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Discussion Starter #1
Remember your first rides? How tired & wobbly you were? I could hardly walk after my first 6 mile ride. That may sound really bad but I'm old with coronary issues. We all have some sort of issues, right?
Well that was late last fall. Almost daily rides this spring have made a big difference. Last week I chased a big tom turkey around the neighborhood like a kid on the bike with ease. Today I mowed the entire yard without stopping for the first time in years. I feel stronger after each ride and the mowing proved it to me.

Do you notice your strength & stamina improving ~ say something.
 

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Remember your first rides? How tired & wobbly you were? I could hardly walk after my first 6 mile ride. That may sound really bad but I'm old with coronary issues. We all have some sort of issues, right?
Well that was late last fall. Almost daily rides this spring have made a big difference. Last week I chased a big tom turkey around the neighborhood like a kid on the bike with ease. Today I mowed the entire yard without stopping for the first time in years. I feel stronger after each ride and the mowing proved it to me.

Do you notice your strength & stamina improving ~ say something.
Good for you Andy!!
My son being born has been the best thing to happen to me for countless reasons. 1 being that me wanting to play an active roll ( physically, spiritually, emotionally ) in his life meant I needed to get myself going again. Cycling has enabled me to be the active Dad my son needs.

Same as you, my first 3 mile ride 2 years ago kicked my butt. Now I have the energy to play with my son after a 50 mile ride. :) And let me tell you, he plays hard too! :)
 

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I would say that is a huge accomplishment being able to knock the yard out like that! I have become a FIRM believer in the fact that as we age we should strive to to stay active and flexible! I have decided once you sit down in that rocking chair to retire life is over, it will be VERY difficult to get back up and be active again. Even if it's just walking the dog around the block! GET UP and get moving. You have proven that!!!

I remember my first 5 mile ride in the neighborhood with my wife and thought I had really done something! My legs felt tree stumps and it was all I could do to walk up stairs and get a shower! I was a horrible smoker on the verge of 3 packs a day and sat in my recliner weezing! My lovely bride said I had to make a life change or I was going to die and that didn''t sound like an option I was willing to accept!

Cycling has truly saved my life! It has also led to many other life changes in exercise, eating habits as well.

My stamina has greatly increased since I started to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Apparently we all have our reasons to ride. Strength & stamina is at the core. Couch potatoes don't understand the rush a good ride can provide. Have you tried to talk cycling to a couch potatoe? "I watch the Tour de France when it's on."
Cycling to me is not a spectator sport. It's about you and me, not them. I respect Pro cyclists but riding is for me.
 

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Last year when I had finally built up my distance to the 40-50 mile range, I would come in the house, lay down on the floor in the living room and take a nap. The ride would wear me out that bad. Now, a year later and a couple thousand miles under my belt I can go out and ride 60 miles in the morning, come home and cut the grass.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Well at 67-1/2 I don't ride as fast and far as I did when I was 66-1/2 but I still like being on the bike. I have a hart con. I am in A-fib and have Crohna's disease, But I don't let that controle my life, I ride, I have a 40 mile ride comeing up. And I do some exersize with 10# weights on days I don't ride. When I started not so many years ago I would only do 2 miles and the wife would 10 miles, the wife still does 10 but I can go farther ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm 66 and 23 months past quadruple bypass. Riding has made me feel like 45 again. I hope to break 20 miles this summer.
The improvement raises my confidence and attitude. The world would be a better place if more folks rode.
 

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Though I have not built up to much over 15 miles per ride, you guys are giving me a lot of inspiration to set a loftier goal and to get out and ride!! Between work and a first grand baby, I have not been riding this year. But, my work life ended this week and I am looking forward to being retired and a lot of riding starting soon!
 

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Good for all of you for going out there and taking control of your health and your lives. You have to make the time to ride, make the committment. Otherwise there is always something else that needs to be done, some chore to do. But in the end, the time on the bike may be the single best thing you could do for yourself.
 

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I started running to get back into shape. At 29 I am already on blood pressure meds, not cool. Feeling sloth like and slow has not helped my self esteem either. Over time work has started to be more of a challenge due to lack of motivation. Well running started to KILL my shins and ankles and I didn't feel the results I wanted to.

SO, I got back on a bike. Now, I am not riding 40 miles or more a day yet, but I feel worlds different with my 5 mile morning ride. Each day I push further and push harder aiming for more speed.

My legs turn into jello by the time that I get off of the bike, but in a good way. I like the burn, I like the adrenaline, and I love the way I feel afterwards.
 

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I picked up my bike again part-way through last year's season after over a decade with no regular riding, and a few months after quitting cigarette smoking. In the beginning, 5 miles was a trial. Since then, I've experienced that wonderful progression where 10 miles starts feeling like 5 did, then 20 feels like 10 used to, and so on.

