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post #1 of 32 Old 02-12-2006, 6:34 AM Thread Starter
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The First Fifty Miles.

It's been years since I have been on a bike, and even longer since I have ridden for any distance. I do know one thing though, my love of two wheels has been unshakable over my lifetime. I started riding bikes at an early age, and was proud that at 5 years old I could handle my mom's bike. My first bike was a purple chopper with a banana seat and a bright orange flag that I learned to ride by having my Dad push me down the driveway. It was the typical scene portrayed in Hollywood movies time and time again. I took a few tumbles and lost some skin, but the desire to conquer two wheels was greater than the pain endured learning. Once I figured out how to balance myself, a new world was opened up.

Over the span of 37 years, I have had a few memorable times on my bikes. At the ripe age of six, I was riding my bike near my house when a neighbor showed up with a shiny new 10 speed. It didn't have 50 feet on it, and he was beaming from ear to ear. I don't know how I managed, maybe it was his knowledge of my excellent biking skills, and my persuasive personality, i.e.: begging mercilessly, that convinced him to finally decide to let me ride the bike, or he was just a complete idiot. I dropped my bike, and took hold of the shiny new 10 speed. I was so excited I didn't know what to do. I had to make some concessions though, like I would only ride it this one time, and I was only going to take it around the block. I swore on this and was given the all clear. With the rules understood, I headed down the driveway. It was magic. That bike was like riding a cloud. I was pedaling away on my one chance to ride this shiny new masterpiece. I approached the end of my street, and started to make the first turn. In a twist of fate there was a car coming down the street I was about to turn on. I went for the brakes and started pedaling backwards furiously. Unbeknownst to me, my friend had failed to give me one little bit of information, the brakes were on the handlebars, and not on the pedals. It was a small bit of information that held a lot of importance. I had never been on a bike that free wheeled, and never had to even contemplate the situation I was now in. My mind was going into overdrive. So by the time I get to where I am committed to the turn, I am pedaling backwards like a madman and not slowing one bit. There is an old man in the car staring right at me and I am staring right at him. We are on a collision course, and it's just a matter of time, which by the way has slowed to a crawl. I am pedaling backwards and negotiating the turn and watching the car come ever so close. Somehow I managed to halfway make the corner, and then hit the back of the car, leaving the bike and flying up onto the trunk. I did a complete roll as I traversed this gigantic trunk. I remember flying off the car as it screeched to a halt and landing on the ground. I didn't lay there long, as I got back up immediately. I took off running to the house, screaming the entire way. I ended up with a quick drive over to the emergency room to be checked out, and no knowledge of what happened to my friend or his bike. I do know that I was told from then on under no circumstances was I to borrow someone else's bike, and I almost gave an old man a heart attack right there on the spot.

A year or two later I had another great biking idea. I decided that I would see how far I could ride blind. I would pedal up to speed and close my eyes, coasting the rest of the way down the street. I had been up and down my street a number of times, and this time seemed routine, except I suddenly hit a bump. I didn't think that was too odd at first, but I decided to open my eyes. What I saw didn't last long. It was just the world going sideways, and then a loud crash. What I didn't realize was that the jolt I felt wasn't the road, it was the bumper of a car. I had run into the back of a parked car and didn't realize it. I held fast to the bike, and rode it right down to the ground. My head struck the pavement ear first. Unfortunately, this time the trip to the hospital wasn't just to get checked out. I had broken my right eardrum from the concussion. I remember running to the house screaming in pain this time. It seemed to be a theme of my childhood.

So it's been 30+ years and biking has been moved way down on my scale of priorities. After having kids, a lot of things moved down the priority list. Fitness has slid down the list as well. After years and years of working at a job where typing is the hardest physical activity, my body has rebelled. It's time to fight back. I want the body back that I used to have. I went out and bought a nice bike with which to fight the battle. My first mod was to add my GPS to the bike. I bought probably $20 worth of hardware thinking I was going to have to use most of it to make a mount. Turns out a $.20 piece, a few small washers, and a single bolt did the trick.

