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  1. #1
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Interesting article - not sure I agree with everything but...

    ...what do you think.

    http://www.dane101.com/regular_featu...lf_fat_cyclist

    BIY, Bike-It-Yourself: Fat Cyclist
    Submitted by Dar on Thu, 2008-04-10 12:40

    Recently, during discussion of the adoption of the Madison Platinum Bicycle Committee’s Report recommendations (full disclosure, I wrote this report), Alder Thuy Pham-Remmele (District 20) asked, amongst other skeptical comments regarding adoption of the report, "How is a 300-pound person going to ride a bike?" Story on the meeting here.

    Thankfully, Thuy Pham-Remmele was the only member of the Council to vote “no” on the adopting the report, and the measure easily passed, clearing the way for many improvements to bicycling in Madison in the coming years.

    To an avid bicyclist, Thuy’s comment about fat people bicycling may seem ridiculous. But this council member was vocalizing something that lots of people think...that many fat and "normal" sized people alike think. The perception is out there that heavy people can’t or don’t bicycle and it's actually refreshing to hear someone say it instead of pretend that it doesn't exist.

    As someone who weighs more than 200 pounds and has gotten my share of discrimination for it (both overt and not-so-overt) and who rides a bike pretty much every single day, I have to say that fat people are not encouraged to ride bicycles. It is worth saying that many bicycles have a weight limit of around 200 pounds, and I'd be willing to bet that finding a non-custom bike out there with a weight limit over 250 would be difficult. I myself own bicycles with weight limits less than my weight.

    There’s a blog out there called Fat Cyclist. I figured it would be right up my alley. I was wrong. The blogger, a male, weighed 184 pounds at the start of his blog and called himself “a train wreck.” The fact that a man who weighs 184 pounds is considered a “fat cyclist” is an indication of how far from reality the bicycling community is on this issue.

    According to the CDC, in 2006 more than 25% of Wisconsin’s residents were obsese (BMI over 30). If you are 5’10” tall, to get a BMI over 30 you have to weigh more than 209 pounds. At 5’5”, a weight of 180 will get you there. Unless the Fat Cyclist is also a Short Cyclist, he probably isn’t obese. But lots of us are. Whether you think that fat people are victims of a disease or whether you think they are just lazy and eat too much, we exist. And there are more and more of us.

    Encouraging people to bicycle means encouraging the average person, which more and more in our country is someone who is clinically obese. Bicycling, unlike running (which can destroy the knees of a heavy person), is actually a relatively safe way for the obese to be more active.

    But I think that there are reasons to bicycle beyond losing weight. Obviously I feel this way because I’ve been bicycling nearly every day for the last 15 years, and I’ve done nothing but gain weight in that time. Bicycling is good for the mind, spirit, and community. To me the health benefits to my body are just a bonus.

    Laughing off the Alder's comments doesn’t change the fact that fat people are not encouraged to bicycle in general. They are berated to exercise often, but all of the images in all of the magazines and the charity ride brochures are of thin people in spandex.

    In order for the Platinum Bicycling Committee Report to be effective in increasing the numbers of people bicycling in Madison, the actions taken by the city will have to include more than just building more bike paths. Bicycling in Madison should be a welcome activity for anyone in the city, regardless of weight, height, gender, age, race, or income level (and as much as possible, also regardless of what is considered traditional able-bodied-ness).

    The first step towards making that possible is recognizing that not everyone in all of those groups currently feels welcomed. We also ought to acknowledge that, for every bone-headed remark made at a city council meeting, there are plenty of people thinking the same thing who know better than to say it out loud. We ignore those comments at our peril.
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  2. #2
    More like eventualfred eventualdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Laughing off the Alder's comments doesn’t change the fact that fat people are not encouraged to bicycle in general. They are berated to exercise often, but all of the images in all of the magazines and the charity ride brochures are of thin people in spandex.
    This is so true and so maddening. I appreciate that ad writers want to use attractive people to sell their products, and that's okay. I guess the only way to fight it is just to encourage more people to ride. Fat people, skinny people, purple people, everybody. When you see somebody like you doing something it becomes easier to entertain the idea yourself.
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." --H.G. Wells

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  3. #3
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    ...what do you think.

    http://www.dane101.com/regular_featu...lf_fat_cyclist

    BIY, Bike-It-Yourself: Fat Cyclist
    Submitted by Dar on Thu, 2008-04-10 12:40
    ....
    There’s a blog out there called Fat Cyclist. I figured it would be right up my alley. I was wrong. The blogger, a male, weighed 184 pounds at the start of his blog and called himself “a train wreck.” The fact that a man who weighs 184 pounds is considered a “fat cyclist” is an indication of how far from reality the bicycling community is on this issue.
    WHOA! The Fat Cyclist blog and forums are a joke about the public perception of cyclists. I'm not surprised the person you quote misunderstood their intent; he seems pretty humor-impaired.

