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  1. #1
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    New rider seeking wisdom

    My statistics are as follows. Male 54 175lbs. 5'9"
    I started riding on a steaty basis about 6 weeks ago. At this stage I am doing 6 miles in the AM. in about 30 minutes. I will do another 4 miles in the afternoon at a little more leasurely pace. My heart rate after the 6 mile run is about 110-115/min, but comes down fairly quickly. A little winded but not much. All riding now takes place on the streets mostly neighborhood street some mild uphill and downhill runs, but mostly flat.
    I am riding a Schwinn hybrid that I've had for about 7 years, which works fine for now. I don't want to make any major investment right now until I know better where I stand with all of this. I have invested in a new saddle since the original saddle isn't cutting it as the number of miles begins to increase. I may also invest in shorts but that will probably be it for now, until spring.
    Am I making sufficient progress at this point or am I overdoing it at this early a stage. My goals are to increase my stamina, help reduce my blood pressure a bit and to maybe lose some weight.
    What does everyone do in the winter as far as riding is concerned. Do they put their bikes up on a stand and ride it indoors or invest in a stationary bike. Bike riding outdoors just doesn't happen in N.E. Ohio. Ever hear of Lake Effect Snow?

  2. #2
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hask12
    What does everyone do in the winter as far as riding is concerned. Do they put their bikes up on a stand and ride it indoors or invest in a stationary bike. Bike riding outdoors just doesn't happen in N.E. Ohio. Ever hear of Lake Effect Snow?
    I've heard of it..... ever hear of studded snow tires? I can't stand riding a trainer indoors, so I just bundle up and ride outdoors..... albeit at a lot less miles per week, but enough to keep things going. My rides in the winter are 30 - 60 min (5 - 20 miles) long a couple of times a week depending on the temp. I won't ride once it gets below 15F.
    Carpe who?

  3. #3
    OldButFit
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    Hask,

    I'm also 54, 173, and 5'11". I've been riding since the end of May on my son's old Wal-Mart mountain bike. I'm a marathon runner but a back problem has me out of the running shoes while I heal.

    I generally do rides of 15 miles on Sun & Thu at an average HR of around 125-128. It usually takes 60-63 minutes. On Tue, I do 14 miles as fast as I can, with my best being 50:36. My AHR on that run was 152. On Saturdays, I go long. My farthest so far was yesterday (08/05) when I rode my age ... 54 miles. It took 3 hours 56 minutes.

    For reference purposes, my average HR for say a 6 mile run at an 8:30-8:45 pace would be around 135. A 5k race (3.1 miles) at a 6:45 pace would yeild an AHR of about 163.

    A couple opinions regarding your training ..... first, IMHO if you don't go at least 30 minutes, it isn't a quality session. Could you increase one of your daily rides and skip the other? It would be to your advantage. Secondly, you're starting off right concentrating on distance (time) and not intensity. Keep it moderate (60%-70% max) while you build stamina.

    Best of luck in your pursuit of fitness. I spent last year coaching my brother (253 lbs, 48 y.o.) in training to run the Detroit Marathon. Come October he hit the starting line at 214 lbs, was off his cholesteral meds and almost off his BP meds. He (we) completed the marathon in 5:07.

    As they say ... "YOU CAN DO THIS" !!!!!

    Feel free to email me if you have questions, comments, or simply want an online training partner.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    If you're posting here seeking wisdom, you are definitely in need of some help.

    As for winter riding, I used to do a bit of that but that might have been before I developed my good sense. The thing that I remember is that my brakes would melt the snow on my rims, then they'd refreeze so that I had no brakes at all the next time that I needed them. I'd have to find a soft-looking snowbank whenever I wanted to stop.

    I think that Sheldon Brown rides through the Boston winters. He might have some words of wisdom for you.

  5. #5
    OldButFit
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    If you're posting here seeking wisdom, you are definitely in need of some help.


    Great comment.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Fairly lucky I suppose, where I am on winter riding- In fact, as I ride offroad- it is the summers I have problems with as the trails are rock hard. No challenge in going up hills that offer as much traction as asphalt, and the downhills have to be taken with a modicum of care- just in case you come off. In fact in winter we even get out night riding in the evenings but that is a different ballgame altogether.

    On the heart rate and effort put into a ride. I would try to get the HR up a bit higher. At your age you should have an age related maximum of around 165 so only getting up to 115 is well below your working level for fitness.

