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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-09-07, 10:23 AM   #1
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what is up with "athena"?

ok, first-time poster in this forum, whatever. i s'pose i'm by rights a "clydesdale", b/c i weigh over 200lbs. i never gave it much thought or worry. but, i *was* given pause when i noticed that the clydesdale forum is now the clydesdale/athena forum. why on earth is there gender specific terminology for this stuff? especially given that "clydesdale" does not hold any male-biased connotations. i mean, c'mon: a clydesdale is a hefty breed of horse. last time i checked, there were both male and female clydesdale *horses* out there, pulling carts and promoting beer. why isn't the term "clydesdale" acceptable for larger female riders, but it's ok for males?

to be honest, i've always felt it was odd that bigger riders felt the need to label and identify themselves as a critter apart from the cycling mainstream. it hardly seems like a positive thing to do, and aside from choice of wheelsets, my weight hasn't affected my cycling life very much.... but, as a feminist and a dude with massive interests in gender issues, i feel compelled to ask why we're thinning the herd any further with this talk of "athenas".

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Old 08-09-07, 10:27 AM   #2
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Clyde's and Athena's are racing classes originating in the Triathlon world. It spread from there. It signifies a larger and stronger athlete, basically. The Clyde is the strongest horse on the planet, so that's part of the reason there. The Athena aspect, I'm not sure HOW that came to use though, because Athena was the Goddess of wisdom. I suspect someone thought it was a cool classification name back then.
EDIT:
We do have separate needs from the more common cycling model though, in equipment, as well as training techniques. It doesn't matter to the bike whether you're 250 pounds of muscle or 250 pounds of sedentary couch potato getting back on the bike. The equipment is stressed in a similar manner.

The Clyde Athlete has disadvantages on hills with aerobic capacity on the uphill, but is like a bullet on the DH.
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Old 08-09-07, 10:42 AM   #3
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ok, first-time poster in this forum, whatever. i s'pose i'm by rights a "clydesdale", b/c i weigh over 200lbs. i never gave it much thought or worry. but, i *was* given pause when i noticed that the clydesdale forum is now the clydesdale/athena forum. why on earth is there gender specific terminology for this stuff? especially given that "clydesdale" does not hold any male-biased connotations. i mean, c'mon: a clydesdale is a hefty breed of horse. last time i checked, there were both male and female clydesdale *horses* out there, pulling carts and promoting beer. why isn't the term "clydesdale" acceptable for larger female riders, but it's ok for males?

to be honest, i've always felt it was odd that bigger riders felt the need to label and identify themselves as a critter apart from the cycling mainstream. it hardly seems like a positive thing to do, and aside from choice of wheelsets, my weight hasn't affected my cycling life very much.... but, as a feminist and a dude with massive interests in gender issues, i feel compelled to ask why we're thinning the herd any further with this talk of "athenas".

-rob
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Old 08-09-07, 11:52 AM   #4
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I look at these forums because the advice in other forums does not often apply. a part that is "super strong" to 150 lb guy is not to a 250 lb guy. other people also like to talk about weight loss and such.

as for the naming, it seems like your really stretching to find a problem were one doesn't exist. seriously, there are a lot of f&^* up things going on in the world right now, the name of this forum doesn't rate.

I believe that when the forum was called clydesdales some felt that women didn't realize they were welcome. it was changed to let them know they are welcome. some women do not appreciate being compared to a large horse. most men do not seem to mind. therefore the names that are the least offensive were used. I fail to see how the term athena could be insulting. I'm not crazy about the name clydesdale, but oh well.

I could have that all wrong but that's what I remember happening.

I would think more about why you think this is an important issue.

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Old 08-09-07, 11:57 AM   #5
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Bongo, you remember right.
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I look at these forums because the advice in other forums does not often apply. a part that is "super strong" to 150 lb guy is not to a 250 lb guy. other people also like to talk about weight loss and such.

as for the naming, it seems like your really stretching to find a problem were one doesn't exist. seriously, there are a lot of f&^* up things going on in the world right now, the name of this forum doesn't rate.

I believe that when the forum was called clydesdales some felt that women didn't realize they were welcome. it was changed to let them know they are welcome. some women do not appreciate being compared to a large horse. most men do not seem to mind. therefore the names that are the least offensive were used. I fail to see how the term athena could be insulting. I'm not crazy about the name clydesdale, but oh well.

I could have that all wrong but that's what I remember happening.

I would think more about why you think this is an important issue.

bb
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Old 08-09-07, 12:08 PM   #6
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I too, agree with Bongo. I have been called a horse by bike builders even before the term clyde came into use. My spouse certainly fits the Athena mold. Call her a Clydesdale and she just may bust your kneecap.
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Old 08-09-07, 01:22 PM   #7
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Yep...I'm thinkin' Clydesdale just sounds male.....and in a round-a-bout way may lead to your busted kneecap.....
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Old 08-09-07, 02:30 PM   #8
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*I* suppose this all came about because *I* started a thread asking if Athenas didn't feel welcome because we didn't have their title in the sub forum name. I asked about changing it some time back because I wanted to make sure the the women folk felt welcome here.

