View Full Version : Virtual Biking Buddies
07-02-2003, 06:45 PM
I asked a question on the other stuff board about bike tires and Pico asked if there was ever a bike buddies thread -- I thought it a magnificent idea -- anyone else interested?
07-02-2003, 07:49 PM
I'll join in. DH and I usually ride (mountain bikes) about 5 times/week. Usually only about 15 miles. I like to keep it under 1.5 hours, so it doesn't take up too much of my day. Sometimes on the weekends we'll drive to a new trail and do a longer ride, but lately there just hasn't been time. We've got several nice rides from our house so that we can vary the scenery (we live in a rural area, so it's all dirt roads around us, with little traffic.)
I've been really noticing how my hydration level can affect my strength. I always ride with a heart rate monitor, and if I haven't had enough to drink the night before (we ride in the AM) then I really have a hard time pushing myself and I find that I just end up "coasting". I've read articles about how even moderate dehydration can cause a significant drop in strength, but it's really hitting home for me when I pay attention to my HR vs. water intake.
Thanks, jazzyjas! This should be a fun thread. I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say.
Personally, I'm not an uberserious biker--never done any races or anything, though I'd like to someday. I get out once or twice a week for 10 to 15 miles on the gorgeous country roads near my town. One thing I love about where I live: great bike trails! I'll do a longer route once in a while, but I usually ride in the evenings and it gets dark so fast! Other than that, I use my bike for short errands almost daily. I suppose I'm a "bicycle commuter"... 'course, I live less than 2 miles from my job.
So what are we going to discuss on this thread? We can always chat about our latest adventures, but it might be fun to throw some other questions out, too. And ideas?
07-03-2003, 10:22 AM
Yea! Thanks for starting this. I'm definitely up for a regular thread. I guess our first topic can be the Tour de France that starts this weekend :-)
I am new to road biking this year and can definitely use some tips from other, more experienced riders. Before moving to Madison two years ago, I never imagined how big road biking is here. Riding through the rolling hills and farmland is so beautiful & peaceful, even when you're working hard.
Right now, I ride just once a week, but now that a few other sports activities are done (I was focused on some recent rowing regattas), I really want to crank up my bike workouts. Shooting to complete my first century with a group over Labor Day weekend. My rides right now are around 20 - 30 miles. Would love any training suggestions from you guys. Recently starting reading Bicycling magazine to learn about training. Definitely recommend that pub.
Dewey - my puppy was born in Black Forest :-)
07-03-2003, 04:34 PM
Hey SusanMac, pretty cool about your puppy. Can I ask what kind it is?
As for road biking, DH and I used to do a lot of it when we lived in CA. I agree, it's amazing how peaceful it can be even when you're hammering hard. I think Bicycling is a great mag. We subscribed for about two years, but then dropped the subscription because we noticed that they seemed to recycle topics. But it was great for getting us all the basic info.
My biggest recommendations are:
1.) get a really good saddle. Terry is a company that specializes in women's cycling gear, and they have several diffent saddles that really do make a difference. Also, make certain that when you ride, you're sitting far enough back, so your seat bones are supported by the widest part of the saddle. I used to kind of perch on the front part of my saddle, and let me tell you, that just puts more pressure in the wrong place! :p I had to re-train myself to sit back more, so that my butt almost felt like it was hanging off the back of the saddle. Aside from giving you more support, I find it also gives me more power in the pedal stroke.
2.) Get you bike fitted and tuned up at a real bike shop, not some sporting goods store or department store. There are just too many variables to good bike fit and it really effects your comfort. If a bike store sponsors a racing team (many do sponsor local teams) then you probably know it's a good shop.
3.) On any ride longer than 1 hour, use a sports drink like Cytomax or Accelerade. It really will help you avoid "bonking", and you'll surprise yourself how much farther you can go.
OK, that's enough of the lecture. Sorry, but I see a lot of people that want to get into biking but then get discouraged because of cheap bikes/bad fit/ etc. Because everyone learns to ride a bike as a kid, it just seems like something they should be able to hop on and do. These same people wouldn't think of going out and buying some cheap golf clubs and just starting to play. They'd get advice, take lessons. Then they don't realize that their problems with biking are because they aren't treating it like other sports. Oops, sorry got back into lecture mode. I'm shutting up now.