    I like to ride at around 140/145 for my rides and uphills this rises to 150 and by the end of a long hill I am pushing 160. Can go higher if necessary to 172 to finish the hill but do try not to go this high as for me that is get off the bike and lie down time before I fall down.

    I try to do about 2 or 3 miles getting the HR to 120 before I start putting in effort. Then i raise it to 130 and rest back to 120, then go to 140 and rest to 120. Finally get to 150 and rest again till I feel comfortable. Then I can do the rest of the ride up to my max in comfort. If I do not do this warm up and try to go to 150 straight away then I will not get above 135 and I will not recover.

    I am not suggesting you follow me in this but do your warmup, then try to get your HR up to 120 initially and recover. Next ride- try for 125, then try for 130. Do it gradually but do not go over the top for your comfort.

    I have a couple of guide lines I work to. If I can talk comfortably to the rider next to me- that is what I am- Comfortable. If I start breathing hard but can still talk,may be a bit stinted, then I am just in the working zone. If I have--to start taking-- a few breaths within-- a sentence to complete- it, Then I definitely in the zone and I may even have to think about slowing down a bit for comfort. Then If I am going uphill and talking will be laboured, then I am definitely working so no more effort on that hill till I have to put in the bit of effort to get over the steep bit. You will find your level but when you think you can manage it- Get the HR up a bit in gradual stages and don't forget the camera for your Pie ride in September. (The next challenge for us as in the Rogues Gallery)
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  7. #7
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    Hask

    I too started back riding on a Schwinn Transit. I would ride in the good part of the year, up to 20 miles or so, then stop in the winter. Finally, bought some winter riding clothes, including booties, bib tights, technical jackets and jerseys, etc. Streamlined the hybrid, which I now use for a touring bike. Anything above 30 degrees, I ride. I know Texas isn't Ohio, but maybe with a good clothing outfit you can keep riding.

    What kind of 90's Schwinn is it? I had both a Cross Cut and Criss Cross, which had better framer materials than the Transit, but the were both stolen. You'd be amazed at what a narrower tire and clipless pedals would do to your riding.

  8. #8
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Hey Hask12 - Welcome

    I guess my guideline regarding intensity would be to listen carefully to your body. I know that sounds corny, but I find it an excellent guide. Specifically, I like to ride a lot, but when my body tells me it needs to rest or miss a day of riding, I follow my body's direction.

    I am 66yo. I started riding when I was 58yo. Within 3 months of beginning riding I participated in the "Ride the Rockies" - a 350 mile 7 day journey through Colorado and its passes. I ride about 4,500 miles per year.

    In the winter, I ride as much as possible, including bundling up and going in the cold. However, I also put one of my bikes on a "trainer" and use training videos (I use Spinervals, but Carmichael also puts out training videos, amongst others). I find the videos are markedly helpful in increasing my workout efficiency and intensity.

    Good luck. Just keep at it. Increase both your longevity and intensity as you feel you can. It will come!

    (ANd there sure are a lot of 50+'rs up on a Sunday morning. Don't any of you guys sleep in? - Stapfam excepted, of course)
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-06-06 at 06:08 AM.
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  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    (ANd there sure are a lot of 50+'rs up on a Sunday morning. Don't any of you guys sleep in? - Stapfam excepted, of course)
    Had a lie in and didn't get out till 9am. Did a 50/50 ride on the Road bike- Should have got a Cyclocross but this does well enough. 15 miles to Breakfast up a hill called the "High and Over". Just as nasty as it sounds- 20% average for 1 mile with the 25% bit about 200yards in. Last did it about 3 years ago on the Tandem and it has never been easy. Easier this morning on those skinny tyres and 30/26 gearing though. (Remember when I got the Road bike I said I wanted a triple?) Then breakfast- Sausage egg bacon mushrooms and Tomatoes -- with plenty of coffee and Toast and preserves.

    We were then in Friston Forest So started on a forest road but turned off onto an offroad trail. Bone dry but I do want a lower gear for them hills. I had to keep the speed down on the downhills- due to my body and the road wheels, but it acted remarkably well. After about 10 miles of this- back on the road for 5 miles of MUP home and That is why I can post so early. 30 miles with hills and offroad at an average of 12.5 mph.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    (ANd there sure are a lot of 50+'rs up on a Sunday morning. Don't any of you guys sleep in? - Stapfam excepted, of course)
    You're up early also.

