Also, Google "Rails to Trails" your area and see if there are any old converted rail lines that you could get some saddle time on. Rail lines generally don't have a grade over 3%, so it's good for flat/easy out-and-back type rides.
I'm new to cycling, too. I started in October, but stopped about 2 weeks in when my personal trainer (an avid cyclist with multiple centuries, etc) was teaching me to ride on pretty busy, fast streets... and wiped out. He hit his head in the middle of the rode & thought he'd broken his hip. Thankfully, there were no cars behind us at the time! But, it sure scared me... & him! (He hasn't ridden since, but he will!)
So, now I've been sticking to my neighbohood. (After about 2 months off.) My favorite time to ride is Sunday morning (& Saturdays are good, too). I only see a few cars in an hour ride. It's just nice and quiet. And, I NEVER ride with music & just pay a LOT of attention to everything around me.
I did just find a local run/bike trail that I hope to try out. I think it is only a couple of miles, though. And, I'll probably be dodging runners. But, it'll be nice to have better 'scenery' than houses!
I wish you the best! Be careful, but have fun!!!
Dana, Half Fanatic #1693
Completed 2013 Events: Feb 9 - Pedaling the Prairie, 45 miles Feb 16 - Lions Club Bike Ride, 46.5 miles Mar 3 - The Great Plane Ride, 25 hilly miles Aug 18 - TriGirl Sprint Duathlon Sept 2 - Dam Ride, 32 miles
current weight: 141.0
Fitness Minutes: (439) Posts: 3,641 1/4/11 5:20 P
Also, don't try to use clips till you are totally comfortable riding. Start with the quietest road you can find, and ride when there is as little traffic as possible. Our state laws state we must ride "as far to the right as is practical", but the sides of some roads are really hard to ride. Don't be afraid to "take the lane" if you need to to ride safely.
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my other piece of advice (and this is completely determined by your ability to be an early riser) is to go out really early. I start all my long weekend rides at like 6am...not a car on the road for like 2 hours. I am also very fearful of cars when i'm riding so i do my best to stay on back roads and go as early as possible
current weight: 165.0
Fitness Minutes: (53,141) Posts: 839 1/4/11 4:19 P
Wear your helmet, carry a cell phone, get lights, carry your fix it gear, and watch all sides of you and be careful of parked cars, sometimes they dart out without looking and sometimes they open their car doors without seeing you and above all else have fun.
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Fitness Minutes: (1,784) Posts: 31 1/4/11 4:14 P
I'm totally new to cycling - my boyfriend got me a bike for Christmas. My initial plan has to been to get a bike rack and take my bike to different trails in the area. I live in a very hilly area of Pittsburgh and I think I would get discouraged early on with all the ridiculous hills... seriously, more like mountains sometimes!
BUT, i'm also interested in being able to cycle in my neighborhood and around town, but am TERRIFIED of riding my bike on the road. I just picture myself getting plastered by a car or other not so great scenarios.
For those that ride on the road, how do you get started? Do you have any tips/rules/words of wisdom for a beginner??
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