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Just met a girl cyclist!(17 posts)

Just met a girl cyclist!dave woof
Aug 18, 2002 8:53 AM
I'm Psyched! I just met a girl cyclist - or at least, a girl that wants to be a cyclist. We've been doing 1 - 1 1/2 hour rides almost every night for a week or so, avg 11-15 mph (some hills). Got a question for any ladies on here. She's a self-described 'big girl' - she's 6'1 and a little overweight. I tell you what though, when she loses some imagine a 6'1 model on a runway :-) I'm 5'11", but we're about the same height on bikes and other ways.

anyway - I was wondering if any women on here had found cycling to help them loose weight, any motivational stories you can share, what kept you interested in riding, other websites for calculating workout/calories, that kind of thing.

Personally I'm thinking that an hour or two a day and maybe cutting out the sodas is worth maybe five lbs a month... ? I know that if you loose it too fast you gain it back - loose it slower and it'll stay off.

Right now we're checking out a new bike for her for Christmas - sort of motivation to get into shape for it - an inexpensive Specialized at a LBS. Right now she has a Peugot (30 lbs?) from the early 80's.

thanks for any info

re: Just met a girl cyclist!WCC
Aug 18, 2002 9:39 AM
While its great you just met a girl who rides, i would be careful when it comes to working her into shape. Just my opinion.
re: Just met a girl cyclist!aliensporebomb
Aug 18, 2002 10:47 AM
Speaking as a guy, sometimes we're encouraged to "fix things" that aren't really

Just riding will replace fat with muscle and be sure not to concentrate so much on
numbers on a scale but rather concentrating on losing inches rather than pounds.

The pounds will come with time of course. Just make sure she's enjoying herself,
take her to places that you've ridden that maybe nobody knows about in your area...
she'll be fascinated with the fact that you've ridden places that maybe few know

Better yet, if there are places from your childhood around in your town (if you
still live in your hometown) take her around to places you went to as a kid. It
did some good when my wife and I were riding around and she was first getting
into it.

Also, don't overdo it. If you've been riding and are reasonably fit then death rides
might not be so good. Still, if she's keeping up and seems to enjoy it then great.
re: Just met a girl cyclist!firstrax
Aug 18, 2002 5:23 PM
Who cares if she carries a few extra pounds. She rides! And if riding takes off a few pounds, bonus. But I wouldnt make it a deal breaker.
If I found a woman that liked to ride, fly and snowboard I wouldnt care how big or small she was.
re: Just met a girl cyclist!littleMoots
Aug 18, 2002 6:45 PM
Congratulations! Sounds like a familiar story except the roles are reversed. I rode - he didn't. I asked him during the early stages of dating if he was willing to go biking. He said yes, and the rest is history.

I don't have any trouble keeping up now, in fact, I'm usually in the lead. But, this wasn't always the case. At first, I was always way, way behind. But as the years went by, I got stronger and faster. The real important thing to remember is to get her a bike that fits! It's amazing how many women start on really heavy, poorly fitting bikes and then eyeryone wonders why they quit after a few rides.

I had the opposite problem of your girlfriend - I am only 5' 1" so there were no stock road bikes that I could even straddle when I first started riding. So.. I rode a mountain bike for years. I now ride a custom TI and the difference is unbelievable! So when you two go to the LBS, whatever you get her, make sure it fits. She will not necessarily need a "women specific design". Pay attention to her body proportions. Anyway, lot's of luck and hope everything goes well for you two.
keep it funlonefrontranger
Aug 18, 2002 7:28 PM
Make sure that your rides together are always an enjoyable experience for both of you. Don't get all competitive with each other, or it will turn out badly. Watch out for this, because even women who say they aren't competitive often develop a passive-aggressive streak on the bike, and will try to get their digs in when they can. Be chivalrous and kind, and amazing things will happen. Also can't agree too much on the bike fit issues. If you both "sit" at the same height, then she's all legs and will probably need a bike with a shorter reach / top tube. Get a good pro shop to do the fit, it's really the best way.

I agree with the other posters. Don't make weight an issue. Hell, most of those models on the runway wouldn't have enough strength to pedal a bike up even a small hill. How do I know this? Because I modeled as a teen, and didn't have the strength to make it up the stairs sometimes. I went hypoglycemic and passed out a couple times a week in school. But I weighed 97 lbs. and everyone thought I "looked" cool. I probably looked more like a toast rack in mascara.

