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My first 12 months of Cycling

TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
edited January 2014 in Road beginners
So I wanted to post this as this time last year I really enjoyed reading about peoples first year in the saddle and getting an idea of what to expect etc..

So after 20 years of playing football 3/4/5 times a week my ankles, knees and groins started to pack up and i needed a new sport that was a little bit lighter on my body. After the success of British cycling in 2012 i thought why not give it a go. I have always been relatively fit but hadnt rode a bike since about the age of 12 (im now 29)

Bought a £120 Viking Phantom from sports direct and some very budget kit. Went straight for clipless and invested in a pair of the cheapest shoes i could find as well as basic non bib shorts. My first ride was a disaster. 7 miles I managed and had to stop three times. I was cycling into a relatively strong headwind and was riding at about 8mph !! But i loved it and couldnt wait to get out again. I am naturally competitive so i loved strava and loved being able to see improvements.

Every ride both speed and distance improved and i was soon totally addicted. I decided to use my works R2W scheme and got a Caad8 in Feb this year and i couldn't believe the difference from the Viking. Speed, comfort, STI shifters and was so much better to look at. Anyone looking at a first rode bike on R2W scheme i would 100% recommend the Caad8

So my year in numbers. Just short of 2000 miles mostly comprising of weekend rides due to work. I have rode two sportives and finished with decent times. My longest ride was 73 miles and my average speed for a 40/50 mile ride is anything between 16 and 18mph. My top speed was just under 50mph and iv found im pretty good at descents with some great time son my local strava routes. Money spent - a lot. I have now upgraded all of my kit to good quality items and have the right stuff for summer and winter riding, but it seems every time pay day comes around there is always "one more thing" i need to buy.

Things i have learnt this year - Good quality bib shorts make a huge difference, Budget road bikes from sports direct are plain awful, my favourite piece of kit is my Garmin 800, make sure the valves on your spare tubes are long enough for the wheels you are using and the more you ride the more you want to ride and

My goals for the next 12 months - Join a club (likely to be southend wheelers as they are my local), double my mileage and focus on improving my climbing, complete a century, get a place in the London 100, hopefully purchase a new carbon "best Bike" and learn to look after and maintain my bike myself.

Thanks everyone for answering some of my stupid questions over the past year and i hope now i am in a position to help some of the newbies to the board
Cannondale Caad8
Canyon Aeroad 8.0


  • millemanmilleman Posts: 181
    Glad you have joined the cycling world!
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    Thanks for sharing
  • oldbazzaoldbazza Posts: 646
    Cheers for that;I'm about three months in to this lark and as you say it does hurt the wallet somewhat.I'm a bit behind you on mileage but the turbo trainer will hopefully help towards doing some bigger rides next year.
    Good luck on your own journey.
    Ridley Helium SL (Dura-Ace/Wheelsmith Aero-dimpled 45 wheels)

    Light Blue Robinson(105 +lots of Hope)

    Planet X XLS 1X10(105/XTR/Miche/TRP Spyre SLC brakes

    Graham Weigh 105/Ultegra
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,197
    Fantastic improvement from how you started, especially given you started with the Viking that experience alone would put some people off riding. Keep it up join a club and enjoy.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    great stuff, many happy cycling returns :)
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • Well done Tom.

    Its also my first year of road cycling, similar tale in that I'd played football for 20+ years and was starting to feel the effects, I'm a bit older at 33 and still play 1-2 times a week but cycling is my main exercise now.

    Should get 5000 miles for the year, am 80 short! Living in Leeds there is a lot of climbing involved here but some great countryside to ride in, I've done a few sportives during the year with 3 century rides. I too have a CAAD8 105 which I got on the bike to work scheme in Jan, its served me very well, I fitted some new wheels mid way through the year which made a big difference.

    Ride of the year for me was doing a ride on a hired cannondale supersix in Gran Canaria, was a climb up to the highest point at 6500ft and enjoyed it (maybe not a fair few times on the way up!)

    Next year its more of the same really, no real aims but would like to get abroad again to do some riding if possible
  • Thanks for sharing your look back at the first year. I only started in September and nothing like that serious (yet) but also I'm financially challenged :-(
  • Ditto my first year as a "proper roadie". Only regret is that I love it so much, but I'm already perhaps 10 ish years of "decent" fitness left? should have started younger
  • I'm 41, and have nailed 2,1000 miles this year in between teaching - really chuffed - I NEED 20 more years of cycling to keep me sane!
    Felt z95 - loving my first road bike
  • My story is pretty similar. Got my first road bike last September to start cycling the 12 miles to work. Wanted a triban 3 but they were sold out at the local branch so I opted for a carrera TDF instead. Served me well for work and started going further and further every weekend, getting upto about 50 miles on my own.

    Also competed in a few triathlons and met some friends through that sport. Before I knew it I was out on club runs, again going anywhere from 30-50 miles most weekends.

    Spent an absolute fortune on clothing and accessories and finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a felt F6 this Christmas. My strava account shows I've done over 1000 miles this year but I'd take a guess that doesn't even cover half the miles I've done. Looking forward to summer coming again to up the miles again, with the aim for the year being the aberfeldy middle distance triathlon in August as well as the scottish championships at nearby Strathclyde park this year. Hope to also get my first century ride this year too, with Arran and a few tough routes lined up for the spring.
  • ianbarianbar Posts: 1,352
    good story of your first year, you sound a pretty good rider already by your speeds. climbing i guess is dictated by what is near you! same as you joining a club is a priority for me. not my first year but this really was my first year taking it more serious and staying consistent.
    enigma esprit
    cannondale caad8 tiagra 2012
  • Been going for 2 years now myself and like you, made good progress. Stupidly after a great summer with many weekends in the lakes, i have now had 4 months off the bike. Went out today and have took a fair few steps back(but not as many as i thought i would've). So just a bit of advice form my experience....don't turn into a lazy censored .
  • DavdandyDavdandy Posts: 571
    Very similar to me.I bought my Caad 8 105 16 months ago but didn't use it through last winter.I only really got going in spring this year.I also reached 50 which i hated,so my body is not what it used to be.I have done just a shade over 1000 miles mostly at weekends as like many others here work gets in the way.

    I also started with basic kit but slowly upgraded,although the bike is pretty much the same apart from the forever swapping of saddles.

    I have to be honest though that i have got extremely lazy over the winter this year and not been out much at all.I bought a turbo which will get me back in shape.2014 will hopefully give me that big push to go further and do better.My longest run was 76 miles which killed me almost.Speed is around the 16 mph area.I have booked a place at the Manchester 52 in June and am looking into doing some more.
    Cannondale CAAD 8 105
    Rockrider 8.1
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Only regret is that I love it so much, but I'm already perhaps 10 ish years of "decent" fitness left? should have started younger

    Guy I know is trying to finish a hundred 100 miles and he's going on for 70, you have loads of years left. Just turned 46 last week and I'm fitter than I was 20 years ago. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
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