So just got back from my first ride,a few observations...need some input

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Manny735, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Manny735

    Manny735 New Member

    Jul 8, 2012
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    34 years

    Last time i road a bike was 17+ year ago...purchased a used excellent condition Brodie Ronin Cyclocross this morning.

    Been working out for years,body fat nid 20's but dont look it,big shoulders,chest etc,cardio has been mild intensity for years,no intervals,sprints etc.

    BMI says ideal weight would be 183lbs havent seen this weight in 20 years,heaviest was 280.

    Smoked for 20 years,quit 5 months ago,haven;t looked back since.

    Went out for my first ride,was aiming for 1 hour however only last 40 minutes,breathing OMG ,havent want to catch a breath so badly in years,huffing and puffing,spitting out saliva and mucus every couple of minutes...the heavy breathing would be a clear sign of being out of shape...well im back but i feel good i am drenched in sweat....

    Can i get some advice on how i should approach road cycling from a fitness perspective,I have never been a outdoors person however boredom with the gym and lack of other options outdoors i have chosen cycling.

    Any advice how not to get bored?should i get a partner?i like being solo as i go at my own pace..

    I havent sweat like this in a while.

    Also should i get one of those computers that show distance travelled,calories burned etc.

    I know i have tons of questions,rather then do multiple posts i bunched them into one.


    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2005
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    Well, if you're used to the gym, you're used to pain. That's a good start.

    The smoking...there's an old saying, "The lungs never forget!". It's true. Their memory is better than the brain's. It will take months and more likely a couple of years to completely blow the carbon out, but they will improve.

    Work on breathing from the diaphram and don't even worry about sucking wind, half-puking and greying vision...everyone that pushes the limit does this even with healthy lungs. The harder you work them, the more they will open up.

    Sweat? I'm a light guy and in the 99% humidity this morning or the 102° heat last Saturday...I sweat buckets. The harder you work, the more you sweat. It's just the body's radiator cooling system at work. No big deal. Stay hydrated though at all times.

    And pain is just weakness leaving your body...except for crashing. So don't crash! That's REAL pain and it hurts!

    From a training point, your first efforts should be similar to doing light reps at the bench. Steady efforts just to build endurance. The strength will follow along. Continue the weight loss program it will drop. Diet, intake, etc. You already know the drill there, I'm sure.

    Solo riding is cool for awhile as long as the roads are safe and that you know how to ride safely. Yes, a training partner may force your pace a bit, but that may be a good thing. Finding a local club and attending a couple of the easier 'beginner' level rides is often a good way to find training partners.

    There are usually all levels of riders in most clubs of any size. If some dumbass laughs at you or makes fun of you (rare), THEY will be the true dumbass. Not you.

    And cycling in a group is usually safer, not to mention more fun. You'll find good (and not so good) advice on bike equipment from those riders, pointers on bike fit, riding tips, good routes to try out, repairs, get turned on to riders in your speed and training zones, etc.

    I like the data a cycling computer provides. I do not subscribe to becoming a slave to that output, but just using it to help my training goals. The new Garmin GPS-based electronics and the like are positively awesome IMO.

    You did not mention clothing, so hopefully you've already got a couple pair of cycling shorts, a helmet and some gloves. All that's left is to enjoy the journey!
  3. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

    Jan 15, 2012
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    CAMPYBOB gave a lot of good advice.... particularly about it taking a while for your lungs to clear up. But keep pedaling... and they do clear up.

    The very HIGH end of your BMI idea is around 183, at 5'11". I would guess your idea is between 160 and 183. If you're going by the same charts I use... you're in the obese range. Nothing wrong with carrying a few extra pounds.... cycling will also help you burn the weight off as well. I also started cycling after quitting smokes and was over 250 pounds as well. I am a lot older than you... so I spoke with my doctor before I got too involved with cycling. It's never a bad idea to share this information with your doctor.

    I'd guess you also made a good choice with your bicycle purchase [the Brodie Ronin Cyclocross]. Let me echo CAMPYBOB a bit and remind you to ride safely, even just a ride or two with an experienced cyclist could help you a lot. Protect your brain... always wear a helmet. Once you catch you breath... you'll have a ball.
  4. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

    Feb 12, 2011
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    It took you 20 years to get into the shape your are in. It will take a while to get into better shape.

    An hour on a bike is a long time for your first ride. Do what you can do. When you get tired, go home. There is no reason to push as hard as you did.

