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  1. #101
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    I started much heavier than most of you (440 when I started, 400 when I got my bike) and I felt self conscious right up to the point that I got on my bike. I thought about it a lot earlier, what am I going to look like, are kids going to laugh, is anybody going to make snide remarks, etc. None of that happened, and I live in a european country where there are a lot fewer fat people, flat out. I'm the biggest person I know, and have been for many years.

    Anyway, my first ride in 18 years was 13km from the bike store home on one of the first really nice saturdays of the year - that meant the sidewalks and bike paths were full of people. Nobody stared, nobody said anything, they were busy doing their own thing. Heck, even if they did say something, by the time they got it out I had already ridden by.

    Now I'm up to averaging 20km/h on my MTB, gonna get a road bike for next year when I'm closer to 300lbs than I am now (365).

  2. #102
    Godbotherer dwellman's Avatar
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    Hmm.

    Ok, I admit, the first week or so I started running (285-ish), yeah, I maybe felt a little self conscious. I really don't remember why, though.

    Perhaps because against the population as a whole, what we are doing isn't exactly normal, is it? And for big dudes, definitely not normal or else we wouldn't be big dudes, now would we?

    So feeling self conscious and anxious is normal doing something not normal.

    Eventually, though, feeling self conscious gave way to one of two states:
    1) too sore / tired / hungry / thirsty to give a crap
    2) feeling impressive (That's right. Look at me you lazy bums. I'm running/riding and you ain't. Oh is it snowing? Didn't notice. Tropical storm? meh. It's only water. It'll wash off. That sounds like the honk of jealousy to me!)

    Yeah.
    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize"
    "So I do not run like someone who doesn't run toward the finish line. I do not fight like a boxer who hits nothing but air."
    "And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

  3. #103
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    I've been there. If you stick to it and lose a significant amount of weight (and you're anything like me) you'll come to welcome the taunts. For me it's a motivation thing. Every time some jerk yelled out some asinine comment or snicker I would just say to myself (yeah, I'm fat but I'm not as fat as I used to be and--- just wait). Worked for me. I feel like I kinda owe the idiots something.
    Last edited by raytobe; 05-28-11 at 10:01 PM. Reason: can't spell for ****e

  4. #104
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    I'll say this...anytime I see someone on the large side doing something physical (be it walking, running, or biking) I think/say to myself 'good on you for trying to do something about it'. I suspect the vast majority of people do the same.
    .
    .
    .
    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



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  5. #105
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwellman View Post
    Eventually, though, feeling self conscious gave way to one of two states:
    2) feeling impressive (That's right. Look at me you lazy bums. I'm running/riding and you ain't. Oh is it snowing? Didn't notice. Tropical storm? meh. It's only water. It'll wash off. That sounds like the honk of jealousy to me!)
    You wouldn't believe how many people question my sanity when they discover I commute by bike to work year-round. Rain? Turns out that human skin is waterproof. Who knew?

    Snow? Well, if the roads are safe to drive, then they're safe to ride - if you're willing to take a lane instead of riding on the shoulder where all the refrozen snow and ice sits.

    But... isn't it cold??? Yeah.... that's why I wear clothes. People pay thousands of dollars in gear to spend hundreds of dollars a day so they can, in the dead of winter, fly to a colder place than they live, stand outside in a line for 30 minutes so they can sit for 15 minutes on a cold moving bench so they can ski down the side of a mountain for 10 minutes. For some reason, THAT makes sense to people, but riding a bike in better weather on paved roads is crazy.
    DFL > DNF > DNS
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  6. #106
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    RichardGlover: When you start posting that you'd rather ride in cold icy weather then ....

  7. #107
    Chris
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    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.)

  8. #108
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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.)
    Do it dude. Best time to start is NOW. Warm weather makes starting the bike easier (even better if you live near a beach). For me, once I got started it carried over to colder weather and I bought a Norditrak ski machine to use in the winter. Once you see results (and they can be dramatic if you really try on the bike) you get motivated to carry on. Good Luck.

  9. #109
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    Hey mate!

    Good on ya for riding! Keep it up!

