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JONBOYR700 Posts: 68
8/30/10 10:49 A

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1. Be safe when riding. Follow the laws, tell someone that you're leaving and what time you *should* be back. If you're going to be late, call your significant other (else expect an ear full). Don't assume drivers will yield for you or that they will stop at stop signs and at lights. Ride defensively. Use a helmet.

2. Take a few extras to bail you out when things go South. Tool kit, tube, & spare money. Take a phone for the instances when you are far out and unable to fix a problem on the road - it happens. Got lost and don't have a Garmin? Call someone to head you back in the right direction.

3. If you're just starting cycling, the easiest thing to do is over-train or burn out. Take it easy and build your mileage. Train, but train smart. *Listen to your body*.

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8/16/10 1:43 P

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Some really great tips here guys, thanks for sharing!

~Jen~
Check out my blog: bloodsweatcarbs.blogspot.com


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JEEPIN04's Photo JEEPIN04 Posts: 23
8/15/10 11:07 A

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I've been getting out for rides of 15 to 25 miles now and have been looking for suggestions to help keep the energy levels up and for things to consider bringing with me. Thanks for all of the great ideas here!

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8/11/10 7:08 A

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THAGLUND - you need to be refueling during any ride lasting longer than 1 hour with a carb/electrolyte drink. I prefer HEED by Hammer since it doesn't have any HFCS and it has maltodextrin as it's carb source so you don't get any insulin spikes.

Next, if it's hot you need to replace electrolytes by way of something "salty" - most drinks have some electrolytes but not enough if it's hot. I actually add electrolytes to my HEED and I can ride for hours and the legs will feel strong. My butt gives out before the legs do.

I know that here on SP there is a lot of information for runners on how to fuel - it's the same thing for cyclists so I've co-opted their techniques for cycling.

Hope that helps!

Kris

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon

If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison


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DAVEINSEOUL's Photo DAVEINSEOUL SparkPoints: (36,812)
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8/9/10 7:22 A

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- It's NOT about how light the bike is. Forget about the carbon fiber bike - chances are you won't be able to use one until you've been cycling for a year or more. Get a sturdy mountain bike or hybrid.

- It IS all about the type of tire. If you are not really into off-road biking (and most beginners I know aren't - I sure wasn't when I started), trade the nobbie tires in for hybrids.

- If you can afford it, get kevlar-lined, anti-flat tires, with wire rims. You will ride much longer without experiencing a flat.

- Wear padded bike shorts!

- Start small, and work up to longer distances. My first rides were less than 8-12 miles - out and back.

- Hydration, Hydration, Hydration - especially in the heat. A water bottle IS NOT optional. If you can afford it, CamelBaks (or something similar) is a must on long rides

- A helmet is mandatory.

- Bring a couple of protein bars with you for emergency re-fueling. You might not be able to eat when you want.

- After two to four weeks on your bike (depending on how much you ride), bring it back to the bike shop for a tune up.

- Invest in a digital odometer.

- NEVER, EVER assume that someone sees you. Use a bell or whistle to signal your approach if you feel unsafe.

- Cars and Trucks have blind spots where the driver can't see you - avoid them like the plague.

- Taking pictures of the ride is cool - but should be done off the bike. Trying to take pictures while you ride invites the inevitable crash

- If you choose to ride with toeclips, practice, practice, practice performing quick releases. If you don't know how to come out of toe clips quickly, you WILL crash.

- You CAN climb steep hills. Its all about learning how to 'gear down' properly. Start by practicing on smaller hills.

- Vary your rides. It's not always about longest rides or personal bests. There's a time for that, then there's time to just enjoy the ride and smell the roses. Getting out on a fresh morning or evening can be great therapy for a sour mood.

- Most of all, HAVE FUN!

Edited by: DAVEINSEOUL at: 8/9/2010 (07:29)
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TERESAS_JOURNEY's Photo TERESAS_JOURNEY Posts: 756
8/9/10 3:04 A

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plain water. I eat complex carbs about an hour before my ride.

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8/8/10 8:11 P

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THAGLUND - Are you drinking plain water? Are you repleneshing electrolytes and carbs during your rides?

Kris

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon

If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison


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NANCYLAPEACH's Photo NANCYLAPEACH SparkPoints: (7,017)
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8/8/10 7:11 P

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This is a very helpful thread. Thanks so much for posting and the tips.



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TERESAS_JOURNEY's Photo TERESAS_JOURNEY Posts: 756
8/4/10 10:13 P

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I feel fine during my rides. But as soon as my ride is over with I feel nauseaus. I am thinking it might partially be caused by the heat. I drink plenty of water. Today I drank over 20 oz right before my ride. And if my camelback truly holds 50 ounces I drank between 80 and 90 ounces on the ride. Any other suggestions on what I can do to avoid this nausea.

