Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) (
-   -   New Embarrassed Rider (

natex14 03-26-14 02:08 PM

Wow, thanks for all the inspiration. Reading through this really is a must for anyone struggling to be inspired to get off their butts.

I'm 6ft, 37 years old and was 290 when I bought my bike three years ago. It's a cruiser 7 speed Townie and I have passed lots of road bikes with skinny people on them. I always get a funny look or even a rude look. I just yell, fat guy coming through and that makes every laugh.

My weight has gone up and down, but this morning I was 239 and looking forward to even smaller numbers.

Sullalto 03-30-14 08:42 AM

I know what you mean. I've lost a chunk of weight, but I'm still 225. Fun to breeze past skinny people in Lycra on fancier bikes while I'm sitting mostly upright on a 7 speed comfort bike.


Originally Posted by LOF1 (Post 15843442)
it seems that all my chosen starting points are at higher elevations that when I turn around "Can this POSSIBLY be uphill both ways?!!?"

Take care, all!

It's the same nonsense that ensures you never have a tailwind, only a headwind.

NaturalFork 05-06-14 11:25 PM

I am fairly heavy. And I love to ride. 9 times out of 10 when I ride people shout something from their cars. I simply do not care. I am doing what I want and riding a bicycle while they sit in their cars eating big macs.

dagray 05-07-14 04:34 PM

I just got me a funny to some/sarcastic to others jersey and ride anyway as when I started I weighed 390 at 6'3" and now am weighing in at 370 pounds. I have been drinking more water, eating less, and making an effort to ride.

jporter72 05-08-14 04:45 PM

I'm a Noob to riding myself. Last time I rode I was probably 15 sum 25 ish years ago. Now, I wanted to get back into it. Hesitantly due to a fused back and neck. Which led to my weight gain (405 presently).

I was embarrassed, scared etc. But I did it. And I am continuing too do so, unfortunately maybe 2 times a week because my butt hurts to much to ride more. but it seems to be getting a bit better. So, hopefully ill go to 3 times a week. and walking on off days.

As far as rude teens or adults go, screw them. Because if you stick to it they'll feel like a ass when your down and taken there girls, positive thinking for the single guys.

I plan on being down at least 50 within a year. Hopefully more.

So with my rambling done get out and ride. And, do not care what people say or do. Your bettering yourself.


Jnelson 05-09-14 09:32 AM

Great thread, only read a few pages plan on reading through the rest as I go.

I'm 38 years old and 6'3 330lbs. I've gained 50-60 lbs since leaving the Army due to hernated disks in my back.

I wish I could just say "Don't be embarrassed" and that would work. I've been as heavy as 360 and as skinny as 197 when I was in my early 20's. While in the military I was a pretty decent 250. I don't know if being in the Army for 10 years, being married for nine, or just being older has given me more confidence, but I just don't care what anyone else thinks. My wife loves me, my friends care about me not what I look like, and fat or not I was able to accomplish my missions in Iraq.

Only you can let yourself feel bad. Only time I feel ashamed is when I cave in at 0100 in the morning and eat some carbs, other than that as long as I'm trying (which I hadn't been for awhile, I was giving in a little to much pity for my injuries) I won't let anyone make me feel bad.

Now all that being said I will admit it's embarrasing when you break something due to weight, used to happen to me in the field all the time with cheap cots lol.

LOF1 05-14-14 06:14 PM

Well! Let's see... lost my job on January 1... "right-sized".

Just got my Cannondale Quick CX5 out for the first time. Only about a mile. Was a leeeetle winded! (It's been a while, and I'm 55 and about 260.)

I still HATE filling the tires with these tiny-**ed presta valves.

Weather ought to improve over the weekend - looking forward to a much longer ride!

As well, call it coincidence or irony or karma or what, but on November 1, I passed the twenty-five year milestone at work. For my gift I chose a Trek FX 7.4. Want to get it out soon, too.

Take care, all!

GeorgeLeslie 05-16-14 12:36 PM

When I consider the judgment others may hold, I recall the old Fred Sanford joke -

Prudish woman: "You're a disgusting drunk"
Fred Sanford: "You're ugly"
Prudish woman: "You are still a disgusting drunk!!"
Fred Sanford: "I will be sober in the morning"

Nycycle 05-21-14 10:00 AM

To all beginners, PLEASE be not ashamed. Should you ride past me, I may embarrass you because: My hat is off, I am saluting you, and all the thoughts I have and a few words come out are praises.
The emotional battles we fight are many, but after we win, those emotions seem so small.

