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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 11-16-11, 02:01 PM   #1
PastorJim
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Need to know does and don't as I begin my venture in bike riding in my 50's

I bought my basic bike in 2007 (Schwinn Sidewinder 26" Men's) but used it rarely, until last year I started to use it more often (monthtly, then weekly). Now I enjoy riding 3-4 times a week. My longest ride being 11.5 miles. So any input from you all is appreciated. I consider myself new at bike riding as an adult (50's).I like watch youtube clips if you know of good ones of cycling. Thanks
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Old 11-16-11, 02:16 PM   #2
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Do keep riding. Don't stop.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:18 PM   #3
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Do keep riding. Don't stop.
+1
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Old 11-16-11, 02:22 PM   #4
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I started riding in April this year after almost 25 years of not riding regularly. Keep riding! Hopefully you'll be blessed with the progression from riding to addicted to riding...at least if you have as much fun being addicted as I.

I also like the way my clothes fit now, and the fact that I don't get out of breath walking up stairs or up a hill.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:32 PM   #5
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+1 to all the above.

Keep riding.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:39 PM   #6
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go on your search and type in "you tube how to change a flat tire on a bicycle"

This you gotta know. Watch several of them. Front tire is way different than rear wheel with chain and gear clusters.

On some rides, you might not find a Good Samaritan to help you.

Last edited by Garfield Cat; 11-16-11 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
go on your search and type in "you tube how to change a flat tire on a bicycle"
+1
Along with that, pick up a seat bag kit, maybe a pump, make sure you have some decent front and rear lighting (safety) and then just keep riding.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:52 PM   #8
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For more miles, you may wish to consider buying a better bike

The one thing I learned back in the mid 1960s is that the better the bike the more pleasurable it is to ride. Good quality components work better from the get-go and are far easier to maintain in good working order. I learned this by accident while in college when I started looking for a used bike to get me from my apartment to the college. I only had around $100 available and my two choices were a Schwinn Varsity and an Italian made Fiorelli 10 speed bike. I didn't know didly about bikes at the time and chose the Fiorelli because it was a beautiful bike, weighed only 29 pounds, and it had entry level Campignolo components on it. It was a fortuitous choice because when I began to ride it, it was a lot of fun. All of the components worked perfectly. I had quit riding a bike (Schwinn of course) when I first got my driver's license. I dare say that had I chosen the very heavy Schwinn Varsity with its mediocre components, I probably never would have joined the local bike club and started riding seriously.

Your current bike is heavy. I tried to find out exactly how heavy but the only reference I could find is in a user review and that person stated it weighed 40 pounds. That's a lot of weight to push around. I picked up a similar Walmart Schwinn put out in the trash recently by a neighbor. It had decent wheels on it and I knew someone who needed a rear wheel. The rest of the bike I trashed because the components
weren't worth stripping off the frame. That said, while I was looking up the specs for your bike I came across a posting from a bike shop owner I have known since 1971 and his comment was that a lot of people buy this type of bike and ride it until the wheels fall off without having any complaints. Still, I'd suggest you look into buying a bike (maybe used) that weighs less and has better components. You will be amazed at how much further you can ride with the same amount of effort.

Still riding at 68 - a fine quality recumbent trike.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:26 PM   #9
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Keep riding. And look for opportunities to lengthen your rides. You don't have to kill yourself with huge ambitions. Increasing by about 10%/week is plenty. And if, on any given day, you don't feel like your ride is going well, make it a short one and don't beat yourself up about it.

Vary your routes - don't do the same out and back over and over again. Make sure the rides stay interesting and fun.

Before you know it, you'll be reminiscing about the days when you thought an 11 mile ride was long.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:29 PM   #10
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I rode 80 laps around the block when I first started.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
go on your search and type in "you tube how to change a flat tire on a bicycle"

This you gotta know. Watch several of them. Front tire is way different than rear wheel with chain and gear clusters.

On some rides, you might not find a Good Samaritan to help you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seve View Post
+1
Along with that, pick up a seat bag kit, maybe a pump, make sure you have some decent front and rear lighting (safety) and then just keep riding.
All of this^^^^^^^^^^^^

Keep riding.

Enjoy!

Edit: Welcome to 50+ forum!!
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Old 11-16-11, 05:32 PM   #12
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Very good advice from all the above.
+ Don't forget to pray before you go.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david58 View Post
I started riding in April this year after almost 25 years of not riding regularly
You almost described my situation exactly. But for me it's:
I started riding in April this year after almost 30 years of not riding at all

Despite that, through regular riding and through pushing it HARD on every ride, I have completed 2 centuries at over 19 mph average, completed RAGBRAI, and ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by david58 View Post
I also like the way my clothes fit now, and the fact that I don't get out of breath walking up stairs or up a hill.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:42 PM   #14
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Note to Pastor Jim (the OP):

Join a club.

