Just keep pedaling. It will do amazing things for your mind and body. You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Just keep turning the pedals.
"It never gets easier, you just go faster" - Greg LeMond.
10 Wheels, get off your high horse.
This is not the first time a first-time poster has come in and detailed what really are fanciful ideas. Those of us who have been around a while want to find out if they are (a) just trolling (b) just misguided or are (c) just committed but unaware of what lies ahead.
Sometime there has to be a griiling to draw out what the poster actually knows and their motivations.
We've done this with moose, and along the way there has been worthwhile advice given. Which, very much to moose's credit, he has taken on board.
And do you know what happens then, 10 Wheels? Moose will likely come back here again and again asking for advice which we will freely give, because we know he will consider it and shape his future based on it.
I say good on him. Bravo. He should now know that there is a valuable resource here and in the Clydesdale and Athena forum that can help achieve his dream.
Like my little motto says: Dream, Dare, Do. Moose has the dream, he's dared to go for his first ride, and now he is on the way to doing it.
And that is why we care.
Dream. Dare. Do.
Well done, Moose!
IT may not always feel like it, but just keep moving and that is an accomplishment - sometimes it is the wind, or a hill, and sometimes it is our own bodies or, most often, minds that hold us back.
For what its worth when I started riding there was a hill that I would stop and puke halfway up, then walk the rest. Then one day after puking I got back on the bike and rode to the top, where I dry heaved for a long time. And I did it again and again till I eventualy just threw up at the top, then again and again till I only dry heaved at the top, and now I can ride that hill with only a little pissing and moaning.
Moose, I've read this whole post up to this point. Very interesting, and I'm proud of you - not only for getting on the bike and trying it, but for asking the questions, listening to our answers, learning from them, and sticking with this whole thing. I'll agree with those who say to get out again and do it tomorrow, and the next day, etc., but remember to throw in a rest day sometime. Very few of us can ride (our maximum) 7 days a week, or 14 times in two weeks. You need to not only plan to keep going, but plan rest and recovery time also. Keep us all posted on your progress, and keep asking questions.
I shall relay some stories that may be informative.
An internet acquaintence decided to do a summertime tour of Route 66. He already did quite a bit of cycling, and was in reasonable shape for it. He planned it for weeks, had his whole summer schedule planned around that tour. He got out on the first day of the tour, almost had heat stroke, and had to call the whole thing off. The lesson to be learned there is that on a longer harder tour, even if you do things right and plan well, it may still be a challenge to complete. Cycling across the country is a noble ambition, but not a trivial one. If it's worth doing, it's worth spending a year or two years planning and preparing for. Part of that planning an preparation ought to be getting in shape to do it, and the time to start that is now.
For a couple of years, I was riding a Worksman industrial cruiser. I got started doing some bike rallies, and then got intrigued by randonneuring. So I had a go at it. I did a 100k randonneuring ride on that bike. It was slow, but I finished okay. So I tried a 170k ride. It was rough, but I got 'er done. So I tried a 200k. And got it done okay. Cool, I thought, I've got this down. Then, I tried another 200k. I got halfway through, got overheated, had a flat tire, and missed my deadline, and had to call it off. I tried again, got 2/3 of the way through, and had leg cramps so bad, I had to call it off. That was very discouraging. But I did get some advice from one of my fellow randonneurs. That advice was, if you're marginal to get the job done anyway, then you want to stack everything in your favor, not have stuff stacked against you. So applying that to riding across the country- could I do that? I think so. But if I need to lose weight, I'd do that first and get it out of the way. Need a better faster bike? Buy it first, get used to it. Need experience touring or navigating or camping? Do that first, get used to it. Get everything stacked in your favor, and by golly, you'll go ride across the country. Stack everything against you, and no, it won't happen.
