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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 09-02-13, 11:03 AM   #1
indyfabz
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I Reached Down Into My Suitcase of Courage

This time, it was filled with something other than dirty shorts.

Yesterday was my club's annual New Hope. PA to Brooklyn ride. 93 miles. It was incredible humid but mostly overcast. Mostly. Forecast called for 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms. They would not be everywhere, but if they hit they could be very bad. That sort of forecast is very motivation. My small group of 4 hit the road at 7:13 a.m. We kept stops to a minimum. Those that we did make we tried to keep shorter than normal. No one wanted to be caught in a thunderstorm somewhere open like the middle of the Port of Elizabeth & Newark. I refused to look at a clock until we got the ferry terminal in Hoboken. It was just after 2:30. I was shocked. We were about 1 hr. ahead of the usual schedule. Computer showed an average of 14.2 mph, which is pretty good considering we had many sections of slow, urban riding. We finished the final 6 miles (after the ferry ride, slow trip down the Hudson bike path and over the Brooklyn Bridge) and were in by 3:10. Never felt one drop of rain like some others behind us.

What surprised me the most is what how little I consumed during the ride. Breakfast was coffee, a multigrain bagel with white bean spread and fresh tomato slices. The only other solid food I consumer was a small roast beef sandwich at mile 42. The rest of my intake was comprised of one bottle of Perpretuem, a couple bottles of Coke and 7 Hammer Gels.

The exigencies of the day made stops for photographs ill-advised. I did manage to snap a few closer to the end while moving and pose for one atop the Brooklyn Bridge. The only thing that sucks is that we have to wait until next year to do it again.


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Old 09-02-13, 11:11 AM   #2
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Awesome! What a great day.
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Old 09-02-13, 11:59 AM   #3
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What a great experience that sounds like. Looking at your pictures it looks like you guys had a great time.
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Old 09-02-13, 01:33 PM   #4
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Thanks. I have done the event over a dozen times since '97. It's run in the memory of its creator who died in '98 from a massive heart attack about 1 mile into a club ride. He was an amazing ride developer and great guy. A tall, thin man in his 50s who looked in good shape (C+ rider who could do long rides on a hybrid) from the outside, but he had a poor diet and a phobia of doctors. The suspicion is that he had a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol that was made worse by his heavy diet. Something to think about.
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Old 09-02-13, 03:10 PM   #5
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Next year, throw in an extra 7 miles and you can call it a century.
I've never ridden one.
Just a metric century.
You are way ahead of me.
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Old 09-02-13, 03:17 PM   #6
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Looks like you had a great time, my only question is Why do you have to wait until next year to do it again? Do you not feel confident enough to do it solo? That may make it an even larger accomplishment if you ask me.
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Old 09-03-13, 08:06 AM   #7
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Congrats fabz!
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Old 09-03-13, 08:36 AM   #8
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Looks like you had a great time, my only question is Why do you have to wait until next year to do it again? Do you not feel confident enough to do it solo? That may make it an even larger accomplishment if you ask me.
I have done several solo, unsupported tours, including two that were more than a month long. One of them was in southern Spain. On Saturday I will be start a solo, unsupported trip from PGH to PHL. So a lack of confidence has nothing to do with it.

While you can do it solo, it's an organized event. More fun that way. And logistically, it's much easier. There is a charter bus that takes some people from Philly to the New Hope start location. (Most people drive themselves to New Hope.) That bus also takes people further into the route for the shorter distances. You put a bag with a change of clothes on the bus. The bus, along with cold beers and other drinks, are waiting for you at the Nu Hotel in Brooklyn when you finish the ride. We rent 5 rooms so everyone can shower. Bikes are loaded on a truck for transport back. Dinner is on your own. At 9:00 p.m. sharp, the busses leave to take you back to New Hooe and then to Philly. There is also (limited) SAG support. New this year was a vehicle escort across the hairy U.S. 1 & 9 Truck into Jersey City. Three lanes of traffic. Two bridges, one of which is a cheese grater. 50 mph speed limit. No shoulder. A guy in a van with a flashing light and a slow moving vehicle sign escorts groups across that stretch. It's not necessary, but it gives you great peace of mind.

Without the support, you find yourself in Brooklyn with no change of clothes and no practical way to get home. Also, since we ride through the Port of Elizabeth & Newark, Labor Day weekend is the ideal time to do the ride. If you tried it during a weekday it would be suicide by truck. The port is actually one of the least trafficed areas of the route because of Labor Day weekend.
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Old 09-03-13, 08:56 AM   #9
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Awesome! Sounds like a bunch of fun.
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Old 09-03-13, 09:15 AM   #10
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Sounds like an awesome ride! I'd have been on the side of the road in the fetal position somewhere around mile 20
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Old 09-03-13, 10:33 AM   #11
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Congrats. Last weekend was stupid hot and humid on the east coast. I ran 14 miles on Sunday, with not enough hydration, and then did a 4 hr endurance ride yesterday where I went through 5(!) liters of water and never used the bathroom.

As for how little you ate.... Looks to me like you ingested just shy of as many calories as you could digest. Common belief is that you can absorb 250-300 calories/hr

Bagel ~ 250-300
Bean spread - ~120
Perpetuem - ~270
7 gels - ~630
Sammich - ~300 if no cheese
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1600 or so consumed + the Cokes (200 or so each)

8 hour ride = 2000 to 2400
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Old 09-03-13, 11:29 AM   #12
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It was warm and crazy humid. The sun came out in the port, where there is no shade. I sweat just thinking about riding. I skipped wine with dinner the night before for fear of dehydration. On the bus ride up I drank a full bottle. I rode with 3 bottles and tried my best to drink everything that was available to me between stops. It tunred out to be enough as I had to use the bathroom at every stop, including an unplanned one in the port, where we found a construction porta pottie.

Weather looks much nicer for my upcoming PGH to PHL tour. If I am going to be toting a sleeping bag it will be nice to make good use of it.
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Old 09-03-13, 12:03 PM   #13
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Congrats, glad you got the ride in, the weather sucked this weekend. I managed to get one in at least...then again I could have done a few if I didn't "think" it would rain, then sit around while it didn't...until it finally did...four different times LOL.
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Old 09-04-13, 04:45 AM   #14
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"I Reached Down Into My Suitcase of Courage..."
But did you pick yourself up by the scruff of your racing shorts?
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Old 09-04-13, 06:26 AM   #15
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"I Reached Down Into My Suitcase of Courage..."
But did you pick yourself up by the scruff of your racing shorts?
No, but my GF had to borrow a pair of my underwear as she forgot to pack her own.
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Old 09-04-13, 06:38 AM   #16
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Great ride, thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-04-13, 06:47 AM   #17
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Good thing it was your suitcase of courage and not your hurt locker.

Sounds like a fun ride.
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Old 09-04-13, 07:24 AM   #18
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No, but my GF had to borrow a pair of my underwear as she forgot to pack her own.
Would have been funnier if it were the other way around
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Old 09-04-13, 07:49 AM   #19
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Would have been funnier if it were the other way around
it would have been like that children's story where the forest creatures pack into the dropped red glove until it explodes. She's 5', 105 lbs. I don't think I could get a calf through one of her underwear holes, much less a thigh.
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Old 09-04-13, 07:52 AM   #20
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