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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:45 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Evenin' all

As many of you know i am very new to the RB scene but i love it; the members here are fantastic although some have a super-dry wit (torqueless, lol) but generally this is a great forum with great guys who have immense technical knowledge.

I should say thanks to a few here - Ian, Tel, Leon, Torqueless, Dan to mention just a few and Will911 - a local RBer (local to Northern Ireland and me).

Tonight's query is unusual - as per my build thread (read the intro) -

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=228672

I decided to get 'fit' by jumping on my old bike (the Rapide) but actually i didn't. I decided to rebuild it and i had bought a new bike to ride. This seems a good idea (it did to me) but in my rush to rebuild, i forgot to ride the new bike!!! I have fallen into a hole so deep and am surrounded with beautiful bike parts, i love DA and AX stuff - i have it all (almost all), gruppo Tricolour is very close, gruppo DA will be done this week - i love all that Shimano stuff - no apologies to the Campag faithful at all!

BUT ( i never worked out how to change font size) BUT!!!! i am not riding the bikes - too busy checking, polishing, building etc etc to ride the bikes. I think that (and i might be wrong - which is unusual) that a lot of guys here - not all, and defo not all members, like the bikes from their youth and want them now - NOW that they can actually afford them - and the bits etc. they spend all their time building and not riding - just like me!!!

I am not abusing those people, because that is me - you do anything but actually ride the bloody bike!!!! This is like an addiction - to the bikes but no to riding them. Perhaps you can see where this is going ...
I want to ride my bikes - not my Rapide but the new bike. My question is a long one, so i will make points and hope someone replies - or more than one.

1. How do i start riding again after 25 + years?
2. What distance should i travel?
3. Should i worry about cadence (a new concept to me)?
4. My new bike is low geared compared to my old one - top 3 gears compare to bottom gears of my old bike - which is best~?
5. I have been out on the bikes for maybe 15 miles and was scared by the traffic - have things changed or have i?
6. I am not sure what i want, i do not expect to enter a TT again but i want my legs to carrry me to wherever i want - how do i achieve this?

This is a long post, apologies to those who are bored now, but i would like some advice as to how to restart my cycling - especially this bit - short distances - fast OR longer distances at my own pace? Links to any site which would help would be appreciated.

I realise this post rambles a bit, but i think that it may reflect a lot of peoples thoughts and worries and i am not afraid to raise them here - hoping that others will get some support from it.

Thanks to everyone who actuallly reads this to this point, any advice is really appreciated and i think that the MODS should take a look at any advice with the intention of saving it for other people/members to read.

Is RB a bike riders forum or a bike restorers forum? I think it is both and i love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (well, not really LOL) But if you have got to here, you may have grasped what i mean!!!

On a final note, i should add that i was never an Olympic contender etc. but i was good enough, i was never, ever, scared on a bike but last week i was - a roundabout where i watched a driver - who was watching me - just drive on at me!! This scared me, my priorities in life have changed over 25 years and i don't want to be hurt or killed by some ***er anymore - i think that in my younger days, this would not have worried me as much as this did.

I had a fast motorbike for a while in the 90's and i am used to car drivers trying to kill me, but on a bicycle i was genuinely scared - no speed to get out of trouble and no run off. Being honest about it, after that scare, if there was a track near me, i would be ****ing quick on it as the roads are too dangerous where i live. I better add, i am not a woss (pronounced wooosss) or similar, but i have commitments like most people and cycling, as much as i love it, is not a commitment.

On a final, final point, to clarify this whole post, where do i start again?

Thanks (in anticipation) to all who read this, and to those who respond to it,

Richard

p.s my motorbike was killed following a 130mph crash where the bike suffered as much as i did


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:55 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:58 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Bournemouth
Hi mate, can you believe it, I read your whole post, and I'm a dirty MTBer. :lol:

I'd say go out and pootle, and build up as and when you feel comfortable. I recently got back on my bike after a long time off it, and I found leisurely rides got quicker and longer without noticing. My arse hurt like hell for a while, but it got used to the saddle again.

