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Thread: My first ride

  1. #1
    Member WilsonZone's Avatar
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    My first ride

    Well, my wife's co-worker told her that I could have her late husband's Nishiki Bravo (found out later she wasn't giving it away, she wanted to know what I would pay for it). I've been looking for a good road bike but I figured I would give this one a shot just for around the neighborhood until I could afford a nice bike.

    My son and I took a ride to the McDonalds down the street and towards the end my son commented that I was going too slow. My legs were burning! Earlier I wanted to ride a bike to work and back, but I'm thinking if I can't handle the 1.1 miles to McDonalds I sure couldn't make the 11.7 miles to my work. On the way back I did okay until we got to a hill. Going down was easy, but going up I had it set at 1st gear and I could barely keep the bike level at the speed I was going. My son gave up and just pedalled to the top of the hill.

    Am I trying too much with the wrong bike? I know road bikes provide the least resistance but surely it can't be THAT big of a difference. Or do I need to just keep riding until the burning goes away?

    Eight months ago I weighed in a 265. I now weigh about 225 and I'm working on getting down below 200 before the end of the summer. I did this by watching what I eat and by doing quite a bit of walking. Why can I walk a fast paced 3 miles easily but riding less than a mile is killing me?

  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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    Different muscles used......

    Cycling is more Quad and trunk (Core) intensive, as well as the calves. It takes time to get in shape is all. You also burn almost 3 times the calories as walking by riding a bike.

    Give it time and you'll be out there doing a Century (100 miles) in a day if you choose to.
    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.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    It's possible that you were just riding in a very inefficient manner. This could be caused by any of: frame size wrong, seat height wrong, tires too soft, suspension, dragging brakes, wrong gear, or more. Or it could be that your fitness level is still pretty low, but it doesn't sound like that -- a mile at an easy pace shouldn't be that much challenge if you can walk three. Probably it's some combination of the bike and how you're riding it.

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    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    The amount of energy expended to walk three miles is about the equivalent of riding 10 miles on a properly set up bike. But you're using your muscles differently, so the ability to do one doesn't automatically translate into the ability to do the other. Were you pedaling at a rate about equivalent to walking? For instance, 140 steps per minute walking and 70 rpm pedaling cadence riding?

    The speed you're trying to ride does make a difference, though, in that you're expending energy faster if you ride faster...like the difference between walking and running.
    Last edited by deraltekluge; 05-12-08 at 06:39 PM.

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    YAT-YAS devildogmech's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like something is wrong with the bike..... Did you buy it? If so, take it to a LBS for a tune.... you might be surprised with what they come up with

    JMHO
    Master Guns Crittle, You out there??
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    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    Give it a month. My first ride around the neighborhood killed me. I literally went home and collapsed on the chair and fell asleep. Within a month I was riding 20 miles a day without a problem. Ride 5-6 days a week and you'll be in shape soon.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

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    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildogmech View Post
    Sounds to me like something is wrong with the bike..... Did you buy it? If so, take it to a LBS for a tune.... you might be surprised with what they come up with

    JMHO
    Seconded.

    Take that bike to a bike shop and have a mechanic look it over. Also be sure to ask if the bike is the proper size for you. Alternatively if you don't want to take the bike to the shop (why pay for something that isn't yours), go and test ride a few bikes that are in your price range at the bike shop. Then you can see how a properly tuned bike feels, take note of the size the bike you test ride then compare it with the other bike.

    Everything comes in time, if you keep at it you'll be flying up that hill in no time.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
    It's possible that you were just riding in a very inefficient manner. This could be caused by any of: frame size wrong, seat height wrong, tires too soft, suspension, dragging brakes, wrong gear, or more. Or it could be that your fitness level is still pretty low, but it doesn't sound like that -- a mile at an easy pace shouldn't be that much challenge if you can walk three. Probably it's some combination of the bike and how you're riding it.
    +1. Even a small thing such as underinflated tires will turn a nice ride into a a struggle.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Brakes could have been rubbing the rim.
    Been there done that.
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    Member WilsonZone's Avatar
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    Wow, I honestly didn't expect this many responses! Thanks to everyone who replied and given me suggestions.

    I'm not sure if I will be keeping the bike. The bikes were a set; her husband's daughter bought them as a Christmas gift, claiming she spent over $500 each for them. My wife looked up what their value is and found they retail at $219 each. Come to find out her claim wasn't suprising. Anyway, enough of the soaps.

