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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 07-11-11, 02:54 PM   #1
Kerrvillian
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First group ride

When I first started riding I was working nights, usually on the back end of the week/weekend. That left me riding in the middle of the night.

I started riding more this year, longer. I had worked up to routinely doing a 29 mile loop and had even completed a 43 mile ride. I thought I was ready and finally got an opportunity this past weekend to go out with a group of local riders.

Since I'm still mounted on my hybrid (for now) I was not ready. What I had called hills were nothing compared to the ones I faced on this ride. I had gotten up near the summit of a feature labeled "Mt. Crabapple" on the map. MapMyRide considers this area a Cat 5. I made it most of the way up and ran out of steam.

I never regained steam for any real climbing. I went down the other side but then wound up pushing my bike up the same terrain from the other side on my way back, and the same on a later hill.

The following day I attempted to do my routine 29 mile run and felt like I was working with drained batteries. I only went part of the way out, turned around and meandered home, only doing 16 miles.

Today I did the 29 mile route and felt great, strong all the way through.

I may try to do another group ride on Thursday night this week. I will keep my ambitions low, for now.

Hopefully when I get my LHT I'll have more power in a climb.
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Old 07-11-11, 04:39 PM   #2
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I say go out on your own and do that same group ride route again. See how much you can improve each time and notice how much stronger it makes your rides after you recover.
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Old 07-11-11, 07:08 PM   #3
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I would do that route more often if it weren't so far away. Half hour drive to get to the jumping off point while my routine 29 mile route begins and ends in my driveway.

I may not have a "mountain" to conquer but think I should investigate riding the modest hills on Holdsworth here in Kerrville. I can reach them to begin from my house.

It is not long, but is consistently up an down.
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Old 07-12-11, 01:30 PM   #4
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Stick with it. The first 6 months of me taking up riding again were pretty much solo. After beginning group rides and charity events, I've become (according to my wife) a cycling nut. New friends and healthy activities (still haven't had the big wreck yet) help me avoid the nightly eating contests with the aformentioned spouse because I want to get faster. Over 3100 miles in the past 11 months. A net 70 pound weight loss.

Roll on!
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Old 07-12-11, 04:40 PM   #5
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I still have a ways to go to catch up with Ms. Kerrvillian. Due to gastric bypass she lost the equivalent of a second person!

I wanted to commute by bike today but my rear tire was low, by 40 lbs, again. Time for a replacement tube. Not yet in my skill set so the LBS gets some more money. Trigger is getting re-shod by tomorrow evening.

The good news is that my LHT is due for a landing this week. That's right, folks. Trigger is about to have a stablemate.

The as yet to be named Surly Long Haul Trucker is supposed to be in Thursday or Friday.

Stick with it? After selling my possessions to raise the money for this purchase I had better consider sawing off an arm before I stop riding!
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Old 07-13-11, 07:45 AM   #6
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I still feel i am way to slow, and my endurance is lacking to even attempt a group ride. but i did find a overpass "hill" that the first time i did it i was spent and barley made it home, the second time i made it up with energy to spare. third time i flew up it and turned right around to try and fly up it again.

we can only get stronger, faster, and smarter just keep shooting at it and eventually we will hit it every time without thought.
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Old 07-13-11, 09:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrvillian View Post
Hopefully when I get my LHT I'll have more power in a climb.
Unless your hybrid has terrible gearing, I wouldn't expect much difference from the LHT. Climbing has very little to do with how much your bike weighs nor how aerodynamic your riding position is. It's all about your personal fitness... and your willingness to suffer.
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Old 07-13-11, 10:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
I say go out on your own and do that same group ride route again. See how much you can improve each time and notice how much stronger it makes your rides after you recover.
Agreed.

I've been fitting in one "hill" ride each week, for a few weeks, instead of doing my normal 24 mile flat ride.

There's 2 big hills on it (well, big to me), which always forced me to gear down to 22/21. Yesterday for the first time I was able to tackle the first one on 22/19, and the second one on 22/17. I was very pleased with myself, and I think that after a few more weeks I may be able to tackle them using 32/21
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Old 07-14-11, 05:03 AM   #9
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Trigger is back from the LBS so I'll be going to work mounted. Small town so work commuting is not that large a factor.

I plan on doing the weekly evening group ride tonight in Camp Verde. The folks had been putting their maps on bikely but that site has been largely inaccessible for weeks now. I used the descriptions to re-create the route in Map My Ride and made them public (I'm Kerrvillian there, too).

I plan on doing the "advanced beginner" ride tonight.
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Old 07-14-11, 01:28 PM   #10
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With a second bike in the stable now there's no excuse not to learn how to change a tire/tube on your own. There's lots of material out there that shows how, and I'm sure your LBS would let you take a "tutorial" the next time they have one to do (if you're around when it needs doing). It's really not difficult once you get the hang of it, and learn a few simple tricks to make it easier.

Plus, it's a whole lot easier to do it for practice in your garage than for your first time to be out on the road.
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Old 07-15-11, 04:27 AM   #11
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Actually the local ride group leader is an American Bicycle League instructor. Plan on taking her Street Smarts course to reinforce good habits and part of the instruction is wheel repair.

Last night's ride was not that long but a bit more physically demanding than my normal one. I normally ride early in the morning to avoid the heat, but there was no avoiding it after 6 pm. There were more low hills and a lot less flat stretches on the route than my normal ride but a good challenge.

I have to work today until after the close of the local bike shop so must wait for them to open tomorrow to find out if the LHT has landed.
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