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Getting in riding shape

Old 11-19-20, 06:59 PM
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pepperbelly
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Getting in riding shape

I just retired at 62- really crappy timing covid.
I have a late Ď80s Raleigh road bike.
I am also about 260 pounds and quit smoking 2 years ago. I have started really watching what I eat.
For the past week I have been riding a loop tjrough my town that is about 1.5 miles in length to get my legs used to exercise again.
Today I doubled the length and tomorrow I will go further. I felt really good today. I plan on going 5 miles per day for a week depending on weather then trying for 10 miles per day or more.

How long until my butt and bike saddle become friends?
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Old 11-19-20, 09:21 PM
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It varies

Sometimes little tweaks to the saddle adjustment helps. Sometimes a new seat helps. A few weeks wouldn't be unusual. If it's just as uncomfortable after that I would definitely start tweaking.
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Old 11-19-20, 09:37 PM
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Oh forgot

Congratulations on retirement. I retired from medical microbiology in March right before it got serious. Our administrator changed and there were a lot of shenanigans, unethical practices, and unsafe practices happening.

I was hoping to be doing more in retirement but I'm so grateful not to go to that hellhole.

Also, if you are very out of shape a road bike might be a little ambitious. I can't ride a road bike anymore due to physical problems (neck and spine) and almost gave it up altogether.

But a few weeks ago I dusted off my "comfort" bike, and also have an old rigid frame mountain bike I've set up as an upright neighborhood cruiser. I'm still getting used to the seat but that part is coming along. I'm limiting my miles due to my knees, I had gotten up to 10 miles a day then my one knee started to pop. I'm going to stick to 3-5 miles a day for awhile.

Back in the day I would regularly ride 60-80 on my road bike but those days are over. The riding I'm doing now is actually helping my knees, I'm sure the tendon popping will resolve, it's already stopped with my shorter miles.

There is a thread in the vintage forum about converted vintage road bikes, you could make it a little more comfortable for your larger size, then convert it back later.
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Old 11-19-20, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by margoC View Post
Sometimes little tweaks to the saddle adjustment helps. Sometimes a new seat helps. A few weeks wouldn't be unusual. If it's just as uncomfortable after that I would definitely start tweaking.
+1

Just ride, don't worry about how fast or how far. Once a day, twice a day, twice a week, whatever. If you keep it fun, you'll keep it up.
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Old 11-20-20, 02:26 AM
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give your rearside two weeks (if riding 4-5x a week) to acclimate. stand on the pedals every ten minutes or so and count to 15
before sitting back down.
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Old 11-20-20, 05:00 AM
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Agree with the two weeks of frequent riding advice. If you are still uncomfortable after that, a good guide to setting your seat position is here. There are many YouTube videos out there, too.

Another thing might be doing some stretching. When I bought my new road bike in 2017, it came with a discounted professional fitting and the fitter said like many cyclists that "look like me" (I"m 63 and weigh 220) I had tight hip flexors and he recommended stretches like these. I wasn't really having discomfort before that, but after 6 months of doing those stretches a few times per week, I have way less aftereffects on my legs and butt on long (50 mile+) rides.

The final recommendation, if none of the above really works, is to get a professional fitting - you might have to wait until we emerge from Covid. But, that same fitting raised my seat height about .5 inches, got rid of the tilt I had in it. I had arrived at the seat positioning over many years of tweaking - and those changes immediately improved everything.
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Old 11-20-20, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
I just retired at 62- really crappy timing covid.
I have a late Ď80s Raleigh road bike.
I am also about 260 pounds and quit smoking 2 years ago. I have started really watching what I eat.
For the past week I have been riding a loop tjrough my town that is about 1.5 miles in length to get my legs used to exercise again.
Today I doubled the length and tomorrow I will go further. I felt really good today. I plan on going 5 miles per day for a week depending on weather then trying for 10 miles per day or more.

How long until my butt and bike saddle become friends?
Very cool you are doing this. Itís great exercise. I think your plan for building up the distance travelled is a good one.

I had a back operation at 62 and used riding as a way to lose weight (along with eating properly) and getting more fit. I too had to build up to 10 miles and beyond. Iím now 67, down at least 45 lbs from my peak and love riding.

