Absolute beginner needing advice

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
whoof
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby whoof » 11 Jun 2020, 1:50pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Seems crazy as an inexperienced cyclist to plan LeJoG
Much better to do circuits of a park near home, much cheaper too

I read a book about a lady who cycled from the UK to India. She had little experience or training. I can't remember the exact distances but her first days were something like 20 miles per day after a few weeks it was something like 50. With no experience she cycled to India more than six times LEJOG.
I wouldn't recommend it from zero base but provided someone is generally healthy and have done some preparation 50-70 miles a day is very achievable.
Last edited by whoof on 11 Jun 2020, 3:02pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Jun 2020, 2:27pm

Oh, and similar to the above, here's a (huge) guy who bought a bike and decided to cycle round the world:

https://mtouch.facebook.com/MrStephenJo ... n__=%2As-R

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Mick F
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Mick F » 11 Jun 2020, 3:38pm

I can only echo what's been said already.

The main things are simple to say, but as a novice hard to do.
Ride as often as you can.
Make your rides entertaining ....... go somewhere you like, stay a little while, and ride home a different route.
Take your time, but build up the mileage. Have a destination in mind rather than cycling aimlessly.
Have a go at 50miles. If you can do it, you're well on the way.
Mick F. Cornwall

thirdcrank
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Jun 2020, 4:16pm

I fancy most of us would agree that even starting from zero, anybody in reasonable health who's prepared to do some riding to build up their abilities could do this. Pizzaman was something like 27 stones IIRC when he did it.

The more I reflect on this, the more I'm concerned about a large group - whatever large means in this case. Anybody doing any sort of cycle touring has to make choices like type of accommodation, book in advance or chance it, type of route, and more besides. A lone rider can almost make it up as they go along but the larger a group, the less flexibility is possible.

Then, unless the members of a group are well-matched riders and sharing similar attitudes, there's scope for falling out. There's no benefit to anybody in having riders strung apart over miles of road. It's chucking it down here at the moment and that reminds me of that old CTC chestnut, mudguards. Once upon a time, group riding meant mudguards, including adding a long mudflap to the rear guard. Not so fashionable these days but a couple of days of group riding in the wet would be miserable without them and a potential source of discord among others.

boink
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby boink » 11 Jun 2020, 4:43pm

Don't overdo it early and put yourself off. Build slowly over successive rides going up in 5 or ten miles increments every other weekend, carrying a bit of stuff as you go. I did a 50 to Ludlow from Staffs that nearly killed me beacuse I'd never done more than 12 before that..so a bit of a slow build up is a good idea IMO. Surprising how achievable 70 + miles a day is at a steady pace, with the odd tea and cake stop thrown in. You're in the right place for advice, as I was in your shoes some years ago. People like Mick F have a ton of great advice on routes out of Cornwall and much, much more.

I did a recommended CTC route - which did take you miles off course but to some amazing hostels, including Welsh Bicknor and Carbisdale Castle. Carrying a bit extra and camping means you can go a bit more direct I guess. More people involved means more complexity and sometimes more friction..but can be great too.

I did mine on a 20 odd year old Galaxy with some parts upgrades. Great bike and can still be picked up for 3 or 400. My mate used an Edinburgh Coop 'Revolution tourer. Low end and aluminium, but absolutely fine. Mick's done it on a Chopper. For a decent priced steel tourer, Spa cycles are great I think.

Here's a link to the blog my mate James and I wrote at the time. One of hundreds out there that offer insights and alternatives. http://blazingpedals.blogspot.com/

All the best. It's a great experience.

NB. Get a saddle you like, bars you like and some cream for the old undercarriage.

aneledrazzit
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 12 Jun 2020, 9:24am

boink wrote:Don't overdo it early and put yourself off. Build slowly over successive rides going up in 5 or ten miles increments every other weekend, carrying a bit of stuff as you go. I did a 50 to Ludlow from Staffs that nearly killed me beacuse I'd never done more than 12 before that..so a bit of a slow build up is a good idea IMO. Surprising how achievable 70 + miles a day is at a steady pace, with the odd tea and cake stop thrown in. You're in the right place for advice, as I was in your shoes some years ago. People like Mick F have a ton of great advice on routes out of Cornwall and much, much more.

I did a recommended CTC route - which did take you miles off course but to some amazing hostels, including Welsh Bicknor and Carbisdale Castle. Carrying a bit extra and camping means you can go a bit more direct I guess. More people involved means more complexity and sometimes more friction..but can be great too.

I did mine on a 20 odd year old Galaxy with some parts upgrades. Great bike and can still be picked up for 3 or 400. My mate used an Edinburgh Coop 'Revolution tourer. Low end and aluminium, but absolutely fine. Mick's done it on a Chopper. For a decent priced steel tourer, Spa cycles are great I think.

