Cycling for the novice

(6 Posts)
funtimefrank Sun 13-Jun-21 10:17:27

Dh and dds cycle - nothing extreme but dh will go out for an hour or two a few times a week, dds cycle to school and with mates and dh will take them out too.

They really want to go for family rides. I get knackered really easily and cannot manage gears/hills so am the red puffy one walking behind.

I have a chronic knee injury but cycling doesn't irritate it so it makes sense to try and focus on it a bit more for fitness purposes. I am overweight but used to have a reasonable level of fitness. However due to stress/weight gain/knee flare I'm pretty much at zero atm.

I used to run slowly, walk, swim (although that has faded over the past couple of years). Yoga and a bit of hiit.

We have a 5/6k loop near us which is mostly quiet rural roads and quite flat plus lots more but it's very hilly. Dh is going to take me round the loop every evening just to get me used to getting out but what us the best way to build up so I don't hate the hills/have to get off etc,

I do enjoy being outside and being on my bike but I hate it when I am too unfit to enjoy it. Oh and the sore lady bits........

OP’s posts: |
Spanglemum Sun 13-Jun-21 12:00:49

Get some proper ladies' cycling shorts and wear them with nothing underneath. Use a low gear so you're spinning your legs not having to push really hard. Keep doing the circuit. It will get easier.

Didicat Sun 13-Jun-21 12:07:24

I have knee issues, I use a electric bike! I don’t use the electric at all on the flat, but as soon as I hit a hill or my knee twinges I whack it on. It means instead of going out once a month/ 3 months when I remember how much I hate hills, I go out a couple of times a week and it’s a pleasure and not a slog. It makes me much more confident cyclist as I can pull away from the traffic at lights/ junctions. My fitness has improved regardless of an electric bike.

I can also recommend joining Let’s Ride rides - they do a ladies ride in some places and the rides are not fast and everyone sticks together and people on all different sorts of bikes.

CruelAndUnusualParenting Sun 13-Jun-21 12:12:15

I'm a bit confused by the "quite flat plus lots more but its very hilly". Is the loop flat, but there are other routes that are hilly or is the route itself mostly flat, but has a very hilly bit?

I would suggest starting with the flattest loop you can find, even if it's quite short and just doing as many circuits of that as you can manage to start with. As it get's easier pick a short extension or another route that is a little more hilly and keep building up over time.

I am not a sporty person and I do not play one on TV. I enjoy cycling but I am the slow coach at the back.

CruelAndUnusualParenting Sun 13-Jun-21 12:19:33

The other thing I would say is don't go straight for the hilly bit. I find that even a shallow hill is a struggle when I'm just starting on a ride. After half an hour, when I'm properly warmed up, I can tackle hills that aren't especially steep, but would hurt if I went straight to the cold. Even 10 minutes will help.

If the route starts with a hilly bit, are there alternative routes? There is one direction I go where I have to go up a hill, but I can go up a route where there is a shallow climb and some flat bits, rather than a continuous climb and that let's me get warmed up, whereas the straight climb out of the village is too much for the beginning of a ride.

funtimefrank Sun 13-Jun-21 15:45:28

I just read back my op and it didn't make sense! The loop is quite (but not totally) flat. There are lots of other places to cycle near by but they are much hillier so it's hard to go
further a field without hitting a daunting hill.

Thanks for comments so far, really useful. This week's challenge is to do the loop once every day. When I went this am my shins were killing me so moving past that would be a win.

OP’s posts: |

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