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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    16

    New Gal! Excited about cycling!

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    Hello everyone...

    I have been reading the forum and finally decided to join in. I am new to cycling (well not really, I rode as a kid and a young adult but not seriously). Some background on me, I am a 43 year old female and over the past year I have lost over 150 pounds, going from 315+ pounds to my current weight of 155lbs (I am 5'11 and medium framed..and have what I refer to as the "melting candle look"...excess skinage is the pits) . During this past year I became interested in fitness to help with the weight loss. I started working out on the treadmill and on the stationary bike at the gym and doing some weights. Most recently I decided that now that I have more energy I would dig out the old Walmart bike and see how I could handle it. I started riding a little every day and found I absolutely loved it. Finally I got tired of my butt hurting and the bike not fitting me the way I thought it should and went to my LBS and bought my first "expensive" bike. I bought a Hybrid Raleigh C30 which I love. I have been riding every day, usually about 10 miles a day. I would love to eventually have the guts to ride in a group ride of some sort, but for now I am happy to just be out cycling around the neighborhood (however this is not as challenging as I would like it, and I often worry about my neighbors thinking I am goofy circling around and around the blocks).

    I live in an area that is basically free of hills of any kind (the Eastern Shore of Maryland). So the challenge of climbing is non-existent, mostly flat rural terrain and very few bike lanes (or even shoulders on the roads for that matter). I would love to commute to work each day (I work about 5 miles from home) but I am still a little scared of being out on the road with cars whizzing past me.

    I am hoping that my new love of cycling will help me get even fitter and "tone up" all the excess skin and flab from the weight loss and build up my endurance. I am excited to find this forum and look forward to talking with everyone and learning more as I go.

    One quick question before I close...what is the best way to learn how to fix a flat? I have no clue how to remove the wheels or mess with the chain and I can just see me getting my first flat and being totally lost and at the mercy of some passing stranger.

    Kerry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY
    Posts
    1,473
    Kerry:

    Check with your local bike club and see if the hold a "beginners" bike class. If so they probably deal with a different skill each week including how to change a flat. They may also offer a basic bke maintenance course. If neither of these is offer visit your friendly LBS and ask them if they will teach you how to change a flat.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of cycling and may you have many safe rides.

    Marcie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by Craicgirl
    Hello everyone...


    I live in an area that is basically free of hills of any kind (the Eastern Shore of Maryland). So the challenge of climbing is non-existent, mostly flat rural terrain and very few bike lanes (or even shoulders on the roads for that matter). I would love to commute to work each day (I work about 5 miles from home) but I am still a little scared of being out on the road with cars whizzing past me.
    Kerry
    Kerry, you might check the internet ( or your LBS Local Bike Shop) for where there are some trails to ride near you. Then you could put your bike in your car (or you might need to buy a bike rack) and drive to somewhere and ride
    someplace new and interesting!
    Good luck, have fun. about the flats? You can take it to the LBS and they'll fix it for you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Hi there and welcome to cycling, and to TE!

    This fine article will help you with the flat:
    http://www.teamestrogen.com/articles/asa_levers.asp
    but I also suggest a beginner's mechanics class.

    Enjoy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Florida panhandle
    Posts
    1,498
    The eastern shore rocks for cycling! I did a 4-day tour there in May, and it was beautiful. Many roads have nice bike lanes, they're clean and debris-free, except for the occasional road-kill, and it was flat flat flat. But I did find the headwinds to be exceptionally strong--maybe they can serve as your hills. LOL I especially found riding in the Blackwater NWR fun and interesting, so you might want to check that out if you haven't already.

    If you have a good LBS, someone there might be willing to show you how to change a flat, if you go on a day when they're not too busy--usually mid-week. Also, check out the resources already mentioned, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to invest in a beginner's book on bike maintenance.

    Welcome to TE!
    Bad JuJu: Team TE Bianchista
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress." -Roth
    Read my blog: Works in Progress

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bedford, MA
    Posts
    212
    Hi Kerry,
    I too have rediscovered cycling after many years. I have fallen in love with it too. Interestingly, I too have lost a bunch of weight going from about 215 to 115. I am 5' 2". I have found that the cyling toned my legs and rear end quite a bit, but gravity is still winning in the tummy area. I try to do crunches but they are sooo boring compared to being on the bike. Anyway, welcome and have fun. In addition to a beginner course, I would suggest if you have a friend or someone who can show you how to change a tire that you practice it at home a couple of times. I did that with my SO and it helped a lot.
    - Pata

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    471
    Kerry, welcome to the TE board & to cycling! I've also ridden in Md. When you get ready, the Ride Between the Waters Century is in Onancock, Md. and absolutely beautiful!
    "The bicycle was the first machine to redefine successfully the notion of what is feminine. The bicycle came to symbolize something very precious to women - their independence."—Sally Fox

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    124
    Welcome to the forums Kerry and major kudos for the weight loss

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    16
    Thanks everyone for the very warm welcomes. I am really excited about becoming more serious about cycling and really getting into it more.

    I have decided that I am going to ride in the Seagull Century bike ride here on the Eastern Shore in October. I haven't decided if I will attempt the 100 mile or the smaller rides they have. I have 4 months to train for it and it will give me something to shot for.

