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hello there, from a bit of a reticent beginner

rolfaaldersrolfaalders Posts: 12
edited March 2018 in Road beginners
Sure, another beginner post. And as far as I'm concerned all the beginner posts are just fine!
I have browsed the forum and read plenty of posts. These posts cover most of the items I run into. And still I choose to post my own beginner post. Why? Because writing this down structures my thoughts. It pops up new questions which I can try to sort out. Also, perhaps it is fair, to contribute to the forum, instead of only consuming. Maybe someone else recognizes stuff in my post, which gets answered by the community. Lastly, for me, it is a form of getting into the sport, making it a routine or even a lifestyle, I hope ;)


Hi, I'm Rolf, 41 years old, father of 2 daughters (8y, 6y) and I live in The Netherlands. I'm 186 cm, 75kg. So, I'm not too heavy, but I'm very unfit, for years now. I learnt that in English this is called: sedentary. I tried to pick up running, 7 years ago, but kept running into shin split issues and other injuries. After 1,5 years I was able to run 10K in around 58 minutes, of which I was actually proud, but the shin split issues stopped me :( I tried a lot, before stopping: professional help, other shoes, insoles, stretching exercises, etc. But it didn't help. I stopped for 3 months and when I started slowly it returned within the first km's... No go.


Next, I choose recreational kayaking to keep 'moving' and I really like that. But it doesn't build my condition/fitness: I can't do it multiple times a week. I was thinking to give running another try, but then I remembered road cycling. I used to do this for a couple of years when I was 14y, I guess. I loved that, but stopped doing it when I started to study.

I was a bit hesitant, because I invested quite some money in the kayaking gear. Don't get me wrong: I will still continue to kayak. It is a very relaxing activity and reduces stress :), but doing it once in 14 days, does not make me fit. It has it's place for socializing and relaxing.

So a couple of weeks ago I got my hybrid city bike from the shed, a 2012 Gazelle Medeo Plus, with sufficient gears. I rode a small route of 5 km's. My heart rate was high and even with 5km I sweated a lot. But it felt good. Two days later another small route: this sparked the interest a lot.

However, it also sparked anxiety: I'm really unfit. I'm really affraid to get an injury. I'm not thinking about crashing or something like that. I'm talking about something like the shin splits I got with running: my body not being able to cope/recover sufficient.
Also, there was a period of me not being able to recover after workout. It wore me down in the long run. I felt miserable. Went to the GP and turned out that I had an infection in my intestines because of which my food did not got processed properly. I had to recover for 3 months. I was exhausted.

I know that's sad, being afraid. The body is a magnificent machine and so, but I'm being open here: having such bad experiences, this does worry me. I 'just' want to go for it AND continue doing this.

This is probably also the reason I did not do anything sport related for years... And by now I really want to get fit. I really want to loose the belly fat. I really want to ride the bike and give it a tiring spin... and keep on doing that 3 times a week, for the coming 40 years ;)

Sure, I should build up slowly. And that's exactly what I'm planning to do. I actually have an appointment with the physiotherapist to discuss my body, points of attention and trainingplan, and hopefully also some food related points of attention. What to eat so that my neglected muscles get some attention even at beginners level (if you have some advice, please share).

Time available is limited to max an hour training on monday and thursdag. Friday I can train for 5 hours, if I want to. That's way too long at first, but I just say that I have that time available. Saturday or Sunday (one of those) is limited to max 3 hours. The plan is to do a pre breakfast ride on Monday and Thursday, even before the kids get up and before my wife leaves for work (I'm doing crosstrainer workouts in the garage now: I start at 05:00, so I know getting out of bed is not an issue for me. BTW I really hate that machine: the crosstrainer). Then, another ride on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, so 3x times a week.

Unfortunately, my family/work schedule does not allow me to join a club, or other group activities. Also I found doing a workout in the evening, keeps me awake for hours, so I prefer not in the evening.

I've found my way to Strava for tracking my own progress. I'm not interested in competing with others, now, but I'm really curious what I can expect in my own progress.

Also I've watched a lot of GCN vids on YouTube already. Please give me some other pointers which you think match my beginner state.

