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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Will-I'm 53. Over the past few years I've compared HR's with other cyclists and mine are definitely on the high side. You can take the 220-50 rule and toss it out the window. I've measured my max at 194 and have been riding long enough to know what my range is.
    A couple years back as I was getting more and more serious about cycling I asked my Physician, who is a heart specialist, what HR could I expect to sustain. He pulled out his calculator and punched numbers for several minutes. He came back with suggesting I could sustain a HR of 140 for up to 45 mins. Well heck, I can sustain a HR of 160 for several hours if needed. 140 is the bot

    Someone who has a lot more experience than me suggested before I ever did my first century "to eat and drink before you are hungry and thirsty".

    While I prescribe to the train how you ride theory in most cases, interestingly you might be able to build more stamina by strategically slowing you pace.

    If you don't mind me asking where will you start and end your trip next year?

    jppe-your post is what I hoped to get from this thread. If you do not mind, I can feed back some of what I learned.
    Heart Rate: I know nothing and thank you. The only Doctor I ever see is a Dentist. I consider my-selves lucky that Providence made that possible. Your comments give me needed guide lines.

    Nutrition: That is something I understand. I eat and drink very healthy. Fish, vegetable, pasta, oatmeal, fresh fruit and good red wine is the staple of my diet.
    While riding long distance, I make sure that 500 or more calories/hour go into my system. I drink 1 bottle water per half hour and more if it is hot. Years ago I did not do that and paid a price with "Bonking out" more than once.

    Training: I need to read the books. I have a CD from the Trek team but it is MTB specific. I need something for long distance training and will read the stuff recommended above. The pace of my planned tour is to be 100 miles in 6 hours.
    I am trying to get comfortable within that range. (It is supposed to be on the flats)
    I can beat that now for 50 miles. (50 miles in 2.5 hours)
    My goal is to be in the middle of the pack.

    The Tour starts and ends: Irvine, CA to Savannah, GA

  2. #27
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    No, I'm not saying you can't do it. But if you push hard now, early in your training, you're more likely to have problems. It's generally better to build up slowly (one rule is to add no more than 10 percent per week) until you have what's called a good base of fitness, then you can pile on miles. I've never done that on the bike, but I was a runner for 20+ years before my knees gave out (I'm 60 now; ran from age 25-late 40s). Once I got to a level where I could do, say, 50 miles a week pretty comfortably, then I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. But if I tried to push, going from a couple of months of winter inactivity to 20 miles a week, then 30, then 50, I'd hurt myself and have to lay off while I recovered (those are running miles, not cycling). All I'm recommending is that you don't jump to the big, fast miles right away, and allow your body time to recover.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I have no doubt that you are going to be able to do the ride, given who you are.

    I know that I am pushing it. I did your kind of biking until two years ago. I am staring at the end of my career after 50 years in the workforce. My mentor and Godfather just died last night at age 89.5. He worked until last year.

    Therefore I am looking for a challenge to take my mind of reality.
    I considered Appalachian Trail, Mount Everest, Sailing across the Atlantic.
    I came up with this, IMHO, doable challenge.
    This post is meant to amuse you what other folks go through.
    What do you think my wife of 43 marriage has to say about this trip?

  4. #29
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    I'm 62 and my workout regimene is 2 days at 5:00 am run 7 miles and 3rd day an 80 workout with free weights. I ride at least 3 days a week in the evening 20-30 miles on a Trek 2300 road bike. Where I live there's big hills and I usually average 13 miles per hour on a good day. I ran a marathon last year and plan on a century pretty soon. I'm 5'9" and 150 lbs. My point is I've been doing this level on exercise for about 30 years. What you're proposing is a very vigorous exercise program in a short period of time which could very well result in injury. I would go slow and easy and if you achieve the results you desire then great but if don't then you've at least achieved a good level of fitness which you can build on. Good Luck, us old guys need to stay active...

