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  1. #251
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    OK, this has been an awesome read. I would love to know how the OP is doing with their goals! Tom, those wheelchair to bike shots are AWESOME. I'm working through my own challenges from the cancer, but holy cow! You are an inspiration, my friend.

    For those who worry about people who snicker, or go so far as to make comments, no matter how juvenile it sounds to say it, just think:

    "I'm over weight. You're a jerk. At least I can lose weight!" I pity anyone who has to make those comments. Imagine how it must be going through life so insecure that you have to make yourself feel better at someone's expense like that! Truly sad. Ride with your head held high. You've earned it, one stroke at a time!

    Whether you're a clyde/athena or not, when you see one, encourage them. Whenever I pass anyone on the MUP (which isn't all THAT often), I offer a positive word. It may be as simple as a "good morning" or "beautiful day for a ride", or if climbing, some comment like "this was a lot easier going the other way!". One, I treat them as the equal that they are, and I think they appreciate it. 2) especially on the hills, they know I'm having a hard time, too. I'm going faster than they are, but still suffering. I slowed down one day to offer what appeared to be a very new clyde rider some advice to stop mashing on the hill. Simply explained to him that if he spun faster, his knees would like him more. He shifted, thanked me and told me this was his first day on the bike. I said "good for you, and hopefully it's not the last!" He smiled the best he could and I rode off. I hope he's still riding.
    Last edited by PhotoJoe; 04-28-12 at 10:50 AM.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  2. #252
    Junior Member OhioCyclone's Avatar
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    This is the first thread that I opened as a new member to the forum, and I have read nearly all the posts over the last hour. This is a great thread, and I am excited to add my two cents.

    I am by definition a clydesdale, at 260 lbs and 6'4". When I graduated two years ago, I took all of my remaining loan money and limited "gift" money and bought a bike. 2010 blue Surly Long Haul Trucker. it is my pride and joy, and is literally the most important material possession I own.

    I relish the jeers, and laughs and the apparent comedy that other members of society seem to have towards "over weight" cyclists. It has been motivation. I was 280 two years ago. While the numbers say that I have lost 20 lbs, the emotional weight that has been shed due to the sheer enjoyment of riding cannot be measured. The experience has become quite visceral.

    As far as embarrassment, lol, I have had plenty, on and off the bike. I feel this the same with everyone, as the thread seems to repeat this notion. I have and still do walk some hills. It is no longer embarrassing. I have fallen off my bike while climbing a hill. It is no longer embarrassing. I have forgotten to detach my cleats, and fallen over numerous times on concrete, grass, other riders, puddles. No longer embarrassing.

    As far as the lycra or spandex shorts and jerseys, you just have to own them. I forget i am actually wearing them when I am on the bike sometimes. It has started conversations with attractive women, which i am OK with.

    All of these embarrassing things that seem to plague so many beginning overweight cyclists--myself included two years ago--seem to be common place based on the posts in this thread. I feel like there is a point in each persons experiences where it no longer matters. For me it was RAGBRAI.

    RAGBRAI is the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, that takes place every year in the last week of July. The rise is 7days and 6 nights long, with over 10,000+ riders. The Average length is 468 mile, and the daily average is approximately 60 miles/day. With such a large group of riders, you are part of a community, and people come on all shapes, sizes, weights, ages, speeds, abilities and personalities. And because of this diversity you are just a piece of the average cycling community. No smack talk, chiding or bullying. Everyone, and I mean everyone is wearing lycra spandex and jerseys, to the point where by the end of the first day, you forget that everyone including yourself, is wearing skin tight slightly revealing clothing. It is a very hunbling experience, and I suggest and recommend that every rider have this experience, expecially my fellow clydes an athenas.

    It has been the single hardest physical thing I have done in my life, and is by far one of the most rewarding experiences that I have experienced. To be fair it is a rolling party. But to any person rider that has been brought down by someone for being a clyde or athena, completing this ride gives you a shield.

    This is an excellent start to my posts on BF. Glad to be here

  3. #253
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    its all good! keep up the riding. How do you physically feel?

