Things I wish I knew when I started Riding

Look, I’m not exactly an old hand at this business, and there’s a lot of information out there available to new cyclists, but I’m gonna lay it down straight and give you the things that nobody told me. In no particular order…

  1. Shorts, you’ll want more of these before you start buying more jerseys. You can always re-use a jersey. Also, buy bibs while you’re at it, you’re going to eventually anyway.
  2. Cycling socks – Seemed like the least-necessary item of “cycling-specific” clothing to buy. I held out for the longest time, but after seeing the light, I rarely wear anything else – Even off the bike! They can even double as dress socks.
  3. Fitness goes away. Fast. Nobody told me this one! I guess that’s what happens when cycling is the first sport you’ve done since little league.
  4. Sure, buy a cool-ass waterbottle if you like it, but you’re soon going to end up with more bottles than you can ever use, especially if you start racing. You’ll be losing and gaining bottles as all the time. Then you start designing your own… (this last part might only apply to me)
  5. You may think you’re racing that stranger on the road, but he’s probably not racing you. In fact, the more serious the roadie, the more likely it is that they’re joylessly following a plan, and less likely it is that to deviate from it to respond to your “attack”. Or, he’s on his way back from 80 miles to the coast. You never know.
  6. Tegaderm.

Have any of your own? Leave ’em as a comment.

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5 Responses to Things I wish I knew when I started Riding

  1. SuperFred says:

    The Bonk is real… nobody ever really warned me about this (perhaps because I was posing for Biology TAs needing “endomorphic” undergrads, or no-one thought I would actually try and ride far enough to experience it first hand). I just blissfully rode around completely unaware of the fact that I could get so weak I couldn’t turn the pedals (I mean you can ALWAYS turn the pedals, right?). When I first heard the term, “Oh man… I went on this killer ride but it ended with the bonk,” I couldn’t understand why he was so bummed out about it; I mean killer ride, then getting “bonked” afterward! Sounds like a pretty nice way to spend a day to me… Well, as I was to find out, it isn’t. The Bonk sucks. Bring some food along when you ride…

  2. sarah says:

    YES, i too was surprised to find that bonking would cause me to sit down in some stranger’s front yard and that only my backpack would keep me from lying down. and that it would be difficult to convince myself not to lie down in the road because i was so tired and my will to live was absolutely gone.

    i guess “carry more food than you’ll need” might be my advice i wish i’d heard. and “gu and all the other weird energy foods you think you will hate have their place.”

  3. Alia says:

    Oh heelllllyeahhhh Tegaderm. I don’t mind scars (just as well, really), but I am a big baby about changing bandages. Any invention that gets me out of doing that a few times is a winner.

  4. sasha says:

    Buy the plain black armwarmers. The neon ones might seem like a good idea, but unless you’re gonna wear a matching jersey (and kneewarmers), stick with black.

    Race cyclocross. Seriously, do it.

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