I've set a goal:
- Make cycling a injury free habbit.
- Get fit

Really, this is not a very specific goal, I know. But at this stage I really do not dare to commit to a distance, duration or speed/pace. I hope I can set better goals when my body proves to be reliable. I should gain convidence first.
When I started running, I could not run 60 (prob not even 30) sec consecutively. That improved quite fast. That will probably happen with cycling as well. But the part of the body, muscles, joints, bones, etc being able to adjust/cope with the workout. That's what's still worrying me.

Next to the very short/light bike rides, I'm stretching my legs (calves and shins) 3x a day. In the short rides I try to take a sip of water every 10 minutes, just to make it a habit. I've a heart rate monitor (got it from my running days) hooked to my phone and bought a Wahoo RPM, 2 days ago, to be aware of the RPM. Nice insight. As I understand I should be Aiming to 80-90 rpm. Speeds is not an goal for me now, but nice to track the progress/improvement, since obviously I'm looking forward to improve that and buying a proper road bike, hopefully this year.

Brought the bike to the local bike shop, last week, to give it a proper maintenance. A loose mudguard, that't. The guy (72y) gave it a real good cleaning and even got the chain off and cleaned all of the derailleur. It took him 3,5 hours, and only asked 50,-. The next ride however, turned out that the chain was not linked correctly, so it broke. He fixed it for free obviously. Nice guy.


This post is not really a post with a specific question, but rather a post to open up, tell, share and get my own head clear, some sort of diary post even. And sharing is OK, right? Also, sure I'm more than interested to hear from you, some pointers to online resources, tips, do's, don't etc.

Cheers,
Rolf
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Posts

  • Sounds like you have some good motivation and made some good first steps to improve your fitness - the trick is keeping that motivation up over a long period as, other than initial quick gains, it takes time. Learning to love it is really going to help with that motivation, and joining a group, even if not an official club and only occasionally, will always make things more enjoyable. You'll also meet real life people who can help with advice and developing your cycling.

    No need for the anxiety, just have fun and take it slow to begin with. You'll need longer recovery periods between sessions initially as you just won't be used it. Cycling has an advantage over running in that it is non-impact, so you are much less likely to get those chronic injuries. That said, cycling does involve repetitive movement, so make sure your bike is properly set up for you and try not to grind away pushing hard gears at low cadence.
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    I started up about three years ago for the same reasons as you - age, weight, fitness, health... all heading in the wrong direction. I was far less structured than you though - I simply went out on my bike whenever I got a chance, typically 2-3 times a week. At first it was 8-10 km and well under an hour. But with time the distances went up and the speeds improved. Last year I did a 100km off-road route on my MTB and I have done 100km rides on my road bike too. I lost 20kg in 6 months (94 -> 74) and was generally healthier in all respects. The only injuries I picked up were either from falling off my MTB (nothing serious, just scrapes and bruises) and one knee injury from buying a new saddle for the road bike and fitting it a few mm too high.

    At first my riding was after work - I would get home and then go out for a quick ride. Then I started riding to and from work occasionally (when I had reached a fitness level that put the distance in reach). I also found a local group who ride out on a weekday evening - fitness and social. I found ways to fit the riding in to my life that were not too disruptive. I still don't leave my family for hours on end to go for a ride except on occasional weekends for sportives or organised MTB rides, but if they are doing something that doesn't need me to be there, I take the chance to get out. If we're going somewhere, say to visit other family members, I'll sometimes ride my bike there whilst my wife takes the kids in the car - then the bike goes on the car for the return (for example my parents live around 40km away).

    In summary, I used the JFDI approach .
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Welcome Along. Keep the cycling going, have a look around, enjoy.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 416
    Hi Rolf,

    I cycled a lot as a child, then at age 17 got a driving licence, discovered girls, beer and moved to London to study where cycling seemed too dangerous. I forgot all about cycling (or doing any other exercise) for 20 years until one day I realised I was old and fat, my young kids would tire me out and I needed to change my lifestyle.

    I still worked in London but had moved outside the centre in the countryside. Some guys at work were planning a ride in the hills some months off and I set myself the challenge of getting in shape and joining them, so in May 2014 I bought a secondhand road bike, put strava on my phone and tried to ride it. I started off with a 15km local loop and haven't looked back.
    In 2014 I covered 1.1k km
    2015 2.5k km
    2016 4.4k km
    2017 7k km

    Cycling has become more and more a part of my life as you can see. At the beginning I did the same 15 km loop many times, a couple of mornings a week. After a while I found another local loop a bit longer and practised that one, then put the two together so I found I was able to keep going and managed to do the ride in the hills with the work guys.

