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Some Beginner Information

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Some Beginner Information

Old 06-04-19, 10:27 AM
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slammer66
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Some Beginner Information

I'm just getting started, I was running for fitness but my knee was giving me problems and about that time I "acquired" a trail bike. It cost me nothing but took about $100 to get into running order. It's an old Raleigh. It's a little small for me but I'm making do for exercise purposes. I quickly needed more distance to get tired though and found myself wanting to chew miles more than do trails so now I want a road bike because I'm liking that better. I'm a little broke right now because my daughter just finished college and the wife remodeled the house so I'm looking for a used road bike that is not crap for about $500 or less.

So aside from knowing where I can pick one up

What winter clothing should I be on the lookout for? I will be doing this year round.
What are some good bike roads or trails available around the Southeast? (I'm in Alabama)
How many miles a week do yall (southern spelling) feel is needed to keep you in relatively fit condition?
Is it better to ride shorter routes 3 or 4 times a week or longer routs say 2 times a week?
Is there a law against "road shoulders" in the South? it seems all roads are surrounded by deep rock filled ditches.
Why are all biking youtube video's British?
Anything else you guys want to offer up to a beginner
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Old 06-05-19, 07:10 AM
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lots of places to ride, even here in AL. Two places to start - your local bike store (LBS for short), or a co-op, if you have one around, and Strava or Ride with GPS - where you can find popular riding routes.
And even if the roads have a shoulder here in AL, the DoT fills them with rumble strips

Where in AL are you? I'm in da 'ham.
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Old 06-05-19, 10:36 AM
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I live just over the line in St Clair County but I ride mainly around lakeshore and mt Brook and then go on to work from there. I ride that route because it's where I was running and I know the routes. My current route is 14 miles but I fear it's not enough to keep my weight down. Currently I'm using an old Mt Bike which is slow and I still do the trail portions of that route. When I find a road bike I'll omit the trails and hopefully pick up some speed to give me more options. I see guys on that route in the morning on road bikes but they are moving on a pretty good clip. I doubt I can match their speed.

I'm hoping to look at a used Giant TCR C2 tomorrow

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Old 06-05-19, 11:20 AM
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Bob's Bikes has some friendly rides, good to start with, on Saturdays and Wednesdays. The Wednesday evening ride is overall probably more beginner-appropriate, if you feel that's where you need to start. Even more sedate is the Tour deHam groups on Tuesday and Saturdays. Most of these have Facebook groups to keep riders informed. If you're feeling a little more frisky, we ride every Tuesday ~ 5:30-5:45 from the Botanical Gardens. Lots of speed options/groups start from there. About a 28mi loop thru Irondale, Mountain Brook (Old Leeds Rd, MB Pkwy) and Homewood (Lakeshore). Plenty of other rides, depending on your speed/fitness level, too. I often go out with a group on Saturday mornings out 280 just past Chelsea. Hope to see you out there soon.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:38 AM
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So I realize this is not something I am capable of yet but I got the idea in my head of doing a ride from my home near Trussville to Huntsville (my daughter lives there and I could hitch a ride home with her). It's roughly about 100 miles to her house and I know they call this a "century". What sort of issues would you see with this? aside from me needing to be in better shape.
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Old 06-06-19, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by slammer66 View Post
So I realize this is not something I am capable of yet but I got the idea in my head of doing a ride from my home near Trussville to Huntsville (my daughter lives there and I could hitch a ride home with her). It's roughly about 100 miles to her house and I know they call this a "century". What sort of issues would you see with this? aside from me needing to be in better shape.
There are some weekly rides in the Trussville area, too. I have several riding buddies that live out that way.

Issues? The main thing is be in shape and be in touch with your body - hydration, caloric intake, some of these kind of things don't really come into play on a 25 mile ride. The 100s can be different. Even your saddle - I can ride almost anything up to about 60 miles - then things start to change. But it's just one of those things you'll need to experiment with and work up to. Your bike will need to be up to the task, too - adjusted, lubed, etc. Did you buy the Giant?

AND THIS could be the ticket - Kat Sweatt has set up a century training guide through the Birmingham Bicycle Club. Check it out.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:19 AM
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I'm hoping to see the Giant tonight. If the Giant doesn't work out it could be a while. It's hard to weed through the bikes on facebook and Ebay. So much of it is crap, many won't communicate, about half don't give the frame size and being new I have to research everything to know if it's a quality bike or something that's cheaply made. I think it's easier to buy a used car than a used bike.

I need to do a long ride and find my current upper limit. I may do that chief ladiga trail and try and figure out where I'm at.

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Old 06-07-19, 06:12 AM
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I did pick up the Giant TCR Composite 2 last night. It's either a 2006 or 2007 model. Seems in good shape. I'm going to take a look at one of the brake pads but seems in good shape to ride. I wasn't looking for a composite bike but... there it is. I assume they are strong enough or they wouldn't be popular. Main thing is it's not a wal mart bike and should hold up. It came with clip on shoes which is good, but It's going to take some getting used to.
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Old 06-07-19, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by slammer66 View Post
I did pick up the Giant TCR Composite 2 last night. It's either a 2006 or 2007 model. Seems in good shape. I'm going to take a look at one of the brake pads but seems in good shape to ride. I wasn't looking for a composite bike but... there it is. I assume they are strong enough or they wouldn't be popular. Main thing is it's not a wal mart bike and should hold up. It came with clip on shoes which is good, but It's going to take some getting used to.
Congrats, you're on your way.
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Old 06-13-19, 04:35 PM
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I have found the biggest item in riding longer distances is to do more mid range rides. I have ridden several Metric Centuries ( 64 miles). The first couple were pretty tough as I ended up in some hills ( at least for me). I upped my mileage that I rode on a weekly basis. Got to the point I would ride 40 miles at least 3 times a week and then do 30 the other times I rode. That helped me immensely on doing the metrics.

Keep plenty of liquids available, especially when riding in the heat. It will make a lot of difference. Being consistent is important to me also. The more you ride, the longer you will be able to ride.

It becomes addictive after a while, so just ride and enjoy. The distance will happen before you know it.
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Old 06-14-19, 02:25 PM
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My auto mechanic is right at 9 miles from my house so I was going to ride the bike to pick up my wife's car. Between the two is this God awful hill. I'm still trying to get used to the clip on shoes and toward the top of the hill I'm standing grinding it with everything I had and I realize I'm running out of strength and so much so that I'm pretty sure I can't even get my shoes unclipped so it's hit the peak of the hill or crash. I did make it up barely but it was gut wrenching. I would not normally choose that road just because of that hill.

You talk of doing 40 miles. Are these routes in big repeated circles or are you running one big 40 mile loop?
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Old 06-14-19, 07:17 PM
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For the 40 miles, it is an out and back route from the house. Living in North East Fl. it is pretty flat. I have a couple of overpasses and one grade about 1/2 mile long. Other than that it is flat. However, it seems to make no difference which way I go, the wind is blowing 5-15 mph against me. Makes for some challenging riding though.

I vary my rides where there are several ways I can go to get the 40 miles. I do this to keep from getting extremely bored. I also challenge myself to ride some of the segments faster at times. I am on Strava and try to improve my times on KOM segments that are along the routes I ride. No where am I fast enough to have a KOM. LOL
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