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shedemei

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Any other enthusiastic casual cyclists here?

 

I picked up bicycling again last year after a long hiatus. I'm currently training for a two day, 200 mile bike race this summer. I'm in the not-racing group (e.g. the vast majority of riders) and will be riding for fun and to prove to myself that I can do it.

 

I usually commute to work by bike February through October when it's not raining or super cold. It's four miles each way and somewhat hilly. I'm also riding 20-30 miles each Saturday with a group of other people training for summer races and plan to lengthen my daily rides and add a longer one mid-week once the days are longer. I'm really slow; I'm always getting passed on the road. But, I don't care since two years ago I was so out of shape I could barely walk up some of these hills that I'm now riding on my bike every day. I'm proud of myself for the progress that I've made, and I'm really excited for the future because I know I have it in me to become so much better.

 

The training rides have been both awesome and horrible. Awesome: I am totally capable of doing them without exerting myself. I'm going to move up to the next speed group this weekend. I also find that I really like riding in guided groups. I'm much more motivated to keep going up hills and at a reasonable speed. I'm also going to areas and seeing things I normally wouldn't because someone else is planning and leading the ride. It's great! These rides are free with my membership in the local bike club, so that's also a bonus.

 

Horrible: discovering that I suffer from Raynaud's. I was in serious pain during the weekend rides even though the temperatures were in the 40s (4-8 ºC) and I was wearing two pairs of gloves on each hand. I think I need to buy some gloves with heated fingers.

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  • 5 months later...

I started doing some singletracks this year. I love it! I hadn't biked since I was a kid, but I picked it back up quickly!

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I'd like to get more into cycling. I have an old beater bike for getting around but it has some serious problems and I haven't rode it at all this year (it just needs to die). I'd like to get into triathlons, so I want to get a decent road bike - however I am not sure how committed I will be to doing tri's so I don't want to spend a lot, but I want a bike that is decent enough to keep me competitive in a race. Also bike theft is a massive problem in Chicago, and I don't have room in my apartment to store a bike at this time anyways. Sigh...someday!

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  • 4 weeks later...
I'd like to get more into cycling. I have an old beater bike for getting around but it has some serious problems and I haven't rode it at all this year (it just needs to die). I'd like to get into triathlons, so I want to get a decent road bike - however I am not sure how committed I will be to doing tri's so I don't want to spend a lot, but I want a bike that is decent enough to keep me competitive in a race. Also bike theft is a massive problem in Chicago, and I don't have room in my apartment to store a bike at this time anyways. Sigh...someday!

There's always craigslist for a bike + the hang your bike anywhere in the house as a centerpiece.

Or you can do this:

Bike%20in%20Bathtub-resized-600.png

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  • 1 month later...

Yesterday I bought my first roadbike! I got a Felt woman's cycle. Next week I go in for the fitting and they will make the adjustments to it.

I haven't bought shoes and pedals yet, but let me know if you have recommendations on those!

post-1800-14451998265966_thumb.jpg

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That looks like an awesome bike! Alas, I only have a mountain-ish bike so I cannot offer any advice except...have fun on the road! I am soo jealous now, I am thinking of getting a road bike in the spring. I love the bike I have now (we are total pals and understand each other completely) but I really want to have a bike where I can really build up speed.

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Now is the time to get a bike as stores are cleaning out stock. I got mine for 35% off.

I'd love to mountain bike but alas I live in the city and its a hike to get out to the trails.

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Now is the time to get a bike as stores are cleaning out stock. I got mine for 35% off.

I'd love to mountain bike but alas I live in the city and its a hike to get out to the trails.

Good point, I think I shall do some poking around when I next visit a city big enough to have decent bikes. It can be an early Christmas present to myself.

You said you live in Chicago? I think my country girl heart would not be able to take on city cycling. Have you ever had any close shaves?

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I haven't rode city streets that much...if I'm trying to get downtown I take the Lakeshore trail. But then again, there is a log of foot/bike traffic. I try to stick to streets with bike lanes but there are still scary moments. I think what I tend to encounter most is doors that fly open

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  • 1 month later...

Hung up my bike today, unless we get a surprise thaw I won't bike again until spring. Now I have to drive to work like a normal person. I hate being a normal person. And my beautiful legs are going to disappear. Don't worry I am going to keep somewhat fit thru the winter, but in my mind long hours on a bike is what creates and sustains beauty in leg muscles. I am a rather not thin person :) , so losing my leg muscles will not be good for my self-esteem. But no one sees my toned legs but me so it's ok I guess.

Sorry for the weirdness but not being able to bike makes me sad and when I am sad I say weird things.

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Hung up my bike today, unless we get a surprise thaw I won't bike again until spring. Now I have to drive to work like a normal person. I hate being a normal person. And my beautiful legs are going to disappear. Don't worry I am going to keep somewhat fit thru the winter, but in my mind long hours on a bike is what creates and sustains beauty in leg muscles. I am a rather not thin person :) , so losing my leg muscles will not be good for my self-esteem. But no one sees my toned legs but me so it's ok I guess.

Sorry for the weirdness but not being able to bike makes me sad and when I am sad I say weird things.

You can always put some studded tires on your bike. Or get a fat tire bike, but those are expensive.

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Our winters are insane, very cold, tons of snow and ice . Plus I live in where there are lots of open fields so a quick puff of wind causes white outs so it would be too dangerous sadly.

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Or get a trainer and ride indoors. I just bought one this weekend...planning on setting up

My laptop so I can watch movies while I ride!

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Or get a trainer and ride indoors. I just bought one this weekend...planning on setting up

My laptop so I can watch movies while I ride!

Would you mind taking a picture of your set up? I've been trying to find a safe way to do this.

