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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 12-01-12, 08:46 AM   #326
Mark Stone
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Here's an odd little tactic that I've used occasionally when I feel embarassed to ride because of size. It is simply to ride after dark. Sounds dorky I know, but I occasionally feel better about the ride if I do it in the dark. Nowadays, that most of my weight loss is in the books and I only have 20 or so pounds to lose until I reach goal, it's not that much of an issue, but it helped a lot.

I know ideally it would be better just to go out and ride and not be concerned what everybody else thinks, but sometimes I would just get tired of it. Fortunately in my city (El Paso) night rides are very, very pleasant even during the winter.
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Old 12-01-12, 08:55 AM   #327
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Well Neil, you're hanging out on a bike forum.. Good start! If you have medical clearance, find a riding buddy and have at it. you may have to start off in the gym if you live in a harsh weather environment to increase your chance of consistency. Recumbent exercise bike, eliptical, regular stationary bike etc. Get back to it one day at a time for the short term, and for the long term, the "RAP" ride. (ride across Pennsylvania). To offer an incentive ride, you could aim at riding rAgbrai (Registers annual great bike ride across Iowa). (Biggest organized ride in the world(so I am told) I am an extremist! You can do this, you know you can, and there are plenty of folks on this forum that visit frequently to drink from the fountain of perpetual encouragement!
I should explain I do, or at least did, solo touring, not a group event like Ragbrai. My 2011 ride across PA and part of Ohio was to be solo aside from the first two days, but I hurt my back and shelved my plans.
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Old 12-07-12, 11:30 AM   #328
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ROB65 Get some Nashbar Corsa HD wheels, 25mm tires and ride the hell out of that Klein. It's a beauty in need of a new seat!

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_516608_-1___ Don't know who would return a set of these but the are just over $100.00. Normally around $150.00.

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Old 12-08-12, 10:24 PM   #329
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I hate to admit it, but I do a lot of cycling and running at night or at dusk because I am so slow.
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Old 12-08-12, 10:32 PM   #330
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you guys just need to get over it. There will always be someone faster. I am a year into this, and even with a year of riding and running, I was out this morning on a run, and passed a guy with his 3 dogs coming at me. I ran on my way. Buy the time I got two miles further, he had passed me back (not sure how much further he ran down, but I bet it was a ways. So this guy ran down to the school, and back, and still passed me two miles later. I gave up caring last year My wife drops me on ever ride, I don't care anymore.

I still go, and feel pretty good that I am doing just that, going...not sitting on the couch, but going.

I hope to get faster one day, but really dont care if I do, I plan to still go.

Screw what other people think!
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Old 12-09-12, 06:44 AM   #331
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you guys just need to get over it. There will always be someone faster. I am a year into this, and even with a year of riding and running, I was out this morning on a run, and passed a guy with his 3 dogs coming at me. I ran on my way. Buy the time I got two miles further, he had passed me back (not sure how much further he ran down, but I bet it was a ways. So this guy ran down to the school, and back, and still passed me two miles later. I gave up caring last year My wife drops me on ever ride, I don't care anymore.

I still go, and feel pretty good that I am doing just that, going...not sitting on the couch, but going.

I hope to get faster one day, but really dont care if I do, I plan to still go.

