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KittyBikes 08-02-19 07:33 PM

Beginner REALLY in need of guidance
 
Hello All,
When I was younger (teens) I was a slender woman and a good runner. Slow-ish but could go forever. In my adult life, lazy and overeating; gained weight and now I am diabetic. Tried to run again, but that was killing my body, so my Dad bought me a bike for my birthday. It's a hybrid bike. I'm 33 in case that matters.

My goal is to ride fairly long distances, doing around 20 miles 3X a week with a long ride on Sunday, the purpose being to burn off blood sugar. Of course I want to lose weight. Now don't laugh, but right now I can do about 6-8 miles and I do this 2-3 times a week, 8.8 miles/hour. I live in an area that is not flat, some rolling hills but no mountains.

I started this adventure in early June and I am still struggling. My muscles seem to die on hills; they give out and I can't push them anymore. I slow way down and lower my gears and go slow, and usually, I don't have to get off my bike but by the time I am done with 6-8 miles, I feel I have nothing more to give.

I limit my carbs as a condition of my diabetes, so most days I have eaten about 20 carbs before my bike ride. Is this too little? I am not making gains in speed or distance despite continuing to ride. I'm not being strategic about training because I don't know much, just trying to increase my rides in terms of duration and how often I ride. My other thought is that for a while I was only riding maybe 2 times a week because my muscles were so sore and tired!

I could really use any suggestions you have and thank you so much.

livedarklions 08-02-19 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by KittyBikes (Post 21057464)
Hello All,
When I was younger (teens) I was a slender woman and a good runner. Slow-ish but could go forever. In my adult life, lazy and overeating; gained weight and now I am diabetic. Tried to run again, but that was killing my body, so my Dad bought me a bike for my birthday. It's a hybrid bike. I'm 33 in case that matters.

My goal is to ride fairly long distances, doing around 20 miles 3X a week with a long ride on Sunday, the purpose being to burn off blood sugar. Of course I want to lose weight. Now don't laugh, but right now I can do about 6-8 miles and I do this 2-3 times a week, 8.8 miles/hour. I live in an area that is not flat, some rolling hills but no mountains.

I started this adventure in early June and I am still struggling. My muscles seem to die on hills; they give out and I can't push them anymore. I slow way down and lower my gears and go slow, and usually, I don't have to get off my bike but by the time I am done with 6-8 miles, I feel I have nothing more to give.

I limit my carbs as a condition of my diabetes, so most days I have eaten about 20 carbs before my bike ride. Is this too little? I am not making gains in speed or distance despite continuing to ride. I'm not being strategic about training because I don't know much, just trying to increase my rides in terms of duration and how often I ride. My other thought is that for a while I was only riding maybe 2 times a week because my muscles were so sore and tired!

I could really use any suggestions you have and thank you so much.

I tried going back to riding when I was very heavy and found it was murder. Hills especially were torture. I actually gave up, then lost a bunch of weight through diet and gym exercise. I came back to riding after the weight loss and it's been a lot of fun. Not saying that is what you should do, but you might want to consider making other fitness activity some part of your muscle building and calorie burning. The problem with biking as I see it is you really have to be very fit to get a lot of weight accelerated and/or up a hill so it tends to be very discouraging until you have worked up some fitness by another method. In my case, it was the elliptical machine, which really built up my legs very quickly while burning lots of calories.

Good luck, and feel free to tell anyone who laughs at you that I think they're a jerk.

BirdsBikeBinocs 08-02-19 08:04 PM

I dunno.?? If I were you I would take portions of the ride and really dig in, forcefully bring up the mph by going to the small rings out back and bare down. Dig in. Look up ahead of you and choose a shadow, or a mailbox and set your goal to get there while still putting out energy. Then rest by coasting. Do this once every mile. Your goal can be a short distance in the beginning. But focus on doing this throughout your ride. 6 to 8 miles is a good ride for a beginner. Use those miles to get stronger. There's a price to pay. It's up to you how much you want to spend in sweat to achieve. And pain too. It's a balance. Maybe talk to a nutrition expert along the way.

spinnaker 08-02-19 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by KittyBikes (Post 21057464)
Hello All,
When I was younger (teens) I was a slender woman and a good runner. Slow-ish but could go forever. In my adult life, lazy and overeating; gained weight and now I am diabetic. Tried to run again, but that was killing my body, so my Dad bought me a bike for my birthday. It's a hybrid bike. I'm 33 in case that matters.