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Mind you it's in my dining room (thankfully DH doesn't mind)

post-1800-14451998544276_thumb.jpg

I have what amounts to as a TV table in front of my bike LOL. A cycling DVD came with my bike so I can ride to those workouts. I just need to get my bike computer so I can measure my cadence while I ride. I just ordered the wireless cadence/mph sensor for my bike, and it feeds into an iPhone app and gives me all the stats. Right now it's on backorder...fingers crossed I'll have it for the holidays.

I also lay a towel over the bike to keep my sweat from ruining the components. I've seen "bike thongs" that retail for $20 but I'm super sweaty and I have my doubts they would be that much protection for my bike.

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Nice! I wouldn't think the bike thongs that I've seen would do much, either. I know my old roommate did the bike trainer - his was REALLY loud and our downstairs neighbors complained. I think the mat you have underneath should help with the friction noise. Also, lucky that you had an extra TV table!

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Did your roommate have a mag trainer? Mine is a fluid trainer and it is pretty quite. I think the vibrations are more an issue for me but the mats seem to temper it pretty well.

What kind of bike do you have? Do you ride a trainer?

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I think so. It was a few years ago, but I googled it and it looks like a mag.

I don't have a trainer or even a road bike. I have a mountain bike which is more practical for my area - our paved trails and roads aren't very well maintained and even road bikers have larger wheels to avoid huge bills and constant flats. I live a block from a huge park with dozens of single tracks in the summer and great (world class) xc skiing in the winter, so while I'd like to have a road bike and bike lanes that are occasionally swept free of broken glass and used needles, I wouldn't trade the awesomeness of mountain biking. :-) I just do spin class in the winter or ride at the gym, although I'd like a trainer so I can spend more time in the saddle before an Xterra Tri in July.

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I think so. It was a few years ago, but I googled it and it looks like a mag.

I don't have a trainer or even a road bike. I have a mountain bike which is more practical for my area - our paved trails and roads aren't very well maintained and even road bikers have larger wheels to avoid huge bills and constant flats. I live a block from a huge park with dozens of single tracks in the summer and great (world class) xc skiing in the winter, so while I'd like to have a road bike and bike lanes that are occasionally swept free of broken glass and used needles, I wouldn't trade the awesomeness of mountain biking. :-) I just do spin class in the winter or ride at the gym, although I'd like a trainer so I can spend more time in the saddle before an Xterra Tri in July.

I'd love to do an Xterra tri. Right now I'm signed up for an indoor tri, and I have a sprint I'm eyeing for June and probably an Olympic for the end of summer. That is if my job isn't so crazy that it limits my training time!

Is cyclocross popular where you live? It's picking up in popularity out here...seems to be big in late fall/early winter.

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I'd love to do an Xterra tri. Right now I'm signed up for an indoor tri, and I have a sprint I'm eyeing for June and probably an Olympic for the end of summer. That is if my job isn't so crazy that it limits my training time!

Is cyclocross popular where you live? It's picking up in popularity out here...seems to be big in late fall/early winter.

I've seen pictures in the paper of cyclocross events, but I've never attended. I don't know much about it, really, other than it looks like fun! Kind of hardcore fun, as I tend to avoid anything that involves being wet outdoors in spring/fall due to cold and the fact that I don't want to get the inside of my vehicles all dirty after a mud run.

We don't have indoor tris around here. Surprisingly. Most start with an indoor pool swim, because there are so few athletes who want to swim in glacier water, but the bike and run are always outside.

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  • 5 months later...

Haha updating this thread finally...

Finally I've been able to get on my road bike the last couple weekends. Spring came really late this year, and after a tough winter the roads are in crappy shape. I try to avoid potholes, but sometimes you have to take one for the team (or more like, take one to avoid getting hit by traffic).

I'm a bit regretting I didn't get a tri bike. Don't get me wrong I do love my bike, and I think it will serve me well through my first 2 triathlons. Initially I was considering getting clip on aerobars, but then I would also have to go in and get my bike refitted to a more aggressive position. I might as well save the cash towards a tri specific bike.

Swimming is...getting there I suppose? I did an indoor tri back in March, and I discovered that I was fairly competitive as a runner, and shockingly I had the fastest cycling time, but swimming I was super slow. So now I've been making myself go about 3x a week, and I've been watching lots of youtube videos that have taught me how to improve my technique. I signed up for swimming lessons as well, so I hope I can get better. But the open water swimming is still the great unknown, and with the harsh winter we had Lake Michigan is going to be far too cold to swim in through June. My triathlon is June 21st at Lake Geneva, and that may very well be my first open water swim :?

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I was away from FJ for a long time, and I'd totally forgotten about this thread. I actually did the 206-mile [link=http://www.cascade.org/ride-major-rides/group-health-stp]STP[/link] in July 2013, and it was awesome! I did a training series offered by my local bike club that prepared me really well. I can't say that it was easy, but I never felt that I wasn't handling it (except for the awful dehydration from riding 10 miles along a highway in 90ºF weather, but no amount of training would have helped me with that).

This August, my boyfriend and I will be doing the [link=http://www.cascade.org/ride-major-rides/rsvp]RSVP[/link], which is a two-day, 180 mile ride from Seattle to Vancouver. It's supposed to be more low-key than the STP, which has 10,000 riders. It is hillier, so I'm going to have to hit those harder in training.

I got a new road bike a few weeks ago and I love it. It rides so much better than my hybrid, and I feel so much more capable on it.

And to think that the farthest I'd ridden when I wrote the first post on this thread was 30 miles!

Thanks to fancy-pants bike, I've realized that my hybrid, which I use for commuting, is probably not the correct size for me. I love that bike, but I'm starting to look around a bit.

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