Hello! Is there hope for me?


New Member
Hello everyone, Last Monday my doctor told me that my blood pressure is too high and that I have to do something about it, so I went over to my brothers house and dug his bike out the shed and dusted it off. I've been out for a few short rides, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but for the fact that even at a relatively slow pace I'm gasping for air and my heart is pounding like nobody's business. Does anyone reading this have a similar experience in their not too distant past, who has some good news for me, as I'm feeling uncomfortably mortal right now? Or are you lot all like the flock of lycra clad, chiseled, Greek god superhumans that blasted past me going up a hill yesterday at AAAGGHH! miles an hour?

Blood pressure has been steadily rising for two years that I know of ,I'm 44, I quit smoking last year and this last week I've quit drinking and modified my diet considerably. BP 140/98



New Member
Well, even as someone who was not terribly out-of-shape when I started, I've certainly noticed quite a difference in my fitness since I started riding to work a few months ago. Remember that it took you a while to get to your current level of 'unfitness', and it will take you get back to being fit, but keep at it! I'm sure you'll see steady, gradual improvement as you go.

Also, don't forget that it's not just your core fitness that affects how quickly you can go up a hill, but your muscles. Your legs aren't used to that kind of work yet, but they will get stronger and you will find things easier as time goes on.

Keep it up! (And no, we don't all wear lycra...)

Twenty Inch

New Member
Behind a desk
Take it easy, do lots of brisk walking, listen to your body, and up your intake of water, or fruit juice:water 50:50.

DON´T think that your muscles have to be pushing big gears for an effect - change down until you can spin along at 90rpm easily.

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Kirton, Devon.
Welcome Wreck

All is not lost, you've got a bike, you've changed some bad habits and you've found this place!
There have been and there still are scores of people in exactly your position. The good thing about cycling compared to many other exercise regimes/pastimes is that it's relatively easy to get going and start to see some all-round improvements. Trick is to build-up nice and gently and don't beat yourself up because you're not Lance Armstrong yet!

This year at christmas, one very overweight and unfit non-cycling pal bought a hybrid bike, by the end of May he'd done his first 100 miler in some style.
Another bought a bike end of April for his 50th birthday, first ride was a gentle flat 8 or 9 miles, now on a Sunday night we do 25 milers, 20 mph on the flat and the occasional 50 miler. All from a standing start.

Find yourself a nice easy circular route and gently pootle around, don't worry about speed, just enjoy. You'll soon find it getting easier. If you can do it 3 times a week even for 30 mins, you WILL notice a benefit. If you can get somebody else to ride with you at your pace all the better.

Couple words of advice:

Get a book called "Cyclecraft" by Franklin. This will help you stay safe on the roads, it's essential reading.
If you are going out in the dark, plenty of lights and high viz stuff.

Lycra shorts/padded underpants to wear under normal shorts/trousers will significantly improve your comfort however weird you think they look.

Mitts/Gloves are essential.

Keep asking questions!


Frogs are people too.
Four years ago I was in a very similar position to you now- BP too high and well unfit. I stilll vividly remember sitting on the sofa after that first ride (all of 4 miles!) heart thumping like mad thinking this is not going to work.

As others have said keep going - little and often, avoid hills to start and gradually build the miles as fitness improved.

I generally knock out 150 - 200 miles a week now and my BP is back to normal:biggrin::biggrin:.



nothing in moderation
i get effectively about 30 mins of cycling in each day (i ride to work). if you ride for this long every day at a pace that leaves you warmed up and sweating slightly then you'll soon notice a difference.

over 1 year i lost 11kg, 10% of body fat and my cholesterol has dropped to a healthy level.

keep going with it and drop in here to ask questions, or just to let us know how you get on.

and i do wear lycra ;)


New Member
Thanks everyone, there's some good advice and encouraging words up there.
I shall take a trip to the bike shop on Saturday and get myself kitted out properly. I get the feeling from reading some of the other posts on this forum that this is going to get expensive. Probably not as expensive as open heart surgery though!

Cheers all.
Wreck said:
I get the feeling from reading some of the other posts on this forum that this is going to get expensive.

Yep! You're right. :smile:
But what price health? And fun? And freedom? And a good bike? ;)

Good luck


Über Member
Hi Mr Wreck. Don't worry, it only gets expensive if you get the bug!

This can be quite likely though as cycling is a fantastic way of keeping yourself fit and healthy and spending your leisure time. In terms of keeping things going all year round, you can't beat cycle commuting. This means that you will getting out on the bike twice a day every day come rain or shine. Work this into your daily routine and in six months time I guarantee you will barely recognise yourself.
Hello Wreck. (You'll soon be changing that name - in body at least!)
First piece of statutory advice for any problem, ailment, grumpiness, doldrums etc on this forum is "...you definitely need to buy another/new/summer/winter bike..!" :biggrin:
Secondly, everything is done at your pace - cycling is fun whatever the weather, and if you have ever been in a stuffy train or choking traffic jam, the pleasure is enhanced.
Any is better than none and we look forward to you taking the posting jolly comments and ripostes throughout this forum. :biggrin:
Hi Wreck,
Only 44! I am 47 and have started from nothing this year.

Two pointers:

If you dusted an old bike off is it any good? I started on a Road/Track bike, you can get a new one with an alloy frame and 18 gears in Halfords for about £100. If you are struggling on a cast iron job with 3 gears you are not making it easy.

Keep a log of your rides. Date, distance where to and time. Improvement comes along in time. My first ride was seven miles and I was at my limit but only two weeks later I did 28 miles and two months later 60. Dont push it but the log will help you see improvement.

Also no harm in avoiding hills, but you may be in Norfolk or Snowdonia! Hills are hard at first but at least you get a rest on the way down the other side.

I am trying to cope with the dark evenings, this is a bad time of year to get started but do keep it up. I feel better than I have for years. Oh and getting a fit girl half your age to cycle with also helps.


started six months ago after a six year layoff from cycling

shifted two stone and counting and to feel the fitness and strength grow day by day is a marvellous feeling, to be bombing along and passing almost every other cyclist is very elating

keep at it, decent gear is very helpful, especially a shirt to keep yourself dry, proper shorts/tights

a nice bike is lovely but not essential at all, pending insurance I'm riding something very patched up that's spent six years discarded at the bottom of the garden, after doing huge miles for eight years before that

and it tearing around in fine form

stick to it and be amazed


Legendary Member
Welcome on board Wreck, lots of sound advice for you to follow:smile:
If you feel you can afford a cheapo computer, I think recording mileage gives encouragement and allows you to set personal targets. You could record mileages in a notebook or on www.cyclogs.co.uk and compare your performance with previous weeks or months.
Don't get obsessed with speeds and distances though, just get out regularly and enjoy it.:biggrin:
Yeah, get yourself a cheapo computer, you can get a basic wired one for about a fiver. I find it really helps with motivation, like when you can see you have done 13.5miles, it makes you want to do another 1.5 to bring it up to 15, etc. - even if it means going round the block twice when you are already outside your front door (well, works for me, anyway :biggrin:)
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