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Getting back into biking and needing a little advice

Old 10-02-18, 04:12 AM
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Acelee
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Getting back into biking and needing a little advice

Hi it's been several years like 8-9 years since i've riden. Bikeing is something i've been a fan of for most of my life but never been able to really explore it and with some life changing events that happening im giveing it another go.

I'm 5'4 around 315 i positive once im active again the weight will come off in time i actually need to do that carefully but that another story. Money going to be tight for a while and i've being given a roadmaster mt sport sx at no cost. I figure its a good starting out bike it was free looks in decent shape will need a little TLC. It's something to get my feet wet. Here a few questions i'd like some advice on.

1. What type of training should i do to get back biking shape? Three years ago i walked every where and worked two to three jobs at the same time. Until the last year i had been a fairly active person. I'm starting to feel up to getting back to that level again. I had thought of doing a couple of days just playing around on the bike get use to biking again and the feel of this bike. Then 30 minutes of biking at a steady pace once a day for a week or two then twice a day and go from there with the goal of traveling 6 miles with in 2hrs or less in a year if possible.

2. Whats some tricks i should learn to build my skill level and just good biking habbits to have.

3. At some point ill need to carry cargo on the bike. Will it be ok to use baskets and racks on the bike or should i be thinking about geting a cart sooner then later.

4. Whats some equipment i should invest in? Like tools and what to carry with me or just have on hand?
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Old 10-02-18, 04:28 AM
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Regarding point 3, I have purchased a bike rack and use a pannier bag. Also got a elasticated rope with hooks using which I can strap things (like bike lock) on the rack.
Point 4 - I got myself an 18-piece toolkit. What ever extra tools I needed, I purchased them separately. EDIT - There isn't an area on the bike, that I have not serviced (right from headset to bottom bracket to cassette). I had to buy some additional special tools apart from the tool kit like head set cup removal tool, 36mm headset wrench, 36mm adjustable wrench etc. So the 18 piece kit was enough for me.
Point 2 - I just watch other bikers on the road and learn

All the best

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Old 10-02-18, 05:21 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Acelee View Post
Hi it's been several years like 8-9 years since i've riden. Bikeing is something i've been a fan of for most of my life but never been able to really explore it and with some life changing events that happening im giveing it another go.

I'm 5'4 around 315 i positive once im active again the weight will come off in time i actually need to do that carefully but that another story. Money going to be tight for a while and i've being given a roadmaster mt sport sx at no cost. I figure its a good starting out bike it was free looks in decent shape will need a little TLC. It's something to get my feet wet. Here a few questions i'd like some advice on.

1. What type of training should i do to get back biking shape? Three years ago i walked every where and worked two to three jobs at the same time. Until the last year i had been a fairly active person. I'm starting to feel up to getting back to that level again. I had thought of doing a couple of days just playing around on the bike get use to biking again and the feel of this bike. Then 30 minutes of biking at a steady pace once a day for a week or two then twice a day and go from there with the goal of traveling 6 miles with in 2hrs or less in a year if possible.

2. Whats some tricks i should learn to build my skill level and just good biking habbits to have.

3. At some point ill need to carry cargo on the bike. Will it be ok to use baskets and racks on the bike or should i be thinking about geting a cart sooner then later.

4. Whats some equipment i should invest in? Like tools and what to carry with me or just have on hand?
Once you start riding a bit far from home, carry a pump or CO2, a spare tube, and tire levers. How many other tools you want to carry will vary with your level of mechanical skills and distance you are riding.
I came back to riding after about a decade of enormous weight gain and loss, and I had a false start when I got discouraged by how hard it was compared to how I used to feel. What I found was that the elliptical machine really gets your legs into biking shape fast. After about 15 months I'm now riding double centuries on weekends and going as fast as ever.

I can tell you that negotiating traffic with a bike trailer requires a pretty high level of confidence in your biking skills, so fhe answer to that really depends on how much cargo and where you are riding. Baskets/racks are a lot easier to handle, but heavy cargo could overload your bike.
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Old 10-02-18, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Acelee View Post
1. What type of training should i do to get back biking shape?

2. Whats some tricks i should learn to build my skill level and just good biking habbits to have.
To answer both questions...get a bike. Any bike. Ride that bike. Don't overthink it. Just do it.

Best thing you can do to get into biking shape and increase your skill level.

Once you outgrow the limits of that bike (it becomes too slow, it can't handle mountain trails, it's bad for long distance...whatever you decide you want to do) get a bike more suited to your needs.

