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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    getting into it...

    Last May, just before graduating from college, I decided I would never be sucked into the daily drone of cars, cell phones, and calendars.

    Well, here I am, 8 months later, fighting the morning rush hour with a cellphone in my pocket and a Franklin Covey planner in my back seat. Tell me the working world won't always be this dull... please?

    Anyay, I recently received an update from bikeforums with a list of threads, and after reading a few, I'm suddenly inspired to dust off my bike and get to riding again. I can hardly wait!

    Problem is, I don't know which is in worse shape: me or my bike! All *my* tendons seem to be in tact, and I don't have any structural damage, so I suppose I have that over my old, beat up, poorly-treated, too-small mountain bike.

    So, if I want to be biking by spring (which doesn't happen until after the first Saturday in May here in Kentucky... ), I need to do a few things, and I would be so thankful if some of you could offer suggestions (otherwise, I'll have to strip-mine the archives).

    First, I need a bike. I'd like to buy used, but am wary of doing so due to my lack of experience. Any advice?

    Second, I need to prepare my body. I assume a good cardio regimine will more important than anything, but what about some light muscle training (not to start til the "New Years Resolution" crowd gets out of the gyms)?

    Third, when's a good time to hit the bike shops? I imagine they have clearance sales in November/December and are starting to restock right now to prepare for spring fever. Should I get into a LBS ASAP to take advantage of low prices now, or should I hold out for a month or so?

    Sorry for the length and nonsequiture nature of this post, but I'm quite excited about all this, and would love some input.

    Thanks,
    joseph o'brien

  2. #2
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    I say if you can find a clearance sale, go for it! You know next year's models won't be that much better than this years (assuming they aren't actually worse, like computer software).

    Then you can take the $100-200 you saved on the close-out bike, and buy commuting accessories! You could get a few items of good cycling-specific clothing, or maybe a light or something.

    Good luck getting back into cycling, and, yes, business will always be that dull. Sorry.

  3. #3
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JonR

    Good luck getting back into cycling, and, yes, business will always be that dull. Sorry.
    Yeah, but your tolerance for boredom goes WAY up. (plus, if you've got net access at work, there's always bikeforums to alleviate it a bit)
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ahuman's Avatar
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    local bike shops always have sales.
    I think they are the best place to start.
    you see whats new. and they will get a bike that fits you.
    do search the web. plenty of poeple sell their bikes at good a prices.. gettin the bike is the first thing then you can work on your body..
    good luck on gettin your new/used bike



    K

  5. #5
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ahuman
    gettin the bike is the first thing then you can work on your body..
    good luck on gettin your new/used bike
    I agree get your bike, then worry about the rest. Once you've got a new bike you won't be able to resist taking it for short rides and you'll soon get into riding again. I was amazed at how quickly the body adapts to cycling.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  6. #6
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Allister


    Yeah, but your tolerance for boredom goes WAY up.
    Absolutely! This is one of the best things--probably THE best thing--about cycling (or other aerobic exercise): the mental benefit. A mind in good shape can put up with a troublesome body a lot easier than the other way round.

  7. #7
    Mister Slick Matadon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JonR


    Absolutely! This is one of the best things--probably THE best thing--about cycling (or other aerobic exercise): the mental benefit. A mind in good shape can put up with a troublesome body a lot easier than the other way round.
    And how!

    Cycling provides time for reflection; something few people really do during their day. There are distractions at work, in the car, at home, at meals; but when cycling (or running, or hiking), it's easy to simply let one's mind wander. It's like being a kid again.

    The amount of stress relief given by even a short bike ride is amazing.

  8. #8
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Hi Joe, Last year I was where you are now. Hereís my opinion.

    First, find a GOOD Local Bike Shop. If you do, the rest is much easier. I started with an LBS that seemed to only be interested in making a sale. After talking on-line with other cyclists about what the LBS was telling me, I realized that they were not for me. The next LBS was interested in helping me find the right bike. They have been a great help this past year. So have all the on-line cyclists. Which brings me to the second thing - ask the on line experts here. You wonít go wrong.

    Lastly - while I was shopping and before it got nice out I started climbing stairs at my office during my lunch hour. That helped build up my legs so I didnít have as much trouble starting out.

