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Pedal constantly?

Old 06-15-23, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
My LOOPING ride today that I began less than 1 hour from my reply last night. Distance of 33.33 miles and only needed to stop pedaling 3 times each for a few seconds. Once for a Racoon that cut in front of me, another for an Opossum that also cut in front of me and then a car.

https://www.strava.com/activities/9262506253
Are you riding at night? See any owls or skunks?
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Old 06-15-23, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Fixed for you.
Thanks. It's my age -
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Old 06-15-23, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Do riders never stop pedaling when riding on the street for 15-20 or more miles?
Yes, it's normal to stop pedaling on any ride. But that answer isn't going to help you much.

But:
  • New(er) cyclists often pedal a few times and stop (and keep repeating this throughout their ride). You don't want to do this (if you want to be a "better" cyclist).
  • More experienced riders will tend to keep pedaling and vary the pressure on the pedals to control speed. (You can move the pedals without really applying any force.)

It's normal (and fine) to stop pedaling when you are coming to a place where you might need to stop (like an intersection).
It's normal (and fine) to stop pedaling when you are going downhill.

The more you can keep pedaling (and it takes conscious practice to do that), the faster your average will be and the fitter you will become.

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
I pedal constantly on the stationary bike.
Riding a bike is different than a stationary bike. On long bicycle rides (especially), there is more of a need to conserve your energy. That means one has to learn how to use/manage momentum. This takes practice/experience to do well.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-15-23 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 06-15-23, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Artmo
Thanks. It's my age -
Don't feel bad. I Googled it.
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Old 06-15-23, 11:08 AM
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Thanks everyone. I was just curious if I should be pedaling nonstop on the longer rides. Right now pedaling 45 minutes is tough enough. I canít imagine doing that for twice as long or more.
Of course when I was young I couldnít imagine running a mile either. I need to do it once so I will know I can.
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Old 06-15-23, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Don't feel bad. I Googled it.
When traffic does that on the freeway I call it the traffic slinky.
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Old 06-15-23, 11:12 AM
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Only did 30 minutes at the gym this morning then had to mow.
Itís warm in Texas today. 😎

Last edited by pepperbelly; 06-15-23 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 06-15-23, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bblair
Are you riding at night? See any owls or skunks?
Yesterday's ride began at 12:36AM with rabbits, racoons and opossums needing to be dodged. Skunks have pretty much disappeared due to housing construction. Today's ride was an *under the sun - scorcher* that I began at 8:33AM https://www.strava.com/activities/9271199892

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Thanks everyone. I was just curious if I should be pedaling nonstop on the longer rides. Right now pedaling 45 minutes is tough enough. I canít imagine doing that for twice as long or more.
Of course when I was young I couldnít imagine running a mile either. I need to do it once so I will know I can.
Pedal as much as is needed for you to accomplish the desired goal and to keep it fun.
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Old 06-15-23, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Artmo
When riding in a paceline there's nothing more annoying than the person in front of you doing pedal-coast-pedal-coast, etc. This can cause contertinaing(?) of the line and is possibly dangerous.
Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Fixed for you.
We always called it "accordioning" in a race pack or pace lines. Must've been bigger ones with more keys.

But it is a serious safety concern. It can easily result in wheel overlap or wheel touching, which then results in multi-bike pileups and sometimes-serious injuries. To the people, too, not just the bicycles. In the groups I raced / rode with, squirrelly riders were told politely but firmly to improve their line and smoothness (typically with offers to coach the offending rider), move to the far back behind the rotation, or depart the pack/paceline.

As for me, I'm typically pedaling all the time at about 80-85 rpm with generally light pedal effort. I can typically keep up light effort and constant movement all day, as compared to heavy intermittent effort and coasting.
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Old 06-15-23, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Viich
pepperbelly - just go ride your bike. It'll be fun. You don't need to make it complicated.
This sort of reply is sad. It’s bad advice.

It’s saying the OP, after asking a fairly-specific question, should be satisfied staying ignorant. That they should be happy not becoming more skilled. It doesn’t really answer the OP’s question at all.

There are many people who ride bikes “casually”, which is fine.

But, with taking the effort of asking the question here, the OP doesn’t seem to want to stay in that group.

I have no idea why anybody would advise them that being a “casual” cyclist is what they should aspire to.

Why not give them useful information and let them choose how to use it?

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-15-23 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 06-16-23, 02:25 AM
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I hate riding indoors, simulators, music, and other diversions never help, I get bored quickly. But when the weather is bad, and I don’t want to miss too much time in the saddle, I just suck it up and drag out the rollers. A positive point about using rollers for my indoor workouts is that I don’t need to hook up or connect anything, and that they greatly improve your balance, stability, and pedal stroke. After my first workout on rollers (which involved a few mishaps), I noticed an immediate improvement in my riding.
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Old 06-16-23, 03:40 AM
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The only time I pedal constantly is when I ride my fixed gear.
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Old 06-16-23, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
This sort of reply is sad. Itís bad advice.

Itís saying the OP, after asking a fairly-specific question, should be satisfied staying ignorant. That they should be happy not becoming more skilled. It doesnít really answer the OPís question at all.

There are many people who ride bikes ďcasuallyĒ, which is fine.

But, with taking the effort of asking the question here, the OP doesnít seem to want to stay in that group.

I have no idea why anybody would advise them that being a ďcasualĒ cyclist is what they should aspire to.

Why not give them useful information and let them choose how to use it?
I guess I was a little flippant, but my point was - go for a ride and see how it is.
It won't take long to be able to compare how hard it is compared to the stationary bike. If felt like, from reading the OP and OP's follow-up responses, that they're nervous that they aren't fit enough to ride outside.

There's nothing that says having fun riding your bike is being a "casual" cyclist. Ride more, ride faster sometimes...... I know I'd be better served fitness-wise going for another ride than spending time posting on the internet about cycling or obsessing over my power data, even if that ride I did wasn't "optimal"
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Old 06-16-23, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
I have been getting back in shape and losing weight. I go to the gym most days and ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes. Today I rode for 45 minutes. I pedal constantly on the stationary bike.
Do riders never stop pedaling when riding on the street for 15-20 or more miles?
I just turned 65 and really need to get fit. I wasnít wasted after 45 minutes but that was only the equivalent of 10 miles.
I don't think I have ever once ridden 15-20 miles without a stoppage in pedaling. Even a 40km time trial. Sometimes I will pedal thru a corner but mostly not. I will often stand to adjust the chamois. Once I hit a certain speed on descents, I will tuck and stop pedaling. When in a group ride sucking wheel, I will soft pedal or stop pedaling to adjust speed or sometimes sit up a bit to catch more air in order to slow gently (rather than using the brakes and annoying the guy on my wheel)

I have cadence, speed, gradient, power, HR data for every ride. The only pedaling metric I look at is balance, how much off is my left leg compared to my right leg.
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Old 06-16-23, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich
I guess I was a little flippant, but my point was - go for a ride and see how it is.
This is still sad.

Why should people take the time to figure out stuff they can quickly learn from asking a question?

People who do this often get bad habits that are hard to undo.

(Just to be clear: people have to ride also.)

Originally Posted by Viich
There's nothing that says having fun riding your bike is being a "casual" cyclist.
I didn't say this. Somebody who is asking questions like the OP's isn't likely to be an experienced/skilled rider.

Originally Posted by Viich
pepperbelly - just go ride your bike. It'll be fun. You don't need to make it complicated.
Learning "better" ways of doing things could still be fun. It's also not "complicated".

Originally Posted by Viich
Ride more, ride faster sometimes......
There is no reason not to seek out what other people have learned and avoid taking the time to figure it all out yourself.

Your "advice" is effectively "don't ask questions" (which is sad).

Originally Posted by Viich
I know I'd be better served fitness-wise going for another ride than spending time posting on the internet about cycling or obsessing over my power data, even if that ride I did wasn't "optimal"
False dilemma: it's not a choice of one or the other. It's easy to do both. No one is talking about "obsessing" over anything (this is a strawman).

