I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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I actually have more respect for the larger riders. I was slightly obese when I started riding to work (almost a decade ago) which at the time involved a 3-4km climb (I would guess an average of 5% with some steeper bits ~8%?) on my cheap MTB with knobblies. It used to take me 45mins or so to ride the 8km. It hurt far worse, on every level, than ANY riding I do now. And that is before you start worrying what other people think, although the vast majority of people are encouraging (as are most people i have met with fitness related stuff).
I can now do the same trip in < 20 mins... and continue on to, for instance, Nelson Bay a little under 250km further down the road.
It can also be turned to your advantage. Next week is the annual (and infamous) Fat Man's Wheel Race where handicap is based on your BMI. The bigger you are, the better your handicap. If you're the winner, you get your weight in dollars!
I tend to agree but the wheels I have are the ones which came with the bike and I'm just stubborn enough to keep fixing the back wheel until I get at least 10k out of it
By the way, the spokes breaking on the back don't appear to be butted, they are the same gauge all along, just a bit thinner. But all the spokes have the same size nipple.
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
The people who ridicule larger cyclists are so often the ones who probably wouldn't dare to ride. I used to be overweight myself, though not above 100kg. Just made myself change and went out and did it over time through walking and riding.
I try to encourage others to give it a go as much as possible.
Giant TCR SL1 / Cervelo P5 Six / Specialized Langster Pro
Who cares what you weigh and what people say.
As long as you are having a go, that is all that matters.
I really think people get all caught up with what everybody else thinks these days
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever" Lance Armstrong
I'm certainly in the 'larger' cyclist camp (although less and less so thankfully) so the lycra certainly stretches more than it is meant too. But - I don't care. I sometimes wear shy shorts on the roady - still don't care. I'm enjoying being out on the bikes, getting fitter and spending time with my kids out on the trails and alone being int the environment. What anyone else thinks of how I look is so low on my list of concerns. I go slow up hills. I've been known to get off and walk up some technical bits. I sweat alot. But I LOVE IT!! I reckon there is enough room out there for all sorts of riders and all sorts of bikes. I appreciate the greetings, nods and encouragement from other cyclists. Sometimes you get a look of 'what are you doing out here' or 'get off that bike, you're hurting it' but hey some people are just tools. I don't need, want or care to be concerned what they think.
Just ride something.
That is exactly what I was on about, good work Glenn keep on loving it
I was in the same boat, 2 years ago I weighed in at 170 kgs and with the help of my Lap Band and mountain biking I've lost 60kgs and best of all I've also lost my type 2 diabetes.
Just took part in my first mounain biking event and completed the 30klm ride/push in 3 hours and 13 minutes and am looking forward to a charity ride in 40 days where I'm going in the 60klm road ride. 12 months ago I purchased a Specialized Hardrock 29er for the rough stuff and just last week I purchased a Merida Crossway 100 for the upcomming charity road ride.
Congratulations for your hard work, you should be very proud, soo many people (my old man included) dont realise that you can manage your type 2diabetes.
Which charity ride is that?
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
I'm a lifelong weight yo-yo-er. Went into my twenties obese, trimmed right down for a decade, put a bunch back on in early thirties.
Only thing I have to really add is that I've found mountain bikers to be an awesomely supportive and non-judgemental community toward unfit noobs. There's a small elite clique, I guess, but out on the trails it's mostly cheers and smiles for anyone who gives it a gutsy go.
I quite certain that the 1st example mikesbytes is referring to is me. So I thought I might indulge in the story.... if yous are up for it. I think it makes interesting reading and I sometimes shake my head in disbelief when I really think about things. I have written it down as much for myself as anything, but people often ask about stuff
The weight loss.
I was indeed about 225kg or so at the start of 2010, and got it down to 100 in about 18 months. For reference I'm about 6'4" and am now 42 yrs old.
Why was I 225kg?
Mikesbytes is also correct in that beer is where it hinges for me. Over a period of 10 years I'd pretty much degenerated into a semi withdrawn booze-hound. I basically worked, pretty hard to be honest, and drank. Stopped doing anything else other than drinking. Not trying to be overly dramatic, but a realistic estimate of beer consumption was something like 3 cases a week for the last few years there. Add to that an enormous intake of junk food - pizza, pies, kebabs. Honestly, I would rarely eat even a single piece of fruit, or veggies that weren't a small part of a meal. Being 200+kg requires lots of calories, and somewhere I crossed a line where I just no longer cared. Surprisingly, given my BMI was 60+, I had relatively few health problems other than my knees being pretty bad, but I was in my late 30s and clearly headed for disaster. Walking 300m from the work car park to my desk was my limit of physical endurance, and I had long ago given up the 2km walk to work. Sad, perhaps even unbelievable and hard to explain, but true.
