Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Newbie - things I've learned

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Newbie - things I've learned

Old 12-02-15, 02:04 PM
  #1  
Rubble
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 63

Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Newbie - things I've learned

Got back on a bike at 60 years old and have 5 months and 869 miles (exactly according to mapmyfitness) logged. Here's a few things I've learned

1. As many of you told me, time in the saddle solves paddle soreness. In the beginning I was wondering if I could put up with it. Now there's few roads I will avoid.

2. The more you ride, the easier it gets. I try to ride at least 20 or so miles every other day (M-W-F) with a longer ride on the weekend. If I skip the Wednesday morning ride the Friday ride feels twice as long and slow.

3. Some car drivers have an irrational hatred of cyclists. I ride at 5:30 in the morning when there is no one out. Just this morning a car passed so close I could have touched it even though it was just he and I on the road. I was in the bike lane. Little space please?

4. Anticipating when you'll need to be unclipped from the pedal goes a long way in avoiding the sideways flop on the ground.

5. Flat tires suck. Haven't had one but a guy stopped me asking if I had the tools. He'd left them on his workbench when repacking his tire repair bag after his last flat. Just watching him was painful.

6. Riding in a group makes longer rides easier. I ride mostly alone and the 'this is far enough' gremlins sometimes speak loudly. When in a group those gremlins keep there mouths shut.

7. Riding with your back to traffic requires a lot of faith in humanity.

8. While I'd never wear fluorescent yellow shirts to the mall, I will while riding on roads (since my faith in humanity is not 100%)

9. Don't trust any dog. Be especially wary of dogs on those 20' extender leashes.

10. Passing another rider (I average around 13 so its not often) feels kinda good.

11. Wind sucks. I don't care if it helps in one direction it still sucks.

12. The ability to look behind you without veering in the direction of the head turn is valuable.

13. Bikes accumulate a lot of gunk in the running gear

14. Cops will not always forgive your running a stop sign even when you slow way down at 6 am with no traffic on the road. No ticket but a stern warning from a 20 something kid cop.

I'm sure I still have more to learn but just thought I'd share. You guys have given me some good suggestions as I read this forum.
Rubble is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 03:10 PM
  #2  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,643

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by Rubble View Post
Got back on a bike at 60 years old and have 5 months and 869 miles (exactly according to mapmyfitness) logged. Here's a few things I've learned


7. Riding with your back to traffic requires a lot of faith in humanity.

12. The ability to look behind you without veering in the direction of the head turn is valuable.
15. A rear view mirror is your friend!
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 03:28 PM
  #3  
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
15. A rear view mirror is your friend!
Well, maybe. In the first place, the ability to look around while holding your line is a valuable skill. If you can't do it (I'm sure you, personally, can) you aren't really safe on the bike, imo, and need to think twice about riding in traffic. In the second place, I've never really understood what you're supposed to do if you're riding in a straight line and see in your mirror that a car is approaching from behind. Throw yourself into the grass verge? Where I ride, cars pass at highish speeds all the time. Imagining they'll run into me isn't productive.

That's not to discourage people from using mirrors if they find them helpful. But vehicles approaching from the rear are not, for the most part, intending to run into you - and if they are, having a mirror ain't likely to make much difference.

OP, enjoy it. And fixing a flat is easy. Maybe the guy you watched lacked experience.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 03:29 PM
  #4  
leob1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle of the road, NJ
Posts: 2,971
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Rubble View Post
Got back on a bike at 60 years old and have 5 months and 869 miles (exactly according to mapmyfitness) logged. Here's a few things I've learned

8. While I'd never wear fluorescent yellow shirts to the mall, I will while riding on roads (since my faith in humanity is not 100%)
Not only have I worn my fluorescent jacket and tights in Wal-mart, I've also worn them to a local bar\restaurant.
leob1 is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 03:44 PM
  #5  
Aubergine 
Bad example
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Seattle and Reims
Posts: 2,930
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 771 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Well, maybe. In the first place, the ability to look around while holding your line is a valuable skill. If you can't do it (I'm sure you, personally, can) you aren't really safe on the bike, imo, and need to think twice about riding in traffic. In the second place, I've never really understood what you're supposed to do if you're riding in a straight line and see in your mirror that a car is approaching from behind. Throw yourself into the grass verge? Where I ride, cars pass at highish speeds all the time. Imagining they'll run into me isn't productive.

