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Bike Europe - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Bike Europe
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From: ex_erikvolso370 Date: January 2nd, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Time to train and gear up. The problem is you don't have much time to train (and lousy weather to train in.)

What you need is a trainer so you can work out without riding out, but those aren't cheap. (Though REI had a decent one on sale for $129, I think that sale ended Friday.) Ask about, see if anyone has one. Stationary bikes aren't really bikes at all, in many ways -- a trainer will let you build form on a real bike.

You'll want to find good shoes, a good saddle (I can't really suggest anything, being a guy, but Terry is the name in women's saddles (and bike, but that's something else)), pedals that work with your shoes, a good helmet, and good gloves. Jerseys are nice to have, but not required (the pockets are the real win.)

Why bring them? So that you know that two of the contact points will fit you on the bike your riding. They'll be able to cope with this -- many bike-tour operators assume that you'll do this, and pull spares out of you don't.)

Other things you'll need. Shorts, at least two pair. Since this is a supported tour, bring more. Make sure they're dead comfortable -- no seams in bad places. Socks, ditto. A set of leg and arm warmers would be a good idea, since you may start cold, but warm up quickly. Double that since you've got a repaired knee.

Be religous about streching before riding for the day (though, as you build miles, this will become automatic.) Learn to spin, not to stomp (in general, if whatever you are doing puts force on your patella, stop.)

Spend the next couple of months building your form and your miles, and you'll find that when the tour happens, you'll be able to see. Otherwise, you may see nothing but the wheel in front of you, and feel nothing but your, well, butt. Not good.

When the weather gets nicer, if you can, ride to work. Nothing like commuting for training -- real miles, and you have to pay attention to the world.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 5th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for all of the advice! Definitely helpful. A trainer, huh? I've never used one, but the idea sounds good. I sent an email to my local bike group to see if I could borrow one, no responses. But a store-owner did write and say he had a new Minoura tire drive for about $130...maybe I should buy it. Though I did find a free 2-month Bally's membership....

I have a hybrid, while the tour group recommended getting dropped handlebars, because it offers more back positions on long rides. They also say you can bring your own saddle and/or shoes if you want. I actually like the saddle that came on my (Bianchi Avenue) bike, at least so far. I might just bring that; I'll double-check that it would work on a racing style bike.

I own a pair of used "duck shoes" that I wear when I ride the back of a tandem. Don't have my own pedals, though I could get some -- I'm kind of afraid of riding alone with them, for fear that I'd (re)injure my knee if I had to get out fast. Perhaps just paranoia...? I feel trapped. Also it would inhibit walking around and touring along the ride, so I was thinking of just using toe-clips. Is that a bad idea?

I've got everything else you mentioned except leg/arm warmers.... and, well, practice. ;)
read 18 comments | talk to me!