07-05-2003, 06:03 AM
Road biking is my favorite exercise! I love being out in the country, enjoying the quiet and beauty. It also does great things for the quads.
I have a mountain bike, but am scared on it. I have ridden road bikes for so long that I am afraid to ride over big sticks, rocks, etc. I wish I could get over it. If I'm riding on a wide path or gravel road I'm fine. The skinny, twisty, offroads trails are what scare me. My town has lots of mountain bike trails which are very nice.
We're going to Vermont next week to road bike. Great biking up there!
07-05-2003, 06:08 AM
SusanMac, You live in a great place for biking. Dh went to school in Madison and biked the whole time. We visited the city and few years ago, but didn't have our bikes with us. What a great place to live!
Anybody watching the Tour de France today? I caught a little glimpse this morning... pretty cool, but I must say it's more exciting to ride than watch others ride. ;) Well, has everybody got their money on Lance? Or is there dissent out there?
07-06-2003, 07:42 AM
Count me in! I don't get out to ride as much as I'd like to. I usually average between 5-10 miles per ride, but I want to add more mileage. I'm currently looking for a new job and am trying to find one that is close enough to ride my bike to. I would love to be able to bike to work, but right now I live to far away and I have to take the highway :(
Thanks for the mention of Bicycling mag! I'll have to check that out.
07-06-2003, 01:13 PM
Tour de France - yes, I think Lance will take it, but would love to see some people give him a run for his money (just to keep it interesting....I'm so selfish!) Rooting for Tyler Hamilton. Did you see the big crash today (Sunday)? Very scary. DH teases me because he's figured out that I have a crush on Frankie Andreau :-)
Sneakypie - I have that same issue w/mtn bikes. Never could quite feel comfortable going straight down an incline over rocks.
Dewey - He's a German Sheperd. Got him from TamRan Sheperds in Black Forest after their dogs won a few GSD events at the big Denver dog show. I use the term puppy loosely...he's 7!
Keep the tips coming, BTW. I'm new at this. The bike is fitted very well, as we have some awesome, expert bike shops here. I think I have been sitting too far forward on the bike seat, though. Need to work on that.
Question for you all -- how often to you drink? or eat? Do you have a specific schedule, like every 10 miles?
I wasn't able to get out this week due to work schedule and weather. Going on my first group ride next Sunday, which will be about 60 miles. My longest so far, and my first with a big group. Eek!
07-06-2003, 07:08 PM
Hi gang! Great idea to start a biking thread. :)
Background on me and riding: Running is my main passion, but riding is great too, of course. We have a lot of great road and mountain biking terrain in my area (this is a mecca for triathletes and riders) which makes it much easier to get out there and "play". I also have incentive to get out as much as possible as my husband and a friend and I are doing a sprint adventure race next month, and one of the major components is mountain biking. Gotta spend more time in the saddle!! My husband is a bike fanatic (road and mountain) so he's helped me a lot.
I do enjoy riding for the most part, though occasionally mountain biking can freak me out a bit (a little accident last year didn't help). I have a mountain bike that I occasionally equip with slicks to ride on regular roads. I'm in the market for a road bike -- in fact, we know the exact one that I would get -- but we have to make the investment (it's a pretty decent bike). (I've got the shoes covered, at least. I have good shoes for the mountain bike already, and my next door neighbour recently gave me a brand-new pair of Sidi road biking shoes; can you believe it?! She'd never used them and didn't think she was going to, and we're the same size, so -- score! :D)
Susan, I also read about the big crash in the Tour today. Scary indeed! My husband broke his collarbone while mountain biking and it doesn't sound like fun at all. So he can empathize with that rider.
Have a great rest of weekend, all!
07-07-2003, 08:51 AM
DH & I both ride (mountain and road bikes), but we haven't been getting out nearly as much lately as we'd like. He has class 3 evenings a week, and I don't like to ride alone.
