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Cycling Is A Poor Form of Exercise :-(

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Cycling Is A Poor Form of Exercise :-(

Old 09-27-20, 11:23 PM
  #176  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
I find other peopleís advice is very often useful even though I rarely follow it. I find the rationale behind the advice is more useful than the advice itself. There is almost always some validity in the rationale behind opinions. Even if the opinion does not follow from the rationale or the opinion is not appropriate for my circumstances, it is often useful to understand the supporting rationale.

I find people's experiences very interesting and have learned from that. But by advice, I'm referring to people telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing. It is often accompanied by being told whether or not I'm thinking too much or too little or some of the usual "it's a simple matter of..." drivel. This stuff I find absolutely useless , and usually contradictory of what the last guy "told" me.

I'm formerly obese, I suspect where we lose in the translation here is that when you are obese, people who never have been just often seem to think that gives them a license to claim some sort of expertise and don't realize just how condescending and discouraging they're being. I've had to learn to tune such people out, and I believe you'll find that's pretty common among people who have actually succeeded at massive weight loss.
I'm going to push back every time someone starts up with this "it's a simple matter of calories in, calories out" crap. It may be simple for them, but it just isn't simple for a lot of people.
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Old 09-27-20, 11:41 PM
  #177  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
During a six month work assignment in Afghanistan, I decided to change my diet in order to lose excess pounds. I didn't count calories or miss a meal and took regular portions of food at each meal, but did cut out all pastry , desserts, and sugared/sweetened drinks. Most importantly, I cut out all between meal eating or drinking; no snacks, no chips, no candy, no nothing. My exercise regimen, such as it was (several miles of bicycle riding per day) was less than I was doing previously. Result - I went from 224 lbs to 188 lbs and have managed to keep it off in the 8 years since then.
For me it was primarily a matter of pretty much eating several times a day between meals as well as portion control. When I did the massive loss, I basically cut out all high carb food except fruits and vegetables. Wherever possible, I avoided eating any grains. I've never really worked out whether it was going low carb that benefited me or if it's just the fact that it's really hard to find fast food that fits that criteria.

I lost about 100 pounds by obsessively making rules and calorie counting, but I plateaued at a point where I was not comfortable. I lost another 40 pounds by drastically increasing my physical activity.

None of this was planned or even particularly thought through. I just tried stuff and would keep doing what I was doing as long as I was losing weight, then changing stuff when I plateaued.
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Old 09-28-20, 12:01 AM
  #178  
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It should be pointed out that, indeed, the link between the gut and the brain (where the thinking part happens) is a current area of great interest to researchers. One example is the link between Parkinson's and gut bacteria. I also agree that frankly, BF has a peculiarly strong tilt towards self-appointed pseudoscientists.
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Old 09-28-20, 12:28 AM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I find people's experiences very interesting and have learned from that. But by advice, I'm referring to people telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing. It is often accompanied by being told whether or not I'm thinking too much or too little or some of the usual "it's a simple matter of..." drivel. This stuff I find absolutely useless , and usually contradictory of what the last guy "told" me.

I'm formerly obese, I suspect where we lose in the translation here is that when you are obese, people who never have been just often seem to think that gives them a license to claim some sort of expertise and don't realize just how condescending and discouraging they're being. I've had to learn to tune such people out, and I believe you'll find that's pretty common among people who have actually succeeded at massive weight loss.
I'm going to push back every time someone starts up with this "it's a simple matter of calories in, calories out" crap. It may be simple for them, but it just isn't simple for a lot of people.
I don't recall anyone telling you you had to do anything.

You take your personal hurts and bitterness and project them onto whatever other people are saying. You use terms like worthless and drivel and then complain about others being condescending. You claim one cannot be to specific because each person is different and then complain about being too general as not being specific enough. You have a whole list of things people have said, which they haven't actually said, and you continue to confuse concepts like simple with easy.

The most frustrating thing is that, at the end of the day you now basically echo some of the same points I previously made. Calorie counting, cutting out high amounts of carbs, incorporating exercise... sadly, you can only acknowledge that as being valid if you are the one saying it.

Push back all you want. But expect push back to your push back and to have the obvious disrespect you have for others and the illogical nature of your comments to be clearly pointed out.

If you really don't want to continue this discussion with me that's fine. Stop referencing me or what I say, either directly or indirectly, and I won't feel the need to respond and correct you.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 09-28-20 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 09-28-20, 05:25 AM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I find people's experiences very interesting and have learned from that. But by advice, I'm referring to people telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing.
I agree that advice based only on someoneís opinion is useless as there are many conflicting opinions about almost everything.

I find advice useful when accompanied by supporting rationale and evidence. It is the rationale and evidence that is useful.
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Old 09-28-20, 06:06 AM
  #181  
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I think it depends on how you define "fitness". I know there are 8 to 10 recognized components of fitness (too lazy to look them up right now) but as a guy who was genetically blessed to be naturally big and strong, any fitness goals I pursue are geared to cardio-respiratory fitness and cycling has had a huge beneficial impact for me, both in my own perceptions and by hard data, like power output, duration of ride and even some heart numbers.

The OP seems to equate "exercise" and "fitness" with weight control, and I completely disagree. Weight control is achieved thru discipline and perseverance in the kitchen and at the table. Exercise makes me more hungry, so it's actually worse than worthless for weight control, for me.
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Old 09-28-20, 07:55 AM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
I think it depends on how you define "fitness". I know there are 8 to 10 recognized components of fitness (too lazy to look them up right now) but as a guy who was genetically blessed to be naturally big and strong, any fitness goals I pursue are geared to cardio-respiratory fitness and cycling has had a huge beneficial impact for me, both in my own perceptions and by hard data, like power output, duration of ride and even some heart numbers.

The OP seems to equate "exercise" and "fitness" with weight control, and I completely disagree. Weight control is achieved thru discipline and perseverance in the kitchen and at the table. Exercise makes me more hungry, so it's actually worse than worthless for weight control, for me.
I agree that fitness and weight control are two different things. I have never had serious weight issues. Topped out at about 180. I weighed 145 when I got married and was 180 five years later. Combination of good cooking, office work and getting to the age when weight accumulates more easily. Mostly since then I have run between 160 and 170. At 5' 10" with a slight frame I think my ideal weight would be low 160s or even high 150s. Could be higher if I added some more muscle mass. But 165 to 170 is decent. I watch what I eat a bit more carefully when I get into the upper 160's.

Anyway, there is a guy in the neighborhood training for an Ironman and his trainer looks a good 30lbs plus over weight but he is way more fit than I am. There are lots of people who are heavy and fit and others who are slim but in terrible physical condition.

My experience is that exercise supports weight control by providing motivation for a healthy lifestyle.
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Old 09-28-20, 08:18 AM
  #183  
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Back to original post. I was 500lbs last week, I walked 200 miles on day one, gained 14lbs. Yesterday I leaped on my 63 year old bike, rode it around the block and lost 350lbs, there, you CAN lose weight if you try.
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Old 09-28-20, 08:47 AM
  #184  
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When I was in my teens I was very non athletic and unhealthy, but genetically stocky and strong from working as a furniture mover after school and weekends. Also smoked two packs a day. I think I topped out at 230-235.

In my early twenties the only exercise I really did was power lifting in a garage gym but then wanted to play with friends on a recreational football team. I didn't want to be the worst guy out there so I began running around the school track. Eventually that helped me stop smoking. I credit flag football with saving my life!
I stopped football but continued running, like Forest Gump. 1 mile, 5k, 10k, marathon... All my life I have cycled but before then it was utilitarian. At that point I added cycling and swimming as cross training (triathlon) sports as I pushed the envelope into ultra endurance efforts. I also began looking at food as fuel and eating more healthy. My strong weight was 165 but I could dip to 155 when over training.

At the same time I was introduced to climbing and my endurance training shifted focus to support that activity. Rock, ice and alpine. I began to balance dynamic strength with endurance. Moved to the Canadian Rockies and added XC skiing and martial arts for winter training (Karate, Kendo).

Eventually got married and had three kids. My wife loves to cook and while I still did those activities when I could, I did not do so to the same degree and my weight rose again to a relatively fit but heavy 225. I was pretty strong. One day, on a whim I decided to do 1000 pushups and did 20 sets of 50 throughout my work day. In my mid 30's I became vegetarian and became focused on foods nutritional components as I still needed to perform athletically within that new diet regime. Cycling took on a far larger part of my physical activity as I commuted over long distances to work, college, different work and college a second time. As mentioned before, a consistent problem I struggle with is portion control as I conditioned my mind from earlier training and ongoing high physical output to see large volumes of food as being normal. I could easily eat twice what others did.

As I get older I still do a number of outdoor activities such as multiple cycling disciplines, kayaking, trail running, scuba and free diving... my goal being to maintain a general degree of all around fitness so that I can take up and transition from various activities easily. I do not train in a gym perse, but cross train to focus on either cardio or strength, for example cycling long distance or hill climbing. Food consumption continues to play a key role in terms of available energy vs the physical strain that excess weight produces and it has a central role in my daily life as part of an outdoor pursuits / healthy lifestyle. Especially, as an older athletic person with a body type prone to weight gain due to genetics and portion control issues. I have also become more interested in socio/economic issues surrounding food in society on both an individual and macro scale. I don't always count calories but I limit the type of food I eat to specific types and exercise a fair degree of discipline in what eat. I view food primarily as fuel and not as a means of enjoyment unlike my wife, who considers flavour to be paramount.

Exercise itself can lead to weight loss, especially when it becomes endurance / cardio based; partly because of the calories expended but, as some have also noted, because of the effect adopting that exercise has on ones outlook. As one adopts an exercise or health oriented lifestyle, healthy food choices tend to flow from that as part of the package. I see it as both wanting to put a better grade of fuel in my gas tank and wanting to create a more responsive, lighter physical frame to engage those activities with.

My problem has never been needing to bulk up in size, it has always been that it is too easy for me to do so. I have what is referred to as an endomorph body type. The fuel source I seek has the double edged effect of adding bulk and weight easily so I have had to become more intelligent in the sources I take in. It would be great if I wanted to become a body builder but sucks if I want to be an agile endurance athlete.

On a discussion forum, when the topic of diet and exercise comes up, I have my opinions that are based on a lifetime of engagement and study so I'm not afraid to express them.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 09-28-20 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 09-28-20, 10:20 AM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I have what is referred to as an endomorph body type.
When I take a body type quiz, I come out Mesomorph, but I am a little on the thinner side and do not gain muscle mass as easily as a true Mesomorph so I classify myself as between Mesomorph and Ectomorph.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:27 AM
  #186  
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Actually biking is great exercise for older people - weight-bearing exercise is murder on the joints, and you only get one set per lifetime. So you really don't want to wear them out your joints doing full weight bearing exercise all the time. Just ask any aging long-distance runners you might know...

Movement without weight, like pedaling a bike, gets blood and lubricating fluids circulating through the joints, nourishing the joints and keeping them healthy and flexible. Taking it easier as you get older is a good thing... but yes, you must augment with strength and core training, and of course monitor the intake.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:30 AM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I never quite understood how cycling can be considered not to be weight-bearing. Sure, nothing in your upper body gets much of a workout.
... assuming you're on a road bike with drop bars.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:33 AM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by djcookie View Post
I've gone to two local meetups with road cycling clubs. One was a social meet up, and the members seemed far more fit than the average person of their ages (most were older). At the second meet, everyone was ready for a ride in their gear. I was shocked by their appearance. In full lycra kit, they had comically oversized pot bellies, but with skinny noodly arms and legs.

Basically, cycling is just sitting. It is not weight bearing. Your bones become weaker as you sweat away minerals over long miles. Your muscles and bones don't become any stronger because they don't have to bear any weight. As a matter of fact, any additional weight is a liability, so additional muscle mass only penalizes you on climbs.

Even when I was riding many miles a week, I never lost any significant weight. In the past couple of weeks, I've been walking and hiking instead. I've lost more weight in these past couple of weeks than I did when I was riding upwards of 200 miles a week cycling!

Cycling for me is more about fun and recreation rather than "physical fitness." You become fit when you become stronger, and cycling may actually lead to the opposite.
I think it's great that these folks are riding their bikes.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:43 AM
  #189  
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My question is; why does cycling have to be a form of anything why can't it just be fun whether you have a beer belly or quads for days. Why does there have to be some reason to ride my bike why can't I just ride it because it's fun and clears my mind? If I die at 500 pounds I'm just as dead as if I die at 160, doing things for some nebulous goal seems kinda silly, enjoy what you do when nothing is demanded of you.

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Old 09-28-20, 11:45 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Basically walking and hiking are just standing.
Walking is just falling, and then catching yourself from falling. Over and over
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Old 09-28-20, 11:45 AM
  #191  
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Originally Posted by djcookie View Post
Cycling is a poor form of exercise.
You need to try harder. Do you have a power meter or heart rate monitor? Tried some interval training? Yeah sitting on your bike and doing mile after mile at 12 mph will get you nowhere. The old myth about losing weight doing LSD is just that, a myth. Get yourself a proper training program or just go out and try harder, youíll see results.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:52 AM
  #192  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Mt question is; why does cycling have to be a form of anything why can't it just be fun whether you have a beer belly or quads for days. Why does there have to be some reason to ride my bike why can't I just ride it because ...

^ This.

Myself, I find cycling to be a good way to "recharge the batteries" and to get across town at the same time. I ride briskly enough to get the heart pumping and cardio going a bit. And I have yet to find a better exercise for keeping the old leg/hip muscle injuries whipped into shape and kept sufficiently flexible. I can do "cardio" machines every day at the gym, and I'll get a better cardio result, but I tend to get better overall fitness results when daily cycling's a part of my regimen. Works for me. Even if others have different standards on "the point" of riding.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:58 AM
  #193  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Mt question is; why does cycling have to be a form of anything why can't it just be fun whether you have a beer belly or quads for days. Why does there have to be some reason to ride my bike why can't I just ride it because it's fun and clears my mind? If I die at 500 pounds I'm just as dead as if I die at 160, doing things for some nebulous goal seems kinda silly enjoy what you do when nothing is demanded of you.
:like:
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Old 09-28-20, 12:06 PM
  #194  
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I lost 60 lbs in 10 months of riding and just about every health measure has improved, in some cases significantly. I would have to disagree with the OP.
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Old 09-28-20, 12:14 PM
  #195  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Unplug the battery and try it again.
Haha, great answer! That explains my pot belly!
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Old 09-28-20, 12:27 PM
  #196  
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It depends on how you measure Fitness

I died in Jan 2019, jumper cables, and I was back but it was 5 months to get back on the bike. All along the way, someone was always trying to slot me into longterm disability. When I told them how much cycling I did last year they would always suggest we could try something that moved me towards recovery instead of a vegetable bin. In theory, I would never get off oxygen. It took a couple of months, but I finally told the cardiologist after I'd been off it for a month. The same for driving, when I told them I was driving they were shocked. The first bike ride was 3 miles with HR, BP, and SpO2 data being recorded. 10 days later I rode a 25-mile event with just HR data (and lots of rolling ******* from my cycling club).

Doctors were right, there's no path to full recovery for me, but I'm back up to 45 miles a week. I tried for 6 months and I was 45 minutes behind on a two-hour ride. I'm on the new cardiac cocktail of drugs that has better outcomes than stints or surgery but I'm lucky to get to 110 BPM going uphill. Most of the time it's high 80s low 90s. After a year they canceled the robot nurse after they finally accepted I wasn't dying on their timetable. I now ride a hybrid which allows me just enough extra power to keep my friends in view. There's no keeping up cranking 110 BPM when they are at 140-160 BPM. To put it in perspective, I use 65 to 110 watts to keep up, there are none of these ridiculous 750-watt bikes for me. My bike's max is 250 watts but I need to do all the work I can to stay healthy. I've also modified my hybrid so it's very competitive off. It has a drag-free off mode on the drive, I've regeared it to MTB 2x 11 for better climbing, and I put on Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL tires.

So it was 8 years after my expected expiration date when I was jump-started (now I have an implant for that) and I'm way ahead of where the doctors thought I'd be.

Conclusion: The cycling lifestyle (including a good cycling club fit) leads to better fitness. But it may not trim your waist, the trick (as I understand it) is small snacks as you ride so you are not famished after your ride.
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Old 09-28-20, 12:31 PM
  #197  
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This is my first real post here but since this thread was the first thing I saw, I guess I'm going to use it to jump in and just tell my story...

Originally Posted by djcookie View Post
I've gone to two local meetups with road cycling clubs...I was shocked by their appearance,.. comically oversized pot bellies, but with skinny noodly arms and legs... Basically, cycling is just sitting. It is not weight bearing. ..
Cycling for me is more about fun and recreation rather than "physical fitness." You become fit when you become stronger, and cycling may actually lead to the opposite.
I've observed the same thing and worried about it too, but at my age, I can't run or jog like I used to because of the impact issues. I've been able to bicycle without any joint impact problems. I'll share my own experiences (at age 61). My goals are primarily related to health maintenance.

From my twenties to my forties, I ran 5 days a week and varied between periods of running 1 mile per day and at times was up to 5 miles per day. I also lifted weights regularly (but not seriously heavy lifting). I was fine and maintained reasonable weights until my knees and hips began to ache. Around my mid forties, I had to stop running. I was able to maintain a few gym workouts per week however, which were helpful. In my early fifties, I bought a road bike and that also helped me to maintain my weight with very little side effects and I had no pain in my knees or hips.

Due to a difficult work schedule, I ended up losing my biking habit though and a few years ago, tried to go back to running a mile or two per day. I was consistent on this for about a full year. At the end of that year, I realized that I was just in constant pain (hips and knees). Whatever benefit running gave me was just not worth it. I had to stop. So over the past year or so, my only real exercise was the gym twice or so per week. Four or five months ago, I could hardly get out of bed because of back and muscle aches. This went on for a long time.

So I decided to get back on my bike but in a more consistent basis - 5 days a week (I live in a hilly city so it definitely involves lots of hills which I'm happy about).

Daily bicycling has fixed my back. No gym due to Covid 19 - Just bicycling. I feel sore, and it does seem that my quads are a bit tight, almost too tight so far, but some stretching is helping. The main thing is that my soreness does not feel like "injury".

I've been riding alone. I've had about three accidents since I bought my bike, one was a simple (but painful) fall. I was trying to keep up with a friend - the other two were random stupid collisions with other bikers. Thank God, I haven't hit or been hit by a car. In one of my accidents, the other guy was seriously injured and had to go to the hospital. I was extremely lucky and walked away unharmed. In none of those cases, do I believe I was at any more fault than the other (and I don't think they feel that way either). Regardless, I've come to the conclusion that a single accident can negate years of fitness benefits so I just ride alone nowadays. I get exercise, reflection time, and enjoyment - these are my primary objectives. I do enjoy socializing. If I do ever go with a group again, I'm only going to socialize before or after the ride and I'm going to ride sweep, not talking to anyone during the ride. LOL

My thinking is that if one is interested in improving health (and can't run or jog), the keys are:
1. Biking Regularity - to burn more than the average calories for one's age. I do think two or three long rides per month can help to cut some weight a little quicker though.
2. Reducing Caloric Intake - The idea of allowing some hunger is not a bad one.
3. Adding Some Type of Weight Bearing Exercise - for the upper body 2 - 3 times per week.
4. Do Not Get Injured - Safety always first!
That's my intro and my two - cents on biking and health. I look forward to hearing more of your (more experienced than mine) views.

Thanks,
Joe

Last edited by Joezeppy; 09-28-20 at 12:36 PM. Reason: fixes
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Old 09-28-20, 12:32 PM
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Joezeppy
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Remove the saddle. Problem solved.
LOL, I love this answer.
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Old 09-28-20, 12:59 PM
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LeftyS7
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Losing weight?

Want to lose weight? EAT less. That's how you get your dog to lose weight. Get some one to feed you and control what they give you!
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Old 09-28-20, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
My question is; why does cycling have to be a form of anything why can't it just be fun whether you have a beer belly or quads for days. Why does there have to be some reason to ride my bike why can't I just ride it because it's fun and clears my mind? If I die at 500 pounds I'm just as dead as if I die at 160, doing things for some nebulous goal seems kinda silly, enjoy what you do when nothing is demanded of you.

This is what I love about bikes. There's so many different reasons to ride that I don't need to sort out my motivations. I got into as a kid for fun and the fitness aspects of it were basically a side effect. I got older and my motivations change, but I still want to make it fun.
And, yeah, some people who ride have bellies. That's probably because it's still fun to ride when you are heavy. Running when you're heavy really sucks. If someone wants to take their belly for a ride, more power to them!
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