I suggest you wear padded bicycle shorts all the time while riding. If it still hurts after a couple of weeks, take your bike to a lbs that sells nice road bikes and ask for some help with choosing a better saddle. They might also help with making sure the seat is positioned correctly.
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Old 11-20-20, 08:10 AM
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You don't mention what saddle is on your current bike. But one piece of advice that I think most here would agree on is that a too soft saddle won't be comfortable for anything but a very short ride. You want a saddle that is firm and supportive. Doesn't have to be hard as a brick, but not too soft either. Reason is-if too soft when you sit on it, your seat bones will sink into each side of the saddle, which in effect, has the center becoming higher, which is not what you want. Think of a pillow, push down with a space between your hands and note how the space between your hands is now higher. Same with a saddle. Won't go as far as recommending a saddle, as it is trial and error. Most of us have gone thru many before finding the right one for us. Might check with your LBS to see if they have any "trial" saddles for loan. LOTS of threads on saddles to be found. And some mfrs. offer a comfort guarantee-would be stated on their website.
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Old 11-20-20, 08:27 AM
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Do you fit comfortably on the bike?

What do you eat or avoid eating typically?

Buy some resistance bands on Amazon and watch some YouTube videos on how to use them. That will be an extremely worthwhile investment for anyone trying to get in shape.
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Old 11-20-20, 08:29 AM
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I tell this to everyone with a similar question.

Try not to put your entire weight on the saddle the entire time. Stand to coast. Unweight when you can if only a millimeter or two or three. Over time you will learn to unweight while pedaling, too.
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Old 11-20-20, 08:38 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
You don't mention what saddle is on your current bike. But one piece of advice that I think most here would agree on is that a too soft saddle won't be comfortable for anything but a very short ride. You want a saddle that is firm and supportive. Doesn't have to be hard as a brick, but not too soft either. Reason is-if too soft when you sit on it, your seat bones will sink into each side of the saddle, which in effect, has the center becoming higher, which is not what you want. Think of a pillow, push down with a space between your hands and note how the space between your hands is now higher. Same with a saddle. Won't go as far as recommending a saddle, as it is trial and error. Most of us have gone thru many before finding the right one for us. Might check with your LBS to see if they have any "trial" saddles for loan. LOTS of threads on saddles to be found. And some mfrs. offer a comfort guarantee-would be stated on their website.
my current saddle is an old Selle. I also have an old Viscount. On both the padding is compressed from years of use. I bought a Selle Flight online without trying. I wonít be doing that again.

I may very well not have it fitted correctly and I will be adjusting it.
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Old 11-20-20, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Do you fit comfortably on the bike?

What do you eat or avoid eating typically?

Buy some resistance bands on Amazon and watch some YouTube videos on how to use them. That will be an extremely worthwhile investment for anyone trying to get in shape.
My wife has us on a diet where we only eat between noon and 8pm. I have been riding around town in the mornings after the school traffic stops.
I like salads, fruit, chicken and lean beef. I do not eat sweets and try to avoid bread even though I miss that most.
I do drink beer and that isnít helping.
I just started all this recently so the results havenít really started showing yet except I have noticed my blood pressure is really good after a ride.
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Old 11-20-20, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BCAC View Post
Very cool you are doing this. Itís great exercise. I think your plan for building up the distance travelled is a good one.

I had a back operation at 62 and used riding as a way to lose weight (along with eating properly) and getting more fit. I too had to build up to 10 miles and beyond. Iím now 67, down at least 45 lbs from my peak and love riding.

I suggest you wear padded bicycle shorts all the time while riding. If it still hurts after a couple of weeks, take your bike to a lbs that sells nice road bikes and ask for some help with choosing a better saddle. They might also help with making sure the seat is positioned correctly.
I bought a pair of Canaris bike shorts with a pad.
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Old 11-20-20, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by margoC View Post
Congratulations on retirement. I retired from medical microbiology in March right before it got serious. Our administrator changed and there were a lot of shenanigans, unethical practices, and unsafe practices happening.

I was hoping to be doing more in retirement but I'm so grateful not to go to that hellhole.

Also, if you are very out of shape a road bike might be a little ambitious. I can't ride a road bike anymore due to physical problems (neck and spine) and almost gave it up altogether.

