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-   -   For the 50+ 'newbie' rider (http://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/438160-50-newbie-rider.html)

Altair 4 11-05-10 08:13 AM

Okay, so I'll start here looking for advice, since you all seem like a friendly bunch. I turned 53 a week ago. I bought a bike about a month and a half ago. Right now, I am enjoying weekend rides on the Heritage trails along the rivers of Pittsburgh. My time on the bike is limited due to work, kid, volunteer commitments, but I'm able to get 15 mile rides in on the weekends. My boss and I are are giving serious contemplation to riding the Great Allegheny Passage in the Spring, from Cumberland to Pittsburgh. He's a more serious athlete than I am, having been a runner for much of his life (but his knees aren't what they used to be and his running days are over).

My current rides don't really tire me out and I plan to work up to doubling this very soon. I'm looking for some advice on how to better train for the GAP. Our itinerary looks to cover about 40 miles a day. I figure I'll have maybe 45 days in the spring to get back into shape before we hit the trail. I'm very excited about the prospect of the ride and have been reading as much as I can about it. I figure I need to get to the point of training on 40 mile rides on back-to-back days to get there.

Any help, pointers, tips on how best to do this would be gratefully accepted!! I don't want to be embarrassed out there.

DnvrFox 11-05-10 12:33 PM

Quote:

Okay, so I'll start here looking for advice,
As this is a "sticky" thread it will likely not be read much by most long-term posters with lots of experience. You might want to start a new thread, which, I can guarantee you, will get lots of responses.

Altair 4 11-05-10 07:09 PM

Thanks! I'll do that.

Tdivy32 07-30-11 07:23 PM

Thanks for the info=after not riding much in the last 30 years, I needed a good starting point and you have given me that. Thanks so much!!!

froging 08-03-11 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DnvrFox (Post 11739251)
As this is a "sticky" thread it will likely not be read much by most long-term posters with lots of experience. You might want to start a new thread, which, I can guarantee you, will get lots of responses.

Yeah in 55 years I have 6 maybe 7 years of bike riding experience. I have to say though the last 2 years have been a blast.

As for the person wanting to ride 40 miles train for 50 miles then when you do the 40 it will be a breeze.

froging 08-04-11 01:30 AM

I don't know about others but I have this thread glued to my email address I check all the time. When someone post in here I get an alert.

If it interest me I respond. If it's over my head I let someone taller then me answer it.

Hank Delison 08-25-11 11:45 AM

Havn't been on a bicycle in 45 years, till just a couple months ago. After trying one of the "hyrids" I traded it in for a Trek mountain bike. When I test rode it it just felt more stable and comfortable then the hybrid. Maybe it was just a bit lower to the ground or maybe the big fat tires, but for sure it was the ultra low gears and the hydralic brakes!. I live in the middle of a hill and going up is never going to be easy or fun, but with the gears and the 26" tyres it's doable, and going down the hydralic disc brakes are solid.
The only real problem is I remember bike riding to be much easier back 45years and 80 pounds ago.

GoGranny 09-05-11 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hank Delison (Post 13131135)
Havn't been on a bicycle in 45 years, till just a couple months ago. After trying one of the "hyrids" I traded it in for a Trek mountain bike. When I test rode it it just felt more stable and comfortable then the hybrid. Maybe it was just a bit lower to the ground or maybe the big fat tires, but for sure it was the ultra low gears and the hydralic brakes!. I live in the middle of a hill and going up is never going to be easy or fun, but with the gears and the 26" tyres it's doable, and going down the hydralic disc brakes are solid.
The only real problem is I remember bike riding to be much easier back 45years and 80 pounds ago.

Welcome, Hank! I had to smile because your story sounds a lot like mine.

If you search for the thread "Wrong Bike?" you'll find the saga of my transition from a hybrid to a MTB. I've been enjoying rides all summer on my faithful, stable, slow Giant Boulder. Yes, it's a little harder to pedal. But I feel safe on it, and I've done an overnight trip on the C&O Canal and another on the Allegheny Passage.

My driveway is gravel and goes down a steep hill, so once I get out of the driveway, I've got it made, for a quarter mile or so. More hills no matter which way I go. Believe me, keep riding and it'll get better.

Hope you enjoy your rides and your BF visits!

CHAUSE1 10-13-11 06:42 PM

I am a 55 year old returning rider after about 30 years. Just bought a Felt Z100 and enjoy riding about 10 miles a day. What averege speed should I pace myself (relatively flat roads) thanks guys

McQz 10-13-11 07:14 PM

A good way to gauge your flat road pace would be to use a heart monitor.
Use the data from a page like : http://www.calculatenow.biz/sport/he...te+Zones#zones
to determine a good heart rate and then see how fast you're going.

Or, you can decide how tired you want to feel and keep up that pace.

IBOHUNT 11-15-11 12:38 PM

I feel the only way to be embarrassed is to have a bike that just collects dust.

