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  1. #1
    Senior Member ReptilesBlade's Avatar
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    Hello my name is Mark, but you can just call me ReptilesBlade like every one else on the Internet (Reptiles, Reppy, and RB are popular as well). I am a 23-year-old guy still living at home with his parents for a little while longer for reasons that should soon be apparent. If you want this can become kind of a riding log to keep up with me and what I am doing particularly on the bike but off of it a bit as well if requested. I live in DeSoto Missouri, which is very hilly terrain because I think we are the northern stretch of the Ozark Mountains in Central America (or at least it was at one time). It is not uncommon to have a 30 degree climb for at least 2-4 city blocks and the highways can see that grade of incline or more for well over a mile on just one side of the hills and these hills are often back to back like some kind of torturous roller coaster!

    I am not exactly new here, I was a lurker for a long time but I have grown more active because I like the community here and I am growing more and more fond of Cycling. This is coming from a very solid nerd whose other two main activities are video games and reading and that is most likely never going to change though cycling and fitness have taken a great chunk of my time away from them probably permanently. I spent far to many years unable to do anything else to ever give them up completely. I think cycling is at least part of the solution to many of the problems we Americans have and I am doing my part to use it in that capacity.

    First I am going to post a nice condensed bit of the introduction to myself, which is just a repost of something I wrote early last August on another web site. It might give you a good idea about the kind of person I am. After this I will make an extension and kind of update what you are about to read a bit. Well, here it goes.

    I will go with the short description. I was born with nine things wrong with my heart and my lungs are half the normal size, all the circulation to my right lung had to be artificially created using a BT Shunt. I was only the third person to be operated on with my kinds of problems and the first to ever survive. Basically this has left me with several disabilities and limitations. I cannot go out in extreme heat or cold (think 40-85 degrees Fahrenheit as my range, anything beyond those is bad news for me) or bad things happen. Like going into cardiac arrest bad. I also have a life-long 25 lb weight limit on ANY lifting I do and I cannot be exposed to any harsh fumes, that especially includes most cleaning products. I constantly suffer from energy problems, I just never have enough energy to do what I want or need to do. I am also on a Low-Salt, No Added Salt diet that for starters means about 70+% of all the snack foods out there are off limits to me. I have had four open heart surgeries, the first when I was two days old, and have spent probably the first half of my life in the hospital. I was so week that just lifting a 5 or 10 pound object could cause me to pull a hamstring in my arms and I was unable to walk even two blocks without getting winded and having to stop.

    Around early January of 05 I got fed up with this and actively decided to change my lifestyle. I bought a bicycle, started exercising regularly, and completely changed my diet.

    The bicycle has been a Godsend, I have finally found an outdoor activity I am capable of enjoying and I have steadily increased every aspect of my physical capabilities since I began using it. I have been on it almost every day I get the chance to be. I always do at least a three-mile round trip ride and if given the chance I stay out for a ten-mile ride. I can ride it continuously for nearly six miles now, something that was never possible before.

    I usually exercise every other day or every three days, that way my body has a chance to rest and repair and I get the maximum amount out of each exercise. I would like to note that does not count for bike riding, I ride the bike nearly every chance I get. That means at least once a day on nice days and sometimes even more. I now lift weights to strengthen my arms, shoulders and back. I have always had a weak back but the arthritis pain goes away after I exercise (I have bad arthritis in my lower back caused by the countless surgeries). I must be careful not to exercise my chest however, that could lead to countless medical problems for me due to the many surgeries.

    My diet has changed in a couple of ways. First of all I am paying even more attention to the nutrition labels on food now. I always had to watch them anyway because of my low salt diet but now I am looking at other thing than just salt. I am now preparing a larger portion of my own food, rather than eating ready made or microwave able meal things. I am actually becoming an above average cook. I have almost completely eliminated fast food of any kind. I used to eat it between 1-5 times a week, which has now been reduced to just one or twice a month at most. Also I used to eat almost anything on their menus, now when I do eat fast food it is just a hand full of items and I never touch their hamburgers. I really only consume their fries and some of their breakfast items like pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and hash browns and even these favorites are growing increasingly unpalatable. This does not just go for McDonalds but ALL fast food chains. Subway, and Arby's are ok and Fazoli's is still my most favorite restaurant of all but I have basically boycotted everything else.