That's not to discourage people from using mirrors if they find them helpful. But vehicles approaching from the rear are not, for the most part, intending to run into you - and if they are, having a mirror ain't likely to make much difference.
See, bicycles do NOT ride in a straight line. I frequently want to change my line a bit to avoid junk/cars/car doors/dogs/etc. when I do that, having a mirror makes it MUCH easier to see what is behind while still keeping an eye to the front.
Aubergine is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 04:11 PM
  #6  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,643

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Well, maybe. In the first place, the ability to look around while holding your line is a valuable skill. If you can't do it (I'm sure you, personally, can) you aren't really safe on the bike, imo, and need to think twice about riding in traffic. In the second place, I've never really understood what you're supposed to do if you're riding in a straight line and see in your mirror that a car is approaching from behind. Throw yourself into the grass verge? Where I ride, cars pass at highish speeds all the time. Imagining they'll run into me isn't productive.

That's not to discourage people from using mirrors if they find them helpful. But vehicles approaching from the rear are not, for the most part, intending to run into you - and if they are, having a mirror ain't likely to make much difference.

OP, enjoy it. And fixing a flat is easy. Maybe the guy you watched lacked experience.
They are handy for all kinds of reasons:

1. Lane Control and Release: A technique where when you observe a car a long distance behind you that suspect is about about to close pass you, you move to the left to reserve your space. When the car begins to pass, you move right to the safe space. Essentially, you've reserved a space for you that you later use. I did this just last week to avoid a close pass.

2. I have observed autos drifting over into my lane on a few occasions before. On most of those occasions, I had an escape route I that I would have taken if necessary. A mirror not only gave me advance warning to do that, but also revealed that it wasn't necessary, when they moved back into their lane. BTW, yes ... if necessary ... throw yourself into the grass. It is what I intend to do.

3. Even if all they do is inform you that you are about to be close passed, that is valuable information, so you aren't startled about it.

4. Other stuff: I've had tandems pass me on the right () while descending. With a mirror, I saw them and knew not to weave right to avoid the pothole that appeared in front of me. Not possible without a rear view mirror.
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 04:14 PM
  #7  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,643

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 29 Posts
Here is a link to a specific example of how using a rear view mirror was beneficial for me on a particular ride.

http://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus...l#post16739164
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 04:28 PM
  #8  
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
They are handy for all kinds of reasons:

1. Lane Control and Release: A technique where when you observe a car a long distance behind you that suspect is about about to close pass you, you move to the left to reserve your space. When the car begins to pass, you move right to the safe space. Essentially, you've reserved a space for you that you later use. I did this just last week to avoid a close pass.

2. I have observed autos drifting over into my lane on a few occasions before. On most of those occasions, I had an escape route I that I would have taken if necessary. A mirror not only gave me advance warning to do that, but also revealed that it wasn't necessary, when they moved back into their lane. BTW, yes ... if necessary ... throw yourself into the grass. It is what I intend to do.

3. Even if all they do is inform you that you are about to be close passed, that is valuable information, so you aren't startled about it.

4. Other stuff: I've had tandems pass me on the right () while descending. With a mirror, I saw them and knew not to weave right to avoid the pothole that appeared in front of me. Not possible without a rear view mirror.
I'm not arguing that people shouldn't use them. However ...

1. I take the lane all the time. When I hear or see a car approaching from behind, I may yield space to let it pass. There's never an occasion for me to move into the lane to "reserve space" because I'm already there.

2. OK. But in all honesty, cars are often passing me with such frequency that were I to try to observe all of their approaches I'd never be able to look at the road ahead. And the number of cyclists that are hit from behind (in this country) is tiny, fewer than 3% of the already very small number of fatalities occur this way.

