Getting back into biking...

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Paul Delaney, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi

    I know most of this subject has been covered in a lot of previous posts-and maybe I am after some serious encouragement here-but I need some basic advice about starting again with riding a bike after almost 20 years. I rode a bike a lot as a kid (a long time ago ago now as I am fast approaching 55). I went back to it about 25 years ago but then moved to a new town in 1995 and since then havn't ridden at all!!. I need to build up my stamina as my weight and level of fitness has deteriorated really badly since I took redundancy from a long term job three years ago (think I was so stressed in that job that I burnt off a lot of calories-though not a healthy lifestyle at all). I've tried gyms over the years and went through several periods of going for a few months then stopping, then repeating the cycle over again. My diet has been terrible the last few years too...and this is something I am now addressing and eating a healthy balanced diet, and not eating all the junk. So I am tackling this at all angles. I am about 20/25lbs over my correct weight and boy do I feel it.

    I don't have a fancy bike: actually I recently won it in a competition and after months of sitting around in the shed have just taken it into a local newly opened bike co-op shop-they have just sorted it out and got it up to speck. I know its just a hybrid MTB but it will get me started again. Maybe by next summer I will change it up to a better speck bike.

    I've been in touch with my local council here and they are sending me local maps of this area with all the bike routes marked on it - many are off road specific bike lanes (riding on roads with car/other heavy traffic isn't something I want to do). There's plenty of beautiful countryside around here, and I live not far from a forest which itself has many miles of bike trails -though it'll be a while before I can attempt anything there (other than the blue type routes)

    Guess I'm just looking for advice. I do suffer from asthma and a number of quite bad food allergies but I know this is something I can really enjoy doing as it can be linked to being outdoors which is something I love to.

    Thanks
     
    Tags:


  2. Hugh Juunit

    Hugh Juunit Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8
    It is not rocket science, spend less time typing and making excuses and put some hours in the saddle.
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,596
    Likes Received:
    160
    What an a$$hat. The guy asks a valid question, and gets a dick in the form of you. To the OP: people will be along shortly to comment and help.
     
  4. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes thanks...stupid sarcastic answers don't help. it isn't rocket science mate I know...but perhaps you could have been a bit more helpful: as a person who hasn't use this forum before that kind of reply really sucks :-(
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,596
    Likes Received:
    160
    Starting as you are you need to keep it fun. Don't flay yourself on rides. Instead ride each day according to how you feel. If you make it like work in the beginning, it can easily become something that you end up avoiding doing. Don't worry about speed or distance. Just ride. When your fitness starts to come back, you can set bigger goals for yourself or ride if you see fit.
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,606
    Likes Received:
    340
    It may sound crazy but ride if you don't feel like riding. I don't mean to imply that you should ride if you are ill but if you are not in the mood go anyway. The first few pedal strokes are the hardest and you can establish consistency in a routine.
    Once you have established a baseline you can make a decision on what kind of cyclist you want to be as in, competitive , casual recreatoinal or something in between. Cycling to me is about 80 percent mental focus, 50 percent ability and 50 percent training time.
    I failed math BTW.
     
    Paul Delaney likes this.
  7. Hugh Juunit

    Hugh Juunit Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8
    No hate here, just tough love.

    I counted at least 7 reasons not to ride from the OP - you are your own biggest obstacle. You need to be personally motivated to succeed; support from faceless strangers is nice and all - but it won't sustain you.

    I know way too many people who say "I am going to start (insert activity) as soon as I (insert excuse)." You will always be able to find excuses; successful people perform in spite of them.

    Best of luck...
     
    Paul Delaney likes this.
  8. qdc15

    qdc15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    12
    Get a portable pump, spare tube and patch kit and learn how to use them. Flats happen and you don't want to get stranded. Something like a Topeak Road Morph pump that is designed to work like a floor pump (placed on the ground, an unyielding surface that you can push against) compared to a typical mini pump is much easier to use, and can serve as your sole bike pump until you get a floor pump that stays at home. Eventually, you'll probably have both, but if you only have one pump, it should be one that you can take with you.
     
  9. qdc15

    qdc15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    12
    Immediately followed by a disgusting vulgar reprimand.

    Paul, welcome to the forum. We're a motley crew but it seems most of us share a passion for riding. There is a great deal of knowledge here. Ask specific questions and you'll get great answers.

    May your bicycle take you places you never thought you'd go. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  10. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    No prob about 'tough love' Actually you're right..its easy to tap away on a computer..hardest thing is to just get out there and get on with it. Its easy to find reasons not to get the bike out-like the weather at this time of year. Fact is I know I have to just focus on it and combine it with looking at what I eat, and building up slowly. Will be getting the bike back on Friday, so will start then on one of the many bike tracks in/around my home town. Luckily I currently only work part-time and evenings, so with limited daylight at this time of year over here, I have absolutely no excsue. Cheers mate
     
  11. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks, will get all that together: need how to change a flat and repair or replace. Will check those out-probably other makes over here in England
     
  12. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    yes sorry, my replies seem out of sync to the threads..bit of a novice in more ways than one /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
    qdc15 likes this.
  13. craig d

    craig d New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Paul,
    I happen to be in the exact same boat just a few months ago. Getting ready to turn 40, 30 pounds overweight, eat like crap, bad knees, and hadn't been on a bike in over 20 years.


