Cycling Thread - pleasure peddlers to serious cyclists sign in here!

(995 Posts)
Thistledew Sat 13-Aug-11 16:41:39

Hi All

I thought I would start a cycling thread. It would be great if we could make it all inclusive, so whether you currently just enjoy bike rides but are interested in taking it further, or already train seriously, please post what you are up to and what your aims are. By sharing knowledge and experiences, hopefully we can spur each other on.

If you want to, please post a quick biog of how long you have been cycling, how much you currently cycle, and what your goals are.

And for those who wish to engage in a bit of bike porn, please feel free to post what sort of bike you ride!

Happy peddling!

LadyMud Wed 03-Apr-13 21:54:53

Cannock Chase, nightshade? We're having a Shecycles.net ride there sometime soon - girly, gossipy, relaxed and FUN. Perhaps you might like to join us?

nightshade1 Thu 04-Apr-13 08:37:38

that sounds good LadyMud (i am only about 7 miles away from cannock chase)
keep me posted

Can I join? I have just taken up cycling, as pre dc I loved it, , and I have now got tge time to do it wotg dd2 starting.nursery. on something of a whim I signed up for the cycletta wiggle ride. It's 40km and in Wales so probably hilly. Having just got back from a 25minute ride with my two year old in a bike seat I suddenly feel less confident that I will be able to build enough skill/fitness/stamina in the next 9Weeks to manage.

My bum hurts. Lots.

I've currently got a mountain bike, it's a cheap second hand one that i've had a while. In light of the wiggle ride i've ordered a hybrid which I collect next week.

Does anyone have any tips for beginners? Do you think that it's possible to start now and manage a 40km ride in just nine weeks?

I'm really glad to have found this thread, it's so motivating to read how much enjoyment cycling can bring, not to mention the fitness and freedom.grin

UniS Sun 07-Apr-13 20:08:43

Hi PP

Yes you CAN get up to a 40km ride in 9 weeks. it'll take practise - steadily increasing your distances- but you can do it. I take it your NOT planning on doing wiggle with 2 yr old on the bike seat??

What are you wearing? (I mean on your bum), do you have cycle shorts? if not, get some. Don't wear knickers under your bike shorts, don't wear jeans or other bulky trousers over your bike shorts.

Thanks. No, aside from adding 2 stone to the ride, she also lifts my top up as I ridegrin

Er- well I wore, um, leggings today. I had read about shorts etc, but stupidly assumed as I didn't need them when I was young (oddly as I had much less natural padding) I wouldn't now. Plus they are £££,are the cheaper ones adequate? I suppose they would be more adequate than leggings!

I've ordered a bike computer to log how far I'm going and motivate me to improve a little each time I go. Daunting but I cant wait til tomorrow, which will be my first sole ridesmile

UniS Sun 07-Apr-13 23:10:29

The difference between "padded cycle shorts" and "knickers under leggings" is vast, at least in terms of bum comfort. Lidl/ Aldi etc do a perfectly fine range of padded shorts for not much cost ( £10-15 IIRC), but look soon as the bike stuff won't be in store for much longer ( may have gone already) . Its not so much the padding of sit bones, more the no seams to chaff in awkward places.
Personally I'm happy with blokes or womens padded shorts, I just look for a design that has a large pad with no sewing across it.
www.edinburghbicycle.com/browse/clothing/womens-clothing/womens-shorts-bib-shorts/womens-shorts-tight-fitting-bib-shorts bike shop prices from about £20 upwards. I wear these or the Lidl version of the same that was half the price. I like 3/4 length as I think my thighs look less huge in them.

nightshade1 Mon 08-Apr-13 12:06:19

well I went on the course, was completely rubbish, did a proper superman over the bars and am now sporting a broken wrist! I did get straight up and back on but was just hopeless and fell off twice more into the biggest sloppiest muddy pools ever.....it wasn't till we got back I took my glove off and looked at my achy wrist and went OOOOH shock no wonder it felt unstable!

LadyMud Mon 08-Apr-13 12:21:54

Oh nightshade, poor you! I think there should be a course on "how to fall off safely".

My last ride ended with a visit to A&E (not for me, luckily). I'll post about it shortly, as there are "Important Lessons to be Learned"

nightshade1 Mon 08-Apr-13 12:32:18

well all said it was my own fault - I did it fine the first time and got complacent and too fast the second.

any tips for healing the gravel rash on my chin much appreciated

LadyMud Mon 08-Apr-13 12:40:19

Ah yes, complacency . . . it's a real danger!

LadyMud Mon 08-Apr-13 12:41:41

Last week, I went out for a gentle ride with of couple of friends. Just an easy ride on the dry dusty bridleways of Cheshire, with plenty of cafes and lots of sunshine.

