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Cycling fitness success stories wanted!(46 posts)

Cycling fitness success stories wanted!javagenki
Oct 16, 2001 11:27 AM
Give us all a verbal before and after picture of what cycling has done for you. It's time to testify brothers and sisters!
Before I was young, now I am old. Cycling did it! nmMB1
Oct 16, 2001 11:31 AM
Before: 5'7" 195lbs After: 150lbs maintained 3 years(nm)Dave Hickey
Oct 16, 2001 11:50 AM
do you think it's related? nmcyclopathic
Oct 17, 2001 7:51 AM
No question, after 30+ years of cycling I'm a relic of the manMB1
Oct 17, 2001 8:07 AM
I used to be. Old, slow and fragile. Woe is me, woe is me.

BTW Miss M and I are riding up to Greencastle from home on Friday and back with the folks on Saturday, see you then.
Did you know that 9 out of ten marijuana smokers die?bill
Oct 17, 2001 8:34 AM
The tenth guy just can't get enough brownies to let go.
Correction...100% of ALL PEOPLE die... (nm)Dr Simpleton
Oct 17, 2001 1:22 PM
once weighed 265 lbsRusty McNasty
Oct 16, 2001 11:52 AM
then, spent a summer doing roofing, started riding, and today I weigh 180.
Nothing very dramatic, but I'm 42, lost 10 lbs from a year ago,bill
Oct 16, 2001 12:06 PM
eat whatever the hell I want, and, in some ways, in the best shape of my ife. I've weighed as much as 20 lbs more; lost the first 10 just from not being a total pig. Hung at 175 for several years, eased into cycling, and now I have no trouble maintaining 165, give or take, which is about what I weighed in college. And, while in certain crowds I pass no one and get passed plenty, I can hang with lots and lots of guys half my age.
In better shape at 38 than at 18mickey-mac
Oct 16, 2001 12:15 PM
I weighed about 205 when I gradauted high school 20 years ago and am at 175 now (and an inch taller). On my first "real" road ride at about 21, I went 11 miles on flat roads and came home and passed out on the sofa for about 3 hours. Now I do about 175-180 miles per week. Cycling is the only workout I've been able to stick with for more than a month or two and has helped keep me sane.
Lost 20 lb on my bike since August (nm)ChrisZeller
Oct 16, 2001 12:18 PM
re: Cycling fitness success stories wanted!raboboy
Oct 16, 2001 12:36 PM
This is my first season. Started in Late August. Lost 10 lbs. so far. :) Need to undo the damage of the past 8 years or so.
Before & After...Kristin
Oct 16, 2001 1:02 PM
Before: Sofa enthusiast and junk food connoisseur. Life motto: "All excercise is work and all work is bad, therefore all excersise must be bad."

After? Hopefully, after will never arrive, since after indicates completion of said activity. Didn't someone say that cycling is a work in progress? Anywho...

Where I am today: 20 lbs lighter since May. Many fewer hours spent proped before the boob tube. Eating more wisely. Became addicted to cool new brain chemicals. Discovered that increased saratonin is good for balanced mental well being and self esteem. And that decreased saratonin is bad. Cycling has curbed my desire for fancy new suits...I dream now of tights, arm warmers and bright yellow jerseys.
Can do something that friends can'tBrian C.
Oct 16, 2001 1:19 PM
Ride an 80-miler on a bucolic Sunday afternoon.
In tights.
They gasp and roll their eyes at the thought (of both).
It makes makes for lonely rides.
No matter.
I feel like a million bucks afterward.
re: Cycling fitness success stories wanted!STEELYeyed
Oct 16, 2001 1:33 PM
Before; 39 year old 2 pack a day smoker,heavy drinker mostly good scotch (Dewer's or equal),desk job and no exercise,basically a 170 lb. heart attack waiting to happen.
Bought my Litespeed road bike in spring of 2000 and started riding,slowly dropped my old vices and am now smoke and alcohol free, 5'10-150lbs. 4000 miles rode this year so far, and loving every minute of every day.
Just think what you might have accomplished if it hadn't been abill
Oct 17, 2001 8:38 AM
jes' kiddin. got one myself.
I'm not really brand loyal..........STEELYeyed
Oct 17, 2001 2:38 PM
to Litespeed,I am just so proud of my bike and my accomplishments on it that I get a little arrogant. It's really not about the bike,a nice bike is great,but it's really about life and the choices we make,that is the way people will remember us.
Before: 6'1" 240lbs(Aug 99) After: 190lbs(now) (nm)azdave
Oct 16, 2001 1:41 PM
265/almost dead --> 205/feel like a kidRich Clark
Oct 16, 2001 1:53 PM
I won't repeat the details of my various cardiac and other medical adventures, having posted about them recently. I'll just say that I consider my bike to be the most important and valuable thing I own.

How can you possibly explain...Roxy
Oct 16, 2001 3:26 PM
the transformation of this beautiful machine from a simple childs toy, to a piece of art?

