Hi there everyone, I thought I 'd tell you a little about myself and hopefully inspire a few people to get on their bikes and ride.
Having owned bikes continuously since I was 5yo (i still remember the bruises) I don't know why I never took cycling seriously until recently (that's 40 years later!). Maybe its midlife crisis stuff; the impending feeling of one's own mortallity we all feel as we get older.
In May this year I was talking to a good buddy of mine about losing weight and getting fit. He invited me on a 1 hour training ride around a local park. I was touching 292 Lbs and though I am 6'4" I was feeling and looking very unhealthy. I had quit smoking in January and felt this exercise was the next step to better health. So I decided to join him. The route was about 10miles. I was a little daunted as my friend and his wife were very athletic both competed at international level in their younger days. I told him not to wait for me as I would work hard but at my own pace. The first session was tough but I managed the 10mph pace needed to get round in the circuit in 1 hour. Though it was hard work I continued to join my friend over the next month or so cycling every day with a day or 2 rest each week. It's now mid-September and I've lost 40Lbs and not gone back to smoking. I'm cycling for 2 - 3 hours on each session at about 16mph pace, with sprints and a few hill climbs.
I don't ride anything special just a hybrid made by Saracen that I have owned since 1995. It has a hand-made cro-moly frame with quite a steep head angle so its a fast handler and with It has new wheels, Mavic A719's, and a new Shimano SLX groupset but essentially it is the same bike I've owned for 14 years. I made the upgrades as I plan to do a some cycle touring in France next spring.
Over the years I've tried the health clubs and various diets but none have worked very well. Yes, I get fit and lose weight but it doesn't last. Plus it costs alot too. Once you've paid for the bike cycling is as near to free as one can get. I haven't had to go on a crazy diet either. I just eat sensibly - 2000 to 2500KCals/day. Not unexpectedly, now that I'm working harder, my appetite is lower so even though I burn more fuel I don't feel like like eating more than normal. How cool is that?
My resting HR is in the low 50's down from the low 70's. My blood pressure is 110/70 and I get back to my Recovery HR (85BPM) within 15 minutes (not the 2 hours it took in May!!). All this progress in 4 months is beyond my wildest expectations. Plus is doesn't stop there. I have a cycle trainer for the winter months so by Spring I will be more than fit and strong enough to do a weeks riding (with luggage) in the Dordogne region of France.
I hope I have inspired a few people to get their bikes out of the garage and do some riding.