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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 08-21-11, 01:01 PM   #1
CraigB
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What I Learned on Today's Ride

1. It doesn't take much time riding in the rain to get to the point where you cannot get any wetter, and seeking shelter becomes irrelevant. Then you just go with it.

2. Heavy rain is very loud when it hits a cornfield. I could have sworn a few rows back from the road, out of sight beyond the corn, there was a gravel plant, grinding big rocks into little ones.

3. An office supply store clear sheet protector does a serviceable job keeping a map and cue sheet dry and usable, regardless of rain or sweat.

4. Heavy rain 20 miles from home doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get a single drop of much-needed moisture back at the house.

5. It's entirely possible to overstress the base of a tube's valve stem by cranking down the little retaining nut to get enough stem exposed through an aero rim for a pump to actually work.

6. It's entirely possible for that stressed valve stem to not give up the ghost until you're 35 miles into the next morning's ride.

All of this "learning" aside, I still had a great ride. I took a route almost completely new to me, so I saw unfamiliar sights, found some great little-traveled roads, discovered a new breakfast ride destination a manageable 21 miles from home, and ended up with the longest solo ride I've had in over 25 years. Total was 53, at an average speed of 15.6. I had one stop for a cinnamon roll and iced tea at said breakfast place, while I waited out the last 15 minutes or so of the rain. And I had that previously mentioned unintended "rest" stop at mile 35.
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Old 08-21-11, 01:13 PM   #2
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Bravo! I want to be you when I grow up. :-)
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Old 08-21-11, 01:47 PM   #3
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CraigB,

I can relate to what you are saying as my supposedly 30 mile ride Friday turned into a 60 miler with a stop for lunch.

Lessons learned:
1. Don't ride 30 miles to the nearest bike store and expect a warm reception or casual conversation about bicycles.
2. Don't ride 30 miles to the nearest bike store and expect the wife to give you a lift home.
3. Be glad you carried a credit card for lunch and gatorade.
4. The first 30 miles are much easier than the second.
5. If you don't have 2 bottle racks the only way to carry extra Gatorade is by tying the plastic bag to the bike.
6. If you forget a ziploc bag for your electronics, it will rain.
7. When you can't see your map because its on the phone your trying to keep dry you will miss your turn.
8. Rain doesn't bead well on sunglasses but hurts less with them on.
9. No that is not a kitty kat unless kitty kats have a white stripe down their otherwise black body.
10. LaGrange Georgia police do not know about the 3 foot law.
11. A chain can pop-off even when you only have a rear derailleur.
12. The last 10 miles across the Pine Mountain foothills are the toughest 10 miles of the ride.

I've probably left out a couple of things but honestly, I can't wait for another day off work to try it again!
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Old 08-21-11, 02:55 PM   #4
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i like number 2!

a question: did you feel slugish after eating? I felt that way yesterday.
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Old 08-21-11, 02:57 PM   #5
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da: I love it!
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Old 08-21-11, 03:08 PM   #6
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Ah, rain. I hate the rain. I used to love it, but that was before I was into cycling.

It seems that 80% of all my flats happen in the rain. Why is that? Murphy's Law being applied? Bad luck? Or is there something about wet pavement that makes flats more likely?

Regardless, now that I commute to work I am thinking of trying to fit fenders to my bike. Unfortunately it's an old MTB that wasn't really designed for fenders, so I'm having a hell of a time trying to find a front one that fits. Don't really need a rear fender, my rack acts like one
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Old 08-21-11, 03:19 PM   #7
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Craig, #4 is interesting because a couple of days ago I saw a small shower over my neighborhood. We're in the middle of an 'exceptional drought' so I was pretty darn happy, until I arrived home. Nothing was hitting the ground! I could look straight up at the rain, but I didn't get a drop on me, something I'd never experianced before.

#2 is one of those hidden benefits of riding a bicycle. A memory from many years ago comes to mind. It was my first longish ride after the first time I'd injured my left knee and I'd switched over to a shorter route because my knee wasn't too happy. I was in a very rural area and when I stopped for a nature break I could hear the wheat grass rustling in the light breeze. No mechanical sound whatsoever, it was a wake up call to all of life's white noise we've filtered out.

Even with the flat it reads like a good ride.

Brad
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Old 08-21-11, 03:19 PM   #8
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mith: I think its because rain makes debris stick on the tire longer. But I have no real clue.
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Old 08-21-11, 03:25 PM   #9
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Gotta love Fenders! I don't just mean the guitars even though my acoustic is a Fender. LOL

I hope to commute some, I just need to get faster so it doesn't take as long. I have a 21 mile commute. I know that this will not be the only time in which I am rained upon.
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Old 08-21-11, 04:05 PM   #10
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I think there are tubes with longer stems available. Unless you already have the longer stems.
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Old 08-21-11, 04:41 PM   #11
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Craig, #4 is interesting because a couple of days ago I saw a small shower over my neighborhood. We're in the middle of an 'exceptional drought' so I was pretty darn happy, until I arrived home. Nothing was hitting the ground! I could look straight up at the rain, but I didn't get a drop on me, something I'd never experianced before.
I had the opposite experience 2 weeks ago.

I start off heading west. There's a gigantic raincloud to the North East and nothing but clear skies to the West. The wind is blowing directly North East so I figure going West into the clear skies would mean no chance of running into the storm.

5 miles in, I look NE and the rain clouds seem closer. I figure it's an optical illusion, because the winds are still very strongly blowing NE, keep on truckin on my planned 35 mile route.

