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  1. #1
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Maybe it's just time to hang up my cleats (yes, it's long)

    Sure, I know it's been a down year for me (going back to December last)… seems every time I've gotten a good start going, something comes along to derail me <sigh>. Still, it's been 6 months since I've climbed my local lungbuster or anything else of consequence. But I've been feeling fresh and strong and have recently had a major load lifted so it was time to give it a go. Now, I can get into the whole climbers' gestalt (c.f.; pain, suffering) but there was nothing fun about this at all. 8/10ths into a 2 mile climb, I bailed. I was beaten down like a bug. I didn't even know if I had enough to go back down the hill and get back home. Oh my gosh. Home. I still had to climb up the 14% bump up to my house. In spite of many things, I just can't believe I'm so much more incapable of what many of you can do… I am slowly coming to the understanding that my lung capacity has a much bigger bearing on my limits than I realized… or, maybe, accepted.

    And then I went out Saturday… I got 18 miles in but halfway into it, I was feeling some deep residuals from my encounter with the steps last month. I didn't know if I would be able to make it back. I gutted out the discomfort and did make it home and it just wasn't any fun. I was just riding out of desperation.

    And then there I am limping home, limping home -literally- and I feel this guy riding behind me. He finally comes up alongside me on his Felt ("You drafting me?") and he starts chatting me up. He's gotta be 15, 20 years younger than me, easy. I didn't even check out what gear he was using but his pace was sure quicker than I usually keep in the gear *I* was riding. But I couldn't lose face and shift down. And I had to keep up my end of the conversation so I couldn't sound like I was grabbing for air.I was being pushed... we finally went our separate ways and I was a little bummed.

    Ok, there was *some* fun… people were just diggin' my World Champion SF Giants Jersey.

    Still, I feel like I've lost my joy -but not my need- for hard miles.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  2. #2
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    You want sympathy or encouragement or reinforcement? Can't tell from your post. What I can say is that for all except the highly competitive racers there is really no reason to ride a bike unless you are having fun doing it. Actually except for survival things that put food on the table having fun is the key. So, if you aren't having fun, move on.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Suffering often leads to better days ahead. But, you already know this.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  4. #4
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    You want sympathy or encouragement or reinforcement? Can't tell from your post. What I can say is that for all except the highly competitive racers there is really no reason to ride a bike unless you are having fun doing it. Actually except for survival things that put food on the table having fun is the key. So, if you aren't having fun, move on.
    +1 for having fun. I always feel like I have to push when I'm on my road bike. When it comes to the point that I have to force myself to ride, I pull out my hybrid. It doesn't have a computer so I can cruise at a comfortable speed and not feel like I should be going faster.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

  5. #5
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    You want sympathy or encouragement or reinforcement? Can't tell from your post. What I can say is that for all except the highly competitive racers there is really no reason to ride a bike unless you are having fun doing it. Actually except for survival things that put food on the table having fun is the key. So, if you aren't having fun, move on.
    Hm. I can't say I recognize your name so I'll assume you don't know me either. Rex Ipsa Loquitur. Still, I thank you for observations

    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Suffering often leads to better days ahead. But, you already know this.
    I do, yeah... I guess, you know, I've had bad days, sure -really bad days- but the next time out has always been a restorative.
    I'm not quite sure what Saturday's ride was. It's probably not fair to pass any judgement until I stop hurting from my fall.
    Maybe I'm just doing too much too soon
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  6. #6
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    Keep riding. It will get easier. Even if it isn't fun right now you are improving the quality of your life. A bad day of riding is so much better than a good day at the gym.

  7. #7
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    What i did after crashing twice in 3 months was drag out my Free Spirit( yes, its a Sears FS) with steel wheels and ride that as my recovering bike for my recovering rides. Wore sandals and just went along on my 34 pound 5 speed. I did this so i would not be tempted to do more than i was able to do until such time i was in condition to do more. Even after that i found out i could go 2 miles an hour uphill in a straight line and still remain upright. Even now i don't judge myself against others here, as we all have different abilities. If i feel like riding i do, if i don't, i don't. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtragitt View Post
    Keep riding. It will get easier. Even if it isn't fun right now you are improving the quality of your life. A bad day of riding is so much better than a good day at the gym.
    +1

    Maybe it's time to dial back your expectations a little? Go out and ride a bunch of easy rides. Don't worry about conquering the hills for a while. Get in a bunch of base miles and build your endurance and, above all, find some of the joy in it. There's time to climb the hills later.

  9. #9
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Glad you are getting back together - you all ready know what get's said next - give it time.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    "Go short" Grant Petersen.



    Get in touch with your inner hippie.
    Old Man Maine

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Recovering from setbacks can take time. Patience is a virtue. Hopefully the fun will return.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
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    One of the real issues in coming back from a major setback, whether physical (in Machka's case) or emotional (in my case) is that our expectations tend to be much higher than they should be. In other words, we expect to pedal right back up the hills at the same speed, or cover the same distances in the same time, as we did when we were at our peak.

    The trouble is, achieving that peak required a fair bit of work beforehand, and that same amount of work is needed over a similar period for us to achieve what we want.

    Our fitness does decline during our off periods; that is an inescapable fact. And there is an effect on our psyche that runs parallel with that decline. Maybe it's called frustration. It's result is a lack of motivation.

    Maybe lower your expectations. Plan some rides that are Long Steady Distance, and plan routes that are pleasant rather than challenging. Then work your way back up again with a few hills.

    I don't know about you, but for me, I am having to reassess what my riding goals are nowadays. Or simply, what sort of riding gives me the most pleasure.

    I used to ride long randonnees and not really think much of it. Now, I am finding them not as appealing. I am wanting to get back to touring, because that's where my randonneuring -- in fact, my cycling -- started from. I'm negotiating with Machka on that, and our planned trip to Vancouver for 3 weeks in August might help achieve that end.

    Maybe you will eventually reassess what various aspects of cycling mean for you. Hopefully, you don't dispense with it altogether, but you may find another aspect that appeals to you more... at least, for this moment.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  13. #13
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I used to be able to slack off and gain weight and just do a 50 mile ride and I was ready for a century. As of a few years ago, (I'm 57), that no longer works. Even backing off a little has a profound effect on how I feel on a hard ride. Any fitness lost has to be fought for and it's easier to lose it these days.
    I'm not gifted with a high Vo2, I have asthma, I have old mc injuries and I'm heavier than my riding friends. Still, I love riding and as long as I have fun it's easy to get myself out there even if I do get discouraged sometimes.
    If the hills are kicking your butt maybe you sould stay away from them and work on your base.

    edit: You don't really care what some random stranger thinks about what gear you are in or if you are gasping for air, do you?
    Last edited by big john; 05-24-11 at 08:37 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I've never liked climbing. And yet, I still like cycling. You need to refocus.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    You don't really care what some random stranger thinks about what gear you are in or if you are gasping for air, do you?
    Well, no, not, really... sort of. I mean, ultimately I *do* ride for me and me, alone.
    Still, pride is a funny thing. In a way, though, this was when I did find some joy on the ride... there I was, keeping up with this young buck, chatting away and I forgot about my discomfort/pain.I ended up taking one of the harder ways back home. I got to the top of my 14% hump, looked at my HR and it was actually 10BPM lower than it has been of late. That was encouraging enough that I felt that little twinge of sadness and regret as I circled around, cooled down and dismounted. No, I can't really give this up. You guys are all quite right... I just need to go a little easier until my back and hip stop bothering me.
    In fact, I think I'll take a shortie 10 miler for lunch today.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Why should any of us expect to ride like we did when we were 20 - 30 years old. At 60 I do just fine, and am content just to ride. If the joy has been lost, maybe slowing down just a bit would help. Knowing that the cyclist 20 years our junior should be faster may be a help. I used to time myself when riding a particular route. Now I just ride for distance without timing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    Hm. Maybe I'm just doing too much too soon
    Hm. Who's to say -------- but I feel it's likely, only because I regularly do just that.

    Nice to hear from you again.

    One bike I wish I'd kept was a 50 lbs at least 'Mighty Gundle' bakers boy bike made out of lead piping, single speed, geared to spin out at about 8 mph, with a big steel rack and a wicker basket on the front. I was just cool beyond belief on that thing in Brighton UK where they know all about cool, when I was 20

    Browse the Pashley and Batavius sites for a work bike. Many of them can carry - ooh, maybe 14 banjos

    OK, what I'm really saying - ditch the speed and steep targets, focus on the 'that was fun' targets

    Kindly meant

  18. #18
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    In fact, I think I'll take a shortie 10 miler for lunch today.
    There you go, keep it fun!

  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    That coming back after a lay off is hard. I know as I am just doing it aswell. Nothing else to do but plug away and slow down. It's getting me back--Maybe not as quick as I like but I am getting there.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  20. #20
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wobblyoldgeezer View Post
    Hm. Who's to say -------- but I feel it's likely, only because I regularly do just that.

    Nice to hear from you again.

    One bike I wish I'd kept was a 50 lbs at least 'Mighty Gundle' bakers boy bike made out of lead piping, single speed, geared to spin out at about 8 mph, with a big steel rack and a wicker basket on the front. I was just cool beyond belief on that thing in Brighton UK where they know all about cool, when I was 20

    Browse the Pashley and Batavius sites for a work bike. Many of them can carry - ooh, maybe 14 banjos

    OK, what I'm really saying - ditch the speed and steep targets, focus on the 'that was fun' targets

    Kindly meant
    And taken as such... when are you coming back home? We must ride together.

    OK, time to check the local weather and go suit up.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    Hm. I can't say I recognize your name so I'll assume you don't know me either. Rex Ipsa Loquitur. Still, I thank you for observations



    I do, yeah... I guess, you know, I've had bad days, sure -really bad days- but the next time out has always been a restorative.
    I'm not quite sure what Saturday's ride was. It's probably not fair to pass any judgement until I stop hurting from my fall.
    Maybe I'm just doing too much too soon
    Nope I don't know you personally and I don't know what that phrase you posted means. But, I do know that when something that isn't necessary for survival isn't fun any more it is time to seriously consider stopping. That doesn't mean a person doesn't start it back up again later. It just means that if you aren't looking forward to each day's ride with eagerness and joy it is time to find something else.