No need to wait till spring to get ready. Unless there is snow or it's raining I'll be on the bike and then it will have to be snow that I can't get the bike to the canal.

I plan on doing a spring ride along the C&0 from Cumberland (mile 180) to near my house (mile 77) one day next spring; then from my daughters in Frostburg to here. I've done as many as 77 on the canal in one day. I'd like to work up to going from here to Pittsburg and back, about 500 miles, during a vacation week in July '12

As has been said, you want to ride for 40 miles then train at 50 or more. Makes 40 a breeze. Read what you can about keeping the rpm's up. I know it's helped me. I can get home after a long 50+ mile ride and don't even have to think about the stairs.

I recall when I started in July doing 10 miles was all I could do before needing a serious nap. Now I don't think twice of telling the wife I'll be back in 3 hrs which is about 50 miles. Given a good day I don't see a problem in riding a century a weekend - now isn't good since the time has shifted and it's hunting season. - way too many hobbies

IBOHUNT 11-15-11 12:46 PM

I'd like to add my own tips for 'newbie' riders...

Eye protection. You'll get a bug hit at some point in time and more than likely it won't be when you are trudging up a hill at 10 mph but on a descent at 35 mph. Had one in the forehead, above my glasses and below the helmet, yesterday and it hurt. Can't imagine what may have happened if it was in the eye.

Also, it doesn't matter how many blinky lights or orange/neon clothes you wear. Once you get on a bike and are on the road it seems that a Star Trek cloaking device gets on with you. You will not be seen by some folks in vehicles. Make eye contact

GrandBob 12-10-11 03:56 PM

I suggest that you find Road Bike Rider on the internet and read its weekly reports. Lots of information about fitness, training, etc. My advice is really simple: Ride as often as you can, gradually increasing your distance until you are able to ride 50 miles comfortably. When you can do that you are probably ready for multi-day touring. Of course, terrain has a lot to do with it, so if you're going to be riding hills on your tours be sure to include them in training. Also, prepare yourself for all kinds of weather, especially rain. I try never to start out in the rain, but week long or longer rides inevitably have some. Good luck.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Altair 4 (Post 11737470)
Okay, so I'll start here looking for advice, since you all seem like a friendly bunch. I turned 53 a week ago. I bought a bike about a month and a half ago. Right now, I am enjoying weekend rides on the Heritage trails along the rivers of Pittsburgh. My time on the bike is limited due to work, kid, volunteer commitments, but I'm able to get 15 mile rides in on the weekends. My boss and I are are giving serious contemplation to riding the Great Allegheny Passage in the Spring, from Cumberland to Pittsburgh. He's a more serious athlete than I am, having been a runner for much of his life (but his knees aren't what they used to be and his running days are over).

My current rides don't really tire me out and I plan to work up to doubling this very soon. I'm looking for some advice on how to better train for the GAP. Our itinerary looks to cover about 40 miles a day. I figure I'll have maybe 45 days in the spring to get back into shape before we hit the trail. I'm very excited about the prospect of the ride and have been reading as much as I can about it. I figure I need to get to the point of training on 40 mile rides on back-to-back days to get there.

Any help, pointers, tips on how best to do this would be gratefully accepted!! I don't want to be embarrassed out there.


Dudelsack 12-10-11 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chause1 (Post 13361804)
i am a 55 year old returning rider after about 30 years. Just bought a felt z100 and enjoy riding about 10 miles a day. What averege speed should i pace myself (relatively flat roads) thanks guys

12 mph.

froging 12-13-11 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IBOHUNT (Post 13495888)
I'd like to add my own tips for 'newbie' riders...

Eye protection. You'll get a bug hit at some point in time and more than likely it won't be when you are trudging up a hill at 10 mph but on a descent at 35 mph. Had one in the forehead, above my glasses and below the helmet, yesterday and it hurt. Can't imagine what may have happened if it was in the eye.

Also, it doesn't matter how many blinky lights or orange/neon clothes you wear. Once you get on a bike and are on the road it seems that a Star Trek cloaking device gets on with you. You will not be seen by some folks in vehicles. Make eye contact

Wow 55 male here ride to and from work, shine, rain, and snow (ice biking it's called) how right you are. I have a light that blinks and can be seen from the sides also, on my handle bars. I have a miners light on my helmet. Then I have a red blinking light on the back of my bike. I have saddle bags in back on each side with reflective white seems. Can drivers see me? Half can't OH and my helmet has a greenish yellowish rain cap, and I wear a greenish yellowish vest. Thank G_d for my squeeze blab horn it has saved my life lots of times.

froging 12-13-11 01:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IBOHUNT (Post 13495850)
I feel the only way to be embarrassed is to have a bike that just collects dust.

No need to wait till spring to get ready. Unless there is snow or it's raining I'll be on the bike and then it will have to be snow that I can't get the bike to the canal.