    I don't ever sleep. Well actually, I'm up about 5AM most mornings. Old habits die hard when you've been in the oilfields. I still can't ride the road bike in the morning, so I read and post and torment all those young earth-wood-and grain liberals in the A&S forum.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    don't forget the camera for your Pie ride in September.
    Yeah, forgot about that. The rules for the Pie Ride were decided while I was on vacation. I just found new pie but its 140 miles away. Wonder if I could do a three day tour for pie?

  12. #12
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho
    You're up early also.

    I don't ever sleep. Well actually, I'm up about 5AM most mornings. Old habits die hard when you've been in the oilfields. I still can't ride the road bike in the morning, so I read and post and torment all those young earth-wood-and grain liberals in the A&S forum.
    Those folks in A&S have the exact same arguments, with the exact same people, day after day. It is like a never ending tape recorder being played again and again, or a needle stuck on a record (anyone remember records?). I gave up on them. I am amazed you have the fortitude to post there.

    And, yes, I am one of those early riser types, although I made it until 5:30 this morning.
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  13. #13
    OldButFit
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Those folks in A&S have the exact same arguments, with the exact same people, day after day. It is like a never ending tape recorder being played again and again, or a needle stuck on a record (anyone remember records?). I gave up on them. I am amazed you have the fortitude to post there.
    Same deal in the Runner's World L&O (Letters & Opinions) forum. Those folks will start an argument over a billboard. It's funny to read threads there and see how they are.

    Yes, I remember records well. I read an interesting article in Popular Mechanics mag last year detailing all the current high tech turntables available. Devotees still claim the pressed wax produces the clearest sound. You'd be amaxed at what's on the market to play your old 33 rpm's.

  14. #14
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Yeap, A&S subforum tends to be broken record.

    Welcome. Here's a contrary thought: if you get the gear for winter riding, then you'll have to go out to ride. You could skip the snow tires the first year and skip riding when there's snow. Brakes aren't a problem if you bought wisely, i.e. disc brakes.

    The minimum you need for winter riding:
    1. gloves: warm and flexible. I perfer ice climbing gloves for combo of flexibility and warmth, but it's a personal matter and you'll get as many options as the ideal female or the ideal bike.
    2. balaclava, i.e ski mask that is wind proof
    3. wind proof jacket. It's the wind that kills you more than the cold.
    4. leggings. I like goretek and got mine from lands end.

    If riding in twilight or dark, naturally you'll need lights. If you start liking cold weather riding [50F to 25F] then you'll probably want either gloves with removable liners or a medium and heavy set of gloves. The rest of warmth is by layering, so you can adjust your comfort level to match the conditions. For example in cold, I just use 2 pair of socks, one nylon and that has carried me thru. I don't ride if it gets below 20F so can't give you advice there. But winter is still some time away. Get in the training now and it'll just naturally come as you'll need X and Y and Z as it slowly gets colder.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  15. #15
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Hask, I'm 52 years and 210 pounds at 6'2" and I started by doing flat bike path loops of 10-15 miles for about a year before venturing out on the road and eventually into the hills. I always kept it fun and luckily have had good friends to ride with. Yesterday 8 of us did a 9 hour ride in the mountains, it was great. Have fun and you will always look forward to your rides.

  16. #16
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Welcome Hask! Lots of folks here with excellent ideas and experiences to share.

    I was where you are 5-6 years ago. First, make sure your Doc is okay with your racing your heartrate up-you just need some peace of mind there. You will find you can take your heartrate up to probably 150-170 bpm depending on what type of riding/exercise you want to do.

    My first rides were exactly like yours. I started with a 30 yr old road bike, went to a mountain bike on the road, then progressed through 4-5 bikes over the past few years trying to figure out what I wanted/needed. I also bought a trainer for inside exercise.

    I've found that as long as the roads aren't covered in snow and ice I can ride regardless of how cold it is and have bought the right clothing for the cold and wind. Others here seem to enjoy using their inside equipment during colder weather. For me, I can exercise longer outside as I ride somewhere and the only way to get back is to ride........therefore I'm on the bike longer outside than caving in to the temptation of stopping while indoors.

    Above all, ride and do what pleases you the most.......I think that works for most folks here the best.

