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Rode a bike for my first time in 22 years!

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Rode a bike for my first time in 22 years!

Old 04-03-22, 09:09 AM
  #1  
kunoichi
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Rode a bike for my first time in 22 years!

I just had to share! I woke up early this morning and walked the bike to a local park that is usually empty this time of day; today it was more so being Sunday, so I didn't have to be worrying about being embarrassed. I started out doing the "push-glide" thing I had seen in all the videos I watched, and it did give me a sense of the bike, but it was also really uncomfortable physically- my arms and shoulders kept tensing like they were holding up some of my weight, and it put me sitting farther forward in the saddle then was comfortable. My feet can't lay flat-footed on the ground with my seat where it is- it's about 3 quarters of the way- so maybe that is some of it. Anyways, I kept wanting to just push off and petal, so I thought what the heck, and I did it! I was practicing on an empty basketball court and all I did was ride circles and figure eights around it, but I rode and I didn't fall. Took me about 20 minutes from when I got there to pedaling.

The main problem I had was that I could push off easily enough but sometimes my other foot would struggle "catching" the pedal. I don't know if maybe part of that is because I ride a recumbent exercise bike at home (pedaling upright felt almost wrong at first), I'm sure some of it is because my belly is in the way, but I kept trying and I was getting it more and more easily as I kept going. If I can walk tomorrow I'm going to go do it again. I really wanted to ride around the park (it's just a small park, the path is about a 1/2 mile) but I want to be a little more coordinated with starting and stopping first.
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Old 04-03-22, 09:38 AM
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Congratulations on making a good choice for yourself. Don't fret yourself, don't worry about other people, focus on what you need to do for yourself you may look awkward but people respect others that want to improve life

Note if your bike hasn't been used in that span of time it may need service on the bearings. Even just a couple of drops of oil as temporary will protect until you can.

Another very fulfilling feeling is being able to do your own maintenance. This is a very informative and entertaining place, and welcome again.
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Old 04-03-22, 09:44 AM
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kunoichi
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I wish I still had my bike from then, just for nostalgia value. LOL. I have a new-to-me, used Giant hybrid that the seller said he had just taken into the shop to get a cable replaced, but I'm going to send it in for a full cleaning/tune-up. I want to learn how to do my own maintenance, and I'm looking forward to reading more on that. When I was a teen I could take my 18-speed apart and put it back together again, but now it all seems so foreign.
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Old 04-03-22, 09:49 AM
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Good going! It gets easier and more enjoyable as you go along, too.
Keep it up.
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Old 04-03-22, 01:45 PM
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I'm not happy with the way I look, but I keep reminding myself that I can't see myself while I'm riding. It's true that some s******s would make fun of Eddy Merckx if they don't like the length of his socks, but if I'm riding, I'm past them in a matter of seconds. Sometimes that's a 100 seconds, but that only seems like a lot. A lot of times, they're coming at me from the other direction, so they go past really fast.

Please yourself - enjoy your ride.

In learning to ride, a low seat can really help. Once you regain your balance, though, set your seat to the proper height for riding - it will help your knees and increase the fun.
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Old 04-07-22, 07:19 PM
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Welcome back to it! I wish you joyous, safe riding!
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Old 04-08-22, 07:33 AM
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RH Clark
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Congrats. I got on an old beater bike 4 years ago to teach my son how to ride. I was 50 years old and hadn't been on a bike for nearly 40 years. At age 50, I was 360 lbs. and I didn't ride that first bike out of sight until I had to get off and walk. It was such a great feeling of freedom and mobility though that I was hooked on cycling. I set out to get myself and my son a bike. I was completely broke but I sold a couple things and bought myself an old Giant Rincon and my son a Trek MTB, both for $150. 4 years later the family owns 14 bikes. I lost 180lbs changing my diet and riding every day. I hope you have as much fun cycling as I do.
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Old 04-08-22, 07:41 AM
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Congratulations kunoichi! I'm so glad you found a bicycle that fit and that you're out riding! I think you'll have a lot more fun on the bike than the trike.

Keep us posted. Those first rides hurt the pride and the legs (and butt haha). The improvements are imperceptible, but by the end of the summer you'll be smiling to yourself as you ride effortlessly past that basketball court, remembering how you started out.
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Old 04-08-22, 08:47 AM
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Get on that bike every day. Make it a habit. It doesn't matter if you can only ride 10 or 15 minuets. If you do it every day, you will see a huge improvement over time. I rode 360 days my second year into cycling. I grabbed a few minuets between rain or snow some days, and some days I rode a heavy MTB while wearing insulated coveralls with the legs taped up with black electrical tape to keep them out of the gear rings. Don't worry about how you look, how well or how far or how fast you ride. Do it for the sheer joy of it, and get lost in the pleasure.

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Old 04-08-22, 09:41 AM
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You said it feels like your weight is sliding forward and being supported by your arms and shoulders - this likely indicates a need to change the adjustment of the saddle angle. A nose-down saddle causes exactly those symptoms, including leading to your butt being on the wrong part of the saddle. There is a bolt(s) under the saddle - probably a 6mm or 5mm allen head bolt, that needs to be loosened and the angle of the saddle as viewed from the side can be adjusted. You generally should start with the saddle approximately level when viewed from the side, or even slightly nose-up, which will encourage your butt to rest on the wider part of the saddle where it is supposed to.


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Old 04-08-22, 11:05 AM
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RH Clark
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What bike did you get? Do you have a picture?
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Old 04-08-22, 08:50 PM
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I didn't get anything special, which is why I didn't post any pics. But I really like it. I got a 1995 Giant Iguana mountain bike (I thought at first it was a hybrid, but I got confused. I was able to find the bike when I looked it up). The brake pads and tires and one of the cables are pretty new, it's a steel frame (which I really wanted- I just felt better that way), the rims have 36 spokes, and the seat is fairly new as well and it's comfortable so far- other than the first day when I was trying to push and glide I haven't had any discomfort with it, and everything seems to be running pretty smoothly. And it has a rear rack, which isn't necessary but will be nice. Because of its age, a tune-up is very high on my list of priorities, just to be safe, but from what I can tell it's mostly cosmetic blemishes- it could use a deep cleaning and probably some polishing. For my budget, and for my first bike, I think it's going to work great.
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Old 04-09-22, 04:24 AM
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Adding a pic because I might as well at this point.


1995 Giant Iguana mountain bike
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Old 04-09-22, 10:54 AM
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To chime in and reiterate some points: Steel and 36 spokes are a great combo. In my early days on my old (and still running) Trek mtb, I "warbled" the back wheel (in retrospect, it may have only needed truing) and invested in 36 spoke Ryno rims. I was a 255lb hefty back then. Less than a decade later, through the ups and downs of my weight, I am +/- 170lbs and healthy. Hills and distances get conquered in time. You've already made admirable gains. Even on my MANY days I DIDN'T WANT to get on that thing, I found out that the exhilaration of being my own motor and movement was worth getting over myself. I now vastly prefer cycling over any other mode of locomotion.

Congrats on your choices! (Oh, on that seat height: You should sit high enough that you don't quite lock your knees at the 6 o'clock positions when pedaling. When you stop, if possible, lean to one side and rest on one foot; like the experienced cyclists/motorcyclists do. If not able for now, reduce seat height only as much as needed to operate the pedals/mount the bike.)

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1995 Trek 800 Sport

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Old 04-09-22, 12:33 PM
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I love how high those handlebars are. That's something I might consider in the future, although I'm sitting pretty upright at the moment.
I only have the seat down for right now, while starting and stopping is still iffy. When I feel confident in those, I'm going to raise it up again. It's not as low for me as it looks, though. I can touch the ground with both feet, but I can't be flat-footed on the ground; just having the balls of my feet on the ground. I think we only lowered it half an inch from where I could only tippy-toe touch the ground with both feet.
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Old 04-09-22, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kunoichi View Post
Adding a pic because I might as well at this point.


1995 Giant Iguana mountain bike
That's a fine bike and a great choice for a first bike. The step through design should help getting on and off. That's an easy bike to do maintenance on. RJ the bike guy on youtube has lots of how to videos. You can likely get all the tools for less money than the labor charge at a bike shop for normal things like cables and breaks,
As far as your seat height, ideally you go ground to pedal to seat, and off from seat to pedal to ground. In other words you should not be able to touch the ground from a seated position. It's fine to keep it low while you are getting your balance worked up though. It will just be a lot harder to peddle sitting so low. When you get better balance practice standing up on one pedal at a time while coasting. To stop you will slow down then slide off the seat to one pedal with one foot and as you brake the other foot goes to the ground. Really happy for you!
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Old 04-14-22, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I'm not happy with the way I look, but I keep reminding myself that I can't see myself while I'm riding.
This pretty much sums it up for me too. When I first got back into riding I decided to buy a jersey, I figured riding in the early hours of the morning I owed it to myself to get something reflective and wearing an old night rated work shirt wasn't really as comfortable as I believed it to be. So the hunt began, usually I wear a 3XL shirt but I knew cycling jerseys were a tighter fit so I looked at the actual measurements and a 3X wasn't going to cut it. But the bigger problem was that no bike shop in Australia sold anything bigger than 3XL and many didn't have them in stock. I found a shop in the US with larger sizes and I remember thinking at the the time "fancy having to admit I need a 5XL shirt to cycle in". But I bought it anywhere and by the time it arrived I realised I didn't have to admit it to anyone what size it was.
.
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Old 05-17-22, 04:42 AM
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Well Done!
Outstanding!
Wayto Go!

Thatś all I got.
Keep it up.

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Old 05-17-22, 02:05 PM
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Don't worry, riding a bike is just like... riding a bike. Once you learn you never forget how.
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Old 05-17-22, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Don't worry, riding a bike is just like... riding a bike. Once you learn you never forget how.
Absolutely I hadn't ridden a bike for about 50 years, bought a fat tire bike, jumped on and rode. In 6 years I've got 10,000 miles on that bike, I'm now 70 years old.
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