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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 07-19-10, 11:03 AM   #1
NH Girl
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New Athena on the Block

Hi Everyone

Ok, I've been lurking this past week and doing lots of reading so I figured it was about time that I said Hello

I found this site by accident and so happy that I did! I always knew there were Clydesdales out there as I see that mention on many sites that I have visited but this is the first site that I have found Athenas! I never heard that term until I found BF. Yay!

I can officially say that I qualify to participate in this forum. Wow, for once being overweight has it's advantage..

I have always had the passion for riding. From my first banana seat bike to my Schwinn 10 speed I truly loved it as a kid and teen. In my adult years I always wanted to get back on a bike but life gets busy and you just keep talking about it but never do it. I bought several bikes throughout my early adult years and had my moments of getting out there but that would last for a couple of months and stop. Mostly did trails, fire roads and sometimes pretended to be a real MTBiker and hit a hard single track and laugh that I did it.

As the years passed, I quickly discovered fatness and that put a hold on my cycling not because I couldn't do it but more because of embarassment about being the fat girl on the bike. I went out riding a few times as an 'Athena' and had some bad experiences with people shouting not so nice things towards me and that quickly made me stop.

I would then just spend my time admiring those who I passed on the road as I drove by in my car. My head would turn everytime I saw a car loaded up with mountain bikes and heading to the trails. I so wanted to be that type of person. I love speed, adventure and outdoors but I allowed my weight to stop me from enjoying it.

Well not anymore. I have recently moved to New Hampshire and I am surrounded by some incredible bike trails. I have purchased a used bike off of craigslist and have also bought my daughter's boyfriend bike. So no excuses not to ride as I have two bikes. I was hoping to get hubby out riding with me but I truly doubt that will happen but in the meantime I am going to ride.

I'll be honest with you and have spent about 3 months talking myself out of it. Everytime I wanted to go out riding I found some kind of excuse for fears of past experiences. I finally decided to get my arse on that bike and hit the trails. So on July 13th I hopped on my bike and proceeded to head out of my driveway and told myself just go around the block....well before I knew it I found myself in the woods and 4 miles from home. I decided to turn around and head home because I wanted to make sure that I could get back home. LOL So 8 miles my first day out on my bike and I have done that each day last week, except for the weekend as I used that as my rest days. I was back out there today so I am rather pleased with myself.

I want to bike mostly because I love to ride and want to learn to ride but also to get fit and healthy. If I lose weight along the way that is a bonus. Back in 2005/2006 I loss 100 pounds and was at the perfect weight for me, I was feeling great but then ended up with a few medical problems and had some stressful times that I quickly put my weight back on. Since gaining the weight back I once again was afraid, embarassed to do anything being the fat girl. I have wasted so much of my life because of that thinking and now I am going to change that.

I'm 43, so not a young one anymore but still have so much of my life ahead of me and I want to enjoy life. I don't think of myself as in my 40's, my mind feels like my 20's but my body aches remind me that I am aging.

So, here I am now back on a bike. I have no idea what I am doing. I have so much to learn. I read post of people talking about sizes, gears, equipment, etc and I am clueless. This is where you come in. Teach me, guide me, laugh at me, laugh with me and share with me your experiences so I can soon be sharing mine.

I'm so glad that I found this forum. I haven't even met anyone yet but reading your post and experiences has encouraged me to continue with this and become part of this great family online.

I am going to send this without re-reading it for mistakes etc cause if I do re-read it, I'll end up deleting most of my post. lol

Looking forward to getting to know you
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Old 07-19-10, 11:43 AM   #2
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Hi! The hardest part is getting out the door the first day back on the bike after a time away. So Congrats! to making it out the door repeatedly!
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Old 07-19-10, 12:10 PM   #3
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I restarted riding last year about now after taking a 15 year break. It has been the best thing for me. I have lost weight, made friends, improved my cardio vascular system and had a couple of "crashes.' Everyone riding a MTB needs a couple of stories to tell. Welcome aboard and enjoy the RIDE!

Even on days when I start out saying, I don't want to ride today, I usually push myself out the door and within a few minutes pat myself on the back, its a kick.
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Old 07-19-10, 01:54 PM   #4
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I usually motivate myself with goals, I will sign up for a charity ride or tour and have to ride to prepare for these types of rides. keep it going.
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Old 07-19-10, 02:22 PM   #5
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Welcome to Bike Forums. I'm a 47 year old guy and I ride (mostly) folding bikes. If ever there was anyone who looked ridiculous it is I however I could care less as I let the miles build up on the tires.

