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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 07-31-09, 07:17 PM   #1
statelax3
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first group ride for a fat guy tomorrow

I am a total road n00b. I played lacrosse in college so I used to be in great shape. I have been out of college for 5 years and went from a lean mean 210 to a plump 285. It helps that I am 6'2 but I am still a fatty. With that said I obviously qualify for a Clyde. I have always loved biking and I road a lot of mountain bikes in college. Oddly, I have always been drawn to watching pro cycling. Having Lance riding while I was in college made it even more exciting to watch. With that said I decided I needed to lose some weight and get into shape. I have been riding 4-5 days a week for the last 3 weeks. I ended up loving to ride my mountain bike on the road and really felt out of place when guys on their road bikes would pass me. Being competitive and a former college athlete I figure I want to start passing them. So I went and got fitted at the local bike shop and walked out with a Rocky Mountain Oxygen 30. I bought Rocky Mountain because my mountain bike is the same brand and has never given me any problems......

Back story over.

I am riding in my first group ride tomorrow morning at 730. They list the ride in 4 different groups. The groupings I have listed below. I need some input on which group to ride in. My last ride was Thursday night and I rode 16 miles in 55 minutes. I did this alone as all my rides have been so far. Do you all think riding 20-25 miles in a group being an issue since I have not ridden over 16 miles yet? Also is your average speed usually faster in a group or is it about the same as riding solo? I am curious if I should ride in the slowest group or the next to slowest group? BTW on my 16 mile ride Thursday I felt like I had legs to ride another 16 but my butt hurt to much ride another 16 mile loop. My heart rate stayed between 138 and 154. My Karvonen max is 191. I would appreciate all input. Do not worry about hurting my feelings if what I am trying to do is too much. Just let me know. You all have much more experience than me.
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Old 07-31-09, 07:30 PM   #2
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I am assuming you are riding a 16mph average as stated in your post. And you said that you had more in you. Group rides have a tendancy of rolling faster than thier category. In our club a B ride is considered the following:

B Rides = TOURING. AMS between 13.1 and 15.0 mph; cruising speeds may reach 18 mph. Uphill pace slows down quite a bit. Rest stops every 10 to 15 miles.

However since this is your first ride with this group it might be wise to go with the C+ group and get to know people and the way they do things.

Take your time and enjoy the group ride.
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Old 07-31-09, 07:42 PM   #3
statelax3
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I left our their categories

15-17 mph 20-35 miles No Drops
18-20 mph 35-65 miles No Drops
21-23 mph 35-70 miles Hang on
23+ mph 35-70 miles Bye-Bye
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Old 07-31-09, 07:56 PM   #4
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You will have no problem with the 15-17 group. I bet in a couple weeks you will be running with the 18-20 group and doing 50 or 60 miles. Just remember when you take off with the faster groups later on down the road, if you are pushing hard to keep up in the first 15 miles, your not going to hang. At about mile 20 they will just be getting warmed up and drop the hammer.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:01 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, and about the no drop policy. Make sure you make some friends early on who will look out for you. If nobody knows you, they won't know you have been dropped and won't wait up. Everyone gets dropped sooner or later though, so make sure you have a map.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:08 PM   #6
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thanks shooter for the advice about getting dropped. is it reasonable to think that in 3-4 months 50 miles is attainable? I figure anyone can do 15 miles. At some point they have to get a lot harder to do. Also do you normally need to eat something on a 20 mile ride? IF so what? Pardon my questions I just want to get educated.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:20 PM   #7
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stay with the lowest group, the next week you can always move up if you find it too easy. But the first time you will be figuring out the group dynamics, how to paceline, and bike handling in close quarters. No need to add a faster speed and distance than you are used too.

also in my experience you go faster in a groups (obviously) but advertised speeds are often slower than what really happens. This means it normally evens out. So if you ride the 15-17 ride you will be able to hang with the 18-20 crowd, but the 15-17 crowd will be going 18-20 and the 18-20 groups will be going 20+ (at least that is how it seems near me where i go on a 19-20 [with a "strict" adherence to pace where we are almost always at 22-24)
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Old 07-31-09, 08:35 PM   #8
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I would start with the slowest grouping here. I ride in NJ where the hills roll a bit. I'm in shape and I find that even when I feel like I'm hauling ass I average between 15.4 and 15.8 mph. The group speeds depend on terrain, traffic, etc...
That said, it is difficult to gauge your ability by reading these boards since people ride in different conditions, climates, roads, groups, etc...Just go out and do it and chalk up whatever happens up to experience
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Old 07-31-09, 10:21 PM   #9
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I agree with the folks that say ride with the slowest group. I did my first group ride on Wednesday. Advertised pace was 15-18 mph. We started out at 22-24 mph. The actual average was much closer to 20-21 with the slow of the slow. Learn the rules and how to ride in a group. You will shortly move to the faster groups with more rides under your belt. A 50 mile ride should is do able. Good Luck.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:52 PM   #10
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Good Luck tomorrow !!
Ditto on slowest group. As you continue to ride over weeks your bottom will get used to seat. 25 miles should be do-able for ya; those who run marathons usually run less miles daily. At frequency your riding 50 miles should be attainable in several weks. No matter the distance, I always carry an energy bar/gel as well as water and sports drink.

When riding paceline with new unfamiliar riders be wary of riding to close to their wheel.
Be especially careful behind them on the uphill stretches - they may slow down faster
than you can react. When it's your turn to take a pull at the front of paceline, take a
short pull until you build your stength. If you pull too long, you may not be able to hang on
after rotating to back.
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Old 08-01-09, 08:21 AM   #11
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so i rode in the slow group today. we averaged 15 mph. it seemed very slow to me. we rode 31 miles which was good for me to get used to being in the saddle for 2 hours. i feel like i could go ride it all again now. the intermediate group averaged 18 mpg and rode for 2 hours. they are going to do a short ride tomorrow morning so i think i will give it a shot. i guess we will see how my legs are in the morning. all in all really enjoyed it. i missed my music but it was nice hearing people talk and enjoying the scenery. ohh and i did get hungry about 1:45 in. so i ate the 4 fig newtons i packed and i was good.
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