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  1. #1
    time to start - again! timetostart's Avatar
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    Small Achievements – Big Grins

    Have been reading the forum, but haven’t really posted much since I “started” cycling, aged 50ish, towards the end of last year. It was a very silly time to start with the onset of winter weather, my feardie-cat nature & my complete lack of skills and fitness (any excuse really!). So apart from a few 3 or 4-mile rides round the back lanes (an achievement in itself - for me!) have done next to nothing.
    Then this week the weather changed dramatically and it was time to start…
    On Tuesday we loaded the bikes on the trailer & set off for a forest trail just north of where we stay.



    Was super-brave & raised my saddle considerably, as many of you, including my husband, suggested. What a difference, not as scary as I thought, until it’s time to stop -but that’s another story - please tell me someone else was once as hopeless…?! How do you stop gracefully when your dumpy little leggies only just reach the ground??!
    The track was wide (thankfully) & dry, but loose & gravelly. That was OK, but the thing that got me was the hills (little inclines I’m sure you guys would all sail up) It really sunk in that I should have worked more on my fitness & weight over the winter. It was hard going at times – had to get off a time or two and walk (particularly when I’d made a mess of my gear changing, very much the beginner) but I felt less of an eejit than I thought! We managed about five miles, but this time last year that would have been beyond my wildest imaginings.
    Wednesday, and we went out round the lanes, very quiet, just one or two (very courteous) car drivers - 8 miles. Beginning to get the hang of the gears. Got back into the drive, puffed out but elated, stopped and then toppled sideways, oops! Fortunately plenty padding and no speed, so no bruises or worse!
    Next day out, more cars, less courtesy, one step forward two steps back. However on a positive note, the hill coming home that has, up to now, defeated me, didn't - I managed to cycle all the way!

    I’m rambling on a bit, but I am proud of my (little) achievements and really just wanted to thank you all for your inspiring stories, without which I don’t think I’d have ever done this!

  2. #2
    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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    And a welcome back to our wee bonnie lass!


    Great to hear from you! Keep at it and please do keep posting as well......

    Successes and your not so much successes as well so we can cheer your victories and commiserate with your oopses.
    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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timetostart View Post
    Have been reading the forum, but haven’t really posted much since I “started” cycling, aged 50ish, towards the end of last year. It was a very silly time to start with the onset of winter weather, my feardie-cat nature & my complete lack of skills and fitness (any excuse really!). So apart from a few 3 or 4-mile rides round the back lanes (an achievement in itself - for me!) have done next to nothing.
    Then this week the weather changed dramatically and it was time to start…
    On Tuesday we loaded the bikes on the trailer & set off for a forest trail just north of where we stay.



    Was super-brave & raised my saddle considerably, as many of you, including my husband, suggested. What a difference, not as scary as I thought, until it’s time to stop -but that’s another story - please tell me someone else was once as hopeless…?! How do you stop gracefully when your dumpy little leggies don't reach the ground??!
    The track was wide (thankfully) & dry, but loose & gravelly. That was OK, but the thing that got me was the hills (little inclines I’m sure you guys would all sail up) It really sunk in that I should have worked more on my fitness & weight over the winter. It was hard going at times – had to get off a time or two and walk (particularly when I’d made a mess of my gear changing, very much the beginner) but I felt less of an eejit than I thought! We managed about five miles, but this time last year that would have been beyond my wildest imaginings.
    Wednesday, and we went out round the lanes, very quiet, just one or two (very courteous) car drivers - 8 miles. Beginning to get the hang of the gears. Got back into the drive, puffed out but elated, stopped and then toppled sideways, oops! Fortunately plenty padding and no speed, so no bruises or worse!
    Next day out, more cars, less courtesy, one step forward two steps back. However on a positive note, the hill coming home that has, up to now, defeated me, didn't - I managed to cycle all the way!

    I’m rambling on a bit, but I am proud of my (little) achievements and really just wanted to thank you all for your inspiring stories, without which I don’t think I’d have ever done this!
    We have all been there, even the guys who look at a century as a short jaunt, car drivers often leave me shaking my head, like the guy today in the BMW SUV, who thought the 4 way stop sign was for other people, sailed right through it, and cut me off in the process, I ended up having to hit a rather large road crater and almost did a header (too big to and the wrong shape to be a pot hole, that reminds me, need to call the city pothole line and get them to fix it.

    As for hills, the more climbing you do, the smaller they get, for two reasons really, one is you learn how to attack a hill, second you actually get stronger.

  4. #4
    2008 Prouty WhaleOil's Avatar
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    timetostart! Please post more, we love you!

    I view inclines as hills as well. Where I live there isn't much warm up before it's hill time. For a porker like me, it's always hard. Like others, the first ride was about 1/2 mile or less than 1 km. Believe me I'm no roadie but I will ride the Prouty albeit the 25 mi. ride this summer and I have no problem with finishing it.

    My Mom's maiden name was Williamson. I think I've got a little bit of Scotch in me
    The direct link to support me in the 27th Annual Prouty Bike Ride, July 12, 2008:
    https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg...upId=219633987
    Please support others by supporting me.

    Thank You! -eric

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I was wondering what happened to you!

    Just progress at your own comfort level. A bit more confidence each day, and you'll be "full of yourself" in a month!

    Stopping will also get more natural with practice. You might even take an "abandoned" side street and spend 1/2 hour just practicing starting, shifting up a couple gears and the stopping in a straight line.
    I always land left foot down (because it seems natural to me), so when coming to a stop, right pedal down, braking, my weight comes off the seat and the left foot is ready to "catch me" as I stop.
    Use what seems "natural" for you.

    On hills, down shift a bit earlier than what you think you need and keep spinning. Waiting too long is what gets you stalled out. It's much better to down shift extra early, then a bit late.

    We're ALL rooting for you!

  6. #6
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    How do you stop gracefully when your dumpy little leggies only just reach the ground??!---timetotstart.


    I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that you are not dismounting your saddle/seat when you stop. Most bikes, not all, but most; when you have the saddle adjusted to the correct height, for proper leg comfort; you will not be able to touch the ground with your feet when you are at a standstill, and setting on the saddle.

    My wife had the same problem, until I explained to her that she needed to support herself on one pedal {either right or left, whichever feels more comfortable) and slide forward and off the saddle when coming to a stop. Put the free leg on the ground as you come to a stop, and then bring the other foot to the ground and stand straddling the center bar of the bike; still holding the handlebars to keep the bike from tipping over… it really is more complex to try and explain it in words, than to do it in practice…

    My wife doesn’t like to hop on and off the seat when we come to a stop, and take off again, but she finds it more practical than falling over… and has found her legs feel much better and she enjoys riding more with her seat set at the proper height… hope this helps you out some.
    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  7. #7
    time to start - again! timetostart's Avatar
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    Hi Guys, Thanks for the practical advice and support.

    You are all telling me just what my husband keeps telling me. I suppose the big thing is - there's a huge difference between knowing what you should do and actually being able to do it consistently!
    I do know really I just need to practice and I'll keep improving.

    It's just nice to be able to "talk" to people who have maybe been where I am just now and to read stories of their journeys!

  8. #8
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    Congrats on the riding. I started riding with my saddle set too low also, but I couldn't stand the knee pains and the cracking noises after I got off the bike. I'm still a little, ummm, lacking grace shall we say, when I have to stop. I think I'll give Bionicycle's method a whirl.

    Have fun riding! Each ride seems to get better and better.


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