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Oh The Shame

LindsLinds Posts: 124
Went out for my first long bike ride yesterday, a "quick" spin down the Bristol to Bath cycle path.

Charged along like a loon for 8 miles or so, then met up with my mate and we sauntered into Bath (he is even worse on a bike), then back out - even slower.

Just before we went our separate ways some spotty teen on an ancient racer (with serious mudguards) wearing jeans and a hoody whizzed by.

Now I was free of the shackles of my mate I charged off up the path confident of catching him - and I did at a road crossing and whizzed off into the distance...............or so I thought

A mile of so later I heard a strange creaking noise and the bugger had caught me up, and then he passed me....grinning! Has he no shame?

Anyway Linds "Armstrong" wasn't going to have any of this and I set off after him again, regaining my proper place ahead of him a mile or so later, and this time really went for it ............... but I couldn't shake him off........and then after 5 minutes he overtook me again.......giggling as he passed me!

I was done and just managed to keep up with him, but never got close, let alone close enough for him to overtake. And my one hope that he was sprinting and would pull off early was blown, as he did the full route as well!

Surely as I had the better/newer/redder bike the "Laws of Treefrog" clearly state I should have left him trailing in my wake, but alas no.

If you wish to ban/block/delete me/my profile for sheer uselessness in the face of a teenager on a banger I will understand.

On a more serious note - I found that I couldn't really pedal/push on as hard when I was riding "on the drops" (which he did the whole way) and had to keep sitting up. Is this just down to practice/experience (I have ridden the bike a grand total of 5 times so far and never had a racer before) as I could really notice the wind resistance when sitting up, but just felt more comfortable pedelling.



  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I bet the bloke cycles everywhere, all day every day. It could really be just a base fitness thing, and you need more time to get your cycling legs working.

    Just out of interest, what's your limiting factor - burning legs or burning lungs?

    On the other hand, have you tried waxing? Did you eat your porridge?

    *edit: realised I'd forgotten to address your other issue. Was the bike fitted to you, or have you just had a go at it yourself? You might have a seating position problem, though your lack of mileage would suggest you probably just need to get used to it.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    So that was you?

    Only kidding, as mentioned it could be fit (as in bike fit) &/or flexibilty issues, you glutes & hamstrings cannot genearate max power if they are in an unusually (for them) flexed position. This can be sorted with stretching & bike fitting..oh & good core stability to give your legs a good 'platform' to generate the power through.
  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    I realise that I'm not anywhere near bike fit yet, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be my weakest discipline.

    I haven't had the bike setup "fitted" to me as I bought it off ebay, so I'm sure it can be fiddled with, which will hopefully help. And I am prepared for a fair degree of sniggering when I take a Carrera into my LBS - but sod it I don't care.

    Oh and to make matters worse his bike was blue and hoody was brown, whilst I had a RED bike and top! Shocking

    The main limiting factor was my legs - they were burning just above my knees, although I was quite pleased with myself as I did manage to cycle over 30 miles and finished with one god almighty hill* (Ashley Hill in Bristol for those in the know) which I (just) managed to get up without using the easiest ring**

    * Well I thought it was pretty big .... and it is damn steep....but granted it's nothing like a mountain climb

    **The fact that i was desperately trying to get onto the easiest ring but the damn thing wouldn't is entirely irrelevant

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Yeh, its sounds like you could do with a proper bike set up, to have pain in quite a specific region would indicate that your position isnt quite right. My thoughts would be that you seat may not be high enough, causing you knee to be too flexed when you start on the downstroke, this could cause the pain in the part of quads nearest the knee as they are being over stressed. Just an idea.

  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    TommiTri wrote:

    Yeh, its sounds like you could do with a proper bike set up, to have pain in quite a specific region would indicate that your position isnt quite right. My thoughts would be that you seat may not be high enough, causing you knee to be too flexed when you start on the downstroke, this could cause the pain in the part of quads nearest the knee as they are being over stressed. Just an idea.

    Thanks form the tip

    I will raise the seat tonight and take it for a quick spin to see how it feels.

    I'm going to raise the seat so that my leg is not quite straight when the pedal is at the bottom - does that sound right?

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Yes, in theory, a good way i like to use is if you take you shoes off, get on the bike, preferably on a trainer, or nxt to a wall, or someone holding! and then put you heel on the pedal, remember to sit on the seat normally, when the lower crank is in line with the seat tube, and your leg should be completely straight. This way, when you have your shoes on and your ball of the foot over the pedal your leg will be slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke.

