Taking up cycling

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by Tartan_Terrier, Apr 22, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  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.

  2. 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. 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.

    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.
  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.
  5. I ran a cyclist over once.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. 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?
  8. 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. 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 :)
    • Like Like x 1

  10. Not until now, looks like it could get expensive.......

    I'm going to look like an utter cock in lycra no matter what my BMI is!
  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.