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New Clydesdale-First Ride and have a few questions

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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.

New Clydesdale-First Ride and have a few questions

Old 04-22-14, 09:06 AM
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New Clydesdale-First Ride and have a few questions

Hello everyone, I've been lurking for quite a while reading and researching. First of all. Thanks to everyone for their inspiring stories I probably wouldnt have taken the leap without all of the inspiration.

A little about me. Since November I've really been focusing on losing weight and getting healthy after my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic. Since November I've lost about 60 pounds and I'm feeling great (approximate is because when I started I was too heavy for my doctors scale to weigh). I'm now down to 415 pounds and plateaued a bit so I decided to give cycling a try to continue my weight loss.

So after reading all I could find I took a trip to my LBS (or should I say the one who was willing to talk to me) and bought a new bike. I was hooked after my test ride and bought a Kona Blast, Ordered an aerotech designs bib bike short and because I'm a bit if a gadget freak I picked up a mount for my iphone and an app that looked interesting (Cyclemeter) to track my ride and went out for my first ride this morning. It was only 2.27 miles (some of it walking on a long sloping hill I swear I didnt ride down) my legs were burning and felt like jelly but I felt great and cant wait to do it again.

Now for the questions.
1. How frequently should I try to ride? Is trying to ride every morning too much?
2. Is there any way to combat the jelly legs? Or is that something I have to just work through?
3. How hard should I push myself as I get started?

I can post a link to my ride from cyclemeter if thats allowed and will help answer questions.

Any suggestions/pointers/help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-22-14, 09:09 AM
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I did five mile rides until my body got adapted to riding.

Go easy for the first 500 miles.

Did ten five mile rides one day...80 laps around the block.

Ended the first year with 11,200 miles.
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Old 04-22-14, 09:16 AM
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1. Listen to your body, and your legs of course, and if you feel you need a day off, do so. I ride 4-6 days a week if I can. I try to commute two or three days a week (24 mile round trip) and then stretch my legs a bit on weekends if I have time. As a newbie, I think short rides every morning isn't a bad thing unless you feel tired.
2. You'll get past them the more you ride
3. Again, listen to your body. Good advice to take it easy for the first 500 miles. You're building your base, so pace isn't as important as miles.

Good luck and welcome!
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Old 04-22-14, 09:18 AM
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"Ride lots"
Eddie Merckx

Keep it fun.

Jelly legs?
ride more


Post everything you want. People here are amazingly knowledgeable, supportive, and fun. Post about pain and discomfort, most things are a matter of fit and should be dealt with.


Congrats on your start!
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Old 04-22-14, 09:20 AM
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You will have many problems.....Asked here for help. Take them on one at a time.
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Old 04-22-14, 09:26 AM
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Excellent. Here is the link for the cyclemeter data. (Ignore the fact that i had it set on walk for the first half, still getting used to it)

Cyclemeter - Cycle - Apr 22, 2014, 5:57 AM
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Old 04-22-14, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Cwtowns
1. How frequently should I try to ride? Is trying to ride every morning too much?
2. Is there any way to combat the jelly legs? Or is that something I have to just work through?
3. How hard should I push myself as I get started?
1. Riding everyday shouldn't be a problem. I get some sort of exercise everyday, otherwise I'd be and even bigger clyde.
2. The jelly legs will go away with conditioning.
3. When I first started exercising everyday I just asked myself "Can I get up tomorrow and do this again?" If the answer was no, then I was probably pushing myself a little hard. If the answer was yes, then maybe I could do a little more. I think that the main thing for someone in your situation is consistency. The trick is to find what works for you. You want to push yourself without feeling like your committing ritual suicide. That process took me a good 5 or 6 weeks. I just knew that if I killed myself one day then I wouldn't feel good the next and my motivation would be zilch. However, if I pushed myself a little bit at a time, then I felt like I could recover by the next day.
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Old 04-22-14, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for all of the responses. I'm looking forward to learning everything I can.
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Old 04-22-14, 11:09 AM
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I find that your body talks to you. No one knows your body as well as you and all the aforementioned advice is great. I guess what happens is simply the more you diet and ride, the further you can go. The further you go, the more weight you loose. The more weight you loose the further you can go. It starts a cycle (no pun here) of weight loss and activity that can last a lifetime and will slim you down nicely. One thing I have to mention is as you ride further, at times, you may not loose pounds due to the building of muscle which is more dense than fat. You should take some body measurerments so you'll know your shrinking in size, but may not be much lighter. This happened to me, I weighed the same but lost several inches on my belt line.

