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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow cyclists! I don't know much about forums so I hope I'm doing this right. In fact this is the 1st forum I've decided to join in any topic. Anyways about myself. My name is Jon I'm from Western New York. I'm 27 yrs old. I've been riding most of my life (honestly since before I can remember). I've been riding bmx bikes since I was about 10. I used to ride all the time sometimes 6 to 8 hours in a day just cruisin around town. In recent years I lost my passion for cycling it just became such a chore and I grew tired of pedaling and pumping so much and covering so little ground. I know it sounds ridiculous but I still don't have my license or a vehicle. growing up I didn't have many friends and getting a car was never a concern to me I had my bikes. I started smoking when I was 14. since 17 I had been a pack a day smoker and in the past 2 years I hit a pack and a half. Recently my girlfriend and I had a garage sale and we did really well and I decided it was time to get back into cycling and pushing for a healthier lifestyle. I took the money I had made and bought us both new bikes (we've been together 7 yrs now and I was shocked to learn the last new bike she owned was a child's walt disney bike with training wheels I had gone through so many bikes in my life I felt compelled to get her a new bike). I let her pick out her own bike we got her a girls diamondback mountain bike from a dorks sporting goods. I know many people say to stay away from retail but she doesn't do nearly as much riding as I do so she picked the one she wanted and if she enjoys riding as much as I used to and thankfully do again we will upgrade next season or the following. with the remaining money I decided it was time to move on from bmx and get a larger geared bike, my first geared bike. unfortunately I didn't have enough money to afford an entry level road bike from my LBS so I headed to bikesdirect. yes I am we aware that bikesdirect is frowned upon in the professional cycling scene. I decided to do it as best I could though and got fitted first to make sure I was getting the right size bike. anyways I decided to go with a dawes lightning 1200. I am very very happy with this bike. now back to the smoking lol (I apologize if this is too long a thread). when I decided it was time to get back into cycling and living healthier I also decided it time to kick the cancer sticks to the curb. I signed up for a quit smoking program (after trying numerous times in recent years and having failed quitting I thought to do it right I need to get more help and get more informed). I started the quitting process 13 days ago. the first week or so I had messed up. but I am proud to say that I am on day 6 of being absolutely smoke free. it's incredible how in 6 days how much better I feel. back to the dawes today is day 18 with the new bike. yesterday I hit 200 miles on the odometer I was very proud of that as well and I broke my previous top speed of 28.9mph yesterday & I hit 30mph. I do at least 10 miles a day weather permitting and in the past week I've had a couple days where I did 20 miles (2 rides in one day I'm not ready for a straight 20 yet). the longest straight ride I've had was 15.53 miles. I'm hoping by the end of the season here I can achieve at least 800 miles total and hopefully break my current top speed record I also am hoping and planning to get a 30 mile ride in before the end of the season. anyways I've had 3 rides this past week where i get about 8 miles in and I start "bonking" out. I was wondering if anyone could be so kind to help in a better meal plan geared towards healthier living and cycling. I plan on increasing my proteins, carbs, and whole grains. we ate way too much fast food before and that is also something I plan on changing. also any other road cycling or maintenance tips would greatly be appreciated. I have purchased cycling shorts and jerseys, a bottle and a cage, I'm learning how to use gears properly and now I'm working on my cadence. also as I stated before I'm well aware that bikesdirect is frowned upon and I hope the people here won't gimme too much a hard time about it. but going from a 42lbs bmx to a 24lbs road bike is a huge improvement in weight reduction for me personally. I appreciate any and all tips that can be offered and look forward to hopefully learning some new things and chatting with fellow cyclists who have a passion for riding. thanks again everybody!
 

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Well, first off, Welcome to TwoSpoke!

Congrats on your first geared bike, people here have bikes from bikesdirect, no need to worry about getting ribbed about it. Hats off to you as well in kicking the cigs and the poor dietary choices.

For meal plans there's a nutirion subforum and for tips/maintenance, check out the General Bike Discussion subforum and the "Tips & Tricks" thread for some useful advice.

