Ode to SuperClydesdale
9 min read | July 30 2019
Only a couple of times in my life have I stumbled onto a website that I truly treasure. One that speaks to me in a number of ways, and really reflects my inner most thoughts and feelings on (digital) paper. SuperClydesdale.com was that site. Long story short, a ‘Clydesdale’ is not the large breed of horse you may be picturing (well.. it is.. but not on this blog!). A ‘Clydesdale’ is any cyclist that weighs over 200 lbs. It’s a term of endearment and strength to be used between Clydesdales - a means of recognizing each others’ eternal affinity toward gravity and hatred of inclines.
SuperClydesdale.com is no longer up. I’m actually not sure how I ever saw it in the first place.. I discovered it earlier this year but its domain and hosting have been down since the early twenty-teens.. anyway,
If you’re a heavier cyclist and/or you just want to have a good laugh, this site has some real humor and insight pocketed away on it. I loved this site. As an ode to the fantastic content of this site, I’m going to re-post The Clydesdale Glossary. All of the following content was originally written by/for Superclydesdale.com and credit is given as such.
Heads up- This content is profane and while meant in humor, uses a significant amount of strong language.
The Clydesdale Glossary is an ongoing effort to document the key phrases that I both use and encounter in my travels. These are words or phrases used on this site, used to explain, inform, and insult. If you have a term worth documenting, please don’t hesitate to send it in. There’s a form at the bottom of the glossary to submit your own words for consideration.
• Clydesdale: A rider weighing over 200 pounds.
• Superclydesdale: A rider weighing over 220 pounds.
• Pachyderm: A rider weighing over 230 pounds.
• CCTS: Clydesdale Climbing Tourette Syndrome: A short-term affliction characterized by the shouting of insults and/or profanity at smaller riders who pass you on difficult climbs. Usually short-lived except in severe cases, manifested in the most bitter of heavy riders who may have a hard time stopping even after the climb is over.
• Clydesdale by Act of God: Many in the Clydesdale classes (Clydesdale, Superclydesdale, and Pachyderm) are genetically destined to be a Clydesdale. These individuals are usually characterized with the common Clydesdale features: wide frame, taller than average, muscular, probably very good looking. These natural Clydesdales have a list of special needs, which may include proportionally correct (aka “longer”) cranskets, larger framers with higher bottom brackets to accommodate the longer cranks, wider handlebars, and a beefier wheelset. These big & tall riders also struggle to find riding clothing that fits properly, and have a unique physical property that actually repels tights.
• Clydesdale by choice: Someone of small stature who is also a Clydesdale. These people face some of the same challenges of natural Clydesdales (see Clydesdale by Act of God), such as gravity. They also share the need for beefier wheelsets, and seats meant to support a wider load. It’s for these people that the Clydesdale official tag line was developed (Mon cul me tue – “my ass is killing me”).
• Downhill Specialist: Many of the Clydesdale classes, especially those courageous enough to take advantage of the effects of gravity on their descent. A downhill specialist can coast past smaller riders who are cranking away in 53×11, and be recovered and fresh at the bottom of the descent.
• Fat ass: See Clydesdale by choice. There’s nothing wrong with being a fat ass, but it could mean that your time as a Clydesdale is limited. I get e-mail after e-mail from people that have dropped significant weight through cycling. So, enjoy the site for now, you probably won’t need it next year!
• FPM: Flats Per Mile: A newly developed metric measuring the number of flat tires a rider has, on average, per mile. There’s FPMr for road bikes, and FPMm for mountain bikes. It is generally held that this is an indicator of having too narrow a tire for the conditions, or that a rider is just too damn fat.
• Gear envy: The deeply-felt desire to be able to climb hills using a bike with a short-cage derailleur. Also, the extreme jealousy felt by Clydesdales towards lighter riders who prance up still hills on cassettes small enough to put in your mouth. As Clydesdales are forced to use cassettes with sprockets the size of pie plates, we often resent riders who are not similarly… challenged. The severely effected sometimes known to wish ill upon said small rider.
