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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Well I had a great first spring ride last week. I rode 2600 miles (indoors) over the winter and it made a huge difference!! The end of last summer saw me just on the cusp of successfully rehabbing my knee (95% by bike riding)...and then the weather turned it was exercise bike only. All those hills of last year that left my legs choking on lactic acid and my lungs struggling to keep up just flew by like they were but a slight inconvenience. I had made myself a deal over winter to only watch TV if I was riding the bike and it has totally paid off -- lots of 2 hour soccer matches and lengthy foreign film help pad the miles. I am feeling it is going to be a good spring/summer....except for the increasing desire to start running again (which is a total no-no apparently).


My nephew has a good laugh everytime he sees me on my bike because, as he puts it, "I am so totally early 90's looking." I can't help that my bike gear lasts a long time and doesn't need replacing yet. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Did a 20 mile ride this morning! Have been doing some riding in traffic the past month, mostly in lanes or bikeways streets. Still loving it.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:50 pm 
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hells yeah! you should come out with us one Sunday. a bunch of vegans of all cycling abilities get together at 10am at the minimall. everyone is welcome :)

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:06 pm 
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That sounds cool! How far do y'all go? I don't know if I'm fast enough to keep up with a group just yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:08 pm 
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So happy to see this thread! I am going to be taking a beginning mountain biking class taught by a friend. My first class is tomorrow! I have terrible bike skills, so I hope this type of technical riding helps with things like maneuvering safely and controlling speed.

I haven't ridden a bike in about 11 years. The last time I tried to ride to work I got tangled up with an overenthusiastic yellow lab who made me crash my bike. And it wasn't even on a busy street. I was glad I was wearing a helmet, because even at low speeds, you can fall the wrong way and hit your head on the pavement. Which I did. Why do people let their dogs run loose? Why?

Anyway, I hope to have a good report on how things went.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Go quagga!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:47 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
That sounds cool! How far do y'all go? I don't know if I'm fast enough to keep up with a group just yet.

it reeeeeally depends

I think we'd normally do over 20mi, but not more than 40mi, but it always depends on the group. if there are people that don't want to ride as far, we'll ride a route that passes by somewhere closer to their house so they can drop off..

the pace is usually super low when there are casual cyclists there. though there are also times we've picked up the pace because we were all up to it.. but there is _no_ 'holding everyone back' problem - we're all there to have fun, not to race.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:44 pm 
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Yay! That's a fun way to play bikes!


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:47 pm 
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quagga wrote:
So happy to see this thread! I am going to be taking a beginning mountain biking class taught by a friend. My first class is tomorrow!

I'd love to hear a report. I really want to take a beginner mountain biking clinic but don't have a mountain bike and I'm pretty intimidated by all the bad asparagus ladies there.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:56 pm 
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Do it Catalina! No one starts off being super fast and super good. A good bike group should be open to everyone! My partner rides a lot and his advice and riding with him has been super useful for me. Not everyone will be helpful but I bet someone will be and you'll be zipping along before you know it.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:41 pm 
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Well, I'm here to report that I had a blast. It was an 11-mile ride on mostly a nice single track, with a few little tricksy things and one scary downhill. I fell off one time when a root caught my shoe and took me down, and I had some huffing and puffing to get up the hill, but overall, it was the perfect intro ride.

The guy running these rides is a friend who is also a competitive mountain bike racer. He is also vegan! He was really understanding and charted just the right course for me. At the turnaround point the more experienced riders just kept going, and two of us turned back. If he had been a speed demon or if I had been left very far behind, I would have suffered a crisis of confidence and not wanted to continue. Also, out of the four experienced riders, I think at least two of them fell, so that made me feel better --- everybody falls of their bike!!

I bought my bike through craigslist and so far so good.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:56 am 
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Great advice from other people, but I would second the voices saying it's important to have some really good bike lights, a fluorescent/reflective vest or jacket and a decent lock. I use a motorcycle cable lock, which is more flexible than a D-lock although it was probably more expensive, which allows me to lock up my bike frame and wheel in more places than a D-lock would. Panniers and a rack are also a great investment.

I also would urge you to wear a cycle helmet; if for no other reason, then consider that a woman near where I live was knocked off her bike and killed a couple of years ago, and the guy who did it got a significantly lighter sentence (no jail time) because she wasn't wearing a helmet and therefore supposedly partially responsible (!)