We're in the market for a bike rack, though. That's part of the reason we haven't gotten out as much lately. Since we got rid of our truck, we haven't had a convenient way to haul our bikes around. We're finally getting a hitch for our new car this week, so we're shopping for a hitch-mounted bike rack, something that holds up to 4 bikes. Anyone with a rack that can offer advice and/or comments about features they like/dislike with theirs? I think we'd like to stick with either Yakima or Thule, unless there is another well-respected company that you can recommend over one of these.
07-07-2003, 06:24 PM
I thought about starting a new thread but think I will let this one run another week and then start a weekly thread.
I have both a mountain bike and a rode bike. When I moved from Vermont I did lots of mountain biking (or at least off road) although I avoid very technical rides. When I moved down here I was mostly riding paved trails and while looking at slicks for my mountain bike ended up buying a road bike -- it is a TREK WSD on 650 c wheels -- I think that it was the first year they made the WSD (woman specific design) in a 650 and I am not sure R and D had worked out all the flaws. There are some problems shifting (I was told it had to do with the tube length and angle) and ihad two flats in the same day on an MS 150 ride -- I was told by another woman that she had had similar problems with flats and highly recommended kevlar tires (I haven't made the investment yet).
I recently put doing a century ride on my goals list -- I have done 3 MS 150 rides but those are over 2 days and I feel like going an extra 25 miles that first day is out of the question -- although I have to say I never really trained -- I would just ride 20 miles/ day suring the week and do a few metric centuries through out the season -- so it is on my goal list.
I'd like to get shoes (ride with toe clips now) but can never find a shop that stocks them small enough and even in the Terry catalog they don't have the small sizes (I wear a 5 or 5.5) They all start at 6 (or 36)
As for the drinking/eating question -- I use a hydration system and drink throughout the ride -- as for eating, I don't really make it a priority unless the ride is over 20 miles
I am starting a Wednesday night ride (had one years ago when I lived in Vermont and my boyfriend lived in front of a mountain bike center). The first ride is this Wednesday --I'll see how many of my friends and aquaintances I can get out riding
07-07-2003, 06:41 PM
dbf & i try to bike once a week (weekends seem to be the only free time we have). usually about 7-15 miles.
this weekend we are doing the late ride (www.lateride.org) which is a 25 mile night time ride through the city which starts at 1:30am sunday morning and lasts until sunrise! we did it last year and it was great.
mountain (off roading) biking scares me a bit. i have tried it, and it is a rush but i get so freaked!
my goal is to ride more. we have not had time lately with all these other summer plans, and i feel guilty. i want to ride maybe 2-3 times a week. maybe this thread will motivate me.
07-07-2003, 08:35 PM
Dh and I are leaving Wednesday for Vermont for a bike trip. We're going to bike on our own Thursday through Sunday and do a Bike Vermont tour Monday through Friday. The Bike Vermont tours are great if anyone likes an active vacation.
Dh and I were almost done biking on Saturday when we had a near accident. I was riding in front of dh. A truck passed me (safely) when it got in front of me a car approached us from the other direction. I heard brakes slam and tired skid. The man in the truck suddenly stops in front of me. I had to slow down very quickly to avoid hitting him or running in the ditch. Apparently his wife was following him. She tried to go around dh over a hill where she could not see if anything was coming. She nearly hit the car that was coming from the other direction. THe man starts yelling at us telling us that we nearly caused an accident. His wife tries to pass where she can't see and we almost caused an accident. This was followed by him telling us that bikes should not be on the road. I hate it when stuff like this happens. People are so stupid sometimes. I am soooo.... thankful that she did not hit dh. BTW the man kept saying she is 8 months pregnant. Who cares!! You would think that if she was pregnant she would be a little more careful!!!
Sorry for the rant!
07-08-2003, 11:37 AM
Gotta make a quick comment, I also love cycling, right now I have a hybrid, but am considering a road bike. My dh and I just did a cycle tour in Tuscany with VBT a few weeks ago.
I'd like to do a Vermont tour. Yesterday we did a 33 mile ride, real easy at first, then we turned around and hit the wind, ughhh but I got a good workout.
Aggie94 - go to the bicycling.com forum check out the buying one, it has info on racks.
