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  1. #1
    Senior Member ozneddy's Avatar
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    be gentle with me ok ?

    well having just attained the ripe old age of 50 , nostalgia has set in ,so, there,s this old fool stripping and cleaning and reassembling the trusty old 10 speed,(lookin mighty fine i must say) all the time thinking "piece of cake , u never forget how" but, now is the time of truth "riding it" threw the old leg over (OMG , did the seat always feel like this ? ) managed about 6 feet then sorta fell off ! lol, so, question is-how would you suggest that i re enter the wonderful world of biking without killing myself ? short rides ? just coast downhill ? try to make it to the end of the block (without falling off ? ) i think i need the wisdom of my peers ,plz guy,s i DO want to do this but its been a long time ! p.s (i,m 6.3 and not overweight,not fully fit but i aint dead yet ) oh to be 16 again !

  2. #2
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozneddy
    well having just attained the ripe old age of 50 , nostalgia has set in ,so, there,s this old fool stripping and cleaning and reassembling the trusty old 10 speed,(lookin mighty fine i must say) all the time thinking "piece of cake , u never forget how" but, now is the time of truth "riding it" threw the old leg over (OMG , did the seat always feel like this ? ) managed about 6 feet then sorta fell off ! lol, so, question is-how would you suggest that i re enter the wonderful world of biking without killing myself ? short rides ? just coast downhill ? try to make it to the end of the block (without falling off ? ) i think i need the wisdom of my peers ,plz guy,s i DO want to do this but its been a long time ! p.s (i,m 6.3 and not overweight,not fully fit but i aint dead yet ) oh to be 16 again !
    Ozneddy,

    Nearly everyone on this forum is "new to," or "re-entering" bicycling after a long break. No question is too simple, no thought unwelcome, and no statement not worth a little poking fun at (in a good natured way). Most of the "posters" ride newer bikes of all types, i.e. road, mtb, comfort, hybrid, but a few of us maintain or collect older bikes we still ride. One of my two regular rides is on 26 year old Schwinn (a 10 speed) which after allowing it to mostly collect dust in the basement for 20+ years, brings me great joy. Don't worry about the distance you ride just yet. Instead just ride your bike as often as possible. BTW, do a search on saddles here, you'll find lots of opinions. Most 70s vintage saddles never felt comfortable unless they were leather like a Brooks.
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  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    16 year olds have their own problems and as long as they don't foist them on me- they can stay in their world and I'll stay in mine.
    Saddles are always that uncomfortable- always were and will be until you get the butt attuned to sitting on a bag of broken pebbles. (Or is that the Pil*s) Managed 6 ft before falling eh? Thats better than not getting started before falling off so at least you have a head start on me. When you eventually manage to get going- just take a few short rides to make certain the bike works- steering and brakes work- hands still function and that the legs are still connected. Try to stay away from traffic and trees as both have a habit of suddenly appearing in front of you. Coasting doesn't work by the way as if you go down a slope to get enough speed to do that-you climb that hill to get home.Unless you have already climbed the hill and then you will need to coast to get the breath back.

    Good luck on your return, but don't enter the 100 mile rides for a couple of months. Stay within your limits and just find the nearsest cafe that does a decent pie for your first couple of trips.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You did 6 feet! Hooray.

    Next time you will likely do 100 feet.

    After that you won't fall off at all. You will then be in the mode of increasing your length of ride. Pretty soon you will do a mile, then 5, then 10, then 15, then 20miles. Once you get to 20 miles, the rest is easy.

    Question - you said you "threw your leg over the seat." Were you trying to get a running start - i.e., your left leg on the pedal, pushing the bike with you right leg to get up speed? If so, don't do that. Stand over the bike with both feet on the ground. Have one pedal in about 145 degrees up from the bottom (vertical), then press down with your foot on the pedal to get the bike moving. Put the other foot on the pedal. Pedal away. Once moving, you can then put your butt on the seat.

    Good luck. You will get there.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-25-06 at 05:53 AM.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Just keep telling yourself you are not an old fool-you are not an old fool (LOL), I will be 55 in July and started riding two years ago and wish I would have never quit. The more you ride the more you can ride, a 50 year old butt does not seem to be the same as a 35 year old butt I have found but it is much better now. Educate yourself and keep on keeping on and you will be a expert in no time. Things like seats, shorts, and bikes are very personal so some experimention may be in order. Make sure the bike fits you correctly and have fun.

