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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 06-22-11, 10:31 PM   #26
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I think I started about 4 or 5 years ago, was at about 285 or so, down to 208 or so now. When I started, I'd generally ride 6 or 8 miles I guess, just made the loop on the greenbelt here, and I had to really downshift to make it over some of the little "hills". But it didn't take long before I got my legs tone up a bit and could go up the hills easier, and it's been a slow but steady improvement since then.

Just riding but not changing how I ate, I lost about half that weight, then had to start eating differently to lose the rest.
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
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Old 06-23-11, 04:07 AM   #27
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Started at 396 at 34, picked up the bike at 380, down to 245 about 2 years later, and still (slowly dropping). First bike ride was just less than 8 miles on a flat trail. That exact ride is a common run for me these days. Longest ride so far is 203 miles Seattle to Portland in one day. Just completed a half-iron, training for Ironman in 10 weeks.

My biking Obi Wan was very insistent about 2 days riding, one day rest. Let your body heal and grow strong. Getting good quality sleep has also been a big key for me. On the bike, go a little longer, a little faster, a little steeper every time you ride. Find goals: charity rides, some cool event, bike purchases for rewards.
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Old 06-23-11, 04:50 AM   #28
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I started on April 2nd and yesterday I did an 80km ride before 11am.

Next week, I want to do my first century.
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Old 06-23-11, 06:17 AM   #29
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Three weeks ago I did my first 13 mile ride with a group. This was the first real ride I took on my bike since last year. I thought it would kill me, and it did the next day. I was sore and felt like I coundn't move the next day. But the following day my body felt better then it did before I took the ride so I went back out and did 5 miles two days after that 13 mile ride. Now I ride every other day.

I usually do a 5 mile loops around my neighborhood. My wife is shot after 3 miles but pushes herself that last 2 miles with me. Its not easy and you will feel at times you do not see any changes with your efforts. KEEP GOING! I only lost 1 lb in 3 weeks but my eating has not been the best choices. The last week or so I have been really concentrating on what is going into my body. You don't have to just eat carrot sticks and cottage cheese, just make wise choices like no fried foods, and add quality proteins, high fiber and whole grains. If you eat out at a restaurant, take half of what you are eating and put it in a take out container. It is amazing how much food you get when you go out to eat compared to what the normal portion size should be.

Most importantly just keep going out on the bike. You may not feel like you are doing much in the few miles you are riding but your body is not used to it. Distance and speed come with time. People train to be able to ride 50-100 miles at a clip, they wen't able to do that easy the first time either. One last thing, if you feel like you are getting frustrated or losing the desire to go back out there, get on this site and let us know. This site has been a fantastic motivator for me and the people in the Clydes/Athenas area are wonderful folks who really support each other. You will achive your goal of a better you, and we will be here for the whole process.
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Old 06-23-11, 07:10 AM   #30
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Wow thanks for the great responses. Really appreciate it.

Will keep everyone informed from time to time on my rides. Gotta keep it up and drop some weight so I can get my first reward which is that first road bike since I was 17!
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Old 06-23-11, 07:13 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Almost forgot this point. It's not the distance, it's the time.

Now, specifically:
  • Rest is a very important component of exercise. It's when your body adapts and makes itself stronger. You need to understand the signals your body sends, and realize when your body is saying it needs rest. And sometimes, when it does send the signal, it may be too late.
  • If you can ride everyday, do so. But watch for early "need rest" signals and be willing to listen to your body. Don't become a slave to the mileage trap. When I'm going good, I ride 6 days a week and take one off (life has a habit of interfering, though).
The time thing is the major metric, even though we all get caught up in miles and MPH. Serious racers don't train by mileage, they train by hours. It's not how far you go, but how long you can make your body work.

If you concentrate on how much time you spend in the saddle, the miles and speed will come. It's inevitable.
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Old 06-23-11, 07:27 AM   #32
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I am 56. I have been riding with some determination for two and a half months. The first month I had trouble going more than 4 or 5 miles, it was a major barrier for me. It would take me an hour or more to do that much and I had to take breaks during the ride. It wasn't until today that I broke the 10mph barrier as an average speed (6 mile ride). My longest ride so far has been about 16 and a half miles. It took me two hours. I was jittery a exhausted the next day. Yet I love it. I am substantially better from when I started. When I started I had to walk up every hill in town and small inclines required me to shift into the lowest gear. Now I can ride up every single hill in town. There isn't one that beats me any more. I might be going 2.5mph by the top but I make it. I can ride an hour and feel good when I am done. Ten mile rides no longer exhaust me, I can even mow the lawn when I am done. I can hear the birds sing and feel the wind in my face. I am happy to be riding.

Be methodical. The increase of 10% a week was drilled into me--I pushed too hard for a while and felt really awful. Time in the saddle is important. I mostly watch the clock not the miles. When I have a hill to climb I don't look at the top, I look down and pedal. I can't remember if it was someone here, but a poster mentioned that they use hills as an opportunity to rest. I am doing the same. Slow and study going up hill. Trying to not be out of breath. Slamming fast down hill, pedaling as hard as I can.
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Old 06-23-11, 07:54 AM   #33
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It's funny, I only have one specific memory of feeling like my abilities were exceptionally and unexpectedly limited. I was in my early 20s and hadn't ridden a bike since high school (and even in high school I hardly rode at all, much preferring the cooler car). My brother had just gotten a nice new road bike and we took it out to the countryside in central IL and he let me take it down a straight, flat road. I had to turn around and head back after less than a mile - I was exhausted and demoralized.

