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JetAgeHobo 09-24-13 08:59 AM

HI from Santa Barbara 55+
Just moved to the Santa Barbara area a few months ago from Southern IL. Started riding while back in IL last year on the Madison County, IL MTC trails after not riding for many (won't say how many) years. Desk job had me getting overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. Told the doc I wanted to take up riding, he's an avid road cyclist, said that would probably solve a lot of my problems. Skip the statins buy a bike. See him in 6 months. Picked up a vintage Lotus 3000M mountain bike at a local pawn shop, got it back in shape for riding, then started on the trails. Dropped 30 pounds and my cholesterol 20 points. 8-12 mile rides during the week, up to doing 25 mile rides on the weekends.

Now in the Santa Barbara area, have been doing short 6-8 mile rides during the week. First long road ride (ok, not all that long, about 16 miles) in the hills near Solvang last weekend. That old Lotus totally inadequate, about worn out I think despite my best efforts to keep it going. Suntour drive train about shot. Also with the current mountain gearing at best will get about 16-18 mph out of it on the flats. Looking at new bikes, can't decide between road such as Giant Defy, Raleigh Revinio or maybe a cyclocross bike like Kona Jake. Do maybe want to do light touring, definitely stretch the distances to more than 16 miles. Test rode all 3, more of a road vs cross for light touring, commuting to work or lunch short rides. Any suggestions would help, maybe bike I hadn't thought of?

Either way, glad to be back riding,

CbadRider 09-24-13 09:52 AM

Welcome to the forum!

You can check out the Touring and Commuting forums for more information on what kind of bike to get. And stop by the Southern California regional forum and say hello.

Lacumo 09-24-13 11:37 AM

Welcome to BF and back to cycling, and congrats on dropping the weight and cholesterol!

Siu Blue Wind 09-24-13 09:25 PM

Wow, what a good news story! A hybrid might be something that you might want to look into. It's a flat bar "roadbike" with skinny tires that can do a little trail riding and with mtb components. We have a section here that you might want to check out. Have fun!

Zephyr11 09-25-13 04:39 PM

Welcome to Bike Forums!

Leukybear 09-25-13 09:55 PM

Good job! Show your body who's boss!

Welcome to bikeforums!

JetAgeHobo 09-25-13 11:18 PM

Thanks everyone. Used to enjoy riding in my younger days, back then the old 3 speed what passed for a street bike those days, turn the handlebars upside down and make it a semi-racer. 10 speed racers hadn't gone mass market yet. The "in" bike was the stingray style with a 3 speed shift (or maybe 5 speed) with the big honnkin' gear shift on the crossbar. Seems I could ride pretty long distances, do some pretty good hills on that thing. Now I require 21 gears and down to 'granny low' to get up the same hills.... my how times changed.

Probably going to drive the LBS's around here a bit nuts, luckily Giant is having a test ride day in a couple weeks. Also thinking about the Specialized Tricomp, but need to find a bike shop that has one I can test ride. Local shops are tending to beach cruisers for the college kids this time of year, local K-Mart doing great business selling bikes to the USCB college freshmen this week. Cross bikes seem a good compromise between such as a full road bike and a full touring bike such as a Surly LHT. End of the day I think my butt and legs will tell me which one to get. Kind of like finding a mate I think.

As far as getting healthier, slight diet modification, dropping the junk snacks in favor of fruits and such, getting out and moving, in my case cycling, makes a world of difference. Doc said a good hour road bike ride burns about 1000 calories. Company I now work for encourages exercise breaks during the day, so an hour or so lunch ride is not out of the question. Unfortunately going to be getting dark too early for evening rides soon.

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