100 lb. Club - Biking!!!




View Full Version : Biking!!!


synger
09-15-2005, 03:47 PM
I LOVE my new bike!!! :bike: If you remember, I hadn't actually seen it or tried it out in person -- the shop had to special-order it. So I still had an image of my husband's old Schwinn with the high performance tires on it that made me wobble and feel like I'd break them.

Not this puppy! Big, thick tires. Shock-absorbing seat. Gel-padded saddle. Oh-my-god 21 gears!!! (Who in the WORLD uses 21 gears??)

I felt so silly in my brand-new bike helmet, looking at the bike, knowing I was gonna have to swing my fat old leg up over behind. But it was much easier than I expected. Once on the bike, I took a moment to settle myself.

Then I was off! :bike:

What a difference!!! Like night and day. When I tried that old Schwinn a few months ago, I couldn't make it up the gentle hill on our block. I had to stop haflway up, feeling like my heart would burst. But with this baby in low gear I could do it! Slowly, still struggling a bit. But I didn't have to stop. And I sailed around the rest of the block without a problem at all.

So I decided to venture out of my one-block circle and into the neighborhood at large. I vaguely remembered my bike hand signals from my far-distant youth (they DID have bikes in the Jurassic Period, didn't they?), and headed out of my comfort zone.

Wow...

I rode down to the elementary school about five blocks away, and was feeling good. This was as far as I'd walked in the five years we've lived here. I figured now was as good a time as any to explore the road beside it. It curved around, suburban houses and townhouses dotting along the street, cul-de-sacs and other streets branching off it. I FLEW down one long street (liberally applying the hand brakes the whole way). :bike: It seemed like everywhere I looked was another little hidden street and mini-neighborhood that I had had NO idea was even there! Amazing!

Then I realized that I needed to head back. I was all over sweat, and my heart was pounding strongly, but not overly so. But of course, since I did so much flying to get there... I had to peddle MUCH harder to return. I ended up checking out almost every one of those 21 gears. :bike:

I never did find the gear that would turn the motor on and drive me home effortlessly. :moped: *laughs* But even though I had to stop a couple times on the way home -- once for a good five minutes until my heart was going at a normal rate -- I made it home safe and sound, and completely, utterly exhilerated.

I biked for 45 minutes. I had NO idea I would be out so long. I had expected maybe 20 minutes tops. But it was so much fun, even with my big ol' belly in the way at times. I got home, drank down a glass of water, then sat for a few minutes watching the news while I drank half of another. When I started feeling fairly normal again, I stretched my legs and arms out, then jumped in the shower. Boy, did THAT feel good!

And today, I'm barely saddle sore. That fancy gel-saddle is a lot easier on the bottom than those old seats I used to use.

Anyway, on to specifics. It's a Trek "comfort" bike -- the Navigator 50 http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/citybike/navigator50.jsp

The tires are nice and thick and supportive. It's a "sit up" bike rather than a "lean forward and race" bike. It's a woman's bike, so the frame was actually small enough for me (we had to get the 14.5 size. I'm 5'3")

Things I didn't think about: It didn't come with a kickstand, but my husband was thoughtful enough to buy one for me before bringing it home. Because he brought it home rather than me being there, the shop didn't get a chance to adjust the seat specifically for me. I need to make the seat a bit higher (easily done on this baby) so my legs can extend almost fully. By MD law, I need a bell on it, and a light if I'm going to be out after dark. I'd like some sort of carrying thing -- I wore a backpack-style purse for my wallet and keys, but it would be nice to have a basket or something. And I'm definitely wanting a water bottle carrier. I may also look into a rear-view mirror and an odometer so I know how far I've gone. But those aren't as important.

I am SO glad I didn't wait until I got down to 250 pounds, which is what I had originally considered. I want to be able to use it now, with my family, and enjoy the lovely fall weather. :bike:


DishyFishy
09-15-2005, 04:43 PM
I'm so pleased you love your bike, Synger! :bike: Very smart it is too, BTW. :snooty: I remember when I first got mine. I went from having no gears to having 14. I never thought I'd use all of them, and now I wish I had 21, or even more! :lol:

There's no way I would ever be without a bike. I don't have a car, so it's my primary method of transport. I just love it. Mine is a hybrid that I brought with me from England and is complete with an old-fashioned wicker basket on the front. :) I also have a trailer (actually, it's a child-carrier) that I got on mega-sale which is invaluable for shopping trips.