  4. #254
    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    I got a few "get off the bike fatty"
    Me too. I have a couple of things I usually reply, depending upon my mood...like:

    "I'm fat, but you're a moron. I can lose weight."

    There's always implying that the offender is less-than-svelte himself:

    (snort of contempt) "Oohh, right. Like YOU'RE the poster boy for anorexia nervosa??"

    There's the just plain rude reply:

    "I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you just said. I'm afraid i don't speak a**hole."

    There's the really creepy reply, best said with a deadpan expression. Really effective if you can pull it off:

    "Hope you're a fast rider because I'd really like to kill and eat you, right now". Not for amateurs.

    And of course, some variation of a classic:

    "#%@ off you arrogant little wanker!"

    Dont you feel embarrassed! You're not the one doing anything wrong. Be proud! All the little accomplishments will add up!

  5. #255
    Senior Member tergal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikinPotter View Post
    Me too. I have a couple of things I usually reply, depending upon my mood...like:

    "I'm fat, but you're a moron. I can lose weight."

    There's always implying that the offender is less-than-svelte himself:

    (snort of contempt) "Oohh, right. Like YOU'RE the poster boy for anorexia nervosa??"

    There's the just plain rude reply:

    "I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you just said. I'm afraid i don't speak a**hole."

    There's the really creepy reply, best said with a deadpan expression. Really effective if you can pull it off:

    "Hope you're a fast rider because I'd really like to kill and eat you, right now". Not for amateurs.

    And of course, some variation of a classic:

    "#%@ off you arrogant little wanker!"

    Dont you feel embarrassed! You're not the one doing anything wrong. Be proud! All the little accomplishments will add up!
    To much effort , just smile and leave them confused .
    Tact is for people who aren稚 witty enough to use sarcasm.

    Early helplessness is the price we pay for later brilliance. Or, at least our later capacity for non-idiocy

  6. #256
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    I started out very slow and heavy and would get embarrassed when "real" cyclists would pass me or see me struggle up a hill. The best thing about riding as a clyde is you develop crazy leg strength from moving all that weight around. Im 40lbs lighter than i was when i started riding and blast up hills on my steel bianchi while other "decked out" riders on their fancy carbon frames huff and puff in the lowest gear. I like to think they feel pretty embarrassed to see me conquer a hill so effortlessly on my antiquated bike. Sometimes if i feel they're not embarrased, ill make a toungue-in-cheek comment like "you should get a lighter bike" or the like.
    Innocent, of course.
    Youll be amazed at how quickly your skill increases. Just keep at t and youll see.

  7. #257
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    I quit biking in '83-84' due to marriage and military. The last 15 years caring for high needs children we adopted. Last year as the last of the kids left home realized how crapped I was. In the 70's rode a minimum of 210 miles/week, could never get over 150 lbs., now over 250 lbs and hard pressed to ride 2-4 miles/week. I have been trying to get back on my bike because I remember the feelings I had while riding, the peace, and ease with myself. I started about 2 months back and was looking for things to try to help my "getting back." I thankfully ran across this group and have seen that my experience while not normal is no different than others. I am also realizing that I may never get back to the rider I was, but that I have a chance, most important though seeing others experience, is that I just need to do it and take it as it comes and enjoy what I can.
    Last edited by leftover; 05-04-12 at 11:22 AM. Reason: being typo sensitive

  8. #258
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    ok so we are clydes. BFD! I'M 366 as of this morning. i like it when someone rains on my parade. makes me more committed to ride. i remember doing 8-9 mph and bout ready to fall over. now i'm averaging 14 - 15 mph. i ware knee braces on both knees, but not when i ride. i wear riding shorts, and here snickers from peeps. who bloody cares? im on my bike, and they are in there car. big woop. if you enjoy riding ride. your getting your exercise, and they aren't. who's the stupid one ? i call myself the fat guy, and it does not bother me one bit. don't let it bother you.

    keep the wind in your face, and the road moving under you. i'm looking to do 500 miles this year as a minimum.

    ride on brother, and sisters!