    I am in the same boat as you. I used to play Rugby until I got hurt and couldn't run anymore and ended up keeping the Rugby diet without keeping the Rugby exercise so I went from a girlish 20 stone (280 lbs) to a fat bast*** 27 stone (380 lbs). Unlike you I am also ugly as sin and look like a brute so I am twice cursed. Fortunately for me I can do something about the weight.

    I also believe that spandex is a privilege and not a right and look like a German tourist in a Speedo (*DON'T* Google this! You will go blind! For those of you who have seen it... My condolences.) but the extra padding around "the taint" makes a world of difference on the saddle so my advice would be to do what I do which is to wear sweats or cargo shorts over the spandex. It hides the nasty and it makes you look less like a wanna be speed daemon.

    Don't pay the tossers poking at you any mind. Just smile and wave at them. At the end of the day they don't matter. What matters is that you can loose weight but they can't change the fact that they are bitter unhappy little gobs who are so pitiful that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to put someone else down.

  10. #110
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrClyde View Post
    I think more people will be thinking "good for you" than anything else. If you get any looks of scorn, it's probably because they are jealous because they know they should be doing more.

    When I started, I could not ride up the hill back to my house. So for the first month or so, I had to walk my bike back to my house every ride.

    Make a note of your own personal milestones, you will look back in a year and impress yourself.


    THIS. I started losing weight last year July. I didn't go out on my bike though because I was too afraid of being made fun of. This year I decided I wouldn't care, so I got out the bike and started going every day.

    THREE people in my apartment complex ended up buying bikes over the next month, because they saw me going out every day and it made them feel guilty that this huge 370 pound guy was biking every day when they were doing nothing! I couldn't help but laugh when I found that out. Feels great to inspire people

  11. #111
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    I was fairly self-conscious about biking when I started. I have gotten the standard "GET ON THE SIDEWALK!" comments, but zero flack about my weight or appearance. I guess they figure anyone crazy enough to be biking on the evil, scary street is too crazy to be t*****d with.

  12. #112
    Senior Member 1FJEF's Avatar
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    I stay out of everybodys way, and often pop up on to the sidewalk just for safety. I'm in central California (a.k.a. Northern Mexico) and it is not safe on the roads anyway, plus the sidewalks are paved better here. Also NO NIGHT RIDING unless you are FAST!! Been mugged twice, and I live in a good nieghborhood.

  13. #113
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    Here in our municipality it is actually illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are for pedestrians.

  14. #114
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Same thing here, but it doesn't stop people from doing it. I've even been known to ride short stretches of sidewalk when absolutely forced to. I draw the line at riding the wrong way on them, though. That's a good way to get yourself knocked over by right-turning drivers.
    Craig in Indy

  15. #115
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I thought sidewalk riding was illegal in Illinois but after reading a Illinois Sec. of State pamplet It states "If you ride on a sidewalk you must act and operate like a pedestrian... Ride slowly."

  16. #116
    Fredly
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    I wear shorts over my lycra unless it's night time. At night I'll ride without the extra shorts but I have found that funny things happen when I'm in the lycra. For example, last week I was doing a quick 10 mile loop around the city here. It was a Saturday night about midnight and I'm wearing my flashing safety vest. Part of the loop goes right through downtown so the people at the bars had lots of time to see me coming. They lined up to razz me, laugh, etc. I mean, they were lined up all alone the little fence of the bar. So I'm riding by getting cat calls, whistles, laughs, and any abuse these clown throw at me and have to stop at the light right there. The next thing I know there's some women that I hear saying, "What are you laughing for? YOU can't do that." Heh.. apparently it's a lot more enjoyable to make fun of someone when other people don't know you're out of shape. Half of the bozos stopped immediately after that.

    Personally, I couldn't care less what they think as long as they're not throwing anything at me. Ohhh.. I look bad in lycra? Bah! What guy doesn't?

  17. #117
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    Never be ashamed of who you are.
    Do not let other people get you down.
    Ride at your own pace and style.

  18. #118
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by iconicflux View Post
    . Ohhh.. I look bad in lycra? Bah! What guy doesn't?
    This one. And he looks good in yellow too.


  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    I thought sidewalk riding was illegal in Illinois but after reading a Illinois Sec. of State pamplet It states "If you ride on a sidewalk you must act and operate like a pedestrian... Ride slowly."
    Keep in mind that just because it not banned under the state code, it can still be banned at the county or municiple level.

