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  1. #1
    ultralord
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    Advice thread - Post your top 10 tips

    C'mon let's hear your best 10 tips for the beginning road rider. If you want to get creative, how about best 10 tips for the experienced mtb'er -beginning road rider.

    You know that feeling when you finally figure something out about riding and you say "hmm... would have been nice if someone told me that... last year". Well here's your chance to tell someone else.

    No wisecracks please. I think collectively we all have some pretty useful insight to share.

    francois

  2. #2
    Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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    My 10 (wasn't this covered in the sticky thread?)

    For riding in downtown areas:

    If the driver is leaning way forward and looking side to side, he does not know where he is, and is liable to make a quick turn from whatever lane he's in, without looking.

    Someone's sitting in a parked car--if they lean AWAY from the door suddenly, they're getting ready to open it, so give 'em some room.

    General:

    When you're removing pedals, always push the wrench handle toward the REAR of the bike to unscrew (reversed threads are confusing).

    Bend your elbows slightly at all times--if you hit an unexpected bump you're less likely to lose your grip and do something horrible like slide off the front of the hoods.

    Don't grimace, don't take a death grip on the bars--it just makes you tired faster. Related: In the rain, don't hunch your shoulders--this does not keep you dry, it just makes you tense.

    Smooth always works better than violent on a bike.

    Learn to remove and replace a tire/tube at home, not on the road.

    Don't run over things unless you can't avoid them--you never know when they'll turn out to be slippery or sharp. Even the benign-seeming hickory nut can slash your tire wide open (don't ask me how I know this).

    Don't make a habit of looking down to shift (if you have downtube shifters) or remove or replace your water bottle--looking down makes it harder to control the bike, and you'll feel more confident about letting go of the bars, and get better at it sooner if you look down as little as possible.

    Learn to do your own adjustments and general maintenance, and do a once-over on a schedule (my cyclecomputer notifies me when I've got X number of miles since my last service--handy--but doing it on payday or trash day or anything will work). Regular looking after will prevent major trouble. Everybody says it, and lo and behold, it's true.

  3. #3
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    I wish I had 10 pearls of wisdom to offer.

    However, I learned one thing a real value lately.

    Out of the blue, my right knee started hurting after 40 miles or so. I mean, real pain. Saddle height didn't change, shoes, pedals, cleats, all the same.

    The pain was in the front just left of center and it was excruciating. A friend who is a physical therapist probed my knee and my leg and said that I needed to stretch my inner thigh. Muscles and tendons can get so tight that they actually pull the knee joint out of alignment, thus causing pain and inflammation.

    I'm lazy about stretching but at the first sign of knee pain I do it and it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    C'mon let's hear your best 10 tips for the beginning road rider. If you want to get creative, how about best 10 tips for the experienced mtb'er -beginning road rider.

    You know that feeling when you finally figure something out about riding and you say "hmm... would have been nice if someone told me that... last year". Well here's your chance to tell someone else.

    No wisecracks please. I think collectively we all have some pretty useful insight to share.

    francois
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.

    Charles Darwin

  4. #4
    MB1
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    1) Ride lots.
    2-10) See #1

    O.K., O.K. I'll play nice.

    2) Wash and dry your waterbottles after every ride.
    3) Wash and dry your shorts after every ride.
    4) To go longer-slow down and stop less often.
    5) Don't pay any attention to your computers average speed function.
    6) Do pay attention to how long it took you to do the ride including stops.
    7) Train on heavy wheels/tires.
    8) Do your important events on lite wheels/tires.
    9) Ride in every weather condition except hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning and ice storms.
    10) See #1

    A few bonuses;
    b1) Only stop at rest stops long enough to pick up some food and liquid. Eat and drink on the bike.
    b2) If it is not fun, don't do it.
    b3) Brooks saddles work.
    b4) Learn how to do your own work on your bike.
    b5) Learn how to fix your own flats.
    b6) You can replace an innertube and be back on the bike in less than 2 minutes. Practice, practice, practice.
    b7) See #1
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Advice thread - Post your top 10 tips-007.jpg  
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  5. #5
    Windrider (Stubborn)
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    1.) Listen to MB1

    2.) Don't worry too much about your first bike....just get one that fits close, ride it for a year and then go to someone who knows how to fit you on a bike and buy another bike. It will be a completely different size. If you are paying attention to maintaining a flat back, your position will stretch out and change your sizing.

