Hi folks, I'm brand new to the forum here. I know this is an old post to be replying to, but I wanted to offer my appreciation because I found this discussion to be pretty helpful. I just bought my first ever bike because I need the exercise (but I'm not interested in racing; I bought a hybrid so I could enjoy the fresh air & take my time) and had no interest in joining a gym. I feel pretty self conscious about it because I'm also a big guy. This thread was pretty helpful.
When people see you ride it makes it easier for them to take their first ride.
We are positive examples for those who haven't taken the first step.
Grimly determined to have fun.
At 280 pounds, I'm not embarrassed to be riding my bike, I'm more just thankful that I can. That said, there's a saying about fat people and Spandex, so I wear street clothing when riding. Once I get down to looking a lot less like the Pillsbury Doughboy on steroids, maybe I'll reconsider. A decade ago, before my hiatus from cycling, when I was riding over 100 miles per week, and my weight was slightly under 200, I didn't mind wearing cycling attire, and actually didn't look bad wearing it. Hopefully I will get to that point again.
Schwinn '80 Cruiser, '91 CrossCut, '91 CrissCross Cannondale'10 Quick 4
Marin '09 ING Direct Special Edition Kentfield FS; Performance '93 X103
When I started riding again after a hiatus a few years back (not keeping track of the time), I have to restart and look pretty ridiculous at first, (was not keeping track of my weight, either) I walked my bike more often than riding it because of the hills, and most people were very encouraging.
There was an SUV full of college girls who stopped at a stop sign, and they all looked at me and laughed their heads off. "It's okay," I said. "At your age, I used to make fun of overweight, gray-haired people, too." Then I laughed back. They blinked with an "uh?" expression as the SUV drove away.
Any annoyance goes away quickly for me because the enjoyment of the ride takes over, or the adrenaline is used up in effort.
I used to be a very unhappy, overweight person who hated cyclists, until about 8 years ago I hurt my back and couldn't go on walks any more. So I got a bike and rode everywhere, and uhm, learned about the rules of the road, and realized I'd been wrong all along. Ha!
So, in spite of my annoyance, when cars honk at me, I figure I'm just getting paid back, and have to bear up under it. With humor. Whenever people laugh at me, I laugh with them, because I no longer really mind how silly I look. Better they are laughing than giving me poisonous looks or trying to run me down, anyway.
Humble pie doesn't taste so bad, really, when you've gained a bit more joy in your life as a result!
And happy people don't make fun of others... they encourage them.
What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.
Everyone does the walk of shame at some point and if you start a thread asking everyone about their best (worst) walk of shame/clipless fall/embarrassing thing to happen on a bike...you will get some pretty interesting answers.
oh, me! pick me first! me-me-me-me! ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze let me go first!
ok,ok, here we go........
downtown denver, riding on the street, there's a construction zone ahead (always) and i decide to take to the
sidewalk for a couple of blocks. i was gonna do the sideways hop, front end first. mis-timed it and the front wheel came down too soon, scraped the sidewalk, throwing me off and into a large window. plastered me against it. miracle it didn't break.
as i slowly slid down the glass i looked through it and...
the window was a gym and all these babes on treadmills who had been looking out the window froze. jaws dropped, a couple got tangled in the 'mills (electric) and had to jump for their lives.
dead silence for a few seconds then the screeching started. some came running out to see whether i'd been killed (or maybe just to confirm it).
i was pretty well stunned and they were really sweet. once i gathered my wits a bit i started laughing at myself. they looked at each other and laughed, too.
i think i strained everything i possibly could. slight scratch on front fork (in case you wondered).
bet they told that story for a month.
first star on the right and straight on 'til morning
avatar is of dame edna
I don't worry much about what people think of seeing my big frame on a bike. I'm too busy avoiding cars and pot-holes while enjoying the fresh air. My only pet peeve is people who assume I'm slow. The motorists who turn in front of me forcing me to slam the breaks or the fair weather cyclists who stream in front of me at a red light only to pass them a couple hundred meters later. After 3 years of regular commuting I can keep up with the average bicycle traffic no problem. Despite my size my cardiae-vascular is in tiptop shape.
As a Clyde myself I can certainly say I've had mechanical problems because of weight load. I ride a mountain bike frame since they're usually tougher. Most common issue is the rear wheel failing. At least every year or so I have to get the rear wheel repaired or replaced. The first time I walked into the shop with a busted rear axle I felt embarrassed. But I don't worry about it anymore. Now, I just chalk it up to wear and tear since I cycle almost year round. Just this week on my first winter commute when I got home I found busted spokes.
As one mechanic once told me: "you ride the sh*t out of your bike!" And I do and I'm proud of it.
I just joined today and have spent a lot of time reading thru some of the threads here. I am starting from the very beginning here after a back injury 6 years ago and complete inactivity since....regained lots of weight that I had worked very hard to get off. I just bought a Schwinn Meridian Trike and while I might feel self-conscious about it the bottom line is that I'm out there and on it...started with once around the block and working up from there.
So embarrassed...yeah but so glad to be on the move again!
