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First Ride Outside the Neighborhood

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

First Ride Outside the Neighborhood

Old 01-12-20, 03:57 PM
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Metallifan33
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First Ride Outside the Neighborhood

This will bore some of you experienced riders, (and I know there are specific threads for ride experiences) but I thought I'd share the experience of my first ride outside my neighborhood.
Quick background; I used to enjoy running, but kept hurting myself. Some medical issues with the spouse as of late has raised up the stress levels (and my weight; not to mention the drinking frequency) and after 3 runs in the first week of December, I was on crutches, and finally decided to pull the trigger on my (longtime-coming) decision to buy a bike.
I don't know any cyclists, so I spent time researching online, bought a book, joined this forum of low lives, and proceeded to educate myself.
Long story short, I got the bike, started riding, and was immediately hooked. Rode around the neighborhood to get used to the bike, then the clipless pedals, and finally was ready to venture out this weekend.
I found a 7.5 mile stretch highway 10 minutes north of my neighborhood that has a bike lane the entire way and only 1 turnoff per side (for a trail head). Figured this would be a great place to start.
I woke up in the morning thinking about the ride. Packed the bike in the wife's SUV and headed out. I told her to keep her cell phone near in case I needed her to come get me.
I parked at the trail head, got kitted up and started riding. I got on the road and felt the first car go by... I know I should ride in the middle of the bike lane, but I'm on the right edge, nervous.
I start picking up speed; the first thing that occurs to me is damn, it's a lot more wind than I expected... and not because it was windy.
The rush of it all hits me as I crest the first small hill and head down. Suddenly I'm 9 years old, in the remote dirt road with my Dad, and he's letting me drive the family car by myself. I shift the 5 speed Nissan, my feet barely reaching the throw of the clutch, and grind the gears.. oh damn, but what fun. I shift the Shimano 105 gearset and understand now why people say not to shift under load.
As I was riding, I began to wonder about a few things. What if I get a flat? What if someone comes up behind me to pass? What if I hit a rock or some dirt and lose control?
I decide to stop for my first drink. I didn't dare try it while riding. I slow and approach the stop. Oh ****! I unclipped my left foot as I always do, but instinct makes me lean right (due to the traffic on my left). I begin to fall, but am able to unclip the right foot at the last moment and save myself. I take a look to make sure nobody sees me, and then get my drink. Heart beating faster than it should be... maybe from the excitement, maybe from being scared of the near fall, what difference does it make?




I get back on and continue riding. I shift down to go up another small hill, then shift back... ah the familiar gear. Wait, do I have a favorite gear? What a weirdo.
As I pick up speed, I'm amazed by how stable the bike is. No vibration, no oscillation. When I shift, it's so smooth, I barely even hear it. I convince myself I made the right decision when I changed my order from the Tiagra SL 4 to the 105 on an emotion fueled impulse. Regardless, I appreciate the machine.
I get going fast; faster than I've ever ridden a bike before. The excitement climbs again. I think about all the stress from the month. Which one is first? The argument with the wife earlier in the day. Fine, bring it on, I ride hard as long as I can; take out all the frustration. I used to do this on a run; and paid for it in pain the next day. **** you; what's next?
I go faster; the excitement builds. A truck pulling a horse trailer goes by; the rear left wheel of the trailer over the white line of the bike lane. Oh ****.
What if I have to stop quickly? I can barely stop normally! There's a bitter taste in my mouth. Ah, the adrenaline. I look to the right, thinking about what I'd crash into if I had to bail. It wasn't good.
Now I'm reminded of the first time I'm in an airplane by myself. I'm 22, no time to be scared; no one else is going to fly the plane if I wuss out. The rush is exhilarating... and addictive.
I keep riding.
Finally I hear the rustle of a chain behind me and realize someone is coming to pass me. I don't even try to look back, luckily on this stretch of the road, there's a shoulder as wide as the bike lane to the right. I move over to the right and this guy rides past me. The speed he was carrying was nothing short of amazing. I notice the TT handles. I realize how weird it was that it was the closest I've ever been to anyone in full kit.
I finish the out and back, the 15 miles as planned. I know I should stop (I have plans in the evening), but I want to keep riding. 2 more miles I convince myself.
I did 5 more.
I know there'll never be a first ride like this one again, so I stop and savor it.

Damn.
That was fun.


Last edited by BillyD; 01-13-20 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Language
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Old 01-12-20, 04:14 PM
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Old 01-12-20, 04:22 PM
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Sounds like you're having fun!
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Old 01-12-20, 07:36 PM
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Awesome
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Old 01-12-20, 08:30 PM
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Old 01-13-20, 02:09 AM
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That's a good-looking bike.
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Old 01-13-20, 08:15 AM
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Gorgeous road. I'm jealous.
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Old 01-13-20, 09:21 AM
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Great write-up, great pictures, great ride. Well done, fellow bike addict!