My goal is to ride fairly long distances, doing around 20 miles 3X a week with a long ride on Sunday, the purpose being to burn off blood sugar. Of course I want to lose weight. Now don't laugh, but right now I can do about 6-8 miles and I do this 2-3 times a week, 8.8 miles/hour. I live in an area that is not flat, some rolling hills but no mountains.

I started this adventure in early June and I am still struggling. My muscles seem to die on hills; they give out and I can't push them anymore. I slow way down and lower my gears and go slow, and usually, I don't have to get off my bike but by the time I am done with 6-8 miles, I feel I have nothing more to give.

I limit my carbs as a condition of my diabetes, so most days I have eaten about 20 carbs before my bike ride. Is this too little? I am not making gains in speed or distance despite continuing to ride. I'm not being strategic about training because I don't know much, just trying to increase my rides in terms of duration and how often I ride. My other thought is that for a while I was only riding maybe 2 times a week because my muscles were so sore and tired!

I could really use any suggestions you have and thank you so much.

I remember when I first got back into cycling. The hills here seemed like enormous mountains. After a season they got a lot easier.; Now I look at those same "mountains" and laugh. They now seem like mere bumps in the road. It just takes time to get back in condition. Just keep at it and be patient.

spinnaker 08-02-19 08:43 PM


Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs (Post 21057501)
I dunno.?? If I were you I would take portions of the ride and really dig in, forcefully bring up the mph by going to the small rings out back and bare down. Dig in. Look up ahead of you and choose a shadow, or a mailbox and set your goal to get there while still putting out energy. Then rest by coasting. Do this once every mile. Your goal can be a short distance in the beginning. But focus on doing this throughout your ride. 6 to 8 miles is a good ride for a beginner. Use those miles to get stronger. There's a price to pay. It's up to you how much you want to spend in sweat to achieve. And pain too. It's a balance. Maybe talk to a nutrition expert along the way.

NOPE! Horrible advice. You know nothing about the OP.

The only good part about it is setting a goal. But make it a reasonable one that you know you can attain . Pick a hill that you aren't able to climb. Make it a goal that you are going top climb that hill but don't force yourself into a time frame as long as you are being honest with yourself hat you are making an effort. If you really want to set a time frame then make that hill next season and make it a hill that you are pretty certain you can make next season.

Push too hard and you won't want to ride. Worse you will end up harming yourself and you won't be able to ride. Just be patient. A little bit at a time ends up in a huge improvement before you know it. You will look back and wonder what the heck were worried about.

Once you are back in condition you can then really start challenging yourself.

spinnaker 08-02-19 08:49 PM

And the very best advice (if you have not done so already). SEE YOUR DOCTOR. And tell her or him what you are planning.

I also should say congratulations on wanting to get back into shape. That is something most people will sadly never do.

CliffordK 08-02-19 08:56 PM

Welcome to Bike Forums!!!

Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?
Height & Weight...
Yes, getting personal quickly!!!

I wouldn't worry about speed too much, especially with hills. But, you can strive for slow improvement.

If you need data tracking, there are several FREE data tracking apps for your phone. I use two. Strava has limited real-time features for riding (other than route planning). But, it is good with "challenges" and online social. RideWithGPS has good real-time data (except for route planning is a paid feature). And, both apps work reasonably well simultaneously on the one phone.

One option is to park & ride. So, if there is a flat path that you like, then you can drive to the location, then ride. HOWEVER... hills are a good place to burn up an little extra energy and get some extra exercise.

Exercise alone isn't a magic pill, but it will help maintain strength when dieting. And, may help even out calories.

Diabetes (type 1 or 2) is a tough disease. Ideally you would strive for doing the same thing 7 days a week. Although perhaps you could learn the difference between meds for ride days and rest days.

