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How many miles is a "good ride"?

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How many miles is a "good ride"?

Old 07-15-19, 08:01 AM
  #51  
billyymc
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I'll give you an example of a bad ride I did recently. Four of us started at 6:30 am this past July 5. The plan was to ride 101 miles, with 10,500 feet of climbing.

At the start of the ride the temperature was about 74 degrees, and humidity was 90 to 95%. The air felt hot and oppressive with that humidity and as soon as we started up we were drenched with sweat.

We had 33 miles before our first ability to fill up liquids, and that 33 miles had about 4200 feet of climbing. Some of it as steep as 16-17% gradient, some of it sustained grades of 8 or 9% for a couple miles. The first guy dropped at our first stop with bad lower back pain. He had about 5 miles back to the start.

Three of us continued the next leg of the ride as the temperatures climbed through the 80's. By mile 50 it was about 90 degrees and while the first leg of the ride had a lot of shade the second had very little. Rider 2 dropped at mile 50, with about 10 miles to ride back to the start. I gave him some of my water because he was running low and I knew I'd be able to resupply soon. He got lost on his way back, and also got a flat a mile from the start.

As me and the other remaining rider continued the heat clicked even a bit higher to low 90's, with a fair amount of humidity pushing the heat index to about 98. At the top of a long very sun exposed climb I felt like my body was just roasting. I noticed I wasn't really sweating. Not good. I tried hard to drink more, and after two more climbs we descended into a small town where we could resupply. I was ready to call it quits...the heat was just murder. I slowly poured a liter of ice cold water over my head, neck, back, and quads. Drank some cold water and had some food. Decided to try the next hill - a 1.2 mile avg 8% with a couple spots of 12-13%. Made it up fine but at the top my body was once again roasting. Rode two more climbs before throwing in the towel at mile 73. Had about 9 miles back to the start. I finished with 82 miles and about 9,000 feet of climbing.

The last rider standing continued the planned route. Three more decent sized climbs - one just pointed right at the sun the entire way. He made it through the three climbs and stopped near my house where I resupplied him with water and Gatorade. He had about 12 miles to go, with minimal climbing involved, but decided to reroute a bit so he'd be near more people if he collapsed in the last hour of his ride. The heat index was over 100 by now.

Worst ride I've ever experienced. The route was awful - not only was it difficult but there was nothing redeeming about it. No great views, no interesting sights, no good food stops, no place to take a quick dip in a cool creek...nothing. The heat was miserable and we should have postponed the ride. On a day with temps in the 70's I think we would have had at least 3 finishers...but the route was awful anyway.

That, was a bad ride. Nothing was fun about it.
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Old 07-15-19, 10:22 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
I'll give you an example of a bad ride I did recently. Four of us started at 6:30 am this past July 5. The plan was to ride 101 miles, with 10,500 feet of climbing.

At the start of the ride the temperature was about 74 degrees, and humidity was 90 to 95%. The air felt hot and oppressive with that humidity and as soon as we started up we were drenched with sweat.

We had 33 miles before our first ability to fill up liquids, and that 33 miles had about 4200 feet of climbing. Some of it as steep as 16-17% gradient, some of it sustained grades of 8 or 9% for a couple miles. The first guy dropped at our first stop with bad lower back pain. He had about 5 miles back to the start.

Three of us continued the next leg of the ride as the temperatures climbed through the 80's. By mile 50 it was about 90 degrees and while the first leg of the ride had a lot of shade the second had very little. Rider 2 dropped at mile 50, with about 10 miles to ride back to the start. I gave him some of my water because he was running low and I knew I'd be able to resupply soon. He got lost on his way back, and also got a flat a mile from the start.

