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Old 10-24-10, 06:46 PM   #1
Bare Feet
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Greetings! My long story & thank you!

Hello everyone! I've been reading here for months, and over that time I've come to enjoy more and more the camaraderie you share with one another. My reason for this thread is to share with you a piece of my story and to let you know that your posts to each other have been a tremendous source of inspiration and encouragement to me.

My recent return to bike riding after 24 years has been bittersweet. At 51, on migraine meds & losing weight, out of shape, and suddenly alone, I needed something. I turned to what I knew could be good exercise and a good way to socialize: what else, but my old Miyata three-ten! I had so many good times and adventures on it! So, in June I spent $250 getting it back on the roadÖ only to find that it didn't fit, was scary to shift on the downtubes, and I could only brake in the drops. I didnít ride it much.

I made a mistake there, and I basically lost the summer, but there is a bright side: I found Bike Forums 50+ and started feeling a good vibe. Like a sponge, I spent the summer reading and searching and taking notes. Carbon v aluminum, triple v double, brands, fit, teeth, tips.

On Oct. 1st I bought a 2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 105 WSD. I had the compact double rear cassette swapped for a 12-30T to get a lower gear. The first 5 days, I rode a 15 mile loop mostly flat. Then I upped it to 20 miles 4 days a week.

Last week I had a simple computer put on so I could track mph. I was consistently doing 13.4mph AVG for that 20 mile loop, and believe me I am pushing myself, breathing heavy most of the time. Working on keeping cadence up.

THEN . . . this past Friday, I had clipless pedals put on, and my first day of that same ride my speed increased by exactly 1.0 mph! It may not sound like much but it is for me! Iíve busted my hump other times, and was only able to increase by 0.2 mph.

I donít know how much longer I'll ride before its too cold for me, but my next goal is to add hills.

How does it sound like I'm doing so far?

Oh yes, and about Club Tombay . . it does exist . . the entrance is before you even get out of my garage, as you ďleanĒ (towards the clipped in side) to push the button to close the garage door. Nice colorful bruise, which Iím quite proud of!

Well, thatís pretty much a (too) long story. sorry.
Mostly, I just wanted to say thank you! Thank you very much
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Old 10-24-10, 06:59 PM   #2
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GREAT!!

Makes me feel good about a couple of us (Joe Gardner) starting the 50+ forum a few years back - for exactly the reasons you stated.

You are doing amazingly well, and you entered clipless so smoothly. If I had a Club Tombay certificate, I would email it to you.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-24-10 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:02 PM   #3
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What a great story!

I haven't spent a lot of time in this particular forum, but the uplifting level of the dialogue is certainly a refreshing change from the road forum.

Thanks for sharing all this. It sounds like you're ready to target at least a metric century next summer. Keep us all posted on your progress, and congratulations on the fantastic bike!!
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Old 10-24-10, 07:13 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard the 50+ forum, otherwise known as the Mature Milieu.
You'll need to post a pic of your bike at some point.
Care for some pie?
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Old 10-24-10, 07:22 PM   #5
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Welcome! You're doing great. Just keep riding. You'll have to figure something out for the winter (toughing it out, spin classes, going into hibernation, etc.), of course, but then come spring you'll be back again if you have the motivation, and it sounds like you do.

It sounds like you are looking for social rides, so I'll add one note from personal experience - I waited a whole season (1500 miles) before I thought I was ready to join group rides. I just didn't want to make a fool of myself as a someone with low skills. I needn't have waited that long. Many clubs have "C" and "B" rides that you could do now or very soon.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:23 PM   #6
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If you thought clipless pedals improved your speed, wait until you try a 50+ jersey!
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Old 10-24-10, 07:24 PM   #7
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Tis a good place. Welcome.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:27 PM   #8
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Hi ya Bare Feet,
When you got to the part of your post about huffing and puffing when you first began I thought, "Hey, that's me" From h'ing and p'ing last spring when I first started cycling, I now ride 30 to 50 miles, 70 to 100 per week. After buying and trying a number of saddles, I finally have a keeper and can venture into territory beyond 50 miles. For next summer the goal is a century. Like you, I just got clipless pedals but have not tried them yet.