    I didn't always have the time to do the longer rides, but kept going with 20 km or so a couple of times a week. The next chapter was discovering a local companion to ride with through an internet forum (not a bike related one as it happens), having someone else to ride with was fun at this stage because I was able to ask questions and get new ideas on routes. That guy moved away but I found another informal group of people who would cycle early morning at the weekend, so I was able to keep my interest up. I would occasionally sign up for a longer ride and was soon able to do 100 or 160km (a key milestone in the uk being 100 miles).

    Balancing time on the bike with work and family life is hard but if you are prepared to go out before breakfast you can hopefully get an hour or two in before they notice you are gone. Mine are still very young so although the elder kids are able to balance and ride now they're not up to challenging me on a trail ride, but hopefully in time that will come.

    Finding a way of getting out with others has I think been crucial for me, I'm not sure I would have done it without that addition to motivation. My wife was supportive too, she wanted a slimmer fitter husband, so was understanding. This last year I have been doing a lot of commuting miles, I live 30 miles from the office so I drive half way and cycle the rest. This means I do approx 30 miles a day 4 or 5 days a week. This doesn't really take me significantly longer than getting the train, is cheaper, I enjoy it enormously even when it's cold and raining and the fitness just happens. I only need a ride out with a local club every few weeks to somewhere fun and don't have to rely on that for fitness.

    I wish you well for your journey Rolf into cycling, it's a great idea to make it like a blog and get on strava right away so you can see your progress. Looking back, it's been very easy for me to keep motivation because I've had so much enjoyment from it, I wish the same for you!

    Regards,

    Dave
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437

    However, it also sparked anxiety: I'm really unfit. I'm really affraid to get an injury. I'm not thinking about crashing or something like that. I'm talking about something like the shin splits I got with running: my body not being able to cope/recover sufficient.

    Cheers,
    Rolf

    It's harder to get injuries cycling than running - there's no impact.
    You can ramp the miles up much easier cycling than running.

    Basically keep cycling and listen to your body. I know plenty of old guys cycling. They're incredibly fit from it.

    Exercising is MUCH better than being sedentary for your life span.

    Good luck and welcome.
  • Welcome
    I'm a similar age to you and got back into cycling after 20yrs off a couple of years ago.

    Sounds to me like your approach is sensible. Personally I found it helpful to get a place on a sportive so that I had something quite challenging to work towards. I had some great cycling friends who helped me achieve it and I'm properly hooked.

    One other thing, particularly if you want to get healthy, is consider getting into doing some weight training. I've found it immensely helpful with my general health and lifestyle. I have to say, many will argue it's not great for cycling as you're potentially adding more weight, but it's a payoff I'm happy with especially as I'm only every going to be a keen amateur. That having been said, if you do do weights, then get someone decent to train you as you can hurt yourself.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 344
    Dont worry about injuries, i have a disc hernia, and some years ago affected a nerve so for almost 2 months i was barely able to walk, and i was much younger than you that time. Now almost 3 years after, ive lost 14 kg, and i am healthier than ever. Even if i know that hernia is there it never appeared again, but keep in mind that the most important gain from cycling is not about body health but brain health. Its the best drug against depression.
  • Thanks all! I really appreciate the feedback.
    The reason of the structured approach is obviously because of the experiences and the desire to make this stick.

    Interesting idea to drive half way to work by car and to continue by bike.
    Also, driving to my parents by car and having my wife dive back, so I can go by bike, is a really great idea.
    I've put these on the idea list.

    All your remarks regarding improvement of health are amazing. This really looks promising.
    Looking forward to the appointment with the physiotherapist. Hopefully some leg exercises I can pick up.

    I do like to track progress and write down notes. I currently keep track and capture notes in Strava. Not ready for a blog, as it takes extra time to keep up to date. Perhaps in the future.

    Cheers!
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    fenix wrote:

    Cheers,
    Rolf



    Exercising is MUCH better than being sedentary for your life span.


    Best thing ever said! Quote of the year!

    Welcome - seems like you've got the attitude and that really is 95% of it and don't worry about the rest. Bike or kayak or run and let the consequences follow - which will, if you want, be health, fitness, clarity and muddy, smelly clothes. It might be a change of life or a hobby but it is much better than being sedentary. Go for the olympics or just go for a plod makes no difference.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • Welcome Rolf, my advice would be to just enjoy it, take it easy at first and build up gradually. Strava is a great tool for timing/tracking your rides if you have a smart phone, as you build up the miles and see your times improve can be great for motivation.