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REDROOSTER1219's Photo REDROOSTER1219 Posts: 255
8/4/10 10:29 A

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Great tips and advice!! Thanks everyone!

One item that I ended up getting was a bike mirror. It really helps with me knowing what is coming up behind me and with crossing lanes, etc. I still double check with a glance over my shoulder, but the mirror gives me a little more secure feeling.

Leigh

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail".
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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DARRYLP67's Photo DARRYLP67 Posts: 578
7/24/10 8:13 P

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dont buy cylcling shoes or clipless pedals until you are riding for a while at least a fer months
plenty of water ie gatorade and as far as cloths are concern you dont have to be to flashy but bikenashbar has some great looking cylcling cloths without all the flashy logo prints etc and you feel good when riding every sport has a uniform emoticon

DarrylP67
GOD BLESS YOU
& JESUS IS LORD


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CRYSTALS529's Photo CRYSTALS529 SparkPoints: (10,184)
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7/23/10 10:25 P

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I just got a bike in April so I'm still certainly a beginner but there are already a few things that I had wish I had known earlier.

I definitely agree with Giant-Steps to join a group. They push you a little further and give you good advice and tips. I just go with a recreational group that I found on Meetup.com and it's helped push me to go further than I would have otherwise.

Also, bicycle fit is the most important thing to enjoying riding without being in a lot of pain and having complications.

Recently, I just figured out that you don't go further by pushing the highest gear. You can actually sustain yourself much longer and go further by pushing in an easy gear and having more revolutions of the pedals.

Finally, I'd recommend getting a good cycling book. I think "Every Woman's Guide To Cycling" by Selene Yeager is a fantastic book for women. I think it would even be a great book for a guy if they don't mind hearing things from a female perspective.



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7/20/10 7:03 P

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Do group rides, I rode by myself far too long. I didn't think I was serious enough to ride with groups but I was wrong and they are very welcoming of new riders.

Watch for motorists opening doors. Nothing can stop you faster than a door opening while you ride by. If you see someone sitting in their car go wide.

Know when to claim the lane. When it isn't safe for a motorist to pass you within the lane ride in the left side of the lane like motorcycles do so they will have to go in the other lane to pass.

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/20/10 9:22 A

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DRC .... thanks I was about to suggest the same thing. If you have a decent pair of shorts .... there should be no need of an after market gel cushion on the saddle.

Leave a route map with the wife or significant other so that they have an idea where you are at. Also, if you call for help they'll kind of have a map to follow to get to you quicker.

Jim

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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
7/19/10 9:53 A

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This might sound counter-intuitive, but now that you have cycling shorts, get rid of the seat cover. You might be dealing with too much padding.

TERESAS_JOURNEY's Photo TERESAS_JOURNEY Posts: 756
7/19/10 9:53 A

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where do you buy chamois butter?

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7/18/10 3:36 P

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Definitely go sans underwear. That can cause chafing that will give you sores. Next, try a chamois butter that is safe for using with bike shorts and in that area of the body. I would stay away from petroleum based products. The chamois butter/cream really helps.

If you still have issues check to see what may be rubbing to create sores and see if you can correct the issue with the friction.

Hope that helps!

Kris

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon

If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison


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TERESAS_JOURNEY's Photo TERESAS_JOURNEY Posts: 756
7/18/10 2:55 P

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Okay here's my situation. I rode 10.5 miles on weds. (don't laugh, that's a good distance for me). I have only had this bike for a week. And I wore bicycle shorts for the first time (with panties on underneath afterwards I was told you weren't supposed to wear anything under them) I have a gel cushion on my seat. Shortly after I got home I realized had some sore skin issues. What suggestions do you have to prevent these? I seen something on here about chamois butter and a friend mentioned to me body glide. I can handle having a sore butt better than I can handle sore skin issues.

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GARYM1A2's Photo GARYM1A2 SparkPoints: (8,668)
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5/31/10 8:21 P

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Have a mini first aid kit. I carry a few bandaids, 4x4 gauze pads and tape. Allways have a cell phone, insurance card and a drivers ID. Plus a helment is always needed.

Edited by: GARYM1A2 at: 5/31/2010 (20:21)

Coke free since July 4, 2008. I eat my calories not drink them.


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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,576)
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5/28/10 5:17 P

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Good question! I have an under the saddle bag which holds inner tubes, bike levers, patch kit, C02. My under the seat bag is big enough to stow a jacket after I take it off.

I have a bento bag, which attaches to my handle bars, which holds my ID, cell phone, $$, protein bars.

If I am going on an extended ride, I also wear a camel back which holds my extra water and a bike pump. I can also stow any clothes I might remove during the ride (jacket, leg or arm warmers). I also stow extra food in the camel back.

