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  1. #1
    not as fat as I was Biggziff's Avatar
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    A great book to read

    I'm sure many of you have read this, but for those than haven't,
    "Heft On Wheels: A Field Guide To Doing A 180" by Mike Magnuson
    is a great read that outlines how anyone can come back from the brink of being so unhealthy as to be nearly dead!

    I've just re-read it and enjoyed it as much as the first few times. Take a look.


    http://product.half.ebay.com/Heft-On...760988&tg=info

    humans can be so....rude

  2. #2
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Clever cover!

    I read the Amazon reviews and what a mix of opinions. I can't tell at all if I would like the book. I guess I'll give it a shot.

  3. #3
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    My opinion..... wasent the book I thought it would be. Wasent about the weight loss journey. Good idea of a book but not what I thought it would be. Just my opinion.

  4. #4
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Clever cover!

    I read the Amazon reviews and what a mix of opinions. I can't tell at all if I would like the book. I guess I'll give it a shot.
    I wouldn't say I found it full of objective information and advice, but it's entertaining, if nothing else. As an old alum of SIU-C, I particularly enjoyed reading about his life there.
    Last edited by CraigB; 10-02-11 at 05:25 AM.
    Craig in Indy

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Ah, it's time for the semi-monthly Heft on Wheels thread.

    ************
    My review from my old blog:

    http://historian2wheels.blogspot.com...ok-review.html

    Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180 by Mike Magnuson

    A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. For Mike Magnuson, it was worth more; it changed his life.

    Magnuson, a professor at Southern Illinois University and author of two novels, wrote an article for Gentleman's Quarterly on his love of cycling. Unfortunately for him, he agreed to pose naked on his road bike in a photo for the article. Years of beer, junk food, and smoking had plumped him up to 255 pounds. When the picture appeared in GQ, alongside his article, he was horrified. Not only because of the unflattering appearance he cut, but also because it made him seem he had written the piece "as a goof to make a couple of bucks....cycling's not a joke to me." Magnuson immediately attempted to restore his self-image by riding with his local club during inclement weather. But he hadn't reached bottom yet; while trying to climb a hill during the ride, a thunderstorm strikes, and the group sends a biker back to rescue Magnuson by letting him catch up and draft. After the ride, the author vows "I need to prove something out of this. Cycling's not a joke. I'm not a joke. I don't want to be a figure of fun. I'm not a fat man on a bike. I'm a real cyclist, and I'm hereafter going to do everything in my power to achieve my fullest potential on the bike..."

    Magnuson attacked his problems with his all. He quit smoking, gave up drinking, and lost 75 pounds in about three months. Heft on Wheels, however, isn't just about giving up your vices, nor is it just about the bike. Magnuson gets down to 175 pounds, participates in rides and a race, but the changes in him are more than just physical or a matter of experience. He questions his loss of his old unhealthy lifestyle. He questions the time he's devoted to his two-wheeled passion. He questions his goals: "What do I do now? Pedal up a mountain, because it's there?" These doubts and many others Magnuson struggled with are told in a simple, conversational prose style; even Magnuson's frequent references to literature, such as his comparison between dieting and Kafka's tale "The Hunger Artist", come across with the easy tone of a friend who just happens to be well-read. And this book could well be the friend of anyone who has undergone "a 180" from a harmful, life-sucking lifestyle, even if they don't ride a bike.

    *************

    BTW, people who sometimes wonder at my use of the phrase "real cyclist" now know I picked up the term from this book.

  6. #6
    Getting older and slower!
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    I was saddened to read his article in Bicycling (titled something like Whatever Happened to Greg Lemond) which indicated he had relapsed into his old habits and was on the skids again. Sad story. Lost the respect I had for him from reading his book.

    Here's the link: http://www.bicycling.com/news/featur...ed-greg-lemond
    Last edited by Cychologist; 09-29-11 at 10:08 AM. Reason: To add link

  7. #7
    not as fat as I was Biggziff's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Neil_B;13294553]Ah, it's time for the semi-monthly Heft on Wheels thread.