The OP already chose to ask question on the internet. So, he thinks it's worthwhile for him.

Many people who don't seek out information from knowledgeable people retain bad habits for a long time. For many things, people would be better off learning things from other people rather than never learning a "better" way to do things. Often, this isn't much effort

Originally Posted by Viich
I know I'd be better served fitness-wise going for another ride than spending time posting on the internet about cycling or obsessing over my power data, even if that ride I did wasn't "optimal"
You are doing exactly what you are recommending people not do. This doesn't make sense. And, since you aren't really answering the OPs question, what you shouldn't be doing isn't really useful.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-16-23 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 06-16-23, 09:53 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Viich
I guess I was a little flippant, but my point was - go for a ride and see how it is.
It won't take long to be able to compare how hard it is compared to the stationary bike. If felt like, from reading the OP and OP's follow-up responses, that they're nervous that they aren't fit enough to ride outside.

There's nothing that says having fun riding your bike is being a "casual" cyclist. Ride more, ride faster sometimes...... I know I'd be better served fitness-wise going for another ride than spending time posting on the internet about cycling or obsessing over my power data, even if that ride I did wasn't "optimal"
Iím getting fit. The worry right now is that I am over the weight recommended, especially for the CF seat post. Iím not far off though.
I was mainly curious about how it is riding in a group. I am mainly a casual rider but I want to go on a few rides, especially the charity rides.
I was just curious if riders constantly pedal or if it was like when I rode around my neighborhood.
You did have a good suggestion-I do need to just go ride. Since I donít have anyone nearby to ride with I tend to pester this group with questions that would probably be easy if I was with others.
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Old 06-16-23, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
You are doing exactly what you are recommending people not do. This doesn't make sense. And, since you aren't really answering the OPs question, what you shouldn't be doing isn't really useful.
I'm not going to continue in this picking apart each other's posts. I accept your criticism that my first comment was not helpful. It did not express my entire intended message. I will re-write it now.

pepperbelly , I don't have a lot to add to what other people have already said about pedaling constantly when riding on roads.

I get the impression from your original post and from some of your follow-up comments that you are nervous to go on longer rides because of how difficult the stationary bike is for the duration you expect the distance to take. If that is the case I would encourage you to just do outside rides of increasing length, many people find riding outside, for varying reasons, easier to ride for a longer duration than an indoor stationary bike. One of those reasons is that riding a bike outside is fun.
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Old 06-16-23, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
I’m getting fit. The worry right now is that I am over the weight recommended, especially for the CF seat post. I’m not far off though.
The actual limit has to be much higher (so, you don't need to worry about it).

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
I was mainly curious about how it is riding in a group. I am mainly a casual rider but I want to go on a few rides, especially the charity rides.
Riding in "a group" is not riding in a "charity ride".

"Group" riding is usually where a number of riders are riding together (like a "team" of sorts). "Charity" (organized) rides are where there are a bunch of riders (some riding in groups; some riding singly).

If you are riding alone (on an organized ride or not), you can do whatever you like (as long as it's safe for you and others). If you are riding in a group, you'll want to use a riding style that works with the group. (For faster, more experienced groups, that style will likely entail less coasting.)

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
I was just curious if riders constantly pedal or if it was like when I rode around my neighborhood.
Road riders don't constantly pedal. But what they do might not (always) be like what you do riding around your neighborhood.

Originally Posted by pepperbelly
You did have a good suggestion-I do need to just go ride. Since I don’t have anyone nearby to ride with I tend to pester this group with questions that would probably be easy if I was with others.
You need to ride, of course. But there's no reason you can't ask questions. (One doesn't preclude the other.) If there's a local cycling club, that's one way of having people to learn from.

While stationary biking is helpful for riding on the road, it's important to understand that there are significant differences. Stationary bikes are "all about" pedaling. Road riding is also about managing energy/momentum (which you aren't going to learn on a stationary bike).

