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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 03-29-14, 09:41 PM   #1
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Where do you find new ride buddies

Hi....

Newbie here....great forum!

So, I'd like to get back into serious riding after a 7 year layoff (killer job and 3 major unrelated sports surgeries), unfortunately almost 100 lbs more than when I left the sport. And I need your advice.

I can't ride with my local cycling club. They literally drop me in the first half mile, which is completely depressing. And I don't know where to find other riders. I used to ride solo, but after riding for 5 riding years with my cycling club...I got used to riding with others. But now I really don't want to ride with them until I feel comfortable riding at least 30-40 miles (hopefully in a few months).

Where have you all found ride buddies? Any suggestions?

Thanks

PS...if a moderator drops by, I have a bike selection thread in the general section (the title is overweight, shouldn't be hard to find)...I would love if you towed it over here. I can't PM you since I'm so new. Thanks!
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Old 03-29-14, 09:45 PM   #2
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I would look in the regional section in the forum and see who is in your area and see if anyone is interested in meeting up with you. I would also Google your are there may be more clubs then you know of.
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Old 03-29-14, 09:51 PM   #3
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Local cycling activist group, local bike shops, meetup.com...
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Old 03-29-14, 10:48 PM   #4
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Start by putting your location in your profile, there may be other clydes in your area. we had a group of us meet up in palm springs for some self flagellation earlier today, you may be able to do the same.

As for being depressed/embarrassed... don't let it bother you. I know that's easier to say than do but if you get dropped, you get dropped. MOST people will respect you for trying and although you may run across a few jackelopes, probably not that many. if it really bothers you, ride solo for a while and get your fitness up. By the way, we have a clyde group on strava - join up and enjoy the motivation.
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Old 03-29-14, 11:02 PM   #5
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Good advice there about putting your location in your profile. You'll be surprised at how easy it will be to find riding buddies with similar abilities.

I met some fine folks here in SoCal just by joining a BF group ride or two in my area.
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Old 03-29-14, 11:04 PM   #6
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Personally, I ride by myself. I'm too embarrassed (size and speed, or lack thereof) to ride with anyone else. That might change down the line, though.
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Old 03-30-14, 12:26 AM   #7
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I started riding with Lone Star Randonneurs, and that has furnished me with ride buddies for weekend rides. Weekdays, I mostly ride by myself, or do local club rides on occasion.

When I first started, the local bike shop had a "non drop" Saturday morning ride that went 20 or 30 miles, that was good for people like me.
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Old 03-30-14, 02:47 AM   #8
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You tend to get to know other riders in your area just by crossing paths when you're out riding. Don't be afraid to be friendly, say hi at a stop light, pull up along side someone, etc. Just watch their body language, you can tell who is open to a social ride and who wants to go solo. If someone appears disinterested just say "have a good ride" and let them go on their way. It's OK to greet a group you come across, but don't join in without an invitation.

Another good way is to get involved in local charity rides or other organized cycling events. These are generally non-competitive and riders of similar abilities tend to clump together along the route. There are rest stops every so often where socializing is encouraged.

Facebook and other social media can also be helpful. In my area there are several open cycling groups on Facebook and it is common to see posts like "Anyone interested in a ride down Old River Highway Saturday morning meet at Starbucks on 45th and Elm at 7 am. Everyone welcome." or "Novice Cyclocross train and tune at Big Bike Park from 6 to 10 pm Tuesdays".
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Old 03-30-14, 07:38 AM   #9
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I ride solo and don't have much of a choice otherwise. I live in the middle of nowhere.

For a 2 hour ride on the rails to trails I might see 3 others on a bike. Mostly I come across older retired folk walking.

I am 42 years old and in my lifetime I have seen a grand total of 4 people riding a bike on the road. When I was around 18, I recall seeing someone all dressed up on the state route I was driving. About 8 years ago getting gas out here in the sticks where I live, I saw 2 people loaded down with baggage trudging up the hill. This winter is the 4th. Saw a younger fellow crusing down the road in town. That one is assumed to be DUI, not the type of person to be "cycling."

I have 2 coworkers who bought Bikes Direct mountain bikes around the same time. The first is a recreational rider who mashes and rides with his seat the whole way down. He bought the bike to ride with his girlfriend on occasion. We've ridden once and was caught in a huge thunderstorm.

The other coworker bought his to ride for an hour of exercise. He is 175 compared to my at the time we rode 240. He also had been riding all summer where I had just started. I got a text with half a mile left o the trail from him at the trailhead, "must suck to be 40." He is a little too cocky about it. I told him next time I am strapping one of the forktruck propane tanks to his back to make it a little more even with the weight. I did try to blame it on me riding an 8 year old Walmart bike, but he made sure to point out that I was on his bike and he was on my bike.

One other at work who rides. He has been riding for a few years and he is more long distance than I am. I have kids to take care of so don't have many days to ride longer distances. He rode last fall Pittsburgh to DC. He claims I'll be riding to DC this fall with him, ha! Not sure if I'd be capable of riding that or no6t, but I know I wouldn't have the time to ride it. I hope to get a chance to ride some with him sometime. We don't live near each other and he works 12 hour shifts so we can't get together much.

