Iíve been lurking here for a couple of months and finally registered a few weeks ago so I guess itís time to introduce myself. Iím old (55) and fat (274 down from 298 a year ago) and am planning to get back on a bike after nearly twenty yearsí absence. As a child of the small-town fifties, I grew up on a bike. We went everywhere on them! I continued to ride in high school moving up to a ten speed ďEnglish racerĒ and regularly rode twenty to thirty mile loops in the rural areas around my home town. In college I used my bike to commute to campus and around town so I could find a place to park. After college my wife and I rode in Germany around our town and along the bike paths beside the Nidda river. After moving to Augusta Georgia we would take the whole family on rides along the old levee and would take our bikes on vacations with us. In 1993 we moved back to my hometown in Alabama and I continued to ride for about a year. Then the kids got big enough to have their own schedules with music lessons and soccer practices and scouts and everything else. I was coaching and helping with the scout troop and somehow the bike just got shoved in the corner of the garage. I put on nearly a hundred pounds and developed heart disease.
Last August my cardiologist found that I had developed a mild ascending aortic aneurism and that inspired me to actually do something about it. The doctor firmly believes that if I lose weight and improve my fitness thereís a very real chance that weíll never have to do anything about the aneurism. Iíve eliminated almost all white stuff from my diet. No white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugar, etc., basically nothing high on the glycemic index. It seems to be working, Iíve lost twenty four pounds in twelve months. Iím comfortable with that rate and hope to continue it for the next couple of years. My goal is to end up somewhere south of two hundred. I also slowly started increasing my physical activity. About three months ago I started getting up early three days a week and walking briskly for a couple of miles. The brisk walking has turned into a mixture of walking and jogging and the distance is increasing by a couple of blocks every few weeks. Iím at the point where I need to add more activity to keep pushing my fitness level but Iím afraid to add days of walking/jogging because I have a nasty history of shin splints so Iím planning to get back on the bike. Iíve been riding an exercise bike a couple of times a week to try to prepare.
My middle son borrowed my bike a few years ago and used it as a commuter in Nashville for four years until he replaced it with a fixed gear a couple of years ago. Since then it has been stored. Iím almost afraid to see what kind of shape itís in but Iím going to drag it home this weekend and see if it is salvageable. I really hope it is because I loved that bike. It is a 1990 Schwinn Crosscut and fit me really well.
Iíve enjoyed going back through some of the posts both on the Clydes and the Fifty+ forums and finding lots of folks with similar issues. Many of them have been truly inspirational. For the next little while I will probably be a consumer of the wisdom of the group. Hopefully, with time, I can become a contributor.
Happy Hump Day!