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog
    No, I'm not saying you can't do it. But if you push hard now, early in your training, you're more likely to have problems.
    All I'm recommending is that you don't jump to the big, fast miles right away, and allow your body time to recover.
    OK, Velo Dog:
    You are saying that my quest to drive MPH up over 20 MPH average is misguided and possibly damaging. Sounds right to me and my system agrees. Last night, after a specially hard training session on the trainer, I was so keyed up that I had trouble sleeping. I know that is no good.
    I will slow down. The Tour leader wants 16.5 MPH average. That will not kill me.
    My not so brilliant idea was to build a performance cushion. (I think I just invented this concept and it may not work)
    Thank you.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldeRider
    I'm 62 and my workout regimene is 2 days at 5:00 am run 7 miles and 3rd day an 80 workout with free weights. I ride at least 3 days a week in the evening 20-30 miles on a Trek 2300 road bike. Where I live there's big hills and I usually average 13 miles per hour on a good day. I ran a marathon last year and plan on a century pretty soon. I'm 5'9" and 150 lbs. My point is I've been doing this level on exercise for about 30 years. What you're proposing is a very vigorous exercise program in a short period of time which could very well result in injury. I would go slow and easy and if you achieve the results you desire then great but if don't then you've at least achieved a good level of fitness which you can build on. Good Luck, us old guys need to stay active...
    OldeRider-You are more athletic than I am. The difference is that I am mostly legs.
    At a modest pace, I can pedal forever and it comes down to nutrition. Those legs can pedal nonstop for 10 hours provided there is fuel. Heart and lungs have never reported a complaint (trying to be funny)
    For your amusement: I know a for me young lady (43) who did this cross country trip in ELEVEN days on a Tandem. Can you believe it? I can introduce you to her. She is married.
    She inspired me that I should be able to do it in 25 days, don't you agree?

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Velo Dog:
    You guys are scaring me. As I said above, I am scheduled for an America By Bicycle fully supported tour which means 27 days at 100 to 150 miles/day with two rest days. The pace is to be 100 miles in 6 hours (I assume plus stops).
    If I take you verbatim, that cannot be done. Well, we will do it.
    Right or wrong, I am training for that.

    I started this thread because I am ignorant of such things as heart rate and recovery. I do not know if 140 is high or low. Someone talks about 200. Does that apply to people my age?

    I do know what I can do. Fifty miles in the AM and another fifty in the PM is not something I worry much about. I have tested my-selves for that for six days this summer. 150 miles/day is pushing it and keeping up with bikers 20 years younger is a challenge to be met. Doing 11,000 feet/day elevation change in Arizona is also a concern. But as they say, it is now or never. Thank you for your well intentioned concern.
    Don't get frightened. You'll find that most of us live in places where there is essentially NO flat ground. I for instance have my fastest average speed of 17.7 mph in a metric century but the first two hours were into a 30 mph headwind at 12 mph. On another 50 mile ride I did 17.5 mph but there were three grinder hills on that course and a strong side wind changing to a tailwind for only the final 10 miles.

    When I was racing I never tried to do fast rides off of the race course because the high stress of the racing was my 'hard' day and everything else was recovery of a sort. Though the day after the race was always my climbing day.

    The fact is that a 6 hour century is only 16.6 mph and you'll discover that when bicyclists say "6 hour century" they almost ALWAYS mean 6:59. or a 14+ mph average.

    Sitting in the saddle for that amount of time day after day will be a bigger challenge judging from your present strength.

    Here's something to think about - the first three days will be hell. After that your body will become adjusted to the workload and unless you've burned yourself out in the previous three days you'll feel yourself adapting. Eat right, be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep (probably no problem on a ride like that) and ride within your capabilities and you'll finish with no problems.

    But by all means get an examination by a competent sports doctor who knows the problems that athletes could have.

    [url]www.medicine.mcgill.ca/epidemiology/goldberg/MI%20presentation%20ENG%203.ppt

    Now don't get too upset about the article since the incidence of heart attacks in athletes is low to begin with and its increase in age looks a lot more dramatic than the numbers warrant.

    But you have to be away that at our age we have a greater chance of heart attacks than 20 years ago. Moreover, unless you've been an active athlete you could have silent problems that will ONLY show up with the stress of exercise.