• Hill Monkey: A small, light rider who delights in crushing others on climbs. These are the nemesis of all of the Clydesdale classes. They are to be avoided, and preferably run over. Never go on a ride proposed by a Hill Monkey (at least with them). See also Mountain Gorilla.
• ICHHYIIWT: I Could Have Hit You If I Wanted To: Drivers of cars that seek to intimidate riders, typically by crossing over into the bike lane immediately after passing a cyclist, or other threatening behavior. This is a distinct group from the merely poor driver, who may swerve in the bike lane, into telephone poles, parked cars or other stationary objects out of incompetence, rather than malice.
• Methane Footprint: The amount of methane that a Clydesdale’s lifestyle contributes to the total atmospheric concentration of the greenhouse gas methane. While bovine flatulence is a known concern, little has been said about that of a Clydesdale. Give me a bag of dried apricots, and Earth’s glaciers will recede by about an inch. Anyone truly concerned about our planet would be wise to prohibit sales of most forms of dried fruit to any of the Clydesdale classes, and particularly at fueling stops on organized rides.
• Mon cul me tue: the Superclydesdale official tag line, which is French for “my ass is killing me.” It’s French because I wanted a dead, archaic language (the French are the only ones who don’t know the fate of their language yet), so that the phrase can live in perpetuity. Much like science has latin – the language is not living and will not evolve, skewing the meaning – I use French. I would have chosen sanscrit, but translate.google.com doesn’t offer that. Also in use is “mon ane est massacre je” which is the original babblefish.com translation, which turns out is French for “my donkey is massacring me.” While not the official tag line, it’s the unofficial tagline of Superclydesdale because its too funny to just drop it.
• Mountain Gorilla: A member of the Clydesdale classes that excels at hill climbing. Like actual mountain gorillas of central Africa, these are extremely rare, very strong, and may also be covered in dense hair.
• Must Pass Rule: The belief that if one sees another rider on the road ahead, that they must be overtaken so that the No Pass Rule can be instituted (see also No Pass Rule).
• Napoleonic: A derogatory term for a whippet (see Whippet), often characterized by other aspects of Small Man Syndrome, such as the need to try to overachieve when riding with larger, stronger, more masculine, better looking, and wealthier riders (riders called “Clydesdales”).
• No Pass Rule: The disposition that a competitive rider, riding alone or in a small group, cannot allow another rider from outside his immediate group to pass him, unless he has a flat tire or a medical emergency (often as a direct result of the No Pass Rule). This is founded on the belief that everything in life is a competition, and a training ride is no exception. If others pass, they may come to the faulty conclusion that they a stronger rider.
• Sizeist: Discrimination against someone because of size. While clydesdales face constant challenges from things like hills, flimsy wheels, and seats made for small children, this is is a complaint often made by smaller riders for their life outside of cycling (aka the “real world”), where clydesdales take their rightful position – leadership. Usage: small person, “you’re ignoring my suggestions because your a sizeist.” Clydesdale, “I’m sorry, did you say something?”
• Warmblood: A type of Clydesdale by Act of God. A tall, yet lean rider over 200 pounds. Usually, tall, skinny stringbean types that happen to weigh over 200 pounds. These people are offended by the Clydesdale label because they think its synonymous with being fat (see Fat ass). Like Clydesdale, the Warmblood label comes from the equine world. It’s officially a category of middle-weight horses, between the “cold blooded” Clydesdales and the “hot blooded” smaller racehorses like Thoroughbreds.
• Whippet: A thin, light cyclist. Usually, these are people of small stature who wish they were Clydesdales but are genetically incapable of becoming one. They attract less women, make less money, and are in general not taken very seriously outside of the cycling world. In an effort to discredit their larger societal competitors, they invented the sport of cycling. In addition to small Napoleonics, there are tall, thin whippets. While not as disadvantaged in mating or money, they are not to be trusted. Would you trust the Schleck brothers with your sister? I don’t think so. See also Napoleonic.
All terms are those that are used, will be used, or should have been used in superclydesdale.com articles. All Clydesdale Glossary terms are incredibly clever and are Copyright 2010, superclydesdale.com (c) 2010. If you send me a new term for the glossary that I like and publish on the site, then I own it.