  9. #259
    Delusional Laserbrain Germanicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuuian View Post
    If you're worried about someone yelling random insults out of their car at you, don't let it get to you. It happens to everyone, size doesn't matter... .
    I consider myself a clyde because of my weight more so then my size. I don't look heavy at all. I am kinda tall: 6'-4" and have a lot of muscle mass (220-240#.) Even so, people scream crap out the window at me nearly every time I go out for a ride. Mostly teens. It happens to all of us.
    Just remember, you are the one who is out bettering yourself and they are the lazy asshats too timid and insecure to do anything themselves so they scream at other people to avoid addressing their insecurities.

    Just keep cycling.

  10. #260
    Senior Member Fantasminha's Avatar
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    Someone once told me that all the shouting sounds like "Leroy Jenkins!" if you're moving fast enough. It's true. Keep at it until all you hear is "Leroy Jenkins!"
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  11. #261
    some guy
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    I used to be 5'9 and 220 pounds, now down to 160, 10-11% body fat. The trick is to eat less, not bike more. I ride 200+ mile weeks now and believe me I can keep up with that caloric expenditure easily with my mouth.

    Anyway, I didn't get any bike clothes until I slimmed down. Nothing wrong with a t-shirt guys. Why make yourself look extra ridiculous while you sweat?
    And if people yell negative things at you, it's their way of letting you know they are morons. What they want is for you to track them down and murder them in the night. Only you should openly say negative things about you, for motivation.

    Good luck guys!

  12. #262
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poxpower View Post
    I used to be 5'9 and 220 pounds, now down to 160, 10-11% body fat. The trick is to eat less, not bike more. I ride 200+ mile weeks now and believe me I can keep up with that caloric expenditure easily with my mouth.

    Anyway, I didn't get any bike clothes until I slimmed down. Nothing wrong with a t-shirt guys. Why make yourself look extra ridiculous while you sweat?
    And if people yell negative things at you, it's their way of letting you know they are morons. What they want is for you to track them down and murder them in the night. Only you should openly say negative things about you, for motivation.

    Good luck guys!
    Sure, you don't need a jersey. But bike shorts really make life easier and more comfortable especially when you are heavy. It is not ridiculous to wear the shorts. Today I road on a very busy MUP in Minneapolis, the infamous Greenway. There were all sorts of shapes and sizes wearing lycra. It really isn't noticeable among the cyclist crowd. Among the non-cyclist crowd we all look ridiculous, fat or thin. Only two guys stuck out for me. One rather overweight guy wearing regular blue jean shorts, which had dropped down to the level of his bike seat. There was a good five inches of butt crack exposed. Now that was tough to follow! I couldn't pass and had to drop back. The other guy was riding just in his underpants. Ah, Minneapolis. You are so crazy!
    Last edited by goldfinch; 05-21-12 at 06:00 PM.

  13. #263
    Redux Rider Big_Easy51's Avatar
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    Personally (and I am as serious as a heart attack here), because almost all my riding will be along remote dirt and gravel roads deep in the heart of redneck country (imagine banjos), in the Florida county where more bodies are dumped than anywhere else in the state, and because I will be carrying (at minimum) 5K worth of camera equipment, there is one accessory without which I will not leave home: my .50 cal Desert Eagle. It will be prominently displayed. I suspect that will inhibit anyone's urge to comment on my body type in any terms that aren't downright flattering.
    Quote Originally Posted by BikinPotter View Post
    Me too. I have a couple of things I usually reply, depending upon my mood...like:

    "I'm fat, but you're a moron. I can lose weight."

    There's always implying that the offender is less-than-svelte himself:

    (snort of contempt) "Oohh, right. Like YOU'RE the poster boy for anorexia nervosa??"

    There's the just plain rude reply:

    "I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you just said. I'm afraid i don't speak a**hole."

    There's the really creepy reply, best said with a deadpan expression. Really effective if you can pull it off:

    "Hope you're a fast rider because I'd really like to kill and eat you, right now". Not for amateurs.

    And of course, some variation of a classic:

    "#%@ off you arrogant little wanker!"

    Dont you feel embarrassed! You're not the one doing anything wrong. Be proud! All the little accomplishments will add up!

