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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    23

    Noob & So Out of Shape

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    The last time I rode a bike was at least 25 yrs ago. Now I'm middle aged with a lot of excess weight.

    Purchased a Specialized Vita Comp 2014 model last month and have been on a few rides. However, the weather now is so hot and humid in my area and I have no desire to attempt to ride in either 90 degree heat or 80% or more humidity so I haven't gotten out in the last almost 2 weeks. Yes, I am a wuss.

    On top of that I am unable to climb even the slightest of hills without dismounting and walking the bike. I know how to shift the gears and I shift gears often to try and maintain a cadence. I've had the bike in the very lowest (granny) gear right at the beginning of an incline, but still not able to go more than 100ft up what many of you would consider easy hills.

    This bike is a 10-speed with a double cassette in front and then 10 gears in back. SRAM components, which are rated for MTB, actually. I'm wondering if having 27 gears would make things easier?

    I suspect the answer is no. I know I have to build endurance, both muscular as well as cardio vascular. Being out of shape is the pits. Most streets in my area are not perfectly flat and that makes for a less pleasant riding experience because I just cannot propel myself. As it is now I could maybe accomplish 2 or 3 miles if I have to contend with varying terrain. On a perfectly flat and shaded bike path, with temperatures under 85 degrees I could do about 5 or 6 miles total.

    I really envy those who can pop on a bike and go 20 mi, no problem whatsoever.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,047
    I hope you will just keep at it. Go out for half an hour while it's cool. Keep trying on the hills and you will get further after a while, but also build up your base riding on a flat area.

    When I started I was happy going 3 miles, but pretty soon it was 5 miles and 10 miles and so on. The year I started I would sometimes get overheated on a flat ride less than 10 miles long. Drink a lot of water.

    And stay connected here- you will get a lot of support.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Welcome to TE, and congrats on the new bike!

    Unless your current gearing doesn't have a "sweet spot" for your legs, no, having 27 gears isn't going to get you much more than having 20, since the spread is going to be pretty similar.

    You'll get there. Just keep at it. There was a time when I was intimidated by the thought of riding a mile. Try building your fitness on flat ground at first, then tackle the inclines gradually. There is no shame in walking up a hill. Can you get out in the morning before it gets hot? Exercising in heat takes some acclimation. (I moved here last year, and I still get overheated on even short rides.)
    Last edited by Owlie; 09-06-2014 at 05:38 PM.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    A couple years ago when I went to the gym I literally couldn't stay on the elliptical more than 5 minutes, but I kept at it and 5 became 10 and 10 became 15, etc until an hour was easy for me. So, keep at it. Do what you can do and then do a little more. Eventually you'll get there.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    23
    In the morning the temps are lower but the humidity is at its highest -- 90% - 98%. gahhhh. I went out one morning and I was soaked by the time I took my bike out of my car. As the temperatures rise, the humidity gets lower, down to about 65%, but at that point the temperature is up around 85 degrees or more. Last week it was hovering around 94 degrees each day then we would get thunderstorms. This is how it goes in the southeast U.S. in August. Eventually the temps will back off. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks.

    Yes I drink and take with me a lot of cold water. Two 24 oz bottles on the bike itself and another 24 oz of ice water in the car. I sip water all day long in addition. I also eat plenty (heh, more calories than I should).

    I just ordered an indoor trainer so I can at least get on my bike inside an air conditioned house and build up that way until I can get outside in better weather. It should take a week or so to get here. That should help me get some decent time on the bike when the weather isn't cooperating.

    There are no flat roads near my house so I have to drive about 20 min or so to find some. We do have a nice greenway system which is used by walkers, runners and lots of folks. However, it's not flat. I went on one of the greenways and the first mile was all downhill (thus no exercise), then I hit the road with the long incline. Bad planning on my part as I did not realize the terrain.

    I'm sure carting around an extra 50 lbs isn't helping things either when it comes to cycling. I was never athletic even in my younger and thinner days, but now being old(er) and overweight just makes it all more difficult. I'm going to have to look at this as a journey and it's going to be one step (or 1/2 mile) at a time, as long as it takes.

    Just wish the weather would cooperate. I don't know anyone who gets excited about being out in hot weather and high humidity to exercise.
    Last edited by estronat; 09-06-2014 at 07:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Quote Originally Posted by estronat View Post
    In the morning the temps are lower but the humidity is at its highest -- 90% - 98%. gahhhh. I went out one morning and I was soaked by the time I took my bike out of my car. As the temperatures rise, the humidity gets lower, down to about 65%, but at that point the temperature is up around 85 degrees or more. Last week it was hovering around 94 degrees each day then we would get thunderstorms. This is how it goes in the southeast U.S. in August. Eventually the temps will back off. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks.

    Yes I drink and take with me a lot of cold water. Two 24 oz bottles on the bike itself and another 24 oz of ice water in the car. I sip water all day long in addition. I also eat plenty (heh, more calories than I should).

    I just ordered an indoor trainer so I can at least get on my bike inside an air conditioned house and build up that way until I can get outside in better weather. It should take a week or so to get here. That should help me get some decent time on the bike when the weather isn't cooperating.

    There are no flat roads near my house so I have to drive about 20 min or so to find some. We do have a nice greenway system which is used by walkers, runners and lots of folks. However, it's not flat. I went on one of the greenways and the first mile was all downhill (thus no exercise), then I hit the road with the long incline. Bad planning on my part as I did not realize the terrain.

    I'm sure carting around an extra 50 lbs isn't helping things either when it comes to cycling. I was never athletic even in my younger and thinner days, but now being old(er) and overweight just makes it all more difficult. I'm going to have to look at this as a journey and it's going to be one step (or 1/2 mile) at a time, as long as it takes.

    Just wish the weather would cooperate. I don't know anyone who gets excited about being out in hot weather and high humidity to exercise.
    Hot and dry isn't much better. I guess we'll both wait until it cools down a bit.
    Trainers are good. Just remember to set it up in front of an AC vent or put a fan in front of you. You'll be much more comfortable.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    23
    I went to school in AZ for college so I do remember what 105 - 110 degrees is like. The only good thing is the lower humidity, but it's beastly hot in the summers, as I very vividly recall. And the roads were flat, so that too made it easier. But still... hot is hot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Quote Originally Posted by estronat View Post
    I went to school in AZ for college so I do remember what 105 - 110 degrees is like. The only good thing is the lower humidity, but it's beastly hot in the summers, as I very vividly recall. And the roads were flat, so that too made it easier. But still... hot is hot.
    Tucson itself is pretty flat, but I live in the foothills, about 10 miles out, so there are some decent hills. It's not southwest Ohio-hilly, though. But yes, hot is hot. What trainer did you get?
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    23
    I ordered a basic magnetic-type trainer and also a front wheel riser. Nothing fancy.

 

 

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