  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Hask,

    I have a different solution to your winter riding dilemna. You see, I grew up in N.E. Ohio and know very well the lake effect and the snow and the cold, bitter air.

    The solution is simple: move to San Diego. Here you can enjoy cycling year round, and your toughest challenges with the weather are rain (which is fun to ride in) and the occasional extraordinary heat wave with high humidity (which isn't.)

    It's only August, so you have plenty of time to get the place ready for a sale, selling it, and moving to San Diego. One tip: bring a U-Haul filled with money to buy a house here. Otherwise -- it's a perfect solution!
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    Reply

    The bike is a schwinn express. It has a bit of rust, mostly on screw heads, minor. It shifts okay, but I don't kid myself into thinking by an stretch of the imagination that it shifts as smoothly as a road bike does. My son owns a Trek mountain bike, nothing fancy and I can feel the difference on his bike. Winter here means road salt which creates traction problems along with rust problems that can't be washed off. plus riding in the cold doesn't seem like an attractive idea to me after riding in the summer. So what should I look for in a trainer?

  19. #19
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Hask,

    I have a different solution to your winter riding dilemna. You see, I grew up in N.E. Ohio and know very well the lake effect and the snow and the cold, bitter air.

    The solution is simple: move to San Diego. Here you can enjoy cycling year round, and your toughest challenges with the weather are rain (which is fun to ride in) and the occasional extraordinary heat wave with high humidity (which isn't.)

    It's only August, so you have plenty of time to get the place ready for a sale, selling it, and moving to San Diego. One tip: bring a U-Haul filled with money to buy a house here. Otherwise -- it's a perfect solution!
    +1 on the U-Haul full of money! By the way, I wore shorts everyday of the year last year. Only thing that mucks things up for riding is the rain in November! Other than that.....NO WINTER!

  20. #20
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hask12
    So what should I look for in a trainer?
    You will get a lot of answers to this. It sort of depends on your philosophy of life, IMHO.

    Personally, I am a utilitarian sort of guy. Whatever works to meeet the basic need at the lowest cost. SO, I have 2 trainers - my wife uses one, also. Both are the magnetic variety. One is a basic Nashbar.com trainer. You put your bike in it and pedal away. It has 3 different manual adjustments for resistance, but that doesn't matter much as the training tapes get most of their zip out of using different gears on your bike and different cadences. I have another magnetic trainer, with an adjustable handlebar clip-on variable resistance lever. It also works fine, and I do use the variable resistance when standing to pedal. Others need the ultimate in refinement and quality. Take your choice or somewhere in between.

    I am the moderator of an indoor training support group. There is an extensive file section with a lot of info on trainers, etc. ALso, in the Training Forum of BFN, there is a sticky on trainers.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-06-06 at 12:28 PM.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I sometimes use a magnetic trainer and watch football. I have ridden through a half, but usually not that long. When I lived in the mountains and had snow, I used to ride my beater mountain bike on the trails. It was great fun and kept me going, you just have to dress right.

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    Hask12

    As far as the heart rate is concerned, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to train your body to burn fat more effectively you would want to focus on extending duration gradually and working in a heart rate range of 100-130 bpm. If you are wanting to increase your aerobic capacity you have two options the standard 220-age and target heart rate=[(HRmax-HRrest)%]+HR rest. This is more conservative and has a heart rate variation of +/- 15 bpm depending on fitness level of the individual. Both could apply to your situation depending on the type of workout you want to do.

  23. #23
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Traiiners-I purchased one from 1up.

    http://www.1upusa.com/

    A little pricey but very quiet and easy to use. Service is very good from these folks as well. Not much to go wrong with the darn thing either.

  24. #24
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Hey, I woke up early today, too! (Nothing to brag about. It comes with the territory when you get old enough.) I couldn't post in this thread because I was out on my bike!
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  25. #25
    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hask12
    The bike is a schwinn express. It has a bit of rust, mostly on screw heads, minor. It shifts okay, but I don't kid myself into thinking by an stretch of the imagination that it shifts as smoothly as a road bike does. My son owns a Trek mountain bike, nothing fancy and I can feel the difference on his bike. Winter here means road salt which creates traction problems along with rust problems that can't be washed off. plus riding in the cold doesn't seem like an attractive idea to me after riding in the summer. So what should I look for in a trainer?
    I sent you a PM Hask. I have talked to a guy that just takes his bike in the shower after a winter ride. I'm not that dedicated.

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