I knew for long time I had to stop drinking - I'd stopped before for up to 3 months, but always returned worse than ever. So absolute abstinence was the way forward for me. I'd known that for many years, but it took a while to truly commit - knowing the path is different to walking the path. But I did stop drinking just straight up cold turkey and everything else followed. What was the motivation? Loved ones? Long term health? Not really as I didn't care too much anymore. Only thing that I really missed, wanted to be fitter for, wanted to spend my time doing were motorbikes. I wanted to ride road bikes since I was barely even doing that, I wanted to get back on a dirt bike, and most of all I wanted to ride, and race, superbikes. And, whilst I had always likes pushies, I honestly believed I would never ride them again, so didn't even think about it.
Months 1 through 4 - all I did was stop drinking beer. Weight dropped about 4~5 kg a month and I went from 225 to 200 or so. I didn't do much exercise as, indeed, I couldn't! I was probably eating a bit better, but I wasn't overly disciplined, I was just trying to get through the 1st period of not drinking. Living by yourself does NOT help. This was the hardest part!!
Months 5 through 8 - I started walking. And I started watching what I ate. I restricted myself to 2000 calories a day, which at that time felt very easy to do. I had monster (150g dry - boiled into perhaps 1kg!) serves of porridge, which have powered my mornings ever since. A couple of salad sangers through the day, fruit/veg and small light dinners. since giving up booze and losing weight I was sleeping better. I was going to bed early and waking up early. Like 2 or 3am early, and then building up the walking to maybe 10km a day. The weight just started falling off. 10 kg per month!! The motivation you get from losing weight like this and feeling much better weekly, sometimes even daily, was just awesome. So now I was down to about 160kg or so.
Month 9 onwards - The bicycle!! At about 180kg I had tried my old bicycle - an early 90s diamondback apex mtb on slicks - but it was too difficult. At 160kg I tried again and I found I could do it. I rode 30km one Saturday and I was probably the happiest guy in Melbourne that day. I was worried about me knees, but they pulled up OK. Over time I built up the kms. Pretty soon I was riding most mornings, averaging 150~200kms a week. Oh yeah, I bought a new bike to - a Giant Seek urban thingo, that has subsequently done over 50000 kms. I still get up at 2 am, so an average 3hrs on a bike is still part of the day...
The goal achieved.
This continued, riding more, losing weight. As I got closer to 100kg the weight loss reduced, but I did get down to 100kg. In July 2011, about 18 months. To be honest, 100kg wasn't my goal as I didn't have a goal weight, I was just riding the loss for all it was worth. Just turns out my body doesn't really want to be lighter than 100kg, which I'm happy with.
And then what?
At 100kg I started to get hungry. Real hungry. At 120 kg I could burn 5000 cal a day and happily consume only 2000. I still had plenty of fat to power me. But not at 100kg. The whole balance of "calories in - calories burned" didn't change, but at 100kg the fat stores became low I guess because I got hungry. I've never been so cold as winter 2011. I was cold and hungry. If I wanted to burn 5000 calories a day, I needed to eat 5000 calories day. And so it has been since then. I still weigh about 100 kg, I've averaged perhaps 5000 cal a day burned ever since, and I don't count calories as such but it seems reasonable that I eat 5000 calories a day now. I'm an eating machine
So anyway, quite a long story. Sorry if it has bored you. In a way it's hard to recall what it is like being hugely overweight, but then I do have weird flashbacks. Like walking up to a flight of stairs and feeling a sudden terror before remembering - oh yeah, I'm actually really fit now. That's nice
The knees are surprisingly good. They are damaged, hove some cartilage wear issues, but seem to cope OK with lots of cycling. Not much to be done according to the surgeon, just worn. If anything they have improved a bit, but I still couldn't do some squats...
