Taking up cycling

#1
Since both my wife and now my son have joined the local cycling club, I think I'm going to have to get into it too. Having just spent a small fortune on a bike (a Bianchi) for my boy, I'm keen to see him getting as much use of it as possible! This will also have the added bonus of quality father-son time and should also help reduce my waistline.... I've had difficulty running this year due to an injury and can see the pounds piling on at a rate of knots.

I've been lucky enough to 'inherit' an 8 year old Trek SLR which is an okay fit, and now all I've got to do is buy the rest of the gear.

Therefore I have a couple of questions for any cycling enthusiasts on ARRSE:

First of all, I know there are a few cycling forums out there. Which ones are recommended?

Secondly, I've used mapmyride a couple of times and it seems to estimate a number of higher calories burned than I would have expected. Is there any accepted (speed/distance) formula for this?

Thirdly, progression: how much and how often can I increase the length of the rides? At present my arse says stop after an hour max.

Any other tips etc. will be gratefully recieved.

Cheers
T_T
 
#2
At present my arse says stop after an hour max.
T_T
I bought a halfords cheapy to nip about the barracks on last summer. The seat is horrendous though, my uncle (who is a keen cyclist) recommended I buy a better seat.

I decided against it though as I'm as tight as two coats of paint and only really nip to round the shops on it now and then. If I was doing any sort of distance though its something I would consider.

To add a little dit in aswell, coming back from the barbers on it the other week a dog ran out and bit my foot as I was cycling along. Clamped it against the pedal, between its teeth. **** me apart from getting a shock and nearly crashing into a parked car, it ******* hurt like ****.

Push bikes are well dangerous.
 
#3
Secondly, I've used mapmyride a couple of times and it seems to estimate a number of higher calories burned than I would have expected. Is there any accepted (speed/distance) formula for this?
Wouldn't it also depend on the resistance? More resistance (wind in the face, going uphill), the more energy needed to reach a certain speed, the more calories burned? You're probably better off reviewing your diet and cutting out certain food and drinks. Use those calorie schemes as a rough guideline. I'd say (as an estimation) that an hour of normal cycling (20K/H) equates a light lunch. Cycling is my main mode of transportation, a regular pushbike, and I notice the amount of energy spend depends per bike ride.

Thirdly, progression: how much and how often can I increase the length of the rides? At present my arse says stop after an hour max.
Let your arse be your judge in that :) And your legs. If you cycle too much you'll notice your legs will be "empty" the next day. You'll find out soon enough. Apart from gearing up for some serious biking, try to use the bike as much as you can. When going out to the shops or visiting someone. If weight loss is one of your concerns.

BTW as a suggestion, speed skating is pretty similar when it comes to the muscles you're using. So if you get bored after a while, switch to skating in winter. :) Hope this helps.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#4
I did the London-Brighton a few years back and was in charge of training for the team that the pub I was working in had. We started off fairly lightly, upto 5 miles at the beginning every Sunday, before moving up the mileage everty week. The guys were encouraged to do some intermediate training during the week as well as using it to travel to work, therefore building up the distance. As Stanley says, the more you use it, the easier it becomes.
 
#6
As Stanley says, the more you use it, the easier it becomes.
And that's the problem with all excercise regimes - to get any further benefit from a strength/fitness/weightloss perspective you then have to go further/faster etc.,
 
#7
Thanks for the answers so far guys. Any good cycling forums out there?
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#8
And that's the problem with all excercise regimes - to get any further benefit from a strength/fitness/weightloss perspective you then have to go further/faster etc.,
I just took it to a point that I could cycle at a reasonable pace for a set distance or sprint for a shorter one, with the London-Brighton, there are parts where you tend to plod along and others where you can open up.
 
#9
Since both my wife and now my son have joined the local cycling club, I think I'm going to have to get into it too. Having just spent a small fortune on a bike (a Bianchi) for my boy, I'm keen to see him getting as much use of it as possible! This will also have the added bonus of quality father-son time and should also help reduce my waistline.... I've had difficulty running this year due to an injury and can see the pounds piling on at a rate of knots.

I've been lucky enough to 'inherit' an 8 year old Trek SLR which is an okay fit, and now all I've got to do is buy the rest of the gear.

Therefore I have a couple of questions for any cycling enthusiasts on ARRSE:

First of all, I know there are a few cycling forums out there. Which ones are recommended?

Secondly, I've used mapmyride a couple of times and it seems to estimate a number of higher calories burned than I would have expected. Is there any accepted (speed/distance) formula for this?

Thirdly, progression: how much and how often can I increase the length of the rides? At present my arse says stop after an hour max.

Any other tips etc. will be gratefully recieved.

Cheers
T_T

Have you discovered the joys of Bikes | Mountain Bikes | Road Bikes & Cycling Apparel | Wiggle yet?

Remember the golden rule, unless you have a BMI less the 20, you'll look an utter cock in lycra :)
 
#10
#11
Start small and work your way up, avoid the all the gear no idea look. Halfords was mentioned, any cheapy bike will get you started a mountain bike with road tyres is a good starter. A good low compresion seat is ideal but not essential. You don't need to get all gay and lycra'd up, just a pair of jog bottoms and a windproof top is good.
Enjoy it, sounds obvious but if you really can't be arsed going out on a windy day then don't, it will just put you off next time.
 
#12
I'm totally biked up already. I've got a Kildemoes citybike for commuting/general running around and the Trek road bike I mentioned in the first post.
 