I have lots of other memories of being tapped out on a ride, but only after an appreciable distance, or lots of hills. But that first ride as an adult always stands out. That, and my first ride with the local club - a 20-mile route to breakfast in a nearby town, and I got caught up in the enthusiasm of the young racer-types and got there OK, but faded fast on the return and ended up getting towed in by one of the very nice ladies in the club. That was a valuable lesson in pacing myself, in addition to being motivation to ride more and train better.
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Old 06-23-11, 08:00 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
...he let me take it down a straight, flat road. I had to turn around and head back after less than a mile - I was exhausted and demoralized...
I think I'm seeing a pattern...
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Old 06-23-11, 08:03 AM   #35
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I got winded going up a small hill in front of my house. I was thinking about going on the Greenbelt today, maybe I should stick to the trainer.
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Old 06-23-11, 08:12 AM   #36
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Why stick to the trainer? Unless the weather's horrible, get out and ride. Think of the hill to your house as the benchmark by which you measure your progress.
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Old 06-23-11, 09:11 AM   #37
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what is a "greenbelt", i've seen a couple of you guys mention it.

as far as the trainer goes, it'll help build your leg strength for sure, and mildly build your endurance.

as CraigB said, if the weather is nice, go outside and ride. there's a huge difference between the trainer and real riding, i found out.

i started last fall, got a trainer, put slicks on the mountain bike and road for 45 minutes to an hour, changing up my speed/gearing and all that, not just spinning easy...
when i'd get off the trainer, my legs were totally pumped. almost like i'd done a bunch of squats, i could barely make it back up the steps.
fast forward to buying my bike this spring, before it was even nice enough to ride outside, and i rode it on the trainer a few times...

and then i finally took it outside!! holy crap. i'd finish my ride, a short 11 mile route, and my legs would feel like i hadn't done a thing, but my endurance was spent.
now, i'm starting to get where both the endurance isn't holding me back as much and i'm starting to get some burn back in the legs - i'm now able to push a little bit harder.

yes, i think most of us had that "moment" where they realized it wasn't going to be so easy, like a kid riding his huffy for hours on end. my mountain bike and i had a hard time getting up the hill by my house last fall.... now, i don't even think about it while i'm pedaling up it, my mind is wandering, i'm fiddling with my computer, checking my shoes, how the chamois is seated, etc.

you WILL get there, just keep plugging away, but don't forget rest days. if you don't see any improvements for a week or two, try changing up your intensity for a couple quick bursts (short intervals)... but keep plugging away and you'll improve.
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Old 06-23-11, 09:46 PM   #38
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Just wanted to say thanks. Rode tonight and did it dropped into a lower gear. #1 it was a lot more enjoyable of a ride.

#2 I never stopped once compared to before when I would be wanting to die and would stop near twice in my short 3 mile ride.

#3 I went slower but farther and longer time wise which is what is important to me.

Thank y'all so much for the suggestions and kind words. This weekend I am getting a pair of gloves and prob look into getting a thinner seat
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Old 06-23-11, 11:28 PM   #39
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I started about a year after I'd had inner ear problems and couldn't do much of anything because I had no balance. I was 285lbs.

First I used a treadmill. Slow running for more than a minute was almost impossible, and it hurt. Eventually I worked my way up and got to where my regular speed was a mph more than my previous sprinting speed. By that time I was having some joint discomfort, so I did some research and found out about barefoot/chi running. It took me about a month to switch running styles and get back to my previous speed. It's a whole lot easier on me. This helped me lose about 30 lbs over nine months.

After a while I got bored with it, so I started on the couchto5k program and did my runs outside. I got up to the third week and stayed there for a while because it was a lot tougher than the treadmill. I lost another 15lbs.

All this time I had been looking for a bike because I wanted to get back into cycling. I happened upon an old 3-speed. It took me a while to get the bike fixed and modified to hold together for the rough rides around here; pinch flats were a continual problem on the dirt roads because inevitably I'd smack a large rock head-on. Even after gearing it down a bit, I found that it was ill-suited to the hills because I didn't have much gear range and it was really heavy. Still, I managed to make a 20mi. round trip to the nearest town. After losing about 5lbs, it seemed like the weight stopped dropping, but I continued to shrink, losing a couple inches on my waist as my legs muscles ballooned.

I got a 10-speed. It was lighter and had a wider gear range, but shifting was very, very slow. I found that I still had to walk the same hills I did on my 3-speed because I lost momentum. Just for kicks I turned it into a single speed. It ended up working a lot better, since I had a gear I could stomp most of the way up the hill, and could spin on the way down. I still have to walk up some of the hills, but the distance is getting shorter and shorter.

Did I mention it's really, really hilly here? Distance is more of a factor of how much time I have to ride - it's the hills that are the challenge. When I first set up the SS, I tried tackling a hill I'd never ridden all the way. I managed it, but my heart was beating so hard I had to lay down on the grass for a bit. Now I can almost crest the top and feel fine.

Since I started all this three years ago, I've lost 50lbs. - not the fastest by any means, but it's made a huge difference to me. My joints don't hurt, I don't get tired as easily, and I can buy normal-size clothing.
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