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  1. #1
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    Newbie needs help

    I'm not familiar with all the tech talk. I'm a 61 year old male who started riding the 1st of jan. 2006.I ride all the back streets of the neighborhood and at present I'm doing 12 miles a day five days a week at a speed between 8 and 11 mph.When and how should I increase my distance. I had Bypass surgery in 99 and have spinal stenosis but, the rides feel great. I get some cramping in the feet and calves. Any recomendations.also getting raw in the groin area. I'm riding a raleigh technium sd13t6 thats what the tag says.It's a 10 speed. I got the bike from my son who got it from my father when he was 10- 24 years ago. Man it was trashed but it's back- I think. Is anyone out there in My area looking for a riding pal please let me know. Q1.- Should I take breaks and at what distance. 2.What beverage should i consume during the ride. etc, etc. etc. Any help will be appreciated.


    Thanks
    Bubaski

  2. #2
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Welcome

    I returned to bicycling when I was 58 yo. I am now 66yo.

    Congratulations on riding 12 miles per day, 5 days per week! That is great.

    My general statement would be to listen to your body and follow what it tells you to do. Rest when you are tired, push when your body says "I want to go."

    What are you wearing? This would relate to your crotch soreness, if I am understanding you correctly. Are you wearing good bicycle shorts? With a chamois built in?

    Also, it is highly likely that your bike is not a perfect "fit" for you, having been sort of inherited.

    If possible, go to a local bike shop and have them look the bike over for "fit" if you haven't already done that. That is pretty critical, especially on a road-type bike.

    Just keep building up gradually. One day plan to go for 15-20 miles, the next day less. It should come sort of naturally. Sounds like you are already on the right track.

    You may want to "push hard" on some days with some faster intervals, but speed takes a long time to build up.

    The main thing is that you are enjoying your riding and are doing it. Don't do anything that would stop you from doing that.

    I take breaks when I see something interesting or whatever. Sometimes I go without breaks, sometimes I take a lot!
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  3. #3
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    Denver makes several great points. I would add; See if you can find a local touring club. My wife and I belong to our local club, and they couldn't be a nicer, more helpful bunch of people. OHB

  4. #4
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Great job on your cycling!

    It would take most people a long time to work up to 60 miles per week!

    As far as what to drink. On the length of ride you do, I stick with water. When I do longer rides (20 miles plus) I tend to use dilluted gatorade and/or alternating water and gatorade. Drink before you are thirsty.

    If you tend to "bonk" during your rides, suddenly running out of energy, then go with Gatorade, or another product (liquid, or energy bar etc) to give you the energy you need to keep going, but do it before the bonk.

    To increase mileage, do it a little at a time. I like the earlier suggestion about a long day followed by a short day. I would go a long day at a leisurely pace, and then do the short day at a quicker pace. Vary your routine to influence different aspects of your fitness (endurance versus speed, fat burning versus aerobic/cardiac conditioning etc). This can also help to prevent boredom from setting in.

    To increase mileage, do it in small amounts, I have read that increases should be in the 10% per week range. So you may want to look at something like: 16, 9, 16, 9, 16 which would give you a 10% increase from 12 miles per day... do it until comfortable, then take another step up. The distances don't have to be so symettrical, it just made my math easier.

    For the rawness, it happens to everyone. When I get raw, I usually use a topical antibiotic and stay off of the bike for a day. If you haven't tried cycling shorts, they can make a difference in comfort level as well. I add the vote for bike fit, whether with a shop or not. I do my own adjusting, and would have probably gotten the right adjustment earlier, but I did learn that little differences in adjustment do matter to comfort.

    Also, if you can find them in Florida, start working a few hills into your route when you feel the urge to step it up a notch... This will do a lot to help you.

    Of course, all of this assumes that it is within the level of exercise your doctor has recommended.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
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  5. #5
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    Welcome to a great way to get in shape and stay in shape.


