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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Location: Central NY
Hi all---

My bike is arriving on Monday/Tuesday, and I am a complete newbie at riding (unless you count my last ride back when I was ten or so). I used to have great conditioning from running, but having battled with various injuries I have lost most of my conditioning and gained a significant amount of weight. My leg strength is somewhat lacking, but still mostly there. To start, I have about 30 lbs to lose and would like to get back to a good overall state of fitness. My goal for this is towards the end of summer. From there, I can really start focusing on trimming any excess body fat and working on getting some speed with riding. To help with this I think I will begin commuting on my bike, which will add an extra 2 miles each way (albeit at an easier pace). With gas the way it is, of course this will help me pinch some pennies for more gear! :D

I would like to plan out some rides and get familiar with some of the better roads to ride in my area. Could anyone give me a realistic idea of some starting distances? I have a much better feeling for the effort needed in running versus riding. Of course, people talk about their long rides of 30+ miles, etc., but what might be some realistic goals?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:47 am 
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Start slow. Apulia out to 20 from Manley area and back cut through the quarry cuts out nasty traffic. Should be like 15 miles or so.. Can't remember haven't ridden it in a long time. Ride as many times in a week as you can and there's no need to kill yourself...You can wait until I get out there to do that :D


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Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:47 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:56 am 
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Location: Urbana, Illinois
Ride by time verses distance. The body knows time, the mind knows distance. Start with an hour a day and stick with that for the first week or two and then add time every week. As you loose weight and gain fitness the distance will increase. Plan goal weight decreases and when you hit them give yourself a little reward. A special meal or a "gift" for your bike. All the above should be done by yourself.

Once you have gained fitness find a group or team to ride with. When even someone new joins my team we always give that person pointers on training and riding. You will be humbled and dropped for a while but it will help you to gain even more fitness and teach you group bike handling skills.

Good Luck!

PS the above is dependent on the amount of free time you have.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Juanmoretime wrote:
Start with an hour a day and stick with that for the first week or two and then add time every week.
Good idea. I usually do my workouts early in the morning, and an hour a day would work just fine. I figure I could even add some of the longer rides on the weekends (similar to what I did with running -- Sunday was my long day).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:58 am 
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Do you have an HR monitor? That's very useful not to go too hard when the mind is stronger than the body :-)

(I often ride with HR but without bike computer these days)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:52 am 
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When starting out consistency is the key. Set a "program" of rides you will do every week and repeat them. When you notice that you are not getting faster or the kms not getting easier then re-assess and change things up.

And try to enjoy it!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Tapeworm wrote:
And try to enjoy it!
I can't wait! It has been so long since I have actually enjoyed a run from the back issues. Itching to get out there and get going!

Good idea. I think for my first week I will try those hour rides daily. Like you say, once I'm more comfortable, then I can increase distance and/or speed.

My bike is now in the shop! Waiting for it to get built today or tomorrow!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:37 am 
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Good luck ! It won't take you long to get up to longer distances/rides - it's much harder to go fast than it is to go far. I started riding in 1994 after 20 years of career/kids with zero exercise and was able to ride a century (100 miles) within about 3 months of starting. I have no great athletic talent, BTW. I agree with others - just ride around a comfortable time and pace at first (the one hour is an excellent suggestion.) Just enjoy and let it happen organically - try a new road here and there, a little more time, etc. after a few weeks. Don't get strapped into a 'training program' at first. These help for more prodigious goals, like racing or ultra-distance riding, but can take the joy out of what is intrinsically a very fun thing. Ride around, take in the scenery, enjoy the freedom that comes from a bike and the pounds will melt and the fitness will come as a pleasant byproduct of the fun. Much better than the drudgery of exercise for the sole purpose of losing weight. Also, look for a local bike club -your local shop can direct you. Most clubs have rides and riders of all levels. The camaraderie is great and you can gain many skills riding with a group. If you later get the bug to go fast or ultra-far, you will have a good base to start from and can start thinking about heart rate monitors, power meters, training plans, etc. They're useful tools but first just ride your bike and have fun !


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:44 am 
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PS: I see you mention 'bike arriving.......' Did you buy at a bike shop ? If not, make sure your bike fits well and is set up properly for you. A fit doesn't have to be high tech with lasers, video and infinite measurements as many of us get into, but you should at least get a basic fitting at your local shop. Otherwise, you may experience back or shoulder pain, knee issues, etc. and be discouraged with the sport Not having at least a basic fit is akin to running in the wrong size shoe or skiing with the wrong skis and boots.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:10 pm 
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start riding in any position that is comfortable, getting your confidence first. Then pay increasing attention to 1 cadence 2. aero position. Invest in spd/cleat system of your choice and clip-on aero bars and bike computer (cheap will do first). Measure time and distance of set rides including compute. From your running knowledge think is you aim a 1mile, 10k or marathon (the equivalent in cycling would be 10mi TT, 25mi TT and 100mi+ sportive). If you get more serious buy a HR monitor and or power meter. Enjoy, because this keeps you cycling. Try hard, because this keep you improving.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Thanks for the advice everybody! I got in some good rides in the past week and am really enjoying myself. I am all set up to get a full fit this week at my bike shop. However, I think their quick fit was pretty spot on because even an 18 mile ride caused me no pains!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Excellent ! Nice to hear. Good weather this week in our neck of the woods. Keep enjoying and post back with any questions that arise.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:28 pm 
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ldamelio wrote:
Excellent ! Nice to hear. Good weather this week in our neck of the woods. Keep enjoying and post back with any questions that arise.
Thanks! And yes, the weather is great. Commuted on my bike today. Perfect temperature

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:35 pm 
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Constant riding, watch your diet as just riding will not shed the pounds. Make sure you dont ride to easy, get a sweat going. I would also ride the same route for a while as you can monitor your progress. Good luck and most important, enjoy


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:37 am 
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artray wrote:
Constant riding, watch your diet as just riding will not shed the pounds. Make sure you dont ride to easy, get a sweat going. I would also ride the same route for a while as you can monitor your progress. Good luck and most important, enjoy

In the past week I have been doing a short commute daily (~5mi round trip) supplemented by longer rides in the evening usually between 6-10mi. The commute ride has actually been helpful, as you suggest, to gauge my progress. It may not be completely significant and maybe this is more mental than physical, but I do feel as if I am getting stronger even in the past week and a half. I have yet to find a nice ~8mi ride to repeat in the evenings, but I think this will help me train hard to have a specific route for some time.

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Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:37 am 


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