    I blew out one tire by putting too much air in it. It didn't blow right away, I put air in it until it felt full and it blew about 15 minutes later while it sat in the garage. I've got this 26 gallon air compressor that I used but my air guage was broken so I winged it. The tube on the other bike was pushing the tire off the rim so I let some air out before it blew. I'm probably low on air now, I need to replace my air guage and figure out how much air to put in the tires.

    The seat was set far too low. I stopped and adjusted them, just to have the seat fall on me while riding. When I was a teenager we adjusted our seats with a pair of half inch wrenches, so I wasn't used to these tab things. I figured out what the knob on the other side does.

    The bikes were purchased about 7 years ago. They rode them around the block twice and hung them in the garage ever since. They still look brand new, but every bolt seems to be loose on both bikes. I still need to go through both bikes and tighten everything up.

    Quick question. My wife was at WalMart and she called to ask if I needed anything, so I told her to pick me up a new tube. She picked up one of those full rubber tubes that requires no air in them. Are these any good? Also, what would these bikes be worth? They still look brand new for being 7 years old. I'm still debating on going ahead and buying one for myself or as a birthday gift for my son. Would I be better off getting a road bike or just riding this one for a while? I do plan on buying a road bike to ride to work and back and I really don't want two bikes. Either way whatever bike I will be using I do plan on taking it in to my LBS or buying my bike from there to make sure everything is working okay.

    I figure I'll keep riding to McDonalds and back (I won't buy anything this time) until I can do it without burning my legs. Then pick a farther target.
    Last edited by WilsonZone; 05-13-08 at 06:50 PM.

  11. #11
    YAT-YAS devildogmech's Avatar
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    Solid Tires are JUNK..... Take the bike to the LBS (local Bike store) and have them do a service..... It will be worth your time and effort.....
    Master Guns Crittle, You out there??
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert A. Heinlein

  12. #12
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilsonZone View Post
    I blew out one tire by putting too much air in it. It didn't blow right away, I put air in it until it felt full and it blew about 15 minutes later while it sat in the garage. I've got this 26 gallon air compressor that I used but my air guage was broken so I winged it. The tube on the other bike was pushing the tire off the rim so I let some air out before it blew. I'm probably low on air now, I need to replace my air guage and figure out how much air to put in the tires.
    "How much" is determined by the max PSI marked on the side of the tires -- and really, don't fill them with a compressor. Get a floor pump with a built-in gauge, it's cheap and unless you're infirm it should take no more than a minute to pump up a tire.

    With that said, reading between the lines of the rest of your post, I'm guessing the tires are ancient, the bikes have probably sat around with the tires underinflated (possibly been ridden that way), and they shouldn't be considered in good shape. They could last you for five years, but my guess is that they haven't been well cared for.

    Quote Originally Posted by WilsonZone View Post
    Also, what would these bikes be worth? They still look brand new for being 7 years old. I'm still debating on going ahead and buying one for myself or as a birthday gift for my son. Would I be better off getting a road bike or just riding this one for a while? I do plan on buying a road bike to ride to work and back and I really don't want two bikes. Either way whatever bike I will be using I do plan on taking it in to my LBS or buying my bike from there to make sure everything is working okay..
    Well, see, here's the thing: people buy some new toy, a bicycle or a kayak or a Nordic Trak or whatever. They bring it home, use it twice, and then hang it up for seven years. Then someone comes along and they see a chance to sell it -- but they almost always set the price too high. As far as they're concerned, they paid X dollars for it, they used it twice, so they ought to be able to get X dollars minus just a little bit. They don't understand that a today's X-dollar model almost certainly represents an improvement over what they've got; they don't understand that goods depreciate in value whether you use them or not; and if they're this type of person, they likely don't understand how to store and care for gear, so there's a good chance it's not as "mint" as they'd like to think.

    So, with the caveat that I know nothing about these people, my guess is that their asking price won't be any bargain. If it's really the bike you want, you can maybe justify paying a non-bargain price, but as it is, I think you have to decide what it's worth to you -- and be prepared to be firm with them about what the bike is worth to you, if you go there. It's not something I'd do with anyone who was a close friend.

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    Member WilsonZone's Avatar
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    devildogmech, thanks for your reply. You mentioned that solid tires are junk. Could you elaborate on that? I'm just wondering why you (or anyone else) would consider them junk?

    lil brown bat, from what I am able to gather the woman who is selling the bikes just want to get rid of them. My wife is considering offering $150 for both bikes and feels she will accept the offer. If not, I'll give them back to her. She does have a bike pump that came with the bike and as soon as she finds it she will give it to me. To be honest this is not the bike I want, but these are bikes my kids probably would like riding when I do finally get my "dream bike". They are getting older though, and only one of them is below driver's license age. This is the bike I'd like to get but I'm a little short of their asking price. My wife still feels this is only a fad and I will quickly tire of it.

