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  1. #1
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    Clydesdale Group Rides

    Got a question for y'all. If a shop offered Clydesdale group rides, would that make you more likely to visit that store?

    The store I will be manager of on March 1st is owned by a Clyde, and I'm obviously a Clyde. My goal is to make the shop "non-threatening" and Clyde-Friendly. I plan on keeping larger-sized clothing in stock (probably Borah).

    Would those things influence your bike-shopping decision? What other things would you consider important?

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    What do you mean by a Clyde ride? If you mean a slow paced ride with a bunch of big guys, not sure that could be labeled as a clyde ride. More like a snail's pace ride. The clydes over here are more punishing than the skinny guys!

    We've done a few forum rides, maybe 20 plus riders. The big guys, BigJohn, Markadam and SoCalBoomer carry a higher pace than the skinny guys. So just labeling people as clydes doesn't make a difference.

    Are you thiking 'snail's pace clyde' ride?

  3. #3
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    I dunno. Personally, whether Clyde-friendly or not would be way down on the list for me in terms of which bike shop I support. In Madison we have a lot of choices. Here's my preference and why I support them:

    1) Yellow Jersey (nationally known for vintage bike parts)
    2) Budget Bicycle (offers free bicycle repair class and takes used bikes on trade-ins and tunes up used bikes before re-selling them)
    3) REI (I get the REI member discount and can order from online catalog and pick up locally)
    4) Willy Street bikes (local shop, good service)
    5) Machinery Row (local shop, good service)

    Clothing doesn't figure into the equation at all. I really don't think of myself as a Clyde when I'm looking for bike service. If I get good service, I just assume they are a shop that offers good service, not that they gave me good service even though I'm a Clyde. And if I get bad service, I assume they are bad at customer service, not that I got bad service because I'm a Clyde.
    Last edited by IceNine; 02-18-09 at 11:52 AM.

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    Since you're asking that question in the Clydesdale forum I think you will get a resounding "yes" that will influence my bike shopping decision - it would be a nice thing to do. However, I don't think it is an expectation that I have of any of the LBS's that I shop at. I haven't felt that they are "clyde unfriendly." Most of their equipment is just fine for a clyde of my size (225 lbs.) Most of the clothing that is size XL seems to fit comfortably.

    However, I'm aware that the "clydesdale" tag goes to much higher weight limits (I don't think there is a limit?) and larger individuals have different needs. I think by offering a clydesdale group ride that you must recognize that there are clydes that are in race shape and other clydes that can only go a few blocks. I would think a clyde could find a spot in existing group rides just like everyone else.

    Maybe if you just offered a "big & tall" clothing selection then it would be adequate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    What do you mean by a Clyde ride? If you mean a slow paced ride with a bunch of big guys, not sure that could be labeled as a clyde ride. More like a snail's pace ride. The clydes over here are more punishing than the skinny guys!

    We've done a few forum rides, maybe 20 plus riders. The big guys, BigJohn, Markadam and SoCalBoomer carry a higher pace than the skinny guys. So just labeling people as clydes doesn't make a difference.

    Are you thiking 'snail's pace clyde' ride?
    Being a Clyde is not something that I'm proud of. I'd much rather be one of the "skinny guys." I've done a ride with the skinny guys - they plastered me. It was no big deal for them to maintain a pace of 24+ mph. Maybe my "clydeness" wasn't the deciding factor for me in not being able to maintain that kind of pace, but being 50-75 lbs lighter would have made it a little easier. I haven't spotted any clydes in this week's Amgen Tour of California. They seem to crank up their pace to 40+ mph on the flats. That's never happened for me... only downhill.

  6. #6
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    Being a Clyde is not something that I'm proud of. I'd much rather be one of the "skinny guys." I've done a ride with the skinny guys - they plastered me. It was no big deal for them to maintain a pace of 24+ mph. Maybe my "clydeness" wasn't the deciding factor for me in not being able to maintain that kind of pace, but being 50-75 lbs lighter would have made it a little easier. I haven't spotted any clydes in this week's Amgen Tour of California. They seem to crank up their pace to 40+ mph on the flats. That's never happened for me... only downhill.
    Say it once, and say it loud

    I'm a clyde, and I'm proud!

  7. #7
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    Being a Clyde is not something that I'm proud of.

