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  1. #26
    Senior Member brodie's Avatar
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    also make sure your tires are inflated to proper psi.if your riding on underinflated squishy tires,thats wasting energy.

  2. #27
    Perma-Clyde (51)'s Avatar
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    I used to try and keep up with Tom Stormcrowe. Now I don't

    Do what you feel comfortable with. Once you get comfortable, then you can go kick someone else's ass
    http://www.trailerparkboys.org/forum...fault/beer.gif In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. -Ben Franklin

  3. #28
    This Space For Rent Stujoe's Avatar
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    For me, no matter how much I am doing, I want to be able to do more. I am able to do 25-30 right now which was unthinkable a month or so ago. But I keep looking at my bike trail map and thinking..."If I could just get to 45 or 50, I could make it to the Mississippi river."

    If I ever do that, I will be thinking, "If I could just do a metric century." And then I am sure I will start thinking about a century and so on until I am in the UP trying to scare the wolves away with bear spray.

  4. #29
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    Give it time and don't worry about what everyone else does. Do what is comfortable for you, at your own pace, improving at your own pace...or not at all. It's not a race, it's not a 'keep up with the Joneses' thing, it's riding a bike and having fun - your way. Setting high standards for yourself is a good thing...being impatient and getting discouraged because you can't achieve them overnight...not so good. Relax, have fun, the progress will come!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #30
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    I’ll say it because everyone else is saying it, give it time, this is true.

    There is something else that I think is important. When you consider the determination and the difficulty involved for Clydes, sometimes 2.5 miles is much more of an accomplishment than a 100 miles. Not to put down the skinny, but Mister Little Stickman rides a century in 4.5 hours and his character isn’t really challenged at all, my best time so far is 7.5 hrs and it was a continual challenge to my character not to quit. I am not Mister Little Stickman. I am at least 40 lbs over what I think would be an “Ideal” cycling weight. Granted Mr Stickamn has worked hard to get where he is but most likely he hasn’t faced the challenges that Clydes have faced.

    It takes a lot more character to gut it out and give it everything you’ve got. Sometimes I almost feel sorry for them because they will never know the paying of the price.

  6. #31
    Got Bent? themickeyd's Avatar
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    When I started commuting 2 years ago I was doing the 4 miles in 25 minutes. Now I can run it as low as 13 minutes. Remember I started 2 years ago so don't feel bad at 3 weeks. You'll get there, just don't give up.
    "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."
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  7. #32
    Senior Member Mahoolihan's Avatar
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    Hey Joe ... you will find yourself getting discouraged if you try and match everyone else's rides. Your body is YOUR body, and you are going to only be able to do what YOUR body can do. Keep pushing, set small goals, and rejoice when you accomplish them. They're YOUR goals and reaching them is more important than meeting someone else's goals. Be smart about riding, and you will find yourself totally addicted (maybe you already are), whether it's 2 miles, 20 miles or 200 miles. If you try and ride like someone else, and shoot for the moon, you'll be too sore to ride again tomorrow, and eventually the bike will sit in the garage gathering dust.

    Well, that's what happened to me anyway. I kept hitting a wall, got discouraged, and just gave up. Now I am back in the saddle, and have committed to helping others celebrate their accomplishments, but only after I celebrate mine.

    That may sound a little selfish, but it's what I've got to do to make sure I stay focused and committed. I commend the same to you. That advice, though, is worth about what you paid for it.

  8. #33
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
    Don't worry about what someone else does!
    I think this may be some of the best advice for OP, particularly considering the subject of the thread. There's no reason to believe you won't be "on a par" with what the average poster in this forum is some day, but either way, so what? When that day arrives, a brass band isn't going to pull up to your house and the mayor hand you the key to the city and say, "Congratulations, you're now riding as many miles as Tom and Jumbo and all them other people!" And even if such a thing did happen, big deal. You're not in this to measure yourself against the people of this forum, you're in this to measure yourself against where you used to be. That's the only metric that matters.

  9. #34
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Joe
    It also seems to me like there is some sort of "wall" effect that I ran into with training for powerlifting. For the first little bit your body will complain more and more that it doesn't want to do this. Once you get past that imaginary barrier though, your body seems to give in and do what you tell it to do.
    Man that is exactly it. I too power lift, Beast of the Northeast competition in 15 days for me, and what you describe about the wall is exactly what I went through when I started biking. At first it was all I could do to make the 2 mile loop around the neighborhood, but stick with it.

