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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 06-29-08, 11:12 PM   #1
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Clyde Gets Punked then Gets Revenge

I used to be a lot heavier....330 at my heaviest (late December 2007). Now I am 253...lots of gym work outs, cutting back on food and riding. Anyway, I was doing the ride around Lake Tahoe ("America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride") early this month...72 mile loop. I trained pretty well for it...lots of hills and long rides. But I was still around the 260 mark weight wise. It was my first time riding this event but my boss had some friends that do the ride every year for like the last 7 years. It was my boss' first time also.

Anyway, we show up in the morning to meet the crew and I have my cold weather gear on (I'm allergic to cold so even with antihistamines I can't take too many chances). They are all in their sleek stylish kits and look at me like I just got off the short bus. Anyway, while I am talking to one of my co-workers who was also making her maiden voyage, one of my boss' friends motions at us and says to him quietly, "I really want to ride today, we don't have to hang back with these guys do we?" My boss said, "Well, the lady there does ok but you will drop her on the hills, she's not too strong on climbs. But that guy over there (referring to me) is a strong rider. Don't worry about him." The guy replied, "No ******** way, no way someone that big can be a really strong rider." My boss said, "Trust me, I have ridden with him a lot and he can ride!" The guy repeated his skepticism. I didn't hear any of boss told me afterwards.

So we start riding and I am sticking with them no problem. Climbs problem. Shed some clothes at the first drop site and hit the road again this time with the guy who said the stuff. We chat (seems like a good guy) and keep riding together. I kept hearing about some "tough climbs" like "Spooner" but they were a piece of cake compared to what I had been training on.

I ride with a group of the better riders, just staying behind them and cruising. They keep looking back over their shoulder and they seem shocked each time I am right there. A few of them fall behind as we keep riding. After 60 miles it's just me and this guy....cruising along chatting and enjoying the beautiful views. My boss catches up for a brief time but he soon drops back again. Then at around mile 66 there is a slight down hill straight away and I realized that the end of the ride is coming soon. I turn to the guy and said, "hey do you mind if I just blow out some carbon here?" He says, "Go for it!" So I kicked it into the highest gear and just went balls to the walls. I was flying just passing people like they were standing still. Came to a long light and the guy finally caught up with me. We rode from that point in and were the first to finish among the group.

After the ride there was a lunch buffet so we were all hanging out and having a good time. I went to go to the rest room and this guy just looks over at my boss and shakes his head. My boss knows what he is going to say so he jumps in, "I told you he could ride!" The guy said, "you weren't joking, he's amazing." When I returned to the table I gathered up my family who met me at the finish and we were getting ready to leave when this guy says, "Hey Todd, are you going to ride the Marin Century in August?" I told him I had to check because I might be on a camping trip that weekend with some other families. He said, "Man I sure hope you can make it, it was great riding with you today."

He wasn't a bad guy at all. He just jumped to conclusions based on how I looked and how I was dressed. We all do it to some extent at different points in our lives. But it still was sweet changing this guys world view.

The thing I also continue to get surprised by and then delighted by, is how pissed off "serious" riders get when I pass their butts on these organized rides. Some try to tough it out and pass me but they can't hang. It surprises me I guess because I am not there to battle other folks for bragging rights or some kind of make believe competition. I'm riding for, and at times racing against, myself. I usually forget I am a Clyde, until I pass some wafer thin guy on a $5,000 bike and they get tweaked. I will say that riding my bike with 77 less pounds on board makes things MUCH easier. No 'under carriage' to bounce my knees off with every pedal stroke. I highly recommend it!

Anyway....gooooodddd timmmmeeesss!
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Old 06-29-08, 11:22 PM   #2
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Awesome story man!! Keep up the good work.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:05 AM   #3
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Cool love it.
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Old 06-30-08, 01:33 AM   #4
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Old 06-30-08, 06:03 AM   #5
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I bet you are swelling with pride. I always like to hear Clyde success stories.
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Old 06-30-08, 08:04 AM   #6
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That is AWESOME! Its a sweet feeling, isn't it?
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Old 06-30-08, 09:11 AM   #7
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So where's the "revenge" part? Sounds like you went on a nice ride and made a new friend. Absence of chip from shoulder no doubt had a lot to do with it!
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Old 06-30-08, 10:29 AM   #8
"Fred"--is that bad?
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That's a great story. I can't wait until the day I am in the condition to change people's opinion of my riding ability. Right now, if some looks at me and hopes they don't have to hang back waiting on me, they are pretty much right!
Still in the slow lane....
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Old 06-30-08, 11:15 AM   #9
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Hahaha! Love those 'you're big and can't possibly climb' stories!.... About 3 years ago I was doing plenty of climbing while trainig for a 10k climbing century. One guy I worked with was a pretty good mtb'erfrom what I heard. He asked if I wanted to go. Well I'm a roadie not an mtb'er. I had a $200 mtb rigid that I used around town for running errands. He said I hsould go so I did. We tlaked aobut the upcoming ride witha few coworkers tha had ridden with the guy. He's 145 and a good climber they said. ALso has a $2000 mtb. Then the topic of being 145 and me at 220 came up. He said I couldn't possibly carry my weight up a hill like he could.

It was just him and I at the ride. I kept his pace across the campground just trying to keep up. At the start of the climb he said,"you're fast". I had even started yet!.....We climbed a dried waterfall about a mile long. I rode up then had to wait 10 minutes for him to show up. We ended up cutting the ride short, only 15 miles. I literally rode cirles around him. I had to cause I didn't know the way.

Another coworker wanted to bet me $100 I couldn't keep up with him. He on an mtb and me on my roadie on a flat trail All bets were off after the mtb ride!
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Old 06-30-08, 11:31 AM   #10
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Hee Hee...I LOVE this story! Thanks!
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Old 06-30-08, 12:33 PM   #11
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I always surprise people when we ride too. I'm 6'3, 210lbs, so they don't expect me to climb like I can. What they don't realize is, I started with 250lbs of weight, so I conditioned myself carrying 250lbs of body in addition to 25lbs or more of gear.

Now at 210, with a lighter bike...
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Old 06-30-08, 08:53 PM   #12
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Love the story Mr. Beanz....sweet. I do have to say nachomc that it was a huge shock when I got back on the bike after losing a lot of weight. I started really losing weight in earnest starting Feb 1, 2008. I rode once a couple weeks after I started.....then again after I lost 45 pounds. 45 pounds less weight made all the difference. The biggest deal besides the very noticeable ease of not having to haul that extra weight was that my knees no longer banged into my gut on the bike. I can't wait to see what it feels like to ride with another 30 off (105 total).
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Old 06-30-08, 08:56 PM   #13
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Chicken Soup For The Clydesdale's Soul. That's an awesome story. Keep it up!
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Old 06-30-08, 09:06 PM   #14
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Great story. Just because we're large and/or tall and may not have the best gear, doesn't mean we don't have heart.

Truly inspiring story, makes me want to tackle the ugly-monster of a hill outside my apartment now.
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Old 06-30-08, 09:15 PM   #15
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Excellent story! Nothing says that a large guy/gal can't be fit.
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Old 06-30-08, 09:27 PM   #16
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My only question is: "allergic to the cold?" That's a new one for me, but I live in Northern Minnesota where it does not get above 32F for at least six months of the year (I'm not kidding.) I have allergies to something that keeps me sneezing etc. pretty much 12 months a year, but cold air fortunately is not the culprit.
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