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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 02-09-09, 10:19 AM   #1
Neil_B
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Too Much, Too Soon

I blame TechKnowGN. He's the one who said I have lots of reasons to not ride, and I do it anyway. But Mr. Beanz is at fault too, for calling me hardcore.

Well, I did 11 miles Saturday with minimal fatigue, so I thought 24 to my gym and back would be OK. I knew the route and the climbing wasn't any worse than I'd done many times before. Then the phone rang. My hiking buddy Dan wanted me to meet him for a late lunch in nearby Royersford. I said yes, realizing that I'd added six miles to my trip and doubled the climbing.

I headed off a few minutes before 2:00 PM. I had little difficulty with the ten per cent grade a mile into the trip, and not much more with the next couple of hills. The strong wind gusts were annoying, but I tridged on. Soon enough I was with Dan at the French Quarter Bistro, where I had lunch and a soda.

I headed off through Spring City and onto Wall Street, no doubt named because of the big hill on it. Then through Phoenixville and Monte Clare, onto the Schuylkill River Trail for a couple of miles, and then to my gym. I felt reasonably strong, not as fresh as on Saturday's ride, but OK. My butt was bothering me, however. I'd never broken in to the new saddle before winter, and I was finding it uncomfortable. So it was a relief to reach my gym at quarter to five.

After lifting, I left my gym at quarter to six. Headlights blazing, I headed back the way I came. I was a little tired and a little hungry, but I reasoned I'd be home soon enough. So I kept the gearing low and pedaled in the dark. I was in a good mood, humming bits from The Marriage of Figaro as I strained to see the path. My butt was getting very sore, however, as I rode on the increasing cold and deepening evening.

Once I got out of downtown Phoenixville, I felt a wave of fatigue wash across me. I dismounted and walked a couple of blocks. I realized I hadn't eaten since lunch several hours before, and I was showing signs of bonking. I pulled into the first eatery I found and consumed a turkey sub and a Powerade. In retrospect, I should have had two or three drinks.

By now it was 7:30, and I had six miles of rollers to go. I started out strong, but within a few minutes I needed to dismount and walk. And I walked and rode the final six miles in a bit more than an hour, getting home at 8:45.

A couple of hours later, I had the most intense series of leg cramps I'd ever experienced. As usual when I've not properly hydrated, they were in my inner thighs. I drank three glasses of water, writhed in pain on the floor a few minutes, and it passed.

Then a half hour later the second wave hit. This time it was in the back and outer side of the legs. Again I drank more water, I suffered, and it passed.

And after another half hour, I had a set of cramps in my thighs. Again water and time made them go away.

So my little ride Sunday showed me that I still don't hydrate and fuel properly, and that 30 miles plus lifting is too much too soon for someone who has been sedentary all winter. Curse you, TKGN!
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Old 02-09-09, 11:03 AM   #2
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A postscript: no riding today. I know standard thinking is that I need a recovery ride, but my butt is too sore to attempt it.

Tomorrow it looks warm enough to commute, so I might do that. It's 34 miles round trip, but I have a nine hour rest period between 17 mile rides. Lots of time to eat and drink.
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Old 02-09-09, 11:05 AM   #3
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http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/248950

The route of Sunday's ride, with 1300 feet of climbing. Three times the climbing I did Saturday.
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Old 02-09-09, 11:33 AM   #4
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Umm, that is hardcore. I rode yesterday, and gave up when my butt and legs started getting sore at 5 miles. Just waiting for the weather to get better, and I'm going to start getting out more.
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Old 02-09-09, 11:42 AM   #5
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What are you eating? Are you getting enought calcium and potassium in your diet. Water is a great thing, but it takes a while to fully hydrate, so you need to be doing that before the ride and during the ride and then as always after a ride.
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Old 02-09-09, 11:51 AM   #6
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Ouch. Hope you had electrolytes with all those glasses of water; I find that when the cramps hit I need more than just the hydration, I also need some salt with it. There are options like pills if you don't want all the sugar along with it like a sports drink will give you, but drinking all that water in the evening, especially after losing a good bit of salt due to sweating over the course of the day, can leave you hyponatremic.
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Old 02-09-09, 11:58 AM   #7
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DUDE, THAT IS SO HARDCORE IT ISN'T EVEN FUNNY!

Do you know that what you rode is over twice what Ive ever done in a day?