As me and the other remaining rider continued the heat clicked even a bit higher to low 90's, with a fair amount of humidity pushing the heat index to about 98. At the top of a long very sun exposed climb I felt like my body was just roasting. I noticed I wasn't really sweating. Not good. I tried hard to drink more, and after two more climbs we descended into a small town where we could resupply. I was ready to call it quits...the heat was just murder. I slowly poured a liter of ice cold water over my head, neck, back, and quads. Drank some cold water and had some food. Decided to try the next hill - a 1.2 mile avg 8% with a couple spots of 12-13%. Made it up fine but at the top my body was once again roasting. Rode two more climbs before throwing in the towel at mile 73. Had about 9 miles back to the start. I finished with 82 miles and about 9,000 feet of climbing.

The last rider standing continued the planned route. Three more decent sized climbs - one just pointed right at the sun the entire way. He made it through the three climbs and stopped near my house where I resupplied him with water and Gatorade. He had about 12 miles to go, with minimal climbing involved, but decided to reroute a bit so he'd be near more people if he collapsed in the last hour of his ride. The heat index was over 100 by now.

Worst ride I've ever experienced. The route was awful - not only was it difficult but there was nothing redeeming about it. No great views, no interesting sights, no good food stops, no place to take a quick dip in a cool creek...nothing. The heat was miserable and we should have postponed the ride. On a day with temps in the 70's I think we would have had at least 3 finishers...but the route was awful anyway.

That, was a bad ride. Nothing was fun about it.
I think that would make me give up riding. I am in Central Florida and if you don't start the ride early it can be miserable. If I can continue riding in the 90 plus heat, when October rolls around and it is "only" in the 80's, I will be in heaven.

Update: 12 rides in July, 120 miles. Can't wait for cooler weather
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Old 07-15-19, 11:23 AM
  #53  
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I agree, every ride is a good ride. We are in the process of moving to a temporary rental home. It is only six tenths of a mile from our home of 22 years. A couple of weeks ago my blood clots came back, in my legs and lungs. Right now, the short ride to our two "homes" is pure joy for me. A good ride.
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Old 07-15-19, 11:41 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
I'll give you an example of a bad ride I did recently. Four of us started at 6:30 am this past July 5. The plan was to ride 101 miles, with 10,500 feet of climbing.

At the start of the ride the temperature was about 74 degrees, and humidity was 90 to 95%. The air felt hot and oppressive with that humidity and as soon as we started up we were drenched with sweat.

We had 33 miles before our first ability to fill up liquids, and that 33 miles had about 4200 feet of climbing. Some of it as steep as 16-17% gradient, some of it sustained grades of 8 or 9% for a couple miles. The first guy dropped at our first stop with bad lower back pain. He had about 5 miles back to the start.

Three of us continued the next leg of the ride as the temperatures climbed through the 80's. By mile 50 it was about 90 degrees and while the first leg of the ride had a lot of shade the second had very little. Rider 2 dropped at mile 50, with about 10 miles to ride back to the start. I gave him some of my water because he was running low and I knew I'd be able to resupply soon. He got lost on his way back, and also got a flat a mile from the start.

As me and the other remaining rider continued the heat clicked even a bit higher to low 90's, with a fair amount of humidity pushing the heat index to about 98. At the top of a long very sun exposed climb I felt like my body was just roasting. I noticed I wasn't really sweating. Not good. I tried hard to drink more, and after two more climbs we descended into a small town where we could resupply. I was ready to call it quits...the heat was just murder. I slowly poured a liter of ice cold water over my head, neck, back, and quads. Drank some cold water and had some food. Decided to try the next hill - a 1.2 mile avg 8% with a couple spots of 12-13%. Made it up fine but at the top my body was once again roasting. Rode two more climbs before throwing in the towel at mile 73. Had about 9 miles back to the start. I finished with 82 miles and about 9,000 feet of climbing.

The last rider standing continued the planned route. Three more decent sized climbs - one just pointed right at the sun the entire way. He made it through the three climbs and stopped near my house where I resupplied him with water and Gatorade. He had about 12 miles to go, with minimal climbing involved, but decided to reroute a bit so he'd be near more people if he collapsed in the last hour of his ride. The heat index was over 100 by now.

