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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 06-20-09, 03:04 PM   #1
Kel15233
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Help with motivation?

Hi - been lurking around here for a bit - am a big gal, on the shy side and too self-conscious. I enjoy riding - well at least the little I have done - but I can't seem to get myself out of my place to ride. Tried finding a riding partner on craigslist and went riding once with someone from there but she lives far on the other side of town and schedules don't quite mesh. Do others that are larger have that issue? What do you do to actually get yourself out to ride alone? There are organized rides but I can't get to them until later next month when my car is repaired.

I know I just need to get out and ride - there is a nice river front trail just three blocks or so from me but I just can't get myself to take the bike out my apartment door and actually get out and do it. I wish something that I know is fun wasn't so mentally hard for me to do.
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Old 06-20-09, 03:33 PM   #2
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Hi - been lurking around here for a bit - am a big gal, on the shy side and too self-conscious. I enjoy riding - well at least the little I have done - but I can't seem to get myself out of my place to ride. Tried finding a riding partner on craigslist and went riding once with someone from there but she lives far on the other side of town and schedules don't quite mesh. Do others that are larger have that issue? What do you do to actually get yourself out to ride alone? There are organized rides but I can't get to them until later next month when my car is repaired.

I know I just need to get out and ride - there is a nice river front trail just three blocks or so from me but I just can't get myself to take the bike out my apartment door and actually get out and do it. I wish something that I know is fun wasn't so mentally hard for me to do.
Remember the sneaker company catch phrase, "Just Do It", well, good piece of advice. When I need motivation, I tell myself, I'll just go a a little ways, or I'll just go for few minutes. Once your out there, it becomes just a little longer or just a little further, hey your having fun, before you know it, you've set a new personal best. Then again there are times, you decide it's not being fun, and you go home, no biggie, you still went out.
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Old 06-20-09, 03:41 PM   #3
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You think too much.
Go for a slow ride.
We all have are problems.
I don't care what others think about my looks.
My wife still laughs when I leave for bike ride in my bike clothes.
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Old 06-20-09, 04:26 PM   #4
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It sounds like you've developed a "ritual" of not riding, I've done similar things before.

What are your goals from riding? If you don't have one it might make sense to set one so you have something to work towards. That way the measurable improvement can be a motivator (i.e. game) on its own...at least this often works for me.

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Old 06-20-09, 04:32 PM   #5
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I wish I lived in your area. Me and the wife would come by and get you out of the house and on the bike.
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Old 06-20-09, 04:45 PM   #6
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Is it possible for you to commute to work on a bike, or perhaps use it for local shopping trips? That's a convenient way to fit in bike time, and it all adds up. I only manage to get out for a ride-for-ridings-sake on weekends. The rest of my pedaling is between home and work.
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Old 06-20-09, 04:57 PM   #7
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+1. Most of my miles are riding to and from work. It's become a regular habit. There are times when I get burned out and find excuses not to ride, and then I commute on a glorious morning and it just makes my day.

And I try very hard to leave my car in the garage for local shopping trips.



I just got back with dinner from Subway- I rode my bike. If your bike doesn't have anything to carry things in, add it. You can put a basket on the front, wire baskets on the rear, or a rack with pannier bags or even a milk crate bungied down to it.

Using your bike for commuting and errands turns into a habit; when you have to go to the store, start out saying, "I'm riding my bike!" Then just try to talk yourself out of it. After a few rides in light rain or the cold,



you realize that short trips to the store on the bike are the only way to go.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-20-09, 05:06 PM   #8
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Not all people have the ability to do anything alone without feeling lonely. I can ride for hours on my own, either on the trails or just wandering around (or a combination of both). Sometimes I wish I had company to share the discoveries, while most of the time I'm glad of the time alone and the ability to blog about it and share my experiences that way.
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Old 06-20-09, 05:29 PM   #9
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If being self conscious is what's stopping you from riding. KNOCK IT OFF. You'll never get where you want to be worrying about what anyone else thinks.

When I first decided to lose weight I was over 300 lbs. and I started running around 285 lbs. I was so excited to run, to be a runner that I went out and bought all the high tech running gear. I looked like a clown, felt like a clown, knew everybody that passed me thought I looked like a clown and just plain old didn't care.

If you want to be outside, be active, lose weight, live life, knock it off with the self conscious thing. In the end nobody really cares that you're out exercising.

I may be the exception rather than the rule but when I see someone big out there hitting the street my thoughts are "Attaboy" or "Attagirl".

Most people are probably thinking "Wow if she can do it maybe so can I" Anybody that thinks or says otherwise isn't worth your time, effort, or energy to care.