However, Christine felt a bit uncomfortable. Nothing specific, just a slight tightness in her chest. Nothing to stop her riding, chatting and smiling. Then at the lunch stop, she mentioned that her arm felt numb.

Would you have recognised these symptoms as a heart attack? Do you carry 300mg aspirin?

We'll never know if we actually saved Christine's life on Friday, but we certainly minimised the damage, which will aid her chances of a good recovery. The doctor thanked us three times for the aspirin, and bringing her to A&E.

It's worth brushing up on the symptoms of "silent" heart attacks. They're just as dangerous as the "classic" types. Mx

ssmile Mon 08-Apr-13 21:07:05

Oh gosh nightshade hope the wrist heals fast with no lasting issues.
no ladymud i dont carry asprin or have it in the house both my DH and

I react funnily to it but maybe I should after your warning above. I hope your friend Christine makes a full recovery too.

Thank you for the advice further up thread for me on cycling fitness, sorry my new phone will not let me type on the talk pages anymore sad but I can read them confused its good to read your cycle tales its inspiring me to want to get back out there once Im mended. Currently "off sick" had key hole surgery on Friday but hope to be able to get back on my bike by beginning of May the Dr said smile

pregnantpause i returned to cycling post two kids late last year and bought two pairs of padded cycle shorts for the first time. And echo above that they are better and more comfy than just leggings. I got some short ones in the local cycle shop for £20 and some 3/4 length ones in Lidls for £8 which are more comfy around the waist than the short ones. In the winter I wore them underneath some cheap leggings with long socks over the top and they were still ok.

Ladymud- well done on helping your friend, you should be very proud. Thanks for sharing your advice.

I'm on my third cycle. I'm building up fitness for the minute so aiming for longer sessions each day rather than.building speed. I'm struggling on inclines, and avoiding hills atm as they.kill me. I live in valley, so avoiding hills is not easy, and seemingly flat streets are actually quite hard if you're going up. Managed 45 minutes today, no idea how far as the bike computer didn't work (or I set it up wrongly, more likely) but I know it's an improvement. I'm looking forward to venturing out further, but need to be fitter and able to face hills first. it's a very exhilarating hobby isn't smile

LadyMud Tue 09-Apr-13 20:58:21

ssmile, I'm glad your keyhole surgery was successful. Mine turned into "open", so I took longer to recover. Take things easy though, and listen to your body.

pregnantpause, perhaps you should invest in some bib-shorts? That would stop your DD exposing your midriff to passing motorists!

I don't feel proud about helping Christine - just incredibly lucky. I only know about "silent" heart attacks by chance, because a friend had one. That's when I started carrying aspirin, anticipating his second attack. Despite a couple of outdoor first aid courses (run by mountain rescue), I only knew about the "classic" symptoms. All very scary . . .

stickygotstuck Thu 18-Apr-13 15:16:10

Hello all [waves]

Could I possibly pick your brains please? It's about how to encourage a not very 'physically inclined' child to take up cycling.

I like cycling but I am not serious cyclist. I ride for pleasure and to keep fit (in reasonable weather only, I stopped with the snow and only just started again sad).

I have a MTB with a child seat at the back but 4yo DD is getting too big now (especially for my stamina!). My bike needs a good servicing and I am waiting to take off DD's seat before leaving it all nice and ready. I am hoping that with that and the 'parachute' taken off I'll feel fast like the wind grin.

I was looking forward to buying DD her own 'proper' bike so we can go for little rides and slowly make it a family thing. However DD is not very outdoorsy or athletic (neither is DH), and needs some encouragement. So I got her a pink balance bike last year with flowers and a pink, flowery helmet to match. She loved all the pinkness and the idea of a bike. But she has never taken to it, and hasn't really mastered it. She says she'll ride when she has a 'pedal bike'. But I am not keen on getting her one until she learns to ride the balance bike.

So I am thinking whether I should wait the summer out, see if with the nice weather she practices more and it finally clicks. Or give in and get her a normal bike to see if this encourages her.

Any suggestions? I hope you experts can point us in the right direction!

ssmile Thu 18-Apr-13 19:50:15

hello sticky my DD1 has just turned 6. She learn't to ride her bike last year a few months after she turned 5 with out stabilizers. Prior to this she loved riding her bike with stabilizers but to get her to ride with out I turned her bike into a balance bike (took the pedals off) for an hour so she could get the hang of the balance bit. We also used a tag a long bike but my husband found it hard work as she would stop pedaling and just cruise along smile I think at the age of four for a child not really that sporty its probably unrealistic to think she will be able to ride at a speed which enable you to ride next to her. I started running next to mine as she would do bursts but then stop alot! Its only now she has gone onto an 18" bike for her 6th birthday that I think she is fast enough for me to actually cycle with her. Her best friend cycles to school every day and they have two other kids, they use a trailer to pull the 3yr old and the baby goes in the seat grin There daughter is 6mths younger than mine and she is just tall enough for a 20" bike and can cycle with her parents.
I'd just keep trying a range of activities to find something she likes. Mine loved her scooter the most at 4 and hardly rode her bike then she wanted to ride her bike more.

stickygotstuck Thu 18-Apr-13 20:37:01

Thanks for the reality check, ssmile!

