Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New to Bicycling?

Got this facebook message thread from a friend...


Between You and Someone Else

Someone Else
Today at 12:42pm


I understand you are quite the cyclist/athlete so I ask you this:How can I get faster and or lose 40 pounds by riding my bike and how do I change spokes and how can I GO FAST ON MY PIECE OF SHIT HYBRID SCHWINN????? Websites? Secret-Crank-sets that give you super speed?? And how bout shorts for my jock? May jock gives up before my legs.....HELP a dillatante(me) become the real deal (you)...

Thanks for any advice and/or insults that you can throw back this way,

Someone Else

Today at 12:59pm

I am glad to help...here's my $.02:
Obligatory insult from a racing snob. You have to look PRO to be PRO. Get rid of the shitty WalMart-Chinabike and get your fat ass to a real shop and spend a modest $1500 on a Specialized, LeMond or a Trek. It's worth it. Get a bike fit before you leave the store. It's also worth it. More so even.

A. Ride faster even when it hurts. Greg Lemond said, "It never gets any easier, you just get faster." this morning I rode 9 three minute intervals as hard as I could until I nearly puked. I do it once a week...then tomorrow I go on a suicidally fast "training" ride with a bunch of spandex clad psychos out of an Evanston Bike Shop, Turin...30 miles in about an hour and half. Great race training.

B) While you're riding fast, eat a bit less. Don't diet, but eat out a lot less, cut out the fried foods, and cut out the alcohol during the week and when you're alone. A LOT of excess calories in there. DON'T DIET. this is a lifestyle change, not a get-skinny-quick change. If you diet you won't have enough energy to ride faster. aim for 2 pounds a week. If you plateau, take a look at your routine and change a few things.

C) oh yeah...get more sleep. Like at least 6 solid hours. Alcohol (and caffeine) fuck up your sleep patterns...

As the weight goes down and the power goes up, you get faster. Self-esteem goes way up. Full-disclosure: your current social life will probably suffer...but if you are really enjoying riding and want results to enjoy it even more, you gotta do what you want.

D) shorts. Go to Performance Bike, Get a Grip, Pony Shop or Turin (last two are in Evstn) and get a GOOD pair of shorts, bib shorts. Don't go completely cheap, but you don't need the $200 pair. $50-75 oughta do it. And get chamois creme. Prevents chafing. Don't be afraid to ask how to use it, and don't let any snobbery from the employees get in the way. It comes with the territory of delving into serious cycling. They treat every newbie like shit. It's nothing personal. Just don't let them sell you the farm.

In a nutshell? Ride more, ride with people you like, eat healthier, drink less, a get a pair of bike short...one pair of GOOD bike shorts.

Good luck.

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