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Old 05-26-17, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SarahBeth View Post

You're the first to recommend M&Ms.
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Cyclists are very well known for eating junk and following unhealthy diets....Things like chocolate milk and candies and massive amounts of sugar are ok for elite level riders who race, do time trails and other high intensity long duration rides...But for a casual recreational riders or commuters eating these things will just make them gain fat. It's best to stick to eating whole foods.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:06 AM
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Eating too many calories makes you fat, not eating specific foods. There was a guy who ate nothing but McDonald's for six months and lost 56 pounds, because he ate fewer calories than he burned. I don't envy his sacrifice but it was a valuable experiment to disprove a lot of woo.

A lot of cyclists like to carry energy gels while riding, which are a nasty and expensive form of sugar. "Bonking" or "hitting the wall" means running out of glycogen (sugar), and suffering greatly for it. M&Ms are a less expensive and more convenient form of the same thing. And the advice wasn't to scarf them down, it was to carry them.
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Old 05-27-17, 04:09 PM
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We make hiking mix from M&Ms, peanuts, and raisins, mixed about equal parts. Great stuff. M&Ms don't melt easily, which is good.
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Old 05-28-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

I would think dark chocolate would work just as well. There's going to be some personal preference involved, go try it!

I'd like to suggest a link that I think/hope you'll benefit from:

http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#13/-...6057/blue/bike

I'm certain you know Boston better than I do. This map shows where other cyclists like to ride in and around Boston. Usually (but not always!) there's a good reason everybody chooses one route. So these tend to be good places to ride.
Thanks for the link. I picked up a few books from the library, one which addresses fitness that should be helpful. Although I've visited Boston several times, I wouldn't say that I know the city well. But it will be great to explore. Nevertheless, the heatmap is a great help and I appreciate it!
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Old 05-28-17, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Cyclists are very well known for eating junk and following unhealthy diets....Things like chocolate milk and candies and massive amounts of sugar are ok for elite level riders who race, do time trails and other high intensity long duration rides...But for a casual recreational riders or commuters eating these things will just make them gain fat. It's best to stick to eating whole foods.
My body responds negatively to refined sugar. Primarily because it's been out of my diet so long. I'm seriously sluggish and sleepy when I have it.

I don't think it's an ideal practice for someone desiring to slim down. Though there are surely some whose metabolisms will permit them to consume the calories without spreading.

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Old 05-28-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
A lot of cyclists like to carry energy gels while riding, which are a nasty and expensive form of sugar. "Bonking" or "hitting the wall" means running out of glycogen (sugar), and suffering greatly for it. M&Ms are a less expensive and more convenient form of the same thing. And the advice wasn't to scarf them down, it was to carry them.
I don't see myself using the gels. I can probably make something myself, I have culinary training and the alternative would be suitable to my palate. I understand there may be distance limitations as a result. But I'm willing to take the hit because I'm looking long term.
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Old 05-28-17, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
We make hiking mix from M&Ms, peanuts, and raisins, mixed about equal parts. Great stuff. M&Ms don't melt easily, which is good.
Would a granola work?
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Old 05-28-17, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SarahBeth View Post
Would a granola work?
Not the same mouth feel. And granola is not kind to my stomach, but that's just me. You have to try and see what works for you.
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Old 05-28-17, 10:08 PM
  #34  
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I recommend you concentrate on doing your miles on the bike, enjoying the scenery if possible, and don't worry about food. Just eat a normal sensible diet. The main thing is to get on the bike and ride the miles. Try to have fun. While it is out of fashion, IMO a long slow distance (LSD) approach is a good way to build a base for beginners. I realize not everyone can afford the time.

For the most part, your bike ride will be fueled by glycogen than you have stored in your muscles and liver the day before. This means carbs. Think about the old 70s food pyramid type mix of carbs and protein. It's not really great for sedentary lifestyles, but for active people it is quite appropriate.

