Starting MidLife Work Out Questions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Nick, Mar 11, 2003.

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  1. Nick

    Nick Guest

    Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio -- and
    the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in shape
    enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking, which I used
    to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I get. Friends
    tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running. 2) Is it hard to get started again? 3)
    How much is good starting racing bike -- I

    on eBay? 5) Can you try out bikes? 6) Do I need a bike rack? 7) Is there an alternative to the geeky
    bike clothes I see people wearing.
    8) Anything else I should be aware of?
     
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  2. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    > and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    > shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking,
    > which I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I
    > get. Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running.

    Depends on how hard you go. My max heart rate on a bike is 184, while running it is about 194, so
    running hard for 20 minutes probably will burn a few more calories than biking hard for 20 min. But
    remember that it's much easier to keep going for a long time on a bike than running because you
    don't have the pounding on your joints. So a 2 hour ride on a bike may be easier on you than a 45
    minute run.

    > 2) Is it hard to get started again?

    I found it much easier to get back into biking than running, because it was easier on my 40
    year old body.

    > 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I like light, not a mountain bike.

    You can bet some very good road bikes for $600 to $1000 at your local bike shop (LBS).

    > on eBay?

    You might be able to, but I wouldn't. Like clothes, a bike needs to fit correctly to be any good.

    5) Can you try out bikes?

    Almost all LBS' will let you take them out for a test ride.

    6) Do I need a bike rack?

    Only if you need to drive to where you are going to ride, and don't have a van or pickup big enough
    to fit it into.

    7) Is
    > there an alternative to the geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.

    After you've been riding a while, you will find that biking shorts (the only clothes which really
    matter) are designed the way they are because it's more comfortable and you can ride faster. I rode
    regularly for a year or so in regular shorts, gym shorts, running shorts, etc, before buying a pair
    of biking shorts. I'll never ride more than a couple of miles in anything else again. However,
    several manufacturers (LL Bean comes to mind) make regular shorts with a biking short type elastic
    liner so they look like regular cargo shorts on the outside, but are much more comfortable when
    riding than regular cargo shorts would be.

    > 8) Anything else I should be aware of?

    Just be careful, or you might get addicted to riding <Grin>.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  3. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I get. Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the
    >same time spent running.

    Depends on how hard you ride. Certainly a cyclist can operate at the same heart rates as a runner
    but for much longer periods of time. Runners run for an hour or two max. Cyclists ride all day long
    because cycling does not kill your joints.

    >2) Is it hard to get started again?

    Only takes a second.

    >3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I like light, not a mountain bike.

    Depends on what light means to you. MTBs can be light, road bikes can be light, but 22lbs is plenty
    light and you can get a decent road bike for something around $500.

    >on eBay?

    You can but you can get screwed and it is very unlikely that you will know enough to pick the right
    size. There a number of issues with used bikes and unless you can check the frame, wheels, shifters
    and drive train out, it is easy to buy a bike needing several hundred dollars worth of repair.

    >5) Can you try out bikes?

    Not on Ebay. But your local bike store will let you test ride various bikes.

    >6) Do I need a bike rack?

    Depends on your car and where you want to ride.

    >7) Is there an alternative to the geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.

    If you want to be comfortable on rides over a few miles, then wearing bike shorts, shoes and a
    cycling jersey is certainly the best way to go. No need to wear jerseys festooned with advertising
    slogans, black shorts with a nice single color jersey is pretty reasonable.

    >8) Anything else I should be aware of?

    The most important thing about a road bike, or any bike, is that it fits you properly. There are
    adjustments but it is important to start with close to the right size. The analogy I like is to
    running shoes. A fancy running shoe is worthless if it does not fit properly.

    A nice fitting bicycle makes a big difference in comfort and efficiency.

    The best place to get your questions answered is a bicycle shop. Shop around a bit until you find a
    shop that seems interested in helping you learn about bikes and riding. There are many options these
    days besides just MTBs and road bikes and for your first serious bike in 30 years, you may choose
    something you had never thought of.

