Total novice!!

jimmy_custard Posts: 13
edited February 2011 in Road beginners
Hi all,
im fairly new to this forum lark but having read many of the posts im sure im in safe hands.
Im looking to kickstart my heart and lungs again after 4-5 years of sitting around feeling sorry for myself when knee ligament damage and young family put an end to my weekend football career!! ive just turned 30 and my my younger fiancee thinks im over the hill :( .
anyhow, im starting from scratch new hobbie/interest and im hoping to get "the bug". hoping to get started in the next month so any advice to a total novice would be much appreciated, im kinda lost at the minute.

my aims are initially fitness, would like to build my confidence, technique and stamina so next year i could maybe start to get involved in some organised rides.

thanks in advance
2011 CAAD8 105
Novice of all novices......


  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,520
    I take it you have a bike jimmy?
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • Let us know a bit more, have you got a bike or are you looking to buy one?
    Some of the best cyclists in my club are in their forties, so deffo not over the hill dude!
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • cyco2
    cyco2 Posts: 593
    Where will you be riding? What is the traffic like.? Is it flat or hilly? Have you considered mixing road and trail?

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • hi and thanks for posting,
    i have no bike as yet but over the last couple of months ive been trying to get my head around what i should go for, im currently (i say currently because my mind set changes day by day) looking at picking up something like a Trek 1.2 or a Specialized Allez.
    At first i really wanted to go all in but my head is saying "dont do it in case you dont take to it". im usually the guy with all the gear and no idea!!
    I live in teeside and im lucky in the fact the north yorkshire moors are a stones throw away so my riding will be a mix of urban mire and country lanes (mostly the latter hopefully).
    looking to get out maybe 2-3 times a week, maybe more in the summer months.

    i am really wary of making a stupid decision that may end up not allowing me to enjoy what seems like the perfect way to get that pure exhaustion buzz.

    Are there any common pitfalls that new riders fall into? is starting with an entry level bike so i can "serve my time" and work my way up a good approach??
    2011 CAAD8 105
    Novice of all novices......
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,520
    If your not sure how you're gonna take to cycling, i wouldn't spend too much on bike and kit for the moment. A specialized allez is an excellent starter bike, plenty of decent second hand allez to be found for about the £200 mark. Get yourself some padded shorts if you plan on riding any kind of distance and a helmet.

    When you get the bug we'll help you spend some serious money :D

    Post on here again if you've found a bike you like and need any advice as to good value and sizing.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • I was a bit like you about 3 years ago
    Young family meant a stop to my rugby training and playing.
    Then the Cycle to Work scheme came to work and I took the plunge and bought a £300 Carerra Subway to start to cycle to work
    I enjoyed it
    So the next year I bought a Carerra Vanquish road bike (the work scheme only runs through Halfords)
    This was my first ‘serious’ road bike.
    Did a coupe of sportives and enjoyed it – very much
    So last year I bought a Boardman CX pro – this is now my main commuting bike – mudguards and skinnier slick tyres added.
    (The Subway was donated to charity)
    This year I am going to get a Condor – they take Halfords vouchers (sweet)
    The Carerra Vanquish has had it I’m afraid – Bent the frame when I fell off on the Columba Challenge last November – in the Yorkshire Moors
    5 days in Hospital hasn’t put me off though
    I’m now back on the Boardman and cycling to work most days
    As ever training for the sportives – just the Northern Rock Cyclone this year – and perhaps a bash at the Columba Chemo Challenge again – if I can persuade wife!
    Good luck
    ... must train harder
  • Adversly I paid 1k on a new bike and about 500 quid on gear and and never looked back, looking at getting bike number 4, and thats in about 2 years.

    if you get bitten, then stand by. :D
  • As you are a newcomer to cycling, I would actually hesitate before advising you to look for clubs. Clubs are good fun when you get to know one another and ride as a group, but I have to say that most riders don't know how to ride in a manner that promotes their safety. Car drivers have even less idea. It would be a pity for you to give up because you feel unsafe, just for the lack of road skills. Some of these road skills, like correct positioning when approaching junctions and disuading overtakes at stupid moments, seem to be counter-intuitive, but are actually right when you come to think about it. I highly recommend 'Cyclecraft' by John Franklin as a source text. Best to learn good habits on your own before picking up the bad habits of other club riders. As with everything, you will learn short cuts as your experience grows.
    To err is human, but to make a real balls up takes a super computer.
  • ilm_zero7
    ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    quite agree - I spent some time on my own getting up speed and stamina before venturing to the club - riding as a ground was then a whole new learning curve, but at least I didnt turn up and struggle or burden myself on other who wanted to go quicker - but for sure, once you have done your first 40-50miler and feel comfortable join a club - the spirt and welcome for others will be a real spur
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • thanks for all the advice and encouragement, its nice to know there are others who were once where i am now, time to get out and test ride some bikes i think.

    watch this space.................

    thanks again
    2011 CAAD8 105
    Novice of all novices......