Maybe, if the w**kers in tin boxes scare you (and they scare me at times), try coming to the dirty side. As when in woods, you don't have to worry about them

Above all though, enjoy!

Cheers
Tim


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:14 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Thanks Tim,

I think i would take a chance with the hardwood as opposed to the Vauxhall though! MtB is probably safer then the road - i could be wrong and please do not castigate me for this opinion.

You are saying - just get on it!!! What about the turbo trainer?

Just a safe thought,

Richard


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:34 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:22 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Warks
Hi Rich
I'll stop buying too many bike bits / polishing / fettling etc. when women stop buying shoes! (...er that's not sexist, counting missus' shoes in cupboard vs. bikes in shed! )
I'm no spring chick, hadn't ridden since my teens and been dogged with serious health issues but decided to bite the bullet a few years back and get on a skinny tyred beast.
At first it felt like I was folded in half riding a roadie, but after I'd got a bit more flexible and lost weight I love it.
There's no rule book, ride to fill your heart and empty your pockets! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:00 am 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:06 pm
Posts: 1443
Location: Vienna, Austria
Interesting post. One question, do you actually want to ride the bikes or do you just feel guilty owning all this good stuff that never gets to see tarmac? I ask as I'm in a similar position, I'd much rather tinker than ride.

That said I do now get out quite often. Sorry if this doesn't answer your questions specifically but a good start is to get a bike you can actually ride, between you and me these guys who think they ride their £10k gold pantographed 17th Century De Vincci's are deluding themselves. Then spend good money on quality cycling clothes, esp shoes, it makes a difference. Then finally find a handful of local routes that you like, I have three round here, a quick 10k plus a couple of 1+ hour 30-40k routes. Get a computer then alocate a weekly/bi-weekly slot where you can get out, 1 hour is even enough to get the bike ready, get dressed, go, get back, shower and you're done. Get a breathable weatherproof jacket and gloves with fingers and you can even get out in the cold/rain. Just set yourself a schedule, maybe even plan it out in a diary and write down your times, it will push you to get out and beat them. Anyway, the best bit is that after a very short time you get to like it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:50 am 
West Midlands AEC
West Midlands AEC
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 11:06 pm
Posts: 6266
Location: Stow on the Wold, Glos
Hmmm it is indeed a interesting question , me personally I have my bikes to ride and when I drop into a lull I do feel guilty having spent the time and money on the bikes I have.

But I guess it's because they have a function people look at them as they should be used, why can it not be someone's hobby to actually just build them and show no real different to someone building models or hanging guitars on a wall hell I bet some cannot even play them.

Be a shame though if you do want to ride them but not making that step!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:54 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:22 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Warks
^^^^"Get a breathable weatherproof jacket and gloves with fingers and you can even get out in the cold/rain"

Absolutely, though I tried an Endura waterproof hi viz jacket on a long 4 hr cold wet ride :( I was soaked INSIDE as it just didn't breathe the sweat!
I think it's a great short commute jacket, but I found an Assos 851 at the right price and even in rancid weather like today I can go out with a single base and the Assos and a good pair of Castelli roubaix bib tights and I'm dead comfy: i tried cheap cycle clothing and for me it was a waste of dosh, if you can afford it, buy right or buy twice!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:55 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6840
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Good thread Richard.

I have been a member here for under a year, and until a few months ago I had not ridden a road bike, ever! (if you discount the rusty clanky things I had as a kid).

The first thing I noticed when I joined the forum is that there are restorers, there are builders and there are riders. Some people are all three, some are two out of three and some just restore fantastic bikes.

If you find that restoring is your pleasure, so be it. As I see it, the person who seeks out old and rare machines and brings them back to life is performing an amazing service to posterity, plus they are getting a lot of enjoyment honing and exercising their considerable workshop skills.

However, many restorers are just like you, except not as open. As an mtb rider, I helped organise a ride last year, specifically for the massive number of British made steel bikes that seem to be owned by members. Unfortunately it only attracted 12 riders, and 9 of those were on production bikes :roll: This showed me that a lot of people like to think they are riders, and maybe were strong and regular riders in the past, but these days, the challenge of the workshop, or the comfort of a nice sofa with a beverage to hand keeps them closer to home.

