Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Newb question from a not so newb

Old 06-03-17, 08:51 AM
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Newb question from a not so newb

I promise I won't ask about fat people bike choices, if I should wear underwear with my bike shorts, or if 3 spokes in my tire is enough for my weight.

On to my actual question which is probably as boring as the others.

I currently weight about 370ish pounds. This is down from my very Huge 635 pounds. This winter my plan was to hit the gym and work the bike in zone 2 training and rates to build up my endurance. I had knee issues that kept me sidelined from the gym and riding my bike. I got back on my bike for the first time this week. I did a 7 and an 11 mile ride. Today I am going to try and ride 13. The good thing is no knee pain. The bag thing, no stamina. Last year my rides averaged 17 -22 miles each. I was pushing it with my 11 miles,my legs felt like Jello, I was drained.I had no gas left in the tank.

I signed up for the Bike MS: NYC. I paid my $50.00 reg fee. So no turning back now. Anyways I need to work myself up to 30 miles of city riding. I How in the world am I going to work myself up to 30 miles?

Now that I have a firm goal with a date and a deadline, is the "get in seat time" still the best answer?

Should I focus on adding a mile or two to my rides each week? Would a combination of the two work. I only started riding again back in 2015. I have yet to do more than say 23 miles. So I have a long way to go.

Any help, suggestions, feedback will be very much appreciated.

Wait one more question! This is definitely a newb question. How did you guys and gals get used to road cycling. The idiots who text while driving or even juggle eating, texting, changing the radio, and smoking all while driving scare the crap out of me.
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Old 06-03-17, 11:19 AM
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take a few hammer Gels (Hammer Nutrition) so that if you feel like you are out of energy you can fuel your body, get some hydration tablets to put in your water (Nuun or Hammer Nutrition are what I use).

Remember that you can stop and recover if you need to (it isn't a race), and there is no shame in walking up a hill (you are still getting to the top under your own power).

If you can do 10 miles you can do 20 and if you can do 15 miles you can do 30.

I have a little CatEye bike computer that displays data from some external sensors (heart rate meter, power meter, cadence sensor) so I personally watch my heart rate and cadence most of the time. I push zones three and four for heart rate often, but I also try to spend many rides in the zone two and three area with heart rate.

Simply getting out and going further will increase your endurance. Getting a smart trainer and using the BKool app/program to control the trainer or using Zwift to control the trainer is a good way to build stamina as you can ride your bike in the house (when it is dark, or bad weather). I often look for a GPS file for the route I will be taking, upload it to the trainer software and ride it a couple times before an event. By riding the event virtually I have an idea of what that ride will feel like and where I need to stop and rest other than the dedicated rest stops.

As to being afraid of the bad drivers on the road I just figure my time will come when it comes and nothing will change when God wants to take me... I just put in my music and ride.
If you see an old fat guy levitating through town with his legs pumping furiously... well don't worry there is a bicycle underneath me.
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Old 06-04-17, 12:46 PM
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I just use the ride a lot method. And as dagray states, "if you can ride 15 miles, you can ride 30", I believe that to be true. I ride a summer tour every few years and there is an optional century in that tour, I don't ride a century to prepare for the century but I know that if I can ride 50 miles I can ride 100. I just take my time and ride at a pace that is comfortable and that I feel that I could ride all day and break it up into a few smaller rides. Don't feel that you need to ride at the same pace as everyone else or speed up because someone passes you. Ride at your pace.
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Old 06-05-17, 05:11 PM
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First off, congratulations! You're half the man you used to be.

How much time do you have until this bike ride? 30 miles is probably 2-3 hours, depending on what pace you'll be able to sustain. But for most people that have gotten used to cycling regularly, 2-3 hours is usually doable. I think 'get in the seat time' is probably the answer. But as others have noted, you may only need to get up to like 20mi in training rides. Look at training plans that are plentiful online for runners working up to a marathon; those training plans usually max out at like 17-20mi for any particular training day in the schedule, then you get a few days of rest/light workout, then you can 'just go longer' on the day of the event.

As for getting used to riding in traffic, that is also something that takes practice and experience. Make sure you have a bright red blinky, and I would recommend also a helmet mirror or handlebar mirror, so you can keep tabs on traffic behind you.

On the route of a large organized event, there should be large numbers of cyclists out there, and there is safety in numbers. (Not so much on training days though).
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Old 06-08-17, 11:24 AM
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Awesome weight loss. That's life-changing.

On the broader question; miles will do the most, but make sure they are smart miles. That's where data come in -- heart rate monitors in particular are a very good read on what you're putting yourself through. It's important to know -- at a certain age -- what the limits are and where to train through them versus where to back off or stop for a few minutes to recover.

My max HR is about 180. My threshold is 165 or so. That means at or above 165, I get very tired very quickly. So if I am pushing hard for that sort of workout, I just hammer. If i'm going longer for me, then I tend to watch carefully that in the first few sections I don't exceed lower thresholds, like 140 or 150, because HR increases over time as you exercise. Using only this technique, I've massively increased my stamina and speed.

I'm personally not a fan of using gels. That's a very short-term boost of sugar.
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Old 06-17-17, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NYSteve View Post
Wait one more question! This is definitely a newb question. How did you guys and gals get used to road cycling. The idiots who text while driving or even juggle eating, texting, changing the radio, and smoking all while driving scare the crap out of me.

I was used to them for 2 decades -- now in the last 6 or 7 years (the advent of the texting and I-phone generation) -- I am almost forced off the roads myself

I will actually throw my bike in the back of my truck and transport it to a lake whose roads are not heavily travelled and just do laps (lake is a few miles away ) -----

I don't ride my dual sport motorcycle on the street anymore either ---- was stopped at a light when I observed a young lady roll up next to me who never took her eye off her phone - that and the reports of a couple other cyclists and motorcyclists being cleaned out waiting at stop lights forced my hand
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Old 06-18-17, 09:16 AM
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How does your riding schedule look like? Do you try to squeeze all of your riding on the weekends?
I would suggest so spread out you rides though out the week. Better recovery. Instead of riding Sat.
and Sun. Try 1 ride on the weekend; and another ride or two during the week. You probably know this
already; but weight loss makes cycling easier.

Have volunteered with NYC Bike MS for many years; it's a well organized event and a lot of fun:

If there are bike paths in your area; that might be a better/quieter way to train. Bike commuting
saves time and money. Training and commuting at the same time.
One day:
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