Author Topic: Distances for newbies  (Read 6106 times)

agagisgroovy

  • Formely yellow-ceitidh
Distances for newbies
« on: November 20, 2012, 01:48:50 pm »
What would you consider a sensible daily distance for a reasonably fit 18 year old who's longest ride so far is 6 miles? And how much training would they need to get to 50 or 100 miles?  ::-)

mattc

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Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 02:22:51 pm »
"daily" as in:
- sensible commute (to college/work), or
- for a 2-month tour?!!

And 'reasonably fit':
- healthy but a 6 mile ride is thier only exercise in a week, or
- plays 1-2h of sport several times a week.
Has never ridden RAAM
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 02:28:21 pm »
Getting to about 25 miles is the bit that requires training.  Getting to 50 is more about pacing yourself and ergonomics, and anything beyond that is nutrition and more subtle ergonomics.

As for sensible daily distance, I'm not sure YACF is the place to ask.  ;D
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 02:29:27 pm »
Do you mean a distance to ride every day or a one-off?

My daughter did her first 60mile ride without any training at 15 and 100miles a few months later.  Her only 'training' was riding a couple of miles to school and back. Her boyfriend, who is the same age, regularly rides 40miles to his mum's house.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 02:31:28 pm »
My son (a typical 16yo) rides occasionally - very occasionally - and generally 100km at a time. 

Everyone's different.  It's worth just testing out, pushing yourself a bit and finding out what you are capable of sustaining.  This might change over time.
Getting there...

agagisgroovy

  • Formely yellow-ceitidh
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 11:48:03 pm »
Cool, not asking about myself but for a friend. I was pretty much brought up on the back of a tandem so transitioned to doing 40-50 miles at the age of 12 without any bother.  :)

He does quite a bit of rock climbing 2-3 times a week and some hillwalking. He's got a decent mountain bike that doesn't weigh too much (still has knobbly tyres) and lives in the Lakes. So would 25-30 miles be a reasonable distance for a day ride?

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 11:52:46 pm »
I rode far further without really thinking about it when I was that sort of age.

Nowadays it is all about whether I have enough water (water hadn't been invented back then), whether I'll be lost after 4 miles (GPS hadn't been invented back then), whether I'd see where I was going (bike lights as we know then hadn't been invented back then), whether I'll manage to get there without a flat (spare tubes hadn't been invented back then) or if my arse will get sore (cream and pads hadn't been invented back then).
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 11:59:28 pm »
From my experience of others, 25-30 represents a good ride, an achievement, which should leave the cyclist sore after, therefore won't be put off.

I would say that a sensible daily distance is 10 -12 miles, when you can hop on the bike ride that without  thinking about it and knowing there will be no ill effects, you'd be able to ride 50 miles at a push. 20? 100. Don't know where I invented the 5 x multiplier from but I think it is a reasonable rule of thumb.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 12:28:24 am »
I rode far further without really thinking about it when I was that sort of age.

Nowadays it is all about whether I have enough water (water hadn't been invented back then), whether I'll be lost after 4 miles (GPS hadn't been invented back then), whether I'd see where I was going (bike lights as we know then hadn't been invented back then), whether I'll manage to get there without a flat (spare tubes hadn't been invented back then) or if my arse will get sore (cream and pads hadn't been invented back then).

Drawing on my own nostalgia, it's probably worth noting that tarmac hadn't been invented back then either.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 05:31:00 am »
He does quite a bit of rock climbing

And I'm guessing you do too, based on your new forum name!


Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 08:55:56 am »
.... He's got a decent mountain bike that doesn't weigh too much (still has knobbly tyres) ...

Assuming this is road riding, you want to try and convince him to replace the knobblies with something a bit smoother, otherwise it's going to make cycling 100 miles hard work, but you probably already know that!
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 09:22:20 am »
He does quite a bit of rock climbing 2-3 times a week and some hillwalking. He's got a decent mountain bike that doesn't weigh too much (still has knobbly tyres) and lives in the Lakes. So would 25-30 miles be a reasonable distance for a day ride?
The biggest hurdle he might face is keeping his speed down so he doesn't wear himself out.  If he does some hill walking he'll know about pacing himself - tell him this is just as important on a bike. Slow down a bit, enjoy the scenery.

Replace the tyres - knobblies will be very very hard work on the road.

25-30miles should be easy for the sort of person you've described. I reckon it sounds like they'd cope with much further, as long as they had experienced company (someone to control their speed, make sure they are eating and drinking enough).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 09:23:32 am »
And as long as the bike isn't grossly the wrong geometry.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 09:42:53 am »
True, but I'm guessing that getting him to replace (or supplement) it with a half decent road bike isn't likely to happen, so at least changing the tyres for road type ones (ie something a lot smoother than knobblies), will make it a whole lot easier, for a not outrageous outlay.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 09:54:14 am »
Ah - now we know who you are, we also know that you know a lot about the subject.  I'm sure that your advice will be informed and valuable.  Just try not to drag him round routes where you're ripping his legs off up the hills!

If you want to plan a few rides, make sure there are bail-out points, so he can decide if it's not fun any more.  Nothing worse than trying to get home completely bonked and with sore hands and bum.
Getting there...

