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  1. #26
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    Im afraid if I ride too far I wont be able to ride it back. Once I ride enough to know im ready I will ride 20 miles round trip to town and back.

  2. #27
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    As a lot of people have noted yes it gets easier and no you just get faster. I see this in my commuting times, I just kind of naturally work at the same level (and I think I take it easy on commutes) but my avg speed is going up and ride time going down.

    As for 1-2 miles a day...... think about minutes instead of miles..... go for a minimum of 20, 30 would be better. Ride often. You will find that the distance you go in the same time increases. Better to do 3-4 days a week of shorter rides rather than 1 day a week a long ride (but throwing one in on the weekend is great)
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  3. #28
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    Im afraid if I ride too far I wont be able to ride it back. Once I ride enough to know im ready I will ride 20 miles round trip to town and back.
    I've been thinking more about when I started, and a few other events.

    For me there was a bit of a learning curve early and perhaps one breakthrough. I live in hte San Fernando Valley (Northern Los Angeles). It is urban riding and getting comfortable on moderatly busy streets is an important breakthrough here. Until that is done significant rides are a problem.

    The next breakthrough was with the local club. I mentioned that the shortest rides were 25 miles, no problem. The breakthrough was the difference between 45 and 50 miles. Oh but there is a twist. The longest of the in Valley rides is 45 miles, the Shortest of the out of Valley rides is 50. In valley means flat, out of valley means going over the biggest hill I had ever clibed and then down the other side, putting a second climb between me and home.

    You seem to have alread beaten some hills you thought you could not. You are past a difficult barrier.

    One thought, try to find some rides there where you can vary things. If yuo come up with 4 different 10 mile loop rides all starting from yuor house one for each point of the compass, then you can figure out a way to link say the North Ride withthe East ride. It won't be 20 miles, perhaps 15 or 16, but it has one great feature, you don't have to decide until yuo are at mile 5 or 6 if you are going 10 or 15 miles that day.

    With my local club there were many paired rides, like a 25 and 45 invalley ride, both would have a break halfway through. Many folks would decide at the break if they wanted the long of short way home. Try for the same, find routes where you can decide to go extra miles. It is bad to figure out on a 20 mile there and back ride that yuo bit off too much (even worse if you just figured out the ride home will be into the wind!) But if yuo have options yuo can afford to push.

    That part gets much easier once you are up to 25 miles and more, it is so much easier to figure out ways to add or shortcut 25 mile rides than it is for 10 mile rides.

    Oh and yuo never gave us yuor height. 275 at 5'2" is rather different than 275 at 6'1".

    Thinking of dirt and hills I rememebr one climb on a fireroad that had been freshly plowed. One mile of that was far harder than 10 on any flat hard road, dirt of paved. Loose dirt uphill is work at any speed.

  4. #29
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    Is it bad to just coast down hill so your not as tired?
    The down sides of hills are made for coasting. You had to climb up the hill ( or will have to shortly ) to do the coasting, so it's your reward for the hard work. Unless you're on a fixie, in which case you just need to get on with your suffering.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  5. #30
    A square going nowhere psalm's Avatar
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    It hasn't gotten any easier for me. My first ride I got home covered in sweat huffing and puffing. My most recent ride I got home covered in sweat huffing and puffing. Then again my first ride was less then 1 mile in over half an hour, and my recent ride was about 15 miles in under an hour.
    01:20:23:00
    05:23:59:00

  6. #31
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    My blood sugar is 41 mg, I tested right after I rode my bike a mile powering up the hills and ate alot of candy bars and soda. That might be why im tired after a mile or two.

  7. #32
    Senior Member big_al's Avatar
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    I weight about 288 from 297 in a little over eight weeks of riding. I ride a hybrid and I ride every day between 12-15 miles at avg speed of 12.5-13.2 and I am in the burning zone for about 55 minutes to 65 minutes it takes me about five to seven minutes to get going and it does get easier everyday as I ride seven days a week rain or shine as I am done being a fat dude. Get your self a heart rate monitor as suggested and go at it dont worry about speed or distance worry about being in your hear rate zone...Good luck as I definetly know what you are going thru..
    "Don't blame others for your failures"

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    My blood sugar is 41 mg, I tested right after I rode my bike a mile powering up the hills and ate alot of candy bars and soda. That might be why im tired after a mile or two.
    Wow, that really is concerning. The good news is, at least there is still time to do something about it.