Do you know how jealous I am that not only could you even get all the way to the gym, but that you rode out of your way for lunch with a buddy, and your first thought was "Cool I CAN DO THAT", not "Hmmm maybe I shouldnt" You reasoned a way to do it, not reasoning your way out of it.

And the best part:

Instead of calling a friend to come help you home (which you certainly could have), you got yourself home, by yourself. Walking when you couldnt ride you still got yourself home.

That's hardcore dude and you should be commended.

Caveat: Pack some d@mn water for the way home, dude. Seriously, you gotta be all over the fluids. Especially if you're biking to the gym.
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Old 02-09-09, 02:10 PM   #8
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Good job. I did 11 moderate miles today in 1:10 and was ready to pass out!
I'm still a newbie (one month) and unfortunately still a uber-clyde (318lbs). I sweat like crazy, so like crast said, I highly recommend Nuun tablets. This bigger guy at the LBS recommended them, and as far as I'm concerned, they are standard equipment for any ride over an hour. They are supposedly formulated to provide the right level of electrolytes for optimal hydration without any sugar. I like the Kona Cola flavor best.

Happy riding.
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Old 02-09-09, 02:53 PM   #9
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Hardcore Historian You da man.

I hate the bonk. It's like shoelaces. Never a problem at a good time. I know that many don't buy into the gu thingies, but because of the bonk, I always carry a couple of the "CarbBoom Apple Cinnamon" with me. If I feel the bonk coming on, I stop, suck one down and slug the water and wait about 10 minutes and then take off again. It (to me) seems to help me at least finish my trip.

The thing is, you might repeat that same day in a week or two and have no effect. I have been hit with bonk at times it doesn't seem it should happen, but when I reflect back I usually find where I misjudged.

You are still Hardcore though
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Old 02-09-09, 03:03 PM   #10
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I can see the conversation at work tomorrow for Historian.

Athletic "***hole type: So, Historian, what did you do this weekend?"
Historian: "Well, I rode umpteen miles on my bicycle in the cold to have lunch with a buddy. Then I rode umpteen miles to the gym, to work out for a couple of hours. Then I rode umpteen miles home, in the cold and dark, and ate some dinner, enjoying the burn the whole time. What did you do? Sit on your butt and watch a football game?"
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Old 02-09-09, 04:49 PM   #11
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You're the man, Neil!!
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Old 02-09-09, 07:35 PM   #12
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I have been doing the trainer for a while and getting up early to go to my gym. Last Sunday was the first day I had free that the weather was nice enough to ride except for the 15-20 mph wind. I did 22 miles in 1:36 and when I got home I had to take a nap. I slept like a baby for about 4 hours.
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Old 02-09-09, 07:40 PM   #13
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Dang dude, talk about the definition of suffering!

Now you know you can, you just need to work on if you should!
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Old 02-09-09, 09:00 PM   #14
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Carry some Clif Bars dude and RUB your legs down with somthing that creates heat when you get done with a long cold ride . The water is fine and good but you need POTASIUM that according to my Dr and cold and lack a water causes the cramps . He must be right I have done 60 miles in the last 2 days here in Mi it warmer but by no means warm . I normaly was crapmping up bad like you and Iam diabetic so I gotta watch what goes in me more . BUT when anyone even a diabetic ride a pile a miles you gotta add fuel . And you got to warm those legs up quick when you get home with some kind a warming rub . Works for me YMMV

Clif Bar or what ever kind you like LOTS a water and warm those legs up and drink befor you get thirsty . I set my watch to alarm every 15 minutes to remind me to drink and eat . Then I take a hot shower as soon as I get home out of the cold and rub my legs down with Ben Gay like stuf . Since I been doing this and eating a LOT more potasium rich foods like bananas and rasins and such NO CRAMPS . I workout almost everyday ride weather permiting here in Mi and spend a lot a time sweating at the gym after my workout in the dry heat sauna . I got my electrolytes outa wack so bad my heart went goofy did the above and it fixed the cramps heart rythym and all . like I said YMMV

One more thing any diabetic reading this I would not recomend Clif bars unless you are very aware of your blood glucose levels and are doing enough to burn the carbs off . Clif bars are great but there carb heavy . But there loaded with potasuim . I carry my meter with me on rides so Iam NOT guessing at my levels if I feel weird . a diabetic BONK can ruin a ride .I never leave home without atleast 2 Clif bars 2 boxes a rasins and a banana Even if I bring some back its better to have it IMHO .