    Good luck!
    Paracyclist
    @Bigmitch_racing
    2010 Specialized Tricross (commuter)
    2014 Whyte T129-S
    2016 Specialized Tarmac Ultegra Di2
    Big Mitch - YouTube
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    edited January 2018
    Firstly welcome Rolf,

    But, I can’t get beyond this blatant lie - “I’m from the Netherlands. I’m 186cm”

    What are you, a Dutch midget? :lol:

    I also laughed when you said you were 75kg and need to get rid of the belly fat! Well, I must be doing something wrong as I am 50yo, 185cm and weigh 82kg and I dream about being 75kg! I was hoping all trace of belly fat would be gone then!

    Anyhow, as others have said, just do it... listen to your body, healthy aches are good (some doms after a long ride is inevitable whilst getting used to it), but back off/ seek advice if you suffer ‘pains’.

    I cannot stress enough the benefit of joining a group, not just physically, but mentally. I am not suggesting a full on racing cycling club, but what about chatting with other mums and dads at your kids school and seeing if you could start something between them? Once a week with a group is very helpful in the early days, quite often you will find that you befriend a particular member of that group and start riding with them on other days. Always good to have a like minded pal to cycle with - even better if they are just a bit stronger than you - gives you motivation to get better!

    My tale is similar to yours - I was a runner (in the Army) and supremely fit. I’d cycled everywhere as a kid and loved road biking as a teenager but left it all behind when I found cars and girls...

    Many years of fitness training in the Army (including being a PTI) lead to a few bouts of shin splints and when I left I did nothing for a couple of years. I then got into gym/ fitness and swimming as my back ached too much when I ran, and children arrived.

    Eventually got heavily into indoor rowing as it is such a great exercise, but one summer sat on a rower after a particularly hard effort (I say sat, but I was actually falling off!) I looked out the windows at the sunshine and thought “why am I in here with weather like that outside?”

    Some mates cycled socially on a Thursday evening in summer and I was invited down. I saved for a bike and joined them. 30-40kms social riding was a challenge in the early days, but my base level fitness was there, I just needed to adapt. This didn’t take long and within a few months I had done a 100km ride.

    The social rides still occur, but the fantastic group of lads that do it have become great mates;we do a ‘seious’ ride on a Saturday too now, and go to the Algarve every November for a week of hills, good food and great company. I joined a cycling club and became a club coach. Through connections I met other local groups that ride on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. With my variable shift work this gives me a choice of group rides throughout the week, all year round.

    My longest day ride is some 270km, biggest climb Mt Teide on Tenerife (some 8000ft+) and I competed in time trials breaking the hour for 25miles and two hours for 50miles in my second year of competing a the age of 45.

    I now try to cycle 240km a week (harder in winter) and can comfortably average 30kmh on solo flat rides. My point? You to can do this. I have a sedentary job now (I’m an airline pilot), I’ve been cycling again for 7years and at every annual medical for my job the doctor comments that I have the resting heart rate of a fit 18yo.

    My job would kill me if I didn’t do exercise - it is incredibly bad for the human body - disrupted sleep patterns, constant jet lag, hour upon hour in a dehumidified environment, exposure to harmful suns rays, highly stressful moments and constant pressure to perform without error alongside having to requalify every year.

    Cycling is my outlet. It is my past time. It is my passion. It is my sport. It is my sanity. It is my friends. It is my challenge. It is my love (well, with the wife and kids of course!). I have learnt to build bikes and am currently building a dream machine (a Colnago Concept aero road bike). I enjoy building/ maintaining almost as much as riding!

    I campaign locally and dream of my country being like yours regarding cycling. My wife is on our town council and together we are spearheading a campaign to get an orbital cycle way around our town that is traffic free. We are trying to get more children cycling to school and safe infrastructure is the key. We campaigned for and persuaded our council to host a stage of the Tour of Britain bike race in 2016 and indeed were start town for the most successful stage of the race ever. On the back of this they are looking to get the race again this year and in negotiations regarding hosting the start of a Grand Tour :wink:

    So this is what cycling has done for me and what I am trying to do for cycling. I know that is probably all a bit much, but hopefully you get the message - cycling can give you so much more than just a bit of fitness! Sounds like you are embracing it, use my post as some inspiration to stick with it and think of some longer term goals.