Screw what other people think!
My slow speed bugs me. Mostly because I wanted to ride with a particular group and I can't. But what was really disturbing (kind of) is that my spouse outsprinted me on our first day here in Florida. I couldn't keep up. I have ridden nearly 3500 miles this year. He has ridden maybe 300 miles this year. I am not overweight. He is. I work on strength training. He doesn't. But he can easily outsprint me.
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Old 12-09-12, 06:55 AM   #332
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My slow speed bugs me. Mostly because I wanted to ride with a particular group and I can't. But what was really disturbing (kind of) is that my spouse outsprinted me on our first day here in Florida. I couldn't keep up. I have ridden nearly 3500 miles this year. He has ridden maybe 300 miles this year. I am not overweight. He is. I work on strength training. He doesn't. But he can easily outsprint me.
I realize this might upset you, but I recall reading somewhere that men have 20 per cent greater muscle mass than women.
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Old 12-09-12, 07:01 AM   #333
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My slow speed bugs me. Mostly because I wanted to ride with a particular group and I can't. But what was really disturbing (kind of) is that my spouse outsprinted me on our first day here in Florida. I couldn't keep up. I have ridden nearly 3500 miles this year. He has ridden maybe 300 miles this year. I am not overweight. He is. I work on strength training. He doesn't. But he can easily outsprint me.
I realize this might upset you, but I recall reading somewhere that men have 20 per cent greater muscle mass than women.
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Old 12-09-12, 07:03 AM   #334
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I realize this might upset you, but I recall reading somewhere that men have 20 per cent greater muscle mass than women.
For sure he has to have a lot more muscle mass than I do. He is a big guy. It just was surprising more than anything that he could easily out sprint me despite his lack of fitness. On the other hand, he does not have my endurance. But thinking about it, probably most women can out sprint me too. Even back in grade school I was always near to the last to finish a race. It is not in my make up to be a sprinter.

Why would I be upset at muscle mass differences between men and women? I am upset that you guys can pee standing up!

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Old 12-09-12, 09:13 AM   #335
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you guys just need to get over it. There will always be someone faster. I am a year into this, and even with a year of riding and running, I was out this morning on a run, and passed a guy with his 3 dogs coming at me. I ran on my way. Buy the time I got two miles further, he had passed me back (not sure how much further he ran down, but I bet it was a ways. So this guy ran down to the school, and back, and still passed me two miles later. I gave up caring last year My wife drops me on ever ride, I don't care anymore.

I still go, and feel pretty good that I am doing just that, going...not sitting on the couch, but going.

I hope to get faster one day, but really dont care if I do, I plan to still go.

Screw what other people think!

In motorcycling we say "ride your own ride" and I think it is fitting here too. In motorcycling going faster than your skill= death, here it can just make you feel like death. I understand Goldfinch's feelings, but I just hope it doesn't keep her from riding.

Personally I prefer to ride alone because I like being in my own head for awhile, with five kids and a wife at home though this may be understandable.
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Old 12-09-12, 11:12 AM   #336
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My slow speed bugs me. Mostly because I wanted to ride with a particular group and I can't. But what was really disturbing (kind of) is that my spouse outsprinted me on our first day here in Florida. I couldn't keep up. I have ridden nearly 3500 miles this year. He has ridden maybe 300 miles this year. I am not overweight. He is. I work on strength training. He doesn't. But he can easily outsprint me.

GF,

I am not trying to minimize the feelings, I get it. I am saying having them does no one any good. If I felt bad every time my wife beat me, I would feel that way 24/7. She climbs with the A mens group. She leaves me sitting in the dust, my heart going 180 bpm with her barely breaking a sweat.

We are all different and trying to compare yourself, to those around you (especially in a sport where truly fit persons participate) is crazy, because you dont ever compare yourself to those NOT in the sport. I keep coming back to the fact that while I will be in the back of the pack on that climb, I am in the pack, and I am doing the climb. AND I am actually having fun with it. I would like to be faster, and work on that goal, but I get some satisfaction being where I am...otherwise it would be too easy to quit.

I suppose I keep remembering that quote "what would we accomplish if something didn't always stand in our way"
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Old 12-09-12, 11:59 AM   #337
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Yes, I understand it does no good. I have a competitive streak that doesn't fit well with physical endeavors. But I really do deal with it just fine. My only real regret about it is that my friends who ride together in the summer are too fast for me. And that isn't about the competitiveness, that is just wanting to hang with my friends.

Fortunately, I am also happy riding alone.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:05 PM   #338
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Yes, I understand it does no good. I have a competitive streak that doesn't fit well with physical endeavors. But I really do deal with it just fine. My only real regret about it is that my friends who ride together in the summer are too fast for me. And that isn't about the competitiveness, that is just wanting to hang with my friends.

