Seven Things You Need To Start Cycling

Yesterday on my post about Three Things You Don’t Need to Start Cycling I promised to follow it up today with a list of things I think you DO need to start cycling. Everybody knows you need a bicycle but beyond that what takes priority? Equipment, skills, mindset, an understanding spouse? Probably a little bit of everything. What you DO need A bicycle. Whether it’s borrowed, used, or new you need a bike. Does it have to be a fancy, smancy road bike? No. Many of the readers of this blog started on something much simpler than what they ride now. I did as well when I re-started my riding in April 2008. I still had my old Cannondale but was skeptical about riding it because of my weight. I went out and purchased a Schwinn Trailways at a local Target because it came with a 700c deep-v wheelset. It actually road pretty good but was heavy (which was a great workout). I road it for several months and eventually moved back to my road bike. I still have that Schwinn in the garage in Florida and it will probably make a good commuter. I could see it filling another purpose as well. If I knew someone who was thinking of taking up the sport of cycling, I wouldn’t mind letting them borrow it to see if cycling was a sport they really liked before dropping a ton of cash on it. Cycling shorts or bibs. These don’t have to be expensive if you shop around and catch some sales. Could you get away with riding in some regular...

50 Reasons To Start Cycling

I’ve started a list of reasons to start cycling. I want to hear yours in the comments. You can lose weight. You can improve your fitness. You get to wear skin tight clothes. You get to drink lots of water. You can meet cool people (which, in turn, makes you cool). You can satisfy your urge to compete. You get to rub silky smooth concoctions in your nether regions. You can raise money for a charity. You get to buy cool toys. You can buy bicycles that cost more than your car (if you want to). You can play with CO2. You can improve your maintenance skills. You can quit driving a car. You can save money. You can ride 100 miles in one day. It’s an excuse to buy things made of carbon fiber. It’ll help improve your cooking skills. It’s great for your self-esteem. You can ride in the rain. It gets you outside. It’s great to do with the family. You can go downhill really fast. Breaks at the local coffee shop are awesome. Riding a paceline is exhilarating. You get to wear padded shorts and they aren’t Depends. You can get an awesome tan (on half your legs and arms so you might look like a freak). You get to ride up mountains. You get to eat energy bars. If you’re a dude, you have a reason to shave your legs (maybe). You get to drink electrolytes. You can ride the Tour de France route. You can actually buy a product called DZ Nuts (for him or her) and not feel creepy (maybe not). It’s...

Five Ways to Stay Motivated for Cycling

My last several posts have been about self-discipline, losing weight, and new cyclists quitting the sport. You can go a long way towards improvement within those three areas if you apply a little motivation. What is motivation? Motivation is a condition that activates or stimulates behavior and gives it direction. It energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior. It can have many forms and is usually based on the desire to achieve an end result – losing weight, riding a century, etc. Five Ways To Stay Motivated For Cycling Set goals. You know what you want (lose 40 pounds or ride a 100 miles) but it’s meaningless unless you set those goals down in stone. Let others know about those goals so there’s some accountability. Here’s a good article about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Sign up for a ride. Knowing you’ve signed up for, and paid money for, an event is a great motivator to gut it out and keep riding so you’re prepared to ride. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to train. This is what I did last year when I decided it was time to get serious about my weight loss by riding my first century (although bicycle problems kept me from participating). Do a fundraiser. There are many opportunities available for cyclists to sign up for and raise money for worthy causes. Some of the bigger ones are Livestrong, MS-150, and Tour de Cure. Knowing your raising money for a worthy cause is great motivation. Keep some small clothes in the closet. Still have those jeans you wore in college and want to get back...

The Self-Discipline To Change

I think self-discipline is something that Clydesdales and Athenas (cycling parlance for those weighing 200+ pounds/91+ kg) struggle with. I’m a Clyde and struggle with it everyday. I went looking for sources to help me with my self-discipline problems and came across this article: Five Easy Ways to Gain Self Discipline A life of self discipline seems impossible to maintain. So many people give up on their good intentions of being self disciplined and let that lazy lifestyle win. Follow these five easy steps and end the laziness streak for good. It is Monday morning, and the choice is before us, again – be self disciplined and get out of bed an hour early to exercise and do a few chores, or hit the snooze button 17 times before flying out of bed at the last minute and barely making it out the door on time. Getting out of bed would make us feel good in the long run, but so often that lazy lifestyle wins, and that snooze button gets pushed time and time again. How can a person make discipline the automatic response in any situation? 1. Look at Self Discipline as the Gateway to Happiness We all want to be happy. No one wakes up in the morning hoping for an awful day. Most people’s happiness is tied to their level of self-control. Having accomplished all necessary tasks for the day creates a feeling of satisfaction. With that satisfaction comes happiness. It’s hard to be happy and enjoy a relaxing pastime when you know you need to mow the yard, do laundry, drive the kids to...

Obliterated after 15 miles

Yesterday, instead of going to the group handling training I normally do, I opted for a longer ride because I need the mileage. In hindsight I probably should have just did the handling training because my ride sucked. I started off OK and wanted to ride something a little bit faster than my planned century pace of 15 mph. I targeted an average of 16 mph for the ride. Once I got down off the trail and on the loop around White Rock Lake the wind was blowing pretty good with gusts to 20 mph. I was still able to maintain a good speed but was frequently below 15 mph. About half-way through this first loop I really started to labor. I want to think it was the heat but it could be several issues. I wonder if I wasn’t hydrated enough. I’m bad about not drinking enough water throughout the day and I think this, combined with the heat yesterday, caused part of the problem. I carried a bottle of water and a bottle of gatorade with me but it didn’t seem to help. I may not have gotten enough food. I had a small romaine salad with a can of tuna and a few mushrooms for lunch. That was it. No dressing or anything. I also had some wheat pretzels in the afternoon but I basically didn’t have anything to eat several hours before my ride. That, combined with the heat, was probably a recipe for disaster. Carrying eight 10 pound bags of potatos while riding isn’t helping. Think about that statement. The next time you’re in...

Looking for a cycling partner at White Rock Lake

Ok, I’m officially tired of riding down at White Rock Lake by myself. I need somebody who wants to ride around the lake on a regular basis on weekdays and weekends. I ride there mainly because it’s convenient for me and it’s a nice ride. I’m trying to train for my first century ride in September so I’m putting in the mileage but still learning the whole nutrition side of the sport. I’m not a hammerhead so I’m not looking for the 20+ mph group rides that I see out there sometimes. I’m trying to average 15 mph for my century so that’s what I try to average when out riding. I’m very bad about trying to go all out on all rides so I need a partner who can help keep me under reign on rides we should take it easy. I need hill work so once a week I try to put in about a 15 mile ride plus 5-8 hill repeats. On weekdays I usually arrive at the tennis center off Fair Oaks at about 5:50 and then hit the road by 6 PM. From there I ride down to the lake and do one or two laps usually depending on how I feel. I’m hoping a riding partner will help keep me honest and instead of only doing one lap to always do two or three. For weekend rides I’m open for other areas to ride as long as they aren’t a long way away to get to. I’ve been riding 25-30 miles on Saturdays and recently did my longest ride ever which was 35...
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