    When I commute the worst part is that first half mile, after that its all systems go. Could be that the first half mile is uphill but still. Its like when you warm up for your bench, you start at 135lbs and think to yourself "man this feels like a ton, its going to be a bad day" but when you get into your final sets and your chasing down 400lbs you blow right through it. I can't explain it either, but it's the same with biking.

    Just like when you started power lifting, I’m willing to bet you’re nowhere near where you started. You went to the gym and stuck with it even though you had to see the muscle heads always doing 3 times what you (and I) could. Just like biking, you got to keep at it. Personally I would (still do) find the clydes (the people who actually look like Clydesdales) at the gym much more intimidating than the bikers that do centuries for kicks.

    Oh, and if your taking creatine (in any form) as part of your supplements, stop. You’ll feel a lot better. Your lifting will suffer but you can always do a short loading phase before any meet or if you know your going for a max.

  10. #35
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    Sorry to go off topic but one of the posts is just begging for a comment:

    Kimber – your comments about Mr. Little Stickman not having faced the challenges that a Clyde has faced are absurd. (I will assume that I fall into your Stickman category as I am 6’7” 235 and have no weight to lose.)

    You are essentially saying that a person that has made challenging themselves physically a part of their regular life has less character and less to be proud of than someone that let their health slide and is trying to struggle back? This suggests that my 11 swim practices a week for 16 years of my life have deprived me of knowing true accomplishment. Maybe I should get my son to stop riding now so he can have some real challenges to face later in life??
    Give your head a shake.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    So long as you hang in there and keep on keeping on you WILL make progress. Three weeks is not a long time. See where you are three months and then three years on down the road. Assuming you hang in there the differences will be amazing. I've been on the bike a bit over a year now and without getting specific, things that are routine now were not even thought of when I started riding.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMetal
    I've only been commuting about 3 weeks now, but I'm getting rather discouraged. You guys all post distances of like 10-15 miles like is something any beginner can do. I get awfully tired after the two and a half to the lab. Hopefully with the right bike (which I hopefully will be getting soon) and more training I can start to put up numbers like you guys.
    The key is to find out, what you can do, then push to a reasonable target, beyond that. A good reasonable target is 10% further. Okay, so you know you can go 2.5 miles, so try for 2.75 miles, it's not that much further, every week, you bump that distance by 10%, in 30 weeks your at 43.6 miles! Also there is 2.5 miles flat, windless miles, and there is 2.5 miles with a 20MPH headwind going up a steep hill.

    The bike also has something to do with it, wide, knobby, low pressure tires are like snow tires on a car, they cut fuel efficiency, and while poor fuel efficiency in a car can cost more, on a bike it can be critical. Sometimes swapping for narrow, smooth, high pressure tires can really help.

    Another key is, beginners often mash the pedals, they think that picking a high gear means they will go faster, it doesn't, it just means they work too hard.

    Your bicycles "engine" (read you) has a very narrow power band (most power for the least effort) of around 80 - 100 pedal RPM or cadence, this is why modern bicycles have as many as 30 gear ratios. There are two ways to tell cadence, you can get a cadence meter on a bicycle computer, or the old fashioned way, with the right pedal at the top of the stroke, and the computer in timer mode, count the down strokes in 6 seconds, you should count between 8 and 10, often beginning cyclists pick too high a gear, and don't shift enough, so they can only count 4 or 5 strokes, this means your wasting effort, by pedalling to hard, down shift one gear, the pedalling becomes easier, but maintain your forward speed, after a moment or so, do the count again, okay, so we got 7, down shift one more gear, but still maintain your forward speed, and after a moment, check again. Now we got 9, purrrrrrrrrfect as the cat would say. This is where you want to be, after a few rides, you will know when your pedalling the right speed.

  13. #38
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    Could be your bike. I once bought a beater bike off eBay. Rode it allot, chained it outside in the rain/snow. One day a car ran over the front wheel. When I replaced the wheel I had found that the super cheapo original hub had seized, I could barely turn the axle. When I rode the new front wheel, I found new energy.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  14. #39
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca
    Another key is, beginners often mash the pedals, they think that picking a high gear means they will go faster, it doesn't, it just means they work too hard.

