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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 12-28-08, 05:56 PM   #1
Kamala
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LIVESTRONG 100 Mile Ride in 6 Months - Help Get Me and My Bike to The Finish Line

I'm a super-clyde at 360 and have been challenged to do the Livestrong 100 mile ride in Seattle this June. And like Marty McFly, no one calls me chicken. I have a completely unmodified Specialized Hardrock (2007) that I have taken to a max 10 miles over relatively flat terrain. So there is an awful lot of work to be done and I'm ready to get started.

My big question in terms of equipment is whether I can stick with this bike and do the 100 miles on it. I recognize that I will need to make some modifications at some point, particularly on tires, but I don't really have room for a second bike and the Hardrock's frame and rims have stood up nicely to my weight (thanks to all the recommendations from this forum). What can I change on the bike to make my long training rides and century more comfortable/easier?

I've seen all sorts of century training grids, but I'd like to know if anyone has some good training tips, suggestions, programs, etc. I know it's all about time in the saddle, but I'm going to need all the good ideas I can get. Thanks!
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Old 12-28-08, 06:13 PM   #2
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Well, realistically, all you really need are some slicks.

There is a book called 100 days to 100 miles. Don't remember the author, but it's published through Buycycle, err Bicycle magazine. I just ordered a copy off of amazon for less than $10 shipped.

The thing to concentrate on is hours in the saddle instead of miles. If you can get to the point that you can ride for long hours at a time your speed doesn't have to be that great.

If you can ride a Metric, you can 100. It is mostly mental after that, and getting past the 80 mile point.
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Old 12-28-08, 06:17 PM   #3
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Slicks. Get some slick tires. That'll help. After that, work on your diet and ride.

It might also be helpful to get a heart rate monitor. I find that if I can keep my HR below 145, I can ride for hours. It's a better way of pacing yourself than using speed as it's a better indication of the amount of effort and energy you are expending.

Also, find out what foods you can eat while on a ride without upsetting your stomach. Experiment with fruits, nuts, breads (grains), energy bars, gels, etc. Take notes as to what works and what doesn't.

You have plenty of time to get into shape for a century, but you'll need to put in some miles on your bike in order to build up your endurance.

Most importantly, have fun!
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Old 12-28-08, 06:23 PM   #4
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Slicks + Brooks Saddle + Bar Ends + Water Bottles + Camelback + Chamois Cream = 100 miles.

If Lance beat cancer and won the TdF 7 times, you can ride 100 miles. Do something heroic.
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Old 12-28-08, 07:39 PM   #5
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I'm a super-clyde at 360 and have been challenged to do the Livestrong 100 mile ride in Seattle this June. And like Marty McFly, no one calls me chicken. I have a completely unmodified Specialized Hardrock (2007) that I have taken to a max 10 miles over relatively flat terrain. So there is an awful lot of work to be done and I'm ready to get started.

My big question in terms of equipment is whether I can stick with this bike and do the 100 miles on it. I recognize that I will need to make some modifications at some point, particularly on tires, but I don't really have room for a second bike and the Hardrock's frame and rims have stood up nicely to my weight (thanks to all the recommendations from this forum). What can I change on the bike to make my long training rides and century more comfortable/easier?

I've seen all sorts of century training grids, but I'd like to know if anyone has some good training tips, suggestions, programs, etc. I know it's all about time in the saddle, but I'm going to need all the good ideas I can get. Thanks!
At the risk of being called "self-promoting" again, here's some reading you might find interesting. I did a century ten months after learning to ride a bike as an adult. You are already quite a bit ahead of me, so your challenge is doable.

Belated Ride Report - A Century Timeline
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Old 12-28-08, 07:41 PM   #6
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Well, realistically, all you really need are some slicks.

There is a book called 100 days to 100 miles. Don't remember the author, but it's published through Buycycle, err Bicycle magazine. I just ordered a copy off of amazon for less than $10 shipped.

The thing to concentrate on is hours in the saddle instead of miles. If you can get to the point that you can ride for long hours at a time your speed doesn't have to be that great.

If you can ride a Metric, you can 100. It is mostly mental after that, and getting past the 80 mile point.
Ah, the book by Marla Streb. It's very good, and very 'different' from most books 'Buycycling' publishes. It's one of the few books on training one can read for the pleasure of reading.
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Old 12-28-08, 08:01 PM   #7
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Hey bro, my hat is off to you. I started out riding after I bought a bike on Columbus day this year. started doing 10 miles relatively flat and kept trying to beat my time. did that every other day and road with the LBS on Saturdays 12 miles hilly route. I started out at 350 pounds and I lost 30 pounds since then mostly cut out booze and soda plus a bit of riding.