Nycycle 05-21-14 10:11 AM


Originally Posted by NaturalFork (Post 16735748)
I am fairly heavy. And I love to ride. 9 times out of 10 when I ride people shout something from their cars. I simply do not care. I am doing what I want and riding a bicycle while they sit in their cars eating big macs.

I saw that guy with the Big Mac, he threw his trash at me when he was done, then his brother tried to run me off the road with his truck and flipped me the bird. but as he passed he exceeded the 25 mph Speed Limit, and this cop came out of nowhere and pulled him over, and watch out for my wife in her Prius, she will just run yur butt right over.

gman214 05-23-14 07:45 AM

Folks can be very cruel! I was very embarrassed to start riding a bike. I weighed at my most 400 lbs. Got down to 350 then back to 368 in short time. Got down to 345 but then yoyo'd between 345 - 352. But still wanted a bike to help with my weight loss and fitness. Started looking last August but kept putting it off. Finally after getting control of my eating, losing a few lbs and gaining more confidence, bought my bike in mid April this year. So far have lost 13 lbs. I'm now down to 320!! I'm sure folks have made remarks and I've heard some snickering after passing(mainly from young folks), but I PROUDLY continue on!! THIS IS FOR ME, MY HEALTH AND LIFE! Don't care who laughs.

BIGDCYCLES 05-26-14 05:57 AM

I am 29, about 250lbs and 5ft 10in tall, always been pretty big, not under 170lbs since 16. I have people yell and snicker but when I am on one of my bikes for the most part it is like meditation and I zone everything out noise wise. Some still slips through, mostly just the friendly hellos and waves. I guess my cheesy grin while cruising along mostly has that effect on people.

modelmartin 05-26-14 07:10 AM

As a person who has never had a weight issue personally, I salute anyone and all of you for getting on a bike and going for it! Please be proud of yourselves!

Don Gwinn 06-02-14 01:51 PM

I've lost a large amount of weight and built up much better fitness over the last two years, and in the process, I had to power through that awkwardness several times. Getting on a road bike when I weighed 350 lbs., going into a gym full of fit people when I couldn't do a single pushup or run the length of the building and working to failure in front of them . . . it sucks. There's no way around it. The awkward difficulty of doing something you aren't used to or good at already is inescapable.

Right now, I'm very comfortable in my gym; a new person can still look at me and see that I'm the biggest, heaviest person there, but they'll soon enough see me outworking people. It's easy to be comfortable when you know your place in the pack. But if I join an organized road group ride, I'll be in that same spot again, feeling awkward and wondering what everyone is thinking about me. I can hope it'll be a little easier now that I know that nobody is really going to think much about me for more than a moment here or there (seriously, everybody is thinking about herself) and also now that I know this feeling passes.

My wife is finally interested in getting a better bike so that she can ride with me. I don't think she'll end up on a road bike, but maybe a hybrid so we can keep up with each other on relaxed rides. She's gained a lot of weight in the last few years, even as I've lost it, and I know it's a big step for her to come to me and say she wants to ride with me. I know it's awkward for her and she's going to feel self-conscious and embarrassed. But I also know that if she can keep going for awhile, that will fade.

tigerdog 06-09-14 10:25 AM

Thanks, modelmartin!

Originally Posted by modelmartin (Post 16792209)
As a person who has never had a weight issue personally, I salute anyone and all of you for getting on a bike and going for it! Please be proud of yourselves!

