Author Topic: Bike  (Read 6893 times)

texaslady22

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Bike
« on: June 04, 2015, 11:52:50 AM »
So...I'm an anxious, non-athletic person. I never played a sport in my entire life. The thought of playing baseball, for example, scares me to death. I'm the person covering my head when the ball comes my way. Likewise, I never learned to ride a bike. I *tried* to learn, but it freaked me out so much that I just couldn't do it.

Now, I'm 30 and overweight. We live one mile from our community park and splash pad. My husband can ride a bike, the oldest kid can ride a bike, and hubby can bull a bike trailer with the two little ones. I would like to be able to bike to the community park with them, mostly for exercise. I love the thought of biking the mile to the park or the half mile to the pool. I've looked into getting a 3 wheeled bike and I really like the idea of that, but it's about $270 and only has one speed.

Could I even bike a mile? I mean, I'm not morbidly obese or anything, but could I do it with this one-speed adult tricycle thing? Is it worth the money to invest in a bike?

RockYourSocksOff

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Re: Bike
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 11:56:46 AM »
Learn to ride a bike.  You'll pick it up quick and the accomplishment will feel great!

Kris

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Re: Bike
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 12:08:03 PM »
Learn to ride a bike.  I agree with the poster above.  Not only will it open up more ways to get around and exercise than a three-wheeler, you will also be showing your children that you are not afraid to accomplish a goal and learn something new as an adult.

There are probably adult bike classes somewhere in your area.  Google "adult learn to ride a bike" to get started down that path. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Bike
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 12:27:20 PM »
Yup. Learn to ride a regular bike. I see single speed "cruiser" bikes all the time for less than $100 new and much, much less than that at garage sales and thrift stores.

I was more overweight than you last year, and I love riding my bike to the pool and back and around our neighborhood. I purposely bought a cruiser bike (upright sitting handlebars, no gears to mess with, turn the pedals backwards to brake) because I wanted a simple cheap bike to ride around my (very flat) neighborhood and investing more than $100 on something I wasn't sure I'd use much seemed silly. If I ended up loving it and felt hampered by the lack of gears/simplicity of the bike, then I could always move up at some point. But just for riding around, it works perfectly and I honestly don't need anything else. Other than a basket. Which I added.  :)

Go sit on a whole bunch of bikes until you find one that you feel comfortable on, and make sure you can put your feet down flat footed while still sitting on the seat. Then practice just sitting and using your feet on the ground to "walk" the bike and get your balance figured out. As long as the bike you get fits you well, you shouldn't be scared of anything - you should wear good sturdy shoes when riding and you can put your feet down at any time to get your balance back. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and just take it slow and you should be fine to ride back and forth to the park area and around your neighborhood once you get the hang of it.

Learning to ride a bike really is all balance. Biking is fun and great exercise, so do give it a chance if you can.

I see families out all the time in the evenings riding together - it is really cool to do when your kids learn to ride so you can all get some exercise and have a little fun and family bonding while doing it. ;)


Slam

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Re: Bike
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 12:32:56 PM »
I'll leave this here: http://www.bicycling.com/food/5-cycling-weight-loss-successes

The owner of the bike shop I used to work at would occasionally leave during the day to give a potential future customer one on one bike riding lessons.  Might be something you could ask about if you go to look at bikes.

HeadedWest

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Re: Bike
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2015, 01:46:44 PM »
Don't try and bike a mile, try for a tenth of a mile.  The next day, two tenths.  The day after that, three.  And guess what?  Ten days later, you'll be able to bike a mile.  Six months from now, you could be in great shape.  That's what I'd focus on, because you can't change things overnight.  Ask yourself: how do you want to feel in December?

TrMama

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Re: Bike
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2015, 02:56:41 PM »
I'm going to be the voice of dissension and say that if you're really that anxious, the trike is probably the best option. Single gear is fine as long as you don't have to deal with hills.

Alternatively, a mile is close enough to walk. Even young kids can either walk that far or ride in a stroller.

abiteveryday

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Re: Bike
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2015, 03:14:00 PM »
The stability of a trike can be misleading.    It's fine on flat ground in a straight line, but in corners at any sort of speed it's pretty easy to tumble.    I'll be another voice suggesting that you put the time into learning to ride a normal bike.

Edmundjb

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Re: Bike
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 04:53:17 PM »
I'm going to speak about things in general. When it comes to trying something new, just accept that something is going to go wrong. From there decide what most likely could go wrong and see if that is all that bad.

