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  1. #1
    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    How long did it take you and where did you start at?

    Only been at it seriously for a week and some change - but I find it so frustrating right now. I can only bike like 3.5 miles right now. That is only at about 10 mph on dead flat roads.

    I miss the days when I was younger and doing 40+ miles with my dad on hilly terrain.

    I am out there every day and sometimes 2 times a day just going around the block. Wife is concerned I am pushing it to much but other than my left shoulder hurting a bit (not bad) I feel great. Even if I am out there at 5 pm in 100 degree Houston temp I am loving it. But it is just so frustrating only being able to bike for like 20 minutes at a time before I feel like I am going to fall over and die. lol

    I realize I am not 20 any more - I am 36 and weigh 362lbs. I do realize it will take time. But my mind and my spirit are frustrated because the body can't keep up.

    So how far did you start with? How long did it take for you to get to a point of loading up a couple bottles and hitting the road/trail for hours at a time?

    A side question - Do you feel biking this distance EVERY day and sometimes 2 times a day is too much? Should I be scaling it down?

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Started at age 65 years.

    Stopped 3 times to rest on my first 6 mile ride.
    Now I can go 45 miles non stop.

    Keep it going.
    [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

  3. #3
    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    Thanks for the PM - Can't send one back. But I am glad to see I am not "pushing" it to far. I will just see how I fair and not ride if I have something in real pain.

    Might try a longer ride this weekend and stop for a few minutes when I need to.

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    Started doing it seriously about 6 years ago. Rode 10 miles on a flat bike path. Stopped half way to down a PowerBar and a whole bottle of water.

    About a month ago I rode 120 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing, and only stopped a few times to refill my water.

    The best advice I've ever heard is this: "Do your best, don't sweat the rest". So, get out there and do the best you can, and don't worry about anything else. Don't compare yourself to others because you aren't them. Don't compare yourself to your former self, because you aren't that person any more either. The important thing is you are out there riding and trying to get better, and that which doesn't kill you can only make you stronger.

    Keep a ride log. Write down every ride, no matter how short. Write down how far you went, what it felt like, if you had to stop, what the temp was, etc. Then in a year go back and look at your first rides and compare them to where you are at that point. I think you'll be amazed how far you've come.

  5. #5
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    IMO the reason fitness efforts fail is that for one reason or another people stop trying. Expecting too much, too soon is a great way to lose interest. I suggest for the first 6 months to get off the bike feeling like you could have done more. If you want to do multiple "sets" of activity I'd recomend walking. I think the real sucess isn't how many miles done or how fast you are, but that you're doing something. This doesn't have to be work. Eventually putting 100% effort into a workout will be fun. Give yourself the gift of time to get there. Think years not weeks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    Wow incredible weight loss jethro56.

    Honestly - you can probably relate - that has been my problem with trying to lose this weight for years. I try and give up after a month cause nothing has changed. Like you stated I need to change the mindset and not expect to be doing a century ride next weekend.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brutal.Roadrnr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    Only been at it seriously for a week and some change - but I find it so frustrating right now. I can only bike like 3.5 miles right now. That is only at about 10 mph on dead flat roads.

    I miss the days when I was younger and doing 40+ miles with my dad on hilly terrain.

    I am out there every day and sometimes 2 times a day just going around the block. Wife is concerned I am pushing it to much but other than my left shoulder hurting a bit (not bad) I feel great. Even if I am out there at 5 pm in 100 degree Houston temp I am loving it. But it is just so frustrating only being able to bike for like 20 minutes at a time before I feel like I am going to fall over and die. lol

    I realize I am not 20 any more - I am 36 and weigh 362lbs. I do realize it will take time. But my mind and my spirit are frustrated because the body can't keep up.
    I am in north Texas and I started right below 240 myself, I did start in the spring though and that saved me.

    A question, what kind of bike are you riding, MTB, roadbike, hybrid? The speed that you get out of these is very different, while both provide a workout one will be slower than the other.

    Now as for you...
    Something you should keep in mind, sweating is work. Your added pounds are not just dead weight, they are insulation. So while you are riding that 20 minutes, your body is working on that and keeping you cool at the same time and having to fight Houston sauna-like weather.