The first time I ventured outside the neighborhood I felt like I was getting ready for an imagined first carrier launch, I was that keyed up. I can still bring back the memories.
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Old 01-13-20, 09:48 AM
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Don't be startled when you get passed by this guy. His home is about 3 miles from DV

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Old 01-13-20, 09:59 AM
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Fantastic write up!! Good looking bike too! I haven't been riding that long either, so I remember the first time I ventured out into the wild open road, felt a lot like what you described! All of it will become more comfortable and familiar, but it will still continue to be just as fun!
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Old 01-13-20, 10:08 AM
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Nice write up.

But dammit, your pictures really make me miss AZ.

I rode the velo to work this morning...most of the way was 1/4 to 1/2 inch of snow, with a few places a little more than an inch deep.
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Old 01-13-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Don't be startled when you get passed by this guy. His home is about 3 miles from DV
I was worried about how I would handle it when someone came up behind me to pass me, but during the hour and a half I rode, only one guy passed me... and he was hauling. Who knows, it could have been him.
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Old 01-13-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
I was worried about how I would handle it when someone came up behind me to pass me, but during the hour and a half I rode, only one guy passed me... and he was hauling. Who knows, it could have been him.
He's in California training right now, but when he's at home you'll often see him on that road(heading out to 7 Springs).

I was surprised at how few people were out riding Saturday morning, but it was a little chilly(for Phoenix cyclists).
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Old 01-13-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Nice write up.

But dammit, your pictures really make me miss AZ.

I rode the velo to work this morning...most of the way was 1/4 to 1/2 inch of snow, with a few places a little more than an inch deep.
It's definitely nice in AZ this time of year. The pics don't do it nearly enough justice.
But I feel ya with the snow; I spend about 10 days a month on the East Coast and the Midwest and am always glad when I get back home.
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Old 01-13-20, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
He's in California training right now, but when he's at home you'll often see him on that road(heading out to 7 Springs).

I was surprised at how few people were out riding Saturday morning, but it was a little chilly(for Phoenix cyclists).
Cool... I just Googled Seven Springs. Do people road bike up there? Seems pretty cool.
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Old 01-13-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
This will bore some of you experienced riders, (and I know there are specific threads for ride experiences) but I thought I'd share the experience of my first ride outside my neighborhood.
Quick background; I used to enjoy running, but kept hurting myself. Some medical issues with the spouse as of late has raised up the stress levels (and my weight; not to mention the drinking frequency) and after 3 runs in the first week of December, I was on crutches, and finally decided to pull the trigger on my (longtime-coming) decision to buy a bike.
I don't know any cyclists, so I spent time researching online, bought a book, joined this forum of low lives, and proceeded to educate myself.
Long story short, I got the bike, started riding, and was immediately hooked. Rode around the neighborhood to get used to the bike, then the clipless pedals, and finally was ready to venture out this weekend.
I found a 7.5 mile stretch highway 10 minutes north of my neighborhood that has a bike lane the entire way and only 1 turnoff per side (for a trail head). Figured this would be a great place to start.
I woke up in the morning thinking about the ride. Packed the bike in the wife's SUV and headed out. I told her to keep her cell phone near in case I needed her to come get me.
I parked at the trail head, got kitted up and started riding. I got on the road and felt the first car go by... I know I should ride in the middle of the bike lane, but I'm on the right edge, nervous.
I start picking up speed; the first thing that occurs to me is damn, it's a lot more wind than I expected... and not because it was windy.
The rush of it all hits me as I crest the first small hill and head down. Suddenly I'm 9 years old, in the remote dirt road with my Dad, and he's letting me drive the family car by myself. I shift the 5 speed Nissan, my feet barely reaching the throw of the clutch, and grind the gears.. oh damn, but what fun. I shift the Shimano 105 gearset and understand now why people say not to shift under load.
As I was riding, I began to wonder about a few things. What if I get a flat? What if someone comes up behind me to pass? What if I hit a rock or some dirt and lose control?
I decide to stop for my first drink. I didn't dare try it while riding. I slow and approach the stop. Oh sh*t! I unclipped my left foot as I always do, but instinct makes me lean right (due to the traffic on my left). I begin to fall, but am able to unclip the right foot at the last moment and save myself. I take a look to make sure nobody sees me, and then get my drink. Heart beating faster than it should be... maybe from the excitement, maybe from being scared of the near fall, what difference does it make?