    Your bicycles "engine" (read you) has a very narrow power band (most power for the least effort) of around 80 - 100 pedal RPM or cadence, this is why modern bicycles have as many as 30 gear ratios. There are two ways to tell cadence, you can get a cadence meter on a bicycle computer, or the old fashioned way, with the right pedal at the top of the stroke, and the computer in timer mode, count the down strokes in 6 seconds, you should count between 8 and 10, often beginning cyclists pick too high a gear, and don't shift enough, so they can only count 4 or 5 strokes, this means your wasting effort, by pedalling to hard, down shift one gear, the pedalling becomes easier, but maintain your forward speed, after a moment or so, do the count again, okay, so we got 7, down shift one more gear, but still maintain your forward speed, and after a moment, check again. Now we got 9, purrrrrrrrrfect as the cat would say. This is where you want to be, after a few rides, you will know when your pedalling the right speed.
    That's great advice, I wish I can come on this website and gotten that advice when I first started. Looking back I bet I was lugging myself around at 40 all day killing myself. I've since learned to SHIFT especially down and not obsess over what gear I'm in. I just keep it in what ever gear keeps me at 70 and watch my ground speed. I was amazed at how I was keeping the same ground speed and using less energy than I was when I was obsessed with running in as high a gear as possible. My endurance almost double by doing this also. I think it's a very common newbie mistake.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1
    That's great advice, I wish I can come on this website and gotten that advice when I first started. Looking back I bet I was lugging myself around at 40 all day killing myself. I've since learned to SHIFT especially down and not obsess over what gear I'm in. I just keep it in what ever gear keeps me at 70 and watch my ground speed. I was amazed at how I was keeping the same ground speed and using less energy than I was when I was obsessed with running in as high a gear as possible. My endurance almost double by doing this also. I think it's a very common newbie mistake.
    Not just Newbies though, I grew up with 10 speeds, and downtube shifters, and you tended to shift a lot less, modern brifters and thumb shifters and a lot more gear options make it easier to stay in the power band. Seventy is actually still on the low side, try dropping a gear, and spinning a little faster still, that might work even better for you. I find spinning faster at lower gears, actually allows me to use higher gears and go faster. If your cadence is 90, and you shift up while maintaining that cadence, you go faster.

    One more thing, your engine needs lots of water. For water, count on 1L (just over a US quart, just under an Imperial quart) per hour, a low water supply is the biggest reason for low quality rides, if you sweat a lot, then something like Gatorade as part of your water supply can be helpful.....

  16. #41
    ~ Going the Distance ~ powerglide's Avatar
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    Don't be discouranged. 7 months ago I was in your shoes...and although I don't ride more than a couple of times a week, now I generally do 60 miles on a Saturday morning. I amaze myself, you will too!
    Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by andymac
    Sorry to go off topic but one of the posts is just begging for a comment:

    Kimber – your comments are....absurd. .
    Don't sugar coat it like that andymacaroni, tell it to me straight!

    Quote Originally Posted by andymac
    You are essentially saying that a person that has made challenging themselves physically a part of their regular life has less character and less to be proud of than someone that let their health slide and is trying to struggle back?
    Yeah I guess so. Not everyone has lead a pampered life which has allowed them to "have swim practice 11 times a week".

    So essentially what you are saying is that anyone who is overweight lacks character because they "let themselves go". I don't believe that's true. Why are you looking for an argument? The air up there at 6'7" must be pretty thin.
    Last edited by Kimber; 06-29-07 at 04:40 PM.

  18. #43
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    OK, Stickman dialog and insults are outside the purview of Clyde's. This is a safe place and let's continue to keep it that way. Corners, both of you! Don't make me put my newspaper down!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  19. #44
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    Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

    As far as shifting goes, I learned quickly to not use too high of a gear and try instead to keep my rhythm steady. I actually did this out of lazyness since I didn't want to almost pass out upon reaching my destination, but instead be not so tired. I guess that was the way to go! Since then, I've been pushing myself on different parts of the ride and purposely working harder(but not too hard) than I have to just to build up nice strong leg muscles.

