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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,643
1/4/11 11:04 P

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Google Maps now has a bicycle feature. If you do a map from point A to B not only will it pick the best route for biking, it will also highlight established Rail-to-Trails with a bold green line.

Don

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Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

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FUZZMARTIN's Photo FUZZMARTIN SparkPoints: (5,990)
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1/4/11 11:00 P

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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.

pittsburgh.about.com/od/biking/a/rai
l_
trails.htm


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KESTREL500's Photo KESTREL500 Posts: 1,173
1/4/11 9:47 P

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Ditto bike club is probably the best idea. Not only will you feel safer riding with others, they will probably know the safer routes and can give you tons of advice on cycling in general.

Enjoy your new bike!

My mantra: Exercise frequently! Eat reasonably!


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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,643
1/4/11 7:31 P

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Heartily 2nd the idea of the bike club...LOTS of seasoned riders there who will be all too happy to share what they've learned, routes they enjoy and oodles of other things.

Love my local club!

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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ELLA2012 Posts: 153
1/4/11 7:27 P

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Check out a bicycle club in your area. Clubs can help you get better (especially on the Pittsburgh hills) and ride safely.
Have fun riding.
e

Edited by: ELLA2012 at: 1/4/2011 (19:28)
IMSMILEY88's Photo IMSMILEY88 Posts: 1,889
1/4/11 5:20 P

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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


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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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1/4/11 5:20 P

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Your best info is from the book "Effective Cyclling" by John Forrester. Mr. Forrester is a traffic engineer with broad experience with cycling.

This book has info for beginners all the way to things even most cyclists who have been cycling their whole life don't know.

BEVPRESLEY's Photo BEVPRESLEY SparkPoints: (130,309)
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1/4/11 4:34 P

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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.

beverly

One Day at a Time:
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2) fruit & vegie at every meal and log
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August 2014 goals:
1) Get my nutrition back under control and record daily
2) Finish the forest service quilt and wall hanging
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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,643
1/4/11 4:33 P

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Start off by being picky about where you cycle. Pick rail to trails, rural roads...places where traffic is light if there even is any.

As you gain confidence, cycle with someone who is experienced and let them lead the way. You will learn a lot by their example. Start braving roads with greater traffic.

Don't worry about hills, your ability to climb them will improve. As someone in my bike club sez: "I've never met a hill I couldn't...walk up!" :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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JKLEINPT's Photo JKLEINPT Posts: 34
1/4/11 4:32 P

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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

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ACURVYLADY's Photo ACURVYLADY SparkPoints: (36,945)
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1/4/11 4:19 P

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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. emoticon

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FITCHICK84 SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/11 4:14 P

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Hi everyone!

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??

Thanks in advance! emoticon

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