Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes: 2010 Specialized Allez Elite
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How to encourage a new rider from 1300 miles away?
This is my first venture into this forum so I apologize if this has been hashed out before.
About a year and a half ago, I was a typical overweight American on the verge of obesity. I am relatively tall, so the weight hung well. I noticed that I was constantly tired and cranky. On my 29th birthday, I decided to lose the weight I had put on since high school and set a goal of finishing a marathon in under 4 hours by the time I was 30. I did that and more. Along the way, I've been telling friends and family how great I feel and how I have more energy even though I exercise a lot. My sister has taken the plunge as well and is running her first half-marathon in a week. Also, my mom is walking in her first 5k this week as well.
I think that my sister has the motivation to keep it up. She has a good support system and training buddy in her fiance. The problem is that I'm not sure my mom will continue with the exercise after the "race" this weekend. She is obese and walking 6 miles will be very hard for her. She has a bike that she recently started riding again, without any prodding from me. I would like to encourage her, but she lives in Minnesota and I live in Arizona.
I'm not sure what type of bike she has. I think it's probably a hybrid. She told me that she would like to work up to biking to work one or two days per week and maybe riding along the multi-use path on weekends. The commute is around 5 miles each way, which is well beyond her abilities right now.
My dilemma is this: she doesn't love cycling (or really any physical activity). I'm of the opinion that exercise will only become a long-term activity if you really love it. I love riding and running. I want her to love riding as well. I fell in love with cycling when I bought my second bike. How do I get her to fall in love with cycling so that this doesn't become yet another failed weight loss plan? If I was living nearby, I could ride with her, help fix mechanical issues (she just paid over $200 to fix a problem I could have for about $25), and generally see that she has a fun time on the bike. But I'm so far away I can't really do that. All I can do is offer support over the phone or email. I would like to do more, but what? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.