Howdy folks. Since you have a forum subsection just for me, I decided to join. I'll give you my intro here and let this be a place for me to post some progress hopefully.
My intro first is, bought a cheap Walmart bike back in 2005 when I bought my daughter her first bike so I could take her up on the rails-to-trails around here. It's a junk Mongoose mountain bike with full suspension. Hate the rear suspension. I'm sure most of you know how it sucks power out of your peddling when it compresses.
Anyways, I still have that bike. It's in terrible shape. I can't get the front derailleur to go on the largest ring, but that's not much of a concern with me for now since I'll be riding pretty much uphill constantly on the road behind my house rather than flat bike trail. It is terribly embarrassing emitting an extremely high pitch squeal every time I touched the brakes. I sounded like the biggest herd of geese you'd ever come across any time I had to brake, LOL. Searching the net I was able to fix that last night with shimming the trailing edge of the pads before tightening. They are quiet as can be. My now 5' 4" 12 year old daughter who was riding the 8" bike with training wheels when I bought this bike is happy about the sound now that she rides my 26" bike around the yard with her sister.
So, yeah, crappy bike and I'm sharing it with my daughter because it seems that everyone on the internet is richer than I am. I don't have the cash for a decent bike or the cash to get my daughter her own decent bike since she long ago outgrew her 16" Wallyworld BMX style girl bike. My 9 yr old is now riding that one.
I rode the bike by myself once way back in 2005 when I first got it. Since then, it's been family riding with the girls on the bike trail, at usually about 5 mph with me and the oldest riding ahead and the youngest on training wheels riding while Mom walked. We actually haven't been on the bike trail in quite a few years since we don't have enough bikes.
So enough about my crappy bike, now about me and why I'm in this section. Over the years it seemed that I would gain 3 pounds every Christmas. I have 2 weeks off of work over Christmas and with my job, I have to stand on a scale and hang a material bag about every hour. So I saw my weight every hour. It stayed consistent every hour all year until coming back to work over Christmas. This past year just for a joke to a long time friend who does our scale calibrations, I called him telling him that the scale was messed up. He trudges up with his cart of weights and goes through the verification and deems it fine. I tell him, no it's not as I step on the scale. Look, 247 and before Christmas it was reading 245! He got a good laugh out of me dragging him up there for that.
So there it is, I was 247. Some of that was actually throughout last year because after Christmas 2011, I was 235. I've been begging Wifey to stop buying junk food for the kids because I have no will power while she is at work in the evenings and I eat it. I don't know what clicked in her because she quit buying the junk food and started riding her exercise bike in the basement. She was riding it for a while and started seeing 1 pound per day loss. I can't go down in the damp basement and ride a stupid exercise bike so I was trying to come up with something to do. I live out in the middle of nowhere and she is at work every evening. If I took the bike to the bike trail, the kids would want to come and that wouldn't be the exercise I want. That and I only have 2 bikes and no way of hauling more than that with my bike carrier on my car (no money, remember, so it's a hand-me-down carrier.)
Now a coworker went out and bought a $500 bike 3 years ago and always talked about wanting to start riding it. I also talked about wanting to ride my bike. It was always just talk though. Well, this year, he started riding his on the bike trail by his house. He didn't really need to lose weight like I certainly do, but he started losing weight. He was jumping on my scale at work every morning and he said when he reaches 170 lb, he's done. He hates it. He forces himself to ride every day. I think he is losing a pound every day.
That takes me to where I currently am. We have a wellness check at work every year in November, my triglycerides are through the roof. I'll just put them up here for info, not ashamed to do that, the were 450 two years ago. At that time I stopped drinking my two 12 oz cans of Pepsi every day. I still need my caffeine in the morning and don't drink coffee, so I started brewing and drinking ice tea in the mornings. I drink water the rest of the day and all day (lots of water, it is 115° in the plant at 99% humidity in the summers.) Last November my triglycerides were down a bit at 375. That's when I was looking at the cereal boxes and saw that even the "good" cereals had the same amount of sugar as the "bad" cereals. I told my wife just to buy me Cheerios. I eat a bowl of cereal every day for breakfast before getting ready for work and now I've been eating Cheerios every morning since November. Also, like I said, Wifey quit buying the junk food so I'm not eating that much any more. For regular meals, we eat almost all organic, nothing processed, and even have our own grass fed, rotationally grazed, home raised beef (father-in-law) and chicken.