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Old 06-16-23, 10:35 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
The actual limit has to be much higher (so, you don't need to worry about it).


Riding in "a group" is not riding in a "charity ride".

"Group" riding is usually where a number of riders are riding together (like a "team" of sorts). "Charity" (organized) rides are where there are a bunch of riders (some riding in groups; some riding singly).

If you are riding alone (on an organized ride or not), you can do whatever you like (as long as it's safe for you and others). If you are riding in a group, you'll want to use a riding style that works with the group. (For faster, more experienced groups, that style will likely entail less coasting.)


Road riders don't constantly pedal. But what they do might not (always) be like what you do riding around your neighborhood.


You need to ride, of course. But there's no reason you can't ask questions. (One doesn't preclude the other.) If there's a local cycling club, that's one way of having people to learn from.

While stationary biking is helpful for riding on the road, it's important to understand that there are significant differences. Stationary bikes are "all about" pedaling. Road riding is also about managing energy/momentum (which you aren't going to learn on a stationary bike).
i am using the stationary bicycle at Planet Fitness to get my legs in some sort of shape before I start riding my bike and for the cardio and to supplement my weight loss from keto plus intermittent fasting. I can also do upper body there. I will continue to do upper body but I am about ready to hit the road. My timing is a little off-it will be around 100* beginning today. I am a native Texan but Iím not really fireproof no matter what I have told people.

I retired at the end of July 2020- just in time for covid to be in full bloom. From then until this past January I managed to go from about 235 to 305 pounds. That ends now. I started keto at the end of January and am at about 257 now. Itís slower than I want but itís working.
The only real downside is that eating very few carbs means I donít have as much energy. I may have to up my carbs a little when I start riding 20 miles or more.
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Old 06-16-23, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
...Do riders never stop pedaling when riding on the street for 15-20 or more miles? ...I wasnít wasted after 45 minutes..
On a stationary bike constant pedaling is a good thing. Don't stop, you are working out. When you are really riding a bicycle though easing your pedaling and coasting gives you time to recover and plan your next attack.

My short local rides are all Up and Down. I don't pedal when going down so as to gather strength for the next up... Ha

But think about it. If your only pedaling when going up and you do a loop then your only pedaling 1/2 of your ride.

I can't think of another sport that allows for such a good work out and short recovery time...

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Old 06-16-23, 03:15 PM
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I will often adjust my cadence on a road bike and switch to a higher gear and lower my rpms on flat ground and the same when going down a hill where I am pedaling but in as high a gear as I have available. I focus on maintaining a minimum speed while bicycling and worry less about my cadence as I am not getting prepared for a race.
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Old 06-16-23, 07:32 PM
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I never stop pedaling unless there's a good reason. I'll stop when turning to avoid pedal strikes, and on really steep downhills, but with rare exceptions, if the bike's moving, I'm pedaling. Even when I've done occasional centuries, I never coast.
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Old 06-17-23, 01:18 PM
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Yes, except when slowing or going downhill faster than we can keep up with the cranks.
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Old 06-17-23, 01:45 PM
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Like Oldbobcat and several others, I don’t stop unless coasting to a stop, maxing out on a steep dwownhill, or avoiding pedal strikes. That doesn’t mean that I don’t vary my power output (Watts). Of course on climbs it goes up, but try to keep cadence about the same if possible. But I will also do mini-intervals where I push hard and then take it easy, rinse and repeat. It keeps things for me a bit more interesting. This is on solo rides, of course.
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Old 06-17-23, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Like Oldbobcat and several others, I donít stop unless coasting to a stop, maxing out on a steep dwownhill, or avoiding pedal strikes. That doesnít mean that I donít vary my power output (Watts). Of course on climbs it goes up, but try to keep cadence about the same if possible. But I will also do mini-intervals where I push hard and then take it easy, rinse and repeat. It keeps things for me a bit more interesting. This is on solo rides, of course.
i try to keep my cadence about the same but I donít have a cadence counter on my computer.
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