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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 08-20-12, 06:53 AM   #1
Chitown_Mike
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I am doing it, going to be a Clyde on a Century!

So being new here, reading people's success, and enjoying cycling myself I signed up the other day to do a Century ride in the Chicago area. I have a little under 5 weeks now, just completed a 60 miler in under 4 1/2 hours (including rests and traffic lights) this past Saturday, and planning on another this coming weekend.

This forum, and this sub-forum, have been a great source of inspiration for me. While still young at 28, the 240 lbs needs to get shaked down to 210-215 and figured there is nothing better than training for a century.

And if anyone is in the Chicago area and/or riding the North Shore Century, hit me up! Looking for people to ride with. Nothing like a "herd" of Clydesdales doing a 100 miles on their bikes.

Basically wanted to thank you folks for your push to get me to do it, I wouldn't have considered it if I hadn't been on this site!
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Old 08-20-12, 07:13 AM   #2
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Good luck. Im 6'4" 245 and Ive done 3 centuries this year and I just started biking a year ago. It definitely helped me lose 30 pounds so far, with 45 more to go.
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Old 08-20-12, 07:51 AM   #3
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Good luck. Im 6'4" 245 and Ive done 3 centuries this year and I just started biking a year ago. It definitely helped me lose 30 pounds so far, with 45 more to go.

That's why I got back into biking again, because I despise running and I don't want to bulk up by lifting weights like I used to. Thanks for the encouragement and good luck with those last 45 lbs!
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Old 08-20-12, 07:59 AM   #4
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I started my journey at 290. Did a 1/4C at 260, a 1/2 Metric at 245, a 1/2C at 245m and hope to be at 220 (currently 230) for a full metric w/5k climbing in five weeks. 200 for my first full C in November is a goal I hope to meet.

At your age, and with no serious health concerns, you should do fine. Good luck.
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Old 08-20-12, 08:52 AM   #5
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I have ridden the North Shore Century three times. Great ride!!! (Got my doctorate at Northwestern so was familiar with the area, although I live seven hours away.) Well organized for a hugh ride. Great support and rest stops.

I rode it with a younger brother who has since died from cancer. The last time was after he was diagnosed and knew it was terminal. So that ride was so special.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:12 AM   #6
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Well, mine change has been a bit slower, starting early in 2010 at 378lbs, now down to 302lbs and on a recumbent trike. My first century attempt is on 09/09 in Findlay, OH (HHH). But my last metric took me just over 12hrs to complete, so I suspect you will have a much easier time of it

At age 28 I had already had 7 knee surgeries, and had been off a bike for some 10 yrs. It's great that you are making this change at a younger age - congrats to you~!
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Old 08-21-12, 09:33 AM   #7
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Two things - good luck on your century! See if you can squeeze in an 80 mile ride or so in the next 5 weeks. Finishing a century is probably as much will power and stubbornness as anything else. Oh, and smart eating and drinking. (I say this having done 1 whole century)

Second thing - why do overweight people set their weight target at a goal that's still overweight? You could be extremely tall, I don't know, and I'm really not picking on you, but I see it all the time. I'm 6'2 and was 241 in January and I'm currently loitering between 215 and 220 and that's still overweight. The BMI charts (which are silly) say the top of the healthy range for me is 190 so I think that's my goal. Don't sell yourself short!
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Old 08-22-12, 10:34 AM   #8
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And if anyone is in the Chicago area and/or riding the North Shore Century, hit me up! Looking for people to ride with. Nothing like a "herd" of Clydesdales doing a 100 miles on their bikes.

Basically wanted to thank you folks for your push to get me to do it, I wouldn't have considered it if I hadn't been on this site!

If its the one on september 23? then I am doing the North shore century too!!!

I will ride with you, but be warned I am a very very slow rider and my longest ride so far is only 50 miles. so I might be found on the side of the road in the fetal position at about 70 miles in.

So if your slow like me I will be happy to suck your wheel for 100 miles just let me know.
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Old 08-22-12, 10:45 AM   #9
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If its the one on september 23? then I am doing the North shore century too!!!

I will ride with you, but be warned I am a very very slow rider and my longest ride so far is only 50 miles. so I might be found on the side of the road in the fetal position at about 70 miles in.

