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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 04-30-12, 10:03 PM   #1
Axiom
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A bunch of questions..

  1. Should I buy a new seat? I ride a minimum of 70 miles a week, I wear bicycle shorts, and I have had a proper fit. The only thing stopping me from doing my first century is saddle and groin pain despite proper fit and quality bontrager cicyle shorts. If so, are there saddles that I can buy under $65?
  2. Do any of you do spin classes? After doing my first class I quit after twenty minutes because of intense knee pain. Aerobically fit, but my knees cannot handle a spin bike for whatever reason. Should I continue spin classes or keep doing long rides?
  3. I tried the "act like you are wiping mud off your shoe" tecnique to prevent bouncing when spinning at a high RPM but it doesn't seem to work. Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?
  4. When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? The road is pretty narrow, so I feel like riding on the shoulder is dangerous and doesn't allow room to get out of the way of debris or what not. On the other hand, I feel like an ass taking up the whole lane going 10mph under the speed limit.

I apologize for all of the questions, but they have been bugging me for a few days now. I have a younger brother who rides with me and I cannot emphasize how important it is to NOT ride against traffic. I also want to up my maximum ride distance from 30 miles to 50, and then 50 to a century.

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-12, 10:25 PM   #2
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Groin pain? That is not good. Have you asked your Doc about that?
SOmething is wrong, maybe the saddle, maybe something else.

As far as riding goes, do what you need to do.
I'm slow, but if things get tight, I don't hesitate to take the lane.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:28 PM   #3
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Good one:

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Old 04-30-12, 10:32 PM   #4
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Because you complain of groin and knee pain, I'd question whether you do have a proper fit, including 1. saddle height and 2.saddle fit and adjustment. I recommend correcting these problems before shopping for shoes. Shoes are secondary, having nothing to do with feelings of pain or discomfort in the groin and knees. I ride all the way to the right side of the lane when riding on the road. Look forward to see any problems on the road ahead and have enough reaction time to avoid them.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:36 PM   #5
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Because you complain of groin and knee pain, I'd question whether you do have a proper fit, including 1. saddle height and 2.saddle fit and adjustment. I recommend correcting these problems before shopping for shoes. Shoes are secondary, having nothing to do with feelings of pain or discomfort in the groin and knees. I ride all the way to the right side of the lane when riding on the road. Look forward to see any problems on the road ahead and have enough reaction time to avoid them.
I might stop by a new LBS that I haven't tried before and see if they can fit me any better. And $20 for a saddle seems almost too good to be true!
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Old 04-30-12, 10:39 PM   #6
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I might stop by a new LBS that I haven't tried before and see if they can fit me any better. And $20 for a saddle seems almost too good to be true!
I just bought one. They have some very good deals sometimes.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:44 PM   #7
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1. read thru the many threads here that address that.
3. pedals are great for mindless pedaling, but if you're already dealing with knee pain I would have to suggest eggbeater pedals or speedplay pedals.
4. the general rule is travel as far to right as you can. that doesn't mean a balancing act on the edge of the pavement but it doesn't mean you get the whole road, unless you're doing the speed limit or you've spotted debris up ahead that warrants a need for the whole lane. if you need a foot to feel safe then that's as far to right as you can go.
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Old 04-30-12, 11:12 PM   #8
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  1. Should I buy a new seat? I ride a minimum of 70 miles a week, I wear bicycle shorts, and I have had a proper fit. The only thing stopping me from doing my first century is saddle and groin pain despite proper fit and quality bontrager cicyle shorts. If so, are there saddles that I can buy under $65?

Groin pain is pretty unusual! Find a bike shop that will let you demo saddles. What works for me may not work for you.


  1. Do any of you do spin classes? After doing my first class I quit after twenty minutes because of intense knee pain. Aerobically fit, but my knees cannot handle a spin bike for whatever reason. Should I continue spin classes or keep doing long rides?

No, my wife does but I hate it. I've ridden the thing though, no pain at all. I don't like the inertia in the pedals, seems pretty hazardous.


  1. I tried the "act like you are wiping mud off your shoe" tecnique to prevent bouncing when spinning at a high RPM but it doesn't seem to work. Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?

Wiping your shoes doesn't necessarily prevent bounce, it's just the best pedaling "form" (as opposed to riding tippy toed like some folks). High RPM pedaling takes practice. Lots of practice. And some coordination. A lower saddle will help ironically but will hurt other aspects of your cycling, so it's important to get the height right.


  1. When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? The road is pretty narrow, so I feel like riding on the shoulder is dangerous and doesn't allow room to get out of the way of debris or what not. On the other hand, I feel like an ass taking up the whole lane going 10mph under the speed limit.

