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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange Co CA
    Posts
    11

    New Senior Roadies

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    As a three-month new road cyclist/senior, I'm learning everything as fast as possible and feeling like I'll never get it. I've always been the one in the soft chair with a novel gripped in two fists, so this is a huge change for me.

    I have a wonderful road bike, can now clip in and also stop without nearly killing myself, and I'm trying to get stronger so I can do longer distances, faster, and with hills.

    All that said, every time I get on my bike, I'm scared. I have a friend who is a very accomplished cyclist who helps me, but he has little clue what the nervous nelly problem is really like, nor do I really want to explain I'm a coward.

    All that said, are there other new grannies out there learning to ride after a life of doing other things? How did you get better, what works for you? How can we help each other?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510
    What specifically, are you afraid of? Traffic? Falling? Meeting an ex-husband on the road?
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Brighton, England
    Posts
    672

    Nervous nelly

    Hi Seniorbabe - glad you decided to join us. Let me assure you there's most definitly room in the world for good novels & cycling.

    Although I'm not a granny I can be a bit of a nervous nelly at times and if you've got a general feeling of uneasiness when you ride then don't worry. Be kind to yourself and congratulate yourself on how well you're doing. So you might not be ready to ride in the Tour de France or an inner city criterium yet but give it time...

    Glad you've got someone experieced to ride with, but it may be worth getting him to cast his mind back to when he first started out. It's amazing how quickly you forget what it feels like to be a novice. Let him know if you don't feel comfortable - while it's good to stretch and challenge yourself, you don't want to be scared silly and afterall,the whole point is to enjoy yourself and want to keep coming back for more.

    Just like your fitness, your confidence will grow over time... trust me! Keep us posted on your progress.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange Co CA
    Posts
    11
    I'm afaid of: Heavy traffic, left turns across several lanes, falling when I stop, falling over and taking other people with me, riding too slow for the other people (ego, that), and (the inner perfectionist doing me in on this one) looking like an idiot in front of a very accomplished cyclist even if he is patient and understanding.

    I love my bike and the freedom of riding wherever I want to go. I hate the feeling of being scared on it. People tell me keep riding, it just takes time. I'm 62, and impatient. Verdict: get over it?

    Thanks all!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange Co CA
    Posts
    11
    Forgot to mention, if I meet the ex on the road, I'll aim to pass him like an eagle, grinning!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Wow! I hope I'm still riding when I'm 62! You go girl!

    Let's see...

    Heavy traffic - as long as you have a lane, forget about it. (That's what I do ) Do be as brightly colored as possible. I've taken to using my taillights even during the day if traffic is heavy.

    Crossing traffic - slow down before you get to the intersection so you can assess the traffic behind you. Signal your intentions. Maybe it's just that I'm lucky, but if I signal and make eye contact, drivers will often let me in. (Maybe it's the lipstick.) If neccessary get off your bike and use the crosswalk. It's a pain, but it works.

    Falling when you stop - unclick before hand, so you've got that foot ready to go down.

    Riding too slow - forget about it. You're riding for you! Have fun and don't worry about speed. Unless you're planning on racing. You'd probably win your age group.

    The guy - he knows you're new. He likes your company. Everyone makes mistakes and does goofy things. Even accomplished riders.

    Have fun and ride lots!

    Veronica

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange Co CA
    Posts
    11

    Talking

    Thanks! Encouragement helps a ton!

    My 6 year old granddaughter laughs everytime I tell her nonna was out riding her bike. What does she know! Still, starting such an active thing after a lifetime of sitting leaves me feeling like an alien has taken over my bod sometimes. Let's see, can I remember the number of my shrink? Maybe I better tape that phone number right over the gear chart taped to my bike so I can get instant support when I panic on the road? No? OK...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510
    Posting the number to your shrink is a great idea if you can figure out how to use a cell phone through heavy traffic while you're turning left!

    I agree with everything Veronica said. The only thing I would add is to ride in a straight line & be predictable. Look ahead on the road & if you see a pot hole, glass, your ex-husband, signal your intention to move out of the bike lane (I usually take my left hand and forcefully point to a spot 3 feet away as in "I'm going over there!") before you have to swerve.

    OK, maybe you might want to run over the ex-husband. Bunny hopping is in the next lesson! A mountain biker will need to teach you that one...where is Irulan???
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Maine mountains
    Posts
    109

    Smile senior riders

    Hi, I am also a senior biker, age 60. My son encouraged me to start riding about 5 years ago and I am now on my second mountain bike and my second road bike (both upgrades I felt I deserved!!). I am much more fit, more healthy, and much more enthusiastic about life (even tho I ski all winter as well). I just returned from a 2-week bike tour in New Zealand. More power to us!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange Co CA
    Posts
    11
    Hi, there: Good for you, good for both of us!