For diabetes, one tends to do better with slow absorption long chain starchy foods than rapid absorption sugars. But, if you are taking insulin, be prepared with very rapid absorption for low sugar (gels, fruit juice, candy, etc).

However, talk to your physician and dietician about specific recommendations. Or, monitor how you feel and your blood sugar.

One risk with cycling is to get ravenously hungry and eat everything in sight (thus not helping a lot with weight loss). But, you can cycle and watch the diet.

guachi 08-02-19 10:19 PM

Carbohydrates provide a great source of ready energy. However, you aren't riding for hours and hours at a high intensity so a low carbohydrate diet to deal with your diabetes likely won't affect your biking much if at all.

If you are overweight (or not overweight but just heavy) and haven't ridden a lot, then hills will be murder. However, what bike do you have? It's probable the lowest gear is actually fairly low, but you never know.

But remember, when it comes to fitness it's the effort that matters, not speed. You can spend a heck of a lot of money (and many of us have) on bikes and gadgets to assess your fitness and help with training. I have a turbo trainer with a power meter, a cadence meter, and a heart rate monitor.

You don't need these things, of course. But I do recommend knowing what feels easy/medium/hard. If you want an easy day (and easy days are a good thing!) and you can't find a flat stretch, you can always just get off your bike and walk the hill. It might be better to be fresh to ride tomorrow than burn out today.

On the positive side, you are only 33 and used to be a good runner. So you certainly remember the signals your body gives you during exercise. You've only been at this two month.

Honestly, though, feeling dead after a hill isn't a bad thing. It's what hills are there for! Think of it as a great excuse for interval training. And interval training is really good for you, especially if you don't have hours and hours to train. Don't feel bad about being wiped out after riding hills. Feel good about pushing yourself.

Vintage Schwinn 08-03-19 02:10 AM

( SPINNAKER ) gave the perfect advice.

You are doing great. You are riding in JUNE, JULY, and AUGUST and you are riding in an area that is not flat.

Kitty, use all the LOW gears as necessary, that is what they are there for. DO NOT TRY to "tough it out" in a higher gear as that just will wipe you out, ( not the kind of wipe out like fall/crash/accident...) but wipe out as in your human battery power..............................you need some bits of riding where you can coast or go less aggressively so that you can recharge your human battery capacity ........to keep on riding comfortably.....
Hey, I'm no expert and I've never done any serious racing at a high amateur or professional level, but I did compete in some events long ago when I was young and my results were not terrible. I might be totally wrong, but I don't think so........... I think you are doing great. Heck, you're starting back when it is hot as hell in the Summer and as you mentioned you are riding "ROLLING HILLS"................................ ..............I suppose that some of the other jokers that may not find your progress anything but an excellent start, have never seen "ROLLING HILLS".........maybe they live where it is flat flat flat....
.........I don't think you mentioned what part of the country or state that you're in but if you're in part of the country that has very high humidity and high temperatures, like the Deep South for instance, it makes a huge difference as the extreme humidity and high temperature WILL WIPE OUT even someone in much better than average shape in just 5 or 6 miles with "ROLLING HILLS". Sure, people in great shape that live in the Deep South for example get acclimated to it and it does not really phase them, if they are in great shape, but if for example you have a Tri-Athlete in great shape that lives in the far west / mid-west / new england/ canada and they have to compete in a Triathlon in South Carolina or Georgia in the Summertime, it will whip the hell out of even those in the best of shape, especially if the bike course and running course has hills. The recent little Clemson triathlon on July 27th in Clemson SC kicked the butts of some that weren't used to the high humidity and heat, even though for SC at 7AM to 10AM it was relatively cool. Ask anyone on bikeforums.net who has entered and completed the AUGUSTA 70.3 Iron Man Triathlon, and that is held in Sept so it isn't nearly as hellacious as June/July/August heat-humidity.

