Guide to starting cycling for fitness for the overweight nearly 40s?

Discussion in 'Health, Fitness and Training' started by Donnie, May 23, 2010.

  1. Donnie

    Peter Clinch Guest

    It makes life a little easier, especially in stop-start traffic... but
    you don't need it. I can do it on the Brom and 8Freight because the BBs
    are relatively low, but it's not something I miss hugely on more
    conventional bikes set up for optimum pedalling comfort for me. And
    given the choice of better pedalling comfort/efficiency /or/ foot down
    while sitting I'd take the former.

    Peter Clinch, May 24, 2010
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  2. Donnie

    Colin Reed Guest

    My regular ride drink is about 60:40 water to apple juice, and in high
    temperatures I put about 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 700ml bottle. Often
    will carry a separate bottle of just water - or refill on the way. It's
    nicer (to my taste) than Lucozade and cheaper!!
    Many others have already said that local CTC rides will never drop you,
    and will pace at the slowest rider. One of the things I would suggest
    is that you keep within your own speed limit, and use a relatively high
    cadence (pedalling rate), so don't just slip into top gear. You'll find
    you can pedal at 70 rpm in a middling gear for ages, rather than putting
    strain on leg muscles by using too high a gear. It won't improve leg
    muscle strength so quickly, but will be great for improving overall
    cardiovascular fitness, and burning fat. When you do rides at that
    speed in a nice social group, you won't even notice that you're getting
    fitter - you'll just be having a nice day out :)

    Colin Reed, May 24, 2010
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  3. Donnie

    Clive George Guest

    Indeed - this is probably something which comes with experience. For
    many people (including me), a couple of powerful strokes out of the
    saddle are key to a quick getaway, which means being out of it when
    stopped isn't a problem.
    Clive George, May 24, 2010
  4. Donnie

    nmm1 Guest

    That implies that either you keep your ankles completely rigid (which
    is rare) or your knees are significantly bent during the whole cycle
    (which is risking knee damage). Even a small amount of ankling adds
    25 mm, and it can add up to 75 mm (though that's extreme).

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, May 24, 2010
  5. Donnie

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Indeed. Our youngest was somewhat prone to "unplanned dismounts" when
    she'd only just learned to ride so we made sure the saddle was low
    enough for her to get a foot to the ground. As soon as we'd got her
    stops automatic for coming forward of the saddle and stepping down we
    got it up to a better height and she remarked how much easier it was to
    get up hills (we live on one, and there's no shortage around here!).

    It did take her a while to get the hang of doing that by default, but
    once it was there it's not been a problem. One of these things where a
    bit of effort gets it in and then it's automatic.

    Peter Clinch, May 24, 2010
  6. Donnie

    Clive George Guest

    We use apple/water too, though in france we'll use grape/water as well
    (no, not wine! It's just that grape juice is easier to get there).

    Sometimes we use apple juice concentrate, which we mix at about 1:10 for
    a similar drink. Thick, syrupy stuff, and takes up much less room than
    conventional apple juice.
    Clive George, May 24, 2010
  7. Donnie

    thirty-six Guest

    A handful of easy miles every day will get easier over the weeks to
    come. Just keep it at a level where you think you could do it again
    the same day without ill effect. 25 miles is only difficult if there
    are hills or you are forcing pace.
    thirty-six, May 24, 2010
  8. Donnie

    thirty-six Guest

    The OP wishes to ride 25 miles, a good cycling position is important.
    The correct leg extension is just less than the point at which the
    femur starts to rotate. This may not be particulay relevant to
    journies under five miles with otherwise fit and healthy knees, but is
    certainly relevant for 25miles. A simple method of checking leg
    extension is to sight along the thigh to the toe.
    thirty-six, May 24, 2010
  9. Donnie

    nmm1 Guest

    I think that we are all agreed there.
    Please get someone to photograph you doing that! My mind is gently
    boggling :)

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, May 24, 2010
  10. Donnie

    Peter Clinch Guest

    I am somewhat dubious of hard rules that are meant to apply to everyone,
    as experience suggests that physiologies and preferences in their use
    can be quite different.

