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  1. #1
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    I Love/Hate My Bike

    Hi everyone,

    So, I think Iím having some kind of obsessive, love/hate thing with my bike. On the love side: I absolutely love riding. Love it, love it, love it. Getting back into exercise and finding something I love to do is truly wonderful for me. It is amazing how something so simple as riding a bike can be so good for a person Ė physically, emotionally, whatever. It just feels damn good. I even rode this weekend Ė temps were very high in NJ Ė Sunday morning when I went out it was 85 degs. already. I even impressed an athletic neighbor of mine who saw me returning from a ride on Saturday. Didnít matter that I was out of breath from that stupid incline. She thought I was a goddess!! Ha!!

    On the hate side: Iíve been trying to be someone who has been riding for awhile and has the ability to accomplish a heck of a lot more than I can at this point. My mind says I can do X and my body says ďum, no, sorry!!Ē To boot, on Sunday I was heading downhill, sweating my arse off from previously going up hill, and wanted to feel the breeze. I say to myself ďcrank it up!!Ē Like Iím Lance Armstrong or something. Like a dope, I shifted my gears all the way up (I was warned not to do this), basically at the same time, I donít even know if I was pedaling, and, you guessed it, threw the chain. Going fast, trying to brake, unclip, etc. Didnít fall but developed a bit of fear with the shoes and my ability to handle a quick stop. Got all ticked off because I had only gotten in 5 miles. Tried, in vain, to get the chain back on and since I had no idea what I was doing it got stuck. Luckily, I remembered to carry my cell phone, called hubby, and he came to fix it. Of course, he says to me ďhon, you gotta learn how to take care of these things on your own in case you canít get in touch with someone.Ē Ok, fine, valid point, the bookís on itís way from Amazon Ė can we discuss this later? He fixes it, I get back on, and at this point was so overheated from a combination of annoyance and heat that I just rode home slowly Ė feeling defeated. Actually, I really wanted to throw my bike and my shoes into the lake.

    Anyway, just wanted to let yíall know that Iím frustrated Ė Iím trying to do too much too fast. So, what am I doing to help myself? Well, not sure if Iím doing the RIGHT things, but Iím doing what I think I can do to stop being an idiot. I had been searching the boards and ordered myself a few books Ė the one is some kind of bike maintenance thing (a little more technical than Iíll ever need, but what the hell), another is a heart rate one for cyclists (a woman wrote it and I can learn about by HRM and how to get stronger heart-wise), another is one for rides in NJ, PA and NY and thereís another one for nutrition. Iím also picking up a Cycleops fluid trainer on the way home today for indoors during the winter (birthday present from my husband Ė got me a Lance poster too Ė ha!!). Iíve decided that, for now, I will just get out and ride. If I do 10 miles, great. If I donít, thatís ok too. If I ride 15 mph, cool. If I cruise along at 9 mph, thatís cool too. I'll read the books, I'll learn some new things and try them. During the winter months I will work more on getting myself in better shape with the trainer. Gosh, I had no idea I was this crazy.

    Kathy in NJ

  2. #2
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    welcome to the club!!!!! Hang in there and try not to do to much too soon. You might check into some local clubs and see if they have any rides you would feel comfortable doing and also if they have any classes on bike maintenance. Bicycle club of irvine does those sort of things here in Socal.
    Toybox: Litespeed Tuscany & Niota

  3. #3
    150Weekly
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    Hey Kathy,

    Keep on trucking, girl!!!! The most important piece of advice I can give you is exactly that: keep on trucking. Keep moving. Keep on getting on your bike and riding it. Even if it's just down the block to visit a friend. Get on the bike often and go places with it. And take it easy. One of the hardest things to do is to slow down, relax, keep the pace down, keep the heart rate down, keep the mileage down.

    If you get on your bike and ride, all the rest will come. There are plenty of days that I get on my bike and ride, and man, do I not feel like riding. On those days, I just spin nice and easy, I hit my granny gear early on the approach to a hill and keep my cadence so low that I think I'm going to fall asleep before I get to the top. Come the top, though, I'm breathing easy, haven't killed myself and suddenly have more energy for kicking it up a notch!

    So relax, go easy on yourself, enjoy and get out... often. If you're not in the mood, just get on your bike and spin 200 yards around the parking lot, and then get off the bike. You'll find that by just riding that 200 yards, you'll have suddenly instilled this urge to kick over a few miles. Save that urge and sleep on it, and tomorrow's ride will be sublime.

    Yup, get out and ride, and make sure you relax and enjoy. The miles will start piling up and you won't even notice!

    Have fun! It's a blast!

    tiwonon

  4. #4
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    Roesslk,
    You're doing the right sort of thing, just be careful of overdoing it. When I began really riding again this last March I would overdo it all of the time. I would come up the final hill to my home from my excersize ride and feel like throwing up. However with time, some patience and commitment it all works out.

  5. #5
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    You'll get stronger. In the meanst while, consider (boy, am I going to get hate mail for even suggesting this...) using platform pedals instead of being clipped to the bike. Makes for a far more comfortable, secure, safe feeling if something goes wrong. Once you're ready, go back to clipless if you want. If this isn't an issue for you, disregard the suggestion. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    The great thing is that you're out riding.