    I did the best ride I've done yet on Friday morning, 25+ miles, kept up with the group, didn't get winded on the hills (there were several that were tough enough for me, if not for the ride leader), didn't freak out even once in heavy traffic, including a gnarly left turn, and stayed calm even when my chain came off the little ring when I was shifting up the middle. Not even when to fix it the ride leader put the whole mess in the biggest gear I've got, then said go and watched when I couldn't turn the crank: he had to push me to get me going.

    I LOVE BIKING! I feel 30 years old again, and am having a blast (even getting over the "sore bits from saddle" problem that's plagued me for the last 500 miles.)

    Thanks for the note.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    120
    I don't know if i qualify as "senior." I'm 49,and I just had to arrange for babysitting for my granddaughter so i can go riding this Sunday AM as she is sleeping over Sat night and will still be here until late AM. I don't know any women my age who enjoy riding, but everyone who I've ridden with has been kind and encouraging to me. People at work think I'm crazed ( and don't hesitate to rag on me) because of the way i eat and the things i do, but their idea of fun is my idea of boredom. I figure I have to live in my skin. as for the nervousness, just take your time and do what you enjoy. Yesterday I was flying down a muddy bumpy hill standing on the pedals and loving it. In the start of the summer it was freaky for me to go fast down a small bridge along a road. Just gradually confidence increases. I don't worry about fast, I'm only riding for enjoyment. there is a bike club here that has easy or "fun and fit rides." They are good for laid back days and sight seeing. It's excellent to know that there are other women around who are over 40. Maybe you could ride with slower partners or off road or on country roads once in a while too. Kathy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange Co CA
    Posts
    11

    On Senior and Training

    Hey, anybody with a grandchild who WANTS to call herself senior is senior in my book. My grandchild giggles every time I tell her I've been out riding: that's fun too.

    Now then: Question: how do you train to get better so as to do long distances with hills on a regular basis? And how do you get past the seat pain problem for good? I'm better about that, but whew, it sure takes a lot of squirming around on the saddle all the ride. I've adjusted the saddle and the bike and tried other saddles, and part of me is just plain delicate. Any tried and true hints that older gals in particular find helpful would be much apprecate

    My friend is taking me out on longer and longer rides with hills, AHEM: 35 miles today, a new record for me. It seems to be working, as I keep going and extend the distance, I'm getting better at getting up hills, even longer ones and gradually my average speed on a ride is increasing, although I don't ride to beat the rush, I ride for the pleasure of going. I'm working on weight training at a gym too.

    What do all of you do? How often do you ride as a beginning rider, or even not so beginning any more, and does that make a big difference (should think so.)


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    What kind of pain is your saddle causing? You shouldn't feel any pain anywhere but your butt and that should be minimal and based around your sit bones.

    As far as how much to ride - I like to ride every day. Weather and life don't always allow me to do that. Realistically, I get out 3 - 4 times after work during the week on my single and usually get in a long ride on the tandem on the weekend.

    Sounds to me like you're getting past the beginner stage.

    Veronica

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange Co CA
    Posts
    11

    Senior saddle pain, specifically

    the pain is in the front parts, ya know where the saddle nose hits fleshy spots.

    I've read everything posted on this elsewhere on this site, and tried practically every thing suggested, and still haven't resolved things. I noticed this morning I'm sliding forward a bit, which means I need to level the saddle nose again, but I've been there done that, and still didn't solve the problem. I

    t doesn't take some of the joy out of the ride to notice the zing of pain recurring, to say the least. I can't be built that different from every other woman, and I'm riding on a Terry Butterfly with a QR seat cover for a little extra give.

    I scrub my shorts and myself to avoid the dreaded bacteria. I don't know how to put this delicately, I don't think it's possible: the best analogy I can come up with to what's going on is: rope burns!

    As for maybe I'm not so much a beginner any more: bless you and all your generations!

    Anybody got a cure for the equivalent of rope burn?????

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I know lots of women love the Terry Butterfly. I had one on my mountain bike, but hated it on our tandem. I eventually ended up getting a Brooks leather saddle. I've got that on the tandem and one on my single. They are pricey, but wallingford bikes has (or at least did when I bought mine) a six month return policy, so if it doesn't work out, it can go back.

    http://www.wallbike.com/index.php

    Veronica

 

 

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