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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 03-15-09, 09:45 PM   #1
Neil_B
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The Bridge to Somewhere

"I celebrated [losing 100 pounds] by hiking a few miles to a local covered bridge.... I never knew about the bridge until recently, and I never would have visited it if I hadn't decided to change myself. On January 3 [2006], I was exhausted after 7 minutes on a recumbent [stationary] bike. Today I was hiking for a couple of hours." - November 6, 2006, posted by The Historian to alt.support.diet

The Sheeder-Hall covered bridge will always be connected to my weight loss as both a means to achieve it and as a symbol of what I've learned along the way. I've hiked to it, I've ridden across it, and like hiking and riding, I'd have never known or cared about it until I changed who I was. So it was important to me to include it on my local loop ride, and now that the weather is warmer, I'm visiting my timbered friend again. For me it's more than just a bridge over French Creek. It's a bridge to the person I'm becoming.

Sheeder-Hall was built in 1850, and is Chester County's oldest remaining covered bridge. East and West Vincent townships work with the state Department of Transportation to keep the old span in good shape.



While the bridge remains much as it has been for the past 15 decades, there have been concessions to time and modernity. Stop signs, reflectors, a concrete support mid-span, and steel reinforcements have been added. Concrete now tops the stone wing-walls at both entrances to the bridge.



Despite these changes, the bridge continues to ornament a rural landscape:







Sheeder-Hall is a bridge with a lengthy past, but for this Clydesdale, it's a bridge to the future.

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Old 03-15-09, 09:52 PM   #2
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Nice pics.
Did you take your Ding Dong Bell off the bike?
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Old 03-15-09, 09:56 PM   #3
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Congrats on the 100lb loss! I need to get out to VT and see the bridges someday
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Old 03-15-09, 10:49 PM   #4
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Congrats on the 100lb loss! I need to get out to VT and see the bridges someday
It was 150 at one point. :-(
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Old 03-15-09, 11:13 PM   #5
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Nice pics.
Did you take your Ding Dong Bell off the bike?
No, the bell is still there. It's slipped down because of loose mounting screws.

More photos:

Two miles down French Creek is the site of the Hallman bridge, built in 1854, burned in 1927. It was replaced by this ugly steel grate bridge in 1928. All that survives of the original structure is the stone support in the middle of French Creek and the stone wingwalls. Like the wingwalls on the Sheeder-Hall bridge they've been given concrete caps to help keep them intact. However, as you can tell, the concrete is itself breaking off.







Another self-portrait back at Sheeder-Hall. This one didn't turn out too well; aside from the indistinct focus, my posture is horrible. And note the tights; this ride was my first time out with Nashbar's "Madison" bib tights. To get something that came close to fitting my waist, I needed to order a "tall" size, which means the tights cover the top of my shoes. Still, they are OK tights for 26 bucks on sale.



Local horse farm.



A ruin of some sort of structure on a local road.

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Old 03-16-09, 02:52 AM   #6
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What an awesome metaphor. It even has the advantage of being visual and tactile. I do so envy you the riding areas, but the cold isn't my thing.

I finally think I may have found something in my riding areas that I can match you on. Horses are every where in my area. I'll have to work on that.

It's great to see you out on the bike again!
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Old 03-16-09, 07:22 PM   #7
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Congrats on the weight Loss.
You did Good.
I Put the pic on the bike and stone wall on my desk top.
Thanks
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Old 03-16-09, 08:23 PM   #8
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Very nice post. Keep it up.
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Old 01-09-10, 09:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
"I celebrated [losing 100 pounds] by hiking a few miles to a local covered bridge.... I never knew about the bridge until recently, and I never would have visited it if I hadn't decided to change myself. On January 3 [2006], I was exhausted after 7 minutes on a recumbent [stationary] bike. Today I was hiking for a couple of hours." - November 6, 2006, posted by The Historian to alt.support.diet

The Sheeder-Hall covered bridge will always be connected to my weight loss as both a means to achieve it and as a symbol of what I've learned along the way. I've hiked to it, I've ridden across it, and like hiking and riding, I'd have never known or cared about it until I changed who I was. So it was important to me to include it on my local loop ride, and now that the weather is warmer, I'm visiting my timbered friend again. For me it's more than just a bridge over French Creek. It's a bridge to the person I'm becoming.

Sheeder-Hall was built in 1850, and is Chester County's oldest remaining covered bridge. East and West Vincent townships work with the state Department of Transportation to keep the old span in good shape.



While the bridge remains much as it has been for the past 15 decades, there have been concessions to time and modernity. Stop signs, reflectors, a concrete support mid-span, and steel reinforcements have been added. Concrete now tops the stone wing-walls at both entrances to the bridge.



Despite these changes, the bridge continues to ornament a rural landscape:







Sheeder-Hall is a bridge with a lengthy past, but for this Clydesdale, it's a bridge to the future.

Bumped for Peter C's sake. :-)
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Old 01-09-10, 10:08 PM   #10
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And I just spotted it too, thanks!

Love the photos! And can't wait to get on my Giant! It is hanging just above the hood of my Tucson so I stare at it close up when I pull out or pull into the garage, so I see it multiple times per day...and am wishing time would go by faster!

It is great, and I can not wait til I can get those 60+ mile days so I can start finding those *special* photos as well!
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Old 01-09-10, 10:18 PM   #11
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And I just spotted it too, thanks!

Love the photos! And can't wait to get on my Giant! It is hanging just above the hood of my Tucson so I stare at it close up when I pull out or pull into the garage, so I see it multiple times per day...and am wishing time would go by faster!

It is great, and I can not wait til I can get those 60+ mile days so I can start finding those *special* photos as well!
Peter, that wasn't a 60 mile day. That was a seven mile day. The bridge is two miles from my home. I'd never seen it before because I never looked.

It's not about riding forever or doing something extraordinary, Peter. It's about doing things that should be ordinary. I find joy in them because I never did them before. Just as I hope you will find joy in little things like a bike ride.
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Old 01-10-10, 04:41 PM   #12
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Aye, but until I get to the point that I can ride more than a mile or two, I won't see anything new, as everything close by is just houses and roads - that is what i mean. I won't go riding with others if I can only do a couple of miles. I won't go to new places to ride if I can only do a couple of miles...stuff like that.

When I can ride 20, 30, and more miles at a time, I will start seeking out different places to ride, and people to ride with. Make sense?
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Old 01-10-10, 08:06 PM   #13
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Aye, but until I get to the point that I can ride more than a mile or two, I won't see anything new, as everything close by is just houses and roads - that is what i mean. I won't go riding with others if I can only do a couple of miles. I won't go to new places to ride if I can only do a couple of miles...stuff like that.

When I can ride 20, 30, and more miles at a time, I will start seeking out different places to ride, and people to ride with. Make sense?
I feel your pain. I want to go new places and see new things. I can ride half-decent distances, but not very fast. So if I want to go out exploring, I need time. Between work and family commitments, (plus the fact that it's dark by 4PM), I don't typically get to ride for more than an hour at a time.
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