Here's a link to the blog my mate James and I wrote at the time. One of hundreds out there that offer insights and alternatives. http://blazingpedals.blogspot.com/

All the best. It's a great experience.

NB. Get a saddle you like, bars you like and some cream for the old undercarriage.



Absolutely loved reading that blog post!

Thank you I really appreciate your advice and comments.

Jdsk
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Jdsk » 12 Jun 2020, 10:06am

As above: start now, start gently, try different bikes, learn how to fiddle with and fix them.

Then let us know how it's going and ask the next set of questions based on what you've learnt.

Jonathan

DaveBeck
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby DaveBeck » 12 Jun 2020, 11:11am

Hi,

When I did my LEJOG back in 2006, I had been cycling regularly since 2005 and was doing anything up to 60 miles. Mostly in the 30's though. I signed up to do the ride with about three months to spare. So you will have plenty of time to prepare.

As others have said, build up the distances slowly. The longest I did in training was around 80 miles, if you can do that, you can do considerably more, as it's not about fitness anymore but willpower. Hopefully you'll be enjoying the challenge of the preparation by then, so it should be enjoyable!

When you get closer to the off, do a few (not many) days of longer distance, back to back rides, to get used to having to ride each day. Get used to eating the sort of stuff you'll fuel up with during the day. Best to find out in training that your favourite food doesn't sit well on long rides!

I think the most important thing to do though is to get your bike sorted early. Once you've done that, don't change things. There was one chap who rode with us who had bought a new bike a few weeks before, and he was still getting used to it for the first couple of days.

Is it a pointless thing to do? Probably. But that's not the point, it's your personal challenge. I still consider it to be one of the best things I've done. And when you look at a map of Great Britain, you'll know you've cycled all that way!

Jdsk
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Jdsk » 12 Jun 2020, 11:15am

Well said.

Jonathan

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Wanlock Dod » 12 Jun 2020, 7:59pm

1) a comfortable one.
2) you basically need to be fit enough to survive the first few days, after that you will be an experienced cycle tourist and be capable of making it up as you go along.

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Mick F
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Mick F » 12 Jun 2020, 10:16pm

thirdcrank wrote:I fancy most of us would agree that even starting from zero, anybody in reasonable health who's prepared to do some riding to build up their abilities could do this. Pizzaman was something like 27 stones IIRC when he did it.

I remember his contributions to this board, and I'm still in awe of his achievement.

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Mick F. Cornwall

boink
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby boink » 13 Jun 2020, 12:56pm

thirdcrank wrote:
I fancy most of us would agree that even starting from zero, anybody in reasonable health who's prepared to do some riding to build up their abilities could do this. Pizzaman was something like 27 stones IIRC when he did it.


Very do-able, definitely. Lot (fitness wise) depends on how you intend to do it, eg mileage per day and so on. It is important as others have said to get a bike/bars/gearing you're happy with. Lots of people will tell you that the hills were all fine and they never got off once...and while that may be true, I was able to do a 70 mile day in Staffordshire but still had to climb off a fair few times, especially on first 2 days and in Forest of Dean as I recall. This was partly because we got lost a fair bit (no garmin) and ended up staring at cornish streams after taking daft shortcuts. Some climbs there I think Chris Froome might struggle with! Shap and other longish climbs I'd dreaded were actually OK.

Jamesh
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby Jamesh » 13 Jun 2020, 6:01pm

Hi

Sorry to hear your loss.

I'd suggest those who want to do it sign up to a taster weekend where you cycle for three days.

Coast to coast is good, tour of Wales or simalar just to see how everyone gets on.

As for bikes road bikes are good as they have several hand positions.

A second hand Alu road bike can be had for £200-300.

Recruit a seasoned cyclist who will be useful for
1) bike repairs
2) navigation
3) battling through headwinds.

Recruit a tour bus driver (if going supported) who will be useful for
1) setting up camp
2) cooking
3) massage
4) agony aunt!

Lastly get Mick F to route you through Cornwall and Devon!!

Cheers James

carlbennett23
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby carlbennett23 » 17 Jun 2020, 7:14am

Really inspiring. I'm doing 20 miles a day, and my legs are much stronger than before. My goal is to increase my distance gradually.

aneledrazzit
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Re: Absolute beginner needing advice

Postby aneledrazzit » 17 Jun 2020, 2:11pm

Hi all. I'm overwhelmed with the responses I got on here! Thank you so much for your advice.

Bike has been purchased, was looking forward to testing it out but it's been thunder and lightning since it arrived!!! Maybe its a sign hahaha.

Thank you so much, and I'm sure in a few weeks/months I will have some more questions!