But a few weeks ago I dusted off my "comfort" bike, and also have an old rigid frame mountain bike I've set up as an upright neighborhood cruiser. I'm still getting used to the seat but that part is coming along. I'm limiting my miles due to my knees, I had gotten up to 10 miles a day then my one knee started to pop. I'm going to stick to 3-5 miles a day for awhile.

Back in the day I would regularly ride 60-80 on my road bike but those days are over. The riding I'm doing now is actually helping my knees, I'm sure the tendon popping will resolve, it's already stopped with my shorter miles.

There is a thread in the vintage forum about converted vintage road bikes, you could make it a little more comfortable for your larger size, then convert it back later.
I have a comfort bike. Itís a Gary Fisher NAPA. It takes more effort to ride than my road bike but I may use it now and then.
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Old 11-20-20, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
+1

Just ride, don't worry about how fast or how far. Once a day, twice a day, twice a week, whatever. If you keep it fun, you'll keep it up.
I plan to push up to a point. I do want it to be fun, not just exercise. There are a few rides I want to do. One of the first when things open up again is the Missions Trail in San Antonio.
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Old 11-20-20, 10:00 AM
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I too have been getting back into shape after retiring.
First get you a pair of cycling bib shorts.
https://fatladattheback.com/
Use some chamois cream.

I bought a smart bike when I sold the car I drove to work each day. Since I didnít need it anymore. Just ride and build your self up slowly
Enjoy riding and retirement
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Old 11-20-20, 10:14 AM
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There have been times when I didn't cycle for a long time and getting back into the saddle presented me with no less than two weeks of what I can only describe as a joint pain as if my entire rear pelvis was coming to pieces. Perseverance and continued riding pays off and the pain goes away. When I once decided to do the saddle swap game for this kind of soreness, by the time the soreness went away, I noticed the saddle I had wasn't very much different than the saddle I began with.

If your pain is more soreness in your skin then you need to be looking at saddles and what you wear. Seams in the wrong place or being too rough are something that will only make longer rides painful.

Just ride. Ride often as you can and when you feel like it ride more miles. Don't get too caught up in training plans or other stuff unless you just get an overwhelming urge to be all you can be. Which isn't bad, but sometimes we obsess over it too much for leisure riding and basic fitness riding.

Cycling clothes help. I avoided them for a long time, but when getting into the longer rides of two hours or more, they work better and made sense. Be aware that typically they seemed to be sized for grossly underweight persons. While I buy small to medium in normal clothes sizes I find that cycling clothes I need large and sometimes XL. Lots of variance though among manufactures in how stuff fits. Particularly on the cheap and inexpensive stuff.
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Old 11-20-20, 11:30 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
My wife has us on a diet where we only eat between noon and 8pm. I have been riding around town in the mornings after the school traffic stops.
I like salads, fruit, chicken and lean beef. I do not eat sweets and try to avoid bread even though I miss that most.
I do drink beer and that isnít helping.
I just started all this recently so the results havenít really started showing yet except I have noticed my blood pressure is really good after a ride.
I'm also on the 16/8 plan. For me, it started slowly and then weight started dropping off very quickly. I am back down to my pre-pandemic weight and on my way to race weight. The main thing for me has been to avoid the temptation to overeat on the first meal (lunch for me). Just eat normally.
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Old 11-20-20, 11:44 AM
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The standard "just ride your bike" advice is good. Frequent (like every day) short rides is best for early butt conditioning. The rest of the usual advice is to increase your mileage by 10% a week, no more. Like compound interest, this'll get away from you fairly quickly. When that happens, switch to 5%. For the first year, just try to ride as much as you can. As you get used to it and your weight drops, start looking at hills with desire, not fear. Weirdly enough, cycling is about riding up hills. Think about goals in your second year. It's a slow process for everyone. Give it time, don't get discouraged.
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Old 11-20-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I'm also on the 16/8 plan. For me, it started slowly and then weight started dropping off very quickly. I am back down to my pre-pandemic weight and on my way to race weight. The main thing for me has been to avoid the temptation to overeat on the first meal (lunch for me). Just eat normally.
i usually start with fruit-like a small bowl of cantaloupe or an apple and a banana.
Sometimes we eat breakfast for lunch. I found a roll of Jenny-O turkey sausage that tastes a lot like pork sausage.
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Old 11-20-20, 11:57 AM
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Find a group and try to keep up.
I did, took me six months to keep up with them

