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Old 01-16-03, 11:00 AM   #1
HalfHearted
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Just another newbie

Hi All,

I'm planning on getting back into some fairly serious biking and I'm way out of touch with current technology. When I last rode triple cranks and six cog cassettes were just becoming available and I don't think anyone had combined them yet. Twelve and fifteen-speed bikes were "wow" items.

First, let me give you a little background on myself. I say I'm a "sorta newbie" because I used to ride quite actively (100-120 miles a week) but that was over twenty years ago. I was using a bottom-of-the line Schwinn that was a bit large for me (picked up second hand) but it was fun nonetheless. I also did a fair amount of backpacking in those days.

I enlisted in the Air Force intending to do my four and then get out and spend a year bumming around the country on a bike. But, halfway through my tour of duty I got married, started raising kids, and went on to pilot a desk -- i.e. your typical American couch potato for the last 20 years.

In 1998 I had a massive heart attack that killed the front wall of my heart (hence, my username), and this past April I had a quintuple bypass. Since then I've been working out regularly (over an hour five days a week at medium resistance and a fast jogging pace on an elliptical glider). I'm in better shape with better stamina than at any time since my mid twenties (even after an hour I'm not really wiped out, I could press a little harder or quite a bit longer). But, because of the irreversible damage to the heart muscle I can't reach the peak output of an undamaged person of similar age (46) and conditioning and never will be able to.

The elliptical glider is good exercise but it's boring as can be so I'm planning on getting a bike soon and spending a fair amount of time on it. I'll be doing a lot of fitness riding on streets and hard packed trails, quite a few two and three day camping tours, again on pavement and packed dirt and gravel, and maybe one or two longer credit-card tours over the next couple of years.

I live in North Texas kind of on the edge between flatland and hill country so I won't be seeing a lot of long steep grades until I get a chance to do some longer touring, which won't be until late fall at the earliest because of massive projects at work.

I posted a specific question regarding bike choice in the touring forum and I won't repeat that part of the post here but in short I'm planning on getting a not-too-expensive hybrid bike (TREK T7100) and upgrading it as need be over the next couple of years.

As you can tell from this post, I'm a bit of a windbag, too

Regards,
John
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Old 01-16-03, 11:18 AM   #2
RonH
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Hi John. Glad you found the Introductions forum.

There are several "older" cyclists here who can give you good age and health specific advice. I'm 58 and got back into cycling in 1999. Entirely changed my world and my views on life.

Have fun. That's what it's all about.
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Old 01-21-03, 11:37 AM   #3
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Half-hearted Great to hear of someone who has the guts to battle through adversity and still poke fun at themselves.

Welcome to the forums from a U.K. guy fighting against paranioa diabetes gene`s and mental depression . goodness I sound like a right hypacondriac
Hope you post regular, Im sure we will be interested in how your future cycling exploits progress.....
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Old 01-21-03, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by willic
Welcome to the forums from a U.K. guy fighting against paranioa diabetes gene`s and mental depression
I can relate to the diabetes thing, too. There's a close correlation between heart disease and diabetes, once you've been diagnosed with heart disease they check your bloodwork pretty frequently. Also a close connection between heart disease and depression, though thankfully I haven't had any problem with that. I guess 'cause death doesn't bother me and I'm so ornery that I cause depression, instead of suffering from it

Back in October my triglycerides were really high, exercise hasn't helped much, so now they've changed my diet again. In fact, I think I've figured out why there is such a correlation between heart disease and diabetes. With heart disease they put you on a real-strict low-fat diet, and, if you're on coumadin blood thinner like most of us they tell you not to eat too many leafy greens, but they don't say a darn thing about carbs. So, what does everybody do? We start eating tons of rice and fish and so on. Next thing you know all those starchy carbs are driving your body chemistry nuts.

Earlier this month they checked me again and told me to start eating more spinach and broccoli (two of my favorite vegetables anyway, and something they had specifically told me to avoid before).

When they told me that, I told the doctor they had one more chance to get it right and then I was going back to pizza and mexican food. I was only half-joking!

There's a reason they call it "practicing medicine..."

John
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Old 01-21-03, 12:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by RonH
There are several "older" cyclists here who can give you good age and health specific advice.
Thanks, but I won't consider myself older until I'm at least 80

Seriously, I think the realization that I wasn't a kid anymore came in '96. I was supporting a display at a high-tech entertainment pavillion at the olympics in Atlanta. One of the other vendors was a laser tag company showing a big indoor laser tag arena. I think I almost had a heart attack then trying to keep up with the teenagers they had running it. I still outscored most of them though, I just had to resort to remaining stationary and slinking around in dark corners while they ran about like vigorous young ... targets Age and craftiness will kick youthful enthusiasm's butt every time!

John
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