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Suggestions for a newbie

Luke_284Luke_284 Posts: 7
edited September 2007 in Road beginners
Hi, I'm 14 and want to get into road biking, and maybe a bit of racing. I have a road bike...the Specialized Allez 24 Triple, and have been riding small distances for a few months.

I've never really ridden more than 9-10 miles, but I'm comfortable on most main roads, although I tend to stick to quiet country lanes when I can! I have been doing a route reqularly that is about 7miles with a few hills, which usually takes around 25min.

I'd just like to hear any advice or suggestions you have on getting started with my riding, at the moment when I ride, I feel slow. I guess it's just becuase I need to get more fit on the bike.

Any suggestions on how I should start riding, and how frequently, what distances I should start with and build up to e.t.c would be greatly appriciated.

Thanks a lot,


  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    Hi Luke,

    Good start with an Allez!

    Have you got a bike computer?

    If not, get one, you'll be surprised how far you actually cover and you can see the improvements, 7 miles over a few hills in 25 is not bad, so don't be so hard on yourself!

    25 minutes is too short a run to get warmed up, you're probably only warmed up for the last three miles! Which is probably why you feel slow.

    You need to stick with it and increase your distances. Try to do ten miles two or three times a week and stretch it from there. Your fitness will improve this way.

    I started with a circular route of ten miles, I've added bits and stretched the circle over time and now it can be 30 miles which I do in a couple of hours. I'm 42 and happy with that!!

    The advantage of a circular route is that you are never far from home, ride 25 miles away and you have to do another 25 to get home, not great when you feel tired!

    Before you know it you'll be going further, quicker!

    Giving it Large
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    What pedals have you got? If you don't already have them, get some clipless pedals. (Just to be confusing, they're the ones that you get shoes to clip into).

    Then, concentrate on 'spinning'. Work towards using all of the rotation of the pedal, not just stomp, stomp, stomping down on them. This will naturally help you increase your speed (and you feel more fluid on the bike too).

    Lycra and good knicks help too.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • Hi Luke I'd say join a good club with a junior section google British Cycling for a list of clubs in your area.
  • Thanks for the advice Rich Hcp, I'll try increasing my distances, if the weather is good I'll find a route and try 10 today.

    I do have a cycle computer, but I'm in doubt of it's accuracy (it's a cheap thing). I've found a good little website which will let you log in all your cycling activity, so you can track your progress easily. Not sure if I should post the link, I'll have to re-read the rules first.

    I'll try increasing my distances in the next few weeks and I'll report back on my progress.

    baudman, I know what clipless pedals are!, and no I don't have them yet purely due to money, although hopefully I'll get some pedals and shoes soon. The one thing I do have is cycling shorts and a jersey.

    campagchris, I'm not convinced that I want to join a club just yet, but I'll definatley look into it, once I have a bit more confidence in my riding.
  • Ok, a little late for a reply, but a few weeks ago I did two 10 mile rides (there and back!).

    I did the 1st ride in 33min and the 2nd in 31min, it's a fairly flat ride, except for one steeper hill, but it's only a short one.

    I'll be out again tomorrow, weather permitting. :)
  • ash68ash68 Posts: 320
    yeh,keep it up luke, nothing like time on the bike to improve fitness.It's good to chase good times,but don't be put off when you don't improve for a while. like everyone your body needs time to adapt and recover. Main thing is enjoy what your doing,then you won't go far wrong. :)
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Hi Luke I'd say join a good club with a junior section google British Cycling for a list of clubs in your area.

    Follow this link to British Cycling's club finder tool and click on the "Find Go-Ride" button: ... Finder.asp

    All Go-Ride clubs have qualified coaches and are approved "child friendly" - if there isn't one local to you, contact your local club and ask them if they take on juniors.

    A great way to get into racing is to go along to your nearest closed road circuit or velodrome and have a go at a training session - details of all local facilities on British Cycling's website under the "Find Cycling Facilities" button in the left-hand menu.
  • I'd suggest keep doing your shorter rides and pushing to go faster, but also put in some long slow rides. Don't rush them, just take them at a leisurely pace, can be better not to even time then at all.

    With the speeds your doing your 10 miles in you shouldn't have too much problem doing 30 miles if you don't rush and should from there should be very easy to push up those miles. You should be doing them at a pace where you feel slightly out of breath but still able to talk in setences

    Doing this will mean that you'll have the pace from your sprint/flat out sessions but also the endurance from longer rides
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