    I'm also 90% sure that the bike has a lot to do with it as well. I'm currently working on getting rid of my cheap-o Dick's bike and getting a "real man's" bike. (most likely a Trek 7.2FX) After test riding the 7.2FX today I was very impressed. The LBS let me take it on my commute run and I was MUCH less tired when I got back to the shop with it. I'm not wasting energy due to the horrible shocks and I'm also not spending so much energy on my large climbs because I think the bike weighs less than half of the one I currently ride.

    I've also learned that once your start to build up muscle, your mileage really starts to increase. I can now do 3 mile rides fine and have even done a couple 5 mile rides (5.5 is currently my longest). I know that comparing myself to everyone else isn't really the point of riding, I was just worried that I would have a great day for me and come into the forum and tell everyone "I rode 10 miles today without stopping and I feel great!" only to have the general response be "...so?" I have been pleasantly surprised by the support in this forum, and especially all you Clydedales. Now I can dream about riding out of the city limits and back all at once because it seems like most of you have been at my level at some point only to go on to do 20+ mile rides like it's no one's business.

    Happy riding!

  20. #45
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Joe, wait a couple of years and I'll take you out on a double century in a day! (200 miles )

    Or, we can do a speed run from the Indiana /Michigan By South Bend) line to the In/KY (Evansville) line in less than 24 hrs, it's only 303 miles!
    EDIT: Or just a 20 miler if that turns out to be your thing!
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMetal
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

    As far as shifting goes, I learned quickly to not use too high of a gear and try instead to keep my rhythm steady. I actually did this out of lazyness since I didn't want to almost pass out upon reaching my destination, but instead be not so tired. I guess that was the way to go! Since then, I've been pushing myself on different parts of the ride and purposely working harder(but not too hard) than I have to just to build up nice strong leg muscles.

    I'm also 90% sure that the bike has a lot to do with it as well. I'm currently working on getting rid of my cheap-o Dick's bike and getting a "real man's" bike. (most likely a Trek 7.2FX) After test riding the 7.2FX today I was very impressed. The LBS let me take it on my commute run and I was MUCH less tired when I got back to the shop with it. I'm not wasting energy due to the horrible shocks and I'm also not spending so much energy on my large climbs because I think the bike weighs less than half of the one I currently ride.

    I've also learned that once your start to build up muscle, your mileage really starts to increase. I can now do 3 mile rides fine and have even done a couple 5 mile rides (5.5 is currently my longest). I know that comparing myself to everyone else isn't really the point of riding, I was just worried that I would have a great day for me and come into the forum and tell everyone "I rode 10 miles today without stopping and I feel great!" only to have the general response be "...so?" I have been pleasantly surprised by the support in this forum, and especially all you Clydedales. Now I can dream about riding out of the city limits and back all at once because it seems like most of you have been at my level at some point only to go on to do 20+ mile rides like it's no one's business.

    Happy riding!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  21. #46
    Senior Member
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    Well, if all goes according to plan, as long as you're still in Indiana, I'm sure I'll swing by one day straight from Bloomington.

  22. #47
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMetal
    Well, if all goes according to plan, as long as you're still in Indiana, I'm sure I'll swing by one day straight from Bloomington.
    Cool beans! That's only a tad over a century! (108 miles).

    Depends, by the way, whether I do additional schooling at IU, Purdue, or Heidelberg!

    If I wind up accepted in my goal program, I'll be in Germany in a couple of years!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  23. #48
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    That might be a little far for me.

  24. #49
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    Joe - With the shifting, bear in mind that you want your chainline to be as straight as possible for the gear ratio that works for you. You do not want to find yourself in a combination such as the large ring in the front and large cog in the back. This is hard on the drive train and creates a lot of friction you can do without.

    Tom - feel free to continue reading your paper, I am not about to engage in calling people names.

  25. #50
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    Andymac, I learned this the hard way. My cheap-o bike is actually getting retuned by Dick's right now for that exact reason. It's a 21-speed and 1 on the front, and 7 in the back is apparently torture for it. Once I realized my mistake I tried to stick to 1-3 for the low front gear, 3-5 for the middle front gear and 5-7 for the high front gear.

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