    I wish you well.

    PP
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Well done you for taking action!

    My family never had a car so I cycled everywhere as a kid / teenager back in the 70s; probably fitter then than any time since.
    Then my bike was stolen. I never replaced it because jobs, cars, marriage and kids came along, and I didn't have the time / money.
    All of a sudden I was nearing 40, over weight and pretty unfit. I played 5-a-side football, but as goalkeeper so I didn't have to run about! I bought a cheap, heavy mountain bike so I could cycle with my sons. Oh my god, that was hard work! But it reminded me how much I enjoyed cycling.
    When the boys were going off to university, I was still cycling, but mainly on the road, so as a 50th birthday present to myself I treated myself to a proper road bike. Never looked back.

    I ride year round, day and night, have a winter and a summer bike and an extensive lycra wardrobe and a bewildering range of tools. It is my life.

    2 things I've learned:

    1) Diet for weight loss, exercise for fitness. You can do both at the same time.

    2) Don't get obsessed about speeds or distances unless that's the kind of thing that floats your boat. Get your head up, watch the scenery, stop for coffee and cake.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    keef66 wrote:

    2 things I've learned:

    1) Diet for weight loss, exercise for fitness. You can do both at the same time.

    2) Don't get obsessed about speeds or distances unless that's the kind of thing that floats your boat. Get your head up, watch the scenery, stop for coffee and cake.

    Both very true, and worth bearing in mind.
  • Pilot Pete wrote:
    Firstly welcome Rolf,

    But, I can’t get beyond this blatant lie - “I’m from the Netherlands. I’m 186cm”
    What are, a Dutch midget? :lol:

    I also laughed when you said you were 75kg and need to get rid of the belly fat! Well, I must be doing something wrong as I am 50yo, 185cm and weigh 82kg and I dream about being 75kg! I was hoping all trace of belly fat would be gone then!

    ........
    .......

    PP


    :lol::lol::lol:
    That made me laugh, PP. Thanks.
    Dutch Midget would be a nice handle, but it isn't that short, right? :? :lol:

    Ok, sure: I'm definitely not too heavy. And sure there's not much of a belly.
    But still, not doing sports for YEARS isn't healthy.

    Some people get big. Others build fat around their organs: not very visible.
    I don't know if that's the case though. But it doesn't matter: I'm done doing nothing, or trying to do something.

    Some impressive story you shared. Nice.
    And you do make me think again about cycling with other moms and dads. I already have someone in mind. I'll ask him tonight, at the kids swimming lessons.


    cheers
  • keef66 wrote:
    Well done you for taking action!

    2 things I've learned:

    1) Diet for weight loss, exercise for fitness. You can do both at the same time.

    2) Don't get obsessed about speeds or distances unless that's the kind of thing that floats your boat. Get your head up, watch the scenery, stop for coffee and cake.



    Thanks.
    Good ones to keep in mind.
    I'm already eating more healthy, but since I committed to cycling, I noticed I got even more motivated. Probably because I've got a goal now.
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    I thought everyone rode bikes over there compared to UK alot more of a progressive cycling culture.

    http://copenhagenizeindex.eu/

    Two cites in top ten so you live in the best country for cycling.

    Don't over think it just get out & ride its suppose to be fun. Cycling can be whatever you want it to be.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Moonbiker wrote:
    I thought everyone rode bikes over there compared to UK alot more of a progressive cycling culture.

    http://copenhagenizeindex.eu/

    Two cites in top ten so you live in the best country for cycling.

    Don't over think it just get out & ride its suppose to be fun. Cycling can be whatever you want it to be.

    Very true. I spent today riding with a bunch bleating on about their bloody FTP, and blah blah de blah blah. Screw that, just ride the bike, and try to enjoy doing so. Unless you’re actually competing for money / sponsor bumming, all of that tosh counts for nada.
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,319
    Welcome to the Tribe Rolf, good to see that you have taken to two wheels again - but as has been said before I thought everyone in the Netherlands cycled everywhere! You'll certainly be treated better on the roads that us Brits will be.