    Let your body tell you how much to do and at what rate you can step it up. If you are concerned by your health history, it wouldn't hurt to check with your doctor. As long as you are cleared to exercise, then go for it. My only word of caution would be not to overdo it. We all overdo it at times. Doing too much too quickly will actually set you back. You wake up sore the day after a long ride, so you decide not to ride that day. The next day you're still sore, so again, no riding. And so it goes. or worse, you injure yourself grounding yourself for weeks at a time. Best to build it up slowly.

    The rawness question has been well covered. Go to a bike shop and check your bike for fit. Fit is the single most important factor to successful cycling. The bike's gotta fit or you're gonna give it up. Get some decent cycling shorts and wear them commando style, that is, without underwear.

    To find some riding buddies try these links:

    www.bikeflorida.org

    www.floridabicycle.org

    www.coastalcruisers.org

    www.caloosariders.org

    Southwest Florida has some very active clubs.

    Hope this info helps you enjoy this sport.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    And not all doctors are cycling friendly. If something hurts and your doctor just says stay off of the bike find a second doctor for cycling related needs. Ask local bike club members for referals. If spandex bothers you there are montain bike shorts that have lined well fitted shorts higgen under loose/baggy shorts. Loose fitting shorts can leave parts of you caught between your thighs and your saddle . I bath right after each sweaty ride. I heard it said in an early RAAM a rider from Florida blew out his knees in the first hundred miles, his hill training had been over freeway overpasses. The advise was to find head-winds and ride into lthem. I met a Florida cyclist years ago in Jackson Hole. She was going from Key West to Fairbanks, pulling her dog along in a trailer.
    This space open

  7. #7
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    And not all doctors are cycling friendly. If something hurts and your doctor just says stay off of the bike find a second doctor for cycling related needs. Ask local bike club members for referals. If spandex bothers you there are montain bike shorts that have lined well fitted shorts higgen under loose/baggy shorts. Loose fitting shorts can leave parts of you caught between your thighs and your saddle . I bath right after each sweaty ride. I heard it said in an early RAAM a rider from Florida blew out his knees in the first hundred miles, his hill training had been over freeway overpasses. The advise was to find head-winds and ride into them. I met a Florida cyclist years ago in Jackson Hole. She was going from Key West to Fairbanks, pulling her dog along in a trailer.

    EDIT: A poster in the commuting forum laughed at a guy who trains with 20 to 40 pounds of rice or beans in his bags. Sounds like a heavy load could be a substitute for hills. But not until your body is ready for it.
    This space open

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubaski
    I'm not familiar with all the tech talk. I'm a 61 year old male who started riding the 1st of jan. 2006.I ride all the back streets of the neighborhood and at present I'm doing 12 miles a day five days a week at a speed between 8 and 11 mph.When and how should I increase my distance. I had Bypass surgery in 99 and have spinal stenosis but, the rides feel great. I get some cramping in the feet and calves. Any recomendations.also getting raw in the groin area. I'm riding a raleigh technium sd13t6 thats what the tag says.It's a 10 speed. I got the bike from my son who got it from my father when he was 10- 24 years ago. Man it was trashed but it's back- I think. Is anyone out there in My area looking for a riding pal please let me know. Q1.- Should I take breaks and at what distance. 2.What beverage should i consume during the ride. etc, etc. etc. Any help will be appreciated.


    Thanks
    Bubaski
    Good year for bypasses- 99. Make mine a triple. Just started riding and 60 miles a week is pretty good by anyones standards. Suggest that you up the milage a bit to say 20, and only do it 3 days a week for a while. The extra milage will strengthen the legs a bit, and a days rest in between to recover. Before you know it, the milage will be up higher. Rest when necessary and don't push it too hard until you feel ready for it. I would suggest a break at 10 and 15 miles, and if possible take a cereal bar and a good long drink.

