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Discussion Starter #1
I just found this site through google (what did we ever do without it?) - what a great resource.

I'm new to cycling; last month I bought a bike (Specialized Elite Triple, ridden five times with a total of 39 miles on it) from a client of one of the trainers at my gym. She happened to mention the bike for sale right about the same time I had the realization that I had two whole days every week where both my kids were in school. Why the heck was I sitting on a stationary bike in a spin studio on the 7th floor of an office building on Central Expressway?! I could be outside on a real bike going to a real place.

I am having so much fun and find myself looking out the window at the gorgeous autumn day and wondering if my daughter's preschool has any 3 or 4 day spots open. I take every opportunity to ride and have been finding groups in my area to go out with.

So far I have not been on too many rides - I bought the bike and then it rained for two weeks straight - and they have been very casual. Tuesday night was my longest ride (so far!) we went 30 miles at a pretty leisurely pace. I am so eager to get out and see just how far I can go and what kind of pace I can push. Totally curious and the only way I can think of to figure that out is to go farther, faster until I find my limits. I'd love any and all tips on this topic in particular. Right now my plan is to go on as many no drop rides as I can find and keep going further and further, increasing pace when possible/available as an option, until I fall over unable to go any further. Not the most scientific plan so again, any tips anyone?

Some info about my general fitness level: I started taking indoor cycle classes at my gym about 7 or 8 months ago and am now a certified spin instructor. In an average week (before the real bike came along) I am in 1-3 hours of class a day, 6 days a week. I rarely work above threshold - maybe 1 to 2 hours a week - but do spend a lot of time working right at or just below my anaerobic threshold. I have been getting more disciplined about riding at a lower intensity (75% max HR.) My time in the cycle studio has definitely conditioned me in many regards for riding outdoors. Anybody else out there start cycling by way of the spin room? What skill sets, physical conditioning, techniques - other than actual wheels, dogs, cars, potholes, rain, etc. - are not addressed with indoor cycling?

Thanks in advance for any advice, insight, or random comment,
Shelley
 

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Good to have you, Shelley! Welcome to TwoSpoke. We had that non-stop rain too for the past several weeks, but this week has been absolutely gorgeous!
 

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What skill sets, physical conditioning, techniques - other than actual wheels, dogs, cars, potholes, rain, etc. - are not addressed with indoor cycling?
Here's a thread that discusses some "rules of the road" for group rides.

http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f30/road-group-riding-etiquette-2221/

We also got a few where we talk about man's best friend (but not necessarily a cyclist's).

http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f27/how-do-you-ward-off-dogs-1664/

http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f39/pepper-spray-978/

http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f27/big-dogs-2030/
 

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welcome!

lots of resources on the net for how to train and increase distance/speed

big tips: don't overtrain, don't increase distance more than 10% week over week, take some breaks, build a base using long aerobic rides - then build strength and speed with intervals/hills
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the warm welcome and tips. I blew a few of them already - maybe I should have read your reply earlier, crazyjarhead.

I tagged along on the 60 mile ride that my friend and her boyfriend do every weekend. The weather was gorgeous but the wind wasn't cooperating. First 30 miles we rode NE with cloudy skies and SW wind, during pit stop the sun came out (yay!) but then winds shifted to NE. I suddenly remembered that Dallas is actually at the edge of the Great Plains region. Yes. Yes, it is.

Today's ride was double the mileage as the last one and I suppose I could have gone farther but I would have needed a really good reason.

Now I'll start training responsibly using 60 miles at an avg. pace of 17mph as my base. Not too shabby if I may say so myself. Some of what limited me was inexperience and very fixable the next time - simple things like eat more during the ride, drink more, etc.

I'll be dreaming of the next time!
Shelley
 

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60 miles @ 17 avg is a great base -

we all have stories of riding with the wind and then having it shift on the return leg - i've been caught by cold fronts here in Texas several times - headwinds suck LOL
 
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Hi Shelley! In the spring of 1994 I commuted to community college classes ten miles in the morning against the wind. On the way back in the afternoon the wind had shifted and it was ten miles back against the wind. It was like going uphill both ways.

Wind affects me more than some people because I ride "no hands" sitting straight up playing guitar as I ride. For me, it is a meditation in motion. My body is on autopilot keeping me balanced, turning the bicycle as needed, and my mind is on the music. A stationary bike would NOT work for me. It has to be on the road, dirt, grass or gravel where my body is busy keeping me balanced.

There are good things about sitting straight up. I can turn my head to look around easier than if I were hunched over the handlebars like Quasimodo. Also, I keep my bike in first gear all the time so I'm never going more than ten or fifteen miles per hour. I stop playing guitar for a few seconds or as needed to use the brakes when going downhill or at stop signs.
 

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Helloooooo. I'm going to be on travel in the Dallas area this month, and I'm looking into a LBS that rents road bikes? Do you know of any? thanks
 

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