Hey guys, I'm brand new to these forums and to mountain biking.
I went to my local bike shop two days ago and bought a '09 Gary Fisher Piranha in hopes that it would help me lose some weight and get back in shape. Three years ago, I was skinny and playing tennis and rugby regularly. Then, I was diagnosed with aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis which over the course two or so years I gained over 100 pounds (there were times I could not walk). It has been a long battle, but I am doing much better now, thanks to my treatments, but I am also extremely out of shape and fat (320lbs)! Anyway, I really love the new bike. I'm sure I stress it more than it was intended to be stressed (that is why I got a fairly nice bike with hydraulic disk brakes).
My question is, are there any other overweight riders out there with tips to help me out as I am just beginning? My main problem right now is that I live in a hilly area (the foothills in upstate South Carolina) and the uphills kill me!!! I am not a weakling. I have a former athlete waiting to come back inside, but with all this extra weight, the uphills stop me much faster than I was even expecting. My goal is to ride at least 45 minutes a day at least 5 days a week, so I can lose weight (I'm getting married in May). Anyway, happy riding and thanks for any tips you might have.