    The results have been startling. My acne is all but gone, I am stronger than I have ever been, and my energy problems and back pain are only a fraction of what they once were. I have gained 16lbs of pure muscle of the past 6-7 months and I expect at least another ten by the end of the year. I am currently on five-pound weights but I will probably go all they way to ten or 12.5-pound weights. I cannot go past that due to my weight restriction, but to be honest I do not care.

    I no longer adhere to any specific performance goals because the ones I did have when I first started were my wildest dreams at the time and I achieve them within the first two months. I have since changed the informal goals I wanted to being able to ride the bike for twenty miles at a time and to be on the 10-12.5 weights. I did have a discussion with my doctors about those goals and they gave me a green light for all of them. So far I am about half way there on all of them.

    I will admit I am slacking off during the summer, the reason for this is that it is so hot this year it is just sapping my energy and I am unable to do all that I want too. It is that heat restriction coming into play and there is nothing I can do about it except to do nothing. I hate doing nothing. Fortunately it is just beginning to cool down some and within another month I expect to be going just as strong as I ever was. The best is still ahead!


    Ok now for the update.

    I have been forced to sideline most of the exercise due to the weather and my temperature restrictions for the past two or three months. However I am slowly getting back into it and I still love it as much as I have grown to in the past year or so. Even with severely slacking off I kept most of the physical conditioning. My first attempt to assess my physical condition was to try and walk two miles on the treadmill, which was my original main goal to obtain when I first started my lifestyle change over a year ago. I learned from my Grandfather who is a military man (I am not by the way) that part of their basic physical requirements are that they are able to run for two miles. I figured a decent goal for myself with my physical limitations was to simply be able to just walk for two miles at any speed I wish. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only was I able to walk rapidly for two full miles after at least a two month slack off of any exercise but I was able to do it with ease! I actually did a little over the two miles and then stopped simply because it was getting late and I wanted to do something else instead. I could have easily continued for at least another mile if I had wanted to. I owe all of this to my bike so if I sometimes seem slightly zealous about cycling or the bikes I own this is the reason. I try to keep myself under control though; I am not a wild person.

    I forgot to mention it but the first bike I had bought and tried to ride for several years was a Next Avalon from my Local Wal-Mart. I spent about $200-250 on the bike after all of the accessories I put on it. I started with this bike for two reasons.

    1. There was just something about the way it looked, I loved the style and still do but do not really know why.

    2. I was really uncertain if I could even use it in any real capacity with my physical limitations so I did not want to spend a bunch of money that might go into a yard sale or too the Salvation Army a year later.

    Needless to say the Avalon did its job remarkably, I have finally got an outdoor activity I can enjoy besides fishing (something my mind runs far to fast to enjoy anymore, I literally drive myself crazy with the chatter going on in my own head lol) and I have finally gotten some small measure of the health and vitality someone my age should enjoy.

    I finally replaced the Avalon last August even though I still keep it around as a secondary bike for friends to ride or as an emergency bike in case something happens to its replacement. My decision to replace the Avalon with something better was brought on by several forces working against this inexpensive but much loved bike.

    The first of these was simply a growing knowledge and experience level. As I have started to mature as a cyclist the Avalon was growing more and more inadequate. It was far to heavy for me to continue to use in the hilly area I live in. It helped to build up muscle but you can only walk a bike up the same hill for two blocks feeling like you are going to die every step of the way before it no longer becomes fun. I also came to realize that the bike was entirely the wrong size for me as a rider. I think the Avalon was designed for someone at least six feet tall, at five feet nine inches it was far to large for me. The second was that the bike was wearing out far faster than I originally expected, something I have come to learn is a hallmark of the X-Mart type of bike. I had only put about 150 miles on it yet the bike often was rattled and unstable feeling enough to begin causing me real concern. If taken up to 20 mph or above you would experience a ride and vibration from the bike that would be described as unsettling at best and terrifying at worse. The brakes were and still are increasingly getting worse and there is nothing that seems to slow the deterioration down. I honestly began to expect something to go catastrophically wrong with it at literally any time during a ride. The poor bike is increasingly getting bad and I am certain that if it ever even sees 300 miles I will be forced to scrap it. There is absolutely no way it will ever last past 500 miles in any ride able condition. I owe this bike a great service I can never repay so for a sentimental guy like me this is an unpleasant thought but I know there is nothing I can do about it. It is only a matter of time before I give it away and this makes me sad. However until that time my friend Joe loves riding it with me and borrowing it when he is in town because it is his only form of transportation since he is a poor college kid like I was until just recently (BTW I am still poor, just not in college lol).