You're doing great! Use the gears..............shift down LOW.......................that is what the gears on the bike are made for...................so that it doesn't kill you to have to fight & tough through a higher gear................................... You'll enjoy riding that much more and you'll have the "battery-juice" to keep goin........as you'll recharge a little....enough to keep on............... ...............You will get really strong and a lot more endurance but that will come little by little, over time........................Enjoy the rides and celebrate each one...................have fun on every ride....................................you don't have to compete in the Tour de France tomorrow or in an Iron Man 70.3 Triathlon next month with its 56 mile bike ride.
You're doing great! Keep at it. USE THE GEARS! There is no shame in using the lowest gear......THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE THERE FOR........Use 'em so don't get wiped out so soon..................................Strength, Endurance, and Speed will improve over time. Give it time, enjoy the rides, don't punish yourself!
It is supposed to be fun, so have fun and celebrate each ride in your own way.

ironwood 08-03-19 05:05 AM

There is another forum "Clydesdale/Athena"that is for people who are heavy or are trying to get healthy again by losing weight. Perhaps you can look through some of the posts there for advice from people who were in your situation. Keep it up and don't get discouraged.

Viich 08-03-19 05:12 AM

I'm also ex-runner - stopped mostly due to time, so started biking to work as it's faster than running.

If you have or are willing to get a heart rate monitor, your hr has excellent correlation to your actual effort level, taking the wind, softer tires, smoother road, and your own energy level out of it.

A good approach may be to use a hr monitor as a 'speed limit' for a while, and just try to maintain a hr of 120-150 for your duration. That SHOULD be slower than you are currently going if you're too sore for more than twice a week, and should allow you to bike more often. Key is keeping the intensity from getting too high, which should also allow you to bike for a longer time, as well as make it more enjoyable. Key to this is to keep doing this and not get hurt!

Even for your stated goals, after you've done that for a couple months there's value in a weekly harder effort, but in my opinion, a good point to start.

I'm assuming your healthcare professional has recommended you exercise more. If so, I assume they have also told you whether there are any adjustments about blood sugar monitoring, whether your personal condition means you should carry sugar, etc. If not, ask.

bruce19 08-03-19 05:24 AM

First....congratulations. You're doing the right thing for your body and mind. While I can appreciate using stats as a marker to measure progress, I would advise patience. Your improvement in fitness, and thus stats, will take a while. In the meantime, concentrate on learning cycling skills. Learn how to use your gears, how to pedal efficiently and how to handle your bike. Spend this first year enhancing technique. Read about these things and ask people who are more experienced. Exactly what you have done here. Exercise, along with eating well...as in unprocessed and healthy foods...can only help your health. And, in the off season, if you have one, find a way to exercise. Next year you will be healthier and reporting cycling gains. I'm confident of that. Above all, enjoy the ride.

dabac 08-03-19 05:40 AM

Bicyclists tends to be an argumentative bunch, but one area where they are surprisingly in agreement is when it comes to cadence - pedalling pace - pedal RPM.
It often feels odd to a rookie rider, but a general recommendation is to aim for a cadence of 80-100. That way itís more of a cardio load than a muscular load. Mind your cadence and your heart rate and you can go a long way.
There are bike computers that will measure your cadence, to help keep you in the right gear, or you can download a 168-180 bpm playlist and try to pedal in sync with that.
So, donít feel shy to drop a gear If thatís what you need to do. Donít feel shy to ask about changes to your bike to get lower gears. Itís your life and your ride. Nothing wrong in doing what it takes to make it work for you.
Spin your way up hills, donít grunt it out.

alloo 08-03-19 06:22 AM

I am like you a type 2 diabetic. I weigh 255 lbs when I started. I started riding my beach cruiser to work in April. First I would ride to work one way then catch the transit home. My commute is about 12 miles one way, moderate hills. I started riding every other day. Next month, I started riding both directions three times a week. My commute started at 70-80 minutes one way. On my third month, I got my commute times down to 60 minutes to work and 70 minutes coming home. My personal bests are 50 min to work and 108 minutes coming home. I have decided to purchase an ebike.