3. I'm not startled. I'm largely indifferent. Like I said, it's so frequent an occurrence as to be trivial.

4. Er, negligible. If a tandem is so foolish as to pass you on the wrong side, it's at their own risk. It's exotically rare, and I'm unconvinced that I'd be safer when approaching a pothole at speed were I to be looking in my mirror.

Look, I'm not against mirrors. My response to your post was mainly a reaction against the implication that having one was a free pass on being able to look around while holding a straight course. It isn't, imo.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 04:33 PM
  #9  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,643

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 29 Posts
No worries. To each, their own. Maybe it's a matter of different conditions in which we are riding. In the HooDoo example, I would not personally take the lane in that situation, and the number of approaching cars was minimal.

And you're right ... mirror or not, you've got to learn to look behind yourself over your shoulder while holding your line.
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 04:41 PM
  #10  
YogaKat
Padawan
 
YogaKat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 838

Bikes: Orbea Mitis Dama, Bridgestone Sirius, Cranbrook Cruiser, Cheap Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
@Rubble Very nice list and I can relate.

I would like to add one I've learned from my own personal experience.
"Helmets can mean the difference between a mild concussion and possible massive brain injury."

DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to start a helmet debate, just my personal choice.
YogaKat is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 04:59 PM
  #11  
Wheever 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Stamford, CT; Pownal, VT
Posts: 1,141

Bikes: 2015 Trek Domane 6 disk, 2016 Scott Big Jon Fat Bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
16: A daytime (BRIGHT) taillight and front flasher go a REALLY long way to making you visible to cars, especially in bright low-angle winter sun.

Since adopting the front flasher, I haven't had anyone pull out in front of me in hundreds of miles; And since getting the Flare-R, cars tend to give me an extra 2-3 feet when passing.

I highly recommend daytime lights for safety!
Wheever is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 05:06 PM
  #12  
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 12,444

Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760, '87 Miyata 712

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
@Rubble that's quite a list. I hope none of what you listed makes for a bad ride or discourages you from enjoying such a great activity that cycling is.

I've been a rider of the open road ("fogliner") since high school and throughout my life. At 58yrs of age and seeing others ill of health and some dying or gone has made me appreciate life and the little things we do that have exponential returns on time invested.
OldsCOOL is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 08:28 PM
  #13  
qcpmsame 
Semper Fi
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Barrineau Park, Florida
Posts: 12,512

Bikes: '80 Medici Pro Strada, '86 Tommasini Prestige, '12 CAAD 10 Ultegra

Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Liked 42 Times in 38 Posts
Very good thread, Rubble, pretty comprehensive list you have built up. It will grow as you ride more. Mirrors, I use them, others, like Chas, if you didn't catch that, (joke, irony, please don't castr......, er castigate me) don't like using them. Build your own conclusion, but do get used to a sense of balance when you look back, it will be handy to have that ability.

I am one of those that has had cycling quite literally save my life, after all the surgeries, Parkinson's and Kidney disease, etc, riding got me back to where am in a state of decent health. Stick with it, and stay around here, these folks are some of the best cyber, and real life friends you'll have.

Bill
__________________
I Didn't Choose To Have Parkinson's Disease, I Have Chosen Not To Allow It To Define How I Live
Life Member "Hairy Eared Engineer's Society"
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ, Whom Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13
qcpmsame is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 09:25 PM
  #14  
Rubble
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 63

Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
@Rubble that's quite a list. I hope none of what you listed makes for a bad ride or discourages you from enjoying such a great activity that cycling is.
Nope, none of it is discouraging. Just things I've learned to deal with in order to have this enjoyment. Seems there's always some pain with any enjoyment.

My weekly miles keep increasing and riding has more and more dedicated time in my schedule.