Worst ride I've ever experienced. The route was awful - not only was it difficult but there was nothing redeeming about it. No great views, no interesting sights, no good food stops, no place to take a quick dip in a cool creek...nothing. The heat was miserable and we should have postponed the ride. On a day with temps in the 70's I think we would have had at least 3 finishers...but the route was awful anyway.

That, was a bad ride. Nothing was fun about it.
That was me last weekend. A true heat/sufferfest. Over 100 degrees for most of the ride, and a good section of it into a hot headwind. I had to stop twice on one climb, and three times on the other, all due from cramps in my inner thighs. OMG.

We finally finished the last climb, stopped for a drink and sitting down, I got insane cramps in both legs, both feet, both calves, and my hands. Ouch.

The company was great and it was nice to get out. But rides like that are no bueno. No bueno for your ego, no bueno for your body, no bueno for anything. There are times I think I am getting too old for this crap.
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Old 07-15-19, 12:03 PM
  #55  
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Agree with the majority of the other posts...it's a very personal thing. Plus, it varies with time of year. In the winter in NJ, 30-35 is fine for me. In the summer, I want to do at least 50. My only suggestion would be to try and increase your mileage (either your longest single ride or weekly total) about 10% each week. That's a very reasonable amount that won't add too much stress to your body but will keep you progressing. At some point you'll find your happy spot (25, 40, 50, 100, more?) and stay there. Might also help to join a club and ride with a group.
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Old 07-15-19, 12:19 PM
  #56  
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I agree with the others, a good ride is what's good for you.

Yes, there are a lot of cyclists who are snobby and judgmental. Don't let them bother you or affect your enjoyment of the activity. I think if you just ride regularly and not worry about what others think that you'll lose weight, lower your bp, and just generally get healthier.
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Old 07-15-19, 12:26 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
That was me last weekend. A true heat/sufferfest. Over 100 degrees for most of the ride, and a good section of it into a hot headwind. I had to stop twice on one climb, and three times on the other, all due from cramps in my inner thighs. OMG..
A few years ago I did the Hwy 39/Angeles Crest loop on a hot day. I tried to ration my water early instead of stopping for fear of losing the group. Some time after Newcomb Ranch I got sick. Tiger gave me something, a Prilosec maybe, and the nausea just got worse. I suffered and struggled all the way back to Encanto where I could hardly walk a few steps without feeling like I was going to hurl. Brain wasn't working and I had trouble driving to 7-11 for a Coke.
One of my worst days on the bike, I was 11 pounds lighter when I got home. I never want to feel like that again.

I think it was 2 weeks later we did it again and I gorged on the water and Ken sagged at the top of Cloudburst with ice cold drinks and I felt great.
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Old 07-15-19, 12:43 PM
  #58  
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Authorities suggest at least twenty minutes exercise performed at least three times per week;
check Wikipedia for Aerobic exercise.
On a fat bike, pedaling about as hard as I can sustain for half an hour, that amounts to around 7 miles.
My Pulsar V800 and heart rate monitor agree that is a good workout..
10 miles sounds about right for a road bike.
Here in the South Carolina Low Country between May and October, that wants to be completed before 9AM.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:02 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
Just starting to get into riding for fun and fitness. I am 58, 6'1 and 240 and a smoker with high blood pressure. So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides. Somedays I can do 12 and some days I am struggling to do 8. When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.

So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?

Also, would love to hear from anyone who has a success story about lowering blood pressure through riding, need the inspiration.

Please no "quit smoking" comments, I have heard them all and agree with them. Thanks
First of all, good for you!!! The important thing to remember is that you are moving and not sitting on the couch!
I agree with everyone who tells you that any amount of miles is a good ride. Just that fact alone should motivate you to keep going!

Good luck, and be safe.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:40 PM
  #60  
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“They are all good rides, Brent.”
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Old 07-15-19, 02:08 PM
  #61  
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“Good Bike Ride”

Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
Just starting to get into riding for fun and fitness. I am 58, 6'1 and 240 and a smoker with high blood pressure. So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides. Somedays I can do 12 and some days I am struggling to do 8. When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.

So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?

Also, would love to hear from anyone who has a success story about lowering blood pressure through riding, need the inspiration.