The first day was rough. I got in two miles, and was feeling every foot. I didn't want to overdo it, but then again, two miles. That's a warm-up for a lot of people I was thinking. How bad a shape can I be in. Well it was bad. By the end of the two miles I was gasping for breath and beginning to wonder if I was doomed to be overweight. One saving grace for me has been the love of two wheeled transportation, and I determined that this was just part and parcel of the fight ahead. I have worked my way up to 5 miles a day and a 30 minute ride. That gives me a 10 mph average, which is comfortable enough for me. There isn't a 20 foot stretch here that is level, so it's been a battle to keep from overdoing my ride. It took me a few days to find a route that wasn't too stressful. About the third night I was pushing myself fairly hard and came in with my heart beating so hard my chest was actually hurting. I figured that if it was a heart attack my kids would know that I at least died trying to get back into shape.

I have determined that I hate exercise. I know that I am not the only person. I see people who are so into exercising and almost feel a little jealous. It's not that I don't want to exercise, it's just that it's not what I call fun. Fortunately for me, and I really don't know how this would all play out, I enjoy riding. It's got it's moments where you are struggling up a hill, and your legs are burning, but for once, it's worth it. The freedom and feeling I get riding is the same as sitting on the motorcycle tooling down the road.

I passed the 50 mile mark the other day and am noticing some results. That's a grand total of 50 miles, which for me is a milestone. A small one, but one nonetheless. I can ride 5 miles and not be so out of breath I feel like dying. Hell I can even make it up the stairs at work without being winded. I have had a couple of comments that I might be losing some weight, but I can't see it yet. I know that it is going to be a long road, but I am determined to make this happen. There are a lot more miles in front of me that I am looking forward to.
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post #2 of 32 Old 02-12-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Hang in there fig slow and easy wins the race. Most of the time people quit their new routines cause it is "too hard". It gets easier, as the LB's drop and the muscles figure out what is going on it all gets better. Soon you will find yourself "Jonesen" for the ride. All you will think about all day till ya get home and pump out a QUICK ten miler. Just got back on mountain bike and I know that is what I really look forward to at the end of the day. Nice break between work and family life.

Just stay hydrated out there, two bottles of water isn't enough. Get your self a 100 oz camelback if you don't already have one. Post ride stretches too, can't forget them.

Oh, and no flippin' off speeding motorcycles that may strafe you.... epecially blue R-1's.

Side note: All welcome Wordy One Jr. Nice write up.
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post #3 of 32 Old 02-12-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Bah, buy a mountain bike. Then you can be like a buddy of mine and ride wheelies while drinking a beer!

Good for you trying to get in shape. I've started my riding season workout a little late this year due to long hours at work. Good luck!

...in my pants
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post #4 of 32 Old 02-12-2006, 1:28 PM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojave954
Hang in there fig slow and easy wins the race. Most of the time people quit their new routines cause it is "too hard".
Yep, and find fun rides...don't fall into doing the same loop always either.

I've been really kicking arse with my riding, but with lots of bus. travel over the last month and various other things going on, have been distracted.

In an hour or so I plan to get out for the first time in like a week and a half. (an eternity without a ride for me)

I have this fun little ride that's about 20 miles down to a coffee shop. My GF often meets me there, brings the dog (this coffee shop keeps dog treats on hand for the pooch too) and some flip flops and a book for me, we get lunch, have a coffee or something, and then I decide if I want to ride back or not.

It makes for a great experience. Sometimes it's much more fun to get all of your milage leaving the house, instead of doing a loop.

I've gotten to where a 50 mi ride is pretty comfortable, and it's amazing how far that is if you're not doing it as a 25 mi out/25 back.

Get creative, figure out how not to make it a grind!



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post #5 of 32 Old 02-12-2006, 4:42 PM
 
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great story, fig
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post #6 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 2:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Thanks guys. I am really pumped about this. I took my bike out today, and that was one tough ride. The wind was blowing, so I was fighting it for half the trip. I will probably have a hundred mile update here sometime soon. I know the lbs will eventually fall off, but for me the immediate effects, like being able to walk a moderate distance and not be winded is so worth the effort.