Then I became The Rabbit. Got in 15,923 Miles my 2nd year. 67 Years Old
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Old 11-20-20, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
My wife has us on a diet where we only eat between noon and 8pm. I have been riding around town in the mornings after the school traffic stops..
Interesting. I've never been one to eat before noon, and it's good to know it's an actual diet plan. Tough to stop at 8pm though.

Regarding how long it takes to get used to the saddle, well in my experience there wasn't ever a time when I suddenly could ride indefinitely without noticing it. You get used to 20 minutes riding and then at 30 minutes the saddle is bothersome. Get used to 30, and it's after an hour. And so on. Eventually I was comfortable for 5 or 6 hours which was as much as I ever wanted to ride, but I'm sure that the 7th hour would have been excruciating.

For that reason, I'm going to say don't bother tweaking the position or trying different saddles. Yet. All of that will change as you get miles in and you'd have to tweak again. I mean if you hate a saddle, for sure get rid of it but trying to find that perfect saddle with magic cushioning is going down the rabbit hole and leaving a trail of dollars behind. Give it some miles first and see if I'm right, that it feels better without changing anything at all.
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Old 11-21-20, 09:28 AM
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Also 62 and work very part time. Was 234 lbs - it took a while for the butt to stop hurting. Don't give up, it gets better!

Now riding 30-60 miles most days on a couple really nice road bikes. I'm 188 now, and I feel great on a bike.

Get a good bike fit - you need to know your stack and reach numbers - money well spent!
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Old 11-24-20, 12:56 PM
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Also 62 been at it 2 years. It took me probably a month before I wasn't in total body pain. As I increased my distance or time on the bike the pain, actually soreness, would come back.

My advice is if you are serious and I hope you are is to set goals and work at it. You are going to need to really push yourself. This isn't easy to do, it really isn't. But if you say this is what I want out of bicycling, I want to weigh xxx pounds this time next year then with determination you will get there.

Not to sound like a jerk but I didn't start riding bicycles to lose weight but to get into shape, Without really trying though I lost quite a bit of weight, 28 pounds, again not really trying. My goal was to get fairly operational climbing the hills. I still work full time so during the week I have little opportunity to ride and I live in the NE USA , it gets cold here in the winter. For that reason I'm a proponent of indoor trainers. I use Zwift and there are many rewards built into the program that if inclined a person will have an easy time setting goals.

But first things first, set a goal with a few intermediate goals to keep you working/motivated. You said in the OP 10 miles. Set your major goal at 30 miles and place 10 miles then 20 then 25 miles as intermediate goals. Think big!
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Old 11-24-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
Also 62 been at it 2 years. It took me probably a month before I wasn't in total body pain. As I increased my distance or time on the bike the pain, actually soreness, would come back.

My advice is if you are serious and I hope you are is to set goals and work at it. You are going to need to really push yourself. This isn't easy to do, it really isn't. But if you say this is what I want out of bicycling, I want to weigh xxx pounds this time next year then with determination you will get there.

Not to sound like a jerk but I didn't start riding bicycles to lose weight but to get into shape, Without really trying though I lost quite a bit of weight, 28 pounds, again not really trying. My goal was to get fairly operational climbing the hills. I still work full time so during the week I have little opportunity to ride and I live in the NE USA , it gets cold here in the winter. For that reason I'm a proponent of indoor trainers. I use Zwift and there are many rewards built into the program that if inclined a person will have an easy time setting goals.

But first things first, set a goal with a few intermediate goals to keep you working/motivated. You said in the OP 10 miles. Set your major goal at 30 miles and place 10 miles then 20 then 25 miles as intermediate goals. Think big!
thanks. I am changing my diet to lose weight and riding to get in shape. I also just want to ride to see stuff. I retired at the end of July and the covid really put a crimp in my plans.
My wife bought the Zwift thing and I have an indoor trainer. I am putting my comfort bike on it for now.
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