I just bought a new car a couple of months ago, my first standard. I accepted that I would probably stall the car a lot and possibly mess up the clutch. If the clutch goes, I'll just get a new one, there is a solution for most problems.

If you're learning to ride a bike, accept that you most likely will fall, might get scraped or bruised, but otherwise be fine. You could try wearing more safety gear to protect yourself. If you mess up, just try again. As far as what kind of bike, I would say go with a bike where you can change the gears. Have your husband pick a gear for you that he thinks is appropriate and just ride it in that gear and don't change it, sort of like the one speed bikes. Once you think you're ready to learn how to change gears, then start messing with it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2015, 05:09:58 PM »
So...I'm an anxious, non-athletic person. I never played a sport in my entire life. The thought of playing baseball, for example, scares me to death. I'm the person covering my head when the ball comes my way. Likewise, I never learned to ride a bike. I *tried* to learn, but it freaked me out so much that I just couldn't do it.

Now, I'm 30 and overweight. We live one mile from our community park and splash pad. My husband can ride a bike, the oldest kid can ride a bike, and hubby can bull a bike trailer with the two little ones. I would like to be able to bike to the community park with them, mostly for exercise. I love the thought of biking the mile to the park or the half mile to the pool. I've looked into getting a 3 wheeled bike and I really like the idea of that, but it's about $270 and only has one speed.

Could I even bike a mile? I mean, I'm not morbidly obese or anything, but could I do it with this one-speed adult tricycle thing? Is it worth the money to invest in a bike?

If you don't have some kind of unusual physical deficiency it's entirely possible for the average person to learn to bike 100 miles.  It just takes dedication and time.  Learning to ride a bike is a skill like any other.

I think you would be much better off in the long run learning to ride a normal two wheeled bicycle.  If you invest an hour a day for a week or two, you'll probably get it down.  Ask your husband to take the pedals off the bike first, put the seat low, and try just pushing the bike around while sitting in the seat (heading down a slight hill is great for this) and balancing for a while until you get the feeling down.

Then you want to stick the pedals back on and learn to balance on the bike while pedalling.

Then you want to learn how to use the brakes properly.

Then you want to learn how to shift.

Then you're good to go!

mskyle

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Re: Bike
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2015, 05:37:50 PM »
learn to bike instructions! from a couple of ladies who give bicycle classes to adults! You can learn to ride a bike, if that's what you want. And it's a really great skill to have; I think you'd feel really proud of yourself! You will fall, and you will look dumb, but soon you'll be riding a bike.

texaslady22

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Re: Bike
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2015, 09:38:38 PM »
Thank you all for the words. I guess I'm going to learn to ride a real bike then (at 30). My husband has a bike, so I'm going to try to learn on his. I'll just have to lower the seat down. Here goes nothing!

My autistic 8 year old learned to ride a bike this year after over a year in occupational therapy. I never thought he would. If he can, I can. I hope!!

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2015, 06:12:17 AM »
If you're significantly smaller than your husband, it might be tougher learning to ride on a bike that's not sized properly for you . . . but should be possible if you stick with it.  Good for you!  You'll feel so proud when you've figured it all out . . .

Hoberto

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Re: Bike
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2015, 06:30:50 AM »
Would training wheels be an option for this situation?

RockYourSocksOff

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Re: Bike
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2015, 07:37:55 AM »
Would training wheels be an option for this situation?

Absolutely not!  They don't help to learn balance which is the main goal here.  There are companies that make bikes with no pedals called balance bikes for kids for that very reason.  A child can use a balance bike to gain comfort walking with the bike and then sitting on the seat with their legs up while coasting.  This would be a great option but definitely not training wheels!  I think someone above even suggested taking the pedals off...

Ricky

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Re: Bike
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2015, 08:11:22 AM »
Eh, I played baseball growing up and I never got over the fear of being hit by a ball. Especially when I went up to bat against pitchers that were about twice my size.

The best thing you can do is buy a cheap bike and just get on it. Your family will be supportive.

6 months from now, you'll look back on this post and laugh at how petty a mile on a bicycle is :)

shotgunwilly

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Re: Bike
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2015, 09:17:15 AM »
6 months from now, you'll look back on this post and laugh at how petty a mile on a bicycle is :)

This is what I was thinking.

Trust me, you can do this. Just start trying with the assistance of your husband and I'm sure you'll get it.

DagobertDuck

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Re: Bike
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2015, 09:42:24 AM »
+1 to learn to ride a bike! (normal bike, no side wheels or tricycle)

 It will save you money, make you healthier and feel great overall!