    In general, the bike shop where you buy the bike is more important than which brand you buy, they
    all have a nice range of styles and models, the important thing is getting you on the right bike
    that you will ride and that you will enjoy riding.

    jon isaacs
     
  4. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    >Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    >and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    >shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking, which
    >I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I get.
    >Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running. 2) Is it hard to get started
    >again? 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I

    >on eBay? 5) Can you try out bikes? 6) Do I need a bike rack? 7) Is there an alternative to the
    >geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.
    >8) Anything else I should be aware of?
    >
    >
    1) Well it is how high you get your heartrate and for how long. For cardiopulmonary benefits even
    brisk walking is pretty good and you can do that with cycling. Cycling can also be intense. My
    record heart rate was 196 (age
    2) and I have a friend (same age) whom I used to be able to get over 200 routinely. One huge benefit
    to cycling is that you can do a whole bunch of it without injuring yourself because, like
    swimming, it is low impact. Freddy Hoffman, a cyclist, averages something like 130 miles per day
    which has to make him (in certain respects) the world champion endurance athelete.

    3) I was in couch potato shape when I started years ago. I just rode about as hard and as far as I
    could without killing myself and kept at it. In one year I went from riding round the
    neighborhood a few times to doing centuries.

    I know a retired lady who got winded walking from the parking lot to the supermarket. She started
    riding on a local bike trail. She would ride 100 yards and stop and drink water and repeat. Two
    years back she did her first century. Sure she averaged 15 mph or so but I think that is a whale of
    an accomplishment.

    4) To me, an entry level racing bike has Shimano 105 components. They cost between $1000-$2000
    depending on the frame and wheels you get.

    5) You can find almost anything on E Bay. The answer is yes.

    6) Most good bike shops will encourage you to test ride a bike. But I think it is evil to test ride
    a bike at a bike shop and have them tell you how to fit it and then get one used on E Bay
    (unless you are up front about it and pay them a little for their time).

    7) Depends. You can carry the needed tools in a bike bag under the saddle. A rack is really only
    needed if you want to do self contained touring. That is load your luggage on a bike and ride
    across the country.

    8) You can wear anything you want. But I have found that geeky bike clothes are supremely
    practical. Look you are pedalling at over 80 rpm say for 180 minutes (3 hours) that is 14,000
    reps. Say your clothes rub just a little tiny bit. Can you say CHAFFING? And since you are in
    South Florida, you get to add in some sweat ontop of the chaffed skin to just top off the
    experience. Remember, the body must endure what the ego decrees. Get a pair of bike shorts
    and try them.
     
  5. Buck

    Buck Guest

    You have been given good answers, but I'd like to add a few comments.

    "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I get. Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the
    > same time spent running.

    As has been said before, it all depends on how long, how far and how intense your effort. Toodle
    along at 12mph, and you won't get much of a workout. Bring that up to 18mph and you'll be sweating.
    Throw in a few 25mph+ sprints and your heart will be pounding.

    >3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I like light, not a mountain
    bike.

    Fit is everything. Don't walk in with the attitude that you want a racing bike or nothing. It may be
    that something a bit more relaxed, with bigger tires will fit your needs a bit better. Remember that
    if it isn't really comfortable, you won't want to ride. Going from a 23mm racing slick up to a 28 or
    30mm road tire will make a huge difference in comfort. But many racing frames won't handle a tire
    that big. Ask to see a cyclocross bike as well as a road racer. At first glance, they will look the
    same. But there is a big difference in tire clearance and brakes. Cyclocross bikes are ridden
    off-road and often in the mud, so they need lots of tire clearance to keep the mud from clogging up
    around the tires.

