I had to quit cycling a couple of years ago and now I am back. I started cycling to university 9 miles one way which took me 1.30 hour. I know it's longer than what it should be, but I've just started.

I want your advice please: what food should I look for healthy energy? I can't walk now, my knee kills me ... is that normal?

Any other advice?

  • 2
    A common mistake made by cyclists starting out is to attempt to pedal in a gear which is too "difficult" -- one where the pedals move slowly. Shift into an easier gear and pedal faster. Also, it's common for the seat to be adjusted too low -- your legs should be almost fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Both of these problems -- too difficult of a gear and seat too low -- tend to cause or aggravate knee problems. Jul 30 '16 at 2:57
  • Welcome to Bicycles @Dodee. Since you haven't done it, I recommend that you take our tour :-)
    – andy256
    Jul 30 '16 at 3:18
  • 9 miles should be achieveable. Have a rest when you need it (at a third and two thirds) and pace yourself. Don't go hard straight off - save that for the last stretch. If you're on your bike. you're doing better than all those in cars. Don't worry about your average speed, just doing it is good.
    – Criggie
    Jul 30 '16 at 6:41
  • 1
    The nature of the knee pain is important. Anything minor should fade (to stiffness) within a couple of days. If it's worse or no better after that long it's worth getting checked over - I would choose a sports physio.
    – Chris H
    Jul 30 '16 at 15:50
  • 2
    If the two issues @DanielRHicks mentions occur together, the effect is worse than double.
    – Chris H
    Jul 30 '16 at 15:51

9 miles should not require any changes to your diet, excluding extreme temperatures or excessively mountainous terrain. Your knee hurting is likewise not normal. Your bike may be a poor fit, or you may need to learn to use a lower gear: spinning the pedals faster, with less force required on each stroke.

Neither fatigue nor knee pain should be an expected outcome of a short, low-intensity cycling trip, particularly for someone of typical university age. If either of these persist, I would strongly recommend consulting with a physician.

  • 1
    9 miles might be a lot to start with for your first ride.
    – Batman
    Jul 29 '16 at 23:55
  • For sure, but an hour and a half of mild cardio (e.g., <10 mph cycling) should be very achievable for someone in sound physical health. Aug 1 '16 at 3:26
  • 1
    @Batman I agree. That does sound like a lot for just getting back on the bike. Perhaps he could drive partway, or take the bus partway and then ride the last three miles. Cycling should be fun, not torture.
    – user26705
    Aug 1 '16 at 3:31

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