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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks!

Just getting BACK into biking after a little more than a decade off, and I'm really looking forward to it. My start this year was delayed when walking out to our non-attached garage (live in a condo) to find our property had been rifled through, and my bike stolen. :p Bike thieves I hope go to a special place in hell. My SO's bike, a nicer model than mine, was not stolen, simply because the tires were flat. So suck it, stupid thieves! Fortunately insurance covered a decent amount, so I was able to get a moderate upgrade! Currently the proud owner of a beautiful Bianchi Impulso/Ultegra in the only colorway that matters. ;) (pictured below!) I had actually gone to the LBS with my heart set on a carbon frame, but they insisted that I try various geometries in Steel, Aluminum AND Carbon. I was actually surprised I liked this new Alum one as much as I did. (my prev bike was a Bianchi via Narone 7/105, this one WAY more comfortable)

I live in Northern CA, so I find myself pretty fortunate in terms of the weather. Admittedly it's been a little odd as of late, but I'm trying to ignore all of that and get out there and ride. We're starting slow, because although we're both slenderish (I'm 5'9 150lbs, he's lighter) we're VERY VERY out of shape. We're doing 10 mile jaunts to get a feel for things, and hope to start adding 3-5 miles a week till we're hitting a good distance on the weekends.

I'm struggling a little bit with neck and shoulders being tense all the time (yes yes I know, just RELAX people tell me :p ) and I'm working on some core exercises to help alleviate that. I've had knee problems in the past, but the fit that the bike shop includes in the cost of their purchases REALLY seems to have gotten rid of all of those.

I actually was drawn to this community by the articles that I'd read on Sea Otter and various cool frames and parts coming out, but was really pleased to find there was a forum as well!

-Andy
 

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Welcome, Andy. We'll try not to hate you for living in such a beautiful place ;-) (I lived in the Bay Area at several earlier phases of my life - still often miss it).

Since you've had knee problems in the past, you're wise to ramp up the miles slowly.

People here are mostly very helpful, and mostly pretty nice. The Lounge can get a little weird, but as long as you know that going in . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Honestly right now the biggest issue I've encountered (3 x 10 mile rides) is neck and shoulder issues. So I'm attempting to try "Foundation Training" stuff to see if that will improve things, focus on core, and less strain on wrists and shoulders, in theory.
 

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Try changing positions more frequently. Move your hands often between the drops and the hoods and the tops, and stand up every few minutes. Take one hand off the bar and flex the other arm.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Thanks!

Honestly right now the biggest issue I've encountered (3 x 10 mile rides) is neck and shoulder issues. So I'm attempting to try "Foundation Training" stuff to see if that will improve things, focus on core, and less strain on wrists and shoulders, in theory.
With only three rides completed, you're acclimating to road riding. The symptoms you describe are common, so build some saddle time, then reassess.

You're correct that keeping the upper torso relaxed will help, but here (along with JC's suggestions) are some others:
- keep your upper torso relaxed, arms slightly bent
- change hand position frequently (tops, bends, hoods, drops...)
- keep a slightly loose grip on the bars (avoid the 'death grip')
- keep forearms and hands aligned (don't twist at the wrist - refer to pic below)
- consider good quality gel gloves
- I usually recommend good quality bar tape, but your bike being new, it should already be installed.
- When you're comfortable doing so, try on-bike exercises like neck and shoulder rolls. If your balance isn't up for that, pull off and do them. It doesn't take much to loosen muscles up.

For future reference, a fit related cause of neck/ shoulder pain is incorrect reach (to bars). If after incorporating the form related suggestions above your symptoms don't improve, this is something to discuss with your fitter. But I'm thinking you won't get to this point.
View attachment 280376
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips!

Yeah, honestly I'm pretty sure it isn't the fit, tho I can always go back in a few months and ask. I think the problem is with me, I've had this issue NOT biking (a ton of tension in neck and shoulders), I think the biking is just bringing it out more. I think the hours and hours I sit in front of a desk typing has more to do with it. ;)

Until I can win the powerball and quit my job, I'll just have to build more saddletime and be aware!
 

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wyrd bið ful ãræd
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I took 3 months off in between and had to almost start from scratch again but it was quicker the second time round. It will depend on the distance you ride each time and the frequency.

It is not the bike, but rather your body does not fit the bike after a lay-off. Do stretching exercises everyday which helps. After sometime you will fit your bike again.
 

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Make a conscious effort to ride relaxed. Easy grip on the bars/hoods. Bent elbows. Don't crane your neck up to look too far up the road ahead of you. Undue tenseness can cause those kinds of pains. You're getting used to a new ride, and probably not as confident on it yet as you will be in another week or so.

I'll never forget the advice my instructor gave me, when I was learning how to fly. It was, "fly like a dish rag, not like a (expletive for an erection)".
 
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