So about the beginning of summer, I decided to at least start doing some pushups or something. I knew from history, every time I would break out the weight set, I would lift weights for a few weeks and quickly taper off. I figured I would force myself to do pushups. I have an app on my phone for the 100 pushup challenge (google for that if you don't know what it is, get you to be able to do 100 pushups straight in 6 weeks.) So I forced myself to do pushups doing about 10 per set for 5 sets. That's all I can do. In fact, I had this app for a long time and started them before, but like weight lifting, I found something better to do or something else that needed done around the house to skip here and there and eventually gave up on them. Well, I started the app where I left off, but couldn't do that many, so forced myself for a few weeks until finally I saw some results. After a few weeks of doing pushups, I could feel and even see a difference in my arms and chest. Lets just say there's something underneath the man boobs now, LOL. I can now slightly flex and get them to move like the wrestlers on TV do, LOL. My posture is better as I can feel that I've strengthened up the core. I lost a bit of weight even with the better eating and doing the pushups and I'm now 235 as opposed to post Christmas 247. I've been stuck at 235 though for quite a while while my wife continues to lose a pound a day.
So here I am. We were talking about the bikes at work again and I decided to just jump on mine and ride down the road. Wednesday I headed out in the evening. I'm in north western PA, so it is nothing but hills around me. I was stuck with the middle gear on the front. Behind my house is the only place I can go aside from ending up on the bike trails with the kids. Any other area to get to on the bike I would have to ride out with 70 mph traffic. So off behind my house I go. Immediately I am coasting down hill on my gravel road at almost 30 mph, way faster than I could possibly peddle this bike. Then at the bottom it is immediately up hill to where it hits the real road behind the house. Well, that is also up hill, up hill forever. So I'm down in the lowest gear I can go and I start peddling. I got 3/4 of the way up and I couldn't do it any more. I nearly fell over when I stopped and got off the bike. Legs were like rubber, worse than rubber. I got off and literally had to lean on the bike to stay up. I walked the rest of the way thinking it was flat at the top. Nope, it's downhill again and immediately up hill. There isn't a single flat spot on any road around me. So down I coast at near 30 mph to the bottom and start peddling and reducing gears for the next hill. I peddled up that one, coasted the next, and peddle up again. At this point, I'm not very far from the house but I'm exhausted.
I saw the next downhill and it went on forever. If I go down this one, I'll have to peddle back up on the way back so thought this was a good place to turn around. Its only in the 60's, low humidity, and yet I look like I just stepped out of the swimming pool with my clothes on. I'm drenched. So I head back and do all right until I have to get back up the last gravel road. This is probably the longest and steepest part. Took me forever but I huffed and puffed up the hill without stopping all the way finally to my road and home. Boy, it was much easier coasting 30 mph down it at the beginning, LOL.
So that was Wednesday, my first real ride. I pulled my phone out to check the app I have for gps mapping. I rode 3.66 miles and took me 34:29 minutes. I think walking up the one hill was only 2.5 minutes of non-riding. Top speed coasting was 27.49 mph and my average moving speed was 6.87 mph. The largest grade I went up was 16%. That was probably the one I walked the last 1/4 of.
So when I got back and after a shower, I figured I'd work on the bike. The front brakes you could hear the squeal for miles, the back brakes do nothing. I tried to adjust them and I can't get the squeal out. I worked on the rear derailleur and got it working nice. Front derailleur I got to move to the smallest chainring but can't get it on the biggest. I think I just need to replace the cable, it's been on there since 2005 and when I try to tighten it, it still slips because of the kink going around the bolt that's been there for 8 years.
Thursday, I just wanted to go for a short ride just to check out some of the adjustments. Before that, I took the pads off the brakes and readjusted them shimming the trailing edge like I read on the net. Squeal is gone! They are quiet as can be. I also got it to go on the largest chainring though it takes many revolutions of the peddles and a lot of force on the twist shifter to get it there. I won't be using that ring anyways riding behind my house.
So my short ride was down the gravel road, turn around and back up the hill. Much easier on the smallest chainring. I was in the lowest gear I could go and pulled my phone out of my pocket to check. 2 mph! I'm flying! LOL Well, I'm not concerned with speed. My coworker is riding flat bike trails and he is always giving me his speed progress. I'm doing practically nothing but uphill since I can't peddle fast enough with the coasting downhill speed, so 2 mph is just fine for me. I'm working my tail off climbing these hills at 2 mph and that is what I'm concerned about, working, not how fast I can go.
Well, there's my story. I didn't ride last night, did my pushups instead of which I increased what I was doing. So I'll give my starting weight at 235 when I started riding the bike. I was going to pack up and go out to the bike trail this morning before everyone got up, but figured I didn't want to kill myself first thing. We are heading out to the lake for the annual regatta and I don't want to be exhausted all day. I'll ride my back roads tonight when we get home.
My goal is from 235 and get to 200 and I'll be happy. We'll see what happens after that. Unlike my coworker who hates it and forces himself to ride, I actually like it. I've always wanted to start riding but never did. Now I just wish I had a much better bike than the Wallyworld job.