Absolute beginner needing advice

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
aneledrazzit
Posts: 9
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 9:37am

Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 11 Jun 2020, 9:44am

Hi everyone.

Unfortunately my friend lost his battle with mental health recently and my partner and I, and lots of friends have decided we would like to do Lands End to John O'Groats to raise money for mental health.
I am an absolute beginner to cycling and I am absolutely clueless with it to be honest.
The reason I am posting this is because I would like to know 1) what would be the best type of bike to use and 2) how did you train and how long did you give yourself to train?

Thank you in advance.(I'm sure I'll have lots more questions as time goes on)

hamster
Posts: 3519
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby hamster » 11 Jun 2020, 10:33am

In short the most important thing is conditioning for longer rides and a bike that's comfortable. Most people probably ride 50-80 miles daily, so you need to factor being able to ride comfortably for 5-7 hours.
Bike comfort beats bike type. A rigid mountain bike with slick tyres could be fine, although a dedicated touring bike with drop bars will be a little faster.

aneledrazzit
Posts: 9
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 9:37am

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 11 Jun 2020, 10:37am

I see. So realistically find a bike that is comfortable that I can last 7 hours on (ish).

With regards to training, what would you recommend? We haven't got a date for when we want to do it yet, but I just wanted to know how people went with regards to training.

Cyril Haearn
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Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Leafy suburbia

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Cyril Haearn » 11 Jun 2020, 11:05am

Seems crazy as an inexperienced cyclist to plan LeJoG
Much better to do circuits of a park near home, much cheaper too
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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Bonefishblues
Posts: 8114
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Jun 2020, 11:09am

How long have you got for the ride? Are you going to do it as a single trip?

aneledrazzit
Posts: 9
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 9:37am

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 11 Jun 2020, 11:51am

I'm not doing it soon. I'm thinking maybe next year. It gives me time to train so by then I wouldn't be "inexperienced." I understand that it is a crazy thing to want to do, but I want to do it for my friend.

aneledrazzit
Posts: 9
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 9:37am

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 11 Jun 2020, 11:52am

I've seen online that 14-16 days would be ideal for someone like me.

mattsccm
Posts: 3313
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby mattsccm » 11 Jun 2020, 12:16pm

Just get out and ride . Find some one to ride with and build up the mileage. Bit hard at the moment I know but maybe find a club or group to join. If you are planning on being supported or using B&Bs then you need to carry less gear than if camping then you will get away with a different bike.
There are supported groups that run as well, some supporting charities.
The logistics are probably as hard as the ride.

aneledrazzit
Posts: 9
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 9:37am

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 11 Jun 2020, 12:27pm

Good idea to join a club.Thank you - appreciate your positive comment. It's something completely out of my comfort zone and I know it's an absolutely CRAZY idea for someone like me to do - but it's a challenge and something that I am up for doing. :) :)

Bonefishblues
Posts: 8114
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Jun 2020, 12:27pm

aneledrazzit wrote:I'm not doing it soon. I'm thinking maybe next year. It gives me time to train so by then I wouldn't be "inexperienced." I understand that it is a crazy thing to want to do, but I want to do it for my friend.

Then you have plenty of time, and a 14-16 day schedule's eminently do-able. What's your bike budget at the moment?

eileithyia
Posts: 7999
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby eileithyia » 11 Jun 2020, 12:43pm

Firstly and as you have planned, it's unlikely any end to ends are likely to go ahead until next year... so you have plenty of time.

Secondly consider how this is to be executed ie; we you be vehicle assisted, and what sort of accommodation will you be using.

Vehicle assisted and using B&B accommodation means you will need to carry very little with you.

B&B non vehicle assisted clearly you will need to carry some kit.... change of clothes etc.

Camping takes it to a different level with having to carry your tent etc. It will also possibly increase the time you will take. Packing up and setting up each day can add more time to each day's cycling.

So these things need to be considered when buying a bike.....as well as comfort will it be suitable to carry the kit you are carrying.

Training is just a matter of riding your bike. For this you could start now on any bike, that way you can get an idea of what you may want to complete your ride... and have time to order it (bike shops are running out of stock and mine has been given up to December to get new stock in).

Start with smaller distances, and build up your miles.....

Before you do embark make sure you have a practise weekend, cycle to somewhere, stay overnight, cycle home.... this tests you and your kit.. and what it is like to move on.... it will give you an opportunity to see what you actually need to take, what you can leave behind and what you may have left behind that you may need.

Often on these rides it is not the daily mileage that can be a problem but the day after day mileage if you are not used to getting up and going day after day. You might even want to consider a few extras miles each day so you can have a shorter day / rest day in the middle of the ride.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

thirdcrank
Posts: 29081
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Jun 2020, 12:48pm

Essentially, it's a matter of being able to sit on a bike and pedal for as long as it takes, day after day, rain or shine till the distance is covered. Once you have reached a basic level of fitness, IMO most of this is dealing with what's going on in your head: the little voice saying "This is stupid."

