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A few questions for a newbie(9 posts)

A few questions for a newbieJackDanielsFSU
Jun 23, 2002 9:49 PM
Well I am just getting into road biking and since my work schedule doesnt really let me ride during the day, and i work in a really bad area so riding to work or on my lunch hour isn't a good idea I have decided to ride in the morning. So thats getting up at 5:00am and tryign to get in 5 to 10 miles before work might work. That gives me roughly an hour and a half to ride. I am thinking doing this mon, wed, and fri mornings, and mountain biking sunday afternoons. Anyone else ride like this? I know its not as much riding as I want too but its all I really can do working 2 jobs. I would l ove to quit my night job but i am paying my way though college and biking!

I am a big guy. 260lbs. I have decided to start eating much better and hopefully the riding helps. For other guys around my size what is your average speed? How many miles can you get in one hour? Also how did you start eating healthier? Its too damn hard to stay away from the junk food.

The next question is what do you carry on your bike? I was thinking of a water bottle, a few CO2 cartarges and filler, a multi tool, my cell phone, and a tube. Anything else I should bring? Maybe a power bar just in case? I know the power bars i have in teh saddle bag of my mountain bike have been sitting there for over 2 years!

I am also looking to get a pair of shoes. I will be using my mountain bike shoes to start cuz im kinda straped for cash for the next few weeks but I would like to get a good set of road shoes. Any recomendations for a size 12 foot with a high arch?

Any more tips woudl be helpfull esp if you can give me the tip on how to fall asleep so I can get up that early. Its already 2 am! I guess its cuz i am so used to working 3rd shift and this is my frist week off of it that sleeping now just seems weird.

Thank you for any help you can give me
Jack
re: A few questions for a newbieI Love Shimano
Jun 23, 2002 10:09 PM
First of all, congratulations on being able to hold more than 1 job and still find the strength to wake up at 5 am.

I think getting in 10 miles in an hour and a half is to little. You should be able to get in at least 30 kilometers or more depending on the road conditions.

Getting a trainer or rollers would also help a lot.

At 260 lbs., you will lose a lot of weight IF you ride regularly and eat normally. goodluck!
My experiencesfreecarve
Jun 24, 2002 5:54 AM
I started mountain biking last season to get in shape and this season bought a beater road bike for commuting to work and doing some easy road miles on rest days. I'm a little smaller than you at 200lbs, but here's my deal.
I use my mountain bike shoes with Time ATACS on my road bike, and it works great.
As far as stuff to carry, I carry all that stuff plus a patch kit (just in case one tube is not enough), a cliff shot or 2, and a cliff bar. The shots and bar are just incase I decide(or get forced) to stay out longer than planned.
For average speed, on my road bike on flats I can average 20mph, throw in some hills and that drops to around 17-16mph. So, I think you could expect to do more than 10miles in and hour and a half. But I would just go out and ride for an hour and a half, and just see how far you get.
I know junk food is tempting, but I've found that when I'm biking regularly junk food just doesn't look appetizing and I naturally steer away from it. Also, shifting from 3 meals a day, to 5 or six small meals a day really helps cut down on cravings.
If you bike regularly and eat right, the pounds disappear quick. I dropped 3 sizes last season and wasn't as disciplined as I am this year. Good luck,
James
re: A few questions for a newbieNJRoad
Jun 24, 2002 6:33 AM
How do you even find time to write on here much less ride your bike?

In your position why not save a few $$$ and buy a spare set of wheels and road tires for your MTB ($250 for wheels, $40-$50 for tires)? I can't imagine you have the time to race so it sounds like you're riding for the 2 best reasons, fun and fitness.

Bring at least 1 tire lever (depending on your tires some times you need 2, mine come off pretty easily so I can get away with 1)
re: A few questions for a newbiegs6769
Jun 24, 2002 7:17 AM
For starters, I applaude you for your commitment. I don't think most people, myself included would go to such lengths to find some road time.

As far as distance in the allotted time, I think you could make 20+ miles in 1 1/2 hours. I wouldn't go for hammering the whole magilla right away, give yourself a chance to gain some strength and speed. Also be sure to do some good stretching and warming up before hitting the road. That said, keep a diary of your daily distance and time. I think it will help on several levels. Charting your progress and providing a well earned sense of accomplishment are but two.

As regards the weight issue, I've got some practical experience in this area. I've lost 85 lbs (230 down to 145) and kept it off going on three years. I make the point because there was no more commited junk eater than myself. One thing that's helped my eating habits immensely is doing my own research. There's a great wealth of helpful info on the 'net and I found that digging through it on my own gave me an excellent foundation for common sense eating. Small suggestions: Drink LOTS of water all day every day; NEVER starve yourself. All that does is shut your metabolism down, the last thing you want on a bike or off. Be patient and persistent, stay on the bike, make good decisions and it will happen.

