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Ride 2...What a difference a day makes!

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

Ride 2...What a difference a day makes!

Old 09-04-19, 05:26 PM
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jrhoneOC
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Ride 2...What a difference a day makes!

OK..so I'm off work this week, so I decided to take the trail ride again this morning. I know what to expect and I wanted to get out there again. This was an entirely different result. While I was on my 42 gear ALOT yesterday, I was only there a few times today. Learning WHEN to shift and being more efficient. Yesterday I was shifting too soon and ended up spinning my gears alot expending energy and then when I slowed down enough for that gear I had worked pretty hard getting nowhere. Today I shifted only when I needed to. A much better outcome...I was faster and before I knew it I was up those hills and still in 3rd or 4th gear. I was shocked that I kept dropping down and there was another gear there when I thought I was already at the lowest gear..then looked down and realized I had 2 or 3 more gears below the gear I was on and I was at the top of the climb. After 5 miles, I wasn't tired so I did another paved section for another 5 + miles. This was nice to get used to the shifting. Finger upshifts, thumb downshifts. My last mountain bike I had grip shifters put on so it was twist up or down, so I liked having the time to pedal and shift for a bit. I will hit it again tomorrow. Muscles are not sore at all so I dont think I am pushing it too hard.
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Old 09-04-19, 05:50 PM
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TakingMyTime
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It took my wife way too long to learn where and when to shift. But, now that she's finally listening to me she's really enjoying riding a lot more. In the beginning she was experiencing and doing exactly what you described above. Unfortunately it took a lot longer than it took you.

Go out and have a blast!
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Old 09-05-19, 10:37 AM
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Congrats! Sounds like you're finding what works for you. Not everyone takes hills the same, isn't it great when you find what works for you on your bike!
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Old 09-06-19, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
OK..so I'm off work this week, so I decided to take the trail ride again this morning. I know what to expect and I wanted to get out there again. This was an entirely different result. While I was on my 42 gear ALOT yesterday, I was only there a few times today. Learning WHEN to shift and being more efficient. Yesterday I was shifting too soon and ended up spinning my gears alot expending energy and then when I slowed down enough for that gear I had worked pretty hard getting nowhere. Today I shifted only when I needed to. A much better outcome...I was faster and before I knew it I was up those hills and still in 3rd or 4th gear. I was shocked that I kept dropping down and there was another gear there when I thought I was already at the lowest gear..then looked down and realized I had 2 or 3 more gears below the gear I was on and I was at the top of the climb. After 5 miles, I wasn't tired so I did another paved section for another 5 + miles. This was nice to get used to the shifting. Finger upshifts, thumb downshifts. My last mountain bike I had grip shifters put on so it was twist up or down, so I liked having the time to pedal and shift for a bit. I will hit it again tomorrow. Muscles are not sore at all so I dont think I am pushing it too hard.

ROCK-ON !!! or dirt-on and maybe road-on but just keep-on pedaling and ENJOY
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Old 09-06-19, 09:02 AM
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Thomas15
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Good to hear this.

I related in your other thread my personal experience. When I started back riding about a year ago I was riding my mountain bike. I call it a mountain bike but it's really a hybred. It has a triple chain ring and 8 speed rear. I'm not sure of the exact number of teeth but the rear is fairly wide, something like 14/32

Anyway, I started in the fall of last year and rode until it got cold then backed off until early April. For April and May I was strictly riding the rail trails on my hybred. I kept it almost always on the middle chain ring which is prolly something like a 26 or 28 I'm guessing. But once I started pushing myself I flipped to the large chain ring and haven't left it. So by mid May I was using the higher gears on that bike.

The 65 mile ride I participated in was fairly flat no big hills just a few small ones. For that ride of course I switched to my road bike. On that bike I have gearing 52/40 double chain ring, and a 7 speed freewheel 14/34 There is a huge gap between the 34 and the next lowest gear which is 27 teeth. During my 65 mile ride I never once used the small chain ring. Interestingly I found out 2 weeks after completing that ride that I had Lyme Disease. I just literally this week finished treatment for that condition.

There are a few things that you might consider learning about. I say this because you seem to be motivated and I know from experience this can become an addiction. The first is nutrition. This is not just for performance riders, all of us should be eating healthy. That is of course off the bike. But on the bike make sure you stay hydrated. Most of the time my rides are 20 miles or more so I have been taking with me energy gels and I think these are helpful. Also, I get leg cramps so I take stuff with me on rides to combat that also.

One of the things that I have struggled with is pulling hills on the road. By forcing myself to work them I'm slowly making progress. If nothing else I have much less fear of the hills.

Clothing. There are lots of options here but at some point soon you will be doing 20+ miles rides so consider some kind of riding paints. I personally use mountain bike shorts with chamois because I'm shy about spandex road shorts. I have a pair though and just put on a pair of light weight exercise shorts over top of them. Bike Jerseys actually make you cooler and more comfortable.

One other thing are bike shoes and cleats. As a kid I used toe clips and straps but I have clipless pedals now and really like them. Even on my road bikes I use mountain bike (SPD) pedals and shoes as they are easier to walk in when off the bike.

A helmet is a helmet but I made a impulse purchase of a decent 2nd helmet this one has what is called MIPS which is a system for making the helmet fit better. The one I have is made by Smith cost is somewhat expensive but I put the helmet on and ride all day never thinking about it until time to take it off. I'm still wearing el-cheapo fingerless gloves from Amazon though. It took me three (3) tries to find a saddle that I really like. Hated buying something and finding that it wasn't the best but now that I know what works for me it's really made a difference.

Other than that just keep at it my brother, you are on your way!
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