    The third reason I upgraded was I wanted to start using the bike as more of a form of transportation. The Avalon was poorly equipped for this and there was no way to upgrade it to this function even if I had tried. That is why when gas prices hit roughly $3.00 last August I said **** it and bit the bullet (I drive a Corolla BTW, gas is always cheap to me anyway but it still bothered me). I spent about $1000 overall but have already gotten nearly that much out of it. What did I purchase for all of this you ask? Why my fully loaded Trek 7500 and car rack (for when I need to take it farther than it can take me)!

    The difference between the Avalon and 7500 is literally night and day. Every component and aspect of the 7500 is superior to the Avalon in ways I could never describe in words. The first time I did 20mph on the 7500 I did not even realize it until I looked down at the comp and it told me my speed. I was totally shocked at the time and the feeling still lingers to this day; unlike the Avalon the 7500 is as smooth at 20mph as it is at 10mph. Now thanks to this bike cruising at 20-25mph down hill or on level ground is almost second nature and my stable cruising speed has remained at a nice 14-16mph on flat ground. I can keep that up with no problem for at least three miles with no rest and if I stop momentarily for a break I can go much farther. I still have to walk it up hills but that is far easier now and is growing increasingly less important due to the fact that I can almost ride it up the smaller inclines in this area already. Considering my doctors have explicitly said no hills this is no small victory for me and if I ever fully accomplish it there will be celebration. Besides, I once read somewhere that it only matters that you get to the top of the hill under your own power, it does not matter weather the bike was underneath you or beside you and that seems to gel nicely with my overall outlook on life.

    I personally prefer not to go over 25mph for a couple of reasons even though I am capable of it at least on the downhill rides. First is safety, I ride in a small mid-western town where some drunk idiot in a large truck or SUV could run me over or some kid could run out in front of me at any time with little or no warning. I want to make sure I have some kind of reaction time for events like this. Also I do not use a helmet when I ride and often just wear shorts and a t-shirt to keep from overheating and ruining my rides and maybe even my ability to just get myself home. I do own a cheap Bell helmet that is far too bulky for my tastes and I am probably going to purchase a much lighter one sometime soon. I will use that helmet on a regular basis if I get it if for no other reason than my Mother is growing increasingly fervent in her desires for me to wear one now that she has realized this is not just another phase and that unlike the Avalon the 7500 is not a toy. I think this started about the time I brought the 7500 home, told her the price, and after calming her down enough I got her to understand I looked at it as buying a vehicle and not some hobby or plaything.

    The final reason I prefer not to go over 25mph is because that is the usual speed limit around here and one of my major goals in life is to piss off the cops as little as possible! XD Now there are a few non-residential streets I ride where the limit is 35mph but I only do about 25-30mph on them for brief stints if for no other reason than I do not feel I quite have the skill level needed to go faster than that. I know the bike can handle it easily but I have finally gotten what I have wanted for years and I am not about to loose it in an accident of any kind.

    If you would like a picture of my two bikes and my friend Joe you can see it here.

    http://img492.imageshack.us/img492/1244/img07515lb.jpg

    The 7500 is almost perfect for me the way it is, however I do wish to perform one final upgrade to it in the next few months. I want to replace the suspension fork for a carbon fiber one. I cannot figure out how to get the suspension to work correctly and it absorbs almost nothing so there is no real reason to keep it. Plus as far as I am concerned any weight I can reduce from the bike helps when trying to get around and up those damned hills, as long as I can keep that front fender I will be happy. As of right now I ride the 7500 in a Fitness/Commuter kind of way (as a Vehicular Cyclist might I add) but I am getting increasingly interested in taking it Touring. I would have to grab the pack and basically live off of a plastic card because I simply would be unable to carry the weight of full touring equipment while doing so but I think it might be doable. I have heard of hybrid bikes like mine being used for light to medium grade touring before so I know there is a precedent for it.

    That is all I can think of right at this moment. I will add more and correct any minor grammatical errors when I have more time if not as an edit to this post then as another post altogether.

    Please let me know what you think and for what it is worth I am happy to be a member on this site.
    Last edited by ReptilesBlade; 02-28-06 at 10:04 PM. Reason: THe pic was not supposed to be visible and mess up the reading of the post like it did.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for posting, ReptilesBlade! What an inspiring story of perseverance. I pray that your health will continue to get better and better as you enjoy your ride!

    What do I think? I think you should go ahead and invest in a nice lightweight helmet. Please.

    I'm glad that cycling has done so much for you. It is good that you got a new bike that you like.

