RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Concerned on lack of training progress….In need of pep talk

I believe I would call this post a need for a pep talk haha. I am around 200 miles YTD. As a graduating Master’s student (thesis defense, paper submitting) I am finding it hard to find time to ride, and when I do find time I am exhausted. The lack of prep miles last year (first time) hit me hard. averaged 12 mph and around 8-10 hour days. that wasn’t from being leisurely, but from stopping so often…I am sure the heat didn’t help my case. I am a farely large clyde, on the order of 265 and 6’4″, so I was puffing and sputtering accross the sate last year. I was/am determined not to repeat my fate, but have become concerned that it is inevitable at this point. I just couldnt justify riding my bike when my career was on the line.

Yes I know better time management may have solved the problem more effectively, but either way I am where i am now and need to get a move on. Just had to get that off my chest.

P.S. I havent even had the chance to train on consumption or kurb sitting so I am in rough shape…

91 Replies

dbkguy, May 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

Ragbrai is what you make it. The more training or miles you have in before the ride will make it more enjoyable for you. It’s not a race. You can take it slow , fast or somewhere in between. With that said, I find it helps to plan out my rides when I am short on time. Another is to raise it’s priority. What really helps is if you have a friend to ride with or who can push you.

Losing weight will help, exercising or lifting weights will help too.

Another thing that helps is when on Ragbrai is to start early so your not rushed and can have some time to have fun.

Lastly, reward yourself for meeting a mileage goal. Hope to see you on Ragbrai.


Greg I-Fly-Sky, May 29, 2012 at 11:14 am

Ohio don’t be hesitant to post commentary out in the forums. Realize that you will get the more politically correct replies (probably 80% or higher), and then there what I’d call the more drill sergeant type responses. Both are motivational in my opinion. I tend to lean towards the drill sergeant type responses since I never understood this crap of everyone gets a trophy for participating stuff that children are taught these days. It’s as if there’s something wrong with competition. You get the trophy if you and your team beat the pants off everyone else!
Motivational speaches: youtube search for “wally’s pep talk” from ‘Necessary Roughness’, circa 1991. Love it!
Motivational part: Not sure what to tell you other than MAKE time to get out on the road and put in some hard miles! Clear some of the crap from the calendar. Turn off the tv and get on the bike. I have not done any serious riding in probably 10 years, but since March I’ve averaged 200-250 miles per week, so I’m coming up on 2000 miles for the year already (and in the process lost about 20lbs). And nearly the first 1500 miles of that was on a ’97 Schwinn Frontier that weight 35 pounds. Pedaling the new 16-17 lb Cannondale is a dream.


sam, May 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Am I the only one that would pay money to watch a 6’4” 265 pound guy discuss this with a skinny cyclist in person?

I have cycled over 1500 miles and run two half marathons so far this year. I’m much shorter that OC and weigh just a little less. Nobody has had the nerve to discuss my weight with me in person.. But I would enjoy the opportunity of somebody telling me I need to lose weight so I could display how much more muscle weighs than fat.


OhioCyclone, May 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Oh what a very interesting, and yes, motivational thread this has become. Greg, I agree that the everyone gets a trophy method of doing it doesn’t seem right. Takes the luster out of winning.

Sam that is one perk about being of a large stature. But I am a lover not a fighter. HAHA. but seriously, a beer and a good discussion should solve most situations quite nicely. Now the fact that this tends not to happen in real life is irrelevant.

ptie, glad my post could be of use to someone. It is always good to find common ground. motivate each other that way.


sam, May 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Really it’s do as much as you can to get ready. Pay the price for it if you can’t train.
But you already knew that.. :)


Greg I-Fly-Sky, May 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Congrat on the new degree too!!

I don’t think I did, but I wasn’t harping about weight. I’m far from a small guy myself. 6’1″ and a little less than 200lbs. Definitely more built like a football or hockey player, than a runner. But I can still put down the energy when it matters most.

the way I see it is the bigger guys like us have a little more glycogen to power the muscles, when the skinny racer type dudes start bonking.