  9. #34
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    I'm 318 ish now - down from 330 at the start of the summer. Dropping fast. I've been calorie counting - never over 2000 a day - and for the last three weeks starting with 5 miles - tonight I did 17 - longest yet. I'm making conscious efforts not to use the granny gear I depended so on 3 weeks ago. I have a 7 speed mega range - and I was constantly dropping to the 34 cog (granny) - and I rarely do it now - same hilly terrain - all in three weeks. I've put right around 200 miles on my bike in 3 weeks. I want to be with the 500 mile club by Christmas. . . I may have some advantage - I've always been a big walker - sometimes walking many many miles a week. I have some level of fitness if you could call it that (by no means in shape) - but I've walked to work etc often for the last several years. Just not enough often enough. That and my diet was atrocious.

  10. #35
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    By the way, one thing that helped me a lot with hills was really breathing to my full lung capacity. There is some effort required to fully fill the lungs when one isn't used to it. It turned out that I was not doing it, and it made a tremendous difference when I did. Another thing is spinning. I don't really consciously spin, I am strapped in, and aware of the idea, I try to keep smooth. But on hills, I do make an extra effort to spin, or at least use all possible muscles, like having a truck that shifts from 4 cylinder to 8.

  11. #36
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    Is it bad to just coast down hill so your not as tired?
    Do whatever it takes. But as it happens, spinning downhill rather than coasting will tend to make you less tired, not more. Keeping the legs moving will increase the speed at which your blood removes the fatigue products from your muscles, so you'll recover quicker for the next hill.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #37
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    I weigh 290.

    Yesterday: I commuted to work, which meant taking the train in and riding my road bike 30 miles back home.
    Saturday: I will do a 17-mile mountain bike ride.
    Sunday: I will do a 50-mile road ride.
    My vertical total for the week will be about 6,000 feet.

    When I weighed merely 260 a year or so ago, I was even stronger. 100+ miles a week was easy. I pulled a few 180-mile weeks back-to-back in the summer, and even did a 5-hour, 50-mile, 5,000+ foot climb day on the mountain bike.

    Did I start there? Hell no. When I first picked bikes back up five years ago a 4 mile ride kicked my ass. But I kept riding.

    Here's the deal - the saying 'it never gets any easier' means you always suffer. If you consistently push your limits, you will absolutely get faster, stronger, able to ride longer. Once you do that, the rides you started on are absolutely easier. But, if you love the sport, then eventually those easy rides don't excite you as much as the suffering and the challenge.

    Also, man... DO NOT eat crap food on the bike. Bring a banana or two, buy some electrolyte replacement drink mix, and get some of those gel bites or whatever. Those will help you ride better, instead of pouring a bunch of total **** into your system that just destroys your body's ability to fuel itself during exertion.

  13. #38
    Senior Member spooner's Avatar
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    I started riding in May. During that first week I went on a 6 mile walk to pick up my bike from a friends house and then rode it the 6 miles home. The combination of those two things made me a wreck mentally and physically. Near home I stopped at a park and came about as close to a breakdown as possible. I was totally and completely spent.

    Nearly 3 months later I'm doing 100 - 125 miles per week. July will be my first 500 mile month. Tomorrow I will do my first metric century and next month I'll do a MS150.

    Its not all been on the bike. I take a group fitness class 3x per week to get more cardio in and some additional weight training for leg strength.

    The scales say I've lost 25 lbs in 3 months but that's with the gain in muscle.

    So yeah, it gets easier.

  14. #39
    Senior Member NH Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    Im afraid if I ride too far I wont be able to ride it back. Once I ride enough to know im ready I will ride 20 miles round trip to town and back.

    This made me smile. I'm the exact same way except i'm out in the woods on the fire roads. I feel like I can go much further with each passing day but I'm so afraid that I will get to a point that I won't be able to get back and nobody knows where I am in the woods. (Just me and the moose and deers.)

