Total noob: where/how do i start?


New Member
Feb 6, 2017
Hi everyone....I am a total noob to both cycling and online forums! So forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place...but I have just gotten a "Specialized" road bike, and can't wait to start cycling. I live in Southern California so the goal is to take advantage of the weather and finally fulfill a decade old dream....
Any tips or advice? Do I need to start with shorter distances? or hit the gym first?
All new riders need to go through butt training. So start short. Maybe 10 minutes.
The trick is to stop BEFORE You've done yourself any injury.
If you didn't get sized at a shop, bring the bike buy a shop and have them check that the fit is about right.
Head over to Great bike site. Read, read and read. Most of your rookie questions will be answered there.
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Look for a cycling club, especially one that welcomes new riders. My club has organized training and rides for the newest noobs up to a road racing team. Along the way you'll meet some great people, learn bike skills, bike maintenance and training principles. You'll learn how to ride safely in a group. Imo the best way to begin a lifetime of cycling.
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Congrats on getting a Specialized bike, their nice bikes.

Where to start can be easy actually, you start slow no matter how good you feel after going what seems like insanely low miles, and stop, then repeat the next day. So instead of me typing endlessly and going nuts in the process I will post you a web site that can help you reach whatever distance you want to ride up to 100 miles.

However the above chart in the web site I gave that appears near the bottom of the page has you starting out at 6 miles, I going to change that, so I will list the miles you need to do first until that mileage increases to the point of the first week on the chart. So the first few weeks of riding will be like this:

Monday: 2 miles; Tue: 3 miles; Wed: 4 miles; Thurs: 0 miles; Fri: 3 miles; Sat: 10 miles; Sun: 2 miles.
Monday: 3 miles; Tue: 4 miles; Wed: 6 miles; Thurs: 0 miles; Fri: 4 miles; Sat: 15 miles; Sun: 3 miles.
Monday: 4 miles; Tue: 5 miles; Wed: 8 miles: Thurs: 0 miles; Fri: 5 miles; Sat: 20 miles; Sun: 4 miles
Monday: 5 miles: Tue: 8 miles: Wed: 10 mi; Thurs: 0 miles; Fri: 8 miles; Sat: 25 miles; Sun: 7 miles
The next week you start with week one of the chart.

You need to take it very slow and follow the plan, if you go *****-nilly and just do more because you feel like you can you could burn yourself out, hurt yourself, or both. Also for the sake of just putting base miles down don't worry about the easy, pace, brisk, stuff, just cruise at a comfortable speed for you, later once you completed this chart you can restart the plan with it's week one not mine, and add in those other aspects. The brisk thing is really more about interval training which should be done at least twice a week, you can google how to do interval training, but interval is the best way to increase average speed over the long haul. If you're currently a runner you could do the interval stuff now and you should be fine, simply do intervals on Tuesday and Friday. If you miss a day simply shift your schedule so that the new day off will be that day you had to take off from then on out.

Try to find different routes each time you ride so you don't get burned out from doing the same thing over and over and over. On my longer days I get on google maps and plot a course close to the miles I need going somewhere I haven't been or haven't been there for awhile.

Of course in order for any of this to work right you will need to get a bike, you don't need anything fancy, just a simple $20 or so computer will work just fine until you get much more advance. Sigma Sport BC 5.12 can be found on sale for under $20, as can the Cateye CC-ED400 Enduro and the Cateye Velo 9. The Enduro has a heavy duty wire which makes it less likely to get broken if you accidentally snag it. Read the features on each and see which one appeals to you the most.

Try to start out in this hobby as cheap as you can because it can be a very expensive sport and eat money like water, plus if you do decide to give up cycling you won't have a bunch of money tied up in stuff that you don't need. Buy anything you need on deep sale prices like end of the season sales. Some clothing stuff can be had real cheap and perform just as well as the real expensive stuff like cheap $15 or so 100% polyester jersey you can either find on closeout online or go to Walmart and buy one, the Walmart one won't have the pocket in the rear but you probably don't need one anyway. Socks are the same way, cheap as possible, Shorts not so much, you need a decent mid price short to start with, just read the reviews to find one that has good reviews and you won't go to far wrong; as you get better at riding you'll discover you'll need more upper scale shorts, but jerseys and socks will never be an issue in regards to being cheap or expensive, go cheap.

Going to the gym is an option but talk with any trainers there about your cycling ambition, if you over do your leg muscles for example you're going to have a bad time on the bike, so you have to be careful. Mostly concentrate on core muscles, that will improve you balance and speed. Most people do both the gym and the bike at the same time, but just like my cycling chart you need to hit the gym doing light workouts and slowly build up.

Google proper stretching for cycling on the internet and practice those too, like this: .

Make sure as you ride you keep changing certain body parts, like ride with the hands on the hoods for 20 or so minutes, then move them to the top of the bar for 20 or so, then on the drops for 20 or so then back to the hoods and repeat. Rise up off your saddle about every 15 minutes or so and pedal while standing for about 2 minutes to get blood circulating in those sensitive areas.

Finally practice safe riding habits and stay alert...VERY ALERT AT ALL TIMES; read this: Speaking of which don't forget to wear a helmet, find a cheap one like at Walmart, Bell makes some nice cheap ones, later when you get more advance and the helmet is probably due for replacement get a nice mid grade one on sale. And buy some cycling gloves so in case you fall off you won't get stones inside your hands, and it makes for better riding comfort, again with gloves starting out you don't need anything expensive.

Not sure if all of this will help you or not, but I hope it does.

Congrats on your new bike and I hope you have many years of happy cycling.

And safe riding.
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