  14. #264
    Redux Rider Big_Easy51's Avatar
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    Tom, what kind of bike are you riding? I see it has riser handlebars (the kind I like). It also doesn't look like some overbuilt bike made of kevlar, titanium and cast iron. And it obviously worked for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    A little oversensitive, perhaps. Personally, I never cared, and for what it's worth, I was q serious attemntion grabber, since I initially had to litrally use oxygen to be able to ride.



    Fell a little less sensitive?

  15. #265
    Redux Rider Big_Easy51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwchandler21 View Post
    I decided I'd rather be embarrassed to be fat in lycra rather than being fat on the couch or dead at the funeral home.
    I love this attitude. When friends (and even my kids) ask me how I could give up steak, chicken, turkey, bbq, ribs, and the fresh seafood I like so much, my reply is, "Yeah, I really like those things. I just like being alive more."

  16. #266
    Redux Rider Big_Easy51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hojimoto View Post
    I gotta say, this thread has been pretty inspirational. I'm around 380+ now and trying to find a way to take the pounds off. I've been walking (mostly at work) and am getting to a point where I need (and want) to do more. I'm looking to get back into bicycling as a way to do that. Seems like there's a lot of nice folks here. You guys are making it easier on my insecurities (many of which mirror Pub's.)
    Inspirational indeed. In late December I weighed 443 lbs. Not diabetic (or even close, thankfully), but high blood pressure (220/120 since I was a teen), sporadic heart arhythmia, and I had been hospitalized recently because a medication error by my cardiologist sent my potassium skyrocketing to what should have been lethal levels. Becoming vegan solved the blood pressure issues (just losing weight never had any effect), my kidneys, which took a big hit from the potassium are back to normal, the heart rhythm is mostly normal, and I now weigh less than 370lbs. (I have a Detecto doctor's balance beam scale being delivered Monday so I can keep track of weight loss progress.) And I haven't even begun biking yet! I suspect it will be mid July when all is said and done before I have the bile in hand and can start riding. In the meantime, I'm using a Concept ll rowing machine and a set of adjustable dumbbells.
    I suspect that not caring what other people think requires a defining moment for many of us. For me, it was at my mother's bedside as she was dying...realizing that she was always more concerned with what others thought than with what made her happy. I grew up with that..."What will the neighbor's think?" "I am so embarrassed by what she must have thought." etc. etc. ad nauseum. I vowed then and there not to let the opinions of others override what I needed to do to be happy, healthy, fulfilled, etc. That was the most liberating feeling I ever experienced.
    Certainly, we get frustrated by people so ignorant they don't know they are ignorant. It's a fact of life. I give them no thought. They don't pay my bills, raise my kids or control my income. I try to treat others the way I would like to be treated. If it works for them, great. If not, I couldn't care less. I do it for me, not them.
    So you do what you need to do to feel good. It likely will be different than what I do. That's great. Perhaps we can all learn something from each other, and have a bit of fun in the process. And remember...the only one who can judge how well you are doing is you. It took you a long tome to have your weight go up to 370+. It will take time for it to go down. But keep the faith. There is nothing your mind can conceive that it cannot achieve.

  17. #267
    Redux Rider Big_Easy51's Avatar
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    I found something today that really hit home. It isn't about biking, but running. I believe it still applies. Have a peek:

    Couch_Potato.jpg

  18. #268
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pub View Post
    Does anyone or did anyone feel embarrassed at first when riding around on a bike?
    To be honest I am and that comes from a few reasons.

    1st, I知 paranoid that people are watching me because to see a Clyde on a bike is not the norm here, at least I have never seen it.

    2nd, I知 not a fast rider, in fact I am anything but. I just like to take my time while others go at the speed of sound. And that makes me more paranoid because I keep thinking people are laughing at me going slower than them because I知 a Clyde.

    3rd, I知 going through the learning process of getting the gears right for what I want to do. So when I come to an incline, I am sometimes not in the right gear and by the time I have figured it out its too late and I can稚 pedal so have to get off. Another reason for being paranoid and looking a fool.

    4th, I知 not confident that a bike will hold up to my weight (310) and the last thing I want is to have to get off because of a broken something or other and have to push it home. More paranoia Clyde pushing a bike because he broke it!!

