Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Getting started and looking for places to ride

    Hi all. I'm just getting started. Bought myself a 2013 Giant Cypress in October but haven't had the nerve to take it out. I am bound and determined to do so tomorrow. I'm a few weeks shy of 44, weigh 292 lbs, and everything aches. One of the things I am worried about is riding in the street. I live in NYC and cannot tell you how many bike accidents I've seen. I know they say you don't forget, but it's been 30 years since I rode a bike.

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me how to locate bike paths. I'm thinking in parks or something like that - away from traffic. If there is a way to find out if the path is flat, that would be great.

    I am more than willing to put the bike on my car and leave the city. I am hoping to make my first experience pleasant enough to repeat. LOL

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    172
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    maps.google.com Go to get directions and type in your city in both, then select the bike icon and it will highlight the trails.

    I would also suggest a less expensive multi-level mag trainer. I found one off craiglist that included a slick tire for a really good price. I've seen some fluid trainers here and there but they are normally higher priced. It's a great way to start out getting fitter, while also figuring out the bike setup.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
    maps.google.com Go to get directions and type in your city in both, then select the bike icon and it will highlight the trails.

    I would also suggest a less expensive multi-level mag trainer. I found one off craiglist that included a slick tire for a really good price. I've seen some fluid trainers here and there but they are normally higher priced. It's a great way to start out getting fitter, while also figuring out the bike setup.
    Thanks! I thought about one of those (although I had no idea what it was called) but I worry that I will get bored just cycling in place. I will reconsider.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    172
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It can be boring and tedius, especially at first when you feel terrible doing it and have nothing much to distract you from the pain. I started out at 41 and 267lbs, with sore knees and a really sore hip. I snored like a chainsaw and woke up multiple times a night between the hip and the breathing. I ran on a treadmill for 3 miles per day at first at a pace of <5 mph. I thought I was going to die the first month. Then each week after the first month I noticed I was running faster so I added distance until I got to 3 miles in 27minutes and 3.5 more at around 6-6.5 mph with incline training then another mile walking. It took almost 9 months of 5 days/week running to get to that point.

    Adding diet control to it, I got to 217 lbs before an injury to an adductor muscle in my weaker hip. Now I cross train between running, biking, and weight lifting. I'm still the same size as 215-217 but I'm 225-230 depending on the time of day. I don't pay too much attention anymore to weight. I'm tall enough that 215-220 would be a good in shape weight for me.

    TV stinks at 5am that's for sure, I ended up wearing headphones with music and watching the news with closed captioning. That seemed to be the best mix to keep me occupied so I wasn't staring at the time on the treadmill hoping for it to be over.

    Outdoors is better for the distractions, but inside is consistent and you have fewer excuses. I've managed the habit of ~5am to 6am workouts for 5 day/week for almost 2 years now. It's so routine now that I feel bad when I miss a day.
    Last edited by InOmaha; 04-26-13 at 08:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
    Outdoors is better for the distractions, but inside is consistent and you have fewer excuses. I've managed the habit of ~5am to 6am workouts for 5 day/week for almost 2 years now. It's so routine now that I feel bad when I miss a day.
    Very true. I was wondering how much of an actual workout I will get considering I will probably coast when I get tired. While I am hoping to lose weight (what woman wants to be this big?) it is not my main motivator. I am afraid of being immobile and if I don't start moving, I am definitely heading in that direction.

  6. #6
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,475
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    best advice I can offer is just get active for an hour each day. Its not hard to do if you have really decided you want to change. Dont worry about distance, speed, just worry about doing something active 1 hour per day.

    Find a path close to the house, just go pedal around in circles on it (if required or out and back or whatever) for an hour. If you are sore the next day, go walk for an hour. Find a few different places and mix it up day after day. Dont let "things" always get in the way. Dont let work, or kids, or weather be the reason you dont work out.

    I found I have to do mine after work. If I am at home, I am at work at 6 am and I simply cant get up any earlier, so I have to work out at night. I make a habit of the second I walk in the door, I throw on my bike clothes and go. I dont stop and talk to the wife, I dont watch tv, I dont do anything other than get out quick before my mind comes up with a reason I am not going to work out. If I am traveling, I try and do an hour in the hotel gym in the morning. I usually end up working late when I am on the road so its more reliable for me to get my workout in the morning.

    The truth is the only thing between you and getting active is you. Dont worry about how much or how far, or how long. If you cant do an hour to start, get a half hour, then a month later get 45 minutes...you get the idea.

    You can do this, you have the fear of not doing it, now just get over the fear of doing it. All you have to do is take the first step, then the second...it will come.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on the progress.

  7. #7
    ___________
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    217
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There are definitely streets to avoid here in the city, but looking up directions to wherever you want to go by bicycle will usually give you a few options (i.e. most direct, safest, etc). The traffic here isn't very fast, and there are a lot of other bikers, so I feel pretty safe most of the time. I enjoy biking around Prospect Park and Forest Park, but I don't care so much for the west side bike path in Manhattan - narrow and full of people. Also this thread:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...g-In-Queens-NY

    Don't let the traffic put you off! Just be careful. Avoid the "door zone", don't get pinched between vehicles, and watch out for people turning into you at intersections. It gets fun after a while.

