Author Topic: Getting back into biking after 50+?  (Read 4821 times)

Moustachienne

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Getting back into biking after 50+?
« on: October 15, 2015, 11:13:04 PM »
Any advice for getting back on the bike after many years?  Looking to bike for errands and local jaunts not regular commuting.  Biked a lot as a young adult but rarely in the past few decades.  Tips for regaining confidence?  Other? 

Jackthe

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 11:43:57 PM »
Any advice for getting back on the bike after many years?  Looking to bike for errands and local jaunts not regular commuting.  Biked a lot as a young adult but rarely in the past few decades.  Tips for regaining confidence?  Other?
Riding a bike is something you never forget. Grab a bike aan do it!
I know sound easier than done, best advice i can add is to ensure your feet can touch the ground firmly while you are on the saddle. So not only your toes. In that case if you lose balance you won't fall over.

MacGyverIt

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 03:06:25 AM »
Been thinking about this a lot myself as I've got knee and ankle problems. I saw a guy biking around Amsterdam on recumbent bike, it looked both safe and fun.

Dee18

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 06:29:40 AM »
Go to a bike store when they are not busy and try several different kinds of bikes to see what you like, but don't buy one right away.  Try to rent some different bikes or borrow one for a few weeks. 

CletusMcGee

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 07:08:13 AM »
I can't comment on the 50+ aspect, but if you are in the market for a new bike, be sure to go to an actual bike shop and not Wal Mart.  A real bike shop will be able to help you find a bike that suits your needs and fits properly.  Plus, the bike will have a MUCH longer lifetime than a Big Box Special.

GuitarStv

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 07:22:56 AM »
Any advice for getting back on the bike after many years?  Looking to bike for errands and local jaunts not regular commuting.  Biked a lot as a young adult but rarely in the past few decades.  Tips for regaining confidence?  Other?
Riding a bike is something you never forget. Grab a bike aan do it!
I know sound easier than done, best advice i can add is to ensure your feet can touch the ground firmly while you are on the saddle. So not only your toes. In that case if you lose balance you won't fall over.

This is good advice if you want knee problems and difficult bike rides.  If you can touch the ground with both feet flat while mounted, your saddle is way too low.  A better idea would be to learn how to properly stop and start a bike:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/starting.html


I think the key to doing something new, regardless of the age that you are is to get out there and do it.  Go for a few short rides in quiet places where you can get more comfortable cycling again.  Gradually ramp up the distance and try out new routes when you feel ready.  Your strength will gradually build, the type of terrain and way you're using the bike will dictate your preference for the best bike for the job.

Moustachienne

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 07:26:30 AM »
Thanks folks.  I have a nice plain sturdy bike.  Even though I haven't been riding I didn't want to be the sort of person who didn't have a bike.  :) I think I have a catch 22 issue going on - don't feel fit enough to be confident but need to ride to increase that fitness level and confidence.  Just do  it may be the best advice.

mschaus

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 07:43:20 AM »
Yup just start riding! And take it slow. GuitarStv is right on regarding the saddle.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your butt will hurt the first few times. This is not necessarily the fault of the bike, but most likely just because your legs aren't used to it and need to get stronger. So before buying a huge padded saddle (which will ultimately be worse), give it some time and also experiment with the angle. For whatever reason, men often like the saddle pointed up slightly, and women down slightly.

GuitarStv

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2015, 07:50:15 AM »
Thanks folks.  I have a nice plain sturdy bike.  Even though I haven't been riding I didn't want to be the sort of person who didn't have a bike.  :) I think I have a catch 22 issue going on - don't feel fit enough to be confident but need to ride to increase that fitness level and confidence.  Just do  it may be the best advice.

Don't feel self conscious on a bike.  This is an activity where the epitome of cool/pro is to squeeze into the tightest spandex you can find, wear a goofy styrofoam helmet, and shave your legs.  We all look like dorks on bikes.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2015, 07:55:00 AM »
]
Riding a bike is something you never forget. Grab a bike aan do it!
I know sound easier than done, best advice i can add is to ensure your feet can touch the ground firmly while you are on the saddle. So not only your toes. In that case if you lose balance you won't fall over.