  6. #6
    Rid'n Rev sour01's Avatar
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    I dug out my bicycle that I bought in the 80's last September and got it in riding shape. At 52 and 308 pounds it was all I could do to ride the 3 miles around my neigborhood. My butt and hands were killing me as well. I was amazed at the progress over the months and have slowly worked up the mileage. Now 9 months later and 55 pound lighter I am able to ride on Saturday mornings with a group that goes 40+ miles. I am riding 100+ mile a week now. Rode my age a couple of weeks ago and plan on a century in October. May get a new bike after that or reward myself with one when I reach my goal weight. Listen to your body and take it slow in building up the miles. I'm on my third saddle and seem to have found a good combo. I have found that I have really taken to cycling this time around much more so than when I was younger. It has been a blast!! Have fun!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    I "restarted" cycling after a 25-year hiatus in January, 2005. It takes a few rides, but it will come back. Just persist. Welcome to the good forum here on BikeForums - don't be a stranger!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Ride often. Try to ride a different route every time. Everything else will come.

  9. #9
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    C'mon, really. You fell off after 6-feet? Tell us about that. Did you not pedal at all - were you trying to launch uphill. Hopefully, you didn't hurt yourself by falling off (I can tell you all about that). What did you do after your fall - get on again or just push the poor, neglected "creature" back to its stable and head for the car.

    All kidding aside, you just need to keep starting off - if you are really as wobbly as you describe, I would just straddle the bike, sit on the saddle with my feet (or one of them) on the ground. Do a little coasting at a very slow speed that allows you to catch yourself if you start to lose control. Let both legs dangle while you coast (sort of like training wheels). Keep doing that until you regain your feeling of balance and confidence on the bike.

    I was amazed to discover the many ways in which biking equipment has improved when I dusted off my '73 Schwinn and started riding again about five years ago. Once you get into it, you may be tempted to purchase a new bike - but don't feel pressured either way. There is plenty of pleasure to be had either way - old bike or new.

    Most of all, seek to recapture that free spirit that had you riding a bike way back when - the knowledge that you can ride with cars (argh) on the street - but, you can also ride where cars cannot or are not allowed to go. You can ride pedestrian paths, but, unlike the pedestrian, you'll see the whole trail or a lot more of it than he/she will.

    Post back here often and keep us updated with your progress. We'll laugh with you when you (as you seem) are able to laugh at yourself, we will encourage you when you fall for real, and, trust me, we'll be honest in reproving you when you "get out of line" (uhummmm, not me, you understand, I leave that to the "pros" on the forum).

    Welcome and happy riding.

    Caruso
    Last edited by Carusoswi; 06-25-06 at 06:59 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Just go out and ride. Like you would if you were getting back into walking or swimming.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  11. #11
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Man, you're already doing it. You've got to re-enter with a sense of humor, and it seems that you've already got that part down. Now the name of the game is persistence. But, heck you've lived to be 50 so you already know something about that. Did you know that just a little over 100 years ago the life expectancy of a male was only 47? In the last 100 years we've come a long way, and you're sure to go a long was if you keep at it.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  12. #12
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    I inherited a couple of gas-pipe ten speeds two and a half years ago when my wife died. I did not want to give them to goodwill without first making them safe and functional. I went through everything; bearings, brakes and tires. The test ride was the most harrowing experience I could have imagined. But it had an element of freedom, youth, and flying and I don't know what....I just had to keep doing it. I went through the online fit calculators to get an idea what size I needed and bought a cheapy. I could only ride 2-3 miles at a time and still walk afterwards......I just did it twice a day until things started to click. I think that it took 2 months to get up to a blistering (!!) 2hr 20 mile ride. I think that one good feature about bikes is that the pain limits you to shorter rides until you can get everything adjusted and your body adapted. It just takes time. Don't push yourself into doing damage, and don't be embarassed. Just think of all the people sitting in front of the TV when you feel stiff and sore. Bike fit is imortant. Good gloves help for some. Don't wear pants that will grab the saddle when you mount or dismount....that is a common event.....stuff like that. You did the first ride and found the best forum...keep posting, and riding...best wishes

  13. #13
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Well, I know how you feel about asking "dumb" questions. Fact is, there aren't any "dumb" questions. By and large the members of this forum and Bike Forums in general have been a tremendous help to me as I have re-entered cycling. I've learned tons from reading and posting here. Yesterday, I managed to ride 100 miles for the first time I feel like many of the kind folks here were riding along with me. Just keep asking and keep riding. It's always fun when those little light bulbs go off and you "get it" about something you were uncertain about. Have fun!

