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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure with my title I've attracted a lot of unwanted attention :) but just as it states... I just got back from finishing my first ride !

All I can say; Wow - I'm hooked. Oh yah, and Ouch... my ass hurts ! :)

Two of my buddies, who have been riding for 3+ years now, took me on my first ride at Bonelli Park here in Southern California (San Dimas/Pomona area). Total trail length was approximately 10 miles, which I completed roughly 85% of - I walked the last uphill part... My legs were feeling like noodles after we parked and rode to the start of the trail (haha).

Anyway, my real reason for this post is to ask a couple questions;

Other than riding as much as possible (which I plan on doing anyway), any real training/conditioning I should consider doing/starting to not have my legs feel like noodles after 5 minutes of riding ?

Obviously the uphill parts are what killed me, but towards the middle of the ride, even while riding the flats, I felt like I couldn't peddle - Is this normal for someones first ride? I'm sure a lot of the fatigue came from the uphill riding but I personally thought it was pathetic that I felt this way.

Up until now, I thought I was in excellent shape. I run 2-3 miles a day, 3-4 times a week, and lift (heavy weights) 4-5 times, but couldn't seem to catch my breath on the uphills. A buddy of mine commented on my bike and my size; I'm 6'00, 235lbs, riding a 2005 Specialized P2 (which I thought was large frame), and said a lot of my fatigue is probably from two things; my lack of knowledge on how and when to properly shift gears (which I started to get the hang of towards the end) and the frame being too small.

My buddy rides a full suspension Trek (dont know model) w/ clip ons, and as we were walking the last uphill part, he let me try his bike/shoes out and I immediately noticed a difference - it was easier.
 
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Your no longer a virgin... and your ass hurts?
I think you're doing something wrong there

Your legs will just get used to it after a while, everybodys legs do that after working them hard, the more your ride, the longer and harder you'll be able to ride without having noodles for legs.
Dont push yourself too hard at first, you might get some pains that put you off. I did this with running a few weeks back- i cycle a lot, but hadnt run in a year probobly, did 5 miles or so and my muscles hurt for the next week.

As for struggling on the flats, thats probobly just down to your muscles again, they'll get used to it after a while :thumbsup:
Make sure your seats high enough, that'll make everything easier, and perhaps try getting clipless pedals once your used to riding, I plan to soon (just hadnt thought about it untill now), its supposed to make a lot of difference to pedalling efficiency

Enjoy your bike!!
 

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Your no longer a virgin... and your ass hurts?
I think you're doing something wrong there
My vote for best Internet post ever.

To the OP, congratulations!!

I just started about 8 weeks ago and yesterday I did my first no stop, clean ride (aboout 5 miles of trail), so it will come. When I first did this trail, I felt just like you did, so I KNOW that feeling well.

Keep riding and you will improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ncblue said:
My vote for best Internet post ever.

To the OP, congratulations!!

I just started about 8 weeks ago and yesterday I did my first no stop, clean ride (aboout 5 miles of trail), so it will come. When I first did this trail, I felt just like you did, so I KNOW that feeling well.

Keep riding and you will improve.
Hah, Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm sitting here watching the AZ/GB game and my ASS hurts !
 

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You're using different muscles, in a different direction, than running. Remember in cycling most of your force comes from your thighs, and straight down. It's going to take you awhile to get used to that switch. Best I can tell you, ride on the road. A lot. Most of the places you would drive, like the library, quick run to the store for Hot Pockets and beer......buy a big backpack and spin instead. Ride to work. Don't tell me "it's snowing". Go ride in Rochester NY after a blizzard. Three feet of snow on the ground will whip you into shape.

Try a different saddle. I went through a few myself. Settled on a WTB Speed V, works well for me. Not so soft you lose power from your upper body, but not like a Flite soley made to crawl between your butt cheeks and stay there. Consider a suspension seatpost. Not sure what's out there now, I know Cane Creek still makes theirs, but it's pricey. Other than that, make some small adjustments. If you feel cramped, you've got the seat moved way back to make room, and the front end is light, get a longer stem. Try some riser bars. They're wider, get you in more of an attack position, give you more to pull on on a hill. Or bar ends on flat bars. I like little stubby ones, just enough to get my hands out a little farther in front. Buncha stuff. If you have some cash to burn, pick up a decent indoor trainer, and spin in front of the TV. It helps.

Other than that, just ride, ride, ride, ride.
 

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Conditioning is pretty muscle specific. Use different muscles, or the same muscles in a different way and they're gonna hurt from the strain. And that's good. It means they'll be stronger next time. More muscle cells, more capillaries feeding them.

As for your sore butt - is your saddle wide enough to catch your sit bones? It should just catch them, but not be so wide that you can't easily scoot fore and aft. Also, an easy way to check saddle height for climbing and flats is to have your heel just reach the pedal when your leg is fully extended. It may not be the perfect setting, but its a good place to start.