So I have 1 guy who drops me and is cocky about it, 1 who I would drop if we didn't have to hide under picnic shelters waiting for the downpour to lighten up (that was a 3 hour 4 mileride that day, lol), and 1 who I can't go the distance with yet.
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Old 03-30-14, 08:24 AM   #10
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+1 to whatever the count is now on checking with local shops/biking clubs. Even the uber-huge (to me) Memphis group (Hightailers) has rides that cater to my end of the spectrum (non-drop rides).
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Old 03-30-14, 01:52 PM   #11
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Great question. One I have asked myself a number of times. To date every ride I have done has been solo.I have researched online and found a few group rides but I always chicken out because I might not be able to keep up or ride the distance etc...
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Old 03-30-14, 05:40 PM   #12
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Look for a triathlon club to join. At least in my area, the tri clubs are way more accepting of people from all walks of life, and it seems many folks are setting "do a sprint tri" as a life goal. Most likely they will have introductory cycling groups, and even though you are experienced, it gives you a chance to meet folks of similar fitness as potential riding partners outside of the club.

Also, ride solo to get your fitness back.
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Old 03-30-14, 10:57 PM   #13
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I've had the best luck (aside from the great folks on this forum) at my local bike shop. They have an incentive to keep "no drop" rides just that--by not pressuring the weakest riders other than gentle encouragement, and waiting at each stop for the last guy (yes, these rides will most often have breaks/stops at certain intervals). And you get to meet great guys/gals with similar skills and goals--you branch out from there. Good luck!

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Old 03-30-14, 11:25 PM   #14
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The two local cycling clubs I've joined host rides at a variety of levels. Generally, rides at the lower levels are no-drop. Now, how folks interpret "no drop" varies among ride leaders, but generally there will be a couple of riders willing to hang back, especially for new members who don't know the route. I would think there would be some cycling clubs in your area with a similar philosophy.
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Old 03-30-14, 11:51 PM   #15
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find a few different clubs or LBS would be great place to start. Most shops sponsor them too
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Old 03-31-14, 03:21 AM   #16
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.....Also, ride solo to get your fitness back.
Now that's an interesting comment, catching my attention because I was thinking how difficult it must be to find someone with matching fitness level...
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Old 03-31-14, 04:29 AM   #17
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Now that's an interesting comment, catching my attention because I was thinking how difficult it must be to find someone with matching fitness level...
If you find a riding partner who matches your speed, you can ride together, but without really pushing, you won't improve fitness. If they are slower, they won't help you at all, if faster your rides benefit you and not them.

To get faster, and ride farther, you have to ride faster and ride farther. I know it sounds like idiot Zen, but it is true. If you really want to ride for fitness, you have to be able to ride solo, push yourself, and maintain a pace that is, at a minimum, uncomfortable. Which is not to say it isn't fun, but it is rarely easy.
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Old 03-31-14, 04:40 AM   #18
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If you find a riding partner who matches your speed, you can ride together, but without really pushing, you won't improve fitness. If they are slower, they won't help you at all, if faster your rides benefit you and not them.

To get faster, and ride farther, you have to ride faster and ride farther. I know it sounds like idiot Zen, but it is true. If you really want to ride for fitness, you have to be able to ride solo, push yourself, and maintain a pace that is, at a minimum, uncomfortable. Which is not to say it isn't fun, but it is rarely easy.
...and I thought I was too self-centered or getting old and set in my ways when it comes to riding with someone else. I always either seemed to be holding [me][them] back. I dislike "hey I really want you to ride with me" and then find myself just dropped. Kinda like going on a date and dancing alone. Doesn't work for me. Thank you for affirming that a fitness ride really is best alone for some of us.
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Old 03-31-14, 10:13 AM   #19
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The one big plus for riding with a buddy or group is that it will encourage you to go out and ride (cold, wet, windy, hilly etc). Also, it is a good way to increase mileage as the group or buddy or even yourself thinks about longer bike routes. More time in the saddle equals to more calories burnt!

Have fun!
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Old 03-31-14, 10:32 AM   #20
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My local bike club's rides are typically for riders that can do a minimum 25-30 miles at a "15 mph on the flats" pace, or faster.

But they have a few rides that really are designed for new riders or riders that want a slower, shorter ride. Here's a few examples from last year's email ride postings. So, check with the local bike shops or cycle clubs. They may have something similar.

Example 1:
This ride is for those that ride at or below 12 MPH Avg..

We are meeting at Loveland bike trail and be ready to leave by 10am, we are meeting at the restrooms for a 22 mile ride, we ride at the slowest persons pace. It is going to be a hot ride so bring lots of water and there is a chance of rain so if it is raining at the time of the ride, the ride is canceled.
Example 2:
...the ride will go to Winton Woods and back. This ride time is A CASUAL-CHCC Ride. Speed at lowest of group (usually less than 12mph and less than 20miles) Record Low to date average ~6mph including stops. It is a no race & no drop ride! Meet behind the College Hill Coffee Company.

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Old 04-01-14, 11:07 AM   #21
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We have a group of riders that maintain a facebook page and post rides on it in advance for people to join... JAT
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