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The TEN lessons I learn't this morning.

nitesightnitesight Posts: 119
edited June 2009 in Road beginners
I've started commuting a month ago and following a few hiccups found myself loving being on the bike. Today I got up early and went out just for the hell of it.

This is what I learnt.

1) Cyclists don't wear glasses just to look like Armstrong, following midges, flies, grit and a clearly inebriated bumble bee there is a genuine need for eye protection. Though in the end bouncing the little buggers off my helmet peak was a cracking little game until one got in the helmet.

2) More expensive helmets with insect mesh have some value to them.

3) The iPod on shuffle randomly chucking out Celine Dion's Titanic warbling proves that my wife DID borrow the iPod and it really can through you off your cadence. Playlists are a necessity.

4) Breathing through your nose rather than gasping like a trout decreases the potential for midge throat.

5) I really need SPD's. If you think about it you can see the efficiency in having some pull while the other is pushing.

6) After avoiding three smashed bear bottles, (Saturday night frolics no doubt) a spare innertube and a CO2 pump might also be worthwhile. If i wanted a nice walk I'd have left the bike and can't help but think I was lucky avoiding the fairy this time.

7) The poor quality road surface that turns me into a human vibrator at mile 4 on my five mile circuit is there to mentally test me. It tries to convince me not to go again. I would avoid it but I'm learning to kinda like it...erm.. :oops: moving on....

8. All those Razzle and Penthouse mags I read in my formative years lied. Sweaty post excercise men are not welcome in the marital bed. At all. Not even if you beg and pull puppy eyes.

9) Bloody hell does- 35MPH downhill feel like your going like the clappers. God knows how those Tour de Frenchie lot have the nuts for 40-50-60MPH. I'd feel like the Grim Reaper was giggling on my shoulder.

10) The final lesson is perhaps the most valuable. I'm overweight and out of shape but this is what I've been looking for. I know I need to work up to proper distances and times but I'm chuffed with what I achieved today and know I can push myself harder and go longer - perhaps even enjoy doing it.

Posts

  • Haha - lessons well learnt!

    I bought my first pair of SPDs yesterday and the improvement is huge, a bit tricky to get used to snapping in and out, but seems like it wil become second nature soon enough.
  • badhandbadhand Posts: 115
    That's great and everything, but you should try it without the Ipod. Not only is it massively safer because you can hear things coming from all directions, but bird song is soooo much nicer than Miss Dion...
  • NoNotAgainNoNotAgain Posts: 91
    1) Too true! On the other hand, I'm also sure that some even didn't notice the benefits because they just want to look like Armstrong.

    2) Absolutely. While flies and such may be a tad disturbing, a wasp or bee caught under your helmet can ruin the day.

    3) I'd vote against music while cycling in traffic. Hearing cars approaching from behind is priceless.

    4) If you really push it hard, nose breathing is not an option.

    5) Don't overestimate pulling. When you drive a sane cadence of around 100 rpm, you will hardly pull at all. Pulling works on steep climbs where your cadence is low.

    6) No doubt.

    7) Look for alternatives. Once you ruined these 700 Euro wheels you'll have learnt the lesson the hard way.

    8) You should consider picking up a spare wife somewhere. :lol:

    9) You'll get used to it. Basically you'll need a good cornering technique and a lot in confidence both in your bike and in yourself. I often go downhill at 50 mph+.

    10) I lost 25 kilos within a year's span basically by biking. Perhaps try to find a group of fellow cyclists to drive with. In a group, your motivation to make longer tours will be a lot bigger. Plus once you know you can easily go for 80+ miles, you'll also do so alone.

    Welcome to the cyclist's family.
    1,000km+ a month, strictly road.
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    All lessons well learnt - don't worry about the weight just get out more and it'll fall off and the mileages become longer - enjoy.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Super!

    Regarding insect trapped in helmet, this is one of the three reasons I wear a cycling cap...
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    NoNotAgain wrote:
    5) Don't overestimate pulling. When you drive a sane cadence of around 100 rpm, you will hardly pull at all. Pulling works on steep climbs where your cadence is low.

    If you pedal in full circles all the time then you are constantly pulling. I'm trying to train myself to do this more often as it should be more efficient, but it feels quite unnatural at first and it's hard as it works an extra set of muscles that aren't used to the effort.