And here’s the PG version of Wally Rigendorf’s motivational speach for his football team.
“Now, let’s analyze what’s been working for us. (pause)
Not a good-damn thing’s been working for us.
This good-damn suit doesn’t work for me. And this stinking tie.
This good-damn shirt! It doesn’t work for me.
You know how to play winning hard-nose football?
You play football like Ed Genero played football!
A guy who gave his life for his football team.
He was a 140 pound halfback and he played like a good-damn wild man.
No, like a good-damn rampaging beast!
And that’s the way you gotta do it! You go out there, you tear their forking heads off and you shit down their necks.
Let us pray!”


CyclingRoberto, May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I’m glad to know that some people understand where I’m coming from including the guy who started this thread. I don’t like to “sugar coat” my thoughts. It’s not OK for someone to be tremendously overweight. It’s not OK to make excuses and look for sympathy. We as a nation are sliding down a very slippery slope on our collective fat asses. It’s time to stop coming up with cute nicknames for being overweight. Clydesdales are horses, not people. And of course I never meant for OhioCyclone to lose 80 pounds before RAGBRAI. There are no shortcuts to good health.
As for bragging, plenty of people post their mileage. ST, I’m not jealous that you have done some very impressive long rides this year. I’m motivated! OhioCyclone, it takes guts to reveal yourself: now use that same courage to get yourself in shape.
As for the haters, thick skin helps.
Oh, and I just cracked 4000 miles for the year.


OhioCyclone, May 30, 2012 at 6:17 am

It is a shame for the biking world in general that the term Clydesdale is associated with overweight…. thats why I say I am a large Clydesdale, as in an overweight Clydesdale. I mean I believe the technical distinction is 200 + lbs. Or 200-220# depending on who you talk to. But it used to be a serious notion…the fact that a man (or woman) who is considerably taller, say 6’2″ and up, in a lean body type would normally fall into that range, and would have a competitive disadvantage against riders carrying more than 65 pounds less than them.

My point being, that i use the term Clydesdale, because I know at my leanest plausible weight, I may not break 200#. I am just a big dude. It is unfortunate that the term has become associated with overweight…other forums make that all to clear.


sam, May 30, 2012 at 7:51 am

A man who is 6’4” 265 may be “grossly overweight”, or he may have 1% body fat and in competition shape. Your assumption that OC is in the former category is an assumption not based in evidence. And, an assumption despised by those of us who are muscular in build.

The guys I train with are all heavy if they get on the scales, but are in no way overweight. As the bikers in lycra go by the window on their way to spin class, I wish you could hear the comments made by the guys in the free weight room. Both groups aren’t very accepting of the other body shape. I chide the free wright guys to do some cardio from time to time, and they kid me about my doing “hamster” stuff.

It comes down to finding the weight you are comfortable with. For me that is 250 pounds on a 5’11” frame. I’m sure you think I should lose 100 pounds. But yet, by confirmed analysis, I’m only carrying 25 pounds of fat. When, as I do from time to time, I lose that weight; I’m much more susceptible to injuries.

That being said, I may start losing some of the weight because I just agreed to do the Goofy challenge with a friend. Running is the only thing the weight can bother me doing.


Jacob, May 30, 2012 at 8:08 am

.We as a nation are sliding down a very slippery slope on our collective fat *****.It’s time to stop coming up with cute nicknames for being overweight.Clydesdales are horses, not people.And of course I never meant for OhioCyclone to lose 80 pounds before RAGBRAI.There are no shortcuts to good health.

Yes true, as nation but same as a nation did to the smokers and beat then with stick, what happen to as a nation and respect other and accept then for who they are and not what they look like or do. I am so tired of people who think because they are skinny they are healthy the opposite could be some skinny people are more unhealthy then a person who looks overweight why not leave that assumption to the person in question and their doctor.


glen gallo, May 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

Interesting thread here.

Roberto by in large most simply disagree with you. Your follow up post is odd. By the congratulations on the 4k takes allot of time and dedication to get those miles in. But seriously we need to work on your people skills, lighten up Francis.

