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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 08-24-11, 01:47 PM   #1
Rona
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Cyclocamping Athena trip report :)

My hubbie and I just got back from a 2 day cyclocamping trip to test out some new stuff we bought. We had a blast. It was 65 kilometers the first day. We went to the camp, set up our tent and campsite, then went out to see some hunebeds by bike.

This afternoon we came back and saw a few more hunebeds along the way. Hunebeds are megalithic stone groupings, smaller than stonehenge but big enough to impress me a lot. Most have cap stones originally, but over time many of the cap stones have been stolen to build local houses with. The trip back was 45 kilometers.

Bikes were fully loaded with tent, sleeping pads, clothing, cook gear and food. I know it seems kinda stupid to pack two days worth of food for such a short trip, but Dutch business hours are often short. We wanted to make sure we would have enough food and drinks to enjoy.



I did find myself having a small bonk issue. I changed my drink from lemonade over to a "sport drink" and that fixed it quickly. I normally can do fine with water and lemonade. It was.... weird. Gonna have to start looking into potassium I guess.
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Old 08-24-11, 02:03 PM   #2
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What was the camping like? Did you have any trouble carrying enough gear for the trip? Would you do a longer one by bike?
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Old 08-24-11, 02:20 PM   #3
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What was the camping like? Did you have any trouble carrying enough gear for the trip? Would you do a longer one by bike?
The camping was AWESOME. Firstly.. I have to mention that Dutch campsites are clean and wellbuilt and lovely. The people are friendly and curtious and ours had a nice cafe with beer, beer and beer... and a hot tub that we didn't use... but still... it was pretty awesome.

As for carrying gear: Here's a pic of our bikes. We got stuck at a McDonalds in Staadskanal for about an hour while we had lightning and a good storm. We both found our rain gear to be lacking... but hey.. it's the Netherlands. It always rains and I always seem to get soaked no matter what I wear.

One of my big challenges as a 220 pound Athena is finding a comfortable bed mat. This one is rated just at my weight... barely. It's big and takes up a lot of space, but nothing else will do. Carrying it all wasn't a problem. My bike did awesomely well. I'm on a Pre-Grant Peterson Bridgestone mixte with Velo Orange honjo fenders, running a Suntour Superbe pro drive train, Mavic Open Pros with Vredresdin Perfect Tour tires. I use a straight handlebar which suits my needs okay. Would I do longer ones... oh yes... I had a blast and hope to do another in a few days. I think we are going to plan our next one so that we take the train out some where and bike back instead of doing a large loop. Do half the trip one day, camp somewhere, then do the next day home.

We are kinda limited to how long we camp. I dont want to leave our dog alone for very long. He has a person to walk him three times a day, but he gets very lonely when we are away and barely eats.
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Old 08-24-11, 02:45 PM   #4
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Sounds like fun! From the pics, the bikes look overloaded. Have you thought about balancing the load by using front panniers and maybe reducing the amount of stuff you pack? As for mattress pads, I use Thermarest Prolite pads. Inflatable and pack down small. Not super light, but not heavy either.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:05 PM   #5
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Very nice. I'll have to go on a bike tour through the Netherlands someday.
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Old 08-25-11, 02:44 AM   #6
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Sounds like fun! From the pics, the bikes look overloaded. Have you thought about balancing the load by using front panniers and maybe reducing the amount of stuff you pack? As for mattress pads, I use Thermarest Prolite pads. Inflatable and pack down small. Not super light, but not heavy either.
The bike on the left is my hubby's. He doesn't have a front rack yet. When I asked him if it was all strapped on okay, he was like "Oh.. I've done worse." He used to have a larger tent and carried the cook gear too when out by himself :/ He's done all of these same trips before with trashbags and a roll of duct tape poor-college-student style. Typical Dutchman, just throw it on with a bungee cord and go forth lol.

You can't see it in the photo, but my bike has two front panniers. I'm the more sensible of the two I carry cooking gear in one, food in the other. My handlebar bag carries my purse, repair kit, camera, snacks. Back panniers carry sleeping bag, pillow, mummy sheet on one side. Other side has clothing and beauty supplies. Hubby carries the tent since I carry the cooking gear. He's getting a front rack this week after deciding my set up is much better than his.

I did see this other guy on the road who really made me gasp. He had front and back panniers and a HUGE duffle strapped over the back. He had more gear than human on his bike. He was truckin' along wearing flip flops and an old plaid shirt. And the worst part... he was faster than me. 'Course he was also 6 foot 4 and had legs up to his chin. After seeing all that gear, I didn't feel bad about hubby's back rack at all.
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Old 08-25-11, 04:15 AM   #7
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was the extra weight noticable when you were riding? I would assume yes but I know nothing!
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Old 08-25-11, 05:29 AM   #8
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was the extra weight noticable when you were riding? I would assume yes but I know nothing!
Oh yes... an extra 20 to 30 lbs does make a difference. I haven't weighed our gear yet... I'm almost afraid to. Having more weight on the front does give you a learning curve for balance and turning, but you get used to it pretty quickly. Going fast is like going fast in a semi-truck. You can get fast, but dont expect to stop on a dime and be graceful about it.

I think one of the big things I learned about was "where to park?" The bike will flop over on the regular kick stand. You wind up looking for trees, fence posts, sign posts. Anything sturdy enough to hold it up. I'm seriously considering a click-stand now.
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Old 08-25-11, 05:38 AM   #9
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I looked up the specs on those Thermarest Prolite mattresses.. they're only 1.5 inches thick! Wow. I'm both impressed and horrified. That would be awesome to pack but I can't see my pampered princess self sleeping well I'd be the ugly stepsister in the morning! I'll stick to my 2.75" fluffy bed
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