Author Topic: Biking question - or "what have I done?"  (Read 11841 times)

oldladystache

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Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« on: June 14, 2014, 04:06:32 PM »
I was talking on the phone to an old friend, and he was really feeling down about his upcoming heart bypass surgery.

Maybe it was all a scheme to get me to agree, but the upshot was that I agreed to meet him in Missouri in October and bike ride with him about 200 miles on the Katy trail. It follows the Missouri river and we'd be going in the downstream direction so I assume it would be mostly level to downhill.

Then a few days later I got an email from him, mentioning that he planned to do "a leisurely 40 miles a day." Hmmm. What have I done, indeed.

The problem is, I'm 69 years old, and though I rode my bike a lot as a teenager I haven't ridden much since then, and almost not at all in the past ten years. And oh by the way, my chemotherapy a couple years ago took away not only my cancer but also my store of backup energy and my ability to deal with heat. Even a little heat.

So, if I can't do it I won't, but I intend to try. My original thought was to start biking about 2 months ahead of time, starting out slowly and gradually increasing speed and distance.

No, I don't have a bike. I told a group of friends about my predicament and two of them immediately offered to lend me their bikes. I haven't seen them yet, though.

What do you experts think?

BPA

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 04:17:15 PM »
I'd start training before then, but if you don't feel up to it, please cancel.  When I had cancer, it took a long time to get my stamina back.  During that time I used an electric pedal bike so that when I got tired, I could use the battery.  That might be a solution.

When is his surgery?  Is he going to be okay with riding 40 miles a day by October?

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2014, 04:32:09 PM »
His surgery was supposed to have been a week ago, but now they want to get second and third opinions. He claims he'll be well enough by then. I have to admit I'm kinda hoping he won't be able to do it, and then I won't have to. But having a goal should be good for me, forcing me to get into better shape.

Maybe you're right, I should start training sooner, but I like to put things off. OK, I'll ask my friends this week about their offers to lend me a bike.

LLCoolDave

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2014, 05:06:59 PM »
The biggest risk is that both of you will be saddle sore. It isn't hard to bike 40 miles per day for someone used to being on the saddle but you will be sore on the second day and on the third day you will give up not because your legs won't hold up but because you won't be able to sit down.

BarkingSquirrel

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2014, 07:27:57 PM »
Of course you shouldn't do more than you can handle.  But if you want a little inspiration and re-assurance that you're not too old, Mestre Acordeon at age 70 is biking from Berkeley, CA to Bahia, Brazil.  He is somewhere in Colombia right now.  But, he did train a lot first.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/11/mestre-acordeon_n_3581543.html

Lian

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 08:17:27 PM »
I love it that you are going to try!  You may find you really enjoy cycling, even if 40 miles a day is too much. Just a couple of miles around the park is such a pleasurable way to spend an afternoon. I would start slow – learn to enjoy riding the bike before you get into a training regime. You are never too old for cycling. An ex-coworker had a parent over 80 years of age who did the Ride the Rockies in Colorado every year. Cycling is something you can do for a lifetime.

BPA

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2014, 07:27:57 AM »
The biggest risk is that both of you will be saddle sore. It isn't hard to bike 40 miles per day for someone used to being on the saddle but you will be sore on the second day and on the third day you will give up not because your legs won't hold up but because you won't be able to sit down.

I think that someone who is still feeling weak post-cancer and has difficulty with overheating has bigger risks than a sore behind.

Cycling helped me get my stamina back, but it took quite a while and I was forty.  Not that I want to sound ageist, but I'm thinking it might take longer if someone is older. 

Good luck but don't push yourself too hard. 

Runge

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2014, 09:32:58 AM »
Just to get you a heads up on the trail conditions. The trail surface is hard packed, fine gravel, so expect it to have more rolling resistance than road. 40 mi/day isn't terrible on a bike, and it's totally doable on the Katy. If you average 10 mph, then you'll be done with 40 mi in 4 hours. Like others have said, just get on the bike and start riding. Build up your distance as much as you can yet be safe about it.

I love the Katy trail and there are plenty of wineries and towns to stop along the way for breaks. Colulmbia is about halfway along the katy, but you'll need to take a spur trail (MKT trail) to get to it. It'll add about 18 miles to your total trip, but could be totally worth it. It's a college town with plenty to do. If you're into football, then Mizzou hosts Georgia in October...just saying, haha. Also, be sure to stop by either Flat Branch Brewery or Shakespeare's Pizza. Both excellent choices.   

ampersand

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2014, 08:39:49 PM »
... I'm jealous. The Katy trail is awesome. I'm going to throw out a suggestion, but just hear me out.

Paddle it.

That's right, take the Missouri River. You won't make near the miles per day, but its much of the same scenery and experience. You don't have to worry about a tiny bicycle seat and can get a full fledged seat in a canoe or Kayak. You only have to paddle when you want to, or just take the current at a more leisurely place. There's plenty of places to camp, and if you had support, you'd be able to stay at hotels.

If you're interested, let me know, and I can give more details. Regardless, Don't be intimidated, take your time and enjoy the trip!!!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2014, 07:06:10 AM »
I'd give yourself more than 2 months advance training. I was an out of shape 29 year old with no major health issues and it took me 2 months just to comfortably do 20 miles without dying and feeling super saddle sore.

By all means make an honest effort, because bike touring sounds really fun, but you'll need time to get used to the bike, make adjustments, get used to biking with panniers, etc.

Be especially careful about overexertion. Push tons of fluids. I go through a good quart or more of water every hour in the summer. Even fit individuals, the recommendation is to increase daily mileage no more than 10% at a time.

At first, saddle soreness will probably limit you to every other day, but my endurance really improved when I switched to biking every day without fail.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2014, 08:40:28 AM »
Step 1:  If you haven't done so already, check with your doctor to see if it's ok for you to build endurance for this 200 mile ride.

Step 2:  Do some research on bikes including visiting some bike shops.  Test ride many bikes and see what seems comfortable with you.  You need something that can go on gravel from what I read from another mustachian, so the thin tired road bikes are out (sounds like either "hybrid" or "mountain bike").  I wouldn't waste my time trying to find a suitable used bike.  My guess is you are looking at $400-$1000.

Step 3:  Build your endurance very slowly.  Consider joining a bike club.


oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2014, 09:11:19 AM »
OK, thanks for all the suggestions. I guess I need to get serious if I'm gonna have any chance of actually pulling this off.

I'm having lunch with some friends today, and I'll see what sort of bikes they have to let me use, and I'll borrow one. I figure, at least to start, riding any bike at all will start getting me into shape. I'll soon find out from my friend what sort of bike he's supplying.

I'll be using his daughter's bike. I'll make him send me a picture.

I figure for the rest of June I can just bike enough to feel reasonably comfortable on a bike. then in July I can start doing a few miles. There are a couple of really nice bike trails in the area, so I can learn to ride without having to worry about dodging cars.

By the end of July I should have a pretty good idea if this is even possible. If I can ride 10 miles without being totally exhausted or in pain it might work. Besides, by then my friend may have figured out he won't be able to do it.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2014, 09:28:14 AM »
Woooo!  Caution!!!  Before you use anyone else's bike, make sure it is the right size (wrong size can cause injury).

Please, please check this out first:  http://www.ebicycles.com/article/what-size-bicycle-do-i-need.html#bicycle-sizing-chart

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2014, 06:06:52 PM »
Reporting in:

Borrowed my friend's bike today. She says it cost $500 so I shouldn't lose it. Or I get to buy her a new one. That seems fair.

Lessons learned:

What looks like a slight rise on foot is a major climb on a bike. But a slight downhill is a nice coast down. And a nice breeze turns into a strong headwind.

I'm not strong enough to bike even a slight rise. I got off and walked once. Fortunately there didn't seem to be anyone watching. I messed with the gears but it didn't seem to make any difference. There's probably something I don't understand. The bike has lots and lots of gears.

I set the app on my smartphone to record speed and distance, but I guess I didn't tell it "go" since it came back blank. Oh well, I'll do better next time. I'm guessing slightly over a mile, but I'll see if I can remember my route well enough to find it on a map.

My legs feel tired, but not too tired, so I think I did about the right amount. I still remember how to ride, a little better than I expected. I'm guessing I averaged 7 or 8 mph, but I could be way off.

