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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm mostly trying to figure out how to begin cycling safely. I am a woman that is almost 40 yrs old and not in the best of health, I have been in and out of depression since I was a child, I also want / need to start living life before I can't. I have been a smoker for 26 yrs. I realize that I not only need to quit but want to quit for many reasons. Although I have used a cruiser style bicycle to get around town for years I would be new to touring and I would like to get insight into how to begin on a serious tight budget. I live on SSI. my income is about $700 a month. I would like advise on type of bike to use, type of equipment that is important, hints & tips would be helpful. Any and all advise would be deeply appreciated.
 

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Welcome! You are in the right place. There are subforum areas for things like heath/training, safety, etc.

Any bike is a good bike to start with as long as you ride it :)
 

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Welcome, edaspit72. If you're looking for the company of others who love to ride their bikes, you're in the right place.

You may be able to find a good quality used bike at your local bike shop or via services like Craig's List.

What I've learned in my quest to improve my health is that consistency is important. Making riding part of my regular routine was key. I started with small, half-hour jaunts around the neighborhood on a cruiser-type of bike. And worked my way up from there. I'm currently riding a hybrid-style bike.

Best of luck on kicking the habit. I know it's tough to beat, but it can be done. And wanting to stop is a big part of that success, so it's good you already have that in your favor. I have found that regular riding helps me keep my sunny side up and so I would hope you'd find regular exercise to help with depression, too.

So, welcome. I'm sorry I don't know more about touring, but I'm sure others here do. Keep asking questions and I hope you enjoy your time here.
 

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hi edaspit. I'm a new member as well. who has also been a smoker for quite some time.I just posted my first thread today actually. I'm not sure if you posted where your from but I'm from new york. and here in ny we have quit smoking assistance programs. you should look into seeing if your state or city provides such a program. I've been a pack a day for years and in the most recent two years a pack and a half. I signed up for that program and was sent my first two weeks worth of patches for free. also some employers and other local charities I know also provide programs to aid people in quitting. I started the process a couple weeks ago and admittedly I messed up a few times and had to start over. but with determination I can now say I'm 6 days smoke free! you can do it too!!! I won't lie to you it is difficult but if you get informed on it and stay positive and determined you can do it too. and the rewards are tremendous. in just 6 days I feel so much better. to be honest it's incredible how much better I feel. i wont lie to you its definitely one of the hardest things ive done but the rewards of feeling healthier are amazing and some things you'll notice within a couple days. here are some tips I used to help me

1 identify your triggers and habits (for example the after meal cigarette or the first thing when you wake up cigarette.) think of what ones are the worst triggers for you personally and try to avoid them. for me it was playing guitar and video games. so for the time being I've put my guitar away and stopped playing games all together instead I push myself to get out and ride and stay positive and focused

2 don't be afraid to ask for help. and be sure to let your friends and family know that you plan on quitting so they can be there for you in stressful times and also to let them know that there may be moments where your not yourself and you need them to understand and help you through it. sometimes you may just need time to take a few minutes and step away

3 psyche yourself out! what I mean by this is don't tell yourself and others your "quitting" it can imply its a process and can believe it or not lead to possible failure. instead tell yourself and friends and family that you "quit" smoking it implies that your done, finished, no more smoking at all. even if you make a mistake it's okay just be sure to get right back up brush yourself off and try again

4 replace habits with something else instead of having a cigarette in the car have a cough drop or a lifesaver or any type of hard candy.

5 pick up new hobbies. cycling is a fantastic new
hobby to pick up once you make it over the hill / hard parts you'll be feeling and breathing better in no time. but also make sure you get into hobbies
 

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that you have interest in and really enjoy. your more than likely going to have to replace a few current hobbies (not permanently just until your certain your ready) you'll need to replace the ones that are the worst triggers

also stay away from red meats. make sure you drink lots of water, and have ice cubes constantly ready either to enjoy an ice cold glass of water or just to have an ice cube instead of a piece of candy.

I hope all this helps you. like I said I'm on day 6 smoke free! if I can do it so can you! stay positive.

as far as bikes go I'm no seasoned pro but if your looking into trying to get back into shape I'd look into a hybrid go to your local bike shop and ask them what they think also have them explain gears to you or take a class. you could go with a cruiser but if it's a single gear bike it may prevent you from wanting to get out and ride. with a hybrid you can have different gears so on a day where you want to feel the burn you can set it to a gear with a little more resistance to get a good workout or if your having an off day and your not sure if you wanna ride try pushing yourself to go but this time use I gear with little resistance and go for I nice easy relaxing ride.

that's the best advice I can offer. I really really hope this helps you. just remember in just 6 days you can feel a lot better about yourself and feel a lot healthier just stay positive and take one day at a time.
 