    I plan on taking the bike to my LBS this weekend (depending on if she accepts my offer), but in the meantime I'm still riding it. I hope this won't do more harm than good. Last night I found the PSI on the side of the tire and filled both tires with air. Front tire was completely flat and the rear tire barely had enough air in it to keep it off the ground. I will replace both tubes and tires soon. After riding it for a bit my legs started burning again and I almost gave up and headed home, but stopped to watch some softball players for a couple minutes. After that, I was ready to go again. I think my problem was I would constantly pedal instead of coasting once in a while. When I'd coast for a bit, my legs would rest up enough to continue going. I went quite a bit further last night than the 2 miles I did on Sunday. I even stopped at home to grab a bike lock and empty backpack and rode to the grocery store for grapefruit, carrots and other healthy foods. I road about 5.5 miles last night.

    Today I'm going to stop on my way home and buy a helmet. I had been riding without one (I know, I know) and since I know I'm going to continue riding I feel I better go ahead and invest in one. I'd like to get some lights too, last night riding until 11 PM it was a bit too dark. Anything I need to look for when shopping for lights?

    Also, why does my chest hurt so much?? I thought my legs would ache and they are a little sore but not near as bad as my chest. I feel like I've been lifting weights with both arms.

    Thanks for being patient with this newbie's questions.

  14. #14
    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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    I can answer on the solid tires (Airless). Too much rolling resistance, and either they feel mushy, of if the very firm ones, give a VERY harsh ride and beat the snot out of the wheels AND rider. It's a great idea that fails in implementation.

    As to the chest? Gripping too hard on the bars? Too short in the cockpit and you are scrunched up on the bike? It could be any number of things.

    I'd go get a fitting done at a bike shop to determine your correct size of bike before you go much further on this and perhaps look at a couple or three modern bikes. You will be flat stunned at the difference these factors make, in sheer enjoyment of your 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.


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  15. #15
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilsonZone View Post
    devildogmech, thanks for your reply. You mentioned that solid tires are junk. Could you elaborate on that? I'm just wondering why you (or anyone else) would consider them junk?

    lil brown bat, from what I am able to gather the woman who is selling the bikes just want to get rid of them. My wife is considering offering $150 for both bikes and feels she will accept the offer. If not, I'll give them back to her. She does have a bike pump that came with the bike and as soon as she finds it she will give it to me. To be honest this is not the bike I want, but these are bikes my kids probably would like riding when I do finally get my "dream bike". They are getting older though, and only one of them is below driver's license age. This is the bike I'd like to get but I'm a little short of their asking price. My wife still feels this is only a fad and I will quickly tire of it.

    I plan on taking the bike to my LBS this weekend (depending on if she accepts my offer), but in the meantime I'm still riding it. I hope this won't do more harm than good. Last night I found the PSI on the side of the tire and filled both tires with air. Front tire was completely flat and the rear tire barely had enough air in it to keep it off the ground. I will replace both tubes and tires soon. After riding it for a bit my legs started burning again and I almost gave up and headed home, but stopped to watch some softball players for a couple minutes. After that, I was ready to go again. I think my problem was I would constantly pedal instead of coasting once in a while. When I'd coast for a bit, my legs would rest up enough to continue going. I went quite a bit further last night than the 2 miles I did on Sunday. I even stopped at home to grab a bike lock and empty backpack and rode to the grocery store for grapefruit, carrots and other healthy foods. I road about 5.5 miles last night.

    Today I'm going to stop on my way home and buy a helmet. I had been riding without one (I know, I know) and since I know I'm going to continue riding I feel I better go ahead and invest in one. I'd like to get some lights too, last night riding until 11 PM it was a bit too dark. Anything I need to look for when shopping for lights?

    Also, why does my chest hurt so much?? I thought my legs would ache and they are a little sore but not near as bad as my chest. I feel like I've been lifting weights with both arms.

    Thanks for being patient with this newbie's questions.
    I wouldn't buy a CF bike used, you don't know the history of the bike, carbon (actually carbon fiber reinforced plastic often shortened to CF) likes to hide damage until that damage causes failure.

    The burning in the legs is caused by asking for activity from muscles that are not used to activity, it should go away after a while. Chest pain should not happen, I would suggest you see your doctor for a stress test, although it could be having your arms in a position they are not used to, and asking for tension in chest muscles that are not used to it, it could be muscles aching from breathing harder then your used to
    or it could be something much, worse.

