Forty-two, fat and far from fit...

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by he_customer, 11 Jul 2012.

  1. he_customer

    he_customer New Member

    So, I'm back on my bike after a break of about 5 years. It's a decent-ish bike, a Giant OCR4 that I used for a triathlon back in 2007. Since then I've had 2 back injuries, the most recent culminating in surgery last October. As of a couple of weeks ago I'm back on the bike, and I want to make sure that I stay there (not literally, I can cope with that bit).
    I'm aware that this is a common question, but I may be asking it in a slightly different way. I want to join a club to help keep me motivated, but I don't want to join one too soon & have the opposite effect.
    Referring back to the title of this thread, I'm currently covering a loop of about 6 miles at an average speed of between 12-13mph.
    The punchline - my question is, am I better off concentrating on building up mileage first, or should I be working on improving my average speed over the shorter distance (please God don't say both..)?

    Thanks in advance..
  2. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    i would go for distance first along with getting comfy on bike and then once happy on both go for speed
  3. Scoosh

    Scoosh Velocouchiste Moderator

    Firstly : :hello: he_customer and :welcome: to CycleChat ! :wahhey:

    I'd agree that comfort, 'familiarity' and enjoyment should come before speed. :thumbsup:

    ** "The Three will lead you to the One" ** :unsure:

    ** doesn't really mean anything but it sounds deeply philosophical, eh ? :giggle:

    Hope it all goes well and Ride Safe.
    jazloc likes this.
  4. Ticktockmy

    Ticktockmy Veteran

    Maybe consider the 40+ cycling club, a cycling club for us older people, most local sections have two or three rides each week, start at a cafe then ride for Lunch at a Pub often only 9 to 12 miles, which can be as a group, or ride on one own. then depending on, if anyone else is heading your way home, return home as a group, for me the total distance on average 30 to 40 miles sometime a tad more. Plenty of advice if needed, and if you ride in the group, you will not be left behind.
    Pedal pusher likes this.
  5. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    Some (most?) clubs offer different paced rides.... if you can handle the distance then I'd guess (from my very limited experience) that you'd be OK in a gentler group if you can average 12 mph.
  6. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Get the miles in your legs at a speed that is comfortable for you. Speed will come later, but the most important thing is that your'e enjoying yourself on a correctly set up bike.

    Once you've got stamina and confidence sorted, speed and greater distances will soon follow.

    As will a variety of n+1s. :thumbsup:

    And welcome to CC!
  7. OP

    he_customer New Member

    Thanks for all the advice, based on that I shall be going out later to do (gasp) about 15 miles at a very easy pace...

    Regarding comfort, & bike setup - are there any specific procedures or rules to follow (especially regarding seat height, I am 6'3") or is it a case of whatever you are comfortable with? I always feel like my saddle is too low for me to extend my legs properly, but if I put it higher I can hardly touch the ground.
  8. Berties

    Berties Fast and careful!

    welcome along to cycle chat,:hello:
    I would build your distance setting goals along the way,then speed up,12 mph average is nice start,
    As for your bike if it was me with your back medical history I would approach a local bike store and see if they will set it up with you,put you on a turbo,saddle set up and geometry will make your ride better,what you don't want is to injure you knees or legs then secondary effect your back
  9. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    Welcome :cheers:

    I think the general rule is to have it high enough that with your *heel* on the pedal your leg is fully extended when the pedal is at the lowest point, so when you have the mid/front of your foot on theres a slight bend in your leg at the lowest point. I always stretch my back a little before rides and try to lift weight off the saddle over bumpy ground to avoid vibrating my lower spine :smile:
  10. Hip Priest

    Hip Priest Veteran

    Best I advice I ever got was just keep cycling. Go out and enjoy whatever distance you feel comfortable with, at whatever speed you feel comfortable with, and you'll be amazed how quickly the distance starts adding up.

    As far as comfort goes, keep experimenting with saddle height / angle / set-back by small increments, 'til you hit on your sweet spot.
  11. Scoosh

    Scoosh Velocouchiste Moderator

    There is quite a lot of advice around, here are some of my prefered references:
    HTH and Ride Safe ! :bicycle:
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