Please don't laugh!



STAVRAST

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Jul 26, 2003
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Hi guys. I have a stupid question to ask and if you laugh, please don't laught too much and show some compassion... I'm exercising on a stationary bike six days a week. I'm putting in miles and miles but I don't know what the heck they are worth. Am I really getting anything out of such exersice? How does it compare to the real thing? I'm reading your messages and feel left out.

Of course, I'm planning on hitting the road soon, but before I do that I have to lose at least 40lbs. I'm losing weight rapidly. All I've done is cut down on food intake and get on the stationary bike for about 50' daily. I also do some rowing in the Total Gym, some sit-ups...

Could you tell me if -- at least for the beginnig -- I'm doing the right thing? Thanks. And thanks for being out there for me to get some decent advice on a sport that I'm beginning to really appreciate.
Steven
 

RalleighOke

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Jan 29, 2003
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Hi Steven, there is only one thing to do when getting into cycling is "TIME ON THE BIKE".

I cannot see that there is a problem with what you are doing. I would however recommend that you also start on the road now, as there is nothing like the open road. You will encounter nice hills..(did I say that?) and flat areas. THus you can determine what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Regarding those extra lbs... Don't worry about it...I see it this way. If you cycle the uphills with those extra lbs, then imagine how strong you will be once they are gone and your legs are used to the heavier weight. You'll fly up those hills :D

Hope this helped.
 

Feanor

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Jul 21, 2003
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I second RalleighOke's suggestion,

I just got into road cycling myself and realized that I Love cycling! and all of those years of recreational mountainbiking were actually distracting me from a very enjoyable endeavor!

I think the fact that you're on the excercise bike and determined to lose weight and become more fit is very commendable and you shouldn't feel anyone will view that as stupid...

If you said you were watching cycling on tv while on the couch all day eating chips and drinking beer and wondering if watching cycling on tv helped you lose more weight than say, if you were watching Oprah, THEN I would say that was stupid *laughing*

Keep plugging away at it... I saw someones signature here that I thought was great it said "A winner is a loser who didn't quit" I think that's classic!

Feanor
 

STAVRAST

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Jul 26, 2003
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I really appreciate the advice RalleighOke and Feanor. I have noticed that you cycling guys stick together and really try to help each other out. I think Ullrich's behaviour at the French Open after Lance went down is ample proof. Wow! I swear I was rooting for him after what he did. Or, rather, I was rooting for both Lance and him.
Anyway, thanks for the good advice. I guess I'll start looking for a bike (even though College Point, Queens, New York is not the best place for cycling. Too many cars and drivers that don't give a damn about riders. Heck, they don't give a damn about anyone else. You're on their way and you're on your own! I envy you guys in Europe, Australia, Tasmania,etc.)
Thanks again.
 

RalleighOke

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Jan 29, 2003
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Originally posted by STAVRAST
I envy you guys in Europe, Australia, Tasmania,etc.)
Thanks again.

Don't forget South Africa!! :D

The sad part is that we will always have to deal with traffic. That is why I will do most of my cycling very early in the morning (hardly and traffic) and just be on the look out for those party people who are returning. They are sometimes the most dangerous driver of them all.

When you ride in traffic make sure that you ride with confidence and predictable. Using hand signs (no, not the middle finger) to indicate you are turning or stopping will make the drivers feel more comfortable around you. Always be on the look out for potential accidents or hazards.

If you are one of the lucky one's who stay in a small place, you will meet some regular drivers in the morning, and they will notice you which always helps when they give you some extra space when they pass you.

My point is, don't worry about them. W/ends are great to get out of the city and do some serious bicyling.
 

VeloFlash

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Feb 26, 2003
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Originally posted by STAVRAST
I envy you guys in Europe, Australia, Tasmania,etc.)

Back in 1982 during either the opening or closing ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia, children formed a map of Australia but the organisers/choreagraphers forgot to include Tasmania!

Tasmania is an island State of Australia and the Tasmanians were justified in their complaints of being neglected and humiliated.

I have not heard any rumours that Tasmania were planning to secede but maybe STAVRAST is in the know! :)
 

STAVRAST

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Jul 26, 2003
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RalleighOke, thanks for the advice. Isn't a cyclist supposed to ride against the coming traffic so he/she can monitor it? I do live in a rather small town. I guess the only way to acquaint myself with the experience is to actually go out there and do it. And I have to brush up all the hand signals... Sorry for forgeting S.Africa.

And VeloFlash, I hope Tasmania doesn't secede from Australia --even though you can't be sure of anything these days. I hear rumors of Europe seceding from the States! Just kidding man. You are right. Next time I'll specify with 'Australia mainland' and 'Tasmania.' Thanks.
 

Spider1977

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Jul 19, 2003
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Stavrast if you are working out on an indoor bike and an indoor rowing machine you are missing out on two great experiences. Not only should you get on your road bike, but I'd recommend you hava a go at rowing as well. Masters rowing has taken off in Australia and elsewhere in the world. Most clubs are only too happy to get new members, no matter their age or fitness. The good thing is that you will have two great sports which work similar muscles and your fitness will improve very quickly (you'll turn fat into muscle - and lose a bit of excess weight as well). You'll probably find that a lot of rowers like to ride as well, so you'll pick up some buddies to crunch out the kms on the road.