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Now's the time to DO IT. Toss the butts. You'll save enough $$ to get a real nice bike in a year. For now check out Flee markets, second hand stores & pawn shops for a bike that fits. Can you dive in to fix something on a used bike? You are looking to take your mind off cigs, learning the workings of your bike helps a lot. You'll ride more confidently, the bike will work better & you're gonna get that thrill after a good ride.
I rode more at ease after giving my used hybrid a thorough cleaning.
Get a helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thank u

@ LiveFreeRideHard, I sure appreciate the support. I had read your thread before you responded. It is encouraging to hear other smokers/former smokers support others. I am currently very highly dependent on them but I am making an appointment with my pcp to get the Nicotrol inhaler, I used it about 7 yrs ago it worked for about 9mths but living with another smoker , well let's say I gave in. I live alone now so it might be a little easier & this time know what to expect. Thanks again. God bless
 

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Welcome and good luck in your quest to a better life. Look to here and to those close to you for support. Kicking the nasty habit will help you free up some cash. But remember, you have to enjoy the new life style in order to stick to it. I wish you the best, you have our support!
 

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I have to agree with zero. as I mentioned in the previous post you need to pick something that your really going to enjoy to occupy your time. don't get me wrong cycling is an excellent way to keep busy and get into shape. just make sure you pick something you have high interest in that way you don't lose interest in your new found hobbies and don't fall back into smoking. I still do feel cycling is a great way to do that. there is a lot to learn even for someone who wants to take it up recreationally. as I had mentioned in my thread learning how to shift properly, learning cadence and practicing and training can definitely help. it's a lot to learn and to practice but it's also very enjoyable and rewarding. I'm trying to kick a lot of bad habits and I'm taking these changes seriously but not too serious to the point where I no longer will enjoy it.
 

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Eda,

Welcome to TwoSpoke! You have found a great resource for what you are looking to accomplish-cycling and kicking the cig habit and getting out of the chasm of depression.

As far as a bike, buy one you can afford and are comfortable on. I'd suggest visiting a local bike shop (LBS for short) to get an idea on what is available. If they do not treat you well, take your money to the next shop! Remember, ALL cyclists should be treated equally, don't let a shop with a bad vibe turn you off to cycling.

I'd also suggest a few resources for bicycle repair such as Park Tool's website which has a great selection of videos for repair, Leonard Zinn's books and a few others (Park Tool Big Blue Bicycle Book of Repair). Do not get intimidated, if you run in to a problem, someone here can most likely answer your questions.

Finally, as far as battling depression. . .Cycling has given me a new lease on life after undergoing some challenging times in my life. That first ride where you push yourself, your lungs will feel like they've filled up with sand, your legs and buttocks will be sore and you'll probably want to never ride again. Give it an hour, and I am willing to bet you'll have a feeling of exhillaration you haven't felt in a long, long time.

That's what keeps me coming back for more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm beginning to count the cigarettes that I actually smoke smoke in a days tinge. I have been a 2 pack a day smoker for years. I'm down to about 30-33a day the last 4 days. That may not sounds like much to some but for me that is an accomplishment so far. I will admit I am not a mentally strong person all off the time, however i'm doing better than I even thought. Depression is medically a problem for me, I lost 40lbs last yr by changing my diet & walking. I do great for awhile then boom it gets me again. (i'm hypothyroid & diabetic I am trying too teach my brain that I may have these but they don't have me.

I sincerely appreciate the encouragement & words of advise.

Thanks everyone
 

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Keep up the good work. Might I suggest a site like MapMyRide.com? It's a good site for tracking what you do and helps you stay motivated. I use it to imput my rides, runs and weight training. Sometimes I feel guilty when I see the chart has a blank day. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Keep up the good work. Might I suggest a site like MapMyRide.com? It's a good site for tracking what you do and helps you stay motivated. I use it to imput my rides, runs and weight training. Sometimes I feel guilty when I see the chart has a blank day. LOL
I'll check it out thank u
 

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Welcome!! As you can already tell, this is a good "family" of friends and very willing to offer help and support. Live strong!
 

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Hi Eda! Bet you thought you were the only girl here. I've been Ina couple of weeks and I've learned more here than when I used to ride 50 miles a week on my own. These guys are great, seem to love sharing their knowledge with newbies. I haven't sensed any condescension at all, only solid advice and encouragement. I feel like I have a bunch of big brothers out there (Awwwwwwwww!)

Let me add that cycling, whether you cruise your neighborhood, take to the roads or find some nice wooded bike paths like me, gives a sense of freedom, floods your body with endorphins and elevates your mood. Soon you will crave it more and the cigs less. I'm not at the level of most of these riders but read their stories- many were in poor health, smoked or were overweight Don't be intimidated by where the veterans are now, they all started somewhere. I don't smoke but I'm overcoming some food "addictions" and have weight and BP problems to correct.

Welcome and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
 

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DChapman said:
Hi Eda! Bet you thought you were the only girl here. I've been Ina couple of weeks and I've learned more here than when I used to ride 50 miles a week on my own. These guys are great, seem to love sharing their knowledge with newbies. I haven't sensed any condescension at all, only solid advice and encouragement. I feel like I have a bunch of big brothers out there (Awwwwwwwww!)

Let me add that cycling, whether you cruise your neighborhood, take to the roads or find some nice wooded bike paths like me, gives a sense of freedom, floods your body with endorphins and elevates your mood. Soon you will crave it more and the cigs less. I'm not at the level of most of these riders but read their stories- many were in poor health, smoked or were overweight Don't be intimidated by where the veterans are now, they all started somewhere. I don't smoke but I'm overcoming some food "addictions" and have weight and BP problems to correct.

Welcome and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Spot on.
 
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