Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Breaking her in

So far, I have been loving my new bike. I really miss running, but I'm really enjoying the freedom of my new ride and being outside enjoying the fresh air again. However, there are a number of goals I've now set for myself for this summer, in relation to bike riding. Any advice you experienced bikers can bige me on how to achieve these goals would be greatly appreciated :)

Bike Goals:
1. Keeping balanced- this one seems like a no brainer, but after almost falling multiple times, I'm realizing that I sort of suck in the balance department. I'm thinking core strength will help with this?
2. Taking one (or both) hands off the steering wheel- This goes along with balance. Obviously, if I ever want to ride in traffic, I'll need to be able to lift at least one hand to make traffic signals. Right now any attempts to free up a hand leave me tipsy.
3. Standing while Pedaling- I see people do this, and it looks effective for hills and the like, but, again, I end up almost falling over...
4. Embracing hills- Right now, both up and downhills cause problems. On serious uphills I lose momentum and have to jump off before I fall. Downhills freak me out because I'm afraid of losing control.
5. Getting up to doing 20 or so miles a day- I did a bit over 10 yesterday with relative ease, but would like to do some significant mileage so that I'm getting really good workouts.
6. Not getting the sore butt- Seriously...any advice here? This grown up hard bike seat isn't too comfy, and I"m wondering if this is something that will improve with time, or if I need a seat pad thing or something....

Even with all these goals, I'm still enjoying just getting out there. I've ridden sunday, monday, and tuesday, for a collective total of around 24 miles over the 3 days. Monday was the most exciting, as Ed and I went to Nisene after my super long class day (8:30-5:30). He ran while I did my first real trail with the bike. It was total firetrails, which should have been easy, but I almost flew off at one point after hitting a dip in the trail. Seriously, I was very close to ending up 50 ft down a ravine. On a firetrail. I need to practice this biking thing a lot more!

Anyways, let me know any bike advice you all out there might have :D


Sunshine Girl said...

Mileage, mileage, mileage!!
The more you ride, the more your skills will build and the more confident you will be! It will happen before you know.

Have fun out there!

Ryan said...

Sounds like a fun new hobby and those are some great goals you should add popping a wheelie I found this a useful skill for getting over obstacles such as rocks and roots.

Happy biking

Inca Princess said...

Enjoy your new bike and please, wear a helmet at all times!!!

Addy said...

sunshine- I thought that might be the answer to my problems. I'm working on it :)

ryan- I saw a guy the other day doing a wheelie continuously (i.e. when I passed him both directions he was just hanging out on the back wheel) Once I master that balance thing, that might be a fun one to add to my goal list (and apparently useful too!)

inca- don't worry, with my penchant for falling, I wouldn't think of biking without a helment!

runningtwig said...

That is a pretty sweet bike! I just got a bike myself and am working hard on it. Hopefully the crosstraining on the bikes will help us get back to running more!! Keep it up!

Phil said...

Hapyy to see you out Mountain Biking. It's great exercise and just a lot of fun

Riding down steep down-hills can be problematic. Get your butt way back off the back end of the saddle on the steep down hills. This helps put more weight over the rear tire, lowers the center of gravity and gives you a better feeling of control.

BTW - the "steering wheel" is usually refered to as the "handle bars" on a bike.

Your new apartment looks great ... so much nicer than my first place out of college.

You're starting a very exciting time in your life. I know you'll enjoy it.

Josh said...

From reading my blog you'll know I have very limited biking experience, but I can tell you the balance comes from time spent on the bike. It's nothing you really have to focus on, it just comes as you ride more. For me, the first time I got on my new big I was very worried about losing balance and falling off. I felt like I had totally forgotten how to ride a bike, but it only took a few days to feel comfortable enough to ride in some light traffic on the roads. I'm sure you'll spend much more time on your bike than I have, and you'll be a pro before you know it!! I'm glad you have a new endurance hobby for now when you can't run!

Christine said...

Don't start taking your hands off the wheels too soon - that's how I got the second scar on my chin ;-)

Bob Gentile said...

Happy Biking safe and don't leave home without ur helmet :-)