    You sound good to go but it's always better to know than to guess.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Don't get frightened. You'll find that most of us live in places where there is essentially NO flat ground.
    The fact is that a 6 hour century is only 16.6 mph and you'll discover that when bicyclists say "6 hour century" they almost ALWAYS mean 6:59. or a 14+ mph average.

    Sitting in the saddle for that amount of time day after day will be a bigger challenge judging from your present strength.

    But by all means get an examination by a competent sports doctor who knows the problems that athletes could have.

    [url]www.medicine.mcgill.ca/epidemiology/goldberg/MI%20presentation%20ENG%203.ppt
    Cyclintom:
    This is what I hope for, that 14+ average and paceline. If so, no problem. I am only trying to keep up, not to win a race.
    The saddle is a Brooks Champion Flyer and I am using aero bars whenever possible. Very low friction. Circulation is no problem.
    (aero bars not used in paceline!)
    The aero bars allow me to relieve saddle pressure because my weight is more forward on legs and elbows. I have done centuries on aero bars, solo.

    I can agree and follow most of your suggestions except going and trusting doctors. My family has suffered from 'False Positives."
    That means that medical intervention was recommended which did much more harm than good.
    My personal solution was to stay clear of the medical community. I am not arrogant about it because I realize how much luck is involved with that.
    However, I am paranoid of some doctor prescribing pills and procedures which he/she "practices" on me. So far, age 63 going fast on 64, that has worked for me. I am not ready to start a religion for that belief system of mine. (I had a boss who is a Christian Science Minister.)

  9. #34
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    Will,
    Remember that flat bits on the road do go up and down occasionally. Just trying to do flat rides may not help you a great deal, then there are headwinds to cater for at the same time.

    I do a Tough offroad 100 miler each year that takes 12 hours and there is 10,000ft of climbing. age 58, treat my max as 165, but like to ride at 140-145. then I CAN put in the extra for the hills up to 150, and for the severe hills will see 165 or above. Training for this will only involve rides of 40 miles but with 5 or 6 extreme hills. Why do a 100 miler in training for a 100 miler. 40 miles at harder pace is easier to do and better training. Another thing that I do is on the 200yard hills, or slopes, or even between 2 markers about the same distance on the flat. I sprint them. Basic interval training I know, but a few rides with 4 or 5 sprints in it works for me. However, on the long hills I settle back into the 140/145 rhythm and may just push to 160/ 165 for the extreme hills

    As for getting back to somewhere near my resting heart rate within an hour of finishing a ride- forget it. My Resting is a new found 70 on a good day, but for me to drop to 80 will take that full hour.

    Keep riding, and training, and Keep the trucks rolling. I work for DAF trucks in the UK> a division of Paccar.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Will,
    Remember that flat bits on the road do go up and down occasionally.

    As for getting back to somewhere near my resting heart rate within an hour of finishing a ride- forget it. My Resting is a new found 70 on a good day, but for me to drop to 80 will take that full hour.

    Keep riding, and training, and Keep the trucks rolling. I work for DAF trucks in the UK> a division of Paccar.
    stapfam,
    I am learning from your post that a 58 year biker likes 140-145 HR.
    You are saying that 165 and above are possible for you. You also state a long recovery period. I was worried about that.
    OK, now I know that and thank you.

    The back to back centuries you refer to are more for the soul than my body.
    I do this in SW Wisconsin which is absolutely wonderful. There are rolling hills, 8 miles long, tunnels, small little towns and no cars. I may see 10 or so bikers on a given day. But even so, I get pleasure doing it nose down on aero bars. I got a bad case of speed addiction.
    You and others recommend interval training. I got to do this. I know you are right.
    I used to do interval training when I was a rower in my younger years.

  11. #36
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    Will
    That interval training is a must for me. It is only a couple of minutes of very hard work, but not only from the physical side- the mental side to keep pushing when it hurts for only another 30 seconds-15seconds another 5 to go, is enormous. That is just as important for me as it is very easy to give up when it hurts, or at least slow down, and then, bugger it, I'll walk. Walking does not exist on my rides, but slowing down on the long hills does.

