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  1. #1
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    Newbie from Western Massachusetts (North Hatfield)

    I've read a lot of posts on this site over the last month or so, but decided to join in!

    I have really just gotten into cycling this year. Prior to that it was family rides for 5-6 miles. But I became a new Diabetic in March of this year; which changed a lot of things for me.

    Through nutritional improvements and cycling, I've lost 40 pounds in 2009. I also dropped two BP meds and two cholesterol meds, due to making so much progress. My Triglycerides and Cholesterol are both under 100, and BP is in the 115/64 range.

    I could not have done this without cycling, and my passion for this sport, or way of life, continues to grow.

    My normal ride is a 28-mile loop with mixed flats/hills. Occasionally I make two loops around for a 56-miler, which is respectable on a hybrid bike. Western MA is beautiful, and I'm lucky to have mostly safe roads to travel.

    My present ride is a 2007 Iron Mountain Adventure (hybrid), and put about 1,000 miles on it this year.

    I want to gear up to do some charity rides for the American Diabetes Association in 2010. So I purchased a 2007 Specialized Allez (24-spd) last month for $225, and even though it is too big for me (XXL) I could not pass up the deal. I purchased a 2003 Specialized Sequoia frame, and am going to transfer all of the components from the Allez over to it. I also just purchased a 2005 Specialized Sequoia Elite (27-spd).

    Presently at 205 (5'-8", muscular), I'd like to lose another 30 pounds in 2010. Therefore, trying to ride through the winter is important to me. I'm struggling with the winter rides, and posted a new thread in Winter/Jackets

    I have a wife and two boys (5 and 8), and while I can't say they "understand" the cycling, they put up with it/me! I'm sure several of you can relate to this.

    Kind Regards,

    Terry T.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Welcome Terry to Bike Forums.
    I ride The Tour DE Cure on The Speedway 500 Mile Track in Indianapolis, IN, each year.
    Great report on your healthful progress.
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 12-29-09 at 11:12 AM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Senior Member ChrizzleDizzle6's Avatar
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    this was an excellent post! i can definitely relate to you

    i just started this year as well and i was borderline diabetic. i started riding a bike around my town and lost 15 lbs and brought my cholesterol down. almost the same story like you!
    im 5'7 166 and my goal for 2010 is to ride more and lose 10 more pounds.
    keep up the great work!

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=ChrizzleDizzle6;10200615]
    "i just started this year as well and i was borderline diabetic."

    Thank you both for the encouragement, and the support of the Tour de Cure (from Texas).

    Addressing this issue in a "pre-diabetic" phase, is so beneficial, if you get that chance. So keep up the good work, and best wishes for a successful 2010.

    Terry

  5. #5
    Senior Member ChrizzleDizzle6's Avatar
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    thank you so much best wishes for you and your family as well
    happy new year

  6. #6
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    Welcome to the form! I lived in north-westernish MA for the first few years of my life and visited there quite a bit... I also did a couple of bike races there as a wee lad. Maybe a goal for 2010 would be to put together a team for the Josh Billings - it's a lot of fun... I've not done it but my Dad has did it quite a few times in the 80s / 90s.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Gavush. Yes, it's pretty up here.

    I don't think I'll be ready for any triatahlons, any time soon - even with a canoe for the water leg. Perhaps in a few years, if I make as much progress in 2010 as in 2009.

    Heading into October, I was down 45 pounds, but with trying to get adjusted to the cold weather, and tiring of some of the disciplined eating, I'm only down 37 pounds now. Granted, I've held that for 2-3 months.

    My longest rides so far, have been solo, 56-milers on my hybrid bike. Physically, I'm OK with those, but have to watch my sugar more (diabeteic now) on the longer rides.

    My goals for 2010 are to get up to several centuries with a road bike, and try to drop another 30 pounds. If I can accomplish that, and get down to 180 lbs, then perhaps I can start thinking about running.

    Kind Regards.

  8. #8
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    Ah, well I didn't mean to do it solo, you could do the cycling leg, get someone to do the canoeing and someone else to do the running... a team effort. That's how my dad always did it. One year it was all members of his family - brothers / cousins iirc.
    Last edited by Gavush; 01-03-10 at 11:58 AM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    Senior Member ChrizzleDizzle6's Avatar
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    running is so good too. thats what also helped me in losing weight.
    if you switch up running and cycling you'll definitely reach your goals

  10. #10
    Senior Member boston blackie's Avatar
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    Way to go, man. I'm in the Berkshires, about to mount winter tires and fenders

  11. #11
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    I remember North Hatfield. I always took the back road from South Deerfield to Noho because I hated driving my car with the fast traffic on the interstate.

    Have you ever tried to ride to Ashfield/Hawley? I did that once in my younger days on a beater mountain bike and it put me off long bike rides for many years.
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  12. #12
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    Out to Ashfield

    No, I've never been up that way. My wife who knows the area well, commented that there's a lot of very twisty roads, and it's all up-hill.

