I've been riding with a friend of mine for the past twelve or so years, both road and mountain.
We've both carried extra weight on and off but I've managed to keep the weight
below 200 pounds for about four years now (last weighed around 184-ish).
The last two years my friend has had serious issues keeping up with me but we believed
that this was because I was going to spin classes 3-5x a week over the winters...
This summer when we were riding he was feeling shortness of breath while riding and
went into the doctor on my wifes' haranging to get a checkup. The last time we went
on a road ride he had to stop at one point because he was about to pass out and he
hadn't gained THAT much weight but I think we both could stand to lose a few.
We cut the ride short
After a stress test and several other things it was found he had 70-90% blockage
in one artery and 99% blockage in another! He could have died on the ride and
he's only 41 years old.....
He's had a couple of stents put in and we went out on a ride after he was cleared
to exercise and went whipping past the point where he had to rest doing better
than 28 miles an hour!
Then a friend of mine calls me up, he's not a rider but he is about my age (we're
both 4 years older than our friend with the stents) and he goes "so, how do you
know if you're having a heart attack or not? I've had chest pain for three days
and wonder what the deal is" I'm like HUH? "Get yourself checked!". We bring
him into urgent care and get him checked out and after an EKG and some other
things they find out he's probably got some pre-hypertensive symptoms but is
really suffering from some esophogeal irritation. No caffeine or spicy food for a
while and lose some weight.
I think "thank goodness this is all over"......I get a call from my wife who says that
this guy we have renting one of our rooms had been raking leaves for five or six
hours the previous day and was feeling tightness in his chest and basically chest
pain, at age 36!! I'm thinking "not again!" They take him into the hospital from
his work and it turns out that he just overdid it and needed to get some rest or
he'd get walking pneumonia (he's the type of guy who never takes care of
Anyway, I look at these as warnings "take care of yourself or you could be in the ER".