Your seat bag list looks good to me. I always take two bottles of water and make sure to drink plenty. Maybe you should experiment a bit with bars, energy gels and the like. I've had good results downing a Power Bar half an hour before hitting the pavement and usually don't need anything besides water for a 2 hour ride. For longer jaunts, I'll grab another bar on a break at 2 1/2 to 3 hours or a couple of energy gels as I roll. What works for me may not for you. My advice; experiment but be sure to keep that glucose level up and drink water water water.

I don't see why your MTB shoes won't do the job. See how they work while you look around for roadies. Lots of stuff out there in many price ranges.

Sleep's a tough one isn't it? Again, the 'net can be a great tool. Give it a shot and you may find some helpful suggestions. I find earplugs pretty handy.

Hope at least SOME of this is of use. Good luck. I think you've made a great start. I'll be interseted to know how you're getting on.
re: A few questions for a newbieJackDanielsFSU
Jun 24, 2002 7:34 AM
So far I am getting some great tips. Keep them comming. I kinda feel bad though I did miss my frist ride this morning. When I did finaly fall asleep I forgot to set my alarm! Luckly someone called around 6:45am and it woke me up in time for work!

gs6769 said I should keep a log. Great idea. Something I was already thinking about. Any good programs on the net that I can download? Maybe just creat a spreadsheet in excel? How do all of you keep a log?

And as for getting up so early for riding I don't thik it will be that bad (as long as I remenber to set my alarm!) Actually on Wed I can wait to ride till after work since I don't work my evening job on wed nights. Detroit has some great metro parks and I think on wed nights I will hit Stoney for the road rides unless anyone know of group rides that happen in the area and they are nice to newbies.

I would like to thank everyone again for all the great advice. This board is great. Even better then then MTBR.com.

I will keep you updated and keep that advice comming in
Thanks again
Jack
logsTomS
Jun 24, 2002 7:51 AM
Do a search on google for "bicycle training log", I was just looking at some of those last week. There are a few excel spreadsheets people put together, and a bunch of standalone apps (some freeware, a couple commercial). www.active.com has a thing called "activetrainer" which lets you track your progress online for free.

I've been using CyclistLog (www.fitnesslogs.com) for a while on my palm, there's also a new windows companion program that shows charts'n'stuff if you're into that. I like being able to enter stuff on my palm because I always have it with me.

Or you could always just keep a paper (!) notebook in the garage next to your bike... :-) I've been meaning to do that anyway to track maintenance (i.e. replaced the chain at x miles, etc)
re: A few questions for a newbiePBWatson
Jun 24, 2002 7:58 AM
Sounds great, I'm sure you'll do better than 10 miles in an hour & a half. Try what I did when starting, I also started with that time in mind. Ride out for 40 minutes & then find your way back. If there was still time on the clock just ride around your neighborhood for a few minutes. After about a week of this you'll know your pace & be able to judge when to turn around almost by the minute. Another thing I've found by riding mornings, is I have more energy throughout the day & am able to sleep better at night, It just came naturally (I used to sit up all night) As for eating dont deprive yourself to much cause then you'll break bad & binge. Eat half of what you normally eat & try to eat a little better everyday & when you really crave the bad stuff have a smaller portion. After a while you wont crave it as bad, I've had half a snickers bar in the fridge over a month now.
from 297 to 265 ...Ravik
Jun 24, 2002 9:11 AM
Jack,
I was a 297lb ex-football player who'd donenothing but weight lift for the past ten years.
Since I've started riding (April 9), I've dumped 32 pounds - and my legs look better than they have in years.
I'm looking at my log ... it says I did 6.24 miles in 29:50.
Since then - including a 10-day business trip that took me out of the country that kept me off a bike - I've logged a little under 800 miles -- no great shakes next to the rest of these guys, but it feels really good for a new BIG rider. From that woeful start of about 12 mph, I've climbed to the 18-19mph range for 25 miles. Again, nothing to write home about, but very achievable.
In short, jjust get out and ride -- and as per other suggestions, log it. You'll love looking back.

You might want to look for a pair of bibs to wear instead of shorts -- they're way more comfortable for bigger riders (check out voler.com - $54 well spent).

Hydration is critical for recovery, so suck that water down, keep your tires inflated to the max, and just ride.Daily if you can!

Good luck, and drop me a note if you need another big guy to talk with!
]
Jim