    Welcome and good luck. IMO cycling is a great way to add sparkle to your life.

  9. #9
    Donating member Anastasia's Avatar
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    I second and third many things that have been said. However, I would suggest going right ahead and add weight training NOW - in these things there is no time like the present.

    I just finished an 8-week weight training intensive period and have increased my lean mass by 4% and lost 15 pounds.

    My cadence has improved as well - however, nothing compares to the time I spend sweating on my beloved trainer.

    Fit on a bike is of the utmost importance, it saves your knees, elbows, and other important joints. The proper fit also helps you get the most power out of your body and your bike.

    Ah, to be one with the bike!

    Good Luck to you and keep looking up the Bike Forums - this site have given me much, much good and needed advice.

    I LOVE my bikes!
    Anastasia

  10. #10
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MikeR
    First, find a GOOD Local Bike Shop. If you do, the rest is much easier. I started with an LBS that seemed to only be interested in making a sale. After talking on-line with other cyclists about what the LBS was telling me, I realized that they were not for me.
    This is good advice. I have found that many bike shops only sell you what will generate the most profit for them, not what suits you. Many of them give that impression by the way they behave when you walk in, so you might be able to pick it.

    As far as I am concerned, the best way to build fitness for riding is by riding. Walking up stairs and hills will help, but it is really no substitute for riding.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
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  11. #11
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Walking up stairs and hills will help, but it is really no substitute for riding.
    That's for sure - in more ways than one. 1/2 hour in the stairwell lasted 5 times longer than 3 hours on my bike.

  12. #12
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Life is too short to miss out on riding a bike to work.

    Take Effective Cycling courses. May cost less than a pizza, but worth $1000.

    Go for it! (Footnote: if you've seen "The Matrix," melodramatic as it was, ( ) cycling is the equivalent of the "red pill." The "blue pill" is what most Americans swallow on the freeway everyday.)


    No worries

  13. #13
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Pete Clark
    Life is too short to miss out on riding a bike to work.
    It's also too short to miss out on biking in the rain. I genuinely believe this is better than riding when it doesn't rain.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    The biking community always amazes me. A hundred newbies can ask the same questions every week, and each one always seems to get a handful of genuinely helpful answers. Not like some of the other groups out there, where the only answer is "read the FAQ." I appreciate your input, and look forward to biking!


    Thanks again,
    joseph

  15. #15
    Mister Slick Matadon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Pete Clark
    Life is too short to miss out on riding a bike to work.



    Take Effective Cycling courses. May cost less than a pizza, but worth $1000.



    Go for it! (Footnote: if you've seen "The Matrix," melodramatic as it was, ( ) cycling is the equivalent of the "red pill." The "blue pill" is what most Americans swallow on the freeway everyday.)





    Why do I have the sudden urge to start a "Team Red Pill" touring group composed solely of DEA agents?

  16. #16
    Senior Member bikebrat's Avatar
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    Like Anastasia says, "There's no time like the present" . . . So, why wait until spring to get out on your bike? If the roads are clear of ice and snow, you can even take a road bike out in the winter (as I've been doing, and plan to do again tomorrow, despite the fact that it snowed earlier this week) -- And, if you already have a "beater" mountain bike, I understand you can take that puppy out even in the snow. (That's got to be my next purchase . . . I'm dying to try riding through the woods in the snow . . . How cool has that got to be?) Weight work and cardio work will help, I'm sure, but there's nothing like getting out there and riding. -- Welcome to the world of cycling!

  17. #17
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    I say riding to work is great. If you are out of shape does not matter. Just start! Ride a day then take a few days off. Do this again until you build your strength.
    Riding a few days ago and a storm hit. Even with the few times like that I say it is a great way to commute. I ride 12 miles each way and I was hitting 300 lbs. and now I am at 250 lbs over about 5 months. Feels great to be out from the office.

  18. #18
    TB Player A F Baker's Avatar
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    O'brien, If you're looking for a good LBS in Lex, the best place is Pedal Power at the corner of Maxwell and Upper. I've spent quite a bit of time (and money) in that store. They sell Cannondale, GT, and Giant. They don't sell used bikes, but what they have is reasonably priced. I recommend a hybrid bicycle to get you started. You can get one at Pedal Power for less than 300 dollars.

