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Thread: BTWD Fallout

  1. #1
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    Default BTWD Fallout

    So.... after being inspired to give cycling to work a shot, and actually managing to do the 21 miles to work... and then realizing someone fooled me and that it was (as mentioned in other threads) actually a bike back to home as well!.... I was pleasantly surprised with myself in actually making the 42 miles without killing myself. So, I biked in today again. I knocked about 45 minutes off my BTWD time (because of no pit stops lolol) and 11 minutes off my ride home (ok, so it's mostly downhill on the way in). My metro ride, including hopping a bus to the Medical Center metro, is usually about 1:20. My ride in was 1:37. I'm thinking as I work to get in better shape, I can beat the Metro time.

    A little background, since I'm new here. I'm 42, live in Bethesda, work in Suitland. I'm an average cyclist, it's been 10 years since I was "really" doing serious rides. I used to mentor/coordinate the Cycle Across Maryland/Teen Challenge program in Anne Arundel/Howard counties, have done several CAMs including a few centuries. But 10 years later, I found myself at 255 pounds and arthritis slowly stealing my life from me. The arthritis is still there, and it's pretty bad, but it's mostly confined to my spine. Cycling actually is a freedom for me, as I don't feel pain when I'm riding. OK, well, some pain, but it's not back pain and that's like heaven for me. The cycling will help to strengthen everything, hopefully increase some bone density, and will improve me mentally as well. I'll still be in tons of pain, but hopefully I can deal with it better, and even a 5% decrease in pain is a huge life changer for me.

    You all seem like a nice tight-knit group of people, hopefully you'll welcome me in to the family with a friendly nod on the trail I'm not as angry as I look when I'm cycling LOL Oh, I also got my son in to cycling, so he rides with me occasionally. Here's a pic of us from Bike DC.

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    edit: and yes, I'm still a little pudgy, but hopefully the rides to work and, eventually, riding back home too will get me in to "fighting" shape! So no "moobs" or "mitts" comments, thanks LOL

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum! That's a heck of commute to just start up like that after 10 years of no serious rides.

  3. #3
    americancyclo's Avatar
    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Glad BTWD inspired you to get back on the bike. That's a great commute, double what I do each day! Don't be afraid to ease yourself back in to cycling. There's plenty of good weather ahead this year!

  4. #4
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    We're always happy to welcome another convert - resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

    I understand your feelings, when I got back on my bike in 2005 after several years off, I was pushing 200 pounds, had lower back pain, and arthritic knees. I have found I can ride my bike for hours on end completely pain free where walking for more than 30 minutes can be painful.

    As far as increasing bone density, I've been told and seen a couple articles that actually the opposite may be true, that competative cyclists and swimmers may have lower bone density due to the low impact nature of the sports. Of course like everything else there are also articles contradicting this, so your results may vary.

  5. #5
    KLizotte's Avatar
    KLizotte is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    That is one serious commute by any measure. You'll be in shape in no time. You may wish to give yourself a rest day in between till your body gets used to daily commuting (or else bike one way each day).

    Welcome to the fold! I can't promise we are all sane but we sure are friendly.

    My dad has regular and rheumatoid arthritis. All the docs have told him to "keep moving" as much as possible; it's the only way to keep the illness at bay. I hope the cycling helps on that front. And science now shows that exercise creates new neurons in the brain so you'll be getting smarter too!

    You may wish to get a professional fitting though to be sure cleats and bike parts are positioned appropriately for your age, flexibility, riding style and physical ailments.

    Hope to see you on the trail soon

  6. #6
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    Welcome! So glad that you're here and that you've rediscovered cycling. I'm on my 3rd discovery of cycling, though my absences have been short. I can say from experience that it just keeps getting better, more fun and a better part of my life. Cool that you've got your son drinking the cool-aid.

    Rock on! We'll see you out there for sure.

    Pete

  7. #7
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    Moobs -- I resemble that remark. Many a brisk morning when I've wondered if a good sports bra might be helpful.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Certifried View Post
    hopefully increase some bone density
    Welcome! FYI--if you are looking to increase bone density, you should combine biking with load bearing exercises like running or weight lifting. Studies have shown that only cycling can negatively impact bone density. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20432201

    Good luck and see you on the trails!

  9. #9
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    Great to have you on board, and I have to agree with all the other members... that is a serious commute. I commute 25 miles round trip at least 5 days a week, sometimes 6 but all of a sudden I feel pretty lame in comparison to your 42 miles... Bravo! Much like you I took 12 years off the bike between 1993 and 2005 after a serious wreck nearly killed me... for the first time I didn't get back on my horse and nearly put cycling behind me forever. In 2005 I started to miss the saddle so I began commuting and have never looked back. I feel mentally and physically healthier that I have in years, best therapy ever! I hope it does the same for you! Looking forward to crossing paths one of these days.... welcome!

  10. #10
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    ahh... crap. Thanks for bursting my bubble. Anyone want to buy a very new Trek??.... Well, it does say "professional cyclists", and that's certainly not me! So, I'll just pretend I didn't hear that I do go to the gym and have a trainer who is very experienced in working with people who have back problems. I also see a spine specialist on a regular basis. I have an RFA (radio frequency nerve ablation) scheduled for the 4th of June. They destroy the peripheral sensory nerves in the facet joints with a heated needle. As excruciating as it sounds, but gives me a few months of pain relief.

    Thanks for the tips about easing back in. I definitely have a "type A" personality and tend to push too hard. I've been doing some shorter rides, 10-15 miles, and give myself a break for a day or two if I feel any pain at all. I've discussed the cycling, and other exercises like the gym, with my both my spine and family docs so I'm making sure I don't hurt myself. I drove my car in yesterday, Metroed home, cycled in, now will drive the car and bike home this afternoon. After I can do that "easily", I'll move up to cycling home since it's a harder ride. Eventually working up to cycling in and back.

    RA is also rampant through my family, KLizotte (Liz?). My paternal grandma had it, and my dad his it. My mom also has osteoarthritis, so I'm genetically screwed. My RA factor has been high for a lot of years, but I don't have it, knock on wood. I had an abnormal ANA once and the rheumatologist told me that "you don't have anything yet, but come back every 6 months because you're likely developing RA, lupus, some other auto-immune disease, or cancer". ... .. wtf... really? cancer? see you in 6 months? I saw another doctor right away, and got a second opinion. So, now I watch it, get tested annually, but I'm not freaking out like I was for a couple of days

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