In May, I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore - not even my fat ones. I couldn't stand looking in a mirror. I couldn't understand why my husband still loved me. I couldn't stop eating in secrecy and disgust. I was probably 210 pounds - not a pretty sight on a 5'4" frame. At 35 years old, I easily felt 50.

My husband used to race in college and had bought me a used bike and gotten me into it a couple years ago. A crash, a wedding, a move, a crappy job got me out of it.

He would come back from these rides and tell me how beautiful it was, and how he wished I'd been there. So, I asked him to clean up my mtn bike so I could toodle around the neighborhood. He did, and I took it out for a short spin - And I was immediately hooked! I don't think I took out the mtn bike again after can you drive a Hummer when the Ferrari is sitting in the garage just begging to be taken out!??!

The first few times on my road bike, I felt SO uncomfortable. No upper body strength for climbing out of the saddle, balance all outta whack from the extra poundage, and absolutely no confidence.

Fast forward four and a half months...

With two centuries and 2,300 miles under my belt, I HAVE to ride. It's impossible to sit at home in front of the boob tube, just knowing the road is out there. I ride at lunch three times a week and both days on the weekends. I ride by myself, I ride with groups, I ride with strangers (no longer a stranger), and I ride with my husband.

I have incredible confidence on my bike that has spilled over into daily life. I no longer hide from mirrors, cuz I really like what I see now. I am strong when I climb, I am fast when I want to be. I no longer carry around 60 extra pounds of shame. I relish those little tan circles on my hands. And I love it when some non-rider asks me how far I ride - and their eyes get huge when I say 15, 30 or 60 miles, depending on the day.

It's not about the weight.

It's about the effect this wonderful wheeled thing has had on my insides. It's given me freedom.
You win!Kristin
Oct 16, 2001 3:38 PM
Thats an inspirational post! Thanks for sharing. I am concerned about one point though... Do you mean to say that you lost 60lbs in 4.5 months?? Thats way more than healthy! Losing weight that fast can be bad for your heart. Its great to look good, but see a Dr. and make sure you don't have any underlying issues, like a wacky thyroid.
I'm not finished yet...DINOSAUR
Oct 16, 2001 3:32 PM
I don't want to bore you with all the details. I'm still improving. My biggest mistake was to quit the sport, a lot of lost years that hurt. When I'm riding double centuries, FC508, raam, then I can look back and say what it did for me. At this point I'm still out there with the masses riding in the middle of the pack along with everyone else. I just reach different levels and go from there, constantly trying to improve. It never stops...
Not to beat the broken neck story to death, but...Elefantino
Oct 16, 2001 4:04 PM
I was in the best shape of my life — heart rate of 46 bpm at rest, huge lung capacity, not much fat on me — the morning of July 7, 2001.

Then, in the paceline, at about 9:30 a.m., at about mile 25 of our regular, easy 30-miler on Saturday, I hit the branch. I broke my neck. I nearly died.

Fast forward to today. I am back. Not quite 100 percent, but I'll be close. I have not gotten clearance to ride on the road yet, so in the meantime I'm tearing up the floor with my trainer — an hour standing last Sunday a.m., at about 175 bpm.

I owe a great deal to the Lord and the prayers of friends, family and all the members of our local cycling club. But the bike, which kept me in fitness, also played a part. The trauma surgeons all agreed: Had I not been in such good shape, I wouldn't be here today.

So I will continue to ...

Ride on,

wow (nm)Roxy
Oct 16, 2001 4:31 PM
Not to beat the broken neck story to death, but...DINOSAUR
Oct 16, 2001 6:22 PM
Amen.... I had a similar experience but my crash was not as serious as yours. I think you might agree that forums like this are Godsends when you are injured. Places like this gave me a place to go so I could keep motivated and inspired. Without it my recovery would have been difficult.

We all have our little mindless arguments about meaningless
subjects, but on a whole you would be hard pressed to find a nicer group of folks than cyclists.

God Bless
Let the good times roll!!!jagiger
Oct 16, 2001 6:22 PM
Turned 50 this year, bought an awesome bike (Cannondale R2000si), I lost 15 lbs since June, rode my 1st Century,
got my cholesterol in bounds, bring it down to 187 from 236,
losing fat & toning up which in turn motivated in my sister-in-law to buy a bike and start training...."the beat goes on". She in turn has my wife out riding with her, which is great too!! Oh one last thing, after relaying my story about the great time I had doing the Century, my wife & sil are now talking seriously about doing the 25 mile ride next year. I took the whole summer off from running to bike & it's been fun!!!!!
Can't top any of thse, but here it is.look271
Oct 16, 2001 6:41 PM
I've always weighed 180-205 since college. I now weigh 185 and maintain it give or take 5 lbs. I've been riding about 8yrs now. What is the most convincing eveidence of what cycling has done for me healthwise is in some very concrete numbers: total cholesterol, Hdl, and triglycerides. I used to have a cholesterol of about 200, Hdl (good cholesterol) about 30-35, triglycerides about 190-200. Now, at age 42,total cholesterol 164, Hdl (higher is better) 51, triglycerides 67. This would be the envey of someone less than 1/2 my age. (Working in a hospital lab has certain advantages......) Certainly my diet has changed somewhat, but you get the picture.
re: Cycling fitness success stories wanted!paulw
Oct 16, 2001 7:32 PM
I've never been overweight (quite the opposite when I was younger) but I'm 33 and have had asthma since I was 19. My asthma was pretty bad. About once a week I'd wake up at 3am feeling like somebody was compressing my chest and the drugs were becoming less effective.

