Beginner introducing himself here.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Vile, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Vile

    Vile New Member

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    Hello there, my name is Rich, I'm 21, and I'm from the Boston area of Massachusetts, and my experience in cycling is limited to cheap department store mountain bikes and just riding around my city. Not for exercise.. just to get around.

    I spend far too little time outside, and I'd like to get some exercise, sun, and fresh air, and to just enjoy being outside. I guess cycling would be the best option.

    Forgive me if the questions I ask are common. I'll try to keep them to a minimum. But here goes...


    First, I live in a rather urban area, without a lot of long stretches of road without intersections and there's plenty of traffic. So for all of you flying down the street at 25mph, I'll be able to pick up speed but not for very long... So should I just get a hybrid bike and ride lightly, instead of a real racing bike and riding to my limit?

    Second, it may be a stupid question, but why does every single biker I see wear spandex shorts and some sort of colorful shirt? I know I could always dress however I want.. but are there specific reasons for it? I've gathered that the shorts are to avoid chafing, and as a guess.. maybe the colorful shirts are to stand out for safety. But again, I don't know, so I could be wrong.

    Third, about how long does the average biker spend on the road each day? How about each week? I'd like to spend the entire day in the sun, every day, but I don't know how well I'd be able to handle a 14 hour ride! I guess it requires some training... a "Tour de out of shape man"

    Fourth, do you map out where you're going before you leave, or just wing it? I'm not a big fan of having a set path to take, but if it makes things easier, I'd do it.

    That's all I can think of at the moment, to all of you who reply to this- thank you. :)
     
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  2. roger89

    roger89 New Member

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    Hey Rich, I'm Roger and have aged 16 years :D. Nice to meet ya. Sorry can't answer those questions.
     
  3. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    If not racing, then a hybrid is better for town work. A fast tourer (audax) is also very good. The cheapest option would be to put some high pressure slicks on your MTB.
    The Lycra lot are highly conspicuous so you see them. There are also cyclists who wear regular clothes but you tend not to notice them so much. Visible is safe. Cycle-specific clothing is best on a bike, but it does not have to be skin tight.
    There is no "average biker". Do it your way. If you want to go on a long ride, build up to it.
    "Sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to find yourself." (Burt Reynolds in Deliverance.) But take a map, just in case.
     
  4. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    To add to the previous post, find a bike club and join up. They wil have maps, meeting place, people to ride with, and friendly helpful advice. Try to find a recreational group, or at least a club with a recreational wing. Racers will put you off, because you haven't a chance of keeping up with them yet.

    Don't worry about long rides......if you enjoy riding, you will seek out longer and longer rides. It will come naturally.

    And don't forget the suntan lotion, and drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry.

    Have fun.
     
  5. Vile

    Vile New Member

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    Thank you very much.
     
  6. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    So how's it going?
     
  7. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

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    You guessed it right about the colors, it's a visibility thing. In street riding motorists are the greatest danger, less so if they see you. Some bikers that you see are riding in cycle shorts and you don't know it. Mountain bike shorts have an inner liner not unlike a boxer short type bathing suit, and look like regular "baggies". Check them out if you want a compromise beteen street clothes and road "spandex" type shorts.
     
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