Beginner Training

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Beginner Cyclist
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Joined: 1 Nov 2019, 11:19am

Beginner Training

Postby Beginner Cyclist » 1 Nov 2019, 11:30am

Hello,

I’ve been given the opportunity to take part in a London to Paris bike ride over 4 days next June.

I would like to challenge myself and currently would say I have average fitness but no road cycling experience.

I was looking for advice regarding training and how to start out? I’ve looked at cycle clubs in my area but wanted to get my fitness and experience up before joining.

Also wanted to ask is this an unrealistic challenge to set myself?

Thanks for any help or advice.

Ant...
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Joined: 26 Jan 2018, 4:35pm
Location: Denbighshire

Re: Beginner Training

Postby Ant... » 1 Nov 2019, 3:18pm

Have a look at the British legion website they have a training plan for this ride for folks like you.
You are not being unrealistic in doing the ride, just get out on your bike and enjoy it.
Best of luck in June :D

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Mick F
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Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Beginner Training

Postby Mick F » 1 Nov 2019, 3:32pm

The best thing you can do, is ride.
Do it two or three times a week and increase or decease the distance and frequency as you feel. Just enjoy it, and fitness and experience will come.

Pick an "out and back" route first. Find somewhere to ride to - cafe/pub/shop etc. Have a rest, then cycle home.
Try a circular route. If you feel like you've bitten off more than you can chew, cut the corner off and take the shortest route back.

The main things are ride and enjoy.

Good luck, and keep us all informed on how you're getting on.
Mick F. Cornwall

peetee
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Location: Cornwall

Re: Beginner Training

Postby peetee » 1 Nov 2019, 4:47pm

As stated above there is no real substitute for lots of miles but I would add that if you do have days where the weather is so bad you don't feel you can ride you need to do something else active for the time you would have spent on the bike.
I am returning after a lay off and today looked awful for riding the greasy back roads round here so i did a hour and a halfs walk in the wind and drizzle. I really enjoyed it and know that if I hadn't made the effort I would have spent half of tomorrow's ride just trying to loosen up my muscles and joints.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

eileithyia
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Re: Beginner Training

Postby eileithyia » 1 Nov 2019, 5:20pm

I have an overweight non-cycling work colleague who got fit enough to do this, (though some of the 'training rides' did seem to consist of cycling to the pub).

So am sure if she could do the ride you can.

Get a bike, get some decent kit, padded shorts / winter tights / underwear (whatever is your choice) are essential and some waterproof outerwear.

Then start cycling, even if it is only 5 miles to start with, do this 2-3 times first week, gradually increase the mileage over the winter. I once saw a marathon training programme and it quite literally started with walking to the end of the street and back.. building up to running a marathon distance.

Nearer the time of the ride ensure you have done the daily distance at least once or twice. Also try a couple of back to back rides of the daily distance. It's easy to ride a single ride of 60-70 miles, getting up and getting on the bike again the next day to do a similar distance is not always so easy. This is when you find having your b*m and saddle broken in with comfortable cycling kit is essential.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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mjr
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Re: Beginner Training

Postby mjr » 1 Nov 2019, 5:57pm

Beginner Cyclist wrote:I was looking for advice regarding training and how to start out? I’ve looked at cycle clubs in my area but wanted to get my fitness and experience up before joining.

Great advice above. I'll just add to the above: don't wait before trying some clubs. Find some that welcome new riders/tourers and say that they don't leave anyone behind (some racing clubs call them "no-drop rides"). Riding with others who know the best roads, things to look at and what stops welcome cyclists are by far the easiest way to get your fitness and experience up. Just be open with them that you don't really know what you're doing and would welcome advice and you'll probably get more advice than you want, half of it contradicting itself, but so be it! ;)

If you want general road cycling skills, see if your local council does adult Bikeability training levels 2 and 3, or contact a training provider like Outspoken of Cambridge or ACT of this parish.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Beginner Cyclist
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Joined: 1 Nov 2019, 11:19am

Re: Beginner Training

Postby Beginner Cyclist » 1 Nov 2019, 6:48pm

Thank you for the above. Makes sense.

Have to figure out whether I’m brave enough to do it.

peetee
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Location: Cornwall

Re: Beginner Training

Postby peetee » 1 Nov 2019, 8:59pm

Yes you, are otherwise you wouldn't have stumped up the courage to ask.
Don't be put off by the distance. I have ridden enough special events to know that the miles fly by in comparison to your regular rides.
The whole process may seem daunting but relax, take it easy for a couple of weeks and, once you find your own comfortable pace you will be surprised how far you can get.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

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RickH
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Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Beginner Training

Postby RickH » 2 Nov 2019, 5:49am

Yes, unless there is a medical reason, I would say you can do it.

A lot of clubs' short rides are still distances that can seem daunting to a non/beginner cyclist. If they are operating in your area, British Cycling's Let's Ride programme has a range of rides starting from very short & easy rides to longer, more challenging rides.

If you want to be more confident on the road you could also look at Bikeability training for adults. Some areas offer free training, other places you will have to pay.

Jamesh
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Re: Beginner Training

Postby Jamesh » 2 Nov 2019, 8:26am

Just do it!

My sister did it and loved it.

She's no cyclist but got round.

Good saddle and double wrapped bar tape

Just get riding - you have plenty of time to build up milage.

Cheers James

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Beginner Training

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 2 Nov 2019, 9:30am

Find a BC guided ride, in your locale, from here.

www.letsride.co.uk
they are graded by experience level, distance, and difficulty. If you choose an ‘easygoing’ or ‘steady’ ride, you’ll get some beginners experience, and be with a similar level group. Look for CyclingUK ( CTC ) rides as well, they are usually pretty good for gaining experience.