Hello all forum members. Please allow me to "introduce" myself. I am a 51 year old man in the NE Ohio area who I guess fits into the "Clyde" category since I am 5'7" and 225#. Now just to clarify, I am a former competitive bodybuilder who used to compete in the Light Heavyweight (NPC) class and my normal non-competition bodyweight has been in the 210+ range for the past 25 years. Of course as I have aged and life has slowed me down some of that weight is definitely "extraneous" at this point. I could probably stand to loose 15 - 20# but my waist is currently 34" and my chest 48" so I will probably always be a "Clyde" in this bike world. (Very strange since in my bodybuilding/weight lifting world any man < 180# or so off-season is considered a "lightweight" - and our big quads come from heavy squats!)
Anyhow, my wife and I recently got back into biking. We have old (circa 1993) Trek 930 mountain bikes that we still enjoy when camping up in the woods but really take their toll for everyday and road use. Late last year we bought a couple of new bikes: a Specialized Carmel Globe "comfort" bike (with 3 speed Nexus internal hub) for her and a Kona Dew Plus for me. I was leaning towards a Trek FX bike before I discovered the Kona. This is a great bike with components that fall between the current 7.3 and 7.5 FX models for leas than the 7.3 FX. I really like the chrome-moly fork and mechanical disc brakes. This is a perfect everyday bike that does everything adequately but nothing great! Over the past several months I found myself riding more and my wife keeping up less. I initially tried to get her into some type of fitness hybrid model but she (also 51) felt more comfortable with a women's specific 26" tire comfort model. Oh well, at least she is out there riding!
As I have been going out more by myself on roads and paths I have been wanting to go faster. After visiting several LBS, I ended up with a road bike: a 2009 CAAD9 5 model (I know, the darling of the roadies on this forum). While a few of the others I tried may have been a bit more comfortable, I really liked the handling and immediate response of the CAAD 9. My LBS just happened to have a 54 model in black with a compact crank and I was all set. After a few weeks of riding I am getting more used to the posture and dynamics of a road bike. Lat week I bought some clipless pedals and shoes and am getting used to those. At this time I am trying to get in several 10 - 20 mile rides during the week (as work permits) and a 25+ mile ride on the weekends (as family obligations permit).
While only 5'7" with a 30.25" inseam, I do have a very long torso (and big feet). A 54 frame in both the Kona and Cannondale actually fit me the "best". The 52 CAAD 9 was a bit too cramped for my upper body.
So I guess I "qualify" for several forums: recreational, roadie, Clyde, and 50+. Since I cannot change my age I can see the 50+ forum being a usual hangout. I have also gotten back into lifting although no illusions of competition - just keeping up my strength and stress relief. I obviously do not have an ideal road cycler physique so I have no illusions about keeping up with the young skinny guys. I just hope the wheel set of my CAAD holds up and that I never crash into a ped (or car) at 20+ MPH!
Sorry for the long intro. I promise future postings to be much shorter!
Its good that you have got back into the lifting, as the cycling will get your legs in shape but you will be moore comfortable on the bike if you have balance in your physique. Do you have any thoughts on getting a tandem?
Wow. A car free biker! With three kids and a large house/yard to care for I couldn't so without my SUV much less a car!
I have great respect for someone who does it all with a bike. Besides the physical conditioning involved, just the mental aspect of riding in all conditions is daunting. At this point my biggest fear involves the cars on the fast roads in our area. I suppose over time I will get more used to the traffic.
One of my coworker's 50 something husband was killed while riding his road bike in a MetroPark a few years ago (before I started with the company). Last year a local college professor was killed a few miles from my home. It makes me stop and think. Oh well, with my compact sturdy build I will at least make a dent in someone's vehicle if they hit me!
ooooo I'm car free and also man free and child free - ahhh - I couldn't do it with a family kinda thing ... Have mah two kitties that I'll bundle up in a cat crate and take on a bus (however! there is a woman who posts here - hasn't in a while - who is a serious carfree person and who posted PICS OF her taking the cat to the vet (netting in front of her) as well as of her MOVING her belongings in a trailer on the back of the bike.
btw I live in a downtown area - only to ride to work within a few short miles - but in the heart of downtown - having to pass buy three right and left lanes of both sides of exit and entrance of inner loop off the expressway as I travel down a busy main street with two lanes pacing me with the right lane being of parked cars going in and out of breakfast/supper restaurants.
People ask me about my commute and they kind of either look "relieved" or poo poo the idea of that short 3 mile commute. It's not the commute as I do long distance - plan on a good metric on Friday - it's the traffic that's bad.
Being alert for every end of your body is alarming. And add in weather factors of rain, heavy rain, wind, snow, hail etc - that can really do someting to ya. But you also grow with it and understand what you are getting yourself into. For two years I have only ridden the bus about 15 times, and never during then put my bike on it in order to get home - HOWEVER - it is an option.
Should I feel unsafe - I would. I'm not making a statement by any means. I personally prefer to not own a car and love riding my bike ... grrr and it can stop raining on me anytime soon too btw ... but I just prefer having my own ride.
You ride where you feel safe - and that's the best!
LOL My wife and I tried one on vacation a couple of years back and had a hard time even getting around the first block! No thoughts of a tandem at this juncture.
When I was a teen, my brother was hit on the head playing rugby, which blinded him. He then bought a tandem. It was tough getting the balance when starting. I found that deliberately wobbling the handlebars, during the first couple of pedal strokes allowed me to find the equilibrium. Then once going the person on the back needs to just keep steady with no attempt at helping to lean into corners. Great fun for converstion while rolling and furiously fast down hills.