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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 10-07-07, 12:21 PM   #1
tntom
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First 25 mile ride.

Had my bike 3 months road 25 miles yesterday first time. I was bike tired as much as anything. Neck, sholders and my but. Had some long hills where I got low on breath. did not stop just road till I got it back. Will these things improve the more I ride? I think the main problem was that I had not been on my bike in a week. Gitting in shape is all new to me I have never tried untill now. Also went clipless and I love them. Went with MTB style they seem to walk better. I fell in a parking lot first time out. Guess I started out right.
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Old 10-07-07, 12:28 PM   #2
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Things will improve- but as a warning- Tomorrow get out for a recovery ride. 5 to 10 miles at "Gentle" pace. This is just to get the Muscles working and take a few of the aches away. Won't help on the butt pain though so you may have to ride out of the saddle for most of the way.
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Old 10-07-07, 12:46 PM   #3
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Tom!

Yes, things improve. I found it's more a function of how frequently I ride as opposed to how far. Whatever conditioning I have, I begin to lose it after only two or three days off the bike. I need to ride more often than that to retain condition, and daily in order to improve conditioning.

As I recall, I was about where you are after three months. Maybe a little ahead because I remember riding 25-30 miles once a week. I rode my first 50-miler after five months, and my first metric century (100km or 62.137 miles) after seven months. I didn't become really good at hills until until around nine months. Meanwhile, I was riding five to six days a week.

I'm at 19 months now and improvements continue. I'm told that for people who stick with it and put some effort into it, (modest efforts count too) improvements can continue for five or more years. I find that encouraging. Hope you do too.

As for clipless, I too chose SPD and mountain-style shoes, mainly because I also ride my bike to work and shopping. I can't imagine duck-walking behind a grocery cart! When I bought then, after fitting the cleats and everything, they taught me proper technique then made me do a half-hour of stop-and-start drills in the bike shop parking lot.

The drills made all the difference in the world. I got the mistakes out of the way early and before I rode out into traffic. All you need is an empty parking lot and a half-hour to ride back-and-forth, stopping at every 50 yards or so.

As for pain, it's hard to tell at a distance how much is related to getting in shape and how much is related to bike fit. The former is addressed with saddle time and the latter with adjusting the bike, possibly replacing some parts with longer or shorter pieces. When everything works, you can ride pain and discomfort free.

I found the $100 to $150 investment in having a fitting session to be worth every penny. I've had three as my comfort, skill and flexibility have changed. Each time I've had tremendous improvements in comfort which lead to improvements in ride time, power and speed. (Note, power and speed are relative in the 50+ set. We're not talking racerboy here.)

So keep at it. It *does* get better, easier and faster.
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Old 10-07-07, 01:06 PM   #4
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Yea I did the parking lot thing thats were I fell. I will check into the bike fit at LBS. I think the main thing is I am having a lot of FUN and it is good for me. MIND AND BODY. I pastor 5 mission churches in trailer parks and sometimes I need some time alone and the bike works well.
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Old 10-07-07, 03:20 PM   #5
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Will these things improve the more I ride?
Absolutely, yes. Just keep riding.

I rode a route this afternoon which I have not ridden since last year. The hills that I thought were difficult back then were nothing today. I just breezed right on up.

Just be patient and keep riding.

Oh, by the way, congratulations on the quarter century ride!!
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Old 10-12-07, 03:33 PM   #6
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Cool. a 40km ride!

A bike fitting helped my shoulder pain, I was leaning on my arms too much before the fitting.
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Old 10-12-07, 03:57 PM   #7
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Good success story. Keep it up.

Gradual gains are going to continue for a long time.
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Old 10-12-07, 04:05 PM   #8
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Oh yeah. You're doing great. And yes, though not quickly enough it seems, more and longer rides become easier with time. Keep riding!
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Old 10-12-07, 04:19 PM   #9
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Just did my first 25 mile ride in late May of this year. I definitely find it much easier to do that now than then. And did you do the entire ride without stopping??? My personal best longest ride without a stop is just 10 miles. Although I don't stop because I have to stop, but because I like to stop.
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Old 10-12-07, 05:32 PM   #10
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Congrats on the 25 miles, tntom. It won't be long before you'll consider that just a good warmup!

I've been able to ride about 5 days a week for the last couple of months and find my quads to stay slightly sore most of the time... the good kind of sore (exercise sore). I complained about my saddle on my new bike for the first 300 miles or so but am happy with it now. But it was a major PITA until I made appropriate adjustments/got used to it. The old saddle on my hybrid feels plush in comparision. But I don't think I'll change the saddle on the roadie now. I'm happy with it.

So give it all time.

At least, that's what I'm trying to do with hills. I'm not happy with my hill climbing ability. I either run out of lungs or legs, in no particular order.
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Old 10-12-07, 07:31 PM   #11
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Congrats! It only gets better. Keep on going.
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Old 10-13-07, 10:43 AM   #12
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I road my first organized ride today. They had a 25, 62, and 100 mile rides I road the 25. Lots of hills I made it in about 2 hrs. One stop at 12 miles. Had a great time.
Tom
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Old 10-13-07, 11:07 AM   #13
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I road my first organized ride today. They had a 25, 62, and 100 mile rides I road the 25. Lots of hills I made it in about 2 hrs. One stop at 12 miles. Had a great time.
Tom
Congratulations Tom.

I love organized rides. It's nice knowing there will be support if needed, regular rest stops and the chance to meet other cyclists.
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Old 10-13-07, 11:17 AM   #14
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Ya know, if you keep riding you'll treasure this post someday. You'll be thinking "Jeeezzzz, I remember when 25 was a big deal."
It is right now, and a hardly WELL DONE to you.
But save your post and read it next year. You'll be smiling.
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