New Cyclist advice RideLondon 46 2020(6 Posts)
Advice for relatively new cyclist please.1
Back in June I got back in the saddle for the first time since I was a teenager (I'm 42). DH bought me a new MTB as had been getting over some shoulder problems and needed some suspension on the front. We were planning a lot of off-road cycling on holiday and a MTB seemed like the best option at the time.
Fast forward to now and I am loving my cycling. I cycle every day, albeit no more than 12-13 miles each ride in our local area as well as a lot of 2-3 mile commuting.
However I am in need of a challenge. In hindsight maybe I should have gone for a road bike as can't afford that now and have been offered a charity space, charity close to my heart for RideLondon 46 mile next August. I have talked with local bike shop who say they can fit slicks to my MTB but even so is this an unrealistic goal?
Also any advice for training please?
I did the 46 this year, and there were people doing it on all kinds of bikes so your mtb will be fine esp with less knobbly tyres.
If you keep riding over the winter, then just gently work up your weekend ride length when the spring comes you'll be fine. I would recommend joining a Breeze ride or some other group just for the experience of riding in a group as there are a lot of people and some skills round dealing with that is very useful.
Yes, that is definitely achievable. Have a look on the British Cycling website as there are various training programmes on there including ones for beginners.
It is definitely a good idea to get used to riding with other people. Doing Breeze rides or Ride Local rides is a great idea to start with. You might also want to do another event in the run up - some sportives have short routes of around 25 miles or so which will give you an idea of what to expect but with a less daunting physical challenge. There are absolutely loads of events to choose from these days. Have a look at the British Cycling Events Finder on the website, or both Wiggle and Evan's Cycles have their own events publicised on their websites.
Another key skill to learn is eating and drinking on the bike. Particularly if it is a hot day and you haven't mastered taking a bottle out and drinking on the go you will end up either getting dehydrated or having to stop a lot.
Also learn a few mechanical skills. You at least need to be able to deal with a puncture and a dropped chain. Big events do have mechanical assistance available and on the whole people will help, but you will feel better if you can be self sufficient. Make sure you carry basic tools and know how to use them. 2 spare inner tubes, a multi tool and tyre levers will generally do. I would take a CO2 inflator rather than a pump personally as it takes ages to pump up a new inner tube with a mini pump. Alternatively, when you get your new tyres, get some "slime" filled inner tubes . These contain a sealant which (usually) seals punctures automatically. They are quite expensive but do last quite a long time. I have them in my winter road bike and I think the minimal difference they make to speed is more than offset by not having to mess about changing tubes when it is freezing cold. (Apols if you already know all this but I am guessing from the fact that you said you were getting a bike shop to put new tyres on that you are not yet confident with mechanical bits and pieces. )
Just keep at it, gradually increasing your distance and you will be fine. Hope you enjoy it.
That's fantastic information and encouraging news, thank you. I can definitely start to make plans based on that information and I have a much clearer idea of how to go about it.
I'm ok with changing inner tubes but not confident yet. Confident with dropped chain but struggle with when occasionally gets jammed on front cogs when changing gears.
I would go on a bike maintenance course OP. I did some which were run by my local authority and am pleased I did.
I take my bike into my local bike shop for a service these days as I have less time than money but I am confident that I can deal with anything that happens if I need to.
A local bike shop does three two hour sessions - 1 wheels and tyres; 2 gears; 3 brakes and everything else.
I'd recommend joining a social club or breeze ride or similar, and get up on group riding etiquette and riding in close proximity to others. Also try and do few shorter sportive rides in the run up to the event so you know the sort of thing to expect on the day.
I'm doing the 100 this year having had to pull out through injury last year, maybe we should have a thread nearer the event as I bet there are a few MNers riding.
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