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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 05-05-11, 04:05 AM   #1
Pub
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New Embarrassed Rider

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?
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Old 05-05-11, 04:31 AM   #2
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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?
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Old 05-05-11, 04:40 AM   #3
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Yes Tom that’s me minus the beard.
Quick change of subject – what size wheels and tyres are on that bike?
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Old 05-05-11, 04:43 AM   #4
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no worries; common thoughts. also experienced riders have been there and done that too so take your time and get comfortable. btw: there are those that will chide cyclists regardless of their fitness level or appearance. they are just anti-cyclists!
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Old 05-05-11, 04:49 AM   #5
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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... they always find some idiotic thing to say, lol. Although, I find that it happens less if you're riding with a friend or two. For some reason it's easier for them to justify it towards a lone rider than it is to a small group of 2-3, heh.
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Old 05-05-11, 04:51 AM   #6
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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’m 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’m 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’m a Clyde.

3rd, I’m 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’t pedal so have to get off. Another reason for being paranoid and looking a fool.

4th, I’m 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?
If you're new to cycling chances are all four are fairly normal. When I started I felt much the same, although perhaps with less paranoia that people were specifically watching me or that I'd break the bike, because I chose a sturdy mountain bike.

I hadn't cycled in 20-odd years, weighed somewhere around 280-290, had a beautiful gleaming black mountain bike, and enough fitness and muscular strength to be overtaken by just about anything else on two wheels. OK, I never got overtaken by a pushchair or a child with training wheels but you get the picture. The key thing was that I was an overweight guy, with the helmet, sunglasses, fancy mountain bike, pretty much all the gear but still no idea how to get anything much out of it. But over time you will get the idea, if you exercise and watch what you eat you will lose weight, you will gain muscle tone, and before you know it you'll find you're keeping up with the others (or at least feeling a lot less self-conscious). You might even find that once you get on the bike yourself you'll be more aware of other people on bikes who aren't lean racing machines. For all I see the guys in Lycra and their speedy bikes I also see a lot of people who are riding for all sorts of other reasons - some are slower because they aren't as strong or as fit, others are slower because they don't want to rush. Some are faster because they are stronger or fitter, some are faster because I don't want to rush.

Don't worry about being in the wrong gear for an incline. It happens to people all the time. A friend of mine is massively fitter than I am and it shows in just about every way. When he and I are out cycling together I'm the one who has to get off and walk up the bigger hills, but every once in a while he crunches his gears, loses momentum and has to walk up while I don't. Point is - it happens. The more you learn about your bike's gearing the less it happens but I'd hazard a guess even the guys in the Tour de France get the wrong gear every once in a while.

Obviously make sure that the bike you get will support your weight. It's probably safe to say there's a fair bit of slack built in to the weight ratings, so if the rating says up to 300 and you weigh in at 310 chances are you'll be fine. If you weigh 300 and the bike rating is 150 then choose a different bike.

What you said about liking to take your time - if you're riding a hybrid or similar you're less likely to look like someone trying to go fast. If you're riding through scenic routes and enjoying the view it doesn't look like you're trying but failing to go fast. If you're on a drop-handlebar bike with all the racing gear you start to look like someone who is trying to go fast. If that kind of thing bothers you, maintain a more upright position, avoid the racing gear, and enjoy the view along the way. Ultimately it doesn't really matter what other people might think - give it time and you'll get fitter, faster, and lighter. In time if you are trying to get faster you'll find that fewer people overtake you and you overtake more people. When you overtake people you'll find some of them are going as fast as they can, others are going as fast as they choose because they'd rather enjoy the view than rip up the miles.
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Old 05-05-11, 05:25 AM   #7
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Enjoy riding a bike. Don't worry about the how you look. Speed will come with fitness and familiarization with the bike. I'm 280+ and riding. As for the bike, if its pretty new, I wouldn't sweat it. If its a bit older, perhaps take the wheels to be re-tensioned and trued. What are you riding? As for breaking things on bikes, 20 years ago when I was more "hardcore" if you will, I broke everything. But then, I was also putting in 200+ mile weeks and beat my bikes pretty hard (MTBs and roadies alike). And even then I was 215-225 pounds. Hey, I could beat a Yugo across an intersection. I can't do that today (are there any Yugos left?). But as I get stronger, I'll probably break something. comes with the territory of liking older bikes.
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Old 05-05-11, 05:47 AM   #8
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Everyone in this forum has been there.

Don't let it get to you.

Just keep riding.

When i started, I pulled one of the worst bikes ever made out of the garage.
I went up and down the street, and thought I was going to die.