Ride that bike.
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Old 10-02-18, 07:35 AM
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No 4.

Safety stuff:
Helmet
Front light
Rear blinkers
Side mirrors
Bell/Horn

To deal with flats (already mentioned in above post, spare tubes, pump etc. )

I would also include set of allen keys. Had my seat come loose on time and didn't have the right size allen key. Uncomfortable ride back home. Also good to have a set for the cranks as well (size depends on the crank.) I also carry a wrench in case I need to remove tire.
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Old 10-02-18, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
To answer both questions...get a bike. Any bike. Ride that bike. Don't overthink it. Just do it. Best thing you can do to get into biking shape and increase your skill level. Once you outgrow the limits of that bike (it becomes too slow, it can't handle mountain trails, it's bad for long distance...whatever you decide you want to do) get a bike more suited to your needs.

Ride that bike.
Agree, just ride. Don't overdo it at first, just try for comfortable rides. As you progress, you will learn a lot about yourself, your bike, and will know how to challenge yourself a bit better. Get yourself a pump, patch kit, and an extra tube ... and learn how to use them. You may need a few more tools depending on your bike, but if you practice some roadside repairs you will figure out what you need.

I commuted to work on my bike before I retired and found that a rear rack and panniers suited me perfectly. I could carry all my work stuff, clothing, lunch, etc. On my other bikes, I have either a handlebar bag or a trunk bag. Since I don't have to carry much, they work great. I like the bar bag a lot because I can get into it while riding.

Also, and probably most important: Welcome to Bike Forums. I hope you stick around. You'll find a lot of help and support here.
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Old 10-02-18, 07:42 AM
  #7  
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This conversation should be with your doctor and not on an internet discussion board about bicycles. It isn't about bicycles, it's about eating habits, nutrition, and increasing the vigor in your lifestyle.

My suggestions:
(1) Write down everything that you put into your mouth for a week, including what, how much, when, and under what conditions (e.g., "in the car", or "in front of TV", or whatever). Everything.
(2) Find a nutritionist. Even a neighbor or friend who has studied and can direct lifestyle changes with proper sources of nutrition. Take your recorded food intake information to your nutritionist and discuss changes to your habits.
(3) Visit your doctor and go over what you've been doing with nutrition, and have baseline measurements made, including blood work, so that you know your starting points. Work with the doctor to begin an exercise program that will be sustainable. This will include daily and weekly activities laid out on a written schedule that must include other blocks of time that are non-negotiable (work, school, commuting, rest, etc.).
(3a) Not knowing your age, it's best to also go over any medications that you take with your doctor again. It may be possible that these are interfering with your goals or are being taken to compensate for an imbalance elsewhere. Review the medications periodically with your doctor once you've been on the new plan for 90 days or so.
(4) Plan your food intake to align with that schedule. Plan meals and snacks in advance, choosing from among items discussed with your nutritionist.
(5) Measure progress regularly, including check up visits with the doctor to go over test results and plan when the next tests are to be performed.

(6) And relating to your original question, don't ride every day. Combine several activities that would allow other muscles to be involved while the cycling specific muscles aren't overworked. Swimming, walking, stretching, yoga, resistance training all have a part in helping to meet your goals. Good luck.
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Old 10-02-18, 07:58 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
This conversation should be with your doctor and not on an internet discussion board about bicycles. It isn't about bicycles, it's about eating habits, nutrition, and increasing the vigor in your lifestyle.

My suggestions:
(1) Write down everything that you put into your mouth for a week, including what, how much, when, and under what conditions (e.g., "in the car", or "in front of TV", or whatever). Everything.
(2) Find a nutritionist. Even a neighbor or friend who has studied and can direct lifestyle changes with proper sources of nutrition. Take your recorded food intake information to your nutritionist and discuss changes to your habits.
(3) Visit your doctor and go over what you've been doing with nutrition, and have baseline measurements made, including blood work, so that you know your starting points. Work with the doctor to begin an exercise program that will be sustainable. This will include daily and weekly activities laid out on a written schedule that must include other blocks of time that are non-negotiable (work, school, commuting, rest, etc.).
(3a) Not knowing your age, it's best to also go over any medications that you take with your doctor again. It may be possible that these are interfering with your goals or are being taken to compensate for an imbalance elsewhere. Review the medications periodically with your doctor once you've been on the new plan for 90 days or so.
(4) Plan your food intake to align with that schedule. Plan meals and snacks in advance, choosing from among items discussed with your nutritionist.
(5) Measure progress regularly, including check up visits with the doctor to go over test results and plan when the next tests are to be performed.

