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  1. #1
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    Getting back into shape using a bike, need advice

    I used to ride my bike to high school, then from school to work my part-time job at the grocery store before coming home. This meant I carried a backpack with my books and a change of clothes. Using the bike didn't bother me.

    That was about half my lifetime ago. I was just laid off from work at the start of summer and decided to take my bike (same bike since 6th grade) to the library to get a single book which was 1.3 miles from home and was badly winded. It was over 3 miles to high school back in the mid '90s.

    I've been riding all summer when it's not too hot (a problem in the Chicago suburbs) and managed to get so I can go at least two and a half miles before needing a rest.

    When trying to get back in shape, is it better to go a certain distance to a park and rest before I get too tired, then go a bit farther, taking several rests along the way, or should I do as much as I can in one go, then go home and take it easy for the rest of the day?

    Also, Today I just went about a mile (I forgot if it's just under or just over a mile) to the Jewel to buy a gallon of milk and some shake 'en bake. I took my backpack, and found that when I got home from the 2 mile round-trip I was breathing hard and my legs felt the strain. That extra weight made a bigger difference than I remember. Before that I haven't carried anything heavier than a paperback book, DVD, or small hardcover that fits in a 6" pouch in a long time.
    Should I try using the backpack and carrying weight regularly so that if I need to do so again I won't be so winded? I'd gotten up to going much farther than the Jewel without feeling the burn in my legs as I did today, but that was with only the weight of my water bottles.

    I'm looking for advice on what I should be doing to get back into shape. It bothers me that journeys that I once found trivial on the bike now leave me winded at best. I'm only in my early 30's.

    I'm using an old Schwinn 12-speed bike. Well, it's old now, it was brand new when I got it when back in 1990.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

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  4. #4
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    Hi,

    Just ride, anyway that suits you. Rack up the weekly mileage.
    Once you get to a weekly mileage that suits you you will have
    a good idea of how to push on each ride for further fitness.

    rgds, sreten.

    Intensity when starting out is a very bad idea ....
    Its what you add to a ride as you get better.
    Last edited by sreten; 09-05-13 at 06:41 PM.

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    Well that's one vote for diabetes and one vote for interval training.

    Honestly unless there's something wrong with you, you should have no trouble riding a geared bike. Mind how you feel and if it's too hard, shift down.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GeneO's Avatar
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    Make sure you are well hydrated and have enough fuel before you go. After a ride strech your quads at least and if it is over an hour take some recovery drink or chocolate milk - it does make a difference.

    I like hotter days so Chicagoland suits me fine - 70s are too cool or me. Don't rule those days out, but take it easy and only stop every 1/2 hour or hour. As long as you are moving the air should cool you, but if you stop for too long you will overheat. On cooler days I would just go the distance.

    Good luck - it is certainly worth it health-wise and weight-wise on many planes! You can ramp up pretty quick with enough discipline and the right amount of rest between rides. I find if I rest too many days it is tough, so sometimes doing a "recovery" ride taking it easy is better than not cycling as far as recovery goes.
    2012 Felt F55X

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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Intensity when starting out is a very bad idea ....
    Its what you add to a ride as you get better.
    First, slickrcbd isn't starting out and is around 30 years of age

    Quote Originally Posted by slickrcbd View Post
    I've been riding all summer when it's not too hot (a problem in the Chicago suburbs) and managed to get so I can go at least two and a half miles before needing a rest.
    ....
    I'm only in my early 30's.
    Secondly, one study says that even beginners can go for some kind of interval training

    Getting Fit Fast: Inactive People Can Achieve Major Health and Fitness Gains in a Fraction of the Time

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0201090405.htm

    http://jp.physoc.org/content/591/3/641

    From the article:
    ( http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0201090405.htm )

    LJMU researcher Sam Shepherd describes: "SIT involves four to six repeated 30 second 'all out' sprints on special laboratory bikes interspersed with 4.5 minutes of very low intensity cycling. Due to the very high workload of the sprints, this method is more suitable for young and healthy individuals. However, anyone of any age or level of fitness can follow one of the alternative HIT programmes which involve 15-60 second bursts of high intensity cycling interspersed with 2-4 minute intervals of low intensity cycling. HIT can be delivered on simple spinning bikes that are present in commercial gyms and are affordable for use at home or in the workplace."