    Back to heart rate. I ride at 140/145. For the last 5 minutes of a ride I will slow down on the cooling period to around 120. as soon as I stop it will drop to 100, but the next drop from 90 down to 80 takes a long time. As I say, generally around an hour. This has always been the case for me, but the new thing is the Resting rate that has recently come down to around 70. I can get it below this, but I regard lying comatose on the sofa for 20 minutes or so to get it down further as cheating, and a false reading

  12. #37
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    my couple of cents:
    the only long distance ride i did recently was about 600 km at 200 km a day, 3 days straight. i agree with cyclintom when he said "Sitting in the saddle for that amount of time day after day will be a bigger challenge judging from your present strength. Here's something to think about - the first three days will be hell. After that your body will become adjusted.."
    My first day was tough especially on the upper body, shoulders, neck and saddle, 2nd day was a bit easier and on the third day I was really beginning to enjoy the ride. Mind you each day we had a fair amount of climbing (2-4 K ft vertical).

    Bring sun tan lotion, hydrate sufficiently, keep the energy level up and sounds like you're gonna have a nice ride - wish I could come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    Here's something to think about - the first three days will be hell. After that your body will become adjusted.."
    My first day was tough especially on the upper body, shoulders, neck and saddle, 2nd day was a bit easier and on the third day I was really beginning to enjoy the ride. Mind you each day we had a fair amount of climbing (2-4 K ft vertical).

    Bring sun tan lotion, hydrate sufficiently, keep the energy level up and sounds like you're gonna have a nice ride - wish I could come.
    Guys like you are an inspiration. I wish you could come on this trip.

  14. #39
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    This forum is pretty interesting. I got useful advise from all kinds of bikers in America as well as from England and Israel.
    Thank you all.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    my couple of cents:
    the only long distance ride i did recently was about 600 km at 200 km a day, 3 days straight. i agree with cyclintom when he said "Sitting in the saddle for that amount of time day after day will be a bigger challenge judging from your present strength. Here's something to think about - the first three days will be hell. After that your body will become adjusted.."
    My first day was tough especially on the upper body, shoulders, neck and saddle, 2nd day was a bit easier and on the third day I was really beginning to enjoy the ride. Mind you each day we had a fair amount of climbing (2-4 K ft vertical).

    Bring sun tan lotion, hydrate sufficiently, keep the energy level up and sounds like you're gonna have a nice ride - wish I could come.
    Wow! Bert is right.

    I'd forgotten all about the sunscreen. If you don't use this you get Vitamin D poisoning and also a lot of skin damage all of which saps energy out of you on a long ride. A LOT of energy.

    ALWAYS wear sunscreen if you're over 40! Even on overcast days in the summer.

    As for hydrating - a sip of water every 5 minutes is better than a slug every 15. A small amount of water can be absorbed directly into your blood stream through your stomach lining but larger quantities wash down into your small intestine where it is absorbed much slower. Your large intestine at the end of of the process is where water is normally extracted from your food and water.

    If you're riding at 80% of your max heart rate or more, you have to eat powerbars or gel every 1/2 hour through the effort. If you're below that output you can rely on normal meals if you keep yourself hydrated and eat on a normal schedule. Once you start feeling hungry you can't recover. If you bonk entirely it normally takes two to three days before you feel right again. So it's important to remain aware of your physical condition.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Wow! Bert is right.

    I'd forgotten all about the sunscreen. If you don't use this you get Vitamin D poisoning and also a lot of skin damage all of which saps energy out of you on a long ride. A LOT of energy.

    ALWAYS wear sunscreen if you're over 40! Even on overcast days in the summer.
    The tour leader also makes a big point of sunscreen. I, who goes around in Wisconsin, paid no attention. Your advise makes it clear that it is important, obviously in Arizona.