Get used to the idea of distance riding. For most adults new to cycling or returning after many years, the first hurdle is the sore backside. This comes from sitting on those large muscles and making them work. You may dream that the solution is some saddle padded to be as soft as a cherub's behind but it isn't: riding is the only cure and if you persist it will soon pass.

I'd suggest meticulously keeping a diary of all your rides and all the occasions when you thought better of it. You will either be encouraged by your progress or you will realise that a fortnight of distance riding is not your thing.

One concern for me here is the "lots of friends" comment. Riding with the right group can turn distance riding into something really good but the wrong group is purgatory.

It's a common experience that the organisers of things like coach trips are let down by people who put their names down without thinking it through. That will apply here and infinitely more so. Try and do some of your preparatory rides as a group: at the very least, that should give you an idea of who's committed. Even if somebody turns up at the start, it's not much help if they are totally unfit. Then, group riding means just that, not one show off always riding ahead and waiting with others tailed off the back.

You need to agree group riding policies that all have signed up to. eg What happens if a rider has a problem? Riding time is easily lost and not made up by riding faster, so, breaks need to be kept to a minimum and agreed. A five minute break in every hour of an eight hour day is "only" 40 minutes. If a group of twelve riders each expects to call their own timeouts, then in an extreme case twelve five minute breaks mean no movement for a whole hour.

As you get used to riding greater distances, your experience will grow quickly and people on here will be able to help with queries

From the outset, get used to eating properly during your rides to avoid "hunger knock" AKA the bonk. Ditto hydration. There's been plenty about both those posted n here.

All the best with this: if you all stick to it you'll have the foundations of a new cycling club of by then experienced riders

aneledrazzit
Posts: 9
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 9:37am

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 11 Jun 2020, 12:50pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
aneledrazzit wrote:I'm not doing it soon. I'm thinking maybe next year. It gives me time to train so by then I wouldn't be "inexperienced." I understand that it is a crazy thing to want to do, but I want to do it for my friend.

Then you have plenty of time, and a 14-16 day schedule's eminently do-able. What's your bike budget at the moment?



Looking at up to £1000. My partner and I have been cycling quite a bit recently and have said we are looking into new bikes. Not just for this challenge, but for biking holidays etc.

aneledrazzit
Posts: 9
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 9:37am

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 11 Jun 2020, 12:53pm

thirdcrank wrote:Essentially, it's a matter of being able to sit on a bike and pedal for as long as it takes, day after day, rain or shine till the distance is covered. Once you have reached a basic level of fitness, IMO most of this is dealing with what's going on in your head: the little voice saying "This is stupid."

Get used to the idea of distance riding. For most adults new to cycling or returning after many years, the first hurdle is the sore backside. This comes from sitting on those large muscles and making them work. You may dream that the solution is some saddle padded to be as soft as a cherub's behind but it isn't: riding is the only cure and if you persist it will soon pass.

I'd suggest meticulously keeping a diary of all your rides and all the occasions when you thought better of it. You will either be encouraged by your progress or you will realise that a fortnight of distance riding is not your thing.

One concern for me here is the "lots of friends" comment. Riding with the right group can turn distance riding into something really good but the wrong group is purgatory.

It's a common experience that the organisers of things like coach trips are let down by people who put their names down without thinking it through. That will apply here and infinitely more so. Try and do some of your preparatory rides as a group: at the very least, that should give you an idea of who's committed. Even if somebody turns up at the start, it's not much help if they are totally unfit. Then, group riding means just that, not one show off always riding ahead and waiting with others tailed off the back.

You need to agree group riding policies that all have signed up to. eg What happens if a rider has a problem? Riding time is easily lost and not made up by riding faster, so, breaks need to be kept to a minimum and agreed. A five minute break in every hour of an eight hour day is "only" 40 minutes. If a group of twelve riders each expects to call their own timeouts, then in an extreme case twelve five minute breaks mean no movement for a whole hour.

As you get used to riding greater distances, your experience will grow quickly and people on here will be able to help with queries

From the outset, get used to eating properly during your rides to avoid "hunger knock" AKA the bonk. Ditto hydration. There's been plenty about both those posted n here.

All the best with this: if you all stick to it you'll have the foundations of a new cycling club of by then experienced riders


Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate this.

Bonefishblues
Posts: 8114
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Jun 2020, 1:07pm

aneledrazzit wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:
aneledrazzit wrote:I'm not doing it soon. I'm thinking maybe next year. It gives me time to train so by then I wouldn't be "inexperienced." I understand that it is a crazy thing to want to do, but I want to do it for my friend.

Then you have plenty of time, and a 14-16 day schedule's eminently do-able. What's your bike budget at the moment?



Looking at up to £1000. My partner and I have been cycling quite a bit recently and have said we are looking into new bikes. Not just for this challenge, but for biking holidays etc.

And you have more than sufficient budget for something suitable.

Time for me to butt out and leave it to experienced E2E/Joglers. The very best of luck with your endeavour, which sounds not at all crazy to me, and most on here :D