I have a camelback, and two bottles on the bike. I am all about drinking water. Next to eating, it's my favorite pastime.

LTL, one of these days 20 miles will be a nice ride for me. For now, I have to keep things doable. Like you guys said, I don't want to burn out on it. I am having a blast though, and can't wait till I am pushing about 100 lbs less.. Well, maybe not 100, but close. I am guessing I was close to if not over 300 lbs. To be truthfull, I was and am scared to step on a scale. I will get on one when I am closer to my goal. When I can see various body parts without having to use a mirror, I might break down a weigh myself. Until then, I know I am just too big.

I tried to post this in the Writer's Block section but it looks like those have to be moved in. It's not the first time I have written something wordy, but those disappeared a couple of board upgrades ago.
Fig

P.S. How long before your tailbone stops throbbing???
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post #7 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 2:34 AM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Good job, keep it up!
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post #8 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 9:07 AM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fig
Thanks guys. I am really pumped about this. I took my bike out today, and that was one tough ride. The wind was blowing, so I was fighting it for half the trip. I will probably have a hundred mile update here sometime soon. I know the lbs will eventually fall off, but for me the immediate effects, like being able to walk a moderate distance and not be winded is so worth the effort.

I have a camelback, and two bottles on the bike. I am all about drinking water. Next to eating, it's my favorite pastime.

LTL, one of these days 20 miles will be a nice ride for me. For now, I have to keep things doable. Like you guys said, I don't want to burn out on it. I am having a blast though, and can't wait till I am pushing about 100 lbs less.. Well, maybe not 100, but close. I am guessing I was close to if not over 300 lbs. To be truthfull, I was and am scared to step on a scale. I will get on one when I am closer to my goal. When I can see various body parts without having to use a mirror, I might break down a weigh myself. Until then, I know I am just too big.

I tried to post this in the Writer's Block section but it looks like those have to be moved in. It's not the first time I have written something wordy, but those disappeared a couple of board upgrades ago.
Fig

P.S. How long before your tailbone stops throbbing???
You have the "stock" seat? Look at something after market. One that is split on the backside of the seat. Mine is a Specialized body contour, or something like that. Most roadies are concerned with wieght and ride on those rock hard things. Comfort baby. Checkout your local bike store, talk to the peeps and get something new.
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post #9 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 10:28 AM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Good to hear Fig. Keep it up. Any support that I can give you can assume is already yours. Just ask.

HD
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post #10 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 11:30 AM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Good on you Fig! Seats on bikes are a tricky thing. As you know everyone is shaped a little different down there so the best case seat may or may not be the one that came with your ride. Before you rush out and throw money on it, make sure it's in the right spot (up, down, fore, aft, and pitch). Also, make sure you get off of it every couple minutes to let the blood flow by taking a couple of pedal strokes standing up. As to when the seat may be comfortable, , it's different for everyone. I have a friend that's heavy and the physics for him are a challenge. There is a lot of weight that is beging supported by a small area. There is no doubt though that if you stay with it, you can work that equation to your favor from both ends.
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post #11 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 11:33 AM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Yeah, Mojave talks about liking the Specialized saddles, and I think they're evil incarnated.



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post #12 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 12:41 PM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

MAY BE NWS!

This saddle came highly recommended by Heavy-Dee:

link

edit: reasonable price too

And then there's this asshole...

Last edited by luvtolean; 02-13-2006 at 1:18 PM.
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post #13 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 12:45 PM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Fig, you have my admiration for taking the decision. I wish you many (however gentle) miles and hope the determination sticks. These guys have good advice and I'm sure you're getting lots of support.
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post #14 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phobiaphobe
This saddle came highly recommended by Heavy-Dee:

link

edit: reasonable price too
Well all I know is what your girl told me.
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post #15 of 32 Old 02-13-2006, 1:03 PM
 
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Re: The First Fifty Miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy-Dee
Well all I know is what your girl told me.
Leave it to you to degenerate Fig's wholesome cycling thread. Grow up man.

And then there's this asshole...
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