    On another matter, can I please have your opinion.
    I trained today at a reduced intensity. 15 to 15.5 MPH for one hour at 100 RPM on a trainer, fan blowing. My HR went from 55 to 120 max. Recovery took 20 minutes down to below 60. I like to know if that is good or bad.
    The 15 MPH are not stressful for me. I think I can do that all day long. A pace for the trip?
    Thanks for all your help.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Recovery took 20 minutes down to below 60. I like to know if that is good or bad.
    The 15 MPH are not stressful for me. I think I can do that all day long. A pace for the trip?
    Thanks for all your help.
    Will, I assume that other riders will be participating in the Tour Across America and that you will generally be among a group of cyclists when riding. Whatever distances you are doing alone you can multiply that by a factor of about 1.5 to know what you can do with a group, i.e., if you do for example 100 miles alone you will finish 150 miles with a group at about the same perceived effort. Soeed will also be improved slightly. This is due to two phenomena: 1) reduced wind resistance through drafting, 2) psychological effect of having company. There were occassions during my mini tour when I was stuck out all alone, an aerobar would have come in handy at those times (not critical) - it's something you have to get used to through traiining.
    As far as recovery rates, I am a firm believer in "the patient is his best doctor". There are not hard set rules determining which cardiovascular parameters are "good" or "bad". Apart from a checkup to make sure there are no gross or obvious malfunctions, your feelings and perceptions are most important. Stay within your perceived boundaries.
    Most important, enjoy and take care.

    ps. you might want to add a tube of ben gay or some muscle relaxant

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    I might also add the nightmare of sweat induced crotch irritation.

    But there's a simple cure. Bring along a tube of Lanolin. Always shower after the ride to wash off bacteria that will grown on your sweat dampened skin all day. In the morning apply a very light coating of lanolin all over the crotch area. The idea is to waterproof your skin and thereby discourage the bacteria. It only requires a very light coating and you can barely feel it just after you apply it, and that soon disappears completely. It really works well.

    Be sure to only use a saddle that you have ridden for several months and are sure you can ride that far.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    Will, I assume that other riders will be participating in the Tour Across America and that you will generally be among a group of cyclists when riding. Whatever distances .............................
    berts:
    Thank you for taking the time to answer. This is useful info.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    I might also add the nightmare of sweat induced crotch irritation.

    But there's a simple cure. Bring along a tube of Lanolin. Always shower after the ride to wash off bacteria that will grown on your sweat dampened skin all day. In the morning apply a very light coating of lanolin all over the crotch area. The idea is to waterproof your skin and thereby discourage the bacteria. It only requires a very light coating and you can barely feel it just after you apply it, and that soon disappears completely. It really works well.

    Be sure to only use a saddle that you have ridden for several months and are sure you can ride that far.
    Cyclintom:
    Lanolin is news to me. Thanks for the tip.

    I made a mistake of riding around in damp bike shorts. Also did not wash them every time. Result was "Jock itch." Can you believe that? It was no fun.
    I am much more careful now. I will have to take 3 or 4 shorts on this trip so I will have dry ones for sure. They probably do not have a dryer available. They do not dry completely just hanging in the room. Do you have experiences like that?

    Saddle: My favored is a Brooks Champion Flyer. It is super comfortable and slippery which assists in getting circulation to vital parts. Please notice that I do not ride in a very low position on the bars. I raised them 2-3 inches and set the aero bars high also. I say that because this Brooks C. F. is NOT engineered for a low on the drops position.
    My concern is that the springs act up on such a long trip. Do you (or anyone who reads this) have an opinion on that?

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    Everyone has their own tastes in saddles. I actually don't like a slippery saddle. I just bought a B-17 on the recommendations of the Touring group but so far I'm not all that favorably impressed. I'll leave it on the Touring bike and ride it until it breaks in.

    Leather is somewhat advantageous in that it absorbs a great deal of road shock. But at the moment I have to sit far back to achieve some comfort. That's plenty easy climbing hills but riding flats has me sliding forward and I don't tilt the saddle up on the nose regardless.

    Steel springs are highly unlikely to cause any problems unless they fail completely and that's not likely with English workmanship. Lucas electronics may have been crap but all of mechanical design came from English textbooks that are used in all of the world's universities.

    I would recommend that you take some civilian clothes along and never wear bicycle shorts after your ride is over.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    The tour leader also makes a big point of sunscreen. I, who goes around in Wisconsin, paid no attention. Your advise makes it clear that it is important, obviously in Arizona.

