Back to cycling - experinces so far.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by The 13th Man, Mar 15, 2003.

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  1. The 13th Man

    The 13th Man Guest

    After a long abscence from cycling, I decided I needed to get myself a bike again, for
    pleasure/excercise and eventually riding back and forth from work. A couple of weeks ago, I picked
    up my Marin Muirwoods from my LBS. I had two little rides on the day I picked it up and the day
    after and it was probably just as well that I was going overseas for a week for I was aching like
    hell! Saddle soreness was a new sensation to me since from the time I was a dot up until I was in my
    early 20's, I'd never not ridden before.

    Anyhow, since coming back from my vacation, I've been out all bar one evening after work, doing
    a 5-7km ride just to get used to it all again, the intention being to build up a level of
    fitness so that I can eventually take the ride to work in my stride rather than arrive all
    knackered and sweaty!

    Cycling around busy city roads takes it out of you when you're not in fantastic shape and haven't
    cycled for so long. Trying to whizz about at a reasonable pace is gonna get me mega-fit! So far, I
    have been fortunate enough not to be on the end of any mega-bad driving, and long may it continue,
    though from what I read in this NG, it would seem that near- misses are only a matter of time :( You
    really notice how crap the surface of most roads are when you're on a bike! I have also noticed how
    woeful the provision of cycling lanes/tracks is in my city (Cardiff) too. Mostly nothing, then a red
    strip for a while, then nothing again. Do they really expect us to ride in that red strip in the
    gutter? It's full of bloody stones and shite! Are all cities in the UK the same? It's a disgrace.
    Governments make you laugh - banging on about being green, traffic pollution, less cars, getting
    people fitter etc but it's all talk. If they were serious about getting people out of cars and on
    cycles, they really need to invest in proper provision for cyclists.

    Anyhow, today being a nice day, I was obviously chomping at the bit to get out on the bike for the
    first time in day-time hours; the intention being to get out and ride around for a while then
    return. I ended up taking the Taff Trail from Central Cardiff to Castell Coch. I know that this
    hardly constitutes earth shattering distance for most people in this NG, but I was quite
    pleased/surprised, given what I had been doing until now. I must say it was a nice ride, overall.
    Some of the views are nice and there are some places to stop on a day with such good weather. Having
    said that, although it's listed as a cycling route (8) to me it could do with some resurfacing in
    places, it seems to border on off-road in places! Having bought the Muirwoods as a rigid bike for
    road use, there were times today when I wished I had front suspension! It sure is a bit gravelly &
    stony. However, it's not a route I will be taking on a daily basis, so no worries there.

    I must say that I'm so glad I've bought the bike now. As long as I'm not aching tomorrow, another
    ride awaits me! I don't remember cycling ever being this addictive! It's good to be back!
     
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  2. Bob Flemming

    Bob Flemming Guest

    On Sat, 15 Mar 2003 21:07:19 GMT, The 13th Man <[email protected]> wrote:

    > You really notice how crap the surface of most roads are when you're on a bike! I have also
    > noticed how woeful the provision of cycling lanes/tracks is in my city (Cardiff) too. Mostly
    > nothing, then a red strip for a while, then nothing again. Do they really expect us to ride in
    > that red strip in the gutter? It's full of bloody stones and shite! Are all cities in the UK the
    > same? It's a disgrace. Governments make you laugh - banging on about being green, traffic
    > pollution, less cars, getting people fitter etc but it's all talk. If they were serious about
    > getting people out of cars and on cycles, they really need to invest in proper provision for
    > cyclists.

    We need you with a megaphone outside No 10...'giving it some' :)

    I, like you, made a return to cycling after a long lay-off of 25 years. Packed up smoking 3 years
    ago too. Cool.

    Gradually increasing your distance and time <as the mood takes you> and you'll be surprised how fit
    you become and how far you can start to travel.

    Welcome back to cycling.

    bob
     
  3. In news:[email protected], Bob Flemming <some[email protected]> typed:

    >> people fitter etc but it's all talk. If they were serious about getting people out of cars and on
    >> cycles, they really need to invest in proper provision for cyclists.
    >
    > We need you with a megaphone outside No 10...'giving it some' :)
    >

    This would be fine for *some* of us, but not for the OP's local area!

    He'd need to be outside the Welsh Assembly buildings with his megaphone; AFAIK how much is spent on
    roads in the Devolved Administrations is up to *their* Cabinet and Local Authorities

    Alex
     
  4. Alan Oakley

    Alan Oakley Guest

    On Sat, 15 Mar 2003 21:07:19 GMT, The 13th Man <[email protected]> wrote:

    >After a long abscence from cycling, I decided I needed to get myself a bike again, for
    >pleasure/excercise and eventually riding back and forth from work.
    Well done keep it up, I started cycling again 3 years ago, fotunately work was only 4 miles a day
    with a train ride in between each mile so plenty of rest.

    >Cycling around busy city roads takes it out of you when you're not in fantastic shape and haven't
    >cycled for so long. Trying to whizz about at a reasonable pace is gonna get me mega-fit!
    You might want to try easing off a bit. I know it sounds strange but you do get fitter quicker by
    going slower and doing it more. Working hard on the bike in those early days left my legs tired and
    me not wanting to cycle the next day. By taking it easy this didn't happen and as my fitness
    increased I increased the speed. Also putting less strain on your muscles tendons etc will give them
    time to adapt to your new exercise. I did get some knee ligament problems early on.

    Keep up the cycling and I hope you reach you goal of cycling to work (how far is it?)
     
  5. The 13th Man

    The 13th Man Guest

    Alan Oakley <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > Keep up the cycling and I hope you reach you goal of cycling to work (how far is it?)

    It's only just over 5km, but I want to be able to start cycling there when I can handle such a
    distance well within my capability at pace. Hopefully, I'll start going back and forth to work at
    the end of the month when the weather is a little better too.
     
  6. > After a long abscence from cycling, I decided I needed to get myself a bike again, for
    > pleasure/excercise and eventually riding back and forth from work.

    Yes, that makes sense.

    I suggest that you take a look at the bible on riding among other traffic, "Cyclecraft", by John
    Franklin, published by the Stationery Office. They say that experience is the best teacher, but her
    fees can be expensive. Cyclecraft can cut short a few thousand miles getting that experience.

    There are a couple of shorter equivalents on the web, but both are from the US, and therefore for
    drive-on-the-right countries. Both are by the same author, John Allen. One is called, "How to Ride
    in Boston Traffic ... or Anywhere", and one "Street Smarts". "How to Ride in Boston Traffic" is on
    Massbike's web site, and "Street Smarts", I think subtitled "the Pennsylvania State Bicyclists'
    Manual", or some such, on the Pennsylvania Dept of Motor vehicles site. I leave it to others to do
    the searching.

    Jeremy Parker
     
  7. In news:[email protected], The 13th Man
    <[email protected]> typed:

    > It's only just over 5km, but I want to be able to start cycling there when I can handle such a
    > distance well within my capability at pace. Hopefully, I'll start going back and forth to work at
    > the end of the month when the weather is a little better too.

    it shouldn't take too long to regain fitness - I returned to cycling at the end of 2001 and within a
    few weeks was riding 5-6 miles per day.

    I was lucky I suppose in that I took up cycling during an "enforced" career break (previous
    employers blew their money on failed dot-com venture and bang went a load of peoples jobs) so by the
    time I had regained employment I was more than fit enough to ride into work every day (which I have
    done since March 2002). Incidentally our work bike racks are fully used the year round, even in
    autumn and winter!

    Alex
     
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