This season, my wife bought me a very early b-day present after I determined my old bike was just too small and no amount of tweaking would fix it. I now ride a Novara Safari and can do ~20 mi in ~1:20. Still building up, of course. Working out some fitment issues on the new bike so I can push into serious mileage. I love that 20 miles is now a ride I can do after work in a little over an hour. Did it yesterday, in fact!

Last season after my first 20-miler, I was done for the day physically and flatly stunned at my accomplisment. Today, I'm looking seriously at commuting over 40mi round-trip/day, and don't even think about whether or not to mow the grass or engage in other activity after a 20-mile ride, as there's no physical reason not to! Give me a few minutes to pant away my oxygen-debt and I'm ready! I'm even considering signing up for a century ride in July - weighing metric/standard century offerings. Anyone doing the Elephant Rock ride in CO this summer?

I breathe much better (convinced quitting smoking is a significant part but not all of that equation) these days, and rarely worry about climbing 3-stories worth of stairs at work, with little huffing and puffing afterward. I've lost a pant size, have a far better appetite and the change in my mood is amazing.

I signed up for the National Bike Challenge this year, and loaded the Endomondo app on my phone to track my rides. Since I started using it a bit before the challenge started, I've burned an app-estimated 13k calories over more than 200 miles. In fact, yesterday's ride brought me over 300mi total on the new bike - since 10 April when I got it. I can't wait for those numbers to start looking puny and unexciting next to what I'm posting now...as the numbers I was so pleased with at the end of last season look to me today!

I'm so happy and grateful to be back in the saddle - hopefully for life, this time. It's great to be cycling again! Move to live, live to move :)
 

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newleaf150,

Congratz on quitting smoking. Wish my parents would.... I too look forward to putting miles in the double digits into my rides. In a few months I will replace my bike with something more suited to how I ride. Kind of a goal to reach for. How long did it take for 5 miles to seem easier and for that progression to build?
 

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omnivox, don't be surprised if the blood pressure meds go bye-bye soon. A year and a half ago me blood pressure was 150/105. Since then I've been (literally) pedaling my a$$ off. A week or two ago I checked it and it was 112/70.

As a side note, you should probably let your doc know you've started cycling. He'll probably want to start monitoring the blood pressure (or have you do it) more frequently.
 

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Poolie,

I cant wait to ditch the pills. I didnt think to call my doctor to let them know I am cycling. Currently I ride 3 days on 1 day off as I warm up with some stretches, ab work out, and other things.

It is 130/85 right now which is great. Before I got on the meds (and the bike) I was at 160/116...in a bad way.
 

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'Vox,

Thanks for the congrats on being a quitter ;-) I was fortunate in that when it was time for me to drop the cigs, I realized and acted on it. Until it's time for the individual and they want it, that addiction is near-unbreakable. I have smokers in my life still, and feel for ya.

When it comes to stacking up the miles, I started making a concerted effort to hit the trails regularly around June-ish last season - 2x on weekends and at least 1x during the week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I was up to 10-mile rides sometime in Sept., I think.

My mileage was also hurt, though, by the fact that for a lot of my rides I pulled a cargo trailer weighing a total of 100 lbs (trailer weight + ballast) by the end of the season (started at 37lbs trailer weight only). This hurt my mileage (duh) but made me a stronger rider. By the winter, I'd managed my first 20-mile, 100lb trailer pull (killed me) and my first 20-mile free ride (still tiring but better). Since then 20mi has become routine for me (Yay!), but I can't pull the trailer (yet) since getting a new bike, so haven't tried longer distance with it. The tow bar sadly doesn't fit the new frame.

Shorter rides more often really did it for me. Watch your calories - have to fuel up for rides. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing you crack the double digits!
 

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I have always been very active. Riding bikes, lifting weights, walking, jogging bowling you name it. Around 11 years ago my wife and I decided we needed to move into a bigger home. We moved into a brand new constructed colonial on a 2 acre wooded site. New is not finished and we set out on finishing the interior and exterior to our liking. It took five years to complete. While we were working on this I stopped riding my bike which was my only form of exercise at the time. My age did not react well to this sudden stop in activity. My cholesterol and blood pressure began to rise.

One day I was standing in my garage with my father in-law and he turned to me and said do you ever think you will get back on your bike? I never forgot those words because he died shortly afterwards.

Seven months after he passed I was standing in my garage on Mothers Day and the girls were all in the house. I would have been with my father in-law out there but he was gone. Thinking of him I took my bike down and washed and lubed it. Everything was still in perfect working order so I decided once everyone went home I would go out for a ride.

Once I got back on I was like an alcoholic taking his first drink since sobriety and have not stopped. I am no longer on any maintenance drugs.

Mothers Day is my 6th anniversary of getting back on my bike. I am 51 years young.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great stories, guys. It will be 2 years next week with no cigarettes. I still miss them but will never smoke again. All it took was a near death experience, lol. Going under the knife has a lasting effect.
I still can't get the blood pressure down though.
I'm comfortable riding 10 miles now, waiting for dry weather to try for 15.
 
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