So if your slow like me I will be happy to suck your wheel for 100 miles just let me know.
Reset your expectations. Train until you KNOW that you can complete a century and when the going gets tough, you'll fight through it because you KNOW you can complete the course, and that certainly doesn't mean riding 100 miles before then. Squeeze in a 75 or 80 miler or two between now and then. Good luck to both of you!
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Old 08-22-12, 11:05 AM   #10
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Two things - good luck on your century! See if you can squeeze in an 80 mile ride or so in the next 5 weeks. Finishing a century is probably as much will power and stubbornness as anything else. Oh, and smart eating and drinking. (I say this having done 1 whole century)

Second thing - why do overweight people set their weight target at a goal that's still overweight? You could be extremely tall, I don't know, and I'm really not picking on you, but I see it all the time. I'm 6'2 and was 241 in January and I'm currently loitering between 215 and 220 and that's still overweight. The BMI charts (which are silly) say the top of the healthy range for me is 190 so I think that's my goal. Don't sell yourself short!

I figure that with my current muscle/fat composition that at 210-215 I will be at about 12-15% body fat. I don't use BMI charts because (from my personal research) they are inherently flawed and don't take into consideration people's body types. I am 6' 0" and I have been under 200 lbs, but at that weight I looked physically sick, and even my doctor said be aware. I was probably 8-10% body fat at the time.

Plus during the winter I plan on body weight training to bulk up a bit, I just wanted to get the cardio aspect out of the way now, and might even invest in a bike trainer so I can ride in the winter when the streets are horrible in Chicago.

I also have a 60 miler under my belt, I am planning on (provided our baby boy doesn't show up just yet) to do a 70-75 miler this weekend, 2 lighter (50 mile rides) next weekend and then an 80 miler the following. And I am in the process of figuring out an eating/drinking schedule as I ride. I have access to some great products that have worked really well with how I ride and give me the needed nutrients and energy to continue on with limited fatigue and down time after a ride.


And CJ C - I usually average around 16-17 mph on a ride currently because I am trying to build up the endurance for the long haul, so I figure for the century I will pace myself around 14-15-ish. I guess I am too impatient to ride much slower, but we will see, might end up in a fetal position a few miles past you lol. But if you are up for a ride before hand let me know, I need to do some slower 50 mile rides in a weekend or 2 anyway. Shoot me a PM, I use the North Branch bike trail a lot.
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Old 08-22-12, 11:08 AM   #11
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Reset your expectations. Train until you KNOW that you can complete a century and when the going gets tough, you'll fight through it because you KNOW you can complete the course, and that certainly doesn't mean riding 100 miles before then. Squeeze in a 75 or 80 miler or two between now and then. Good luck to both of you!
Its not that I cant physically ride longer than 50 miles, its just that I dont have the Time to ride longer than that. i can do 40 miles on saturday and 40 on sunday with no stops and be fine. I do have time scheduled to do a 65 miler the saturday after next. (60 miler if the wind slows me).

the plan for the 100 miler is do it under 7:30 hours depending on wind. I don't think my expectation is to high. and if I don't make the full hundred as long as a gave it my all, got to see some good scenery, learned a new route, and smiled a few times during the suffering then I will call it a win.

my real main goal before the ride is not to train to get 75 or 80 miles, its to find a way to keep my toes warm.
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Old 08-22-12, 11:19 AM   #12
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CJ C - I usually average around 16-17 mph on a ride currently because I am trying to build up the endurance for the long haul, so I figure for the century I will pace myself around 14-15-ish. I guess I am too impatient to ride much slower, but we will see, might end up in a fetal position a few miles past you lol. But if you are up for a ride before hand let me know, I need to do some slower 50 mile rides in a weekend or 2 anyway. Shoot me a PM, I use the North Branch bike trail a lot.
Yeah your way faster than me, my fastest time on the botanic garden trail which is 40 miles round trip for me I averaged 14.3mph (that includes all stop lights and traffic to the beginning of the trail)

I really dont pace myself by speed but by HR. But from what i am finding my all day HR gets me about a 12-14mph cruising speed
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Old 08-22-12, 11:55 AM   #13
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Yeah your way faster than me, my fastest time on the botanic garden trail which is 40 miles round trip for me I averaged 14.3mph (that includes all stop lights and traffic to the beginning of the trail)

I really dont pace myself by speed but by HR. But from what i am finding my all day HR gets me about a 12-14mph cruising speed
May I ask why HR? Perhaps I could better my averages and stay more consistent when on a century ride. Never considered tracking my HR.
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Old 08-22-12, 12:20 PM   #14
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May I ask why HR? Perhaps I could better my averages and stay more consistent when on a century ride. Never considered tracking my HR.

easy example for us where we live is say you want to keep your speed at 16mph. well 16mph with 3mph headwind is different force needed/energy exerted than 16mph with 10mph headwind and gusts of 20mph. Now a HR of 151bpm with 3mph headwind will be close to the same force/energy exerted 151bpm with 15mph headwind and gusts of 25mph.

