An Old Newbie

teachdna

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cincinnati OH
Hi Folks. Turning 72 in October so I thought it might be time to get back into biking before it's too late. Back in the day (1972-1985), I was an avid road biker and thought nothing of chalking up a couple of hundred miles in a week with a century on the weekend. Built myself a bike with a Reynolds 531 frame, sew-ups and Campagnolo brakes, gears, crank, etc. But medical issues forced me off the road and it's been 37 years since I've attempted to ride. I stumbled on the site during my search for bicycles and found it to be the best place on the web for objective reviews and advice. It's been invaluable in getting me back on a bike seat.

Not surprisingly, after finding the site, I focused on ebikes only but had to come to grips with the fact that, 7 surgeries later, I was not able to ride the kind of bike I was hoping for. Swinging a leg over a high step simply was not going to work anymore. There are some aspects to growing old that really suck! Read all the relevant posts and watched a large number of the EBR reviews- they are incredibly informative. After test riding 5 or 6 bikes, I settled on a Gazelle Ultimate c380+ as the best fit and the mid-step was doable, particularly if I get on/off the bike while it's in motion. So I've gone from center-pull brakes, sew-ups, dropped handlebars and a derailleur to hydraulics, the enviolo trekking hub, a belt instead of a chain and an upright riding position....and I love it. The bike is everything people said it is and the EBR review is spot-on. But it's embarrassing how poor a rider I am. Luckily, I live on a long stretch of cul-de-sac so I have a (relatively) safe place to practice. The ebike makes biking a true pleasure (again) in a very different way. I'm looking forward to getting to where I can do long rides and keep the car parked. My younger neighbors are being kind and say they are eager to have me ride with them. Who knows, I may even get my wife on a recumbent eTrike one day-she had an above the knee amputation.

So thanks to all for helping me get back in the saddle and I look forward to tomorrow.
 

Ang1sgt

New Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester
Welcome Back to riding. Boy those were the days, Steel is Real…..
I’ve started looking for MY E-Bike. Being 66 does have it’s limits to what I want and need also but I am looking forward to it.
Vacation is coming up and I have money put away for that, so the E-Bike has to wait a month or more.
You are doing it right though, take your time, get used to turning, accelerating and even braking.

P.S. You forgot to mention a Brooks!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Born the same year and month - 72nd coming up on Oct 26.

Welcome to a great, informative and very useful forum. There are many wonderful folks helping one another get the most out of their ebikes (and a few irritating trolls who offer nothing other than aggravation ;)
When making queries into technical issues, photos are always very helpful, as will be info about where you live, how you ride and specifics about the bike and components in questions will get you the most relevant answers and best advice.
 

teachdna

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cincinnati OH
Thanks for the welcome- and the tips as I run into any technical issues. After falling once I went ahead and ordered a xnitro helmet, padded gloves and some fiveTen freerider shoes. Everything came today so I've been busy fitting the helmet, trying out the shoes, fiddling with the seat post adjustment so I get the riding position right. The bike is really a blast but, with size 10.5 shoes I think I'm looking at some new pedals. I'm looking at the Crankbrothers Stamp Flat BMX/MTB, or the OneUp composite pedal to get a better platform. There's no way I'm ready for clipless at this point of my skill set and, after taking a spin with the fivetens, I was amazed at how grippy the shoe actually is. I expect with the pins on either of those pedals, I won't miss being bolted in at all. The only other thing I might end up switching out is the seat post and saddle, but I always gave myself 50 miles on a saddle/post before making a switch to give myself time to get used to them. So we will see. Any advice or pointers would be most welcome! I've never actually ridden on a suspension seat post before. I'm in no hurry to do so.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I have the Kinekt body float seatpost on all my hard tail bikes. It is a higher priced suspension seat post but also the most easily adjusted for rider weight and riding circumstances. They are made right here in my home town of Bellingham, WA and are very helpful with any questions or warranty issues. Good people, good company and good product.

 

teachdna

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cincinnati OH
I've heard only good things about them. Definitely on my look list if I decide to g that route. Thanks.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
I’m also in the 70’s and am pretty busted up and unable to ride a typical road bike or mountain bike. I’ found “flat foot” frames, also known as “crank forward” frames with an upright position and feet flat on the ground at a stop still upright on the seat with no pressure on arthritic hands to be my key to continued riding.
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CB Mac USN

New Member
Region
USA
City
Effort
I’m also in the 70’s and am pretty busted up and unable to ride a typical road bike or mountain bike. I’ found “flat foot” frames, also known as “crank forward” frames with an upright position and feet flat on the ground at a stop still upright on the seat with no pressure on arthritic hands to be my key to continued riding.
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I really like what you said. I am sorry to say that I just got into this E-bike thing since I have been having problems with my arthritis. However, with that said I am in my late 70's and retired from the Military with a very limited fixed income (therefore, I went with a very Cheap Walmart $600. Hyper E-Ride 26 MTB) I really did not know any better. I was having a difficult time riding this SO.... I did something like but not sure all that safe you have mentioned. I used a Low Rider Seat Post to move the seat back and added a handlebar post raiser with new pull back handlebars. This seems to have changed my bike to a Dutch Style Upright riding position. I have ridden 250 miles this summer on it (roads in neighborhood and Bike-Walk trails) I have really enjoyed this bike so far and I feel better my Arthritis seems to have approved (my back is not as stiff and less pain after riding). I only wish I would have looked into this forum sooner and read you article - Thanks for all the info. I have attach a pic of my MODS to a Cheap E-Bike - I am sure you will get a smile from it. Thanks again.
 