By the way I wasn't sad to see Tasmania left off the map. The beauty of this place is we have it all to ourselves (doesn't help the economy that much but the roads are relatively free for a bike ride sans vehicles). Look how many great cyclists have come out of Tasmania and now we have 14 rowers in Australian crews. We don't have to be on the map to make our mark!

Spider
 

STAVRAST

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Jul 26, 2003
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Spider 1977 thanks for the advice. I think that for now I'll concentrate on cycling and after I lose all these lbs that like an idiot I have accumulated through the years, I will look at rowing and other sports. Rowing in Tasmania must be something... I don't know about rowing in New York City or New York State though. I could do it but would have to travel for at least an hour to find a decent lake or something. You people in Australia don't know how lucky you are to have such a richness and purity of Nature all to yourselves. I really envy you. All we got here in New York City and Queens County, other than Central Park, downtown, is a lot of ****...
 

troyq

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Apr 6, 2003
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Originally posted by STAVRAST
RalleighOke, thanks for the advice. Isn't a cyclist supposed to ride against the coming traffic so he/she can monitor it? I do live in a rather small town. I guess the only way to acquaint myself with the experience is to actually go out there and do it. And I have to brush up all the hand signals... Sorry for forgeting S.Africa.

And VeloFlash, I hope Tasmania doesn't secede from Australia --even though you can't be sure of anything these days. I hear rumors of Europe seceding from the States! Just kidding man. You are right. Next time I'll specify with 'Australia mainland' and 'Tasmania.' Thanks.

Stavrast, a quick point to note... I wouldn't recommend riding against the flow of traffic... a driver is likely to sh*t themselves if they see someone coming towards them on a bike.

Unfortunately we have to place our trust (more unfortunately that it's with our lives) in the drivers behind us and hope that they pass safely. This is why it's particularly important to make yourself seen from behind (bright backpack, clothing, lights etc).

Cheers, Troy
 

Matt Chanoff

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Jul 31, 2003
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Most people who keep cycling love riding outdoors and tolerate the trainer. When you do get outside, you'll probaby feel the same way. But what are your goals? If you've lost 40 lbs and you're doing it 6 times a week, then training indoors may be proving effective and fun enough to keep at it. When you do venture out, start on bike paths or on roads with ample shoulders. Ride with traffic (it's safer because it gives people more time to react, but mostly just because it's the convention -- that's what people on the road expect). If you're like most people, you'll find that the variety (uphills, downhills, curves, scenery...) makes the time go faster. Enjoy
 

STAVRAST

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Jul 26, 2003
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Guys! You can't know how much I appreciate all the advise. Here I was thinking that you would make fun of my predicament and you have given me so many tips that I feel we've been buddies for years. I tell my wife that I'm a member of this forum and what's been going on, and she doesn't believe it either! Matt and Troy thank you very much for the encouragement and tips. I just thought that it would be safer riding against traffic. I know I've also read about it in driving manuals here in New York. Apparently it's better if I ride with the traffic. Hopefully I'll live to write you about it. Ha! You don't know what New York drivers are like... Extremely dangerous. You don't dare to cross in front of them either as a pedestrian or as a rider. You just don't. They'll run you over and they'll curse you out for scratching their bumper! What I must do is scope my area out. I know there aren't any bike paths around here. But I'm dying to get to the road. Doing what I'm doing indoors is good and effective for weight loss but I think the same would apply for outdoors plus the scenery, the fresh air, etc. It's much better. And who knows? Maybe later on I can pick up another sport like Spider1977 advised me. Anyway, thank you very much guys. And if you have any more words of wisdom I would really appreciate it.
 

STAVRAST

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Jul 26, 2003
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Here I was, worrying about what you guys would think of me about starting cycling through a stupid exercise bike and you were giving advice to MD-Cyclist on how to compete in the Olympic Games! Ha, ha!! But you have to admit people that he had you fooled for a while...Up to the minute he started talking about beating "Neil" Armstrong!!! Ha! At least I know his name is Lance and I know that if someone can beat him that's Ullrich and not I! Anyway guys. Don't feel bad. The guy was a clown. As for myself, I can't wait 'till I lose all that frigging weight and get my butt on a real bike. Then we could talk as equals! Your advice did help me though. Gotta go now. I hit 20 miles in an hour and four minutes on my exercise bike. If I keep it up I can beat Neil... Ha! Talk to you later.
 

Geonz

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Jul 5, 2003
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Good grief, don't ride against traffic!!! It's illegal most places, for starters. You're traffic yourself.
If you're liking the biking, consider: Get yourself a bike that fits -- and figure out a place where you can ride it, adn drive there with the bike in the car every once in a while. If there's a local bike club, see if you can find a route they take.
If I lived in NY I"d be on an exercise bike myself :) But a bike that fits is a *lot* more comfortable and fun (in my opinion, the bike on a trainer is gobs better than an exercise bike except for the cool stuff the exercise bikes have for keeping track of where you're going).
 

