Hi everyone! I've been lurking here for a few days and thought I should say something. I'm 40 years old, dangerously close to 300 lbs, reasonably healthy otherwise. I've always been a casual bicyclist - a few miles a week. One day last August I decided to get in shape and lose weight by riding daily. Two days later, 2 feet of snow fell and that idea went out the window.
As warmer weather approached, I decided to go for it again. I bought myself an Electra Townie 21, which I've wanted for a long time. (I also have a K2 hybrid that doesn't seem to handle my weight without slipping all over the place, and a perfectly good cheap mountain bike.)
Last week we had a nice day (meaning 43 degrees, icy wind, and a bit of snow toward the end) so I got started. I did almost 4 miles last week and 5 miles so far this week. I'm starting with 2.5 miles a day until I get comfortable with the bike.
A couple of questions --
1. How many miles/day did everyone start out with? Am I doing too much too soon? I'd like to build up to 20 miles a day average, but that will probably take a year. (I was walking 2 miles/day before this, so I'm not totally out of shape.)
2. Is it better to be consistent (i.e. 5 miles a day) or to take some shorter and longer rides?
3. Do you think I can get up to 20 miles a day on a "comfort" bike? Or will I end up needing something else? So far, the upright position seems better for my knees (which sometimes have trouble) and for my breathing (asthma).
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the conversations here. I'm pleasantly surprised at how many "big" riders there are, although I hope to become a slightly smaller one soon.