    I used to be a runner. Ran anywhere from 3 - 12 miles everyday with races and other things added on. Lots of days it HURT to get the shoes on and head down the road. But, I looked forward to the challenge and the fun. Then one day it wasn't fun. I tried to make it fun. But, it wasn't. Stopped running and took up other sports.

    Right now I can't ride. I had an accident that gave me some serious trauma followed by some stupidity of ignoring it and pushing on. But, I will ride again as soon as I can because it is fun. It is part of me at this season of my life.

    If it is fun for you by all means go back to riding. If it isn't don't let your ego or anyone else's push you back on the bike. Pain isn't the issue. Fun and self-satisfaction is.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  22. #22
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    It sounds to me that you don't want to quit ridding, but are just discouraged. I for one can empathize with you. I have been having a Low HR problem and can't seem to find the answer. From 165 to 123 for a long time. Now it's back up to 135 as a Max sustainable HR. This has made a huge difference in my cycling, and is extremely frustrating.
    I have been tempted to quit on many occasions, but I just got this new bike just before I got I went down and I want to get my money's worth out of it. In order to do that I need to ride for another 30 years, or until I get to 101.
    Good luck and maybe take it a little easer on yourself. That's what I need to tell myself anyway.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

    Taking on a long hill is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you are tired, You stop when the Gorilla is tired.

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    In God we trust

  23. #23
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Positive Influences

    OP, I don't know you, but some observations from how you wrote your initial post.

    (1) You may be suffering from mild depression

    (2) Recovery will require both physical and emotional changes, so...

    - disconnect the bike computer
    - plan rides around simple, rewarding destinations: pie, coffee shop (decaf, of course) and newspaper, volunteering, antique shops, etc.
    - ride with a neighbor or friend
    - take it slow and breathe
    - watch your fat and sugar intake - go for the fresh fruits and vegetables
    - add in some other type of activity on alternating days: walks, yard work or cleanup, swimming at the Y, DIY project

    (3) If a "down" attitude persists for more than two weeks, see a doctor and ask questions about why you feel this way. There may be physiological issues as well.

    Good luck,
    Phil

  24. #24
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    For those that do not know SKT- He does have or did have- a medical problem that he managed to overcome before his lay off AND wherever he goes in his local area he has hills. Don't mean slopes-They are hills.

    I will agree about disconnecting the computer though. Stats mean nothing right now except to say how much you have lost over the winter. Looking at my stats depressed me after my winter layoff. But just plug away- get out of breath- gets the legs falling apart and then suddenly- it doesn't hurt quite so much. That is the time to start thinking "Can I do that hill in Middle ring". I know you won't be able to but its worth thinking about for 2 seconds before you come to your senses.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  25. #25
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    For those that do not know SKT- He does have or did have- a medical problem that he managed to overcome before his lay off AND wherever he goes in his local area he has hills. Don't mean slopes-They are hills.

    I will agree about disconnecting the computer though. Stats mean nothing right now except to say how much you have lost over the winter. Looking at my stats depressed me after my winter layoff. But just plug away- get out of breath- gets the legs falling apart and then suddenly- it doesn't hurt quite so much. That is the time to start thinking "Can I do that hill in Middle ring". I know you won't be able to but its worth thinking about for 2 seconds before you come to your senses.
    LOL... that's assuming I have any senses to come to!

    Yes, sorry I didn't amplify -I forget there are many here who have not followed my exploits- but I do have a couple of things holding me back.
    I am hypertensive and currently medically restricted to efforts up to 170BPM (used to be 165, so progress there. yay).
    I also have asthma and, on a good day, operate on about 60-70% of normal capacity. Effort requires oxygen so that's a real problem there.
    There's also that poundage thing... I weigh between 195-200 lbs. Too much, really, though more of that weight is muscle now than it was 4 years ago
    I have let none of these things stop me.

    My hills out of town (primarily west to east) are fairly short -2 miles or so- but average at least 10% over their distance. They're steep.
    Even north-to-south is pretty uneven with some fairly stiff but short inclines and to get home involves a nice, short 14% climb

    I have been riding this year but my mileage is so uneven. Still, I've felt fresh and strong.. I'm consistently pushing gears now that were unheard of even just last year. This is why my "setback" is so unnerving. The other thing is, I had a bad day. So what? Nothing new there. But I've never had 2 bad days in a row.
    Granted, the 2nd day was a result of lingering issues from my fall a month ago and, once I overlooked that, it wasn't a bad ride... but I do see that healing is holding me back some and will be more prolonged than I had hoped.

    Anyway, I did go out yesterday to do 10 miles. Ended up doing 11
    Didn't push too hard but didn't hold back a whole lot either.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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