    There are lots of interesting bikes on eBay, but you never really know what condition they are in,
    you don't know how well they fit or how comfortable they will be, and all of this is because you
    can't try them out. Visit the local bike shops (LBS) in your area. Spend enough time there to figure
    out how good their customer service is. Find out if they really know how to fit a bike to you
    properly (if they just tell you that it is all about top-bar to crotch clearance, find another
    shop). Fitting is the most important part of your purchase. Customer service is the second most
    important part of your purchase. Most bikes in the same price range are equal in quality - the shop
    is the key ingredient which makes one purchase bad and another good.

    > 6) Do I need a bike rack?

    We are having a problem with terminology here. This term is used for both a car carrier and a rear
    rack for a bicycle. You only need a car carrier if you cannot ride down the street in front of your
    house. You only need a rear rack if you plan on carrying larger loads on your bicycle. What larger
    loads? If you commute by bike or plan a bike ride with a picnic lunch for your family, you might
    need a rear rack. Otherwise, all of the tools and spare tubes you might need to fix your bike will
    fit into a small pack under the seat.

    > 7) Is there an alternative to the geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.

    The geeky clothes are only there for comfort. The shorts have flat seams to prevent chafing as well
    as a pad in the crotch called a chamois that provides additional padding and wicks away moisture.
    You can wear a set of biking shorts under another pair of shorts to get most of the comfort without
    all the looks and they even make undergarments with this in mind (turn any pair of shorts into
    biking shorts!). Also know that some seats can cause undue wear in the crotch of the clothes you are
    wearing. Lycra doesn't wear out like this.

    > 8) Anything else I should be aware of?

    It really is amazing how far one can go when they are first returning to cycling. As the former
    leader of the novice group, I would follow the same 30 mile training route as the advanced riders
    but at a much slower pace. Just make sure the route you start on is far enough to push you a bit,
    but has shortcuts to come home if you find yourself in a bind and can't make the full distance. When
    I returned to cycling, I followed a 1.5 mile loop that began and ended at my house and would ride it
    as fast as I could for as many laps as I could. But I soon found it was too easy to stop when I felt
    just a little winded. Changing the route to a 15 or 30 mile loop made a huge difference. It's hard
    to stop if you know the only way home is to pedal!

    Good luck! -Buck
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    > and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    > shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking,
    > which I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I
    > get. Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running.

    That's wrong. You can cycle at almost any pace. At slow speeds, cycling provides less exercise than
    walking, at high speeds, it'll stress you to the max, take your pick.

    2) Is it hard to get started again?

    Think safety first. Learn how to ride with traffic if you're going to ride on roads. Learn basic
    bike handling and maintenance. Crashes interfere with fitness, anxiety spoils the fun.

    3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I like light, not a mountain bike. Probably around $600
    for entry level, perhaps that isn't the best choice (racing bike) for a beginner. Find a good
    shop & start looking & discussing bikes there.

    Sure, but that's probably not a good starting point.

    4) Can you try out bikes? Ask at a store, policies vary.

    5) Do I need a bike rack? Depends on the size of your car, whether there's good riding at your door,
    etc. A workable trunk rack is only around $40.

    6) Is there an alternative to the geeky bike clothes I see people wearing. Wear whatever you want.
    If you start cycling a lot, your opinion on geeky (what most of us wear, thanks) might change.
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, Nick <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    >and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    >shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking, which
    >I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I get.
    >Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running.

    Less than 1/4 of the time spent injured compared to running too. :)

    Running is more efficient but it is quite possible to learn how to extract extreme effort from
    your body using the bike as a tool. It takes practice and like running requires pain. Doctors (a
    group of people who know fairly little about exercise since most of them don't do it) often are
    overheard telling couch potatoes to walk 20 minutes a day. While this is a fine thing to do, it
    will not really build any fitness. Likewise a brief dawdling bike ride coasting through the park
    will not make you strong and fit either, it is just a pleasant stroll. Eventually you have to
    learn to apply enough effort to obtain results. I think it is easier to be a lazy cyclist than a
    lazy runner, but a disciplined cyclist can work hard on a bike and get good results. Hills also
    help eliminate lazy riding.

