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  1. #1
    aka Erica the Hon
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    Looks like I found my people ....

    Hello all.

    In december I moved within reasonable commute to work by bike for my bf and myself, 9km for me & 15 for him. A little over a week ago we both finally picked up decent starter bikes.

    Its been around 15 years since I cycled & I've made it out on 4 rides so far. Much to my lack of surprise but some frustration, I'm only able to pedal my 260+ butt about 3.5 km per ride.

    Any idea how long it will likely take me to fit up enough to at least commute one direction to or from work? I'm planning to bike about 4 days a week to start.

  2. #2
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Actually, it shouldn't take very long. Perhaps about a couple of weeks?

    Part of that depends on the terrain (if it's hilly, expect it to be more than a month!), but it's just really about relaxing and enjoying.

    You need to go about 5.5 miles one way...

    Anyway, welcome to BikeForums!

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  3. #3
    aka Erica the Hon
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    Thanks.

    I have two options in routes that are within 1/2 km of each other in length. One is fairly flat, the other has some moderate hills. (Guess which one I'm starting with???)

    I've been heavy for years but stopped competitive horse riding 2 years ago and have spent alot of time on my butt studying part-time. Its nice to find a community that won't make you feel foolish about climbing on a bike again and that will understand the particular challenges

    Thanks for the welcome. I'm really hoping to work towards bike trips with my bf and I on bikes and my dog running along with or trailering behind depending on distance. The dog is part of the motivation, he needs his exercise!

    Erica

  4. #4
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    We are all about getting people on a bike! The roadies will sniff (they sniff at EVERYTHING), every one else will applaud.

    We have some tremendous stories from the folks who frequent this forum--amazing!

    The flat route will get you started, but eventually you will want the challenge of the moderately hilly version--really!

    What bikes have you and the BF got?

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  5. #5
    aka Erica the Hon
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    LOL ... I got the exact opposite of recommended, a "comfort bike." (Diamondback Wildwood Deluxe) my bf got a Diamondback that looks to be a flatbar road bike or a hybrid that is very close.

    Regardless of the possible unsuitability of my choice, its very comfortable, doesn't irritate my knee with the old ACL replacement and I'm riding it happily. (even eagerly) I'm locking out the front-suspension tomorrow since it isn't doing much good right now and I need to increase my psi on the tires to improve the rolling a little bit.

    My bf hasn't been on a bike since he was 12 or 13 (he's 32 now) but was out for the first time last night. He's probably not as into it as I am but finds the idea of saving up to $200/month in bus fare highly motivating. Also, god love the patient soul he is, he's always willing to support my endevours. So, if I'm determined to start biking places, he's happy to start at this and come along. I'm a lucky girl!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    A handy little hint-
    Ride at least a little bit EVERY day. Even if it's only 6 blocks, it helps to prevent you from "reverting" back to a lessor state of fitness.

  7. #7
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Your Diamondback will get you up and down the hills, but not quite as briskly as on a road bike, or even a MTB. But as long as it gets you out and about, that's the main thing .

    East Hill
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  8. #8
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I started riding when I was about 290 lbs, and all I could manage was up and down a nearby park trail. Within very little time I was commuting approx 20 km return about 3 - 4 days a week during the nice months.

    Go have fun! Keep riding! Each ride gets you a little bit further away.


  9. #9
    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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    First off Erica, welcome to C&A! We're sure glad to have you.

    Second, if you like your bike, that's the whole key to riding.

    Your capabilities will build far faster than you expect, this I can really assure you.
    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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  10. #10
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Two years ago almost to the day, after a hiatus of 13 years I rode 3 miles.
    Yesterday - 146 in a day.

    Slow, gradual progress but it happens!

    Your guy has a lucky girl - you can tell him we said so

    On a similar ride last year I saw someone trailing a 130 pound Golden Retriever - did the whole 145 mile route. And dropped me. *******.

  11. #11
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Welcome!! You'll rock that 9km commute in no time.

  12. #12
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    So long as your happy and comfortable on your bicycle then it's the right bike for you. Don't worry about what other people ride, you have to be happy with your choice. Your endurance will build up, about a year ago when I started it was all I could do to ride two miles to the grocery store and back. Since then I have rode a 76 miler and consider rides of 30 miles to be an easy weekend ride.

    Commuting will come in time, but I warn you, it's extremely addicting. I would venture a bit and compare it to heroine but I have no experience with the latter to back that up. What will really spur you is if your cummute goes past a gas station. I love riding by the Shell gas station and seeing the price of gas on my way to work. Can't help but feel a bit smug. You'll also notice once you get to work your full of energy, I feel 10x better at work the days I commute.

    Present'y I would say to continue to ride your training routes. Endurance comes in time, when you think your ready to commute do a test run the day before. That way if your route isn't so friendly to bike or you find your not ready you wont be late for work. Keep us posted.

    Bau

  13. #13
    aka Erica the Hon
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    I'm starting to understand what you mean. I'm seriously considering bringing my bike to work so that I can cycle at lunch. It will help me get ready for the commute.

  14. #14
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    9 km? Keep riding everyday and you'll be doing 90 km in a couple months.