#13
Although I don't contribute to the forum, I find Bikes, Bike Reviews, Cycling Routes, Race News - BikeRadar quite handy for tips on gear & nutrition etc.

I use Mapmyride, but wouldn't pay much attention to the calorie counter. It's good for tracking times on rides you've mapped and comparing to see any improvement. As Stanley said though, it depends on the wind resistance (and plenty other things), so take more notice of an improvement trend rather comparing ride for ride (unless the conditions are identical). I went out this morning on my 32m loop, and averaged 20mph for the first 12 miles and then turned into the wind.....could barely keep to 14mph after that, and it was knackering.

As mentioned earlier, wiggle is a good place for occasional bargains, as is www.cyclestore.co.uk.....they also price match (I tried them out on a rucksack I saw cheaper in wiggle).

As others have said, listen to your arse (or more importantly your legs). You'll soon know if you are overdoing it and piss yourself off if you do. If your arse continues to be the limiting factor, then a saddle change may be in order. I've just got a road bike (Boardman) through the cycle 2 work scheme, and the saddle is killing me (old chap is completely numb for a couple of hours after a 30-odd mile ride). On my previous steed (decent mtb with road tyres), I could have ridden all day.

Get a decent trip computer to help logging the rides (times/distances etc). I find the Cateye Strada 300 wireless to be an excellent all-rounder for about £35.
Happy pedalling.
 
#14
Serious advice now.

Avoid "Cycle Chat" and "Yet Another Cyling Forum" like the ******* plague as it's a yogurt weavers paradise full of privately educated spazzers who think they are all marxists/anarchists/ever so interesting etc etc.

If they get a sniff of you having served or not sharing the correct politics you will get endless grief from class warriors who strangely are not working class, there are only so many posts you can read about all soldiers being baby killers and rapists before you tell them to get to ****.
 
#15
I post in cyclechat and like any forum you get window lickers but in there is some good info and wise heads, ignore the shite and dont read anything political to avoid seeing red.
If you are truely a tightwad wait for Aldi or Lidl to kick out cycling gear it is cheap as chips and lasts long enough.
I'd ignore the wizzgadgets people have and listen to your legs, the best money you can spend is getting the bike serviced (there is enough info on youtube to do it yourself if you know your arse from your elbow and spend a few quid on tools) and some decent tyres.
Your arse will get used to the bike the more often you use it as will the legs, increase the rides as much as you like, it is the intensity you need to keep an eye on.
 
#16
Lidl are knocking out a halfway usable kit at the monent that has the pedal spanner, crank puller and removal tools for cassettes and screw on freehubs.

Tis about £20.

Your Trek will do you fine if it runs, plus being 8 speed it has lot's of backwards compatabilty with new old stock or used kit on ebay from higher up the group sets. You don't have to keep buying the latest kit to have a very servicable and nippy bike that runs.

Shimano convincing every bugger to upgrade once a year by going from 8 to 9 and then 10 and then to 11 speed is the greatest trick ever pulled since the devil convinced the world he didn't exist.
 
#17
Bikes, Bike Reviews, Cycling Routes, Race News - BikeRadar is a good forum. For kit Bicycles | Bikes | Mountain Bikes | Road Bikes | MTB Bikes | Bike Parts | Bike Frames | Road Frames | MTB Frames is very competitive.
Re getting stuff off ebay, sell the stuff you're replacing too, even worn out chains and cassettes if sold together, someone'll buy them to build a winter hack bike or station bike.
Re your bike, 8 speed is fine and a lot more robust than 10- or 11 speed setups which tend to need a lot of trim and adjustment. As to distance and speed, build up slowly and make sure you drink loads (half and half water/orange or water/coke work just as well as the powdered crap bike shops sell. Also, make sure you eat loads to fuel properly - pro cyclists may look like skinny little anorexics but they're scarfing down 5,000 calories a day during the Tour de France.
Saddle discomfort can be remedied with padded shorts (you can get mountain bike baggy shorts to avoid the arrse-clinging lycra look) and possibly a new saddle, the Specialized BG ones are good. Finally, a pair of gloves with padding to protect the ulnar nerve can prevent numbness in the hands and protect you when you fall off.
 
#18
If you are 'Out for the day', dont try and ride too fast first thing, but cycle as fast as

you like in the last hour.

Take plenty of water, and a mars bar/bannana for when you feel it is the end of the world.

After the first hour, have a break, suck a sweet and enjoy the moment.

After that I always look at the journey in 10mile/Kms segments with a break each time.

You will enjoy it and will soon pick up a good cadence for eating up the miles.

.
 
#19
Cycling is like most sports as in you can buy really good expensive shiny kit all the way to supermarket specials that last 5 mins. Having said that there is usually something useful in all of the catagories. for eg, Gloves i bought in ASDA as a temp fix when i forgot mine on a trip lasted really well and i found them slightly better than the pair i replaced. Sports Direct sell MTB gear for next to nothing (unsure about skinny tyre stuff) and there are loads of options when looking at second hand kit. Try the following Retrobike | If it's Old School, It's in Pinkbike.com: Latest biking news, photos, videos, events and more! as well as ebay and the like. Try riding with clubs and other riders for a challenge and to gain info on routes as well as tips on techniques etc. As you progress Bicycles | Bikes | Mountain Bikes | Road Bikes | MTB Bikes | Bike Parts | Bike Frames | Road Frames | MTB Frames is a good site for lots of choice with a good budget range.

with regards to distance calories etc i have no idea! i ride MTB so i ride till im broken. These are only my opinions and experiences im no guru!! :)
 

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