  20. #120
    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    Large folk in spandex and on bicycles

    I posted my experience regarding large folk in spandex on bicycles about a month back.
    (never again will I ever presume clydes and athena's can't haul arse)
    I've got several 30something neighbors (I'm 68 218lbs)who used to snicker about the large old guy on the bicycle.
    Then one day..they tried to keep pace with the large old guy on the bicycle....and got dropped.
    End of snickering.

    Here's the way I look at it.
    You're out on the bike doing something positive for yourself and your health.
    Exactly what are those 'spectators in life' doing ?

  21. #121
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    First of all, NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF IF YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE!
    Secondly, I started riding @ 390 something on an old MTB my father-in-law gave me, it was a green Mongoose with a front shock that contained struts and machined aluminum. He had it set for maximum drop on the bars and it killed my back and hands every time I rode it. But I continued to side because I had forgotten that rush and feeling of freedom that I had as a child when I would ride my bike. Riding helped me FINALLY kick the cigarettes for good(been 1 1/2 years now).
    On a third note, I am currently helping my in-laws in running a day care facility they had tenants in since they had retired, but have found out it wasn't in the cards. I now work over 12 hours a day and only get to ride when I need to run to the store for some last minute thing or because of something happening. The children here do not make fun of me, or give me any grief. They in fact say exactly the opposite, they find 'cool' and 'awesome' and other such positive remarks that I ride a bike too. They have said they want to bring thier bikes to ride with me also.
    So, in closing, Just do what YOU do. If you enjoy it and you aren't breaking the law, have a great time!
    It's the small victories in life that lead to winning the battle!

  22. #122
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Thought I'd join the party late.

    I had my left knee replaced in 11/09 and bought a Giant Suede DX and started riding bout March 2010 at bout 378lbs. I got a total of 650 miles in 2010. Due to other issues I am now on a TerraTrike Rover recumbent trike. My right hip was replaced 18 days ago, yesterday I got the OK to start riding my Trike, did one mile yesterday, and 2.5 miles today. I weigh 352lbs today.

    Even though I have not lost much weight, my heart health has improved a huge amount, I used to see the heart DR every 1-2 weeks, now I see him once a year. For me, riding is a MUST DO to save my life. Yes, I felt embarrassed, yes I was and am worried bout what people will say, and I joined the zero MPH fall group in front of friends and many other people too.

    It is so worth it for my life and health that what others think or say simply does not matter.





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  23. #123
    Probably Injured beebe's Avatar
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    Cool trike bro.

  24. #124
    Senior Member Mithrandir'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.)

    DO IT! You WILL NOT regret it!

  25. #125
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iconicflux View Post
    I wear shorts over my lycra unless it's night time. At night I'll ride without the extra shorts but I have found that funny things happen when I'm in the lycra. For example, last week I was doing a quick 10 mile loop around the city here. It was a Saturday night about midnight and I'm wearing my flashing safety vest. Part of the loop goes right through downtown so the people at the bars had lots of time to see me coming. They lined up to razz me, laugh, etc. I mean, they were lined up all alone the little fence of the bar. So I'm riding by getting cat calls, whistles, laughs, and any abuse these clown throw at me and have to stop at the light right there. The next thing I know there's some women that I hear saying, "What are you laughing for? YOU can't do that." Heh.. apparently it's a lot more enjoyable to make fun of someone when other people don't know you're out of shape. Half of the bozos stopped immediately after that.

    Personally, I couldn't care less what they think as long as they're not throwing anything at me. Ohhh.. I look bad in lycra? Bah! What guy doesn't?

    I'm actually considering getting some lycra shorts. I'm getting sick of the rashes that my tighty whiteys leave on my upper thighs. Only problem is, I have no idea what size to wear. I'm about a 52 waist now, and still shrinking. I was miraculously able to find a brand of cotton/polyester gym shorts that fit me nicely in size 2XL, which is fortuitous, because the damn things cost twice as much in 3XL+.

    However, I can't seem to find any large lycra shorts; everything stops at 2XL. I'm tempted to try the 2XL's, but since they're supposed to be tight, I'm worried about them being too tight... Anyone have any suggestions?

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