My point is, that one should not take such things personally. It's not as if some group of kids is riding around, listening to their audio Bibles, and looking for people to help, and just happen to see you, and are so overwhelmed with you being fat or nerdy, or whatever, and are just compelled to make a comment. No...instead, they're likely just mischievous people, looking to taunt ANYONE they encounter, who can not pose a threat to them, by reason of the fact that their victim is walking or on a bike, etc.
It's easy to take such comments personally- especially if your sensitive about a given feature.
And conversely, a lot of people who are driving by, are probably thinking "Wow, I envy and applaud that guy for getting out there and exercising" or "Wow, he's so fat, and yet he's out there riding a bike, and I don't even do that!" or "Isn't that the same guy walking his dog that I saw 4 miles up the road when I was going the other way? I really should do that with Fido- we could both use the exercise; and it looks like it'd be relaxing!" -but they never say anything.
You know, though- it was some strangers comments on a picture of myself, which made me realize that I was 50 lbs. overweight at the time. I seriously didn't realize it. I thought maybe I was 10-15 lbs overweight [which is where I am now]. My friends and loved ones never said anything about me being overweight [I really didn't look 50 lbs. over.....] and I have to say, that those strangers, who meant me ill-will, really did me a favor in making me not only realize that I had a weight problem, but in giving me the motivation to work to lose that weight. I turned a negative situation and ill intent into something positive and helpful.
Being originally from NYC, and being a natural non-conformist/independent-thinker and a natural loner, I learned at a rather early age to have very thick skin.....and I consider that a very valuable asset, and am thankful for the lessons I learned, as being free from peer pressure and group mentality is one of the most valuable traits a person can possess, and is truly liberating.
I often wonder, when climbing the big mile-long climb a mile before getting home, if cars that pass and see me going 5MPH, even realize how difficult such a climb is on a bike....or if they think "That guy must be a weakling or something! What is his problem, going so slow?!". I know that I didn't even realize the impact that most of the local hills would have, until I started riding. (I figured: Well, you just go slow or stand on the pedals and push"- I forgot about the part where you can't breath, and your heart explodes and your leg muscles stop working... )
I've become really conscious of gears. I use my gears, a lot. When I was younger and thinner, it didn't matter as much. When I am coming to a cross, I immediately switch to the largest ring on the cassette or when i am coming to a hill I back off the cassette and slow my cadence down. I feel like it's better to be in too low of a gear than too high since you can always switch to a smaller ring on the cassette. Having a twist shift, I can get through from 7 to 1 in a second or 2.
It also helps to spend the first 10 minutes actively working to keep you cadence around 45RPMs and in a low gear, especially in the winter. You need a good warm-up period if you are going to go on a long journey.
As for the weight, I was 286 when I went back on a nearly 20 year old bike. 310 is only 22 pounds heavier than I was and the bike didn't seem to mind. Also, during the period that I wasn't biking, the city made every single intersection in the city with marble pavement that are wheelchair (and bicycle) friendly. The one area I would be careful with is going off of curbs or potholes. I find my rims go out of true easier than they used to when I was under 200lbs. If you are really worried that it won't hold you, get rims with thicker spokes. It's really the rims that are the weak spot.
Also, realize that it will take longer to stop your bike than a thinner rider at the same speed.
At 63y/o and 238lbs when i get my bike..Which should be in a few weeks i will look and feel like a fool.I tried to ride a friends bike about 2 blocks and i was totally tired out..But i can use the excercise..
good for you man! its a great low impact way to get a work out. if your back hurts take a look at day 6 bicycles. AMAZING machines. ZERO back pain!
Last edited by Myosmith; 02-19-13 at 01:27 PM.
Lead, follow or get out of the way
Iam sure at first i will be very embarassed..I found this bike at a yard sale for 45 bucks seems like its in good shape iam going to take it to the lbs for a tuneup.I tried to ride this around the corner and thought i would need a tank of oxygen..I admire most of you guys its going to be a long struggle for me to get into bike riding shape..
Looks like a great deal on the bike to me, JustDon!!!
The good thing about being out-of-shape when you start, is that you make fast progress....and when you look back a year from now, you'll laugh at yourself, and really feel that you've accomplished something, when you can ride and ride, better than you did when you were a kid...and laugh at the hills that once tortured you.
Welcome to the fold. Getting a bike is a great first step (and for $45, it looks to me like you got a steal). Remember, the key is not how far you can go today, it's going that far today, and getting back out tomorrow to do it again. It really is a "one day at a time" proposition. Keep your goals realistic - if you can ride a block today, make your goal riding two blocks, then three, etc. As others have said, it can amazing how soon you will be counting miles, not blocks.
Most important - you are doing this for you. It is simply irrelevent how far or fast anyone else can go. If you are enjoying the rides, and they are making you feel better and healthier, then you are a success story. Congratulations in advance on your success story.
"I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney
You have to be your own advocate and cheerleader!! Don't let other people tell you can't do something. If we were all meant to be Greg LeMonds or Lance Armstrongs, then god would have made only one kind of person.
Keep on dreaming and stay discipline bc with dreaming and discipline, you can achieve it. I'm living proof. I've won multiple state championships in archery and am an accomplished instructor. It can be done Happy Easter to all my riders!!!
It is all about putting one pedal in front of the other. I started riding again 6 months ago, my first recorded 5 miles I averaged 7.7 MPH, 2 weeks ago I averaged over 13 on a 50 mile ride. I've dropped 15 pounds, and really enjoy myself out there. Any mile is better than no mile.
2016 TDC Lake Nona, who's going?
As far as I'm concerned, you've made a positive step in your life by just hopping on the bike in the first place. Kudos to you and just go out there and enjoy the ride.
So here it goes. I'm 27 years old, 6'2 and 265lbs. Been embarrass of my weight for a few years now. Back in my young teens I was really into mountain biking and was probably around 150lbs. I am looking at a Bianchi Volpe for doing some trails and commuting around town. I am hoping to get into good enough shape to do a century at the end of August. I'm just really looking forward to getting out on the road again and hopefully lose a few pounds in the process. This thread is really inspiring, keep those pedals turning!!
I am only on page 4 of this thread but have to say its very inspiring.
I used to ride a lot, then as my weight went to over 400# just could not do it. I would try but I would hurt and be so worried about what people would say I just quit.
I have dropped almost 100 lbs by working out at the gym and doing cardio 5 days a week. I got my bike out the other day and it was so much easier to ride.
I want to get riding again, I spend 40 mins a day driving to the Y and would prefer to be spending that time on my bike.
My biggest fear is having a bike fail, I know some say who cares but to some I am sure its a huge concern. Kind of like telling someone who is afraid of snakes not to worry.
This thread is very inspiring, and so is this section of the bikeforum. I will always be in the clyde forum even when I get under 200 lbs.
2015 Specialized AWOL Comp
2013 Trek Ion CX Pro & Specialized Carve Comp
These are the specific reasons when I ride and get stopped at a light, I stand up proud, take a swig of water, and flex.
Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....
No one should be imbarrassed, I wear a helmet , weigh 320 pounds, use Oxygen, wear funny bike shorts and off color shirts, and have long hair and a beard ..people say I look like manson hahaha I dont see it but oh well. I can imagine what goes through their minds, but you know no one has ever said a rude comment to me. ( might be the manson look-a-like) that stops that. But just get out there and ride.
Last edited by craigrrr; 04-06-13 at 08:57 AM.