    Just to say, in addition, don't necessarily give up completely on running - I see you have an appointment with a physio, so ask them about how to perhaps keep running pain free. It might just be a case of altering your technique rather than having to give it up. I am primarily a cyclist, but do run each week, as the act of running can actually help strengthen bones through light impact (but yes, it can lead to injury easier than cycling - or swimming).
  • jrichjrich Posts: 278
    Hello Rolf, it was a pleasure to read your story, your honesty is wonderful. My advice is don't worry too much about injury (or anything really). It's actually quite difficult to injure yourself whilst cycling, unless of course you fall off! In 2014 I cycled 69 miles for the whole year, in 2015 I cycled 4412 miles for the year and then in 2016 I did 6859 miles - the worst I got was a sore censored when I first started, and that was fine after a few months. So got for it! Obviously listen to you body though and if you do develop some recurring pain, then give it time to sort itself out before pushing too hard. Although road cycling is all about pushing through the pain, it's the pain from tiredness you want, not the pain from injury.

    At your stage getting fit is really quite straight forward - ride hard, recover, then repeat. You only need to do one or two hard rides per week and your fitness will come on very quickly. But you must rest well and you must eat well (and always take some energy dense food on your ride with you). Get plenty of sleep and plenty of nutrient dense foods. If you want to know what to eat then buy the book 'Nourishing Traditions' by Sally Fallon.

    Best of luck and keep us updated.

    James
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    "Although road cycling is all about pushing through the pain"

    Unless you're racing or doing ultra endurance events, or possibly preparing yourself for a moody, grainy Rapha photoshoot I couldn't agree with this less. If you're having to ride through pain you're doing something wrong.
  • newtoitnewtoit Posts: 23
    Hi Rolf! Nice to read your post, I think you have got lots of sensible ideas about cycling. OH and me have started cycling again more seriously after many years, injuries (knee for him, ankle for me) have moved us in this direction a few months ago but I can't think why we ever stopped in the first place! We both love it and the very nature of cycling means we are at much less risk of injury than with other sports.

    OH is in his 60's now and will be approx. 86kg. He could really do with losing 10kg if I'm honest. He cycles on his mtb 3 times a week for about an hour at a time, covering a 16km route with few hills. Sometimes we do a different route/part route together just to shake things up. Although he was a very competent cyclist in his teens and into his 20's he is not too confident on the bike these days, neither is he in any way competitive. He just wants to cycle to improve his fitness and keep active.

    What I have observed is that the cycling really helps to keep him positive. He was using an app on his 'phone for interest ref his performance, and I have just bought him an activity tracker for his birthday (yet to go cycling with it though, it's only just been set up) which I think will also motivate him. I can also see that he is slowly losing some weight. He's not as careful with his diet as he might be, but overall eats relatively healthily. At first he was only able to cycle for 30 minutes at a time, now he does an hour easily and I am starting to introduce him to routes of a similar duration that are just a little bit tougher. The first time he tries it he finds it tough, the next time a bit easier and after a while he is much more comfortable with it. Poquito a poco (bit by bit) as the Spanish say.

    Good luck with your cycling, please share your progress as others will find inspiration from it.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I too am now 60, and I'm starting to notice some loss in muscle mass / sustainable power / average speeds. It doesn't bother me; I'm a biologist, so I'm very accepting of the ageing process, but I think it would be counter-productive to try to motivate myself through performance gains. I seem to be retaining stamina / endurance, which I think is a good thing.
    For me one of the most liberating things was realising I could leave off the HRM and not take the Garmin, and just ride for the pleasure of it. I have no idea how far or fast I go, nor what my heart does, but I know I really enjoy the ride. And I see a lot more.

    I may pass on the Garmin to my son who appears to be mesmerised by Strava. Mind you, he'd probably view it with disdain since it needs to be physically connected to a computer in order to view the data, upload a route or update itself. I suspect he'll want his gadgets talk to each other in real time and announce his activities to the waiting world with no human intervention...

    If you rule out sweat, vomit and blood, I never lost more than an ounce exercising, but I managed to shift 18 pounds of middle-aged fat from my middle when I tried intermittent fasting. So amazed by it I eat like that most of the time. Not for everyone, but I find it easy.
    Around food I have the impulse control of a labrador, so calorie counting 24-7 never worked for me. But 2 days a week I can keep it in check and just have a 600 cal meal in the evening.

