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1.) On mile one, you will not be able to keep up with Lance Armstrong. Sorry :-/ So don't try! Take it easy, get used to the bike, if it's your first time on a road bike you're probably going to be a little uncomfortable at first. It's going to feel twitchy, and you're going to feel every bump, crack, speck of dirt on the road. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it just takes some getting used to, not only that it's gonna take your body a while to get used to using the muscle groups required to ride.

2.) The right short, glove, saddle combination is a must. And the only way to know what this is is to try them. It's probably gonna cost a little bit of money to try and throw out stuff but once you get it right it's well worth it.

3.) Get a wedge pack, or some way to carry stuff and put a little tool kit, an extra tube, and some way to inflate tires in there. Because at some point something is going to break or rattle loose and you'll be 10 miles from your car.

4.) Clipless pedals really do make a difference. I got mine about 400 miles in and would never go back. The bike feels a little different but you do feel much more "connected" (no pun intended) to the bike, almost as if the pedals are part of your feet. And there is a much more precise feel of the bike underneath you. So try a couple, find what you like and get some, you'll be glad you did.

5.) Take a little time to look around and enjoy your surroundings. While I still prefer a run on some secluded country side trail, I've had some of the most awesome views on a deserted run down road in the middle of nowhere.

6.) For heaven's sake wear sunscreen! Yes it took me 950 miles to learn this. But I'm stubborn.

7.) When picking a bike, try some before you buy one. I wish I could have this one back. I was super excited and just bought the first one I found in my price range. "Ooh this one's pretty, I want it." I got lucky and wound up with an ok starter bike, but I wish I would have known it was what I wanted and I'm in the market for a new one already.

8.) Ride defensively! This is a biggie, a staggering number of drivers these days are either not paying attention or don't care about cyclists. If I had a nickle for every time someone blasted past me at 60 mph without moving over, I could retire right now. So always be on the lookout and expect the unexpected. You never know what they're going to do so control as much of the situation as you can.

9.) Go ride some tours. The cycling community is large and diverse, you'll learn a lot from other riders and see some cool stuff in the process. Entry fees are generally pretty low especially for some of the more casual ones, and a lot of times you'll meet some new friends.

10.) The final and most important thing I've learned in 1000 miles is...wait for it...you guessed it... have fun! Cheesy as it may sound, but it's important, if it's not fun you won't do it, hence why I don't ride in winter. I may be native to St. Paul but I'm not a fan of cold rides.
 

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I agree completely. Especially in reagards to adjusting to the road bike as I am going through that right now.

Also, make sure you hyrdo up.
 

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Eocyclist
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Good Post!

About the "... I wish I would have known.. " part of:
7.) When picking a bike, try some before you buy one. I wish I could have this one back. I was super excited and just bought the first one I found in my price range. "Ooh this one's pretty, I want it." I got lucky and wound up with an ok starter bike, but I wish I would have known it was what I wanted and I'm in the market for a new one already.
I think that looking for a different bike a year or two after getting into biking is very common.

People who are just starting to ride, or are rerturning to riding after a long layoff, have a good general notion of how, where, and why they want to ride. They buy a bike that is a perfect fit for their vision.

Over time, their fitness increases, they become more experienced, and they see different aspects of biking. It is quite likely that a different bike will better fit their evolving notion of how, where, and why you want to ride.
 

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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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#7 got me. But also as Larry said. I started on hybrid, and went to mtb, just for mostly on street. Then a nice DS MTB. And still I'd like to try a 26"er. I would say get more bike the 1st time, but you probably don't know what will be your focus in 10 months. If you have a clear focus in the riding you do get as much bike as you can afford, and fits your riding and body.
 

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Thanks Dubgirl..... I'm a nebbie. Your 10 things are very appreciated. I wasn't sure about the clippers... It seems that everybody goes that way, so I'll have to switch soon!
 

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ramirezcomposer said:
Thanks Dubgirl..... I'm a nebbie. Your 10 things are very appreciated. I wasn't sure about the clippers... It seems that everybody goes that way, so I'll have to switch soon!
I felt that way before I switched. I doubt I would go back except for certain situations.
 

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this was really informative dubgirl. really nice thread for beginners like myself and I'm sure many others. I'm at 215M in on my bike and I'm really considering clipless pedals already. and for other beginners I strongly agree with riding defensively. in my community there are a lot of irresponsible drivers and we have already had too many tragic accidents and deaths it's unfortunate that some drivers lack respect for cyclists. there was just an accident yesterday. many drivers I feel don't have the respect to share the road sometimes I question peoples respect for human life in general. it's sad but it's true. please everyone be as alert as possible. it could save your life. my girlfriend is new to riding in general and that is one of the things I stress to her the most. thanks again dubgirl great thread!
 

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Wait a second, I found out 10 things myself.

1) I can beat Lance Armstrong on my Walmart bike.
2) Gloves? I use the big huge gel padded saddles, their great.
3) I don't take squat, I take my cell phone and call my mommy in case of a problem.
4) I only have to use platform pedals and tennis shoes to do beat Lance with.
5) I look around a lot, and as I do I swerve all over the road, run stop signs because I never saw it while looking at a cow, all of that much to the amusement of motorists.
6)Sunscreen is for people that shouldn't be outside in the first place!
7) When I pick a bike I either take an unlocked bike from a bike stand, or use a pair of wire cutters to cut the cheap thin cable lock, doing this doesn't take me long to shop usually about 10 seconds.
8) I ride offensively, motorists shouldn't be on the road and if they don't like the way I ride too bad.
9) Touring on a bicycle, what, ya nuts? I did a tour recently to a prison and saw some old friends.
10) I agree with the last point, I do find it fun stealing bikes and making the get away, gets the blood pumping, it's great, especially when the owner is chasing me, that makes my day.
 
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