Hello all -- I've lurked here on and off since starting to ride 13 months ago at age 51. Got invited on a charity ride and you know the rest, stopped eating junk, dropped 50 pounds, back at my high school weight, literally turned my life around from a health and fitness perspective.
I ride 4 days / 80 - 150 miles per week and have started riding with groups and pace lines. I've done one century and find I am attracted to hills, have ridden up Keller Peak, GMR, Catalina, Mt. Baldy parking lot (not telling you how many stops). I've had 3 decent headwind-induced bonks but I think I'm over that now that I spin faster and stock up like a lunch truck.
In a previous life, I'd be inclined to work towards racing but I'm wary of the whole crashing and road rash business. I'm not very fast and at age 52, I don't know how feasible it is to increase my power output, not having a base to draw upon from my younger years.
Don't know why it took me so long to find cycling -- it seems to me that Southern California is cycling nirvana -- it occurs to me that to live here and not ride is like to live in Salt Lake City and not ski. I've found the weather, roads, terrain, drivers and other cyclists to all be very welcoming of a new cyclist, leg hair and mirror notwithstanding.
I must say that I'm still getting acclimated to the culture of cycling -- if you told me 14 months ago that I would publicly wear a bike outfit to other than a halloween party, I would have laughed, almost as hard as I still do when I see myself in the mirror. Now, I look like I'm halfway through some kind of a gender transition -- to non-cyclists, I look like a complete bike dork. To cyclists, I look like a complete Fred. I kind of like it this way -- everybody makes fun of me and vice-versa.
I am also entertained by the small percentage of cyclists that experience frequent drama in their interractions with drivers (and other cyclists, and runners, and bike mechanics, and seagulls) when I've just ridden 6,000 miles with nary a dirty look or close pass from a driver (now that I've typed this I'm probably due). I notice that some of them post in these forums and so I will refrain from using the expression "drama queen" so as to not offend them.
I have high expectations for what I can share and get out of these forums. I'm hoping to learn more about:
- How to improve my base fitness and average pace
- How to translate Joe Friel's books into English for crissakes
- How to sort out and use the various definitions of heart rate training ranges, Karvonen, and heart rate reserve
- Exercise physiology, particularly recent advances in what we know about the connection between lactate, calcium channels, muscle fatigue and recovery.
- Sports nutrition and how best to eat to support my ride schedule
- Using my Android like a Garmin
- How to measure power without spending megabucks
- Goal setting if I'm not going to race
- How to train for a 5 hour century
- If niacin can be used to stimulate HGH and accelerate gains in fitness
- Routes and events
- How to continue to stay crash and injury free
- Equipment upgrades
So anyway, that's what I'm about and why I'm here. Thanks for posting all the informative and entertaining items I've seen so far!