07-08-2003, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by aggie94
We're finally getting a hitch for our new car this week, so we're shopping for a hitch-mounted bike rack, something that holds up to 4 bikes. Anyone with a rack that can offer advice and/or comments about features they like/dislike with theirs? I think we'd like to stick with either Yakima or Thule, unless there is another well-respected company that you can recommend over one of these.
I just did my first road-trip (from Michigan to Cape Cod and back) with my new Thule hitch-mounted rack and it was great. I got the optional zip stick and I think that made a difference in terms of stability. Everytime we stopped and checked the bikes, they hadn't budged. Shop around online for good prices - I was able to find a good sale at rackwarehouse.com. I have no complaints about my new rack. I second the recommendation to look at the bicycling.com forums - the comments there really helped me make my decision.
07-08-2003, 02:13 PM
Sunberst - thanks for the LateRide link. That looks like a blast!! It's too short of notice for us to rearrange schedules this year, but might be interested next year. Definitely report in after the ride, as I need to get a picture of riding with 10,000 other people!!! (as an aside...I can't believe they charge people to volunteer) We're looking into the Ride for the Roses this fall and that's 7,000 people (a little scary) Also, I think there was another big Chicago ride in April/May, but don't remember the name. Is there a good, central website for riding events in the Chicago area??
Christie - *very* jealous of your ride through Tuscany. That's on our list for some time in the next 2 years. Did you get to catch any of the Giro D'Italia??
07-08-2003, 05:41 PM
I'm joining the Virtual Biking Buddies!
My background in in biking is as follows:
My main passion is actually yoga, of which I do about 10 hours a week. I had not in fact been on a bike in four years until just over a month ago. My boyfriend is a VERY AVID biker....MTB is his passion, although he also does road as well. As proof, he owns several bikes, of whose value is enormous, fortunately he worked for several years at a bike shop as a mechanic (and still does part time) so gets a better deal. Anyway, I wanted to get into it too, and he built me up a new bike as an early birthday present a couple weeks ago as I was borrowing a pretty poor one..and I am having a great time riding both with him and on my own.
I did go in one race, but was unfortunately stricken with a flat 10 minutes into the race! I went back later after the race and I would of won my category...and even beat the guys!! Grrrr!!! So I plan on doing another race soon.
I have a couple good falls and scrapes and bruises (legs are covered in fact!), but I just get back on and keep going:-) The agressiveness and lightning quick reactions needed for mountain biking are a nice balance to my yoga passion. Actually, I find the yoga compliments the biking very nicely. Plus its a great way to spend time with my BF!
07-08-2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by SusanMac
Is there a good, central website for riding events in the Chicago area??try this (http://www.mikebentley.com/bike/ilrides.htm), it lists most of them.
we did the l.a.t.e. ride last year & it was a blast! very well organized, great food offerings at the rest stops, tons of police & volunteer riders... it was a good experience. 10,000 people sounds like a lot, but it didnt seem like THAT many- just in the beginning it was hard to get going because there were so many people (even though they let you go in waves), but after the first mile people got into their own paces and it wasnt bad. acutally you can see me on their website! go to pictures- 2002 ride. 4th row, 1rst picture. that is me & dbf in the front left. i am wearing the red jacket!
the ride you are thinking of that happened earlier this summer was "bike the drive" where they close down lake shore drive & the bikers have control of the road! actually that is what they are doing with the l.a.t.e. ride this year for the first time! they have a new route & lsd is closed down at night for us. it sucks that they charge volunteers, but i think it is still worth it. it benefits a good cause.
07-13-2003, 06:39 AM
Is any one else going crazy over the TdF??? I can't wait to see today!
07-14-2003, 05:49 PM
finished the late ride yesterday morning. it was fun, but not as much as last year. mainly due to the new route. i liked the old route better because you got to ride through greek town & past all the bars & nightlife and SEE people out and about. this year we went through a pretty boring area. lsd being closed was no biggie since you couldnt see the skyline since you are biking northbound unless you looked behind. the only nice part was the stretch along the lake on the way back to grant park.
i would say that there were around 9,000 people. i saw someone with the rider number 8,963 or something close to that.
i wrote the friends of the park a letter voicing my concern on this new route. hopefully enough people will have similar views as my own & they will give us our old route back!
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