I personally rarely if ever eat breakfast. If I know I'll be riding all day I might eat some oatmeal or something. Granola = fine. At any rate, if you are riding less than about 3 hrs, you are not likely to bonk (run out of glycogen), and you don't really need to bring food with you. This depends on training and diet and genetics (to some extent). In olden days before power bars and gels, we'd usually just bring a banana or two for insurance. (I'm on old ex racer)
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Old 05-29-17, 05:27 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Not the same mouth feel. And granola is not kind to my stomach, but that's just me. You have to try and see what works for you.
I just wondered since we were discussing energy food. My daily rides will be 1 - 1/2 hours but longer on Friday through Sunday. I make my own granola. It's much better. Sorry to hear about your stomach.
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Old 05-29-17, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I recommend you concentrate on doing your miles on the bike, enjoying the scenery if possible, and don't worry about food. Just eat a normal sensible diet. The main thing is to get on the bike and ride the miles. Try to have fun. While it is out of fashion, IMO a long slow distance (LSD) approach is a good way to build a base for beginners. I realize not everyone can afford the time.
I like your perspective and I do have the luxury of time. I've chosen midmorning rides to do as you've suggested. It's quiet and peaceful then.

Can you expound on the LSD approach? What's the long-term benefit?

For the most part, your bike ride will be fueled by glycogen than you have stored in your muscles and liver the day before. This means carbs. Think about the old 70s food pyramid type mix of carbs and protein. It's not really great for sedentary lifestyles, but for active people it is quite appropriate.
I'm not a huge carb eater so I'll pay attention to this. Especially in warmer months. I'm happier with farmers market fare. But I'll make adjustments along the way. Thanks for the information.

I personally rarely if ever eat breakfast. If I know I'll be riding all day I might eat some oatmeal or something. Granola = fine. At any rate, if you are riding less than about 3 hrs, you are not likely to bonk (run out of glycogen), and you don't really need to bring food with you. This depends on training and diet and genetics (to some extent). In olden days before power bars and gels, we'd usually just bring a banana or two for insurance. (I'm on old ex racer)
I think this will come into play on the weekends when I'll be out much longer. I'm glad to hear granola's good and all the feedback everyone has given. There's a lot I hadn't considered.

If old equals wise you're golden.
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Old 05-30-17, 11:07 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by SarahBeth View Post
I like your perspective and I do have the luxury of time. I've chosen midmorning rides to do as you've suggested. It's quiet and peaceful then.

Can you expound on the LSD approach? What's the long-term benefit?
The main idea is to provide a base for further training. It is also helpful in avoiding potential injury. Muscles will increase in strength rapidly, but it takes a long time for tendons to strengthen. If you jump right into speed training, your muscles will get stronger but your joints and core will still be weak, and you can strain your knees etc. If on the other hand you slowly build up fitness by longer rides and more miles and a lower level of exertion, it allows you body to become accustomed to the stresses of cycling. It will also help with form and core strength and being comfortable in a forward position, etc.

Traditional race training would involve a couple months of long miles in the small chainring at the start of the season, after which speedwork and racing would begin. Basically you just go for a long moderately easy paced ride every day, emphasizing spinning over pushing.

For a recreational rider that is simply seeking a reasonable level for fitness (like me now ), a similar approach can be used, but with a longer ramp up 'LSD' period. Try to stick mostly to flat and rolling terrain. Eventually, after lots of miles, you will find that your easy pace has actually gotten pretty fast. At that point you can start throwing in some hard climbing and going full out on occasion if you feel like it.

AFA mileage - I don't know your current fitness, but a good start for a non racer riding every day might be 100-150mi/week, slowly working up to ~300. Listen to your body though. You want to feel like you could ride a bit farther if you had to at the end. It is a good idea to throw in one long ride a week. Also, take one or two days either completely off, or a short easy ride only, especially at first.

Really, if you're new to it it will take a year or so to really build a base. Be patient. Just ride.
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Old 05-30-17, 11:42 AM
  #38  
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LSD is sometimes translated as "long, slow distance" but a better translation is "long, steady distance." You want to use a steady effort which you can maintain for the whole ride. That's as opposed to what you'd do in harder training, when you'd go hard on the hills and much easier on the flat. In LSD, try to spin and maintain a steady breathing rate the whole time, gearing down for any hills or grades, so no steep hills certainly. You want a breathing rate that's deep and even. If it speeds up suddenly, ease off. As you get better at LSD and get more conditioning from it, you'll notice that gradually you're going faster for the same effort.