Please no "quit smoking" comments, I have heard them all and agree with them. Thanks
A good ride is that time you goose to mount your bike and just start pedaling away from stress, boost your immunity and help control your blood sugars, high blood pressure with the added bonus of endorphins making you feel just like when you first started riding your bike!
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Old 07-15-19, 02:15 PM
  #62  
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Just about a year ago I weighed 220 lbs (57 yrs old / 5' 10"). I decided to start riding. Today I'm 163 lbs. Just start and do what you are comfortable doing and work from there. Think more in terms of time than distance. If you can do around 6 - 10 hr/week, the weight will melt away. Today I do distances and pace that I did not think I was capable of when I first started riding.
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Old 07-15-19, 02:26 PM
  #63  
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On the subject of blood pressure, that's an incredibly complex system. No one solution anyone offers you is guaranteed to work for you, since none of us can tell what's keep your BP high. For me, the best thing that happened for my BP was getting in a motorcycle wreck. Since that was my only transport, I had to start walking, biking, and taking the bus. Between the extra physical activity and the lower stress from not driving (driving sucks), I knocked almost 30 points off my systolic.

But, like I said, there's no way for us non doctors who aren't looking at your chart to say what's triggering your hypertension. Exercise, diet, age, smoking, stress, genetics... basically, see your doctor.
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Old 07-15-19, 02:27 PM
  #64  
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I've always been physically and outdoor active growing up. Long story short, back in 1998 I injured myself one night during a time I was playing competitive v-ball on a weekly basis. What started as a muscle strain morphed into sciatica issues (if you've never had that, my suggestion is "Don't!" It can be very painful and debilitating I realized I had to give up any high impact sports I was doing (v-ball, basketball, downhill skiing, hiking/backpacking, and so on). Since I knew I'd go crazy without any exercise, I went out and bought a mtn. bike and started riding.

In my early riding phase, I was lucky to make it thru a 6 mi. ride on relatively flat terrain once, maybe twice, a week. Over time, tho, I found I wasn't feeling like I wanted to and started to increase my distance. And then I started to increase the number of days I rode each week. As I write this, 1st thing in the morning as soon as the sun starts to rise, I am doing 3 rides/week, 2 of which are 12 mi. and the middle one is ~30, so abt 55 mi./week, and I feel great (and feel crappy when I don't get enuf riding in). I also am getting back into hiking and doing 5+ miles on Sat. morning and hope to try a backpack trip at the end of summer for the 1st time in abt 15 years. Can't wait!!.

As a side note, ironically, my sciatica actually went away ~5 years ago because of a spill I took on my bike

In short, for my tl;dr posting the moral of my story is: Listen to your body. It will tell you what is a good ride for you. Every so often, tho, push your limits and see how you feel. Let your body and sense of well being be both a guide and inspiration for your bike rides. It certainly has worked for me. Make a commitment and go for it!!!

One other side note: I turned 66 yrs. young a few months back and, as it has been for me with each passing decade, I feel better now than I did in the previous one.
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Old 07-15-19, 02:36 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
Sounds to me like you're doing GREAT.

To me, the right amount of riding is whatever makes you want to go again after the ride is over. When you're starting up a new challenging activity, maintaining your own motivation is key. So I'd say do what's fun and feels good to you. That could be: keeping stats or not. Riding hills or flat. Riding group or solo. Riding for challenge or riding to get out and about. Riding roads or trails. Riding upright or aero. Riding five miles or fifty. Seriously, whatever does it for you and keeps you coming back for more, that's the right amount IMO.

Perfect advice, perfectly stated.
I'll second this advice, that maintining a balance between enjoying it while being eager to doing again the next day (or whatever you schedule allows) is a great place to start. As I like to say, "You be you".
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Old 07-15-19, 07:22 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
A few years ago I did the Hwy 39/Angeles Crest loop on a hot day. I tried to ration my water early instead of stopping for fear of losing the group. Some time after Newcomb Ranch I got sick. Tiger gave me something, a Prilosec maybe, and the nausea just got worse. I suffered and struggled all the way back to Encanto where I could hardly walk a few steps without feeling like I was going to hurl. Brain wasn't working and I had trouble driving to 7-11 for a Coke.
One of my worst days on the bike, I was 11 pounds lighter when I got home. I never want to feel like that again.