YMMV, but if there's no bike lane or shoulder, I like to ride far enough into the lane so that cars can't squeeze by me without having to move over a bit. I don't want to intentionally antagonize some 3-brain cell moron driver but I don't want them hitting me either out of sheer neglect.
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Old 04-30-12, 11:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
  1. Should I buy a new seat? I ride a minimum of 70 miles a week, I wear bicycle shorts, and I have had a proper fit. The only thing stopping me from doing my first century is saddle and groin pain despite proper fit and quality bontrager cicyle shorts. If so, are there saddles that I can buy under $65?
    Thanks!

Unfortunately, finding the "right" saddle is something that can take more than one try. Some folks are lucky and can cycle forever on any old slab of wood you perch them on. Others of us, are not so fortunate. My first piece of advice is to NOT take groin pain lightly. I have a friend who is impotent due to ignoring discomfort and numbness "down there". Do what you can to find different saddles to try. Ask at your LBS if they have a box of "take offs" that you could work through to find something more suited to you. As for <$65, craigslist and fleabay are your friend.


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  1. Do any of you do spin classes? After doing my first class I quit after twenty minutes because of intense knee pain. Aerobically fit, but my knees cannot handle a spin bike for whatever reason. Should I continue spin classes or keep doing long rides?
Thanks!
Yes, I do the occassional spin class, as does Mrs. Fred. Again, don't ignore pain or discomfort. But, if you're comfortable cycling on the road, there isn't any reason why a "spin" bike should cause you pain. Check to make sure you've got your saddle correctly adjusted. Both vetically and laterally. If you're using straps on the spin bike, you're foot may not have been aligned properly. That could definately cause discomfort in short order. Don't try to push(mash) a too big gear.


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  1. I tried the "act like you are wiping mud off your shoe" tecnique to prevent bouncing when spinning at a high RPM but it doesn't seem to work. Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?

Thanks!
I didn't realize you were riding without any form of shoe retention. I take back most of what I've said about spinning and cadence. Most of it doesn't apply if you're using platform pedals and sneakers. If you're trying to ride with sneakers on those R540's the situation would be even less stable. Secondly, the "scrape and lift" drills are not something you do "while" trying to achieve high cadence. They are something you use to help train your muscles into spinning a complete circle, so that you have good technique and form when you "do" try to achieve high cadence. Without good form, high cadence looks like a sewing machine.

Yes, clipless pedals would definately help with trying to achieve some of what you hear us talking about. Just out of curiousity, on this mornings ride, I spun up a light gear on the waterfront(flat) and achieved 130 without losing much form. That's with 180mm cranks that supposedly limit your spinning ability. I know I've gone 170+rpm on the trainer and suspect that if I want to work on it, I could increase that on road cadence by a fair bit. But, really, cadences that high are most useful for sprinting. Which I don't have much need of.

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  1. When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? The road is pretty narrow, so I feel like riding on the shoulder is dangerous and doesn't allow room to get out of the way of debris or what not. On the other hand, I feel like an ass taking up the whole lane going 10mph under the speed limit.

    Thanks!

Mate, it all depends. I ride to the side, UNLESS, my personal safety dictate that I move over. When I say "the side" I'm talking about the 1.5meters nearest the edge of the road. I have no problem behaving as though I own that 5 feet. Then, if there's some extenuating circumstance that would make it unwise to allow traffic to pass, I'll move further into the lane. Usually for short periods of time. Always in a deliberate and predictable way. Usually, motorist understand why. Very rarely do I hear anything out of them.

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I apologize for all of the questions, but they have been bugging me for a few days now. I have a younger brother who rides with me and I cannot emphasize how important it is to NOT ride against traffic. I also want to up my maximum ride distance from 30 miles to 50, and then 50 to a century.

Thanks!
Yep, keep encouraging your brother to ride safely. With regard to ride lengths, if a century is you goal, pick one that is at least 14 weeks away. Committ to that and then we'll have some really basic training plans that will see you complete that goal.
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Old 05-01-12, 02:37 AM   #10
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I ride to the side, UNLESS, my personal safety dictate that I move over. When I say "the side" I'm talking about the 1.5meters nearest the edge of the road. I have no problem behaving as though I own that 5 feet. Then, if there's some extenuating circumstance that would make it unwise to allow traffic to pass, I'll move further into the lane. Usually for short periods of time. Always in a deliberate and predictable way. Usually, motorist understand why. Very rarely do I hear anything out of them.
Excellent advice, IMO.

OP, the thing to note here is that riding "to the side" does not mean hugging the kerb. You need to be visible, to give yourself room to manoeuvre, and to discourage drivers from thinking they can squeeze past you in tight spots. So riding roughly where the nearside wheel tracks are, about three feet into the lane, is a sensible starting point from which you can move as circumstances and courtesy dictate.

