7.20.2004

CLYDESDALE: What is a Clydesdale?
 
Britannica.com gives us this.....
 
Clydes·dale Pronunciation: 'klIdz-"dAlFunction: nounDate: 1786: a heavy draft horse with feathering on the legs of a breed orig. from Clydesdale, Scotland
 
But in the world of cycling (and running) the Clydesdale Class is in reference to the rider/racer's weight.  In mountainbiking it is the East Coast standard that each rider over 200 pound qualifies as a Clydesdale,  while I have heard that the Western States use 220 as the Clydesdale Cutoff. It does not matter where I ride,  at the current time my tall thin (well, not thin) 230 lbs makes the grade on either coast. In reading a variety of forums it seems that there may be some dispute.  On the MTBR Forum there are many posts that compare the thin muscular rider to the shorter stout rider with greater body fat....
Well, let us not be comparing within the class, the actual comparison should be between the plus 200 rider and the standard 150-165lbs  riders. It is that large weight difference that makes the difference, not a measure of body fat. Yes, most Clydesdales tend not only to be larger, but also tend to be heavier and maybe a tad more fatty, but that is not the distinction. It all comes down to total weight, no factoring in height to weight ratios, BMI, or the Special K pinch on the spare tire. The scale is the only device needed to make this classification. 
 
Dirt Rag's Clydesdale Forum....
 
I have race as a Clydesdale for years, well, when offered. Up until recently the Clydesdale Class was a class that did not seem to get much respect. It for some reason was taken as some sort of novelty class. But if people were to take the time to look at the finishing times of the winning Clydesdales they would see that this class is no joke.....these guys are not just big, but they are fast. In years past the Clydesdales were often given a beginner class course length, when I have always felt that the Clydesdale should be nothing less than Sport and in some cases Expert.  I do not mind the distance being closer to Sport, as I must admit that part of my Clydesdaleness is expressed in my love for riding but my distain for training....training is too much like homework. So, I tend to ride and race, and do very little riding that I would call training. Which will have to change in the next few weeks as I get ready for the Shenandoah Mountain 100!
 
Not to toot my own trumpet, but if I don't who will?
 
At the local Wednesday at Wakefield (WAW) I raced the last two races of the series in the Clydesdale Class. As the course was moderately flat I opted to race my single speed Karate Monkey without suspension (well, suspension seatpost) and found that my times were competitive over all!  My times put me faster than the Sport Class (which tends to be the class of the sandbagger) had me strong in Single Speed Class, and although my race was three laps, I was fast compared to the Experts first three laps of 4. In this case bringing some respect to the Clydesdale Class. Now, I must admit....on the flatter courses the Clydesdale is at less of a disadvantage, it is climbing that is the greatest hinderance. So in recent times I have been flip flopping Classes.....Always racing Clydesdale when there is that option, but racing Expert if I do not feel I will be dropped off the back and racing Sport if I feel that is the most rational option.
 
I forgot....
 
What was my point?
 
 

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