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  1. #1
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    Does bike riding get easier after awhile?

    I weigh 275 and live in a hilly area. I dont think hilly area and 275 mix up well ecspecially since dirt roads make it harder. Does it get better after a few hundred miles of riding?

    I've rode 140 miles since I got my bike 4 or 5 months ago. Skipping alot of days when it rained almost every day. I ride a mile or two a day and work up to 5 miles a day. Do you think a mile or two a day will be enough to make my heart and other stuff stronger? My heart rate goes high for a long time after a few hills.

    I did conquer some hills I never though i'd be able to ride up.

  2. #2
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    "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster..."

    When I got back into bicycling after a long lay-off, the first 3-mile ride to my office and back really knocked me out! I started riding regularly (3-4 days/week) and found that I made very rapid progress. It wasn't long before I was back to doing the same 30+ mile rides that I'd done before the lay-off.

  3. #3
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    Yes riding gets easier in time. You will just need to keep getting on and ride your little heart out. They say to work your heart, you need to have a hour of exercise. Im not a doctor, and I would suggest that you see your doc and get his advice on the subject.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
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    Assuming you are fit for this kind of exercise, I would say it does get a lot easier fast. When I used to comute about 15 miles, after winter my fitness would go way down. The first day or two back in the saddle would be pretty harsh, big hills on the return home. Feel like dying. But by the third day I would sail up the hills, at least relatively.

    After about 20 years out of comuting I decided to do a 1000 mile tour. Same kind of deal. No prep, threw myself into it. First two days were sorta half days, and I certainly slept hard. But after that I was a lot stronger, it seems to be a very fast ramp up. I don't know if this is normal or I have the right body for it (certainly not the case in other sports). I was about your weight, and 6'1", quite heavy. So I would say that as long as you aren't going to kill yourself you should push reasonably hard and expect noticeable improvements, if only on the basis of my experience, your mileage might vary.

    One more thing, you need to be a reasonably sound technical cyclist. Right bike for the riding you do. Not all that expensive, but proper fit, proper fit on all the details, like the cranks. Correct gearing etc... If you aren't riding efficiently it not only makes it harder, but maybe the effort you are engaged in is not one that responds quickly. Cardio seems to pick up fast for me, but an exercise like pull-ups is not something I have made much progress with, too close to my max strength to get good practice in without one of those pullup machines. And obviously decent riding technique is important to your efficiency and safety.

  5. #5
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    Yes, pedaling a bike up the hills does get easier with time. When I first started riding seriously as an adult, I would find myself slowing way down at the slightest upward incline. Made sure I bought a bike with a granny gear and used it often. I live in a flat to rolling area and now when I ride I almost never have to shift down to the granny. Still need to bring granny along for real hills, but find I can climb many hills without shifting down to my lowest gear like I had to in the past. They say the way to get better at climbing hills is to go out and ride hills. Good luck and keep at it.

  6. #6
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    In my experience, it gets easier. Maybe you just get used to it being hard. Anyway, you'll find you can ride more.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    It may take some time, but it does get easier.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  8. #8
    Senior Member timmythology's Avatar
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    Nope, riding gets faster, not easier

  9. #9
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    I agree with the faster, but not easier. I have experience this over the last year. When I started, a two miler would kill me. Now I ride 25 miles without stopping. However hills (or wind) always seem hard. I just notice that I do them at a faster speed and higher gear. Still hard.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmythology View Post
    Nope, riding gets faster, not easier
    Then i'd be the equivelent to a drag car,doing 1/4 a mile going fast but running out of fuel.

  11. #11
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    3 Years Ago..

    I was at 250, size 42 waist tight. After dieting for 6 months and biking. I found myself loosing
    weight. 1 to 2 mile rides were awesome for me. By last summer, had got down to 175 with
    some loose skin etc....now I'm at 184 to 187 clothed but waist size the same as 175 ( 34 ),
    Loose skin gone, now a 3 mile ride is like barely warming up, when that would have been huge before. 20 miles for me now is a good ride, and I ride a Hybrid, not a Roadie. I hate that the scale numbers are going in the wrong direction, but the doctor says I'm building muscle.
    Pants still fit the waist, but a little tighter on the legs. Do not have many pictures of me at 250
    avoided the camera, but here some from Sundays ride.http://s936.photobucket.com/albums/a...1.jpg&newest=1 It was almost
    100 degrees, and 3 years ago never I would never have left out of the ac, above 70 degrees. I would say as you become
    more fit, it gets easier, and you go faster, I do a lot of trail riding and road riding, (why I ride a Hybrid), Keep on pushing, it will pay off.... Richard

