Exercises to get into shape?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Exercises to get into shape?

    I went a put a deposit down on my first mountain bike yesterday. It's a non-profit place (Grassrootsbikes.com) and they were nice enough to give me a loaner until mine came in and one of their volunteers got a chance to put it all together.

    They gave me a Redline Monocog 29er. I rode this thing up and down my street, has a slight pitch to it, and boy am I hurting! I don't remember BMX being this hard 10 years ago. I'm obviously completely out of shape.

    What can I do during my 2-3 week wait to help get me better prepared for riding? I can take the dog for a 2 mile walk NO problem, and he pulls most of the way. I feel worse in my little 1/4 mile ride than I ever have walking the dog.

    I was looking at the local greenway system by my house thinking it'd be no big deal on a bike. 2, 3, 4, 5 miles, no problemo. Hahahahaha! Yeah, right!

    I might have to go dig my BMX bike out of storage and try that.

    Sorry for the sporadic thoughts. The main question is in bold.

  2. #2
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    Ride

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    I do this exercise called "Ride the bike". It really works all the muscles I need for riding a bike, AND it's great fun! Another major benefit is that a single speed bike will kick your maggot ass in to shape in no time. Get out there!!!
    :wq

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDSmith
    I went a put a deposit down on my first mountain bike yesterday. It's a non-profit place (Grassrootsbikes.com) and they were nice enough to give me a loaner until mine came in and one of their volunteers got a chance to put it all together.

    They gave me a Redline Monocog 29er. I rode this thing up and down my street, has a slight pitch to it, and boy am I hurting! I don't remember BMX being this hard 10 years ago. I'm obviously completely out of shape.

    What can I do during my 2-3 week wait to help get me better prepared for riding? I can take the dog for a 2 mile walk NO problem, and he pulls most of the way. I feel worse in my little 1/4 mile ride than I ever have walking the dog.

    I was looking at the local greenway system by my house thinking it'd be no big deal on a bike. 2, 3, 4, 5 miles, no problemo. Hahahahaha! Yeah, right!

    I might have to go dig my BMX bike out of storage and try that.

    Sorry for the sporadic thoughts. The main question is in bold.
    You are using muscles that you have not used for a long time. Just keep riding and it gets easier. Don't feel like you need to anything crazy, just go out a little every day or couple of days if you can.

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    Riding Single Speed is a lot different from riding a geared bike, on a SS you need to be out of the seat pedaling instead of trying to ride everything seated.Also most cyclist's realize after years of riding that pain is part of cycling there is no way to escape it,so learn to embrace it.Coach allways said "Pain is just weakness leaving your body".Don't let it defeat you beat it back with effort,motivation,tenacity .
    "Of all the things I've lost,my mind is what I miss the most." Ozzy

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    I remember my first ride...3 miles on the road...I thought i had died. Ride that Monocog every day and ride further than the day before. Ride slow and take your time. When I started on road bike my fist 5 mile ride hurt. Within 6 weeks i was riding 40 miles and within 10 I was riding a metric century (62 miles). It's going to hurt. But it get's easier. When you get your bike in 3 weeks after riding everyday your going to be able to ride that greenway with ease.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakePliskin
    Riding Single Speed is a lot different from riding a geared bike, on a SS you need to be out of the seat pedaling instead of trying to ride everything seated.Also most cyclist's realize after years of riding that pain is part of cycling there is no way to escape it,so learn to embrace it.Coach allways said "Pain is just weakness leaving your body".Don't let it defeat you beat it back with effort,motivation,tenacity .
    I like: "It never gets easier, you just go faster."

    So true, so true.
    :wq

  8. #8
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    The best way to get your self into shape is high intensity cardio. On top of riding your bike, try taking spin class on a regular basis (twice a week). It hurts like hell but you'll see results quick. I've been on 30 mile epics that don't compare to the cardio output of a 1 hour spin class (as long as you have a good instructor). Bootcamps will kick your butt as well and give you a killer full body workout. Group finess is great because it pushes to work harder than you probably would on your own

  9. #9
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    Ride your bike , kick boxing for your core , yoga .

  10. #10
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    yep just ride and push it farther every day... i can ride the hills here in town easier and easier everytime i ride now after only 3-4weeks...