    3.) You only have 3 contact points with the bike, pedals/shoes, seat & Handlebars. Make sure you spare no expense in getting comfortable with these. I see way too many newbies who spend tons on a bike and go cheap on shoes/pedals and seat/shorts and can't ride distance due to comfort. Don't go cheap on the contact points.

    4.) You have to break your butt in as much as you have to break your seat in. Every time you ride longer, the first time your butt will hurt, the next time it will hurt less.

    5.) Work yourself up to longer distance, don't try to do it all at once. I try to add 30 minutes /week to my longest ride of the previous week.

    6.) Rest is as important as hard efforts.

    7.) The easiest way to gain endurance is to practice relaxation on a ride. The more relaxed you are, even at hard effort, the more blood flow and oxegen you are getting to your muscles. Tense will get you tired faster than relaxed.

    8.) Work on increasing your cadence. Do this by gradually increasing the cadence you ride at. It has to be soemthing you think about. Being able to ride at multiple cadences allows you to rest different things. To rest your cardio system spin slower, to rest your legs, spin faster.

    9.) A more frequent hour ride will maintain your fitness, better than an infrequent longer ride.

    10.) It's not (despite what this site might say) about the equipment.

    Len



    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

  6. #6
    MB1
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    Thoughts on going from "off-road" to "off-dirt".

    1) Off-road riding often includes lots of really hard efforts then stopping to regroup. Off-dirt riding doesn't.

    2) Pavement is just another surface, match your tires (and suspension) to the surface and everything else you own works fine.

    3) It is not the bike, it is the legs.

    4) It is not the legs, it is the lungs.

    5) Pay no attention to miles, pay attention to time.

    6) Off-Dirt hills are not steep unless you have the wrong gears. Traction is not a problem.

    7) Ride off-dirt for a while before you buy a new bike. Experience is more important than equipment.

    7a) Stories are often told about how some MTBer showed up at a road ride on his hardtail and blew everyone away with how well he rode. Be that guy.

    8) Don't be afraid to get your off-dirt bike dirty.

    9) Don't repair your bikes, maintain them.

    10) The best rides of all time are all-terrain rides (on and off dirt), you can do these with either an atb or a road bike. It ain't about the bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Talking Here, try this...

    1. Figure out what your goals are, and write 'em down. Check them out again in six months...where are you? Are they still your goals? If not, readjust. Remember, we're talking about your goals...where it's perfectly fine to have a goal like "Just want to lose some weight and get fitter" or "gee, doing the roadie thing looks like a stone groove." Just don't lie to yourself, and be ready to readjust. I'm an Alpine Masters ski racer in the winter, and I know all kinds of people who say "just want to have fun and improve my skills"...until they wind up DFL at the first race. I started biking because my knees couldn't take running any more (too many years of 110 days a year on skis...)...then I decide to race some...then I decided to try mountain biking...then I got back into doing the roadie thing...and so forth. The next thing I want to do is go down to Colorado Springs and take a track bike clinic. If you don't know where you're going, any plan will do...but you'll never know where you are.

    2. Lots of good advice in the replies above about not worrying too much about your first bike. The only thing I'd be a little anal about is getting a frame size that's about right (don't worry too much about geometry, materials, and so forth) and tune the fit with the aid of somebody who has a clue...most likely, the folks at your LBS. A difference of a centimeter in stem length makes a huge difference in bike position. There's a huge range, even for one person, in bike positions...some are more efficient/aero, others are more comfortable. Until you know what you really want, err on the side of more comfort...unneccessary pain and suffering are the two biggest reasons people quit road biking.

    3. Ride alone...a lot. You've got to get comfortable with what you can do on a bike before you subject yourself to the close order drill and peer pressure of a group ride. Group rides are great, but your first one is likely to be an exercise in dodging wheels, getting yelled at for being a squirrel, and getting shucked off the back.

    4. To continue #3, find a ride partner with similar goals/fitness and ride with him/her. It's the best way to pick up bike handling/paceline skills without having to worry unduly about ending up with a trip to McDonald's (a. k. a., "eating asphalt"). You'll learn a lot about all your basic skills, because one of you will climb better, one of you will spin better, and so forth. Go find a safe, deserted street and do some match sprints with your partner. It's not enough to be able to ride clean at 22 m. p. h. all day. You have to be able to accelerate to finish off a climb, to take your pull at the front in a paceline, and to make something happen fast when Bad Things start to happen.