10 miles directly west from my starting point I get thwopped with a big rain drop. I was confused because straight in front of me was nothing but clear sunny skies. Figure it was an anomaly and keep going. A minute later I notice gigantic rain drops falling all around me, and finally look back and the rain cloud is even closer... but it still looks like it's miles away. Even weirder, the rain is falling from the SW, from perfectly clear skies. I briefly consider turning back East and aborting, but when I look due East, the skies are completely black. Turning back doesn't seem smart at the moment.

I keep going West through the rain, thinking I can outrun this weird cloud behind me that is breaking the laws of physics and blowing against the wind. Out of nowhere a giant raincloud forms to the West, so now I'm surrounded East and West by giant rain clouds, and it's lightly raining giant drops of rain still. South are some giant hills. To the North it looks like there's a small corridor of clear skies, so I turn North.

As I'm furiously cycling North, the temperature drops drastically (about 15 degrees within 2-3 minutes) and suddenly the winds get all confusing. I can't tell where they're coming from. East, West, North, South, I feel them all. I look to my right... I see rain pouring like mad not 100 yards away. I look to my left... even more rain, probably only 70 yards away. Miraculously I am not getting any rain in my exact position. Keep going North for another 7 miles, and suddenly all the skies are clear again. Look to the South and the clouds are both merging and going South.

I was able to make my 35 mile goal for the ride with nothing but clear skies for the rest of it. It was amazingly bizarre. My guess is that two fronts collided, which is why the temperature dropped. But it was strange for a few minutes getting rained on when all I could see in front of me was clear skies.
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Old 08-21-11, 06:50 PM   #12
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Chef, if the question about feeling sluggish after eating was directed at me, the answer is no. It's hard to feel overfilled with a roll and an iced tea. Maybe if I'd eaten more.

I should clarify that the rain ended about 40 minutes and 12 or so miles before the flat, and the flat, as I alluded to, was the result of my damaging the rubber at the base of the valve stem, not from any debris sticking to the tires.

I also learned that Schwalbe Luganos are pretty easy to get on and off the rims without the use of any tire irons.
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Old 08-21-11, 07:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
It seems that 80% of all my flats happen in the rain. Why is that? Murphy's Law being applied? Bad luck? Or is there something about wet pavement that makes flats more likely?
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mith: I think its because rain makes debris stick on the tire longer. But I have no real clue.
It's partly because the debris will stick to a wet tire but it's mostly because the rain washes all of the debris to the side of the road which happens to be where we ride.
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Old 08-21-11, 08:15 PM   #14
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5. If you don't have 2 bottle racks the only way to carry extra Gatorade is by tying the plastic bag to the bike.
Another reason to wear actual cycling jerseys: rear pockets perfectly capable of stashing a bottle or two.
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Old 08-21-11, 08:55 PM   #15
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I should clarify that the rain ended about 40 minutes and 12 or so miles before the flat, and the flat, as I alluded to, was the result of my damaging the rubber at the base of the valve stem, not from any debris sticking to the tires.
Yup, don't worry it was clear that the flat was due to the stem. I just figured that since you mentioned both rain and flats, I'd go on a slight tangent and talk about rain causing flats!
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Old 08-21-11, 11:48 PM   #16
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11. A chain can pop-off even when you only have a rear derailleur.
I've had a chain pop off on internally geared bike.
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Old 08-22-11, 11:05 AM   #17
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It's partly because the debris will stick to a wet tire but it's mostly because the rain washes all of the debris to the side of the road which happens to be where we ride.
We also don't notice the debris as much, both because we're paying attention to other things, and because it's hidden below a sheen of water.

Broken glass doesn't reflect any better than the water it's sitting in.
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Old 08-22-11, 11:11 AM   #18
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richard: good call on the glass. Didnt even think about that.
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Old 08-24-11, 09:42 AM   #19
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I am impressed with you guys and your rides. I have no advice for anything except one: Rain Ex. You can put it on your glasses just like you do on a windshield to help them not fog, and to keep the water from obscuring your vision. I love the stuff.

I am now a little over 2/3 of the way through my first "century". I bought myself my first proper cycling jersey, and it came in the mail yesterday. Once I hit my first 100 miles, I am going to wear it. I am pretty excited about it. I hung it up so I can see it until I can wear it. Today I am off to the chiro for an adjustment and a massage, then if the rain holds off here, I will hit the local trail for some miles. We got a good thunderstorm last night, and it was supposed to be raining today, but the skies are clear for the moment.

I am liking the cycling..... :-)
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Old 08-24-11, 09:47 AM   #20
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Sitting on a hard surface wearing a bike bib for an hour is a lot worse for your butt than sitting on one on your bike seat for eight.

Trust me.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:14 AM   #21
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Ya, it's totally possible to get tubes with looong presta valve stems.

One things that I've learned is that cycling makes cinnamon rolls that much more delicious.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:33 AM   #22
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I am impressed with you guys and your rides. I have no advice for anything except one: Rain Ex. You can put it on your glasses just like you do on a windshield to help them not fog, and to keep the water from obscuring your vision. I love the stuff.
Interesting idea. Are your lenses glass or polycarbonate?
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Old 08-24-11, 10:35 AM   #23
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Sitting on a hard surface wearing a bike bib for an hour is a lot worse for your butt than sitting on one on your bike seat for eight.

Trust me.
Absolutely. Once in a while, when I return from my Sunday morning rides, my wife will have made breakfast and I have to sit down right away at the table. The chairs are bare hardwood, with no cushions of any kind. Wearing bike shorts or bibs for more than 30 seconds on a surface like that will help you identify your sit bones without any problem.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:37 AM   #24
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Ya, it's totally possible to get tubes with looong presta valve stems.
I just ordered a few with 48mm stems (the 60s were out of stock).
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