    And check out the commuting forum. Ignore the safety nannies and you'll find some good info about what to bring, how to pack, what setups work and what don't, etc.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I started riding to work a little over a year ago. I was not in terrible condition, but certainly not athletic. For the first few weeks the 10 mile round trip would kick my butt. I could realy feel my legs after those rides. The weather prevented me from riding daily, but that was probably a good thing as it gave my body some time to recover. Every week it gets a little easier. If the ride to work is to long right now, start with some easy rides a few days a week after work. Try to ride a little farther each time. If you have specific problem with what is stopping you from riding, post them here. There is a good chance that whatever is hurting or bothering you has been experienced by others. Don't worry about how long it takes. If you hit some head wind, you'll be slower, but who cares... just enjoy being outside. Listen to your body. Some days I feel stronger than other. Those days I'll push myself harder. If I have a day that I don't feel as good, I just ride easier. Either way I am getting outside, I am working my body, and I am saving a nice amount of money by not taking my car.

    It has been a little over a year since I started riding my bike to work. I now find the 10 mile ride (round trip) a breeze most of the time. Now I find my self reguarly going for a fun "quick" 20 to 30 mile ride. LAst year a major goal was to ride a local event and go 33 miles. I did that and felt realy good about my achievement. This year I wanted to ride futher and now I can easily ride 33 mile rides a few days in a row. It takes a little time, but you will see progress. At first you may not notice it, but after a while you'll realize that the ride gets easier and stops being a struggle.

    Happy riding,
    André

  16. #16
    aka Erica the Hon
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    Hi all,

    A few challenges I'm working with are:
    1) ACL replacement in one knee, done a LONG time ago: I'm watching it to make sure I don't flare it up but I'm actually finding more strain through end of quad/top of knee cap of the opposite leg. Compensation? Its not a problem, yet, but I'm paying attention to where I'm feeling things

    2) Nerves: I'm jittery when I start out and it burns me out faster. The tighter I am at the start, the quicker I get tired but I'm using the cycling to burn off nerves anyway. I think time & miles will take care of this one but suggestions are always appreciated.

    3) I'm pushing too hard when I ride. I like the feeling of working for it but don't have the stamina to back it up yet, another time and miles issue. I have a feeling I may be in a flat bar road bike next spring, if not by fall. I need to get comfortable with just pedaling along. Is this the problem of 'mashing' I read about?

  17. #17
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    Hello all.

    In december I moved within reasonable commute to work by bike for my bf and myself, 9km for me & 15 for him. A little over a week ago we both finally picked up decent starter bikes.

    Its been around 15 years since I cycled & I've made it out on 4 rides so far. Much to my lack of surprise but some frustration, I'm only able to pedal my 260+ butt about 3.5 km per ride.

    Any idea how long it will likely take me to fit up enough to at least commute one direction to or from work? I'm planning to bike about 4 days a week to start.
    Took me 500 miles for my legs to get Strong at riding.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    3) I'm pushing too hard when I ride. I like the feeling of working for it but don't have the stamina to back it up yet, another time and miles issue. I have a feeling I may be in a flat bar road bike next spring, if not by fall. I need to get comfortable with just pedaling along. Is this the problem of 'mashing' I read about?

    I see lots of newbie riders making the mistake of trying to push a hard gear for speed. Use a lighter gear, practice high revolutions in an easier gear. Actually better for a cardio workout. Soon you will be spinning that easy gear into high speeds.

    I see lots of riders that don't shift gears when the road points up. Even the slightest incline, you should be shifting, learn about the gears. That helps eliminate the 'pushing too hard'. Take your time, relax, speed and fitness will come with time and experience.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    Hi all,

    A few challenges I'm working with are:
    1) ACL replacement in one knee, done a LONG time ago: I'm watching it to make sure I don't flare it up but I'm actually finding more strain through end of quad/top of knee cap of the opposite leg. Compensation? Its not a problem, yet, but I'm paying attention to where I'm feeling things
    For this one, make sure that you've got your seat high enough. You want to raise your seat high enough that your hips MUST rock to pedal, and then back it off just enough that you can pedal completely smoothly, WITHOUT rock. You want your knees fully extended at the bottom of your pedal stroke. You'll find this position much more comfortable, and it will provide more power.

    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    2) Nerves: I'm jittery when I start out and it burns me out faster. The tighter I am at the start, the quicker I get tired but I'm using the cycling to burn off nerves anyway. I think time & miles will take care of this one but suggestions are always appreciated.
    This will pass in time. As long as getting on the bike is something you look forward to, the nervousness will fade to anticipation.

    Quote Originally Posted by esaunders View Post
    3) I'm pushing too hard when I ride. I like the feeling of working for it but don't have the stamina to back it up yet, another time and miles issue. I have a feeling I may be in a flat bar road bike next spring, if not by fall. I need to get comfortable with just pedaling along. Is this the problem of 'mashing' I read about?
    As mentioned before, use an easier gear, and spin the pedals a little more briskly. Another note is to shift four or five gears easier when coming to a planned stop so that getting going again is easy, then you just upshift as you're rolling.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rideorglide's Avatar
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    You found your people alright!

    PS. I'm joining you on the commute quest. Maybe I should change my name to Sisyphus, because each time I get close to my goal of 14 mile each way/2000 ft climb commute, something goes on my body and I have to start from scratch after a period of recovery. Pneumonia, herniated neck discs, plantar fasciitis, tachycardia, you name it ... right now I'm back to square one again after having recently reached a peak and lost it.

    The quest begins anew tomorrow or Sunday. But the advice I'm gonna take is Bill Kapaun's: ride a little every day. I used to wait several days until my rear or legs stopped aching, but am not gonna wait so long the next time.

    I will also bring my "flat-land/rain" bike to ride at lunch (again). I did that last year and it was very rewarding--even if short (25 min).

    [Eek! Admin. please note, I accidentally reported the post in an effort to post a reply. Woops!]

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