By bicycling to/from work, I have lost about 15 lbs and my long term insulin dose has been reduced by about 50%, while my short term insulin dose has been reduced by 80%. I haven't been on a bicycle for 20 years. My goal is to lose 100 lbs by next summer. I have been working with my endochronologist and a nutritionist to lower my carb intake, eat healthier, and lose weight. I have had diabetes since 2003 and was in denial for a long time. Diabetes diagnosis was a wake up call for me, the diagnosis is a wake up call, you can live but requires a big adjustment. I even got depressed about it at times. Diabetes is a reminder of mortality and at 33 years old I wasn't ready to stop living. Sometimes you feel like the your friends and society as a whole doesn't understand that you can't be flippant about eating healthy, it's not an option its required. They're a lot of challenges trying to live on a spartan diet. It can get depressing when good intention people want you to celebrate with them.

This month, I have decided to bicycle commute 4 times a week. I notice when I bicycle to work I am able to reduce my short term insulin dose to 0-6 units. When I started, My A1c was 8.4, by riding my last A1c is 6.1. I know that cycling/diet makes a difference. I am 53 years old and used to swim a lot to stay in shape for surfing.. You don't have to kill yourself on the distance start small and incrementally increase. Success builds more riding. I also listen to music on a bluetooth speaker when I'm commuting, it's relaxing and motivating.

My ebike is a 2017 Raleigh Retroglide ie. I commute to work on it. My times on level 2 assist, is consistently 50 mins both ways. Going home it's a slight incline and against wind. If I'm in a rush, I use Level 3 assist (out of 4) and I am able to cut my time by about 5 mins with an increase in speed of about 2-4 MPH. I like the ebike because it helps to keep me on the bicycle on days when I am not necessarily 100%, also faster recovery times. This week, I am tuning up the ebike and have gone back to regular bicycling I use more gears on my regular bicycle which is an Electra Townie 21d. I am considering purchasing a hub drive ebike to compare the two styles of ebikes. Riding an ebike is like Pee Wee Herman's movie where he's cruising in front of the racers at a leisurely pace.

I am trying to become a four season commuter. This winter will be a first on a bicycle, but I also ride a motor scooter. I don't own a car and have integrated bicycling as a lifestyle choice as opposed to a fitness goal. Also since gear can get expensive, I started treasure hunting at thriftstores and bicycle coops to get good cycling gear. What took me so long I don't know, but I am out doing it now. I encourage you to start small and progress as you move along. Success breeds more riding. I hope that you find my post inspirational and know that you can do whatever you want to. Good luck to you. This forum has been very encouraging to me.

BobbyG 08-03-19 06:41 AM

@KittyBikes Don't despair! I commute most days ~9 miles each way in a very hilly city (Colorado Springs). After 17 years of near daily riding I had a non-biking injury that kept me off the bike for a year. As soon as I was able I got on the treadmill every morning and built my cardio back up. Then I started riding again. While the cardio was not a challenge, my legs had no strength and stamina.

It took me about 4 months to be able to take the biggest hills on my route in stride. But even now, with 10 more years of near daily riding under my belt, there are still days the hills get the better of me stamina wise.

And while my mountain-bike based commuter has very low gears, last year I put lower gearing on my road bikes to take the stress off my 57 year old knees on the hills.

For me, my goal has been, and continues to be maintaining reasonable health and cardio stamina. Super leg strength would be nice, but I would rather have stamina and reasonable health.

So welcome to BF. Be patient, don't get discouraged and go, Go, GO!

Brocephus 08-03-19 06:50 AM

I haven't sifted through the whole thread, so i don't know if this has been mentioned, but some very common things I see inexperienced riders do, that slows them down and takes some of the fun out, is riding with a dry/dirty chain, not having enough air in the tires, and having the seatpost misadjusted (usually too low).
So, lubricate that chain, almost any lubricant will do (doesn't have to be some expensive bike-specific lube).
Also, consider getting your own tire pump, they're worth their weight in gold !
And finally, get some help with proper seat height. If nothing else, watching a few you-tube tutorials is usually very informative and helpful, for a great many bike issues.

CycleryNorth81 08-03-19 07:02 AM

Nobody said you have to bike outdoors. Get your self a bike trainer. This will save your knees from riding up the hills. You can ride outside after after your fitness has improve.

Joining a gym is also an alternative. Pick one with a spin class and weight training. Increasing muscle mass will help you burn off the sugar. Do not be discourage if you are not losing weight, the muscle is replacing the fat.

