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Old 08-12-05, 01:12 PM   #1
roesslk
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Hooray for Me

Just had to tell you guys that I am becoming quite good at shifting my gears, I can pull my cleats in and out of the pedals and havenít fallen ďyetĒ and I believe Iíve developed a permanent grease stain on my right calf. Iím not riding too far Ė 10 miles is the max. Iíve done so far - have lots of hills, inclines in my area and Iím sooooooo out of shape. I think I've swallowed a 100 bugs while gasping for air. Have been dealing with plantar fasciitis too - what a pain that is but massage therapist and exercises are helping. Am going to look online tonight to see where I can find some flat land to ride on.

Kathy in NJ
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Old 08-12-05, 01:52 PM   #2
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kathy,

Good work. It took me 10 months to decide I had to get a chain cleaner. Surprisingly, it was very easy to use and my riding was much easier after I cleaned the chain. I thought it would be messy messy like working on a car. Not true, water clean up. Just a suggestion on the next mountainyou might try conquering. You'll now be known as Kathy-the-conqueror.
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Old 08-12-05, 02:34 PM   #3
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Grease marks on the calfs are worn as a trophy, but get a band aid on them if they start bleeding. The bugs add extra protein to the diet so don't worry about them, unless they get in the helmet and buzz around the ears, but that gives you a reason to stop so ignore them. As for the Flatlands, they don't exist, so just enjoy the buzz of riding up the hills and look to the scenery for inspiration.

Well done on the riding, but try to put a bit more effort into it so you can get that true mark of a cyclist--Road rash.

(Keep going as you are and the milage will come and hills won't get any easier, but they will get shorter)
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Old 08-12-05, 02:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by roesslk
I can pull my cleats in and out of the pedals and havenít fallen ďyetĒ and I believe Iíve developed a permanent grease stain on my right calf.

Kathy in NJ
My right calf has a tattoo in the shape of a chainring from my first experience with clipless.
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Old 08-12-05, 03:22 PM   #5
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Keep up the good work! Congratulations on reaching 10 miles!

And if you need a pat on the back by someone "in person," tell any friend who is a non-cyclist / couch potato that you rode 10 miles and their mouth will drop at the idea as they proclaim how FAAAAAR that is.

Non-cyclists are so easy to impress with mileage.

You are on the start of a glorious journey!

... Darwin
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Old 08-12-05, 03:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stapfam
As for the Flatlands, they don't exist, so just enjoy the buzz of riding up the hills and look to the scenery for inspiration.
)
What scenery? I'm too damn busy trying to focus on breathing!! Ha!! Seriously, this is GOOD..no..GREAT stuff!!
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Old 08-12-05, 03:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dgregory57
Non-cyclists are so easy to impress with mileage.

... Darwin
ooooooo I didn't think of that - yes, I Kathy the Conqueror rode 10 miles!! And I have a grease tattoo to prove it!! There's this VERY LONG incline heading to my house - for me at this point it's hard - I have had to stop halfway up it until yesterday - this guy who lives up the street from me cycles and teaches spin....he saw me making it up the incline yesterday and yelled "PEDAL HARDER!!" Creep.
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Old 08-12-05, 03:51 PM   #8
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dgregory57 is so right! I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I'm an inspiration because I rode six miles to work. It's almost embarrassing!
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Old 08-12-05, 03:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Streetdoc
My right calf has a tattoo in the shape of a chainring from my first experience with clipless.
Ha!!! I'm doing ok with the clipless right now - watching for things that might cause me to stop - like deer on the side of the road. I proactively unclip. My problem yesterday was the stupid bike shorts. I think I bought them a size too big. I had stopped to drink some water - can't do that and ride at the same time yet (don't laugh). Finish my drink, clip one shoe in, go to hop onto the seat and this stupid padding stuff caught on the edge of the saddle. I was like....what?!?!?! How embarrassing. Good thing I didn't fall - prolly woulds left my shorts attached to the seat.
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Old 08-12-05, 03:58 PM   #10
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I've had that kind of problem with bike shorts, too. I mentioned it to the instructor of the Road I course that I was taking and he said they were too big. I was shocked as I'm used to my clothes being too small, not too big!
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Old 08-12-05, 04:14 PM   #11
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Kathy....big congrats to you.....it seems like only a few days ago you were wondering about the mysteries of clips and gears. Soon, you'll be a grease tatooed, no-hands-while-peeling-a-banana, lycra skinned road dawg......who is giving advice to newbies here at the forum. You've come so far in such a short time. As someone said here, "Cycling is 50% physical and 90% attitude". 8-)