I think it was 2 weeks later we did it again and I gorged on the water and Ken sagged at the top of Cloudburst with ice cold drinks and I felt great.
Good times, eh?

Yours sounds even worse than mine. I never felt nauseous ... just weak as a kitten. You really have to dig deep when you feel like that ... I can't imagine going all the way back to Encanto, doing those ups and downs, and into a headwind. Yikes.

At one time or another, we've all been there. Robyn actually got a photo of my sufferage at the top of Dillin Divide. She had plenty of time to whip the her camera out ... I barely struggled up to this point.

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Old 07-15-19, 07:46 PM
  #67  
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A good ride

I don't categorize my rides by miles, necessarily, but really by what I feel like, what I see on the ride, who I'm with, if anyone, and the time spent on my bike and off of it, during a ride. However, sometimes, the idea will pop into my head that I should try to do a specific mileage for fun. Like, when I turned 40, I wanted to try a 40 mile ride, just to see what it felt like. It seemed really far at the time. Now a 40 mile ride is a nice ride to Concord, MA to hang out and have some iced coffee and a muffin at Main Streets Cafe and chat with cyclists from far and wide across the Boston metro area. I enjoy stopping at historical markers to see where the British troops lost some of their own on a country road, and discovering hidden history and even amazing nature sightings along the way. One morning I saw a young deer nestled in the shadow of an old tombstone in a Sudbury cemetery. I stopped to see if it was injured, and it got up and ran across the road into the woods. Another morning along the side of the road along a wildlife preserve was a giant snapping turtle mama just watching us ride by as it laid her eggs along the side of the road.

Another weekend I wanted to see what it felt like to ride up mount Wachusett, which is about 50 miles from home. I didn't realize how hard the climb would be, but I felt like I was humbled by a mountain that wasn't nearly as tall as Mount Washington, so I realize that I've got a ways to go. The sense of logical progression in a pursuit of personal excellence is what cycling is all about to me. To be more proficient at cycling, to enjoy each pedal stroke, to marvel at the way my body and bike combine with the earth and wind and horizon to achieve a harmony that had to be written long ago by an ancient philosopher. A good ride to me is surviving an encounter with a giant truck trying to pass me on a narrow road, then slamming on its brakes next to me in a deafening screech and smoke cloud. When I come out of something like that with my nerves bolstered and my body full of adrenaline, I feel a kind of relief that I will live to ride another day.

And to ride on different bikes of different eras is always a thrill. Whether it be a 1970 Raleigh Grand Prix on my way to the library, or a 1989 Specialized Street Stomper picking up some coffee and groceries, or gliding about on my Cannondale on a 98 mile endurance test, all are satisfying and wonderfully gratifying in their own rite. I love cycling, and to me every mile is precious.
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Old 07-15-19, 07:51 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Good times, eh?

Yours sounds even worse than mine. I never felt nauseous ... just weak as a kitten. You really have to dig deep when you feel like that ... I can't imagine going all the way back to Encanto, doing those ups and downs, and into a headwind. Yikes.

At one time or another, we've all been there. Robyn actually got a photo of my sufferage at the top of Dillin Divide. She had plenty of time to whip the her camera out ... I barely struggled up to this point.
Never saw you looking like that! One time years ago I had tonsillitis and started the ride feeling sick and we went over Mill Creek Summit into a cold headwind. 6 miles of climbing without the right clothes. They waited for me at the top and remarked how bad I looked. Another bad ride!

Another time we climbed to Camp 9 on the dirt road from Santa Clarita. Near the top the temperature dropped and it started snowing and again, I didn't have any extra layers. Coldest I've ever been on a ride and I got hypothermia and sick again. Bad ride.
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Old 07-15-19, 08:04 PM
  #69  
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Stay Consistant!