    5. Ride in a sponsored ride...for example, Elephant Rock. Shorter distance, though. Do 25 miles or 50 miles, not the full 100 mile monty. It'll be a great experience, and you'll get to ride with a wide range of riders...go-faster bike racers taking an "easy" training ride, families on tandems with a bike trailer behind, little old ladies on mountain bikes...who are leaving you in the dust...and a lot of folks just like you.

    6. Go watch a bike race. In person, I mean. Sure, you can get a feel for what it's all about by watching the TDF on OLN. But you're not gonna know what somebody can really do on a bike until you go to a criterium and watch a pack of Cat 1/2/Pros wind it up to 30+ in a sprint...out of every corner.

    7. Learn from your other sports. When I was teaching skiing, we used to say "You learn to play tennis in the winter, you learn to ski in the summer." Whatever else you do, it has a connection to being a roadie...think about it, make the connection, and you'll be a better athlete in both sports.

    8. Pump some iron, do some stretching, do some yoga. You'll hear people say weights are a bad idea except for track sprinters. I disagree. You're about to use muscles you never used before, or use the same muscles in a different way. Your core/upper body strength is more important on a bike than most people realize...your legs do all the work, but a strong core/upper body makes a good, comfortable, enduring bike position/pedaling style possible.

    9. Try some different bikes...once you get used to your steed. If your ride partner is about the same size, switch pedals, if you have to, adjust the fit, and go for a spin. You may feel better or worse, but you will feel a difference. You'll feel what works for you, what doesn't, and what doesn't matter. I've had 5 road bikes in my life, all good ones. The two I have now are lighter/better/faster...but I wouldn't know that unless I rode a few bikes, and at this point, even though I'll probably have one or two more before I hit that Great Peleton in the sky, the ones I have are just peachy...as they used to say in the old days, you want to feel the road, not the bike.

    10. Ya gotta love it. Biking, at any level, with any set of goals, is some hard stuff a whole lot of the time. It's not skiing, where you have gravity always available as an instant accelerator. The bike doesn't go anywhere unless you pedal it. But, wow...what a rush!...when you do pedal it. Don't ever forget that...

  8. #8
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    "No Wisecracks!" -- Jeez!

    10) Pie is a running joke in here. Don't worry about it too much.

    9) No underwear under the riding shorts.

    8) Drafting. Stay to one side of the wheel you're drafting. Don't overlap.

    7) Learn some Italian, some French . . . chic alors, prego, ciao.

    6) Pie is good hot or cold.

    5) Snot rockets are OK. Warn others. Do it off the back of the peloton.

    4) Shaving is complicated. Asking your girlfriend for tips is OK.

    3) You can shave better than your girlfriend. Giving her tips is OK.

    2) Shimano is Japanese. No one speaks Japanese in the peloton. Pourquoi ca?

    1) Pie will get you through the miles better than the miles will get you through the pie.


  9. #9
    Non non normal
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    My 10 Tips

    1. Ride in the rain (Unless it is really cold you don't have to dress a whole lot different) People will think you are crazy and it is fun.
    2. Don't be obssesive with your bike cleaning. Just keep your shifting and drivetrain in shape. I wash my bikes three of four times a year and they serve me fine.
    3. Learn how to work on your own bike, at least the little stuff.
    4. Don't worry about bike weight unless you are below 10 percent body fat. It is cheaper to diet than buy lightweight bike parts.
    5. If you are a big person, don't buy the lightweight expensive stuff, You will tear it up and maybe kill yourself in a wreck.
    6. Carry a tire boot, make it out of an old tire with the beads cut off both side and about 3 inches long.
    7. Always ask a cyclist stopped along the road if they need anything as you ride by and stop if they say yes.
    8. Take rides where you aren't really sure where you are going, how you will get there and how long it will be till you get back.
    9. Buy a wind vest, arm warmers and knee warmers. These three items will extend a fair weather rider's season by at least 4 months.
    10. Enjoy every ride, I do.
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

  10. #10
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    Pie is cheaper than a light bike.

    A light bike is faster than cheap pie.

    Go figure . . .

  11. #11
    $a = "live" . "strong";
    Reputation: rroselli's Avatar
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    Post Try to

    1) Practice clipping in and out of pedals in a parking lot. Get this down. You will fall and feel trapped in the pedals. Don't worry. Practice, adjustments and time will stem the fear.

    2) Clip away from the tire, meaning spin your back heel away from the wheel, it can damage(untrue) the rim.