    > 2) Is it hard to get started again?

    Not if you have discipline to ride regularly and take it fairly easy until you have some base miles.

    > 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I like light, not a mountain bike.

    I think the best price point for value is $800-1100 but starting bikes in the $500-600 range will be
    quite satisfactory as well.

    >on eBay?

    Sure but you should work with a dealer so that you get the fit

    > 5) Can you try out bikes?

    Some shops have demo programs, others just allow brief test rides.

    > 6) Do I need a bike rack?

    Need would be the wrong word.

    > 7) Is there an alternative to the geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.

    Buy mountain biker or touring clothes if you don't like the lycra. Also it is possible to obtain
    lycra clothes that are not gaudy, plain 1-color jerseys, etc. I often find the Canari ones for
    $15-20 and they last for several years. They are lycra but not skin-tight and do not look like
    "Primal Wear".

    --Paul
     
  8. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Nick wrote:

    > Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    > and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    > shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking,
    > which I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I
    > get. Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running. 2) Is it hard to get
    > started again? 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I

    > on eBay? 5) Can you try out bikes? 6) Do I need a bike rack? 7) Is there an alternative to the
    > geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.
    > 8) Anything else I should be aware of?

    Others have answered your questions well. Let me add that you shouldn't spend all your budget on the
    bike itself, which most people are inclined to
    do. Clothing and accessories are just as important, and will make at least as much difference in
    your riding experience. So, for example, if you have $800 to spend, buy a $500 bike, and leave
    the rest for some good clothes, shoes, helmet, and a basic tool kit, with some left over for
    things you'll think of later.

    Also, you won't know exactly what you need bike-wise until you've been riding awhile -- as your body
    becomes accustomed to riding, your fit requirements will change, and as you gain fitness and skill
    you may want different gearing or handling characteristics. So it makes no sense to look for that
    ultimate bike right now, because you don't know what it is yet. That said, a good bike shop will put
    you on a bike that gives you plenty of room to grow. If this costs extra money, you'll find that
    it's well spent.

    You might post where you live, so rec.bicycles readers near you can recommend a good shop.

    Matt O.
     
  9. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Matt O'Toole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Also, you won't know exactly what you need bike-wise until you've been riding awhile -- as your
    > body becomes accustomed to riding, your fit requirements will change, and as you gain fitness and
    > skill you may want different gearing or handling characteristics.

    Heh, and if you do it enough your clothing fit will change. Which is a whole 'nother problem indeed.
    It's time for me to head off to the store and buy some more shirts and what-not.

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g Politicians are the same all over. They
    promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. -- Nikita Khrushchev
     
  10. Jimmy

    Jimmy Guest

    Dane Jackson <[email protected]> wrote in news:vbsba.10741$s75.6615417 @twister.columbus.rr.com:
    > Heh, and if you do it enough your clothing fit will change. Which is a whole 'nother problem
    > indeed. It's time for me to head off to the store and buy some more shirts and what-not.

    And young attractive women will start coming on to you, which leads to a whole 'nother set
    of problems.
     
  11. Lots of people debating the rigors of running vs cycling, but something I haven't seen mentioned is
    the possibility that running might actually be *too* stressful to your heart. You mention "bad
    cardio"- seems possible to me that you might be best avoiding all-out max effort, unless your doc
    has given you the OK. One of the benefits of cycling is that you can manage just about any pulse
    rate you want to, often with only relatively small changes in actual speed. Running, on the other
    hand, could get you far away from home, suddenly feeling too exhuasted to make the return leg home.
    Or, due to time constraints, you might put yourself into a situation where, when running, you have
    little choice but to push it to the max.