    I've gotten frustrated too in my cycling renaissance, but there are times when things just feel too right to give it up. So, there will be good days and there will be not so good days. As time goes on, your riding will get better and better. Some of my best days are when I'm not trying to push the envelope at all, just relaxing and enjoying. Sounds like your plan along the same lines is right for you at this time.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    [
    Youve joined the club so stick in there and master it. Bike maintenance is one of the problems that a lot of people lack on. Learn the basics. How to change a tyre or repair a puncture as this will be the first major problem you will have that you can repair. Then learn how to spot the loose nuts and bolts or how to adjust things while cleaning the bike, The rest can wait for a while, like adjusting the gears, or changing parts. Heart rate monitors are a boon to letting you know how you are getting on, but don't get too hung up initially, until you have built up body, lung and leg strength. I always used the basic monitor, but recently got a singing and dancing one, but all I want is what is my heart rate now, and how fast does it drop after getting near the maximum. The trainer I can do without, but the poster of Lance is worth it just for the inspiration. On the nutrition side, Don't bother, unless you have a weight problem, which you won't have shortly, eat what you want. OK in 3 months time when you do your first century, you may have to think about it, but look to a healthy balanced diet, and plenty of it. If the weight goes on, remember muscle weighs more than fat so it is the fat loss through cycling that has given you the weight gain. Your attitude is what I like. Too many people stick to a rigid training programme that was written for 20 year olds and don't realise that it won't work for them. If you want a training programme work it out for yourself. That 10 mile ride you are currently doing. Find a slightly longer or hillier route for one ride a week and take it a bit steadier. In two weeks all your rides will be on that route, so longer or again. As I said 3 months to your first century so keep riding.

  8. #8
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Hey Roesslk, go easy on yerself. I've been riding for 20 years. A week ago I was creeping up a hill in the big ring and realized what a self deluding old fool I was, so I shifted to the inner ring and, with all that chain tension, naturally threw my chain, too. Clipped in tight with olde farte clips and straps there was no place to go except to slowly fall over with my bike in the air like a dead roach...looked like that old geezer on a trike on Laugh In. Happens to us all....just like conditioning your body will inexorably happen as you continue to ride.

    Keep that attitude!

  9. #9
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Kathy,

    You have the right attitude. It sounds like in ways you and I are similar. Always wanting to improve and do better... but knowing that it is OK to not improve in the short term as long as you keep trying, because there is no doubt you will improve in the long run.

    I almost always have a good time riding, but when something breaks my rythm and concentration, it is little use to get back to it (except for organized rides where others can encourage me )

    I got a Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer last year when I moved to the mid-atlantic region, but didn't use it much... this year I will make it a regular part of my routine. No excuses!

    Let me know what you think of the book that covers rides in the area, I have seen it (or one like it) om Amazon and wondered if it was worthwhile for a casual rider.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    You'll get stronger. In the meanst while, consider (boy, am I going to get hate mail for even suggesting this...) using platform pedals instead of being clipped to the bike. Makes for a far more comfortable, secure, safe feeling if something goes wrong. Once you're ready, go back to clipless if you want. If this isn't an issue for you, disregard the suggestion. Thanks.
    I've actually been thinking about putting the pedals that came with the bike back on - they're the kind with the straps. But I really need to have a hard shoe due to the plantar fasciitis stuff I have. Plus, I get all ticked off (I think I have anger issues - ha!!) thinking about giving up the shoes - I think "I'll be damned if I'm gonna let a stinkin' pair of shoes get me!!" I don't know what I'll do - time will tell. Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory57
    Kathy,

    Let me know what you think of the book that covers rides in the area, I have seen it (or one like it) om Amazon and wondered if it was worthwhile for a casual rider.
    The books arrive today - I'll let you know what I think. Have a great day!!

  12. #12
    High Desert of California
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    "On the love side: I absolutely love riding. Love it, love it, love it."

    Excuse me madam, this forum is for people over 50 (which I am not, but I took a peak anyway), you sound like a 13 year old. j/k
    I am glad you enjoy riding so much, have fun
    " People don't go to church because, they say, Churchs are full of hypocrites. No they're not, there's room for plenty more!!"
    My Pastor

  13. #13
    rck
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    Kathy in NJ,
    Speaking from personal experience, if you are in it for the long haul, you not only have to listen to what your body tells you, you have to pay attention! Easy for me to say hard for me to do as its usually telling me something that I'm not interested in hearing.
    Ride on!

  14. #14
    "Old & Slow Rider" BJ Ondo's Avatar
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    LOL, your not the only one my friend!! I've only been back on a bicycle since May 2005 and I find myself trying to keep up with folks that have been riding for "years", dumb! :O I've decided to just "ride my own ride", even if I'm in a group and if they leave me behind, so be it, I'll catch them somewhere or just enjoy my ride, instead of trying to prove something. The one rider that pushes me the most is "69 years old", tells you how old and slow he is then avg's. 22 mph. down bike trails, I'm happy with a 12 mph. avg. at the moment so I'm just gona let him kick my butt from now on! ;D Kick back, and just enjoy the "Ride for the Rides sake", once this starts to become "more training than FUN", I'm giving it up, JMHO.
    BJ & Jo Ondo
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    2005 Fuji Monterey Comfort/Hybrid
    "We ride just for the FUN of it"!
    http://bj-joondo.tripod.com/bicycle.htm

  15. #15
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    I agree about the clipless pedals. I kept trying them but I hated riding with them. I just worried too much and as soon as I would quit worrying, I'd have a near miss, though I only fell once. You can wear mountain bike shoes or sandals with regular pedals -- that's what I do so I still get the stiffness of the shoe but I'm not clipped in.

    I've had some battery troubles with this electric bike. My house is almost at the top of a hill so anywhere I go is downhill from home. The bike weighs a lot and only has seven speeds so climbing some hills is tough without the motor. Anyway, last night I was checking out how far I could go on the new battery. As I got closer in mileage to when it cut out the last time, I decided to stay closer to home. I rode down one hill and up the next, then turned around and went down and back up the first one. I kept repeating and it was so much fun! There's no traffic so it was like riding a roller coaster! Wheeee! (Oh, and the battery never did cut out. I'm checking out my commute again today to see if I can make it the whole way.)

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