Just started out- advice



MBailey93

New Member
Aug 10, 2014
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0
0
Hey Guys,

Just recently got into road biking. I am 20 years old, 6ft and weigh about 80kg. I have been going on regular rides for the past two weeks and previous to that I haven't done any serious riding in years. However I feel great on the bike and have felt a real improvement in my riding in this short space of time

Yesterday I really pushed myself and went out on a 45 mile ride which I completed in 3 hours averaging 15mph but I don't really know if this is anything special. The ride was pretty testing, I live in the Pennines so there were plenty of steep hills!

I feel like my time was pretty good however i have no idea how it compares as I am still fairly new to this. I would really like to get into some competitions and races at some point. How far off racing am I?. Whats a good standard to be at? Should i start thinking about what i eat before and after rides etc Anyone got any suggestions in terms of gear as well..i dont have clipless pedals or proper cycling gear, just been borrowing my dads old bike at the moment.

Cheers, Matt
 

JibberJim

Member
Aug 25, 2009
146
10
18
Originally Posted by MBailey93
I feel like my time was pretty good however i have no idea how it compares as I am still fairly new to this. I would really like to get into some competitions and races at some point. How far off racing am I?. Whats a good standard to be at? Should i start thinking about what i eat before and after rides etc Anyone got any suggestions in terms of gear as well..i dont have clipless pedals or proper cycling gear, just been borrowing my dads old bike at the moment.
No-one can really answer how good you are, it depends so much on the route. 45miles at 15mph on very hilly, heavy roads is good, 45mph on a pretty flat, fast roads is not so good. Also average speed over a long duration doesn't tell you that much on how close to racing you are, as again that depends on a lot on your type of fitness and your skill. The minimum fitness you need is certainly not very much to enter a Go Race of 4th cat race, but if you don't have the skills and experience then the fitness required increases potentially quite a lot.

Anyway, the thing you need to do is join a local cycling club, riding in groups with people is needed before you road race, and you need to be a member of a club to TT in England (with a few exceptions)
 

AyeYo

Active Member
Mar 21, 2014
404
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Clipless pedals make a significant difference in ease of putting power down and pedaling efficiency. Getting setup with those should be high on your priority list if you want to ride more seriously. Yes, nutrition is also important. Try to get in some slow burn carbs (wheat bread, quinoa, oats, etc.) and protein pre-ride, with fast burning carbs (anything sugary: orange juice, sports drink, banana, etc.) immediately post-ride. 15mph on very hilly roads is a solid pace for someone that just started riding. Everyone has a different definition of "hilly" though. If you have a smart phone, consider downloading the Strava app to track your rides. You can then link your rides from the website to discussions like this and we can all see exactly what you did. It also allows you to compare yourself to other rides and makes for a good way to track progress. I also agree with the guy above. You need group/club riding experience before you try to race. Find a local club to join or see if your local bike shops have group rides you can go on. In the US, nearly every local bike shop has free group rides at least once per week. It's a good place to get advice from more experienced people, compare your fitness to others, and improve your ability to ride safety in a group.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
10,098
428
83
Originally Posted by MBailey93
Hey Guys,

Just recently got into road biking. I am 20 years old, 6ft and weigh about 80kg. I have been going on regular rides for the past two weeks and previous to that I haven't done any serious riding in years. However I feel great on the bike and have felt a real improvement in my riding in this short space of time

Yesterday I really pushed myself and went out on a 45 mile ride which I completed in 3 hours averaging 15mph but I don't really know if this is anything special. The ride was pretty testing, I live in the Pennines so there were plenty of steep hills!

I feel like my time was pretty good however i have no idea how it compares as I am still fairly new to this. I would really like to get into some competitions and races at some point. How far off racing am I?. Whats a good standard to be at? Should i start thinking about what i eat before and after rides etc Anyone got any suggestions in terms of gear as well..i dont have clipless pedals or proper cycling gear, just been borrowing my dads old bike at the moment.

Cheers, Matt
I used to ride a lot around Saddleworth moor and Holme Moss with some excursions down to Snake Pass, Winnatts and the gorgeous Hope Valley on a somewhat regular basis. Where in the Pennines are you?

I don't remember riding any easy roads anywhere in the Pennines. 15 mph average ain't too bad. Back in the 80's and 90's when I rode there it was either chip and seal road or whatever was available back before WW2 lol - no smooth tarmac.

Clipless pedals make the ride more relaxing but the simple fact is that you make nearly all of your power when pushing down on the pedals.

The only way to figure out how far you are from starting racing is to get a license and race. Get some shoes and pedals, pop your helmet on your noggin and go race.

As for food - a bowl of cereal and a banana or two (I used to like bananas on toast) will do the trick before the ride. Nibble on energy bars, cereal bars or even jam sandwiches during the ride. I personally like sports drinks that are watered down a bit more than recommended in addition to solid food when on the bike. Tin foil is easier to open than ziplock bags for sandwiches. If you're an origami expert - grease proof paper is ace for wrapping. Being that I'm a meathead I never mastered that art... Tin foil it is.
 

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