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    Let's make it simple,I making asumption's from reading your post so don't take anything personal.If you jump straight into cross-fit your going to have a heart attack at your fitness level,.... so you should go into this gradually because if you do too much all at once your going to be very sore and it's going to discourage your effort's.You need to realize that 3 week's is a short period of time to get into MTB shape.You need to let your body get prepared to get in shape.Being fit is a lifestyle not something you do for a short period and stop. Try this circuit to start out,you can do it at home. Do 10 body weight sguat's, rest,walking lunges down your hallway up and back if you can,rest,10 jump squat's,rest,plank see if you can hold for 60 sec,rest,10 push-up's rest repeat.(a plank is just like a push-up but you rest on elbo's and try to hold your body straight.)

    The rep's are just examples and if you can't do that amount adjust amount accordingly.Don't get discouraged each time you do the circuit just try to do more than last time.Your goal is to do the whole circuit without rest in between exercises.You can do it if you put your mind to it,don't give up.

    O yeah and ride your bike alot.
    Last edited by SnakePliskin; 11-23-2009 at 10:13 PM.
    "Of all the things I've lost,my mind is what I miss the most." Ozzy

  12. #12
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    I think you should ride the same distance, but faster (time yourself). If you just do longer distances, you'll cheat (taking breaks, going slower, etc.)
    Now go home and get your ******* shinebox.

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigSharks
    I think you should ride the same distance, but faster (time yourself). If you just do longer distances, you'll cheat (taking breaks, going slower, etc.)
    not even remotely... you build muscle/endurance/cardivascular and it get easier every week.... .... i ride the same hills in a lower gear (harder to pedal) and have to change gears way less (really didnt change all that much before but less now)
    back in 07 after my seperation i started out riding 4 miles or so in 115* heat in phoenix... by my 7th week i was riding 18+ miles and not thinking anything of it.. i could have prob. done 30mile and not had a problem.. 18mile just happen to be my big loop ...started at house, ended at house, was a decently safe route (lots of cross streets etc) the big uphill that used to kill me the first week was a CAKE WALK by the 7th week and i was able to HAUL A&& UP THAT HILL.....
    oh and laying off the garbage food/carbs and eating mostly protien helped IMMENSLEY !! lost 35+lbs and 8 jean sizes in that 7 weeks...

  14. #14
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    As a beginner, just ride more. Leave the bmx home. Take the loaner and ride it for at least an hour 2 or 3 times a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13
    The best way to get your self into shape is high intensity cardio. On top of riding your bike, try taking spin class on a regular basis (twice a week). It hurts like hell but you'll see results quick. I've been on 30 mile epics that don't compare to the cardio output of a 1 hour spin class (as long as you have a good instructor). Bootcamps will kick your butt as well and give you a killer full body workout. Group finess is great because it pushes to work harder than you probably would on your own
    ugh! how can you stand those stationary bikes?! i can't stand them!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexJK
    ugh! how can you stand those stationary bikes?! i can't stand them!!!
    Haha.....I do it entirely for the workout. Yes, I'd rather be on my mtb but now that the sun goes down early we spin 2 (or sometimes 1) nights a week and night ride 2 nights a week. One of my riding buddies is a personal traininer and also the spin instructor so he pushes us pretty hard.

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    Thanks guys. I think Snake hit it on the head. Because I'm still under 30 I figured this should be cake work. Ha!

    Gonna do some more riding and follow Snake's work out plan.

    I got an email from the bike shop this morning... bike should be there and assembled Monday. So much for 2-3 weeks. I'll just take it slow and try not to kill myself out there. I can always walk back.

  18. #18
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    all true and has been working for me.....but focused healthy diet also helps

  19. #19
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    push-ups, wall sits, crunches, leg lifts.

  20. #20
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    Workout: Ride, and become one with your pain.

    Spin Classes: When I raced, the state champ in my category was a spin instructor and only rode trails a couple times a month.

  21. #21
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    if you want exercises other than riding then look here: www.crossfit.com

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    im sure SPIN is a awesome exercise but who wants to sit inside on a stupid stationary bike when you could be out doing drops, jumps, etc. enjoying this green earth the good god has graced us with.... ill take the outside w/ sunshine..... but if youre one of the unlucky ones that have to deal with stupid snow/winter then i guess ya got no choice.... i THANK GOD dont have to worry about snow ever again if i can help it..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13
    Haha.....I do it entirely for the workout. Yes, I'd rather be on my mtb but now that the sun goes down early we spin 2 (or sometimes 1) nights a week and night ride 2 nights a week. One of my riding buddies is a personal traininer and also the spin instructor so he pushes us pretty hard.
    i just hate the feel of them... that solid feel... i hate how they don't move underneath you as you pedal

  24. #24
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    If you are looking for specific exercises that will help you with biking, check out James Wilson .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDSmith
    Thanks guys. I think Snake hit it on the head. Because I'm still under 30 I figured this should be cake work. Ha!