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astrostu

New Member
Region
USA
I'm the original poster's (teachdna's) older son. I wanted to let you know two things.

First, the bike he got really is great, I was visiting my parents three weeks ago and got to try it out twice (Aug 18-19). I'm coming from having biked mainly for exercise a decade ago, a Giant-brand Rincon bike (very basic thing), and recently got back to it after the bike was sitting in my garage for 9.5 years when I moved to the mountains (I'm not biking on a dirt road with 30% grades). As I said, I tried out my dad's bike and it really was pretty nice, though the enviolo "shifting" mechanism (as well as the eBike part in general) took a bit of getting used to.

Second, my dad was killed on his bike on August 20. The reason I was visiting my parents was it was their 50th wedding anniversary that very day. My dad had taken the bike out to get more used to it that morning and was on the road from which the cul-de-sac was just off (see his above posts about falling once or twice and being out-of-practice). There's no reason for it to be a busy road on a Saturday morning, but a 16-year-old who had had their license for about two weeks (we have been told) allegedly mistook a hand signal: My dad signaled left to come back on the side street, they allegedly thought he was making a more informal signal to "go around me" signal, and in the middle of his left turn, the driver was trying to pass in the left lane and they collided. While we don't have the coroner's report yet (it's not been a priority due to dealing with his loss), I was told by an officer at the scene that he died fairly instantly: he was non-responsive at the scene, basically, and an ambulance that responded basically didn't have anything to do.

I'm posting this here as a gigantic red CAUTION sign: Do not assume that today's drivers know bicyclist hand signals. If someone's behind you and you want to turn left, just pull over and wait for them to pass; it's not worth your life to get to your destination 30 seconds sooner. Be especially careful in areas with no bike lanes and almost no shoulders (where my parents are, though there was a driveway opposite their road he could have pulled into to wait). There are a million "What If?" tiny and giant scenarios that could have changed the outcome, and while it's not healthy for me to think about them, please, please assume that drivers are ignorant morons who won't share the road and won't have any idea what you're trying to do. Especially if they see you going at a speed more comparable to a car than to a walking pedestrian.
 

Dorkyman

Active Member
Region
USA
Wow, wasn't ready for that, so sorry for your loss. I really identified, I'm also 72 and rode extensively as a young man. We bought ourselves two of the Lectric XP step through e-bikes for Christmas presents last year and just love them. I discovered very early on that I did not like at all the pedal assist feature and found it very tricky in turns especially at low speeds. So PAS is disabled on both bikes and we use just the bikes as 7-Speeds with twist throttle assist. After riding the Lectric for a few months it occurred to me that I really needed to relearn how to be careful around cars in our suburb. Cycling now at higher speeds puts one in the mix in a way that can be very dangerous because it leaves less time for a reasoned decision-making. For example if I'm going to cross a busy street I now come to a stop and turn at right angles so I can see the road traffic coming from both directions before I cross.
Again, so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounded like he was a fun and intelligent guy.
 

astrostu

New Member
Region
USA
Wow, wasn't ready for that, so sorry for your loss. I really identified, I'm also 72 and rode extensively as a young man. We bought ourselves two of the Lectric XP step through e-bikes for Christmas presents last year and just love them. I discovered very early on that I did not like at all the pedal assist feature and found it very tricky in turns especially at low speeds. So PAS is disabled on both bikes and we use just the bikes as 7-Speeds with twist throttle assist. After riding the Lectric for a few months it occurred to me that I really needed to relearn how to be careful around cars in our suburb. Cycling now at higher speeds puts one in the mix in a way that can be very dangerous because it leaves less time for a reasoned decision-making. For example if I'm going to cross a busy street I now come to a stop and turn at right angles so I can see the road traffic coming from both directions before I cross.
Again, so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounded like he was a fun and intelligent guy.
Thank you.

And I highly recommend that. I was just at a work meeting in Wallace, ID (tiny town), and saw a team member and his wife offloading two electric bikes from their van, since the area is apparently known for extensive bike trails. I talked to them and they said they made the decision many years ago that they will only bike on bike paths, not car roads at all. It just wasn't worth the risk.

Me, as a driver, if I see a cyclist now and they so much as lean their head slightly, I assume they're going to do something and approach with extreme caution.

I'll also add, this was him, the original poster.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Thank you.

And I highly recommend that. I was just at a work meeting in Wallace, ID (tiny town), and saw a team member and his wife offloading two electric bikes from their van, since the area is apparently known for extensive bike trails. I talked to them and they said they made the decision many years ago that they will only bike on bike paths, not car roads at all. It just wasn't worth the risk.

Me, as a driver, if I see a cyclist now and they so much as lean their head slightly, I assume they're going to do something and approach with extreme caution.

I'll also add, this was him, the original poster.
Like your dad, my birthday is next month, turning 73. Thank you for taking the time to let us know here how this sadly turned out. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you and your family.
All too often, on discussion boards, people vanish and we have no idea why. And we only know them through their postings, not what the rest of their life is or has been. You've extended a rare courtesy to us by allowing us to understand more about the person behind the screen name.
Thank you.
(p.s. now I understand his screen name!)