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A good day, with a mix of happiness and disappointment.

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 good day, with a mix of happiness and disappointment.

Old 04-19-10, 11:07 AM
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A good day, with a mix of happiness and disappointment.

In January of last year I could not ride 3 miles without feeling like I was going to die. Now I ride 20+ miles several times a week. This past weekend I participated in a charity ride that clocked in at just at 39 miles including the half mile to and from my home.

This was to be my longest ride to date, and I felt I was pretty well prepared, though I was anxious about it for several days prior. My longest ride before this had been 25 miles, but i figured with the rest stops and the supports I would be good.

The morning started off well, myself and my two riding partners heading out early and making ok time. The first rest stop came and went with no trouble. None of us knew the route (I should have driven it before hand) and we were not really ready for how hilly it was, but we did eventually make it to the second rest stop. All was good, and we were honestly still making pretty good time.

About a mile after the second rest stop one of my riding partners let the wind, which had picked up quite a bit, blow him off the shoulder banging his knee up. He told us to go on as he limped back to the rest stop to await the sag wagon.

5 miles later my second riding partner and I had gotten separated by a couple hundred yards as we climbed back to back hills. I turned after the hills and stopped to wait on him, a couple of minutes later I got a phone call from him. His tire had blown out, and though we had a replacement tube, the bead of the tire had pulled loose from the sidewall and the tire was done. He too would be waiting for the sag wagon, but told me to head on without him.

At Mile 26 I started getting cramps in my calfs. I was able to stop and stretch, drink some water and continue on at a decent pace. But by the time I got to the last rest stop, 10 miles from the finish, I knew I was in trouble. Cramps were coming in waves, but I had some water, some Gatorade and a banana, plus a little rest. and headed off to finish the last 10 miles of my little adventure.

Five miles later and I could no longer climb any size hill without massive cramps in my thighs, I got off the bike, walked a bit and was able to ride on. But alas at mile 36, a mere 2.5 miles from the finish, my legs were cramp so bad I had to stop. I was looking at the last climb, knowing my legs were shot and trying to decide if I could limp back. As I got up I realized the cramps were to the point I could not walk. I was not going to be able to complete the ride and I felt very defeated.

After a couple days rest I have come to realize that it really was a great feat for me, and I feel good about my experience, i am disappointed I did not make it to the finish line, but hey it was a heck of a day.

The good news is that there is another 36 mile ride in three weeks. And I tell you guys and gals, I may be a bit crazy, but this nearly 400lb cylde is planning to ride that one as well.

Last edited by davin1023; 04-19-10 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 04-19-10, 11:33 AM
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No guts, no glory. Dude, you kicked butt! Your body gave out on you. That's nothing to be ashamed of. Now you know what you can expect in a longer ride and you'll be prepared next time. No big deal. I say good for you!

Hang in there. It only gets easier each time you go out.

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Old 04-19-10, 11:42 AM
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That was a great ride and it will be a good memory. Remember to pace yourself better, long slow distance.
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Old 04-19-10, 11:58 AM
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You'll do better next time. Watch your diet a few days before the ride. Good balance of carbs/protiens and lot's of water.
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Old 04-19-10, 12:02 PM
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Good job! Take it as a learning experience so you'll be better prepared for next time. Use the low gears to get up the hills. Might be slower, but should feel less effort. Add a pinch of salt to your water bottles and keep eating foods high in electrolytes, even if you're not at a rest stop. I sometimes put a baggie full of prunes (yeah yeah) on the handlebars and eat one every 10 mins more or less, along w/ a swig of water. Prunes are high in potassium to help stave off cramps and help keep your energy up. As for the other well known benefit to prunes, they've never been a problem on rides IME. Remember to stay hydrated, again to keep cramps at bay. Good luck!
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Old 04-19-10, 02:48 PM
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really well done, it must be a balls to have to pull out just before the finish but congratulations are in order for the mileage you did do as previous posters suggested keep the electrolytes topped up and eat well. i used to get terrible cramps so i know what you are talking about. jeez the pain!! I remember i had a cramp in the muscle in front of my leg and the one on the back so i couldn't get rid of it when i stretched one side the other was agony!! prepare for the next ride, maybe try and do it a couple times before the actual ride itself
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Old 04-19-10, 02:56 PM
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WOW!!! I am so very impressed and really quite inspired. I am in the same weight range as you, and I know I would just collapse at this point. It is great to know that it can be done. Thank you for sharing experience. Consider it a milestone and inspiration to do even better the next time.
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Old 04-19-10, 04:29 PM
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Well done sir, well done. You rode till you physically couldn't ride any further. That is not quitting -- That takes guts and is commendable.
As others have said, stay hydrated and keep the electrolytes topped off and you should be ready for the next event. Also, don't risk an injury by over-training or pushing too hard -- it's only cycling (yes, I know that's heresy!). Stay healthy and ride another day.
Again, be proud of your efforts. As they say in the Triathlon community: Did Not Finish is better than Did Not Start.
How many Americans can say they attempted what you just accomplished?
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Old 04-19-10, 07:14 PM
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Nice ride! Way to push yourself. Sounds like a good call to pack it in when you did. I love the quote by Bone Head: "Did Not Finish is better than Did Not Start" That's a pretty good rule to live by.
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Old 04-19-10, 10:29 PM
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This was an excellent achievement. Congrats! I hope your legs feel better soon and that you keep riding (especially since a brief easy ride for a couple of days after that big ride will help work out the muscle kinks).

Good luck on the next ride!!
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