(6) And relating to your original question, don't ride every day. Combine several activities that would allow other muscles to be involved while the cycling specific muscles aren't overworked. Swimming, walking, stretching, yoga, resistance training all have a part in helping to meet your goals. Good luck.
I'm sorry maybe i wasn't clear. im not looking to lose weight by biking its a bonus if it comes off. I'm looking to start it as a fun distressing activity and a means to get around a bit.

I cleared for any activity physically my current job requires it. I gained weight because of a lot of different factors one main reason is not being able to walk to places because nothing close and then dealing with depression and anxiety. I've started to mentally feel up to getting back into some activity levels again that what i meant by health.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:04 AM
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There’s a lot of good advice in this thread.
I would reiterate don’t ride every day and don’t get in a hurry, this process will take some time.
When I want to loose some weight, (every spring), I download and use “My fitness pal”, this is a great app for tracking what we eat and our exercise on a daily basis, it has most foods in its database so it’s easy to use.
i would ad as others have said don’t go spend a lot of money on stuff until you have ridden a while and know what you need.
Keep reading BF forums there is a wealth of information on here.
Good luck and hang in there.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:04 AM
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find some low/no traffic areas to ride. neighborhood roads, parking lots, subdivisions. close to home in case you have mechanical problems

then as you gain confidence and good legs maybe venture out a little more and then you will need a spare tube, patch kit, and pump

ride slow for as long as you feel ok. my guess is that it you will find it to be pretty easy
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Old 10-02-18, 08:11 AM
  #11  
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Ryan F was much better at this stuff. Drope the hammer!
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Old 10-02-18, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Acelee View Post
I'm sorry maybe i wasn't clear. im not looking to lose weight by biking its a bonus if it comes off. I'm looking to start it as a fun distressing activity and a means to get around a bit.

I cleared for any activity physically my current job requires it. I gained weight because of a lot of different factors one main reason is not being able to walk to places because nothing close and then dealing with depression and anxiety. I've started to mentally feel up to getting back into some activity levels again that what i meant by health.

Yeah, ignore literally everything in that post--just ride a little bit more every time if you feel up to it and you'll be fine. People on the forums often jump to "this is serious heavy duty training mode" when all somebody is asking is how to do a little recreational riding.

My advice about the elliptical, btw, is just for building enough muscle so you don't feel wobbly slow when you ride. You may very well not need that. I did for psychological reasons of my own, and just mention it because it happened to work really well on the same muscles.

Are there nice places to ride where you live? For me, "make it enjoyable" is key--I'm willing to do a lot more riding that way than doing it all "deadly serious".
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Old 10-02-18, 08:35 AM
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elliptical? Is that the really fast step machine i guess its swing back and forth? That thing scard the crap out of me the one time the pt put me on it lol i was on it for 5 out of 15 mins and pretty much begged to get off it lol i was fine on anything else but not that and i apologize if i seemed rude earlier didn't mean to
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Old 10-02-18, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
Thereís a lot of good advice in this thread.
I would reiterate donít ride every day and donít get in a hurry, this process will take some time.
When I want to loose some weight, (every spring), I download and use ďMy fitness palĒ, this is a great app for tracking what we eat and our exercise on a daily basis, it has most foods in its database so itís easy to use.
i would ad as others have said donít go spend a lot of money on stuff until you have ridden a while and know what you need.
Keep reading BF forums there is a wealth of information on here.
Good luck and hang in there.

If OP is comfortable doing a low intensity ride every day, there's no good reason to avoid it. I don't think we're discussing super-demanding training rides, and that could be a nice calming routine for someone under a lot of stress. This is like telling someone to avoid taking a half hour walk every day. This need for recovery stuff doesn't apply to light routine exercise.

I like the rest of your tips, I just don't agree with that one. If OP feels the need to skip days, that's fine, but if not, there's not going to be any harm.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:38 AM
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Does the bike fit you? Not too big or too small?

1) I recommend you make your first ride a short distance - a mile or 2. If you don't hurt, add some distance (a mile or so) each time.

2) The day after your first ride, your butt will probably hurt. Take the day off, maybe the next day, too. Keep riding - your butt will get used to the saddle.

3) Increase the distance you ride slowly. Otherwise, you'll hurt yourself; you'll have to stay off your bike; and you'll lose conditioning. The standard advice is to increase the distance by about 10% each week. That's worked for me.

4) I chafing in your groin/thigh area is likely to be a problem. If it happens, I believe those who recommend staying away from stuff with petroleum jelly in it. Body Glide or Unpetroleum Jelly are pretty effective for me.