    Its not exactly technical but ive always found it the simplest method.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Hey Linds,

    Doesnt it feel great to be slammed with both feet back Under the earth?[:D]

    I got passed once by a bloke of about 65 I guess. He had a blue (of all the colours) bike that was approx his age I think. Really wanted to ship my bike to some far country, I felt like a soft weenie.

    That made me realise it's no use buying a superbike (red of course) if you can't ride it properly.

    There's always people better then you, no big deal. Be your own best ( and listen to most people on this forum's tips, although they do talk utter bul#écks sometimes[image]http://forum.220magazine.com/micons/m6.gif[/image]).


  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I think that the previous posts are correct in asking you about the set up of your bike. Although do you know for sure that you were going slower on the drops?

    If you were there are a few of things that might help.

    1. The drop in speed may have due to discomfort - you cannot maintain speed if you are not relaxed and comfortable. A set of tri bars might help, but try them out on your set up before you buy

    2. When you stetch out onto the drops you may slide backwards in the saddle - this ( in easy to explain terms) causes yourpower delivery system (hips legs balls of feet) to be ebhind the bottom bracket and not directly over it. This might be sorted by one or both of a shorter stem or a reversible seatpost - I think Thompson do one. However this extreme/aggressive position is not to be reccommended to a novice, a non cyclist or an inexperience triathlete as it could compromise your running ability if you do not train at race pace/distance on it on a regular basis.

    3. Slide your saddle forward - this gives the same effect but it can effect the balance of the bike and will change your seating position - this could prove most uncomfortable.

    Bottom line for serious cycling - no matter the price of the bike set up is vital and don't be afraid to tweak it if you think it needs it

  • Hi Linds

    If it's any consolation, I get overtaken ALL the time...that was until yesterday, when I managed to overtake a girl AND then a boy, needless to say I felt like Christmas had in deed come early. Stick with it and you will just get better and better!

    I also managed to ride my bogey "hills" in Richmond Park without getting out of the saddle - again for the first time, so when I got to the top I punched the air with my right fist and made out I was King of the Mountains!

    If only I could swim and run...
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Last year I was out on the local roads and I saw another bike up ahead...

    As usual, I thought "TARGET!" and decided I would pick them off easily. Being a super-elite tri-pro and all.

    Anyway, it was some old boy on a bike with a basket, with a turnover rate of about 15rpm. How do the old guys DO that? I DID pass him, but I was nearly blowing up as I did it. 5 minutes later when he was still the same 100m back I decided to turn off onto another road, and convince myself that I could've lost him if I'd really wanted to.

    In my defence, I'd had a hard run that day, and a swim TT the night before. And I was tired. And it was windy, but in a way that clearly didn't affect him. And I got the pacing all wrong... but he was riding a black bike, for goodness sakes, and mine is very, very RED.
  • Bean Machine - lose the modesty. The "hills" in Richmond park are flipping great mountains. Broomfield hill is the worst - I defy anyone to go clockwise round the park and not have to stand up for that hill. Give me those potchy little mounds on the Tour de France mountain stages any time - they ain't impressed me till they've mastered Richmond.

    Linds - no worries. Nothing worse than being passed by the lardier/more casual/smoking/nonchalant bloke on the £5 BHS bike, but it's happened to all of us. I'm convinced that Lance Armstrong occasionally dresses up in his hoodie and takes out his BMX for a spin just so that he can make us feel bad. The replies about bike setup all sound right, but you'll also find that you improve massively with practice. It uses different muscles to use each riding position and you probably need muscles for the drops position that none of your other sports have really built up. I still find it very difficult to get full power when I'm on the drops for any length of time, but I can go at full pace on the tri bars for a couple of hours without any problems. I think it's a slightly kinder position for the body. In my case it may also be because most of my cycling is done on my MTB i.e. upright - I still find London rush hour traffic is a bit suicidal on a road bike with clipless pedals.


  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    Cheers for the tips guys

    I didn't manage to get out on the bike last night as the little one was kicking off and my wife knackered

    So it's a bike (12k) swim (1.25k) and run (3k) session tonight with seat tweaks to the bike before i go out. I am also going to try and spend as much time as possible down on the drops to try and get used to the position.

    Blimey that looks a lot of training for one night (well it does to me) - guess I'm going to miss the Mancs losing then
  • LindsLinds Posts: 124

    I raised the saddle by 50mm (2") last night and it was made an amazing difference and I felt much more comfortable on the hill.

    I think I had best pop down the a LBS at the weekend to see if they can help with the bike setup

    Still not coping brilliantly riding on the drops - my legs seem to tire a lot more quickly, even when i'm putting in the same effort, but I guess/hope that putting in more time in the saddle will help this.
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