Hope it gets easier!!!

gerroffandmilkit Posts: 160
edited November 2012 in Road beginners
Took my new bike out for the first time last Sunday. Wasn't planning on anything spectacular for my initial outing. Just wanted to ride the bike, get used to how it handled and get used to the gears.
To be honest I didn't ride long enough to get used to the gears etc.

Straight out of my house and into a hill, was blowing a bit as I got to the top. On the flat for a short while, down a hill then another climb. Not the best start for an unfit beginner, new to cycling! Carried on for a while longer with a couple more hills (can you tell I live in a hilly area?) :lol:
Turned the bike round and came home................. I was absolutely knackered!

To be fair, I'd had nothing to eat beforehand, hadn't warmed up before taking on the 1st hill.

Hoping things will get easier....... will they? Or would I be initially putting the bike in the back of the car and finding somewhere a bit steadier to get to grips with the new bike and building up the fitness a bit without the prospect of lots of hills?


  • Vegeeta
    Vegeeta Posts: 6,411
    It never gets easier, you just go faster.
    Rule 64:

    Cornering confidence generally increases with time and experience. This pattern continues until it falls sharply and suddenly.

  • Hilly where I live too. I started about 8 weeks ago and my first ride was a real slog and I really suffered up the hills. However, 8 weeks later and it's exactly what @Vegeeta says. Even when I tell myself as I start out that I am going to take it easy I always end up trying to get up the hills as quick as possible so still suffer just as much as that first ride. Difference now is I go up my nearest hill in 5 mins 22 secs instead of 8 minutes. :)
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    think you,ve answered some of your own questions there so you,ve learned some thing.Eat and hydrate before a ride,porridge is good about 9o mins before a ride.Im also new and its hills to get away from and back home for me to.It will get easier, we all felt the same at the start but as you have hills you will get stronger and thats a good thing.
    plug away and just enjoy.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    hills are good, they make you stronger :) That and headwinds - I'd rather have hills. Just pace yourself. Choose your biggest cog and don't force yourself up it. Try to stay relaxed.
    Get into the frame of mind that at first its not about distance or speed, its about saddle time. So go out there and ride slow and steady and you will go further and enjoy it.
  • Ouija
    Ouija Posts: 1,386
    It never gets easier, you just learn to ignore the pain......
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    You'll be reet, just keep getting out there!
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    Vegeeta wrote:
    It never gets easier, you just go faster.

    This is the truth!
  • Stuuu
    Stuuu Posts: 46
    Sounds like you need to move home. :D

    I started last autumn and as winter sets in and the cold and the wind add to the challenge of the terrain, it could have been too easy to convince myself not go cycling. I came up with a selection of routes of varying length and elevation, so whatever the weather, or how I felt, there was no excuse not to get out.

    Soon Spring will be upon us again and if you'll be well and truly bitten by the cycling bug.
  • You do get used to hills - there is a hill on your ride that you think is "a fairly decent hill" - in a while it's just a lump. That big hill on your ride will become fairly decent. The impossible one becomes a challenge.

    I've only been riding since the tour (like aout 1/3rd of the uk i think!), and i've gone from having to stop twice on wizard hill to a current best of 5.35 - still naff in bikeradar terms, but a mile away from before. I look forward to riding it now, because i know it's a good challenge, but nothing compared to the cat + fiddle, or axe edge, which would have made me cry a few months ago.

    The real bugger is headwinds - because they are inconsistent. Some days, you feel like you're riding really badly, can't get going etc. I had this last week, even going down hill felt like a proper slog, i couldn't work out why i was having an off day. Went round the next corner and realised that i could now freewheel UP the next hill!

    At this point, i'd like to thoroughly reccomend that you get strava right now. It's a gps tracking thingie and you can see your progress over time / vs other riders. It gives you extra motivation every ride, because you know that you're smashing your old record, or if windy that after the pain of going into the wind, the return sprint can get you extra positions against total strangers you've never met. It really is strangely gratifying!
    I didn't get strava until after my first 150-200 miles or so, and regret it. The performance improvements leap at such a high speed, i'd love to know just how bad i was back at 15 stone!
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    Well I agree Strava is a bit of competitive fun, its great to see you beating your old times on familiar routes when you are getting fitter and riding better. However its also easy to get obsessed by it and sometimes at the expense of good training where you don't always need to be pushing yourself on every stage of every ride so you can rise up the strava ranks on every segment. Its all about sensible balance.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    It gets easier as you get fitter. It's one thing watching the TdF and seeing these boys effortlessy climbing Mont Ventoux & the like, drugged up to the eyeballs or not. They've been training for years and are by definition the best of the best. It's quite a different for a bloke past the flush of adolescence energy to jump on a bike and expect to be on the same planet.

