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  1. #1
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    New Clyde from St. Louis, MO

    Hello All,

    My name is Zachary and I just purchased my first bike since I was 10. I am 27 and way too fat. I am 5-10 and weigh right at 270 pounds. I bought a 2011 Specialized Sirrus Elite to get me started. I favor the road but would also like to commute to work. Work brings up another topic, stamina. I have been a police officer for almost 3 years and since leaving the academy I have gained 50 pounds. I can feel myself get tired just putting on my uniform. I can't imagine a really violent fight. I have two small girls and a wife at home to think about. I need to lose weight and build my fitness level not only for me, but for my family both on and off the job. I am overwhelmed with excitement to see the level of support that this site provides to a total stranger who only shares a common goal. I look forward to learning and loving my new hobby. I am open to any and all advice on this journey that I am undertaking. Also, if there is anyone near St. Louis I would love to get together. My goal is to be at 185 pounds so as of today I have 85 pounds to go.

    Zachary
    Last edited by rackovanz; 06-18-11 at 05:31 PM. Reason: grammer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Crazydad's Avatar
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    Welcome Zach! This is a great site witha lot of support. Getting back on the bike is a blast, glad to hear you have joined the fold.
    James


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  3. #3
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Welcome - lets see your steed! We like to see a newbies bike...

    If I were you, I would keep it simple for the first weeks - 3 small rides a week and a slightly longer one at the weekend. For example, I have been at it for just over a year and I ride 3 times a week of 7 mile circuits and then at the weekend anything from a 25 mile to 60 mile single ride. Of course, as a newbie, adjust the mileage way down to something you are comfortable with. You may just want to start with a mile or so until you get yourself dialed into the bike and your fitness. Keep it "easy" at the beginning so you dont frighten yourself off.

    Again, welcome!

  4. #4
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    Photos of me and the new ride.


    IMG_5083.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr


    IMG_5086.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr


    IMG_5087.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr


    IMG_5088.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr


    IMG_5089.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr


    IMG_5090.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr


    IMG_5091.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr

    And the most pitiful one ----->


    IMG_5093.jpg by A Borrowed Image, on Flickr

  5. #5
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Welcome to the herd. The best advice I can give you is to hold yourself back. The beginning IMO is about forming good habits. Better to slowly add time and intensity and still be at it two years later than to work your behind off for 6 months and burn out.

  6. #6
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    Well I took her for a spin up and down the street, we live on a small hillcrest. Holy Crap! I am whooped. I remember biking being fun, lol. I just need to build up my muscles and stamina. I also had some shifting issues, need to call the LBS.

  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Nice bike...shifting take practice.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  8. #8
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    It did not want to move to the largest front gear. I had to push the shifter in and hold it for a sec. Also to get it on the middle gear I had to click it to the third setting.

  9. #9
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    Welcome to the herd. The best advice I can give you is to hold yourself back. The beginning IMO is about forming good habits. Better to slowly add time and intensity and still be at it two years later than to work your behind off for 6 months and burn out.
    Jethro knows what he is talking about. I am having trouble holding myself back but if I don't I hurt myself.

    Some bikes when shifting the front derailleur require you to give it one and a half clicks to move up a gear.

    Love the bike!

  10. #10
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Forgive me if this is too basic. Front chainring shifts are best done slowly when going to bigger sprockets. You also need to take more pressure off the pedals than rear shifts. When you shift the front you're moving the chain on the tension side. Rear shifts are made on the slack side.

    Another point is crosschaining. The small front chainring should only be used with the first 3 large rear sprockets. The middle sprocket is ok for all rear sprockets. The Large front only for the 3 smallest rear sprockets. You want to keep the chain running as straight back as you can.

    A third point is cadence or how fast you crank the pedals. Most beginners try to run in too high a gear. It won't seem right but It's better to spin around 80 rpm on the pedals than pushing harder and slower. What happens is Low cadence is hard on your knees. High cadence works on your aerobic system. People vary a lot as to what is best for them but 80 rpm is an average figure.

    Hope I didn't bore you too much.

  11. #11
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    That makes sense, I will try it again tomorrow. I imagine it could be a combination of everything you mentioned above.

  12. #12
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    Jethro,

    You mentioned good habits, what did you mean by that? Is there a resource(s) that I should read? I am very green to all of this and want to set my self up for success!

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rackovanz View Post
    Jethro,

    You mentioned good habits, what did you mean by that? Is there a resource(s) that I should read? I am very green to all of this and want to set my self up for success!
    This could be You someday.

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  14. #14
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    lol.

  15. #15
    Senior Member teresamichele's Avatar
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    Hi! I'm an Athena (about your weight, but about 5 inches shorter) and I live in St. Louis (City, not County). I'm fairly new to all of this as well - about 6 weeks in. I'm not doing this specifically to lose weight, but I imagine I will. I'm actually training for a triathlon so I'm biking and jogging as well, so I figure the weight will come off - at least some of it!