  12. #12
    Senior Member funrover's Avatar
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    You will get there, Keep it up! I was that weight also and bike the mountains of Colorado. I love it, while I do find it easier than it was I am faster also

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    I was at 250, size 42 waist tight. After dieting for 6 months and biking. I found myself loosing
    weight. 1 to 2 mile rides were awesome for me. By last summer, had got down to 175 with
    some loose skin etc....now I'm at 184 to 187 clothed but waist size the same as 175 ( 34 ),
    Loose skin gone, now a 3 mile ride is like barely warming up, when that would have been huge before. 20 miles for me now is a good ride, and I ride a Hybrid, not a Roadie. I hate that the scale numbers are going in the wrong direction, but the doctor says I'm building muscle.
    Pants still fit the waist, but a little tighter on the legs. Do not have many pictures of me at 250
    avoided the camera, but here some from Sundays ride.http://s936.photobucket.com/albums/a...1.jpg&newest=1 It was almost
    100 degrees, and 3 years ago never I would never have left out of the ac, above 70 degrees. I would say as you become
    more fit, it gets easier, and you go faster, I do a lot of trail riding and road riding, (why I ride a Hybrid), Keep on pushing, it will pay off.... Richard
    Great story, Richard! I'm in the same boat right now with the weight coming off more slowly than I want... but the wife reminds me that I'm building my leg muscles back, my clothes are fitting a LOT better, some are getting down right baggy and I have a LOT more energy! Some times i just get way to hung up on the scale numbers!

    And to the OP, my feeling is yes it does get much easier... but I think you need to look at the amount of time you spend getting your old heart going, not so much the miles... I would try getting your heart rate up for 45 minutes to an hour for 4 or 5 days a week... When I decided to get back into cycling the first thing I did was buy a heart rate monitor and made sure I was staying in the "zone" and I concentrated solely on keeping my HR in the zone for an hour and not worrying about speed or distance...

    Oh... and for the record... my 1/4 mile drag car

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  14. #14
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    A lot of it has to do with the type of riding you do, as well as your reasons for riding. As others have mentioned, specific mileposts like the ability to climb a hill in a particular gear, or at all, are good yardsticks to measure improvements against. And if you tend to ride at a leisurely pace most of the time you may notice it getting easier, or you'll notice other improvements like being able to bump up your mileage incrementally.

    OTOH, if you're riding for a specific fitness goal, and tend to push yourself each time you go out, then the answer is definitely no - it does not get easier. You'll improve in measurable ways - higher average speed, longer rides, etc. But it won't seem easier because you're always pushing against your limits.
    Craig in Indy

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    A lot of it has to do with the type of riding you do, as well as your reasons for riding. As others have mentioned, specific mileposts like the ability to climb a hill in a particular gear, or at all, are good yardsticks to measure improvements against. And if you tend to ride at a leisurely pace most of the time you may notice it getting easier, or you'll notice other improvements like being able to bump up your mileage incrementally.

    OTOH, if you're riding for a specific fitness goal, and tend to push yourself each time you go out, then the answer is definitely no - it does not get easier. You'll improve in measurable ways - higher average speed, longer rides, etc. But it won't seem easier because you're always pushing against your limits.
    Good way of looking at it, pushing against your limits! Reminds me of the old adage, "Always ride with someone a bit better than youself" I lived by this 20 years ago when I was really an avid cyclist... Best friend and riding buddy was always a bit better than me, always pushing me... and while he was a better cyclist he knew I was right on his heels, which forced him to keep pushing himself!
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    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    You have answered your own question. (I did conquer some hills I never thought i'd be able to ride up.)

    So yes it does get easier, or longer, or faster. You can pick which ever one you want to.

    140 miles in 4 or 5 months, is a start, although a small one. You need to judge yourself by riding more. 140 is a very small sample, to look for big improvements.

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    Do you think a mile or two a day will be enough to make my heart and other stuff stronger? My heart rate goes high for a long time after a few hills.
    Mileage is a poor gauge of overall effort. Ignore mileage for now; ride up and down a hill for 30+ min at a time 3x or more a week (be sure to do some warmup riding before starting the intervals). You should see rapid progress doing this. Push as hard as possible during the climb but relax on the downhill. When you go out for a 'normal' ride you'll find the hills to be much easier.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    Then i'd be the equivelent to a drag car,doing 1/4 a mile going fast but running out of fuel.
    Then go slower. In my opinion you'd make more rapid progress with regard to your fitness by going further, at a pace you can sustain for a while, than by doing only one or two miles at an intensity that tires you out. Thirty miles per month amounts to what, an average of about ten minutes per day on the bike? Maybe even less? It's asking quite a lot to expect one hour of exercise per week to make a significant improvement in your fitness.