And I've never had a drink since either, in case anyone was wondering. I love booze, I love being drunk more than (almost) anything in the world. But It's the price I had to pay. All my mates still drink, most social occasions involve others drinking, but I just have learned to go with out. It's actually not very hard now, just part of my mind set, but there was some struggle at the start
And some stuff about the bikes
Motorbikes. I love them. And it's why I lost weight. I wanted to ride again because I honestly couldn't. Going up in weight I found even 150 or 160 kg was fine for riding. But by 200kg riding was just not really that practical anymore and I didn't enjoy it.
I love dirtbikes. This was a big goal - to be able to go dirt bike riding. And I did when I go below about 140kg. Strangely, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped. I still do it from time to time, but the passion wasn't as strong as I expected and I have too many other hobbies...
I returned to doing what I had done for 20 years prior - fanging around local hooning roads and some light weight kind of touring. Rides across the mountains with mates, a lap of Tasmania, up and down the coast of vic / nsw. I started doing that a lot toward the end of 2010 when I was down under 150kg again, and continued until...
... until I hit the racetrack again. Now this was a HHHUUUUUGGGGEEE goal. Most days of my adult life I have thought about racetracks and racing. I had done some track days in the past but I had never got to race when I was young because I was too poor. And when I had enough money I was too fat. And then too drunk. But I wanted to get back to the track, and finally when I was perhaps 110kg or so I bought some leathers and went to the track. And it was my true love again. This was my passion. This was the motivation. This was the goal. And it was even better than I expected. 2 months later I was racing - a gsxr1000 - and few months after that I had "wasted" perhaps 20K in race meetings, tyres, etc, and had a 200km/h dismount at phillip island, putting the bike out of action. That made me take stock and take a break. Which has continued until now. I have done some track days since but each of the last 2 season I have not committed to racing, partly because of expense, partly because of, well... lack of commitment. But the fire is still there, and I'm gearing up for season 2014. Oh yeah, and then there is one final obstacle...
It turns out I love riding pushies. I didn't think I would ever do it again, but ever since I got that seek I have stuck riding. It's hard to explain, but I think I feel like someone who was blind and regained their vision. I can't tell you how thankful I am about riding bikes. Average over the last 3 years is about 500kms a week. Not because I want to fit (I do) or because I don't want to be fat (I don't), or even because I want to race them (I do... sometimes), but the main reason I ride is because I like them. I ride every day I can. And it just works out well for me. Get up at 2am ish, have plenty of time to ride on the deserted streetscape in Melbourne. I love the city at night, my bike (and obviously some decent lights). The satisfaction I get from riding pushies compensates for not racing motorbikes. It's true, and it's costs about 100 times less in terms of $ per kilometer or hour.
More thoughts about bikes.
I have 6 or so bikes - rideable ones anyway.
A road bike
An urban/hybrid bike
A singlespeed road bike
A cheap commuter
A dual suspension XC MTB
A 26" cruiser BMX
I bought the 1st one when I was 160kg, and have put some 75000 kms on them in total. The urban thingo has over 50000 of those. In my experience, bikes are strong. None have had frame or fork problems. The brakes and drivetrains all last fine. Just rear wheels suffer a bit is you are very heavy. Several of my bikes have had rear wheels built up. Nothing extravagant, just reasonable quality, some good spokes, and they seem fine. I've been asked by many people on what they should buy as someone heavier. I just think buy whatever, but perhaps get the rear wheel re-done if it needs it. And enjoy
This. Is. Awesome.
You can do this on a pushie as well. Get a track bike, get on a velodrome, and you'll have the same sort of experience you had on a motorbike, except you're pedaling. Imagine doing 60kph on a bike with no brakes while riding up a 42 degree wall, all the while wearing lycra. Body armour and full face helmets are for pussies.
A family member who got back into cycling after many years and is now clocking up heaps of K's on his new Merida, he goes in the runs as a matter fact did the recent mountains and brissy to coast 100K ride, he changed his eating habits and lifestyle and has lost heaps of weight. I was inspired by his effort and been doing that myself for the past few months, it is amazing what not drinking every day, riding the bike, and better meal choices do for you. I must say though my jersey will have to wait until I lose a bit more of my belly, and the nics are never going to happen I wear the boardie type shorts with the cycling inserts (actually bought them in the last Aldi bike gear sale and I love them, 3 pairs $20 each I am not complaining)
OI onya bike!!!
Of the gold plated variety!
Welcome outside anttismo, truly inspiring stuff.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
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