    But before starting any workout it's probably best to check with a doctor first.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    First, slickrcbd isn't starting out and is around 30 years of age

    Hi,

    Well I'm 50+ and started on bikes again after many years off at Christmas.

    I don't know about you but needing a rest after 2.5 miles is very starting out to me.

    I don't disagree particularly with the interval stuff, I get that on the hills, but
    IMO its not necessary until you built up a good endurance base to work on.

    I used to run, now I bike, but in both cases building up weekly mileage counts most.

    It may not build up "performance" and "fitness" the fastest but the core to your
    long term well being is building your endurance capability = doing the miles.

    I settled on about 100 miles a week a while back and now work on pushing
    on the routes. Long and hard sometimes, or short and snappy attacking
    hills sometimes, or just taking it easy sometimes getting the miles in.

    YMMV. Personally I don't think interval stuff addresses fundamental endurance.

    rgds, sreten.
    Last edited by sreten; 09-05-13 at 10:57 PM.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Not yet. Not at this point. He needs to build up some saddle time before he gets into intensity.

    He is just barely starting back into the cycling world ...

    Remember, he says, "I've been riding all summer when it's not too hot (a problem in the Chicago suburbs) and managed to get so I can go at least two and a half miles before needing a rest."

    Before he adds intensity, he should probably feel comfortable with 10 miles at a go. And "they" recommend getting a good 1000 miles in before adding intensity.

    Some of the reasons "they" recommend 1000 miles is to give the person time to get used to the bicycle, to get the bicycle set up correctly, and to get used to eating and drinking.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've been cycling most of my life, but took a little break from it for a few years in my late teens/early 20s. I thought I was in pretty good shape, but when I set off on my first ride on April 29, 1990, I cycled 1 mile, then stopped for a break, and cycled 1 mile back home. I was really disappointed at how out of shape I was!! The next day, I did the full 2 miles all in one go.

    I built up gradually, but by the end of the summer, I managed a 50 mile ride.


    Quote Originally Posted by slickrcbd View Post
    That was about half my lifetime ago. I was just laid off from work at the start of summer and decided to take my bike (same bike since 6th grade) to the library to get a single book which was 1.3 miles from home and was badly winded.

    I've been riding all summer when it's not too hot (a problem in the Chicago suburbs) and managed to get so I can go at least two and a half miles before needing a rest.

    When trying to get back in shape, is it better to go a certain distance to a park and rest before I get too tired, then go a bit farther, taking several rests along the way, or should I do as much as I can in one go, then go home and take it easy for the rest of the day?
    Taking several rests along the way is OK, but try to go a little bit further each time between rests. If you're at 2.5 miles and then you have to rest now, next week try 2.75 miles between rests. Next week try 3 miles between rests.

    What is your total distance now? Are you doing 2.5 miles, rest, 2.5 miles, rest, 2.5 miles, rest, and 2.5 miles for a total of 10 miles? Or more?



    Quote Originally Posted by slickrcbd View Post
    Also, Today I just went about a mile (I forgot if it's just under or just over a mile) to the Jewel to buy a gallon of milk and some shake 'en bake. I took my backpack, and found that when I got home from the 2 mile round-trip I was breathing hard and my legs felt the strain. That extra weight made a bigger difference than I remember. ...
    Should I try using the backpack and carrying weight regularly so that if I need to do so again I won't be so winded?
    Just try riding more for a while ... longer distances, fewer rests.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    How are you pedaling? I started this a month ago. I had no idea what I was doing, I lived on a bike as a kid so I just started riding. I'm now 41 by the way. I have a flat bike trail that I ride 6 miles up and 6 miles back. There is a bridge at 3 miles and I was stopping on the bridge to take a break, I had to take that break or my legs would be like rubber a short time later.

    I started a thread in the Clydes section asking about cadence in relation to me being overweight and wanting to lose weight and get better fitness. Everything I found in a google search was about racing, that's not what I'm interested in. I got a lot of great responses and set out the next ride to try to increase my cadence. I was previously running my junk department store bike in top gear, thus was pedaling slow. I didn't know any different.