Phil W

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2012, 09:12:11 pm »
Cool, not asking about myself but for a friend. I was pretty much brought up on the back of a tandem so transitioned to doing 40-50 miles at the age of 12 without any bother.  :)

He does quite a bit of rock climbing 2-3 times a week and some hillwalking. He's got a decent mountain bike that doesn't weigh too much (still has knobbly tyres) and lives in the Lakes. So would 25-30 miles be a reasonable distance for a day ride?

That'd be quite a nice distance off road. There some great tracks in the Lakes. There's a bridle way up helvellyn if you fancy it and its not too technical if you approach from the north . Or a round of skid daw is also good.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 08:13:21 am »
I bought my son a BSO for University use. On his 22nd birthday we tried to cycle from Wivenhoe (Essex Uni) the 40-odd miles home to Southend. After 25 he had to give up because he was in so much pain and the cavalry was called to rescue him.

Since then, he has completed at least two 60-mile rides on pretty well no training at all, on much more suitable steeds.

A good deal of it is about the bike.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2012, 03:29:44 pm »
My Nephew (aged 16) went from riding up to 5 or 6 miles, often on a unicycle, to riding a round trip of 24 or so miles to college on TGL's old trek 1000 with few problems apart from his own incompetence, so I'm sure an 18 year old will be perfectly ok :).
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2012, 09:10:58 pm »
My lad and his mate (both just 13 y/o) will ride a conversational paced 40 miles including an ascent of White Horse hill.  They've been riding about 6 months and both have road bikes.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 10:24:44 pm »
I bought my son a BSO for University use. On his 22nd birthday we tried to cycle from Wivenhoe (Essex Uni) the 40-odd miles home to Southend. After 25 he had to give up because he was in so much pain and the cavalry was called to rescue him.

Since then, he has completed at least two 60-mile rides on pretty well no training at all, on much more suitable steeds.

A good deal of it is about the bike.
A decent MTB will be far easier and comfier than a BSO.
And when the sun goes down over this beautiful town
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CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
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Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2012, 05:05:45 pm »
CET junior completed his first 100km ride aged 10.5.  He'd done progressively longer rides from 10 miles upwards from the age of 7, when he got an Islabike.  The Islabike transformed his riding abilities as it was designed for him.  Last year he completed 5 100km rides going from all in at the finish to trying to sprint for the last town sign.  I'm not sure he's quite up for 100 miles yet - but as other posters have pointed out - at this point it is more about the head and the stomach rather than the legs.  Bikes are definitely the biggest factor.  Watching adults struggle on bikes not suited for them - no wonder they give up.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2013, 11:52:09 pm »
I restarted cycling after a dozen or so years off the bike last June. 9 miles daily commute, mostly flat.

From about five months in I started going for actual bike rides once or twice a month, mostly in the 15-25 mile range. After the new year I started to pushed that distance up by about 5 miles each ride, with the rule being that I'd always try to get home thinking I should have been out longer.

At the point where I was at the 40 mile mark, I was persuaded by a certain CCE/YACF member and Audaxer who shall remain nameless(unless I say it was DaveC, because it was), to go on a 100 mile ride with him, three other experienced riders and one other semi-newbie. The first 80 miles were great fun, but I bonked horribly soon after that, sadly while far away from cake shops, and needed lots of towing to get me home. It also turned out that it was really a 120 miles ride. Ah well.

In hindsight I might have coped a lot better if I'd eaten more. And also if I hadn't been on a single-speed with flat bars. Sore wrists.

Since then I've taken an old but good-in-its-day MTB with the travel taken out the elastomer front suspension, 2" road slicks and bar-ends around the Highlands, mostly 50-60 milers, although they seem to have pretty big miles up there with all those braes. I never use the bar-ends normally, but normally that bike only ever tows my trailer around town on short runs. Found them invaluable when I was needing a change of hand position every so often.

TL;DR - I think once you've worked your way up to 40 miles in 5 miles jumps, then you're mostly worrying about food. MTBs don't need a huge amount of work to be rideable over decent distance.

Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2013, 08:42:02 am »
For any youngster who's not completely unfit, the limiting factor will be comfort in the saddle. Once you're used to sitting on a bike, and as long as you're not trying to break any records, you can just keep rolling along all day.

For any newbie, before getting them to change components, or bike, by far the most impressive thing to do is show them to pump their tyres up to the max recommended pressure and put their saddle up high enough.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2013, 08:57:42 am »
A friend of mine rides a bike occasionally strictly for utility purposes. She's tall - at least 5' 9" - but has her saddle set to the lowest. Her reason is that she doesn't feel confident unless she can put both feet flat on the ground. I've not tried to persuade her otherwise, but her husband has, and there's no shifting her. That's how her bike has to be set up.

Not surprisingly, she doesn't enjoy cycling and I haven't even made the slightest effort to get her to go for a bike ride. I also suspect that her bike is very much of the BSO type. Given that she's over 60 I don't suppose she will ever change.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

rr

Re: Re: Distances for newbies
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2013, 10:59:16 am »
For any youngster who's not completely unfit, the limiting factor will be comfort in the saddle. Once you're used to sitting on a bike, and as long as you're not trying to break any records, you can just keep rolling along all day.

For any newbie, before getting them to change components, or bike, by far the most impressive thing to do is show them to pump their tyres up to the max recommended pressure and put their saddle up high enough.
+1 to this plus learning not to sit passively on the saddle.