    Matthew
  • jrduqueminjrduquemin Posts: 791
    Welcome to the cycling family from me also. There will come a time when you will look for excuses to go out on the bike :-)

    Regarding lesson 6, invest in some puncture resistant tyres as well as a pump and spare tubes. I didn't say puncture proof as no tyre I've come across is. And again with the iPod, using one whilst riding in traffic isn't recommended as you will need all your senses to keep track of all the nutters in their steel coffins :-)
    2010 Lynskey R230
    2013 Yeti SB66
  • NoNotAgainNoNotAgain Posts: 91
    NoNotAgain wrote:
    5) Don't overestimate pulling. When you drive a sane cadence of around 100 rpm, you will hardly pull at all. Pulling works on steep climbs where your cadence is low.

    If you pedal in full circles all the time then you are constantly pulling. I'm trying to train myself to do this more often as it should be more efficient, but it feels quite unnatural at first and it's hard as it works an extra set of muscles that aren't used to the effort.

    Matthew

    Actively pulling during the upwards motion is a myth. I really do challenge the efficiency.
    Martin Hillebrecht from the University of Oldenburg was the only person I know of who didn't only repeat the old mantra of pulling but did some scientific research concerning pulling upwards.
    The results can be found following this link, unfortunately only in German.
    http://bildung.freepage.de/cgi-bin/feets/freepage_ext/41030x030A/rewrite/doc-hilli/VEROEFF/RUNDERTRITT.HTM
    1,000km+ a month, strictly road.
  • nitesightnitesight Posts: 119
    Thanks for all the comments. I feel all welcome and included. Tis nice.

    I know what people mean about the iPod. I do have the volume down at a low level where it doesn't effect my ability to hear cars at all. That time of the morning there are very few to worry about. I think about five passed and not one of them was at all unexpected. I'm an ex motorcyclist so my neck functions like an owls anyway and I find I have WAY more awareness than I ever did with a V-Twin banging away and a helmet on. I'm hoping that as my fitness improves all I'll want is the birdsong to motivate me.

    Even Celine is better than the lazy and up till now dominant part of my brain yelling, "Sofa! Beer! Chockie! Chippie Chips!! STOP! :D

    Regardless I'm hooked.
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    The bad news is that cycling is a drug. Goals will be achieved and new ones set, kit gets more and more expensive, not sure if the grin gets bigger and bigger or not but on a recent 50mph down hill blast it was either a grin or grimace. I too went from an over weight, 5 miles is a long way 10 years ago , to a 200 miler one day last year, my weight is now normal , blood pressure normal and cholesterol normal, does this mean I am normal ? One of the bests things is, I now have some dammed good mates all over the country. Welcome to the world of cycling and enjoy.
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Super!

    Regarding insect trapped in helmet, this is one of the three reasons I wear a cycling cap...
    I've started wearing a bandana under my helmet since a winged blighter spent the majority of my ride eating my head.
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Super!

    Regarding insect trapped in helmet, this is one of the three reasons I wear a cycling cap...
    I've started wearing a bandana under my helmet since a winged blighter spent the majority of my ride eating my head.
  • badhandbadhand Posts: 115
    how hot is a bandana in the middle of insect season?

    I don't understand the need for music even on quiet country roads. Well, especially on quiet country roads... what's round that tight single lane corner??
  • zedderszedders Posts: 509
    I think the ipod thing is a personal choice.
    Sometimes I want it when out on my own.
    Sometimes I need it to help me get into work.
    Sometimes I don't want it, when out with my buddies.

    When commuting I turn it off half way through as I need to get across the A5 with HGV's up my censored . But when am past that and back on the not to busy country lane it comes back on before going off just before I come into town/work.

    Today and yest I had attack of the Greenfly? You can't aviod them so I just end up eating one or two - extra fuel?
    "I spend my petrol money on Bikes, Beer, Pizza, and Donuts "

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3517156549/
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    badhand wrote:
    how hot is a bandana in the middle of insect season?

    I don't understand the need for music even on quiet country roads. Well, especially on quiet country roads... what's round that tight single lane corner??

