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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 10-02-12, 04:41 PM   #26
Shellyrides
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Thanks for all the feed back. The OP was a rant that I really should not have had. But you see I have no one to talk bikes with. My family just kind of rolls there eyes at me. My kids think I have lost my mind. ( My 16 year old just ask for NO bike parts for his birthday in 3 days....now I will just have to give them to him for Christmas. ) My friends don't ride or understand why I have a poster of Mt Shasta in my hallway that says "Ski bowl or BUST!" in my hand writing (its a 6000 foot cat 5 climb.)

I know that I will have to spend sometime looking for fellow riders, but every once in awhile it would be nice to not feel you have to fight for it. I do ride alone....alot. I always get the lead view and that is nice, but once in awhile it would be nice to put my head down and only think about keeping that tire in front of me right there......
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Old 10-02-12, 05:19 PM   #27
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Have you actually gone to one or more of their easier-rated rides? I wouldn't just go by what some of the people at the meeting said about getting dropped if you don't have a road bike. Show up for a few rides and see for yourself. At worst you do get left behind and end up doing the ride by yourself - which is what you're doing now anyway. But you may well find that there are others riding at a comfortable pace for you.
This is the key option.

I'm not sure how your bike clubs are organised in the US, but over here, clubs are primarily for racing and hence club rides (not organised) are mostly for training purposes and the pace can be pretty hot, depending on who's along for the ride. It's funny to see people cringe when certain people turn up and many comments about them not being allowed on the front. On Sat mornings I ride with mostly club riders because I want to be pushed outside my comfort zone a tad. I race road and track with the club so I like the pace. However, on Sunday mornings, I like to recover and take a more sedate pace. On these mornings I have found a small group of older (50+) riders that I like to tag along with. Every so often they like to up the pace, but it still isn't comparable to the club riders/racers.

As pointed out above, just stand your ground and say that you will just hang at the back of the bunch and see how you go. You might find that some aren't out to break themselves and will be happy to drop off the back with you if the pace gets too hot. If you get dropped, you at least get a taste of what the pace is like so you know if you want to continue to ride/train to get better. You might also chat with some of the riders and find out about other riders who do their own thing. Chances are those other groups will contain friends of the riders in the club group, so think of it as a possible research project at least.

Most of all, have fun.
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Old 10-02-12, 06:29 PM   #28
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Shelly, when or if I ever get a rack for my car, and I have any random excuse to be in your area, I'll ride with you... well as long as it's on a street, my Allez won't off road very well. Well, assuming you don't leave me behind. :-)
@sean depending on your car...you can sometimes get decent deals on used racks and bike holders at Rack and Road on camden Ave ave.
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Old 10-02-12, 07:41 PM   #29
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I ride alone for the most part because it's just easier. Like you no one in my family rides but to me it's heaven. I was at a grocery store one day during one of my rides and as I was leaving another lady was just locking up her bike. We got to talking and she asked me if I was interested in riding with her sometime. I said great because somedays it would be nice to have someone to talk to on my longer rides. We are similar in age and experience. Can't wait till I'm done my jury duty and can get out there with her. You never know where you might find someone to ride with.

Karen
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Old 10-02-12, 08:02 PM   #30
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I ride alone for the most part because it's just easier. Like you no one in my family rides but to me it's heaven. I was at a grocery store one day during one of my rides and as I was leaving another lady was just locking up her bike. We got to talking and she asked me if I was interested in riding with her sometime. I said great because somedays it would be nice to have someone to talk to on my longer rides. We are similar in age and experience. Can't wait till I'm done my jury duty and can get out there with her. You never know where you might find someone to ride with.

Karen
That's great!
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Old 10-03-12, 06:12 AM   #31
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Well lets just say they are NOT beginner friendly. They call them self family oriented but have NOTHING for the younger riders. When asked if they have any rides that beginners with mt bike with slicks on could do I was told that unless you have a road bike you will never keep up so don't bother. Then after the meeting people kept coming up to talk about my daughters (age 12) riding ability, but when I told them I was the rider she had just come along they looked shocked and moved on.

I sure hope I get some response from my CL add about Clydes and Athenas.
There's only one club in my dusty southwestern city, and about 8 or 9 years ago I showed up for their annual Century (called the Chili Pepper) on a flat bar mountain bike with Tom Slicks ready to ride the 37 mile option. The distance and the bike meant it would be a very easy ride for me. I attempted to introduce myself and "mingle" a bit before it started, but was given such an arrogant response that I threw the bike back on the rack and drove somewhere else to ride alone. Sometimes roadies, especially when in a herd, can just be mean to other cyclists. I've never tried to go back, but I still am nice to them when I see them on the road
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Old 10-03-12, 06:45 AM   #32
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I really lucked out. Last year I was riding a rigid steel framed MTB that I had hybridized and one of the local LBSs had a Saturday AM novice no-drop ride. Each ride began with a bike checkout where the leader walked us through a couple minutes of checking tires, brakes, and so forth. There was also usually a tidbit or two about maintenance, checking headset tightness, BB play, wheel bearing play, tire wear, etc. We started out slow and set the pace of the 15-20 mile ride to the slowest riders. There was a stop and regroup every few miles and you never ended up alone in the back. There were lots of MTBs, hybrids, fitness bikes and older road bikes in the mix. I learned a lot about riding in traffic and in a group, some bike handling skills, and gained some fitness. Last fall I got a road bike just around the time the shop dropped the novice ride. They still have a family ride which is a short recreational ride which is great, but not really a stepping stone to more advanced riding.