    On another matter, can I please have your opinion.
    I trained today at a reduced intensity. 15 to 15.5 MPH for one hour at 100 RPM on a trainer, fan blowing. My HR went from 55 to 120 max. Recovery took 20 minutes down to below 60. I like to know if that is good or bad.
    The 15 MPH are not stressful for me. I think I can do that all day long. A pace for the trip?
    Thanks for all your help.
    I never use sun screen, but that may be due to the NON- intensity of our sun in the UK. What I do use though is a triangular bandana tied round the neck with the tail down the back. Keeps the sun off the area between the helmet and top of the shirt, and I do not get any sunburn at this one spot that others seem to be prone to. It also serves another purpose as a face mask when following others kicking up the dust on the trails, and can also be used as a sling for any other riders involved in heavy falls and injuries.

    Another long distance tip-- Food. After 6 hours of eating cereal bars and having Energy drinks, My taste buds get a bit distorted, and everything tastes the same, so one more bit of dried fruit and I will throw up. We have a substance in England called Marmite and I believe the Australians have Vegemite. Can't stand the stuff normally but on long rides I take Marmite sandwiches. The taste of it clears the palate, and give me an overdose of essential salts that have been depleted during the ride. Another thing that works on the palate is bitter orange, or any thing ULTRA sharp in taste. Once I have had my marmite sandwich, I can keep eating for another 3 or 4 hours to get through the ride.

    Recovery rate is better than mine so stop worrying about it. IT IS GOOD. Now to me 1 hour on a trainer would not be my cup of tea, but why not vary it. Work a bit harder for 20 minutes, and then slow down and have a rest. At some point on this ride you will have to put in more effort than you have trained for, so up the stakes to a higher level for a few shorter sessions. As to pace for the ride- 15mph sounds good to me. I doubt as to whether many will agree at the start of the ride, but the tortoise always wins in the story books. If others go off fast, forget them. You will be surprised at how many of them will drop back to your pace after a few miles.

  23. #48
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I really think you are going to pull this off without a hitch. Given your reaction to some of the advice in this thread, I believe you are a heck of a lot more prepared after this conversation than you were before.

    I am not certain, but I believe I remember Bear Bryant telling reporters after an annual physical when they asked him how he was, "My doctor says I'm fine. So, if I drop dead tomorrow, I will have died perfectly healthy." it may not have been him and that may not be an accurate quote, but I think you get the point.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by webist
    I really think you are going to pull this off without a hitch. Given your reaction to some of the advice in this thread, I believe you are a heck of a lot more prepared after this conversation than you were before.
    "My doctor says I'm fine. So, if I drop dead tomorrow, I will have died perfectly healthy."
    Yeah, there is another saying: The world is full of good intentions.
    I landed in Detroit today. Got my C'dale R2000 and went on a 10 Km Park Road with best intentions to take it easy. This park road has some hills where most bikers drop down to 15 MPH.
    Well, there were some biking friends who decided to compete with me. They are of course 20 years younger. So we chased each other for 50 miles and went up these hills at 20 MPH. I happened to have my new Heart Rate Monitor and glanced at it on top of these hills. HR 165. Well, I did not drop dead. At the end of the 50 mile ride I was back down to HR 85 and went for dinner feeling OK.
    This was probably not smart but sure did wonders for my ego. I was able to drop them.
    Thank you for your kind comments. I will print this Thread and will read it often. Hopefully it will change my biking to the better.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Steel springs are highly unlikely to cause any problems unless they fail completely and that's not likely with English workmanship. Lucas electronics may have been crap but all of mechanical design came from English textbooks that are used in all of the world's universities.

    I would recommend that you take some civilian clothes along and never wear bicycle shorts after your ride is over.
    Let us hope the English keep up the good work. Just in case, I will buy another one.
    This type is already broken in and that is no BS. I had no problem from day one. As I said above, my weight is not that much on the saddle. I tend to lift off the saddle very often, especially when going up a hill or sprinting.
    Thanks for the tip on civilian (loose fitting) clothes. I understand.

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