    Am I being totally stupid here?
    in a word, yes.
    310 will not destroy a bike of at least average quality. it WILL accelerate wear and tear.

    my fat butt has broken 3 spokes in 9 years. what wears the fastest for me is tires.

    now for the pep rally-


    RAH! RAH! RAH! GO! GO! GO! RIDE! RIDE! RIDE!
    picture me shaking pom-poms and my booty.
    well, let's not and say i did. you get the main idea.

    you are riding for YOU, no-one else.
    first star on the right and straight on 'til morning
    avatar is of dame edna

  19. #269
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    A little oversensitive, perhaps. Personally, I never cared, and for what it's worth, I was q serious attemntion grabber, since I initially had to litrally use oxygen to be able to ride.



    Fell a little less sensitive?
    i'm glad you're riding. (shakin' pom-poms here, an' booty, too)
    first star on the right and straight on 'til morning
    avatar is of dame edna

  20. #270
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    I got embarrassed long after I started riding and a few years after I quit racing. I had series of health and injury issues and spent a spring and two summers on my back, gaining nearly 100 lbs. over several years. I"ve found that people, including riders, are impressed that I still ride and am making and effort to lose weight.

    I really do think the only ones who should be embarrassed are those who don't execise or eat "healthy".

    I've been trying to "lose" for some time. I finally quit driving 1 1/2 years ago to force myself to ride more and have lost 30 lbs since. To get to my goal I think I'll need to increase mileage to 200-300 miles per week or do a lot of "push-aways", eat more veggies and less meat
    Pat5319


  21. #271
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    Just wanted to say that I used to be a great athelete, played college soccer, couldn't get tired, 30 years later, desk job, poor health choices... etc. and here I am 70lbs too heavy. Recently, I saw a huge guy on a bike and said, damn, I should do that.... Well, I just picked up my old mountain bike from local bike shop, put some slicks on, new stem..., and I'm going to be that guy.... for a while that is. No problemo. People who yell dumb stuff don't think about it 2 seconds before or after they say it so don't you. Ride and enjoy. If you get embarrassed just laugh at yourself, I laugh at myself all the time. Who cares... 99.9999 of people see bikers and think to themselves.. biker, cool, I should do that, I loved to bike back when... etc. Be a leader and show others, its fun, healthy, green, cool, ... BTW Tom you with oxygen riding the bike is the best ever.. go man.. You might have saved me a heart attack with your example.. Here's my last thought. $200, $2000, $10,000 whatever you spend on this sport is cheaper than the costs of health problems in costs of prescriptions, drs visits, time out of work, not to mention the positives of more energy, feeling and looking better, better mental health because you get out and excercise... Biking is a no brainer... You guys and girls Rock. See you out there.. One last thing... Encourage as many people as possible to bike... Promote it as best you can... It's good for everyone. thanks.

  22. #272
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    If someone says something bad while your riding... don't worry, just right down the license number.. I know this guy, he'll take care of it fogetta aboutit...

    Keep it light... ha, another joke..

  23. #273
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    I was embarrassed at the thought of biking at my size, 6'1'' and 275. I honestly did not believe that people my size biked. Maybe it was the fact that I had never seen another me out on the road. Finally, today, I stepped up, got a bike and will begin my journey back to healthy. Thanks to you guys, I have found new motivation and had my eyes opened to the real world. You guys are great!

  24. #274
    Senior Member apollored's Avatar
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    OK they ride motorbikes not pedal cycles but they have fun while they do it.


    Fair play to you for getting out there and riding your bike.

    Take no notice of anyone who might stare at you, you're showing them that you're confident enough to get on a bike and ride.

    And the gears will come to you with practice and speed will come with fitness. I dont ride very fast, or not as fast as I'd like right now, but I enjoy the scenery and the smells of summer.

    So just get out there and have fun, take a friend along and enjoy yourself.
    Apollo Revival MTB AKA Sunshine

  25. #275
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    This was a great read. I have just started cycling and at almost 300 lbs down from 350 last year 1/2 I have many of the same fears as the OP.

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