Best of health and good luck.
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Old 04-22-14, 11:18 AM
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My 2 cents:

1. It's a HUGE lifestyle change. You're going to have to rearrange things. If you make the big changes now, it'll really stick once you see the weight falling off.

2. Try to get into a routine that you know you can handle. It may take a while - a few weeks or months. But once you get a routine going and you start seeing the weight come off, it'll be a lot easier to keep going. For example, ride every day for 1/2 an hour before breakfast.

3. Don't be afraid to vary your routine if you really want to once it IS a routine. A good test is what your response is when it rains. If it's, "Good, I don't have to ride" or even "Damn, I'm gonna get wet"? You don't want to be varying your routine (Yes, you WILL ride in the rain. ). When you see rain and you think, "The rain will keep me cooler!", then you can safely vary your routine. (If you keep at it, you'll go through a lot of other phases in your response to adverse weather.)

4. Once you get into a good routine, start lengthening it. Add a few miles per day every week, say. If you're doing 12 miles per day this week, do 13 or 14 miles per day next week.

5. Don't worry about how hard you're going. Just be sure you're going.

6. Keep it fun.
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Old 04-22-14, 11:30 AM
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Keep it fun, and you will want to keep riding...

slow and steady grasshopper....

like they said listen to your body... there is no shame in walking for a little bit... the jelly legs go away once you get used to riding... use those gears, that's why the put them on there....
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Old 04-22-14, 12:28 PM
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Congratulations on starting the journey.

As others have said, listen to your body. Initially, I would suggest taking a day or two off of the bike every week, and do some other activity. Once you ride for a while, the "off" days could still be on the bike, and just take it easy.

My rides (I am just building back up) tend to be at whatever pace I can handle for the length of the ride (usually I ride 5-15 miles) and then I throw in a little extra effort along the way, either in the way of a hill, or what I laughingly call a sprint. This is kind of like what other people call "intervals" even though I only do a couple of hard efforts in my typical ride. It seems to help my overall speed over the long run when I do it this way. I will never be a speed demon, but I do want to be able to maintain a higher speed than I can now.

As far as not noticing the hill until you turned around, that is normal for small hills. I always try to start my rail trail rides on the low side of the trail, and do the harder ride first, and then the ride back is easier. On my favorite trails, which look flat, I ride 6-8 mph up, and 12-14 mph on the way back... so the hill is there, you just don't notice it on the way down because it isn't steep enough to coast.
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Old 04-22-14, 04:20 PM
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If you feel tired but not bad still ride.

If you feel sore, especially in places that are not a focus of effort, e.g butt or feet take time off or at least simply soft pedal for the next day and consider taking a day or more off.

If it hurts to ride take a day or more off for sure and pay attention to wherever it hurt very carefully going forward.

Personally I think you are better off to not ride every day and also to pick one day a week to push yourself, but it longer, faster or including some climbing. Ride every day the same way and things get boring.

EDIT: And pay attention to the heat. Back when I was in rather good shape I would do a 26 mile ride that had maybe 200 yards of flat. I did it one day and was great. Did it the next day starting an hour earlier (in the afternoon) and I melted. It was just a little hotter and it was before the breeze coming off the nearby ocean in the afternoons started. I was fit and fine, but a similar heat difference when unfit could have created major problems.

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Old 04-22-14, 04:42 PM
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As pretty much everyone else has stated, you need to listen to your body. Now that being said, there are times where you need to push through in order to keep going forward. When I first started my biggest issue was the seat of the bike. Any longer than 20-30 minutes and my butt was on fire. It takes getting used to but that feeling does end up going away, especially if you got a good padded bib short to start out with.

Just don't confuse your old habits with what your body is saying. If you're riding along and all of the sudden you feel like you should turn around and go home and relax, ask yourself if that's because your body is telling you that you NEED a break, or if it's just your "old self" wanting to crash.

I started out as 265lbs in October of last year (7 months ago) and I biked indoor on my trainer for the winter and have been eating better. I'm down to 235lbs at this point and when I first started trying biking for exercise, I was constantly cutting my rides short because I WANTED to, not because I NEEDED to.

