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OT/Discovered Bicycling

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  • OT/Discovered Bicycling

    Rev-ed Please keep this on the board for awhile to let the bicycle riders read this. As a beginning rider 46 years old I could use their input. Feel free to move it to OT later though.

    I keep reading these threads on bicycling and after watching Lance this year I thought I would give it a shot.

    I'm 46 year old and I have arthritis in my knees from a motorcycle accident that I had 23 years ago. Before that accident I used to love to run ( I was actually training for my first marathon), but after tear ligaments and cartilage in both knees plus breaking my right femur that was something I could no longer do.

    For a while I played basketball and other stuff, but once I moved back to Indiana from New Mexico I got to where I now have a hard time walking without a cane. I have a Bowflex, but I think it’s boring and I have a hard time motivating my self.

    After watching Lance I went out last Friday and bought me a Mongoose XR100 mountain bike and my first ride was approximately 1 mile. The ride seemed very easy except that I live a big hill and the hill was super taxing and I ended up walking up it. The second day I went 2 miles and made it up my hill all the way using 1st gear. In less than a week I have worked myself up to 3 miles including my killer hill.

    What has really surprised me is that my knees have not bothered me at all and my arthritis seems to be improving. I hope progress continues, but I thought I would get the opinions of the riders on this board so that I might find out what to watch for and what the pit falls might be. I have yet to experience any soreness in my legs what so ever so I seem to be doing well. I have been riding daily.

    I would appreciate the input.
    I would think by now that this administration would have a clue as to what it takes to get the job done. So, Get-er-done!!!!!

  • #2
    I've noticed one big difference between running and cycling.

    After a great (difficult) cycling workout your muscles hurt.
    After a great running workout everything hurts!

    Another bit:
    I started cycling (regularly) about 3-4 yrs ago with a mountain bike. Soon after, I realized I was on pavement most of the time. I went out and bought another set of rims and tires, except this time I bought some cyclocross tires. This way I have the knobbies if I wanted to go off road, and the cyclocross tires if I wanted to stay mainly on. The cyclocross tires are great because they have much lower rolling resistance and still have enough traction to go almost anywhere. Truthfully, the knobbies haven't been on my mountain bike for quite sometime.

    Actually, I don't spend much time on my mountain bike either (save commuting to work occasionally). Since I cylced mainly on streets I bought a trek 5200. Can't say enough good things about this bike, but that is for another time ...

    Actually a mountain bike with cyclocross tires makes a great everyday, all-around bike. On the other hand if you want to get into some serious road cycling ...

    Go Lance!

    Comment


    • #3
      Actually my 60 year old mom rode the Ragbrai last year and she's doing a big ride in Wisconsin next week. She didn't start until her early to mid 50's so you're apparently never too old to start, she rides 30-50 miles on the typical weekend these days...

      I'm sure Doc Austin will have lots of stories for you
      Delta Force Theme... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQUeQOIlcDM You're Welcome

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      • #4
        I have been riding since '96. All cycling has been done on road. I have done several centuries and a few two day MS tours.

        The main thing about hills is to spin, spin, spin. Don't try to ride uphill in too large a gear or you will blow your knees out. Spin an easy gear at a high cadence for going uphill, this is what Lance does and it is quite effective.
        You should avoid making yourself too clear even in your explanations -

        Baltasar Gracian, Spanish philosopher

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        • #5
          I do a daily ride because bicycling is fun for me. I go about 30 minutes and don't really base it on miles run.

          I have a Trek 7300 Multitrack. It has tires about 1.25 inches thick. So it is mainly for streets but can also go off-road on trails. I once road it all day on some trails at a state park. It is a good low-cost bike.

          Here is a bicycling forum similar to TF:

          http://www.cyclingforums.com/
          Barney Oldfield - AJ Foyt - Jim Clark - Dan Gurney - IMS - IMS YT - INDYCAR - INDYCAR YT

          Comment


          • #6
            Wheel Nut is dead on. It will feel strange when you first do it, but pedal fast in an 'easy' gear--you will be able to ride longer with far less stress on your knees. The pros typically keep a very high cadence. You might consider getting a bike computer that shows cadence to monitor how you are riding--I found it helped me a great deal. Also, make sure that your seat height is set right, so you get nearly full extension of your leg at the bottom of the stroke--this is generally good practice, and especially important for your knees. Also, if you use pedals that you click into, as opposed to traditional toe clips, make sure they are adjusted correctly to avoid any unnecessary knee stress.

            Comment


            • #7
              I still have an old Schwinn LeTour, with Look pedals, hanging in my shed. If I ever get light enough to ride it without popping spokes I might just be tempted to get back on it. Arcing down a hill at nearly 50 is a rush pretty much akin to racing, only without all the safety gear...yow. Besides, the emergency room is a great place to meet folks, particularly when they're scrubbing gravel off of your dupah!
              You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

              Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

              Comment


              • #8
                Just to amplify some of the previous points... You may not be ready to invest in a second set of wheels just yet, but swapping out the tires that probably came on the Mongoose for more road-friendly tires is a small investment which will make the road riding all the more pleasant.

                Focus on rinding your own pace if you start riding with others or with a group. It may be a little demoralizing to get "dropped", but better that than pushing beyond your current limits and possibly hurting yourself. A rule of thumb I've subscribed to is to limit increases in mileage to +/-10-15% especially as you move up in distance. Don't try to jump to 30 miles just because 20 didn't seem too bad.