    AMEN!!

    Nope - Being a Clyde is something I am fighting! I mean if you mean - jeesh I am a handsome built hunk of a man at 205 pounds...sure maybe y'all are proud... But if ya mean like a Miss B was before - a woman substantially overweight and oh so excited to find a bunch of chubby people to ride with...I say He double hockey sticks no!!

    What has made me go on the group rides were ones that said NO DROP! And had a person form the bike shop excited and happy to be the leader for the C group - and assigned to ride with the slowest rider. That made the difference.


    Sorry if I have offended anyone...I mean y'all are beautiful - but proud to be in the shape I was in when I started - no. I am struggling with being proud to be in this shape...I am 180 (I look 150 I think) so I am getting prouder and sexier by the day - but nope I did not start as a Clydesdale and gravitate to find chubby women riding... I wanted rides I could keep up with...and men I could chase .

    I think though if I did not feel proud, I should have felt proud that I was willing to invest in myself, by a bike...and show up on rides with he think folks. YAY US!! IT is very hard to be a Clyde and I think y'all we all rock!! But I think a lot of us want
    to get thinner... yup we do...

  8. #8
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    Being a Clyde is not something that I'm proud of. I'd much rather be one of the "skinny guys." I've done a ride with the skinny guys - they plastered me. It was no big deal for them to maintain a pace of 24+ mph. Maybe my "clydeness" wasn't the deciding factor for me in not being able to maintain that kind of pace, but being 50-75 lbs lighter would have made it a little easier. I haven't spotted any clydes in this week's Amgen Tour of California. They seem to crank up their pace to 40+ mph on the flats. That's never happened for me... only downhill.
    And that's exactly the group I'm shooting for. The clydes who aren't as fast as the guys in the other group rides. What I've been considering is a "Beginner Clyde" group ride and a "Veteran Clyde" group ride. The beginner group would ride a shorter distance at a slower speed. The veteran group would ride a long road route with a higher average speed. Since I'll be leading the rides (at the start, at least), the "fast" ride would probably be in the 15-20mph category. The slow ride I figured would be on the Monon Trail and below 13mph.

    I guess I'm asking y'all to pretend that you were a clyde who had just started riding. That's the perspective I'm seeking. And yeah....I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of Super-Clydes, rather than people who barely break 200lbs.

    Me, I can't wear "normal" cycling clothing. I see people wearing this cool stuff that doesn't fit me. I thought having shop "team" jerseys and bibs that fit big guys would be cool.

    P.S. I'm also thinking about doing this as a "Biggest Loser" type of thing.... lose weight with your local bike shop guy. lol
    Last edited by PlatyPius; 02-18-09 at 12:40 PM.

  9. #9
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    It's worth a shot.

    Maybe just start letting the target customers know about a group ride. Have it at the same time the regular group rides are and hang out and recruit your participants.

  10. #10
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    I think it's a good idea to entice people who are worried about fitting "the mould" of what a cyclist is and isn't. I would not advise calling it a clydesdale ride, maybe more of a beginners no-drop ride held at a pace of 10mph. Come one come all, no external lycra layers aloud. That last bit would probably be the most encouraging to the modest beginning clydes. The clydes with the ability to hold a higher speed likely already ride with the faster groups in club rides.

    It's sort of like walking on egg shells isn't it? Can't please everyone and no sense in trying to do so.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    I know I would have enjoyed that and been far less self concious if I'd had that opportunity.
    I was lucky enough to stumble upon BF and C&A early on and get some answers to questions and support.

    Borah is a good place to start with on the clothing. You might want to stock a some up to 5X size shorts from Aerotech too. It may save some of the apprehension of getting the wrong size on line for your Uber Clyde Customers.

    Apart from that...if you can educate your staff in tact and courtesy and in Equipment needs for us larger guys...(Umm..no...I don't want a Hybrid! Dammit! Just gimme some strong wheels on a decent frame) it would probably be appreciated too.

    Thanks for thinking "out of the box" and serving some of us who had avoided the lbs for fear of ridicule.
    I can see you getting some good free publicity locally by doing interviews with whatever media explaining that most people AREN'T too heavy to start cycling, and that you are prepared to help them get started.


