Easing back to riding a bicycle after 14 years: Experience
In time, say a few months, I do hope to commute to my workplace which is some 16 km away at least once or twice a week or even better.
BHPian asmr recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Hey Folks! It is good to be posting on something different this time!
I have been meaning to pick something up as a proper hobby that I can sustain interest in especially after the lockdowns. Two things stood out and the one on top was cycling. I have owned 3 cycles in my life. A Hercules MTB and a Hero Atlas were my primary mode of transport during high school times. I used to go to school, additional classes and general shopping in those.
Then came college, Grad school and back in 2008, I got another Hercules MTB after a gap of 10 years. At that time I had no idea why, but there was severe pain within the first 2 days after I tried riding it. Tailbone/seat area & knees. it was unbearable. I gave up in a week’s time.
Fast forward to 2 weeks back – I decided that I need a healthy hobby, one that can get me out of bed at 5 am and can help move me back to being fit. Thus started hours of research online, esp. here on TeamBHP, GCN and a few other reputed channels. And I took the plunge.
I just got a Riverside 500 from the nearby Decathlon store yesterday. I tried to use the knowledge from my research and set my saddle height close to 94 cm (I am 183 cm tall with 87 cm inner seam length), to get a straight leg with the heel on the pedal and slightly bend profile on the leg with the front of my feet on the pedal. I had gotten a slightly wider, thicker seat for the initial (my body’s) break-in period, which also meant I didn’t go for any specialized apparel as well. I couldn’t adjust anything on reach, unfortunately, at least not yet. I am a bit on the heavier side, so increased the tyre pressures and was good to go.
I was very, very (extremely) apprehensive initially but I drove around in my gated community transit path for close to 40 mins with my sons and to my surprise, it felt just fine. Yes, there was some mild discomfort while on the seat but nothing remotely close to the pain I had a decade or so back. My legs were feeling very comfortable though my wife keeps saying that the seat is too high.
I took it sort of gentle yesterday, moving through gears (first time riding on a geared bicycle), getting used to cadences and speed differences. There was however one major issue. It felt like my palms and wrists were taking a beating. This cycle doesn’t have the upturned horns of an MTB and so my thought was I was overreaching since the saddle was set just fine, which caused me to put too much weight on my hands. I even thought, at one point, that maybe it was the ergonomic handle grips that were causing it.
This morning, I did a 5.55 km sedate ride on the inner roads, with some traffic, in 24mins. First sustained drive on a cycle in 14 years! Felt fine after this ride too, except for the stress on the palm, and wrist and now aching in a dull way all the way to the triceps, and somewhere between the delts and lats. I am going to see if an extension for the stem can fix the problem.
In time, say a few months, I do hope to commute to my workplace which is some 16 km away at least once or twice a week or even better, take longer trips over the ECR over the weekends! *fingers crossed*Would love to get any feedback from the veterans here on how I can do better.
Suggestions on-bike fit experts, and training programs in Chennai are welcome!) and what are some must-have apps, and accessories for an absolute beginner like me to semi-serious cycling (I was absolutely missing the rear view mirrors and more importantly, a nice, big klaxon horn)?
Here’s what BHPian Aditya had to say on the matter:
Welcome to the world of cycling.
The Riverside 500 is a pretty nice bike and does a good job of getting you around. However, I suggest that you get a good bike fit at one of the professional shops. Bangalore and Hyderabad have good shops. I am sure Chennai will have comparable ones too. Also, invest in proper riding gear. Padded shorts and gloves help a lot. Most importantly, I hope you have bought a bike of the right size.
As for accessories, good front and rear lights (NiteRider is my preferred brand) are mandatory. Hope you have already got a helmet.
Another thing, before you ride, for an hour or so, stretch. Lots of exercises and techniques are available online (YouTube, etc). After your ride, again stretch. This will help you a lot and reduce the risk of injuries.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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