If if I were to give that list to non-riders it would scare them away. You guys understand.
Rubble is offline  
Old 12-02-15, 11:52 PM
  #15  
nobodyhere
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Still looking for myself
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
17. One now knows the location of every porta-potty, public and other restrooms on the route, not by-passing any.
nobodyhere is offline  
Old 12-03-15, 05:08 AM
  #16  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,782
Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 647 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by Rubble View Post
Got back on a bike at 60 years old and have 5 months and 869 miles (exactly according to mapmyfitness) logged. Here's a few things I've learned…

7. Riding with your back to traffic requires a lot of faith in humanity….

12. The ability to look behind you without veering in the direction of the head turn is valuable….

Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
15. A rear view mirror is your friend!
Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Well, maybe. In the first place, the ability to look around while holding your line is a valuable skill. If you can't do it (I'm sure you, personally, can) you aren't really safe on the bike, imo, and need to think twice about riding in traffic. In the second place, I've never really understood what you're supposed to do if you're riding in a straight line and see in your mirror that a car is approaching from behind. Throw yourself into the grass verge? Where I ride, cars pass at highish speeds all the time. Imagining they'll run into me isn't productive.

That's not to discourage people from using mirrors if they find them helpful. But vehicles approaching from the rear are not, for the most part, intending to run into you...

Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
I'm not arguing that people shouldn't use them. However…

Look, I'm not against mirrors. My response to your post was mainly a reaction against the implication that having one was a free pass on being able to look around while holding a straight course. It isn't, imo.
sigh

Thanks for your reply, @Biker395. It seems the naysayers dismiss the easy, nearly constant monitoring function of rearview mirrors. I wear two, right and left.

Originally Posted by Rubble View Post
Got back on a bike at 60 years old and have 5 months and 869 miles....

I'm sure I still have more to learn but just thought I'd share. You guys have given me some good suggestions as I read this forum.

Originally Posted by YogaKat View Post
@RubbleI would like to add one I've learned from my own personal experience.
"Helmets can mean the difference between a mild concussion and possible massive brain injury."

DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to start a helmet debate, just my personal choice.
BTW, @Rubble, here’s another thing to learn. Certain topics (like wearing rearview mirrors, wearing helmets, running red lights, listening to music while riding, and others) are likely to ignite a “popcorn” thread with many harangues back and forth, while the readership sits back and watches while eating popcorn as if watching an entertaining movie.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-03-15 at 11:37 AM.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 12-03-15, 06:12 AM
  #17  
YogaKat
Padawan
 
YogaKat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 838

Bikes: Orbea Mitis Dama, Bridgestone Sirius, Cranbrook Cruiser, Cheap Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
sigh

Thanks for your reply, @Biker395. It seems the naysayers dismiss the easy, nearly constant monitoring function of rearview mirrors. I wear two, right and left.


BTW, @Rubble, here’s another thing learn. Certain topics (like wearing rearview mirrors, wearing helmets, running red lights, listening to music while riding, and others) are likely to ignite a “popcorn” thread with many harangues back and forth, while the readership sits back and watches while eating popcorn as if watching an entertaining movie.
True story. BF is a magical place. Oh wait, that's Tahiti.
YogaKat is offline  
Old 12-03-15, 08:00 AM
  #18  
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 7,431

Bikes: Cervelo R3 Disc, Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace, Cannondle Tandem/Ultegra, Lynskey GR260 Ultegra

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 39 Posts
3.a. On every ride there is one vehicle that just does stupid stuff that I've learned to not let ruin my ride.
__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline  
Old 12-03-15, 08:51 AM
  #19  
FrenchFit 
The Left Coast, USA
 
FrenchFit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,733

Bikes: Bulls, Bianchi, Koga, Trek, Miyata

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 9 Posts
18. If you stop somewhere to eat, avoid fried foods.
FrenchFit is offline  
Old 12-03-15, 09:37 AM
  #20  
leob1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle of the road, NJ
Posts: 2,971
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by jppe View Post
3.a. On every ride there is at least one vehicle that just does stupid stuff that I've learned to not let ruin my ride.
Fixed it.
leob1 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
danmyersmn
Classic and Vintage Sales
1
07-07-18 04:29 PM
trebollini
Road Cycling
2
06-23-16 05:45 AM
Stacy
Northeast
2
09-06-07 05:02 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.