  8. #8
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Norwalk, CT
    My Bikes
    2012 Cruzbike Sofrider, 2013 Cruzigami Mantis
    Posts
    2,893
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Look at TrailLink.com. I'd also poke around and then post in the Northeast regional forum.

    When learning, I agree that not riding in traffic is the way to go. I highly recommend mirrors (on either your helmet or handlebars). Take it slow, have fun, and you'll figure it out (with help when needed).
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    91
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    All good ideas. I really like the google maps tip.


    http://thefrugalhamstercyclist.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    783
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
    It can be boring and tedius, especially at first when you feel terrible doing it and have nothing much to distract you from the pain. I started out at 41 and 267lbs, with sore knees and a really sore hip. I snored like a chainsaw and woke up multiple times a night between the hip and the breathing. I ran on a treadmill for 3 miles per day at first at a pace of <5 mph. I thought I was going to die the first month. Then each week after the first month I noticed I was running faster so I added distance until I got to 3 miles in 27minutes and 3.5 more at around 6-6.5 mph with incline training then another mile walking. It took almost 9 months of 5 days/week running to get to that point.

    Adding diet control to it, I got to 217 lbs before an injury to an adductor muscle in my weaker hip. Now I cross train between running, biking, and weight lifting. I'm still the same size as 215-217 but I'm 225-230 depending on the time of day. I don't pay too much attention anymore to weight. I'm tall enough that 215-220 would be a good in shape weight for me.

    TV stinks at 5am that's for sure, I ended up wearing headphones with music and watching the news with closed captioning. That seemed to be the best mix to keep me occupied so I wasn't staring at the time on the treadmill hoping for it to be over.

    Outdoors is better for the distractions, but inside is consistent and you have fewer excuses. I've managed the habit of ~5am to 6am workouts for 5 day/week for almost 2 years now. It's so routine now that I feel bad when I miss a day.
    Darn! Now I'm going to have to go out and buy a mag trainer! That's a great idea!
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for the great responses. FatherAlabaster, I will check out that link. I actually live across the street from Forest Park but that road is little too hilly for me right now. I am thinking about just riding in circles in the bandshell parking lot in the morning though. cplager, I checked out triallink.com and ended up going to Bethpage, Long Island. The trail was nice but I found crossing the highway exits a little scary.

    We ended up doing an 8 mile round trip, which was like 7 miles too long for me. LOL My boyfriend is younger and in better shape so I am sure he could have done alot more. I had to walk my bike up the last hill but I didn't care. It felt great even though my legs hurt and my backside is not happy with me. We are going to Philadelphia for the weekend and we're bringing the bikes!

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    best advice I can offer is just get active for an hour each day. Its not hard to do if you have really decided you want to change. Dont worry about distance, speed, just worry about doing something active 1 hour per day. Find a path close to the house, just go pedal around in circles on it (if required or out and back or whatever) for an hour.
    This is what gave me the idea to just circle the parking lot, I wouldn't have thought of it. Thanks!

  13. #13
    FOLRB
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sagamore, MA
    My Bikes
    Trek Lexa
    Posts
    99
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You have some great resources for biking in New York City. You might start here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bic...bikemaps.shtml

    I have discovered riding on the roads gets easier with experience. Join a bicycle club and ride with other people. I know it isn't really safer, but it FEELS safer when you are in a pack of cyclists.
    ca. 2000 Specialized Expedition
    2012 Trek Lexa



    The only way you get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more.
    -Jack LaLanne

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I hadn't thought of joining a bike club. I guess I thought you needed to be a pro to do that. I have been taking short rides and I am definitely feeling more comfortable. Going to try different bike paths to keep it interesting, unless I come across one I really like. We are heading to Cunningham Park today. Hoping this becomes a habit.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's another website with 'paths' marked on the map... also any bike store in NYC should have the other link in print form available for free. http://www.nycbikemaps.com/

    Not sure which borough you might be in for convenience... there are a few clubs in and around the city.
    nycc.org
    westchestercycleclub.org
    5bbc.org
    btcnj.org (NJ area but close enough to the city)

    nycc - has social rides at minimum once a month and sometimes more which are at a relaxed pace
    btcnj - has listed C and D rides to give you another option (if you're not quite so sure opt for D and enjoy)

    As for flat trails... Prospect and Central Parks do have hills and can get crowded. North County trail (shown on the website i recommended) you can drive up to any of the parking lots and its a cycling only path.

    Its a fun and you can of course make it as challenging as possible as you progress. Hope this helps.

  16. #16
    FOLRB
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sagamore, MA
    My Bikes
    Trek Lexa
    Posts
    99
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just found this in the New York Times about classes for bike riders. I'm sharing it cause I enjoyed it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/07/ny...es-please.html
    ca. 2000 Specialized Expedition
    2012 Trek Lexa



    The only way you get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more.
    -Jack LaLanne

  17. #17
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kemah, TX (greater Houston area)
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc Trucker, Klein stage comp, trek 560
    Posts
    902
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chaapa View Post
    I just found this in the New York Times about classes for bike riders. I'm sharing it cause I enjoyed it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/07/ny...es-please.html
    if I was just starting to ride and in NYC I would take that class in a heart beat... riding in traffic can be frustrating and a bit scary... I miss living out at the edge of the country in FL :-/... but i'm thankful burb traffic of Houston isn't anything like the city itself
    mtbr clyd moderator

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •