A week ago today, I took my bike out into the parking lot of my apartment complex and made my first attempts to ride in many, many years. I'm 53 and was 260 lbs that day. (Today I'm down to 255 - yay!) In my first attempt to pedal instead of coast, I didn't have the momentum and ended up crashing into a wooden carport post. Got a few bruises, then went back and tried again.
In a week's time, I've gone from wobbling around the parking lot to, yesterday, making my first ride on a street. A busy street at that. I had little choice. My car broke down and I needed to get to the store, which is about a mile away. I became winded easily and alternately rode and walked the bike. It was a great feeling of accomplishment, yet today I feel let down after riding around the parking lot and still not having the strength to ride for more than a few minutes without resting or just walking the bike along. This is not a hilly town, but I can't manage the slightest inclines.
I'll admit my bike (for now, until I can afford a better one) is a $129.99 Schwinn cruiser from Target. Would a bike with gears have made my life easier, or do I just need to be patient at building up strength? I've got the tires pumped up to the recommended PSI, the chain is freshly lubed, and when I'm seated, I can touch my toes on the ground. (I'm 5'2")
Whatever it takes, I'll keep going. I keep looking at my humble little Schwinn, which is parked in my living room, and I'm itching to get it outside again!