Another first post/buy/ride post...
First Post Bit
I have been lurking for a bit. I have to give credit to Tom Stormcrowe and Bdinger (there are others too!) for inspiring me to take the plunge. I always thought I was too big to ride comfortably, but the experiences posted by others really helped sway my misconception. So I hope my story will help more lurkers/fencepost sitters make a decision like me.
A brief autobiography to start. After graduating from Purdue in 1996, the pounds kept piling on year after year and at age 35, I need change this trend now. I am a Clyde currently at 417 pounds which is down 13 pounds from my maximum of 430 (March 14, 2008) when I decided that I needed more exercise and started walking to relieve some work stress. I followed this up with walking down to Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday evenings for the weekly hump day guys night out and also to the local movie theaters on weekends. For a large guy, I consider myself to be relatively fit. How many 400+ pound guys do you know that can play 18-holes of golf without a golf cart? Enough about me, on to the...
Like many other riders, I rode bikes in my younger days and had all but ignored the recreation or transportation mechanism for nearly 20 years. It just seems that once you get your driver's license, you forget about your 2-wheeled friend. It was time. It only took 2 trips the the LBS (in my case Hodson's Bay). The first time I was largely ignored, but I was also sweaty and a bit tired as I had just walked to the shop on one of the hottest Lafayette afternoon's of the year and it was nearly closing time. On Tuesdat, I walked down to the shop again and popped in and found the Specialized Hardrock Sports and camped out until someone I was asked if I needed help. After a brief discussion, the sales associate and I each grabbed a Hardrock and headed outside. It is true...you never forget how to ride a bike! The Hardrock felt good, but I wanted to make sure so we headed back in and I tried a Giant. A little negotiation and BOOM, I am now the proud owner of a Specialized Hardrock Sport.
Instead of 'walking' back home, I rode the Hardrock home (was that not the whole point of yesterday's visit to the LBS? ). It is only 1.5 miles, but what a difference! A completely different workout from walking. My quads were burning by the half way point and I am glad I got caught by a red light which allowed me to recover a bit before continuing. I live on a hill and I walked the bike up as I was already knackered from this short ride. My heart was pounding and I truly had a good cardio workout from this short trip. My office chair accustomed rear is only a little sore today.
Weekend rides with friends (typically 20 miles)
Begin bike commuting to work (driving it is 13 miles round trip; I expect the best bike path will be 15 miles RT) at least 3 times a week (that $85 tank fill up hurts)
Eventually bike from Lafayette, Indiana to Mishawaka (my hometown). This is a long term goal as it will be a 120+ mile trip one-way!