This was an especially meaningful comment. Sadly, I've known more than a few folks who seem to manage their weight without trying and who really can't conceive of the difficulty faced by those of us who must work at it. I've been floating around this forum for a couple of years, on-again, off-again just like my cycling. This time, I'm adding regular facebook updates in order to garner more positive reinforcement. It's good to know friends are cheering for you - it's great to know strangers are, too! :thumb:

eDuBB 06-13-14 05:10 PM

this is a really cool thread. Hang in there and do what is best for you. No matter what people will always have something to say, but heck, talk is cheap. Be encouraged and keep on, keeping on.

davidwendel21 09-08-14 06:01 PM

Just bought my bike a couple of weeks ago - A Giant Talon. I am 5'9" and weigh 242 lbs. and just turned 69. I have one blocked coronary artery and a stent. My doc told me to get the weight off and and get some good cardio exercise. He wants me down to 155 - 165 if I can do it. I haven't ridden a bike since I was a kid, an old 26 inch, single speed, heavyweight Schwinn. My Bicycle shop guy was really helpful to me in picking out a bike. The Talon is a crossover bike for both road and off road and thus is a bit sturdier for my weight. I went outside the shop for a test ride after being fitted and promptly fell over. I kept falling over because my leg strength was poor and I was not able to get a good enough start to balance. I was right on main-street. Man, was I embarrassed!! However, the bicycle shop guy told me to not worry. He suggested I do some work on a treadmill and a stationary bike to get my leg strength up. So I went down to our local community center which had several of these exercise machines. I have been doing the treadmill and the stationary bike both for about an hour each day. My wife and I got into weight watchers and I have dropped 8 pounds in the first two weeks. I am feeling stronger and am able to climb stairs a lot better. Tomorrow I will try my bike out again and see how it goes. Will let you all know. I really like this blog and have gotten a lot of encouragement from reading what others are saying!! Thanks everyone!!

mcmoose 09-15-14 08:58 PM

Let us know how it's going, DW21... the first few miles are the hardest!

eidkr1 09-21-14 07:58 PM

i am 37, 6 feet and 346 LBs. started riding this week, first ride was 2 miles , then 2.5 now i am 6.5 miles this am + 4 miles this pm . i started around my house , went to a trail to get more confidence , tonight just finished 4 miles around the house . to tell you the truth i kept on the curbside , i am still scared of the streets specially in Texas where i currently live . i did get some gunny looks tonight . but so what
on the trail everyone was respectful and nice and greeting each other

Maxillius 09-24-14 03:59 PM

I'm not really a new rider but I'm well within the weight class of this thread. 6', 280ish. The only times I feel heavy are when one of my inlaws' cheap chairs breaks under me, running around with their dog and riding uphill. I have no problems with riding 20+ miles in a day. Heck, I'll do that all at once. And I don't look like I'm 280 so I don't get heckled, but then I wouldn't know since I usually have headphones on. I have noticed smiley looks from girls in spandex so I don't know if I even want to get the weight off lol! Still, it would be nice to be able to go up an incline above 1st gear.

jgadamski 10-12-14 10:55 PM

As a well fed older guy... I suggest that it matters not a whit what anyone else would think anyways. The shoe should be on the other foot: you are out there getting exercise and all the benefit of cycling while they are there boxed in their technological breakdown boxes, seeing no way out of the mess they are in.
Just don't act too smug,it might set off a tantrum.

Jack Lorington 11-01-14 04:35 AM


Originally Posted by Pub (Post 12598201)
Does anyone or did anyone feel embarrassed at first when riding around on a bike?
To be honest I am and that comes from a few reasons.

1st, I知 paranoid that people are watching me because to see a Clyde on a bike is not the norm here, at least I have never seen it.

2nd, I知 not a fast rider, in fact I am anything but. I just like to take my time while others go at the speed of sound. And that makes me more paranoid because I keep thinking people are laughing at me going slower than them because I知 a Clyde.

3rd, I知 going through the learning process of getting the gears right for what I want to do. So when I come to an incline, I am sometimes not in the right gear and by the time I have figured it out its too late and I can稚 pedal so have to get off. Another reason for being paranoid and looking a fool.

4th, I知 not confident that a bike will hold up to my weight (310) and the last thing I want is to have to get off because of a broken something or other and have to push it home. More paranoia Clyde pushing a bike because he broke it!!

Am I being totally stupid here?

They are just jealous that you have a cool bike, it's OK

Jack Lorington 11-01-14 04:44 AM


Originally Posted by late (Post 12598387)
Everyone in this forum has been there.

Don't let it get to you.

Just keep riding.

When i started, I pulled one of the worst bikes ever made out of the garage.
I went up and down the street, and thought I was going to die.

Now I have 2 great bikes, and the plan is to ride 60-80 miles in a day
by the end of the summer.