I plan on doing a spring ride along the C&0 from Cumberland (mile 180) to near my house (mile 77) one day next spring; then from my daughters in Frostburg to here. I've done as many as 77 on the canal in one day. I'd like to work up to going from here to Pittsburg and back, about 500 miles, during a vacation week in July '12

As has been said, you want to ride for 40 miles then train at 50 or more. Makes 40 a breeze. Read what you can about keeping the rpm's up. I know it's helped me. I can get home after a long 50+ mile ride and don't even have to think about the stairs.

I recall when I started in July doing 10 miles was all I could do before needing a serious nap. Now I don't think twice of telling the wife I'll be back in 3 hrs which is about 50 miles. Given a good day I don't see a problem in riding a century a weekend - now isn't good since the time has shifted and it's hunting season. - way too many hobbies

We can't let a little snow keep us down. I ride in the snow, in fact last year it snowed here in Bellevue WA USA. Folks called in that they could not get to work the boss said wait your telling me your in a car and Frank's here on his bicycle and you can't make it? I was laughing!!!

froging 12-13-11 01:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Altair 4 (Post 11737470)
I don't want to be embarrassed out there.

The only way to be embarrassed is to tell your friends and then not be out there. You will be surprised at how much your friends will root you on, even if your dead last. Your out there and most of them never ever even got on a bike probably. Nothing to be embarrassed about!!!!

Andikat 06-22-12 08:17 AM

Thanks for all the good advice. I am just trying to get restarted biking and choosing a new bike. I'm turning 55 this week and am a recreational rider on a bike someone else purchased for me 10 years ago. I'm not comfortable on it, so will be purchasing one myself soon. I'm really looking forward to getting back out there and increasing my activity. I have looked on the clydedale.athena thread for advice on purchasing for a heavy rider but not getting too much definitively. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

McQz 06-22-12 08:33 AM

In order to give much in the way of advice, a few details need to be considered. You mention that you've been looking in the Clydesdale forum, I spend a little time there myself, so no disparagement here, but just how hefty are you? Many of the better bikes are mede for flyweight types. How much money are you willing to invest in your ride? How flexible are you / how would you rate your physical condition? Where will you ride? How often will you ride? What other physical activities will you engage in?

I was in the same position about 10 years ago and bought a nice Gary Fisher hybrid. 10 years later, at 63, I've sold or given away several bikes and now have 5 bikes to cover the different things I like to do on a bike and I'm considering another hybrid! All things considered, which they never are, a hybrid is a good place to start.

It's not what you ride, it's that you ride.

froging 06-28-12 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andikat (Post 14390460)
Thanks for all the good advice. I am just trying to get restarted biking and choosing a new bike. I'm turning 55 this week and am a recreational rider on a bike someone else purchased for me 10 years ago. I'm not comfortable on it, so will be purchasing one myself soon. I'm really looking forward to getting back out there and increasing my activity. I have looked on the clydedale.athena thread for advice on purchasing for a heavy rider but not getting too much definitively. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Me I ride a Schwinn cruiser bike I have fallen a few times in mud on ice Yeah I ride in the snow, even fell in a mud puddle on the way to work. I was 197 lbs now 175 lbs trying to hit 158 lbs I'm 56 and started riding again after age 16 at 53 when I started posting in here. Just get out there and do it. I wasn't OK with riding I just got on it wiggled down the street left to right right to left sure drivers thought I was drunk, LOL looking back now wish I was LOL. We (me included) come up with all kinds of reasons not to start. "I'm too fat the bike will break in half, I'm too skinny the wind will knock me over, or I'm fit and trim and don't need to ride I will lose my great shape, the bike is too old, it's too new, or the breaks don't work the tire is worn, or it don't have a horn. Just get on it and ride. Lower the seat, get some different, tires, change the handle bars, take it with you to your local bike shop ask them how can I make this bike fit me.

I bought my bike at a pawn shop then took it to Performance Bike in Redmond WA. They re-sized it for me did maintenance on it and didn't even charge me cause they do warranty work for Schwinn. Every time I have had work done on my bike it has been 1/4 to 1/2 of the quote they give me to get it fixed.

I think it maybe that the bike is old I'm old and old things go good together like peanut butter and jelly.

the painter 07-12-12 07:12 PM

this is great info.

SPIKE69 07-26-12 05:56 AM

Thanks for all the tips Catweazle. Loads of useful advice means that my present bike is not as unsuitable as I first thought. I must change the saddle though!

LDB 02-08-13 09:40 PM

As a former rider, much longer ago than I like to admit, this is a lot of good refresher material. Kudos.

werwer2012 02-11-13 04:04 PM

WOW, what a fantastic article. I am 55 and cycled a lot as a teenager. Then when I got married I gave it up. Now I am ready to get back in the saddle and I sure got a lot of pointers from that article. This forum is great and thanks for the information.

Greg

craigrrr 02-22-13 09:43 AM

Great write up, It is always good to re-read the things we forget


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