    Helmets, helmets sold in bicycle stores need to meet certain legally mandated standards, and they all do. Better quality helmets will have better venting, will be easy to adjust, will stay properly adjusted, will generally fit better, They all need to be tossed after a serious crash, so you need to decide how much you want to spend. Different manufacturers seem to use different heads as a mold, so you may find one brand fits better then another.

    Lights do not have minimum standards there are essentially 3 types of power, standard battery lamps, rechargeable battery pack lights and generator powered lights. There are also 3 kinds of bulbs used, incandescent (getting rare actually), LED and HID. LED lamps last a long time, are bright, and use little power for the amount of light they give off. Most standard battery lamps sold these days are LED based lamps, although you may find a few incandescent lamps around, they typically use too much power for the light provided. Some standard battery lamps use AA or AAA batteries, some use button cells, for a headlamp it's better to have AA or AAA batteries, because you can use rechargeable batteries. HID or High Intensity Discharge lamps are the brightest (those really bright bluish car lights are HIDs), they tend to be very expensive, mostly because the bulbs are expensive, when your paying over $100 for a replacement bulb, then the lights are expensive as well. They need a high voltage to start, and usually come with a battery pack, although some LEDs use battery packs as well. Rear lights end to be LED even if your using a HID front lamp. Generator lamps can be incandescent or LED, they have the advantage in that you don't need to keep spare batteries around, but they do mean that you need slightly more pedaling effort to turn the generator.

  16. #16
    Member WilsonZone's Avatar
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    Sorry, I think I need to learn basic human anatomy. When I said chest pain, what I meant was the muscles between my chest and shoulders and it's more a muscle ache than pain. It feels like I did a few bench presses. My stomach muscles are a bit sore too, but I can understand why. I couldn't figure out why my chest/shoulder area ached.

    I Googled info on those solid tubes. Yeah, they are junk. I read they are not only jarring on your body, but they are hard on your rims too. I thought about putting it on my son's bike but after reading about them online I felt we'd be better off buying tubes that require air.

    I bought a Trek helmet from my LBS today. The guy said it has a lifetime warranty if it cracks after a crash. I'm sure if I crash hard enough to crack my helmet I have bigger things to worry about than the helmet's warranty. I also returned that solid rubber tube and bought me 4 regular ones and still had money left over from my return. I bought 4 so I could replace my 2 bad tubes and have 2 spares. I stuck with the basic generic tubes instead of the no-flat ones. I also bought a bike lock, water bottle, gloves, lights and two Bicycling magazines (LBS sells older prints for $1 each). The lights were cheap but they work. The headlight runs on 3 AAA batteries and the tail-light runs on 2 AAAs. I planned on riding it tonight but the rain doesn't want to stop. Anyone here ride in the rain?

    The Nishiki Bravos were purchased at my LBS many years ago, and they have a free lifetime adjustment policy for the original owner. I should have requested the original owner take the bikes in first, but the fee is only $35 so I shouldn't complain. It takes a while to do though so I opted to wait until this weekend. I'm eyeing a Raleigh Sport that they have there for about $500, and about $40 less for last year's model. If I can prove to my wife that I'm serious about cycling I'm sure she will let me buy one in a couple months. I made sure to purchase items that could be transferred to a different bike. I think my next purchase needs to be a bike computer. Any advice on computers would be greatly appreciated.

    I filled up my truck today. Cost me $80 to fill it at $3.56 a gallon. I really need to ride my bike more!

    I'm sure glad I found this forum. I'm learning quite a bit from the replies to my questions and other posts here.

    Damn I wish it wasn't raining right now...

    EDIT: Tom, didn't see your reply until just now for some reason. I'm going to get the bike fitted this Saturday. I'm also going to take their Raleigh Sport for a test ride while I'm waiting, too.
    Last edited by WilsonZone; 05-14-08 at 11:21 PM.

  17. #17
    YAT-YAS devildogmech's Avatar
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    As for the computer, I LOVE my Planet Bike 5.0.... Simple, efficient and inexpensive (NOT CHEAP!). When you go to install the cyclocomputer, go to Sheldon Browns Website (God rest his soul) and look up the propper info for your specific tire size... Made it much easier when I swaped over to my new bike.

    I'd give it one season (where the heck are you from????) on the used bike. Track your mileage and point out how much $ you have saved in fuel to the wife. Dosent help with mine, but it might work on yours.