                As Wheel-Nut said, spin, spin, spin. Pushing too high of a gear uphill will surely make your knees cry for mercy. Mountain bikes have plenty of gears, use them. As you become stronger, you'll find yourself climbing more efficiently, but your knees may dictate a lighter load than other riders you know. My ex has a very bad knee (shattered kneecap, very arthritic). She knows the limits on her knee and we would often separate on a climb. However, we would both survive to climb another day (usually).

                Other minutia, buy some riding shorts. They make some for mtn biking that don't look like the kind Lance wears, but will still keep you from chafing in uncomfortable spots. Also, please, please wear a helmet. There are too many hazards out there, road damage, inattentative or worse drivers. Better safe than sorry. My helmet saved me from a fractured skull in a low-speed crash in NM (third-degree separation of my AC joiint, but no concussion).

                Good Luck to you and welcome to the club.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Micro Racer,

                  Being 78 years old, and not being able walk to good anymore, I was afriad of falling on a real, live two-wheeler, and breaking something, so I bought a Schwinn model 205 XP Recumbunt Stationary.

                  I set in my living room, watch television, and pedal away with no hills to worry about.

                  Finally, after about two months I can do four miles in 20 minutes, by the way I live a 7,000 feet in New Mexico and I am on oxygen 24-7.

                  I was glued to the television all during the Tou rDe France and I still can't believe what those guys can do on a bicycle, and, believe it or not, the downhill is the scariest part.

                  To me they are really the World's most amazing athletes. Good luck with you program, watch out going down that hill.
                  Dick Ralstin www.dickralstin.com

                  Satisfaction guaranteed or your Monkee returned

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I live out in the country and some road I ride on is gravel and it is real hilly. The pavement is not all that smooth either, that's why I decided on the mountain bike. I'm working my way up to 5.5 miles, which would be a loop where I live, but there are some pretty good hills in that loop not including my driveway. After a while there is a 10-mile loop that I will try. I plan on working up my distance incrementally. I have a long way to go to get anywhere near you guys.

                    I will try some of the pacing while riding tonight. I know one of the things I'm probably going to have to invest in is a hydration pack. Where my bottle is located (right behind the front tire) I have already skinned my hand trying to get out of it's holder going down the road.

                    Thanks for the info, as I have bad knees I don't want to do anything to stupid to blow my knees out. Also how do you stay in shape in the winter or do you still ride in the winter if possible.
                    I would think by now that this administration would have a clue as to what it takes to get the job done. So, Get-er-done!!!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MicroRacer

                      Thanks for the info, as I have bad knees I don't want to do anything to stupid to blow my knees out. Also how do you stay in shape in the winter or do you still ride in the winter if possible.
                      My mom has a stand in her living room that the back tire of he bike clips into and she can ride in front of the tv in the winter, then if there is a warm day, she can clip the bike out of the stand and ride if she wants.

                      Its either marketed by Greg LeMond or Lance Armstrong but I can't remember which
                      Delta Force Theme... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQUeQOIlcDM You're Welcome

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you two-wheel fanatics get out in this direction (say, to the Nashville show next year!) you must come out this way and spend a few hours biking the Natchez Trace. Imagine a beautiful two-lane blacktop stretching from just west of Nashville all the way to Natchez, MS, and thence to the Gulf. No commercial vehicles allowed, speed limit 50. Apart from the historical and scenic aspects--which are legion, by the way--it's a veritable Mecca for bicyclists, who flock to it. It's a 13.4 mile ride from my house back when I was capable of doing such things, and from there it's 400+ miles of open, winding road...
                        You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

                        Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You are a sport now, little brother.

                          I'm not an Armstrong by any means, but I love to go stupidly fast. The best advice I have is spend as much as you can afford, and then go overboard. Make sure you get the bikeshop to fit you properly, because a bad fit will make any physical problems you have even worse.

                          If your butt gets sore, tough it out for another week. Don't fall for the cushy silicone seats. they make you butt sore enough to just be sore, but not enough to toughen you up.

                          Look hard into clipless petals. I like speedplay, but yuou might like something else.

                          Get a computer so you can track your miles and speed. It's a useful training tool. Also make sure you get one with cadence so you can keep track of your leg speed and train yourself to stay in your personal powerband.

                          Buy the best helmet you can afford, then trade it in on the next model up. I've shattered helmets and would have probably either died or been a vegatable had I not worn one.

                          Most importantly, find someone who has alot of experience and is willing to train with you. My cycle guru's advice has saved me alot of accidents I would have had if I didn't know any better.

                          I like Serotta, but that is too expensive of a bike to buy as a first one. If you think you are going to stay with it for ten years or longer, just mortgage the kids and get the legend TI. Don't be a wuss. Get all Durace.

                          Have a blast and send me a PM if you get to Florida. the Pinellas county trail is awesome and we can crank out some miles together.
                          "Is that my *** that I smell burning?" ... Helmet Stogie from "Death spasms of the Mabuchi"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is a link to a very good cyclometer that is on sale:

                            http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...569&Store=Bike

                            I have been cycling for several years - all road. The best thing I did was take classes during the winter that taught us how to spin.

                            Good luck!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dick Ralstin
                              Hey Micro Racer,



                              Finally, after about two months I can do four miles in 20 minutes, by the way I live a 7,000 feet in New Mexico and I am on oxygen 24-7.
                              I hope I can do that at 78. I just finished my daily 3-mile ride and it took me 18 minutes. I used to run that in combat boots when I was in the army.

                              I lived in Raton, New Mexico for 6 years and I seemed to have fewer problems with my joints when I was there. I think it has a lot to do with the humidity. You know how the humidity is in Indiana.
                              I would think by now that this administration would have a clue as to what it takes to get the job done. So, Get-er-done!!!!!

                              Comment

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