Feel free to ask any of your questions, someone here will be able to help.
 

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Glad to have you, Jon! I hope you enjoy it here.

8 miles in seems pretty early to be "bonking." Can you describe what you are feeling in a little more detail. What do you usually eat before your rides and how long before?

Keep up the smoke-free, man!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the warm welcome and the quit smoking support/congrats its good to know I won't get ripped apart for my bike choice. at one of our LBS one of the employees was giving me a hard time about my purchase along with some attitude I thought to myself that's no way to do business. Anyways as far as what I've been eating up until friday I was going out empty. just taking water. I also work a ridiculous shift at work and start at 4am so needless to say I also am not getting a good amount of sleep either (yet again another habit I'm trying to change.) friday I decided to try a protein bar but I wasn't sure which were good. I didn't want to commit to one box/brand so I purchased 5 single bars from 5 different brands. Friday I put in a 12M ride. On Sunday I tried a different bar (tasted a bit better than the first plus had more protein) Sunday I did one 8M in the morning and one 12M later on. when I did the 12M later I felt like I was bonking out (I'm not sure if that's the correct term) anyways. I get so far and then I feel I just have nothing left in my legs the last 4 was brutal. However today rather than going right after work running on fumes I decided to come home and sleep first. then I read it's good to get some carbs so I had 1.5 serving size of grape nuts cereal. I waited one hour like it said and headed out. I just got back from a 15M ride and I felt great the entire time I also had a clif bar just before I left. I know one of my problems is yet again habit but coming from the bmx scene. From riding bmx so long I tend to rely on my right leg for all my power. also with bmx I'd stand and pedal and sit when coasting. I'd get a good 10-15 strokes on bmx and top out my gear and sit and coast and repeat. so coming into a larger bike I have to learn to use both legs not just one. but today was I good ride I feel I could have definitely hit my first 20M today but I ran out of water and time. also today when I went out rather than pushing myself to the max I tried more to keep a steady cadence and shift to accommodate for inclines and declines. my bike computer does have cadence so instead I used a metronome app on my phone and set it for 90bpm and try to do a full revolution for every beat which also seemed to help alot rather than pushing so hard and trying to crank the pedals as fast as possible.
 

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Higher cadence is more often than not beneficial. It stresses the lungs and cardio system more than the legs. The cardio/respiratory system can recover much faster than if you're over taxing the muscular system with low cadence, high effort. This is true both during the ride and on the days following the ride.

I'd say you've probably figured out why you were bonking. Eating 1.5 to 2 hours before a long ride is important. However, I often find that breakfast is enough to sustain my 20 mile rides on my lunch hour, and my lunch can usually fuel my 27 mile ride home on my commute days. Though I do sometimes have a 70 to 100 calorie snack mid-afternoon.

I'd say for shorter rides, you might want to look for something other than just protein bars. Something with a little more sugar and simple carbs will get delivered a little faster, which may be what you're needing. I've personally become a big fan of the Honey Stinger Waffles and gels over the past year.

If you're bonking is more of a feeling of hunger, then it's the lack of food in general. If it's more of a lethargic feeling and generally running out of energy, try eating a gel such as the Honey Stinger or Gu next time.
 