    That first ride I dropped down a gear and increased my pedaling speed. It worked. It felt great. I still stopped on the bridge at 3 miles but found that I wasn't winded at all nor was the legs burning as much. The next day did the same thing, only it was a weekend my wife had off, thus I didn't have to leave the kids at home for my ride. Again, I got to the bridge at mile 3 and sailed right across it. I got to the tunnel at mile 6 where I usually turn around and head back before I stopped for a break. Again, not nearly as winded as I had been. The legs felt great, still a bit of burn but I felt so good after a drink that I kept going. At mile 9 again, legs felt great but the rear end was getting sore from sitting on the saddle. Figured I'd better not push it and turned around. No break, just turned around.

    3 miles back to the tunnel I then stopped for a break and a drink. From the tunnel I sailed the whole 6 miles back to the car.

    This was 2 weeks ago. Lesson I definitely learned is pedaling faster in a lower gear is the way to go. That was my first ride at 18 miles. The following Saturday morning I went onto a different trail that ended in 8 miles. I dropped down another gear and kept the speed the same as I had been riding, thus I was pedaling faster again. I ran the whole 8 miles without a break. When I saw the trail end, which I expected it to go further, I was disappointed. I wanted to keep going. That was 16 miles total. On Labor Day I went out and while down 2 gears from how I first started riding I did 25 miles. That one was a little bit rougher as I got tired at mile 22, but next time I know it will be easier.

    Moral of the story is, go lower in the gears and pedal faster. I didn't understand why since everything I searched for talked about racing, but creating that thread and getting the great responses about it on the forum here really helped me understand and got me to go into lower gears. I started out taking 3 breaks on my normal every night ride of 12 miles and had I not wiped my eyes because of it tearing up in the cold tunnel last night and pushed my contact into the corner of my eye, I would have just gone the whole 12 without a break last night.

    Again, I've only been doing this about a month. Not only am I not as winded and legs not as tired by pedaling faster in a lower gear, but I've added about 2 mph to my speed because of it. I was riding 12 mph up and 14 mph back and now I'm riding 14 mph up and 16 mph back.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Not yet. Not at this point. He needs to build up some saddle time before he gets into intensity.

    He is just barely starting back into the cycling world ...
    Here is what the LJMU researcher Sam Shepherd has said:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0201090405.htm

    "anyone of any age or level of fitness can follow one of the alternative HIT programmes which involve 15-60 second bursts of high intensity cycling interspersed with 2-4 minute intervals of low intensity cycling. HIT can be delivered on simple spinning bikes that are present in commercial gyms and are affordable for use at home or in the workplace"

    "A pilot study currently ongoing in the Sports Centre at the University of Birmingham has also shown that previously sedentary individuals in the age-range of 25-60 also find HIT on spinning bikes much more enjoyable and attractive than endurance training and it has a more positive effect on mood and feelings of well-being. This could imply that HIT is more suitable to achieve sustainable changes in exercise behaviour.
    "
    Last edited by erig007; 09-06-13 at 06:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Not yet. Not at this point. He needs to build up some saddle time before he gets into intensity.

    He is just barely starting back into the cycling world ...

    Remember, he says, "I've been riding all summer when it's not too hot (a problem in the Chicago suburbs) and managed to get so I can go at least two and a half miles before needing a rest."

    Before he adds intensity, he should probably feel comfortable with 10 miles at a go. And "they" recommend getting a good 1000 miles in before adding intensity.



    Some of the reasons "they" recommend 1000 miles is to give the person time to get used to the bicycle, to get the bicycle set up correctly, and to get used to eating and drinking.


    That's the problem. It really bothers me that back in the 20th century I COULD go 10 miles. I remember one time my car broke down and I rode to Harper College for classes while it was in the shop. It was 9.9 miles round trip according to my car's odometer, although that included cruising for a parking space (a real issue during mid-morning through mid-afternoon back in the late '90s. I can't speak of today since they've redone the campus since I graduated. I've only been there a couple times for a job fair in the last decade).
    I'm trying to get back into shape, but I can't go very far anymore. Trips that used to be nothing to me where I wouldn't break a sweat are making me breathe hard and drain my water bottles.

    I'm now seeing a trip of 1.3 miles (2.6 round trip) to the library miles as significant, when I used to go to the same location where it is 1.5 miles from my mom's house ALL THE TIME. At least I'm not exhausted now like I was at the start of the summer. Heck, I used to go about 1 mile to Pioneer Park, spend ALL DAY swimming at the pool, the still have enough energy to come home. What I recall was that it was the heat that bothered me back then, not the ride. However, that was back in the '80s and early '90s.

