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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-13-13, 06:32 AM   #1
LabRat2k3
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Learning to ride.

I guess learning to ride correctly is more accurate. I always rode bikes as a kid, and even rode some while in the Army, but always as just a way to get from point A to B. It never really occurred to me that I was doing it wrong until I read the thread about Power Vs RPM. I tried spinning more on my ride this morning and it went much better. I think I still need to find the right balance between mashing and spinning to help extend my range. I also learned that if I lean on the handlebars less my hands won't go numb while I'm riding. This place has been very helpful on my journey to getting back in shape, and I have already picked my riding up from 16 miles last week to 25 this week and hope to get out on some trails soon. Thanks.
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Old 07-13-13, 06:44 AM   #2
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I also gleaned useful information and have improved. Like many as a kid Santa brought a bike or a trip to the hardware store and picked out one with a neat feature like gorilla hangers or banana seat. Riding is still fun and a good way to a healthier lifestyle. Keep the cadence up and the miles will fly past.
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Old 07-13-13, 04:43 PM   #3
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If you plan to stick with cycling, consider getting a bike fit. Proper positioning on the bike is amazing in terms of power outlay and performance. Spinning: your cadence should be somewhere between 80 - 90 with some load (you should never be bouncing on the saddle - load will keep you centered). It will help you to get a computer that shows cadence - once you know what 80 feels like you won't need the computer anymore. If on the road and keeping my cadence at about 85, regardless of the terrain (hilly, flat, rolly etc) I can ride a long time without getting tired.
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Old 07-15-13, 05:35 PM   #4
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Had a really good ride today. I have to say that for the last two weeks I haven't enjoyed my rides, so this morning I decided to not worry about numbers and just ride. I just listened to my body and didn't look to see what gear I was in, how fast I was going, or worry about cadence, I just rode. If I felt like I was peddling to hard I would shift, if I was spinning like mad and not going anywhere I would shift. My ride went by faster, I felt better when I got home and I actually enjoyed my ride. I think this is how I'm going to ride for a little while, at least until I get a little cardio built up. I'll worry about all the other stuff once I get better at riding. Maybe this is the wrong way to go about it, but I know that if I don't enjoy this I most likely won't stick with it very long.
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Old 07-15-13, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LabRat2k3 View Post
Had a really good ride today. I have to say that for the last two weeks I haven't enjoyed my rides, so this morning I decided to not worry about numbers and just ride. I just listened to my body and didn't look to see what gear I was in, how fast I was going, or worry about cadence, I just rode. If I felt like I was peddling to hard I would shift, if I was spinning like mad and not going anywhere I would shift. My ride went by faster, I felt better when I got home and I actually enjoyed my ride. I think this is how I'm going to ride for a little while, at least until I get a little cardio built up. I'll worry about all the other stuff once I get better at riding. Maybe this is the wrong way to go about it, but I know that if I don't enjoy this I most likely won't stick with it very long.
^^^^^^This!

It is not so much that there is a right and wrong, it is more like there are some methods that are more efficient. Plus the fact that hard gear low cadence is hard on the knees. Cycle for fun and reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle. If you are focused on the fun then you will be more likely to want to do more.
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Old 07-16-13, 07:34 AM   #6
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Like BW said ride! It will amaze you how you can change riding habits like cadence. Don't sweat the small stuff just ride and be aware of what changes can help. I thought the cadence of about 70 was crazy fast when I learned it could matter, now 80-85 is the norm for me. Check your progress and make adjustments, I keep a log of miles, time etc.. it works to motivate and can be a source of pride depending on rides or lack of them. Like now no working bike (going to LBS this morning) but the desire to ride.
ENJOY!!
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Old 07-16-13, 07:51 AM   #7
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It's not just the physiological mechanics. Riding in traffic is something sooo many people on bikes are clueless about. Riding in the same direction as motor traffic seems dangerous to many. It isn't. A lot of people ride the wrong direction in clearly marked bike lanes, or on side walks. I rarely do either, thought there are a very few instances where it is called for.

There are a lot of good web resources on riding in traffic. Most say mostly the same things, but there are differences of opinion. Reading the vehicle code for your state as it pertains to cycling (most are similar) can be an eye opener for cyclists and motorists alike. Mostly they make sense.


I ride in traffic and am very comfortable doing so because 1) I know the rules, 2) I understand the logic behind those rules, 3) experience tells me when it is prudent to bend those rules, and most importantly, 4) I never assume that the others on the road with me have any clue what the rules are , and why.
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Old 07-16-13, 06:00 PM   #8
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I am so thankful that I found this place. If it wasn't for what I learned here in just a few short days I probably would have gotten discouraged and quit. Now that I'm riding smarter instead of harder it has became fun. I had another great ride today and did 6.5 miles which is 1.5 farther than I have been doing and think I could have done more, but decided not to push it. when I got home my I was tired but not wore out and my legs still felt good. Standing in the front yard, stretching after my ride I though to myself "I CAN do this", it was a great feeling. You guys have given me the knowledge that can truly change my life, it's up to me to use it, but thanks for your help.

As far as commuting on my bike goes, while I like the idea, I don't think it is in my future. I work 11pm to 7am and most of my commute is on narrow, very curvy, single lane in some places, country roads. Even with lights and a vest I really wouldn't feel safe because even in my truck I've had to hit the ditch a few times to keep from getting run over.
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