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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 07-09-07, 08:53 AM   #1
dkyser
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A couple riding ?'s

I got my bike Saturday but worked 30 hrs this weekend and have not got the chance to ride, I will tonight after work and want to get started on the right foot. It has been 5 years since I rode last, and 60 lbs ago.

How far / long do I ride the first few times? will be on rural road and dirt/gravel road to start.
I dont want to make myself so sore that I cant ride tomorrow.

Do you guys wear helments, I do for 4 wheeler but never have before for bike?

Should I take my IPOD? I love music but not sure if the laws allow that.

If I remember correctly, it is my a$$ that is the sorest the first week or so.
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Old 07-09-07, 08:57 AM   #2
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Personally I'd start with just a couple of miles. You may feel like you can do more. But your body will be sore and need some time to condition it's self to riding.
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Old 07-09-07, 09:00 AM   #3
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Hello dkyser, you can ride as far as you want! If you're on a rural road, with dirt/gravel, I would probably keep it under 5 miles, though. Helmets are good. Some people hate them, but if you are already accustomed to using one for 4 wheeling, I would continue to use it. It doesn't hurt, and it can help. I would leave off the iPod until you get back into the flow of riding. It may or may not be legal where you live, but it's a distraction that you don't need at first.

Yes, your bum will be sore for a week or so .

Enjoy the ride!

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Old 07-09-07, 09:00 AM   #4
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It's illegal in many states to wear headphones while driving. Bikes are considered vehicles in many states, so wouldn't that make headphones while biking illegal?

This is all aside from the fact that it's pretty unsafe and suicidal to wear headphones while biking, driving, or even walking anywere you need to pay attention. (I can't stand it when peds on MUPs can't hear me when I need to pass. Do they have a deathwish?

Okay, my rant is over.
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Old 07-09-07, 09:07 AM   #5
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Thanks,

This is an awsome place with lots and lots of information. I keep reading the sticky's and finding some of my questions answered. Sorry for not finding them first, guess I am just in a hurry to ride.

I am going to pick up a helment, will get used to it.
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Old 07-09-07, 09:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilfein
It's illegal in many states to wear headphones while driving. Bikes are considered vehicles in many states, so wouldn't that make headphones while biking illegal?

This is all aside from the fact that it's pretty unsafe and suicidal to wear headphones while biking, driving, or even walking anywere you need to pay attention. (I can't stand it when peds on MUPs can't hear me when I need to pass. Do they have a deathwish?

Okay, my rant is over.
Thank goodness, I thought I was the only one that felt that way. Hearing is one of your senses that you need when traveling, whether by foot, bike, or car.
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Old 07-09-07, 09:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilfein
This is all aside from the fact that it's pretty unsafe and suicidal to wear headphones while biking, driving, or even walking anywere you need to pay attention. (I can't stand it when peds on MUPs can't hear me when I need to pass. Do they have a deathwish?
I used my mobile phone headset exactly once whilst riding my bicycle. I came to the conclusion that even though it was only in one ear, it was still very distracting and I did not consider it safe. However, dkyser is riding on rural roads, and may be confining him/herself to dirt/gravel roads, so it may be that he/she does not have to worry about the legality of street riding. It's distracting to me, but he/she may have be far more able to cycle and chew gum at the same time than I am .

I agree that peds on a MUP who are using mobiles/iPods are not really functionally aware of cyclists and other dangers!

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Old 07-09-07, 09:33 AM   #8
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Distance
Just remember that the further you go out the further you have to go to come back. You may want to bring a cell phone and have a person on call that is willing to do a pickup the first couple of times until you find your distance ability. Drink water. Drink water.

Helmet
Ok, I hate the mandatory helmet laws that exist, but I wear one all the time when I ride. I have a friend that was simply coasting on level, firm dirt/chat, ground that fell off the bike. He fell back and his head smacked the ground without helmet protection. That simple slow motion fall caused a hemorrhage in his brain and he went into a coma. He had to have surgery to relieve the pressure. It all turned out ok, but my head is one thing that will be protected when I am on a bike. The event shook me up.

Music
I advise against headphones, but you can get external speakers for your ipod/radio. They won't be hi-fi, but if you want to be safe that is the best way to do it. I like the quiet when I ride. Listening to the rhythm of breathing, wheels, and chain mixed with the sounds around me is terrific. One reason cycling is so much fun is that you are part of the environment and not just shuttling through. I will put on the headphones when I am resting.
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Old 07-09-07, 10:06 AM   #9
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Helmets are dorky, generally uncomfortable in at least one way, and dorky. But I'll never get on a bike without them. Too many stories of serious injuries on even low speed crashes keep me away from riding without one. Heck, I plan to get a new one every year, because it's a tiny price to pay. Think about it.. $50/yr for a new helmet, or drinking out of a straw? I never understood some people I've seen, who ride a $4,000 custom bike but have a 10 year old helmet, or none at all. Craziness!

The iPod thing is up to you, but I don't recommend it for the first ride. I'd wait a month or so before you incorporate that, and then only use one headphone. That's what I always do, use one headphone (generally right ear) so that I can still hear.

Distance, go for 5 miles round-trip. It's a good first ride number, and just slowly build on it. Give it time, and you'll be doing crazy mileage .
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Old 07-09-07, 10:13 AM   #10
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I've only been riding just over a week myself. I'm not trying to ride any certain time or distance yet, just ride until I start to feel a bit sore. I see no need to "push" myself until my body gets used to riding again. I too ride the gravel roads on week days and then on the paved roads at a nearby park on the weekends. The gravel roads are MUCH TOUGHER than pavement so less distance for the same work out. I try to keep the cadence about the same by selecting a lower(larger rear) gear on gravel. Luckily my "driveway" is just over 1/4 mile long so I can stay away from any traffic and get a pretty good workout by making a few laps until I get more comfortable riding again(Read short walk home if need be ). Right now I'm making 4 laps or about 2 miles.Here's a pic of my driveway to give you a idea of what I'm riding on. If you look close you can see tons of little bike tracks in the gravel...
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Old 07-09-07, 10:19 AM   #11
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Mike, great set up for you plenty of privacy also.
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Old 07-09-07, 11:15 AM   #12
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Once a year, a friend of mine shows the kids in sunday school, the cantaloupe drop test with and without a helmet. Normally that is all it takes to get the kids asking about helmets. I have broken two ribs mountain Biking and a buddy just broke 2 ribs and his collarbone avoiding a pothole. The helmet absorbed the crash and left him with a slight contusion. The EMT captain told him the helmet was destroyed and he'd be in serious condition if he lived, had he not been wearing one. Definitely get a good one with lots of foam pads to absorb the sweat. I'd start out slow, with a couple rides to get yuor legs used to riding as well as all the other parts that are going to be screaming in agony.
I usually cycle at 0500 in a very rural part of Kentucky. In 20 miles I might see 10 cars. I listen to music, turned down low with open ear phones to hear approaching cars and I have a helmet mirror and a bar end.
When I ride at normal day/evening, I never wear headphones, simply because of the traffic.
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Old 07-09-07, 11:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by neilfein
II can't stand it when peds on MUPs can't hear me when I need to pass. Do they have a deathwish?
Perhaps they just expect cyclists to have the common courtesy to control their 'need to pass' by slowing down and passing safely while on a shared path. If you wanna race/train/whatever, get off the shared path and onto the road, track or dedicated bike path.
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Old 07-09-07, 12:11 PM   #14
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The Cantaloupe Drop test is one that I show the Scouts Troops when I do a primer for their yearly Bike Hikes. Some of the kids hardly watch, but it's more of an eye opener for their parents. At least the Troops I work with have standing orders that the kids MUST WEAR Helmets.

One thing that I think all NEW Cyclist should have with them is a Cell Phone. It is becoming a very important piece for me. I've had to walk the bike home becuase of a part failures and such. I love the folks that will look at me and drive right by...

As other have stated, Wear a Helmet! You don't need a high buck one and most if not all will protect you. Yes...I sometimes ride without one and it feels good to do so sometimes, but I never travel far in that mode.
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Old 07-09-07, 12:22 PM   #15
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Helmets are cool. I wear one all the time. I guess after riding motorcycles for years, I think that helmets are just part of the sport. I also wear a helmet while skiing/snowboarding. I thought they were dumb at first, but then I tried one. It is just so comfortable on the slopes.

Ipods are even cooler! I say wear the headphones all you want, but keep the damn volume down. I listen to music all the time when riding alone, but keep the volume low so I can hear other trail users/cars. The only time it sucks is when I am headed into the wind or going downhill. The wind noise drowns out the music.

