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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 05-23-08, 03:15 AM   #1
rollerdavem
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River Ride (long one with loads of pics)

It's been a little while, hasn't it folks.

Been hopping between mom in the home, getting control of my own space, ferrying people around, and chasing my own damn tail for spits 'n wiggles.

Got a buttload of abandoned bikes in, had to break em down, clean and sort the parts, cut up the frames for the tubes, it's been a madhouse.

Poor Eagle was very nearly buried in my garage by the maelstrom.

I began work on a prototype of the brackets Eagle will need to connect to the hitch platform on the back of my vehicle, and envisioned a strut that would keep Eagle in position once I swung it up on it's tail...

Had it all planned out, I did.

Aww, you people know me! I just said "eff it!" and went riding anyways.

I came at the platform from the back, lifted Eagle's front wheel up on it, then did some jiggering and got the back wheels up on the platform with the front wheel up on the top of my van's liftgate.




A couple ratcheting tiedowns, Cody's bike was already in the van's 'wayback' and Angie's Fuji Folder went inside the side door, and an old MTB my ex left here went between Eagle and the van.


I spent a few hours going over that old Huffy MTB to get it working for Angie's 'friend' Vinnie to ride.

Off we went to the river park. The one I kept going on about. The one I drive past and look longingly.

That park.



We unload, Angie unfolds her Fuji Folder, we set off.

When I bought Eagle, I was prepared to work hard and I knew I would eventually be spinning the pedals and flying down the road without having to concentrate on every rev, that it would not be such an effort, such torture.

I got my new pedals, and my new shoes, and it was better, but even though I had my head wrapped around the concept, I had a hard time believing it in my heart. It's been so long, I have been trapped, immobile in this ponderous hulk of a body, limited to a wheelchair, mobility scooter, and even though I got a bit better, I still had to stay within a few steps of something to sit on.

Over a few years I watched my world shrink until it was just the four walls and summer days were something for OTHER people, not for me, I only got to watch.

So even tho my head was onboard, my heart was having some trouble believing. Even so, I moved forward, I knew my head was right on this one.

So we rejoin our tale by the river, the sky was so blue, the sun danced on the water, Cody's training wheels clattered, Angie and Vinnie gabbed, and my heart finally got it.



I moved! I flew!

And it wasn't agony, it was just natural!

We paused at an overlook while I did some minor seat adjustments.


I was very very happy.


The kids were bringing up the rear.


I had the river on one side, the bluffs on the other, and the blue sky directly overhead.


Oh, and them kids in my mirror. Gotta keep an eye on a daughter when she's around a hairboy like that.


(Cont'd)
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Old 05-23-08, 03:17 AM   #2
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Still, happy happy!


Then we paused at a park bench among some trees and everybody got a go on Eagle.




Cody's such a goomer deluxe, he managed to hit one of the concrete bases for the light poles between the paths.


He wanted to be sure I got a picture of the mark his tire left. Funny kid.


I just HAD to pause under the bridge to look at the gusset plates.


Then we got back to the wide area next to the parking lot, and the kids circled while I went on


Eventually I turned around on my easy-chair with wheels and looked over the railing


Just as the kids showed up.


Cont'd
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Old 05-23-08, 03:21 AM   #3
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I'm still a rather gigantic person on a bike, and I find it kind of comical in a way, but I don't care what I look like to the skinny stick people, I am me, and that's a damn fine thing to be, and now I'm riding my bike, it will get better to be me each and every day.





All in all, I covered about four miles, I am very sore, but it's that 'good' sore, not a bad one so I am still smiling.

I just spent a few hours refurbing Beck's bike and stowing it in the truck so she can use it on her break, and come meet us by the river when she gets off work tomorrow because that's where I plan to be.

Had to replace cables and housings, adjust the changers, and true up her rear wheel.

I also worked with Cody to redo his bike with handbrakes, a freewheel, and NO TRAINING WHEELS!

I know this is a very long post, but I didn't think you folks would mind, you've asked what's been up, and I think I remember people shouting for pics...

I wouldn't want to let you guys down!

So there it be.

Thoughts?

RD
(end)
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Old 05-23-08, 03:46 AM   #4
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Nice ride path. How long is the total path?

It was nice to read your story broken up into chunks with pictures.

Your daughter needs a helmet.
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Old 05-23-08, 05:01 AM   #5
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the part I rode: two miles from where I looked out over the railing to where I turned around.

The path as a whole pretty much follows the Mighty Mississip.

As for the helmet, well the one you see actually wearing a helmet is the only one I can actually TELL to wear one. You can lead an adult child to water, but you can't toss em in, so to speak.

But I passed it along.

RD
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Old 05-23-08, 05:49 AM   #6
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Nice pics, looks like a good time. Keep it rollin' RD.
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Old 05-23-08, 07:01 AM   #7
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Very nice RD, excellent work and great pictures too.


Tell the hippy to get a hair cut
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Old 05-23-08, 07:26 AM   #8
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Dave, my man, rock on! Glad to see this, very darned glad. Keep enjoying that Eagle, and that spring Minnesota weather!
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Old 05-23-08, 07:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerdavem View Post

I'm still a rather gigantic person on a bike, and I find it kind of comical in a way, but I don't care what I look like to the skinny stick people, I am me, and that's a damn fine thing to be, and now I'm riding my bike, it will get better to be me each and every day.



The "found poetry" of Rollerdave:

I'm still a gigantic person on a bike,
and I find it comical in a way,
but I don't care what I look like to the skinny stick people,
I am me,
and that's a damn fine thing to be,
and now I'm riding my bike,
it will get better to be me
each and every day.