Above all consult with your doctor as suggested in post 6.

spinnaker 08-03-19 07:44 AM


Originally Posted by CycleryNorth81 (Post 21057875)
Nobody said you have to bike outdoors. Get your self a bike trainer. This will save your knees from riding up the hills. You can ride outside after after your fitness has improve.

Joining a gym is also an alternative. Pick one with a spin class and weight training. Increasing muscle mass will help you burn off the sugar. Do not be discourage if you are not losing weight, the muscle is replacing the fat.

Above all consult with your doctor as suggested in post 6.


Trainers can be uncomfortable., Get a dedicated recumbent exercise bike or an elliptical. Far more comfortable. With an political you can easily, read or watch TV to pass the time.

.

BirdsBikeBinocs 08-03-19 08:00 AM


Originally Posted by spinnaker (Post 21057537)
NOPE! Horrible advice. You know nothing about the OP.

The only good part about it is setting a goal. But make it a reasonable one that you know you can attain . Pick a hill that you aren't able to climb. Make it a goal that you are going top climb that hill but don't force yourself into a time frame as long as you are being honest with yourself hat you are making an effort. If you really want to set a time frame then make that hill next season and make it a hill that you are pretty certain you can make next season.

Push too hard and you won't want to ride. Worse you will end up harming yourself and you won't be able to ride. Just be patient. A little bit at a time ends up in a huge improvement before you know it. You will look back and wonder what the heck were worried about.

Once you are back in condition you can then really start challenging yourself.

Um, you missed something spinny. I said "if it were me." But, I would give this advice to anyone. Why is it flawed.?? I'm telling her to stick to her routes and improve there. You're sending her to the mountains.?? WTH.??.... You've got some explaining to do..... In the meen time, I'll put you on my ignore list.

spinnaker 08-03-19 08:52 AM


Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs (Post 21057930)
Um, you missed something spinny. I said "if it were me." But, I would give this advice to anyone. Why is it flawed.?? I'm telling her to stick to her routes and improve there. You're sending her to the mountains.?? WTH.??.... You've got some explaining to do..... In the meen time, I'll put you on my ignore list.

Talk about someone that can't read. And wow you really hurt me that I am on your ignore list. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

xroadcharlie 08-03-19 09:33 AM

Hills are where weight becomes a major factor biking. This is where having the correct gearing and using it properly can make or break a ride, Especially if a person is overweight, Or has other issues.

I find using a low enough gear, Even with moderate effort most hills are no different then riding quickly on a flat, or against some wind. The goal is to maintain a cadence of about 60 rpm, Where ones speed might drop to 3 - 4 mph on steep hills. If necessary, Walk the bike on the steepest parts.

A bike with a triple chain ring might be enough for a low enough gear with the 28 chainring & 34 sprocket for even an unfit person to get up most hills, Just not very fast. A single chain ring with 7 - 9 gears may not go low enough with a 42 chainring & 32 sprocket.

I'd also consult with your doctor about the safest way to fitness with your diabetes. Also don't ride until you are completely exhausted. This is not only frustrating after a ride, But can rob you of the motivation to ride again. Walking might be a better activity for you for the time being, Or at least a combination of the two. Stairs and hills are good to walk, Even slowly.

philbob57 08-03-19 04:49 PM

I second the seat height suggestion. New cyclists often have it too low in order to be able to stay on the saddle with both feet on the ground. That robs you of power.

I second the up-your-cadence advice, too. Aim for a cadence that hurts neither your legs nor your breathing. IOW, aim for a cadence at which your legs start hurting just about when your breathing out as much as you can. Experiment on flats, if you have some. Sometimes, you'll just feel stronger at one cadence than another. At some points in the last couple of years, I've reached quantum leaps, when I find going to a higher gear gets me going faster ... which i assume is an effect of conditioning.

Keep riding, without criticizing your speed, cadence, ability/inability to get up a hill, etc. It takes riding more to be able to ride better. Just accept that starting in hilly country will make your progress seem slow - but at 33, you are likely to have more than 50 years in front of you, so you have time.