    Carry a water bottle with you. Stop and drink as you need to.

    Find a nice place to ride. Bike paths are better than roads. You will see more riders. Some in the same condition as you are in.

    No need for bike specific clothing.
  5. Dr Lodge

    Dr Lodge New Member

    May 3, 2012
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    Do what you feel comfortable doing, and above all...ENJOY cycling. Better to do 30m mins ride every day than kill yourself doing 1 hour rides 3 time a week. You'll not enjoy the hurting and so you'll stop...and that's no good. When your stamina increases, increase the journey times or find a different route with some hills to add strength.

    Lots of good advice already given above :)
  6. Brian in VA

    Brian in VA New Member

    Jul 10, 2011
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    First, congratulations! A journey begins with a step and you've taken one.

    From what I recall, it takes at least 2 years for all the gunk to clear from your lungs. As someone else said, you'll never get that capacity back but it won't hurt as bad, given time.

    A year ago, I started riding again. The best I could manage was about 45 minutes and I wasn't nearly as heavy as you are. I kept it up, riding at least 3 times a week and stretching myself. Nowadays, my average ride is about 35 miles (2 hours or so) and I rode my first century about 6 weeks ago.

    I still sweat, a lot, and prefer to do so. It means I'm working my body. Relish it and replenish it.

    I ride alone, despite joining a local riding club. I haven't been able to find any of the published rides near enough to my house that I don't have to drive to them. I hate the idea of driving to a ride; seems counterproductive to me, somehow. I'm hoping to meet someone who is local enough to ride with me. In the meantime, I really like going out alone. I'm usually working on technique or doing as much looking around as possible to keep my attention up. It's working for me.

    Yes to a bike computer although if you have an iPhone, there are a bunch of apps that will do the same thing. I use MapMyRide and the free version is fine for me. I also have a CatEye unit on my bike so I can monitor speed and distance. It's cheap but those nice Garmin units are very attractive!

    I prefer to wear cycling shorts as they keep me more comfortable. Besides, what fun is it to have such a great hobby and not buy the gear! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    After you've made several weeks worth of rides, challenge yourself to push a little farther and / or a little faster. In 4 - 6 weeks, you should see some good progress.

    The rest of the advice given above is excellent! Whatever you do, ride safely and watch out for those in vehicles at all times. I don't think they mean to scare us but sometimes they do.

    Good luck and stay above the wheels!

    Brian in VA
  7. digibud

    digibud New Member

    Nov 29, 2010
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    I would strongly suggest getting a heart monitor. If you really want to have fun and be able to track your progress, something like a Garmin 500 will let you dump data to your computer and in a year or two you will have a history that will make you smile but a simple hr monitor is all that's really "necessary". Polar and others make simple watches that you use. I got a piece of copper pipe insulation foam and put it on my handlebar and strapped my HR watch on it. While it's true you can just ride at a perceived level of effort, a HR monitor is, I think, I huge help in keeping track of what you are doing. While it's not terribly complicated to use, books have been written on the subject and it's probably beyond me to try to give meaningful advice on how best to use a HR monitor beyond the suggestion you look into it. Most folks try to push themselves well beyond what they need/should do when trying to get back into shape. I've dropped 60lb in the last year or so and I attribute much of my success to using a HR monitor and, of course, a lot of hours on my bike.
    One key thing I'd mention with regard to your effort is the need to remain in an aerobic state, which means -not- huffing and puffing and running out of breath. You should be making a good effort at a level that is sustainable for a long period. Whether your legs and butt can handle is another thing, but your exercise effort should be such that you don't run out of breath.
    Secondly I'd simply look for ways to make riding fun for you. Whether that's buying a second inexpensive mtn bike for trails (which is often too hard to start with) or finding a partner that is in similar shape, varying your route, throwing the bike in the car and driving out to a new area once in a while...whatever it takes. If it's not some fun, it's not sustainable.
    I ride with my wife 90% of the time but when I ride alone I use music. I live in a low traffic, rural setting and don't worry much about cars. Your mileage may vary with that, but for me, riding with music when I'm alone is very nice.
    If you put in 4 or 5 hrs a week riding and make some minimal effort to watch what you eat, you will slowly (!) but surely lose weight and get in better and better shape. It's inevitable. It's not fast, but regular aerobic exercise and decent nutrition are insidious.