    Sorry if I'm ranting, it's just that I can't handle biking like I used to, and I'm kinda disgusted with myself for letting myself go. I'm fat, overweight, and finally acknowledging that P.E. was one of the few "junk courses" in school that really were "for my own good" and actually useful. That's why I'm asking for tips on how to build up my stamina. I'd like to be able to goto a destination about five miles away again and still be able to move when I get there.. Also, should I start riding with some weight because of the incident I described in the initial post about the milk wearing me out? A gallon of milk doesn't weigh nearly as much as the books I used to carry to school half a lifetime ago.


    To address the last issue of setting up the bike; I'm using the same bike I've owned for almost 25 years. I haven't done anything significant to it since I stopped growing. It's still set up the same as when I went to university and used it as my primary form of transportation on campus and most of the time for errands in town. Although I think it might be JUST slightly too small for me now, I can't afford a new bike until I get a new permanent job instead of the single 1-month temp I've had since being laid off in April. In any case if it's not set up correctly by now, it will never be. Funny thing is, when I first got it I recall it being slightly too large and I as a male had to be careful stopping or dismounting or get bashed somewhere tender on the bar.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    erig007, we're not talking about spinning bikes, we're talking about riding in real life. Yeah sure, you might want to stand up and put on a burst of speed on a spinning bike to keep things interesting ... but when you ride outside there's enough to see out there to have enjoyable rides.

    BTW - I am aware that there has been a plethora of "let's get a quick burst of exercise in so that we don't actually have to devote any time to this horrible exercise thing" studies going around. Get rich quick. Get fit quick.

    As it happens, "endurance training" in the form of getting on a bicycle and riding for several hours is very enjoyable and attractive.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickrcbd View Post
    That's the problem. It really bothers me that back in the 20th century I COULD go 10 miles.

    I'm trying to get back into shape, but I can't go very far anymore. Trips that used to be nothing to me where I wouldn't break a sweat are making me breathe hard and drain my water bottles.

    I'm now seeing a trip of 1.3 miles (2.6 round trip) to the library miles as significant ...

    Sorry if I'm ranting, it's just that I can't handle biking like I used to, and I'm kinda disgusted with myself for letting myself go.
    What you're feeling is completely normal. But you can't expect to undo 10+ years of inactivity in a summer. It takes time.


    The second part of my story is this ...

    After building up during the first few years of the 1990s, and then getting into racing, and then getting into ultra-distance cycling and logging 10,000+ km a year, in 2009 all that came to an end.

    I was diagnosed with a serious case of DVT, hospitalised for 2 weeks, and then put on Warfarin for a year. I was right back to where I had begun in 1990.

    Have a read of my story ...
    http://www.machka.net/2010/2010.htm

    After doing so much, being entirely wiped out like that was so incredibly frustrating ... and nearly ended my cycling all together.


    Quote Originally Posted by slickrcbd View Post
    Also, should I start riding with some weight because of the incident I described in the initial post about the milk wearing me out? A gallon of milk doesn't weigh nearly as much as the books I used to carry to school half a lifetime ago.
    No. As I said before ... "Just try riding more for a while ... longer distances, fewer rests."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    How are you pedaling? I started this a month ago. I had no idea what I was doing, I lived on a bike as a kid so I just started riding. I'm now 41 by the way. I have a flat bike trail that I ride 6 miles up and 6 miles back. There is a bridge at 3 miles and I was stopping on the bridge to take a break, I had to take that break or my legs would be like rubber a short time later.
    ==snip==

    Moral of the story is, go lower in the gears and pedal faster. I didn't understand why since everything I searched for talked about racing, but creating that thread and getting the great responses about it on the forum here really helped me understand and got me to go into lower gears. I started out taking 3 breaks on my normal every night ride of 12 miles and had I not wiped my eyes because of it tearing up in the cold tunnel last night and pushed my contact into the corner of my eye, I would have just gone the whole 12 without a break last night.