My neighbor wasn't home. I had intended to ask him to take a picture of me and the bike. Maybe tomorrow.

edit: Looks like it was about a mile and a quarter. Definitely enough for a first attempt.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 06:16:12 PM by oldladystache »

kendallf

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2014, 06:25:56 PM »
Congratulations on taking the crucial step: just getting out there and trying it.  You can pick and choose bikes, etc. but riding will pay dividends whether you do the trail ride or not. 

I encourage you to work up to it and do it, barring any major health concerns, though.  We have a bunch of men and women around your age in our local bike club, and some of them do more mileage than I do (we're talking 10k miles/yr). 

I have ridden small chunks of the Katy trail when I visited St. Louis a couple of years ago.  The sections I rode, along the river, were quite flat but, depending on the recent weather, the gravel may make for significantly slower going than a paved road.  I rode part of it right after a snowfall though which shouldn't be a problem for you in the summer. 

bikebum

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2014, 07:26:28 PM »
You can google "training schedule for cycle century" or something like that. Even though you are not doing a century, it'll give you a good idea of what people do to increase their miles. Many plans I've seen involve 1 long ride, 2 or 3 medium maintenance rides, and 1 sprint ride every week. The long ride you start with what you can and add some miles each time. The sprint is really beneficial even though you are not going to sprint later on because it builds strength. Once you get your mileage up you should do long rides for back-to-back days since that is what you will be doing on the trail, as opposed to 1 long ride in 1 day like a century. The body adapts to what you expose it to, so if you normally do 1 long ride and then take a couple days off you'll be used to getting that rest.

You'll probably want to get a comfortable and properly fitted bike for that much riding. If you borrow from a friend, I'd make sure it fits right; a bike shop can help you with that. I see more older folks kick ass on the bike than any other sport. I think it's one of the most age-friendly activities. If you start small and add miles slowly you should be able to tell if it's too much. Have fun and good luck!

mpg350

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2014, 07:39:36 PM »
Yeah as somebody that does mountain biking I would definitely start now and not just 2 months before.

40 miles a day doesn't sound that bad on this type of trail from what people are describing.   Just make sure you have a saddle that is comfortable and a bike that fits your height.

Yeah on those apps you need to hit record…Strava is a good bike app.

You will want to maybe look for a hydration pack, you can carry so much more fluids and you will want that on a long ride.
http://www.pricepoint.com/Brand/CamelBak/


Good luck

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2014, 06:31:47 PM »
I only rode the bike about 10 minutes today. I was fine until I got to the first uphill. My legs started aching immediately. I went a bit faster today, with a lot more confidence. I didn't think it would be a good idea to do any more, even though I was enjoying it. I studied up on how to work the gears and that helped a lot, too.

The bad news. I got the word that my favorite cousin with lung cancer in a state far away is on her way out. I expect to be going there in the next few days to be of assistance. No idea how long it will take. That's the good thing about being retired. You can drop everything and go somewhere if you need to.  I've been waiting about 6 months to be told I'm needed.

I hope when I'm away I can borrow a bike. I'm pretty sure my cousin doesn't have one, but she has friends and neighbors. Chances are I'll get at least one more ride on this one before I return it and go away.


Spartana

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2014, 01:44:14 PM »
I only rode the bike about 10 minutes today. I was fine until I got to the first uphill. My legs started aching immediately. I went a bit faster today, with a lot more confidence. I didn't think it would be a good idea to do any more, even though I was enjoying it. I studied up on how to work the gears and that helped a lot, too.

The bad news. I got the word that my favorite cousin with lung cancer in a state far away is on her way out. I expect to be going there in the next few days to be of assistance. No idea how long it will take. That's the good thing about being retired. You can drop everything and go somewhere if you need to.  I've been waiting about 6 months to be told I'm needed.