    You might as well get used to cycling anyway, since, if you take up running, you'll eventually end
    up having to switch to cycling when your knees start giving you grief.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReaction.com

    "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    > and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    > shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking,
    > which I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I
    > get. Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running. 2) Is it hard to get
    > started again? 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I

    > on eBay? 5) Can you try out bikes? 6) Do I need a bike rack? 7) Is there an alternative to the
    > geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.
    > 8) Anything else I should be aware of?
     
  12. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Jimmy <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Dane Jackson <[email protected]> wrote in news:vbsba.10741$s75.6615417 @twister.columbus.rr.com:
    >> Heh, and if you do it enough your clothing fit will change. Which is a whole 'nother problem
    >> indeed. It's time for me to head off to the store and buy some more shirts and what-not.
    >
    > And young attractive women will start coming on to you, which leads to a whole 'nother set of
    > problems.

    My wife jokes that if I get much fitter, a stick will be insufficient to beat the woman away from
    me. At that point she says we will have to invest in a stick-o-matic. <G>

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g "Never date a woman with a brother named
    Nunzio." -Slovotsky's Law #22
     
  13. Allan Leedy

    Allan Leedy Guest

    For weight reduction and cardiovascular improvement, you probably don't need strenuous (i.e.,
    maximum heart rate) workouts. Longer rides in the range of 65% to 75% of maximum heart rate should
    do very nicely, and you will cover a lot of ground and see a lot unless you get run over by one of
    the gray panthers that are endemic in south Florida. And forget about hills -- you don't have any.
    "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    > and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    > shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking,
    > which I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions: 1) How much of a cardio work out will I
    > get. Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running. 2) Is it hard to get
    > started again? 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I

    > on eBay? 5) Can you try out bikes? 6) Do I need a bike rack? 7) Is there an alternative to the
    > geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.
    > 8) Anything else I should be aware of?
     
  14. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ok. I'm 47, live in south Florida, burned out, a little (10-15 pounds) overweight, bad cardio --
    > and the doc says get out there and do something. Well, I hate running, am a lousy swimmer, not in
    > shape enough for squash again and bored by my old game -- tennis. So, I thought about biking,
    > which I used to do regularly like 30 years ago. Questions:

    > 1) How much of a cardio work out will I get.

    As much as you can take.

    > Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running.

    Is that so? Try sprinting up a hill, and then come back and ask your question again.

    > 2) Is it hard to get started again?

    Hmm. If you have terrible balance and are a hopeless klutz, then maybe; but you know what they say:
    "It's just like riding a bike - you never forget how to do it." I think it's true. Do you mean is it
    hard to become competitive again? Only in that you will have to be committed to it, and that takes
    time for training.

    > 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I like light, not a mountain bike.

    Is your 47 yr old back ready for some pain? A road bike will make you hobble after a ride if you're
    back isn't what it used to be.

    Try a recumbent bike. They're *very* fast (most world speed and distance records are held by
    recumbents), and guaranteed to plaster a smile on your face. If you're a "me too" conformist roadie,
    then nevermind. If you like the idea of having gaggles of kids chase you down the street begging for
    a ride and hooting "cool bike" at you, then you need a recumbent. It's not for shy people; but it is
    the most comfortable bike experience available on the planet. Prices range from $600 to $5,000+,
    with a lot to look at in the $1,300 range.

    I can't say enough about recumbents. They're not for in-city riding so much; but for pleasure
    riding on paved trails and long road rides, there's nothing better. You owe it to yourself to try
    one. I recommend a RANS Rocket or V-Rex, Burley Django or EZ Racers' EZ Sport. There are many, many
    others to look at, including trikes (yes, really). If you liked go-carts as a kid, you will love
    tadpole trikes.

    Do you know exactly what size you need? Can you do your own repairs competently? If so, then yes. I
    caution you to know *exactly* what you're buying, and buy from a reputable seller. You can get
    burned on Ebay.

    > 5) Can you try out bikes?

    This is something that good dealers will do, and you should buy your bike from them.

    > 6) Do I need a bike rack?