5) Make sure your seat height is correct - too low or too high will cause knee pain and exacerbate chafing.

6) It's very possible that the bars will be lower than your seat once you get the seat height correct. If you have a 'quill' stem, make sure it's inserted not higher than the maximum (check the marking on the stem).

7) Have some fun. If it's not fun, try another activity.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If OP is comfortable doing a low intensity ride every day, there's no good reason to avoid it. I don't think we're discussing super-demanding training rides, and that could be a nice calming routine for someone under a lot of stress. This is like telling someone to avoid taking a half hour walk every day. This need for recovery stuff doesn't apply to light routine exercise.

I like the rest of your tips, I just don't agree with that one. If OP feels the need to skip days, that's fine, but if not, there's not going to be any harm.
I didnít think about it in that context, but your right low intensity would be ok.
I am prejudiced by an ocd friend of mine who rides everyday, to the extent he wouldnít even take a day off to let saddle sores heal up, and he has been doing this for years.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:58 AM
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Back at it

Originally Posted by Acelee View Post
I'm sorry maybe i wasn't clear. im not looking to lose weight by biking its a bonus if it comes off. I'm looking to start it as a fun distressing activity and a means to get around a bit.

I cleared for any activity physically my current job requires it. I gained weight because of a lot of different factors one main reason is not being able to walk to places because nothing close and then dealing with depression and anxiety. I've started to mentally feel up to getting back into some activity levels again that what i meant by health.
The bike you've been given is fine to start on. One of the mistakes I made was not fine tuning saddle height after I left the bike shop with my first "real" bike. It was in the ballpark, but still a little low, which made the fronts of my legs burn much more than they should have. So, make sure that you have the seat high enough to make the bike's gears work for you, instead of your legs/knees providing unnecessary leverage.

After moving a couple states away, I finally got back to biking a few years ago again. I did a little research, discovered paved bike trails within driving distance, and got started biking paved paths. It has been a goal to try new paths or charity rides each year since. So, perhaps find some new places to adventure to, riding a little further so that you can see more each time.
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Old 10-02-18, 09:09 AM
  #18  
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Get a bicycle floor pump with a gauge and keep the air pressure up close to max. The psi info is on side of tire. And enjoy the ride...
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Old 10-02-18, 10:14 AM
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Just start riding. You'll encounter questions as you ride, feel free to ask those. No point in overthinking it now though, just enjoy.
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Old 10-02-18, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Just start riding. You'll encounter questions as you ride, feel free to ask those. No point in overthinking it now though, just enjoy.
c i was going to say something like this.

Lots of good advice here but in the end, this stuff is as easy as riding a bike. Just do it.

A lot of the folks I try to ride with have 'training schedules" and all that ... i cannot keep up, because I ride if I feel like it and don't if I don't.

I haven't Not enjoyed a ride in a long time.
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Old 10-02-18, 11:10 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Just start riding. You'll encounter questions as you ride, feel free to ask those. No point in overthinking it now though, just enjoy.

YES!

There's a lot to be said for just hopping on the bike for a short ride with no agenda. Pedal around, look at birds, go around a few blocks, it doesn't matter.
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Old 10-02-18, 02:40 PM
  #22  
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The only thing I have to add is that when you become active again, your appetite will probably increase, so be careful with food intake if you're wanting to lose weight.

Last edited by Pendergast; 10-02-18 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 10-02-18, 03:00 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post
The only thing I have to add is that when you become active again, your appetite will probably increase, so be careful with food intake if you're wanting to lose weight.

My memory from losing weight from being a bit heavier than the OP was that everything I did made me hungrier. No joke, it takes a lot of calories just to walk at 300+ pounds. For me, the process was consistent 2-3 pounds weight loss per week for a couple years, and I spent a year just constantly ravenous.
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Old 10-04-18, 05:46 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by paul barnard View Post
ryan f was much better at this stuff. Drope the hammer!
+1.
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Old 10-04-18, 11:48 AM
  #25  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by Acelee View Post
elliptical? Is that the really fast step machine i guess its swing back and forth? That thing scard the crap out of me the one time the pt put me on it lol i was on it for 5 out of 15 mins and pretty much begged to get off it lol i was fine on anything else but not that and i apologize if i seemed rude earlier didn't mean to
I think you're describing a step machine. Elliptical has the foot platforms attached to a wheel and poles that swing back and forth. You can definitely do them slow until you get used to it. Not for everyone but I find it very similar to hill climbing on a bike.
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