Archived Q&A and Reviews
I decided to train for a 65 mile bike ride in September. I never did anything like that and I am a 46 year old woman. I would like to know if there are groups that can help a beginner to train, or some advice on how to get started. Thank you.
Sounds like you are signed up to do a metric century! Congratulations! I have done such rides, and they are a lot of fun. You don't say what your baseline fitness level is, nor how much cycling experience you have.... But I would start by checking out your local cycling club (i.e. Grizzly Peak Cyclists, Valley Spokesmen, Oakland Yellow Jackets, etc.). You can find out about them at your local bike store. Then check out their website and see what kinds of rides they do. Most clubs do several different kinds of rides on the weekends, and maybe some midweek. They may even offer a training series specifically geared towards centuries and metric centuries. You will probably be expected to join the club if you plan on going on many of their rides. Your local cycling store might also be able to point out some other training programs you may be interested in.
Depending on your fitness level, you will want to start out slowly. (Although if your general fitness level is high and you bike on a regular basis, you may not need to train much at all.) Don't overdo it at first, and gradually add distance to your rides. You will also need to make sure you are training in hills, as most rides in this part of the world involve sustained climbs. Unless you are off during the week, you'll be biking on the weekends until we get more daylight and you can go on short rides after work (a treat!). Doing additional aerobic exercise (running, Stairmaster, etc.) during the week will help, too. I know my husband trains for his rides on a trainer in the garage! Ultimately you'll want to have done a few 40-50 mile rides before September; that should put you in good shape for the 100 K ride.
If you are pretty new to cycling, you'll want to make sure your bike is in good shape and that you know how to cycle on roads and in groups of people (you'll learn that on club rides). I have done 100K rides on a mountain bike (with slick tires), but it is so much more fun on a road or touring bike. You do NOT need special bike clothes, although the padded shorts are nice for long rides, and the shoes that attach to the pedal (or toeclips) s are very helpful. You'll also want to find some routes that are fun, challenging, reasonably low in traffic, and scenic! There are several books out there that list and detail road biking routes that you can train on.
Be safe and have fun! cycling chica
There are several bike clubs in the area, all of whom sponsor group bike rides: the Yellowjackets, Grizzly Peak Bicycle Club, and there are others. A few of the local bike shops also sponsor rides (all for free). You'll meet new people and learn to ride in groups and get the mileage that you'll need for your ride in September! Usually they offer beginner or novice rides or use a rating system to describe the ride.(I would call around to Solano cyclery in Albany or VeloSport in Berkeley. Missing Link is also a good resource. There are also the fund-raising organizations like Team in Training that will help you train but, you are generally committing to raise a threshold amount of money. Have fun! carolyn
I have recently got back into cycling again since my youngest child started pre-school in Sept. I consider myself a novice to medium skilled cycler and would love to hook up with a group of women to cycle with. I'm interested in the exercise and training for a century ride/mini triathalon in the future. I've asked around at various cycling stores, but it seems like most of the groups are for serious racing. I live in Orinda and would love to know about any groups near me (since I ride mostly in this area and the hills). I've also found that some of the roads near me are empty, heavily forested (Pinehurst, Redwood etc.) and well, not so sure I feel safe riding alone on them. Any novice cycling groups? Any that ride during the week day mornings? Anyone know of a web-site I can find to hook up with other women riders? Thank you! Maya
Velo Sport in Berkeley used to sponsor weekend morning rides of various abilities. (510) 849-0437 Maybe check with Left Coast Cyclery in Berkeley, they are a female-centric bike shop 510-204-8550 There is a cycling club based out of Oakland called the Yellowjackets.
Might be kind of difficult to hook up with something now since the bicycling season is sort of winding down with the impending inclimate winter weather approaching.