    On your car? Of course, if you plan to haul the bike.

    > 7) Is there an alternative to the geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.

    Yes: Recumbents are comfortable without requiring padded diaper shorts. They're fast without
    requiring you to be a Lycra victim. However, I recommend that you get some clipless pedals if you
    like speed. You don't have to: Flat pedals and street shoes are fine; but not nearly as powerful,
    and don't workout all of your upper leg muscles as much.

    > 8) Anything else I should be aware of?

    Don't let price determine your choices. If you're very poor, well, OK. If you're well employed, and
    can afford a car, house, etc, realize that a bike might just extend your life a decade or two, or
    three. How much is that worth? One stay in the hospital will cost you more than the fanciest Merlin
    titanium rig (about $6,000). Compare value. Bikes are *cheap*. The best cars in the world cost
    $300,000+. The best bikes are about 1/50th of that price.

    Congratulations on your return to cycling.

    Barry
     
  15. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:%[email protected]...
    > One of the benefits of cycling is that you can manage just about any pulse rate you want to, often
    > with only relatively small changes in actual speed.

    Excellent point. I had taken this for granted, not realizing that other sports don't offer
    this benefit.

    > Running, on the other hand, could get you far away from home, suddenly feeling too exhuasted to
    > make the return leg home.

    And/or with a pulled muscle or painful knee or ankle injury...

    > Or, due to time constraints, you might put yourself into a situation
    where, when
    > running, you have little choice but to push it to the max.

    All too common in these "hurry up and exercise" times in which we live.

    > You might as well get used to cycling anyway, since, if you take up
    running,
    > you'll eventually end up having to switch to cycling when your knees start giving you grief.

    It happened to me. I was running 4 miles a day for a year or so (in my 20's), and you could hear my
    knees crackling from across a room. After a 10k race, I couldn't walk for 2 days, so I hung it up
    and went back to cycling. Never looked back.

    Recumbents have made cycling much more comfortable for me, and the skyward view is unbeatable.

    -Barry
     
  16. Tom S

    Tom S Guest

    Barry:

    Mid-life crisis? Hey, you're ONLY 47. I sure wish I was 47 again!. In all seriousness, I cannot
    recommend cycling enough, especially once you get on the far side of 40. Admittedly, I am not an
    equipment snob. People probably laugh at my wife and I on our Mongoose almost mountain bikes but my
    heart cannot tell what type of equipment I'm riding. Take your time, start slow and have a great
    time. Pedal down Shark Valley in the Everglades, see the sights.

    Best of luck.

    --
    Tom S
     
  17. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >>
    > Is your 47 yr old back ready for some pain? A road bike will make you hobble after a ride if
    > you're back isn't what it used to be.

    This is unnecessary fear mongering. My club is full of people older than that who manage to ride
    conventional bikes without pain, as astounding as that might seem to you.
     
  18. "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message.org...
    >
    >
    > Try a recumbent bike. I can't say enough about recumbents.

    This is very funny!

    However, for anyone that may take B. Sanders seriously ask yourself this, would you ever want to end
    up looking like this very sad picture? ( notice the books in the background, what kind of guy has
    books in his house? )

    http://sca.uwaterloo.ca/~praetzel/bent/presto_b.jpg

    Real road cyclists will never have any respect for benters.
     
  19. On Wed, 19 Mar 2003 12:13:10 -0500, B. Sanders wrote:

    >> 1) How much of a cardio work out will I get.
    >
    > As much as you can take.
    >
    >> Friends tell me it is only like 1/4 of the same time spent running.
    >
    > Is that so? Try sprinting up a hill, and then come back and ask your question again.
    >
    That comes from the experience that you can tolerate much more time on a bike, once in shape, than
    you can running. Some of that is the effort, and some is the punishment that running gives the body,
    versus riding which has much less impact.