    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    And that's exactly the group I'm shooting for. The clydes who aren't as fast as the guys in the other group rides. What I've been considering is a "Beginner Clyde" group ride and a "Veteran Clyde" group ride. The beginner group would ride a shorter distance at a slower speed. The veteran group would ride a long road route with a higher average speed. Since I'll be leading the rides (at the start, at least), the "fast" ride would probably be in the 15-20mph category. The slow ride I figured would be on the Monon Trail and below 13mph.

    I guess I'm asking y'all to pretend that you were a clyde who had just started riding. That's the perspective I'm seeking. And yeah....I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of Super-Clydes, rather than people who barely break 200lbs.

    Me, I can't wear "normal" cycling clothing. I see people wearing this cool stuff that doesn't fit me. I thought having shop "team" jerseys and bibs that fit big guys would be cool.

    P.S. I'm also thinking about doing this as a "Biggest Loser" type of thing.... lose weight with your local bike shop guy. lol
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
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  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    spotted any clydes in this week's Amgen Tour of California. They seem to crank up their pace to 40+ mph on the flats.

    Well, I was thinking the OP was talking group rides here, not race training rides.

  13. #13
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    My club has several different levels of rides:

    slow spokes: nobody over 14 mph (if you go over 14 mph you're dropped... don't come back.)
    social rides: 14-18 mph (nobody dropped)
    fitness I: 18-24
    fitness II: 24+

    It seems like a rider could find his way into a group based on his fitness level. I think the first three levels have clydes. Fitness II might have clydes but these would be the ones that are probably 6'+ and hover near the 200 lbs level with a body fat of less than 10%. I guess it all depends on your club or what is available in your area. I haven't run into any cyclists or LBS staff that have made an issue of my weight. Of course, as far as cyclists go, the ones that might make an issue of my weight, I only see for a flash... then they're out of sight.

  14. #14
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    My club has several different levels of rides:

    slow spokes: nobody over 14 mph (if you go over 14 mph you're dropped... don't come back.)
    social rides: 14-18 mph (nobody dropped)
    fitness I: 18-24
    fitness II: 24+

    It seems like a rider could find his way into a group based on his fitness level. I think the first three levels have clydes. Fitness II might have clydes but these would be the ones that are probably 6'+ and hover near the 200 lbs level with a body fat of less than 10%. I guess it all depends on your club or what is available in your area. I haven't run into any cyclists or LBS staff that have made an issue of my weight. Of course, as far as cyclists go, the ones that might make an issue of my weight, I only see for a flash... then they're out of sight.
    My thing with the Clyde rides is comfort. We've had a lot of clydes in here who have said that they'd love to ride with a group, but they don't feel comfortable doing so because of their size. I know that I feel the same way. My goal is to get clydes who don't ride or don't ride much into the habit of riding. Indiana is one of the "fattest" states, and I'd like to do my own little bit to change that - including myself.

    We'll have other people who lead other rides, by the way - we won't JUST be doing Clyde rides.

  15. #15
    I'm Rad. vXhanz's Avatar
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    I like the idea, but billing it as a Clyde/Athena ride might not be the best idea as Ms. Bumble pointed out. I think the vast majority of Clydes are trying to get that "Emeritus" status, so as mentioned earlier a big & tall section might be better.

    Of the two shops I visited locally, one I liked, the other I didn't. The first one I didn't like because they treated me like I was ignorant, and basically said that a heavier rider won't have anything to worry about.

    The second shop was better and he gave me better information regarding the bikes and what they could handle, wheel types, etc. He was more knowledgeable with his product, and that is what sold me. Granted, he's skinny as a rail, but he still gave me great customer service and helped me find a bike that fit my needs at the time.

    V

  16. #16
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I've been riding the Saturday morning non-drop ride at the local bike shop, on my Worksman cruiser. It truly is a non-drop ride, unlike some others that I've seen complaints about. But what I notice is that if there's a dozen people there, maybe 9 of them are actually quite a bit faster than me, and there will be one or two that are slower than me. As applied to your question, I believe the demand for a "Clyde Ride", specifically a slower, more level ride, is fairly limited. There just aren't that many of us that are slow that go on group rides, that I can tell.
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  17. #17
    fishologist cohophysh's Avatar
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    I think there are some great suggestions here. I for one might consider the suggestion of breaking it into speeds...a no drop 10mph for example. I know I went to a beginning class with a bunch of folks who were not clydes and were alot faster than me and I couldn't keep up...I didn't go back
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  18. #18
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    I would patronize a shop that was clyde friendly, then once I got to my goal weight, I'd buy a Cervelo and shop where the cool people shop. I'd also get a bunch of cool, skinny friends and dress up in full Team Astana kit. I would ride slowly past storefronts and admire my reflection in the window glass and I'd act real snotty to anybody who weighed more than me. When I get to my goal weight, things are gonna change!

