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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-07-13, 09:18 AM   #1
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Push needs a push...

I thought about writing a blog post on this subject but decided I would pop in on the good old clyde forum this time around because I thought I might get more people that could relate, so here goes.

So, I have come from being a 534 pound completely inactive guy down to a 300 pound healthy fella (I am just shy of 6'5'' tall) riding 100 or so miles per week and now back up to a roughly 390-400 pound guy somewhere in between on the activity scale but leaning towards less. I use to blog to keep myself straight but alas, time is not something that I have the convenience of to sit back and write in my blog daily not to mention having my daughter (2 years old) to care for al day. I NEED to get back on the bike daily and yet I seem to be finding excuses as to why I don't do it...

I am completely engrossed in bikes/bike stuff with the spring here I work on old bikes and flip them for a little extra income, people that know me typically ask first "how's the riding?" or "How many bikes do you have now?" yet lately I would not say that I "ride" often enough. My daughter enjoys riding in the bike trailer and is old enough now for rides but still I find myself passing on taking a ride more times than not... there has been some how do I say? stressful road blocks in my life that demand my attention and they are definitely contributing to the weight gain as well as the lack of riding but when I get down to it that's just an excuse...

I love riding and anything bicycle related, waited all winter to get back out there regularly and here we are and I am not riding as much as I would like to be and its a motivation thing because of the other crap going on around me, so this is my dilemma, How do I get back into a groove riding regularly again? if I am being honest confidence is a part of it, confidence on my bikes handling my bigger self to a lesser form and confidence in general as I am a good amount bigger than when I as doing 20 some odd mile rides a couple times per week to relax, so drop some wisdom on me guys and gals and "just do it" doesn't seem to be working....

How do you get out of a funk and back in the saddle as it were?

sorry for the long post... when I began writing it was going to be short.

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Old 05-07-13, 09:27 AM   #2
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As far as getting back into riding, plan it out week by week. That helps a lot. Also challanging yourself with X amount of miles per week and per month is a wonderful way to set the goals. Use the monthly mile club thread and join in. Once you get a ride or two under your belt again, the love will infest you in a good way.

I commute a lot to work.... 80% of the time. Some weeks, I decide not to commute but I soon find the love for it. Some morning I want to sleep in and drive in but once I saddle up and hit the road, those feelings disapear 110%.

As far as losing weight goes, thats another tiger to tackle. A lot of it is won in the kitchen/what goes in your mouth, no so much riding per say.
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Old 05-07-13, 10:03 AM   #3
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You won't get no "just do it" or HTFU from me. It's hard! My "problem" started last November right when the time changed and it got cold at the same time. Some how, I was far enough ahead that I was able to meet my yearly goals ... barely. Since then, it has been difficult to get the motivation to get out there. My weight went up a bit and I was not happy with myself. When the time changed back the other month, which coincidentally, it started warming up at the same time, I noticed that I was five minutes slower on a loop I frequently ride. It is my benchmark ride to ascertain my fitness. Just a 15-mile loop with just under 1,000 feet of climbing. The goal is to ride that loop in one hour, and last year, I usually made it. I was just fast enough up the climb that I could maintain my "TT" mode on the long, slightly-downsloping run back into town to beat that one-hour goal. This Spring? The extra weight I'm packing has really slowed my climbing, and my times are off by five minutes.

I'm finally back into the riding mode, and what did it for me is that a member of the bike club here where I work sent out an e-mail about the endomondo National Bike Challenge, asking for riders to join the team and log their miles. The challenge is geared toward commuters, (a bike commuter I am not cause I live too far away), but they accept any cycling mileage. As of this morning, I am ranked #679 nationally out of 21,937 riders and #15 our of 927 riders locally (Southern California). In the Workplace category, we are currently fifth and I have the most mileage in our group, (however, I just got that last night).

What this has said to me is that the old religious idea of accountability has made the difference. Being accountable to someone is one of the most powerful motivators known. If you can find someone with whom you can regularly be accountable to ... just maybe you will re-gain the motivation to ride.

Good luck. It's not easy.
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Old 05-07-13, 10:08 AM   #4
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Set yourself a new challenge goal.
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Old 05-07-13, 10:25 AM   #5
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Find a riding partner. Accountability helps me a LOT.
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Old 05-07-13, 10:48 AM   #6
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Find a riding partner. Accountability helps me a LOT.
+1. Not only because of the accountability, but spending time with other humans is fun.

