 03:10 AM
Two things for me too:

Stand up more.

If you focus on it, you will hit it. (That's kind of related to look where you want to go- don't look where you don't want to go!)

09-01-2005, 05:34 PM
Never let on how much you're suffering (especially important when riding with men)

Bring a snack

Don't wear cotton underwear

09-06-2005, 05:45 PM
Hmmm....so many of these are great.

Couple of different ones that really helped me...

1) In the sand...keep your speed, shift down and pedal like mad to get through. Do not turn the handle bars to change direction. I used to be really cautious at sandy bottom hills and would fall all the time!

2) First started mountain biking...SHIFT!!! Shift all the time

09-06-2005, 06:55 PM
Ride with people who are faster and will drop you. I find that when rides that regroup I don't push as hard to stay with them. And, depending on the group, think like a guy-otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy.

09-07-2005, 01:33 PM
Great thread!

From my D.H.: "We don't stop on hills, we just slow right down and slog away 'til we get to the top".
Second the advice about sitting back in the saddle.

09-07-2005, 03:17 PM
1. eat every 15-20 miles on any ride over 20...and drink in small sips continuously... taking big gulps doesn't give your body time to absorb the fluid... resulting in the need to pee frequently

2. put your extra tube in a ziploc with some baby powder... the tube then slips into the tire easily and reduces the chance of a pinch flat!

3. always keep your core covered as that is where your power comes from... will reduce the risk of injury, and always cover your knees in temps below 60 degrees (these two from John Howard!)

09-07-2005, 04:46 PM
"the saddle is not a sofa. Get off the sofa" (mountain biking)

09-09-2005, 09:13 AM
...for your contributions. This has been fun to read. They're all great tips. Here's mine:

My husband kept telling me to go out to our local weekly group ride, but I was too intimidated. (Around 100 people show up each week, and break up into three groups, two of which do practice races.) Anyway, I finally went at the end of last summer, met some WOMEN to ride with, and have been riding a lot ever since. Five of us have become regular riding buddies, and that has made a huge difference. I can almost always find someone to ride with me. (And we still do the weekly group ride, as well.)

So, if there's a group ride like that near you, try it. It's a great way to meet other cyclists who go your speed.

10-08-2005, 01:19 PM
Best advice was to get a bike that suits my needs & go clipless, closely followed by joining a cycling club.

I'd been riding solo for *years* and finally decided to join a club after being told, "That's where all the strong riders are." SO true. On the roads riding solo, I'd play the catch-up-pass game with every rider I spotted in front of me. Then I joined a club, and have gotten dropped on the hills so many times now that I am used to it. VERY humbling, but EXCELLENT experience. I've become ALOT stronger for it and have developed better technique. I've also become significantly more safety conscious as well. I don't run as many stopsigns or red lights anymore, and I am ALOT more conscious of other riders nearby.