    3) Try to avoid heavy traffic roads with narrow shoulders until you have handling of the bike down somewhat.

    4) Don't ride the concrete gutters along the streets even though some are pretty wide. There are at times huge gaps between the asphalt and the gutter that can trap your wheel and send you down.

    5) Carry some change, a tube and pump. Also those little brass presta couplers incase you need to fill from a station.

    6) As mentioned good clothes, helmet, gloves to wipe the brow and cycling shades are great.

    7) Keep the bike clean, lubed and ready for the next ride.

    8) Get to know the local LBS and ask for riding suggestions in your area.

    9) Invest in a good bike rack and take it with you on a weekend trip or vacation. Riding quiet scenic back roads is some great times.

    10) Have fun!
    My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. - Abraham Lincoln

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroselli
    2) Clip away from the tire, meaning spin your back heel away from the wheel, it can damage(untrue) the rim.
    What's this mean? What can damage the rim? What are we clipping? My heels don't spin, but they rotate. What's untrue?

    Not being a wizazz here. I'm entirely confused by what you're talking about.

  13. #13
    MB1
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodeRash
    What's this mean? What can damage the rim? What are we clipping? My heels don't spin, but they rotate. What's untrue?

    Not being a wizazz here. I'm entirely confused by what you're talking about.
    When you release your shoe from clipless pedals turn your heel AWAY from the rear wheel not TOWARDS the rear wheel.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  14. #14
    $a = "live" . "strong";
    Reputation: rroselli's Avatar
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    Yup thats

    my bad. No offense taken.

    2) Clip away from the tire, meaning spin your back heel away from the wheel, it can damage(untrue) the rim

    Shoulda said when clipping out rotate away from the rear wheel. MB1 said it correctly. Thanks.

    When I started out road biking I would do anything to get out of those darn clipless pedals. I found it easiest to rotate inwards towards the rear wheel until once I released so hard I bent the rim(untrued) it. Learned real fast to get out of those pedals correctly.
    My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. - Abraham Lincoln

  15. #15
    Rollin' Stones
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    Okey Dokey.

    1. Buy a copy of "Zinn's guide to ....Biking maintenance" Not only is it a good read for technical answers, it has a ton of just good to know info.
    2. Shop around. It is a great thing to have a LBS. However, they sometimes don't have the best deal or information. It doesn't cost anything for a second opinion. It's your money. Be well informed before you spend.
    3. Buy some tools. Sure, Park Tools are great. Some other thing like wrenches, screwdrivers, allens, etc. can be had cheaper from Sears.
    4. Ask questions. This forum was designed specifically for new users or first timers. Don't hesitate to ask. Unlike the other forums, here you can fire away on about any bike related topic with immunity. So, relax and fire away.
    5. Do not, under any circumstance, wear underwear under you biking shorts. I'm sorry, that's just a no-no.
    6. Thicken your skin. You will make mistakes about anything related to a bike. Weather it's a mechanical question or maybe your opinion on a bike related topic. Be ready to learn lessons the hard way. Everone make mistakes. Be ready to face them, then learn to not repeat them.
    7. Please wear a hemet.
    8. Learn the laws that apply to your area regarding headphones, bike lanes, or "share the road" programs.
    9. Not every "ticking" sound is from your Bottom bracket. It only takes an eighth of a millimeter with metal to metal contact to make an audible noise. Don't panick, use your copy of Zinn's or post here.
    10. Have fun!
    I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con-men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull-dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, sh**-kickers, and Methodists!

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB1
    2) Wash and dry your waterbottles after every ride.
    3) Wash and dry your shorts after every ride.
    4) To go longer-slow down and stop less often
    I've just started using these tips. The last one was very useful today. I did 40 miles and stopped only to quickly refill my bottle. Once I get a 2nd bottle cage, I foresee at least 50% less stops. Thanks MB1

  17. #17
    Bling Bling Master!
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    Thumbs up Here is my 10 cents..

    1. Before you speed off in your car with the bike atop make sure you have your shoes! It is the one thing you can not leave behind. Helmets are very nice as well. Think about glasses, tube/lever, pump,and water!