Learn to ride a bike (balance, steering, braking) first, on grass or a closed stretch of road, then get confident cycling over obstacles and in traffic.
Fitness and weight loss will come over time as your action radius increases.


It might be a good idea to get a helmet.
If you can get the saddle low enough , just try your husband's bike.

Maybe there's a bike advocacy group (like this one ) that can help you with bike lessons, or just let your husband help you.
Learing any new skill takes time and practice, so don't give up!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 11:28:52 AM by DagobertDuck »

nprguy

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Re: Bike
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2015, 10:13:15 AM »
My wife was in a similar situation,  28 overweight and sports/balance challenged. One problem we had was bike size - the one she obtained on her own really did not fit and made her first few lessons really hard both emotionally and on her knees. After we got a bike that fit better she learned using the method outlined above (start with no pedals, focus on balance)  You may want to look into what is called a "flat foot bike" with 26" wheels. These bikes allow you to have proper seat placement/knee extension but with a seat height that allows you to stand flat footed without leaving the seat. This type of bike can really help someone with bad balance/fear of falling ride with confidence. If you were to lower a regular bikes seat enough to stand flat footed or buy an undersized bike it would eventually become really uncomfortable and lead to knee pain. A 2015 Marin Stinson step-thru would be a good model (older ones do not have this feature), Electra bikes also makes several flat foot bikes but I have not experience with them.   These bikes might not be the lightest or sportiest looking and would probably not be the best choice for a 100 mile ride but they are great for around town use.  They may not show up used that often but I think spending a few hundred dollars more on a bike that fits and inspires confidence will be better than giving up in frustration because of a bad fit or (IMHO) wasting money on trike.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 10:34:01 AM by nprguy »

Chesterfield

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Re: Bike
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2015, 10:23:10 AM »
If your 8 year old son has a bike, you can use that as your flat foot pusher. You will certainly be able to touch the ground and sit on the seat. May even  want to put the seat way up.

Don't buy a bike just to learn on, buy a bike with a few gears that fits you. Comfort bikes where you sit upright are great. Most of them have 7- 15 gears, you can get a mixte, ( girls bike style) where you step through and no issues with the top bar. They are often on Craig's list, people buy them and they sit in the garage, so they sell them used.

texaslady22

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Re: Bike
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2015, 12:09:59 PM »
Ugh!! We went to the school parking lot this morning...it's on quite a bit of an incline. I was able to glide down the hill and practice balancing. I got better at it as I tried, but I could only push the bike up the hill 5 or 6 times before I was completely zapped. I'm also not used to being in the 99 degree heat. It was exhausting!!

Can I do this? I'm not sure I can do this. I didn't even get to pedaling today before I was worn out!!

DagobertDuck

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Re: Bike
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2015, 12:37:35 PM »
I could only push the bike up the hill 5 or 6 times before I was completely zapped. I'm also not used to being in the 99 degree heat. It was exhausting!!]
99 Fahrenheit, no wonder you got tired quickly. Maybe try it even earlier in the morning when it's not that hot yet?
(by the way, as you cycle faster, the speed will give a nice cooling breeze)

Quote
Can I do this? I'm not sure I can do this.
Yes, you can!

Quote
I got better at it as I tried
You just said it! Try more, get better at it.

Don't give up! Learning a new skill takes practice. Practice at least 3 times a week for a few weeks, and....

6 months from now, you'll look back on this post and laugh at how petty a mile on a bicycle is :)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 12:42:34 PM by DagobertDuck »

Slam

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Re: Bike
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2015, 12:38:53 PM »
I got better at it as I tried

What do you mean 'can you do it'?  You ARE doing it.  You did it today and you're already better than you were yesterday.

I'm not sure what shape the parking lot is, but maybe you can go sideways instead of up and down the hill.  Follow the contours.  Or try the basketball court, tennis court, or track.  Those are always completely flat.

frompa

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Re: Bike
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2015, 12:40:37 PM »
Hey texaslady22, make this as EASY on yourself as possible. You can't control everything, but some things you can.  Go in the early morning or evening, before or after the worst of the day's heat.  Find a slight downhill to practice your balance -- I usually get people to use a grassy slight downhill -- that way when (notice I say "when" and not "if") they fall, they are less likely to get scraped up. Also, a lesser hill will give you a much greater sense of control. And of course you were exhausted... you did a whole new thing! Congratulations, lady!! Be proud of every step you take!!!

DagobertDuck

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Re: Bike
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2015, 10:38:53 AM »
tl22, how's it going?