Any ride is a good ride! I’m 61 and just got back into road cycling last October after a 15 year layoff. Since then my distance and speed have come back up. When I ride now I try to do at least 20 miles per ride.I did have a problem with high BP buts it’s been under control, without meds, by losing weight, going to the gym 2-3 times per week and cycling an average of 66 miles per week. Just keep going and things will improve for you!
Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
Just starting to get into riding for fun and fitness. I am 58, 6'1 and 240 and a smoker with high blood pressure. So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides. Somedays I can do 12 and some days I am struggling to do 8. When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.

So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?

Also, would love to hear from anyone who has a success story about lowering blood pressure through riding, need the inspiration.

Please no "quit smoking" comments, I have heard them all and agree with them. Thanks
V
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Old 07-15-19, 10:33 PM
  #70  
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See a doctor.....

Originally Posted by ucfdad View Post
Just starting to get into riding for fun and fitness. I am 58, 6'1 and 240 and a smoker with high blood pressure. So far in July I have ridden 60 miles in 7 rides. Somedays I can do 12 and some days I am struggling to do 8. When I tell a non cyclist I did 8 miles they are like "wow that is great". When I say I rode 8 to a cyclist, I get a much less positive reaction.

So, when first starting what should be considered a good ride? How much did you ride at the beginning?

Also, would love to hear from anyone who has a success story about lowering blood pressure through riding, need the inspiration.

Please no "quit smoking" comments, I have heard them all and agree with them. Thanks
.

See a doctor or before you do anything else...you are a heart attack waiting to happen.
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Old 07-16-19, 04:44 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by sanchan View Post
.

See a doctor or before you do anything else...you are a heart attack waiting to happen.
All I can say is wow! Thanks for your words of inspiration. I think I know you, you are the cyclist that dismissed me as an amateur when I told you I rode 8 miles. You must be a lot of fun at parties.

i am under the care of a primary care doctor and a cardiologist.
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Old 07-16-19, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Steeler_fanatic View Post
Just about a year ago I weighed 220 lbs (57 yrs old / 5' 10"). I decided to start riding. Today I'm 163 lbs. Just start and do what you are comfortable doing and work from there. Think more in terms of time than distance. If you can do around 6 - 10 hr/week, the weight will melt away. Today I do distances and pace that I did not think I was capable of when I first started riding.
Thanks and congrats on the weight loss.
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Old 07-16-19, 06:21 AM
  #73  
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If you're riding at all, then it is, by definition, "good" !
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Old 07-16-19, 06:47 AM
  #74  
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Morning, You have received a number of comments, I will add one more it is up to you as to the merit of my "story".
5/25/18 heart attack (post some cancer issues unrelated) at age 56, 6'2", 290#'s and less than active.
6/25/18 rode 40 minutes at a leisurely pace on a one speed beach cruiser-lived at Jacksonville Beach at that time.
8/20/18 rode 13.4 miles in 62 minutes
10/27/18 16 miles in 66 minutes
12/2/18 20.25 miles at 14.8mph for the entire ride
2/2/19 22.5 miles at 16.1 mph (new bike in Feb)
4/27/19 32 miles at 17.8 mph
5/27/19 rode my birthday of 58 miles!!
etc etc etc,

I track every day I work out, I do the gym some days, some days I lay up because i don't "feel it", on average I work out 5-6 days a week. The summer in FL SUCKS for riding, I ride at 430 in the morning.

yes I have lost over 40 pounds, my bp has dropped, my resting heart rate is usually low 60's, and during my every three week visit to dr (cancer issue) the commentary about BP etc is usually positive.

Some rides are wonderful near magic and some just are WORK!

Only you get to decide to work out today or not, yesterday's choice doesn't matter to todays choice, You get to decide what is good or bad, the fact you wondering tells me you are on track.

Ride Safe!
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Old 07-16-19, 01:58 PM
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My goal each ride is to go over 10. If I hid 12 or 15, I'm ecstatic !!!!
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