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Thread: New to Cycling

  1. #1
    Leadrunner
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    New to Cycling

    Just started in Oct. Bought new KHS road bike from local bike shop. Owner spent lot of time finding out what I wanted to do, finding right type of bike, and then fitting me on the bike. I was very pleased. Thoroughly enjoy the bike. Here is the deal: I am about to turn 68, I have an off street course that I normally ride, it is not flat, about four or five short but steep climbs, and I normally average between 10 and 11 mph, usually two days of 9 1/2 mile circuit, two days of a 6 1/2 mile circuit, and a casual group ride on Saturday of somewhere between 10 and 15 miles. I seem to have flattened out. Not losing any more weight and leg strength and stamina do not seem to be improving. I feel great, but would like to get ready for some longer rides this spring and summer. Without being too technical, any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Where do you live in Texas?

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    How long have you been doing this circuit? There's a lot of variables into what you're asking. What part of Texas are you in? I know in the DFW area, the weather has been quite challenging to stay true to any type of regime. If you have hit that wall that every cyclist hits, you can try a couple different things. First, add miles. After you do your 9-1/2 mile ride, go back and do 4 more miles. Then keep adding to what we call base miles. It's no different to running but the bike just lets you cover more ground and isn't as taxing as running. Second, Instead of adding miles, take time off of your route. Increase your mph, if it takes you 50 mins to do your 9.5 miles, shoot for 45 mins, and decrease as needed. The only way to get past that wall is to get out of your comfort zone, if you aren't crazy about going faster, then just add the miles. Your brain is the thing putting the wall up, your body can handle it, it just has to be pushed. I've seen men a lot older than you doing the Hotter n Hell and doing it in amazing times.

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    Leadrunner
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    DeSoto, just south of Dallas.

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    Leadrunner
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    Thanks, there is logic to what you say. I haven't necessarily pushed the 9 1/2 faster, but i do push hard on the 6 1/2. I have managed to take about seven minutes off of that. I guess I will have to get some attitude on the 9 1/2. Odd that you should mention the Hooter n Hell. One of my goals is to do that for my 69th birthday.

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    My club NTCC is up in Saginaw. Before that though, I lived in the Arlington area. I used to ride with the Lonestar Cyclists. Lone Star Cyclists. It's been several years since I've ridden with them but they usually ride from the Cedar Hill area. They have several different ride speeds and distances. It's a good way to build your base and meet new people. They tend to be mostly on the older side, or at least when I rode with them. But that is an option for you. They also have a Facebook page if you're on there.

  7. #7
    Fat and slow but trying
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadrunner View Post
    Without being too technical, any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Like Ryno said...ride more. Add more miles. Even just a few at first. When I started last year I'd do a 10 mile out and back. After a couple weeks I'd just go a little further and a little further. In about 3 months I was able to complete a 72 mile metric century. I've not really looked too much into "training" yet but I do know that base miles is the starting point to most if not all training programs. Not sure what the goal for base miles is...but for me it's 100+ miles which I'll do in May at my first century, even though I could have done the mileage last year. Once I hit that milestone I may look into some actual training.

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    Glad to see another senior getting into cycling. I started a few months before you, back in July. I started with a mountain bike riding with the wife just on weekends. I was over weight and really out of shape. The first couple months I rode about 3-1/2 miles out, took a water break and then back home...I was averaging about 8 to 9 mph and as bad as it sounds, my goal was to break 10 mph for the average...
    When I got to the 10 mph on the mountain bike, I bought a secteur road bike and the wife and I upped the mileage to 10 miles on the weekend...then in November I bought a domane 5.2 and took the secteur to my office and began riding at lunch...
    What I do now is push the secteur for 5 miles at lunch time everyday and while I am still slow, I am now averaging 16.5 mph on that ride... and on the weekends I do 20 miles with the wife both mornings...
    I have lost 60 lbs and am feeling much better...my next goal is to be able to get to 18 mph average for the shorter 5 mile ride...
    on weekends riding with the wife for the 20 miles we are going much slower, doing an average of about 12 mph...what i have realized is that I am still getting stronger and am building some leg muscles...I am not as tired at the end of the slower 20 miles as I am at the end of the faster 5 mile run at lunch...I believe you are actually getting stronger and faster, but at a slower rate and you just do not realize it.

  9. #9
    Leadrunner
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    Thanks, Obed. Appreciate the input. My LBS has a casual ride on Saturdays and they only go about 8 or 9 mph. I push my daily rides a little harder and despite riding 4 to 5 days a week, I seem to be stuck at between 10 and 11. Oh, well. Will just keep on trucking.

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    I was stuck in that range for awhile myself...I had no one to ride with that knew anything that would help me out, so I started "experimenting", one thing that helped me was realizing that I was riding in too high a gear and was tiring out too soon... what I started doing was working on keeping the cadence up by going to lower gears, I did not get tired as quick and found that I really did not lose too much speed going to a lower gear when i kept the cadence up... I did not know about this forum then and have learned a bunch by reading question other newbies have posted...if i knew about this forum back then, i could have saved my self some of my self induced frustrations. You seem to have more help and encouragement that i had at the time...seems like you just need to get the seat time in. The rest will come on its own.
    My next goal is to break 18 mph avg on my lunch time 5 miles... I know the young guys read that and laugh, but hell, it will make me happy.

  11. #11
    Leadrunner
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    Yeah, I went by an LBS yesterday to pick up some shorts (feel like I'm wearing a damned diaper, but everyone says it helps), and talked with a younger guy. Surprisingly, he didn't talk down to me, and he said I probably just needed to get more miles on the legs and it would work out. He also suggested finding a hill nearby and climb it repeatedly one day as a substitute for a regualar ride. I am thinking about what you were saying about having a bike at work, just don't want to spend a bunch of money on it. When I first started shopping last October, I almost had a coronary when I says how much decent bikes cost. Wow.

  12. #12
    Fat and slow but trying
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    Quote Originally Posted by obed View Post
    My next goal is to break 18 mph avg on my lunch time 5 miles... I know the young guys read that and laugh, but hell, it will make me happy.
    Heck, I'd be happy with an 18 mph avg. I'm 38 so not exactly young but not exactly old yet either. Most of my rides are in the 14-15 mph area. Avg. speed is creeping up slowly but I'll never be a 20+mph avg. rider. Just not in the cards for this fat guy.

  13. #13
    Leadrunner
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    Heck, I would like to be in the 14-15 range. Of course, I do have about thirty years on you, but that is just an excuse. I know it really isn't true, but it seems I am always climbing a hill, or at least the hills are a lot longer than the downhills. Actually, I try to be consistent with my cadence more than speed, but I can see speed right in front of me all the time, so that is what I measure by.

  14. #14
    Leadrunner
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    May not mean much to others, but I hit a milestone today. I ride a circuit of about 9 1/2 miles each day. No real long straights and most of it is up and down hill with about 6 or seven short but steep climbs. Did that sucker in under 50 minutes today. May not be much to some, but since I have only been riding since end of October, I am ecstatic.

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    sounds good to me. keep it up.

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