    Gonna do some more riding and follow Snake's work out plan.

    I got an email from the bike shop this morning... bike should be there and assembled Monday. So much for 2-3 weeks. I'll just take it slow and try not to kill myself out there. I can always walk back.

    Ride your bike but use a high cadence, it will get you in shape faster...

    That means use a low gear and pedal faster than you might otherwise...

    Target 90 rpm.

  26. #26
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    Thanks everyone!

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    i'm really big on the crossfit for overall fitness, really big on it. if you pick the right workouts and do them often enough and hard enough you will almost certainly improve in every physical activity you do. my swim times even went down just because my muscle endurance and cardio improved so much. but when it's all said and done to get better at something just do it. you wanna get better at pull-ups do pull-ups. Ride the bike hard and have fun
    Hooyah space monkey

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  28. #28
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    I'm not a big fan of pain. Maybe it's because I'm in good enough shape to race sport class but prone to overtraining injuries.

    Pain can just as easily be weakness entering the body. If your goal is to enjoy riding your bike, just ride your bike a lot. Get a professional fit. Stretch when you get home. Stretch again before bed if you're sore. If you get any joint pain, figure out why, solve it, and reduce your activity level until you get better.

    When LeMond said that "it doesn't get easier, you just get faster," he was talking about racing. If he went for a casual ride at a mellow pace, it would be very easy for him.

    If you've been pretty inactive for the last few years, you might consider limiting the speed with which you increase your activity level. A friend of mine who's also under 30 (I'm 27, fwiw) lost her whole summer and I think that going straight to an intense level of training from years of relative inactivity was part of it. The rule I used when I rehabbed my knees was to increase by no more than 10%/week. You can count miles or hours; I like hours better lately.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  29. #29
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    At the OP's fitness level, I do NOT recommend intense work-outs in between rides.

    Ride your bike. Then rest the next day or couple of days. On your rest days, walk 2-3 miles. This will help keep blood circulating your muscles and help with the recovery. The walking also contributes to your overall fitness.

    If you want a healthy progression in biking fitness, consider 90/10. 90% should be relatively easy effort while 10% is intense exertion.

    I typically commute to work on my road bike (in the dry months) at a low effort. Basically recovery mode. This provides a good fitness base for my intense mountain biking efforts. The two activities contribute to a solid fitness build.

    If you are getting all winded, tired, sore after riding 2-3 miles, then you are in no condition to be doing intense workouts on your rest days. Overloading your body and not giving it enough time to recover is going to hurt you more than help you.

    It takes about 3 weeks for your body to learn how to work out. Then after than initial "break in" period, you can add intensity and your body will accept it and work to improve with it at a healthy rate. Consistency is important. Stick with it. Don't go all out and then burn out quickly.
    Just get out and ride!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkenuf4u
    im sure SPIN is a awesome exercise but who wants to sit inside on a stupid stationary bike when you could be out doing drops, jumps, etc. enjoying this green earth the good god has graced us with.... ill take the outside w/ sunshine..... but if youre one of the unlucky ones that have to deal with stupid snow/winter then i guess ya got no choice.... i THANK GOD dont have to worry about snow ever again if i can help it..
    Have you seen some of the chicks in those spin classes?
    :wq

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc
    Have you seen some of the chicks in those spin classes?


    ^^^^^^ This is the truth

  32. #32
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    I'm new to biking as well but one "cross-training" method I would recommend is rock climbing. Whether you just boulder, or do some top roping / sport it is a great way to spend a few hours and work up a sweat on a day you might not be able to ride.

    It promotes flexibility, great strength training (not just upper body either, once you climb more you really use A LOT of leg), and so many odd muscles that typically don't get worked out, I suppose this doesn't address increasing your cardio but I think it will have a general improvement on your biking

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc
    I like: "It never gets easier, you just go faster."

    So true, so true.
    LOL. YES! Perfect...I'm gonna steal that saying!

