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For the 50+ 'newbie' rider

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

For the 50+ 'newbie' rider

Old 11-02-14, 05:11 PM
  #151  
amishboy51
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Originally Posted by Newrider77 View Post
As I am a newbie, and at almost 56,I am so loving the fact that I have started riding. I ride in the atlanta area every Saturday with Performance Bikes for a 10 mile ride. I have been trying to get out Mon, Wed, Friday, and Sunday on my own to ride. During my weekday ride its 5.7 miles round trip. Unfortunately it's in traffic which unnerves me a bit. I am a little afraid to try the neighborhood bikes trails, I am afraid that small kids on their bikes or dogs will run in front of me and I don't want any of us to get hurt. Anyone living in the Atlanta area have suggestions for good beginning trails to ride. I am in Gwinnett co. Thank you.
Can you ride in the morning, before work, on the neighborhood trails? Or, if you're retired, during the day, when the kids are in school?
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Old 11-02-14, 07:48 PM
  #152  
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Newrider77, check with the various LBS up in your part of Atlanta, as well as the coops around the city. They can connect you with others to ride with and suggest some roads or trails that are good rides. Our daughter lives in Cabbage Town, she works downtown for the GBI, she gets in a lot if rides on the trails up there, and she does commute into town at times. Roads are something you have to develop a comfort level to successfully ride, Post in the Forum here for some tips on this aspect, and also post in the Regional Forums http://www.bikeforums.net/southeast/, they are at the top of the portal page for the Bikeforums.net site. The Southeast has a lot of regulars in the Atlanta area. RonH, a 50 regular and a moderator recently moved from Atlanta, but he knows some places and people that might be able to help you, also.

Welcome to the 50+ and best wishes on your riding, don't let things overwhelm you and keep up your riding.


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Old 11-02-14, 08:43 PM
  #153  
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​Specialized Expedition Sport

Here is a picture with make/model. Thanks for asking.
Attached Images
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IMG_0246.JPG (83.1 KB, 479 views)
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Old 11-08-14, 10:13 PM
  #154  
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Thank you Catweasel. I am 57 and just starting to ride for the first time in many years.
Bought my first expensive bike and it had clipless pedals on it. I bought shoes to fit.
Starting out, learning to use 21 gears and clipping in and out all at the same time was
a bit overwhelming for me. After falling 3 times, I am getting used to it all.
But the suggestion against clipless when you are just beginning is good advice.
I went from a road bike to a hybrid, otherwise I may have given up already.
Starting out with a road bike with the skinny tires was intimidating for me,
but the wider tires make it a lot less scary.
One of my falls was because my tire slipped into a gap crossing a railroad track.
That wouldn't have happened with the wider tires.
Thank you for taking the time to put this all together for those of us who are looking to get into the sport
after the kids are grown and we can afford to spend the money and time on ourselves for a change.
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Old 11-11-14, 08:33 AM
  #155  
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I'm a forum newbie and 56 year young returning cyclist. I rode 3000+ miles/ year back in my mid 30s and early 40s. Other hobbies came and went and the old bikes languished in the rafters of the garage. This summer I hit 210 lbs and said "This is a bunch of BS!" and went on a weight loss program. Lost 25 lbs by changing my eating habits and just recently started running. Concerned about impact damage, I lowered the old Trek 2300 from it's perch, blew up the tires and lubed the chain. Went out and put 10 miles on it and said "I wonder why I quit doing this?" I made the mistake of venturing into the LBS just to see what the modern bikes were like and within 3 days I brought home a new Emonda SL6. She's a sweet ride and a serious upgrade form my 18+? year old 2300. 4 days have passed and I have 52 miles on new steed in 3 rides and can't wait to get the legs back. I'm starting to look at new mountain bikes now! Heaven help me! It's good to be single sometimes.
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Old 04-03-15, 02:18 PM
  #156  
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Been off the pedals for about 40 years and now in my upper 70s and starting to enjoy the ride again. Reflecting back over the above posts/tips is refreshing and well done. Now having a new bike with better equipment than my old 3-speed cruisers from the past is a real joy and by following the above tips I will soon be cruising to/with the oldies once again.

Thanks,
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Old 04-03-15, 03:14 PM
  #157  
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Good for you, OJ! I'm 63, been riding 5-6 years, and slowly getting faster. The new bikes are great, like you said. You'll be speeding along, very quickly! Welcome to the forum!
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Old 05-20-15, 12:20 PM
  #158  
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Hi Catweazle, Im a newbie here and havent riddin a bike for about 40 years, but Im seriously thinking of getting a road bike for the exercise, and to keep in trim. Im a really tall female, 6'3 lol, and slim, however your comment about, "sling your leg over the bike" sounds easier than it was in my bike shop. The poor guy almost had to catch me as i almost toppled over in the act of "slinging my leg over the bike" and to make matters worse, he said the bike wasnt big enough for me. Im concerned that I may not even be able to get on the bike if I agree to purchase it, and I dont particularly want a low walk through crossbar, I want a proper looking road bike. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Ps the bike was a Boardman, costing 499

Thankyou in advance for any replies
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Old 05-20-15, 02:27 PM
  #159  
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Here's a hint. When trying to get your leg over the top tube of the frame, lean the bike. As your flexibility gets better, you'll need to lean it less and less. That's what I have to do with short legs.

Also, you should road test a bike before you purchase it, to make sure that it is the right fit. If the LBS won't let you road test it, then go to another LBS.

Also, inseam is as important as your total height in getting a bike that fits. Here's a chart that will get you close on the right bike size. But since every manufacturer uses a slightly different geometry, different bikes will feel differently to you. The top tube is not the same length on every bike of the same size, and that will affect your comfort level.

Since you're new and you want a road bike (with drop bars I'm assuming), you'll probably want a road bike with an endurance geometry. But try a few bikes that fit you with different geometries to see which you like best.

GH
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Old 05-21-15, 06:19 AM
  #160  
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Sally, Welcome to the 50+ Forum, Catweazle hasn't been posting for quite a while, had some personal issues to deal with.

You might need to get a hold of a frame builder in order to find a frameset that is a proper fit. At your height a men's frame is the only way you'll find a correct fitting bicycle, on a shop floor, and that is iffy. Most good shops can have a large enough frame set in for you pretty quickly. Boardmans are good bicycles, at all levels.

ColaJacket has some good advice on getting aboard the bicycle, a lot of us have issues with swinging a leg over the top tube, there are tricks to overcome the ravages of aging that you gain as you ride. Don't give up, and your wanting a "proper road bike" isn't out of line, at all. If you don't ride a bicycle that you like, and enjoy, you will not keep up your riding. Best of luck on your search, it's not all that bad, and it will pay off for you.

Bill
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Old 07-14-15, 01:44 PM
  #161  
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Please tell us your age.
51

1. What type of bikes do 50+ folks ride?
Bianchi Giro aluminum purchased about 12 years ago.




2. Do you take any special [COLOR=#F3933B !important]supplements[/COLOR]/vitamins/minerals as you have grown older?
Nope.



3. How much do you feel you have "slowed down" if any?
Not much slower but does take longer to recover
.



4. How long have you been biking? New, around a while, biked all your life?
Off and on but seriously last 3 years. Prior to that running, racquetball and tennis
.



5. What type of biking do you do? Long rides, touring, short rec rides.
Long rides, local centuries mostly. Did 206 mile STP in one day last two years
.




6. How often do you bike? Your approximate annual mileage?
Ride 2-3x per week, approx. 3000 year
.
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Old 08-27-15, 09:17 AM
  #162  
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I'm a 68 year old newbie. I've been riding for 5 days and last rode a bike 25 years ago. I'm riding a 2016 Giant Roam 1. What has shocked me is how truly out of shape I am. I have been averaging 3-4 miles per ride at only 8-9 mph. After reading in another thread that I have to avg. 16-18 mph over 20 mi. To be considered a serious cyclist, I'm a bit discouraged. I do consider myself serious about this, I'm just not very good yet. I have ridden every day I have had my bike and I intend to keep it up. Even at my paltry speed and mileage I have improved a bit every day. I know I'm working at it because I come in out of breath and with rubbery legs every day. I've enjoyed the BF while I was researching bikes and I'm really looking forward to a long relationship with my Giant.
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Old 08-28-15, 05:33 AM
  #163  
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Walter,
Welcome to 50+, its always great to add to the new guys, or ladies, that are starting out once again. Do not put much stock in the proclamations about what you "must be able to do", in order to be a fit cyclist, or thought of as a cyclist. The internet experts are as common, and as irritating, here as anywhere else on the internet. We all get started, or restarted, at some point, and most of us are at a level much like yours. I was lucky to make 2 miles the first several weeks of riding, at a 10 mph avg, it it was a good day with favorable winds.

Keep at it, don't get wrapped up in speed and distance, just build up your fitness, and get in the miles. You'll be surprised at how much improvement, in your fitness, that you can achieve if you just keep at the riding, and be sensible about nutrition, also.

Just so you know, I kept at it, now its 25 miles a day, 6-7 days a week, only a 15 mph avg, but I managed my kidney disease and Parkinson's Disease. I lost 110+ lbs in just over a year, and still keep the weight off. I owe the cycling a great debt for these things I accomplished, you can too. You are serious about your cycling if it is important to you and you are riding as much as you are able/want to.