To paraphrase Lance (or Greg) "It never gets easy, you just get faster, go farther, climb steeper, drink while riding."
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Old 08-12-05, 04:53 PM   #12
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Don't worry about the hills, you will soon get better at climbing. Just go for a very low gear and try to keep an easy rhythm. The advantage of hills is that they are easy coming down.
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Old 08-12-05, 05:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by roesslk
Ha!!! My problem yesterday was the stupid bike shorts. I think I bought them a size too big. I had stopped to drink some water - can't do that and ride at the same time yet (don't laugh). Finish my drink, clip one shoe in, go to hop onto the seat and this stupid padding stuff caught on the edge of the saddle. I was like....what?!?!?! How embarrassing. Good thing I didn't fall - prolly woulds left my shorts attached to the seat.
The shorts are probably OK, though they do fit tight by design. The same thing--catching the horn of the saddle on the padding when climbing onto the saddle--happened to me at first, and embarrassed me to hell on a group ride. In time, I just learned to hoist my body high enough as I got the bike moving with my clipped foot so that it didn't happen anymore. Believe me, if I learned anyone can!

It's nice to have gone beyond complete newbiehood about something!
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Old 08-12-05, 06:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GrannyGear
As someone said here, "Cycling is 50% physical and 90% attitude". 8-)
That was me! Of course, I may have "stolen" the line from someone else, without realizing it. In any event, it's true!
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Old 08-12-05, 06:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by roesslk
Just had to tell you guys that I am becoming quite good at shifting my gears, I can pull my cleats in and out of the pedals and havenít fallen ďyetĒ and I believe Iíve developed a permanent grease stain on my right calf. Iím not riding too far Ė 10 miles is the max. Iíve done so far - have lots of hills, inclines in my area and Iím sooooooo out of shape. I think I've swallowed a 100 bugs while gasping for air. Have been dealing with plantar fasciitis too - what a pain that is but massage therapist and exercises are helping. Am going to look online tonight to see where I can find some flat land to ride on.

Kathy in NJ
Way to Go Kathy!!!! Glad you said "havenít fallen ďyetĒ as you will. I came close last night at a stop sign. "Iím not riding too far Ė 10 miles is the max" thats quite good actually. I've been riding with a newbie that is now up to 14. Guys at work were giving her a hard time, but I am proud of her and made sure she knew the other guys were jealous their spouses couldn't (or wouldn't) make it anywere close to that. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!.
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Old 08-12-05, 06:44 PM   #16
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Good for oyu!

I still occasionally get a grease mark, although they get rarer the more you ride.

My wife (67yo) did a 29 mile ride last week and a 24 miler yesterday, and throw in a 14 miler the day before. So you are in good company on the distaff side and things will only get better.

Keep it up!
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Old 08-12-05, 08:30 PM   #17
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If you do really want flat rides, you could explore rail trails.I have a couple of suggestions, but they are not necessarily convenient for you.

Rail trails tend to have very gentle slopes...

There is one in the Berkshires that is great, and blacktop the whole way. It is about 11.5 miles long, so 23 miles round trip. It is called the Ashuwillticook trail. http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/western/asrt.htm

Also, near Jim Thorpe PA is a wonderful trail, but it is gravel surface which may be an issue in case you run narrow tires. It runs 26 miles, so 53 miles round trip. It is the Lehigh Goge Trail. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/statepar...highgorge.aspx

There are others, but those are two that I have ridden in the region.

The scenery is better on the Lehigh Gorge, but the surface is better on the Ashuwillticook.

To search various areas.... http://www.traillink.com/TL_Active_P...ch/default.asp
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Old 08-12-05, 08:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roesslk
Just had to tell you guys that I am becoming quite good at shifting my gears, I can pull my cleats in and out of the pedals and havenít fallen ďyetĒ and I believe Iíve developed a permanent grease stain on my right calf. Iím not riding too far Ė 10 miles is the max. Iíve done so far - have lots of hills, inclines in my area and Iím sooooooo out of shape. I think I've swallowed a 100 bugs while gasping for air. Have been dealing with plantar fasciitis too - what a pain that is but massage therapist and exercises are helping. Am going to look online tonight to see where I can find some flat land to ride on.

Kathy in NJ
Congrats, Kathy! 10 miles is a great start, just keep working at it, the miles will get easier, everything will get easier to do on the bike.

dgregory57's remark about the non-cyclists reminded me of the husband and wife, friends of my wife who just started riding their new Walmart bikes. The woman told my wife they just rode around the neighborhood. My wife knew the woman's mother just lived 2 miles away from them, so she suggested they ride to her mother's house. She told my wife "No way I'm riding that far!". My wife didn't have the heart to tell her that we rode 22 miles on our tandem, 4 days a week.
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Old 08-12-05, 08:42 PM   #19
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Sounds like you are doing great! Good luck with the Plantar Fasciitis--I used to have it to where I couldn't stand up in the mornings. Now I stretch religiously before and after any exercise, and that seems to be working as a preventative. The massage sounds good, too.

Funny thing, the first doc told me to stop running and take up cycling; the second doc told me cycling could also be a problem unless I got a pair of real cycling shoes with nice stiff soles. Sounds like you've already got that one covered, so hopefully your problem will be resolved soon.