    Some days I feel slower than others!! But after a few miles I get warmed up and then just go as hard as I want to it seems.
    experience life

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  34. #34
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    I can recommend the 12 week db combo programm:
    http://www.bikejames.com/products/

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    I tried walking but I can walk forever and never feel like I got a workout. My dog loves it and it's probably the only reason that I've managed to maintain my weight but it's not enough to really get me into shape. I've got to put a 40-50 pound pack on to really feel it but I get too many weird looks for my tastes. I tried running but I never liked to do it. I do it on occasion but I can't bring myself to do it regularly. I got a gym membership but after the first month I stopped going. It felt like a chore. If it feels like a chore I'll get sick of it and stop doing it if it's something that I don't have to get done.

    Finally I decided to get a bike. The first week was hell but it's getting easier. I haven't rode in 10 years so I feel your pain about how much it sucks when you first get back on. I do not remember it being this hard. There are a couple of things that are making my rides easier. Avoid big hills at all costs unless you really want a workout. Find a flat area to ride around and stick to that. Once I get warmed up riding becomes easier. The first few miles are always the hardest. I went out all day a couple of weeks ago and probably did about 20 miles. By the end of the first 5 I thought I was going to die. Then I started to get into it and everything just stopped hurting. If you just ride regularly you'll get back in shape in no time flat.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded Grunt
    I tried walking but I can walk forever and never feel like I got a workout. My dog loves it and it's probably the only reason that I've managed to maintain my weight but it's not enough to really get me into shape. I've got to put a 40-50 pound pack on to really feel it but I get too many weird looks for my tastes. I tried running but I never liked to do it. I do it on occasion but I can't bring myself to do it regularly. I got a gym membership but after the first month I stopped going. It felt like a chore. If it feels like a chore I'll get sick of it and stop doing it if it's something that I don't have to get done.

    Finally I decided to get a bike. The first week was hell but it's getting easier. I haven't rode in 10 years so I feel your pain about how much it sucks when you first get back on. I do not remember it being this hard. There are a couple of things that are making my rides easier. Avoid big hills at all costs unless you really want a workout. Find a flat area to ride around and stick to that. Once I get warmed up riding becomes easier. The first few miles are always the hardest. I went out all day a couple of weeks ago and probably did about 20 miles. By the end of the first 5 I thought I was going to die. Then I started to get into it and everything just stopped hurting. If you just ride regularly you'll get back in shape in no time flat.

    I am the same way. The first 2 miles are hell...so I blast into them to get them over with. Then up until about 12 miles I can go as hard or easy as I want...about mile 14-15 I need something to eat because my blood sugar gets low and then I am good to go for up to 30...usually.
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    longer ya do it the easier it will get... my 42lb YETI ASX isnt any harder to ride than my 30lb HT but it sure is a hell of alot more fun.... i just put a 40t up front (was like a 32) so that i could stop pedaling way faster than needed and going nowhere... lol ... the 40t makes it a more solid pedal that actually gets the bike moving alot better.... if i come to a hill i just pop it down a cog or two out back and pedal away..... no worse than my HT in top gear.....

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkenuf4u
    longer ya do it the easier it will get... my 42lb YETI ASX isnt any harder to ride than my 30lb HT but it sure is a hell of alot more fun.... i just put a 40t up front (was like a 32) so that i could stop pedaling way faster than needed and going nowhere... lol ... the 40t makes it a more solid pedal that actually gets the bike moving alot better.... if i come to a hill i just pop it down a cog or two out back and pedal away..... no worse than my HT in top gear.....
    42 and 30 lbs!?

    wow!

    my trek is like 22...my old trek was 30...

    and I thought MY bike was heavy.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded Grunt
    Avoid big hills at all costs unless you really want a workout. Find a flat area to ride around and stick to that. Once I get warmed up riding becomes easier. The first few miles are always the hardest. I went out all day a couple of weeks ago and probably did about 20 miles. By the end of the first 5 I thought I was going to die. Then I started to get into it and everything just stopped hurting. If you just ride regularly you'll get back in shape in no time flat.
    There are some tricks to make hills easier. Your bike needs to fit right before any of them work...

    Spin the lowest gear you can pedal smoothly. It feels weird, sometimes, but I've passed lots of people who were working hard while I spun.

    Practice your form sprints. If you run out of gears on a climb, climbing out of the saddle efficiently is a good way to get to the top, and it's pretty much the same deal as a form sprint. Mess around with cadence for that - I find that my easiest standing cadence is a lot slower than my most efficient cadence in the saddle.

