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The Art of Going Too Far

Old 03-03-23, 12:00 AM
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The Art of Going Too Far

OK so I'm 58, around 300#, but quite tall and in good condition and I decided to take up cycling last year. Got myself an old piece of junk.


Upgraded the seat and the brakes, so I don't kill an old lady on a dual-use trail because I can't stop.


700x35 tires, they say max pressure 75 PSI. OK let's put 100 in them. What's the worst that can happen?


No helmet, because I grew up in a neighborhood where if you wear a helmet on your bike, they beat you up and steal your bike.


And off I go. Now one good thing about being fat, you have no shortage of leg strength, so on level ground I can really fly. After a few rides I begin to catch on to making the decision between downshifting for a hill, or accelerating before the hill to get enough momentum to getting over the hill. Sometimes it's a combination of both. And now I'm flying over those too, gasping and gulping like Ian Anderson playing the flute solo of "Locomotive Breath," but the same steadfast determination. He doesn't quit and neither do I. Everything doesn't need to be easy and relaxing- how about upshifting when things get hard, to get it over with quicker? I haven't broken a chain yet but until I do, I can still ride harder. Smooth road tires on eroded gravel trails- they ping a little but keep my hands on the bars and my mind on what I am doing, weight forward a little and concentrate on keeping the front wheel straight, conservation of momentum will do the rest.


Sometimes I take a nice long ride to this brewery I know, down a pitcher of beer, drain lizard, then head back. Going a little faster, because I don't want to have to stop on the trail and drain lizard again. Also because I'm a little drunk and it's not illegal to ride drunk here, I think.


But this year, I want to Go Too Far. I want to go on a ride I can't do, and do it anyway. Come back after dark in a light rain, without lights, trashed and cursing. I mean... what's the worst that can happen?
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Old 03-03-23, 09:17 AM
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If the pressure limit imprinted on your tire says 75 PSI, then limit them to that or you could have a blow-out and any moment (been there, done that myself). No, being fat does not mean you have extra leg strength, it means you have more weight on your bicycle and makes it harder to keep going.
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Old 03-03-23, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MagnaRota
But this year, I want to Go Too Far. I want to go on a ride I can't do, and do it anyway. Come back after dark in a light rain, without lights, trashed and cursing. I mean... what's the worst that can happen?
I think you have just described a very common event in many cyclists' development. And if you survive it, it's a bonus.

In my earliest days of "serious" riding, I did my first century only a month after my first club ride. On a Schwinn Varsity that was way too big for me. Did it anyway. Several months later, I did my first solo unsupported 24-hour ride, and learned the joy of sleep-deprivation-induced hallucinations (protip: if the white edge line looks like it's peeling up and getting tangled in your spokes, don't try to pull it out while you're moving. Stop first.)

I've had debilitating cramps, heatstroke, nausea, skin rubbed raw, cheese-grater crashes, and any number of painful experiences on past rides. You hopefully survive, and learn from them. That which does not kill you... well, at least didn't kill you. And just keep riding, as the good times (generally) greatly outweigh the bad.
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Old 03-03-23, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MagnaRota
700x35 tires, they say max pressure 75 PSI. OK let's put 100 in them. What's the worst that can happen?
To quote the distinguished philosopher Marvin the Martian: "An earth-shattering kaboom!" Usually miles from any services. And often the rip in the tire (or worse, the bead) is way too big to be bootable to get home. Some tires can handle a 33% overpressure with aplomb, but others are likely to go the "rapid unscheduled disassembly" route. And they can be the same brand and model.

There are wide cross section tires that are made for higher pressures, and are worth the investment. But I risk starting a tire selection flame war here, so I'll stop.
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Old 03-03-23, 11:18 AM
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Right back to the days of: "Go until I can't, then ride home."

I remember sitting on a park bench for an hour or 2, 24 miles into a 30 mile ride because my legs didn't work anymore. I looked bad enough some concerned person had a policeman check up on me. So, I meagerly rode another mile to a Baskin & Robbins, ate an ice cream & shakily managed to get a sandwich in my face from the Subway next door while I rested another hour.

Home was 5 miles away, uphill. I walked most of it.

Next week, same deal. But no park bench.
Then after that, no Subway.
The week after, no ice cream.

Then on to more conventional goals like: "Can I do 15mph?" And of course the following: "Can I do 15mph for an hour?" And so forth and so on from there.

That was all many 10's of thousands of miles ago.

OP: I like your enthusiasm. Welcome to bicycles!

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Old 03-07-23, 02:40 PM
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Come back after dark in a light rain, without lights, trashed and cursing. I mean... what's the worst that can happen?
The worst? You've made yourself invisible, a driver hits you with their car, you end up permanently disabled in need of 24-hour care for decades. The driver has nightmares for the rest of their life; so does the 5 year-old in the car along for the ride. A vigilante bike rider kills the driver.

Use lights, at the very least. Don't rely on the kindness of strangers.
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Old 03-07-23, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MagnaRota
Sometimes I take a nice long ride to this brewery I know, down a pitcher of beer, drain lizard, then head back. Going a little faster, because I don't want to have to stop on the trail and drain lizard again. Also because I'm a little drunk and it's not illegal to ride drunk here, I think.

But this year, I want to Go Too Far. I want to go on a ride I can't do, and do it anyway. Come back after dark in a light rain, without lights, trashed and cursing. I mean... what's the worst that can happen?
Regardless of legality, seems a little dangerous to bike after a full pitcher of beer unless it is mostly water, e.g., Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, etc. Why not just go too far, beer or no beer, then take Uber XL home with bike?
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Old 03-07-23, 11:31 PM
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Calling all prudes!
Calling all prudes!
Prudes! Wage yer complaints here!
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I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.

Car dependency is a tax.
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Old 03-09-23, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder
. No, being fat does not mean you have extra leg strength, it means you have more weight on your bicycle and makes it harder to keep going.
Yes it does. It takes quite a bit more strength to move 300 lbs than it does 150 lbs. That's why lying on Zwift about your weight gives people a huge advantage.
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Old 03-09-23, 01:39 PM
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have a pro check your spokes tension & trueness
don't shift with pressure on the pedals
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Old 03-09-23, 02:23 PM
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quote: But this year, I want to Go Too Far. I want to go on a ride I can't do, and do it anyway. Come back after dark in a light rain, without lights, trashed and cursing. I mean... what's the worst that can happen? unquote

as my wife would say to me; "do it you won't."

I get heaps of motivation when she says that.
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Old 03-18-23, 04:34 PM
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“[T]rashed”, as in drunk from alcohol? If so, I suggest getting help. Prudishness has nothing to do with my suggestion.​​​​​​.
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Old 03-24-23, 07:25 AM
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"Whats the worst that could happen?" You could make a hard turn on some gravelly pavement, crash, and smash your head. This happened to me a couple of years ago. Im glad I had a high quality helmet on my noggin. Ive given up booze. Being better on the bike is way more important than sucking down the suds.
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