Think about this. What if, just what if seeing you out biking motivated someone else you never met or saw to change their life????

You want to deprive someone of that?

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Old 06-20-09, 05:44 PM   #10
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Just do it. Whenever you have to go to work, take care of a chore, ride your bike. Buy yourself something that is bike related, it can be as small a tire irons or as large as new bike clothes. Listen to music. Promise yourself that if you go for this small ride you will pamper yourself with polishing your nails. It is nice to ride with others but do not let it stop you if you can not find someone to ride with you. I once found $220.00 by myself. If I was with someone else I would 1. not have seen the money 2. had to split tthe money

Gas, .69 cents the price of a can of beans.
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Old 06-20-09, 06:44 PM   #11
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Hmm... I can definitely understand (or think I can) as I have dys and even a week or two here or there when I don't want to ride. I just get into a routine (as sakonnetclip said) of not riding. So, let's try and give you some ideas:

Let us encourage you. Post reports of your rides (a la MissBumble) here online. Tell us about your discoveries. Let us know about any small successes you have had: going faster or farther, losing weight, meeting guys (nudge-nudge-wink-wink to MissBumble) Whatever. Post it here so we (and you) can read about it.

Definitely find a group to ride with (when car's fixed). Pittsburgh's a large enough city, I would expect there's bike clubs somewhere. And when looking, you're looking for a "Recreational Riding" club. Group rides recharge my energies!

Make sure you're keeping track of daily mileage and body weight. Seeing the numbers get better just may help motivate you.
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Old 06-20-09, 08:11 PM   #12
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i once had someone tell me that ever since i started running by his house his wife had been nagging him about why he isnt out there running.i believe that i saw him out there running last week.

to help motivate my friends to go out and ride, i tell them just go and ride to the coffee shop. it doesnt matter if it was a half a mile or a ten mile ride. just go somewhere. there is a good chance that when your out there you will remember that you always wanted to go to some spot somewhere and your not far from it. thats how personal records end up getting broken and you did not even have to think beforehand that you were going to do it.

so go ride to the water front. thats it. then ask youself is there coffee around here somewhere
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Old 06-20-09, 10:46 PM   #13
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Riding can be intimidating, there's no doubt about it. Lots of stuff to worry about: equipment, routes, cars, pedestrians, funny clothing, etc.

Here's my suggestion: setup a schedule for riding. I would shoot for riding at least three days a week for at least 20-30 minutes per ride. Here's the secret, though: for the first week or two, don't bother taking the bike on your rides! Just get out of the house and walk the route. Everybody can walk, right? Walk at a brisk pace. Not jogging, not power walking, just a bit quicker than normal. Wear whatever you'd normally wear to walk around the neighborhood.

After a couple of weeks, you'll be in the habit of doing some exercise on a set schedule, you'll be familiar with the route, you'll know what the auto and pedestrian traffic along the route will be like, maybe you'll recognize some of the people, etc. Once you're comfortable with the route, trying riding your bike rather than walking. Ride at a leisurely pace and enjoy being outside. Get a feel for how the bike handles, how the controls operate, etc. Feel tired? Slow down. Feel really tired? Stop and rest.

Once you're comfortable riding at a leisurely pace and you've gotten into the habit of riding regularly, you can work on riding at a quicker pace, riding longer distances, or whatever appeals to you...
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Old 06-20-09, 10:55 PM   #14
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In the end everyone else is just not that interested in you - so nothing to be self conscious about. They are self-absorbed just like you and me. Back to the "Just do It" comment - if you rely on somebody else to ride you have created a situation where you have no control. Take control of our life.

Remember its supposed to be fun.
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Old 06-21-09, 04:40 AM   #15
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Drink so much coffee you are bouncing off the walls. You will HAVE to get on that bike and go. Just wear a diaper.
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Old 06-21-09, 10:01 AM   #16
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Thank you all for the responses - feel a bit silly for having posted but was in one of those moods. The bit of riding I have done has been running to the store. Actually am going to be making a trip there this afternoon. Shoot need to break in the panniers that came last week. Do want to ride to work but am just intimidated by riding on the street. Am only a couple miles away and while I enjoy walking - can walk for miles and miles but it's sooo slow. Riding to the store has been my first step but it's a far cry from riding on Blvd of the Allies :-) I am entertaining tossing the bike in the car and put-putting down to the trail that is were I work. It's a nice trail and have ridden (rode? not enough coffee yet) it a few times. Then when I have to head to work I can ride over since it's just a block from the trail - and the bike rack is right in front of security guard post.

