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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cadence?
Distance?
Time on the bike?

I am just looking to shed a few (20-30) pounds and increase my CV strength as a hedge against heredity (you name it, a relative has it). Got my bike on Friday and did 2 quick (6 mile) orientation rides to help get the setup correct and get accustomed to the clipless pedals. (I've only fallen once and of all places, it was in my OWN DRIVEWAY - I ended up on my back like a turtle).

So, how should I approach this? What should I focus on when riding? Pikcing out a 20 mile loop and just riding that for time? Decide to ride for 45 minutes and focus on how far I can get? Ride for 45 mintues and make sure I maintain X rpm cadence?

And please, don't tell me "Just get out there and ride" because I can tag along with my wife at her pace and never break a sweat, while she's huffing and puffing.
 

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For general fitness, hours per week is most important. Try to work up to at least 6-10 hours per week or more.

As you get comfortable on the bike, your speed and cadence should improve naturally. If you have the time, there are specific drills you can use to improve more quickly, but just focusing on your hours is easiest and more fun for most people.
 

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The further you go, the more you burn. The faster you go, the faster you burn. If you ride the same route all the time, but ride it faster each time, you won't burn a ton more calories - your body's doing essentially the same amount of work. But if you get faster, you can ride longer in the same amount of time.

I lost 25 lbs. my first year back on the bike just by taking my distance up (to 50 mile+ rides each weekend), then later, I worked on speeding up so I could do centuries on a regular basis.

To lose weight, ride longer. To improve your CV, add in some periods where you push yourself during the ride to get your heart rate up and your lungs working.

Cadence isn't directly related to CV fitness - but it helps you ride better, faster & helps you avoid aches & pains, particularly in your knees.

There are some articles here that I found helpful: http://bicycling.about.com/od/weightloss/
 

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Variety

To me, the long-term goal is to make cycling a fitness activity that you can stick with, which means that you have to find it enjoyable. This requires variety. Go long one day. Go fast another. Ride a familiar route and see how fast you can do it. Explore a new route that you've never ridden before. Ride by yourself. Ride with a group. Do an organized ride Work on pedaling an easy gear with a high cadence. Work on pushing a big gear with a low cadence. Do some intervals. Just cruise with your wife. Doing the same rides day after day at the same effort is the quickest route to boredom.
 

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Good Suggestions so far, I would just add...

that you maybe should be careful about setting arbitrary goals of time or distance. Especially while you are in the early phase of a riding fitness program, how you feel about riding on any given day can vary considerably. On any given day, just have a good day. Just get quality, sustainable pace time-in-the-saddle, a few moments of up-tempo here and there, and you are on your way. Fitness and its related benefits come gradually, so don't rush it. Don't feel like you have to mash big gears or hill climb to be successful.

I would definitely advise that you try to pay attention to "cycling form": body position, cadence, good pedaling mechanics.

THE NUMBER ONE THING: be safe man, watch out for cars/trucks, and bad road surface.


cka1971 said:
Cadence?
Distance?
Time on the bike?

I am just looking to shed a few (20-30) pounds and increase my CV strength as a hedge against heredity (you name it, a relative has it). Got my bike on Friday and did 2 quick (6 mile) orientation rides to help get the setup correct and get accustomed to the clipless pedals. (I've only fallen once and of all places, it was in my OWN DRIVEWAY - I ended up on my back like a turtle).

So, how should I approach this? What should I focus on when riding? Pikcing out a 20 mile loop and just riding that for time? Decide to ride for 45 minutes and focus on how far I can get? Ride for 45 mintues and make sure I maintain X rpm cadence?

And please, don't tell me "Just get out there and ride" because I can tag along with my wife at her pace and never break a sweat, while she's huffing and puffing.
 

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If You See Kay
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Get A Heart-Rate Monitor

Just a good, basic one will do. For overall fitness and weight loss, you should stay in the aerobic zones (65% to 75% of max HR). IMO, work upto one hour 3 days per week (Mon, Wed, Fri) and a two hour ride on Sat or Sun and enjoy.

Deek
 

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See how many days you can go without repeating the same course. Not only will this keep you interested, it'll avoid the temptation each day to try to beat your previous time. I agree with johnny99 that, for now, focus on time in the saddle as your metric.
 

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rigger
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Hear hear hear

Agree with all above. I cannot emphasise enough ENJOYMENT. Give yourself targets. Work towards something that you think may be just beyond your ability. Train for it. You probably dont know what you enjoy yet so using all the gen posted above try it all. There is enough fitness training stuff out there to soak up the water over the Titanic. Ride somewhere that your non riding mates say "Take the car/train/bus."; Do a time trial; try an Audax; In the words of Mr Mercury "Get on your bike and ride." See you on the road somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just got back from a ride with the wife. Went 11 miles in 47 minutes. Averaged 14 mph (I tried to stay with her). It was fun to just be out there riding.

At one point, 2 guys whizzed past me and for some reason, I just decided to catch them. I got withiin 40-50 feet, wasn't sure of the etiquette, and hung back, but matched them. We got up over 25 mph. I'd say we averaged 23 ish for about 2 miles, then we hit an intersection, and I slowed down to wait for the wife. I felt GREAT. I dont think I could push 23ish for 47 minutes, but 17-19, maybe.

Oh, and I fell off the bike standing still. Felt foolish. Hurt my thigh, but no chain ring tatoo.
 

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cka1971 said:
Cadence?
Distance?
Time on the bike?
So, how should I approach this? What should I focus on when riding? Pikcing out a 20 mile loop and just riding that for time? Decide to ride for 45 minutes and focus on how far I can get? Ride for 45 mintues and make sure I maintain X rpm cadence?
First, get a computer. I say do a variety, like the pros (not exactly). Regardless, you need to ride at least 20 min to receive much benefit. Lots of that time is getting your metabolism up so you can ride more effortlessly & enjoy the ride. I suggest a couple days a week warming up then riding pretty hard till you reach a set no miles (or time). Alternate w/ a distance ride where you ride for more miles but at a comfortable but good pace. Every now & then incorporate some sprints where you warm up like 15 min then pedal as fast as you can till your heart is beating out of your chest & you can’t breathe –slow down & rest for 5 min -do it again (3 times).
Just my suggestion.
 

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also focus on deep, regular breathing

elvisVerde said:
I would definitely advise that you try to pay attention to "cycling form": body position, cadence, good pedaling mechanics.
good cycling form, good variety, keep it fun and deep breathing.
 
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