View Full Version : the first of MANY questions!

02-04-2004, 11:54 AM
Ok, now that i've figured out this posting thing...here come the questions:
first one:
As i mentioned before...I'm REALLY new at this...training for a 700 mile ride (2 weeks) down the west coast (by heading south...doesn't that mean that it's all "DOWN" hill!!!!!!!! )...anyway, i have a training program with a trainer at our health club. Just finishing the first 6 weeks. It's 6 days a week, cross training, and i'm actually loving it. I love personal challanges! The next 6 weeks will be something new, etc until the ride at the end of July. If anyone has ANY advice to give me on training, form, equipment, (I have a Specialized, Allez), nutrition, etc, etc...i'm open to it! Craving it in fact! I love my bike and am soooo excited that i made this commitment!
Bring on the Advice!!!!!

02-05-2004, 04:09 AM
I might be missing a few things here, but my immediate thought is "wanna be a better bike rider? ride your bike".

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of x-training and think it's generally an excellent idea in the off-season.

However, as a new cyclist, if you live where the roads are currently rideable, the most important thing for you is saddle time. Indoor workouts on the trainer would help, but they are not as useful as "real life" experience where you also develop bike-skills.

How is your tour structured? 350 miles each week? What's the longest one-day ride? The most challenging climb on the route? You'll need to know these things and prepare enough so that you will be comfortable by the time July arrives.

Give us more info and perhaps we can help you a bit more...

02-05-2004, 10:52 AM
I am itching to get outside....although the trainer gives me "in the saddle time" it gets old watching The Bathelorette (!) while i ride.
About the west coast ride: The ride consists of days ranging from 30 - 100 mile days. one day off each week for a service project along the way. As far as the challenge of the courses...i'm assuming hilly. We just applied last week and those are great questions to ask when i talk to them directly. I hope i'm being realistic getting into this ride! At least it's not a race (!) and there is a SAG van that travels with each group. (adds to my comfort level). I"m afraid that's all i know so far.

02-05-2004, 05:59 PM

I've ridden from San Francisco to Los Angeles, when you find out more about your route post the info. I might be able to tell you what you're in for! :p

02-06-2004, 06:23 AM
I'm dying to know more about your ride from SF down the coast...what your experiences were, what worked for you, what didn't, things to look forward to...things to be careful of, etc... Anything you can share with me would be so great!
Thanks! :)

02-20-2004, 04:59 AM
Ok, i haven't been out on my new road bike yet (white stuff is now getting rained on as i type!)...
With my old bike...city bike...i would go up and down curbs without thinking twice about it. With those little skinny wheels, should i stay smooth?...avoid those bumps and curbs?

Also...what's the best way to clean the chain and all those gears and various components if it's a messy day out?

Any other "caring for my new baby" tips would be greatly appreciaated too!

02-20-2004, 03:58 PM
hi, I'm pretty new too, but my husband taught me how to "hop" those curbs and bumps on my roadbike... very useful when you're looking at scenery and when you look back to the road there's a piece of lumber in the road (darned near killed myslef trying to avoid it!!!... so the husband made me learn to hop)

OK, I'll try to describe this the best way I can... lean forward and DOWN on your handlebars with all your weight... sort of "push" down hard, then pull uyp quickly which will pop your front wheel into the air... the first few times I tried I barely got an inch off the ground... it takes some practice but once you get it, it can be really useful to know...:)

02-23-2004, 04:08 AM
Hi Gretchen

Sounds like an incredible trip! What a fantastic challenge to take part in.

I agree with Pedalfaster – as soon as you possibly can, get out on the road. Don’t know what the climate is like where you are but as long as it’s safe, ie no ice, then get riding, even if it might mean braving the wind and rain.

Cross training is good for keeping your overall fitness up and the home-trainer in front of the TV is also useful, but its true - the more time you can spend in the saddle the better, as it’ll develop your cycling specific muscles.

Very glad to hear you’ve got yourself a trainer – good for motivation etc and this may be a silly question , but is he/she a cyclist or someone whose worked with cyclists before, because if they have this will be a great advantage to you, as you can maximise your training by making it cycling specific.

I guess stamina is also going to be a key thing in a ride of that distance – even though the distances might not be massive each day they’ll soon add up over the course of a week, so it might be worthwhile experimenting.

If you can fit it into your week try doing a good long ride 3 or 4 days in a row to see how you feel. Was the pace right for you or did you go off too fast on the first day? What sort of energy food worked the best out on the road and what sort of food helped you recover the best when you got home?

Also, get as much info about the route as you possibly can .That way you shouldn’t have too many nasty surprises, and it also means you can also look forward to the best bits. :p

Good luck and keep up posted… :)

02-23-2004, 07:25 AM
I noticed you are in Brighton...i think i visited your beautiful coastal town why back when! I did my student teaching in London and some friends and I ventured down your way. Very beautiful!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to my LBS today to get my bike fitted and tweeked...get a new seat for my hybrid and see if i can get some drop handle bars for that so i can at least simulate the feel of my road bike when i'm out on the dusty trail! (I just love riding our trails around here).

My trainer is a triathelete and is really into biking herself. She has come up with Phases for us (my daughter and myself) ...we are now in our "strength" phase. My goal is to get my bikes set so i can do my "hill climbing" training out in the nasty weather with the hybrid (poor thing...soooo abused) and do road work with the road bike with nicer weather coming soon (fingers crossed).

I have done several longer rides but not in a row. The longest being 70 some miles and i was happy to not have any side effects at all. I am so afraid that i'll do a few days of long rides and feel so aweful that i won't want to do our summer ride (!).
I guess i better start planning on some of these longer several day rides in the next couple of months. That's really good advise!

It's a "weights day" so i'm off to the gym.
: )

02-23-2004, 08:01 AM
Cool - sounds like you've got youself a good coach.

Hope you enjoy the longer-rides-all- in-a -row. I think you will. I went on an orgnised cycling holiday last year and thought it would kill me. When I got home in the evenings I'd be tired etc but the next morning we'd ride again and the stiffness soon went and I felt good.

The only thing I'd suggest it to take the first day very slowly. (something I'm bad at !!;) ) Maybe take it so it feels almost too slow, but remember you're riding as part of 3 days in a row and you still want to be able to put in a good performance on the last day.

Hope this makes sense...:)

P.S Love living in Brighton by the sea side...:)