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Old 08-13-05, 06:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgregory57
If you do really want flat rides, you could explore rail trails.I have a couple of suggestions, but they are not necessarily convenient for you.

Rail trails tend to have very gentle slopes...

There is one in the Berkshires that is great, and blacktop the whole way. It is about 11.5 miles long, so 23 miles round trip. It is called the Ashuwillticook trail. http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/western/asrt.htm

Also, near Jim Thorpe PA is a wonderful trail, but it is gravel surface which may be an issue in case you run narrow tires. It runs 26 miles, so 53 miles round trip. It is the Lehigh Goge Trail. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/statepar...highgorge.aspx

There are others, but those are two that I have ridden in the region.

The scenery is better on the Lehigh Gorge, but the surface is better on the Ashuwillticook.

To search various areas.... http://www.traillink.com/TL_Active_P...ch/default.asp
Hi - thanks for the links - I did a search on traillink and quite a few come up - some are too short though. Will do further exploring later. The Lehigh Gorge is about 1.5 hours from me so it could be something I would do but I'm not sure about gravel. As for the Berkshires, never been up that way - will check it out. Thanks again!!
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Old 08-13-05, 06:28 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dagna
Funny thing, the first doc told me to stop running and take up cycling; the second doc told me cycling could also be a problem unless I got a pair of real cycling shoes with nice stiff soles. Sounds like you've already got that one covered, so hopefully your problem will be resolved soon.

Dagna
I went to an orthopedist and he gave me anti infammatory drugs and wanted me to come back to begin a "cortisone shot regimen". Heh. Um, no, not me. If there's a better, natural, less painful way to go about something, I'll do it. Massage therapy isn't quite like I had thought. I had been to this place years ago - I was only 43 and thought I needed hip replacement. My muscles in my legs were such a mess from sitting on my arse all day at work and not doing any exercise. Anyway, I saw the therapist for 3 months, once a week. The first visits were very painful - none of his scented candle, background Om music stuff. Today it will hurt - but not like cortisone shot would.
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Old 08-13-05, 06:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
That was me! Of course, I may have "stolen" the line from someone else, without realizing it. In any event, it's true!
Forgot to mention yesterday - it is really true that attitude plays a big part not only in getting out on my bike but in everything else I do. I haven't missed a day of riding this week and one day I felt tired. I decided to not take a long ride. Heck, I didn't even leave my street. Just went up and down, practicing unclipping my shoes and standing up on the bike. Still got work to do on the standing up thing - if I'm going up a hill and I'm already in a lower gear, when I stand up the pedals aren't geared enough to take the weight - not sure if I'm explaining that right. OR, and this is prolly the case - I don't know what I'm doing. Oh well, gears, bike shorts, standing up - I'm learning.
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Old 08-13-05, 07:03 AM   #23
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Way to go Roesslk!! It sounds as though you are getting it all put together. Don't let the hills get you down. I live in a hilly area, (not quite as hilly as Sparta) and I used to wish I could create a ride without hills. Now since riding routinely since March many of the hills are my favorite parts of my ride, (and yes I do mean going up not riding down). As you get into better shape and begin to challange the hills rather than just survive them they become fun. Gearing up and standing in the pedals is a good thing too!
Anyway, congrats and keep it going!!!
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Old 08-13-05, 09:43 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roesslk
I went to an orthopedist and he gave me anti infammatory drugs and wanted me to come back to begin a "cortisone shot regimen". Heh. Um, no, not me. If there's a better, natural, less painful way to go about something, I'll do it. Massage therapy isn't quite like I had thought. I had been to this place years ago - I was only 43 and thought I needed hip replacement. My muscles in my legs were such a mess from sitting on my arse all day at work and not doing any exercise. Anyway, I saw the therapist for 3 months, once a week. The first visits were very painful - none of his scented candle, background Om music stuff. Today it will hurt - but not like cortisone shot would.
I just read some advice on another board about a treatment for plantar fasciitis: ". . . cool water soaks for about 20 - 30 minutes per foot, every day. You fill a basin with water from the tap that is nice and cool, but not uncomfortably so. Then, grab a bowl with some ice cubes, and every 5 minutes add about 2 or 3 ice cubes so the water doesn't warm up. The effects should be noticable after just one time, and get better the more you do it."

I don't have the condition so I can't say if it works but it's free and worth a try. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-05, 09:48 AM   #25
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I cured my pf by wearing two pairs of thick socks. Really - it worked great. Don't know if it might help you, but previously I could hardly walk, and by wearing the thick socks it went away.

I no longer have the pf, but I am also no longer running. I got mine originally from playing a lot of badminton, which, when played on an inside court, puts a lot of pressure on your feet and ankles as you change direction very quickly, as good badminton is a vey fast game.
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