    Pins and needeles on the hands and feet may be down to poor circulation, or may be cramps. Bet you have cut down salt intake. If you have there is an ISOTONIC drink that helps on the esssential salts and does not give you an overdose of the wrong sort. Commonly used in cycling, and available at Sports shops. Get it in powder form for cost, and eventually you may find a flavour you like. If the hands are a problem- there is a bike fit problem- if it is the feet and calves- it could be salt, or lack of it, or you are not quite fit enough yet. Hands are easy enough to take off the bars and flex- Feet is another problem that I have not yet solved.

    Don't be worried by the bypass, but if you are-think about a heart monitor. Nothing fancy- just the cheapest will do. Won't improve your biking but will give you peace of mind. Sounds as though your legs need a bit of improvement and probably your lungs- so plenty of work to do. Do a bit of research and find something to equal Irma's pies And when's your Birthday? That is important as you will find out by reading the 50+ postings. The irma's pies by the way are the reward you will need when you get to a 30 miler. The 30 miler is not far off a metric century and if you do one of those -Forget the birthday ride.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  9. #9
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    you're on the right track. keep it up.
    take breaks when you feel like it.
    carry water. carb and electrolyte replacement is relevant for longer rides.
    basically ride to enjoy and enjoy to ride

  10. #10
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    I need to thank all of you for your response. You have been very helpfull. One last question . I'm riding a ten speed do I need to change to pick up speed? I don't know. Seems to me like everyone flyes by. Does the bike make a big difference.

    Thanks Again to everyone.
    Bubaski

  11. #11
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice above....one thing to add: often new riders use too high a gear (one of the smaller cogs in back with the bigger chainring at the pedals) and therefore are required to push overly hard on the pedals-- which may not be good for knees, muscles, connective tissues, etc. Find a gear that seems fairly easy to "spin"....if its too easy you'll feel like a hummingbird going nowhere slowly. Bigger gears come later as you condition your legs. Besides, lighter gears spun a little more quickly can be aerobically effective.

    Enough!! All the comments on getting a good fit on your inherited bike are well taken. Keep posting your progress or questions.....for good or ill, you're one of "Us" now.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  12. #12
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubaski
    I need to thank all of you for your response. You have been very helpfull. One last question . I'm riding a ten speed do I need to change to pick up speed? I don't know. Seems to me like everyone flyes by. Does the bike make a big difference.

    Thanks Again to everyone.
    Bubaski
    Folks fly by you likely because they have ridden longer.

    You can do fine with a ten speed, especially on the flats like in Florida. The speed comes as you get more power, a faster cadence and more experience.

    There is a whole forum here on "single speed bikes and fixed speed bikes" - These guys will beat my top speed any day of the week because they pedal so fast. They probably get cadences up to 140 rpm on their cranks.

    So, as Granny mentioned, you might try and get your crank speed up, if not already. I generally go about 90 full revolutions per minute, but it took a couple of years to get there.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  13. #13
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    I've been riding for a little less than 4 years now. I'm 59. I will be riding from San Francisco to Los Angeles in June -- for the second time -- to benefit AIDS research and education. Here is the simple training schedule they give us. At the end, you should be able to ride 60 - 100 miles a day over 7 days. It worked for me.

    Month miles/wk Longest ride Days per week Total trng hrs/w
    Oct 10 -15 5 - 10 1-2 2-3
    Nov 15 -25 10-15 1-2 3-4
    Dec 25-50 15-20 2-3 4-6
    Jan 50-75 20-25 3-4 6-8
    Feb 75-100 25-40 3-4 8-10
    Mar 100-125 45-55 4-5 10-12
    Apr 125-150 55-75 4-5 12-14
    May 125-175 75-90 5 14-16

    You're already well on your way.

  14. #14
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    Hope you can decipher that. It came out all jumbled.