    I'm up for a bike ride sometime. Let me tell you right now that there are great trails at Forest Park but some of the hills are really steep (at least, they are for ME because my endurance isn't great yet).

    PM me your rough location and we'll work something out.
    Grace and Spark - my blog!

    "It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them." - G. Eliot

  16. #16
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Can't think of a good resource to read as I kind of just discovered this as I was figuring out why I'd failed before. They way I define a good habit would be riding or walking or just being active 20 minutes everyday. So with a day a week off that means 2 hours a week of activity. Doing nothing 6 days a week and then being active for two hours is not a habit. Habits are consistant and sustainable. It took me 6 months of going to the Y before I just did it without it being a task that I had to do. It became a habit. When I take a day off for recovery My body misses the workout.
    I'm not suggesting the 20 minutes is right for you it's just an example but one that was suggested to me by my doctor.

  17. #17
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    I have decided to start a blog about my journey feel free to check it out, at http://clydecop.blogspot.com/


    Zachary

  18. #18
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Welcome to the herd, Zach. It sounds like we share a similar build. I'm also 5'-10" and was at 270 in April of '10 when I got serious about losing. I'm now at 194 and plan to get to about 170 before I'm done.
    Craig in Indy

  19. #19
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Welcome to the herd, Zach. It sounds like we share a similar build. I'm also 5'-10" and was at 270 in April of '10 when I got serious about losing. I'm now at 194 and plan to get to about 170 before I'm done.
    Craig to be honest, your story is what gave me the most hope. I look forward to the journey and the goal!

  20. #20
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Zachary (I notice that's how you sign your sigs so maybe you prefer it to Zach?),

    I think you're on the right path. Let me throw out some advice, but remember it's worth what you paid for it.

    I'm pretty early in my weight-loss regimen but I've found two points that were tough to overcome:

    1) When I started a year ago I had to go on faith that I was getting in shape, losing weight and getting stronger. What I mean is that it was hard for me to get out and ride (once the newness had worn off in a couple weeks) knowing that I was getting worn out ride after ride at 13 MPH average over 15 miles while my friend who has been riding for a decade was easily able to go 50 miles at 18 MPH. It seemed like week after week, month after month I didn't improve my distance or speed and it would have been easy to chuck the whole thing and go back to sitting on the couch watching TV. But you know what? I was improving. I look back on those first few months and realize that getting sore and tired was just part of building up my base conditioning. After 5 months I was able to do 30 miles at 14 MPH and now I'm up to 50 mile rides at 15 1/2 MPH. The key here is that it happens slowly. So slowly, in fact, that you don't notice it happening. Have faith that if you put in the work it will pay off...but it's gonna take some time, so don't give up when you get frustrated, because you will get frustrated!

    2) After some amount of time (6 months for me) you'll lose some weight and start to notice improvements in strength and fitness. Don't fall into the trap that I did - coasting along and not paying as much attention to the details as I should have. I basically went from last December until the beginning of May without losing any weight and without significantly improving my fitness. It was just easy to ride the rides I've been doing at the same twice a week frequency. And as for diet, well I was finding myself treating myself to burgers or pizza or whatever way more often. Hey, having one little cookie that my co-worker brought into the office won't hurt, right? Yeah, well it's not the one cookie that's the problem, it's the rationalization that's the problem because it leads to more and more calories and less and less exercise. So, to help me overcome this I've set a reward for when I reach 200 lbs. I'm going to get a new set of wheels for my bike. This keeps me focused on improving. Yeah, it's kind of juvenile and materialistic to have to use bribe like a new set of wheels to get me to do it, but sometimes the overall good of my health and taking care of my wife and dogs for the long run just don't cut it as motivation. Hey, at least I realize my flaws...and can use them in the good fight against weight.

    So congratulations on taking the first steps. Hopefully you won't fall into the same two traps of frustration and complacency that I described above but from my year on the forum I can tell you that they are not uncommon traps for people to fall into. Hopefully you'll never need to use this advice and you'll be successful on your weight-loss journey without any hiccups!

  21. #21
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engstrom View Post
    Zachary (I notice that's how you sign your sigs so maybe you prefer it to Zach?),

    I think you're on the right path. Let me throw out some advice, but remember it's worth what you paid for it.