Get out there and have fun and don't ever factor in what anybody else thinks or says or does.

John
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Old 07-19-10, 02:52 PM   #6
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Welcome!

1. If you don't know already, learn how to fix flat tires and bring the required tools for fixing flats.
2. Bring water w/ you. That way you can stay out longer.
3. Riding is fun. Riding w/ friends is more fun so drag some out w/ you or make new friends who encourage you to ride more.
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Old 07-19-10, 05:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the wonderful welcomes and helpful advice. Looking forward to getting to know more about your experiences and sharing mine.

It does feel good to be back out, slowly, but working my way up towards my goals. I have the basic tools and necessities to keep me riding for now.

I've recently moved to NH and I don't know anyone. I hope to find a few people out on the trails and maybe even a group ride, if they don't mind a novice rider in the pack. All I'm passing now are walkers. I know all the riders are deeper in the woods.

So much information on this site that I find myself spending too many hours reading but that's not going to stop me from my rides. Right now I'm only doing morning rides because we are in a heatwave and the humidity is at it's highest.

Thanks again for the welcomes....chat soon
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Old 07-20-10, 01:58 PM   #8
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Welcome!

I can't really remember what made start thinking about biking. I started out rebuilding an old 3 speed. That was great cause before I even got to ride I had learned to change tires/tubes, brakes, etc. I am not mechanically inclined either, but I discovered I like doing my own work. I started riding short rides in my neighborhood and I was hooked. Now I mainly ride a 21 speed setup earily similar to my old 3 speed. Most important thing about biking is have fun. One other suggestion is find a Bike Shop you like. Keep us posted. Good Luck!
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Old 07-20-10, 02:33 PM   #9
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fantastic!!!!!!
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Old 07-20-10, 03:09 PM   #10
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Well done. You have 2 bikes, are they set up for different types of riding (one on the streets the other for trails). In the past weeks we have had the same heat and humidity. I find using a bottle to squirt water over my head makes me much more comfortable. If you find it difficult to reach down onto the frame for a bottle, buy a cage that fits on the handle bars.
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Old 07-22-10, 05:44 AM   #11
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Well done. You have 2 bikes, are they set up for different types of riding (one on the streets the other for trails). In the past weeks we have had the same heat and humidity. I find using a bottle to squirt water over my head makes me much more comfortable. If you find it difficult to reach down onto the frame for a bottle, buy a cage that fits on the handle bars.
They are both set up for trails but it's a 2 mile road ride to the trails and it is interesting how each bike rides differently on the road. I'm not sure which one I really prefer better. Just getting use to them both before I decided to make any modifications to them. I'm sure that I probably will once I learn more about cycling.

No problems with the water bottle cage on both bikes. Easy to reach. The humidity has been horrible this month. I've been trying to get my rides in as early as possible.

Do you find it best to not eat in the morning before your ride or is it best to have some protein or carbs before riding? I'm sure everyone's body is different. Just curious. Thanks.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:04 AM   #12
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Hi, NH Girl. Welcome and congrats on the relocation and new attitude! Way to go!

Re eating before riding, for me it all depends on how long a ride you plan to take. If it's going to be under 10 miles or so and not very demanding I may just skip it till I get home. If it's anything longer than that, I'll try to at least get a banana or some other fruit in the tank first.

I'm a recent returnee when it comes to riding seriously. Consequently I'm hopelessly out of touch with the last 20 years of technological improvements in portable nutrition like energy bars and gels and stuff, so I'm decidedly old school when it comes to riding food. If it isn't in a normal kitchen, I don't know anything about it. Maybe others can chime in on those newfangled techy fuel sources.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:14 AM   #13
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Old 07-22-10, 08:34 AM   #14
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Thanks Craig & Historian


New Hampshire is a beautiful state with so many trails. I'm lucky enough to live just 2 miles from some great trails. I'm only doing the rail trails and some small single tracks in the woods but there are so many 'technical' trails there that I am not ready for. Looking forward to working my way deeper into the woods.

I'm started doing 8 miles last week and now i'm doing 10 miles a day. Next week I'll add another 2 miles. Slow and steady at first for me. I've done both no breakfast and having a small breakfast and haven't noticed any difference with my body. I'm not crashing out or getting dizzy or anything like that. I never was a breakfast person before and i'm finding it difficult to get back into the habit of eating in the mornings.