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:27 pm 
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quagga wrote:
Well, I'm here to report that I had a blast. It was an 11-mile ride on mostly a nice single track, with a few little tricksy things and one scary downhill. I fell off one time when a root caught my shoe and took me down, and I had some huffing and puffing to get up the hill, but overall, it was the perfect intro ride.

The guy running these rides is a friend who is also a competitive mountain bike racer. He is also vegan! He was really understanding and charted just the right course for me. At the turnaround point the more experienced riders just kept going, and two of us turned back. If he had been a speed demon or if I had been left very far behind, I would have suffered a crisis of confidence and not wanted to continue. Also, out of the four experienced riders, I think at least two of them fell, so that made me feel better --- everybody falls of their bike!!

I bought my bike through craigslist and so far so good.


That is so great! I am wanting to get a bit more into mountain biking, but I don't have a bike at the moment, so it will probably have to wait until next year. However, I can say that if you're not falling over sometimes, you're probably not doing it right. Learning to fall is part of mountain biking, and the good thing is that it usually doesn't hurt much, particularly if you learn to do it properly. Here's to many more awesome rides for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:38 pm 
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quagga wrote:
Well, I'm here to report that I had a blast. It was an 11-mile ride on mostly a nice single track,


Congrats! 11 miles is great! I often get more of a workout from mtb-ing than road riding, so sometimes 10 miles on singletrack is like 20 on the road. There's a different upper-body element. Plus, elevation!

This is an awesome way to get into it; good on your friend for planning it well. Hurrah!


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 11:44 pm 
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Today's ride was 12 miles, partly on the same track, but with some new trails with very technical hilly stuff in the middle. I walked a few uphills, held my breath and took a few steep-ish (to me) downhills, and wiped out twice. A good ride, challenging and just manageable for this newbie rider. Next group ride is in a couple of Mondays...I think I'll try some of the straightaway uphill stuff on my own to build up strength and play with gearing.

How's everyone else doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:34 am 
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That's so awesome, quagga!

Pandacookie (or anyone in Portland), I posted a link to this on my facebook, but thought you might find it interesting: http://www.oregonlive.com/cycling/index ... bikes.html

If you're ever interested in coming out and sitting in on the clinic or watching or maybe trying a novice race at PIR, let me know. I race there pretty much every Monday. It's really fun, and it's a really cool, supportive, group of ladies who tend to show up. I've seen all levels of ability in the novice group, and pretty much everyone who tries it reports having fun. Josh came out and did his first race last week at the Tuesday night series (which has all the men's categories) last week and did great!

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:36 pm 
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quagga wrote:

How's everyone else doing?


I hope to be re-starting as a beginning biker very soon (I broke my leg). Physical therapy starts tomorrow. I hope I am able to use a stationary bike there to get my muscle memory back; my doc doesn't want me on my real bike until I've logged some time on a stationary.

Quagga, when I MTB I still walk/jog up hills some times. I think what I need is a good lesson in shifting; it's so different from road shifting and with less margin for error. The hills I walk I could be riding if I could anticipate when to shift better.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:33 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
That's so awesome, quagga!

Pandacookie (or anyone in Portland), I posted a link to this on my facebook, but thought you might find it interesting: http://www.oregonlive.com/cycling/index ... bikes.html

If you're ever interested in coming out and sitting in on the clinic or watching or maybe trying a novice race at PIR, let me know. I race there pretty much every Monday. It's really fun, and it's a really cool, supportive, group of ladies who tend to show up. I've seen all levels of ability in the novice group, and pretty much everyone who tries it reports having fun. Josh came out and did his first race last week at the Tuesday night series (which has all the men's categories) last week and did great!

Thanks for posting this! I'm not good enough to race yet but I may try to come out to watch some time.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:50 pm 
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~Sz wrote:
I hope to be re-starting as a beginning biker very soon (I broke my leg). Physical therapy starts tomorrow. I hope I am able to use a stationary bike there to get my muscle memory back; my doc doesn't want me on my real bike until I've logged some time on a stationary.

Quagga, when I MTB I still walk/jog up hills some times. I think what I need is a good lesson in shifting; it's so different from road shifting and with less margin for error. The hills I walk I could be riding if I could anticipate when to shift better.


I hope you're able to re-start soon! Your post reminded me of so many things to blather on about...the newbie rider I mentioned is a newbie rider because she broke her ankle over year ago and is only now getting back into cycling. I trained all winter in spinning with the guy who is teaching this class. I really improved my strength; I can almost muscle my way up a lot of these hills, but it would be so much easier 1. to take a smart line and 2. to shift into more appropriate gears, which is, as you say, an art with little margin for error. Downhills especially scare me because the out-of-control feeling i shard to take and it's so easy to lock up the wheels (even though I do brake more with my rear than my front).

Lastly, my bike teacher is so awesome...I have another vegan friend who has a slight leg and arm disability such that she can't ride a two-wheel bike (though she was in the spinning class with us and worked her butt off and got really strong). My instructor dug out his tandem and offered to take her out on the trails with it. So sweet! It turns out that she's leaving for summer vacation and won't be back at all, but it's still sweet that he got all set up to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 8:18 pm 
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quagga wrote:
I hope you're able to re-start soon! Your post reminded me of so many things to blather on about...the newbie rider I mentioned is a newbie rider because she broke her ankle over year ago and is only now getting back into cycling. I trained all winter in spinning with the guy who is teaching this class. I really improved my strength; I can almost muscle my way up a lot of these hills, but it would be so much easier 1. to take a smart line and 2. to shift into more appropriate gears, which is, as you say, an art with little margin for error.


My friend who broke her ankle also strengthened with spin classes. I will look into them!

Quote:
Downhills especially scare me because the out-of-control feeling i shard to take and it's so easy to lock up the wheels (even though I do brake more with my rear than my front).


My downhill mantra is: My bike can handle this even if I can't! I've learned to just go with it; the bike will roll over almost anything; it's a good bike and it's well tuned. I have confidence in the bike and that helped me build downhill confidence in myself, even when there is a sheer drop off to the side.


Quote:
Lastly, my bike teacher is so awesome...I have another vegan friend who has a slight leg and arm disability such that she can't ride a two-wheel bike (though she was in the spinning class with us and worked her butt off and got really strong). My instructor dug out his tandem and offered to take her out on the trails with it. So sweet! It turns out that she's leaving for summer vacation and won't be back at all, but it's still sweet that he got all set up to do it.


Your bike teacher is definitely super awesome! I want to go tandem on trails! He is a sweetheart.

I'm super hoping tomorrow at PT will be a good turning point. Fingers crossed!


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 8:25 pm 
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After not biking at all for about 16 months (had a baby, quit the shiitake job I biked to, etc), I'm resuming my life as a bike commuter on Friday. I replaced my chain last weekend and am making sure I know where all my crepe is, u-lock and gloves and such.

My one real concern is that I have to take my bike on the bus at one point and competition for the bike rack on that route can be fierce. So I guess I am just going to try to get there like 15 minutes before the bus goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Guys! I had a rare free day (no school, no work, AND no kids) so I decided to go on a bike-venture. This is the longest continuous bike ride I've ever been on! I rode around 23 miles. I know that for an experienced cyclist, this doesn't sound like that long-- but for me it's big. Both the distance and the fact that I just haven't done trail riding (vs commuting) before, never done a day biking thing by myself, etc.

I learned a lot of things and gained a lot of confidence! Before I went out I thought it was unlikely I was even going to make it the 16 miles I had planned. Also I was scared of going by myself. But I made it my planned distance and then some, and I had a super great time.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:30 pm 
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*high five!*

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Hey everyone! I'm looking to start cycling, just on the bike paths in my area. I have no idea what to spend on a beginner bike. And I'm a beginner in the sense i haven't been on a bike in maybe 10 years? And input on how much I should spend on a cruiser-type bike?

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Bikers
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Welcome!

Honestly, I wouldn't spend anything on a cruiser. They're heavy, tend to be pretty poorly made, and really limit the stuff you can do. If you're wanting something for bike paths and maybe some cruising around town, I would recommend checking out a hybrid. My sister got a Jamis Coda last year, which is a great little bike. It has plenty of gears, so you can deal with hills and things without much trouble, and it's a well-made steel frame, with decent components that won't fall apart on you.

I believe that should run you about $600.

You can also check out the other major bike manufacturers, as I believe they all make similar models to the Coda. Check out Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, and Giant.

Also! Check out some local bike shops in your area. It will help you get a feel not just for what bikes are out there, but also what prices. Plus, you can test ride things to see what you like and what you don't, and the staff will probably have good advice for you. Good luck! I hope you find something awesome!

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