    Ride a hardtail.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    There are some tricks to make hills easier. Your bike needs to fit right before any of them work...

    Spin the lowest gear you can pedal smoothly. It feels weird, sometimes, but I've passed lots of people who were working hard while I spun.

    Practice your form sprints. If you run out of gears on a climb, climbing out of the saddle efficiently is a good way to get to the top, and it's pretty much the same deal as a form sprint. Mess around with cadence for that - I find that my easiest standing cadence is a lot slower than my most efficient cadence in the saddle.

    Ride a hardtail.
    Standing vs. sitting cadence ... It's like 2 or 3 gear difference for me.

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by hesston
    42 and 30 lbs!?

    wow!

    my trek is like 22...my old trek was 30...

    and I thought MY bike was heavy.
    old raliegh mohave 3.0 or something.....nothing special w/ 60mm front suspesion..
    the ASX is a 7" bike so ya its heavy but doesnt pedal that way... i love it....

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    Congrats! Because, most importantly -- you just realized how weak you are!

    My first ride was a group ride, on a easy short trail loop. Due to potential humiliation, I pushed myself so hard I almost passed out. My visions went dark... my legs crumpled and I could barely walk my bike out. And got humiliated.

    That's when I realized how weak I was, and swore that I'll never be that weak again. Ever.

    One of the best days of my life.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by krelll
    Congrats! Because, most importantly -- you just realized how weak you are!

    My first ride was a group ride, on a easy short trail loop. Due to potential humiliation, I pushed myself so hard I almost passed out. My visions went dark... my legs crumpled and I could barely walk my bike out. And got humiliated.

    That's when I realized how weak I was, and swore that I'll never be that weak again. Ever.

    One of the best days of my life.

    Very powerful motivational tool , humiliation and the fear of being humiliated . Congrats to you and good luck .

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by hankthespacecowboy
    Very cool. Seems to have some useful info on there
    -Drew-
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    I've been avoiding the group rides because of the humiliation. Good motivation until I don't want to show my face again because I don't want to be that guy.

    I finally got my real bike last Sunday. Redline D660 - 1x9. I kinda pushed off the exercise thing because I wanted to blame the gearing on the SS. It wasn't the gearing, but that's okay.

    I've been riding one of the Greenway Trails by my house the past few days. It is a 2.2 mile loop with one good hill and a few longer ones that just plain suck. I've been logging everything on my phone/GPS.

    First 2 days I did one loop, took a 15 minute or so break, and did another loop, going the opposite way. First loop was faster than the 2nd loop, although I feel like the opposite way is easier. 13:15 the first time, 14:20 the 2nd time. No biggie, I'm going to lose some due to fatigue, that makes sense. I wasn't way off base.

    Today, I rode the loop, one way, took the 15 minute break and went back the opposite way again. My first loop was slower than the previous 2 says but not by much. Towards the end I saw a very cute ass that was walking and I wanted to see if the face matched. So I jumped back going the opposite way. Turns out she turned around on the trail so I got to see the ass again but not the face. Turned around towards the end to try one more time. Can't fall in love at first site if you didn't get a chance to see each other, right? I didn't take a break after the second one though, just said fugg it, I'll walk the bike if I have to.

    Turns out her face was as cute as her ass, but she was a little too old for me. Damnit, oh well. I did notice that the 4 miles without a break had s faster pace than the first 2.2 with a break. Not including the break time, obviously. I guess a little motivation goes a long way.

    I think part of my problem is that I always owned BMX bikes, so I don't think about changing the gear, I think about standing and pushing my way through it. I was practicing changing gears more today, even on slight inclines. I've been pushing myself until my quads hurt, then shifting instead of shifting before my quads start hurting.

    I don't necessarily know which way is better though. If I push until the quads hurt I am going to build some muscle mass I believe. That should get me up to par and then I can start shifting the correct way to keep the cadence similar and at my peak level.

    Either way, I'm happy I was able to do the 6 miles with only one break. Just in the past 3 days I feel like I am becoming less winded during the rides, although it might be in my head.

    Thanks for all the advice and thoughts everyone.

  47. #47
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    like i said before in this thread..... it will get easier the more you do it...you will get faster, less winded, stronger...... soon that 2 mile ride will be cake walk and youll push it out farther and farther.....

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