I hope when I'm away I can borrow a bike. I'm pretty sure my cousin doesn't have one, but she has friends and neighbors. Chances are I'll get at least one more ride on this one before I return it and go away.
If you can't borrow or rent a bike (most bike shops will rent for around $10/day) then see if there is a gym in your cousins 'hood where you can use their exercise bikes. Most gyms have stationary bikes, as well as recumbent bikes, and bike classes and many have day passes as well as guest passes for a week or 2 for free. It's not the same as biking outdoors on a real bike, but it will help build up your leg muscles, cardio and get your butt more use to being in a saddle. If you don't have that available then just walk. Walk as long as you can ( and do hills if possible) as that will also get your legs in better shape and improve your endurance and cardio. And remember, if you don't feel you will be ready to do a multi-day long distance bike tour, there is no shame in admitting that and begging out. Your friend will understand and you guys can schedule something for a later time once you've got more training.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 01:47:10 PM by Spartana »

galaxie

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2014, 06:59:15 AM »
You could ask your biking friend for help with training, too.  Friends love when other friends get involved in their interests.

If you feel like your legs aren't very strong and it's holding you back, try doing some squats - maybe every day when you get up in the morning, do them until you feel tired.

Diamondpick

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2014, 07:24:14 AM »
Great goal and motivation to do this. gO do this. You can and should do this.
Get a coach, get a plan, and do it.
we can help if you want (griggsortho.com) or look for a coach in your area. Affordable.
dp

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2014, 09:07:58 AM »
Thanks for all the comments, suggestions and links. All very helpful.

I spent yesterday getting the  decks cleared so I can be away for a long time. Then I got the word that my cousin says I shouldn't come. She's been refusing phone calls from her own son, and most of her relatives. So now I'm not sure what to do. The two people she's allowing to help her are exhausted.

I'll just wait to see what happens for the moment.

Meanwhile, I went for a bike ride yesterday morning, then returned the bike to the friend I borrowed it from.

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2014, 08:51:00 PM »
So I went to Target and bought a bike on Saturday. It's a cruiser, cost me about $150. I know it isn't what you would have bought, but it will do the job letting me get fit to ride.

On my hilly streets I still can't go far but I'm going just a little bit farther every day. I ride until my legs ache just a reasonable amount. I'm up to 1.1 miles today. I feel like I could go a pretty good distance on level ground but there isn't any in my neighborhood.

When I get a little stronger I'll probably start taking it to one of the bike trails fairly nearby.
... I'm jealous. The Katy trail is awesome. I'm going to throw out a suggestion, but just hear me out.

Paddle it.

That's right, take the Missouri River. You won't make near the miles per day, but its much of the same scenery and experience. You don't have to worry about a tiny bicycle seat and can get a full fledged seat in a canoe or Kayak. You only have to paddle when you want to, or just take the current at a more leisurely place. There's plenty of places to camp, and if you had support, you'd be able to stay at hotels.

If you're interested, let me know, and I can give more details. Regardless, Don't be intimidated, take your time and enjoy the trip!!!

That would be wonderful. I used to have fun with my kayak. A long time ago. But this is my friend's trip. I'm just going along with him.

darkadams00

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2014, 07:08:02 PM »
A lot of miles repeated over consecutive days can be tough. I've hiked for a month at a time and biked for years. If the first-day distance is a "stretch" distance for you  , i.e. you've only ridden up to a max of that distance, then you might be setting up for a hard time. Butt, back, shoulders, neck, wrists, hands, quads, hamstrings--almost any weak link in your body can be exposed, and that's just the musculoskeletal parts. Fatigue from age, lack of fitness, and past illness/treatments can flare up as well.

A lot of people your age do ride longer distances like this and enjoy the time, but if you're not adequately prepared physically, you are not likely to end up with the good, positive tiredness at the end of a long but fun ride with a friend. You're looking at a butt-whooping endurance ride with pain and fatigue that can leave you calling for a pick-up on the third morning.

With that said, you might have time to prepare if you start now. Keep posting your progress here and ride as often as you can, even if for short distances to the grocery store. You're only going to get stronger. If this ride doesn't work out for you, another one down the road likely will. Consistency and increased distance will also bring any of your physical weaknesses to your attention.

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2014, 06:53:37 PM »
OK, I've ridden every day but one for the past week and a half. I'm now up to 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. Part of the improvement is from getting stronger, part is from getting more confident, some from getting familiar with the bike, and possibly the most important is figuring out which streets in my neighborhood have the steepest climbs to avoid.