Also, check out Strava. It's not exactly catered to weight-loss, but I use it to see what other local riders are capable of. It gives me a goal to reach, and seeing other people's routes is fun, too.
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Old 04-22-14, 05:35 PM
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When I get "jelly legs" it's an indication for me that my blood sugar is low. So I eat accordingly prior to any exercise and make sure I'm hydrated. Do you have a water bottle & bottle cage? That will be important as the weather gets warmer.
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Old 04-22-14, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
When I get "jelly legs" it's an indication for me that my blood sugar is low. So I eat accordingly prior to any exercise and make sure I'm hydrated. Do you have a water bottle & bottle cage? That will be important as the weather gets warmer.
I do have a bottle and cage. I also drank a bunch of water before I rode. I did not eat anything beforehand, I thought it would be best to just eat when I got back home. I'll try a snack before I ride tomorrow.

MatCartMill, surprisingly enough the saddle didn't hurt a bit, perhaps because of the bibs I was wearing. I'm hoping it will stay that way.
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Old 04-22-14, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Cwtowns

Now for the questions.
1. How frequently should I try to ride? Is trying to ride every morning too much?
2. Is there any way to combat the jelly legs? Or is that something I have to just work through?
3. How hard should I push myself as I get started?

I can post a link to my ride from cyclemeter if thats allowed and will help answer questions.

Any suggestions/pointers/help is greatly appreciated.
1. As often as you can! I've been doing 10 miles daily since last May. Now I've been commuting 40 miles a day, not regularly though.

2. With more base miles, you'll see your "limits" being advanced to longer distances and faster speeds.

3. Only you can judge how hard you can push yourself. A piece of advice that I read on here that works for me well is ride as hard as you can as long as you can still greet ( "Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening" ) other cyclists/joggers/walkers on the trail. If you're out of breath, go down a gear

Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
I did five mile rides until my body got adapted to riding.

Go easy for the first 500 miles.

Did ten five mile rides one day...80 laps around the block.

Ended the first year with 11,200 miles.
Please tell me that was a typo. If not, 11,200 miles in one year has got to be some kind of record

Last edited by MikeRides; 04-22-14 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 04-23-14, 06:51 AM
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Well I jinxed myself. I went out again this morning and my saddle was crazy painful. I rode as far as I could before I couldn't stay seated. I was only able to ride half the distance of yesterday, I'm just glad I got out again.
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Old 04-23-14, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Cwtowns
Well I jinxed myself. I went out again this morning and my saddle was crazy painful. I rode as far as I could before I couldn't stay seated. I was only able to ride half the distance of yesterday, I'm just glad I got out again.
Soak your butt for ten minutes with hot soapy water in the bath tub.
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Old 04-23-14, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeRides
1. As often as you can! I've been doing 10 miles daily since last May. Now I've been commuting 40 miles a day, not regularly though.

2. With more base miles, you'll see your "limits" being advanced to longer distances and faster speeds.

3. Only you can judge how hard you can push yourself. A piece of advice that I read on here that works for me well is ride as hard as you can as long as you can still greet ( "Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening" ) other cyclists/joggers/walkers on the trail. If you're out of breath, go down a gear



Please tell me that was a typo. If not, 11,200 miles in one year has got to be some kind of record
2nd year 15,953 miles....rode this in 57 days.

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Old 04-23-14, 07:05 AM
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I will give that a shot. On a positive note my ride this morning was accompanied by some colts (baby horses) pacing me along the fence line. I'll have to try and remember to get a picture of them doing that tomorrow.
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Old 04-23-14, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Cwtowns
I will give that a shot. On a positive note my ride this morning was accompanied by some colts (baby horses) pacing me along the fence line. I'll have to try and remember to get a picture of them doing that tomorrow.
I ride and take pictures. Met a group that rides 6 days a week. That is how I get all the miles.

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Old 04-23-14, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Cwtowns
I do have a bottle and cage. I also drank a bunch of water before I rode. I did not eat anything beforehand, I thought it would be best to just eat when I got back home. I'll try a snack before I ride tomorrow.

MatCartMill, surprisingly enough the saddle didn't hurt a bit, perhaps because of the bibs I was wearing. I'm hoping it will stay that way.
Sounds like a good diagnosis!

My legs burn when my blood sugar gets low.
The better shape I'm in the longer I can go w/o eating. Water is a necessity for me, surprisingly large quantities.
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Old 04-23-14, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
2nd year 15,953 miles....rode this in 57 days.

PRETTY FREAKING AWESOME!

I've met people who do mileage like that.
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Old 04-23-14, 07:44 AM
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