I haven't done a 100 mile ride but am preparing for a 100K in April. I had been doing 20 miles rides with some steep but short climbs on Sundays but two weeks ago decided to up that to 35 miles, with some moderate climbs. I was pretty sore after that mostly in my lower back. as was suggested seat time is the best.

a friend of mine started riding a year ago at 400 pounds he put slicks on a specialized globe and rode that for a year worked good. he has lost over a 100 pounds to date and since purchased a road bike

beside the every other day rides, I noticed a huge improvement in my ability by attending a spin class twice a week held at my LBS. It has increased my strength a lot over the last 2 months. Water is a must for us bigger fellows, I drink a lot more then the rest of the mosquito built people I ride with.

Dont forget rest days they are important to growth. I suggest increasing your distance periodically and doing at least one 100 mile ride prior to your challenge date. it will be here before long, your bike can do it it will just take more effort from you. buy a 50 dollar computer and remember as you ride to keep your cadence up to at least 80. 90 is better.

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Old 12-28-08, 08:05 PM   #8
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Historian, no worries on self-promoting. Your post on the MS ride was great. I'm not quite in your boat as I'm few years younger (32) and haven't had significant medical problems as a result of my weight. But I know they are coming, which is why I'm working on it now. I'm glad to see someone near my starting weight (395, now 360) was able to get themself up for a century that quickly. I hope I can dig as deep as you did.

100 Days to 100 Miles is now enroute, thanks to several of you for the recommendation. I'm going to hazard a guess that the intent of the book doesn't mean I should slack for 2.5 months until I only have 100 days to go!
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Old 12-29-08, 02:55 PM   #9
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Next question... pedals/clips have not been brought up as an equipment upgrade. Right now I've just got a big open pedal. Should I be thinking about a change here also?
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Old 12-29-08, 03:27 PM   #10
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It seems that the common rule I hear is to ride often (and rest often), to vary the types of rides (some slow and long, some fast and short) and to increase the distance of your "long" ride each week by 10%

If you ride 10 miles for your long ride now, and increases 10% each week, you will be riding over 100 miles in 26 weeks... and that is just a guideline. You should be able to bump it up a little bit faster.

Just remember that your body will need rest mixed in along with the increased activity.

By the way, I am at about your weight, and plan to ride 100 miles in Philadelphia for the LiveStrong Challenge. I don't know your age, but I am 51, and have in the past few years ridden rides of up to 68 miles (although I weighed a little less for them, and will if I hope to make the complete LiveStrong ride).
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Old 12-29-08, 05:04 PM   #11
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One thing I suggest is to find out the route ahead of time, and check it out. I've noticed that some ride organizers like hills and seek out the hilliest route they can find, and some are just the opposite. You don't want to do a lot of training on flat land and then find out the century is a mess of hills.

When we lived in Colorado, I got started hiking in the mountains, IE, walking uphill. One thing I found was that you get stronger, but you can also lose weight, and that has a similar effect in performance. If you can manage to lose weight AND get stronger, it's a double whammy that will really help your performance.
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Old 12-29-08, 07:39 PM   #12
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Kalama, if you are in the Seattle area you might at sometime want to hook up with this club. They seem to offer a variety of rides for all levels. Sometimes it is nice to ride by yourself so you can be flexible on your schedule, but some group rides push you and can motivate you too.

Welcome to the forum. If you haven't done so already, say high in the pacific northwest regional forum. There are several Seattle area riders, some of which are also clydes. I'm sure they would be willing to help you out and suggest rides and local bike shops. Good luck.

http://www.cascade.org/Home/

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Old 12-30-08, 07:20 AM   #13
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Clipless vs. Platform is a hotly contested subject here. Both sides have many valid points and it all boils down to personal preference. Some swear by them and some dont. Now, you can do it on platforms just as well as you can with clipless, you also don't need to run out and buy a road bike. You don't need expensive slicks either, cheap ones will do just as well. I will however suggest that you buy a set of cycling shoes to get the better support and super stiff soles. Don't try this century wearing tennis shoes. The other advice I can offer you is a set of bar ends. This will give you a different place to grab hold when your wrists and palms start to hurt. Get a nice set of bib shorts and make sure you are used to them before the ride. To me the hardest part of any long ride is sitting on the ole a$s hatchet. It's mental, if you can ride 30 miles you can ride a metric century with proper planning, once you ride your first 100k you can do the imperial. It's all in your head.

So what is the rout like? Hilly, flat, rollers? Is the ride supported, will there be rest stops with food and beverages available? You need to figure out what foods work best for you, personally I work best on cliff bars and Gu when I really need it. A PBJ sandwich is also great ride food. Pack up two or three of them and tuck them in your jersey pockets, eat one every 25 miles. Always eat something at a rest stop whether you are hungry or not. If you haven’t ate the energy products they have out stick with normal foods like fruit and crackers. If you have an iron stomach then go ahead and experiment with the provided energy food but do so in moderation. Have emergency snacks on hand. Try and carry two water bottles, one with straight water and one with 50/50 water Gatorade. Primarily drink the water and take a gulp of the mix as needed or if you run out of water. Always make sure to top off your water before you leave the stop. Don't fill up, stretch, drink, eat, drink again, then leave. Fill up, stretch, drink, eat, drink again, fill up again, then leave the rest stop.

