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Hello from Hornchurch, Essex.Fat.50 yrs old.Beginner!!

FatBlokeLondonFatBlokeLondon Posts: 14
edited August 2013 in MTB beginners
Hello all.
My name is Gary, and I am from Hornchurch, Essex.
A bit about me: I am 52, overweight, (around 3 stones to lose), had a heart attack 6 years ago, fine now, but giving up smoking caused me to gain weight, about which I constantly moan!!
Hate the gym, full of pretentious pratts, and costs a fortune (the one by me is £85 per month!!)
So my lovely wife surprised me with a shiny new mountain bike !!
It's not a top of the range carbon fibre jobbie, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
It is a Barracuda Obtuse. It's a hardtail, with front suspension, and 24 gears.
Only been out on it a couple of times, and realise how unfit I am !!
However, I am determined to cycle regularly, and use it as part of my weight loss programme.
There are a few country parks around here, so although I will do some road riding, most of it will be light "off road" riding, until I progress that is.

Would be nice to hear from anyone else from my area who may be on here,especially another newbie who may want to compare notes/rides/tips etc...
Eventually will want to join meet ups etc, but at the moment, apart from embarrasing myself, I think there is little point in making everyone else wait for the fat bloke at the back to catch up.

Anyway, enough for now. Hope to chat soon...

Posts

  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Welcome, check out the London Calling thread in "routes, rides and holidays" section

    viewtopic.php?f=10014&t=12669705
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,758
    The old airfield country park would be a nice gentle start and then you can work up some speed as you go (lived in 'Romfud' for a year), just don't hit one of the machine gun turrets!

    You'll need to get a basic level of fitness by yourself, so you need to find riding enjoyable or you won't stick at it, so I'd say four key things
    1/ Learn the fastest pace you can keep up for an extended period of time
    2/ Learn to pedal at the right speed, this is about 90-100rpm and for older people like us feels to fast at first, stick at it, it brings better fitness faster.
    3/ Learn to use your gears properly so you can keep 1 and 2 going at the right effort/speed however slow you go uphill or fast down
    4/ENJOY IT!
  • Welcome, check out the London Calling thread in "routes, rides and holidays" section

    viewtopic.php?f=10014&t=12669705

    Thanks for that link. I will be finding it useful in the future.
  • The Rookie wrote:
    The old airfield country park would be a nice gentle start and then you can work up some speed as you go (lived in 'Romfud' for a year), just don't hit one of the machine gun turrets!

    You'll need to get a basic level of fitness by yourself, so you need to find riding enjoyable or you won't stick at it, so I'd say four key things
    1/ Learn the fastest pace you can keep up for an extended period of time
    2/ Learn to pedal at the right speed, this is about 90-100rpm and for older people like us feels to fast at first, stick at it, it brings better fitness faster.
    3/ Learn to use your gears properly so you can keep 1 and 2 going at the right effort/speed however slow you go uphill or fast down
    4/ENJOY IT!

    Thank you Rookie. I was thinking of Hornchurch country park, Pages woods, Airfield country park too, so enough to explore to start with.
    i also go to Thorndon Country park a lot, walking the dog, and see some riders there quite often.

    Also, thank you for the 4 pointers.
    I downloaded Strava for my iPhone, and my darling wife has also bought me the Wahoo bluetooth speed and cadence thingy which I have yet to mount to the bike, but that should, if i am thinking correctly, tell me my pedal's RPM? I also have a heart rate monitor which I can link to Strava too.
    All the gear, no idea at the moment!! haha.
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    You'll soon get the idea :)
  • Hello all.
    My name is Gary, and I am from Hornchurch, Essex.
    A bit about me: I am 52, overweight, (around 3 stones to lose), had a heart attack 6 years ago, fine now, but giving up smoking caused me to gain weight, about which I constantly moan!!
    Hate the gym, full of pretentious pratts, and costs a fortune (the one by me is £85 per month!!)
    So my lovely wife surprised me with a shiny new mountain bike !!
    It's not a top of the range carbon fibre jobbie, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
    It is a Barracuda Obtuse. It's a hardtail, with front suspension, and 24 gears.
    Only been out on it a couple of times, and realise how unfit I am !!
    However, I am determined to cycle regularly, and use it as part of my weight loss programme.
    There are a few country parks around here, so although I will do some road riding, most of it will be light "off road" riding, until I progress that is.

    Would be nice to hear from anyone else from my area who may be on here,especially another newbie who may want to compare notes/rides/tips etc...
    Eventually will want to join meet ups etc, but at the moment, apart from embarrasing myself, I think there is little point in making everyone else wait for the fat bloke at the back to catch up.

    Anyway, enough for now. Hope to chat soon...

    Good on you. I'm a mere 30 but haven't actually been active in any sport for most of my life. I'm far from overweight but I'm using both cycling and the gym to try and look my best.

    Don't be scared of joining a gym. After the first few sessions you'll lose the gym loathing.

    Some pretty helpful people at most gyms but don't take all advise on-board. There are some real fanatics out there.

    I'm cycling to and from work tomorrow for the first time ever. 25 mile round trip and I can't wait!
  • I think part of the problem for me at least is that I feel quite embarrassed when surrounded by fit 20 yr olds.
    When I am a bit trimmer then I may think about joining!!
  • I am 53 now and realising it ! Like you I have that fear of looking a plonker on social rides with others. Need to build up the fitness I really struggle on the uphills. Have basically just repeated familiar trails until I can. Now reached a minimum of 10 miles a day. Only been back on the bike 2 months. Have fun .
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,758
    I loathe and detest gyms, if that is your thing, fine, however I find them so BORING, the only time I use a gym is when I'm overseas on business and it's the only chance I get to do some exercise (47 and relatively fit) for that week*. I'd much rather do a local road/path cycle with scenery and gradients and all that sort of interesting stuff!

    *Found a group of cyclists at my normal destination so now plan to do a cycle ride on my Sunday off when I'm out there - can rent a bike for a fiver for the day! - did 54 miles last time I was out.
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    There are plenty of good training rides in your area as others have said, if you look on the OS maps you can link up lots without going round and round and getting bored.

    If you want it a bit more fun go to Thorndon Park, that's where most local riders go, I've been riding there for 50 years on all sorts of bikes, the first 12 years I spent riding the streets of Elm Park, Hornchurch and the aerodrome before I moved to Cranham.

    Most rides start from the Go Kart track car park behind Fords office block or you can just park within Thorndon and just explore.

    I wouldn't also worry about riding with others as most riders are only too pleased to help someone who's putting some effort into getting fit and will always wait for you.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • Well thank you all for the kind words of welcome and encouragement!
    I have made my first tentative steps at getting back to fitness by cycling round a "loop" around Pages woods, just across the A127 for me.
    It is a 5 mile ride (short I know, but give me a chance!!) on wide cinder (I think) track, which goes up a hill to the top of Shepherds hill.
    Although this might sound daft, doing 5 miles was easy for me (surprisingly) so I shall start doing 2 x laps from tomorrow.
    I am also a bit surprised at how I need to build up confidence, after being off a bike for so long (it really has been many years) Just for things like braking, turning at speed on not very grippy track etc etc.
    Anyway, at least I have made a start, and so far, so good, even though it is very early days.

    I am keen to do some sort of beginner or intro day at Thorndon, that sounds like fun.
    I will keep my eyes open for a meet at some point soon, I hope.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,758
    Cinder type tracks are always tough on confidence as your tyres tend to 'wander' thorugh the gravel, you just have to learn to relax, not fight it, and go with the flow.

    More importantly, congrats on a first ride and now hopefully you'll look forward to upping the pace and distance.
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