    2. Before riding bike! Tires pumped chain was oiled.

    3. Water bottles kept in freezer do not need to be cleaned as often.

    4. Keep 20 bucks inside your handlebar for a emergency.

    5. Fix little problems with your bike as they occur. Dont let things build up.

    6. Carry an ID if you ride alone.

    7. Cell phones are nice too.

    8. Eat good and drink lots of water all the time.

    9. New tires dont go flat as often as old ones.

    10. Dont overdo it, know your limits and take it easy.

  18. #18
    Go Blue
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    Listen to MB1and Len J

    MB1 and Len J have just about said it all. But, there is one thing that I would emphasize -- learn how to ride in all weather (and light) conditions. If you only ride on perfect days, you will have lots of down time (at least in the middle and northern parts of the US). I have reached the point where I actually enjoy winter and nighttime riding. I also notice that the guys who are kicking my butt on group rides in September and then hibernate for the Winter take a long time to get up to speed in the Spring. It has taken me a long time to get up to my modest level of bike fitness -- I don't want to lose it over the Winter.

    The key to winter and nighttime riding is having the proper equipment. With the right clothing and lights you can ride in almost any weather and light conditions. That being said, there are times when discretion is the better part of valor -- don't ride in thunderstorms, hurricanes or blizzards. Riding when the temperatures are above 95 degrees is not a good idea either, unless you are an acclimated rider from the southwest.
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  19. #19
    a Freds Fred
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    1. Lots of good stuff said. Most folks give advice based on years of experience. Read it, follow it, save money and live to ride another day.

    2. When looking to the rear for approaching traffic, tuck your chin into your shoulder. This will prevent you from swinging out wide and into traffic.

    3. Watch the driver of a vehicle waiting to enter the roadway or turning across your lane. You can usually tell if they see you or not. A drivers body language will tell you more about what he/she is going to do than the turn signals. Ride defensively.

    4. ***It may or may not be legal to pass on the right in your State, however, when passing vehicles waiting at a stop light, watch for driveways. A driver waiting in the far right lane at a traffic light will make a right turn into the drive without looking back for oncoming traffic. (Speaking from experience) ***Although many riders do this, many do not because of this danger.

    5. Learn the laws of your State regarding riding a bicycle on roadways. Every State is different. Remember, just because it's "legal", doesn't mean it's safe!

    6. Listen to your body. There's good pain and bad pain. Burning lungs and burning muscles from lactic acid are good pain. Sharp or dull pain in the joints or muscles is bad pain. Don't continue to ride with bad pain. Find the cause before a serious injury developes and ruins your season. It may be as simple as raising or lowering the saddle.

    7. The painted white lines on the roadway can become very slick when wet.

    8. You usually ride where you are looking, and ride/run over what you are looking at. When making fast descents on winding roads, look farther ahead, around the curve, than you would under normal riding conditions. And, don't look at that nail in the road and expect to avoid a flat. If you stare at it, you will run over it. (Im not sure if I explained that well enough)

    9. Remember it's suppose to be fun. Keep it that way!

    10. Last but certainly not least. Do not wipe sweat and snot with the same sleeve or glove hand!
    Last edited by Bryan; 06-09-2005 at 02:32 PM.

  20. #20
    $a = "live" . "strong";
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    Well

    why'd the rest of us even bother posting.....

    "MB1 and Len J have just about said it all"
    My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. - Abraham Lincoln

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    More stuff:

    1. Read books (fiction and non-fiction) about cycling. Bobke II (american guy), The Yellow Jersey (english guy), The Rider (dutch guy), Love for the Ride (french guy, I think). That Lance guy has a couple of books also. Not to mention all the training bibles out there....

    2. Watch some movies. Yeah American Flyers is cheesy, but it IS about our favorite sport (and Eddy's in it!). Breaking Away is a classic. Lots of good stuff about actual races.

    3. Get an old-school bike, with downtube shifters. Better yet, go Fixed!

    4. In short, immerse yourself in the sport! Obsess about it, read about it, talk about it.

    Oh yeah, what MB1 and others have said too.....

    Scott

  22. #22
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    road bikes are not mountain bikes

    mountain bikes should be short and small. road bikes are different animals.. don't buy smaller than the size you should ride. slightly bigger won't hurt.. while a too small road bike will make you give up road riding

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    almost all covered...

    here is just a quick one:

    After riding in the rain, the best and quickest way to dry out your shoes is to stuff them with newspaper.

  24. #24
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    pedal circles. you think you already are? you're not.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    29 Tips from Pros....

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    No wisecracks please. I think collectively we all have some pretty useful insight to share.
    francois
    Free download @ http://roadbikerider.com

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