Fortunately, I am also happy riding alone.
goldfinch, I have been in that situation where I was always the slowest one and struggling to keep up with the slow group. I used to get dropped and would get lost a lot. It's discouraging.
It took me several years but I finally found some speed. I knew I had some in me, but sometimes I am amazed. I always thought I was the slow plugger without a single fast-twitch muscle fiber to my name.
First, be patient. You've not been riding so long that you've shown all your capabilities.
Second, be consistent on the bike and build up basic endurance and fitness. (I'm sure you've done this).
Without that base, speed work can overtax you and set you back.
Third, on one ride each week I will focus on high intensity and riding as fast as possible on 4 intervals that are about 15 minutes long. I rest a few minutes between intervals, drink water, etc.
I rest the day before and after and make sure I am nourished.
In order to ride fast, you have to ride fast.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:12 PM   #339
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Anybody who worries about how somebody looks on a bicycle isn't pedaling hard enough.
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Old 12-10-12, 05:18 PM   #340
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goldfinch, I have been in that situation where I was always the slowest one and struggling to keep up with the slow group. I used to get dropped and would get lost a lot. It's discouraging.
It took me several years but I finally found some speed. I knew I had some in me, but sometimes I am amazed. I always thought I was the slow plugger without a single fast-twitch muscle fiber to my name.
First, be patient. You've not been riding so long that you've shown all your capabilities.
Second, be consistent on the bike and build up basic endurance and fitness. (I'm sure you've done this).
Without that base, speed work can overtax you and set you back.
Third, on one ride each week I will focus on high intensity and riding as fast as possible on 4 intervals that are about 15 minutes long. I rest a few minutes between intervals, drink water, etc.
I rest the day before and after and make sure I am nourished.
In order to ride fast, you have to ride fast.
Last winter I rode mostly long slow rides but would do intervals once or twice a week. It did improve my speed a bit, but not enough to get me to the point of being able to ride with my friends. I disliked doing the intervals and started skipping them. Your post encourages me to go back and try again, this time with longer intervals that by necessity will not be as fast as ones that last a minute or two.
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Old 12-11-12, 11:33 AM   #341
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Last winter I rode mostly long slow rides but would do intervals once or twice a week. It did improve my speed a bit, but not enough to get me to the point of being able to ride with my friends. I disliked doing the intervals and started skipping them. Your post encourages me to go back and try again, this time with longer intervals that by necessity will not be as fast as ones that last a minute or two.
Intervals for the sake of structured intervals require more mental toughness than I'll claim. I just find places in my routes that I can do some intense riding.
Playing chase with slightly faster riders motivates me. Let a slower rider get a head start then chase them down. These work well for rides with friends when you'll ride your own pace, drift apart a bit; then regroup.
Varying things up will develop you more than always riding at the same effort level and length of time. Short steep climbs (1 minute), flat/gradual incline into headwinds time trials (20 minutes), green light sprints (15 seconds), flat/gradual decline tailwind sprints (5 minutes). They're all good.
There are some good resources on general cycling training principles.
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Old 12-14-12, 11:23 AM   #342
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I was always a big kid. Not tall big, just big big. Honestly, not like today's big kids, but I was perhaps 20% overweight. Back in the 60's and 70's that was big. I have the yearbooks, with pictures of me where my friends wrote (what I saw as) cruel fat jokes next to them and I wasn't really fat. I injured my back as a 5 year old and again when I was in my teens. But I joined the AirForce and got down to a reasonable weight for awhile (5'10", 180-190, big bones). I got married at 21, had two kids, got a desk job and by my late 30's, I was over 350. I HATED exercise and liked food, which is NOT a good combination.

By my mid 40's, I couldn't sit up for more than an hour a day and was over 400lbs. One day, something happened and the pain in my back and legs wouldn't stop. Ten days in the hospital and I came out at 380 (went in a 412), but still hadn't learned my lesson. I went to gastric bypass meetings and when I turned 48, started talking to the docs. I was TERRIFIED of having someone mess with my guts (even thinking about it now scares me). I decided I would do something. I didn't.

