What is a “Clydesdale Bike Rider”?
The Clydesdale Cycling Class was added to the NORBA (National Off-Road Bicycle Association) Racing Circuit back in the early ’90s as a class for racers 200+ pounds. Its purpose was to encourage a different group of racers to participate in a sport known for ultra-thin endurance athletes, and it worked well, attracting a huge following of weekend warriors that were not able to train at the professional level due to lifestyle constraints.
What started out as a race classification for "larger" cyclists has, over the past two decades, evolved into something very different. We are not riders that you will typically find in the front of the pack unless it’s a windy day and others want to draft off us. Nor will you’ll see us on the podium of the Tour de France because we’ll be spending too much time at the beer tents along the route. Our style of clothing will be slightly different than the full lycra-clad outfits of the skinny, as there is not much for us in our sizes to choose from.
We take our time climbing the hills and mountain trails. There is usually a snack break (or two) at the top before we let our own gravity propel us back down the mountain at a rather brisk pace. When we talk about “shaving weight”, it’s typically not about shaving grams by swapping aluminum for carbon, more so about dropping pounds by swapping that ½ pound burger for a ¼ pounder! But what we do have in common is the love for cycling, in all forms, mountain, road, and even some BMX. We don’t let our weight, age, size or choice of lifestyle get in the way of what we love to do – ride!
Why seek out more Clydesdales?
Because riding with a group of overly inflated ego driving “buck-40” riders is just not fun! It’s actually downright frustrating and in some cases, we have seen Clydes push themselves too hard to keep up and end up with a medevac trip out of the mountains! Because we don’t find that type of riding appealing, we typically find ourselves with few to no people to ride with. Clydes are hard working, persistent, and enjoy cycling in its purest form – man & machine.
We are more about function than form. But don’t get me wrong we love to ride! This ain’t no Sunday Stroll through the park! Mountain rides will typically range from 10-20 miles with 1,000 – 2,000 feet of climbing and take about 2-3 hrs, while road rides average 17-20 miles/hr on a 25-35 mile trips that climb 1,500 – 2,000 feet.
I write this to encourage other Clydes to seek out people like you/us to ride with, collaborate with, exchange ideas, and make new friends. I also write this to let the "buck-40" riders know we are on the trail with you and when your making that "epic" climb - encourage us instead of blasting by us and knocking us off the trail - we don't need you to show off your egos!