If you visit the advocacy and safety forums, and especially the vehicular cycling sub-forum, you'll find a string of very heated arguments about this. But everything depends on context. If the shoulder is wide and clear, great. Use it. If not, regard it as your bail-out option and stay in the lane. if you are in the way of a long queue of increasingly impatient traffic, you might consider pulling over, stopping and letting them go. If it's just a question of them being patient for a minute or two, assert yourself. And so on...
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Old 05-01-12, 04:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
  1. Should I buy a new seat? I ride a minimum of 70 miles a week, I wear bicycle shorts, and I have had a proper fit. The only thing stopping me from doing my first century is saddle and groin pain despite proper fit and quality bontrager cicyle shorts. If so, are there saddles that I can buy under $65?
  2. Do any of you do spin classes? After doing my first class I quit after twenty minutes because of intense knee pain. Aerobically fit, but my knees cannot handle a spin bike for whatever reason. Should I continue spin classes or keep doing long rides?
  3. I tried the "act like you are wiping mud off your shoe" tecnique to prevent bouncing when spinning at a high RPM but it doesn't seem to work. Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?
  4. When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? The road is pretty narrow, so I feel like riding on the shoulder is dangerous and doesn't allow room to get out of the way of debris or what not. On the other hand, I feel like an ass taking up the whole lane going 10mph under the speed limit.

I apologize for all of the questions, but they have been bugging me for a few days now. I have a younger brother who rides with me and I cannot emphasize how important it is to NOT ride against traffic. I also want to up my maximum ride distance from 30 miles to 50, and then 50 to a century.

Thanks!
1- I had the same issue until I went to the Brookes Saddle. Will it help you? I am not sure but it did for me.
2- I hate spinning class. I would rather shoot myself to be frank. I love riding outside and did it all winter but we had no snow. I might do it in the snow when we get some but we will see. If I so not, I will hit the gym and also get a trainer. I hate spin class because the fit sucks on the bikes, period.
4- I take up enough room to feel OK about it.
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Old 05-01-12, 06:16 AM   #12
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4 - If there is only occasional traffic do what is necessary to be safe. If there is moderate to high traffic don't take that road.
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Old 05-01-12, 06:35 AM   #13
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1. Try different saddles to aleviate saddle discomfort. Finding the right saddle is a crapshoot, and while you can find cheap saddles, the chances of them being satisfactory decrease along with the price, IME. Groin pain, OTOH, is not likely tied to saddle design, but is more likely either a fit issue, or the result of a physical ailment. I agree with those who say you should see a fitter and/or a doc.

2. I'm not a fan of spin classes. I attend them in the winter, only because I dislike riding in the cold. I also think some of what the instructors would have us do is neither helpful nor healthy. I think of them as something to help me prepare for riding on the road, which means two things - one, I don't risk injury. If I injure myself doing what I love, so be it, but I won't put myself in that position while prepping to do something I love. And two, when weather permits, I will be on the road and never in spin class.

3. Are you saying you're using R540 pedals without cleated shoes? Aren't R540s SPD-SL pedals? How in the world are you keeping your feet on them to begin with? As far as your bouncing problem goes, though, it will improve with high-rpm practice.

4. I ride to the right, but never so far as to risk bad pavement, or road debris, And any place my safety would be endangered by a vehicle pulling alongside, I take the lane to prevent it. Like at an intersection where a motorist is likely to turn right and cut you off.

Last edited by CraigB; 05-01-12 at 09:28 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 05-01-12, 08:53 AM   #14
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Should I buy a new seat? I ride a minimum of 70 miles a week, I wear bicycle shorts, and I have had a proper fit. The only thing stopping me from doing my first century is saddle and groin pain despite proper fit and quality bontrager cicyle shorts. If so, are there saddles that I can buy under $65?
Im in the same boat as you brother. i even tried wear two pairs of bike shorts at the same time. didnt work. but the pain in the groin, yikes, try tilting your nose down a slight bit untill you get a new saddle. i bought a new saddle and on both ride i got numb bits, took it off right away, i dont mess with "down there"

Quote:
I tried the "act like you are wiping mud off your shoe" tecnique to prevent bouncing when spinning at a high RPM but it doesn't seem to work. Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?
It takes time (more than a week that you have been trying) to get the bouncing in check. keep working at it and it will be second nature. clipless helps a tad but not worth buying just for that aspect.
When i take my road bike to work i ride in dress shoes and i dont bounce unless i get to 115rpms, so its not really the shoes its the practice.