Oh, we do a cycling vacation end of June. It's called credit card touring.
It's about 30 miles a day. Of course, we ride 3 days and then take
a day off in Camden. It's not as hard as it prob sounds to you.
We have the whole day, we ride for a while, stop and get a coffee,
or just stop and enjoy the view.

Anyway, I got sidetracked. You are on the right track.
The biggest mistake most people make is to go too hard too soon.
Just increase the effort a little at a time.

This forum as an example of others people.

EvilWeasel 11-01-14 04:56 AM

Not sure if it was mentioned but try joining the local cycling club. You would be surprised to learn that those spandex clad guys that you worry about laughing at you as they fly by, are mostly friendly helpful guys that are more than happy answer any questions. It's just hard to meet them when they are doing 25 mph. You have to find them when they are stopped. The easiest place to do that is a bicycle club.

Tailor 11-05-14 05:38 PM

This post was going to be standalone, but I realized it would fit nicely into this one. It is inspired by those posts I've read from folks who for a variety of reasons are unsure about starting to ride, embarrassed about how they look, worried about being made fun of. Worried about getting on a bike and crushing it like a pop can.

An open letter to those clydes and athenas thinking about starting or returning to riding.

Do it. Do it, and then stick with it. Seriously. Just stick with it. The rest of the post is long and rambling, you could totally just stop reading here if you like.

Next week it will be one year ago that I had just moved from sea level to 4500' above. It was a move the family had wanted to make for over 10 years so we took the opportunity when it presented itself. That said, I was also well over 400lbs, (my scale stopped at 440) had only been able to walk.. well, hobble around for a couple of months after having been off my feet for 3 years due to a massive foot trauma and associated re-constructive surgeries. During one of the last conversations with my podiatric surgeon before moving, I complained that without even being able to walk, it seemed like no matter what I did I gained weight (and to be fair it IS hard to keep weight off if you cant even stand up, but its not an excuse, I wasn't a light weight before the server rack fell on my foot, IT can be pretty sedentary if you let it be). He mentioned off hand that my foot could probably handle an exercise bike if I took it slow.

His words stuck with me and after moving. Once I got thinking about it, I remembered how much I used to love riding my bike when I was younger. So I ordered a bike online during a black friday sale and received it late December.. Wont mention the site name, but the bike is a motobecane 9 iron elite (Its actually NOT a good commuter for various reasons, but it has held up under me very well). I can honestly say this thing has really stood up to my probably WAY over the limit weight. I've gone from none to many bikes for many purposes since then, but its still my main goto commuter now that I've modified it a bit here and there for my needs. Looking back, if I had found a way to ride during my 3 years off my feet, I might not have gained so much weight in the first place.

It had been a long time since I rode a bike. when I stopped riding (my last bike being circa '94ish), hydraulic disc brakes.. constant variable transmissions, belt drives, gas shocks.. these were future tech that people were talking about. It was kind of sad, I used to run a bike shop, but this bike had enough stuff I'd never worked on (or even seen before) that I took it in for final assembly and adjustment. My LBS was super helpful and while I didn't buy the bike there, I've certainly paid them a pretty penny since in various purchases.

That first ride. less than a mile at what was probably a ridiculously slow pace and I seriously wondered if I was about to die. My hands hurt, my butt hurt. my legs hurt, my lungs burned, my everything hurt.

A few weeks of riding every chance I got and I was able to make it several miles in a row.

I got permission from a coworker to park my bike in his backyard, and do a partial bike commute. At the time I still drove the other 25 miles each way. My bike commute at the time was only about 5 miles a day, but at first that 5 miles was a killer. Now days I wish I had a further place to start from, and I end up riding at max intensity for short periods to gain some HIIT benefits.

Without too many boring details, less than a year later I've dropped a fair bit of weight ( over 100 lbs, but I don't know how much exactly), I ride all the way to work a couple times a month (I just don't have time to ride 65 miles every day), do the hybrid commute the rest of the time.

I've still got a long way to go, but its hard to even compare where I was, vs how I am now.

I didn't really have a point, I just read a few posts from people who seemed like they were on the fence about starting to ride, or riding to work, etc, and felt inspired to write this up.

So for those clydes or athena's wondering if you should, wondering if you can handle it, don't wonder, just start riding the distances you can handle, and work toward those you cannot.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:20 AM.