Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Tips for new Roadies....

So, I'm about ten weeks in to my new hobby of road cycling and I'd like to share a few things with others who might be thinking of doing the same. Here are my top ten things to know from my first ten weeks: -
  1. Read this book. Really easy to read and sets you up with the basics.
  2. Buy some decent shoes with cleats, they really do make a massive difference.
  3. Understand the importance of cadence (your revolutions of the pedals per minute). My average cadence is around 85. Better to spin a lot than to push a big gear (that's what the science says).
  4. Set your own performance targets. I started out to be able to cycle at an average of 12mph over a reasonable distance (say 30-50 miles). After achieving that I set a new goal of 15mph (which I can now do). My next goal is 16mph average.
  5. Set your bike up properly. The book I recommend in (1) will help you to do this.
  6. Join a cycling club (but beware it is not an elite club or you may be frustrated at not being able to keep up or being continuously dropped).
  7. Buy some decent cycling kit. It makes you feel more the part and will make you feel more comfortable on the bike, padded lycra shorts should be your priority!
  8. Get the best bike you can afford. Ride to work schemes have opened the market up massively for more expensive bikes.
  9. Do some charity rides. I find this helped a lot to have something to aim for. Try and do it with a group so you can be encouraged by others.
  10. Buy a turbo trainer. For about £100 you can sit on the bike at home and get some miles in in your legs.

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