Quote:
When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? The road is pretty narrow, so I feel like riding on the shoulder is dangerous and doesn't allow room to get out of the way of debris or what not. On the other hand, I feel like an ass taking up the whole lane going 10mph under the speed limit.
take the lane when needed, but personally i will route myself around those roads even if it takes me 3 miles the wrong way. I know how you feel, but a 1-2 minute inconvenience in a car is nothing but you fixing a flat, or bending a rim, or taking a wipe out is worse.
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Old 05-01-12, 09:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
  1. Should I buy a new seat? ...
  2. Do any of you do spin classes? ...
  3. ... Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?
  4. When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? ...
These answers are an echo of previous ones.
1. Before investing in a new seat, I would question your fit. Professional fits are around a hundred bucks. If your bike is not comfortable, you won't be riding it very much longer. It is a worthwhile investment.
2. I have personally never taken a spin class.
3. Yes. As mentioned, R540 pedals are SPD-SL. I cannot ride without being clipped in, and have done so since about 1966.
4. Ride as far to the right as safety will allow. Only go to the left of a lane if you are approaching an intersection where you will be making a left turn. If so, be sure to signal those behind you of your intentions.
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Old 05-01-12, 09:53 AM   #16
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I have mixed emotions as far as spin classes. They're a great way to work your aerobic system. The downside is the flywheel effect of the machines really hurt my pedalling form. The instructors add in some stuff that has no use in actually riding a bike. I think the reason for this is to combat boredom. Since you're in Florida I'd just ride my bike. Next winter, I plan to spend down there doing that.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:40 AM   #17
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  1. When riding on the road in a single lane, should I take up the whole lane, or should I ride on the shoulder to let drivers pass? The road is pretty narrow, so I feel like riding on the shoulder is dangerous and doesn't allow room to get out of the way of debris or what not. On the other hand, I feel like an ass taking up the whole lane going 10mph under the speed limit.
  1. Do an internet search of applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Many state traffic codes require you to use the shoulder when there is one but allow you to ride outside the shoudler if necessary to avoid hazards. Where no shoulder exisists, many codes require you ride as far to thr right as safety will permit. I doubt that is nterpreted to mean you can ride in the middle of the road when there is nothing preventing you from riding further right simply because you fear not having enough time to avoid hazards that you might encounter.

    Your field of vision and acknowledgement should extend a ways out so you can see road upcoming road hazads. Sounds like you could benefit from a riding skills course.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:23 PM   #18
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  1. Should I buy a new seat? I ride a minimum of 70 miles a week, I wear bicycle shorts, and I have had a proper fit. The only thing stopping me from doing my first century is saddle and groin pain despite proper fit and quality bontrager cicyle shorts. If so, are there saddles that I can buy under $65?
  2. I tried the "act like you are wiping mud off your shoe" tecnique to prevent bouncing when spinning at a high RPM but it doesn't seem to work. Should I just invest in clipless shoes? I have R540 pedals but no shoes, maybe that will help?
1. I've read a lot of good reviews about Specialized's "Riva" seat which retails for $29. On the other hand, I hear a lot of complaints about Bontrager seats, which is what you probably have on your 1.2.

2. Are you at least wearing cleats? If you're riding R-540 pedals without cleats, it's no wonder you can't get a good cadence going. You're doing well to keep your feet from slipping off.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:42 PM   #19
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What I meant was I have R540's that I can install if I want, all I would need are the shoes. Right now I ride platform MTB pedals.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:46 PM   #20
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Groin pain? That is not good. Have you asked your Doc about that?
Definitely. Rule out hernia or hip issue before spending money on saddles, etc.
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Old 05-01-12, 04:28 PM   #21
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My best advice (and I mean this in a positive manner) is go ride more. Stop worrying about wheels, saddles, cadences, body building,spinning, or the host of other questions and go ride.

I find most answers come from doing.
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Old 05-01-12, 06:05 PM   #22
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For some people.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:09 PM   #23
CJ C
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Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
My best advice (and I mean this in a positive manner) is go ride more. Stop worrying about wheels, saddles, cadences, body building,spinning, or the host of other questions and go ride.

hard to go ride when your saddle has been created by the most sinister and twisted human being that is probably my evil twin separated at birth who i stole his highschool sweetheart and i kicked his dog.

of the three points that touch a bike a clyde and his saddle are paramount.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:14 PM   #24
10 Wheels
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Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
My best advice (and I mean this in a positive manner) is go ride more. Stop worrying about wheels, saddles, cadences, body building,spinning, or the host of other questions and go ride.

I find most answers come from doing.
Did you ride this one?

http://s256.photobucket.com/albums/h...view=slideshow
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Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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Old 05-01-12, 10:28 PM   #25
Rx Rider
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is THAT a saddle or a bike lock?
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