********

The poem above should be an affirmation for every obese person who takes up cycling. Thanks Dave. I'm going to go riding now.....

Neil B.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:03 AM   #10
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Good to see you out and about!
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Old 05-23-08, 08:09 AM   #11
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Hey, RD,
Great to see you're getting out and going again! It must be nice to get the whole crew out with you - I can't seem to get anyone here interested; my daughter went 2 or 3 times and my wife went once. Now the arguments I get are "I'd just slow you down" (true, but so what!) or "You'd want to ride a lot farther than I do" (again, true, but I can always go back out again).
Keep going!
- Bob
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Old 05-23-08, 11:41 AM   #12
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well, I'm up and having coffee, I think I ought to do some stretches or something.

I'm not sure which was more exercise, riding yesterday, or loading/unloading!

I am simply thrilled with the response my post has received.

'Found poetry?' Sir, I am honored

"tell the hippy to get a haircut?" THANK YOU! I told him that when I met him instead of "hello nice to meet you" And he's always got them shades on. Thankfully the hat was just yesterday to keep the shag out of his eyes. My daughter thinks she might like this guy so I gotta be nice to avoid making it even worse.

Heard from Becky, she rode her bike on her break at work today and did two laps of the 3M campus in ten minutes. The gears worked perfectly, and my trueing has tamed that wibble in the rear wheel.

So today, I'll get out on my street and teach The Boy how not to need training wheels, then we'll get back out by the river, and Beck will meet us.

Becky in, Vinnie out; Me, Angie, Cody..... THAT'S my whole crew, and yes, it WILL be nice.

RD
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Old 05-23-08, 11:53 AM   #13
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Awesome update RD, I like many have been wondering about you, Fantastic to see you back on the eagle
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Old 05-23-08, 12:12 PM   #14
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Outstanding report, Dave! Keep it up and you'll eventually do the path and Great River Road route all the way to the Big Easy and back.
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Old 05-23-08, 12:17 PM   #15
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Awesome to see you're finally getting the chance to ride!

Great pics, and I'm glad you're enjoying it.
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Old 05-23-08, 12:37 PM   #16
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It would be easier to tell the adult child to wear a helmet if the adult saying it were wearing one...just sayin'
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Old 05-23-08, 12:50 PM   #17
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See, I just KNEW that was the place to go ride, and I was right, it was gorgeous beyond words.

There was one spot that was downwind of the water treatment plant that I got through as quickly as possible, but on the whole it was without blemish. stretches of sun, then some shade, then more sun, perfect.

It was a return to a feeling I had forgotten years ago, but which returned in full force and I thank God for that.

Very sore, but I gotta get back out there.

I gotta.

RD
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Old 05-23-08, 01:02 PM   #18
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Great job Dave, keep up the good work...and Stormcrowe, hows come yous have three stars next to your name?
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Old 05-23-08, 02:13 PM   #19
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Eagle looks like a very comfy and sturdy steed. It's great to see you enjoying it so much. Keep on riding! -Scott
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Old 05-23-08, 03:33 PM   #20
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Keep it up RD! Go Twins!
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Old 05-23-08, 09:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by rollerdavem View Post

See, I just KNEW that was the place to go ride, and I was right, it was gorgeous beyond words.

There was one spot that was downwind of the water treatment plant that I got through as quickly as possible, but on the whole it was without blemish. stretches of sun, then some shade, then more sun, perfect.

It was a return to a feeling I had forgotten years ago, but which returned in full force and I thank God for that.

Very sore, but I gotta get back out there.

I gotta.

RD
The Found Poetry of Rollerdave, part II:

************
I just KNEW that was the place to go ride,
and I was right, it was gorgeous beyond words.

There was one spot that was downwind of the water treatment plant
that I got through as quickly as possible,
but on the whole it was without blemish.
stretches of sun, then some shade,
then more sun, perfect.

It was a return to a feeling I had forgotten years ago,
but which returned in full force and I thank God for that.

Very sore, but I gotta get back out there.

I gotta.

*********

OK, I'll stop now......
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Old 05-23-08, 11:36 PM   #22
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Great pictures and post. Sounds like a awsome outing. Riding with the family always makes for a good day. I saw lots of smiles in the picture so you must have been doing something right!!! Keep er up.
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Old 05-23-08, 11:38 PM   #23
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Rd - in the first pic it looks like there are two rear derailers on you drive train... I'm I seeing things or are there really two rear derailers on your ride?
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Old 05-23-08, 11:53 PM   #24
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Great job, great pics....
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Old 05-24-08, 08:56 AM   #25
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More found poetry by Rollerdave:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerdavem View Post
Off we went to the river park.
The one I kept going on about.
The one I drive past and look longingly.
That park.

I got my new pedals, and my new shoes, and it was better,
but even though I had my head wrapped around the concept,
I had a hard time believing it in my heart.
It's been so long,
I have been trapped,
immobile in this ponderous hulk of a body,
limited to a wheelchair,
mobility scooter,
and even though I got a bit better,
I still had to stay within a few steps of something to sit on.

Over a few years I watched my world shrink
until it was just the four walls
and summer days were something for OTHER people,
not for me.
I only got to watch.

So even though my head was on-board,
my heart was having some trouble believing.
Even so, I moved forward.
I knew my head was right on this one.

So we rejoin our tale by the river,
the sky was so blue,
the sun danced on the water,
and my heart finally got it.
Rollerdave's line about watching the world shrink reminds me of a comment in J. H. Donner's The King, written after the author's cerebral hemorrhage. "My world has become very small now, but a chessplayer is used to that." I'm glad that Rollerdave, unlike GM Donner, could come back from the small room.
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