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How Should I proceed to help a new cyclist?(10 posts)

How Should I proceed to help a new cyclist?flyinbowlofmilk
Jan 2, 2002 4:29 PM
Ihave been riding now for a 1 1/2 on a road bike. I have been riding for over 2 years ,that including( mtb races). I have a co-worker at my job who wants to do a tour or 2 with me. He has told me that it just a bike. But from my standpoint it is much more than that. I have done 1 cycling tour in 2001. So I can say that I have experience in doing a cycling tour, and the preperations that go with it. That is not to mention the training and motivation that goes with it. How should I proceed with this co-worker at my job who is interested in cycling? I don't think that he knows much about road riding.How should I go about helping him get prepare for a cycling tour or 2 this year? What advice should I give him? Considering that I am now that I have gotten into road riding more. I ride with my LBS shop in Cary,N.C. We are both Afro-American too.
re: How Should I proceed to help a new cyclist?Me Dot Org
Jan 2, 2002 4:42 PM
I'd start with a weekend or after work ride with your coworker, of at least 20 miles. See If he can keep up. If he can't, he'll know he's going to have problems.
What's a tour?Kerry Irons
Jan 2, 2002 4:50 PM
Are you talking about 40 miles per day for a week, or 100+ per day for a month, a double century, hills, desert temperatures, heavy bike or heavy wallet? You can go to the Bicycling web site - they have a training program ("6 weeks to a century" or something like that) for new riders. Obviously, it would be very difficult for a brand new rider who was not already fit to be able to do 100 miles in only 6 weeks, but you can use the principles. Basic guides are to increase your mileage 10% per week - ramping up faster risks injury and will tear you down rather than build you up. You probably need to ride with this person so that they get some experience riding with others. It will become obvious pretty quickly if they are actually up for such a ride. However, there have been many people who have ridden across the US with minimal preparation. If you're not on a fixed schedule, it is possible for a healthy person to ride themselves into pretty good shape over a period of a month or so. If all you have to do is ride the bike every day, you get stronger quickly.
Fly, listen to this guy.guido
Jan 2, 2002 9:05 PM
Kerry's got the right idea. A well motivated reasonably healthy guy, who's got the kinks worked out on his bike, can ride into shape over a couple of weeks, riding every day. I've known many who've done it.

As far as preparation, check out the post below on "aerobic base miles" about conditioning your body for long, continuous efforts, and don't worry about building prodigious strength. You'll build strength and power on the tour without even being aware of it, if you have those aerobic base miles. Also, you'll be used to your positioning, the saddle, pedaling, and will encounter all the ergonomic (fit) and technical problems that otherwise might ruin the trip.
The post is "convince me that I'm doing the right thing" by Lenguido
Jan 2, 2002 9:09 PM
re: How Should I proceed to help a new cyclist?Woof the dog
Jan 2, 2002 9:45 PM
you should set him up on the bike. You may start from mtn. bike and if you plan on using a road bike for him, get thicker tires as well. I assume you gonna use clipless pedals, so you gotta teach him how to use them.

describe riding on the road as best as you can, explain road rules and laws, and support that with an hour of city riding (if you have city around you) for that I'd not use clipless pedals.

describe what kind of exercise biking is. Go over how legs work, how to stretch to prevent injury. Don't forget about a warmup/cooldown. Ask him to tell you about any joint pain he may experience as this is more serious than just plain old muscle soreness. Go over basic food/drink things. You don't want him to die on you from dehydration. One bottle an hour + 200 grams of carbohydrates (not just candy bars, but complex stuff). It is important for him to try out pre/during/post ride foods - some people have problems with certain types of foods. Oh, and tell him to lay off those fat fries and burgers.

Get him the right shorts. If he is not comfortable using tights, get him a pair of mtn. bike shorts with a pad inside. Oh, and don't forget to use some chamois butter. Plain old baby oil gel works fine for me. Remind him to keep his ass clean to prevent infection.

You need to get him out on a bike for two or three rides to get his ass used to the saddle. Ask/explain about possible numbness if he experiences it.

Try a few shorter rides to see how is his handling, and do not push him into going fast. Untrained people cannot take intensity as well as those who are used to it. When I didn't ride for 2 months and then started out, it was harder to recover and I felt slow/sluggish.

If your tour is a long time away, it is a good thing to teach him a little about cornering and effective breaking (in the corner as well). Teach him how to draft, but take it easy. You can teach him about touching wheels too. The trick is to keep leaning into it and be calm.

Put him on some kind of training plan, but not very intense. Something like 2 or maybe 3 times a week no more than 2 hours is appropriate, then increase as he feels fit. I will leave it up to the training plan guru's to come up with a better scheduled workouts.

Get him a good helmet and leave that visor at home ;-) Keep in mind things to bring with you on the trip.

See, cycling is not an easy thing to get into, so when someone is like "I wanna get a bike and ride like you" that sentence just scares me sh!tless as I'd have to explain all that I know to them, which will take endless hours. Add in the expenses, and you are all set up for a huge, months-long headache.

Hope this helps.


Woof, the grade-A-honey-producing, wait, i'm a dog.
re: How Should I proceed to help a new cyclist?MJ
Jan 3, 2002 2:25 AM
others posters have good advice - I would echo that you need to get him out on the bike and see what he's got - start with some short rides - you'll both know if you're compatible in no time at all - the short, and eventually longer day rides (set a goal that once he passes you feel comfortable with) will provide plenty of self-evident learning/teaching opportunities - may be worth getting him out with you for a club ride? - he may be farther along the learning curve than you anticipate (you never know he may blow you away!!) - but you want to make sure that your buddy can fix his own punctures and take care of basic bicylce maintenance; keep up reasonably with a touring pace/load; is physically up to the challenge even if he 'rides' himself into shape' - if he does ride into shape you'll need to be concious not to push him too far too fast etc.
re: How Should I proceed to help a new cyclist?roy Zipris
Jan 3, 2002 5:09 AM
I'm curious about how the last fact affects your plans: is Cary, NC inhospitable to cyclists of color?
cyclists of color?weiwentg
Jan 3, 2002 11:51 AM
just out of curiosity, are there many cyclists of color here? my cycling club has one Chinese (me) and one Venezuelan. and that's it. anyone else?
One Way To Skin This Particular Cat...Greg Taylor
Jan 3, 2002 8:24 AM
...would be to make your friend's first "tour" as fail-safe as possible. There are a number of supported multi-day group rides on the East Coast that make for a dandy first "tour". I can heartily recommend Bike Virginia as a good time.... The cost is reasonable (about $150 plus meals), the logistics are very well organized, there is full sag support, they carry your luggage from place to place, and there are 2,000 other riders to share the experience with. Routes and milages are variable, depending upon your legs. No, it isn't a trip for those who want to get away from other people, but if you are looking for a way to hang with other bike freaks and see some pretty country, it is really a good time, especialy if you camp out.

Check it out: