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Greetings From The Lost Coast

Old 07-23-11, 03:18 AM
  #1  
Slingerland
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Greetings From The Lost Coast

Hello Everyone,

I am a casual but daily rider who loves cross country bike trips. I've taken several shorter rides that covered anywhere from 50 to 200 or so miles, but I have taken a few rather lengthy trips as well. Over the course of many months on and off between about 1975 and 1980 I rode from Denver to Denver via the west coast and Canada, for a total of approximately 5,500 miles. I spent about half of that time riding, and the other half working along the way. Basically riding awhile then working awhile then riding awhile, whenever I could get away. (Being a working musician had it's benefits...) The route I followed roughly traced Stephen Mather's "National Park to Park Highway", but there were a lot more parks along the route when I rode through than there were in the 1920's.

A few years later I rode "The Mother Road", Route 66, from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California using the same strategy. Actually, it was the modern Interstate Highways (and associated frontage roads) that follow nearly the route for most of that trip. Those being Interstates 55, 44, 40, 15, 10, and various frontage roads and other state and US highways.

Fast forward about 15 years to 1996, as a newly "Retired Hippie Guitar Player", I decided I wanted to move to the Coast of Northern California by bicycle. I had a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo MTB I was preparing to ride. Unfortunately it was stolen the day I planned to leave Flagstaff, Arizona on. That stopped me dead in my tracks until I could get another bike and camping gear. I ended up riding a green Giant Boulder 550 which was so heavy that I called it a total tank, and joked that all it needed was a Howitzer.

After I got here I got lazy and spent too much time sitting in front of my computer. I got fat, and my health went down hill rather quickly. In 2005 I was diagnosed with diabetes. I should have seen it coming after 25 years of restaurant food, eating too much junk food, smoking too much, ahem... smoking too much, and generally not taking good care of myself.

So I bought a Trek Navigator 100 for $340.00 and planned to ride every day. Over the next two years I put a grand total of 150 miles on it. To say the least that didn't help very much. Several things happened seemingly all at once to make it all come together.

First of all, I turned 52 which made me start thinking. (Oh no!) Last year one of my A1c test results was 10.4%, and my Doctor told me "It's been nice knowing you." That kind of scared me a little at the time, but it didn't really soak in until my 52nd birthday. My Mother and Sister both died of diabetic complications at the age of 52, and I decided that I did not want to join them.

So I dusted Ol' Bessie (that's my bike) off and took off. I only rode a little at first, then more as I got more used to it. The ol' backside didn't like the seat very much, but I got used to it. I was talking to the guy in the bike shop I go to and he told me I should ride 3 to 5 miles a day, as that would take me about 30 minutes and would be a good minimum for a guy my age and state of health. But I wasn't going to settle for that after being a cross country cyclist just a few years ago, so I pushed a little harder. It only took me a few days to get used to riding 7 miles a day. Now my average is between 12 to 15 miles almost every day. Weather permitting, of course.

It has paid off big time. I lost 85 pounds, my diabetes is under control, and I feel 100% better. Ol' Bessie has nearly 12,000 miles on her now. In fact, last January she was almost completely worn out. So I rebuilt her using all Shimano Deore parts. She saved my life so I saved hers, even though it was a pretty spendy project. I spent about two and a half times my original investment but it was worth it.

So how's that for a wordy introduction?
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Old 07-23-11, 05:30 AM
  #2  
GeoBigJon 
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Howdy and welcome to the forums! Great intro, nice journey, congrats on taking control of your life.
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Old 07-23-11, 09:32 AM
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10 Wheels
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Welcome to Bike Forums.

Very nice intro.
Have fun here.
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Old 07-23-11, 09:34 AM
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NCMTBIKER
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Nice intro
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Old 07-23-11, 09:50 AM
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steve85
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Welcome to the forums!
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Old 07-23-11, 06:33 PM
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DEK
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Welcome to the forums. Sounds like you've lead a very interesting life.
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