*laugh* I know I am my own worst enemy - I am so lazy, I don't want to be but it's very hard to retrain yourself. Thanks again for the support.

Oh... any recommendations for a somewhat inexpensive bike computer? I am all about wanting to see how many miles I did and how fast I am going.
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Old 06-21-09, 11:58 AM   #17
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Any cheapo $10 computer will get you going. If you want to see average speed, total time riding, etc., ask to make sure they have those features.

Riding in the street is intimidating. I was cured of that early on because I hit an imperfection in the sidewalk on my second commute attempt, landing on my face, cracked a helmet, and ruined a perfectly good bike I'd owned for 24 years.

If you get some good blinkie lights and use them during daylight during flash mode, get some high visibility gear, and "drive" your bike, operating it predictable and signaling your maneuvers, you will be fine on the street, believe it or not. A year and a half ago I wouldn't have said that, but I now believe that.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-21-09, 06:26 PM   #18
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You just do it... And you keep doing it. Exercise sucks at times, and is fun at other times. But it's like brushing your teeth, you need to do it to keep healthy.
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Old 06-21-09, 06:44 PM   #19
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then go for a walk, maybe you'll ride next year
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Old 06-21-09, 07:00 PM   #20
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Some of the best riding partners I have found have started with me going out for a solo ride and finding myself riding at the same pace as another solo rider.

Remember if you don't get out there, it will be hard to find decent riding partners. In regards to riding to work, why not start to walk with your bike. If you find it boring then you might find yourself jumping on the bike and getting out there...
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Old 06-21-09, 07:03 PM   #21
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Oh... any recommendations for a somewhat inexpensive bike computer? I am all about wanting to see how many miles I did and how fast I am going.
People may laugh, but I love my $10 wired cheapo bell computer for Wally world. Dont buy bikes there, but other stuff can be ok.

And here's how I motivate, and I think this one works pretty well: SET A GOAL.

For example, maybe your first goal should be: I want to ride 10 miles without stopping (except at traffic lights, if not on a path). It will take you a while to build up to that probably. Then, make a different or longer goal and go from there.
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Old 06-21-09, 07:56 PM   #22
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I started hiking when I was in Colorado. When you read all the hiking stuff, they'll tell you "Never hike alone!" What they don't tell you is who you're supposed to hike with if your spouse and friends don't hike. So I hiked hundreds of miles by myself, and topped quite a few mountains on my own. Hiked from dawn until 4:00 in the afternoon without seeing a soul out there.

It's sort of the same with cycling. There are lots of people around here that ride, but nobody else that rides the same speed at the same time of day, etc. So I ride by myself, mostly. Maybe it's not as much fun as riding with friends would be, but it beats sitting around the house eating Cheetos.

It's not necessarily a size issue, although to some extent it is a speed issue. They do have organized rides around here, but mostly, they're going faster than I am, so they're not too much benefit. I have been riding a "non-drop" ride on Saturday mornings at the local bike shop. It's a pretty good bunch, and usually, if there's a dozen or more people there, there will be somebody slower than me as well. But I've heard of other "non drop" rides where they weren't always real considerate.

One thing I have learned is that I can think of all kinds of excuses not to exercise. Right now, it's too hot. It will be too hot for 3/4 of the year, actually. Then it'll be too cold. And too dark. And the wind will blow the wrong way and I'll be too late or too tired or too busy. So I figured out if I'm ever going to get any exercise in, I've just got to forget all those excuses and go ride anyway. So when my non-drop ride didn't go because it was too cold, I rode anyway. When it was dark when I got home, I rode with a headlight. When the wind was blowing, I slowed, I rested, but I still rode. When it rained on a charity ride a while back, I rode the 100k in the rain. If you make up your mind you're going to do it, you will. If you start thinking up reasons not to, you'll never run out of them.
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Old 06-21-09, 09:47 PM   #23
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While I didn't ride over to the store today (laundry took precedence) I did put the bike in the car and drove down to the trail by my work. Rode 12-13 miles, only stopping for water at the turn-around spots. Seems like it was about 15 minutes for each 3 mile trip but then it is paved and mostly flat with just slight inclines.

Learned a lesson tho - don't wear my capris that have seams going over the knees... and carry band-aids :-)
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Old 06-22-09, 07:16 AM   #24
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Oh... any recommendations for a somewhat inexpensive bike computer? I am all about wanting to see how many miles I did and how fast I am going.
I have one I'm not using; it's yours for the cost of postage. PM me if you're interested.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:19 PM   #25
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I have been there! Push past it! With time you will become more comfortable and a stronger cyclist. Trust me!
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