I guess I am not really expecting her to keep up, I am just a bit hmm about her lack of progress with the balance bike. Other kids we know seem to have got the hang of it quite quickly, but not DD.

She loves her scooter, but she much prefers walking, and goes to dance class and swimming. Which she loves, but she is taking her time with mastering too. You can see ther pattern here, can't you? grin

What's other people's experience of balance bikes? I thought they were fail safe. But do all children take to them, or they just don't do anything for some kids?

SummerLightning Thu 18-Apr-13 21:32:56

Hi sticky. Balance bike worked a treat for my son and he went straight onto a pedal bike at 3.5. Now at 4 and a bit he is a speed that I can jog to keep up with him or cycle slowly. He's a bit stop start and its a bit frustrating to ride with him but its ok. Only go a mile or so atm
However I know other children who just haven't been interested in the balance bike thing. Obviously if they don't get into it then it doesn't help! Maybe you could get her a pedal bike and take the pedals off? You never know she might just get it straight away. Or you could just do stabilisers - maybe she just feels balance bike is a bit babyish and not a proper bike? Has she tried anything else with pedals, eg a trike?

stickygotstuck Thu 18-Apr-13 21:52:12

Thanks SummerLightning, so your DS got it too. Am feeling left out here. I'm sure you won't be able to keep up with him soon!

DD did have a trike, which was very clumpy and stable and she loved it for it. She has borrowed the odd bike with stabilisers from a friend and she likes going on it, although she is noticeably clumsier and very slow. She seems to take an age to do one turn of the pedals and you can tell she finds it hard going.

I was thinking that. Maybe she simply does not like the balance thing and she may be better with a pedal bike. Would love to get her one with no stabilisers. Knowing her, I can't see us ever taking them off if she gets started on it. I was hoping that could wait until next year, as she is quite tall for her age and growing fast and I don't want her to overgrow the new bike within a year or so.

SummerLightning Thu 18-Apr-13 22:18:45

I guess what I'm saying is the balance bikes do work but they have to persevere with them - my ds was on it from 2 and was rubbish for ages but by 3.5 he was a whizz and so proper bike worked straight away. At 4 perhaps she has a bit more of an idea what she wants and has decided she doesn't want to do the balance bike thing (sees others with pedals etc)
She will get there in the end though - she is only 4. As you know you can't get children to do things they don't want to!! Ds can ride a bike but refuses to learn to swim for example. Could you try a tagalong?

stickygotstuck Thu 18-Apr-13 22:34:24

I thought of a Gator bar, but I am pretty sure she'll take it as a new seat at the back of mummy's bike! She does know what she wants - and even better what she doesn't - but she was the same at 2 yo.

I think I am going to persevere for a bit longer with the balance bike, I have high hopes for this summer. We'll be outdoors more often and perhaps she'll finally get it. If by the end of the summer there is no change, we may have to go for a pedal bike & stabilisers. Shame, because I'd have like to cycle together to the local part, instead of using the child seat, which may have to come off pretty soon as she's so heavy.

Nellymay Fri 19-Apr-13 10:40:05

Aldi cycle gear from the 2nd May!!

I'm still struggling with hills anyone got any tips for technique? I'm starting to think I'm too fat to really take up cycling, as a quick google seems to suggest that hills are for people with less fat than me.
I'm cycling three times a week and practising on my exercise bike but feel very demotivated when I go out and have to walk my bike after half a hill.

LadyMud Wed 24-Apr-13 11:01:26

pregnantpause, there is no such thing as being "too fat to take up cycling". Just take a look at 39 stone Cyclist. Unless you are over 40 stone you are NOT TOO FAT!

I think you need to find a way to monitor tiny improvements in your fitness. It's too big a chunk to go from "can't ride hills" to "whizzing easily up hills". How about picking a local hill, and seeing how far up you can get each time? Or how far you can get in 5 minutes? Or how long it takes to complete a short loop?

And remember, "too posh to push" doesn't apply to cycling wink.

Good luck x

thanks lady. That blog is inspirational I was grumpy yesterday, shouldn't have posted. Looking back on it in a 25min cycle at least ten were uphill. My training pack suggests 8 mins uphill in two bursts, so I was expecting too much of myself. It's very hard where I live not to be able to ride hills, as it's a mountain really. Onwards and upwards.

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