When I look at those photos now, I'm appalled. At my "fighting" weight for racing, I weigh 150 lbs. at 5'4", and I'm healthy. I went out yesterday and did a 65-mile ride, after a 4-week layoff with a busted collarbone, and another gal (also coming back off injury) and I averaged 18mph all by ourselves with a brutal headwind on the last 30 miles in. When I'm in full racing trim, I'm peppier than a horseradish and green chile sandwich and can kick my share of boy ass on a good day. My boyfriend really enjoys going out and riding with me because I'm stronger than him on the climbs, and he's a faster sprinter, so it challenges us both.

We've been together for seven years. I went through some mild depression issues a few years back after losing what I thought was the job of a lifetime (turned out it was with Arthur Andersen, won't get into that...) I bloated up to near 170 lbs, and looked like a pig in a wig. The sweetest thing he ever said when I was obsessing about my weight was "you're just a bigger playground and I like it!".

The point I'm trying to make is that if you like this girl and you have stuff in common, you'll like her whether she carries a few extra or not. Heck, most men that obsess about having skinny trophy GFs (in my experience) aren't much to write home about; thinning hair, spare tire, concave chest... puhlease. Be careful how you judge is all I'm gonna say on that one.
hey ranger this is a present for youcyclopathic
Aug 19, 2002 6:14 AM
look at those legs 8-P
Who is that? Guy is built like a square!ColnagoFE
Aug 19, 2002 6:23 AM
Not that i make a regular habit out of evaluating guys' legs, i think the guy at the right has better looking legs. then again my legs stay pretty darn skinny no matter how many heavy squats I do. Wish I could say the same of my gut which seems to hang around no matter how much I cycle. Darn those genetics!
Tashkent terrorcyclopathic
Aug 19, 2002 6:50 AM
Adbou really bulked up by the end of his carrier. Legs are bigger then my waist and I am no skinny by any account
"toast rack in mascara" LOL! Another great post, LFR. (nm)RhodyRider
Aug 19, 2002 9:21 AM
Help her learn descending skills.PseuZQ
Aug 18, 2002 9:45 PM
Because if she's anything like me, she's gonna use that gravity to flyyy down hills! (Hey, since I can't climb them fast, I'm sure gonna try to make up time ;-))

Congratulations on finding a gal who likes to ride. I see way too many comments from guys about how their wives and GFs are holding them back, so it's refreshing to see the other side.

As far as fitness goes, I've lost about 20 lbs since the first of the year, and I've got a ways to go. I attribute most of that to just riding a lot, and eating a sensible diet. One book I can recommend is "Eat Smart, Play Hard." I found that many "diets" don't take into account the needs of an active athlete. My attitude now is that I look at food with an attitude of, "What will this do for me? Carbs for energy? Protein for muscle or recovery? Or empty calories?"

As far as riding goes, I think we all agree that heavier people are at a disadvantage climbing. My solution to that is to climb as many hills as I can. I DO NOT fear them...granny and I just go up as slowly as we need to. (And we keep getting faster!) Overall, it's made me a much stronger rider: On hills, on flats, and yes, on descents.

Good luck!
"Help her learn descending skills." lol. nmfbg111
Aug 19, 2002 8:14 AM
Similar experience 15 years later.dzrider
Aug 19, 2002 4:39 AM
Cycling comes and goes for Rachel and the relationship endures. Having a shared activity enhances our marriage, but our marriage doesn't depend on it.

Her weight should be less important to you than it is to her. I wouldn't bring home ice cream if she's trying to lose weight but neither would I take charge of her diet. Living with a woman who feels good about her body can be a whole lot of fun. Living with a woman who believes you'd like her body to be other than what it is can make having any fun at all into hard work.
Hey congrats on your new relationshipKristin
Aug 19, 2002 7:25 AM
The reason quick weight loss never works is because it doesn't address the problem. Weight is never the problem. Its only a symptom of some unhealthy component in our world.

