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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 11-28-08, 12:37 AM   #1
rdtompki
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Fast enough to ride with a group

I'm taking a shot at posting here even though I'm a mini-Clyde (210 lbs+). Hadn't been on a bicycle for almost 20 years and am trying to get back into it at age 62. Bought new bicycles (Wife and I) about 4 months ago and 997 miles to date. Today I rode 41 miles with about 1800 ft. of climb. Didn't push and averaged 14 mph. Is this fast enough to find a group riding out of a bicycle shop or local club to ride with once a week? I could have perhaps average 15 if I'd pushed it, but I wonder if groups typically going 40-50 miles aren't going somewhat faster.

I've been very pleased with my Giant OCR1 and particularly not having had any flats! I can generally ride 3-4 times on the weekdays for about 15 miles on my lunch hour, all this to be able to do a century in the sping. I think 2000 miles or so will probably give me enough of a base, but I sure wouldn't mind taking the longer rides with a group. My wife and I do ride together, but she doesn't like hills.
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Old 11-28-08, 12:57 AM   #2
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I think you'll just have to check the local groups and see. Right now, I'm riding a Saturday no-drop ride that goes slower than that, but it's likely the exception rather than the rule. But ask around.

The no-flats can vary depending on where you ride, what tires you have, and just plain luck. So you may go 6 months with no flats, then have three in a month.

I rode my first century this summer. Sounds like you should be able to do it. What varies is not so much whether you can or can't, but how long it takes you.
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Old 11-28-08, 05:07 AM   #3
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I think you could keep up - look for a no drop ride! You do not ant ones marked strenuous... fast pace. Go for beginner or moderate.
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Old 11-28-08, 06:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
I'm taking a shot at posting here even though I'm a mini-Clyde (210 lbs+). Hadn't been on a bicycle for almost 20 years and am trying to get back into it at age 62. Bought new bicycles (Wife and I) about 4 months ago and 997 miles to date. Today I rode 41 miles with about 1800 ft. of climb. Didn't push and averaged 14 mph. Is this fast enough to find a group riding out of a bicycle shop or local club to ride with once a week? I could have perhaps average 15 if I'd pushed it, but I wonder if groups typically going 40-50 miles aren't going somewhat faster.

I've been very pleased with my Giant OCR1 and particularly not having had any flats! I can generally ride 3-4 times on the weekdays for about 15 miles on my lunch hour, all this to be able to do a century in the sping. I think 2000 miles or so will probably give me enough of a base, but I sure wouldn't mind taking the longer rides with a group. My wife and I do ride together, but she doesn't like hills.
None of the groups in my area ride that slow. 17-20 is about the norm on about a 30 miler.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:44 AM   #5
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You should definitely check with the group. Here in L.A. we have a great club called the L.A. Wheelmen, which always organizes three rides, short, medium and long. Those three groups usually naturally break down as slow, medium as fast. They rarely drop folks.

Every club has its own goals. You can probably find a group in your area that will fit yours.

One other note: I'm in the same boat. I'm a clydesdale that is trying to go from 255 lbs down to my old riding weight of 180 lbs. So far, 10 down, 65 to go. I'm pretty strong in the flats, but so damn slow on the hills that I've told myself I'd give it a year to start riding big group rides again.
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Old 11-28-08, 09:57 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the advice. I am going to check in with my local LBS, but I live in a small town (<30,000) and I can't imagine the groups are large. BTW, I don't mind being "dropped". When I was a runner the last 5+ miles of a long run were always "every man for himself". I see how long it takes to get my average on this 40+ mile loop to 16 mph which should be respectable. There is also a variant that adds 6 miles and about 1000 ft. of climbing (when you live in a valley although the good traffic-free rides are up and down).
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Old 11-28-08, 10:31 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the advice. I am going to check in with my local LBS, but I live in a small town (<30,000) and I can't imagine the groups are large. BTW, I don't mind being "dropped". When I was a runner the last 5+ miles of a long run were always "every man for himself". I see how long it takes to get my average on this 40+ mile loop to 16 mph which should be respectable. There is also a variant that adds 6 miles and about 1000 ft. of climbing (when you live in a valley although the good traffic-free rides are up and down).
If you can complete the actual route the ride take within a couple of mph of the advertised group ride pace then you will be good. You have to remember that in a pack you are going to be considerably faster than you are solo.

It's kind of amazing how much fun it is to ride in a herd. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-28-08, 10:33 AM   #8
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Most shop or club run group rides around here offer a no drop casual pace ride. As you get stronger moving up is your choice.

The old saying goes, you get faster riding with faster riders. It's not a necessary thing to shoot for though. The important thing is riding, no matter how fast.

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Old 11-28-08, 10:50 AM   #9
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Ask around about any retired riders. I have found some where ever I ride.
You are fast for your experience. There will alway be faster riders in groups.
The faster you ride will increase chance of an accident.
Flats are just pot luck. They will happen at anytime.
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