I Did My First 12-Mile Ride Today, and Lost 50 pounds!

Originally Posted by jpr95 .

Let me clarify a bit on the cadence thing. I only asked because of how you said you felt towards the ends of your rides. It's very common for those new to cycling to push a big gear and use a very low cadence. That can be good for building strength, but it can also be hard on the knees and will wear you out much more quickly.
That's a good point, Jason.

I've known newer riders that will sometimes just stay in the same gear constantly, so they are straining when climbing hills and over spinning going downhill.

The trick is to keep your cadence up and change gears to keep it fairly steady. You'll still spin faster when your pushing hard doing intervals, and I certainly pedal slower when I climb a really steep hill ( not because I want to /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif ), but a lot of the time you can just change gears and keep your pedaling cadence pretty steady.
Went back and retraced the route I have been riding last night with my truck and to my surprise what I thought had been a 5 mile route was really an 8.5. I rode 10 miles yesterday so I suppose that's not bad after only a week into cycling. Those healthy eating habits, exercise and plenty of water is paying off. Maybe I will be pulling 20 miles not too far in the distant future.
congrats!! glad to see that.

Originally Posted by CalicoCat .

Congrats sierra, great job with the weight loss and the cycling. Nice way to start the new year!
[COLOR= #0000ff]Hey, Disciple![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Congratulations on your 10-mile ride. That's great after just a week!! Keep up the good work.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Sierra[/COLOR]
I think it is terrific that you are doing this. While I only have a few pounds I'm trying to lose, I decided this summer to ride regularly to become more fit overall. I have stuck with it, ride almost every day, enjoy it, and it has given me a lot of satisfaction that I am doing something that is very good for me. I think the positive re-enforcement and not the actual performance is what has been very beneficial to you. So stick with what feels good for you and then see if you can gradually extend your accomplishments without wearing yourself out too much. It is more important for you to enjoy cycling a lot rather than to make a task out of it. My main goal is to slowly but steadily extend the range that I am comfortable riding at a reasonable pace for me. It seems that this is what you are doing too.

That being said, back in September when I read about training, I got a computer with cadence because I saw that it was a good idea to pedal at a fast (but comfortable) rate. Well it turned out that my basic natural pace was already 90-100 RPMS. I rarely look at the cadence indicator now because I can obviously tell that I'm pedaling pretty quickly. As was previously posted, 60 RPMS may be a good target pace for you, but don't be afraid to use lower gears and pedal faster if that feels comfortable to you. (e.g. you are not too winded at that pace.)
[COLOR= #0000ff]Hi, Alan![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Thanks for the encouragement! I think you're right that the positive re-enforcement is a biggie for me -- especially after decades of thinking negatively about myself and my inability to lose weight and to make myself do the drudgery-type exercises. And I absolutely agree that probably the most important thing right now is for me to continue to enjoy cycling, because it's the only exercise I DO do, at this point, and if it becomes no fun at all, I would probably stop doing it. As Eastwood would say, 'A woman's got to know her limitations," lol. It's part of why I'm so hyped about cycling. It's exercise, and it burns lots of calories -- but it's FUN exercise, and that makes it unique for me. Like you, I just try to extend myself a little further each week. That gives me a feeling of accomplishment and keeps me from getting so exhausted or achy that I don't want to do it any more, but also keeps me from stagnating at one level. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Just as a guess, I think I probably do have a naturally high cadence, because when I think of the pedal taking a full second to go around at my normal speed, that seems awfully slow to me. I'm going to test it out as soon as weather permits, but I suspect mine is more than 60 RPMs. It will be interesting to find out! I do down-shift going up minor hills (there are no major ones near me), but find that if I use too low a gear on flats and pedal too fast, that's when my legs begin to bother me. It may be just deconditioning and take more months of building muscle; or it may be that I need to be doing something different. I EXPECT exercise to make my flabby muscles ache SOME, or I figure it's not working. I just don't want it to hurt really badly or to do any damage to my already-in-need-of replacement knees. If it starts worrying me too much, there are people I've seen advertise here in town who train cyclists and offer to watch you bike and make suggestions, so I may check one of them out at that point. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]But as long as things are going well, I'm happy with that! The way I look at it, there are about 28 weeks left until I will have been cycling for a year. If I gain only 1 mile a week in that time, which is the minimum I currently aim for, I'll be riding about 38 miles a day. That may not win any records around here but, for me personally, to go from never having ridden a bike in 45 years (or done any other form of exercise either), to being able to bike 30-40 miles a day semi-comfortably and lose somewhere between 75 to 100 pounds in the process is HUGE in and of itself, and if that's 'all' that happens in that time, I'll still feel proud of what I've done. So I try to keep learning and getting suggestions on how to improve my riding, but if nothing else changes and I continue just as I am, I will still feel that I've accomplished a massive amount and changed my life for the better. What more can anybody ask? [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Thanks again for the input. I'll be eager to hear how you're doing.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Sierra[/COLOR]