The bike's getting a bit long in the tooth now, :( and when it conks out I'll be replacing it with one that has thicker tyres. Mine aren't as thin as those on racing bikes, but still, on the roads here (especially in winter), wider ones would be a lot more practical. Also, it's difficult to get parts (especially tyres) because of its weird size. :rolleyes: I'll be sad to see it go though. It's been a loyal friend.

Thanks for sharing your first trip out. Once again, congratulations on your new bike. May you have many happy miles of safe cycling. :bike:

Goddess Jessica
09-15-2005, 05:16 PM
SYNGER!!!!

Welcome to the bike club! Oh I am so proud of you chica! Isn't it wonderful? It's like you're ten again. I recommend the rear rack and saddle bags (because I like my handbars to be basket free). I have a hybrid too (the sit up and not lean over feature rocks!).

I'm thinking about getting a trailer for the dogs but I'm not sure if they'd like it. :)

Jessica


frenchiepolarbear
09-15-2005, 08:36 PM
Synger, it was a real pleasure reading your post. I too rediscovered the fun of Biking after a 6 years break.

The fact that i now have a good quality bike helped a lot. I ride it to work every day....

activeadventurer
09-15-2005, 09:53 PM
Synger!!!!!

Thanks so much for your post on the new bike. You sound so delighted and carefree :D I am so excited for you. :hat: You are an inspiration!!! Iam promising myself a bike in the spring as a reward for staying on track this winter. I was really glad to that you gave some information on the make and model. Thanks again!!! And keep those posts coming. If your game I would love to here more about your further adventures. DCM :^:

SuchAPrettyFace
09-16-2005, 01:57 AM
I loved reading your post! I'm so glad you were able to do this!!! :) Keep on bikin'!

taekwondomom
09-16-2005, 02:47 AM
Isn't biking fabulous!?! :D And time goes so fast when you're driving around on one, havin' fun and getting some fabulous exercise too!
I bought myself a new bike for my birthday; :love:the only problem I have with it is that I don't get to ride it enough! ;) Makes me wish we lived in town so I could ride my bike to the library and other quick jaunts.

newfiedarling
09-16-2005, 08:36 AM
Hi Synger! I absolutely loved your post on your new bike,it sounds like you had so much fun! And you went out for 45 minutes - WTG!!

~Dee

mezmerize
09-16-2005, 09:13 AM
Synger, I loved the bike story! Sounds like you had a great time!

barbygirl43
09-16-2005, 11:27 AM
What a great bike story.

Thanks for sharing.

irishgreengables
09-16-2005, 02:19 PM
Ah the bike. I just love it too SYnger. Don't you feel like you are a child again -- so free. I seriously considered getting some handlebar tssles, but declined (I do have a bell, though). Congratulations on your new friend. Have you named it?? Mine is "Rocinante", Don Quixote's horse.

dragonwoman64
09-16-2005, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the report, great reading! :) We have a big park a couple of blocks from us. Some weekends, we sit on the grass and watch all the bikers (and rollerbladers, etc.) go by. I get such an itch to be on a bike too, but stop myself with the same thought you had, I'll wait until I'm thinner. I said that about the gym, luckily I joined anyway and I love that.

You're an inspiration to me. I'm glad your enjoying your new bike. (Love the model too, and gel seats, that's for me, baby!) ;)

Dippy Chip
09-17-2005, 11:36 AM
Totally agree, biking is fabulous! And your post was a joy to read, Synger!

What I like about biking is that you don't have to wait until you're already skinny to really get some benefit out of it without seriously doing yourself an injury - it's like swimming in that your weight is supported, and you don't put the same stresses on your ankles and knees that you do if you try jogging or running when you've got a lot of weight to lose. And man, you burn so many calories while having tons of fun at the same time!