If you feel yourself starting to cramp up stop and stretch. It's not a race and there is no shame in walking up a hill when you have to.
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Old 12-30-08, 07:51 PM   #14
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We're still waiting to hear on the route as this is the first year Livestrong is going to be in Seattle. I can't think of any 100 miles you could ride around town and not deal with at least some significant topography. I'm volunteering for the local organizing committee as well, so maybe I'll get a sneak peak.

Check on the bib shorts, have had those since I got this bike a year or so ago. Made a huge difference. I don't think I'm that old (32), but riding a few miles here and there just didn't seem like a big thing when I was a teenager. I certainly didn't need special shorts to keep my rear from aching. What the heck happened?!
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Old 12-31-08, 06:46 AM   #15
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What the heck happened?!
About 16 years of riding in a cushy car seat?

I don't know to tell you the truth. It's like watching a ten year old fall down, get up, then dust himself off and go about his way. The same fall that would shatter my hips. Evidentally kids bounce.
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Old 12-31-08, 06:54 AM   #16
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Let me second Bautieri's comments about clipless. There's no need to switch to them for this ride, or any ride. I suggest stiff soled shoes, however, to help you transfer more power to the pedals.
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Old 12-31-08, 08:00 PM   #17
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I don't want to sound like a wise guy, but get on your bike tomorrow and ride two hours, next day one, repeat 3x a week. As it gets warm substitute a 50 mile ride on one weekend day. Tell a bunch of people you're doing it prior to the day. Then on the day start pedalling and don't stop until you cross the line! Finish up by telling all the people you told prior how great it felt to finish!

Good Luck!
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Old 01-04-09, 04:43 PM   #18
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100 Miles in 100 Days got here yesterday, good read through Chapter 2. Trying to get some cold weather gear and lights together so I can start riding again this week or next.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:43 PM   #19
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Consider trekking bars to give you more hand position choices. Search for them on this forum, there are lots of threads on these bars (they cost about $20).
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Old 01-09-09, 05:28 PM   #20
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I got lights, I got some sweatpants for the cold, I got the 100-mile book half-read, and I got zero excuses not to get started. Excelsior! It begins! Going out for a paved trail ride with a buddy tomorrow, so we'll see how far I can move the wheels down the road.
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Old 01-09-09, 09:32 PM   #21
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Excelsior!
The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
Excelsior!

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,
Excelsior!

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
Excelsior!

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said:
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
And loud that clarion voice replied,
Excelsior!

"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
Excelsior!

"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,
Excelsior!

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,
Excelsior!

A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
Excelsior!
There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,
Excelsior!
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Old 01-09-09, 09:33 PM   #22
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I got lights, I got some sweatpants for the cold, I got the 100-mile book half-read, and I got zero excuses not to get started. Excelsior! It begins! Going out for a paved trail ride with a buddy tomorrow, so we'll see how far I can move the wheels down the road.
Let us know how it went!
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Old 01-10-09, 11:28 AM   #23
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Kamala-

It sounds like you have the right attitude to make this happen. That is half the battle. I am not a big as you, but not by much. I will be doing the Livestrong ride as well, but only the 70 miles with my wife and her boss who thinks the 70 miles is only a training ride! I have not really ridden in 4 years, but I am motivated to get into shape so I can ride this. I rode once before Christmas for 20 miles. It took almost 2 hours and I can not tell you how exhausted I was. It was really hard. I have ridden several 100Ks before and I was more tired on this 20 miles than I ever was on the other rides. I can not wait to get into shape to do this.

I hope that I see you there.

Ron
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Old 01-10-09, 11:56 PM   #24
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Historian - Thanks for the Longfellow! Definitely inspirational.

Training has commenced for the Kamala100 (that's what I'm calling the ride)! 1 hour total out and back on the Burke-Gilman Trail. Learned that false flats are lame and that however warm I get running or boot camping in 40 degrees and cold rain, it doesn't work for hands on a bike ride. Probably could have gone for a good bit more and at a faster clip if I hadn't had a weight training session in the AM and thrashed on cardio at the gym last night. On the upside, my butt was the only thing that wasn't going to be sore tomorrow and now I've got that covered. Feel real good though and the first one is out of the way.

Another positive is that I feel like my cardiovascular capacity was ok and that the thing holding me back was leg muscle stamina. Maybe that will change when there are some actual hills on the ride.

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and suggestions!
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Old 01-11-09, 11:36 AM   #25
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Hey Kamala....Good for you! (Wasn't Kamala a professional wrestlers name? http://www.thegiantkamala.com/) Just be careful out there. With the past snow and rain there are alot of potholes and rough roads. One thing you might want to work on is spinning vs mashing...you may already be spinning but I don't know. I know once someone explained the difference to me and showed me how to use the gears to maintain consistant cadence, it really increased my endurance.

Keep us posted...and if you want to pass on the book once you get done consider sending it my way.
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