Sam as far a a discussion about someones weight it is all in approach. My guess is that some comments are off limits some are the general banter such as the hamster reference. The former might get you in a bad place the latter will probably crack a smile and be given a response.

As far a s the reference about everyone winning I do not see how that applies to this thread or this bike ride.
1) it is not a race
2)being mean has never been acceptable especially when hiding behind a keyboard.
I also have a huge amount of disdain for that concept of everybody is equal in a competition. Learning how to lose with grace is as important as to learning how to win with humility. I think this is more important as in life we win some and lose some but what is important is how we act afterward. That is why competition is such a good teacher. It also teaches now matter how hard you try some are just flat out better then others.

Cycling is a endearing in the sense that we have so many choices.

We can buy the same gear as the top pro and ride the same route if we choose to. Try that with formula one racing!

We can choose to compete on my local level and or join a club that rides hard

We can simply strike out our my own and ride

We can participate in events such as Gran Fondos and test out endurance

We can join a social group event and ride at leisurely pace chat and go get coffee

We can corrupt our children to ride with us by bribing them with cake and candy and eventually get them faster and ride further until they can tour and hopefully one day drop us like a rock off a cliff. This gives us the opportunity to make more cycle related purchases such as a new MTB, a carbon road bike and a vintage road bike (bought specifically for RAGBRAI)and various Nashbar and Ebay items as now it is a family thing (guilty)

We can use it for transportation

We can tour

and the list goes on

Cycling can be the common ground for all those groups (and those unmentioned)to get together and have fun. I am participating in RAGBRAI for that very reason. I think it will be a blast

Many thanks to the Ohio Cyclone and Cycling Roberto (I think we can just agree to disagree Roberto) for having me ponder those thoughts.

I for one voice am now thoroughly motivated


sam, May 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

glen gallo: Sam as far a a discussion about someones weight it is all in approach. My guess is that some comments are off limits some are the general banter such as the hamster reference. The former might get you in a bad place the latter will probably crack a smile and be given a response.

The “hamster” reference is when I leave the weight room and go run on the treadmill. It isn’t banter about my weight, but the fact I train for endurance events. (I agree with your point, just wanted to clarify)


Greg I-Fly-Sky, May 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

Guess I’m new to that lingo, Clydedale in cycling. I’m guessing though that just based on appearances some people would place me into that category. And do you know what I have to say about that…..”So What!” A funny thing to note though is I do have a big ol’ hoof print too. Size 14-15 depending on the width. Cycling shoes and hockey skates have been a challenge to find in a comfortable fit.
Call me that slang name to my face and I’ll say Thank You!! Someone who was ignorant of any knowledge of horses obviously came up with this slang usage. I grew up around various breeds of draft horses and other riding horses. And I have to say these are truly incredible and social animals. I’d rather work with and train a draft horse than anything else. Smart and gentle giants. The only other critter that has come close in my life is a male pit bull that I own now. He’s muscular and looks scary to a lot of people, but he’s really a gentle loving couch potato.
Since I live in StLouis, HQ of Budweiser (InBev), I feel the need to find me a cycling jersey with the Budweiser Clydesdales on it. I’ll wear it with pride.


CyclingCyclone, May 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

First off, best of luck training for RAGBRAI. It’s a blast of a ride.

Just throwing this out there but an easy way to get “cheap” miles if it works for you is commuting by bike to work.
It may not seem like much, but over the course of the year, they do add up. My commute is 9 miles one way. I try to ride a couple of times a week to work. On the days I drive, I take my clothes in for the next time I ride in. I live in Wisconsin, so to be conserviative, let’s say I ride only 26 weeks out of the year, thats about 900 miles I’ve added to my base.

See you on the ride, and have fun!


Sandaltan ., May 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

Surfing the internet I have learned that under USA Triathlon classification rules a male over 200 pounds is a Clydesdale and a female over 150 pounds is an Athena. Mountain bike races have several different weight classes for those over 200 pounds. Lots of Clydesdales and Athenas on RAGBRAI althugh, not as many as I see at the Iowa State Fair.

Just a guess on my part but in the NFL anybody under 200 pounds is probably called “the kicker”.



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