    A piece of advice from another Texas rider...weekend mornings. My longest ride is on a Sunday morning starting at 7am, I get out do my miles and get back in before the sun turns the road into an oven. My evening rides are after 6pm, just to give things another hour to cool off.

    Bring water...two bottles if you can manage. I fill the first one with water and the second one with thinly-mixed gatorade. If you can't break that 20 minute market, stop at 15 minutes, drink some water and catch your breath, and then get back to pedalling. The more time you spend on the bike the better conditioned you are and thus the longer you can go between breaks.

    So how far did you start with? How long did it take for you to get to a point of loading up a couple bottles and hitting the road/trail for hours at a time?
    I started with a MTB running around the block a few times. Just a couple of very uncomfortable miles feeling miserable and wondering why this is so hard when it was so easy when I was a kid...sound familiar?

    In a few weeks I moved up to a 6.5 mile route I mapped out, which nearly killed me the first time I did it. Two weeks later I was doing 10 miles, then I pushed it to 15, etc.

    Your progress will be more difficult because of your location, Houston is hot and sweating is sucking away your energy...just remember you are still burning calories as sweating is a muscular action.

    A side question - Do you feel biking this distance EVERY day and sometimes 2 times a day is too much? Should I be scaling it down?
    Yes. Give your body a day or two rest during the week to recover.

  8. #8
    Senior Member GumbyN's Avatar
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    what IamCosmo said. "do your best, don't sweat the rest".

    you'll start to improve, and once you do, it seems that improvements happen faster. as often as you're riding, don't forget to take a rest day every now and again. i only get to ride a handful of times a month, and what use to be a tough ride for me when i was new a few months ago has now become a "just be gone for a quick ride..." i may be hot and sweaty when i get back from 45 minutes of hard effort riding, but i know i could've done more if i wanted to.
    i also noticed some weight loss pretty quickly (i don't know how much, don't have a scale, just visibly around the belly). then it seemed to stop. i read on here that someone was having the same issue and the replies were to just keep going at it, it'll start up again... they're right, i've been looking in the mirror and my slacks for work are getting to the point where i need to have my belt on or they'll slide down. i'm not following any "diet", but i'm not eating cheeseburgers, fries, and a coke for lunch, either (never did).
    just keep at it, you'll get there. i know exactly how you're feeling, too. i use to have no trouble mountain biking through germany for 20 miles, or going to the gym and lifting weights. then a motorcycle accident and a wife and son enter my life, boom, i'm getting that "middle aged spread"... frustrating knowing that what you struggle with now was a piece of cake just a decade ago...

    but you will get there, just don't over-train yourself, give your body a rest and your metabolism will help continue burning calories on your off-days. i've only ridden 8 times this month. 8. there are guys that do that in a week. i average about 1 ride every 3 days and my weight is coming down and my endurance is still going up.

    also, kudos to you for doing something about it in the first place.
    Well everybody in Casablanca has problems. Yours may work out.
    ~~Humphrey Bogart

  9. #9
    Senior Member steve85's Avatar
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    I started riding back in February and I rode probably half a mile my first ride. I hadn't been on a bike since probably 6th grade and I'm 26 now. Since February I am only doing 4-6 miles a ride WITH breaks in between. I don't ride everyday, I switch it up with riding and walking and light weight lifting. Even this morning I surprised myself, I was walking and decided, "Hey let's jog a little." I JOGGED! I'm 390lbs, I haven't jogged since I was in marching band back in high school! I probably jogged over half a mile in short distances. I was surprised and happy with myself.

    I've been slowly increasing my distance trying my best to maintain a good average speed. I been doing 4-6 miles for about 2 months now, only recently hitting 6 miles on a good day. When I started I was doing 2.5-3 miles.

    Be Patience! It WILL take time and weeks. Just take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and one pedal stroke at a time. You WILL get better if you keep at it and keep a positive attitude. You will have bad days too, I just remind myself "One day at a time... All I can do is one day at a time."