Spider1977

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Jul 19, 2003
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Originally posted by STAVRAST
Here I was, worrying about what you guys would think of me about starting cycling through a stupid exercise bike and you were giving advice to MD-Cyclist on how to compete in the Olympic Games! Ha, ha!! But you have to admit people that he had you fooled for a while...Up to the minute he started talking about beating "Neil" Armstrong!!! Ha! At least I know his name is Lance and I know that if someone can beat him that's Ullrich and not I! Anyway guys. Don't feel bad. The guy was a clown. As for myself, I can't wait 'till I lose all that frigging weight and get my butt on a real bike. Then we could talk as equals! Your advice did help me though. Gotta go now. I hit 20 miles in an hour and four minutes on my exercise bike. If I keep it up I can beat Neil... Ha! Talk to you later.

Hey Stav, ease up on that exercise bike, pretty soon you'll be in Baltimore!;)
 

STAVRAST

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Jul 26, 2003
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Originally posted by Spider1977
Hey Stav, ease up on that exercise bike, pretty soon you'll be in Baltimore!;)

I'm taking it easy man don't worry. Being on the frigging thing is punishment enough. Do you have any suggestions about what bike I should start with though? I'm pretty heavy and I guess it would be something with wider tires? I don't know. Here's where your experience comes in handy. And who knows man after a couple of years maybe we could be cycling in Tasmania together. Or, if you are really brave, you can come to New York. I'll take you downtown Manhattan see what you are made of... Thanks.
 

STAVRAST

New Member
Jul 26, 2003
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Sioux Geonz I've been told so many times on this board not to ride against traffic that it has registered by now. You are so right! The only reason I'm on an exercise bike is to lose the excess weight I've put on throughout the years. We are talking of a lotta of weight man, and I'm embarassed to admit it but as any other disease you have to admit you have a problem before you begin curing yourself. The exercise bike does help monitor my progress through its computer. And it helps keeping yourself busy when you spend an hour a day on it six or seven days a week. But I'm looking around for a good bike as we speak. I'm tired of that indoor ****. The real thing is meant to be enjoyed outside. Have any ideas about what bike I should start with? Bear in mind that I'm not a professional nor an amateur nor as MD-Cyclist so eloquently put it a "semi-professional." Ha, ha! Thanks man.
 

Geonz

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Jul 5, 2003
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In my opinion, fit/comfort rules. I got my first bike shop bike about 12 years ago and didn't know anything but went to every bike shop in town and rode 'em all. I like upright and there are these dirt roads in the Blue Ridge I'm fond of so I got a hybrid -- a hybrid of hybrids, really since it was a Giant with a Bianchi stem.
That bike's a real beater by many folks' standards -- a heavy sucker and it was about $450 new -- but it's got about 17,000 miles on it now. I'm pretty confident that had I not taken the extra time to try all those bikes, cycling wouldn't have "taken." (That and great low-key bike club folks who shepherded new folks like me along -- you might have to look to find 'em... oh, and the nice, flat terrain of the Midwest to get me from 20 mile excursions to 200km ones...)
And remember that for every person you hear laughing, there are two others silently thinking "there's a guy *doing* something about his weight" ... and maybe they'll get out & do...
 

Spider1977

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Jul 19, 2003
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Originally posted by STAVRAST
I'm taking it easy man don't worry. Being on the frigging thing is punishment enough. Do you have any suggestions about what bike I should start with though? I'm pretty heavy and I guess it would be something with wider tires? I don't know. Here's where your experience comes in handy. And who knows man after a couple of years maybe we could be cycling in Tasmania together. Or, if you are really brave, you can come to New York. I'll take you downtown Manhattan see what you are made of... Thanks.
If NY is everything I hear about, buy yourself the cheapest and crappiest looking thing on the face of the earth, so nobody is tempted to steal it! Seriously though, to start with, buy a reasonably robust bike that's not too expensive. You should be able to pick up a good all purpose 18 speed bike (3 front cogs and 6 rear) for under US$400. A simple MTB would fit the bill at this stage. Look for a second hand one in good nick for even less - there are probably lots of people who had similar ambitions to you and failed, now their bike sits in the garage only having been ridden a couple of times, still in mint condition. That way you haven't had to mortgage your house (or apartment) to find out if you like cycling. Once you get into it and become a lean, mean biking machine then you might think about upgrading to a more expensive model.

Stick at it mate, I can see the kilos (pounds) coming off on the other side of the world.;)
 

Spider1977

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Jul 19, 2003
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If you want to read a good manual on cycling to work go to
http://www.biketas.org.au
There is a booklet you can download with a few hints about riding in traffic etc. Just remember total population of Hobart is 220,000 so the traffic is not even in the same ball park as NY (and we drive on the other side of the road).
 

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