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Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 4:01pm
by NUKe
this is a big step well done, it really doesn’t matter what bike you start with.

Take it steady at first, short trips on quite roads, your confidence and endurance will come fairly quickly. If you can use the bike to integrate with your life, going to the local shop, visiting a friend or relative. You will stop thinking of it as exercise.
Learn how to use the gears. If it feels hard drop a gear. If you meet a hill that is too hard get off and walk there is no shame. Just remember where you got to and next time try and get a little bit further.

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 4:35pm
by simonhill
Good stuff.

Glad you found the bike recycling place useful. Vorpal and myself were keen you tried there.

Maybe use the net, or contact the council for some nice off road cycle paths. The only one I know in your area is the Bath > Bristol one.

If you can link up to one of these it can make a pleasant regular ride for you.

Sumner is coming so plenty of chances to get out and cycle.


Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Posted: 19 Apr 2019, 9:50am
by Ollie732
1st of all, well done and 2nd of all good luck.
Think there are a few threads on here that echo similar, mine being one. I'm older than you, but that is the only difference, I was alm ost 20st at my heaviest. Pleased to hear that you have a bike sorted, I started on my 18+ year old mountain bike around 2 months ago (have since upgraded to a hybrid)
I've used map my ride as a record (I know some else said don't, this is personal preference) and a good friend of mine said, what is today's hard work out will be tomorrow's warm up.... I started with a 5 mile round trip and had an average speed was 7.8 mph and a fairly flat route, I can remember stopping twice for a breather and drink twice on that ride, and my comment to myself was Jelly legs. Now my little warm up is 15 miles with 900ft of climb and I'm averaging 14mph
We don't know your personal circumstances. I work part-time abroad, so when I'm home it's generally free time (although we have children of a young age) so I'm able to get out once or twice a day if I feel like it. I can do two rides a day now and feel great, I went through eating loads, someone mentioned this before and wow its true. I've bought a fitbit too, it promotes 5 days exercise then 2 days off, those 2 days are important!!!
I'll be honest, it's frigging hard some days, but head up, look what's happening around the world, you have a fantastic view from a bike.
My personal best now is a 50 mile ride in a day, 26 miles to the best cheese on toast in Sussex (at one point in my journey I was within ½ a mile from it and 'less than half way there' and was only bloody mindedness that kept me going) then a quick 15 mile trip to lunch then 9-10 miles home. Felt worn out but buzzing, its a super way to release the feel good endorphins.
Sounds silly, but read about riding and techniques, people of our weight struggle a bit more, read about pedal cadiance, your pedal far more quickly than what feels normal, but it takes the pressure off joints as you just aren't pushing down as hard....
We all focus on weight, but muscle weighs more, once a week measure around your tummy, see it shrink, I am...
If I can do it, you can, your age is more on your side than mine, and please keep us updated, even if it's just asking for some moral support....

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Posted: 19 Apr 2019, 9:54am
by Ollie732
One more thing, padded shorts, I'm not brave enough to just go for lyraca look just yet so wear them under something else and buy the most expensive pair you can, I've gone for the btwin ones that are gell, (around £35) and they are far superior that their £20 ones

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Posted: 19 Apr 2019, 11:36am
by slowster
Congratulations on getting the bike and getting out for your first rides.
Paddywan wrote:my stamina only allows to me ride for 20 minutes or so in "bursts" of energy before my legs have completely turned to jello and i'm peddling around in one of the easier gears, but I suppose that will never change unless I keep myself committed to both my diet & activity.

I'm not entirely sure if I enjoy it or not yet, it sure is a hell of a lot of effort and work and for the moment I'm too busy being focused on the what's, why's, and hows as well as safely navigating traffic. Perhaps once I've stuck at this for a while longer, built up some muscle mass and become accustomed to the bike I can start to enjoy my travels rather than see them as a means to an end.

Those 'easier gears' are probably the ones you should be choosing in the first place and riding around most in. You will not get fitter more quickly or lose weight more quickly if you fall into the trap of thinking that you have to push or even batter yourself when you go out for a ride. There's probably a deep seated belief in many of us that getting fit and losing weight shouldn't be easy and that we must suffer in order to 'earn' improvements in fitness. That's codswallop.

Whereas Chris Froome probably does have to stick to very precise training programmes, which will include pushing himself to the limit on set occasions, all in order to achieve even marginal improvements in fitness and weight loss, you weigh so much that you will find it impossible not to lose weight and get fitter if you keep riding your bike every day or so.

Just focus on building up your stamina. Not stamina to ride above a certain speed or to push a certain gear, just the stamina to ride for longer periods. To begin with it doesn't even matter how far you can go. If you can build up to riding in a very easy gear for maybe an hour, possibly with some rest breaks in between to admire the views, you will gain far more benefit than going hard for just 10 or 20 minutes.

Make sure you are comfortable on the bike. Pain or discomfort are your biggest enemies: they will discourage you from riding.

Make sure also that you enjoy it - that is what will motivate you to keep doing it.

If you keep doing it, you will find that you are losing weight and getting faster without even realising it, i.e. your fitness will improve such that you find that you are still riding in an easy gear, but it is a higher gear than the one you used when you started.

You will probably find that you get more used to the traffic, but even so spending time researching routes that use quieter roads and off road tracks is usually well worth it (and the scenery is usually much nicer). What most new cyclists don't know is that most experienced cyclists tend to have routes that they will always use to get out of town, and those routes will often not be obvious, because they will link up minor roads, cycle tracks and bridleways to avoid the busier roads. So it might repay you to see where other cyclists ride, to go out exploring your local area (on your bike obviously) to look for new routes, and to look at a map, especially any intended for cyclists, e.g.

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Posted: 19 Apr 2019, 8:11pm
by simonhill
"Now my little warm up is 15 miles with 900ft of climb and I'm averaging 14mph"

Wow, that puts me in the shade.

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Posted: 21 Apr 2019, 5:39pm
by Ollie732
simonhill wrote:[i]

Wow, that puts me in the shade.

I've really pushed myself, 25 miles this morning and will do 20 this evening, I've bought everything 2nd hand, think I said I started off less than half of that with jelly legs....
As I said there is always something to look at on the way round, the sun is certainly helping with some of the views at the moment :lol: