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  1. #1
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    Am I a hopeless case?

    I thought I was doing prettty good. I rode a lot back in the 1989-1991 when I was stationed in Turkey and a bike was my only transportaion and for various reasons I stopped when I got back. I bought a Trek Multitrack in 1998 and rode it twice until about 6 weeks ago. I got it back out, had a tune up done and started riding on the local fitness trails and the Katy trail. I've ridden an 18 mile ride in about 2 hours that nearly killed me due to not eating before I started. I've been averaging about 10 -11 MPH on 10 -12 mile rides 4 to 5 times a week. Saturday I went out on the road for the first time. The route was kind of rolling and had a lot hills. The weren't big hills but a lot more than I get on the trails. It was only 7.5 miles but I was happy that I averaged 12.5 MPH and felt like I could have easily gone farther. On all of these rides my legs feel tired to very tired and my butt is certainly ready to get off the sadle. I do not feel out of breath or that my cardio-vascular system has been worked that hard. I'm not using tall gears all the time. I understand my gearing and use it. I will down shift when I start feeling burn. My cadence is usually between 90 and 95 RPM. That's just what I naturally fall into. By the way, I am a 43 year old male and was about 75-100 pounds over weight. In March I started eating right and walking and to date I have lost 47 lbs.

    Saturday afternoon I went to the library and picked up a book on bicycle fitness. I believe it was written by Carmichael. I started looking at his fitness levels and what he called a beginner workout. I think I'd have serious trouble with the easiest. Maybe I'm better off than I think since I'm riding on gravel instead of pavement but I really don't think I could maintain 15 MPH for 10 miles. Am I just a slug? Is there any hope? I had been thinking I was really making progress and then it seems that I'm not even up to what a normal beginner would be. Maybe my expectations were too high but I just found it a bit discouraging.

    Here are my goals: 1. I want to get into better shape. 2. I would like to ride a century some day, hopefully next year. 3. I want to be able to keep up with a group.

    Help!

    Joe
    Columbia, MO

  2. #2
    Senior Member heflix455's Avatar
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    Yes. You are hopeless. Give up now

    Seriously though, dont get caught up in #'s, technique, form, etc. Have fun. That is the only way you are going to be able to enjoy a sport for a long period of time. The rest of the stuff just comes naturally. Considering you lost all that weight and you are starting out again, it would be good just to treat biking as a fun activity instead of a hardcore training session. That way you wont get discouranged if you skip some days or thinking of biking as a dreaded exercise. I used to treat working out and biking as something i needed to control with precision, but that just made me dread it in the long run. Just my 0.02c

  3. #3
    On the right
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    If you had a properly fit road bike, you'd pull better averages.

    Just work about slow & steady for now. Seems like you're doing fine.

  4. #4
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    The Carmichael training system is usually used by racers. It sounds like you are just starting out, so some of the workouts may not apply to you. That doesn't mean you are hopeless. Keep riding, and you will improve.
    Bring the pain.

  5. #5
    proud of his bunny Zinn-X's Avatar
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    Plus riding on gravel is kind of a big difference. You're not hopeless, just keep at it

  6. #6
    just over the next hill cruzMOKS's Avatar
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    I have been ridding for a year and the more i ride the stronger I get. Like others have said don't get too involved with #'s. You will gain strength in time.
    Enjoy the ride.
    Bianchi Volpe 2006; Fuji Tahoe 1990

  7. #7
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you've been riding and have lost 47 lbs since March, then you should keep up whatever you are doing. don't worry that you are not on the Chis Carmichael pro racer workout level. Just keep it up. As the weight goes down, your fitness will improve. Don't get impatient. Just keep up the good work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I used to cry because I had no shoes
    until I saw a man who had no feet


    you have a bike...ride it and worry not

  9. #9
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    Carmichael mentions that if you aren't up to the level of fitness of his beginner workouts to simply reduce the workout by the appropriate percentage and work from there. I gather that the idea is the increasing length of your rides be certain amounts and throwing in some of his patentented and trademarked drills to help increase your endurance in your peak.

    Good luck and keep up the good work.


