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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 06-28-07, 01:38 PM   #1
JoeMetal
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I feel somewhat afraid that I won't ever be on par with you guys.

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.
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Old 06-28-07, 01:42 PM   #2
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I did a lot of 2-4 mile rides when I started too. I was pumped when I did 6. 3 weeks isn't very long, by the end of the year you'll doing 2.5 miles as warm up. It will come, just give it time.
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Old 06-28-07, 01:46 PM   #3
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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.
It can take a while for many people to get used to riding a bike any distance. If the bike doesnt' fit well it will really make it harder to go longer distances.
When I started back up about a year ago around the block was about all I could do even a lap around town (2 miles) was really my nightly ride. I thought it was downright pitiful but I now do 11 miles to and from work everyday, at least everyday that doesnt' include lightning. I also haven't lost alot of weight, if any, but when I ride I feel alot better then I used to and definatly alot better then I have this year because I have been sidelines by the constant lightning storms/flash floods.

My wife commutes <1.5 miles a day and at first it was long for her and she didn't think she could do it. A few weeks ago we went for about 30+ mile ride all around and if she wasn't on call starting at 4PM it could have been longer. When she went from an old Hybrid she got in high school to her current road bike which was fit pretty well for her it made alot of difference.

What kind of bike/size do you currently ride? Knobby tires?
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Old 06-28-07, 01:46 PM   #4
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You need to give it time. There are days, even now, when my 2 mile commute seems like 100. But those are few and far between, the majority feel great - that's what keeps me coming back for more. That, or, some sort of sadistic gene I was blessed with. Not sure.

Anyway, they will get better. Just keep at it, and you'll be posting your mileage soon. I never thought I'd be where I'm at now, but I am.
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Old 06-28-07, 01:58 PM   #5
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Hang in there, it will come. I remember when I started riding my bike to local transit station to ride the train into town, and being soaked and exhausted. After a month or more I was able to ride to the next station, and gradually built up my mileage.

Look at it this way, you riding 2 1/2 miles more than you did 3 weeks ago.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:01 PM   #6
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Everyone has a different starting point. There are some guys that post here that were probably hard pressed to walk a mile when they started as they lead pretty sedentary lifestyles prior to taking up cycling. There are others that were athletic at some point and let themselves get out of shape and then there are others who have always been in good shape. Each person has to compare their accomplishments against their own starting point.
Personally I have always been active and fit, commuting was just something I decided to do as driving was making me nuts. As I started out fit and my ride to and from work is the same distance every time I ride it, I really can't measure my accomplishments by weight loss, distance or speed. So instead I refer back to my original goal of not becoming nuts due to driving, I feel I have been completely successful, my nutiness has nothing to do with driving.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:08 PM   #7
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Give it time. My first ride was 4 miles and I thought I would die. It just takes conditioning and before you know it, poof, your a riding maniac doing 45 miles like nothing.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:18 PM   #8
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Everybody has already said it....give it time. You aren't going to be sprinting 20 mile races overnight.

I rode in the 2-6 mile range for a month or more before I started riding with partners and increasing that up to the 7-12 range.

I've found, especially in the beginning, that riding with partners makes a BIG difference. It doesn't seem that hard when you are chatting with somebody and your mind is not on the distance you are riding. My first ride with partners, I went from the 5 mile solo rides to over 10 miles and didn't even realize I'd gone further.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:34 PM   #9
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I've been doing ~30-45 mile rides, but I also did mountain biking forever. My story is more running. I wanted to do a 5k run (actually, I just wanted to be able to run a mile.. it seems like such a basic test of fitness). Almost a year ago (6/06) I started at the gym on the treadmill, doing about 5 minutes of running TOPS. Over the course of the year, I worked up running to the point that I completed a 5k run a couple months ago in a reasonable 32 minutes!

Biking is much the same. Weight is working directly against you, so as you work yourself on a 2-5 mile ride, you lose weight, you can slowly work up to longer rides.

I can still completely wipe myself out in about 15 minutes, or over the course of a 45 mile ride. I also recently started riding *everywhere* locally. I got home from errands yesterday around town, and realized I had ridden about 10 miles in an hour running to the bank, the coop, and the bike shop.

Be glad you can even get on a bike, make it a block, a half mile, a mile, and so on.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:41 PM   #10
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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.
I understand exactly where you are coming from Joe. I read the threads here and sometimes think the same thing. But then I get on my bike and I start feeling better - much better. I read about these 50 – 100 mile or more rides and man I want to do that. Just imagine the feeling of accomplishment you would have crossing the finish line! Now if this blasted rain would just quit so I can get back out there and keep chasing my dream!