  3. #3
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Wow, that is an awe inspiring story, thanks for sharing! I'm extremely new and cannot offer any advice biking wise but had to comment after reading that. If your story can't motivate more people into biking I can't think of what else can? Best of health and good times to you!

  4. #4
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Reppy....that is a truly inspiring story. I hope I may do that story some credit myself and keep up with my health goals (I am a Diabetic). You will find that, while we can be a bunch of jokers and curmedgeons in here, we are also a good bunch of people from whom you will find alot of support and heartfelt (if not good) advice. Keep it up and I wish you all the success and good health you desire. And I am curious...what is your favourite dish to prepare?

    Cheers,

    Brian
    “A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. ”

    ― Bruce Lee

  5. #5
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    Reppy,

    Awesome! I enjoyed every word of your story, and found it really inspiring. My husband is disabled so I know a little about being told by many people what you can and can't do. Good for you for pushing your envelope! Greetings and salutations from the West Coast. Keep writing!

    Marti

    PS: I'll throw in another vote to get the helmet, too .

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    Holy **** can you ramble or what?
    If youv'e got that much air in you then you should be able to go much further than 3 mi.
    get a godamn helmet and stop talkin an start ridin.
    also getting a ticket on your bike for speeding should be a badge of honor.so go get one.
    GoGo

  7. #7
    Senior Member ReptilesBlade's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone. I am glad so many of you have enjoyed my story as it has unfolded so far. If any one has gotten something positive out of this then that makes it worthwhile. Thank you for the prayers Ironwoman, they have helped a great deal in getting me this far already (yes I am a Christian if it maters). The helmet is actually pretty high on my list, I am just considering using the crappy one I have for now then upgrading in one or two months when I know I can afford it. I enjoy the 7500 so much that except for the minor fork upgrade I have no intention of replacing it any time soon. Chances are good it will still be in service five years form now and at least in some form even ten or more years form now. Honestly the second I first got on it I just felt like this bike was made for me, it fits my riding style so perfectly ands I am certain its capabilities are far beyond my one (either present or future). Cycling truly has made an extremely beneficial impact upon me and I am glad you all enjoy hearing about it.

    GoGo, I am actually doing 4-5 miles right now and I am just coming out of my winter slacking off-season. The 3-mile rides are the shortest I take, if I feel that I can go further I often do. As for the length, it helped that I already had about 1/3 of it written form last summer. For what it is worth it still took like four plus hours to get it done. And a speeding ticket is not an honor if you would have difficulty paying for it.

    Oh and tandemCruzer, you are correct in constantly being told what I can and cannot do gets old fast. I like to just ignore the idiots and then show them up or let karma do its thing.

    One of the main reasons I had put this off for so long was the length but another reasons was I did not really know if anyone really would be inspired by my story or not or worse ridicule me for some aspect of it. I am glad to see my fears were unfounded.

    It has been recommended to me that I keep some kind of journal of my riding activities with pictures if possible because some people apparently want to hear more about them. I have elected to just do it here in this topic to cut down on cluttering the boards. If anyone is unhappy with this let me know and I will see what I can do to change it to another board or topic.

    I took another five-mile ride today and took a few pictures for those that requested them.

    It was 70 degrees surprisingly and the sky was clear as the pictures show. There was a 5-10 mph wind that got annoying in some places but was not particularly bad.

    http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/2887/img07914xn.jpg

    http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/4903/img07942tr.jpg

    http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/8623/img07977aa.jpg

    http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/941/img07980jt.jpg

    http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/7442/img08026ci.jpg

    http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/6061/img08052bf.jpg

    http://img125.imageshack.us/img125/8519/img08067da.jpg

    http://img118.imageshack.us/img118/809/img08083ps.jpg

    http://img119.imageshack.us/img119/8650/img08106oy.jpg

    http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/5487/img08128wb.jpg

    http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/2528/img08137vh.jpg

    http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/4126/img08165jm.jpg

    http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/2595/img08191lt.jpg

    http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/1458/img08213pn.jpg

    http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/3258/img08223ah.jpg

    The second to last one is a picture of the bike lane on our main road in town, or at the very least what I use as the bike lane. I do ride in it against traffic on the way back but it is far safer than trying to fight the cars and SUVs on the opposite side. It is a choice of a few feet or a few inches, I take the few feet.