    But yes, it gets easier the more you do it.
    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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    I weigh 275 and live in a hilly area. I dont think hilly area and 275 mix up well ecspecially since dirt roads make it harder. Does it get better after a few hundred miles of riding?
    Seattle's topography looks like this:

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    It can be tough sometimes. When I go to lovely Seward Park, the way I prefer to leave is about 2,200 feet of climbing; sometimes I get lazy and take the flat route, which is only 1,600 feet or so of ascent. I used to think Greenlake was too far to ever be able to bike to, a few years ago; now it's a round-trip I'll take when I'm recovering from a much longer ride ( ie on Mondays ) or when I'm really busy and have other things I need to achieve that evening.

    Definitely, it gets easier after a while. But our Limey friend Chasm is right; you'll do yourself a favor by riding more. Even in hilly Seattle, there are flats to be found. Valleys between two hills can give you a mile or two of level ground ... other days when I'm feeling especially lazy, I'll do a loop in my neighborhood with only a bit of climbing. It's exactly one mile, so I can do a dozen laps and call it a day. I only do this anymore when I make changes to my bike and want to test them out before I strand myself somewhere further from home ... but you can probably find something reasonably level to build up some miles on.

    And as Mr Beanz will tell you, the way to get better at climbing hills, is to climb hills. But if it takes your heart a while to calm down after climbing a hill, spinning the pedals on flat ground will help your cardio-vascular system out.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  20. #20
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    Im also gonna limit my soda drinking to one can for every 10 miles I ride. Then when that gets easy then it will be for every 15,20 and up. Im also gonna stop getting seconds.

  21. #21
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    I started riding this time last year and was proud of an 8 mile, hour long jaunt.

    Last Sunday was a 27 mile 2 hour ride. It was mixed pavement and dirt on fat tires, 2.1X26.

    Biking is biking, it doesn't get easier-YOU GET STRONGER, especially CLYDES!
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    I weigh 275 and live in a hilly area. I dont think hilly area and 275 mix up well ecspecially since dirt roads make it harder. Does it get better after a few hundred miles of riding?

    I've rode 140 miles since I got my bike 4 or 5 months ago. Skipping alot of days when it rained almost every day. I ride a mile or two a day and work up to 5 miles a day. Do you think a mile or two a day will be enough to make my heart and other stuff stronger? My heart rate goes high for a long time after a few hills.

    I did conquer some hills I never though i'd be able to ride up.
    I don't think a mile or 2 every other day will get you in shape, but you have to start somewhere. 1 mile leads to 2, leads to 3, 5, 10 etc... What feels impossible today will [almost] be fun by the time October rolls around. 3-5 times a week, go down the same road/path and turn around when you get to the 10 or 15 minute mark. You will notice you get a little further along every week. After a little while, you can work up to 20 minutes, then 30 before you turn around. Just don't push too hard and get hurt. Also, no matter how much you exercise, if you aren't eating well, you'll never get in shape.

  23. #23
    Senior Member breadbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrming View Post
    Great story, Richard! I'm in the same boat right now with the weight coming off more slowly than I want... but the wife reminds me that I'm building my leg muscles back, my clothes are fitting a LOT better, some are getting down right baggy and I have a LOT more energy! Some times i just get way to hung up on the scale numbers!

    And to the OP, my feeling is yes it does get much easier... but I think you need to look at the amount of time you spend getting your old heart going, not so much the miles... I would try getting your heart rate up for 45 minutes to an hour for 4 or 5 days a week... When I decided to get back into cycling the first thing I did was buy a heart rate monitor and made sure I was staying in the "zone" and I concentrated solely on keeping my HR in the zone for an hour and not worrying about speed or distance...

    Oh... and for the record... my 1/4 mile drag car

    !!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
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  24. #24
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    Is it bad to just coast down hill so your not as tired?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I was tempted to say it does not get easier, you just get faster, but that is not true. It gets much easier... IF..

    You work a little on cycling well. Most do that incidentally, but decent form on a bike means it becomes more naturel and efficient.


    You ride enough to make a difference. 275 is not 400. It is more than my 230-240, but at 230 or so I have done over 400 miles in a weekend. Yes only once and I suffered a bit.

    One should be shooting for at least 15 miles in some of your rides, that assuming decent roads that are not all hills. Not saying yuo need to start there, but yuo need to get there to see real results.

    My local truely social road club has multiple rides every Saturday and Sunday, the very shortest is 25 miles. The 25 -30 mil rides are decent roads and pretty flat.

    Mind you, when I started 25 miles seemed like a lot. But once accomplished a few times it starts to seem less and less.

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