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  1. #1
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    One step at a time

    My boys couldn't believe it. My wife actually got on her bike and rode it for about 1 1/2 hours.
    This is the 2nd time that her bike has actually seen pavement since she bought it back 7 or 8 years ago. The first time was last year for about 30 minutes.

    Yesterday morning my wife announced that she'd like to go out for a ride in the afternoon which left the boys with some rather unbelieving looks.

    The weather was fantastic yesterday, sunny and clear in the low '60's, wind at around 10mph. Since it rained the night before I waited until about 12:30 before I went out for quick 40 minute warmup on the road bike and came back for my wife. I'd already had the tires pumped up on her bike and my old hybrid; off come the road shoes and on go the MTB shoes. A quick switch of water bottles and off we go.

    My wife has knee and other joint problems so we just took it easy, 8-10 mph sometimes ever slower, just nice easy spinning so that she could get used to shifting and braking. Like most people in Canada, she was grew up riding either a fixed gear with a coaster brake or a three speed with the good old Sturmey Archer hub so riding with a compact triple and MTB gearing is a big change.

    The hybrid she got (Trek 7100 WSD) turned out to be a good choice. It's a comfort bike, has a step through frame and the WSD comes with a nice wide saddle.

    We live practically right on the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail so after a spin around the neighbourhood for about 30 minutes we got on to the trail at the Rouge Beach which is close to our house . I kept us on mostly on the flats and deliberately kept off of any steep climb and got her to start downshifting properly while doing any climbing. I'd also like to get her stop riding the brakes while going downhill but this was a good start. Any place where there was any sort of incline was long and gradual and he could spin her way up without putting any strain on her knees.

    It was a gorgeous day to be out, all sorts of people out walking, riding and rollerblading. My wife had never seen the Highland Creek trail so we turned north onto the Highland Creek trail, up to Colonel Danforth park , a quick stop for a drink and then we rode back, this time a little faster.

    Totals ? 90 minutes, approx 10 very leisurely miles.

    By the time we got home she said her knees were sore but not the usual sort of joint pain that she usually gets so it sounds promising. There was still some residual soreness this morning but she still managed to go the gym after work.

    Now here comes the good part.

    She wants to go out on her bike again tomorrow.
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
    After age 50: Always carry a spare and try to get rid of the one around the middle.
    Km for last year: 2,844.02 km
    Km this year: 172 km

    2011 Specialized SL2 Roubaix Comp
    2007 Trek 7100

  2. #2
    Senior Member duckracer's Avatar
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    That is awsome! I asked my wife to go for a ride with me the other day and she said " No thanks, I hate to sweat"!!!!!!!...What the hell!!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckracer View Post
    That is awsome! I asked my wife to go for a ride with me the other day and she said " No thanks, I hate to sweat"!!!!!!!...What the hell!!!!
    One of my aunts used to quote a friend of hers:

    "Dear, horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow."

    What finally got things started was when my wife started going back to the gym. She'd read somewhere about the N hours of exercise you need to do at 80% Max HR. Because of her joint problems, she signed on with a personal trainer for 6 months who set up what is essentially a rehab program to get her back in shape.

    I don't think she quite realized how much of a sweat it is to get to 80% but she's getting there.
    When she started on the rehab program the first thing the trainer got her to do was to put her on an stationary bike and start spinning. 15 minutes on the bike to warm up and to get the HR up then the rest of time working on other things. A couple months of one hour sessions three times a week have started making a difference. Now that she's getting into better shape, it was time to see if getting on a real bike was going cause problems.

    Now to get up to 80%, when I'm on the road bike, I have to be doing about 16-17mph or more at my usual cadence of low - mid 90's.

    I forgot to put the Sigma on my hybrid to see what sort of cadence she's pedaling at but it looks to be about mid 60's. That was one of the reasons why I took the hybrid because my bike has the same gearing has hers does. I'll do that the next time I go out with her. The other thing I should get her to do is to remind her to wear her Garmin because I noticed that when I was riding with her I was barely getting above my couch potato HR.

    Now if I only get her to raise the seat to a proper level (it's way too low) but I can't convince her that she could potentially make her knees worse by not raising it but that's a problem for a another (not soon enough) day.

    Like the title says, it's easier to take it one step a time.

  4. #4
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Yyaaaayyyyyy!

    As you're alluding, a mistake I see a lot with residential recreational riders is putting the bike in too high a gear, like they get a bonus for sore knees or something. That, and a bike seat that's too low.

    It sounds like she has a great coach

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Yyaaaayyyyyy!

    As you're alluding, a mistake I see a lot with residential recreational riders is putting the bike in too high a gear, like they get a bonus for sore knees or something. That, and a bike seat that's too low.