  4. #4
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    i just wish people would make more-affordable exercise and cycling clothing for The Fat. how in the hell are we supposed to exercise ourselves into oblivion if we aren't properly outfitted? honestly i don't think the complainers actually want fat people to lose weight. if we all lost weight i think they'd be disappointed.

    really though, i just want some affordable thermal tights because i am freezing my ass off. (not literally. or i wouldnt need plus-size tights.) everything i wear is for, like, big-game hunters or something, so it's too long and fits funny, and the pants are always hitting the chainwheels
    Go until you stop, then take a break.

  5. #5
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Unless the Fat Cyclist is also a Short Cyclist, he probably isn’t obese
    Perhaps he is short. Perhaps his definition of "fat" doesn't equal your definition of "obese". Depending on the person's height and build and muscle development he could, indeed, be "fat". I think a person who "ought" to be at about 134 lbs (not extreme for someone 5' 5" or 5' 6"...or even 5' 7") would be considered "fat" if he were 50 pounds heavier than that.

  6. #6
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    First of all, heavy != out of shape. Would you like to tell an NFL lineman that he's out of shape? I'd be willing to bet, though, that every single one of them has a BMI greater than 30.

    For myself, while I agree that I could stand to loose a few pounds, I also exercise more and more regularly than anyone else I know. In an average week, I get in about 16-18 hours of exercise and burn, according to my HRM, between 8,000 and 10,000 calories. I'm not the fastest rider or the strongest in the gym, but I'm regular on both, which is much more than most of the rest of the population can say.

    That being said, I too would like to see some larger sizes in cyclewear. Actually, I'm pretty Fred most of the time, but I would like some more options for my winter stuff.

  7. #7
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    I hate the look on some people's faces when I tell them "I ride a Bike". I don't know how to explain the look but I can tell you I don't like it. And I am not as over-weight as a few guys here (I don't mean to offend) But I'd hate to have to see the look on the salesmen faces' when you told them you wanted a bike.

    They might as well spit on your face, since they look at you as if you were nothing. Hell I have a hard enough time looking in the mirror without their crap being shoved . Do they think that them looking at you like that will help you want to get into better shape? I sometimes don't want to lose the weight since I don't want to turn into one of them. They look down on any flaw you have, like they are perfect in some way. . .

    It seems I just vented =/, well anyways. . . Those of us that are over-weight and want to lose weight to get healthy, should be encouraged to take up any activity that can make us more healthy, Then discourage us from losing weight. We need to teach other people like us that getting healthy can be fun and can raise our self esteem and outlook on life, to levels we didn't know it could get to without cake being involved(I had to do it). I think most people don't know how easy it is to lose weight, you don't need to jump in and expect to lose all of you extra fat in one month. It's something that you need to work yourself into, all good things take time learn to enjoy the journey. should you might not like it at first but once you start feeling you cloths hang off you, you are so happy about having to buy new cloths, the only time in a long time that you have been happy about needing a different size anything.

    If we don't change something soon, we are going to end up with a bigger problem then the one we started with. We need to make so many changes, that a lot of people have just given up. They are doing exactly what they think all of us are doing, being lazy and to set in their ways to change.
    Hell if people can lose 100 pounds, doesn't it show us that we all can make changes if we want them.

    And that ends my rant,
    Anton.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by somebadlemonade View Post
    I hate the look on some people's faces when I tell them "I ride a Bike". I don't know how to explain the look but I can tell you I don't like it. And I am not as over-weight as a few guys here (I don't mean to offend) But I'd hate to have to see the look on the salesmen faces' when you told them you wanted a bike.
    I don't understand where these horror stories come from. Either I carry my bulk extremely well and people don't think I'm overweight, or I've been lucky to deal with open minded bike shops, but I've never experienced any unpleasant treatment from staff over my weight.