I used to do mountain bike races and go on biking holidays, but I put my bike aside for a few years, and I've only recently dusted it off and started riding again regularly. I bought my mountain bike in '93 and it's still going strong (though I aim to buy myself a shiny new one in October as a reward for losing 50lbs). Where I live is pretty flat so you see top-notch lycra-clad types on 3000+ bikes riding alongside Miss Marple types on old sit-up-and-beg bikes with wicker baskets on the front - it's truly a universal sport and everyone gets something out of it!

Thanks for your post - it put a huge grin on my face! :D

All the best, Janey ;)

boiaby
09-17-2005, 02:19 PM
I agree Synger, awesome post! You sound so happy and carefree; it makes me wish even more that some hooligan didn't just steal my own bike a few weeks ago! :mad: Alright, you've convinced me, I'm just gonna have to pony up the dough and get myself another one. I don't want to miss out on any more of the fun! Thanks for sharing Synger, great post!!

Beverly

synger
09-17-2005, 03:32 PM
Today was our first "family ride" with me on my new bike. As I reported before, I'd gotten a little more comfortable riding outside of my little block and into my neighborhood at large. Didn't have to deal with much traffic, and no stop lights.

But today... today Hunter wanted to ride to the bike shop near the Amish Market.... That's completely outside of our neighborhood, down busy streets where cars are wizzing by at 40 miles an hour (or faster), where you have to use the buttons at the corner stoplights to get a pedestrian signal.

I psyched myself up, all the while I was getting ready. "I can do this. We'll go slow. We can take breaks." Put on my socks and shoes. "I can do this. It'll be fun...." Trying to convince myself while getting out my brand new bike lock and under-seat pack for wallet and keys. "I can do this. I've seen sidewalks the whole way we'll be going. It'll be safe."

We loaded Gem onto the seat behind Hunter, and got ourselves ready.

And we were off. Hunter led, because he'd biked it before with just him and Gem. Sidewalks. Good. We were okay on sidewalks. But some of them were narrow, and rutted, and not like the wide, smooth pavement I was used to. I just hung on and kept going. And by some miracle, survived.

Then we ran out of pavement. He was all for riding over the grass, but I wasn't comfortable with that yet (though my bike could do it, I'm sure, with those big thick tires), so I walked it until we found sidewalk again.

We turned onto a long, busy road, and coasted down a long sloping bit. Halfway up the other side, I had to stop and catch my breath. Boy, those hills are a killer! Even when it's just a slope, it really adds up. And if you lose your momentum... you're a goner.

The road narrowed ahead into a bridge, and the sidewalk narrowed as well. Cars whizzed past on one side, and a chain link fence on the other, and I was SURE I'd fall into the road. I just kept saying "I can do this, just a little bit farther. I can do this, just keep it steady. I can do this, remember to breathe..." and we crossed the bridge. This time when I stopped to rest it was to get the trembling under control. Needless to say, I voiced my opinion to my dear husband that we would NOT be returning home via this route. He smiled and agreed.

Finally we made it to the shopping center. We were both ready to stop by this time. We chained up our bikes and headed into the bike store. They had a water cooler!!! One of the things we had hoped to purchase were water bottle holders, and bottles, so we got those right off, and filled them up. MAN, did that taste good! We got the bells we needed (required by MD law), and looked at a rear rack system so I can carry things on my bike. I'm glad we went to the shop and had a salesman help us out -- my bike is so short and the tubes are so close (because it's a "woman's" frame), that the normal "pull the bottle out from the top" holder wouldn't work well. We would have had no clue.

Then we went to the market and had a nice lunch and got some meat from the butcher there to take home. We were ready to head home.

The trip home seemed much quicker. We saw a couple of other bikers out, one of whom grinned and waved and said "Great day for biking!" as he passed us. It was like we were in some new secret brotherhood or club that we'd only seen from the outside before. And now that we were out riding, in our helmets, on a lovely fall day, we were members.

We went a different way, up to another major street that crossed another bridge. But this bridge's sidewalks were nice and wide and I didn't feel out of control at all.

By the time we got home, we were more than ready to stop. I hadn't worn a watch, but I'd noted the time we left the Amish Market, and the time we got back inside the house. The trip home took about 45 minutes. So I was riding for twice the time I had the first time! No wonder my body was a little shakey.

We took a few minutes to cool down, then slipped into our swim suits and had a welcome and very refreshing dip in the pool. And now we're contemplating the rest of the afternoon.

