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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 07-17-12, 01:52 PM   #1
fatpunk
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Too embarrassed to ride with others...

I love riding my bicycle. (DUH who on here dosen't?) I've been without a bike for a few weeks while it's getting repaired and it's given me way too much time to think and do other things. My wife on the other hand loves having dinner cooked, house cleaned, yard cut, garage is spotless, so on and so on.

I took up cycling for health and fun. I'm not near where I need/want to be. I've always rode alone for fear of riding with others because I don't want to slow them up. I don't want to look weak because I can't make that hill climb without getting off and walking it (we don't have many in the lowcountry). All the usual stuff...

I really want to start riding with other people when I get my bike back but it seems like the only groups of cyclist I see or find are all road bikers. I don't own a road bike I won't own one for a good amount of time due to weight issues. (400 lbs on a road bike is just asking for trouble.)

Anyone have any suggestions? I've tried to get family/friends/co workers into it but no one is really into as much as I am.
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Old 07-17-12, 01:58 PM   #2
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Never tried it, but what about http://www.meetup.com/

I would think that if you picked a good parking lot near a bike path, rode from there on a consistent basis (i.e. Sundays at 8am), talked to like-minded riders you pass on the road/trails, etc, you could get a group of similar level riders fairly easily.

My wife and I rode through a popular starting point parking lot the other day when a group invited us to ride with them. There were a few roadies, a few mountain bikes, a few "granny bikes" (wife's description of her own bike). They didn't care what we were riding. Said they were going to do a very easy 10 miles and we were welcome to join. I'll bet that's how the entire group was formed....one invitation at a time.
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Old 07-17-12, 02:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link and suggestions. I'll defiantly try it.
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Old 07-17-12, 02:13 PM   #4
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Try checking at bike shops. At this point look for the shops selling bountian bikes and cruisers. Any shop I have been in is happy to try to match you up with a good group for you. That keeps everyone riding and buying, even if jsut tubes for now. But any shop knows the most about the area they concentrate on.

It sounds like you are riding a Mountian Bike on the street. If so you are best served if it is not suspended, if it is locking out the suspension is a good idea if it is setup that way. If yuo are street riding change out the tires for road slicks. That can buy a lot of speed right away. (2 to 3 gears for me).

Good luck and remember some people do have patience as long as you are trying, which it sounds like you are.
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Old 07-17-12, 02:15 PM   #5
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Look for social no drop rides on MUP (multiple use paths), those seem to be "bring any bike with brakes and a helmet" types of things. Also bikes shops have these rides too. next time your in just ask.

Also never hurts to strike up a convo with a random person riding where you are.

never feel like you be too slow or your bike is not new or good enough. Everyone had to start somewhere, most are still slow (like me) and the rest started slow, we have all been there.

Also an idea is to google some charity rides in your area, some have 10 mile to 100 mile rides and all inbetween. You will be able to meet other cyclist there and could start your own group to ride.

good luck
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Old 07-17-12, 02:18 PM   #6
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If you lived here I'd gladly get out my slow mtb and do some rides with you! Just keep lookin you'll find someone to ride with.
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Old 07-17-12, 02:30 PM   #7
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Have you tried the regional sub-forums to find ride partners or set up social rides?
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Old 07-17-12, 02:54 PM   #8
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Read this story: http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/...r-world_226368
If you make the effort to reach out, you will find all kinds of fun and helpful people in the bicycle community.
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Old 07-17-12, 03:12 PM   #9
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Wait do what Mith did,

Check out strava, look for segments in your area. Find a few people on the list that ride at about the same rate as you and reach out to them.
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Old 07-17-12, 04:03 PM   #10
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Get on Facebook and start your own cycling group. I joined such a group two years ago; back then they got maybe 6-12 people, 20 was an awesome turnout. Nowadays, 60-70 is typical. (Okay, it *is* a pub crawl ride, but drinking isn't required.) It's a no drop ride with a casual pace. (The whole group even stops and help people fix flats.) I just happened to meet someone in the group who invited me and I'm typical... friends and friends of friends joined and now we always have a good group. It's a twice a week ride, and there are several spin-off groups that do their own riding.

Also, don't give up on friends/family riding. Here's the story of my wife starting to ride again. She said she would never ride again. I started riding in 2008. I stuck with it and in April 2010 she changed her stance to maybe she'd get a bike, then finally got one in November 2010. She didn't really start to enjoy cycling until this spring though, and now we go out together a lot. And this Saturday we're leading a breakfast ride for beginners. Before April 2010 if you would have said she'd be this interested in cycling I would have laughed at you. She just needed some room and some time to decide for herself.
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Old 07-17-12, 04:47 PM   #11
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I shared the same thing that you are going through when I started a little over a year ago. I bought a road bike and thought I could handle the group ride. I got into some trouble with the Philly group (basically got dropped) but it just made me more determined. I found another group to ride with.... a D group, and found some people who also wanted to get better and better and off we went.

