Its no secret that I'm a big dude. At 6' and 250lbs I'm about as aerodynamic as a beer keg and look like I would be more at home sporting leather chaps atop a big Harley Davidson, and I'm okay with it.
Whenever I tell someone for the first time that I'm a cyclist I usually get a deer-in-the-headlights look of disbelief followed by the question "you ride bicycles?". I feel like replying "yes I do, thanks for being a total asshole and just assuming that I'm a lazy fatass" but usually just smile and nod. The follow up question varies, some of the best ones I've heard over the years that have stayed with me were "aren't you a little........ husky to ride a bike?", "are you riding to lose weight?", "you must ride with a slower group then?". My immediate reaction is to punch those people in the face, but I hold back and smile, with the dumbass who made the jerk-hole comment none the wiser to how close they came to having their life flash before their eyes. Just think about it..... would you poke a grizzly bear with a stick? Didn't think so.
I also get a kick out of the 'looks' from other riders at the trailhead and even out on the trail. I've seen the snickers and grins, heard the quiet giggles between friends, even watched as people made gestures that were clearly poking fun at me. I just let it go, knowing full well that I could break these douches in half if the mood arises. Again with the grizzly bear......
I stay calm because I know that their attitude is about to be adjusted. I let them giggle and roll into the trail, still doing their fat guy jokes. I let them get a minute or two ahead of me before I roll out, and put on the gas. I does not take long before I catch most of these jokers, the sound of a fat bike coming down on you must be frightening because they usually pull right off the side of the trail and let me by while I turn my head and give them a big shit eating grin as I pass by. The usual response to this is wide open mouths catching flies while drooling on their Troy Lee Designs jersey. I especially liked it when I passed the douche nozzle on a race bike, wearing a full on sausage suit, with a gps attached to the bars so he could be a Strava hero, while on a big switchback climb. He looked pissed. I especially liked the group of three dudes scoping out a rough section of trail at Puslinch, I heard one say "you need at least 5" of suspension to ride this" as I zipped by on a rigid fat bike through the rough.
Now, I'm not saying all other riders are assholes. For the most part, everyone is nice and accepting of others in all shapes and sizes. There is no cyclist mold, we come in big and small, and most riders know it. Its usually the "bros" or "amateur race types" that like to have a good laugh at my expense, even though its short lived after I come rolling down the trail, smashing their self inflated ego. Sometimes they are fast and I can't catch them, but sometimes not. Just because I'm fat does not mean I'm slow.
I know some other riders who a big fellas too. I can't really say any of them are slow. Matter of fact, their is an owner of a well known bike shop in London who is a bigger fella and can absolutely rip the trail up. I've seen lots of "big dudes" and "large ladies" that can haul it through the singletrack at break neck speed. Don't assume that because we are bigger, we are slow or handicapped in some way. We ride trails, we ride road, we ride 100km epics, we ride 1.5 hour after work jaunts, we race, we pull our kids around in trailers, we ride for fun.
I love riding, but I also love a good post-ride cheeseburger. That and my wife is an awesome cook. I'm okay with fat. Ride on!
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.