And lastly, a wild hair of my own. I got started on the randonneuring, kind of on the spur of the moment signed up for a 1200k ride. Well, as it turned out, there were 8 or 10 other local riders signed up for the same ride, we had 5 months or so to prepare, so by golly, we got out and RODE. That was riding through the week, and riding long rides every single weekend until the big ride. Even at that, it was very challenging for me. I had knee problems that I didn't anticipate, had hand numbness and hot foot that I didn't anticipate. So being reasonably fit, and trying to prepare several months for a big ride, it was still a challenge for me. This is not meant as discouragement, but rather to encourage ALL the preparation you can do for the ride- you'll need it.
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
Also to Moose, there is a sub-forum here at bikeforums called Clydesdales and Athenas that focus specially on larger folks trying to lose weight on bicycles. Lots of inspiring stuff in there & tons of knowledge. If you really do get the "touring" bug, the touring sub-forum here at BF have a ton of knowledge also.
And tcarl is right on the mark to throw in a rest day every so often. Recovery also pays a part in fitness.
Here's a suggestion ...
Moose, how far is it across your state?
Now, keep a log of all the cycling you do, starting with yesterday's ride of 1 mile ... and work toward "virtually" crossing your state.
When you start increasing your distance, cycle out to interesting features of your state (tourist attractions, great scenery, etc.) like you would if you were actually crossing your state. That can help keep it interesting because you're going somewhere to see something.
Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.
OP, You have received a lot of good input from other BF members. IMO, you should use the prospect of a long distance tour as incentive to train to get into better shape and to also lose weight. A long distance tour will require more of the same type of mental toughness that weight loss does.
Don't just give up after riding your 1 mile. If you do that too easily, you will also too easily accept giving up whenever things get tough. I am glad you realize your tour is not realistic without some training.
Moose, good for you for your ride! Keep it up. The cross-country thing is unrealistic at present, but your desire to help others is admirable. Do set realistic goals and respect your body's capabilities.
There are many ways to help charities as well as individuals in need in smaller ways. Look around you; you'll find some ways to make a positive difference in someone's life right now, while you train for your future cycling goals, if you wish. For instance, are there a few local students, maybe some who are not at all athletic at present, or who just need a good role model or mentor, who might like to begin cycling along with you? There are so many kids who need someone to guide, encourage, or simply show some genuine interest in them. (Only if you are suited in temperament and motivation for something like that, of course. Not everyone is or should.) Just one possibility to consider from a retired teacher. You don't have to make headlines to do a lot of good in the world.
BTW, I got a bicycle last year, and could not make it up one of the smaller hills in my neighborhood, even in the appropriately named granny gear, at first. NOT as easy as it looks!
Best wishes and God bless you in your endeavors! May you be an inspiration to others.
At your weight, you could be down to around 350 by next year. If you can maintain your diet, you could be down to 250 in 2 years. At that point, a cross country tour, or at least a long charity ride is a possibility.
So get out and ride. If you don't have time to ride or if the weather is bad, take a spinning class. And cross train. Weights, yoga, walking, whatever. Hire a personal trainer if you have to. (actually it is a good idea, so you don't hurt yourself) Get an app like My fitness pal and log everything you eat. It is valuable feedback to know what you are eating. Avoid eating out, but if you have to, use an app like Fast Food Calories. It will tell you how many calories are in your fast food favorites. That app has been a valuable tool for me. You can just as easily eat 500 calories at a fast food place as you can 2,000 calories. The calories add up fast at restaurants so you need to be careful.
Last edited by MRT2; 08-29-12 at 08:21 AM.
Pcad posted this link a while back. It reminds me a little bit of your situation. I think it would be a worthy goal to get healthy first for your own sake and then worry about your other plans.
Moose200x - Keep working at it. It gets easier and you'll be surprised how quickly your endurance improves.
I was 494 before I started working to lose weight. If you're serious about a cross-country trip you could come along with me in 2018. I'll be doing NC to CA and then up to WA.
I have now played every position save Scrum Half.
Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.