When I was younger, I used to push myself to go a little farther than I felt comfortable going. Then I hurt my back, and the only way I could ride for a whole season was to go a little less far than I thought I could.

I also second the HRM recommendation. In past years there were times I found myself just needing to stop for 10-15-20-30 minutes. I could breathe easily, and I felt no pain, but I just felt I had to stop. An HRM I started using this year showed me why: when my HR stayed above 140 for, say, 10 minutes, I could not recover without a long rest, often several rests. But as long as I stayed below 140, I could ride without long rest stops. Yesterday I was above 140 for most of an hour, took a 15 minute rest, and rode home in 1:05. (I'm old and slow, and my primary goal is to have fun riding.) IOW, if you keep riding, you'll improve your fitness.

How do you know your speed? If you have a 'puter, what kind?

In any case, the first time I rode a bike as an adult, I rode a mile ... and had to literally crawl upstairs when I came home. You're doing great!

KittyBikes 08-04-19 06:27 PM

livedarklions - I think murder is a really good way to describe it lol. For me, it's still less tedious than exercising indoors, which I truly hate! I would rather be out in negative temps with the wind eating my face off than rolling on a treadmill or indoor bike. Once I get myself in slightly better shape (not sore after rides) I want to start doing weight training again, however, and see if I can strengthen my legs.

BirdsBikesBinocs- It makes sense to set small goals and push yourself toward them. I feel I kind of do this by focusing on getting up these hills without stopping, shifting my body weight forward and pushing on my legs as much as I can. Of course, I don't want to overdo it and hurt myself, either.

spinnaker - This is good encouragement. I can't believe how bad the hills are sometimes - it's like I am biking in place! Horrible! I think to a certain degree I didn't realize how out of shape I was, either, and I expected cycling to be much easier than running, which, it simply is not. My doc is totally on board with biking, but I will speak with my diabetes educator lady about nutrition or maybe even ask for a referral to the dietician for some tips.

CliffordK - Thank you so much! I am a Type 2 diabetic, developed it when I was 27. I am significantly overweight, 5ft 4 and 200 lb. I did find a nearby cycling route that is a little flatter than what I was doing before which was a huge hill, not that steep but good lord was it long! I do take insulin, my body is getting more responsive to it which is always very tricky; what was the right amount of insulin two weeks ago is now giving me lows. Diabetes is a REAL pain in the ass and I wish I wouldn't have ignored it for so long! I do have to be careful about not pigging out after riding, but a nice protein heavy snack like nuts/cheese, things like that, helps curb hunger without killing me calories-wise. Good advice about the starchy long lasting carbs, maybe I'll try a small serving of steel cut oats or something.

KittyBikes 08-04-19 08:00 PM

guachi- I am overweight and I feel like my body to leg ratio is fairly small, too - my legs are short and skinny. I'm basically a ball on sticks. My bike is a Specialized hybrid Vita. It's a few years old, I am not sure if its 2016 or 2017. There are 3 gears on my left and 8 on my right; I think I may be making a mistake in always leaving my left hand gear on 3 and never lowing it. I figured it will make my legs stronger, but maybe I am just burning myself up! I do have a heart rate monitor but not a cadence meter; the whole idea of cadence is new to me and really fascinating.

Vintage Schwinn- As I mentioned above, I don't lose my low gears much at all, I always leave the gear on my left set to 3 and usually never lower the right hand gears under 3, either. I can't say why, exactly, I thought I would make me stronger, but maybe it's just making things really tough! I live in Michigan so it's not horribly hot, most days around 80 degrees and 70-80% humidity. Some cooler mornings, but then you get more humidity, which makes me feel it's harder to breathe.

ironwood- I did see that area of the forum and I debating whether to post there because I do fit that category and it makes sense that it takes more power to bring a heavier body up hills. There's a lot of people who have posted over time in that forum who are sort of saying the same thing I am - holy crap, this is brutal! It's definitely not the bike rides I remember when I was like 10 years old and I would just glide up hills.