This is good advice if you want knee problems and difficult bike rides.  If you can touch the ground with both feet flat while mounted, your saddle is way too low.  A better idea would be to learn how to properly stop and start a bike:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/starting.html

I accidentally committed myself to bike commuting on the bear future, so I need to study this video to handle biking in traffic.

bobechs

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 08:28:22 AM »
]


I accidentally committed myself to bike commuting on the bear future, so I need to study this video to handle biking in traffic.

Bears?!?

That puts a whole new complexion on getting back to bike commuting.

Like the man sez, stock up on industrial strength pepper spray:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/biking-with-bears/


MonkeyJenga

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2015, 08:35:35 AM »
In the bear future, the only thing keeping you safe... will be your bike.

Wow, remind me to call Swype and demand a refund for their egregious retroactive autocorrecting. (I can blame this on Swype, right? Yeah, sounds reasonable.)

pompera_firpa

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2015, 08:52:19 AM »
If you can touch the ground with both feet flat while mounted, your saddle is way too low.

Depends on the bike.  I have an Electra, and they're designed specifically so that you're able to put your feet flat on the ground when you stop-- which is why I got it, since at the time I hadn't owned a bike in 20 years and was terrified of falling over.

That said: my terror of falling over was largely unfounded. I also rode a bike-share bike around the Chicago Loop* while I was still working down there, and after a few weeks of adjusting the saddle so it was super-low, I worked up to having it at a proper height.

Basically: I'm not worried if you start off with the saddle low. As you get your confidence back, you'll start tinkering with how to get the best ride and you'll feel better about moving the saddle higher.

And for the record: I'm overweight, and biking helps me feel a lot better about myself. I might be fat, but I'm hossing my own freight around-- which cannot be said for the skinny folks in cars!


* In retrospect, diving directly into Loop traffic-- which sounds like an awful idea-- turned out to be the best way to get back on a bike, ever.  There are a lot of people on bikes, especially now that we have bike-share, and not only were the drivers already watching for bikes, they were already driving pretty slowly due to traffic.

bobechs

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2015, 09:53:22 AM »


And for the record: I'm overweight, and biking helps me feel a lot better about myself. I might be fat, but I'm hossing my own freight around-- which cannot be said for the skinny folks in cars!


I'll bet you got nothing on that bear, adiposely speaking.

The Pigeon

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2015, 12:26:08 PM »
Bears. It's the new way the pro teams ensure their individual time trialist gives it ALL he's got.

GuitarStv

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2015, 12:44:29 PM »
That looks like a typical Canadian summer ride.

PaulMaxime

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2015, 10:47:55 PM »
You can do it! I'm over 50 and my wife and I did a Century last year and just got back from a bike trip to Germany and Austria.

My friend Steve is in his 70's and regularly kicks my ass on the bike.

Cycling is great for all. But for older people it's easier on the joints than running and you can still be very good at it at nearly any age.

hybrid

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2015, 09:18:32 AM »
That looks like a typical Canadian summer ride.

Love it! DW, who is very cold natured, is already dreading winter. In Virginia. Nuff said.

As for the biking, I got back into it a few years ago and have loved it. Just go out and do it. Hopefully somewhere warm..... 😀

Jackthe

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Re: Getting back into biking after 50+?
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2015, 01:11:27 AM »
Any advice for getting back on the bike after many years?  Looking to bike for errands and local jaunts not regular commuting.  Biked a lot as a young adult but rarely in the past few decades.  Tips for regaining confidence?  Other?
Riding a bike is something you never forget. Grab a bike aan do it!
I know sound easier than done, best advice i can add is to ensure your feet can touch the ground firmly while you are on the saddle. So not only your toes. In that case if you lose balance you won't fall over.

This is good advice if you want knee problems and difficult bike rides.  If you can touch the ground with both feet flat while mounted, your saddle is way too low.  A better idea would be to learn how to properly stop and start a bike:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/starting.html


I think the key to doing something new, regardless of the age that you are is to get out there and do it.  Go for a few short rides in quiet places where you can get more comfortable cycling again.  Gradually ramp up the distance and try out new routes when you feel ready.  Your strength will gradually build, the type of terrain and way you're using the bike will dictate your preference for the best bike for the job.
I see nw that I missed out on that aspect. My advice was primary focussed on growing confidence. Indeed in the long run the saddle should be higher. (althought depends a bit on the type of bike).