    My wedding suit fits me again!
  • jrichjrich Posts: 278
    keef66 wrote:
    "Although road cycling is all about pushing through the pain"

    Unless you're racing or doing ultra endurance events, or possibly preparing yourself for a moody, grainy Rapha photoshoot I couldn't agree with this less. If you're having to ride through pain you're doing something wrong.

    Good for you my friend! I don't wish to take Rolf's thread off on a tangent, but I will simply say that I think you're confusing road cycling as a sport, with cycling on the road as a hobby - which I would say is pretty much touring.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    jrich wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    "Although road cycling is all about pushing through the pain"

    Unless you're racing or doing ultra endurance events, or possibly preparing yourself for a moody, grainy Rapha photoshoot I couldn't agree with this less. If you're having to ride through pain you're doing something wrong.

    Good for you my friend! I don't wish to take Rolf's thread off on a tangent, but I will simply say that I think you're confusing road cycling as a sport, with cycling on the road as a hobby - which I would say is pretty much touring.

    Get a grip. This is a post in Road Beginners, from a self confessed 41 year old beginner trying to lose weight and regain some fitness. He’s also specifically keen to avoid injury. So I think telling him that road cycling is all about pushing through pain is neither accurate, responsible, nor helpful.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    That’s a thing with cycling, there are some polar opinions out there. “You’ve got to smash stuff, and suffer, and know your FTP, and know ( or care ) how fast you smashed stuff” on one extreme, and “just drag a rusty BSO / POS out of your shed. Stick some wellie boots on, and wobble down the shops” on the other, and some only ever see this black and white perspective. There’s so much more to bike riding, but too many people get put off, by the extremities, because ( although a relatively small sample ) people with these viewpoints, seem to shout the loudest, giving a skewed perspective to a newbie / non-local / outsider.
  • BrakelessBrakeless Posts: 867
    That’s a thing with cycling, there are some polar opinions out there. “You’ve got to smash stuff, and suffer, and know your FTP, and know ( or care ) how fast you smashed stuff” on one extreme, and “just drag a rusty BSO / POS out of your shed. Stick some wellie boots on, and wobble down the shops” on the other, and some only ever see this black and white perspective. There’s so much more to bike riding, but too many people get put off, by the extremities, because ( although a relatively small sample ) people with these viewpoints, seem to shout the loudest, giving a skewed perspective to a newbie / non-local / outsider.

    This is rubbish. Everyone I've ever cycled with has been totally accepting of every other cyclist. There might be the very odd idiot out there but the worst you could do is listen to the post above. 99% of keen leisure cyclists are good people and certainly nothing like liarmuncher claims.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I think you've misconstrued what he said. You are both making a similar point. 99% of cyclists are just cyclists, and recognise all forms of cycling. Posts from beginners are usually met with welcome, encouragement, useful advice etc.

    As with any bunch of individuals there are a few at the extremes, and beginners might be put off when they are told to push through the pain and give up if they can't do a 20 minute 10 mile TT, or scared to death by tales of broken carbon fibre and warfare between cyclists and motorists.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    Jrich - Since when does all cycling on the road as a hobby constitue touring, which is a specific activity? :roll:

    PP
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    It my opinioin that if cycling wasn't viewed so much exclusively as sport activity in the UK alot more people might cycle.

    Also alot of the consumerist aspects can discourage new younger people from taking it up as an activity as they feel discouraged by the high cost of the "entry lvl" stuff they are told they "need" before they even start.

    All the advertizing is aimed at sportive riders, not people popping down to shops etc, so that narrow view is what many people view cycling as which is a shame.

    Thats the good thing about netherlands in that cyling is seen more as something for everyone, not just dentists with deep carbon rims pretending there Chris Fromme.

    Hence why I said cycling can be what ever you want it to be.

    If you enjoy the idea of power meters Functional Threshold Power test, diets and trainning regimes go for it. Or just go our and cycle, to enjoy being outside to see the countryside or do both etc.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    To me sport implies some element of competition, so racing, time trials, hill climbs etc. I have no idea about the actual numbers, but I get the impression round here that maybe 10% of the people I see on bikes are competing or training to do so. The vast majority I'd assume are either commuters and / or leisure cyclists, or doing organised things like sportives, audax, sponsored or club rides. And of course, none of these things are mutually exclusive. Three of the commuters I see most mornings are wearing head to toe Castelli and riding as a mini chain gang at a fair old clip, so I suspect they could be club riders / racers.
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