    T

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the encouragment everyone. I really love being on the bike and have to pretty much force myself to take a day off. I think I really knew what you're telling me but I needed to hear it (or read it in this case.)

    Now I'm looking at road bikes. I haven't had one of those since my Schwinn Continental. I loved that bike and it was old when I got it 1975.

    Thanks again.

    Joe

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencejm
    Thanks for the encouragment everyone. I really love being on the bike and have to pretty much force myself to take a day off. I think I really knew what you're telling me but I needed to hear it (or read it in this case.)

    Now I'm looking at road bikes. I haven't had one of those since my Schwinn Continental. I loved that bike and it was old when I got it 1975.

    Thanks again.

    Joe
    If I were you, I wouldn't buy a new
    bike until you lose all the weight you
    wanna. I waited and I was glad I did.
    I maintain a 90 lb. weight loss and
    now ride Recumbent bikes, but its
    just MHO that you would be wise
    to wait to buy the new bike. (Unless
    you don't mind dropping $500 or
    $600 or MORE and then doing
    it all over again when you get thin.
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    You are not hopeless. Here is my story so you can relate.
    I used to run and jog. My knees started complaining and I had to stop at about your age. I put on weight. I had 240 lbs for my 6 ft height. I looked at biking to do something. My wife and I went on a 46 mile ride on limestone with rented bikes. It almost killed us. It took about 8 hours and we had to push the bikes at times to recover.
    From these humble beginnings we have evolved to riding this same trail in under 3 hours on our tandem bike. I do the 46 miles on limestone with a Trek Hybrid at 17.6 MPH average (Cateye).
    I also did a 3000 mile coast to coast in 25 biking days at age 64.
    How did we do it? Giving up was never considered. This bike forum can be very helpful if you spend enough time here. You need the right equipment, bike shorts, bike shoes and you need the right cadence, nutrition and hydration. This BF is full of stories on that.
    And, as someone said, have fun.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Tonkers's Avatar
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    Hey Spence,

    I started riding in mid april of this year. I was riding a ten year old Research Dynamics Coyote mountaiin bike. I was riding on a dirt road that runs by our house. I was only able to do a mile and no hills without stopping halfway up. I kept after it for a while and my milage began to increase. In July of this year, I plunked down $1800 for a 2006 Giant OCR Limited Composite Road Bike. I was a big investment. But it has really made riding more enjoyable for me. Now I ride almost every day and feel bad about myself if I miss a day. I have lost 52 lbs since I started. I'm riding 20 to 30 miles per day. I average from 10 to 11 miles per hour. I have read some of the books that were suggested to me by friends and tried to incorporate some of the ideas that were presented. Cycling started being work. I began to dread my rides. Then I thought to myself "Hey, I'm not in training for Le Tour"! So, I read and use what I think is useful and disreguard what decreases my enjoyment. Periodization, Over Traing, Good Carbs, Bad Carbs! IT just goes on and on and on. I think the worst thing you can do is to apply someone else's "Normal Standards" to your riding. So far this year, I've clocked 650 miles and am getting ready to do 50 miles in the Hotter than Hell Hundred. Just spend time in the saddle and you'll improve. Just my experience for what it's worth.

    Tonkers

    You don't have to be crazy to ride a bicycle till your notches are raw, but it certainly helps!!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    the best speed improvement EVAR is a little lust for muscle pain

    if you have it, then tap into it as much as you can. your muscles love it

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    You are far from hopeless! When I first got my bike (last year), I swear a mile had me wore out and made my butt hurt and all that. I just kept at it, bit by bit... nothing horridly strenuous. Though at the time it seemed like any amount of time on the bike seemed strenuous. Now I have been doing 30, 40+ mile rides on my mtn bike, without an issue. I have lost 56 pounds and am FINALLY at a perfect weight for my body.

    Next month I will be entering my first mtb race. And with luck, today is the day my brand spankin' new road bike arrives. Be patient, don't burn yourself out or let yourself get discouraged.. keep riding! The more you rides you do, the better you'll feel, and the more you'll enjoy it.
    2007 Ridley Orion Road Bike

    2007 Marin Rift Zone Mountain Bike

    2009 Jamis Allegro Commuter

    Early 80's Univega Viva Sport Road Bike

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