Author Topic: re-entering cycling  (Read 4498 times)

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Offline rider555

re-entering cycling
« on: December 22, 2010, 11:51:22 pm »
I am about to renter bike touring again. My goal is to ride from Wis, to California and I am going to do this ride in 2012, right after I graduate college. Having said that, excuse this grammer, I write this in casual form and not academics. What Can I do for diet plan? My bike is a fuji monetray you can see what a mont is
at fuji bikes .com.  My Training is on a trainer untill spring then I train out doors. I am going to put 10 miles a day on the trainer. So any ideas feed back it is welcomed. Keep in mind it has been over 20 years since I rode.

Offline John Nelson

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2010, 12:08:41 am »
Ride outside as much as possible, including any of the nicer days in the winter. Ride hills if any are available in your area. Slowly build up your weekly mileage through the summer, and then don't lose your conditioning over next winter. Try to ride every day, but don't force it. If you're beat, take a day off. Make sure your bike fits you. If you start having knee or other joint problems, get a professional fitting.

Start collecting your gear. Read touring journals and forums to learn what you need. Start taking your gear along on some of your training rides. Try to take a simple overnight trip sometime this summer, and a week-long trip some other time between now and your big trip.

Offline Tandem4Rider

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010, 07:03:05 am »
There are many health and nutrition sources available in print and on the web.  Frequently the plans are designed for specific activities, though, oddly if you look closely enough you'll find they vary very little.  Personally, I have found Bill Phillip's plan ( ) to be very effective for me.  When I started with it I was overweight and constantly feeling like I was dragging.  I've been on his plan for about 4-5 years now and it has only cost me 40 pounds and a feeling of having enough energy to make it through the day and then some.

I have also found that while riding the portions and frequency of eating meals does not have to change.  You may have to supplement more frequent snacking, but if you focus on healthy choices for this you can easily meet your body's needs.

The biggest stumbling block for me was all mental.  When I started I looked at the portions and said to my wife, "Honey, I have to live, this is not enough..."  It took about 2-3 weeks to adjust fully.  Of course, once you are totally in the plan and reaping its rewards you save enormous chunks of change.  I don't really eat out in many places since they bring a day's worth of food on one plate and expect me to eat it all in one go!

Lastly, welcome back!  It's always encouraging to hear a story of someone either deciding to take up riding or getting back into it.  Enjoy the ride!


Where in Wisconsin?  I grew up outside Milwaukee and miss it terribly.  I keep an "Escape to Wisconsin" bumper sticker on my desk...

Offline rider555

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2010, 08:13:44 am »
Folks please keep the replies comming. I am compiling them and they are great replies already, so  keep them comming.
tandem, Wis is a pretty state wonderful in the spring summer and fall, Winters  are haarsh.. I know I am in the snow belt. Again folks keep the responses comming.

Offline staehpj1

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 08:55:06 am »
First...  Just wanted to wish you success.

I did a similar return to cycling a few years ago.  My advice is this...

1. Staying in shape and training is always good but huge amounts of training are not a prerequisite for a long tour.  It does help greatly to have enough time on the bike to be comfortable for longish days in the saddle, but being a trained athlete is not a requirement.  The key is to set daily goals that are reasonable and achievable.  It is bad news to attack a trip and find yourself worn out 2 or 3 days in.  Much better to ease into the trip, hitting your stride in a week to ten days.

2. I am convinced that all the hype about the ultimate bike, racks, saddle, panniers, sleeping pad, or whatever does a disservice to new tourists.  I did my first tour (Coast to coast on  the TA)  on mostly inexpensive gear and a $599 bike.  I didn't regret any of my gear choices other than the fact that I started out with a bit too much gear.  Some gear I have since upgraded, but a lot of stuff I actually found I prefer some of the cheap items I used.  The bike itself is the last thing I think about when thinking about my tours.

3. General rule of thumb, if in doubt leave it home.  Then when under way periodically, go over your stuff item by item and mail stuff you aren't using home.

4. Another rule of thumb, don't try to think of things that might be useful.  That approach will add lots of items to your list that sound like a good idea but you really don't need.

5. Having someone at home that can accept things you mail home and send you things via general delivery you decide you need is a big help.  For example there may be things you only need for one geographic region of the tour.  Why carry them the whole way?

Offline tonythomson

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2010, 08:01:15 am »
Staephpj1 has basically said it all.  Just get yourself reasonable active and plan to ride well within yourself.  Despite numerous long distant trips and staying reasonable fit in between I never plan more than 35 miles a day in the first few and then work up to my average of 50 miles a day, doesn't take long. Not many miles? well I enjoy the ride and get there in the end plus I'm probably a bit older than you so you work your starting miles to suit yourself.

Plus don't feel guilty to take time off if your body is telling you to.
Good luck
Just starting to record my trips

Offline johnsondasw

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 12:26:26 am »
I might be a good idea to take a few 2-3-4 day tours to test yourself, bike and gear.  As others have said, you will probably find you need less gear than you think.  Good luck.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline cheesehawk

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2010, 02:25:10 pm »
I'm in the same boat. Came back after 18 years off. I needed to lose a lot of pounds, I've lost about half; based on your diet question, you're probably in that boat too. I'm in Madison, WI, so my winter is plenty white. Here are my thougths.

(1) Keep it fun. Trying to bike in the winter is a great way to stay in cycling shape. It's more likely to be fun if you can get the right equipment together. If it's fun, do it. If not, do something else (see below). Same thing goes with training in general. When you quit having fun it is harder to keep going.

(2) Cross train. Swimming helped my neck and back problems. Ab/lower back work is also helping. Recurring injury (inner thigh, related to tight IT band) is being addressed by specific exercises (professional PT). Skating would also help outer an inner thighs. Point is, there are lots of things you can do off the bike to make riding the bike easier on your body and to help you avoid injury. You don't have to become an athlete. I don't do everything every week. You can just get on the bike and go to Cali tomorrow. But sooner or later you're going to have to do the work, so you might as well get started.

(3) Listen, don't diet, when on a multi-day tour. Dieting plans are great when you're training, and essential when you're not training. On the road, on a 3+ day tour of 50+ miles per day, it can make you miserable. I lost more weight and was happier by listening to my body and finding the right mix of foods than by counting calories or points. For me, oatmeal and fruit at breakfast. Mix of fruit and complex carbs for snacks. Low protein and limit the dairy while on the bike. More protein off the bike. I lost over 10 pounds on a 7 day tour this way, while just listening to what my body said about quantity needed. Your needs will probably vary. But save the diet plans for the rest of the year (and especially for the week after you get off the bike).

(4) Goals are great, fun is better. Goals keep you motivated, and let you see your progress. If I were in your boat I'd make monthly goals up to the departure date. But recognize that life, weather and your body will get in the way. I've made about 2/3 of my goals. I'm sure I could have done all of them, but there were times when NOT making the goal has kept me riding. Be smart.

P.S. Tandem - You wrote, "Personally, I have found Bill Phillip's plan ( ) to be very effective for me.  When I started with it I was overweight and constantly feeling like I was dragging.  I've been on his plan for about 4-5 years now and it has only cost me 40 pounds and a feeling of having enough energy to make it through the day and then some." I can't figure out how to see the plan itself.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 09:53:40 pm by cheesehawk »

Offline Tandem4Rider

Re: re-entering cycling
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 07:02:47 am »

It is summed up on that page, but it is more complex than that.  You'd need to purchase his material - I was hesitant to include that caveat because I felt it would be a plug - I merely offered it as something I tried.  It's not a "diet" but rather a way of life.  You really need to read about it in detail to full understand the philosophy and science, etc...  I will say, I've been successful using his principles while not buying his products, though.