When I'm done with my ride I'm hot and sweaty, and my legs feel weak. I think that means I'm gonna get stronger. I sure hope so.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but about the time I agreed to do this bike ride with my friend after his heart surgery another friend asked me to do a 20 mile horse ride with her after she recovers from her knee surgery. Also in October. I haven't ridden my horse more than 3 miles in a day in the past 3 years. So 4 mornings a week I go out to the stable and ride for about an hour and a half. Then I come home and rest a while, and when it gets a little bit cool I go for my bike ride.

I give it fairly low odds that I will actually do the bike trip, but high odds that I'll do the horse ride. But at least I'll be a lot stronger in a few months. And so will my horse.

This is what FIRE is all about.  Being able to do whatever you want, without having to worry about getting time off or where the money will come from.

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2014, 09:05:08 PM »
Didn't ride the bike yesterday but I have an excuse. I went out with friends and didn't get home until after 9.

Today I decided to do just a leisurely ride, and I wound up doing 1.8 miles in 15 minutes. Last week that would have been a hard workout, so I'm definitely getting better.

Here's the schedule of goals I'm planning to aim for. So far so good:

JUNE. 20 minutes at 6 mph=2 miles
 *done 6/27/2014
july 1-15 30 minutes at 8 mph = 4 miles
july 15-31 45 minutes at 10 mph = 7.5 miles
aug 1-15 1 hr at 12 mph = 12 miles
aug 15-31 2 hr at 10 mph = 20 miles
sept 2 hr at 11 mph = 22 miles

If I can't keep up with this schedule I don't see how I can do the long ride in October. I think I'll be able to do it though, as long as I don't have a major setback.


PeteD01

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2014, 02:14:23 PM »
Don't sweat the riding speed. At your level of training every minute in the saddle will pay big dividends.
How about just spending time in the saddle?
Forty miles is not really a very long ride in  terms of distance but can be very loooong in terms of time spend in the saddle.
If you just increase time in the saddle (starting with 60 minutes a ride) without paying attention to your speed you will be able to ride for four hours within a couple of months. By that time you will have picked up pace as well without even thinking about it.
 

Spartana

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2014, 05:36:25 PM »
Don't sweat the riding speed. At your level of training every minute in the saddle will pay big dividends.
How about just spending time in the saddle?
Forty miles is not really a very long ride in  terms of distance but can be very loooong in terms of time spend in the saddle.
If you just increase time in the saddle (starting with 60 minutes a ride) without paying attention to your speed you will be able to ride for four hours within a couple of months. By that time you will have picked up pace as well without even thinking about it.
I agree with this but I think her end goal is 40 miles/day for 5 days straight (200 miles total) so that goal may be difficult to do in the time given. Especially as back to back days can be much harder. But I'm impressed and pulling for her. In any case she is getting stronger, faster and more comfortable everyday! 

PeteD01

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2014, 05:54:58 PM »
Don't sweat the riding speed. At your level of training every minute in the saddle will pay big dividends.
How about just spending time in the saddle?
Forty miles is not really a very long ride in  terms of distance but can be very loooong in terms of time spend in the saddle.
If you just increase time in the saddle (starting with 60 minutes a ride) without paying attention to your speed you will be able to ride for four hours within a couple of months. By that time you will have picked up pace as well without even thinking about it.
I agree with this but I think her end goal is 40 miles/day for 5 days straight (200 miles total) so that goal may be difficult to do in the time given. Especially as back to back days can be much harder. But I'm impressed and pulling for her. In any case she is getting stronger, faster and more comfortable everyday!

She is training for a five day event which is strictly an endurance challenge. Luckily, endurance is the easiest thing to develop - all it takes is to endure. She is a beginner and will see her speed increase on beginner's gains without even thinking about it. Assumed she is otherwise healthy, all she needs to achieve is being able to ride for five hours during a single day. The biggest problem is actually that she got herself a cruiser bicycle - just about the most vicious torture device I can think of when it comes to saddle time.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 05:56:54 PM by PeteD01 »

Spartana

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2014, 06:18:38 PM »


She is training for a five day event which is strictly an endurance challenge. Luckily, endurance is the easiest thing to develop - all it takes is to endure. She is a beginner and will see her speed increase on beginner's gains without even thinking about it. Assumed she is otherwise healthy, all she needs to achieve is being able to ride for five hours during a single day. The biggest problem is actually that she got herself a cruiser bicycle - just about the most vicious torture device I can think of when it comes to saddle time.
Ha Ha - so true!