  14. #14
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Welcome to the crazy and extremely rewarding cycling community......especially 50+ ers.

    Like others have said, just ride as much as you feel like and the rest will take care of itself. I'm a believer (and big user) in all the new technology around cycling as it works for me-or I should say it does what I need it to. Take a visit to a bicycle shop and test ride one of the newer models. I think you will really like the shifting, braking and wheelsets available today.

  15. #15
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Do you have kids? If so, would one of them be willing to walk/run along side you, holding on the bike until you get your balance? Or how about training wheels?

    Aw, I'm just kidding...you've gotten great advice already and anything I, a 50+ Lance Armstrong look-alike, would have to say is just redundant, if not repetitive.

    Just keep cycling, and you'll soon discover that it is the path to better fitness, hours of fun, untold wealth, the admiration of the opposite sex, and the meaning of life. It's amazing what can happen when you become one with your bike!
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  16. #16
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Well, I'm the weirdo here. I've been bike commuting pretty consistently for decades.

    How to start? Short rides are good. Go around the block. Take a rest, Go around two blocks. Find a nice place to ride and play. The nicest long section of bicycling around here is down by the river.

    Coasting downhill may be appealing. But, the most dangerous part of my commute is a downhill section and I get going about 40, whee!

    I'd say, try what looks appealing; focus on fun; don't let anyone tell you that you "have to" do this or that to be a real bicyclist. That kind of rigid competitive thinking is for 16 year olds.

    The more you ride, the more you will know what's right for you. Group rides or solo, street or dirt, commute or recreation only. Don't be afraid to indulge a little. My latest bicycle purchase was a Giant Stiletto chopper. Totally useless, completely fun. But it lead me to organizing a holiday parade entry with the local bicycle advocacy group. Very fun.

  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Just keep cycling, and you'll soon discover that it is the path to untold wealth.
    But fess up Gary. He'll spend all that untold wealth on bikes and accessories!

  18. #18
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas
    But fess up Gary. He'll spend all that untold wealth on bikes and accessories!
    It is so. I didn't want to alarm him!

    I have two rules to keep my financial affairs sane:

    1. Don't go into a bookstore. (I'm a 'bookaholic')

    2. Don't go into a bike store. (I'm a 'bikeaholic')

    Hmmm...

    I just became aware (once again) of why I have financial challenges!
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  19. #19
    Senior Member ozneddy's Avatar
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    thanx guy,s all the advice given here has been burnt into my brain,i will do what mum usta say"just take one day at a time" i have since retried riding the bike and suprise suprise i didnt fall off lol,in fact i,m excited about improving myself at it !, u guy,s are cool, i feel at home here and i will try not to be a stranger !

  20. #20
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    First off, be gentle with yourself and get a new seat designed for comfort and prostate relief. You'll be glad you did. bk

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Glad to hear you are out there riding, even if it is a short distance. I think many of us begin the same way. Don't be concerned about the old bike. If it still works fine it will be good for awhile before you come down with bike envy.
    I began riding seriously in Feb of 2005 and like you I cleaned up the old 10 speed, a 1983 Peugeot P8. I put 1,500 miles on it last year before retiring it. I still use it when I am riding with my children as it has platform pedals so I can hop on it wearing anything.
    No matter the 6 feet, just go out to enjoy it, take a few turns through the neighborhood. It becomes addictive.
    Attached photo of my cleaned up P8
    001_24A.jpg

  22. #22
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    Sorry to hijack this very good thread.

    p8rider, is that the original Peugeot green? I'm riding a (?) 1980's Peugeot Professionel 400, don't know anything much else about the bike - very cheap on e-bay.

    I like the bike but it needs a frame respray. I've been wondering whether to try to preserve that odd green colour or go for something completely new; love that Bianchi pale blue.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by abarkley
    Sorry to hijack this very good thread.

    p8rider, is that the original Peugeot green?
    Sorry the color is blue, I didn't place the image so that it could be enlarged. I believe the P8 model was available in Red, Blue and of course White. I don't know about the other models, you might try Classic and Vintage there are some real experts there.

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