    As to the muscles between your ribs, those are your intercostals. They are your accessory breathing muscles. If for some reason, you cant use your diaphram, the intercostals will allow you to breathe.... Actually, when you breathe very shallowly (sp?) you are pretty much just using the intercostals..... They hurt like a SOB when you pull or tear one.... I tore one in HS (Football!) and it took six months to heal ... You are probably just sore from breathing so deeply for so long (not used to the exercise)

    $3.56/Gal!!!!! I WISH!!! Regular just hit $3.95 here in NW IN! (Chicago is supposedly >$4! )

    JMHO
    Last edited by devildogmech; 05-15-08 at 09:27 AM.
    Master Guns Crittle, You out there??
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  18. #18
    AiM SmAlL mIsS sMaLl UniversalFrost's Avatar
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    ok, if you have chest pain and I am guessing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing then I would assume that either you are having a heart attack (go see dr. now) or the bars are too small for your shoulder width.

    Also, go check your LBS like mentioned previously to get measured and try out some bikes in your recommended size range. Most LBS's won't hae a problem letting you ride a bike around the lot or even a mile or two. Get a feel for the correct sizing and see if you have similiar problems on the correct sized bike as compared to the bikes you have now.

    Also, personally I would not get the bikes. They sound like they are overpriced, and not well taken care of. I would personally get a new or gently used bike from the local LBS or go to nashbar, performance bike, bikes direct, etc... to get more bang for your buck on a nice bike that you will be happy with and not have to worry about hidden problems from lack of maintenance etc....

    JOE
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  19. #19
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    My first road bike was a 83 Nishiki Sport bought for $15 bucks from Crags list. Rode it 1500 miles before buying a New Bike.
    Ride the Nishiki awhile before you get another bike. You will be much advanced in your riding wisdom toward bikes.
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    In my experience, walking did not translate into riding. My first ride, I could not ride as far as my regular twice daily walk!

    This quickly changed, ride 3 to 4 times per week, and you will see the mileage go up almost immediately.

    As far as efficiency, road bikes are much more efficient on the road than hybrids or mountain bikes. But if you want to avoid buying another bike right now, put some slicks on the bike and performance will improve quite a bit. Nashbar has slicks on sale right now for $10 each. I put a set on the mountain bike I ride on the road. They work great (but of course, eliminate the off road characteristics of the bike).

  21. #21
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    You've already gotten a ton of great advice but I'll throw in my 2 cents. I have, in the past (at least in my dear wife's recollection) gone off the deep end on things, spent money on them and then dropped them. She assumed this would be the case with cycling. I started out last year on a $40 Craig's List MTB. It needed work but I lubed, polished and adjusted it, put on new tires and grips and started riding. I told her that every week I continued to ride I would put a few dollars into a "new bike fund". 6 months and 1,200 miles later, my fund had grown to $500 and I bought a new, entry-level road bike.

    Doing it this way convinced her (and myself) that I was serious and gave me a little extra motivation now and then. Along the way, I was given an old road bike that a friend had pulled out of a dumpster so I fixed that one up and put in some time on a road bike as well. After 1,200 miles riding both MTB and road, my idea of what kind of bike I wanted changed completely (I was saving for a new MTB but ended up buying road) and I knew better what to look for and how I wanted it to fit.

    Just keep riding, building up your distance and speed along the way, and you will be amazed where you are a few months from now. I'm on my way to may 3rd 100 + mile week in a row, I'm commuting to work every day (on the old road bike turned commuter) and my longest ride to date is 35 miles. If you'd told me last year that I'd be doing this I'd have thought you were crazy but here I am and I feel better than I have in way too many years.

  22. #22
    Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilsonZone View Post
    She picked up one of those full rubber tubes that requires no air in them. Are these any good?
    No, they aren't. Get a real tube; airless stuff will be harder to ride, slower, more likely to damage the wheel, and have a lot worse control. For some reason, people have been trying to go back to the old bad days of rubber tires for decades.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  23. #23
    C3 H6 O3 ACID jasandalb's Avatar
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    get to your LBS, get fitted....keep at it....and stop riding to mcdonalds.

  24. #24
    YAT-YAS devildogmech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasandalb View Post
    ....and stop riding to mcdonalds.
    Why do you think I ride ! So I CAN! I'm not a Roadie..... I'm a FOODIE
    Master Guns Crittle, You out there??
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert A. Heinlein

  25. #25
    AiM SmAlL mIsS sMaLl UniversalFrost's Avatar
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    Oh, foregot to mention one thing

    GO SOONERS!!!!

    (I am originally from OKC and an OU alum)

    and riding to McDonalds is not worth it, instead ride to the nearest coldstone or maybe Sonic (love the banana cream pie shake with coconut!!!!). That gives you a treat for the ride. Just can't keep it up forever or you will gain weight riding your bike.
    Last edited by UniversalFrost; 05-15-08 at 01:26 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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