    It sounds like she has a great coach
    You're spot-on with the gearing observation. I think it takes time for people to develop the coordination required to spin at a proper cadence. However, the most common saddle height problem I observe in folks who are relatively new to cycling is that they set the saddle too high. It's quite rare for me to see one too low. I find it almost painful to watch their hips go sashaying up and down with each revolution, but I know better than to say anything.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanknm View Post
    One of my aunts used to quote a friend of hers:

    "Dear, horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow."

    What finally got things started was when my wife started going back to the gym. She'd read somewhere about the N hours of exercise you need to do at 80% Max HR. Because of her joint problems, she signed on with a personal trainer for 6 months who set up what is essentially a rehab program to get her back in shape.

    I don't think she quite realized how much of a sweat it is to get to 80% but she's getting there.
    When she started on the rehab program the first thing the trainer got her to do was to put her on an stationary bike and start spinning. 15 minutes on the bike to warm up and to get the HR up then the rest of time working on other things. A couple months of one hour sessions three times a week have started making a difference. Now that she's getting into better shape, it was time to see if getting on a real bike was going cause problems.

    Now to get up to 80%, when I'm on the road bike, I have to be doing about 16-17mph or more at my usual cadence of low - mid 90's.

    I forgot to put the Sigma on my hybrid to see what sort of cadence she's pedaling at but it looks to be about mid 60's. That was one of the reasons why I took the hybrid because my bike has the same gearing has hers does. I'll do that the next time I go out with her. The other thing I should get her to do is to remind her to wear her Garmin because I noticed that when I was riding with her I was barely getting above my couch potato HR.

    Now if I only get her to raise the seat to a proper level (it's way too low) but I can't convince her that she could potentially make her knees worse by not raising it but that's a problem for a another (not soon enough) day.

    Like the title says, it's easier to take it one step a time.
    So what's stopping you when you're doing some minor maintainence on the bikes from raising the seat about a quarter of an inch before the next weekend ride?

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have a knee problem and had it for forty years. It is now Osteo Arthritis and flares up occasionally. Luckily I have always had an Active life but I notice that if I cut back on exercise- The Pain gets worse and more frequent. That has been noticeable over this last winter and I have finally managed to get out and do a bit more riding. Still at the stage where the legs do not get punished or strained but just a couple of hours leg turning is working wonders.

    Great to see your wife getting out and on the bike. My knee problem does stop me walking long distance so I use the bike to go into town- To run the local errands and grocery shopping for small shops. Distances that If I were to walk- I would have to use a car. Hopefully you can get her over that first hurdle of Muscle and butt ache so she will feel the benefit of exercise and start to enjoy it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by overthehillmedi View Post
    So what's stopping you when you're doing some minor maintainence on the bikes from raising the seat about a quarter of an inch before the next weekend ride?
    Hmmm.. Ninja maintenance.
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
    After age 50: Always carry a spare and try to get rid of the one around the middle.
    Km for last year: 2,844.02 km
    Km this year: 172 km

    2011 Specialized SL2 Roubaix Comp
    2007 Trek 7100

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    I have a knee problem and had it for forty years. It is now Osteo Arthritis and flares up occasionally. Luckily I have always had an Active life but I notice that if I cut back on exercise- The Pain gets worse and more frequent. That has been noticeable over this last winter and I have finally managed to get out and do a bit more riding. Still at the stage where the legs do not get punished or strained but just a couple of hours leg turning is working wonders.

    Great to see your wife getting out and on the bike. My knee problem does stop me walking long distance so I use the bike to go into town- To run the local errands and grocery shopping for small shops. Distances that If I were to walk- I would have to use a car. Hopefully you can get her over that first hurdle of Muscle and butt ache so she will feel the benefit of exercise and start to enjoy it.
    The good thing about starting at the gym on the stationary bike and having a trainer help out was that it allowed my wife to determine what was good or bad. The muscle ache around the knees was something my wife took as a good sign. The sore butt was something she complained about for about the first half hour and interestingly enough was something I didn't hear about after that. I told her that it sometimes takes weeks for some people to get used to it and I did outline some possible remedies that we could try.

    I'll try raising her seat incrementally (hopefully she won't notice it ). I really don't want her to make them worse than they already are. She was told by our doctor that she may be looking at knee joint replacements in 5 years and she's only 55.

    I've seen very few beginners with a seat that's too high. Most of them have the seat so low that their legs are splayed out at the top of the stroke so that it reminds me of a gorilla on a childs bike.

  10. #10
    enthusiast JamieElenbaas's Avatar
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    Stepfam,

    if I cut back on exercise- The Pain gets worse and more frequent. That has been noticeable over this last winter and I have finally managed to get out and do a bit more riding.
    I am exactly the same as you. As my orthopedic adviser states, "motion is lotion"

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