Here’s a link for the bento bag:
www.trisports.com/benbakis.html

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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MANA8503's Photo MANA8503 SparkPoints: (27,676)
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5/28/10 9:41 A

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These are GREAT! All things I've never thought about. Where do you keep all these things? Do you have a bag attached to the bike?

Mana

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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,576)
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5/23/10 10:38 A

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Ask another cyclist to show you how to remove and put on your front wheel. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is once you have someone show you how.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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2PHATT's Photo 2PHATT Posts: 1,167
5/23/10 7:18 A

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Does anyone know a trick to getting the front wheel back on without needing help? This new bike has the option to take off the front wheel and now it just looks not right, the girl at the store is meeting me tomorrow at the new cycling group I joined to help me but I feel stupid. Check the new group out on Facebook they are called Girls Gone Cycle, I hope I am not getting in over my head!!
Sheryl

MAMASALSERA's Photo MAMASALSERA Posts: 17
5/21/10 11:06 P

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There's a lot of really great information. Thank you for sharing this with us! emoticon

2PHATT's Photo 2PHATT Posts: 1,167
5/21/10 8:16 P

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Thanks for all the great tips!!
Sheryl

GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,623
5/20/10 3:43 P

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I also always wear my RoadID and carry a cellphone.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
5/20/10 3:21 P

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I'd echo WONGERCH on this one.

Also, I photocopied my driver's license and insurance card, and I keep it with a $5 bill in a ziplock back in my shirt pocket. I figure if I have it, I'll never need it.

CHICKYSOUP's Photo CHICKYSOUP Posts: 273
5/13/10 12:11 P

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Learn to stay in a straight line when looking over your shoulder! I remember this being a requirement in driver's ed in high school and is just as important when biking in traffic, especially when there isn't a bike lane.

I second the tip to follow all the rules of the road, just like a car does, even if a driver has stopped in the middle of the road to let you go across or take a left, etc. My closest calls with almost getting hit were when someone stopped to let me go and the driver behind them pulled around not realizing I was there. Now I wave them on, and if they insist, I just shake my head and look the other way until they get the point!

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QUEENDUNN's Photo QUEENDUNN Posts: 45
5/13/10 11:19 A

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Check out a good bicycle maintenance book at the library. If you know how to work on your own bike, you will feel more confident about riding on your own. You will also be able to keep your bike well maintained and ready to go!

Before I learned to do some basic things, especially change a flat, I was afraid to go out alone. Now, I can do almost anything I need to to adujust or fix my bike on the trail.

1 Cor 9:24-27
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I descipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, ... I myself should become disqualified!


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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
5/13/10 9:46 A

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My 3 non-negotiables:

1) Helmet.
2) Obey ALL rules of the road.
3) Get the tools and expertise to change a flat, and carry them with you.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
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Specificity, specificity, specificity.
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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
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MARLIN000 Posts: 301
5/13/10 9:07 A

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Just to add on to what Cover Queen said.....you can pick up a 15 function bike computer at Target for $20. They are easy to install as well. A couple zip tie or screws and you are good to go.

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COVERQUEEN's Photo COVERQUEEN Posts: 41
5/13/10 7:42 A

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I'll add that purchasing a gadget that tracks your miles/time/average speed is a great investment! It has helped me input (correctly) the exercise I get on my bike! AND put a mirror on your bike or helmet so you can see what's coming behind you!

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ANELAKANOA Posts: 4,221
5/12/10 10:52 P

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Wow....thanks everyone for the tips! emoticon

Angie





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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,623
5/12/10 3:03 P

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Lydia - great reminder. Carry some form of ID or way to contact family members when you're out solo. I recently got a RoadID and always wear it on my workouts. I even wear it at races. You never know how long it will take to track down your information through your bib number.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
LYDIAJW1's Photo LYDIAJW1 Posts: 51
5/12/10 11:54 A

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I am still a beginning cyclist. I always carry a cell phone, with an ICE (in case of emergency) number programmed in. You just never know.

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OHIOBLUEGRASS's Photo OHIOBLUEGRASS SparkPoints: (11,672)
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5/10/10 7:41 A

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Several of our local shops teach classes-some on bike maintenance and some on roadside emergencies (basically how to fix things that could break while you're out on your bike). Unfortunately, they only offer the courses in the winter-they're too busy now! However, they will probably show you how to change a flat if you just go in and ask.

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5/10/10 12:16 A

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My sales guys at the local bike shop showed me how to change a flat tire. There was no charge - he was happy to help me.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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TAMI_E's Photo TAMI_E SparkPoints: (13,286)
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5/9/10 10:29 P

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These are all GREAT ideas. I NEED to know how to change a tire and dread a flat tire, since I have no tools nor any idea of what to buy or how to use them as of yet. My experience changing a tire was 25 years ago using a set of butter knives to try and get the tire off so we kids could replace the tube. MmM. exercise in frustration anyone? Trust me. I've need to learn.

