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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 01-02-09, 05:37 AM   #1
robertr70
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Falling over

I've only been out a few times and not gone very far, maybe to the end of my street and back, and I have one very nagging question--is it normal to feel like I'm going to tip over while I'm riding or is my balance just that bad?
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Old 01-02-09, 06:04 AM   #2
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I'm going to make an assumption and go with that you are going pretty slow. That's perfectly ok, but when riding slowly, the bike can feel a little wobbly. It will get better as you ride more and gain strength and confidence. It will come pretty quickly.

Before you know it the ride to the end of the street and back will turn into a ride around the block, and then around the neighborhood, and so on. Just stick with what you are comfortable with and have fun! The distance isn't all that important. We all started somewhere and I know my first attempt at more than just around the block was a 4 mile loop. I pretty much felt like I had ridden across the US after that, lol.

Keep us updated and enjoy the ride!
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Old 01-02-09, 06:04 AM   #3
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Which way does it feel like your tipping? Forward, Backward, or to the side?

If it feels like you are falling forward you probably aren’t used to the seat height yet. If you had the bike fitted to you at the shop the seat is likely much higher than you originally expected, it keeps your bottom higher and raises your center of gravity. You'll get used to it as your core muscles improve and soon it will feel natural. You could also try sitting a little further back on the seat.

Falling backwards: stop riding wheelies.

Side to side: Add speed. Pedal faster and take advantage of the centrifugal force generated by your wheels. This will help keep the bicycle upright. Same principle as riding a motorcycle, the faster your going (to a point) the easier it is to maintain a line and turn.

Just sounds to me like you need some more saddle time, keep up the good work

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Old 01-02-09, 06:05 AM   #4
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*Lights a cigarette*

So Txvintage, was that simul post as good for you as it was for me?
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Old 01-02-09, 07:49 AM   #5
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I've only been out a few times and not gone very far, maybe to the end of my street and back, and I have one very nagging question--is it normal to feel like I'm going to tip over while I'm riding or is my balance just that bad?
I have some questions for you:

- How fast are you traveling? As Bau and Txvintage have posted, a bike gets more 'stable' as it goes faster.
- Do you have any inner ear problems?
- Do you have any major structural imbalances? I answer "Yes" to the last two questions, and so I frequently experience what I perceive to be unsteadiness when riding. I've been told I ride a straight line, so I must be compensating in some way.
- How much experience do you have on the bike?
- How strong is your core? Core muscles are used in cycling for balance, but cycling does little to develop them.
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Old 01-02-09, 07:54 AM   #6
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*Lights a cigarette*

So Txvintage, was that simul post as good for you as it was for me?
Yea, gotta love those unexpected random moments. Call me.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:04 AM   #7
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Yea, gotta love those unexpected random moments. Call me.
Isn't Bau a little young for you?
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Old 01-02-09, 08:25 AM   #8
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Isn't Bau a little young for you?
Ouch!
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Old 01-02-09, 09:04 AM   #9
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To answer all of the questions, no I don't travel very fast ATM because of said 'inbalance' but I went out again this morning and was feeling more stable.

Yes, I've had inner ear trouble since I was 9-10yo, I ruptured my ear drum and now get numerous inner ear infections and have 20% hearing loss in my left ear but I don't think that is the cause.

I haven't been on a bike in almost 20 years so I guess I'm kinda like Bambi just learning to stand, not very steady.

And lastly, my core is about as squishy as jelly, not very strong but I'm hoping to fix that. So, like bau said, I just need more saddle time and the balance will come with it.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:35 AM   #10
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The cool thing about being a clyde is that you see improvements all the time with your riding. You said you saw a little improvement in your balance between your two ride. A couple more and balance will no longer be an issue.

Next you'll see improvements in your distance. Then you'll see improvements in your weight. After that you'll see improvements in your speed.

Those skinny guys have to work really hard to see an improvement. Us big folk still have to work, but we improve at a much faster rate.

Keep it up and you'll be posting about your latest century! Have fun!
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Old 01-02-09, 09:37 AM   #11
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Hey there:
I would say that the bit with your ears is definitely part of the problem. The inner ear is where the body's balance centers are. So, I would definitely not rule that out, and that is fairly easy to check. If you stand up, close your eyes, and if you loose your balance with just that, the problem is in your ears. In any respect, if this keeps up, get to the Dr's office and have them check things out. I'm not discounting the need for core work (I'm as guilty on that one as anybody), but it sounds like there is more going on.
Good luck
D

p.s. Official disclaimer: The above is not intended as medical advice, I am not a doctor, and I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:45 AM   #12
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Try riding in a big empty parking lot, where you can find the relationship between steering and balance.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:51 AM   #13
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It will get better, even with inner ear problems your body will learn to compensate. Ride as often as you can and keep us posted on your progress. We love success stories!!
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Old 01-02-09, 11:25 AM   #14
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It will get better, even with inner ear problems your body will learn to compensate. Ride as often as you can and keep us posted on your progress. We love success stories!!
Absolutely. I just want to make sure that you are able to start off on the best foot, er, pedal.

Keep us posted on your progress.

D
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Old 01-02-09, 12:16 PM   #15
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I too had problems

HI,
Your bike may not fit you, as well as you think, My first bike was a mountian bike I put some miles on it, It still feels more stable than my road bike, I found some nice trails without cars and worked on my riding skils.
after a few weeks you will feel like you are one with the bike and then it will be dodging cars and unexpected items that can occur in the road.
You will adjust its like riding a bike it will come back to you.
Doug
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Old 01-02-09, 07:50 PM   #16
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When I started riding again, in September after a 30 year layoff, the first few rides I was unsteady. I was thinking to myself that the adage of never forgetting how to ride a bike might be false. After a few rides the balance came back and so did the speed. Just did my longest ride in 30 years on 12/31 of 32.5 miles.
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Old 01-03-09, 05:59 AM   #17
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I went out this morning and my stability/speed were better, still not great but better and...drumroll please...I MADE IT AROUND THE BLOCK!!!! The downside is that my legs now feel like Jell-o.
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Old 01-03-09, 07:54 AM   #18
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I went out this morning and my stability/speed were better, still not great but better and...drumroll please...I MADE IT AROUND THE BLOCK!!!! The downside is that my legs now feel like Jell-o.

Yup, I think we're all pretty familiar with the ol' rubber leg syndrome!! That will get better too. Congrats on getting back out there, now keep it up. You will be amazed by your improvements in a very short amount of time.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:00 AM   #19
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I went out this morning and my stability/speed were better, still not great but better and...drumroll please...I MADE IT AROUND THE BLOCK!!!! The downside is that my legs now feel like Jell-o.
Three cheers for robrtr70! Congratulations!
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Old 01-03-09, 08:56 AM   #20
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cheer, cheer, cheer! Stay with it you will be so proud of yourself!
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Old 01-03-09, 09:06 AM   #21
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OUTSTANDING!

Yea, the dead legs thing is another unavoidable side effect. It gets better, until you start finding yourself pushing new distances. It comes back to visit then, lol.

Great job and keep it up. You are on your way!
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