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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 10-20-07, 11:09 AM   #1
urban_assault
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Commuting Again as a Clydesdale

I just felt like sharing. This is a bit from my blog. My friends who read it are not cyclists. Hopefully they will begin to understand why my car breaking down was a good thing for me.


Finally I have gotten back on the bike. A month ago my car had problems with the transmission. It still has problems since I have yet to get it fixed. At first I was kind of freaked out about it but then I thought to myself that maybe it's a good thing. It will force me to get back on my bike, start riding again, and get my self back into shape.

I was very hesitant at first about getting back on the road again. My old commute in Atlanta was 8 miles each way. This commute would be 15 miles each way. I wasn't sure if I could do it. The first morning I got up and left for work on my mountain bike with slick tires. The lower gearing would help me on the few hills that I had to ride. I made it to work in an hour and 15 minutes or so. This first ride was fueled by adrenaline and I was surprised at how well I did. My knees were hurting a lot though. That first ride home hurt a lot. After working all day the last thing I really wanted to do was hop on a bike and ride 15 miles. I had no choice so I did it. I was dreading the ride the next morning.

Day 2 was an OK ride. Yes, my knees showed their displeasure again but I made it anyway. My experiences have shown that the muscle soreness takes two days to appear. Day 3, I was pretty sore but I switched to my road bike. The faster tire/wheel setup made up for the higher range in gearing. The rides began to get better and faster.

It's now been 4 weeks since returning to bike commuting. In those 4 weeks I have ridden 582 miles, spent 35 hours on the bike and lost 13 pounds. There have been good days and bad days along the way. Of course, Monday rides are easiest since I've had two off days to recover. Fridays tend to kick my ass after working all week and riding. The exercise also helps me mentally. I have experienced on many days, a feeling of calmness at work that I have not felt in a long time. Those moments really help me focus and make me want to keep riding my bike. When will I get my car fixed? Who knows?

I'm on vacation this week so I'll have a few more days to recover. I will do some riding to keep the ball rolling and to run errands. I owe my dog a lot of play time since she has been a real trooper. She has handled the schedule change with flying colors. She's a good dog and I hate that she has to be by herself for longer periods than before. Hopefully she will get tired of playing fetch before my arm gives out from tossing the ball over and over.

Well, I have to go now. I have a growling Yorkie at my feet with a ball in her mouth.
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Old 10-20-07, 11:57 AM   #2
Stujoe
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Congrats! Your commute is about twice as long as mine. I love the days I can ride in.
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Old 10-20-07, 06:59 PM   #3
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Welcome back to the herd. As a clyde commuting 14 miles each way, every day, in Seattle, I can identify with you.

As far as your knees are concerned, a couple of things. First, have you made sure that your bike is fitted correctly? If you're off a bit, you might be working them too hard and/or pushing them out during part of your stroke. Neither of these are a good thing. If you're sure you're fit correctly, then you might try taking some Glucosamine Sulphate. I use it 3 times a day. Then again, I'm also 48 years old.

If the pain persists, then you should see an Orthopedic doctor, preferably one familiar with bicycle problems. You might need something as simple as a shot of Cortisone, or as drastic as surgery. Either way, persistent pain is your body's way of telling you somethings wrong. Pay attention to it.
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Old 10-20-07, 07:26 PM   #4
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Welcome back to the herd. As a clyde commuting 14 miles each way, every day, in Seattle, I can identify with you.

As far as your knees are concerned, a couple of things. First, have you made sure that your bike is fitted correctly? If you're off a bit, you might be working them too hard and/or pushing them out during part of your stroke. Neither of these are a good thing. If you're sure you're fit correctly, then you might try taking some Glucosamine Sulphate. I use it 3 times a day. Then again, I'm also 48 years old.

If the pain persists, then you should see an Orthopedic doctor, preferably one familiar with bicycle problems. You might need something as simple as a shot of Cortisone, or as drastic as surgery. Either way, persistent pain is your body's way of telling you somethings wrong. Pay attention to it.
Thanks!

I hate to say it but the bike setup is fine. It's just my 39 year old knees. I had some minor injuries back when I was a runner. I switched to cycling as a way to reduce the pounding on my knees. The pain is going away as I put on more mileage. They make more noise as I bend them but it's not painful. I will try the Glucosamine Sulphate and see if it helps me.
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Old 10-20-07, 07:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by urban_assault View Post
I just felt like sharing. This is a bit from my blog. My friends who read it are not cyclists. Hopefully they will begin to understand why my car breaking down was a good thing for me.
...
I was very hesitant at first about getting back on the road again. My old commute in Atlanta was 8 miles each way. This commute would be 15 miles each way. I wasn't sure if I could do it. The first morning I got up and left for work on my mountain bike with slick tires. The lower gearing would help me on the few hills that I had to ride. I made it to work in an hour and 15 minutes or so. This first ride was fueled by adrenaline and I was surprised at how well I did. My knees were hurting a lot though. That first ride home hurt a lot. After working all day the last thing I really wanted to do was hop on a bike and ride 15 miles. I had no choice so I did it. I was dreading the ride the next morning.
...
It's now been 4 weeks since returning to bike commuting. In those 4 weeks I have ridden 582 miles, spent 35 hours on the bike and lost 13 pounds. There have been good days and bad days along the way. Of course, Monday rides are easiest since I've had two off days to recover. Fridays tend to kick my ass after working all week and riding. The exercise also helps me mentally. I have experienced on many days, a feeling of calmness at work that I have not felt in a long time. Those moments really help me focus and make me want to keep riding my bike. .
Thanks for sharing. That's quite the oddysey. Hope you don't overdo it (that's partly how I got my injuries). You want it to be sustainable over the long haul and avoid injury. (Mind you if the car ain't fixed yet, maybe you don't have a choice?)

Thannks for the inspiration for my own commute challenge.
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Old 10-20-07, 07:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rideorglide View Post
Thanks for sharing. That's quite the oddysey. Hope you don't overdo it (that's partly how I got my injuries). You want it to be sustainable over the long haul and avoid injury. (Mind you if the car ain't fixed yet, maybe you don't have a choice?)

Thannks for the inspiration for my own commute challenge.
Yes, overdoing it is something I'm trying to avoid. I thought about that and was able to schedule some vacation time this week to help keep things in check.
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Old 10-20-07, 08:00 PM   #7
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I'm in a similar situation as you, except that my commute is about half of yours..

Best thing ever!

I still recommend fixing your car eventually, but commuting is a great way to live.
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