A local bike shop might have a class someone said?

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5/9/10 12:46 A

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It might not cost as much as you think! Try your local college that has a cycling team – the cycling team coach might be able to recommend one of the team members. A college student might even barter – food for cycling lessons. Also try your local cycling club.

Many of us will hire a private coach at the gym to teach us how to work out but never make that step for cycling. There is a lot more to cycling than just jumping on the bike and riding.


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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BRTRAINS's Photo BRTRAINS Posts: 488
5/8/10 8:26 P

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Most people taking up this sport I can't imagine can afford a cycling coach..JMO



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5/8/10 7:49 P

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One tip to add:
Find a cycling coach and get a few training sessions. It will make a HUGH difference!


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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KAYZAKCX's Photo KAYZAKCX Posts: 1,302
5/8/10 1:09 A

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1) Wear a helmet. Would've saved me a concussion and hairline skull fracture.

2) Carry basic repair items with you (spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, multitool, frame or mini pump) or be prepared to walk. Learned that one the hard way.

3) Dogs can be dangerous. Carry protection. (Pepper spray, eg.) I had to use a frame pump once to ward off an agressive dog that had already bit my shoes.

"It's cyclocross. You're supposed to roll around in the mud." CX Magazine


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KITTY1970's Photo KITTY1970 Posts: 5,005
5/7/10 3:54 P

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emoticon emoticon

Every time I rely on Jesus He never lets me down.
Faith + grace = salvation


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LIVESTRONG2010's Photo LIVESTRONG2010 SparkPoints: (36,407)
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5/7/10 10:42 A

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These are all great thanks!

Living life one mile and adventure at a time! Life is way to short be be living it on the sidelines. Set a goal and go for it!


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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,623
5/7/10 9:33 A

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1. Your butt is going to hurt the first few times you ride, but that will go away.

2. Chamois Butt'r is your friend. Buy some.

3. Always wear a helment. No exceptions.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
BEVPRESLEY's Photo BEVPRESLEY SparkPoints: (131,502)
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5/7/10 8:40 A

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1} Learn about your bike, how it works, why it works, how to take care of it, and how to fix it.

2) Get the proper gear. Bike shorts (or bibs if you prefer) and wicking tops are essential for comfort.

3) Stay hydrated, stay nourished, have FUN.



beverly

One Day at a Time:
1) 10,000 steps daily
2) fruit & vegie at every meal and log
3) aerobic or strength train every day
4) 7 hours sleep daily
5) check in with SP daily

My resolutions for Nov are
1) track nutrition daily
2) 30 min of exercise daily
3) finish cleaning sewing room


_______

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OHIOBLUEGRASS's Photo OHIOBLUEGRASS SparkPoints: (11,672)
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5/7/10 7:18 A

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1. Take a bike repair class-they're often offered cheap at bike shops (at the very least learn to change a flat).
2. BIKE SHORTS!!! Wear 'em. Love 'em.
3. Hydrate before you feel thirsty.

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BRTRAINS's Photo BRTRAINS Posts: 488
5/7/10 6:50 A

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another add on.... Try to not be competitive,( I see far too many cyclists out there with clothes on that make you think they are all sponsored) Enjoy the ride, get the fitness from it and just be you.
No need to have all that fancy expensive gear on...
wear comfortable clothing, bring cliff bars or something similar, plenty of water and a helmet



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CAROLYN1ALASKA's Photo CAROLYN1ALASKA Posts: 11,050
5/7/10 12:25 A

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All the advise so far is great!
I would only add this...
Don't make your friends put your chain back on,(or change your flats)!
Learn to do those things yourself.

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.”
Mark Twain


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MTNBIKENV's Photo MTNBIKENV SparkPoints: (0)
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5/6/10 11:36 P

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1) Learn how to change a flat. Have someone show you, then do it yourself, over and over, until you know you can do it, when the need arises and you are on your own.

2) Don't let it get you down if you have a hard time keeping up with a group, or anyone else in general. With miles, comes fitness.

3) Don't let all the technical stuff that people banter back and forth with, bog you down. Love to ride, and just go do it.

My .02.

Marnie
RENO, NEVADA

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

KA_JUN's Photo KA_JUN SparkPoints: (58,429)
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5/6/10 11:00 P

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What are your top three tips for a beginning cyclist? What would you have wished someone would have told you when you started out?

In no particular order.

1) Fit is king. Frame size and contact point adjustment aren't negotiable.

2) Riding on technical singletrack, keep your tire pressure (positing you're riding clinchers) lower, in the 35 psi or under depending on your weight, and you'll have better control & be able to clean stuff you wouldn't have believed.

3) Figure out how to fuel, and it'll feel like you can ride forever with power.

3)

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

How do you eat an elephant?

I will not fail.


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