Among cyclists, a “clydesdale” is a cyclist that weighs more than 200 lbs. You see, bicycle enthusiasts are generally all emaciated androgynous mutants with abnormally large thighs. You can scan nearly any website about cycling and see clydesdale riders lamenting how hard it is to be such a big guy on a bicycle and how one time they broke a spoke when they hit a pothole.
Speaking as a bicycle commuter who has qualified as a clydesdale since the 9th grade, I find these conversations amusing. Where is the website discussing the practical questions of cycling for those people the Good Lord saw fit to gift with bodies meant for pulling their own plows and for whom the only believable Halloween costume is that of a boulder? I’m sure that such websites exist, but the problem is that the term “clydesdale” covers too much ground. The needs and concerns of the cyclist who eats too much in the winter and puts on 5 lbs (so that now he weighs a whopping 215!) are completely different from those guys like myself whose shoes weigh that much!
I noticed that when the Syfy channel is showing some B-movie about a giant mutant something, they invariably refer to it as a “mega” whatever. This seems like a nearly perfect modifier for the clydesdale classification. I say nearly perfect because I’ve yet to see a Mega-Clyde chase down a person on their bike and eat them. Obviously we’ll have to make that distinction more clear to people so that no one panics.
Longtime reader Almond (he was recently promoted from “sometime reader” when he actually posted a reply) has recently decided to get over his reticence (or he’s finally had enough of D.C. traffic) and has plans of joining the ranks of the Mega-Clydes. He displayed an amazing amount of wisdom in seeking out my advice, which of course I was more than happy to provide.
Naturally this got me thinking about applying my own hard-earned wisdom to my next commuter bicycle. Mrs. RW has (despite your best efforts) vetoed my idea of a cargo bike, so fantasizing about my next ride is all I have left. (Remember that the correct number of bicycles to own is n+1, where n is the number of bicycles currently owned.)
The perfect bicycle for a Mega-Clyde needs to be built ridiculously tough. Every ding, pothole, skid, and taxi door is made worse when the rider is a Mega-Clyde. Because of this I’m thinking of a mountain bike frame (the Surly Troll?) with fenders, disc brakes, and an internal hub. I’m sure that Mrs. RW will have something say about this plan as well, but given how rarely she goes into the garage, I think that I can get away with it for a few weeks before she makes me take it back.
The only thing that worries me is the story I’ll tell when she finally figures it out. Any thoughts?