    >> 2) Is it hard to get started again?
    >
    > Hmm. If you have terrible balance and are a hopeless klutz, then maybe; but you know what they
    > say: "It's just like riding a bike - you never forget how to do it." I think it's true. Do you
    > mean is it hard to become competitive again? Only in that you will have to be committed to it, and
    > that takes time for training.

    As someone who has been there, let me add something here. At first it is hard. You will be amazed to
    find that roads you thought were flat are actually painful hills. Even modest distances will exhaust
    you. But after a while, you will regain your ability to ride. For me, it felt like getting
    seven-league boots. I could go anywhere, just me, no car, no engine. It's a great feeling when you
    get that back.

    >
    >> 3) How much is good starting racing bike -- I like light, not a mountain bike.
    >
    > Is your 47 yr old back ready for some pain? A road bike will make you hobble after a ride if
    > you're back isn't what it used to be.

    Bullshit. You won't want the bars as low as they were, but don't go for a mountain bike to ride on
    the roads. It is amazing how much energy they rob you of -- for road riding. Also, the upright
    posture puts more of your (enhanced...) weight on your butt. Better to distribute some of it to
    your arms. Finally, once you start moving over 12mph there is a real advantage to getting out of
    the airflow.
    >
    > Try a recumbent bike.

    Try climbing a hill on one.

    >
    > Do you know exactly what size you need? Can you do your own repairs competently? If so, then yes.
    > I caution you to know *exactly* what you're buying, and buy from a reputable seller. You can get
    > burned on Ebay.

    Yes to all that. Unless you were very hands-on in your former life, and maintained your own bike,
    you should not be buying something in who knows what condition. Better to get a cheaper, new bike.

    Two things have changed from years gone by. First is that the cheaper components now work. Even
    low-end stuff shifts well, stops well, and lasts reasonably. The second is that a lot of fairly
    cheap bikes are pretty light. No more 45-pound Schwinns. Get something reasonable, but inexpensive,
    to start with, and then justify the big bucks when you are in better shape.

    >> 7) Is there an alternative to the geeky bike clothes I see people wearing.
    >
    > Yes: Recumbents are comfortable without requiring padded diaper shorts.

    On the other hand, if you want to ride an upright, there is a real advantage to those geeky clothes.
    Tights and paddes shorts avoid problems with serious pain in the ass. Jeans are to be avoided on a
    bike; thick seams in all the wrong places. Black is a good idea for shorts and tights, too, since it
    won't show the grease from the chain.

    The bright jerseys are vital. The more visible you are, the better.

    > However, I recommend that you get some clipless pedals if you like speed. You don't have to: Flat
    > pedals and street shoes are fine; but not nearly as powerful, and don't workout all of your upper
    > leg muscles as much.

    Agreed

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | It is a scientifically proven fact that a mid life crisis can _`\(,_ | only be cured by
    something racy and Italian. Bianchis and (_)/ (_) | Colnagos are a lot cheaper than Maserattis
    and Ferraris. -- Glenn Davies
     
  20. Mark H.

    Mark H. Guest

    "Pbwalther" wrote in message...

    > 2) I was in couch potato shape when I started years ago. I just rode
    about as
    > hard and as far as I could without killing myself and kept at it. In one
    year
    > I went from riding round the neighborhood a few times to doing centuries.
    >
    > I know a retired lady who got winded walking from the parking lot to the supermarket. She started
    > riding on a local bike trail. She would ride
    100
    > yards and stop and drink water and repeat. Two years back she did her
    first
    > century. Sure she averaged 15 mph or so but I think that is a whale of an accomplishment.
    >

    Isn't averaging 15 mph or so a good pace for a century, particularly given the scenario?

    Nick, IMO, get started cycling, it's a perfect match for your needs. Join a cycling group/club if
    you want a training program, you'll get the cardio and meet some good people.

    The rec. bicycle NG participants are some of the most helpful folks you'll "meet," as well, a very
    pleasurable forum. You'll find a lot of support to get you started and keep you going.

    Mark H.
     
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