At 49, I got diagnosed with diabetes. I had always amazed the docs by my health. They would say things like, if we couldn't see you were fat, no test would tell us you were fat. So I kept letting it go. Hovered around 365. Then high blood pressure. Then as part of the tests for the surgery (which I was drawing out in epic-ly long times, now approaching two years), they found I'd had a heart attack and the bottom part of my heart was not functioning. Which meant no surgery. Every trip to the doc revealed something new. The docs called, and scheduled an invasive heart test. Turns out that I was so fat that the machine read my heart wrong and it was in perfect shape.

Got a call three weeks before my 50th birthday. Doc said, schedule the surgery now or we're done playing. I said OK, let's go. He scheduled it for August 29 - six days before my birthday. Went in, had complications, stayed an extra few days but went home on my 50th. A year later and the 365 has dropped to 225. The docs aren't happy - they want that below 200. So I got a bike. Been riding now a month. Hurt my butt something fierce at first - now I can go about five miles before the pain is something I notice - and ride about 10 miles! Lots of uphill where I ride, too. No smooth intro to the sport on flat lands.

My back is nearly ruined, to the point I take huge amounts of painkillers every day and have for many years. But the bike is slowly eating away at the extra weight and adding tone to muscles that have never had it. And it's the first exercise I have ever, in 51 years, enjoyed. All of rode as kids, but I never liked riding. Now I look forward to it. I try to ride every other day. I'd love it if I lived somewhere flatter, but I think the hills are just making things take less time. I go down a mile or so to the beginning of the town bike trail (and lose about 300' of elevation), then go up - sometimes 5 miles, once in a while 7 to the top (about 600' of elevation climb), then a nice long downhill home.

I was VERY surprised my back allowed me to ride. I bought a recumbent trike last year and despite $800 of mods, couldn't make it work where a ten minute ride didn't end up as HOURS of agony. And that was supposed to be for people with bad backs!! The semi-upright position of my DS is near perfect. Replaced the saddle four times (three wider, softer, then one narrower and harder and that's the one that works!). My goal is 190 by the end of January. Exercise alone won't do it. A year after my gastric bypass, I can eat most anything - just smaller amounts. Like 3-4 oz at a time. But no matter what else you do, if you don't reduce caloric intake to below output, you won't lose weight. There is no magical formula and no one's body is immune to this. So I need to reduce and change what I eat as well as ride.

People try to get around the intake-vs-output formula with all kinds of rationalizations, but in the end, it's the only thing that matters. For me, biking has allowed me to eat real food and adjust the output. I love that.

Part of my ride is past a high school and I rode at 3:!5 one day. Just plain stupid. I passed a good 100 kids on that trip and only one had any comment. He smiled and said "fat ass". Pretty funny, no? I'm at 220 and was at 412, yet I'm still a fat ass. Probably still be at 190.

Sorry for the book, I love to write. I also love to read and this thread has been terrific. Keep it up, all!!!
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Old 12-15-12, 12:45 PM   #343
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MadProphet, you didn't write a book in your post. Books are bound, and you are obviously unbound. Congratulations to you and thank you for sharing your story!
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Old 12-17-12, 10:59 AM   #344
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Well, thank you Neil! Unbound or unwound... I'm not sure. I'm sure some that know me would say other things.

You know, until this thread, it never occurred to me to ride at night or take steps to keep myself hidden from others - and I'm so dang self conscious that I don't like to go to the store alone and wouldn't go to sharpen a pencil when I was a kid in school. In fact, no thoughts like this ever crossed my mind when I was considering taking up biking. I gave more thought to the fact that my new bike was bright freakin' blue and white than concealing myself riding. (I would have preferred black or dark grey - and that may be one of the reasons I end up getting a Cannondale Bad Boy in the future)

I was so stoked to be getting out there and riding and, for the first time in my 50+ years of life, getting some degree of fitness, that I never stopped to consider whether others would have words for me. Like I said before, I even rode, albeit unknowingly but even that says something, while school was getting out.

Ya'll are doing more than any moron with something to say is doing. I'm not going to say hollow words like "don't let it bug you" or anything else similar. I've had my share (and then some) of those words and no way of thinking about it diminishes the feelings. I don't have some magic way of telling you not to worry except maybe to say that if you make the changes - and cycling is certainly one - to make yourself smaller than you'll become smaller. Then you can ride and live like all of the rest - unnoticed.

