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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 04-17-08, 08:28 AM   #1
Hearty Cycler
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Greetings from a NJ old/new cyclist

Hello everyone,
I can't tell you how happy I am to find Bike Forums - specifically this 50+ section - and I wanted to introduce myself. I'm 56 y.o., a quadruple bypass veteran (3 years ago), in pretty decent shape now thanks to regular exercising and good nutrition, and I haven't really ridden a bike in 35 or so years.

When I was a kid, I rode my one speed, heavyweight, tubular tired bike everywhere. Always believed that the bike skills that I learned as a kid were always going to be a part of me. Last year, I got into a conversation with a 59 y.o. acquaintance/friend of mine about how I was thinking about getting a bike and wanted to ride again. Unknown to me, he had returned to cycling about 6 years ago, and said that there was no time like the present. He had two bikes, I got on one, and we rode along a perfectly flat road (we were at the beach) 2.5 miles with the wind and 2.5 miles into the wind on our return trip. The trip was a bit uncomfortable, yet fun, but I noticed that my bike riding skills were all but gone.

I expected the trip to be difficult from a workout/fitness perspective. I hadn't realized that the feel of a bike would seem so foreign to me. It was towards the end of the season, and that turned out to be the only ride that I took last year.

I've spent this past year reading about and researching bikes and wound up buying a used bike from a good friend of my brother. It's a Cannondale T2000, in near new condition. It's an XL size, suitable for my 6'3" frame. I also loved the fact that it's a 27 speed bike with very low gears. I took it to my LBS and had them check the fit. They also talked me into clipless pedals.

The weather is just starting to turn nice now here in the Northeast, and I took my first trip on it two days ago. I was planning on riding 4-5 miles, but was gassed after only 2 miles. Also found the clipless
pedals a bit tricky along with riding on a real road with rolling hills and not being able to shift intuitively. I was exhausted from all of the thinking that I had to do while also realizing that, although in good shape, I'm not in bike shape. Planning on going out again today. I've got a long way to go, I know, but was wondering how look do you guys think it will take for my riding to even begin to feel reasonably normal.

I'm looking forward to being a member of this community and hope that I'll be able to (eventually) contribute to it. I'm still working my way through the "returning bike rider thread" stuck to the top of this forum, but so far the advice in it has been excellent.

I'm open to any advice that you may have me, and look forward to hanging here.
Cheers!
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Old 04-17-08, 08:53 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard. It sounds like you're off to a great re-start.
Before you know it you'll be flying along almost effortlessly and loving
every mile. Looking foreward to reading your posts as you get
more and more at home on your bike.

Happy Trails
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Old 04-17-08, 08:53 AM   #3
HopedaleHills
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Hearty Cycler, welcome to the mad house. You will adapt again in no time flat, just keep riding. I started riding again three years ago and my first ride was an exhausting 2.5 miles. That was in April, in August I did my first 100km (62 miles) ride.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:01 AM   #4
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Where in NJ are you located?
The more you do it, the better you will get.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:37 AM   #5
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CrankyOldDude, thanks for the welcome.

HopedaleHills, Wow! Not sure that my progress is going to be as quick or as glorious as yours, but nice to know that progress happens relatively quick if you ride consistently.

leob1, I live in Rockaway, NJ which is in the middle of the northern part of the state.
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Old 04-17-08, 10:20 AM   #6
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Hearty,
Welcome back, we have been waiting for you! Yes, there is a lot to think about with a multi-speed road machine, clipless pedals, etc. Soon you will find it becomes second nature, just like the old single-speed with big tires you rode in your youth. Come back here for frequent encouragement!
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Old 04-17-08, 11:12 AM   #7
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Run while you can. This group is addictive. Before long, you are going to tell someone that you rode your bike 10 miles (or 12, or 21 or 16 or 35) and they are going to go "Wow. I don't think I could ride 2.5 miles!"
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