I am in about the same boat as your girlfriend. A troublesome family of origin followed by college and quitting smoking turned me into a snack-o-holic. I don't know what her hang up is (i.e. when she over-eats). Mine hangup is the TV. If the TV is on, I'm eating. Finally I threw out the TV. Viola. (Well its back again, but that's another story.)

Getting rid of the TV sucked at first. When people over-eat, its usually about comfort or numbing out some pain. After I threw out the TV, life sucked for a while. Suddenly I HATED eating--more acurately, I hated hearing myself chew. Nasty. I would take much smaller portions and was hungry for about a month. BE VERY CAUTIOUS HERE: I was not hungry because I was under eating. I was consuming about 2000 calories a day. I was hungry because I was used to 3000+ calories a day.

Cut out the one activity. If she finds she eats alot and doesn't have much discipline around certain activities, try cutting that activity out cold turkey. It will suck for a short while, and you will have to be patient, but this worked well for me. After about a month, I began to feel better. After six, I discovered a whole new me, and became a happier person.

Soda. I grew up in a soda family. We drank 4 liters a day. Here's a trick I learned. The body craves water. When people drink too much soda (which deprives the body of water) their brains get confused and the mental symbol for water changes to soda. The solution? Whenever I began to reach for a soda I'd ask myself this question: Do I really want this or do I want water instead? I found, when presented with the choice, 90% of the time I choose water. Now I rarely drink soda, and only take 6 ounces at a time.

Portion control. For whatever moronic reason, food reatailers serve these insane portions. When out to eat, I try to split a meal with a friend. When I crave chocolate, I go to the bins at the grocery store and by two Hersheys' kisses. If I crave chocolate cake, I buy the whole peice and eat only four bites. Who says its waistful to throw the rest away? I gave myself permission to "waiste" a little cash in order to "gain" a healthier life-style.

The slow journey. Life happens and things change. If you plot my weight loss on a chart, it might look a little like the stock market upside down. Its not a straight line in one direction. Its what you end up with down the road that matters. Make small changes to your life-style that will last and over time become treasured habits. (This is why quick weight loss doesn't work.)

The goal. If the goal is to loose weight, then failure will ensue. The goal should be contentment--becoming the person you'd rather be. Losing weight is just a fringe benefit.

Good luck. I wish you both much happiness.
I would be really careful...Marcocyclo
Aug 19, 2002 9:30 AM
about discussing matters of weight loss, etc with a female!!

You can lose weight by reducing caleoric intake and increase exercise, riding, running and weight lifting even.
Dropping sodas aint going to get it either, very naive..duh!! You have to reduce overall food intake by 20 to 25% from my experience. Eat a 30%protein-25fat-45carb and take no potatoes, french fries, or pasta. Only complex carbs please!!! Now watch the weight melt away if you got the will power. Just guessing about the %'s since we don't know her weight.
Aug 19, 2002 12:19 PM
I can lose 5 lbs a month by eating less and exercising moderately, and I have never given up pasta, white bread, jasmine rice or potatoes. Perhaps these aren't the best for you, but one can certainly consume them and still lose weight.
My .02MelMo
Aug 19, 2002 12:13 PM
I'm a bit late to this thread, but...

When I started cycling middling seriously (commuting to work, mainly), I shed 10 lbs right away while eating MORE than I had before, though perhaps more healthy food. Since then, though I am biking more than ever (did a double metric brevet as my first century, whining like a baby those last thirty or forty miles, but I finished) my weight has stayed the same. However, flab has made a hasty departure--pants that were too tight a year ago nearly slide off if I carry anything in the pockets, and I just had the glorious experience of buying a smaller size of jeans. I could stand to lose a little more, but I'm pretty happy and feel really healthy now, and I'm not sure I'm willing to give up ice cream or my husband's excellent cooking to shed anymore. Despite my pudgy belly, though, I feel like my story is a "how cycling changed my life for the better" story because it's completely changed the way I live and how I see myself.

What many of the above posters have told you is excellent advice--make sure losing weight/getting in shape is HER idea and not yours. Respect her wishes regarding distance and intensity--I'm 6 mos. to a year behind dear husband in terms of distances and hills I can handle, though we both started this round of cycling at about the same time. And remember that hungry women are NOT happy, sexy women. LFR, as usual, is right in saying that being fit is far, far more important than being thin.

Lucky you to find someone to ride with. Best of luck to both of you.