As other have said, experiment, experiment, experiment. Over the years, I've collected 8 or 10 saddles (some worn out, others just didn't work out), 4 handlebars, couple of stems, seat posts with different setbacks, etc. Buying stuff for your bike is part of the fun. :D
 

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I hate to say it, but talk with epic roadies. Not enough to contaminate you, of course. I'm in PT right now for an unrelated issue, but my therapist is a long-time roadie (doesn't hurt that she's cute, either) and we've been talking quite a bit while I go through my paces. We've learned quite a bit from each other, being from different disciplines, and I do plan on applying some of it to my trail riding. Good stuff to know. You'll eventually find a good road rider who won't pick on you (seriously) for liking trails. They might actually want to join you.
 

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Yes, try some new seats. I just bought one Saturday and rode 15 miles today and saw a noticible difference, just with a new seat. Less leg fatigue and no backside...

I'm done with that conversation.

It took awile to find the right seat height, and I went higher then expected, but it make a world of difference.
 

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jaysen said:
I'm sure with my title I've attracted a lot of unwanted attention :) but just as it states... I just got back from finishing my first ride !

All I can say; Wow - I'm hooked. Oh yah, and Ouch... my ass hurts ! :)

Two of my buddies, who have been riding for 3+ years now, took me on my first ride at Bonelli Park here in Southern California (San Dimas/Pomona area). Total trail length was approximately 10 miles, which I completed roughly 85% of - I walked the last uphill part... My legs were feeling like noodles after we parked and rode to the start of the trail (haha).

Anyway, my real reason for this post is to ask a couple questions;

Other than riding as much as possible (which I plan on doing anyway), any real training/conditioning I should consider doing/starting to not have my legs feel like noodles after 5 minutes of riding ?

Obviously the uphill parts are what killed me, but towards the middle of the ride, even while riding the flats, I felt like I couldn't peddle - Is this normal for someones first ride? I'm sure a lot of the fatigue came from the uphill riding but I personally thought it was pathetic that I felt this way.

Up until now, I thought I was in excellent shape. I run 2-3 miles a day, 3-4 times a week, and lift (heavy weights) 4-5 times, but couldn't seem to catch my breath on the uphills. A buddy of mine commented on my bike and my size; I'm 6'00, 235lbs, riding a 2005 Specialized P2 (which I thought was large frame), and said a lot of my fatigue is probably from two things; my lack of knowledge on how and when to properly shift gears (which I started to get the hang of towards the end) and the frame being too small.

My buddy rides a full suspension Trek (dont know model) w/ clip ons, and as we were walking the last uphill part, he let me try his bike/shoes out and I immediately noticed a difference - it was easier.
I have a couple of thoughts. First, a 10mi ride is pretty long for a first ride. As others have stated, it uses different muscles than your other training. As for the dead feeling in the middle of your ride, I think you probably spent all your energy on the climb. The good news is that improvement in this area should come quickly.

A P2 is not the best bike for putting in big miles. The good news is that it is pretty durable and should make the learning curve a bit less expensive. Stick with it and you will have a better idea what you are looking for when it is time to upgrade.
 

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I put in about 10 miles yesterday in what was essentially my 2nd mountain bike ride. The hine parts are a little sensitive, but not too bad. My calf on the other hand is a mess. About 8 miles in, my left calf started cramping something awful. Today, it is just sore. I was going to hit the trails again today, but thought better of the situation. Getting older sucks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for all the great input and suggestions. As most of you have suggested, I think I will continue to ride, experiment, and once I feel I've got a better understanding to it all, i'll look to purchase new parts and/or new bike :)

Kinda weird to have your girlfriend massage your but cheeks - uggh, but it felt good !

Next ride set for Tuesday morning !
 

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Having read your post my first guess would be that that your seat is too low. The p2 is a great bike, but it's a dj bike rather than an xc bike. When you are at the bottom of your pedal stroke, your leg should be about 95% extended. That allows all the muscles to work like they are supposed to. You didn't mention it, but if your quads and glutes are killing you, and standing on the climbs makes life much much better, I'd say to move your seat. An it sounds backwards, but a higher seat will also put less weight on your seat (you'll be leaned more over your bars).
 

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jaysen said:
...My buddy rides a full suspension Trek (dont know model) w/ clip ons, and as we were walking the last uphill part, he let me try his bike/shoes out and I immediately noticed a difference - it was easier.
If your bike is stock as shown here, you have a single 38 tooth ring up front. Your friend's bike probably has three rings with a 22 tooth granny gear. That lower gearing would explain a lot of the "it was easier".
 

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hey greybeard good to see you enjoying your ride.
yeah it does get sore on the old butt, but time will fix that. as for the muscles, try hitting the gym. I went last year and for the lets I do a leg weight pushing up on a 45 degree angle, then for the calfs hold the same weight on the tips of my toes then push them up. great workout for strengthening the legs.
 
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