    Believe me, It DOES get better. Keep at it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    you might mix it up a little with some walking. also, be patient. day by day week by week. month by month. year by year. you will improve. this time next week you'll be better. this time next month you'll be better. this time next year you'll be better. don't worry if you have a bad day; or week; or even month - don't give up.

    speak to a physician about your exercise. that should shut up the wife.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    For the ones who wondered. My ride

    A mountain bike - Giant Sedona. Love it. Honestly the only complaint is the seat. I think I may of gotten to BIG of a seat. Might put the stock seat on it this weekend and see how it feels.

    My Bike.jpg

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I've only been riding "seriously" as a method of weight loss for 3 weeks. I just completed a 30 mile ride today. I started on about a 6 mile ride.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brutal.Roadrnr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    For the ones who wondered. My ride

    A mountain bike - Giant Sedona. Love it. Honestly the only complaint is the seat. I think I may of gotten to BIG of a seat. Might put the stock seat on it this weekend and see how it feels.

    My Bike.jpg
    10mph with only a week of training on a mountain bike in Houston.

    I daresay, I think your pace might be a bit too high. I would rather encourage you to slow down to about 8mph, keep a good cadence going (60-90 rpm). Keep a sustainable load on your cardio-vascular system and your legs. Look for the sweet spot where you can feel your extertion supported by your breathing, but under the limit where you are burning through your reserves to keep the pace up.

    Clear as mud?

  14. #14
    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal.Roadrnr View Post
    10mph with only a week of training on a mountain bike in Houston.

    I daresay, I think your pace might be a bit too high. I would rather encourage you to slow down to about 8mph, keep a good cadence going (60-90 rpm). Keep a sustainable load on your cardio-vascular system and your legs. Look for the sweet spot where you can feel your extertion supported by your breathing, but under the limit where you are burning through your reserves to keep the pace up.

    Clear as mud?
    I will try dropping a gear and keep an 8mph pace. If it even allows me to add a mile to my ride I will be happy. My noobness is showing. I really didn't have a clue what kind of pace would be good or not. Will listen to ya and see what results I get.

    Thanks!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Started last July at 457 pounds. Did not bike initially.

    Phase 1 - July to November: I rode my recumbent exercise bike exclusively, 5 days a week, ramping up 5 minutes a week. Started at 30 minutes a day, worked my way up to 45 minutes a day by the end of November.

    Phase 2 - November to February: I got restless of exercising indoors. Unfortunately Winter started. So I decided to buy a set of skis, and went cross country skiing. I wasn't so rigorous with specific amounts of time to exercise; I would just go out and come back when I was tired. In the end I usually worked out more than my 45 min/day plan, sometimes skiing as much as 3 hours with breaks in one session.

    Phase 3 - February to March: The snow went away. My old recumbent exercise bike died. So I bought a new one and started working out on that. It was really cool, but unfortunately all the fun I had in the snow really ruined my ability to exercise indoors anymore. I tried doing 5 hours a week (5x60), but it became such a drag that I would find myself skipping workouts.

    Phase 4 - April: Decided I needed to kick it up a notch again. Desperate to go outdoors, I decided to start walking along some local bike paths. At first this was fun, I could do 3 miles in an hour. Then I started doing longer distances... which turned out to be not so much fun. My knees and hips would start to hurt badly every time I walked 4 miles or more, and would stay hurting for a day or two afterwards, leading me to start skipping workouts again. As the weather got nicer, I noticed more and more bikes on the path, which led me to...

    Phase 5 - May- (October?): Decided to go take my bike to a bike shop to get it tuned up for the first time in 5 years. Got it tuned up, and on my first ride I did 10 miles... and was disappointed because I used to be able to do a lot more. Within a week I was up to 23 miles. The next week I did 28. The fourth week I hit 35 miles in one trip, and did 66 over the whole weekend. Unfortunately at the end of that weekend, I threw out my back and could not move for another week, so week 5 was a bust. In week 7, I made it 57 miles in one trip, and 117 over sat/sun/mon/tue... and now here we are at wednesday.



    I suppose my fast ramp up is due to the fact that I had been cardio training for the previous 10 months so my cardiovascular system was able to handle the long endurances, and all I needed to do was to get my body (specifically my bottom) more acclimated towards spending time in a saddle. Because right now I think the only limiting factors I'm facing are

    1) how sore my bottom gets (looking into getting a brooks saddle for this)
    2) how much water I bring
    3) how much food I bring.

