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Thread: Newbie Here...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Frisco, Tx

    Newbie Here...

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    I am very new to cycling and would love a few pointers. I have been a runner until I fractured my sacrum last year. I took up cycling this year when it was still hurting to run after 9 months off. So, I have a Trek mountain bike and a specialized road bike. Helmet, shades, bike shorts, pump, tubes, etc. However, I am lacking motivation.

    When I started running many years ago, I found a race, registered, and started training to give myself a reason to just do it. I would like to be a good cyclist, but I don't even know how to train. How far do I go? How fast do I go?

    I would like to find a non-competitive womens race in the Texas/Oklahoma area. Any suggestions? How long should my first race be? How long do I need to train for it? How do I even begin training? Right now I am riding three days per week about 9 miles. It takes me about 40 minutes, sometimes less, sometimes more. Slow, I know. But I have no idea how that compares to my fitness level in running.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm so excited to have found this forum!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Olney, MD
    Welcome to TE.

    Rather than a race, look for an "event" ride or a charity ride. Pick a distance that will be a challenge and then start training for it by increasing your distance per ride.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Have you looked at this?
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    San Antonio Heights, CA (Upland)
    Welcome to the wonderful world of cycling!!! Cycling is SO much more fun than running. Okay, maybe not an objective opinion. I tried running and HATED it. Tried cycling and LOVE it.

    As another post said, look for a an event and train for it. A good place to look is Active.com, which you may have used for running events. With running, pretty much every event is timed and, therefore, a "race" of some sort. In cycling, there are races, but "organized events" are much more common. Racing is more dangerous and involves more work for an organization to put on than a running event, so the average charity that puts on a cycling event will typically make it an "organized event". These are very low key, non threatening events, which some take very seriously and do as quickly as they can, while others take their time and fully enjoy every SAG stop (rest stop with food). You don't compete against anyone but yourself (and maybe your friends!). A century is a 100 mile ride that a lot of cyclists aspire to do and, once accomplished, will aspire to do a century faster and stronger, maybe with more climbing, etc. There are also double Centuries (200 miles in one day) and "tours", which are multiple day events. A Metric Century is about 62 miles, I believe. But, again, there are much shorter events to be found as well. Many events will offer more than one distance to choose from.

    With racing, there are road races of various lengths which require either an annual or one day racing license from USAC, where women begin as a CAT 4 (men CAT 5). These are categories. You are given points for how you place and after you achieve a certain number of points you move up to the next higher category and race in that division.

    There are also Criteriums, which loop around a course several times. Everyone rides for a set time period and the person who goes the farthest wins.

    Time trials are the safest. Each cyclist rides a course on their own, with no drafting or being anywhere near another rider. The person with the fastest time wins.

    Sometimes you can find a "timed event", not to be confused with an actual "race". I just did my first one of these. I did a century called Heartbreak Hundred, which is basically a century just like others I've done, but with this one they write down what time you left and what time you came in, so you can see how your time compare to other people. My husband attempted to win this event, which is funny to say since they make a big point to say "This is NOT a race!" (So why time it?!) This "timed event" was in a remote location with a LOT of climbing, so no one goes too fast, except on the downhill, and there are no signals. Just a couple of stop signs. So, no need for road closures or police help or anything. (Dh came in 7th, by the way, 11 minutes from the course record).

    Anyways, find an event and start adding distance to your rides, particularly one a week. Training for cycling events is similar to training for running events. You can do intervals, hill repeats and a "long ride" once a week, which gets longer each week. There's tons of info out there on how to do all this.

    Good luck and, again, welcome to the wonderful world of cycling!!!

    2009 Cannondale Super Six High Modulus / SRAM Red / Selle San Marco Mantra

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    On my bike
    If you can find a cycling group in your area, you might pick up some good tips and get some riding buddies. Bike racing requires excellent handling skills at high rates of speed. You have to walk before you can run,er, race (har-de-har-har, I'm cracking myself up again)

    Running and cycling use different muscle sets, so cycling might be more challenging physically at first. Also, you said you fractured your sacrum. Has your bike (especially road bike) been fitted for you? An ill fitting bike might be problematic. Make sure your bike fits and that the saddle is comfortable. Don't rule out men's saddles. Many women's saddles are quite wide to accomodate a broader pelvic bone structure. If you're like me and you've never had kids - or just have a small frame, women's saddles are like wearing a diaper.

    Welcome to cycling and to Team Estrogen. There is a wealth of knowledge here and a bunch of really great women.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    There is a very good bike club in Plano. They have several levels of difficulty and are very active and supportive. I can't recommend them highly enough. You can find info here:





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