Things I learned this trip:

When coasting down hill, don't slow down too much. You'll need the momentum to go up the hill that's inevitably coming up.

When you feel like you're going to die halfway up that hill, stop if you have to. Somehow it's easier to start on a hill when you're rested than to keep going when you feel like your legs are shaking.

Don't be afraid to use sidewalks if the traffic is crazy or you're uncomfortable in the street. (This was a big one for me -- I was taught to stay off the sidewalks as a child on a bike, but my home town had bike paths on most major roads so you didn't need the sidewalks.)

I raised the seat a little bit, and it really helped. I read on a bike site that most Americans keep their seats too low (a hold-over from when they were kids, perhaps), and that it makes you work harder. It was a little more awkward for me to start and stop with a higher seat... my bike is a small frame, and my belly takes up a LOT of room, so standing straddling the frame in front of the seat while waiting to start isn't as easy as it could be. But I'm learning to compensate.

Water is a VERY good thing. By new water bottle was almost completely empty by the time we got home. I now understand why people who bike sometimes use those Camelback water backpacks.

This is a GREAT family exercise and fun thing. I can't wait to ride again!

Mad 4 STING
09-17-2005, 04:22 PM
I, too, love your bike story!

I bought a nice hybrid about 5 years ago and my daughter "took" it because she said it was like brand new because I never rode it. That way, she said, I would save money by not having to buy her a new one (she out grew her old one). I was kind of like you, but I wanted to lose weight before I started toning......never happened.

Then we moved an hour north and our new home lies adjacent to the connector of a major bike/walking trail that goes through southern & central Ohio! I live in a suburb where you can get to virtually any place via bike path, even the mall. Many businesses have bike racks but you do not see too many people using them. It's great (if you use it).

So this time, my DH of 20 yrs now and I purchased matching hybrids. It was two years (this August) before I became dedicated to biking and walking. Wow, I have been missing out. My mom even rides now when she visits from Florida (she can go about 45 min on level land).

My goal next season is to try and run as many errands as I can by bike (I'm an AP environmental science teacher). It's great for you and the Earth.

Tammy

Jenaya
09-19-2005, 03:23 PM
Heh, I should have read this post before I post my daily chuckle on having my big a** parked on a bike and the cute guy driving up behind me (he is probably still a little traumatized - oh well). Biking is wonderful fun and I am glad that you are enjoying your time being free! Way to go....We all need to do what we love, it feeds the soul (while blessing the body with many positive rewards). Happy biking....

jmacway
09-20-2005, 07:29 PM
Good for you! I don't think I would have the courage at my weight to get on a bike

synger
09-20-2005, 11:14 PM
I don't think I would have the courage at my weight to get on a bike

That's what I thought for the longest time, too. But at more than 275 pounds, I finally took the chance. And BOY am I glad I did! It's as easy as walking -- easier in some ways -- and I get so much more enjoyment out of travelling outside the immediate neighborhood it than I do from walking the same old areas time after time.

If you get a good, sturdy "comfort" bike or hybrid, with nice wide tires, you should be fine.

Jenaya
09-21-2005, 12:57 AM
"I don't think I would have the courage at my weight to get on a bike"

Courage because of what others may think or courage because of fear of falling and injuring yourself? Well, I have had both and conquered both so you just go sister and enjoy yourself. Yes, there are times when I have felt a little (lot) humiliated but out of the mouth of my wee baby girl come the very wise words of "it does not matter what other people think, it matters what you are doing for your body". Further to that, there is no more contagious feeling than seeing someone who is truly enjoying themself. If it is injury related - well, life is about risks. Buy a helmet and knee pads if you feel the need but if your heart desires a good ride, go for it! We only get one of these things called life, may as well enjoy yourself.

kitkatbahr
09-21-2005, 07:33 AM
Hi all,

Funny I just saw this post today. Yesterday, I was in our local Target, looking at Bikes! I have one but it is about 20 years old, and not in the best of shape. I haven't ridden it in years, and years, and years, and years! Ashame, huh? Anyway, I am feeling so much better about myself lately, since I started Tae Kwon Do and Tae Bo and I actually considered getting out the bike and start riding it with my son. He loves to bike ride. I would love to have a new bike though. I told my husband last night I want a brand new bike for Christmas. One with big, fat tires and at least a couple of gears. My old one has kind of big tires and 12 gears I think. But the new bikes are so pretty and look really comfortable to ride.