    Theoretically speaking, if I could bring enough food and water, and my butt was comfortable... I think I could do a century now. I think. Gonna talk to my doctor about this first

  16. #16
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    gotta have a strategy: a training and a meal plan to make it work. I failed once back in 2006 without any strategic plan. I quit riding 2 months later after discouraged by challenging hill climbs and reading various cycling road accidents in BF. But, I managed to lose 20 lbs, then I found the weight back quickly.

    Now, I have been riding my flat bar road bike on a trainer 4 times a week, 45 minutes each time for last 3 months. I managed to lose 35 lbs of weight and 4 inches smaller waist line in 3 months. I ride hard and eat smaller portion and very selective of what I put in. I began at 256 lbs and my body could only handle 20 minutes on the trainer. Then I increased my intesity and duration as I go along. A heart rate monitor keeps me focused and an Ipod helps me to relaxed, spinned with eyes closed.

    Recently, at 221 lbs I started to take the bike out to real road and attacking hills as I feel stronger and gained fitness back. I managed to do 17 miles with some rolling hills the first time out. and on 2nd time out, I did 27 miles includings some 10% grade hill climbs. This time around, it is fun, satisfying and rewarding. and I will reward myself with a new road bike after I break the 200 lbs barrier.

    Bike trainer really works, it may be boring but very effective and very efficient.

  17. #17
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Don't worry about where you start at. Its more about where you finish and how you got there. Take days off when you need them. Just don't make a habit of taking to many off.

    Although touched upon before, have some goals and have yourself or your wife hold you accountable. Say you will ride MWF for 5 miles each time. If you don't you will let your wife control the remote for those days.

    If you do ride for those days for 2 weeks straight then treat yourself or have your wife treat you to your favorite meal (within reason).
    lil brown bat wrote:
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    When we started in 2008, I read a ton of threads here. Some of the better advice I remember:

    1. Try to increase your distance by 10% every ride until you get to the length you are after. For us, that was about 15mi on a weeknight, or about an hour in the saddle. So if you're doing 3.5mi, try to do 3.8 next time. And 4.1 the time after. The deceptive part is that as you go, the numbers get bigger faster.

    We always stopped for a drink at the turnaround point, until we didn't need to anymore. We also didn't ride every night, but did put in 4-5 rides a week depending on weather, job, etc.

    2. Good things happen at about 50mi per week. I didn't come up with that, but I believe it's true. For us, I think it took about a month to get there. Our first ride was 1mi around the subdivision. I kept a log on the PC for the first couple months. Seeing our distances go up helped keep our motivation up.

  19. #19
    Senior Member green427's Avatar
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    All good replies here.

    There are a few members that mentioned how they were wiped after a only a half mile on flat roads. Months later, the were doing many miles per day.

    What makes you stand out is your determination. Not many people have it. My wife is obese, and wants to lose weight, but has no determination. One mile on her comfort bike is too much for her.

    I am 46 and started riding seriously again this year.

    Keep it up, albeit slowly, and you will achieve your goals.

  20. #20
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    It's not 10% every ride, it's 10% a week (I think). Be careful not to over do it and mix up your rides - do something hard today and something easy tomorrow and take a day or two off every week. If you injure yourself you'll fall off your new bandwagon and that would be a shame.

    After about 9 years with no biking, I started up again last year and struggled with my first 6 miler and did 45 miles about 2 months later. Everybody is different, take your time and welcome to the forum!

  21. #21
    Senior Member GumbyN's Avatar
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    to help you keep track of your mileage, and maybe map out some routes when you get to 10 miles or more, there are free sites that help you keep track of it all....
    www.mapmyride.com
    www.dailymile.com

    here are two ride reports examples, one from each, of the same ride.
    http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/51556802/
    http://www.dailymile.com/routes/7281...-in-lansing-ks
    Well everybody in Casablanca has problems. Yours may work out.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    My weight and fitness levels fluctuate wildly over the years. I have found the best success when I am doing activities that I enjoy at effort levels that challenge me. I also am more motivated to ride my bike if I have an objective and a destination for each ride - moderate weekend rides for coffeeshop/healthy breakfast are awesome, especially with friends to socialize with (gotta eat anyhow).