Now I have 2 great bikes, and the plan is to ride 60-80 miles in a day
by the end of the summer.

Oh, we do a cycling vacation end of June. It's called credit card touring.
It's about 30 miles a day. Of course, we ride 3 days and then take
a day off in Camden. It's not as hard as it prob sounds to you.
We have the whole day, we ride for a while, stop and get a coffee,
or just stop and enjoy the view.

Anyway, I got sidetracked. You are on the right track.
The biggest mistake most people make is to go too hard too soon.
Just increase the effort a little at a time.
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Old 05-05-11, 05:56 AM   #9
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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’m 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’m 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’m a Clyde.

3rd, I’m 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’t pedal so have to get off. Another reason for being paranoid and looking a fool.

4th, I’m 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?
1st: Who cares what other people think. You are taking control of YOUR life and working towards a healthier state of being. This is commendable. In fact, many of the people who you think are staring at you judgmentally could actually be thinking that if you are out there doing it, so could they. You might be motivating people, or adding to their own confidence to get out and try it themselves without even knowing it.

2nd: Speed will come, otherwise, see my response to your first question.

3rd: When you see an incline coming, start by moving your chain to a smaller ring in the front, and a larger cog in the back. It takes practice. I've yet to meet a hill I can't push my bike up, so don't worry about it. Otherwise, see my response to your first question.

4th: Your bike will most likely be fine. The frame, components, handle bars, shifters, chain, cassette, and cranks will be ok. Where you might run into some trouble will be the wheels and tires. Keep your curb jumping, bunny hopping, wheelies, endos, and pot hole bombing to a minimum, and you might be surprised just how long they will last. You can't avoid every bump, but if you see it coming, get up out of the saddle and ride over the bump with your knees bent. This will make your legs act as shock absorbers for your bike. Will they fail eventually? Probably. Is it a big deal? No. 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, see my first response.

Seriously though, it takes courage to get out there. Congratulations on overcoming your fear. Now keep up the great work
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Old 05-05-11, 05:57 AM   #10
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Does anyone or did anyone feel embarrassed at first when riding around on a bike?
I've been doing this for four years now, and I'm still getting embarrassed at times. I try not to let it get to me, and you shouldn't let it get to you either.
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Old 05-05-11, 06:07 AM   #11
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If you think you are embarrassed now wait until you put on your first pair of cycle shorts. Even before going out in public you are going to feel like 6 pounds of sausage stuffed into 5 pounds worth of casing.

There are a lot of other directions to look than at you. Let 'em look. Let 'em get over it.

If you ride you will lose weight. You will lose weight faster by watching your diet and riding.

You will be smaller.

Then the comments made might be more like "Hey, good work!"

Don't put off riding because of what people say today. Ride into the things they will say tomorrow.
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Old 05-05-11, 06:25 AM   #12
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+1 to all the above comments.
I started riding at 333lbs. I got a few "get off the bike fatty" comments and also got a few "go for it" "keep it up" comments.
Let me be one of the "Good for you - Keep it up!" commenter's for you!
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Old 05-05-11, 06:27 AM   #13
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You're not stupid. You're expressing your fears.Lots of much bigger people here riding and loving it.

1st, I’m 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.

Be glad they actually quit texting long enough to see you.

2nd, I’m 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’m a Clyde.

I'm slow too. I'm not riding to be fast.

3rd, I’m 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’t pedal so have to get off. Another reason for being paranoid and looking a fool.

Choose a small hill and learn it. When you have it figured out choose another slightly steeper one.

4th, I’m 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!!

What bike are you riding? What maintenance are you doing? I bought the Cheapest Giant (Sedona) and spend more time tinkering with it than riding it. I like tinkering with it. My Trek 7300 needs almost no mainenance. The Sedona is a Wally World type bike only available in the correct size for me. Get a Bike Book and learn to maintain your bike.
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Old 05-05-11, 06:36 AM   #14
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Just keep riding.

Two months after I started riding my neighbor saw me and said.

Wow, that bike thing is good for you.
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Old 05-05-11, 06:41 AM   #15
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Welcome Pub! Let me take a crack at your questions.
1. Yes, they may be watching you, they may be thinking (or saying), "Look at that big/fat guy trying to ride his bike". Those people suck, but let them push you, you are riding to better yourself and if they don't hate on that, they'll find something else. The best part of people like that is they are not doing anything for themselves. Other riders will applaud your efforts, and before you know it, you'll be encouraging others to take control of their lives and ride too. What I'm trying to say is, "be the inspiration you are looking for".

2. So, you're not fast, you don't need to be. Speed comes with practice, the more you ride, the more efficient you will become, and thus you will gain confidence. This brings me to...