    As you can see the hills are prominent features in this area like I mentioned before. Even in town it is literally a roller coaster ride. The forth from the last and the last picture show the terrain the best. Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture of my main nemesis of the hills, the one closest to my house and the last one I must always climb regardless to get home. I will see if I can get a picture of it tomorrow even though it is going to drop like twenty degrees.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReptilesBlade
    . Thank you for the prayers Ironwoman, they have helped a great deal in getting me this far already (yes I am a Christian if it maters).

    You're welcome! I'm glad to hear that. I'll continue praying for you.

  9. #9
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    Wow, ReptilesBlade, just wow. Your post will be good motivation to get riding, especially on those "maybe tomorrow" weekends.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoGo
    get a godamn helmet and stop talkin an start ridin.
    also getting a ticket on your bike for speeding should be a badge of honor.so go get one.
    GoGo
    Another vote on a helmet. Everytime I've gotten pulled over for speeding the cops only give me a verbal warning. If they gave me a ticket or written warning, that paper would be framed."

  10. #10
    Senior Member ReptilesBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderMike
    Wow, ReptilesBlade, just wow. Your post will be good motivation to get riding, especially on those "maybe tomorrow" weekends.

    Another vote on a helmet. Everytime I've gotten pulled over for speeding the cops only give me a verbal warning. If they gave me a ticket or written warning, that paper would be framed."
    So then someone here has actually gotten pulled over for speeding on a bicycle? LOL! I would pay to see that, just the way the cop handles it alone would be worth the price of admission! Or even better, think of how he breaks the news to his co-workers at the end of the day!

    Cop 1: Yeah, I got a speeder today doing 40 in a 25 over on 12th street. I almost never caught him.
    Cop 2: Why was he so difficult to catch? What kind of car did he have?
    Cop 1: It was not a car at all, he was on a green and black racing bicycle! I got caught up a bit in traffic a few times and almost lost him. He kept weaving in and out of the main roads and alleys to beat traffic and I kept getting stuck in said traffic. He said it was called a Bianchi or something when I finally caught him. I chassed him for almost a mile before he eventually stopped and let me catch him when he said he realize he was the one I was after. I gave him a ticket just for recklessly endangering ME!
    Cop 2: ... You should get more sleep, there is no way a bicycle can out run a Crown Vic. *Then Cop 2 walks off for more coffee. *

    XD

    And yeah, I intend to get the better helmet soon. I just want to get a few more important things straitened out first.
    My intro and log topic. If you want to get to know me cruise on by.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/introductions/177616-long-past-time-i-made-post-warning-long.html

  11. #11
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Good for you Reppy! I'm using cycling for similar but different reasons! Weight loss and recovery from a heart problem! Drop by my blog!http://spaces.msn.com/theamazingshrinkingman/
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12
    Senior Member ReptilesBlade's Avatar
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    *Cries* This is just my luck!

    We are having like 70 degree weather for the next week and I cannot get out to ride my 7500 because a few days ago I broke my toe trying not to trip on one of the many boxes of junk in the house. I had already started a few days ago when I ran over half a dozen errands on the bike alone and did 6.5 miles in one day. Damnit that was fun and I was looking forward to doing it again nearly every single day for at least the next one or two weeks!

    I want to cry, and I believe the 7500 is!
    Last edited by ReptilesBlade; 03-13-06 at 01:46 PM.
    My intro and log topic. If you want to get to know me cruise on by.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=177616

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    RB: Thanks. I haven't done my intro piece yet. I'm very new to this site. In fact, I only recently started riding a bike again, since I was in college. Now, I'm in my mid-40's and a dad with little time for exercise in the formal, go-to-the-gym sense, so my wife did me a favor. She purchased an 80's Miyata from Ebay, and with the gift of a Burley bike trailer, I can haul my young'un to daycare and haul myself to work. And, I find I love being on a bike again! You have quite a story to tell, and I hope you continue to add to it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. #14
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    RB, you keep this training up and you'll be able to tell those doctors where to go. Meaning, you'll be in much better health than they thought you could achieve.

    And by all means, get a speeding ticket. It'll be worth it.

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    Well done RB. Those hills in image 8165 are a total pain - if there wasnt a Stop sign at the bottom, you could almost coast to the top of the far side without any pedalling. The pricier helmets have better ventilation, so will be a lot more comfortable when the warm weather comes. Try a lot of different brands because they are not all made to fit the same shaped heads. Dont bother with targets of endurance or performance, just try to have as much fun as you can - the health and performance gains will follow in their own time. Do you do your own fixing and adjusting of the bikes? A heart rate mojnitor may be a good thing to use when you ride, then you would know when to quit on the hills - talk to your doctor about the max rate your heart can stand.
    Last edited by AndrewP; 03-14-06 at 10:15 PM.

