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Resources for the New Cyclist

Even if you are just getting started, you'll be looking like a pro in no time if you do your homework.

While a large percentage of Cycle Oregon participants are repeat offenders, there are also more than 800 first-timers – and some aren’t just new to the ride; they’re new to cycling. If you are one of these lucky people, congratulations and welcome to the tribe. You’re in for the experience of a lifetime.

But you’ve got a lot to learn. One of the best things you can do is to hook up with a professionally run training group such as STRADA, which does online coaching as well as group training rides. Many bike shops also offer clinics and group rides for new riders. There is a lot of knowledge to be gained by books and magazines as well. The faster you pick up the basics, the more fun you’ll have training.

Much of the information you’ll need can also be found on various blogs and websites. www.livestrong.com contains a wealth of great information on exercise, health and nutrition. Livestrong also has a good YouTube Channel. There are many great videos from Lance’s old coach, Chris Carmichael, but they are so deeply buried that they are hard to find. Most of them can also be accessed via a great promotion Nissan did with Chris a few years ago.

www.sheldonbrown.com is another good place for all kinds of general and technical information, and there’s even a series of articles for beginners. It’s also worthwhile to go back through the older posts on this blog — particular the monthly series on training from a few years back (which is also featured in the newsletter) and the “Ask the Veterans” posts.

Bicycling Magazine puts a lot of excellent articles from the print magazine on www.bicycling.com. It also has a good blog directory at http://www.bicycling.com/bloglisting. Bicycling also recently began offering a version of its magazines on the iPad Newsstand.

Each of these blogs and websites should be perused as time permits. Below are links to specific posts from some of my favorite blogs (including my own personal cycling blog) on subjects with which a new cyclist will definitely need to become familiar ASAP:

Rules of the road/general cycling safety
Pre-ride bike check
How to shift
How to fix a flat tire
How to avoid the dreaded “bonk”
Paceline riding tips
How to ride on gravel
Tips and tricks for using a GPS bike computer
Building a relationship with a good mechanic
Packing and getting ready for Cycle Oregon

Do you have a favorite resource or blog post you’d like to share? If so, please let us know by commenting on this post.

Photo by John Spooner

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