    Again, I've only been doing this about a month. Not only am I not as winded and legs not as tired by pedaling faster in a lower gear, but I've added about 2 mph to my speed because of it. I was riding 12 mph up and 14 mph back and now I'm riding 14 mph up and 16 mph back.
    My speedometer broke over 10 years ago, so I'm basing my distances off known destinations. I've tried to get an app for my android phone to measure distance, but none seem to be giving accurate results based off known distances that I've clocked over the years. I have little knowledge of my speed and even if the phone worked I couldn't look at it while riding.

    I used to rarely use my gears. I used to keep it mostly in high-4 or H-3. That was when I'm a kid. Now, I can't seem to get started unless it's downhill unless I'm in H-5 or H-6. Then I almost immediately need to shift lower. I think the gear names and numbers have changed, since on my bike, it had two gearshifts. The one on the pedal has a big one and a little one. The little one is labeled "L" and the big one is "H", and the manual called them low and high. My dad's 10-speed was the same, only his only had 5 on the back. The rear gears have the biggest gear labeled 6 and the littlest one labeled 1.
    So H-1 is the hardest to pedal but is theoretically gives you the highest speed. I can only use it going downhill (even as a kid).

    Today I'm rarely going below H-3. At the start of the summer I had to keep the bike in low gear, but I'm using what I could do as a kid as yardstick and am trying to use the high gears. I'm pretty sure I'm not going as fast as I used to, which was a steady pace of ~10-12mph (I had a speedometer until the spring of 2000 when it broke while at university).
    As for how I use the gears, to start I need to be in H-5 or H-6, then once I get going I shift a bit. I'm not able to handle H-2 or H-1. I think I'm spending most of my time on level streets in H-4, and shifting whenever there is a slight slope to H-5 or H-6. If I'm going up a hill, which is very rare in the short range I can reach (I can only think of one SMALL one) I have to switch to low gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    erig007, we're not talking about spinning bikes, we're talking about riding in real life. Yeah sure, you might want to stand up and put on a burst of speed on a spinning bike to keep things interesting ... but when you ride outside there's enough to see out there to have enjoyable rides.

    BTW - I am aware that there has been a plethora of "let's get a quick burst of exercise in so that we don't actually have to devote any time to this horrible exercise thing" studies going around. Get rich quick. Get fit quick.

    As it happens, "endurance training" in the form of getting on a bicycle and riding for several hours is very enjoyable and attractive.
    I think we agree on the fact that riding in real life is more fun than riding indoor.
    HIT can be done while riding in real life. It's called push-hard-then-wait-at-the-red-light
    1min push 4min wait.

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    I think we agree on the fact that riding in real life is more fun than riding indoor.
    HIT can be done while riding in real life. It's called push-hard-then-wait-at-the-red-light
    1min push 4min wait.
    Personally, I'd much rather get onto a quiet country road and just keep riding at a comfortable pace.

    Even when I raced, my race training only included intervals about 2 times a week ... the rest of it was either long steady distances or medium brisk distances.

  19. #19
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickrcbd View Post
    My speedometer broke over 10 years ago, so I'm basing my distances off known destinations. I've tried to get an app for my android phone to measure distance, but none seem to be giving accurate results based off known distances that I've clocked over the years. I have little knowledge of my speed and even if the phone worked I couldn't look at it while riding.

    I used to rarely use my gears. I used to keep it mostly in high-4 or H-3. That was when I'm a kid. Now, I can't seem to get started unless it's downhill unless I'm in H-5 or H-6. Then I almost immediately need to shift lower. I think the gear names and numbers have changed, since on my bike, it had two gearshifts. The one on the pedal has a big one and a little one. The little one is labeled "L" and the big one is "H", and the manual called them low and high. My dad's 10-speed was the same, only his only had 5 on the back. The rear gears have the biggest gear labeled 6 and the littlest one labeled 1.
    So H-1 is the hardest to pedal but is theoretically gives you the highest speed. I can only use it going downhill (even as a kid).

    Today I'm rarely going below H-3. At the start of the summer I had to keep the bike in low gear, but I'm using what I could do as a kid as yardstick and am trying to use the high gears. I'm pretty sure I'm not going as fast as I used to, which was a steady pace of ~10-12mph (I had a speedometer until the spring of 2000 when it broke while at university).
    As for how I use the gears, to start I need to be in H-5 or H-6, then once I get going I shift a bit. I'm not able to handle H-2 or H-1. I think I'm spending most of my time on level streets in H-4, and shifting whenever there is a slight slope to H-5 or H-6. If I'm going up a hill, which is very rare in the short range I can reach (I can only think of one SMALL one) I have to switch to low gear.
    Use the lower gears, meaning the smaller chainring. Your legs and your heart are both out of shape. Using easier gears, you should be able to adapt to riding short distances quicker.