Having a hard hill here and there is no big deal, but go back to LSD when it's over. Pedal the whole time, no coasting unless you're descending at over 30. You want the effort level steady. This is more tiring that one might expect, but that'll also improve, which is the reason you're doing it. Most folks figure about 1000 miles is plenty of this. Also 100 miles/week is plenty for a newbie. Restating previous comment, you don't want to get injured, i.e. RSI. As the 100/week level, that's only 10 weeks of LSD. You'll probably be tired of it by then anyway. Time to have more fun. I've ridden ultras and have almost never exceeded 150 miles/week in training for them.

LSD is kind of a PITA because it has to be done solo. No one else will exactly match your training need.
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Old 05-30-17, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
The main idea is to provide a base for further training. It is also helpful in avoiding potential injury. Muscles will increase in strength rapidly, but it takes a long time for tendons to strengthen. If you jump right into speed training, your muscles will get stronger but your joints and core will still be weak, and you can strain your knees etc. If on the other hand you slowly build up fitness by longer rides and more miles and a lower level of exertion, it allows you body to become accustomed to the stresses of cycling. It will also help with form and core strength and being comfortable in a forward position, etc..
Brilliant explanation! The concept is similar to what I did when I started walking.The miles crept up over time and I always returned home energized. No injuries either.

Traditional race training would involve a couple months of long miles in the small chainring at the start of the season, after which speedwork and racing would begin. Basically you just go for a long moderately easy paced ride every day, emphasizing spinning over pushing.
That's easy to follow. I think it's wise in the beginning. I haven't been on a bike in years and I don't want to be stranded far from home.

For a recreational rider that is simply seeking a reasonable level for fitness (like me now ), a similar approach can be used, but with a longer ramp up 'LSD' period. Try to stick mostly to flat and rolling terrain. Eventually, after lots of miles, you will find that your easy pace has actually gotten pretty fast. At that point you can start throwing in some hard climbing and going full out on occasion if you feel like it.
Both of the paths I'll be riding on are flat and smooth. I didn't set a firm number for daily miles because it's impossible to tell how I'll respond. But I did expect to be out for roughly an hour and a half during the week and longer on Friday through Sunday. I don't plan to have days off. I work from home and it's important that I get outside and move.

Really, if you're new to it it will take a year or so to really build a base. Be patient. Just ride.
That's the plan. Thanks for your advice. You should write a Cycling 101 guide.
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Old 05-30-17, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
LSD is sometimes translated as "long, slow distance" but a better translation is "long, steady distance." You want to use a steady effort which you can maintain for the whole ride. That's as opposed to what you'd do in harder training, when you'd go hard on the hills and much easier on the flat. In LSD, try to spin and maintain a steady breathing rate the whole time, gearing down for any hills or grades, so no steep hills certainly. You want a breathing rate that's deep and even. If it speeds up suddenly, ease off. As you get better at LSD and get more conditioning from it, you'll notice that gradually you're going faster for the same effort.
Perhaps it's me but your explanation with its technical references is a little alluring. The sort of internal spark one experiences when you know you're falling down the rabbit hole. I think I may end up liking this far more than I intended.

Having a hard hill here and there is no big deal, but go back to LSD when it's over. Pedal the whole time, no coasting unless you're descending at over 30. You want the effort level steady. This is more tiring that one might expect, but that'll also improve, which is the reason you're doing it. Most folks figure about 1000 miles is plenty of this. Also 100 miles/week is plenty for a newbie. Restating previous comment, you don't want to get injured, i.e. RSI. As the 100/week level, that's only 10 weeks of LSD. You'll probably be tired of it by then anyway. Time to have more fun. I've ridden ultras and have almost never exceeded 150 miles/week in training for them..
I'm sure you're right but there's also the personal challenge which is appealing. I like that a lot. In the end it's just me and the bike. The level of proficiency I obtain comes down to commitment and doing the work. I didn't expect that I'd want to do it. That's the surprise.

LSD is kind of a PITA because it has to be done solo. No one else will exactly match your training need.
I like the communal elements of cycling. Primarily because I'm accustomed to doing things alone. This will be a change of pace but a pleasant one nonetheless.

Thank you for your help. I have no doubt I'll read this again and remember your words while riding.
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Old 05-31-17, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SarahBeth View Post
Perhaps it's me but your explanation with its technical references is a little alluring. The sort of internal spark one experiences when you know you're falling down the rabbit hole. I think I may end up liking this far more than I intended.

I'm sure you're right but there's also the personal challenge which is appealing. I like that a lot. In the end it's just me and the bike. The level of proficiency I obtain comes down to commitment and doing the work. I didn't expect that I'd want to do it. That's the surprise.