* They will show you the ins and outs, and the dos and don'ts

* They will encourage you

* They will have organized rides at various paces, and you'll be able to monitor your progress as you improve

* And the rides are usually quite fun, and you'll get to meet a lot of like-minded people.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:44 PM   #15
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Yeah man, I started back this Year after 30+ Years, its a joy I am glad to have rediscovered, got a couple of 8 to 10 miles loops I do after work... well after this week it may be to cold for a while. Ride on!
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Old 11-16-11, 05:45 PM   #16
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All roads are connected, be caseful once you venture out on the road, it is like a river and you may find yourself swept away, going on rides far farther than any you imagined.

(Paraphrased and Stolen for J.R.R. Tolkein)
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Old 11-16-11, 06:05 PM   #17
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Hi Jim,
I'm from NC also and am the oldest guy in my Ba. of Ministry classes. I also started with a Schwinn. It's a hybrid and I rode it for only a little while and really got hooked on the exercise before I picked up a used but almost new Trek road bike. Keep riding the Schwinn and if you hang around here long you will hear about the N+1 and soon enough you will be picking up that more appropriate bike others have eluded to.

Hoping you have great success with the biking.

Gary
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Old 11-16-11, 07:48 PM   #18
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Read this:

http://michaelbarry.ca/2011/11/the-group-ride-2/

It applies more to the more accomplished riders, but all riders should aspire to reach this level of riding. A group ride of the kind described here can be incredibly rewarding.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:50 PM   #19
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Interesting responses. My two cents: Don't take too seriously what you may be told you "must" do. The human body and psyche are incredibly adaptable. The most important thing is that your bike be comfortable. Other than that, learn to adapt, learn to enjoy, push yourself a little (and a little more and a little more). You aren't racing anyone but the Grim Reaper, and biking can help you stay ahead of him if you are careful.

Now, all that being said, it is true that a nice bike can be easier to ride farther and faster than a lesser bike. Road tires have less rolling resistance than mtb tires.

But all that being said, here is an anecdote to ponder. 35 years ago and more, when I was teaching high school, there was one student who loved riding. He was a sophomore when I met him, small in stature but seemingly wiry. We talked bikes occasionally because I'd just bought a Peugeot UO8 (bought on a teacher's salary and which I still ride) and he rode a Schwinn Varsity. One Monday he came to school all excited about a ride he'd done the previous Saturday. He and a buddy had spontaneously ridden from Richmond to Williamsburg, a total of about 50 miles. I was thoroughly impressed. Partly it was the sheer initiative they had. If it had been me I would have fretted over the route. I still don't know how they found their way other than maybe having a map and a good sense of direction and the ability to read signs. Partly it was because he'd done it on his Varsity. In any case, it was an epic trip.

The point is, all you need is a willingness to ride and the ability to adapt to whatever comes your way.

Enjoy the journey!
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Old 11-16-11, 08:55 PM   #20
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If you are doing it right, you spend 10% of your salary or pension on cycling. It is like the fundamentalist churches.
Some people focus on buying the latest gimmick. Others focus on buying the best of yesteryear.

Which ever way you go, keep riding.
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Old 11-16-11, 09:25 PM   #21
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Hi and welcome, especially back to biking

Rule #1 of forums: Take all advice with a grain of salt, including mine!

I think that most of the things to do have been covered, except using a helmet.

Don't get hung up on equipment. Ride the bike you have, and as your experience and skills increase you will know when something else might work better for you.

I met this guy and his son who were doing a weekend tour in Germany. The bike he is riding is a 1940's model. He was having fun, covering ground, and doing it quite well. He was not into classic bikes, that was just the bike he used every day.


Last edited by Doug64; 11-16-11 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 11-17-11, 09:47 AM   #22
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The more you do, the more you can do.
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Old 11-17-11, 10:15 AM   #23
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Wear your helmet and keep pedaling. You'll be surprised how fast you build up and the distances you can travel on a bike. Get a speedometer and keep track of your miles. I bike to work every day 24 miles round trip and really enjoy it. When it starts to rain I just put on fenders and wear a rain jacket that I bought at REI. I bought a backpack that has a rain cover to keep my work clothes and computer dry, I change at work. Weekends I'll go ride in the morning before the family wakes up great fun and you meet a lot of people. I do about 3 or 4 century rides a year and have lost 20 lbs year to date (need to lose another 10). So what is their not to like about cycling. I just turned 60 this year I'm a cancer survivor and really encourage you to get out and ride that bike!
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Old 11-17-11, 10:34 AM   #24
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I started back to riding last Fall after about 15 years off the bike. First ride was about 3 miles and I felt like C R A P! Rode a century this Summer. Just ride. it will come. Don't get too hung up on "what others do". Personally I could care less.
Changing a bicycle tire/tube? Child's play. But it will give you some problems the first time you do it. Again, just do it.

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Old 11-17-11, 10:43 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Do keep riding. Don't stop.
But when you do stop, remember to put at least one foot down - hopefully on the same side that you are leaning...
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