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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 04-12-08, 08:23 PM   #1
Neil_B
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'Little' Darwin and The Historian

I had the pleasure of riding with the Clyde forum's Little Darwin this morning and afternoon on the Schuylkill River Trail. We rode from Audubon to Conshohocken and back, a distance of a bit more than 20 miles, followed by another two or so miles off the trail to the Perkiomen Cafe for lunch. The threatened rain held off, despite an at times forbidding sky, and the temperature reached 70 degrees.

I feel a bit guilty this evening for dragging Darwin down from his home to ride today. I'm so used to pushing myself hard I didn't realize that I was leading a demanding ride for my guest. We had scheduled 50 miles, from Audubon to Philadelphia and back, but this only Darwin's second ride in six months. Add in the fact that he's 80 pounds heavier than me, and we both saw it as a good decision to turn around early.

Darwin has a good sense of humor, and he seemed to spark me to wit as well. Since the return leg from Conshohocken to Audubon is on a slight upgrade, and today into a headwind, I pulled and Darwin drafted. This led to a lot of good natured kidding about pacelines. "We are a new entry in the Guinness Book of World Records - World's Widest Paceline" I said.

My new friend has big goals for 2008, including riding his first century. With determination and saddle time, I'm sure he'll get there.

Speaking of goals, to turn this ride into training for me, I rode from my home to the trailhead, 14 miles one way. Aside from someone in a red SUV screaming at me "Get on the sidewalk", it was an uneventful ride in.

Going home after seeing Little Darwin off was another matter. I rode strongly along the new extension to the SRT, and reached Phoenixville with energy to spare. However, the big lunch I ate at the Perkiomen Cafe - turkey hoagie with lots of onions, french fries, Diet Coke - soon enough made me queasy, and all the miles began to tell on me. I did poorly on the local hills on my way home, and the energy tank hit empty as I reached my driveway. Seven more miles and a fraction would have made the ride a metric century. Had it been two or three miles, I would have gotten back on the bike and secured the metric mark. But I thought about seven more miles as I sat in my easy chair, and didn't move.

54.48 miles total.
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Old 04-13-08, 07:03 PM   #2
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It was nice to meet Neil and go for a ride.

It should have been an easy ride, but the distance covered was roughly the same distance as all of my rides combined since October 2006.

My road rash from Thursday didn't bother me at all, but I did have a little tenderness as soon as I sat on the saddle. It went away as the first couple of miles went by, along with the good conversation. It came back with a vengeance later.

Then about half way to the turn around, I did decide that it would probably be a wise idea to turn around, and as it turned out it was. I actually felt OK at that point, but I realized that I have a history of going too far on out & back rides... Far enough to

As Neil said, there were a few times that I drafter him, which was a big help, but I suspect it was mostly psychological at the speed he had to drop down to in order to give me that help.

By the end of the ride, I was actually in my lowest gear (34-28) in order to simply keep going with a mild headwind and an incline so small that anyone other than me wouldn't have even noticed it. I also had to stop far too often to relieve saddle pain as well, and Neil was vry gracious to accomodate my interrupting the pace.

Lunch was tasty, and I discovered that I should have drank more water during the ride when I sucked down 3 Cokes with my lunch...

Today, I had to go to the store to get some Neosporin, and I hope to be back in the saddle pretty quickly... and a little tougher after the conditioning yesterday.

At one point we did joke about the paceline... It was interesing that we weighed more than a typical 4 man break away...

An occasional laugh, along with the chatting made what would have been an impossible ride possible...

We did ask someone at the parking lot, so I do have a picture to post... probably tomorrow.

Neil may be beardless by now, so this will be a historical picture of The Historian with a beard.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:57 PM   #3
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Sounds like yall had a good time. Good company always makes the ride a little easier. Nice lunch dont hurt either. Great ride guys!
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Old 04-14-08, 12:00 AM   #4
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It was nice to meet Neil and go for a ride.

It should have been an easy ride, but the distance covered was roughly the same distance as all of my rides combined since October 2006.

My road rash from Thursday didn't bother me at all, but I did have a little tenderness as soon as I sat on the saddle. It went away as the first couple of miles went by, along with the good conversation. It came back with a vengeance later.

Then about half way to the turn around, I did decide that it would probably be a wise idea to turn around, and as it turned out it was. I actually felt OK at that point, but I realized that I have a history of going too far on out & back rides... Far enough to

As Neil said, there were a few times that I drafted him, which was a big help, but I suspect it was mostly psychological at the speed he had to drop down to in order to give me that help.

