Am I ready to start bicycling on the roads

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by [email protected], Feb 20, 2004.

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  1. I am a new rider. I have never had a bicycle. I am bicycling 40 - 70 miles a week on a stationary
    bike. How much should I be doing to bicycle that much on the roads? Is there a ratio between mileage
    on a stationary bike and mileage on the roads?
     
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  2. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I am a new rider. I have never had a bicycle. I am bicycling 40 - 70 miles a week on a stationary
    > bike. How much should I be doing to bicycle that much on the roads? Is there a ratio between
    > mileage on a stationary bike and mileage on the roads?

    No consistent one, because of the difference in resistance. If you keep it cranked up on the
    stationary, you're probably in pretty good shape; if you have it set low, you won't be in as
    good of shape.

    However, conditioning is really a secondary matter. Bike handling skills are more important, and
    can't be gained on a stationary. Putting a real bike on rollers will help a lot with balance and
    steering, but the best way IMO is to just get out on a quiet road or bike trail and start riding.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  3. Badger_south

    Badger_south Guest

    On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 13:51:37 -0500, David Kerber <[email protected]_ids.net>
    wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >> I am a new rider. I have never had a bicycle. I am bicycling 40 - 70 miles a week on a stationary
    >> bike. How much should I be doing to bicycle that much on the roads? Is there a ratio between
    >> mileage on a stationary bike and mileage on the roads?
    >
    >No consistent one, because of the difference in resistance. If you keep it cranked up on the
    >stationary, you're probably in pretty good shape; if you have it set low, you won't be in as good
    >of shape.
    >
    >However, conditioning is really a secondary matter. Bike handling skills are more important, and
    >can't be gained on a stationary. Putting a real bike on rollers will help a lot with balance and
    >steering, but the best way IMO is to just get out on a quiet road or bike trail and start riding.

    Good replies. Since I'm just starting doing both (adding sta. biking), I'll say that if you push it
    a little on the sta. bike, and you're doing 30 min/session four times a week, that would translate
    easily to riding about 10 miles on relatively flat ground on a bike trail (trying to separate out
    the road skillz for the moment).

    But if you're transitioning to road/trail/outside riding, then you'll get pretty steady improvement,
    since you have a little bit of a base already.

    I'm presuming that you've been riding the sta. bike for 3-6 months at this level, are not grossly
    overweight, etc. (I only mention the 'overweight',
    b/c that can be a handicap at first if you live in a hilly location. Larger riders do just fine.)
    Just be sure you've had a MD's check up, and all the other 'yadda, yadda's for doing strenuous
    exercise - actual biking can be more strenuous - you have to do emergency sprinting, or as the
    other reply mentioned, if you're 20 miles from home, you can't stop, you have to work through it.
    It's very hard to 'work through it' on a sta. bike, b/c of the tedium, the constant pedalling
    (real biking comes in bursts, with lots of little 'rest' periods, even though it can be more
    strenuous at times).

    If you're asking how much should you be doing to bike that much on the roads, I don't understand the
    question. Are you planning to transition, or do you just want to continue the sta. bike but tell
    your mom that you could ride 10 miles a day, 7 days a week if you wanted. ;-)

    Finally, I'm not sure you're asking, but if you've never ridden a bike, it might take a week or two
    to learn to balance on two wheels. That's a whole 'nother discussion.

    HTH, -B
     
  4. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    David Kerber wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >>I am a new rider. I have never had a bicycle. I am bicycling 40 - 70 miles a week on a stationary
    >>bike. How much should I be doing to bicycle that much on the roads? Is there a ratio between
    >>mileage on a stationary bike and mileage on the roads?
    >
    > However, conditioning is really a secondary matter. Bike handling skills are more important, and
    > can't be gained on a stationary. Putting a real bike on rollers will help a lot with balance and
    > steering, but the best way IMO is to just get out on a quiet road or bike trail and start riding.

