The yellow bike in the image above is my Trek, Shift 1 bike that I purchased five years ago when I was wondering if fat girls could ride bikes. I found the best information about choosing a bike came from my local bike shops. I stopped in at 4 different shops on the Delmarva Peninsula. The guy at Easton Cycle and Sport said he was confident that I could easily ride a bike. He explained the benefits of a hybrid-comfort bike — and this bike in particular. Then I asked him about bike racks for the car and he gave me another great lesson on how to transport bikes and tips for riding amid the stress of automobile traffic. They are more of a bike servicing shop, but the information I received was invaluable. I also learned that bike shop people are the friendliest people in the world. I found almost everyone very supportive of my fat girl initiative.
2. Wear clothes that make you feel good
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It is certainly true that the selection of cycling kits cut specifically to suit female riders is on the rise. Unfortunately, for women with curves and plus size cyclists, the outlook is not so uplifting. There is definitely still room for improvement but here are some of the brands that are on the right track. Their gear is not cheap, but the reviews in terms of fit and comfort are quite positive, and they use technically advanced fabrics and high-quality components. Not to mention, they claim that all their products are made ethically in Europe, in factories they have visited and by people they know—a fact worth shelling out a bit extra for, in our opinion. Another big brand in the UK, Corinne Dennis has a pretty decent selection of plus size cycling clothing for women.
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As such, my past four years of falling in love with two-wheeled adventures has come with its own challenges on and off the bike. Whatever you want to call yourself, there are some specific things to keep in mind when it comes to two-wheeled adventures, including picking a bike, figuring out what clothes to wear and finding your people. No, this is not another weight-loss story. Full stop. I ride for fun, transportation, adventure, and exercise.
My friend and I sat in the parking lot, eating oatmeal and mentally preparing for the next 10 days. We were halfway through our Alaskan bikepacking trip from Seward to Deadhorse, and the next stretch, along the Dalton Highway—27, feet of elevation gain over gravel miles— was notoriously grueling. As we looked over our slightly damp gear, a tour van pulled up nearby. The passengers got off; some took photos of us as the guide loudly proclaimed that not many people successfully bike the Dalton. He means thin. When I first started biking, I worried about finding clothes that fit. I assumed that, as is true with many athletic clothing brands, the sizes available would be too limited. I was pleasantly surprised to find that popular bike clothing brands like Pearl iZumi, De Marchi, and Terry size up to XXL for women's bibs and shorts.