When you ride the lakefront, random wind gusts are a huge factor on the ride. Within minutes I can go from 18mph and be perfectly fine to riding 12mph and huffing and puffing and wanting to stop and call a cab. Now if i keep my HR at a certain level effort is the same regardless of speed.

yes there are many variables that make the HR jump or drop but i find its better tool to closer estimate effort than speed. the problem i am finding with HR is as I become more fit my HR averages are lower for the same speed/effort and i need to adjust to get the most of each ride.

Really nobody needs these gadgets, as perceived effort far outweighs data and graphs. It did help someone like me as I always go too hard too fast and never in my life been able to pace myself in anything.
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Old 08-22-12, 01:14 PM   #15
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Good point about the heart rate... also works when you're pacing or being paced by somebody. I was motoring along behind somebody last weekend at what I would consider a fast pace and my HR was about zone 3.5-3.8. I took over pacing duties for 5-10 min. and my HR went up to 4.3-4.6. I generally feel like I can ride in zone 3 all day.

Other things that affect HR are ambient temperature - mine's always higher when it's really hot out. I have trouble with perceived effort... just can't get consistent with it I guess.

Chitown - you sound like you'll be in great shape for your century. Have fun!
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Old 08-22-12, 09:31 PM   #16
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I need to do some slower 50 mile rides in a weekend or 2 anyway. Shoot me a PM, I use the North Branch bike trail a lot.
I may be to slow for even your slow rides. here is my ride to botanic gardens and back. this is at the top end of my pace for this distance. http://app.strava.com/rides/19427471
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Old 08-22-12, 09:34 PM   #17
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Other things that affect HR are ambient temperature - mine's always higher when it's really hot out.
funny thing i found with my HR is that very early morning rides I run a lower HR for a same effort at a higher HR if its afternoon/evening?
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Old 09-24-12, 09:37 AM   #18
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If you are reading this....I am alive and feeling great. Ride was fantastic and the SAG and event peoples ran a superb ride (that might be biased because it is only my first). Got a change to ride at an average of 15.3 by the end of the day so my pace was where I wanted it originally, but wish I got done faster. Although I wish my rest stops were shorter, but that last few my body needed it, my core (obvious to me now) wasn't strong enough so my back was hurting by the end because of my saddle posture. This winter will be core exercises like crazy.

I could have kept a fast pace but I linked up with another rider and we enjoyed the company of the ride, plus it went through some very beautiful places in the North Shore communities of the Chicagoland area. Some really nice lake views and houses.

I kept up my fluids (clear pee every stop), ate here and there (they had all kinds of goodies at stops) and the roads were decent, some places it looked like they were carpet bombed.

Things I learned:
  • Look at the weather the night before, not 4 days before. It was supposed to be mid 50's-mid 60's according to the weather on Wednesday......it was 40 when I started and got no hotter than 60 in the sun on an open road with no shade....it was cold!

  • Slow leaks that become apparent with less than a mile left can be pumped up to get you done

  • Ride with a partner, my first 2 hours of so I kept a better pace but I was alone and it was rather boring. I met up with another guy going just slightly slower than me but the conversation and ride was more pleasant from there on out, plus we kept each other on pace.

  • A nice balaclava is perfect for something like this. I didn't don my Underarmor balaclava until the 1/2 way point, but even with it "hotter" I felt a ton better on the ride.


I will definitely be doing this century again.

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Old 09-24-12, 09:40 AM   #19
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Congrats - sounds like you benefited from the lessons learned by the rest of us. Drink plenty, eat enough and don't over do it pretty much sums it up. Good job!
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Old 09-24-12, 10:04 AM   #20
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I'm envious. Great job on the ride. I love riding with a partner because the conversation helps keep my mind off the miles!
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Old 09-24-12, 10:57 AM   #21
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Mike: You got this bro. Just remember hydration, pace, and nibbling as you go. You got it.
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Old 09-24-12, 11:13 AM   #22
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Great job on your first century!
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