    Emphasis on quiet road. If you live in a city, drive your bike to the outskirts and start on less-
    traveled state or county roads, or stay close to a home in your suburban neighborhood if you have
    one. Learn the lessons of driveways, taking the lane (when, how) and stupid driver tricks one at a
    time. Feel free to start slow and wait years for the skills to develop.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    "We should not march into Baghdad. ... Assigning young soldiers to
    a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning
    them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it
    could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater
    instability." George Bush Sr. in his 1998 book "A World Transformed"
     
  5. <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am a new rider. I have never had a bicycle. I am bicycling 40 - 70 miles a week on a stationary
    > bike. How much should I be doing to bicycle that much on the roads? Is there a ratio between
    > mileage on a stationary bike and mileage on the roads?

    I dk about that, since the amount of time I've spent on stationary bikes vs. real riding is
    minimal. But what I recommend is if you have a bicycling club in your area, to see if they have
    beginner rides. You'll feel much more confident on those roads when you have others to ride with
    and learn from.

    --
    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato and .net for .com

    Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm

    New CD coming out this month! See: http://www.tiferet.net

    "To forgive is to set the prisoner free and then discover the prisoner
    was you."
     
  6. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Fri, 20 Feb 2004 16:27:48 -0700,
    <[email protected]>,
    Raptor <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Feel free to start slow and wait years for the skills to develop.

    That's driving, silly. Cycling is to start slow and _work_ years to develop the skills.
    --
    zk
     
  7. On 20 Feb 2004 10:26:39 -0800, [email protected]
    ([email protected]) wrote:

    >I am a new rider. I have never had a bicycle. I am bicycling 40 - 70 miles a week on a stationary
    >bike. How much should I be doing to bicycle that much on the roads? Is there a ratio between
    >mileage on a stationary bike and mileage on the roads?

    Stationary cycling is emphatically *not* real cycling. See my despairing thread on it ("I know why
    the caged bird sings")

    You might be putting out an awful lot of energy on the stationary bike, but on the stationary, you
    don't have to worry about other traffic, road conditions, where you're going, or, indeed, staying
    upright. In terms of total effort and exhaustion, I am pretty much empty after 45 minutes on the
    stationary trainer. I can ride on real roads for hours and hours--but real riding requires
    concentration.

    If you have never ridden a real bicycle before, I *strongly* suggest you get one and try it out
    somewhere where you won't be a danger to yourself or others. A deserted parking lot, an empty
    suburban street, a little-used bike trail (make sure the surface is good: having traction is good,
    not having it is very bad).

    I learned to ride as a little kid, so it's hard for me to describe how to ride a bicycle. You ride a
    bicycle! In seriousness, you will be spending a lot of time learning to balance the bicycle (BTW,
    you cant' balance it when it's standing still--it's got to be moving, even if only a little....).

    Once you've learned how to balance, then there's the question of traffic. On the bicycle you are
    a vehicle, and all the laws that apply to vehicles in your state apply to you. That means riding
    in the roadway, following all the signs, signaling, etc. Not to mention getting used to the
    feeling of being overtaken at very close quarters by traffic that might be moving quite a bit
    faster than yourself.

    Be bold, but prudent. Gain confidence slowly. Ride a little, then a little farther, then a little
    faster, then a little farther again. And remember that riding is not the same as cranking 200 Watts
    of effort for 45 minutes.

    -Luigi

    "Whoever wants to know a thing has no way of doing so except by coming into contact with it, that
    is, by living (practising) in its environment. ... If you want knowledge, you must take part in the
    practice of changing reality. If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by
    eating it yourself.... If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part
    in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience."
    - Mao Tse-tung

    www.livejournal.com/users/ouij Photos Rants Raves
     
  8. On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 15:27:31 -0500, Badger_South <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >Finally, I'm not sure you're asking, but if you've never ridden a bike, it might take a week or two
    >to learn to balance on two wheels. That's a whole 'nother discussion.

    um, actually, B, it's *this* discussion....

    OP has *never* owned a bicycle before, and presumably has never ridden a real one, either. Fitness
    is one thing, but skill is quite another. And the OP needs skill.

    Take sculling, for instance. In my boat club at college, there were guys who rowed sweep (two hands
    on one oar, with at least two rowers ina boat) but had never sculled (hand on each oar) before. It
    took several weeks of learning on a single scull before they could even begin to start serious
    training. Until then, it was all they could do not to fall into the water, or steer crooked, or
    collide with anything, or otherwise come to grief. And these were otherwise young, fit guys.

    -Luigi "aaaand death for ten! death one!...."
     