-dave
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Old 06-28-07, 02:45 PM   #11
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Joe, my first ride was a whopping 1/4 mile! It doesn't matter whether you ride 1/4 of a mile or 10 miles at first, everyone starts somewhere! What does matter is how you change over time! You'll be amazed with each new milestone, believe me! The only comparison you really need to be doing is you now to you yesterday and everything else will fall into place once you determine a couple of factors:
  1. What YOUR goals are with cycling, not what everyone else is doing. Some of us are training for ultraendurance events, and some of us are strictly recreational riders. Your goals are your goals and nobody elses matter.
  2. That ultimately, you are the only real limiting factor as to what your miles turn out to be eventually, and that your capabilities in potential greatly exceed your perception of your capabilities in perception.

It's a process of building your base and it comes with time! For now, just concentrate on having fun! Sometime in Late July or August, I'm planning to do some riding down there in your area, we can hook up for a ride perhaps....your pace, your distance! Sound like fun?
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Old 06-28-07, 03:05 PM   #12
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When I first got my bike I tooled around the neighborhood, came home and rubbed my knees with Flexall 454, and went to bed. The next couple of weeks I logged about 5 miles a day, and it just about killed me. I slowly worked up to 10, then 15, then, 20 and I finally capped out at 25 (due to time restrictions). It will come. Just make sure you get out there everyday and ride something!
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Old 06-28-07, 03:11 PM   #13
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Well, it looks like I'm not quite as bad off as I thought I might be. Today I took the long way to the lab, which was a total of 3 miles. This was around noon. I also just went out and did a little over three miles since reading this forum got me all pumped up.

This was perhaps the best workout I think I have ever had. I have never been one to start sweating BEFORE I am ready to stop. But this last ride, I was sweating all over the place and feel like I could still go for more. The only reason I stopped was because I was at the end of my loop and didn't want to start another one.

I've also got a ride home of a little over four miles planned. And I'm pretty confident I'll make it home with no problem.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:26 PM   #14
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When I do my daily rides, the worst of the 15-20 is almost always within the first couple of miles. Keep at it and ride for you.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:33 PM   #15
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The only reason I started off with a little higher mileage was that I had alreay been doing a lot of cardio (ellipticle trainer) for quite a while before getting on the bike.

The most important part of your ride is probably the first 10 feet or so. Once you get past that, you are doing better than most of America and you just need to keep peddling.

I also agree with Dave in that the first couple miles can be the worst. After that, my body hits a point where it is enjoying it. Must be the blood flowing and various systems coming on line.

Your miles will increase. Just keep at it and set your own goals. Just push yourself a bit. Not too hard but not too easy either.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:37 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:43 PM   #17
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That defines the Paradigm barrier I was talking about
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Old 06-28-07, 03:46 PM   #18
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JoeMetal,

I'm not sure where you live, but hydration could be a factor also. I live in Florida, so I get my ass out there before the sun does. If it is hot where you are, hydration plays a major key. I know when I'm riding and I start feeling bad it is time for a drink.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:52 PM   #19
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(51), I just moved to southern Indiana from upstate NY. You are most likely correct that hydration could be a factor. I am going to have to watch out for that.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:54 PM   #20
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JoeMetal,

I'm not sure where you live, but hydration could be a factor also. I live in Florida, so I get my ass out there before the sun does. If it is hot where you are, hydration plays a major key. I know when I'm riding and I start feeling bad it is time for a drink.
I can't agree with this more. I usually start my rides no earlier than 9:30 pm and will typically ride about 1.5 to 2.5 hrs. Hydration is king for me as well.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:00 PM   #21
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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.
Every ride I do, whether it be 20, 50 or 100 miles, I celebrate the 3 and 6 mile marks. It took me so long to get past those barriers, you wouldn't believe it.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:18 PM   #22
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Don't worry about what someone else does!
I'll never do the miles or speeds that "some" of the others do. Nor do I care. I just do what I can do.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:41 PM   #23
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I can't agree with this more. I usually start my rides no earlier than 9:30 pm and will typically ride about 1.5 to 2.5 hrs. Hydration is king for me as well.
Funny thing, I have to worry about hydration, but in a bit of a different way, for instance the humidity today is around 12%, you may be sweating but it drys nearly as fast as you sweat, helps with the cooling down a bit, but on the other hand I'll go through two 20oz water bottles in about 6 miles on my ride home from work. Good thing that I have a place that is half way that I can fill the water bottles at , otherwise I ride in the morning (before 7:00 am) or in the evening (after 8:00 pm), then the hydration isn't nearly as big of a problem, but the air is still really dry.
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Old 06-28-07, 05:45 PM   #24
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There was a small hill where I used to live. Maybe 200 metres long and not very steep... I used to have to STOP FOR A REST half way up!!

Now I barely notice it
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Old 06-28-07, 06:08 PM   #25
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Yep, just keep on keeping on as they say. Bicycling uses a different set of muscles and tendons than you have used in a long time at this level of exertion. There is also the 'getting to be one' with the bike problem.

I am far far behind what I remember doing in the past. Just comparing my current ability to my past ability can get me down, but the only way to get back to where I was is to keep going. It really helps to have this forum and these people to talk with. Cyclists in general....not the guys all kit out that don't really ride...are a very friendly bunch towards one another.
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