I agree endurance is key but multi-day rides can be hard on the body in places you never experienced before - not just butts and the girl or boy bits, but shoulders, hands, wrists, necks, elbows, backs, etc... The only way to train out those pains is to ride everyday a fairly long distance to become accustom to it. No amount of endurance will help push you thru if your body is in pain on the second or third day.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 06:20:17 PM by Spartana »

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2014, 06:41:17 PM »
Making progress. Today's ride was 26 min 2.85 miles = 6.6 mph. This is the first time that the seat was the worst. before this it has always been the legs.

I wanted a cruiser bike, or at least a "sit upright" one because the bike I rode years ago had me leaning on my hands and I hated that. After just a few minutes I wanted to stop.

The bike I'll do the actual ride on (assuming I actually do it) is one my friend is supplying.

I haven't talked to him in a long time. I don't know if they decided to do his surgery or put it off for now, or what. I'm hesitating to contact him because I'm afraid he'll say he won't be able to do the ride and then I won't have the motivation to keep on riding and getting stronger. Silly, I know.

Onward and upward.

PeteD01

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2014, 07:28:50 PM »


She is training for a five day event which is strictly an endurance challenge. Luckily, endurance is the easiest thing to develop - all it takes is to endure. She is a beginner and will see her speed increase on beginner's gains without even thinking about it. Assumed she is otherwise healthy, all she needs to achieve is being able to ride for five hours during a single day. The biggest problem is actually that she got herself a cruiser bicycle - just about the most vicious torture device I can think of when it comes to saddle time.
Ha Ha - so true!

I agree endurance is key but multi-day rides can be hard on the body in places you never experienced before - not just butts and the girl or boy bits, but shoulders, hands, wrists, necks, elbows, backs, etc... The only way to train out those pains is to ride everyday a fairly long distance to become accustom to it. No amount of endurance will help push you thru if your body is in pain on the second or third day.

That's exactly what I am trying to say. Don't focus on the speed or even the distance, what is important is to get your body to adapt to being on the bike for extended periods of time (that's actually what I mean with "endurance") Training on a different bike is counterproductive - but you got to work with what you got.
In any case, it is very much doable, no question.

PeteD01

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2014, 07:37:02 PM »
Making progress. Today's ride was 26 min 2.85 miles = 6.6 mph. This is the first time that the seat was the worst. before this it has always been the legs.

I wanted a cruiser bike, or at least a "sit upright" one because the bike I rode years ago had me leaning on my hands and I hated that. After just a few minutes I wanted to stop.

The bike I'll do the actual ride on (assuming I actually do it) is one my friend is supplying.

I haven't talked to him in a long time. I don't know if they decided to do his surgery or put it off for now, or what. I'm hesitating to contact him because I'm afraid he'll say he won't be able to do the ride and then I won't have the motivation to keep on riding and getting stronger. Silly, I know.

Onward and upward.

The problem is that the cruiser will become less comfortable the longer your rides are whereas a proper bicycle will become more comfortable the more you ride it.

DollarBill

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2014, 07:53:47 PM »
The biggest risk is that both of you will be saddle sore. It isn't hard to bike 40 miles per day for someone used to being on the saddle but you will be sore on the second day and on the third day you will give up not because your legs won't hold up but because you won't be able to sit down.
Yup, need some saddle time. You can do 40 mile at a leisurely pace but the saddle time will stop your trip short.

Emg03063

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2014, 08:37:08 PM »
If saddle soreness is your limiting factor, consider a recumbent bike for the trip if you have access to one affordably.  They're miles ahead of a regular bike for comfort, but they do use leg muscles in a slightly different way, so don't switch over close to your trip start.  For the uphills, learn to use ankling:

http://www.cycling-secrets.com/pedaling-technique/

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2014, 09:28:45 PM »
I'll have to try the ankling. So far I'm still concentrating on not hitting anything and not falling down when I get off. Each day I learn a bit more, as well as getting a little stronger.

I just changed the tilt of the seat, so maybe it will be a bit better when I ride it tomorrow. Every adjustment I make seems to need a different tool.

I think he said the bike I will use is a semi-recumbent. We'll see how it goes. I've looked at links about recumbents and they look promising.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.
 

