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Tips for cycling prep

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Whaleblue, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    Seeing JTC's thread (good luck John!) made me think I might get some good advice here on how to start my cycling life.

    It's just going to be a 4 mile each way commute, so you might think it should be utterly trivial. However, I'm very overweight and generally out-of-shape, with just a couple of months walking under my belt since January as prep, so will listen to any tips you chaps may have.
  2. doctorf

    doctorf left footed right winger

    Take a bottle of water with you Ian.
    Nothing else needed for 4 miles, apart from a defibrillator by the sound of it.
  3. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    Ha - maybe a team of paramedics in attendance would be a slight overreaction?

    Anyway, right - I'll pick up a water bottle cage tomorrow.
  4. stonehenge

    stonehenge Steve

    That's actually an awkward distance as it is too far in work clothes (get wet and stinky), and not really far enough to warrant cycling clothes. Anyway, as you don't want to be hot and sticky at work, you will need to change at work I would have thought.

    As for cycling itself - don't wear earplugs or such like as your hearing is your first part of information. Try to keep to cycle routes if you can and if not be very careful on the roads. Practice makes perfect when it comes to cycle road sense and I hope you stay out of trouble as you gain experience.

  5. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    What's your 4 mile commute like? Is it flat/hilly, tarmac/off-road?

    If it's flat and on tarmac then just start off by taking it easy and seeing how you get on.
  6. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    Yup, flat-ish and mostly roads. I've found a route that's a little longer but avoids the narrow 60pmh country road, so hopefully relatively safe as either on wider roads, or quiet ones.
  7. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    The nice thing with a relatively short commute is you can always make it longer if you feel like it - either by using quieter roads or just because you're feeling good. When I was working in Edinburgh my commute was also about that distance but I did all sorts of variations of route, including heading up into the hills and doing some mountain biking on my way to work.
  8. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    Ta - we have showers at work, if needed. I was hoping to go gently enough on the way in to only need a change of clothes, but we'll see.

    On the way home I can push it a bit more, obviously.
  9. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    on a flat 4 mile commute, if taken easily, I would have thought you could wear normal clothes without changing and showering at the end.

    Remember it is usually cool outside in the mornings so you won't really overheat by the time you get to the office. Going back home in the evening might be different but you can change and shower if needed at home.

    I don't think you'll need any water either for 4 miles.
  10. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

    Try a short ride at the weekend, say a mile out and then back.
    If you feel after that and through the week good try 2 miles out and back the next weekend
    Try and keep 60rpm pedalling. Don't strain and push hard in a high gear
    Your bum needs to get used to this as well
  11. Cav

    Cav pfm Member

    The best way to prepare is to ride your bike before you use it to commute. Ride it as often as you can, short distances then longer distances, as many mornings or evenings and weekends as you can. A 4 mile commute on an easy route will be no trouble.
  12. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    My commuting advice is simple

    Always assume, even when you have the right of way, that uou are invisible to any driver who could make a move across your path. Never go down the inside of any vehicle. Ever. And give three foot to parked cars.
  13. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    Bright yellow jacket, flashing rear light, comfy trainers, water bottle, and go for a practice ride as soon as you can. My commute is just over four miles through quiet Suffolk lanes with one significant hill (for Suffolk!). If I take it easy (rare) it takes twenty minutes, or if I want to hang a lung out it takes about 15 minutes. On your flat roads you'll soon be down to under twenty minutes.

    As above, be prepared for sore sit-bones for a few days. And yes, spin that crank at 60-70rpm. Your poor knees will thank you for it.
  14. tyefighter

    tyefighter pfm Member

    Make sure you adjust the saddle height correctly and then take a few gentle rides over a week or so to get yourself used to your new bike. The saddle will hurt at first so don't push it too hard, you will soon get used to it and find it much easier as your body adjusts.

    If you haven't equipped yourself already - Helmet, gloves, lights and a bright water / wind proof jacket
  15. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    I would go along with these comments. Don't let yourself get trapped against the kerb. You have every right to be a couple of feet out from kerb. Some drain gullies can be deep and can throw you. If​ the road narrows at traffic islands don't be afraid to take command of the road to stop cars trying to squeeze past and forcing you into the kerb.
  16. Martin D

    Martin D Libertarian Division

    Yellow tinted 200 quid plastic glasses. Go pro to catch all your aggressive illegal road moves, ride into town like you're owning the road you've never paid for. Moan like hell when growing a beard, run every red light. Try to get a job outside of IT.
  17. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    Will you be reaching speeds of 60mph?
  18. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    Not for a week or two.
  19. snowflake

    snowflake Former Albino Ape

    Mr Whalebue,

    A commute to work is the way forward, I was a really fat bloke (21st), and I'm staggeringly short.....now I am still short, but now just a fat bloke, with watching what I eat I got down to 12 stone (for a day), but now hover about 15st.

    Anyway, from not being able to walk up a flight of stairs, I now take part in audax events (long distance cycling, organised but not competitive) and am good for 200k on a good day.

    So start easy, and build up, if you want the diet (i.e. helathy eating sheet) my fat man wrangler gave me drop me a PM)

  20. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    Thanks Snowy, always good to hear success stories.

    Regards diet, I'm going to go for a naturally low fat, limited added sugar approach.

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