  16. #16
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    Reppy, Thank you for your very inspiring post. I wish you happiness and good health.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ReptilesBlade's Avatar
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    Guess what guys; it is time for an update!

    My life has improved in every possible aspect and continues to improve more almost daily.

    I have relocated with the rest of my family to Independence MO as of the first weekend of May 2006. I have continued my new lifestyle and do not even look the same as I once did. There are only two hills here that are even remotely of the same caliber as what I was accustomed to in DeSoto, as far as I am concerned this place is freaking flat. I used to struggle to walk the 7500 up some of the inclines for just two or three blocks. Here in Independence I can actually ride for a good mile up hill without stopping on what is available here and that distance is getting more and more each day. It is not uncommon for me to go three or four miles without even slowing down and I can count on one hand how many times I have had the urge to stop because I felt like I am going to die and all of those where on 6-10 mile rides where I was intentionally pushing myself all the way. Plus the scenery and attractions I can get to here on the bike are incredible. Independence has more history and entertainment value in a few blocks then DeSoto had in the entire town. Best of all, I know I am not the only cyclist here! This place is much more open to cyclist; I have only had two people be rude to me when I was out the entire time I have been here! I am constantly seeing other cyclist riding around for leisure or errands on a daily basis, I even saw one at 9:30 last night on my way home from work riding in 11 degree temperatures with 10mph biting winds! God I wish my health would let me be that dedicated.

    But as I mentioned I am now a working man. I am now an assistant manager working 40+ hours a week. I sell the best beds in the industry and I am well on my way to making $40,000+ a year on the low end. Best of all I am within just a few more months of becoming the store manager with no other competitors. I landed this job after my second day of looking here in Independence and this is indescribably better than anything I could have ever found in DeSoto. As soon as I pay off another $6000 in debt and then have a small amount of fun to celebrate I am getting a new car, then a new bike, and then moving out on my own. I am also looking for a new church home and a lovely young lady to settle down with at the earliest possible time (she has to at least tolerate my level of cycling in our lives or that ring will never get on her finger, that in non-negotiable).

    Within a year I intend to have a brand new car, an apartment and fiancé of my own and my Series 7 Stock Brokers license to help me invest my own money if not someone else’s. The car I am looking at is the new Honda Fit, and the main reason it is the only one I am concerned with besides the 35/38mpg is the fact that all of the seats fold down and you can actually just roll a bicycle into it like it is a baby cargo van. Here is a link to the gallery for it, the Long and Utility modes are what I would be using it for the most.

    http://automobiles.honda.com/models/...?ModelName=Fit

    Once I get it I do not intend to buy another car for at least a decade if not longer.

    The bike I am going to get next is the new Trek 7.9 FX. It looks freaking perfect for me and I will be purchasing it about a month after I get a new car. First of all the 7500 is getting an upgrade though. I talked with the local Trek bike shop here and the first thing I am doing once the debt is gone is give the 7500 a complete tune-up, bar ends, and the carbon fork I wanted to put on it before but could not afford. I will also purchase a high quality helmet and cycling clothes at the same time. I am also planning to ride the entire length of the Katy Trail both directions in the first week of May on either the 7500 or the new 7.9 FX if I have it by then. As I mentioned in my first post I am interested in ultimately doing some light range touring and that will be the test to see if I can actually handle it, I cannot conceive of a better environment than that to test my capabilities as a cyclist and as a human being. If you are interested here is the website for the Katy Trail.

    http://www.bikekatytrail.com/

    There is also a perfect ten mile trail I just discovered two days ago near where I live. As soon as I can get out there I am going to give it a good trial run. That is just the first of many that I have heard are in the area.

    The apartment I have located is only a mile from where I work and my most favorite restaurant. As soon as I can figure out where to park the bike while I am at work then the new car I get is going to have very few miles on it. The 7500 and later 7.9 FX will easily take care of 50% of my transportation if not more year round and I will finally be car-light with the most economical vehicle I can own.

    Things are going freaking great; leaving DeSoto and buying that 7500 were the best things that ever happened to me.
    My intro and log topic. If you want to get to know me cruise on by.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=177616

  18. #18
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Glad to see things are going well for you. I too would like to ride to work instead of drive, but my place of work has no place to keep it from getting stolen.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

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