Viich - Yes, I should carry sugar because I take insulin, and when you're exercising and its hot, your body can absorb insulin fast! My doc does know about my exercise and has recommended more exercise, yes. My heart rate is getting really high on the hills, probably more like 170, but I am going to work on lowering my gears and seeing how that works to mellow things out!

bruce19- Thanks, it is really difficult but I love being outside so, so much more than trying to exercise in the gym. I am really thankful I discovered that! I am thinking of getting a fat bike to ride all winter, because in Michigan our off season is long...I don't want to be inside for 3-4 months.

dabac - Wooo that's some fast riding! I can definitely identify that as something that is going wrong in my routine - I am absolutely slowwwly grinding out up the hills and leaving my gears pretty high. I am very interested in trying to adjust cadence and see how that helps.

alloo - It's all about lowering that insulin dose man!!! Reducing by 80% is HUGE and has got to go a long way to reducing insulin resistance! I need to lose about 50 lbs. and you are giving me some hope that it can happen! I was diagnosed at 27 and even though I was overweight, that really shocked me and I kind of ignored it for awhile...I didn't want to change my habits of going out so much and I have a lot of past eating disorder/binge eating disorder issues that have majorly complicated my path with diabetes. I have gastroparesis and that can make healthy eating hard as well, so I really need exercise. My A1c was 9 last time, so I am really hoping this will make a difference.

BobbyG- Go, go and don't stop, right?! I am also learning I REALLY need to lower my gears lol.

Brocephus- My bike is pretty new, but yes I need to get some gear in general; I don't have bike shorts, or bike shoes, or even gloves. And I need a pump and sounds like some lubricant for the chain.

CycleryNorth- I wish I liked exercise indoor but man I find it really...boring. I do have an indoor bike, though, so I could give it a go on that once or twice a week. It's got werid handles that move, but that helps you push the pedals too lol

xroadcharlie- I've got to look into this cadence idea more, as people keep mentioning. and walking the bike, I have done this a little but only out of dire necessity, so maybe I need to expand that. I don't really understand the chains and rings and sprockets- I've never been mechanically inclined, but I can try to read about this or watch a video.

philbob57- I will take a look at my seat. I am able to reach the ground on tippy toes from my seat; I will also look into cadence and maybe get a counter- I assume I can just count, it's not like I am mentally busy doing anything else really! I am using MapMyRide on my phone to measure distance and speed. My heart rate is really high at times, like 170 and generally 150. So I think I need to go a little slower, lower my gears, and just generally cool it.

Thank you all SO much for the advice and encouragement. I understand biking so much better already and I have many things to go learn about to be able to improve my performance.

Homebrew01 08-04-19 09:04 PM


Originally Posted by KittyBikes (Post 21060002)
guachi- I am overweight and I feel like my body to leg ratio is fairly small, too - my legs are short and skinny. I'm basically a ball on sticks. My bike is a Specialized hybrid Vita. It's a few years old, I am not sure if its 2016 or 2017. There are 3 gears on my left and 8 on my right; I think I may be making a mistake in always leaving my left hand gear on 3 and never lowing it. I figured it will make my legs stronger, but maybe I am just burning myself up! I do have a heart rate monitor but not a cadence meter; the whole idea of cadence is new to me and really fascinating.

Vintage Schwinn- As I mentioned above, I don't lose my low gears much at all, I always leave the gear on my left set to 3 and usually never lower the right hand gears under 3, either. I can't say why, exactly, I thought I would make me stronger, but maybe it's just making things really tough! I live in Michigan so it's not horribly hot, most days around 80 degrees and 70-80% humidity. Some cooler mornings, but then you get more humidity, which makes me feel it's harder to breathe.
.

Big mistake. Easy Gears are there for a reason. Use them. You should be in "1" or "2" on the left shifter (front derailleur) most of the time. "3" is "High range" for going down hill with the wind at your back.

If anything, leave it in "1", and use the right hand shifter (rear derailleur) as terrain changes.

Also, when you see a hill coming, shift into the easier gears a little bit ahead of time. If you are already in "Left 1", then use the right shifter to shift from 6 to 5...then 5 to 4. then 4 to 3 as needed as the hill gets steeper.


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