That was a gutsy ride dude

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Old 02-09-09, 11:53 PM   #15
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What are you eating? Are you getting enought calcium and potassium in your diet. Water is a great thing, but it takes a while to fully hydrate, so you need to be doing that before the ride and during the ride and then as always after a ride.
I was very lax. I generally don't take any special precautions when riding ten miles or less, but I clearly should have tanked up on fluids the night before.
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Old 02-09-09, 11:58 PM   #16
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I can see the conversation at work tomorrow for Historian.

Athletic "***hole type: So, Historian, what did you do this weekend?"
Historian: "Well, I rode umpteen miles on my bicycle in the cold to have lunch with a buddy. Then I rode umpteen miles to the gym, to work out for a couple of hours. Then I rode umpteen miles home, in the cold and dark, and ate some dinner, enjoying the burn the whole time. What did you do? Sit on your butt and watch a football game?"
Unfortunately, the conversations in my office run the gamut from television programs to the activities of 'celebrities' to drinking. Or all three. I'm at a complete loss many days - for instance, I had no idea who Jennifer Aniston was, or why I should care. Bike Forums helps keep me sane.
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Old 02-10-09, 12:04 AM   #17
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Well, TKGN, you've prodded me to do it. It's your fault.

And you are entirely capable of riding 30 miles. Probably faster than I can too.
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Old 02-10-09, 08:49 AM   #18
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Umm, that is hardcore. I rode yesterday, and gave up when my butt and legs started getting sore at 5 miles. Just waiting for the weather to get better, and I'm going to start getting out more.
Thanks.

I'm still feeling a little fatigued from Sunday, so I'm not going to commute today and instead I'll ride my local seven mile loop.
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Old 02-10-09, 01:49 PM   #19
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I always take an entire day off the bike when I bonk. A real day of rest can make all the difference for the rest of your week. Even for iron-men like you.

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Old 02-15-09, 08:55 PM   #20
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I always take an entire day off the bike when I bonk. A real day of rest can make all the difference for the rest of your week. Even for iron-men like you.

I'm more like a paper-mache man than one of iron, but thank you. I took several days off.
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Old 02-16-09, 08:40 AM   #21
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Now you know you can, you just need to work on if you should!
This is my new favorite quote from here. Thanks, TX.
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Old 02-16-09, 01:23 PM   #22
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Wewll dude, that's what makes youhardcore. Besides, tough rides build character!

And once you do it, you know u can do it again!
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Old 02-21-09, 07:12 PM   #23
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Wewll dude, that's what makes youhardcore. Besides, tough rides build character!

And once you do it, you know u can do it again!
"Downtown" Spring City, better known as the former "armpit of Eastern PA" - I understand Easton now holds the title. Seriously, the town, and Royersford across the river, are turning themselves around. If the Schuylkill River Trail is ever completed, it will pass through Spring City and add to the town's revival.



Who says things aren't looking up on Wall Street? I walked up part of this hill.



Walking did allow me to take a photograph or three:

A little run along Wall Street.



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Old 02-21-09, 07:31 PM   #24
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Speaking of the Schuylkill River Trail, a segment of it exists in the Borough of Phoenixville. The former steel town has constructed a trail through the former site of the Phoenix Steel plant along French Creek. I don't know what this big gear-thing is; perhaps a poster from Bethlehem or Pittsburgh can enlighten me?



The bridge that will one day carry the SRT over French Creek.



Ice and snow on the surface of the old Schuykill Canal near Mont Clare. Montgomery County's next trail project, funds permitting, is to restore the canal's gravel towpath, creating an additional mile and change of car-free travel. Roadies can still use Longford Road and Canal Street to get from the SRT to the bridge crossing the river into Phoenixville. Folks coming out for the cheesesteak ride in May will be taking this route.



Perkiomen Creek, just before it flows into the Schuylkill. Mill Grove, first home in America of John James Audubon, is on the far bank upstream about a half mile.



The return trip, at the hairpin on the SRT. Imagine a dehydrated Historian turning on his lights and pedaling off humming Mozart, and the scene is set......

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Old 02-21-09, 07:42 PM   #25
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Look back at some of your old posts, and see the progress. I see it, and it's cool. My first real riding of the season is usually pretty lousy, but yours wasn't bad at all. Keep it up, and you'll be rocking this spring.

Sometimes the best recovery ride is in the Lazy Boy. You've earned it.
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