By the end of the ride, I was actually in my lowest gear (34-28) in order to simply keep going with a mild headwind and an incline so small that anyone other than me wouldn't have even noticed it. I also had to stop far too often to relieve saddle pain as well, and Neil was very gracious to accommodate my interrupting the pace.

Lunch was tasty, and I discovered that I should have drank more water during the ride when I sucked down 3 Cokes with my lunch...

Today, I had to go to the store to get some Neosporin, and I hope to be back in the saddle pretty quickly... and a little tougher after the conditioning yesterday.

At one point we did joke about the paceline... It was interesting that we weighed more than a typical 4 man break away...

An occasional laugh, along with the chatting made what would have been an impossible ride possible...

We did ask someone at the parking lot, so I do have a picture to post... probably tomorrow.

Neil may be beardless by now, so this will be a historical picture of The Historian with a beard.
I look forward to seeing the photo, Darwin, and to riding with you again. You exaggerate the amount I needed to slow down, my friend. Yes, I was riding slower than I normally do on the trail, but I was pulling into a stronger than normal headwind and carrying panniers. Also, I had an additional 15 miles to ride to get home, and that would involve real climbs. Climbs I wasn't entirely successful in completing, incidentally. It's early in the season for me too.
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Old 04-14-08, 03:55 AM   #5
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Guys,

I google-earthed those towns, looked at the stuff in between, and though I can't be 100% sure where the path goes, it all looks really nice.

70 degrees.... Oh, I can practically feel that breeze, hear the freewheel clicking, the rubber on the road...

It sounds like a perfectly lovely ride, I would be envious except I know my day is coming.

RD
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Old 04-14-08, 05:03 AM   #6
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Guys,

I google-earthed those towns, looked at the stuff in between, and though I can't be 100% sure where the path goes, it all looks really nice.

70 degrees.... Oh, I can practically feel that breeze, hear the freewheel clicking, the rubber on the road...

It sounds like a perfectly lovely ride, I would be envious except I know my day is coming.

RD
Even if your day is coming, Rollerdave, you can still be envious.

When you are well enough to travel with Eagle, come out to the Philadelphia suburbs and ride the trail into Philadelphia and back. 50 miles round trip. You can pose with Eagle at the famous steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You can be Rocky! However, I doubt you'd be able to lift Eagle the way Neil Fein lifted his bike:

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Old 04-14-08, 07:02 AM   #7
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Sounds like an awesome ride. Don't feel bad Darwin, I too noticed that incline last time Neil and I rode together.
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Old 04-14-08, 08:40 AM   #8
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Ah, it's always nice to see BF members getting to do rides together! Thanks for the report, TH!

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Old 04-15-08, 04:43 AM   #9
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And now the moment you have all been waiting for...

The picture.

In spite of the look on my face, I did actually enjoy the ride... although I was really ready to call it a day at the end.
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Old 04-15-08, 05:46 AM   #10
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And now the moment you have all been waiting for...

The picture.

In spite of the look on my face, I did actually enjoy the ride... although I was really ready to call it a day at the end.
Wow. I almost have good posture in that photo. And my shoulders are level! YES! YES! YES!

Sorry, little things are important to me.
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Old 04-15-08, 07:59 AM   #11
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Wow. I almost have good posture in that photo. And my shoulders are level! YES! YES! YES!

Sorry, little things are important to me.
Finding joy in the little things is a gift I sometimes forget to exercise.

With the tree in the background there can never be a mistake about what time of year the ride was either.
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Old 04-15-08, 07:59 AM   #12
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Wow. I almost have good posture in that photo. And my shoulders are level! YES! YES! YES!

Sorry, little things are important to me.
AND you have a totally awesome bell - where'd you get that!?!
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Old 04-15-08, 08:06 AM   #13
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AND you have a totally awesome bell - where'd you get that!?!
At times, from hell, it seem. The darn thing rings whenever I go over a bump.
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Old 04-15-08, 07:45 PM   #14
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I have to say, you both look as if you had a good day--but LD, that's a nasty bit of road rash!

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Old 04-16-08, 04:54 AM   #15
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I have to say, you both look as if you had a good day--but LD, that's a nasty bit of road rash!

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I did have a good day, but I tortured Darwin, I fear.
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