Bill
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Old 08-28-15, 10:24 AM
  #164  
Walter Denton
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
Walter,
Welcome to 50+, its always great to add to the new guys, or ladies, that are starting out once again. Do not put much stock in the proclamations about what you "must be able to do", in order to be a fit cyclist, or thought of as a cyclist. The internet experts are as common, and as irritating, here as anywhere else on the internet. We all get started, or restarted, at some point, and most of us are at a level much like yours. I was lucky to make 2 miles the first several weeks of riding, at a 10 mph avg, it it was a good day with favorable winds.

Keep at it, don't get wrapped up in speed and distance, just build up your fitness, and get in the miles. You'll be surprised at how much improvement, in your fitness, that you can achieve if you just keep at the riding, and be sensible about nutrition, also.

Just so you know, I kept at it, now its 25 miles a day, 6-7 days a week, only a 15 mph avg, but I managed my kidney disease and Parkinson's Disease. I lost 110+ lbs in just over a year, and still keep the weight off. I we the cycling a great debt for these things I accomplished, you can too. You are serious about your cycling if it is important to you and you are riding as much as you are able/want to.

Bill
Bill, thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I really have enjoyed the cycling that I have done so far and I do hope to be able to ride nearly every day, so let's hope my stamina improves. I just heard from an old college buddy who did 28 miles on his bike a couple of days ago so I guess there is hope for me.
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Old 10-07-15, 04:40 PM
  #165  
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Hi gang. I'm another 63 year old newbie for the group. Ive got about 500 miles on my tracker, and I'm loving it. Ten miles is my short ride, and 22 is my record, most are 15 or so. Fl is a great place to ride, and now the weather is really great.

And Walter, you MUST rest your body. Going day in and day out will result in collapse, it is inevitable. Our bodies, grow and regenerate with rest. No rest, no gain. Take a couple of days off and give it a go and see how much stronger you are. I am a diabetic with all sorts of fun inconveniences, including this dam carpal tunnel, and have learned the hard way that rest, and patience pays off. Be well, my friend.
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Old 10-13-15, 07:55 AM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by Longtallsally View Post
your comment about, "sling your leg over the bike" sounds easier than it was in my bike shop. The poor guy almost had to catch me as i almost toppled over in the act of "slinging my leg over the bike"
my handlebars are lower than my saddle, so I swing my leg over the bars when dismounting, the 'tilt the bike' helps when getting on.

edit: the problem with a 'step-thru' design for you would be finding one in a proper size for someone 6'3".
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Old 10-23-15, 08:28 PM
  #167  
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I'm a newbie to 50+, having turned 50 this past April. I've been getting reacquainted with bicycles since 2010, when my primary care physician read me the riot act about diet and exercise and a dermatologist asked me if I was a cyclist because I "have the legs for it." That got me thinking about bicycles and how much I enjoyed them in my youth. (Like many, my department-store-ten-speed youth cycling career ended on my sixteenth birthday; the day I got my driver's license.)

Because the Mrs and I at the time shared an 800 square-foot apartment in downtown Chicago with no storage, my first adult bikes were folders: a Strida, a Brompton, and a Xootr Swift. Later, after moving into more spacious accommodations in Evanston, Illinois, I conceived an affection for quill stems, lugged steel frames, and Brooks saddles that eventuated in the purchase and build up of an on-clearance Rivendell SimpleOne frame as a fixed gear plus drum-brake front bike. So enthusiastic was I to ride that a bike mechanic friend and I reconfigured a weathered and discarded '87 Schwinn Super Sport as a commuter that I rode 24 miles roundtrip, two days a week, to my job on Chicago's Magnificent Mile.


Mrs's Velo Orange Mixte (top), lexm's Rivendell SimpleOne (bottom).

The last fifteen months have seen me ride only sporadically. We moved from Evanston to Lawrence, Kansas for a job opportunity. My collection of single-speed (fixed and free) and three-speed IGH bikes – so perfect for flat Chicago – were still in boxes and no match for the undulating terrain. Because I like quill stems and steel frames, I picked up an '85 Nishiki Citisport five-speed for tooling around town. However, Lawrence had few good places to ride and a too-good-to-pass-up job offer in Omaha saw us packing up to leave Lawrence within months of arriving.


Nishiki Citisport.

We've been in Omaha for five months. The bikes are still boxed – being even less well-suited to the steep, hilly terrain of Omaha than they were to merely undulating Lawrence – but I have a local shop, Olympia Cycles, building me up a Velo Orange Campeur with a friction-shifted Sugino wide-low double up front and an 11-32 eight-speed cassette in the rear.


Velo Orange Campeur (in a state of becoming).

So, long story short: I'm five years into my reacquaintance with riding but still feel like a newbie—especially to derailleurs. I've ridden little in the last year-plus, but have remained enthusiastic throughout. Any day now, though, I'll have a bike suited to my new, hillier environs. (Then I'll have only the Nebraska winter to contend with. ) I can't wait to ride again!

Last edited by lexm; 10-23-15 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Punctuational pedantry.
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Old 11-01-15, 12:39 PM
  #168  
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Newbie, newbie, newbie :etiquette question

I have been reading, searching, reading reviews, etc. I am leaning toward a Beria w/ very low step through. (Almost 64, haven't biked since I left my teen years, 224 down from 278, 5'8", live in far western Georgia off I-20 by the Alabama line.)

LBS (2) doesn't stock Beria. 1) buy on-line, 2) go to Atlanta 70 mi away. Since i am likely not buying at lbs, is it bad form to have them assemble or tune it up? If they don't sell it, does that mean they do not do mechanical work on it? I am hoping to have a nice professional relationship with the local, so don't want to peeve them very first thing.

Thoughtful replies appreciated.

joann

Have not bought the bike yet.

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Old 11-04-15, 08:13 PM
  #169  
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This is the place to be if your older, and returning to riding, and getting to know the newer and amazing bikes out there!

I have a Trek x-cal 7 that I bought and started riding. I realized what I really wanted was a road bike! Yikes! So I put Surfas Drifter tires on and that helped with the rolling resistance. I have really gotten some stamina back and I like it! Ive been riding for about 2 months.

Longest ride has been 19 miles so far, out to lunch and back. Started slow, maybe 2 miles at a time and just about passed out!

Dont worry about running with others yet, just get out and enjoy the ride. In time, as one gets better things will change.

When the student is ready, the Teacher will appear.

My goal is lose 25lbs by spring April/May and get a new Trek road bike!

Enjoy, chuck
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Old 03-02-16, 05:41 PM
  #170  
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57 year old. Bought a trek DS I love the bike but the butt bones really takes some of the fun out of it. I have read you need to get used to it while others say try different saddles. I have also read more than a few times people who say trek saddles are really hard. So how do/did the rest of you youngsters adapt to the sore butt bones?
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Old 04-12-16, 06:44 PM
  #171  
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What a great write up! Thank you I knew most of this but it is only because of me reading many other articles, on many different sites. This puts it at our finger tips in a way all can understand it. kudos
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Old 06-05-16, 02:50 PM
  #172  
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This is a great thread, I picked up the bike again after being told by my doc that running/jogging was not the best for me. I use to run 80% and bike 10% with hiking rounding out my exercise routine. Now I flipped the running for the bike and while I still run some biking is my primary mode of exercise. I ride about 4 days a week, usually 10-12 miles per ride. My biggest issue has been with sore"boys" and my hands tend to fall asleep after awhile, I'm swapping out the saddle and tweaking the handlebar and saddle height hopefully will solve both issues. This is a great site, very helpful.
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Old 07-09-16, 11:07 AM
  #173  
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Thank you for all that information! I do need to tweak my set up a bit, I think, and you've given me some great ideas.

I'm getting to the point in my riding where I'm considering clips or cages.
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Old 07-10-16, 11:21 PM
  #174  
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I have a folding bike from Amazon for a few years. I rode once or twice a year previously. Every time I picked up biking, I was stopped by the pain/un-comfort caused by the saddle.

I've just became 59 and decided to give biking a serious/final try. Yesterday I rode 1.9 miles. The saddle still caused pain. I tried today. Almost at the end of my ride (around the block of my neighbor), I found a sweet spot in my saddle that if I sit a little bit toward the back of the saddle, there is no pain. I was very encouraged and decided to circle my neighborhood a second time. So I rode 3.67 miles today and just joined the forum.

Eric
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Old 07-11-16, 10:13 AM
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RonH
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Originally Posted by pokeba View Post
I have a folding bike from Amazon for a few years. I rode once or twice a year previously. Every time I picked up biking, I was stopped by the pain/un-comfort caused by the saddle.

I've just became 59 and decided to give biking a serious/final try. Yesterday I rode 1.9 miles. The saddle still caused pain. I tried today. Almost at the end of my ride (around the block of my neighbor), I found a sweet spot in my saddle that if I sit a little bit toward the back of the saddle, there is no pain. I was very encouraged and decided to circle my neighborhood a second time. So I rode 3.67 miles today and just joined the forum.

Eric

Most cyclists go thru several saddles from various manufacturers and different models before they find the right one.
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