I get back on and continue riding. I shift down to go up another small hill, then shift back... ah the familiar gear. Wait, do I have a favorite gear? What a weirdo.
As I pick up speed, I'm amazed by how stable the bike is. No vibration, no oscillation. When I shift, it's so smooth, I barely even hear it. I convince myself I made the right decision when I changed my order from the Tiagra SL 4 to the 105 on an emotion fueled impulse. Regardless, I appreciate the machine.
I get going fast; faster than I've ever ridden a bike before. The excitement climbs again. I think about all the stress from the month. Which one is first? The argument with the wife earlier in the day. Fine, bring it on, I ride hard as long as I can; take out all the frustration. I used to do this on a run; and paid for it in pain the next day. F*ck you; what's next?
I go faster; the excitement builds. A truck pulling a horse trailer goes by; the rear left wheel of the trailer over the white line of the bike lane. Oh sh*t.
What if I have to stop quickly? I can barely stop normally! There's a bitter taste in my mouth. Ah, the adrenaline. I look to the right, thinking about what I'd crash into if I had to bail. It wasn't good.
Now I'm reminded of the first time I'm in an airplane by myself. I'm 22, no time to be scared; no one else is going to fly the plane if I wuss out. The rush is exhilarating... and addictive.
I keep riding.
Finally I hear the rustle of a chain behind me and realize someone is coming to pass me. I don't even try to look back, luckily on this stretch of the road, there's a shoulder as wide as the bike lane to the right. I move over to the right and this guy rides past me. The speed he was carrying was nothing short of amazing. I notice the TT handles. I realize how weird it was that it was the closest I've ever been to anyone in full kit.
I finish the out and back, the 15 miles as planned. I know I should stop (I have plans in the evening), but I want to keep riding. 2 more miles I convince myself.
I did 5 more.
I know there'll never be a first ride like this one again, so I stop and savor it.

Damn.
That was fun.
Coming off a stomach bug that's kept me off the bike for a while, this just got me pumped up to go ride. Nothing beats that feeling of absolute freedom, you captured it perfectly.
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Old 01-13-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
Cool... I just Googled Seven Springs. Do people road bike up there? Seems pretty cool.
I ride up to the end of the pavement, but if you put some 35mm gravel tires on your bike you might be OK.

Do you live on the west side of I-17?
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Old 01-13-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I ride up to the end of the pavement, but if you put some 35mm gravel tires on your bike you might be OK.

Do you live on the west side of I-17?
I'm on the east side. Cave Creek and Deer Valley.
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Old 01-13-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
I'm on the east side. Cave Creek and Deer Valley.
That's a nice little loop from that area, but I would avoid 7th street to Happy Valley. The pavement sucks, and there's not much of a shoulder. I'd use Deer Valley to 19th Ave.
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Old 01-13-20, 01:25 PM
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Congrats! You're now infected with the bug. Ride safe, acquire an underseat bag with repair kit, spare tube, etc. ASAP.

Ride With GPS has a cool tool for finding routes. Here's a link to it with your area plugged in. Fiddle with it as needed to find some handy routes pre-planned by others which will presumably follow appropriate routes for road cycling, avoiding traffic, etc. It's not perfect, but it's definitely better than total guessing!

https://ridewithgps.com/find#search/...%5Bsort_by%5D=
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Old 01-13-20, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
Congrats! You're now infected with the bug. Ride safe, acquire an underseat bag with repair kit, spare tube, etc. ASAP.

Ride With GPS has a cool tool for finding routes. Here's a link to it with your area plugged in. Fiddle with it as needed to find some handy routes pre-planned by others which will presumably follow appropriate routes for road cycling, avoiding traffic, etc. It's not perfect, but it's definitely better than total guessing!