  9. #9
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    Well neither have I, I was just using that as an example. Though it hasn't happened to be but I heard people tell my "I'll never go back to that (insert name here) again."
    I used it for dramatic effect. . .

    I have gotten a shocked look from a few people when i told them I ride a bike, either it's the look or asking me "what type of motorcycle do your ride?" Then I have to go into how it's the kind you pedal, not the other kind.

  10. #10
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wild animals View Post
    i just wish people would make more-affordable exercise and cycling clothing for The Fat. how in the hell are we supposed to exercise ourselves into oblivion if we aren't properly outfitted?

    really though, i just want some affordable thermal tights because i am freezing my ass off. (not literally. or i wouldnt need plus-size tights.) everything i wear is for, like, big-game hunters or something, so it's too long and fits funny, and the pants are always hitting the chainwheels
    Have you looked at Underarmor style of pants? I am sure it depends upon the size, but you can also find those same style, but not anywhere close to the same quality at Wal-Mart/Target/K-mart/etc.... I bought some of the XXL a year ago at Wal-Mart & Target, but those don't fit tight any more, so I got some XL and L for Christmas. The UnderArmor brand is a lot better quality compared to my Target brand and the Wal-Mart stuff didn't last very long.

    There is also Aerotech that has things for bigger people. I personally don't like there stuff, but many people here like it.
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  11. #11
    Needing more power Scotty riddei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I don't understand where these horror stories come from. Either I carry my bulk extremely well and people don't think I'm overweight, or I've been lucky to deal with open minded bike shops, but I've never experienced any unpleasant treatment from staff over my weight.
    Same here. Perhaps it's because I'm a utilitarian biker. I wear normal street clothes to bike in (as an outer layer). Maybe it would be different if I walked into a LBS with neon spandex on? I don't know.

    I'm sure if I walked up to a $5000, 15lb, carbon-fiber race bike and asked to take it for a test ride, the sales team would chase me out or the store with a stick .

    I also guess that I purvey stores that are open minded and pleasant. If not, I wouldn't be in the store long enough to be treated rudely.

    Having said that, my wife is what would classically be defined as an athlete. She went to a big 10 University on a full swimming scholarship. When I accompany her to Peak Performance, I basically stay in the background as she talks to the sales staff regarding triathlon wetsuits and such...
    Last edited by riddei; 04-11-08 at 09:45 AM.
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  12. #12
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somebadlemonade View Post
    I hate the look on some people's faces when I tell them "I ride a Bike". I don't know how to explain the look but I can tell you I don't like it. And I am not as over-weight as a few guys here (I don't mean to offend) But I'd hate to have to see the look on the salesmen faces' when you told them you wanted a bike.
    It's not just the weight either (where the perception is that only 130 lb guys in latex and delivery guys ride bikes) - there's a social sigma to it.

    "Did you lose your license?"
    "Do you not drive?"
    "Why would you ride all the way to ___ when you could drive?"

    I do hold my weight really well - have a few friends who can't believe how much I weigh especially because I"m strong as an ox. But if I gave in to social pressure I absolutely would not be riding.

  13. #13
    More like eventualfred eventualdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    It's not just the weight either (where the perception is that only 130 lb guys in latex and delivery guys ride bikes) - there's a social sigma to it.

    "Did you lose your license?"
    "Do you not drive?"
    "Why would you ride all the way to ___ when you could drive?"
    I assume if you dress up like a lycra butterfly it lessens the "Oh look there's an alcoholic who lost his license" reaction, but then we're back to the fat guy in spandex problem.
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." --H.G. Wells

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  14. #14
    Air
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    Ha - true that!

    I don't really have any spandex - I figure that's my community service for the week

  15. #15
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Eh. I think the simple truth of it is that people tend to disparage those who are different than them, and try to get people to look down on them. Are you fat? You're a self-indulgent slob. Are you fit? You're a "health nut", mentally unbalanced. Are you religious? You're a fanatic. Not religious? You're a godless heathen. Work lots of hours? You're an obsessive rat-racer. Leave at 5 every day? You're a slacker. You'll never get the world to stand up and cheer, no matter how hard you try, so instead of trying to create some movement or initiative or whatever, as the author of the article seems to be trying to do, just live your life according to values that make sense to you, and don't fuss when you're not greeted with roars of approval.

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