    The great thing about starting is that we can look back in a year or two and marvel how far we've come.

    Even as a beginner, you can still enjoy the scenery, smelling flowers/freshly-mown grass, looking at birds, listening to rivers, the steady rhythm of the tires rolling on pavement, the exhiliration coasting downhill, feeling the accomplishment doing something you couldn't do before. Feeling so alive.

    My first rides were flat and measured in blocks, not miles. These days my normal training rides are 25-40 miles and fairly hilly, with long rides about double that. The hills that used to kill me somehow flattened out in a year. Be patient, your body will take time to adapt.

    Sweating is indeed hard work. Getting dehydrated makes it even harder. Cut yourself some slack. You're probably working hard enough as it is.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Keep going, Dan. You can do it. It just takes time and perseverance.

    I started riding in 2007 at 320 lbs. I had been a football player in college and while big, had always considered myself "healthy" and never worried--or thought--about my weight.

    At a later check-up the doc had said my blood pressure was "getting up there". I couldn't believe it. Even though big, I had always had good blood pressure. The second check resulted in the same. So, prideful that I am, I started riding again. I had ridden and raced from 1987 (after football) to 1997 before I got distracted and ballooned up to my 320 lbs. I had been a somewhat experienced/accomplished cyclist. I had done centuries (mountainous ones), 35-mile road races, time trials, you name it.

    My first ride (in 2007) was down the local bike path 5 miles and back. Totally flat. It took me an hour. Hurt like h*ll. And it was very humbling.

    Since then, I've accomplished some amazing things on a bike, even more than before. I'm currently at 260 lbs. and holding steady for a couple years. My blood pressure is back to nice-n-low, and I consider myself healthy once again.

    And now for what you may be interested in: my riding is at a point where very few centuries interest me anymore (I can drop what I'm doing and go do one pretty much anytime). I ride 200+ miles a week and annually put in 8-9,000 miles. I've ridden a flat century in 4:05 and a hillier one in 4:50. And I've completed the SoCal KOM series (boy that was hard!). But what I enjoy the most is the fun and camaraderie with friends while I'm riding, accomplishing goals, and the adrenaline "high". And now, my 15-year old is into riding and that has me excited.

    As I said before, you can do it. Not trying to toot my own horn above, but more: "If pathetic-dude-me can do it, anyone can do it!"

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Teon's Avatar
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    I just got re-started tonight riding. Last time I rode on a regular basis was 6 years ago on a borrowed straight bar road bike. Finally have a decent road bike of my own, now, (see sig) and I was very pleased with how it rode. Much quicker than I thought. Never got it into 12th speed, and was doing around 20mph in 10th gear with some really nice coasting.....am really liking the tires I got! Did a total of almost 7 miles tonight. Shoulders and arms are a tad tired, but otherwise I feel pretty good. Have gone from 289lbs to 256lbs(6'-0") in just under 4 months through eating changes and lite exercise, but have somewhat plateaued at the 250s, so need to get this biking going again for some better and more strenuous exercise. Plus, I really love it!!!!

    And to the OP, just keep on keeping on!!! Don't feel like you have to be superman about it. Do what you're comfortable doing at first, and be sure not to burn yourself out. Start out with small steps, and then slowly build so that you'll keep doing it, rather than overworking yourself, getting frustrated, and giving up. I've been there and done that.....it's very easy to do......just set yourself small goals at first and gradually work up to the bigger goals.
    Last edited by Teon; 06-22-11 at 10:26 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    30 minutes North-West of Los Angeles.
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    2012 MotorHouse road bike. No. You can't get one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    A side question - Do you feel biking this distance EVERY day and sometimes 2 times a day is too much? Should I be scaling it down?
    Almost forgot this point. It's not the distance, it's the time.

    Now, specifically:
    • Rest is a very important component of exercise. It's when your body adapts and makes itself stronger. You need to understand the signals your body sends, and realize when your body is saying it needs rest. And sometimes, when it does send the signal, it may be too late.
    • If you can ride everyday, do so. But watch for early "need rest" signals and be willing to listen to your body. Don't become a slave to the mileage trap. When I'm going good, I ride 6 days a week and take one off (life has a habit of interfering, though).

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

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