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Old 09-01-11, 01:02 PM   #1
apostrophe27
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How far should I ride at first

I have epilepsy, and I had a seizure recently, so I will be car free for a while. My doctor said it would be ok if I rode a bike. Given the size of the town, I probably won't need to ride more than 10 miles at a time eventually. The town is fairly flat, with no steep hills

I'd like to get a rough idea of how far I should be riding at first. I don't exercise at all. I'm not overweight. Other than the epilepsy, I'm healthy. I plan I getting in some riding in every few days to get into shape so I can get around.

Over the past few days I've take a couple of two mile (round trip) rides. When I got back, I felt it mildly in my legs, but the feeling went away shortly.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-01-11, 01:12 PM   #2
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It doesn't take long to get used to 10 miles. I'd maybe bump it by a mile once you get used to two miles. It will get faster as you get used to it.

Make sure that the saddle is at the right height and let the gears work for you, not against you.
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Old 09-01-11, 01:54 PM   #3
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Don't know how the epilepsy will affect you and 2 miles may not seem much to me but Knowing how a few of my "FIT" friends struggled on their first ride--You are probably about right on the first ride. Get a couple more 2 milers in and then just up the milage. One of my "Fit" neighbours struggled on his first 6 mile ride. 9 weeks later and he does 40 miles and a few hills.

Enjoy the fitness you are going to get- but be prepared for the butt ache. That will come shortly and could be the wall that will stop you riding. Don't let it- it is only pain and will go away and if it doesn't ---do more miles.
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Old 09-01-11, 02:14 PM   #4
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Since you have epilepsy, you should ride as long as you want. However, you should NEVER ride alone!

You need good and commited riding friends!
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Old 09-01-11, 06:48 PM   #5
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Two miles is a good start, I have had total novice riders make 10 miles, but we did it 2 miles at a time and took 3 hours to do it in. I would ride 2 miles a day for a week, take a day off, then the next week stretch it to 3 miles. Also make sure you are staying hydrated and eating healthy, the water can make a huge difference.

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Old 09-01-11, 07:35 PM   #6
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Are you photo sensitive? I'm sure you know about that and seizures. I had an epileptic son and am all too familiar. All I can say is great for you.
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Old 09-01-11, 08:28 PM   #7
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One more suggestion: Get a Road ID or similar bracelet/tag with your medical info and emergency contact numbers, and have your cell phone handy.
Good luck with your rides!
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Old 09-01-11, 08:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice everyone - very helpful.

goagain - thanks for the tip. I just looked up Road ID, and I like it. I looked at those medic alert bracelets and necklaces recently and they didn't seem like something I would actually wear if I got one. The Road ID I would.


I know it's off topic, but for anyone interested here's a quick summary of my epilepsy:
My doctor has given me the ok to ride alone. Luckily my epilepsy is very mild. I've only had two tonic–clonic (grand mal) seizures since I was diagnosed 7 years ago, the first of which was caused by my ex-doctor lowering the medication I was on too quickly. The recent one was a break through seizure, most likely caused by some other things I had going on. Otherwise all I ever get are auras. We're bumping up my meds a bit as a precaution. In my state (New York) I have to remain seizure free for six months before I can drive again.

In the meantime, I'll do some bike riding, and as a side benefit I'll get in better shape. Hopefully I'll continue riding even after I can drive again.
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Old 09-02-11, 12:42 AM   #9
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I am excited that you're a new rider! I wish it was under better circumstances though. Welcome!

I was new to biking this summer, and I'm getting some friends into is now. It's funny to see what they're going through, and knowing that was me a few months ago.

Bike as long as you can. I would go out and bring a book in case I really needed to stop, nothing beats sitting down in a park with a book, and I did need to take breaks at first. Your legs will feel like jelly and your back will probably hurt too. Keep going; but use gears you're comfortable with, peddle smarter not harder. Pay attention to your body and if you're feeling pain look it up right away. I waited on figuring out my knee pain because 'it wasn't that bad' but it got needlessly worse and had such an easy fix. Ditto for my wrist problems.
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Old 09-05-11, 02:50 PM   #10
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Epilepsy or not: I started riding three years ago from nothing. Go out maybe twice a week and put on 5 miles. Then bump it up a few miles in a couple of weeks. Work on getting your cardio in shape by increasing your pedling speed (about 80 rpm) before you start going for more mileage. Then you can increase your milage significantly over a short period of time. After two years i was riding 100 mile bike club rides. this year i was riding 40 miles at an average of 21 mph on a hilly coarse. That is until i crashed 6 weeks ago and broke my pelvis. I'm now recovering and I'll be back to the beginning next summer (I hope!)
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Old 09-05-11, 03:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goagain View Post
One more suggestion: Get a Road ID or similar bracelet/tag with your medical info and emergency contact numbers, and have your cell phone handy.
Good luck with your rides!
Best suggestion yet! I never leave home without mine, even if I only plan to walk a few blocks.

It is not how far you ride that should guide you, it's how hard (or should I say "not so hard") and it's how well you control the bike and your own fitness. Ten miles of LSD (Long, Slow, Distance) riding, getting comfortable on the bike, learning how to recover on the bike, and developing your bike handling skills, will do you far more good than riding hard for two miles. Speed and increased distance will come with time in the saddle, just enjoy the ride and don't let arbitrary numbers define your goals.
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Old 09-06-11, 02:20 AM   #12
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Since it looks like necessity will be a driver in your riding, I'd say look around for your bank, your library, your grocery store, your local bike store, etc. Those will tell you how far you are riding. Your two mile rides say that you are in good enough shape to start with. Get a rear rack and some shopping panniers. I use SunLite Grocery Getters. And make sure you have adequate lights, and fenders are good too.

The Living Car Free, Commuting and Utility Biking forums may have threads that will be very helpful to you as well.
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Old 09-06-11, 09:02 AM   #13
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10 miles is tough, but do-able, for a reasonably fit beginner. With a bit more riding it will become a trivial distance.
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