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  1. #26
    Catching Smallmouth BradH's Avatar
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    Like you, I had a 20+ year break in biking. There's a reason people say "It's like riding a bike" when they refer to something you can't forget how to do. After a few rides it will be like you never quit. I don't fall often but I've had a bike squirt out from under me on ice a few times. As long as you don't stick your elbow out or make other instinctive attempts to stop your fall you'll be fine. Keep your elbows pinned to your side, feet on the pedals, hands on the bars and ride the bike to the ground. A helmet will keep you from banging your head. Gloves keep your hands from getting cut up. Get up, brush yourself off, laugh, continue riding.
    Internet Forums. Making simple tasks complicated since 1995.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathofwrath View Post
    So, I'm curious about how to re-learn biking. I haven't been on a bike since sophomore year of high school. That was 95/96, so nearly 20 years. I'm super concerned about balance. At my size (somewhere above 550#), falls hurt a lot.
    Honestly once you are moving it takes some doing to fall off a bike, they are naturally stable in motion really, where it gets tricky is riding very very slow. Sure you can make some violent handlebar movement at 10 mph and go down but if you let go of the bars on most bikes you can steer them by slightly leaning as long as you are in motion.

  3. #28
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathofwrath View Post
    So, I'm curious about how to re-learn biking. I haven't been on a bike since sophomore year of high school. That was 95/96, so nearly 20 years. I'm super concerned about balance. At my size (somewhere above 550#), falls hurt a lot.

    You'll still be able to balance on a bike. It might take a block or two to get the wobbly feeling gone. Test your brakes a few times before you try going down any hills, it may take you a little longer to stop than it used to. Also get the feel of going around corners before you try that really fast because your center of gravity on a bike may have changed since the last time you rode. The only real difference for me, going from average plus-sized the last time I rode a bike just after high school, to much heavier 20+ years later ( I'm 5'3" and was about 410 at my heaviest), was that I had a lot of belly in the way and it felt like my belly and my thighs were fighting each other for space as I pedaled. That gets easier as a little of the weight comes off, pretty soon after you start riding every day. Wear a helmet (always) and be careful if you ride in baggy shorts that they don't get wrapped around the saddle when you're getting off the bike.

    One thing I've noticed starting out as a very heavy rider is that now that I've lost 130lbs, riding my bike feels like flying because my legs are used to pushing much more of me up the hills. It's funny to see people's faces as the fat lady on the pink cruiser flies past them on the uphills.

  4. #29
    Senior Member WVU_Engineer's Avatar
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    Good luck!

    The only thing that matters is that you love your bike.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVU_Engineer View Post

    The only thing that matters is that you love your bike.
    Unfortunately, loving the bike isn't enough to burn calories. Unless you mean something different when you say to "love your bike"...

  6. #31
    Senior Member WVU_Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathofwrath View Post
    Unfortunately, loving the bike isn't enough to burn calories. Unless you mean something different when you say to "love your bike"...
    Not really, it was a response to all the "You should get this instead" type comments you see to people on here.

    But if you love it, you will ride it more. Good luck man, hope you achieve your goal.

  7. #32
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    After a week of being a bike owner, I finally actually rode it! I rode from the front part of my parking lot to the back of it a couple of times. I didn't fall. My wife was super happy about it. As am I. At some point I'll brave practicing in daylight, but I'm not there quite yet. Wife took a couple pictures of me with the bike: one on, one not.

    V6TQV9jl.jpg1f1GkzKl.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #33
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathofwrath View Post
    After a week of being a bike owner, I finally actually rode it! I rode from the front part of my parking lot to the back of it a couple of times. I didn't fall. My wife was super happy about it. As am I. At some point I'll brave practicing in daylight, but I'm not there quite yet. Wife took a couple pictures of me with the bike: one on, one not.

    V6TQV9jl.jpg1f1GkzKl.jpg
    Good for you! And don't worry about daylight, there may be some negative comments but you will soon be able to steer with one hand and fully utilize the middle finger on the other hand. And you'll get more positive comments, comments that will surprise you. I felt like I looked ridiculous on my bike and I tried to time my rides so I wasn't going past the bus stops with 50 high school kids at them, but then random people started telling me how great they thought it was that I was out there exercising and that they could tell it was working for me, and other larger people started asking where to get a bike that fit them, or wanting to try my bike. So the positive outweighed the negative over time. And it's a lot easier not to fall down when it's daylight.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi View Post
    Good for you! And don't worry about daylight, there may be some negative comments but you will soon be able to steer with one hand and fully utilize the middle finger on the other hand. And you'll get more positive comments, comments that will surprise you. I felt like I looked ridiculous on my bike and I tried to time my rides so I wasn't going past the bus stops with 50 high school kids at them, but then random people started telling me how great they thought it was that I was out there exercising and that they could tell it was working for me, and other larger people started asking where to get a bike that fit them, or wanting to try my bike. So the positive outweighed the negative over time. And it's a lot easier not to fall down when it's daylight.
    And anyone who is negative, well that really means there's something seriously wrong with them. Sort of their way of shouting: "Hey World! I'm an @$$wh0l3!"....

  10. #35
    Senior Member Nikon shooter's Avatar
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    Great for you. I worry about some of the same things as you. I'm a lot bigger now than when I used to ride over 20 years ago. I just started back riding this week. All we can do is hang in there and keep pedaling. If I pass you on the road, I'll give you a wave and a thumbs up.

    keith

  11. #36
    Junior Member
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    Large Fella is not blogging any more but he left what he had up. It chronicles his path from 500lbs.

    Large Fella on a Bike

  12. #37
    Senior Member Nikon shooter's Avatar
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    Thanks Gorilla. Great blog.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathofwrath View Post
    After a week of being a bike owner, I finally actually rode it! I rode from the front part of my parking lot to the back of it a couple of times. I didn't fall. My wife was super happy about it. As am I. At some point I'll brave practicing in daylight, but I'm not there quite yet. Wife took a couple pictures of me with the bike: one on, one not.

    V6TQV9jl.jpg1f1GkzKl.jpg
    Fantastic that you've begun. I dropped from 400 to 250 some years ago. In my view, it's important to start small and to be realistic. Begin with 3-5 mile rides (or even shorter). It may not sound like much, but by easing into things, you will suffer fewer annoying injuries. It's tough to get on the bike when a long ride has made your backside sore. And don't worry about what people think, because after a while, they'll think, "That guy's getting' it done!" You will feel such a sense if pride as the pounds drop away. Of course, you'll have to make lifestyle changes. For me, that meant no booze, no ice-cream, and one burger instead of three.

    All success to you!

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