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.

A tale of lessons for a newbie

Old 08-22-17, 01:27 AM
  #1  
deaninkl
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A tale of lessons for a newbie

Off and on I have cycled at many stages in my life, never as a sport, always to get from A to B.. as a kid I always had a bike, at 12 years old I dreamed of a Raleigh Chopper, but never could afford one.. later I had bikes for paper rounds… after school it was not until I was 26 in Surabaya Indonesia that I got another bike, this time a full road bike, Polygon an Indonesian local brand started making quality bikes for export about the same time I wanted a bike, so I bought an exhibition bike as they were not yet being sold locally. I used that for a few years for recreation and once a week the 40km round trip to work…

Then 7 years ago (25 years after the Polygon) I decided that I needed something to exercise with as my weight was getting a little out of hand (72kg at 30 years old and 95kg at 50..). So I went to my LBS (a Giant agent that was changing to another brand) and had a look at what they had… I was shocked by the prices of new carbon bikes… however as they were changing from being a Giant agent to becoming an agent of another brand the older Giant stock was very heavily discounted a 2 year old Aluxx framed TCR3 with Tiagra 8 speed groupset… I could pick up for about US$350.. which really was a steal.

The brakes and gear shifters were integrated, but I didn’t know that… so my first ride was a little embarrassing after I could work out only how to change up gears but not down, as I live in hills I soon ran out of down hills and had to push up.. to get home… a lesson in the shop put me right on modern gear shifting… much to the amusement of the guys there when I related my story to them..

Next I was to discover thet Giant TCR are full on race bike, I was a 52 year old Clyde… so even though I now knew how to get to my granny gear, with a 53/39 crank and a 12/26 cassette, she was in fact not a granny but a lithe harlot that was laughing at me. So after a month of getting frustrated on any challenging hill I quietly put here away to laugh at herself in the storeroom.

So fast forward 6 years and 5kg… and in February I decide its time to get my orange TRC out and see if I can lose a little weight… the gearing hadn’t changed and the hills were still laughing at me.. so this time instead of putting her away I came on here found out about changing the gearing and got a new compact crank (50/34) and the biggest cassette I could fit on the back.. a 12/30 (that being 2T bigger than the recommended 12/28.. as I read they always are conservative.

In April 2 months into my new weekly cycle regime I did my first 105km day…. And am feeling happy in the saddle, I’ve lost a little weight, but hit a plateau when I had to stop cycling due to traveling for for work for a while, about to start regular cycling again with my first aim to get below 90kg. Then we will be gunning for 80kg, but gently.
I recently bought a classic Japanese touring bike, with 50/34 crank and 12/32 cassette, I will change out the crank to a 38/24 that will give me a true granny at the back for the very steep hills we have in Malaysia’s central highlands.

I have put a mix of cleat and flat on my Giant (Shimano 324) and think wide flats for the touring bike will suit it better… I’m not about speed, but about getting there having seen the scenery that Malaysia has in abundance.
I have learned that research is the key… and this forum has a lot of information on it. For me it’s all about gearing, no point having all the gizmos if you can’t get up a hill…

If you ever ride in Malaysia and pass a slow fat guy with a gray beard… it may be me… not many Clydes on bikes here.
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Old 08-23-17, 05:20 PM
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mwalsh5757
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I received a Raleigh Chopper Mk1 from my folks in 1971 as a gift for doing well in the British 11+ exam (for high school admission). My younger sister got a Raleigh Tomahawk at the same time for doing absolutely nothing, a pattern that I would see repeated for many years thereafter - I would work hard for what I got, she would get the same (or better) handed to her for simply being the female of the species.
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Old 08-23-17, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mwalsh5757 View Post
I received a Raleigh Chopper Mk1 from my folks in 1971 as a gift for doing well in the British 11+ exam (for high school admission). My younger sister got a Raleigh Tomahawk at the same time for doing absolutely nothing, a pattern that I would see repeated for many years thereafter - I would work hard for what I got, she would get the same (or better) handed to her for simply being the female of the species.
Hahaha, having been married for 32 years I know how that works..... some things in life will never change.

I never did get the chopper, always had recycled stolen/lost/found bikes as my dad was a policeman and got to cherry pick unclaimed bikes before they were auctioned off. Unfortunately they were unclaimed for a reason....not many cherry's.. did mean though that I learnt how to maintain my bikes from a very early age.
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Old 08-23-17, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mwalsh5757 View Post
I received a Raleigh Chopper Mk1 from my folks in 1971 as a gift for doing well in the British 11+ exam (for high school admission). My younger sister got a Raleigh Tomahawk at the same time for doing absolutely nothing, a pattern that I would see repeated for many years thereafter - I would work hard for what I got, she would get the same (or better) handed to her for simply being the female of the species.
Fun! I got a Raleigh Chopper in... 1973? I think I was in kindergarten or first grade or something in Bremerhaven Germany. I rode that thing clear up to 8th grade and finally sold it to some kid for $25. What a bizarre bike, but I had a ton of fun on that thing.

If you haven't seen this article then... enjoy: Chopper charity rider causes bemusement on Tour de France mountains - Cycling Weekly
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Old 08-24-17, 09:51 AM
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I was looking at some pics and articles on the Internet yesterday. While I laud the chap in the article you posted a link to, I personally can't picture a middle-aged Clyde on a Chopper - smells to much of trying to relive past glories or something.
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Old 08-24-17, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I think it's funny that he's got a horn on that thing... I can only imagine honking at the TdF participants as he went by.
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