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First off, Welcome.
Secondly ~ Keep working on kicking that nasty habit. This thread may help -> http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f246/hows-old-ticker-8508/ Everyone talks about lung cancer from smoking but heart decease is even more likely. Read the link in the first post about my surgery to see what's headed your way if you keep smoking. The money you save in one year will pay for one heck of a nice bike and you'll be healthy enough to enjoy it.
About bonking out on the ride. Ride after a meal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate the tips I'm going to look into gels. I was also told by someone I work with that used to be a professional athlete that I need to have more than just water he recommended g2 and diluting it with water to keep my electrolytes. either 1/2 g2 & 1/2 water or 3/4 g2 & 1/4 water. like I mentioned I'm trying to break many bad habits its been challenging with some especially the smoking. but riding and focusing on fitness has certainly helped keep me busy. he had also recommended that pilates and yoga would help to strengthen my core and lower back. I'm not that tall 5'6.5" 142lbs stand over 30.75". so coming from 17 yrs of bmx where many tend to utilize calf strength and body weight to pump to my first road bike where I quickly learned im utilizing many more muscles has been a challenge but I do appreciate the workout I've kind of missed it to be honest. and in the past 2 years I've done very very little riding at all. also when I did ride bmx I primarily spent most of my riding in that standing position. my saddle tends to wear on me a bit and I'm not sure if I need to look into getting a new one or if it's because this is really the first time I'm actually using a saddle while pedaling as opposed to sitting for 15-20 seconds and then returning to standing and pumping for a few minutes and back pedaling when the gear topped out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
so do both of those get diluted with water? that's cool that you write reviews. ive always wanted to do YouTube reviews lol just never did it. I'm a giant video game nerd btw. which has been a huge thing I've had to block out of my life right now it's one of my worst triggers for smoking so I stopped playing all together. that's okay though more time for riding. back to electrolytes are those expensive?
 

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and Andy I started to read your story but I have to get ready to leave soon to go look at a bike rack for our car. I will prolly be going for a ride when I get home just a short cruise with the misses. but I will read your story later tonight. thank you for the welcoming though I do appreciate it. I didn't want you to think I was being rude
 

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so do both of those get diluted with water? that's cool that you write reviews. ive always wanted to do YouTube reviews lol just never did it. I'm a giant video game nerd btw. which has been a huge thing I've had to block out of my life right now it's one of my worst triggers for smoking so I stopped playing all together. that's okay though more time for riding. back to electrolytes are those expensive?
Yeah, both get added to water. The elete is about 6 bucks for enough to make 320 ozs of electrolyte-water (about 13, 24 oz bottles.) The Skratch Labs stuff runs $19.50 for enough mix to make 340 oz of hydration drink.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
sorry lol hit pothole. it looks like the elite is a better deal. but looks can be deceiving. which do you feel is more effective? I personally can go either way on something flavorful or something more plain like water. I never drank water until I just started riding again. I've forced myself to get used to drinking water and so long as its ice cold it's not bad lol.
 

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and Andy I started to read your story but I have to get ready to leave soon to go look at a bike rack for our car. I will prolly be going for a ride when I get home just a short cruise with the misses. but I will read your story later tonight. thank you for the welcoming though I do appreciate it. I didn't want you to think I was being rude
It's cool. I post that link everywhere it might help someone quit. It even got printed in our local daily newspaper (edited).
Relax, you're among friends here.
 

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Among friends? I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. Welcome aboard live free.... My name is Jon and I'm from western new york as well. If you want any route info in and around the buffalo area, PM me and I could send you some stuff. Do you ride the outer harbor at all? I'm bound to run into you if you do. Just look for the ford Ranger with the 2 spoke sticker on the back window. I joined two spoke a while back and all I can say is you are in the right spot. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ive yet to make it to the harbor I'd like to get out there with the misses before the end of the season I heard its really nice. we just went and picked up a bike rack from a nice mountain biking couple off craigslist. I'm from depew Lancaster area. I do most of my riding around como and losson park and heritage trail.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks industry it's good to know. I've been browsing some other sections some of your posts are funny. I gotta ask what's with the $9 cardboard bike?
 

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I agree with Xela that you may want to look in to something other than protein bars for energy while riding/before a ride. For me, I find the sugar alcohols (all of the ingredients that end with "ol") upset my stomach like crazy during exertion.

I'm fond of Clif Bar products about an hour before a ride and then if I need to supplement I'll go with Honey Stinger chews or a Honey Stinger waffle. I've also fueled long rides on home-made oatmeal cookies.

As far as pedal technique on your road bike versus BMX, being that I do not know a lot about BMX, I'd say it is two different techniques, one (BMX) sounds like you are "pumping" versus road cycling which is "spinning."

It all takes time to learn but stick with it and the benefits are exponentially greater than the initial learning curve.
 
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