I haven't tried any of the power/energy bars yet but I do make Whey protein shakes mixed with water. (I'm not a milk person.) lol

I know quiet a bit about nutrition - just need to apply what I know to my eating routine.

Good luck with your riding.

This site has been wonderful for finding so much information. I love how everyone is so helpful and friendly.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:37 AM   #15
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Welcome aboard!
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Old 07-22-10, 08:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tornado60 View Post
I can't really remember what made start thinking about biking. I started out rebuilding an old 3 speed. That was great cause before I even got to ride I had learned to change tires/tubes, brakes, etc. I am not mechanically inclined either, but I discovered I like doing my own work. I started riding short rides in my neighborhood and I was hooked. Now I mainly ride a 21 speed setup earily similar to my old 3 speed. Most important thing about biking is have fun. One other suggestion is find a Bike Shop you like. Keep us posted. Good Luck!

I was raised with 3 brothers and we were always doing something to our bikes so I learnt fairly young how to do the basic mechanics on a bike. Just got to refresh my memory. Things are a bit more technical on bikes now some of the things I don't want to touch. hehe

I am a bit nervous about going into my LBS. I guess being 'overweight' I kinda feel a bit out of place and not really sure if they will take me seriously. (Had a bad experience in the 90's where the clerk basically laughed at me for wanting to ride)

This area does have several bike shops around, so I am lucky there for choices. I'm hoping to meet a few people and have them refer me to a trusted one.

You are so right about the Fun! I'm enjoying every moment of it
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Old 07-22-10, 12:36 PM   #17
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For morning rides, it's not a bad idea to fuel up w/ oatmeal, coffee or some fruit and to bring some bananas or prunes on the ride w/ you for potassium to ward off cramps. Everyone's different, but if you're hitting new plateaus every week, it's a good idea to be prepared and bring some snacks w/ you. Dried fruit, trail mix, M&Ms, energy bars, etc. You may not need any of it, but on the off chance you do, you'll at least be prepared. Or just ride a route w/ plenty of delis and convenience stores.

And if your LBS gives you attitude, tell them you don't appreciate it and spend your money elsewhere.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:10 PM   #18
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Great advice Jyossarian. Thanks. As much as I love the idea of M&M's, I'll stick with the fruit and trail mix. LOL

I'm new to NH and haven't checked out the LBS yet but you are right, If I get any type of attitude it's not the place to be. I'm sure it will be a good experience. Just got to get over my concerns.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by NH Girl View Post
I was raised with 3 brothers and we were always doing something to our bikes so I learnt fairly young how to do the basic mechanics on a bike. Just got to refresh my memory. Things are a bit more technical on bikes now some of the things I don't want to touch. hehe

I am a bit nervous about going into my LBS. I guess being 'overweight' I kinda feel a bit out of place and not really sure if they will take me seriously. (Had a bad experience in the 90's where the clerk basically laughed at me for wanting to ride)

This area does have several bike shops around, so I am lucky there for choices. I'm hoping to meet a few people and have them refer me to a trusted one.

You are so right about the Fun! I'm enjoying every moment of it
They may look more complicated, but in reality, they aren't, basic maintenance on my fairly new mountain bike (2005) and my relatively ancient road bike (1975) are essentially the same, however I spend more time adjusting the brakes on the road bike, but spend more time on the mountain bikes shifting....

Remember you buy the shop more then the bike, as the shop is where you go for extras, so look at more then just the bikes, look at the clothing, if the only sizes available are XXS, XS and S with a couple of mediums, nobody would be caught dead in, then you know you probably will need to get that somewhere else. If there are 45 bikes awaiting service and one poor mechanic working as fast as he can, then your unlikely to be able to get warranty service quickly, and one of those big jobs where the tools are expensive, forget it. Sales people are also important, if you walk into the store, and staff are busy yapping together in the corner, or on cell phones and nobody acknowledges your existence within a couple of minutes, walk out.

If I had a clerk in a store laugh at me, because of my weight, I would yell "GET ME THE MANAGER, RIGHT NOW", yes, yell, so any other customers would hear me, then I would proceed to tear strips off that manager in the middle of the store about his/her choice of staff. Some things you put up with, some you don't, that's one you don't.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:16 PM   #20
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Welcome NH Girl! Great to see another Athena join our group.
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