I like the communal elements of cycling. Primarily because I'm accustomed to doing things alone. This will be a change of pace but a pleasant one nonetheless.

Thank you for your help. I have no doubt I'll read this again and remember your words while riding.
Well if you like the communal, by all means do at least 1 social ride/week. I always try to integrate my training into my social riding as much as I can.

Another disquisition: As you are discovering, cycling is an interesting sport. IME people tend to do activities which they're good at, whether it's playing the piano or mountain climbing. One of the fun things about cycling is that anyone with ordinary heart, lung, and leg function can get good at cycling. Even the leg function is optional - there are one-legged cyclists who climb mountain passes.

Cycling is described as a non-technical sport. Of course we all hear a lot of tech talk about the equipment, but that's not the sport. That's like tech talk about basketballs. The sport itself is not much about technique. Unlike swimming for instance, good cycling technique only nets one a few percent in performance. The rest of it is all training. You don't have to be able to hit 3-pointers - you only have to be able to turn the pedals and not run into things.

So cycling is a very accessible sport and thus enjoyable for a wide range of people. And it's a lifetime sport. Even after we can't balance anymore, we can still ride trikes. Also cycling draws from a wide variety of people. Many of my friends I would have never met except for cycling because we come from different parts of society. That's been wonderful. So by all means, be social.
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Old 06-01-17, 06:48 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by SarahBeth View Post
Right now I'm looking at the Cannondale Quick 4. It's pretty flat where I live but I'm moving to Boston and wanted something that will accommodate both terrains.
Do you have any recommendations? I figured this would be a good thing to purchase.
If you want the bike just for commuting/fitness you don't need much.
For that, the Quick 4 should be fine, but my personal choice would be the Quick 3 Disc Brake. I'm a big supporter of DB (disc brakes) in traffic. The worst feeling is having a car or another cyclist cut infront of you and you can't stop in time. DB are better at stopping. Period.

We have some nice bike paths that are very flat in the city. The largest hill you may have to encounter is an overpass or a pedestrian walk way. Outside of the city it gets a bit hillier. The Quick models come with a triple crankset, so you'll have no problems should you find yourself confronted with steep terrain.

I recommend getting some basic fenders, racks, lights, and a loud bell, there are plenty of bike shops here that can help with that. There's even a Cannondale store in Boston.
Things that will help you stay dry in the rain and make cycling more convenient and make you want to ride more.

Cycling in Boston is worlds faster than taking the bus/T/or car enjoy. Northeast Metro Boston has a thread in the regional section. Ask questions any time.
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Old 06-01-17, 08:00 AM
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excellent plan just don't be disappointed with anything, keep at it
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Old 06-08-17, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Panza View Post
If you want the bike just for commuting/fitness you don't need much.
For that, the Quick 4 should be fine, but my personal choice would be the Quick 3 Disc Brake. I'm a big supporter of DB (disc brakes) in traffic. The worst feeling is having a car or another cyclist cut infront of you and you can't stop in time. DB are better at stopping. Period.
Thanks for the information. I wasn't sure what they did but assumed it must be good due to the price. I won't be riding in traffic, just bike paths. I

We have some nice bike paths that are very flat in the city. The largest hill you may have to encounter is an overpass or a pedestrian walk way. Outside of the city it gets a bit hillier. The Quick models come with a triple crankset, so you'll have no problems should you find yourself confronted with steep terrain.
I live in Chicago right now but hills were a concern and one of the reasons I looked at the Quick. Boston is not as flat.

I recommend getting some basic fenders, racks, lights, and a loud bell, there are plenty of bike shops here that can help with that. There's even a Cannondale store in Boston. Things that will help you stay dry in the rain and make cycling more convenient and make you want to ride more.

Cycling in Boston is worlds faster than taking the bus/T/or car enjoy. Northeast Metro Boston has a thread in the regional section. Ask questions any time.
I'm glad you chimed in about recommended purchases. I'm buying the bike now before the move. But I didn't want to fall prey to upsells that I didn't need. Are there recommended brands for the fender, rack, and lights?

By the way, I didn't consider the rain! I'm very glad you mentioned it.
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Old 06-08-17, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
excellent plan just don't be disappointed with anything, keep at it
Thanks. I don't know if I'll be disappointed. Soreness will probably happen first.
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