As for the terms, as Tom said, it comes from the Triathlon world....we didn't make them up and attempt to subdivide more. It was already that way.....we just wanted to make sure everybody KNEW they were welcome in here and it wasn't just male-oriented (at least that's why *I* originally brought up the idea of changing the name).
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Old 08-09-07, 02:32 PM   #9
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ZOMG triathlon?!?!?

i cannot imagine doing a triathlon at 230 lbs... then again, I guess a 6'8" foot tall triathlete would have to be in the 200lbs category
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Old 08-09-07, 03:08 PM   #10
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ZOMG triathlon?!?!?

i cannot imagine doing a triathlon at 230 lbs... then again, I guess a 6'8" foot tall triathlete would have to be in the 200lbs category
I seem to remember a 6'1" Ironman Competitor a few years back finishing and weighting in at 275 at the start of the race!
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Old 08-09-07, 03:54 PM   #11
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ZOMG triathlon?!?!?

i cannot imagine doing a triathlon at 230 lbs... then again, I guess a 6'8" foot tall triathlete would have to be in the 200lbs category
I couldn't imagine it at 6' 2" 210, but now I've done three, with another scheduled for September. My athena wife (oops, she's no longer in that category - all that training has shrunk her) has done two as well. I'm not the largest competitor in the field by far. Triathletes come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

Jim <--- swim, bike, run...repeat
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Old 08-09-07, 06:29 PM   #12
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There's something so "right", in a greek mythology sense, about a Clydesdale and an Athena romance. It's like Zeus turning into a swan/bull/whatever.
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Old 08-09-07, 07:18 PM   #13
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I'd rather be an Athena than a Clyde.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 08-09-07, 07:19 PM   #14
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I, personally, kinda take issue with the shortened version of Clydesdale: Clyde.

Isn't that slang for an uncool or square person?

I wouldn't want to be called a clyde for that reason alone...

But apart from that, there's really no such thing as fat people and skinny people. We're all just people. Some of us just weigh more... some of us are working to fix it, some aren't... which is one of the reasons I take exception when some people criticize others for being fat when they're working on fixing it! Clearly they aren't going to be fat for much longer, so they aren't a "fat person", because that implies a constant, persistent state. State changes, you're not still a "fat person".
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Old 08-09-07, 08:18 PM   #15
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I, personally, kinda take issue with the shortened version of Clydesdale: Clyde.

Isn't that slang for an uncool or square person?

I wouldn't want to be called a clyde for that reason alone...

But apart from that, there's really no such thing as fat people and skinny people. We're all just people. Some of us just weigh more... some of us are working to fix it, some aren't... which is one of the reasons I take exception when some people criticize others for being fat when they're working on fixing it! Clearly they aren't going to be fat for much longer, so they aren't a "fat person", because that implies a constant, persistent state. State changes, you're not still a "fat person".
Nope, you're thinking of "Fred", not Clyde.

Being a Clyde is pretty cool in my book!
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Old 08-09-07, 08:30 PM   #16
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Allow me to amend my previous statement, having done further research.

Clyde, I have found, is slang for "a normal person", from the point of view of a Beatnik, an un-hip or unstylish person, from the point of view of a 1960's lounge singer on Star Trek: DS9, a clumsy person, according to Urban Dictionary and other sources, and, as short for the slang term of Clydesdale, a handsome man.

So I guess it all depends on who's saying it, eh?
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Old 08-09-07, 08:32 PM   #17
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Well, here it's a badge of Honor!
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Old 08-09-07, 09:01 PM   #18
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See, one source of confusion is that women have different opinions on the matter, too. It's not like there's any set of rules for this sort of thing. We all have our own visions on how we think it should be between the sexes. So a guy can consider himself as considerate towards woman's issues, but the women around him may tell him, "No, that's not how this* group feels."

One interesting thing I've noticed is that there have been several threads on "how to get my girlfriend/wife to bike more" or "what kind of bike should I get my S.O.", but no similar threads from women....
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Old 08-10-07, 08:12 AM   #19
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I am offended by anyone who is offended by this. I am offended by anyone who is offended by anything that I am not offended by. I am offended at myself for not being able to write a coherent post. In fact, many people just call me offensive.

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Old 08-10-07, 08:15 AM   #20
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*raises hand*

what's a Fred?
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Old 08-10-07, 08:24 AM   #21
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*raises hand*

what's a Fred?


Actually, think "The 40 Year Old Virgin". That character was a Fred.
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Old 08-10-07, 08:50 AM   #22
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I am a bit perplexed by the fact that Athenas don't necessarily have the same gear issues at the weight cut-off that we do as Clydes at 200+ pounds. There's no problem using all the lightweight stuff you want if you are 160, but 215-??? puts you in a whole different place in regards to snapped pedal spindles and wobbling wheels.
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Old 08-10-07, 09:03 AM   #23
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I am a bit perplexed by the fact that Athenas don't necessarily have the same gear issues at the weight cut-off that we do as Clydes at 200+ pounds. There's no problem using all the lightweight stuff you want if you are 160, but 215-??? puts you in a whole different place in regards to snapped pedal spindles and wobbling wheels.
In the case of the Athena's, from what I've seen, the 150 point is where the ladies used to have trouble finding cycling clothes that would fit. This isn't the case anymore as the manufacturers actually have realized that people of larger statures are riding. Also, a woman in the Athena class is often FAR stronger than her lighter contemporaries.
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Old 08-10-07, 09:20 AM   #24
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*raises hand*

what's a Fred?
I'm a fred. I wore a dark blue top with black shorts and brown suede "toe-clip-narrow" shoes with white athletic socks this morning--AND sunglasses with a little mirror on it. And I was riding an old steel 10-speed that was red. Or at least, I would* be a fred if I could out-pace a roadie. I wasn't moving too fast today, but I went up some BIG hills.

Part of being a Fred is that even though people discount them when they see them, they become impressed by thier performance.

Hmmm. Kinda like a Clyde!
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Old 08-10-07, 09:32 AM   #25
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My spouse certainly fits the Athena mold. Call her a Clydesdale and she just may bust your kneecap.
And really, what further explanation is needed?
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