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  1. #1
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    Getting started advice and links.

    My last-years resolution was to quit smoking. Having succeeded, and being able to breathe again, , this years, is to lose weight and get into better shape. I dusted off the old Trek, and want to start riding. I know I shouldn't overdo it though. (I'm 50 btw, but had a stress test and the doctor says my ticker is fine.)

    So, is there a web site somewhere that explains how to get started cycling? How much, how long, etc.

    Also, is there a handy glossary somewhere? For instance, I just read a thread here talking about changing 46's for 52's or somesuch. I believe they were talking about gears, but thats all I know.

    Is there somewhere I can bone-up on all the terminology?

    BTW - if anyone feels real talkative, feel free to enlighten me right here.

    Thanks all;
    Artie
    Last edited by Artie; 02-24-04 at 05:16 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Nature Worshipper hillyman's Avatar
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    In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

  3. #3
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    Wow hillyman - thats a GREAT site!

    That should keep me busy reading for awhile.

    Thank you!

    Artie

  4. #4
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    http://www.mbaction.com/riding.asp

    there are some riding tips on this site.

  5. #5
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    Thanks forum*rider - that was some more good info.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artie
    My last-years resolution was to quit smoking. Having succeeded, and being able to breathe again, , this years, is to lose weight and get into better shape. I dusted off the old Trek, and want to start riding. I know I shouldn't overdo it though. (I'm 50 btw, but had a stress test and the doctor says my ticker is fine.)
    Artie
    If you are old at 50, then a lot of us are definitely geriatrick. Couple of points when starting to ride that are not mentioned. Hills and Saddles. Both will cause you pain initially. Both will stop being a problem after a few hundred miles practice. On the saddle front, try to wear in your existing saddle for around 2 months. It probably is not the saddle at fault initially, so buying a new saddle may not cure the problem.
    Hills. Take them steady, and do not shy away from them either. If you are unfortunate enough to find a riding partner that is younger or fitter than you, then let him go at the hills at his speed. If it is slower than you want to go, then you will be lucky, but do them at your pace.
    The only other aid to cycling at your age that can be recomended is a Heart Monitor. If won't tell you if you are over doing it, or if the heart attack is coming, but if you use it as an aid to tell you that you are reaching your limits, it will stop you running out of energy too soon on your ride. As an example, at 50 you should have a maximum heart rate of 172, (if you go by the accepted rule of 222 less your age) It will take a lot of energy to reach this initially so unless you are fit, do not try and get to it. I generraly get my HR up to 130, rest to 120. up to 140 rest to 125, up to 150 rest to 130. Then try to hold 145 for 5 minutes,and rest to 130. If at the end of this I am feeling fine, then I know I am fit enough to reach the 165 max for me at any time of the ride, so I can push myself. If I am tired, or breathing too heavy, then I know I will be taking an easier ride, for a while, until the heart rate will settle out again. You don't need an expensive monitor for this. The cheapest in the range will do, but you may want to go up a grade to get extra functions, but they are not necessary. One thing a heart rate will tell you though, is how much you have improved over a years riding.

    The other point to remember at our age, is that We can't stay with the youngsters, they have too much energy. What we can do though is outlast them on endurance. Or at least that is what I keep telling them when they laugh at me for being the last one up the hills, until 30 miles in when they want to go home.

  7. #7
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    So, is there a web site somewhere that explains how to get started cycling? How much, how long, etc.

    First of all, don't make it too complicated. It is good to bone up on terms and explore what is out there but the main thing is you. Bike riding is bascially the same as you remember it the last time you rode. The basic ride won't change especially since it is the same bike.

    What you should focus on is you. Pay attention to how you feel on the bike. Getting tired? Slow down a little. Feel like going home? Go home. THe key is to make the ride something that you wish to repeat every day. Ride in interesting places, use the ride as a place to daydream. (some call it meditate)

    IOW, make sure it is enjoyable. THis is much the same thing that applies to dieting. Most people go crazy with their diet and make it too miserable. They quickly fail and give up. While if they would have just cut back on a few things and watched their fat intake they could have found a dietary lifestyle for years to come.

    I too am an ex smoker. (6 years on April 5th ) I am only 34 but I still know that quitting smoking is one of the toughest things you can do. RIding a bike is easy compared to that, trust me. I've ridden (mountain bike) virtually every day since August. I don't go far, just about 12-15 miles for an hour each day. It is often the best hour of the day.

    Congrats on quitting the smokes. I hope you find cycling as rewarding as I do.

  8. #8
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    stapfam and Roger; Thank you so much for taking the time to give that much feedback. I've copy-and-printed both out for reference. Great info.

    stapfam; Hills won't be much of a problem here in NE Florida - there aren't any. I probably will need a new saddle though. Everthing, including the Michelin Bib Sport tires, are original on my bike. (Meaning, 23 years old.)
    My main riding partner will be my wonderful wife, (same age). We bought a treadmill a year ago or so, and we use it somewhat, but not as much as I should. Even with music, it does get a bit monotonous. I'm hoping the bike will help all that. We have several really nice converted-from-rail trails around here. One is less than a mile from the house, so that will be our first real ride. I believe its around 15 - 20 miles, one way.

    Roger: I know, I should keep-it-simple. And I will, but its always fun to know what everyone else is talking about. I learned a new cycling term today, for instance: "Sleepy-Pee-Pee". That sounds like one to watch out for!

    Thanks again all, weather permitting, first semi-long ride will be this weekend.

    Artie

  9. #9
    SSP
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    Software for Cyclists SSP's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown's site has a wealth of information:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/articles.html
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
    WeightWare.com - Weight Management Software

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Sheldon Brown's site has a wealth of information:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/articles.html
    Funny you should mention that site. Its the one that led me, (indirectly), to this forum.

    I agree, outstanding information. l already talked to them, (Wayne), on the phone about tires, but I ended up ordering them locally, partly because it was the same price, and partly because I want to establish a relationship with a LBS.
    (See . . . I'm learning the lingo already.)

    Artie

  11. #11
    X-Large Member Istanbul_Tea's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard Art...

    just got back into cycling myself and there are some fine folks here who are helpful.

  12. #12
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    cycletourist also has a few good links in his signature. Here is one of his posts.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...094#post409094
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105 on order

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  13. #13
    Member
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    Thanks Ron; a couple of those were great too, got 'em bookmarked.

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