On remote gravel/dirt roads it may not be good to have headphones on. You might get used to not having traffic coming by and then space off. Just when you don't expect it, VRRRROOOOOOOMMMMM. Might scare you into a ditch
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Old 07-09-07, 01:39 PM   #16
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Dude


I have been riding for about 6 weeks, so everything is fresh in my head

Helmet - I do not ware one, but am going to get one this week. I hit 32mph this weekend on a down hill, and the thought of hitting the ground at that speed was not very appealing. I'm a dad now, and need to think about being safe for her.

Distance - your legs will give out before your ambition will

Ipod - Give it about a week, and get comfortable on the bike. Then I only use 1 ear bud.

Most of all have fun!!!
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Old 07-09-07, 02:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Perhaps they just expect cyclists to have the common courtesy to control their 'need to pass' by slowing down and passing safely while on a shared path. If you wanna race/train/whatever, get off the shared path and onto the road, track or dedicated bike path.
Gosh, that's a LOVELY thought. It would be really nice, if true, because then they would also act courteously, stay in the same relative place on the path, not make unexpected moves, etc.

Sadly, however, my experience suggests otherwise.

This is why I never use MUPs anymore - too many walkers wandering all oaver the path, too many rollerbladers using 2/3 of the path, not paying attention to traffic overtaking them, or worse, doing impromptu pirouettes as you approach. I concur on never racing/training on MUPs, but I also think they can be unsafe for cycling at any speed beyond about jogging speed.

Mind you, my experience was on a heavily used MUP. Lightly used paths might be safer.
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Old 07-09-07, 04:47 PM   #18
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I wouldn't ride more than 2 miles the first day.
When you finish, you'll be looking forward to riding the next day.
I'm willing to bet ya, you'll feel a BIT of soreness, the next morning.
Your legs will tell you how much (if any) you can add the next ride.
If you can add 1 mile per day for a week, you'll be up to 10 miles in a week.
Overdo it the first day and it may be a week before you get back in the saddle!
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Old 07-09-07, 04:51 PM   #19
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Straight up, if you hit the road at 32 MPH, a helmet isn't going to do that much other than protect your brain pan. You WILL have other injuries. Those are the risks though, and I'm speaking as a rider that has topped 50 MPH on downhills and a LOVE IT! I am a speed freak!

Spandex will help protect you from road rash on the ol' bod though, it has a very high resistance to abrasion.
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Old 07-09-07, 08:36 PM   #20
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Thanks eveyrone for the advice. I got a helment and some shoes today on the way home, did not put the cleats on but will give the shoes a chance to stretch out some.

I rode a couple miles, felt good in a way, but boy the belly makes riding different will be glad to shed it. I also ordered some riding bibs with a gel pad, already looking forward to that.
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Old 07-09-07, 09:17 PM   #21
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OK, I admit it, I'm a iPod user on my bike. I have the iPod Shuffle and it goes in my back pocket. I pick the music that I know will work with what ever cadence I want to ride. I do keep the sound low so I have some noise level recognizing capability. I have been riding before and someone passed me and I'd swear they had a car stereo on their head.
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Old 07-10-07, 04:56 AM   #22
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Glad I only rode a couple miles yesterday, this morning although I was not sore, when I sat on my seat was reminded QUICKLY that I rode last night. I went a little further today and will continue adding distance every day.
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Old 07-10-07, 06:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilfein
II can't stand it when peds on MUPs can't hear me when I need to pass. Do they have a deathwish?
Perhaps they just expect cyclists to have the common courtesy to control their 'need to pass' by slowing down and passing safely while on a shared path. If you wanna race/train/whatever, get off the shared path and onto the road, track or dedicated bike path.
Oh, I do go slow on the MUPs. But these paths are meant to be for peds and cyclists, and some peds act as if they own the path. To be fair, there are cyclists who buzz by every pedestrian as well, and the majority of pedestrians walk on the right and keep aware or their surroundings. I'm mostly concerned with people who look upredictable, and bring their kids who dart out without warning. You're correct, it is a shared path. They should share intelligently. All it takes is one idiot, whether it be cyclist or pedestrian.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:58 AM   #24
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I occasionally listen to my Ipod. It's a bit safer if you use the over the earphones(Mine are RCA brand maybe $6 or $7) but leave them around your neck. I attach the Ipod by sport band to the seatpost.
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