I remember one time, quite a few years ago (when I weighed around 285 or so) that I tried to ride it and was VERY uncomfortable, my back hurt, etc. Now that I am down to 233, I feel I could ride one without any problem, plus, I feel stronger and much more in shape than I used to be. I was surprised at myself for thinking about riding...can't wait. Maybe I'll dig my old bike out of the shed today and see what kind of shape it's in.

Happy riding everyone!

Kathy B.
Merritt Island, FL

taekwondomom
09-21-2005, 03:46 PM
Hi all,

Funny I just saw this post today. Yesterday, I was in our local Target, looking at Bikes! I have one but it is about 20 years old, and not in the best of shape. I haven't ridden it in years, and years, and years, and years! Ashame, huh? Anyway, I am feeling so much better about myself lately, since I started Tae Kwon Do and Tae Bo and I actually considered getting out the bike and start riding it with my son. He loves to bike ride. I would love to have a new bike though. I told my husband last night I want a brand new bike for Christmas. One with big, fat tires and at least a couple of gears. My old one has kind of big tires and 12 gears I think. But the new bikes are so pretty and look really comfortable to ride.

I remember one time, quite a few years ago (when I weighed around 285 or so) that I tried to ride it and was VERY uncomfortable, my back hurt, etc. Now that I am down to 233, I feel I could ride one without any problem, plus, I feel stronger and much more in shape than I used to be. I was surprised at myself for thinking about riding...can't wait. Maybe I'll dig my old bike out of the shed today and see what kind of shape it's in.

Happy riding everyone!

Kathy B.
Merritt Island, FL
Nice to meet another Tae Kwon Do and Tae Bo enthusiast! :D :hi:
I started Tae Kwon Do in March and have been lovin' it big time!
I gave myself a new bike for my birthday this August, and am so very happy I did! I loved riding my bike as a kid and love it even more now. Just wish we were living in town so I could use my bike for errands.

kitkatbahr
09-21-2005, 04:18 PM
Hi Laura,

Nice to meet you too. I've read your posts and even your blog. Love the pics!

I just started Tae Kwon Do a week ago this past Saturday. My husband and 11 yr. old son joined up about 6 weeks ago, tested after two weeks of being in (they could have waited to the next cycle but chose not to and just worked really hard to learn the forms). So, they already advanced to orange belt. Then we joined leadership which made my "membership" no extra charge once we were paying for the two of them. Now we can go to as many classes as we want (I am trying for 5-7 / week!!). It's alot of fun. I was going to every class with them anyway, just sitting and watching them, so I decided that maybe I should join them instead. I didn't want to be there three years from now, while they were becoming blackbelts, always wondering if I could have done it too!! LOL

A few days ago, I started reading up on Tae Bo and really liked the sound of it. I went and got myself some Tae Bo DVD's and got started on that. I like it too, but it's hard! I also bought the Tae Bo for kids, so I think I may start with that one and work my way up. I did about half the Tae Bo abs yesterday, from the Boot Camp series. I figure the more I do it, the better I will get and more stamina will build up. I'm enjoying it though.

Nice to meet you!

Kathy

kitkatbahr
09-21-2005, 04:24 PM
Hi again Laura,

I just noticed your ticker. My highest weight was 285 (real close to you) and my current wait is about 233 (so we are really close to each other!!) My goal weight is between 160-170 or so, or whereever I feel comfortable. I'm 5'7".

How long have you done Tae Bo? Which is your favorite? I'm already starting a collection. I got Boot Camp at Target yesterday (has 3 dvd's). As I mentioned, I also got the Tae Bo for Kids. I just ordered The Power Within. I have one of the Cardio ones but haven't attempted it yet! There are soooo many of them!

Talk to you later,
Kathy B.
Merritt Island, FL

P.S. Sorry if I forgot to sign my previous post.

Jenaya
09-21-2005, 08:59 PM
Gee, there are many similarities here. I love Tae bo and have been doing it for about five years. I haven't been brave enough to go to a tae kwon do class yet. How does it compare?