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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-24-07, 03:15 AM   #1
Bill Kapaun
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Speedometer Good!

First a little background-
I’m a 59+ year old 6’ 250 lb. Clyde.
I started riding about 3 years ago because I simply couldn’t afford a car.
My town has public transportation, but its pretty lame. Basically it’s a bus that makes a “loop” once per hour.
As often as not, it’s faster to walk rather than wait for 45 minutes for a 5 minute bus ride.
I ride an old 86 RockHopper with street tires. I have a bad back & bad knees, so I put on a riser bar and pretty much plod along, catching the wind.
Three weeks ago, I decided to “splurge” and get a cheap speedometer. My local dept. store had the Bell’s on sale for $11. I thought, why not?
I was always curious about my actual speed, but thought it wood be a good tool to actually determine the shortest routes for my errands. Most the time I ride because I have to, not because I want to. For me, pleasure riding usually means it didn’t suck too bad.
Anyway, the first couple days were horrible! I’d look at my paltry speed and think to myself, “I can do one more MPH!” After all, “it’s just ONE MORE”!
I found myself panting on a regular basis and generally feeling disgusted.
After that initial introduction, I held myself back to my regular pace and things pretty much got back to normal. EXCEPT- I now find myself hopping on the bike just to ride around the neighborhood to “fill my quota”. I DON’T have a quota, but I’m trying to fill it anyway!
Something else I’ve discovered, to an extent, is cadence. Since I don’t have the cadence function, I did a little calculating on the spreadsheet and determined I was riding with a cadence of 60. I’d estimated that was about my cadence and was a bit surprised at my accuracy. I’d just assumed that if I was spinning faster, it was because I had to be in a lower gear and therefore was going slower.
I started playing around with cadence and noticed on my spreadsheet, that IF I shifted from my 13 to the 14 tooth cog, my cadence only went up by 5, to 65 to maintain the SAME SPEED!
I’m now doing the same speed with less effort! Eureka!!! Riding sucks MUCH less! I’m even riding a couple extra blocks out of the way, just to “pad” the mileage a bit.
Moral- Computers can be very useful/educational, even for us “plodders”.
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Old 06-24-07, 04:29 AM   #2
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I used to let the speedometer try to motivate me, then I started ignoring it. When I started thinking about cadence and MPH it sucked the fun out of riding. All I care about is how many miles I travel.
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Old 06-24-07, 08:37 AM   #3
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You know, for me it depends on the day. Those days where I'm stuck with a headwind and some air has leaked out of a tire.. those I wish I didn't have it . That's one reason I enjoy my MTB, it doesn't have a dedicated computer, but a mount for my GPS unit.

However, the cadence thing is a good thing. I notice when I'm "spinning" as opposed to "mashing" I'm starting to enjoy it more. Now... I'm not INSANE like my riding buddy who hit a cadence of 185 yesterday... but hey
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Old 06-24-07, 09:00 AM   #4
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The computer helps me push myself. I usually have the speed and miles displayed but I do check my average speed during the ride and tend to want it at a certain point and will push myself if I start to fall off. I do also switch over to time every once in a while to check my cadence but I am to the point that I generally know where I am spinning...usually around 70-80 and I can tell when I am slipping and consciously adjust.