    So I bought a bike - nothing spectacular, just a cheap mountain bike. My plan was just to ride around the local parks and bike paths, get a little exercise (figured something was better than nothing), enjopy the outdoors, get some much needed "me" time where I could think and just relax.

    The first block was the hardest. Then I just started rolling, had my erabuds in, and was exploring a park I'd never sen before (although it was literally a block from my house). 6 miles later I pulled back down my street, tired, sore, exhausted, and so glad I decided to buy a bike. I've now logged a little over 150 miles on it. I'm also shopping for a road bike as I've also beghun using it to commute back and forth to work when weather permits.

    I like the advice above - ride when you don't feel like it. I had one day where I was litterally talking myself in to riding while getting the bike out. I had come up with 25 different excuses NOT to ride. I pushed them off, got on the bike, and had a fantastic 15 mile ride.

    Go slow, do what your body is comfortable doing, don't push too hard or too fast, when you get tired, stop. When your legs burn from the hill you're on, get off and walk. Make sure you're enjoying yourself or the bike will spend more time in the shed and you'll spend more time on the couch. I ride because it's fun.I ride because I WANT to ride. 2 months latrer I'm still overweight, I still eat like crap, but my legs feel often, my endurance has increased, and I can't remember enjoying my ride to work more.
     
  14. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi Craig

    Thanks for that feedback. I collected my bike from the repair shop today and did my first ride-only 5 miles or so, but legs ache but actually felt great this afternoon. I'm kind of pleased also as the actual 'fear' of getting out there proved to be far more than the reality of it. I got on, I wobbled a bit to start..I even fell off the thing when I reached the point I was aiming at to turn round to come home again..luckily onto a grass bank (and of course a guy in a white van was driving by..but I just laughed..as he maybe did too!). Anyway, it was great and I will try and get out there most days..allowing for the wild weather we get over here at times this time of year (though I have gear to keep dry and it would be more icy weather I would more worry about). I'm hurtling towards 55 in a few weeks, and I am going to gradually build up over the next few months until Spring arrives over here again.

    I need to cut the crap out my diet too...and have been doing that a while now..but am still eating proper meals and no stupid faddy diets: I've just cut out all the potato chips and candy..and bread and white potatoes. I know its a bad time of year to alter a diet with only a few weeks to Christmas but I figure if I can start now, I am ahead of myself :)

    Cheers
     
  15. Bikehound

    Bikehound New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the biggest thing is finding people to ride with. Make it a social event and the exercise part feels like it comes for free while you are cruising around having a laugh with your mates.
     
  16. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    I know a good idea, but need to build myself up first ;-)
     
  17. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    I know a good idea, but need to build myself up first ;-)
     
  18. Paul Delaney

    Paul Delaney New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    I know a good idea, but need to build myself up first ;-)
     
  19. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    33
    Hey there, just found this forum and this thread. I'm a lot like the OP, older, overweight, and my older Cannondale hung in the garage for years untouched. This summer, said enough is enough, started walking, took the bike into a local shop and had it tuned up and the equipment updated, and started riding. Fell in love with the sense of freedom. First rides were short, but I progressed in just a few weeks from 5 mike rides to 10 to 15 then 20, etc. Thursday was the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., did a 49 mike ride. Weight is melting off me, my strength and stamina are far better, my lab work at the Dr. is much improved. Can't attribute it entirely to the bike, I also joined a gym and am working out almost daily on my own and five hours a week with 2 personal trainers. I put close to 700 miles in the Cannondale, then in Sept bought a 2012 Specialized Crosstrail Elite ProDisc, and have put on close to 700 miles on it as well, riding 3-4 times a week, 15-20 miles per ride. Winter is coming on, took a mini-class on winter biking and then bought a Surly Pugsley Sand and Snow, but haven't picked it up yet from the shop, kinda on layaway, ok, kinda hiding out in the shop so I don't get killed by the women in my life when they see I bought another bike, LOL. Since days are short and my rides are mainly in the dark mornings and evenings, I outfitted the bikes well -- 2 Phillips LED ultra right lights up front, Specialized data computer, Garmin Nuvi GPS, full safety lighting, even an iPod mount and a Bluetooth wireless stereo speaker so I can ride in style. Man, I feel great, look and feel 10 years younger, get the best night's sleep now after fighting insomnia, was previously treated for high blood pressure and type II diabetes. Both now well controlled with minimal meds. Wish I had done this a decade ago, but life, work got top priority. For the winter, I just upgraded my old x-country skis with a complete new backcountry package, bought the Surly, and a pair of snowshoes. I can't begin to describe how great this is! And if I can do it, Mr. desk job chained to a phone and computer all day, anyone can. Just do it, start riding, and really push yourself to go farther and farther, it will be its own reward.
     
  20. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    33
    Meant to say 40 miles, not 49 mikes. Using an iPad to post, kinda awkward typing, and looks like you can't edit posts.
     
Loading...
Loading...