As for returning to riding. I was in a similar position to you, having had a long layoff, while I pursued other pastimes (mainly the Martial Arts). I was not unfit, but I was badly out of practice.

I was advised to ride like a granddad for the first few rides and to give myself time to recover between rides. As I already had a few training routes I had used in the past, I started out on these, always on a circular route. Bit by bit I increased my distance and speed until I was happy to go to my first Retro Ride; where I discovered just how much training was still required :oops:

During the summer, under constant pressure from my roadie fanatic son, I bought a Raleigh 853 rolling chassis from fellow member Gunscrossed, built it up and have been cracking in the miles ever since managing a 50 mile ride just before Christmas (no big deal for many of you, but a milestone for me). I have a heart rate monitor that I rarely wear (it has a watch as well which is useful), I have also recently rigged up a cadence meter using an old bike speedo, but in truth, my legs tell me where they are comfortable and in 30 years of riding mtbs (on and off) I have never had any other form of feedback.

With regards to traffic, I take the same approach I have taken in over 35 years of motorcycle riding i.e 'passive aggressive', and I simply don't allow myself to be bullied by cars. I've had a few close shaves, including the old man who deliberately tried to jam me into the curb on Christmas Day! And a Merry Christmas to you too sir! But I have made a point of working out some decent circular routes that take as many small country lanes in as possible. That way, I avoid the conflict by avoiding the cars.

Enjoy your bikes, isn't that what it's all about?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:09 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:22 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Warks
Just to add again ( great thread btw! ), the other side of the coin is turning up for a group ride with a lovely restored retro bike amidst a herd of Spesh, Giants, Boardmans et al is that very few riders in my experience actually care about what you ( or they ) are riding; I'll qualify that by saying they do a lot of 'how light are those zips?' and 'I prefer Titanium to carbon', but rarely a 'lovely lug work mate' or 'how can you ride with a biggest back sprocket of 19 teeth?'
that's what I love about this forum, a mine of precious enthusiasm and well of knowledge AND the bikes get used every day you can get out.
The downside is i'll buy a bike cheaply as a 'hack' for muddy roads, gravel and bad weather, feel sorry for it, start building a complete group set for it, then it's too cool to throw around in rancid weather, and I put too much time into to want to sell it, so I get another hack etc etc.
n+1? you don't know the half of it! :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:56 am 
Road Moderator
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm
Posts: 4715
Location: Sheppey, Kent
Great post TGR.

I rode exclusively in my teens, never competed but was quite capable and could cover 25 miles in a little over an hour. I used to commute the 22 miles each way to work then ride up to my girlfriends house. Ah happy days.

When I got a car things started to slip and I didn't ride as much, add a partner then kids, work, etc and soon enough I wasn't riding at all. My interest in bikes was rekindled when the plasterer spotted my old Raleigh hanging up.

I am not a rider, I'm a mechanic and a trader. I'm happy with that as thats all I can fit into my life working essentially two jobs and having a family. I'm constantly trying to change things but they are what they are.

I get out on a bike occasionally, I'm not a patch on what I use to be which is quite disheartening but again I'm happy to just accept where I'm at. I'm okay riding on roads but yes with a lot more traffic and my increased caution (we were so fearless/ stupid when we were young weren't we) it's very different to how it used to be. That is also on my accept it as it is list.

There are plenty that do ride and because I sell quite a few bikes and parts I often get invitations to go for a ride when they pick something up but alas due to my poor fitness and lack of miles in my legs I always decline; "I'm more a mechanic than a rider".

Like NeilM I spent the majority of my life practicing Martial Arts (gave that up a couple of years ago too after about 25 years!). Despite not having any fitness left at all these days which I sorely miss, my interest in philosophy which stemmed from my practice remains. Taoism teaches you acceptance, what is is ;)

Hmm...seems you are not the only rambler here Richard.....


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