I just started riding a few months ago after getting advice off these forums for a large bloke on a bike i got started. As it stands i do about 13Km a day for my trip to and from work and while at first i felt large slow and in everyone's ways , it doesn't take long to get around that and once you do you start to feel great. While I have the 1 in 100 idiot who drives to close or yells abuse I have also noticed the people who see me everyday and often give a wave or friendly shout. So my advice ignore the scum wave to the good people and keep pedaling because you are not home yet .
Quick little story Was riding along the main road near my work just cruising as i was early any way, and i see a new Cyclist I haven't seen before . We are both coming up on the part where the bike lane changes to a bike path and you have a slight bump . He hits it to hard to fast at the wrong angle and he face plants the ground .
Now 6 months ago if I was walking I might have just laughed to my self and walked on by , but these days i understand what it is like to ride and what it feel likes to take your self out like that . Yep i did the very same thing the first week i road .
So i get off the bike help him up check him over and we start talking . Long story short I have a new ridding buddy on the way to work he learnt something and i now understand that everyone screws up at some point the only true measure is how you react when someone else screws up and needs a hand.
also Gloves, gloves stop gravel rash when you go over the handle bars and evolution kicks in and you stick you soft unprotected hands out
TLR welcome to the boards
Tact is for people who arenít witty enough to use sarcasm.
Early helplessness is the price we pay for later brilliance. Or, at least our later capacity for non-idiocy
Stay courageous, folks!
don't you dare give up....i'm 48 been cycling 35 years.......... most people driving past are thinking they should be cycling instead of driving
To all of you new riders: don't give up.
I was definitely self-conscious and nervous when I first started riding. I felt like people were judging me.
Then the bike took over.
After I started riding regularly discovered a newfound sense of mobility and freedom. I discovered a sense of fun also! The bike also requires a lot of concentration. With time, miles, and patience you begin to understand that what people say about you on your bike is a reflection of their own insecurity if they're trying to put you down. I feel great when I ride and nobody can take that from me.
When you feel your internal confidence radiate people will pick up on that and dig it. If they don't they're just scared and insecure about themselves.
When I was at my heaviest (5'10" 325+ lbs.) I was very self conscious about starting to ride so I rode at night. It helped a lot as I could ride on inconspicuous roads with little traffic. Went through a few generator lights kits in those days until I was comfortable enough to ride strictly in the light of day. I think one of the best days of my life was the first time I rode on the VA. Beach boardwalk bike path wearing summer clothes at noon. Still don't wear spandex though.
Motobecane Vent Noir Single Speed (my baby)
Gary Fisher Gitche Gumee (commuter/ lite off road)
Late 80/early 90 steel frame Fuji (unknown model)
When I re-started riding seriously for physical, mental and spiritual health I weighed in at 226. That was 18 months ago. I'm down to 210 and have been there for quite a while event though I'm riding about 150 miles a week, with sprint intervals thrown in for fun on most rides. My problem is that I've slimmed way down on the sides, so I look good from the back or directly in front. Viewed from the side, I look pregnant! Big, round "beer" gut. I feel self conscious in my tighter jerseys but I do pull my gut in which actually helps to strengthen my lower back and core (or so my doctor tells me). So, this "curse" is actually doing me some good!
BTW, in my cycling club there are plenty of clydes who are way faster with better endurance than I. So weight isn't necessarily a hindrance. Just keep riding for YOUR enjoyment, ignore idiots and do an occasional sprint if you feel like it. You'll get faster and stronger in no time!
I hear ya, but dont' worry as much- people watch/notice much less than you than you think, most are secretly doing a thumbs up, jealous, envious etc, even if somebody is staring laughing whatever f**k 'em. I broke more stuff when I weighed 165 lbs than I do now.
get out there, you're just giving yourself an excuse to not get into shape now. When people are really out there to get into shape i applaud them. forget the snobs. The only thing to be embarrassed about is not willing to get onto your bike and letting it sit there.
"3rd, I’m going through the learning process of getting the gears rightfor what I want to do. So when I come to an incline, I am sometimes not in theright gear and by the time I have figured it out its too late and I can’t pedalso have to get off."
This is a very common problem and dropping the chain is a real bummer. I reduced this problem considerably by becoming more conscience of my cadence. I started off by a one-one thousand cadence and now it is a little faster. I found myself shifting more—headwind, tailwind, uphill, downhill and stop signs. Once my legs learned this cadence they would often remind my mind to shift. I also reduced this problem with trigger shifters. I have a hybrid and the trigger shifters make shifting almost effortlessly.
As for the comments, you’re the one biking and they’re not. You’re the one having all the fun so the joke’son them.
Hello all, I have read many of the post and they are truly inspiring. I'm new as a member and I must say all the stories and encouraging post have made me decide to get back on a bike. My main source of inspiration is wanting to ride with my sons (8 & 3).
I have not ridden a bike for 25 years, so I have no idea what bike to start with. I would be considered a clyde + (if there is such a thing) as I'm 6 foot 330 pounds.
I have visited a couple local bike shops and everyone I spoke with was very supportive, but there are many styles and options for bikes. I was hoping to get some feedback from people that are not trying to sell me a bike as to what are good bikes and components for a person my size. My preference would be a comfort bike and one that won't break the bank for an introductory level.
Any advise you can give would be appreciated.