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I started road cycling not so long ago. Some problems and struggeling at the beginning is quite normal. But constance pays off. If you stay focused, you’ll have each time more fun and you gain a great sport with fantastic experiences.

My first road bike ride

Already in 2002 I got a great cross bike from my father. Since then I cycled regularly to work. But not more. In the crisis of 2009, I had a week off because of short-time work. One day I used for my first bike ride. I was 43 years old. For a long time I wanted to do a cycle trip along Elbe Radweg from Dresden to Meissen. On this day strong wind made the ambitious 30 kilometers even more difficult. How proud I was when I finally arrived in Meissen. I locked my bike and ordered coffee and cake.

The old city of Meißen
The old city center of Meißen

I was infected by the bicycle fever

I started buying piece by piece my first equipment. Preferably cheap items. Also from supermarket Lidl. I was not able to rate the differences yet. And I did not know whether the enthusiasm would last or not.

My routes

In loose intervals I did every now and then a bike tour. Always about two hours, or 50-60 kilometers. I still remember that it was always hard for me to turn back after an hour. I had so much fun! I was outside! The wind was blowing around my nose. I experienced something new. I wanted to continue cycling. But I knew exactly, I am not able to manage more than two hours of cycling. And after each tour I was done and the day was over.

I always cycled the first half of my tours against the wind. On the way back I wanted to have tailwind. So I cycled with wind coming from West from Dresden towards Meissen. With wind coming from East towards Rathen. Flat on Elbe Cycle Route. Both places are about 30 kilometers away. I reached them rarely. 60 kilometers were still too far. 50 kilometers were more feasible.

My average heartbeat while cycling was always relatively high. Around 150 beats per minute. Usually even a bit higher. Big parts of the trips I reached heartbeats from 155-156.

My first climbs

Soon cycling along Elbe needed some add-ons. I looked for more varied routes and climbed the Elbe slopes. The short climbs demanded everything. I read in the cycling magazines that climbs should be done at high cadence. It was absolutely unclear to me how that should work. My heartbeat was already at the top anyway.

Cycling magazines

The tour suggestions in the cycling magazines annoyed me. Who should cycle tours with more than 100 kilometers and over 1,000 meters of elevation? For me this seemed feasible only to a very small group of cyclists. I complained about the magazine makers.

My decision

During my trips I cycled regularly on gravel sections. For a long time, I was wondering if I wanted to cycle on roads or rather with the cross bike on field and forest roads. It took me almost three years to figure out what I wanted. Cycling tours were the decision. In April 2012 I bought my first road bike.

In my first year of cycling (2009), I did 23 bicycle rides from June to September with a total of 1,300 kilometers. The average distance was 56 kilometers. My longest tour was 81 kilometers, which I did in 3.5 hours. Unfortunately I did not write down meters of elevation.