  15. #15
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Welcome and what a terrific start Bubaski!! I've learned a tremendous amount from the folks on the forum here and know you will do the same. Stay in touch!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    Welcome! I am 60 years old and started riding about 4 ears ago after my angioplasti. Initially, I was amazed as to how anyone could possibly enjoy bicycling. My legs, butt, neck/arms, and name were uncomfortable but my wife loved to "cycle" and the cardiologist highly recommended bicyling so I perservered. I have evoved into riding as many 3 to 4 day (supported/credit card) tours as finances permit and we plan our days around riding opportunity/weather. After overcoming my self concieseness, I tried cycling shorts.....won't ride without good quality shorts now.
    You are light years ahead of my initiation to cycling......you will only advance in performance and enjoyment accordingly :>)
    We look forward to your future posts.
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    Gary

  17. #17
    sdr
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    as always, great advice from everyone. i would simply add one suggestion that has benefited me tremendously - have a destination in mind when you start your ride.

    if i leave without a destination i usually just meander around the neighborhood - which is fine and fun, also.

    however, when i have a destination, and ride toward it, i am able to achieve a sustained pedaling cadence which allows for a far-better cardio workout as well as a sense of accomplishment once i get there.

    welcome, bubaski, to senior biking!

    ride on!

    *sdr*
    “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world” Gandhi

  18. #18
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Slim
    Hope you can decipher that. It came out all jumbled.
    Code:
    Mo     Miles     Longest    Days      Hours        Avg
           Per Wk    Ride       Per Wk    Per Wk       MPH
    			
    1      12.5       7.5         1.5           2       6.3
    2      20.0      12.5         1.5           3       6.7
    3      37.5      17.5         2.5           4       9.4
    4      62.5      22.5         3.5           6      10.4
    5      87.5      32.5         3.5           8      10.9
    6     112.5      50.0         4.5          10      11.3
    7     137.5      65.0         4.5          12      11.5
    8     150.0      82.5         5.0          14      10.7
    Very interesting training plan. Thanks for sharing it.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  19. #19
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    There's lots of real simple training tips at www.aidslifecycle.org, the website for this San Francisco to LA ride in June. The tips are great for those of us who aren't big on tech stuff, but need to ride big miles. I'm rider #1801. Check it out. My avatar was taken on last year's ride.

  20. #20
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Excellent hints, great for new riders.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  21. #21
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    I think that to be 'successful' on the bike, no matter how you wind up defining that ... you need to go about it in the same way: you need to prepare your mind, your body, and your bike for the ride of your dreams.

    Today - maybe that dream ride is a half-century (50 miles), organized by a local charity or cycling club. Tomorrow, it could be a ride with a buddy through the New Mexico desert in early spring. I know folks who, after just three years on th bike, are heading to Europe to ride a supported tour through the Alps.

    Whatever goal you set, even if right now it is to get on the bike once a day, four days a week, set that target, plan those rides into your week, get the food and the clothing you need to be comfortable, make sure your bike is road-ready, and let it roll!

    All the best, amigo.

    R2R

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  22. #22
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    To reiterate some of the most important advice in this thread:
    1) use low gears and keep the RPMs up;
    2) downshift early; upshift late;
    3) stay hydrated and fueled;
    4) work gradually toward your distance and speed goals.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  23. #23
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    and, John E., don't forget the blueberry pie part-- eat a lot of it frequently but especially in the middle of long Saturday rides.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  24. #24
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    I must apoligize for not getting back to everyoneAnd I am really thankfull for all the help I have received. First off my hbp meds were causing the cramping in the legs. I still have the restless led syndrome but not as bad. My breathing has improved very much and my strength has improved.I dropped 10 lbs from 206 to 196 and can actually feel the difference.I took everyones suggestions and used them in one way or another. I got some riding pants use them b-a as recommended and that cured the rash. I changed my cadence and ride at a steady pace. I now set my rides at different distances.Mon. 25 miles off tues. gotta baby sit my Grand Daughter tues. and thurs. so wed. is 12.5 miles fri. is 20 miles sat. and sun are 12.5 miles so I'm doing between 75 and 80 miles a week. just hope I can keep up the pace.

    Thanks again to everyone I will keep eveyone posted as to my improvements.
    Bubaski

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