    I'm pretty early in my weight-loss regimen but I've found two points that were tough to overcome:

    1) When I started a year ago I had to go on faith that I was getting in shape, losing weight and getting stronger. What I mean is that it was hard for me to get out and ride (once the newness had worn off in a couple weeks) knowing that I was getting worn out ride after ride at 13 MPH average over 15 miles while my friend who has been riding for a decade was easily able to go 50 miles at 18 MPH. It seemed like week after week, month after month I didn't improve my distance or speed and it would have been easy to chuck the whole thing and go back to sitting on the couch watching TV. But you know what? I was improving. I look back on those first few months and realize that getting sore and tired was just part of building up my base conditioning. After 5 months I was able to do 30 miles at 14 MPH and now I'm up to 50 mile rides at 15 1/2 MPH. The key here is that it happens slowly. So slowly, in fact, that you don't notice it happening. Have faith that if you put in the work it will pay off...but it's gonna take some time, so don't give up when you get frustrated, because you will get frustrated!

    2) After some amount of time (6 months for me) you'll lose some weight and start to notice improvements in strength and fitness. Don't fall into the trap that I did - coasting along and not paying as much attention to the details as I should have. I basically went from last December until the beginning of May without losing any weight and without significantly improving my fitness. It was just easy to ride the rides I've been doing at the same twice a week frequency. And as for diet, well I was finding myself treating myself to burgers or pizza or whatever way more often. Hey, having one little cookie that my co-worker brought into the office won't hurt, right? Yeah, well it's not the one cookie that's the problem, it's the rationalization that's the problem because it leads to more and more calories and less and less exercise. So, to help me overcome this I've set a reward for when I reach 200 lbs. I'm going to get a new set of wheels for my bike. This keeps me focused on improving. Yeah, it's kind of juvenile and materialistic to have to use bribe like a new set of wheels to get me to do it, but sometimes the overall good of my health and taking care of my wife and dogs for the long run just don't cut it as motivation. Hey, at least I realize my flaws...and can use them in the good fight against weight.

    So congratulations on taking the first steps. Hopefully you won't fall into the same two traps of frustration and complacency that I described above but from my year on the forum I can tell you that they are not uncommon traps for people to fall into. Hopefully you'll never need to use this advice and you'll be successful on your weight-loss journey without any hiccups!

    Thanks for the advice. I am excited to see the results, I can see how that can be annoying if they come slow. I have setup small goals to achieve to keep myself motivated. My first is to be able to commute the 2.1 mile hill as heck ride to the station.

    Next who knows, but I need to achieve #1 first!

    Zachary (also I don't care if it is Zachary or Zach, either is ok.)

  22. #22
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rackovanz View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I am excited to see the results, I can see how that can be annoying if they come slow. I have setup small goals to achieve to keep myself motivated. My first is to be able to commute the 2.1 mile hill as heck ride to the station.

    Next who knows, but I need to achieve #1 first!

    Zachary (also I don't care if it is Zachary or Zach, either is ok.)
    Good for you - achievable goals is a good way to stay motivated. Heck, I'm still using them - right now my goal is 300 miles riding this month. Next month? Who knows, maybe 400 miles. What the goals are doesn't matter nearly as much as having them to work towards.

  23. #23
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Lovely looking bike - I recently bought a Trek in a similar fashion. Hows the seat working out for you? Im about to switch mine out as mine is brutally hard and narrow

    Great advice from Engstrom - and I have experienced his findings. My first 6 months I lost 20lb, the last 6 months, only 10 lbs because I do find myself justifying a burger or a cookie (not just one) because "I did a ride". This is the #1 reason my weight loss has slowed. However, without the bike riding I know the weight would have gained back in no time as it has on the numerous other failed diets I have tried. For me, the bike riding keeps the weight off but sensible diet loses the weight. Before I started riding I was under the misconception that riding would lick me into shape. It wont. Watching the calories is the only way to lose weight and combining that with riding just gives you a little more "wiggle" room to cheat now and again. All in all I am thrilled that I am 30lbs lighter than I was last year and so much more stronger on my bike.

    Good luck to you - looking forwards to your blog...

  24. #24
    Bike Cop rackovanz's Avatar
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    I am trying to stay on point with eating better, but 28 years of eating habits are hard to change.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    As others have said -- welcome to the herd!

    ... but 28 years of eating habits are hard to change.
    My philosophy in my own battle of the bulge is that it took me 5-10 years to get this way, it'll take at least a few years to get back out. I don't expect to flip a switch and say "from now on, I'm only going to eat nuts and berries and bike 10,000 miles a month then I'll be skinny."

    While true, it's not sustainable. So for me and Mrs. Zoxe, biking was one of many gradual things that we changed in our lives. We eat better (quality of food, and portion size), and we're more active. Biking is just one of several things we do ... bikes, gym, jogging, yard work .... so that no one single thing burns us out. I'm still a year or two away from my target weight, and that's okay.

    People at work ask me if I'm on a diet and I answer honestly, "no, this is just how I live now."

    Anyway, that's just my 2 pesos.

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