    For the longer rides, I try to get an idea of where I'm heading to, beforehand. I know that takes some of the mystery out of it, but I try to avoid roads that seem like bike-eaters. That is, where motorists won't be able to see you, until they're on top of you.

    When I get my road bike up and going this spring, then perhaps I'll start being more adventurous. But for now my 28-mile training loop has been working pretty well.

    I go north through Whately, east onto 116 out to Hadley, pick up the Norwotick bike trail in back of the malls, then head south/west to NoHo to pick up that trail at Damon Road, continue to Cooley Dickinson hospital, and then head back north on 5/10. There's only three intersections where I have to worry about getting crushed, so it's a very relaxing ride.

    I've also taken back roads out to Williamsburg, and then up Rt-9 West to Goshen. The back roads have very little traffic, and there's some pretty good hills up that way! Love that triple!

    Kind Regards.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Steve in MA's Avatar
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    Welcome Terry! I'm just a bit south of you, down in Wilbraham. You have some beautiful cycling roads up in your area.

    Sounds like we're at a similar place in our lives...I have a wife and 8 year old who understand/put up with my cycling, because the know that one of my motivations is to improve my health. Maybe we can try to hook up for a ride in the Spring.

  14. #14
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry_Zak View Post
    No, I've never been up that way. My wife who knows the area well, commented that there's a lot of very twisty roads, and it's all up-hill.
    If I made it to Hawley on my cheap unlubricated student wreck you shouldn't have any problem. I used to like to drive the back roads up there a lot back when my car had more pep. The only other long bike trip I ever did was from Amherst to Quabbin through Pelham, which was very nice and quiet at the time. Otherwise, I rarely left the boundaries of Amherst-Hadley-Noho for about a decade. I loved Hampshire County. Great place to get around on the bike, too.
    Last edited by bkrownd; 01-08-10 at 10:16 PM.
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  15. #15
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    That sounds great Steve.

    It's odd that when I was in the hospital in March, with a blood sugar of 798, and was told that if I didn't get to the hospital that night, that I could have died; there was unlimited support. But now that my diabetes is well controlled, and I'm down some 40-pounds, I'm back to being on my own again. But that's OK, as I figure this is one of the best things I can do. I enjoy it, and at the same time, am setting a great example for my boys - without saying a word to them.

    As you know with having children (we have two), there are times when they are acting up, while I'm getting ready to go out for a ride. My wife will be very frustrated with me as ask "you're just going to leave?" To which I state, "Absolutely - I have to. See you in two hours."

    Steven Covey once wrote "It's easy to say no, when there's a deeper yes within." I thought it was very powerful. I'm sure there's some corollary to that for what I'm facing, but haven't been talented enough to craft it!

    The cycling is really the first thing I've actually enjoyed, since I was in my late teens and used to play outdoor hand-ball in Long Island, for 2-3 hours at a time. An awesome sport, but you just don't find it in many places. The cool thing with biking is that the scenery is always changing. That and keeping an open eye for glass, keeps me from getting bored.

    Take Care.

  16. #16
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    bkrownd: "If I made it to Hawley on my cheap lubricated student wreck you shouldn't have any problem. ... Otherwise, I rarely left the boundaries of Amherst-Hadley-Noho for about a decade."

    Lubrication? Oops. Something else I'm clueless about. I've had my Iron Horse Adventure for 3-years and have never put any lube on it. Do you mean on the chain? And/or elsewhere? Prior to this year I only put 200-300 miles on it, and this year some 1,200 or so. The wheels don't feel like they're dragging at all, and the chain is not rusty. What am I missing?

    On a side note, I'd also mention that I never really noticed how damn heavy that hybrid is, until I purchased my used 2006 Specialized Sequoia Elite. I've never really worried about the "lightness" of components because I was 247 pounds in January of 2009, so a few pounds of equipment here/there wasn't a concern. But, now I just can't ignore that the Sequoia weights about half of the Iron Mountain! It's amazing. I won't take the Sequoia out until Spring, but then I'll do a back-to-back comparo on my 28-mile training loop and see what a difference it makes.

    On getting out of the area. Yes, I am the fledgling that needs to jump from the nest and try new places. That should be much easier on a road bike in the Spring. When you go off into unfamiliar area's, do you bring a map or rely on GPS?

    Thanks!

  17. #17
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    No lube?! Ouch! You must have a symphony of squeaks, squeals and grinding going full guns down there as you ride.

    My days in Hampshire County were before cheap GPS. We were strictly paper back then. I'd use recent topo maps or satellite images. Maps and GPS systems tend to have incomplete information and don't show some routes which are bikeable.

    Get some nice tough wide touring tires for that road bike. (within the limits of what fits the frame) Many of the nice roads in the area aren't paved, and improvised short cuts are always fun.

    The mountain bike I rode, and occasionally walked, to Hawley was 35 pounds. The real problem with it was that the frame was too small for me so it was hellish to pedal uphill. Whatever your bike weighs, proper bike fit and lubrication will go a long way to making the ride good.
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