3. Shifting is difficult at first, but becomes second nature over time. I suggest looking up some videos on the matter. http://bicycletutor.com/gear-shifting/ Practice makes perfect.

4. I didn't notice what kind of bike you are riding, but there are many that will hold big guys like us. Mine is a variation of the Trek Navigator and has held solid for thousands of mies with very minimal maintenance.

TheStoutdog on his steed:


Most importantly, get out and ride. You'll be surprised how quickly these concerns will fade away. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 05-05-11, 08:02 AM   #16
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Everyone in this forum has been there.

Don't let it get to you.

Just keep riding.
An enthusiastic +1

Keep it up man!
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Old 05-05-11, 08:36 AM   #17
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Welcome Pub! Let me take a crack at your questions.
1. Yes, they may be watching you, they may be thinking (or saying), "Look at that big/fat guy trying to ride his bike". Those people suck, but let them push you, you are riding to better yourself and if they don't hate on that, they'll find something else. The best part of people like that is they are not doing anything for themselves. Other riders will applaud your efforts, and before you know it, you'll be encouraging others to take control of their lives and ride too. What I'm trying to say is, "be the inspiration you are looking for".

TheStoutdog on his steed:
Stoutie left out the important point that you should ride with someone who looks worse than you do. That way they draw the stares, not you.

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Old 05-05-11, 08:39 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 05-05-11, 08:42 AM   #19
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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’m 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’m 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’m a Clyde.
I can't seem to wear bike shorts yet, unless under my pants. I do get embarrassed for myself when all the little old ladies on the non-ergonomic comfort bikes pass me on the MUP. It is my nature to be competitive. But all I can do is keep plugging along. I refuse to let my negative feelings sabotage me.


Quote:
3rd, I’m 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’t pedal so have to get off. Another reason for being paranoid and looking a fool.
I am pretty good with the gears because I used to ride a fair amount 30, 40 years ago. But I still have to get off and walk up at least one hill a day because I can't make it up no matter what gear I am in.

Quote:
Am I being totally stupid here?
No, you are being human. Community is very important to us human animals and you are feeling like you do not belong. Come here. Share. Make this your community. That is what I have been doing. It helps. We belong here.
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Old 05-05-11, 08:43 AM   #20
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Yes Tom that’s me minus the beard.
Quick change of subject – what size wheels and tyres are on that bike?
Those are old school Schwinn 26X2.25" wheel/tire combo you's find on a Schwinn cruiser, the rear is just built on a 5 speed hub.
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Old 05-05-11, 08:49 AM   #21
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Old 05-05-11, 08:54 AM   #22
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Just so you know, you can wind up here, eventually, too.









The short of it is, that you'll be embarking on an entirely new life......a rebirth of sorts. Now I'll show you my starting point. I used to weigh in at 560+ pounds, and am now floating right up over or under the 300 pound mark.



I do understand about feeling self conscious. It's perfectly natural, but you cannot alow it to undermine you in your pursuit of a healthier life. Ironically, you may find even your friends and family unintentionally sabotaging you, because of either insecurities on their part, or simply the fear that you are "malnourished" because they are simply so used to seeing you as big, and suddenly, you're starting to look like a rail as compared to where you are now.
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Old 05-05-11, 09:22 AM   #23
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I have dropped nearly 70lbs in just under a year, I could
careless what others think!

I have had nothing but encouragement from every one
I meet and know.

I had a policeman stop and check I had water and was
OK to ride. It was over 100`.

I went from struggling at five miles to coming home from
an eighty mile ride and mowing the yard and taking the
wife out to eat.

I also row a few hours in the summer several days a week.

Be your own person, see my signature\l/
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Old 05-05-11, 09:43 AM   #24
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Who the f*ck says anything to anyone about how they're exercising? I never got any comments about being fat and riding. I got yelled at to get off the road or out of the way, but that's more to do w/ being in traffic w/ a driver behind you that wants to be in front of you. If anyone says anything insensitive about your weight and your bike, punch them in the throat and keep on riding.
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Old 05-05-11, 11:05 AM   #25
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Who the f*ck says anything to anyone about how they're exercising? I never got any comments about being fat and riding. I got yelled at to get off the road or out of the way, but that's more to do w/ being in traffic w/ a driver behind you that wants to be in front of you. If anyone says anything insensitive about your weight and your bike, punch them in the throat and keep on riding.
I have wonderfully violent fantasies in response to rude drivers, no matter why they were rude. I have this vision of a band of fat and old and middle-aged ladies carrying automatic weapons and dealing out justice wherever we go. Think Kathy Bates as batman and goldfinch as robin.

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