https://ridewithgps.com/find#search/...%5Bsort_by%5D=
Thanks!!
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Old 01-13-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
This will bore some of you experienced riders, (and I know there are specific threads for ride experiences) but I thought I'd share the experience of my first ride outside my neighborhood.
Quick background; I used to enjoy running, but kept hurting myself. Some medical issues with the spouse as of late has raised up the stress levels (and my weight; not to mention the drinking frequency) and after 3 runs in the first week of December, I was on crutches, and finally decided to pull the trigger on my (longtime-coming) decision to buy a bike.
I don't know any cyclists, so I spent time researching online, bought a book, joined this forum of low lives, and proceeded to educate myself.
Long story short, I got the bike, started riding, and was immediately hooked. Rode around the neighborhood to get used to the bike, then the clipless pedals, and finally was ready to venture out this weekend.
I found a 7.5 mile stretch highway 10 minutes north of my neighborhood that has a bike lane the entire way and only 1 turnoff per side (for a trail head). Figured this would be a great place to start.
I woke up in the morning thinking about the ride. Packed the bike in the wife's SUV and headed out. I told her to keep her cell phone near in case I needed her to come get me.
I parked at the trail head, got kitted up and started riding. I got on the road and felt the first car go by... I know I should ride in the middle of the bike lane, but I'm on the right edge, nervous.
I start picking up speed; the first thing that occurs to me is damn, it's a lot more wind than I expected... and not because it was windy.
The rush of it all hits me as I crest the first small hill and head down. Suddenly I'm 9 years old, in the remote dirt road with my Dad, and he's letting me drive the family car by myself. I shift the 5 speed Nissan, my feet barely reaching the throw of the clutch, and grind the gears.. oh damn, but what fun. I shift the Shimano 105 gearset and understand now why people say not to shift under load.
As I was riding, I began to wonder about a few things. What if I get a flat? What if someone comes up behind me to pass? What if I hit a rock or some dirt and lose control?
I decide to stop for my first drink. I didn't dare try it while riding. I slow and approach the stop. Oh sh*t! I unclipped my left foot as I always do, but instinct makes me lean right (due to the traffic on my left). I begin to fall, but am able to unclip the right foot at the last moment and save myself. I take a look to make sure nobody sees me, and then get my drink. Heart beating faster than it should be... maybe from the excitement, maybe from being scared of the near fall, what difference does it make?




I get back on and continue riding. I shift down to go up another small hill, then shift back... ah the familiar gear. Wait, do I have a favorite gear? What a weirdo.
As I pick up speed, I'm amazed by how stable the bike is. No vibration, no oscillation. When I shift, it's so smooth, I barely even hear it. I convince myself I made the right decision when I changed my order from the Tiagra SL 4 to the 105 on an emotion fueled impulse. Regardless, I appreciate the machine.
I get going fast; faster than I've ever ridden a bike before. The excitement climbs again. I think about all the stress from the month. Which one is first? The argument with the wife earlier in the day. Fine, bring it on, I ride hard as long as I can; take out all the frustration. I used to do this on a run; and paid for it in pain the next day. F*ck you; what's next?
I go faster; the excitement builds. A truck pulling a horse trailer goes by; the rear left wheel of the trailer over the white line of the bike lane. Oh sh*t.
What if I have to stop quickly? I can barely stop normally! There's a bitter taste in my mouth. Ah, the adrenaline. I look to the right, thinking about what I'd crash into if I had to bail. It wasn't good.
Now I'm reminded of the first time I'm in an airplane by myself. I'm 22, no time to be scared; no one else is going to fly the plane if I wuss out. The rush is exhilarating... and addictive.
I keep riding.
Finally I hear the rustle of a chain behind me and realize someone is coming to pass me. I don't even try to look back, luckily on this stretch of the road, there's a shoulder as wide as the bike lane to the right. I move over to the right and this guy rides past me. The speed he was carrying was nothing short of amazing. I notice the TT handles. I realize how weird it was that it was the closest I've ever been to anyone in full kit.
I finish the out and back, the 15 miles as planned. I know I should stop (I have plans in the evening), but I want to keep riding. 2 more miles I convince myself.
I did 5 more.
I know there'll never be a first ride like this one again, so I stop and savor it.

Damn.
That was fun.

Good job on the purchase & on the ride! Looks like you had a blast. Indeed, you will not get a better feeling than the one you got on your ''first real ride'' . However, rest assured that there will be rides that you will enjoy a lot more than others. You will also get some pretty good feels when you will break your own personnal records, objectives, etc. I you caught ''the bug'', bicycling will become your new drug (and it is a great one to keep you away from alcohol!).

As long as you stay safe on the roads & that your bike is properly fitted, you have plenty of rides ahead of you. Keep us apprised on your improvements.

EDIT: Here's a picture of my first ride with my old bike (Giant Defy Advanced) up to the highest point of the national park (45km run with over 700m (2300ft) of total elevation) close to where I live. It was my longest and hardest run, and I remember that beautiful feeling of accomplishment! It was the beginning of my addiction.


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Old 01-13-20, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
EDIT: Here's a picture of my first ride with my old bike (Giant Defy Advanced) up to the highest point of the national park (45km run with over 700m (2300ft) of total elevation) close to where I live. It was my longest and hardest run, and I remember that beautiful feeling of accomplishment! It was the beginning of my addiction.
Nice!! Yeah, that's a first ride with a view you'd never forget. Good thing you snapped the pic.
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Old 01-13-20, 02:44 PM
  #24  
Seattle Forrest
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A lot of injured runners turn to cycling for a quick fix, and get hooked. You can still get the endorphins feeling by riding hard. And you can cover a lot more ground, seeing lots of cool stuff along the way.
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Old 01-13-20, 03:16 PM
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Cycling is a poor substitute for the purity of running.
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