Here in Rhode Island the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen have rides scheduled throughout winter; I'm assuming barring snow and ice on roads. Last spring I rode in quite cold weather. I already had very warm clothes from hiking and skiing. With good woolies underneath, gloves, face mask, windbreaker, in 5 minutes of riding you will be nice and toasty and wondering why everyone else is so bundled up. Find your local cycling club riding partners and tips.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing your story, and welcome. You'll find what you need here, whether it's encouragement or a pat on the back for your accomplishments. In that vein, congratulations on your return to cycling and on your new bike.
Now, how about some pictures. (Of your bike of course.)
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Old 10-24-10, 07:38 PM   #10
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Don't worry about average speed...don't worry about that at all.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:43 PM   #11
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Welcome. I'm always gald when someone picks up some useful information/inspiration here. BTW, I still huff and puff.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:47 PM   #12
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Hmmm... certainly you have good taste in bikes. My weekend/long-ride bike is a Synapse Carbon 5. I love it!

Welcome to the 50+ forum. Keep riding. You're doing well. Stay with it.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:59 PM   #13
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Old 10-24-10, 08:19 PM   #14
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Don't focus on your speed, focus on your time. Plan to ride for a specific period of time, and increase it over the months. The speed will come with strength and endurance. More speed means more distance, which is more fun.
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Old 10-24-10, 09:15 PM   #15
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Welcome to 50+
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Old 10-24-10, 09:46 PM   #16
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Welcome aboard. Don't worry about huffing and puffing, just kleep riding. Pretty soon you'll notice that an easy pace is faster than the old easy pace.
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Old 10-24-10, 09:52 PM   #17
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One of may favorite all-time posts. You have capture what cycling is all about for most of us here on this forum -- and the spirit of 50+ers. Welcome.
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Old 10-24-10, 10:15 PM   #18
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Hello from one Jersey girl to another!
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Old 10-24-10, 10:41 PM   #19
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Great post, thanks for telling us about your progress.

20 miles per ride, 4 times a week, is a bunch of riding - you're doing great.

If your bike budget still has room in it, it would be worth getting some good quality cool-weather riding gear so you can keep going this fall, and break out the bike on warm-ish days over the winter. It will get you back on the bike earlier in the spring, too.
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Old 10-24-10, 10:44 PM   #20
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Welcome to the 50+ forum, Bare Feet. Keep up the good work.
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Old 10-25-10, 06:17 AM   #21
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Welcome Bare Feet. +1 on the comments about not worrying about your speed. Ride to enjoy and have fun. Your speed will take care of itself. You will go faster as you get more fit. Congratulations on your new bike.
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Old 10-25-10, 06:33 AM   #22
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Welcome.... I enjoyed your post. And +1 to the need for good winter riding apparel. Post a pic of your bike when you get he chance!
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Old 10-25-10, 08:32 AM   #23
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I enjoyed your post. Thanks. I've never really stopped cycling since I was a kid, except a few lean years when I didn't have a bike, and have been a pretty committed enthusiast since I was in my 20's. I do lots of weekend rides and a multi-week tour each summer. It's hard to put myself in the shoes of an adult newcomer, but it's great to vicariously experience someone's newfound love of the sport.

I have a caution and some encouragement. There will be times when it will be too easy to talk yourself out of going for a ride - perhaps, in your case, after the newness wears off. I have days like that all the time - it's too cold, I'm tired, it's too much trouble to fill the water bottles and top off the air, I don't know if I have enough time, etc.

I have found, through countless trials, that inevitably if I can get off my butt and go for a ride it will be worth it. I'm ALWAYS glad I did - every single time!

So, since cycling is such a postitive, good-for-you activity, I hope you'll stick with it for life, or at least until you reach your 80's. I'm hoping to go for a ride on my 90th birthday myself!
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Old 10-25-10, 08:56 AM   #24
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Gosh, I'm feeling all gooey inside!
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Old 10-25-10, 09:35 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffyjam View Post
Don't worry about average speed...don't worry about that at all.
Distance in the main thing and you have come a long way in a very short time- Keeo it up and keep enjoying the riding.
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