    Whoop! Whoop!

  19. #19
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I'm with Beanz here. If you market it as some kind of ride for the handicapped, clydes like me who ain't ashamed of their size and are perfectly confident in their riding abilities ain't gonna touch it...and some may be offended by the insinuation that because they are a clyde they need some kind of special ride they can handle.

    Stocking stuff for bigger folk is great, just that will get you a lot of clyde business. If you want to have a ride, advertise it as a social ride, open to anyone. Just my dollar two ninety eight.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wavy's Avatar
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    The largest club around here divides rides into A - B - C, depending on average speed. I like that system. I've ridden C, but as the season progresses prefer B.
    Other groups I've ridden with set the pace on the ride. Sometimes I'm alone, other times I'm with a few.

    FWIW, I'm not a fat clyde, so I'm not embarrassed.
    And yet I really didn't have any choice on how tall I grew or how much I weigh when fit, so I'm not proud.
    Depending on your belief, I'm a clyde by accident or design.
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  21. #21
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    I changed it to "The Saturday Morning Club" and am promoting it as a 11-13mph No-Drop ride.

    As a Super-Clyde myself, I never expected that people would actually be offended by it. I thought "Clyde Beginner" and "Clyde Veteran" was pretty non-confrontational.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    I changed it to "The Saturday Morning Club" and am promoting it as a 11-13mph No-Drop ride.

    As a Super-Clyde myself, I never expected that people would actually be offended by it. I thought "Clyde Beginner" and "Clyde Veteran" was pretty non-confrontational.
    I was never offended with the Clyde designation myself. I was just amazed and relieved that there were others like me out there. (Maybe because I didn't see any on the "club rides".)

    Now that I've been on so many organized (some more organized than others...but that's another story), I've seen so many people of so many shapes and sizes, that I feel pretty comfortable when I go out and about.
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    I'm with Beanz here. If you market it as some kind of ride for the handicapped, clydes like me who ain't ashamed of their size and are perfectly confident in their riding abilities ain't gonna touch it...and some may be offended by the insinuation that because they are a clyde they need some kind of special ride they can handle.

    Stocking stuff for bigger folk is great, just that will get you a lot of clyde business. If you want to have a ride, advertise it as a social ride, open to anyone. Just my dollar two ninety eight.
    And frankly, many 'handicapped' riders would be offended to ride in such a group.

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    I think most riders prefer to ride with groups that have riders at a similar fitness level and similar cycling skills. That may include people of all different ages and body types. My first group ride, I started out fine. I stayed with the lead part of the group for the first 3-4 miles. Then dropped back to the middle. Then we hit a hill. I watched everyone pass me. I was on my touring bike that weighed in at 30 lbs that day. I caught the middle of the pack on the backside of the hill.

    I was probably the 2nd heaviest rider in the group. The ride leader had about 30 lbs on me. The only time I really felt out of place is when a woman that was 25 years older than me passed me on that first hill and she yelled some encouragement, "c'mon you can do it!" She was 68 years old. But she only weighed about 98 lbs and was on a 13 lb bike. At the end of the ride she told me she typically rides 200-300 miles a week. A few years later, and I can keep up with her on the climbs (hmmm... maybe age has slowed her down? and I haven't really gotten any faster?) Anyway, I've felt comfortable in that group since the first ride.

  25. #25
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    I think being more generic such as Saturday Morning ride is great because you aren't limiting to any one group. Also, offer a beginner group ride, if there is a big demand, which simply covers tips for riding in a group, the pace would be slower then normal, short distance, and emphasis on communicating in a group. I think the import thing is to advertise the type of rides you have to offer. As InTheRain mentioned you group rides based on ability, but also on terrain green is a level ride, blue is some rollers, black is steep hills. Then I can pick to my ability.

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