  9. Badger_south

    Badger_south Guest

    On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 23:00:38 -0500, Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 15:27:31 -0500, Badger_South <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>Finally, I'm not sure you're asking, but if you've never ridden a bike, it might take a week or
    >>two to learn to balance on two wheels. That's a whole 'nother discussion.
    >
    >um, actually, B, it's *this* discussion....
    >
    >OP has *never* owned a bicycle before, and presumably has never ridden a real one, either. Fitness
    >is one thing, but skill is quite another. And the OP needs skill.

    OK, just finding it hard to believe that someone had never ridden a bike. This is different (?) from
    never owned a bike...naw, guess not. Gopher it.

    >Take sculling, for instance. In my boat club at college, there were guys who rowed sweep (two hands
    >on one oar, with at least two rowers ina boat) but had never sculled (hand on each oar) before. It
    >took several weeks of learning on a single scull before they could even begin to start serious
    >training. Until then, it was all they could do not to fall into the water, or steer crooked, or
    >collide with anything, or otherwise come to grief. And these were otherwise young, fit guys.

    And, during the heyday of sea exploration, most of the sailors couldn't swim. ;-p

    -B

    >
    >
    >-Luigi "aaaand death for ten! death one!...."
     
  10. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Fri, 20 Feb 2004 22:50:09 -0500,
    <[email protected]>, Luigi de Guzman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If you have never ridden a real bicycle before, I *strongly* suggest you get one and try it out
    >somewhere where you won't be a danger to yourself or others. A deserted parking lot, an empty
    >suburban street, a little-used bike trail (make sure the surface is good: having traction is good,
    >not having it is very bad).
    >
    >I learned to ride as a little kid, so it's hard for me to describe how to ride a bicycle. You ride
    >a bicycle!

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/teachride.html

    "The ideal bike for learning to ride, whether for a child or a deprived adult, is a bike that is
    "too small" for efficient riding. For learning purposes, the rider should be able to sit on the
    saddle with both feet flat on the ground and the knees slightly bent. The bike can then be used as a
    hobby horse or scooter, with the feet always ready to stop a fall. It may even be useful to remove
    the pedals at first, so that the feet can swing freely. Ideally, a bike for this approach should
    have at least one hand brake, so that the child can stop while using both feet for balance. A good
    place to practice is on a grassy field, perhaps with a slight downgrade.

    Unfortunately, it is often difficult for parents to justify the expense of a smaller bike that will
    be outgrown shortly, so there is a constant temptation to buy a bike that is a bit too large on the
    theory that the child will "grow into" it. "
    --
    zk
     
  11. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 19:18:27 -0800, Zoot Katz
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Fri, 20 Feb 2004 16:27:48 -0700, <[email protected]>, Raptor
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >> Feel free to start slow and wait years for the skills to develop.
    >
    >That's driving, silly. Cycling is to start slow and _work_ years to develop the skills.

    You make a compelling argument for driving.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  12. On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 22:13:16 -0800, Zoot Katz <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Unfortunately, it is often difficult for parents to justify the expense of a smaller bike that will
    >be outgrown shortly, so there is a constant temptation to buy a bike that is a bit too large on the
    >theory that the child will "grow into" it. "

    My youngest brother managed to surprise everybody one summer afternoon. We'd removed the training
    wheels from his little bike, but he hadn't really ever ridden it much.

    Then, without prompting or much thought, he threw a leg over the top tube, started the bike, and
    pedaled up and down the street on two wheels as if it was something he did every day.

    He was six years old at the time. I was envious--my road to two wheels had a lot more skinned knees
    and crashing.

    -Luigi
     
  13. Roy Zipris

    Roy Zipris Guest

    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote [snip]
    > But what I recommend is if you have a bicycling club in your area, to see if they have beginner
    > rides. You'll feel much more confident on those roads when you have others to ride with and
    > learn from.

    I echo this advice because you'll also be grateful if you have a flat or some othe mechanical problem--
    it's likely that there will be someone on the club ride who will help you. --Roy Zipris
     
  14. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sat, 21 Feb 2004 08:23:04 -0500,
    <[email protected]>,
    Rick Onanian <[email protected]> wrote:

    >You make a compelling argument for driving.

    Nobody's forcing you to ride.
    --
    zk
     
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