    Uh..ya...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cychologist View Post
    I was saddened to read his article in Bicycling (titled something like Whatever Happened to Greg Lemond) which indicated he had relapsed into his old habits and was on the skids again. Sad story. Lost the respect I had for him from reading his book.

    Here's the link: http://www.bicycling.com/news/featur...ed-greg-lemond
    Yep...people are people...Sucks to see someone fall back, but we all do it. At least some get to the point where there is somewhere to fall back from.
    humans can be so....rude

  8. #8
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Biggziff;13295137]
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Ah, it's time for the semi-monthly Heft on Wheels thread.

    Uh..ya...



    Yep...people are people...Sucks to see someone fall back, but we all do it. At least some get to the point where there is somewhere to fall back from.
    And it looks like he picked himself back up again.

  9. #9
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cychologist View Post
    I was saddened to read his article in Bicycling (titled something like Whatever Happened to Greg Lemond) which indicated he had relapsed into his old habits and was on the skids again. Sad story. Lost the respect I had for him from reading his book.

    Here's the link: http://www.bicycling.com/news/featur...ed-greg-lemond
    In retrospect I saw that the author could relapse into his old behavior. His first memoir, Lummox, was about a smart guy who drank, smoke, ate to excess, was perpetually broke, and would hump a rock if a snake were under it. ("Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.....") The problem with Heft on Wheels is that everyone, including the author, thought what he did was a 180. Far from it. He merely emphasized a different side of himself. And as soon as he got comfortable with the idea he's "turned away his former self", it came back. He cheated on his wife just like he cheated on women before he was married. The difference is that he was thinner this time.

    http://historian2wheels.blogspot.com...on-lummox.html

    In 2007 I wrote:

    After reading Lummox, I've reached the conclusion that, for most people who lose weight, there isn't a lifestyle change at all. Nor is the phrase "a 180", used in the subtitle of Heft on Wheels, an accurate description of Magnuson's life when he began to take bicycling seriously.

    The way the phrase "lifestyle change" is commonly used is to imply that there is a 100 percent alteration in the person. I myself have used it that way. And I was wrong to do so. It strikes me now that what I, and other people, were describing was a change of emphasis in the lifestyle, not the lifestyle itself. Magnuson is a good example; he always was a bicyclist, and in Lummox he writes of riding for 30 miles. He didn't change who he was by the time he wrote Heft on Wheels. He merely developed the bicyclist aspects of himself to a fuller potential. And part of developing that potential was dropping booze, smoking, and 80 pounds. In the course of doing that, he discovered he loved cycling more than his usual 'lummox' behavior.

    My own life also serves as an example of the change in emphasis. I've always loved to walk and hike. I enjoyed the outdoors. I was the fat kid hiking in the woods. By the time I reached 385 pounds, and long before then, I couldn't engage in those activities anymore. But they were always part of me. Losing weight has made them available to me once more, that's all. I walk and hike now because I enjoy walking and hiking more than I enjoyed being fat.

    What's more, all the bad habits that aided the process of constructing a 385 pound man are still in me. I am fully capable of turning into a human suction pump at the dinner table. Magnuson could turn up in the local bar any night, munching on pretzels between drags on his Camel. Both Magnuson and myself have shunted these bad habits from a place of prominence in our lives to the back of the closet. But they're still with us. And always will be.

  10. #10
    Senior Member redvespablur's Avatar
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    I like the book when I read it. It was not a 180. I thought it was a manic guy being manic about biking to the point of obsession as substitute for his manic drinking, smoking and self-destruction. He wrote a lot about himself for someone who seems to have no clue about himself. Good read but more of a cautionary tale than an inspiration. YMMV

  11. #11
    not as fat as I was Biggziff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redvespablur View Post
    I like the book when I read it. It was not a 180. I thought it was a manic guy being manic about biking to the point of obsession as substitute for his manic drinking, smoking and self-destruction. He wrote a lot about himself for someone who seems to have no clue about himself. Good read but more of a cautionary tale than an inspiration. YMMV
    and that, is what is so great about books. Each person's perspective allows them to see something different. Then if we discuss what we saw, others may get to see that there is more to it than what they initially thought.
    humans can be so....rude

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