    IME the thing to do with "hard rules" is use them as a start point for
    empirical experimentation. Then you get to find out for real if they
    work for you, or don't. If they're as good as their proponents claim
    you'll soon find out. Or otherwise.

    Peter Clinch, May 24, 2010
  11. Donnie

    thirty-six Guest

    It is useful in the respect that it lessens the impact of an
    overlength crank, but arider should not be forced into this method of
    operation. It takes considerable effort to learn to ankle
    efficiently, but I have found it quite pleasant when effort is
    tempered and cadence around 95.
    thirty-six, May 24, 2010
  12. Donnie

    thirty-six Guest

    Agreed. Remove all reasons for not cycling, dont find a reason to
    force it.
    thirty-six, May 24, 2010
  13. Donnie

    thirty-six Guest

    But, what about ye olde tea shoppe? Is it really possible to resist
    cream on your scone? This means a good hill in necessary, and they
    can hurt.
    thirty-six, May 24, 2010
  14. Donnie

    Alex Potter Guest

    I think you mistook my meaning. Heel on pedal is a /static/ thing, for
    adjustment purposes only, on a stationary bicycle, to get the height in
    the right "ball park".

    Doing that resulted in the saddle being within a few millimetres of where
    I wanted it to be, with my leg being almost, but not quite, straight at
    the bottom of the stroke, with the ball of the foot on the pedal. I use
    my ankles a bit too.

    I can't reach the ground with a tiptoe when sitting on the saddle. Once
    I'd learned the mount/dismount technique it became automatic, and my
    getaways at traffic lights are at least as quick as most other cyclists.
    Alex Potter, May 24, 2010
  15. Donnie

    Alex Potter Guest

    Do they still exist?
    Alex Potter, May 24, 2010
  16. Donnie

    nmm1 Guest

    And that is what is so surprising that I have difficulty believing
    it. Most people raise their height by 2-3" when they stand up on
    the balls of their feet, which is a comparable leg extension. Yet
    you are saying that it made a negligible difference.

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, May 24, 2010
  17. Donnie

    Alex Potter Guest

    Surprised or not, that's what worked for me. My knees never reach
    lockout, but they're not far off it at the bottom of my stroke. They've
    both got dodgy joints, but don't hurt, although, having said that, I've
    never been further than about 80 miles in a day. My cadence is somewhere
    around 65 -70 RPM.

    Just goes to show that "most people" don't fit the template for
    everyone. :)
    Alex Potter, May 24, 2010
  18. In uk.rec.cycling.moderated on Mon, 24 May 2010 13:15:21 +0100
    Another reason to get 'bent maybe!

    I can't flatfoot my highracer with both feet but I can toe easily
    and get one foot flat easily. Anyone much than my 5'3" would
    probably have much more foot on much more ground.

    Being a lazy sod I like the fact I don't have to climb on and off the
    thing, and it's fun to watch the expression of drivers and other
    cyclists as I relax into my seat waiting for the lights to change.

    Zebee Johnstone, May 24, 2010
  19. The easiest way to get the adjustment right is to park alongside a
    wall or something, sit on the saddle and put your heels on the pedals
    wearing your usual cycling shoes. Rotate the pedals backwards, your
    heels should remain in contact with the pedals and your hips should
    remain level. Sometimes you need a friend to watch and tell you that
    last bit. You can then micro-adjust, up if you get pain under the
    kneecaps, down if you get pain behind the knee.

    This has worked for me and my kids, including on recumbents, so I
    think it's the right way of doing it.

    As for putting a foot down, that's different. Putting a foot down is
    an occasional thing so should not compromise the actual riding (which
    is the reverse of the 1970s wisdom!). I slide forward off the saddle
    at junctions, or put a foot on the kerb. Or put a hand down :)

    Just zis Guy, you know?, May 24, 2010
  20. True dat. Also, you need to use low gears and learn to twiddle the
    pedals round. Mashing too high a gear is bad for your knees and spoils
    your pleasure.

    Just zis Guy, you know?, May 24, 2010
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