I have a bit of a problem I was hoping some of you might be able to give me some advice on…
Let me start with giving you a bit of background… I’m 31, and am currently on disability due to back problems from a car accident when I was 18 (crushed T5 vertebrae), as well as a number of other medical issues.
I’ve been sedentary for about 5 years now and I wasn’t in great shape before that … My weight is about 285lbs, and I’m 6’2” tall… (I believe that qualifies me for this forum? ) …
Anyhow… I’ve decided I want to do something about my life… I look bad, I feel bad, I need to change… So I decided to do something about it. Tried to start walking and stuff, but with my current weight/fitness level it puts too much stress on my joints.
So I’ve been trying to think of alternatives, and decided getting a bike would probably be a good possibility. I haven’t been on one since I was about 17 and frankly, I miss it.
I need a bike that is heavy duty enough to handle my weight and height, I also think having a bike with suspension would be a good idea to reduce the amount of shock my back feels… Though, I’ve never ridden a bike with suspension, so I have no idea what it’s actually like… I would prefer a more upright riding position (I think leaning way over for extended periods will hurt my back) … I also would like something that can handle gravel/non-paved trails decent. I’d also like to put some storage on it so I can use it to goto the grocery store and whatnot.
Any suggestions on what bikes might be good choices? I’m not familiar enough with current bike brands/styles of bikes to have a clue what I should be looking at…
Here’s the problem though… As I said, I’m on disability… Between getting a bike that fits my needs, riding gear (helmet/other clothing), etc, etc, it seems completely impossible on my budget. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at bike prices and it’s shocking… It would quite literally take me years to save up money for something decent (even if it’s used).
So, I guess my question is… Are there any bike companies/charities/other businesses that might be willing to donate something? Do smaller/local bike shops do that kind of thing?
I live in Marshall, WI, 4 miles down the road from the Trek factory… (Right outside of Madison, WI)… I’ve thought about trying to approach them, but I don’t know what the best way would be (or if it would be a complete waste of my time).
It seems to me that if I manage to actually get a bike, it could change my life… If I can strengthen my body/back muscles, and drop a bunch of weight, in theory I could have enough pain reduction as a result to be able to go back to work. (not to mention hopefully avoid the inevitable heart problems associated with being overweight/sedentary )
Well, I guess that about sums things up. If any of you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
--ElmoTheDestroyer (a.k.a. Joe )
PS – I’m moving to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington some time in the next year, which is what got me thinking about biking… I’m really looking forward to riding out there! Looks like an awesome place to ride bikes!