  15. #40
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I have a similar problem in the early spring rides where I am getting leg cramps at my turnaround point. I have learned to stretch my legs on the bike to relieve the cramps and slowed the pace to a non stressing torque. I bring powerade on the ride for the potassium.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  16. #41
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    I'm on the "it does get easier" side of this argument.
    I'm a person who's had not only a clydesdale body for a while but also knee and ankle problems to go along with it. Weight topped out around 300 at one point, now around 245 or so. Shrug, it is what it is on my 180cm frame.

    Anyway, starting at 2 miles after knee surgery, I was wrecked even though that took me forever to complete (30 minutes I think). Despite that, I got back out and did it again for 3 days before taking a 1-day break. After the break, I added .1 mile (yes, a lousy tenth of a mile) on and out and back route each day for the next 4 days, then another break. Rinsed, Repeated until I got up to adding .25 miles to the same out and back route til I hit the Parish (county) line - wound up with a 10 mile round trip. Nothing to stick in the record books, but I had a solid route to measure myself by. This process was centered on the thought - just keep pedaling.

    From that point on, I didn't measure distance as much as time - like some people suggest. I could either compare the time it took to cover that route against previous times or I could head in the opposite direction on the levee bikepath and ride 5 minutes more than "yesterday" before turning around and heading back - anyone can handle 10 more minutes of pain I figured. Again, this went through the "rinse repeat" cycle and I found myself hitting "personal best speed and distance 'records'" without really focusing on doing so - that was never the goal, it just occured. Again, the thought was "keep on pedalling, just a bit further". Out and back meant I HAD to finish to take a final break that day.

    I won't say what my daily/weekly mileage is now as that's unimportant wrt the thread topic and I'm prepping for a ~1300 mile tour. However, it IS easier to ride the distances I have already ridden. It IS easier to see myself riding further than I've ridden before. It IS easier to recover when I really have a bad day or really push myself.

    My 2 cents.
    Last edited by drmweaver2; 07-30-10 at 07:46 AM. Reason: spelling/added a line

  17. #42
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Let me clarify what I said before. You improve over time. No question about it. Whether that improvement manifests itself in apparent "ease" of riding depends on why you're riding in the first place. If you're out for leisurely-paced rides for the pure enjoyment of it or simply as a way to remain somewhat active (and believe me I mean that in absolutely no pejorative way), you will feel it becoming subjectively easier. If you're out for improvements in fitness, you'll tend to be working at the same subjective level of effort each time you ride. If that's the case, it won't "feel" easier. But that's not how you'll be measuring your improvements - they'll come in the form of higher mileage, higher average speed, climbing more quickly or in a higher gear, etc.

    In the end it depends on what you're trying to gain from your riding, and how you personally define the metrics of "improvement."
    Craig in Indy

  18. #43
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Thanks to both of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by breadbin View Post
    !!you have a drag car?? wow what sort of horsepower does that thing have

    oh and great story richard - very inspiring and fingers crossed i'll be able to write of my own in the future
    Nice car, what are you doing the 1/4 mile in ? Richard

  19. #44
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    That is what I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    I've been thinking more about when I started, and a few other events.

    For me there was a bit of a learning curve early and perhaps one breakthrough. I live in hte San Fernando Valley (Northern Los Angeles). It is urban riding and getting comfortable on moderatly busy streets is an important breakthrough here. Until that is done significant rides are a problem.

    The next breakthrough was with the local club. I mentioned that the shortest rides were 25 miles, no problem. The breakthrough was the difference between 45 and 50 miles. Oh but there is a twist. The longest of the in Valley rides is 45 miles, the Shortest of the out of Valley rides is 50. In valley means flat, out of valley means going over the biggest hill I had ever clibed and then down the other side, putting a second climb between me and home.

    You seem to have alread beaten some hills you thought you could not. You are past a difficult barrier.