Go out and just ride. Just around the block if you want. Just ride and have fun.

Next winter, maybe get a trainer so you don't get as out-of-bike-shape (like, well, I did this winter - I bought a trainer, but not 'til the end of winter).
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Old 05-07-13, 10:52 AM   #7
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You can still have accountability even if you don't ride with someone else on a regular basis. My wife and I use Endomondo and we have a "team" setup with us and my cousin. We hardly ever ride together due to schedules and a child at home but we see each other's rides and talk about them. It adds a lot of "I need to ride 1 more mile so I can be at the top of the leaderboard" or "I need to find another hill to climb" to our individual rides.
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Old 05-07-13, 12:24 PM   #8
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Better yet, forget the trainer for winter, get some winter clothes and perhaps studded tires and ride in the winter.

Another option is start commuting a few days a week to work.
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Old 05-07-13, 12:28 PM   #9
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You can still have accountability even if you don't ride with someone else on a regular basis. My wife and I use Endomondo and we have a "team" setup with us and my cousin. We hardly ever ride together due to schedules and a child at home but we see each other's rides and talk about them. It adds a lot of "I need to ride 1 more mile so I can be at the top of the leaderboard" or "I need to find another hill to climb" to our individual rides.
i have endomo too and there is a thread in this section that will link you too other people who are riding little monthly or annual challenges. i also keep a spreadsheet and basically compete against my self. competition definitely helps.

i'm the same way. in fact i'm sitting here procrastinating my first ride of the day right now. my current excuse is i don't know where i want to ride. i'm waiting for my lock to get here today so i can go back to having a reward for a particularly long bike ride, like a snack or a new movie or something. but excuses are like armpits, and mine's not a good one.

honestly i just have to get to the garage. once i'm on the bike and riding, i'm happy, but for some reason i just don't want to show up. i start drinking water and stretching, then i change into riding clothes, and by the time i put on my shoes i'm pretty pumped.
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Old 05-07-13, 01:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for the support fellas, Chefisaac, I know all too well about the won in the kitchen thing! I honestly believe that's most of the fight when it comes to losing and keeping weight off and I gotta admit I lost my way there a bit unfortunately, and addressing your later comment, I have a cycleOps Fluid trainer, I use it throughout the winter on and off and was very excited for warmer weather but now that its here I have ridden way less than I would have liked to at this point in the year.

Volosong, I believe that may be a part of my problem, the accountability partner, I had a friend that I rode with almost every ride and he has since hurt his knee but there was no backing out of our weekend rides, we showed up at the given time and rode no matter what.

cplager, I did just that, I hooked up the trailer, tossed the little one in and did an easy 3 miles to a spot where I fish and we tossed the line in a few times (nothing but sunnys ) then back again, nice easy pace but one down the rest of the year to go

I am going to have to find my groove again because to be quite honest I am happiest when I am riding its just for whatever reason I seem to be making excuses lately and skipping rides instead of doing even a short ride to get my legs back a bit.

again, thanks for the support so far guys, it helps.
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Old 05-07-13, 01:45 PM   #11
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First of all, the past is over. What you could do weighing 100 lbs less doesn't apply to what you can do now. Do you think you can out-ride a bad diet? I proved to myself last year how bad an idea that is. First thing I did was go cold turkey on sweets. I held myself to 2500 or less calories for the 6 weeks it took to get rid of the cravings. Once they were gone, I now hold myself to 1800 max. Training volume is down to two one hour sessions of moderate exercise and one 2 hour session of very high intensity a week. On my non-training days I'm trying to be just a little more active than I was before. I don't have the endurance I had before. I'm not eating enough for metric centuries but I don't want to do them until I get back down to mini-clyde status if then.
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Old 05-07-13, 02:10 PM   #12
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I say decide who's the most important person in your life. Is it you? Get out and take care of yourself. If it's your daughter, you have to ask yourself how would she do if you died prematurely do heart failure or some other avoidable condition due to you not taking care of yourself, and then decide if taking care of yourself helps her as much as it helps you.

If you think of it in that regard, the decision actually ends up being pretty simple when some stressful situation appears.
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Old 05-07-13, 02:20 PM   #13
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I've got a "loop" around my house that's about 4 blocks square. It's basically 4 right turns and I'm back home.
Often, when I have a few minutes with nothing to do, I'll just hop on the bike and do "one more mile".
Often as not, instead of slowing down and making a turn into the driveway, I "let er rip" (impress the neighbors with my 'speed") and do a 2nd or 3rd.
My point is, the main thing is to get your butt on the bike for the 1st mile.
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Old 05-07-13, 02:20 PM   #14
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How do you get out of a funk and back in the saddle as it were?
I recently have been getting up early, like alarm goes off pre-6am and I am up and out in the saddle by 615 the last couple of days. While for some that sounds easy, for me I HATE mornings.

I have always had trouble getting up since I was young. I just shut and put up. Now I can't complain as I love the morning rides since there is little traffic, really pleasant and I get some time alone.
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Old 05-07-13, 02:54 PM   #15
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Jethro, got your link and will watch it tonight and honestly what you say makes sense, there is no way I can do what I use to at my current weight... and getting over that sooner than later is probably a good idea.

SeanBlader, it all makes sense and I agree 100%, in fact I have said it in my blog more than a few times, ty for the reminder.

Bill Kapaun, I have a couple short loops like that and think that's a grand idea, perhaps adding a nightly ride on one of the shorter loops until I build some stamina back is what I need.

Chitown _Mike, I feel you on the hating mornings... I prefer night time rides, just as it gets dark and starts getting cool, I live on a lake so sometimes I will toss the lights on the bike and head out for a quick ride on my "workout loop" as I like to call it, I don't know if I would fare all too well on that loop in my current position hmmm perhaps I should test the theory out.
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Old 05-07-13, 03:07 PM   #16
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I use group rides for motivation. I'll pick a ride that is a stretch, speed wise, for me. Once it goes on my calendar I've got to train for it as to not get dropped or let the group down. Usually the rides are on a Saturday and I know Monday that I've got to put the effort in during the week.
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Old 05-07-13, 04:45 PM   #17
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So many of these things have already been mentioned. But, my magic formula is a combination of:

-Accountability and regularity = We (Mrs. Fred and I) have a scheduled Thursday evening spin session in the garage at a fixed time. This includes an open invite to a number of cycling friends who may show up with or without prior notice, so it's important we're there and ready to roll at the appointed time.

-Accessibility = I have a 10km loop starting at and never more than 2.5 km from the house. If I'm short on time, or, just not sure how long a ride I'm good for, I can always hop on the bike and start around the loop. Sometimes I don't complete an entire loop, other times I end up doing 40km almost within sight of the house.

-Socialization- I ride almost every Saturday morning with a group that starts from a local parking lot. Mrs. Fred and I also joined a local Vets club and I occassionally ride on Tuesdays or Thursdays with another group (that includes a lot of riders from either of the aforementioned). Don't show up at anything for more than a week or two and its likely I'll get a call from one or more guys to enquire how I am and what's up.

-Enter an Event = Having an event to train for is a great motivator for me. As soon as I complete one, I make sure I have another to look forward to. It gives me another reason to want to get on the bike and out the door.

-Making it public= Back to accountability. I don't hesitate to tell friends what I have planned.

That's what works for me. My solution is not a single thing but more a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Just like my employment, I keep looking for ways to eliminate all the excuses for things not happening.
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Old 05-07-13, 04:59 PM   #18
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I thought about writing a blog post on this subject but decided I would pop in on the good old clyde forum this time around because I thought I might get more people that could relate, so here goes.

So, I have come from being a 534 pound completely inactive guy down to a 300 pound healthy fella (I am just shy of 6'5'' tall) riding 100 or so miles per week and now back up to a roughly 390-400 pound guy somewhere in between on the activity scale but leaning towards less. I use to blog to keep myself straight but alas, time is not something that I have the convenience of to sit back and write in my blog daily not to mention having my daughter (2 years old) to care for al day. I NEED to get back on the bike daily and yet I seem to be finding excuses as to why I don't do it...

I am completely engrossed in bikes/bike stuff with the spring here I work on old bikes and flip them for a little extra income, people that know me typically ask first "how's the riding?" or "How many bikes do you have now?" yet lately I would not say that I "ride" often enough. My daughter enjoys riding in the bike trailer and is old enough now for rides but still I find myself passing on taking a ride more times than not... there has been some how do I say? stressful road blocks in my life that demand my attention and they are definitely contributing to the weight gain as well as the lack of riding but when I get down to it that's just an excuse...

I love riding and anything bicycle related, waited all winter to get back out there regularly and here we are and I am not riding as much as I would like to be and its a motivation thing because of the other crap going on around me, so this is my dilemma, How do I get back into a groove riding regularly again? if I am being honest confidence is a part of it, confidence on my bikes handling my bigger self to a lesser form and confidence in general as I am a good amount bigger than when I as doing 20 some odd mile rides a couple times per week to relax, so drop some wisdom on me guys and gals and "just do it" doesn't seem to be working....

How do you get out of a funk and back in the saddle as it were?

sorry for the long post... when I began writing it was going to be short.

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Looks like "Stella needs her groove back."

What it sounds like to me is that you just simply need to do something a little bit different instead of the same routine. Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery and a "new rush." If you're finding the your motivation for road biking to be lacking, get yourself a cheap MTB, hit some trails, and have a blast. You'll not only be focused on the ride instead of the stresses in your life, but you'll feel great after conquering some obstacles.

Two years ago my wife and I were just simply in a funk and just not motivated for anything. We took three or four rides for the entire season of '11. For '12 we determined we were gonna pick it up but wound up in a car accident and losing our MTBs. It was a bad wreck and that prematurely ended our '12 season before it even got started.

Fast-forward to this year. Since last year I've been dying to get back on an MTB and sail down some hills. We finally got replacement MTBs in February and we've been going for rides whenever time allows. Rachel's work schedule differs so I get a few more miles in than she does but when possible, I wait for her to get home from work and then we both ride. Most of our time together is spent along the C&O Canal, which is basically a gravel/mud/light rock path but we've been out MTBing a few times this year.

We have road bikes and they just don't cut it for us any longer. Neither of us have much interest at all in riding them as we don't ride on public roads and the bike path by our house just sucks, for the lack of better terms. It's basically just a slab of asphalt in the middle of a lot of acreage and there aren't any trees whatsoever. It makes for a very miserable riding experience during the summer months.

What you need to do is think about where your heart is when it comes to biking. What do you wanna do on your bike? What do you wanna accomplish? What's going to give you that rush you're looking for?
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Old 05-08-13, 07:19 AM   #19
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Set yourself a new challenge goal.
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Find a riding partner. Accountability helps me a LOT.
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Originally Posted by DaveSC View Post
You can still have accountability even if you don't ride with someone else on a regular basis. My wife and I use Endomondo and we have a "team" setup with us and my cousin. We hardly ever ride together due to schedules and a child at home but we see each other's rides and talk about them. It adds a lot of "I need to ride 1 more mile so I can be at the top of the leaderboard" or "I need to find another hill to climb" to our individual rides.
These three suggestions are great ones.

I use runkeeper, and make sure I post it to Facebook. Then, when I don't go, I feel guilty, and need to explain why. Which means I hop back on sooner.
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Old 05-08-13, 08:33 AM   #20
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Well, I have to completely disagree, and perhaps there is something useful for someone in my comment.

If riding is your magic bullet for weight loss it's only a matter of time before this plan backfires. Weight loss is about lifestyle change, not one activity that is intended to overcome the problems you create for yourself the rest of the day. Sort of like an athlete that tries to get in shape by playing their one sport hard - every coach knows that a recipe for disaster; you get your overall fitness down to play your sport at a higher level and with more joy. If you make your bike riding the one thing in your life that forces you to deal with your weight of course you are going to find reasons to avoid it, and you can't rationalize your subconscious.

I suggest you look at bike riding as an opportunity for experiencing a little joy and freedom; forget about schedules, goals and forcing yourself to play along. For weight loss, look at the rest of your day and make some changes. Then the effort you make on your rides will be bonus points, not desperation points.

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Old 05-08-13, 09:40 AM   #21
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First of all, the past is over. What you could do weighing 100 lbs less doesn't apply to what you can do now. Do you think you can out-ride a bad diet? I proved to myself last year how bad an idea that is. First thing I did was go cold turkey on sweets. I held myself to 2500 or less calories for the 6 weeks it took to get rid of the cravings. Once they were gone, I now hold myself to 1800 max. Training volume is down to two one hour sessions of moderate exercise and one 2 hour session of very high intensity a week. On my non-training days I'm trying to be just a little more active than I was before. I don't have the endurance I had before. I'm not eating enough for metric centuries but I don't want to do them until I get back down to mini-clyde status if then.
I think that bolded part is my issue the more I think about it. Feeling like I should be moving down the trail and covering my 20 mile Sunday ride when in actuality a part of that same trail (6 miles or so) I am feeling it as if I just did that same 20 right now. I have a feeling I need to build back up to that slowly and I don't like the taste of that but sometimes ya gotta eat whats on your plate no matter what it is eh?
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Old 05-08-13, 09:49 AM   #22
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Well, I have to completely disagree, and perhaps there is something useful for someone in my comment.

If riding is your magic bullet for weight loss it's only a matter of time before this plan backfires. Weight loss is about lifestyle change, not one activity that is intended to overcome the problems you create for yourself the rest of the day. Sort of like an athlete that tries to get in shape by playing their one sport hard - every coach knows that a recipe for disaster; you get your overall fitness down to play your sport at a higher level and with more joy. If you make your bike riding the one thing in your life that forces you to deal with your weight of course you are going to find reasons to avoid it, and you can't rationalize your subconscious.

I suggest you look at bike riding as an opportunity for experiencing a little joy and freedom; forget about schedules, goals and forcing yourself to play along. For weight loss, look at the rest of your day and make some changes. Then the effort you make on your rides will be bonus points, not desperation points.
FrenchFit, Biking was a byproduct of my weight loss, I didn't start riding until I had lost a bunch of weight (stationary bike during the initial loss) and riding became my love, it is my preferred form of exercise but I also walk and do calisthenics etc, biking is almost like my me time its just lately (and I think its because I am way heavier currently) I am not riding as much as I should/could/want to be and cannot figure out why. When I am on the bike there is no where else I want to be, its always been that way, I am having issues getting onto the bike as of late and looking for some ideas on how to as another poster put it help Stella get her groove back....
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Old 05-08-13, 10:04 AM   #23
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FrenchFit, Biking was a byproduct of my weight loss, I didn't start riding until I had lost a bunch of weight (stationary bike during the initial loss) and riding became my love, it is my preferred form of exercise but I also walk and do calisthenics etc, biking is almost like my me time its just lately (and I think its because I am way heavier currently) I am not riding as much as I should/could/want to be and cannot figure out why. When I am on the bike there is no where else I want to be, its always been that way, I am having issues getting onto the bike as of late and looking for some ideas on how to as another poster put it help Stella get her groove back....
I have something of the same background. I didn't teach myself to ride a bike until I'd lost 125 pounds.

Anyway, despite the opinions of a couple folks here, there's nothing wrong with setting the bikes aside for a period of time.
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Old 05-08-13, 10:12 AM   #24
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Another "motivation" I use is upgrades.
Skinnier tires for the hybrid- Have to try them out.
Ergon grips- ditto.
This Winter I was laid up with a broken leg (tib & fib w/ "intermeduallary nailing of the tibia")
For something to do, I built myself new wheels. 8 wheels and I only have 2 bikes
I really have to do a lot of riding to justify those!
The first day I was able to walk without the "boot", I got on the bike. It was about 6 blocks, but it'd been 5 months since I was physically able to ride. I had to use the curb to step on to the bike and step off.
I had gotten into a "bike funk" last year, after having ridden quite a few miles (for me) the previous year. NOT being able to get on the bike changed my attitude!
It's also helping me "rehab" my knee & ankle. Biking doesn't hurt, but walking does.

BTW- My avatar is the first day without the boot.

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Old 05-08-13, 10:37 AM   #25
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Well, I have to completely disagree, and perhaps there is something useful for someone in my comment.

If riding is your magic bullet for weight loss it's only a matter of time before this plan backfires. Weight loss is about lifestyle change, not one activity that is intended to overcome the problems you create for yourself the rest of the day. Sort of like an athlete that tries to get in shape by playing their one sport hard - every coach knows that a recipe for disaster; you get your overall fitness down to play your sport at a higher level and with more joy. If you make your bike riding the one thing in your life that forces you to deal with your weight of course you are going to find reasons to avoid it, and you can't rationalize your subconscious.

I suggest you look at bike riding as an opportunity for experiencing a little joy and freedom; forget about schedules, goals and forcing yourself to play along. For weight loss, look at the rest of your day and make some changes. Then the effort you make on your rides will be bonus points, not desperation points.

This has been my experience over the years. To quote a certain disgraced retired cyclist, its not about the bike. Biking for me ebbs and flows, as it does apparently for you. My greatest control over my weight has come not so much from biking as from committing to an overall diet and exercise routine that isn't dependant on my committment to a single physical activity. I have gone through stretches where I rode pretty regularly and actually gained weight, and other stretches where I maintained, then stopped riding and rapidly gained. If you regained 100 lbs, something other than lack of motivation is going on. You need to figure out what that is. Once you do (and the lbs.start to come off again(, the motivation to ride will return.

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