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    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    What is the level of maintenance of your bike? Could flat-ish tires and gummed up bearings be holding you back? Fitness (or lack thereof) is an obvious first thing to look at, but maybe making sure your bike is in tip top shape will help as well.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickrcbd View Post
    My speedometer broke over 10 years ago, so I'm basing my distances off known destinations. I've tried to get an app for my android phone to measure distance, but none seem to be giving accurate results based off known distances that I've clocked over the years. I have little knowledge of my speed and even if the phone worked I couldn't look at it while riding.

    I used to rarely use my gears. I used to keep it mostly in high-4 or H-3. That was when I'm a kid. Now, I can't seem to get started unless it's downhill unless I'm in H-5 or H-6. Then I almost immediately need to shift lower. I think the gear names and numbers have changed, since on my bike, it had two gearshifts. The one on the pedal has a big one and a little one. The little one is labeled "L" and the big one is "H", and the manual called them low and high. My dad's 10-speed was the same, only his only had 5 on the back. The rear gears have the biggest gear labeled 6 and the littlest one labeled 1.
    So H-1 is the hardest to pedal but is theoretically gives you the highest speed. I can only use it going downhill (even as a kid).

    Today I'm rarely going below H-3. At the start of the summer I had to keep the bike in low gear, but I'm using what I could do as a kid as yardstick and am trying to use the high gears. I'm pretty sure I'm not going as fast as I used to, which was a steady pace of ~10-12mph (I had a speedometer until the spring of 2000 when it broke while at university).
    As for how I use the gears, to start I need to be in H-5 or H-6, then once I get going I shift a bit. I'm not able to handle H-2 or H-1. I think I'm spending most of my time on level streets in H-4, and shifting whenever there is a slight slope to H-5 or H-6. If I'm going up a hill, which is very rare in the short range I can reach (I can only think of one SMALL one) I have to switch to low gear.
    Just want to point out first, I'm no expert. Like I said, I'm fairly new to getting back on a bike for more than 2 mph with the kid on training wheels since about 1990.

    However your gears are labeled, think of it this way....

    Big ring on front is harder, small ring on front is easier to pedal
    Small gear in back is harder, big gear in back is easier to pedal.

    Thus, put it on the small ring in front, however that is labeled on your bike, and on the biggest gear in the back. That will be the easiest. Change the back gear from largest to smaller if it is too easy. If it gets too hard, go back to a larger gear in the back.

    Don't push hard with your legs. That's what I was doing at first and from my thread on cadence, learned it is better to be in a lower gear (larger gear in back, smaller gear in front) and pedal faster.

    It is difficult to get out of the speed mindset. I'm still not out of it. I just wanted to be at XX mph and pushed harder in a higher gear to try to achieve that. Learned from trying out after the responses in my thread that changing to the lower gear actually made it easier to speed up. The main thing I learned was, select the gear for how easy or hard it is to pedal. The speed is what it is and you only change that with more experience.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    HIIT, no question. As for riding, if I'm not suffering and hurting, it's not enjoyable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    HIIT, no question. As for riding, if I'm not suffering and hurting, it's not enjoyable.
    So you like it better when it's hard and painful........no comment.

  24. #24
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post

    BTW - I am aware that there has been a plethora of "let's get a quick burst of exercise in so that we don't actually have to devote any time to this horrible exercise thing" studies going around. Get rich quick. Get fit quick.

    As it happens, "endurance training" in the form of getting on a bicycle and riding for several hours is very enjoyable and attractive.
    Thank you. God forbid we should ride just for the fun of it.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    I started a thread today in the Clydesdale forum that questions the notion of cycling for weight loss, but I suspect that the same applies to getting in shape using a bike, as opposed to getting in bike shape.

    If you want to get in bike shape, just keep riding and you will become a stronger rider in a matter of weeks to months, depending on your level of conditioning, age, and genetics. If you want to get in shape, you may need to add other activities to build up the muscles cycling does nothing for.

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