I also have a tendency to not be comfortable unless I am really pushing myself. I will start out thinking I will take it easy and the next thing I know I am pushing hard and actually having more fun. I am not a good leisurely rider. One other thing is that whenever I am being passed, passing someone or coming at another biker, I tend to start peddling faster and harder. I think it is a competition thing. lol
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Old 06-24-07, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
First a little background-
I’m a 59+ year old 6’ 250 lb. Clyde.
I started riding about 3 years ago because I simply couldn’t afford a car.
My town has public transportation, but its pretty lame. Basically it’s a bus that makes a “loop” once per hour.
As often as not, it’s faster to walk rather than wait for 45 minutes for a 5 minute bus ride.
I ride an old 86 RockHopper with street tires. I have a bad back & bad knees, so I put on a riser bar and pretty much plod along, catching the wind.
Three weeks ago, I decided to “splurge” and get a cheap speedometer. My local dept. store had the Bell’s on sale for $11. I thought, why not?
I was always curious about my actual speed, but thought it wood be a good tool to actually determine the shortest routes for my errands. Most the time I ride because I have to, not because I want to. For me, pleasure riding usually means it didn’t suck too bad.
Anyway, the first couple days were horrible! I’d look at my paltry speed and think to myself, “I can do one more MPH!” After all, “it’s just ONE MORE”!
I found myself panting on a regular basis and generally feeling disgusted.
After that initial introduction, I held myself back to my regular pace and things pretty much got back to normal. EXCEPT- I now find myself hopping on the bike just to ride around the neighborhood to “fill my quota”. I DON’T have a quota, but I’m trying to fill it anyway!
Something else I’ve discovered, to an extent, is cadence. Since I don’t have the cadence function, I did a little calculating on the spreadsheet and determined I was riding with a cadence of 60. I’d estimated that was about my cadence and was a bit surprised at my accuracy. I’d just assumed that if I was spinning faster, it was because I had to be in a lower gear and therefore was going slower.
I started playing around with cadence and noticed on my spreadsheet, that IF I shifted from my 13 to the 14 tooth cog, my cadence only went up by 5, to 65 to maintain the SAME SPEED!
I’m now doing the same speed with less effort! Eureka!!! Riding sucks MUCH less! I’m even riding a couple extra blocks out of the way, just to “pad” the mileage a bit.
Moral- Computers can be very useful/educational, even for us “plodders”.
[IMG]http://******************/sig/bananana1.jpg[/IMG]
What is the point of the little sign regarding my ISP? Are you trying to sell firewall software or something?
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Old 06-24-07, 01:31 PM   #6
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Terrierman, it's just a geeks signature. I use it on a few other forums where they are more geek motivated...

Jason
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Old 06-24-07, 01:56 PM   #7
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Terrierman, if your worried about IP capture, try this site and enter your webpages through it.

http://hujiko.com/
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Old 06-24-07, 05:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
Something else I’ve discovered, to an extent, is cadence. Since I don’t have the cadence function, I did a little calculating on the spreadsheet and determined I was riding with a cadence of 60.
There is a pretty simple formula for calculating your cadence. You will need to make a mental note of a speed and the gear you were using at the time so you can make the calculations later. The formula is: the constant number 336 multiplied by the speed in miles per hour divided by the gear in inches.
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Old 06-24-07, 05:36 PM   #9
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I really don't have to make ANY mental notes! I SAVED the spreadsheet!
With my "creeky" old knees, the difference between 60 & 65 is very noticeable. I'd be hard pressed to spin much faster than 70 or so. The knees and chubby thighs just don't do it!
The whole point of my "revelation" was that whatever gear I'm in, I'm not going to go slower by downshifting and spinning at MY maximum comfortable rate. I had just assumed that if I was spinning "too easy", I was geared down "too much" and therefore had to be going slower.
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Old 06-24-07, 05:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
I really don't have to make ANY mental notes! I SAVED the spreadsheet!
So, then, your spreadsheet functions as a cadence chart on which gear inches and miles per hour intersect on a cell that gives cadence for that combination. Is that correct? I could not tell exactly what the nature of your spreadsheet is.

I have a basic cadence chart on p. 121 of Eugene A. Sloane's Complete Book of Bicycling. But, its categories jump by increments of five and is not totally helpful if I happen to fall between the categories. I always wondered how the chart had been constructed and was grateful to find the formula I listed above. If I am riding at 16.4 mph in a 78.8 gear, I can make a mental note and do the calculation when I get back home.
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Old 06-24-07, 06:09 PM   #11
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"So, then, your spreadsheet functions as a cadence chart on which gear inches and miles per hour intersect on a cell that gives cadence for that combination. Is that correct?"
That's pretty much it, in a nutshell.
I'm kind of a "gear-inch" freak, always calculating what would be my GI with different cassette, chain ring, tire etc. combinations. Just a lot of "what if" combinations (cheap entertainment) in search of the "perfect one".
I basically divide 7th gear GI/ 6th gear GI (or cog size) * 60 (my cadence) to see that that a cadence of 64.6 (in 6th) gives me the same speed as 60 (in 7th) or 73.8 in 5th etc.......
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