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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 01-12-09, 11:01 PM   #1
rdtompki
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First Group Ride

Tried a group ride with a local club yesterday, my prior group rides being of the family variety some 20+ years ago. This was a no-drop 34 mile ride over rolling terrain (one short hill with 15% grade) at a 12-14 mph pace. Started at 10 am so by the time the ride ended it was at least 70 degrees. This was a gorgeous ride in/around some (dry) reservoirs in the Morgan Hill, CA area. Two lane country-ish roads with not too much traffic and no trucks!

Would definitely do one of this rides every 2-3 weeks just to meet people in this cycling club I've joined, but these rides definitely take more time than a solo ride especially with driving to the starting location and waiting for folks who aren't ready at the start time. On the other hand I was introduced to some very nice back roads.

Range of equipment from mountain bikes to Kleins in the hands of what I assume were really good cyclists which reminds me of the only thing about running that i liked better than cycling. All the years I ran we never talked about running equipment making us faster. New shoes to cushion our tootsies, better materials to keep use dry, but never a new pair of shoes to beat out the next guy. Driving a flashy car in traffic is an impersonal means of showing off, but unless someone is racing for dollars do you really need to impress someone in what is at least somewhat a social atmosphere? I say put some meat on your bones and that 3-4 lbs that cost $2000 won't seem like such a good deal. On the other hand I bought a Garmin 705 'cause even at my advanced age I've still got a bit of geek in me. Afterall, how else would I find out that my HR hit 156 on that steep hill - was definitely too busy pedaling to look at my cyclometer.
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Old 01-13-09, 06:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
Tried a group ride with a local club yesterday, my prior group rides being of the family variety some 20+ years ago. This was a no-drop 34 mile ride over rolling terrain (one short hill with 15% grade) at a 12-14 mph pace. Started at 10 am so by the time the ride ended it was at least 70 degrees. This was a gorgeous ride in/around some (dry) reservoirs in the Morgan Hill, CA area. Two lane country-ish roads with not too much traffic and no trucks!

Would definitely do one of this rides every 2-3 weeks just to meet people in this cycling club I've joined, but these rides definitely take more time than a solo ride especially with driving to the starting location and waiting for folks who aren't ready at the start time. On the other hand I was introduced to some very nice back roads.

Range of equipment from mountain bikes to Kleins in the hands of what I assume were really good cyclists which reminds me of the only thing about running that i liked better than cycling. All the years I ran we never talked about running equipment making us faster. New shoes to cushion our tootsies, better materials to keep use dry, but never a new pair of shoes to beat out the next guy. Driving a flashy car in traffic is an impersonal means of showing off, but unless someone is racing for dollars do you really need to impress someone in what is at least somewhat a social atmosphere? I say put some meat on your bones and that 3-4 lbs that cost $2000 won't seem like such a good deal. On the other hand I bought a Garmin 705 'cause even at my advanced age I've still got a bit of geek in me. Afterall, how else would I find out that my HR hit 156 on that steep hill - was definitely too busy pedaling to look at my cyclometer.
Congrats. Sounds like you enjoyed yourself?

Also, did somebody actually say, "Hey, I got this new bling-bling bike to make me faster"? The best cyclists in the world know it's all about the engine. But, like in running (new, more comfortable shoes or better shirts), new/fancier equipment does make us more comfortable and more efficient.
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Old 01-13-09, 06:23 AM   #3
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OOH sound slike fun - and 156 on the steep hill sounds like you are in awesome shape...me I would be at 180 and panting a ton!

I love all the fancy equipment...Love looking at people abd their bikes..SOmetimes it is ridiculous - but stilll fun - like one person I noticed on a ride has a light blue and white outfit - shoe covers, pants, shirt, helmut, gloves and bike!

Also - one of our best riders runs around on his single speed (or fixed - all I know is it has a chain and no gears) and I love watching him...as he rides ahead - rides in front and comes around. The groups have all kinds...and I think it keeps my cycling alive and you never know who will show up or what will happen.

Have fun!! Sue
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Old 01-13-09, 06:29 AM   #4
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I find group rides quite motivational. Plus, you meet great friends who share your enthusiasm for cycling. Just find the right group.. Don't get with a race group , if you are a recreational rider... and vice versa..
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Old 01-13-09, 08:06 AM   #5
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Notwithstanding my observation about "bling" I've got to say that carbon fiber is cool. Buying my first bike in 20 years and not knowing how long it would stick I wasn't going to buy a more expensive bike than my wife. I'm definitely a recreational rider and haven't done anything seriously aerobic for a long time (does riding a horse qualify?). I haven't tried to find my max. HR yet, but I expect that 156 is getting up there for someone in their 60's, but in the five months I've been cycling I've noticed a big difference in my HR on the same hill.

I agree with the group dynamics being very enjoyable. It will take me a while to figure out group etiquette. I don't like to pass folks, but on hills you really have to go at your own pace according to your gearing and fitness.

'Gonna try again with a 40 miles in 3 weeks. I'll see if I can coax my wife to come along.
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Old 01-13-09, 08:31 AM   #6
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Group dynamics. Yeah, sometimes it's just too funny. Our club is pretty low key, but we have so many hits on the website because of the huge map library that occasionally we'll get a drop-in or two. Like the time a rider showed up, all decked out in a very fetching moss green and gold ensemble - matching the brand new Orbea 16lb wonder-whirlie. A ripple of giggles began to discreetly spread through the group as we all shook hands because his nails were freshly polished.

We saw him again, with another club some weeks later, all wavy and smily. They all pretty much made us look like bums on bikes, but then, there's a niche for every body.
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