Spartana

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2014, 12:09:16 PM »


She is training for a five day event which is strictly an endurance challenge. Luckily, endurance is the easiest thing to develop - all it takes is to endure. She is a beginner and will see her speed increase on beginner's gains without even thinking about it. Assumed she is otherwise healthy, all she needs to achieve is being able to ride for five hours during a single day. The biggest problem is actually that she got herself a cruiser bicycle - just about the most vicious torture device I can think of when it comes to saddle time.
Ha Ha - so true!

I agree endurance is key but multi-day rides can be hard on the body in places you never experienced before - not just butts and the girl or boy bits, but shoulders, hands, wrists, necks, elbows, backs, etc... The only way to train out those pains is to ride everyday a fairly long distance to become accustom to it. No amount of endurance will help push you thru if your body is in pain on the second or third day.

That's exactly what I am trying to say. Don't focus on the speed or even the distance, what is important is to get your body to adapt to being on the bike for extended periods of time (that's actually what I mean with "endurance") Training on a different bike is counterproductive - but you got to work with what you got.
In any case, it is very much doable, no question.
OK I get it - I can be a little slow sometimes :-)!

One thing OldLadyStache can do to alleviate some of the discomfort that comes from riding is get good padded bike shorts. Nothing stops a long ride faster then raw and achy nether-region bits from the saddle.  Padded bike gloves too are good to prevent palm ache - although if she has a cruiser or hybrid with higher handlebars that might not be an issue.

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2014, 07:18:40 PM »
Well, I'm almost on schedule. I planned to do 4 miles in 30 minutes by today but it took me 34 minutes to do 4 miles. It would have been a bit faster if I hadn't had to wait for a couple of lights.

Actually, I'm quite pleased with my progress. For 5 or 6 days I was under the weather and wasn't able to ride at all.

My goal for the next 2 weeks is 7.5 miles in 45 minutes. I don't think I can do that in my neighborhood, so it's probably time to start thinking about taking the bike out to some bike trails.

My friend's bypass surgery is scheduled for later this week.

And I ordered some bike shorts yesterday. I'm beginning to see the need for them.

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2014, 09:53:20 PM »
I've been riding the bike every day this week. Usually about 30 to 35 minutes. Until today it has been just in the neighborhood, with all its ups and downs and cross streets. So today I managed to wrestle the bike into the back of the car and took it to the beach.

I rode on the crowded path along the Strand of Hermosa Beach, with all the joggers and skateboarders and dogwalkers and stroller pushing skaters. But it was LEVEL!! What a treat.

I didn't ride much longer than my usual ride, but it was so nice to be able to just ride along without having to watch for cars and deal with stopsigns and traffic lights. And steep hills. A couple of little kids walked out in front of me without looking, but I managed to miss them.

I'm beginning to think I might actually be able to pull this off. My friend's bypass surgery has been cancelled for the moment. The latest plan is to go into surgery tomorrow and just have a stent put into the worst artery and see if that can be good enough for now.

Spartana

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2014, 10:58:09 PM »
That's great LadyStash! Cranking out more miles everyday and getting stronger. I love the bike path in Hermosa but it gets better - more open, less people, beach on both sides - once you get past Manhattan Beach and into Dockweiler state beach to Playa Del Rey. I live in the Huntington beach area and it has a great bike path that's flat. You can go from Sunset Beach to Newport for about a 30 mile R/T. And it's not very crowded during the week days.  Long Beach has a pretty good one too but it's shorter. Good luck!

Lian

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2014, 08:06:38 PM »
A bike path on a beach sounds like great fun - sounds like you are much stronger than when you started.

oldladystache

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Re: Biking question - or "what have I done?"
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2014, 10:05:26 PM »
Well, now I'm thinking I won't be able to pull this off. At least not this year. I've been very good about biking nearly every day, but I'm not improving. Maybe it's just a plateau and I'll start improving again if I keep it up.

I'm able to ride a bit over a half hour but then I completely run out of steam.

Even if I won't be able to do the ride with my friend, at least I'm sure all this exercise is very good for me. Three mornings a week I walk for about an hour, four mornings I ride the horse for an hour or more. And every evening I ride the bike.

I'm intending to take the bike to the beach again tomorrow or the day after. I'll see  how far I can go.