I now ride with two area clubs out of LBSs on their B rides but noticed this spring that it didn't take long for the rides to get faster and for novices to quit coming. They are both no-drop rides and they do have stops along the way (most of the time) to regroup and ride leaders will come back to check on stragglers to assure that you are not dead yet. I don't intimidate or embarrass easily so sometimes ending up at the back or even getting dropped on a bad day doesn't bother me in the least. I can see how being left way back for 7-8 miles only to find the whole group looking back over their shoulders at the stop waiting for you to catch up, could discourage a lot of people, especially when this is repeated 2-3 times over a ride.

The B rides are great and I am doing fine with them, but I'd really like to see a C level educational and fitness/training ride for people who are in the situation I was a year and a half ago; middle age, overweight, out of shape, and riding a MTB, commuter or hybrid, but interested in getting into "serious" recreational/fitness cycling. I'm grateful for the Saturday novice rides last year as without them, I probably would have given up on group riding.
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Old 10-03-12, 06:53 AM   #33
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There's only one club in my dusty southwestern city, and about 8 or 9 years ago I showed up for their annual Century (called the Chili Pepper) on a flat bar mountain bike with Tom Slicks ready to ride the 37 mile option. The distance and the bike meant it would be a very easy ride for me. I attempted to introduce myself and "mingle" a bit before it started, but was given such an arrogant response that I threw the bike back on the rack and drove somewhere else to ride alone.
Probably not a good way to find out about a local club you might want to ride with on a regular basis. If they are anything like clubs that I've been a member of, very few of the regular club riders would be participating as riders on their Century ride - they're all recruited to help out with running the ride (driving Sag, getting people registered, manning the rest stops, etc.). So the people you tried to mingle with at the start are unlikely to be any of the riders you'd meet if you showed up at one of the regular club rides.
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Old 10-03-12, 10:04 AM   #34
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Well lets just say they are NOT beginner friendly. They call them self family oriented but have NOTHING for the younger riders. When asked if they have any rides that beginners with mt bike with slicks on could do I was told that unless you have a road bike you will never keep up so don't bother. Then after the meeting people kept coming up to talk about my daughters (age 12) riding ability, but when I told them I was the rider she had just come along they looked shocked and moved on.

I sure hope I get some response from my CL add about Clydes and Athenas.
I belonged to a very active large road club. There was nothing for beginners (newbies) or families so I stepped up and offerred to design some courses and offer rides once a month. Although I no longer ride with the Club they still offer newbie rides once a month (and I mean newbie - very slow pace 5 - 8 mph - short distance like 15 miles)... so here is your opportunity. Approach the Board and explain you would like to add a newbie ride. The plus is newbies get experience and become regular club riders... it's alway a great way to get to know people in the Club and I bet others would not mind helping out since they probably have family or friends that would like to join.

And don't hesitate to start your own riding group. I have started several; its a great way to introduce people to cycling. Just remember new riders will try your patience...
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Old 10-03-12, 03:35 PM   #35
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Have you actually gone to one or more of their easier-rated rides? I wouldn't just go by what some of the people at the meeting said about getting dropped if you don't have a road bike. Show up for a few rides and see for yourself. At worst you do get left behind and end up doing the ride by yourself - which is what you're doing now anyway. But you may well find that there are others riding at a comfortable pace for you.
That and check to see if they have a intro ride.

My once and future club the SFVBC would have one intro ride a month. That meant a leader and a sweeper and really no one left behind (unless the slow rider really really insisted).

It is unfair to ask club leaders to provide true no drop every weekend. Once a month is different.

And do pick a club that has route slips. With those yuo can ride if dropped, without you get dropped and you get lost.

Just speaking for myself on rides without a no drop rule of any kind. I'd often drop back to stay with a slower rider. I learned from a rider who gave great wheel and know many riders can keep up in given a wheel to do so. BUt if a slower rider has no intention of trying to stay with the group, or even ride at a pace that is the effort of a brisk walk (for them) I see little reason to stay back with them.

It is also quite possible that what came across as rude was really not intended as such. I'd rather be warned I likely can not keep up before a ride than half way through. (Or it could have been intended as rude and may or may bnot be representitive of the club as a whole).
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Old 10-03-12, 03:49 PM   #36
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Thanks for all the feed back. The OP was a rant that I really should not have had. But you see I have no one to talk bikes with. My family just kind of rolls there eyes at me. My kids think I have lost my mind. ( My 16 year old just ask for NO bike parts for his birthday in 3 days....now I will just have to give them to him for Christmas. ) My friends don't ride or understand why I have a poster of Mt Shasta in my hallway that says "Ski bowl or BUST!" in my hand writing (its a 6000 foot cat 5 climb.)

I know that I will have to spend sometime looking for fellow riders, but every once in awhile it would be nice to not feel you have to fight for it. I do ride alone....alot. I always get the lead view and that is nice, but once in awhile it would be nice to put my head down and only think about keeping that tire in front of me right there......
Nothing wrong with an occasional rant.

Now a blessing and a curse all in one.

May you find a club and prodgress to the point where you get frustrated by the slow beginners.

Seriously, it seems that keeping a slower ride can be a real prpblem for clubs. Those who came every week progress pretty rapidly.

Oh, just remembered something. If you really continue to have problems finding a group keep riding and try again in the spring. Often there is a pop of new riders and/or fair weather riders in the spring. If you are in shape when others are not it can be easier to get linked in.

And earlier I said I'd often wait for other riders. When I was at the point where I was doing the 50-70 mile rides it was more common than not that I'd end up in a group of about a half dozen riders who knew eachother and would wait or soft pedal to stay withing 100 yeards of eachother most of the time. (Larger gaps could open on climbs, seems lots of people like to climb at their own pace).
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