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  1. #1
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    Learning/Training to ride.

    Well I did trail miles today for the first time in 10 years. I felt terrible about it too. I only did 2.3 miles. I lack endurance, strength, and skill, plus I was on a single track, which might have been a bad idea to begin with. I'm thinking I should start with wide cross country trails.

    I posted a post similar to this in the beginners forum, but I thought you Clydesdales that have already been through this might be of even better help.

    So how/where/what should I be doing to learn to ride again. I want to get good at this sooner than later so that I can enjoy the sport a little more.

  2. #2
    SS XC Junkie
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    I just came back (January-ish) this year from a 5+ year hiatus from biking. Got straight back onto the trails. It was not easy and 2.5 miles was probably about all I had in the tank those first couple of rides. Compounding this was that I decided to start riding again on a single speed. For me, my ability to ride came back fast. One thing that got me in the beginning was not warming up. Take that first mile EASY. Then let the legs go. I found that doing this allowed me to go longer with less strain.

    In the end you and your body need saddle time. It should start getting better with each ride.

    As for regaining the skills, those too came back to me as I continued to ride. It's funny how your mind will remember things when you need it too. One thing that isn't so fun is falling. It tends to hurt worse and leave more marks than I remember...

  3. #3
    ilmfat
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    its important to keep in mind that riding shorter distances more is better than riding ( or trying to ride) longer distances once in a while. just keep riding. ride a couple blocks everyday, you'll be surprised how much that helps. i've ridden more this year than i have the last fifteen combined. i've always loved the bikes, not the riding. try pushing yourself one day, then taking it easy the next. its easy to slack, i can attest to that. but the more you push yourself, the more you can push yourself. what sucks for me is the closest trail is 30 min drive. and flooded right now. just keep at it man. and remember, if it gets easier, ride harder.

  4. #4
    I'll take you there.
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    Keep at it bro, keep at it.. you'll start losing the weight, then you'll put on a bunch as your leg muscles explode.. then they will level out and burn tons of calories.

  5. #5
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    Just ride baby! Seriously, putting in the miles really makes it easier.

    Dontheclyde has a good point. Start each ride going a little slow until you find a rythm. I found that was an issue for me early on.

  6. #6
    Mouth-Breather / Huffer
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    Late to the game here, but what the heck...

    I'm just returning to the sport myself, and was out for about as long as you. When I first picked up my bike I was both excited and scared. After my first ride, I was still excited and scared. The key, however, was that I was still excited.

    I made it through my first ride. It hurt - both my lungs and my pride. But, I did have those fleeting moments of the days when I could fly on my mountain bike and that was all I needed to take the edge off my concerns. The second ride was easier; the third easier still.

    I should probably mention that I had two very nasty spills *BEFORE* I even left my driveway. Stupid mistakes on my part that were entirely avoidable. The upside was that I could put mistakes and wrecks behind me - they actually motivated me to get out and ride even more.

    A short six weeks later and 20# lighter with roughly 200 miles on the bike, I'm feeling much more healthy and amazingly more comfortable on the bike. My conditioning is rapidly improving - faster than I could have imagined. I can probably thank a few small local hills for that.

    Basically, that's the long-winded way of confirming what the others have already suggested: Just get on the bike and ride. Most of the first 130 miles I rode were on the road, but it was what I needed to do to get comfortable and to help establish a base of conditioning. When I finally felt ready to hit the trails, I can't tell you how good it felt to be back in the saddle again... literally.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the encouragement. I finally got out on some singletracks this week. Did a 6 miles on Tuesday and 4 miles on Friday. I take plenty of breaks, walk up some of the steeper hills, stuff like that. I know if I just keep doing it I'll get back into shape soon enough.
    1998 Gary Fisher Big Sur, Yeah I'm retro!

  8. #8
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    Just ride. Don't worry about how far you go, how fast you go, or what everyone else is doing.

    Find a way to have fun and you will get better. Once you can ride for a couple of hours, then you can decide if you want to train or just ride.

  9. #9
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    ... when I 1st got my bike I spent some time on the road before I dared venture to the trail... but when on the trail I found my endurance and tech skills where near nill (had been 10 years seance i'd done any real riding... and 100 lbs)...

    just ride... and enjoy it...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  10. #10
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    Keep it up! Do you have a university or large park near by? You can have a lot of fun and learn some skills by doing 'urban' rides up and down wheelchair ramps and going down small hills, etc. When you are out there look for obstacles such as curbs or slalom around things. Have some fun and don't worry about how far or fast you are going.

  11. #11
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    I was going to let this thread sort of die, but I have to say I had a GREAT ride this afternoon. I also found some trails which match my level (read very easy trails). Mostly hard packed, no major hills, the downhills were at just the right angle to give me speed, but not so much that I had to keep hitting my break. I'm getting there, and once I feel really comfortable at this park I should be ready to try some of the more difficult trails in my area. WHOO HOO.
    1998 Gary Fisher Big Sur, Yeah I'm retro!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjcongleton
    I was going to let this thread sort of die, but I have to say I had a GREAT ride this afternoon. I also found some trails which match my level (read very easy trails). Mostly hard packed, no major hills, the downhills were at just the right angle to give me speed, but not so much that I had to keep hitting my break. I'm getting there, and once I feel really comfortable at this park I should be ready to try some of the more difficult trails in my area. WHOO HOO.

    I'm in a similar position, I hit a local trail today (Zimmerman Park/Billings, MT) and gained both confidence and perspective. The upper trail was primarily hardpack singletrack and the ride out was great. Some fast sections, a few short climbs.

    Feeling confident, I started riding back along the lower trail...
    Tons of slickrock, step ups/downs, and cliff riding. I rode about 500 yards and realized I was over my head. But now I have something to shoot for when I think my skills compare.

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