    I have been a bit lazy in my eating the past few weeks and feeling a bit puffy, so this will get me motivated and working hard again. After going a year without cheating or eating ANY bad foods, I kind of snapped for a few weeks here and had a bit of a binge-fest on some healthy and a few not so healthy foods I need to get my head back in the game and knuckle down. Training for the ride will give me added motivation to do that.

    I have been told by a few people that I should have a road bike for this ride, or at least road bike tires for my Hybrid. How important is this? I just bought the Hybrid and can't really afford another bike so soon after. I did go out today and buy a magnetic trainer so I can ride indoors (since all we seem to be getting is rain for the past week or more). This way I can start a good training program (as soon as I find one).

    Any ideas for beginning a good solid training program would be greatly appreciated. I know what I should do diet wise (I generally eat pretty clean, 5 meals a day, protein/carbs at each meal..with the exception of my few weeks of craziness here lately, which I think has to do with depriving myself for so long). Anyway...thanks again for the welcomes. I look forward to talking with you all and learning all I can.

    Kerry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    For training plans ideas, I suggest checking out Ed Pavelka's book on Long Distance Cycling:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157...186433?ie=UTF8

    You can certainly do a century on a hybrid, but it will be more of a workout: road bikes are lighter and made to have you sit in a more aerodynamic position, so it's less of an effort to ride them. You can feel the difference after five hours! (I also find them more comfortable but that could be debated. They certainly offer different positions for your hands etc.)

    I don't see why you would not be able to ride a century (at least a metric one) in a few months if you are dedicated to the sport. Don't burn out, ride that century and stop riding, though. Take it easy and choose manageable goals. You will certainly want to change your tires to slicker ones, they will make it easier for you to fly on that bike. Maybe clipless pedals (pedals you "click" into... I know it's strange they're called clipless) would help too, I found they made me much stronger on my hybrid when I first started riding. SPD pedals are not very expensive (but keep in mind you must also get shoes) and it's relatively easy to get used to clipping in and out. They will make you much more efficient, especially on climbs (you're not only pushing the pedals but also pulling on them).

    Good luck!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Dumas, TX
    Posts
    217

    century on a hybrid

    I rode a hybrid in two century rides last year. One of them was in the mountains of New Mexico. I did not change to different tires or go clipless. It can be done! Have fun!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    16
    Thanks for all the tips everyone. I work at the library and have ordered some books (including Ed Pavelka's) to help me get started. I am determined to ride in at least the Metric come October on my trusty little Hybrid.

    I do need to get over the fear of the road however. I try to get out on the main roads as much as my courage will allow, but when the cars wiz past me my whole body tightens up and I invision them plowing into me and sending me flying into a ditch. How does one get over this fear, or do they ever?

    Also I have been using the indoor trainer as well the past week. However, my bike computer is attached to my front wheel which doesn't do anything for me while riding the trainer. I looked at the instructions for the computer and it says attach to front wheel. How does everyone who has a trainer track their miles and speed? Can I attach it to the back wheel? Will it give me accurate readings from there?

    Kerry

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    I have seen some kits to wire your computer to the rear wheel for the trainer at a bike shop once. You should ask around...

    Quote Originally Posted by Craicgirl
    I do need to get over the fear of the road however. I try to get out on the main roads as much as my courage will allow, but when the cars wiz past me my whole body tightens up and I invision them plowing into me and sending me flying into a ditch. How does one get over this fear, or do they ever?
    I have grown to love riding in traffic. On my hybrid but even more on my road bike. It used to scare me too, especially when I started on the road bike and didn't have as much balance as now. Now I actually think of going through traffic as "fun" and, frankly, rush hour in Vancouver doesn't really do the thing for me, not busy enough. I must have been a bike messenger in a different life.

    Riding through traffic, you have to behave like you belong there. It was suggested somewhere else to mentally divide the lane in three and to ride on the virtual line separating the right from the middle third of the road. Unless the shoulder is really significant (4 feet or more), I usually ride on the road, if only because of hedges and trees hiding driveways (and hiding me from drivers coming out of their driveways). I often ride about 50-100 meters back from my boyfriend. I ride the road, he's much closer to the right. I can see the cars make extra room for me, going into the other lane (treating me like a tractor...) and then drive directly next to him without any special precaution.

    As your skills improve, you will be less scared to fall into traffic. But that requires practice. Again, if you can attend a bike skills intro class, that would be wonderful. (I don't remember if it was suggested earlier or if they are available in your area...)

    Enjoy!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    My experience is very much like Grog's, tho' I'm down in the middle of Illinois, including watching how drivers consistently make more room if I"m just a tad further out. I can imagine that there would be places where drivers would be different, but this seems to be the natural response.

    And computers with a cadence counter tend to be wired for the rear wheel (if you're like me and have serious trouble with doing anything different than what the dcirections say).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ventura County CA
    Posts
    605
    I also read somewhere that very, very few accidents are caused by drivers coming up behind you. It's usually them making a turn in front of you that causes a mishap. So be aware and make sure they see you. I also have a hefty set of lungs and will shout. Someone posted on here that she has an airhorn. heh heh!

 

 

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