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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 09-01-11, 02:19 PM   #1
Street Pedaler
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Excited But Nervous. But Excited. But Nervous

Hi, y'all.

Ive been riding the roads of NW Louisiana for three years, now. I've ridden every foot of every last mile by myself. I've never had a riding companion. I guess that's about to change on Monday.

I went by the LBS this morning and the guys started hitting me up about the Labor Day Fun Ride that they're hosting next Monday morning. It's a 45 mile loop through Shreveport. They're expecting about 100 riders and assure me that the pace for all but the speedsters is only about 16mph.

I'm not really worried about the distance but I know how the "Pace Estimates" go so I do have a little concern about keeping up for the full distance. But I really think I should be OK,

My fear is in actually riding with people, especially so many. I told them my fears due to my inexperience with group riding but they assure me I'll be looked after and they won't let me kill anybody, lol. One of the guys even told me to just jump on his back wheel and we'd take turns pulling and drafting.

I'm nervous about it but I'm really looking forward to it. Besides, at 7am, I don't have anything else to do but ride, anyway.

I guess I'm just posting this to hit you guys and ladies up for any tips, hints, advice, warnings, or the names of any particular Saints to pray to between now and then.

Thanks, and wish me and the other 100 folks good luck!
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Old 09-01-11, 02:23 PM   #2
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I guess I'm just posting this to hit you guys and ladies up for any tips, hints, advice, warnings, or the names of any particular Saints to pray to between now and then.
La Madonna Del Ghisallo, of course - the patron saint of cyclists.

It sounds like you'll have good company watching out for you. But can you do a ride with a friend over the weekend just to get used to being in closer quarters than a solo ride?
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Old 09-01-11, 02:33 PM   #3
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The number one key thing to do when riding in a group is relax. As soon as you let your nerves get the better of you, you take the handlebars in a white-knuckle death grip and you can't help but weave all over with every little twitch of your adrenalized muscles. Take some deep breaths and focus on relaxing, and you'll do fine.

And if you get into drafting, try to keep from overlapping your front wheel with the back wheel of the rider ahead of you. It's way too easy for him/her to swerve one direction or the other and bump your front wheel, and when that happens, you're going to get introduced to the asphalt faster than you'd like.
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Old 09-01-11, 02:38 PM   #4
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I would add that at the start, dont give all your engery upfront. Reserve some to make it to the end! I always have to remember this when I ride alone and with people.
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Old 09-01-11, 02:54 PM   #5
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Just remember - and I'm also pretty inexperienced with riding in groups as well - that they don't want to hit you either. That might seem like a silly thing to point out, but I think it's important.

Take a squirrel for instance - if you see one on the bike trail, does it run at you? No, it runs away. No one is going to intentionally run into your tires anymore than the squirrel would. You obviously have to be careful but realize they're going to be careful too and you should be okay.

I know it's not exactly the same and accidents happen, but just take a deep breath and enjoy meeting your new friends!
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Old 09-01-11, 02:59 PM   #6
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Not sure how fast you ride, but you might want to consider starting towards the back, where you don't have to worry about folks flying by you. It takes a few miles for everyone to shake out and find their space, and pace. Have fun!
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Old 09-01-11, 03:00 PM   #7
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Seattle, I actually do have a Tri-athlete buddy who wants to start riding together. Unfortunately, he's got a pretty bad foot injury that has kept him out of the saddle for the past month or two so, sadly, no, I can't do a practice run before Monday. Thanks for the Saint, though. I forgot about her!

Craig, thanks. I think that just relaxing and riding like I normally would will be my challenge. If I can manage that, I think I'll be ok. Thanks for the drafting reminder, too.

I know the guys will look out for the best that they can while looking out for the 100 riders. My main fear is just doing something stupid (if you knew me better, you's understand this fear, lol) and causing somebody else to go down. That would make me feel quite crunchy.

Chef, will do. Thanks!
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Old 09-01-11, 03:02 PM   #8
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My last bike crash (I've had two) was plowing into a mailbox. A big, blue, USPS mailbox. I totally understand doing stupid things!

Thankfully, the bike and the mailbox were fine. I'm sure fines for destroying government property would cut into my bike budget.
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Old 09-01-11, 04:12 PM   #9
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Penny, I figured I'd do exactly that. 16ish mph is pretty comfortable for me but I haven't done that speed at quite that distance on this bike, yet. Thought I'd let the racers get out of the way and just ride with the back o' the pack.

Teresa, that's hilarious. My one and only wreck, so far, (knock on wood) was about a week after I got my current ride and I fell over in the grass in my front yard, lolol. I don't really like to count that one, though, because, A. I wasn't actually moving, 2. It was in the grass in my yard, and C. It wasn't even a cool wreck. Just stoopid. And embarrassing.
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