Today, I awoke thinking what should I write about. Ahhhh yeah the beginning. Okay, so here we go. I was a complete noob in July 2014, all I knew was I wanted to ride. There where many many questions. What do I need to start? How much will It cost? Where would I ride? How long should I ride? Should I keep track of my rides? What I ate? I know nothing about the ends and outs of cycling, where do I go to learn? Many, many more Questions that ran through my head. Luckily I had a friend that was in the know. We will refer to her as A.T. She gave me this advice.
- Remember this is suppose to be fun.
- Start off slowly.
- Start within your means financially.
- Ride as often as you can.
- Just get a bike doesn’t have to be the new carbon $5,000 bike you see in the mags.
With this advice I was off and running (well in this case shouldn’t it be riding… lol). Being the nerd that I am the first stop for me was the internet. I found countless sites the gave valuable information to noobs like me. I don’t get kickbacks, sponsorship or anything else for saying what’s next, but the best site for my needs was http://www.bicycling.com/ . This is a very trusted and detailed site. They have an extensive beginners section, helpful, helpful, helpful. Bicycling.com has so many articles, gear reviews, tutorials it should definitely be part of your knowledge resource arsenal.
SHAN’S POINT # 1
- You must build knowledge resources from trusted sources. Places to go to find answers.
This is very crucial to your development. Be like a sponge. Soak up knowledge from other cyclists, books, magazines, webpages, youtube, your local bike shop your options are almost endless. Not only will your save yourself time, heartache, and even pain but you will learn more about bikes, what kind of cycling/discipline you want to follow or would enjoy most. This determines your gear.
SHAN’S POINT # 2
- As you have heard from Fit Recovery in his post : Cycling is Not Expensive! Well… , cycling doesn’t have to drain you dry. The key is get the basics and add as you go along those other things you would like to have.
Here’s how I did it.
First I needed a bike (I know, I know,obvious!) so I took to researching and looking. Remembering what A.T. told me, ” All you need is a bike any bike… I knew I was most interested in road cycling, I always have been since I was little watching The Tour with Greg Lemond among others. What I need was cheap, well made, good features to build upon until I was ready to step up to another bike.So I tried to match my bike to my level with a little growing room. I ended up getting
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c Small (50cm) Black
This economical road bike is built on a lightweight 6061 Aluminum frame. It features Shimano A050 thumb shifters and dual brake levers for convenience. It has mount points on the frame for a rear rack, this bike is an excellent commuter.
Assembly & Tuning is required.
Nothing fancy and cost less than $250. Rides really well. I did my research and found mine on Ebay. Here’s a link to a site that reviewed my bike. http://www.davescheapbikes.com/cheap-road-bikes/ All I can say is research. You know what you can afford and what your goals, and likes are. Next I proceeded to collect the other basic must haves, *HELMET (YOU ONLY HAVE ONE HEAD)* NEVER BUY A CRACKED/ DINGED HELMET. Some say don’t buy a used one. I say get one you can afford. If used like my first one, inspect thoroughly. I got my first helmet at Goodwill for $2.99 and still have it. I just recently ran across a new helmet a Goodwill for $5.99 Brand new. No it’s not the Catlike or Giro but look for the inspected in USA markings or sticker and you should be good. As most all helmets sold in the US have to meet specifications.
Next your need eye protection, gloves to protect and cushion your hand, good sturdy shoes (I started with stiff bottom tennis shoes and flat pedals), water bottle (many different kinds your choice) get a good one. The best gear investment yet are my Padded cycling undies. $8 – $10 on Ebay. Why you ask, because they afforded me the ability to for go cycling kit or clothes until I could afford new clothes. You wear them under your existing exercise shorts or pants, changing anything into cycling ready gear.
Shades- Ironman $10 Ross’s , gloves $15 at Walmart, water bottles ranging from free to $10 You also need a bike bag to carry emergency/personal items ie. cash, id, air cartridge, 2 tire tubes, a tire repair kit, and portable pump if possible to attach to your bikes frame. As you ride and get further away from home you need to think about your safety, accidents happen. When this was brought to my attention by A.T. she suggested Road Id and I wear one at all times now. Check out the site and you will see why. http://www.roadid.com/
Look for sales online, at sports stores, don’t forget to check out Ebay. As you go along you will have upgrades or comforts you will want of course. You can collect these things as you go. Here are a couple of mine.
Thanks to a new friend who reminded me that it is frowned upon to use headphones in a group or on the road with vehicles and pedestrians. Only use in a closed in area with no cars or people.
Next thing I did was RIDE………………………………………