But start slow. And my BIGGEST recommendation is ALWAYS get a cue sheet or map it out yourself before going on the group ride. Just cause the group says "no drop" doesnt mean ANYTHING. One group I rode with dropped me and it was a no drop ride. You feel like crap because they are waiting for you. It is not a good feeling. At least now, I tell them to go ahead and I ride on my own. At least I tried. That is what counts.
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Old 07-17-12, 06:34 PM   #12
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How come your bike is taking a few weeks to be fixed?
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Old 07-17-12, 06:52 PM   #13
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How come your bike is taking a few weeks to be fixed?
Long story...
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Old 07-17-12, 07:07 PM   #14
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I would like to sound off here a bit, and I apologize up front because I am not going to blow sunshine up your bum. What I am going to say has nothing to do with your size, what you ride, or how you look on the bike. The thing, honestly, is how fast are you on the bike? Have you considered that many cyclists ride for just what you are, exercise and health. Most average cyclists can typically ride 15MPH average or better, and even more on road bikes. This is just average folk. Most group rides are motivated as a competitive club environment and push one another to go fast.

I have ridden for years, but I am terribly slow. I formed a novice ride group within the club I ride in, just SO I would have a group to ride with. Even at that, for the most part, within a few weeks the novices whom started riding with me become faster and move up to another group which I cannot keep up with. I commonly meet people that like to hook up and ride, and after a few rides when they become faster than me the meets get less and less as they ride with other people who are more comparative in skill and speed. It is just the nature of the sport and I don't take it as a personal affront (and hopefully you are not either).

My (helpful) suggestion here would be to see if you can find some community "fun" rides, or "conversational" pace rides...even at that, what is "conversational" to some is beyond the means of another. If you can't find something, ask about at the local shops or clubs and see if you can drum something up for yourself.
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Old 07-18-12, 07:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatpunk View Post
I love riding my bicycle. (DUH who on here dosen't?) I've been without a bike for a few weeks while it's getting repaired and it's given me way too much time to think and do other things. My wife on the other hand loves having dinner cooked, house cleaned, yard cut, garage is spotless, so on and so on.

I took up cycling for health and fun. I'm not near where I need/want to be. I've always rode alone for fear of riding with others because I don't want to slow them up. I don't want to look weak because I can't make that hill climb without getting off and walking it (we don't have many in the lowcountry). All the usual stuff...

I really want to start riding with other people when I get my bike back but it seems like the only groups of cyclist I see or find are all road bikers. I don't own a road bike I won't own one for a good amount of time due to weight issues. (400 lbs on a road bike is just asking for trouble.)

Anyone have any suggestions? I've tried to get family/friends/co workers into it but no one is really into as much as I am.

Hi there. Like yourself, I too am 400 pounds. Well, 391 as of this morning, but close enough.

So first off, nobody is *ever* where they need/want to be in terms of skill, except maybe Bradley Wiggins or Cadel Evans. So don't worry too much about that. You've only been at it for a few weeks, so give it time. I've been cycling for 14 months now, and while I've made tons of progress, I'm still nowhere near where I need/want to be either.

Group riding always scared me as well, for the same exact reasons. So over the last 5,000 miles, almost all of those have been solo. Unfortunately my performance plateaued and I got kind of lonely as I realised that cycling 10-15 hours a week has pretty much decimated my social life. All I ever did was cycle. I reached out to a local cycling club, and I'm glad I did. Riding with other people has turned out to be fun. They've welcomed me with open arms so far, and it's been a great experience. Here's one thing I've learned: They will not think you're weak because you can't climb that hill. They will think you're awesome for being a 400 pound person who is even trying the hill in the first place. Seriously. I did a hilly ride last weekend, and while I was left in the dust doing a 28 mile hill ride; the rest of them did 42 miles, and congratulated me when they all passed me as I was struggling up the final hill on the way back. There was no embarrassment or looking weak, they thought it was great that I wasn't sitting on my couch like 98% of all other Americans were doing that morning, but attacking something that was challenging.

Maybe I've found a great club, but I have to imagine there are clubs all over the country with similar attitudes. If you really want to ride with groups, I urge you to look around for a club; not a racing club, but a more casual one.

Also, I ride on a Touring bike, which is pretty much a road bike with relaxed geometry. It's heavier, sure, but I don't mind. I highly recommend one; drop bars are so much better than flat bars.
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