    Reason number two for my wearing of a cap - it absorbs the sweat (you get hot in a helmet anyhoo) and stops it going in your eyes.
  • nitesightnitesight Posts: 119
    Nap D,

    I'll bite.....reason three for wearing of the cappage?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Heh heh, I like the look of the caps when I take my helmet off at the cafe or wherever and I don't have to show my helmet hair :D
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Great post nitesight, welcome to the forum!
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    in't cycling brilliant !!


    oh yeah, a side reason for number 9 is that they don't have to worry about 7 - wherever the tour goes it's a matter of civic pride so the surfaces are prepared beforehand
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • k2riderk2rider Posts: 575
    11) i must learn how to spell learned, its not learnt .
    who cares?
  • themightywthemightyw Posts: 409
    k2rider wrote:
    11) i must learn how to spell learned, its not learnt .

    If you're being picky, then it is "it's" not "its".
    :lol:
  • LittleB0bLittleB0b Posts: 416
    nitesight wrote:
    8. All those Razzle and Penthouse mags I read in my formative years lied. Sweaty post excercise men are not welcome in the marital bed. At all. Not even if you beg and pull puppy eyes.

    But a great excuse to ask her to join you in the shower. no?
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'd personally prefer the sound of the dentist's drill through my skull than have to listen to Celine Dion. And I need my ears to give me advanced warning of the approach of the greater spotted dickhead.

    And + several for the bloody greenfly! Didn't need any more protein in my post ride recovery snack yesterday.
  • badhandbadhand Posts: 115
    mmm greenfly... well done keef for showing some common sense!
  • nitesightnitesight Posts: 119
    k2rider wrote:
    11) i must learn how to spell learned, its not learnt .

    :D It's been great reading all the comments. One thing I love about forums is the fact that a multiple of people of all walks of life come together to chat about common interests.

    In this case syntax and cycling. I'm afraid to say that according to askoxford.com which is the question area of the Oxford dictionary ...erm......I'm right...erm unless K2rider is one of our american cousins....erm in which case he's spot on... but...(checks birth certificate) yep I'm a blighty.

    "These are alternative forms of the past tense and past participle of the verb learn. Learnt is more common in British English, and learned in American English." Don't worry it's a common mistake bought about by the invasion of US drama in the telly line up. Ohh I love The Mentalist and CSI though so I don't mind - they got Peter and Jordan so all's square. :lol:

    I do however like littlebobs idea of offering the missus into the shower but I bet she'd make me jump in first.

    I weighed myself today and lost two lbs since saturday so I guess this could work. I'm started at 16stone 4 and 5'10 and I'm now 15 stone 13 and er.. stil 5'10. I found JohnC's post very motivating as I have a little boy who's 15mnths and I want to be saddle bound action dad and not the Sofa bound "Oi lad, bring me the remote" dad!
  • badhandbadhand Posts: 115
    There I was thinking syntax was a cool brand of cycle clothing...
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    NoNotAgain wrote:
    NoNotAgain wrote:
    5) Don't overestimate pulling. When you drive a sane cadence of around 100 rpm, you will hardly pull at all. Pulling works on steep climbs where your cadence is low.

    If you pedal in full circles all the time then you are constantly pulling. I'm trying to train myself to do this more often as it should be more efficient, but it feels quite unnatural at first and it's hard as it works an extra set of muscles that aren't used to the effort.

    Matthew

    Actively pulling during the upwards motion is a myth. I really do challenge the efficiency.
    Martin Hillebrecht from the University of Oldenburg was the only person I know of who didn't only repeat the old mantra of pulling but did some scientific research concerning pulling upwards.
    The results can be found following this link, unfortunately only in German.
    http://bildung.freepage.de/cgi-bin/feets/freepage_ext/41030x030A/rewrite/doc-hilli/VEROEFF/RUNDERTRITT.HTM

    Hi,

    Here is a tip that you can try and then dismiss as appropriate :wink:

    More years ago than I would like to remember, I read this tip and to this day I still have to remind myself but it really does seem to work.

    Unless pushing hard going uphill (and even then at the beginning) try not to think of pushing on the pedals, or push/pull if clipless.
    Try to imagine your feet and pedals going round in circles.
    Once you get a nice rythym, imagine the circles getting ever smaller.

    Try it. What do you have to lose? :P

    PS: Something similar works for running for anyone doing triathlons. When running, to go faster, move your arms faster and your legs will follow :D .

    No doubt it is some phsycological thing but don't ask me to explain it :wink:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
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