    One thought, try to find some rides there where you can vary things. If yuo come up with 4 different 10 mile loop rides all starting from yuor house one for each point of the compass, then you can figure out a way to link say the North Ride withthe East ride. It won't be 20 miles, perhaps 15 or 16, but it has one great feature, you don't have to decide until yuo are at mile 5 or 6 if you are going 10 or 15 miles that day.

    With my local club there were many paired rides, like a 25 and 45 invalley ride, both would have a break halfway through. Many folks would decide at the break if they wanted the long of short way home. Try for the same, find routes where you can decide to go extra miles. It is bad to figure out on a 20 mile there and back ride that yuo bit off too much (even worse if you just figured out the ride home will be into the wind!) But if yuo have options yuo can afford to push.

    That part gets much easier once you are up to 25 miles and more, it is so much easier to figure out ways to add or shortcut 25 mile rides than it is for 10 mile rides.

    Oh and yuo never gave us yuor height. 275 at 5'2" is rather different than 275 at 6'1".

    Thinking of dirt and hills I rememebr one climb on a fireroad that had been freshly plowed. One mile of that was far harder than 10 on any flat hard road, dirt of paved. Loose dirt uphill is work at any speed.
    I was afraid of riding to far, and not being able to get back, so I made up some loops from the house like you said, if I felt I could go another 10 when nearing the house I would, if not go on home. I once started out on a ride for the Post Office, and found myself going into town, then across town, out of town going away from my house to visit a friend. On the return trip, last five miles six miles from my house started suffering from heat exhaustion, I was not dressed properly, blue jeans, black t-shirt, and a 90 degree plus day. Had to lock my bike up and catch a ride with a friendly motorist home,
    and after a few ours of resting return with the car for my bike. Learned a valuable lesson,
    do not go on long rides unless you have prepared for them. : ) Richard

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm View Post
    It hasn't gotten any easier for me. My first ride I got home covered in sweat huffing and puffing. My most recent ride I got home covered in sweat huffing and puffing. Then again my first ride was less then 1 mile in over half an hour, and my recent ride was about 15 miles in under an hour.
    This is the kind of story I like to hear!

  21. #46
    Junior Member sideburns85's Avatar
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    Yes it gets easier, like many, I too was and still am were your at. Huffing and puffing is a good workout. It gets easier to ride and will the more often your ride. The effort it takes you to do one mile today will equal 2 miles eventually. You've done the hard part which is just getting out there and it is hard. I had been a five miles on a good day rider for a couple of months until this past week. Once you break beyond that it will hit you hard and be one of the best pats on the back you've ever given yourself. Keep it up. Don't worry about the distance so much as just stay getting out there. Try this ride as much as you can only ride 2 miles, in a month if not sooner you'll be riding 3. Keep it up, Your doing good, this forum can help you. It helped me.

  22. #47
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    I was afraid to go too far when I started riding again, too, so I rode loops. If you have a bike computer, you'll have a good idea of how far you can go, and have gone, and can easily track how long you've been out. That helps if you know you can ride 3 miles or whatever, and want to push a little further. Also, if your neighborhood has city blocks, you can ride a huge loop and have ditch-out points along the way. If you get tired, just cut through and go home.

    This will probably sound terrible, but if you really want something sweet, you might try to skip the pop and eat something. Even if it's candy. Candy is more satisfying than pop is, and may actually have a nutrient or two. Also it gives you that maybe-I-shouldn't-have-anymore feeling that pop doesn't. If you're going to have 220+ calories of junk, go for a solid, not a liquid. Try to drink water with it!

    You can also cheat and eat grapes or something, then eat some junky sweet thing. You can trick yourself into thinking you have a stomach full of candy

    Cycling does get easier. It takes less effort to make the same thing happen. After that, you can push yourself as hard as you want to.
    Go until you stop, then take a break.

  23. #48
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    I'm in the "it doesn't become easier, you just get faster" camp.

    Last year when I started cycling again I could barely make it one mile up the hilly road from the house.

    Now, 60 lbs lighter and much better level of fitness, I'm cycling to work and back (25 miles each way) a couple of times per week.

    It does get a lot more fun though. Now I can stick with those fitter riders on my commute and enjoy a fast ride and a good workout too!

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