    Keep at it. There's no secret, it's pure & simple a matter of getting the right muscles used to making a lot of effort, effort that they haven't been used for previously, and increasing fitness and stamina. It won't happen in a week, or a month, but over time you'll find that it's easier, and you're going a lot faster.
  • suzyb
    suzyb Posts: 3,449
    CiB wrote:
    It gets easier as you get fitter. It's one thing watching the TdF and seeing these boys effortlessy climbing Mont Ventoux & the like, drugged up to the eyeballs or not. They've been training for years and are by definition the best of the best. It's quite a different for a bloke past the flush of adolescence energy to jump on a bike and expect to be on the same planet.
    Or a woman :wink:
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Ladies are such delicate creatures, and have no business riding a bicycle unless perambulating gently along the sea front with a parasol and a coquettish smile. So I'm led to believe. :wink:
  • zx6man
    zx6man Posts: 1,092
    2 years ago when I first got back on the bike ,I was pushing the bike within a mile!! Within 6 months I was regularly commuting 10 miles and doing 50's at weekends. Keep at it!!
  • Yes the hills appear to get less steep after a while and the bigger ones you're more worried about your time than the burning lungs and legs. I have a category 4 near me and I got very annoyed about the amount of rear wheel spin I was getting on Sunday on the little near vertical end section .......... when I started, that last bit was walked.

    One thing Strava is great .......... but even greater are less well known apps like MapMyRide. I am in the top 10 of quite a few climbs. Believe me in Strava I wouldn't be in the top 150 of a couple of the same ones.
  • ^ lol trotter!
    I'm top 10 in 5 strava segments. All but 1 of them have 12 or fewer riders. Thankfully, i'm much more bothered about the popular segments - i'm only really chasing my own personal best, but e.g my saturday ride this week saw me jump 100 places p the cat and fiddle. Still 600 odd out of 800 odd though.
    But, 42 minutes. Previous times were 45 and 58. At this rate i'll be kom by 2019 (man maths at work here...)
  • I started at the end of August, I've a hill near me that killed me, I almost had to freewheel home and was nearly vomiting too. Now as I reach the hairpin at 20% gradient I'm still out of the seat and blowing but by the time it goes back to about 8% I'm actually getting my breath back and the thigh burn is going. Its still tough.....just now its not as tough for as long. I've tried Strava and I'm not a fan, it seems more of a competition app than an app that monitors your whole ride and gives you useful facts and figures. I use Velodroid for Android and then upload the ride to ridewithgps. I've tried about 6 apps and like this one the best.

    Each to there own though. This is just my opinion.
  • Nice dry evening tonight so decided to go for a quick ride.

    Nothing serious, as I previously said, been a long time since I've ridden a bike and had a bad experience with my first short ride due to the hills.
    Anyway, this time I started, again, uphill, but this time in a higher gear. The cadence was much quicker and the ride up the first hill was much easier.
    Did a circular loop and maintained a decent cadence, even on the flat. (not many locally!!!)
    Just a quick 3 mile run in 26 mins. Not interested in breaking speed records. Just wanted a steady ride to try and get used to the bike.

    Started out on my Triban 3 with the chain on the middle sprocket. Worked ok. However, I did change down to the smallest front sprocket and the chain seemed to be clattering and slipping quite a bit, which was worrying. What would cause this? When I changed gear I slid the lever hard left (right hand brake lever) The chain clattered a bit and slipped quite a few times. Had to flick back up and down a few times before it ran smoothly. Dunno?

    Anyway. Got back home in a much better shape than my initial ride. Sure, I was breathing heavier, I was quite warm and my hair was stuck to my forehead when I removed my helmet, but I felt good.

    Will be looking to do a bit more distance wise next time out.

    Loving it !!! :D