When the docs told me I'd get down to the 190's or so, I was like 'oh hell no!' Everyone, for ever, has called me Big Al. So I'd be what? Little Al? Just Al? No no no. While I hated being fat, it did make me stand out. People remembered me easily. What's funny is, at least to me, to people meeting me for the first time now (at 225 vs 365), I'm still 'fat'. So I'm not in danger, yet, of fading into the background. Perhaps I'm alone in this respect, but I think not.

In 'Game of Thrones', Peter Dinklage (the dwarf) tells the bastard son of one of the main characters to embrace his 'bastard-ness'. Wear it proudly and that way, no one can hurt you with it. I said I wouldn't use hollow words or phrases and I don't mean for these to be that, but seriously, if you acknowledge and wear your size first, how can anyone hurt you with saying it? While 2/3 of America's adults are, in some form, too big, we let that 1/3 dictate how we feel about ourselves. Er, we're the majority now - and we can sit on you 1/3 and squish you. Perhaps we should be making fun of them!

Anyway, just get out and ride! I'm not going to ride at 3:15 on a school day again, but other than that, I ain't allowing a bunch of skinny look-alike mannikins to force me to ride at night! (Even if I did just get a new Nite Rider 500 headlight that I'm DYING to try out!)
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Old 12-17-12, 11:04 AM   #345
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The opinions of children on any question deeper than "is there enough room in the toes?" are not worth considering.
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Old 12-17-12, 02:46 PM   #346
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Newbie here, and a Clydesdale at that. Exactly why I bought my Trek Navigator 2.0. At 240 one time. Down to 232 (hey that is an improvement). I saw some people bicycling on the "Broadwalk" at Hollywood Beach and had the thought "hey that would be a way to exercise that I would like". Just got it today. Had it out for a short run - I will have to build up the cardiovascular before going at it too hard.
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Old 12-17-12, 02:48 PM   #347
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Welcome! Enjoy the ride; don't worry about the exercise aspect. When it gets easier, that will come on its own (under the heading of "Fun").
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-18-12, 03:32 PM   #348
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Well, passed my second group of high schoolers today. These were from a continuation school I didn't even know existed until I was about to pass it. One lad who looks like (from his actions as I approached and manner and dress, perhaps not the measure of a man) he has a career in corrections came out from his little group and (since I was riding up a steep hill at the very end of my longest ride ever) blew smoke in my face and said...something. He expression was one of challenge and intimidation. I had Temple of the Dog playing in my headphones at a fairly decent volume and didn't hear - much less care - what he said. I replied "good morning" and smiled and kept climbing. About ten minutes later, I was returning downhill and passed him again. This time, his entourage was gone and his only companion a cloud of smoke enveloping him in the 34 degree weather. This time he waved and smiled. Maybe I misread the original expression. Maybe not.

I realized when I got home that this was my first ride where my lycra was not covered by sweats - at least, from the waist down. Maybe that's what he was commenting on...

13.3 miles @ 5.28 mph average. Low of 1250' to a high of 2380'. 1:32 of ride time.
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Old 12-24-12, 10:18 AM   #349
kinetic
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Had some guy call me a ****** from a car earlier in the week. I was a a little steamed.....but for the first time in years I didnt take it personally because I was out there working at it and have been making progress. While I am out in great weather enjoying my exercise this guy was trapped in a car.

We can use the progress we make, or even the fact that we are trying at all, to set aside these taunts and insults.
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Old 12-24-12, 10:43 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by Rev Dennis View Post
Newbie here, and a Clydesdale at that. Exactly why I bought my Trek Navigator 2.0. At 240 one time. Down to 232 (hey that is an improvement). I saw some people bicycling on the "Broadwalk" at Hollywood Beach and had the thought "hey that would be a way to exercise that I would like". Just got it today. Had it out for a short run - I will have to build up the cardiovascular before going at it too hard.
Hey Rev, anytime you want to head south, I'm near Pottstown. Always looking for people to ride with.
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