    When you get a good bike, make sure you ride the county roads. My favorite in Fayette County is Yarnallton Rd.

    Good Luck!
    'No other folk make such a trampling,' said Legolas. 'It seems their delight to slash and beat down growing things that are not even in their way.'
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    JRR Tolkien

  19. #19
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    Joseph I envy your return to cycling. As someone else posted, I was more or less where you were last year.

    You have received terrific information regarding buying a bike, I just want to add my support to ChrisL's suggestion that getting out and riding is a great way to get ready to ride.

    I got back into biking because I needed cardio workouts. It was genuinely exciting to see the improvement in myself as the weeks flew past.

    I suspect that you'll find that your commuting will take some of the boredom out of your job. You'll have the trip to and from to look forward to daily!

    Onward and Upward!
    Bill (Nobby) Clark
    Edson, Alberta
    Vision R-44

  20. #20
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by datamaan
    I say riding to work is great. If you are out of shape does not matter. Just start! Ride a day then take a few days off. Do this again until you build your strength.
    That's right, and once you're into a routine and have developed or regained quite a bit of fitness, don't worry if you take a few days or even WEEKS off now and then. It's surprising how little you lose and how quickly you get back to the level you were at. Sometimes there's a tendency to think "I gotta keep this up or I'll be right back where I was." But the reality isn't that pessimistic. I quit riding for a variety of reasons sometime in 1997, and had to have a third of my stomach removed in August 1999 due to a benign (thank goodness) tumor. I decided to ride again, and started up in April 2000. No luck! I couldn't go more than a mile without almost passing out. Once I had to lie on the ground for several minutes because I couldn't even stand.

    But it turned out it wasn't because I was out of shape, it was because the surgery took longer to heal than I reckoned. It takes sometimes a whole year--with me, it took a little over a year.

    After that, I got back on my bike again and within a couple of weeks (not months!) I was at the level I enjoyed when I was commuting every day. So what you hear about losing fitness is sometimes a bit exaggerated, and the cause of unnecessary worry.

  21. #21
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Nobby
    You have received terrific information regarding buying a bike, I just want to add my support to ChrisL's suggestion that getting out and riding is a great way to get ready to ride.
    And I want to add further to the aforementioned suggestion and recommend that you should take a Saturday or Sunday morning and ride the route you intend to take (or some of the others that you can't decide between). It will let you know what sort of fitness is required for it and how long you can expect to take to get to work.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Anastasia
    My cadence has improved as well - however, nothing compares to the time I spend sweating on my beloved trainer.
    Don't tell me you pay this guy as well! Man, what a job!

    Be very careful of the LBS that wants to blow out their inventory at any cost. A good friend of mine was sold a bike too small for him and the shop offered no accountability. Be careful and shop around. Proper fit and comfort will serve you well for many, many years.

    As Chris stated, the best way to train for riding is riding.

    Welcome to the forums and keep us informed on your progress.

  23. #23
    Donating member Anastasia's Avatar
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    Just For the Record....

    the trainer in the aforementioned post of mine is, in fact, a Fluid2 Cycleops trainer, and not a person as Greg might have you believe. I, unfortunately, have not dated anyone (male, female, eunich, etc., etc., etc.,) in a year and a half.

    I am fully aware this site is for bicycling info swapping and the like, and not a place for the lovelorn (like me) to air their woes.

    I appologize sincerely for my digression.
    Seven Cycles Alaris Ti - Like riding a magic carpet :love:
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    Anastasia

  24. #24
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Anastasia,

    You're a good sport and I'm sorry to hear of your dry spell.

    Have you met ChrisL? He's Bike Forums 'Most Eligible Bachelor' and is slated to wear the Bike Forums 'King of the Hills' and 'King of the Wind' jerseys.

    Fresh out of school and looking to get wild!

    Quite a catch!

    Chris, take it from here buddy.

  25. #25
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Anastasia
    I, unfortunately, have not dated anyone (male, female, eunich, etc., etc., etc.,) in a year and a half.

    I am fully aware this site is for bicycling info swapping and the like, and not a place for the lovelorn (like me) to air their woes.

    I appologize sincerely for my digression.
    Don't worry, I've done that myself here a few times (as you might have guessed from Greg's last post )
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

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