I started mtn. biking at about 25. The first ride I took on the bike was maybe 2 miles and I thought I was going to puke. I mtn. biked for about 2 or 3 years and was convinced to do a charity ride. My lungs were feeling better but still not great but I finished a century on the mtb. I realized during it that I wanted a road bike though.

5 years later my resting heart rate is 48 and my lung capacity is easily enough to peg the meter when I go to the asthma doctor. Every year I do 2 or 3 centuries and ride about 3000 miles. Oh, I also get totally depressed in the fall when daylight savings is over since that means much less riding time.

I still have asthma but now it's more of annoyance than anything.
It's not much, but here's my two cents . . .LAIrish
Oct 16, 2001 7:54 PM
Three months ago, when a friend asked how much I weighed, I said "I don't know, my scale doesn't work. I figure I'm maybe pushing 230." He responded, "Yea, from the wrong side." I was drinking at the local pub every night, and eating fast food three times a day. I've always had a relatively muscular frame, so I carry weight reasonably well. At least that's what I thought. The problem was I developed such a beer belly that I looked like I'd swallowed a basketball. There were pants I couldn't fit into and belts I wouldn't wear because there were too dang tight.

Riding was an occasional weekend thing with a couple of buddies. We'd meet at a local bar (which was the only place open at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday, and have a Bloody Mary (or two). We'd ride 5 miles and stop for breakfast. Then we'd ride 10 or 15 miles and end up at a local watering hole to "rehydrate," which usually meant several beers.

I decided I needed to get into shape and used the Solvang Prelude (100k) as my goal. I stopped drinking, started eating "in the Zone," and started riding at least every other day. I put together a "training program" to do endurance work one day and "climbing," on the only local hill, another. After a a month of this, I bought a Tanita scale which measure weight and body fat. It said I weighed 118lbs, 31% of which was fat.

Right now I'm wearing jeans I hadn't put on in a year. I'm wearing a belt that used to be too tight and have it hooked, comfortably, at the third hole. The scale this morning said 199 lbs and 22% body fat. Yesterday was a "climbing" day and that peak where I used to struggle, sweat, and strain, huffing and puffing to beat the band, just to get to the top? I rode up it five times (along with a number of smaller climbs) for my "climbing" day then finished off with a quick ten miles to cool off.

Also, I've noticed that women are smiling at me more now. You know, like on the Bike Path or at the Grocery Store. I don't know if its the slimmer look or the better mood and self confidence that riding gives me.

BTW, my thanks to Corey and Elefantino, fellow "clydesdales" who have offered both technical advice and encouragement. Also to MB1, Spinchick, Kristin, HummaHah, GrzMnky, and the rest of you guys and gals who have been such an inspiration, as well as a source of helpful advice and guidance. I lurk here alot and, though I may not say much, your commentaries have really helped me.
really inspiring stuff all these posts!Tom C
Oct 16, 2001 8:43 PM
I started in 1978. I had a bad cold which I used as a launching pad to quit smoking. It was easy. I had done it as many times as I had gotten colds. As I could never smoke or even eat much, for that matter, what is it starve a fever? I decided to go for a ride, it was a nice day, I was feeling a lot better and I had a 3 or 4 day head start on the ciggies but oh S#it! my old Torpado had been stolen from the basement of the storage shed of the apartment I was renting. I wound up buying that day from Robert's Cycle on Clark St. in Chicago an ice blue Peugeot with toe clips and straps. Those were something I had not had on the Torpado. I worked in Commodity Futures so although my day would start early I was always home by about 3. Plenty of time before dinner for you know what. You know what, consisted of struggling through a series of 10 then 15 mile rides not knowing what I was doing and lugging around 160 lbs. while doing it. I never did smoke after that. I actually found a pressing need for my lungs. I started to read books on the subject, then rode with a club and even started racing in the mid 80's. I got to a real lean 136 lbs. and woke up with an occasional 36 pulse rate and became preachy about eating crap. I got to retire early so I got to ride about 8000 miles a year. I think I must have neglected to eat enough protein because I continued to shrink a little every year until last year when I hit 125. My wife worried the agent would think I had Aids, when it came time to renew our insurance. So now I'm still preachy about eating crap but I 've tried to get in lots more protein. I'm all the way up to 127-128 and about to turn 50 in a couple days. Cycling has got to be, for this life long athiest, the closest thing to religion I'll ever experience. Oh yeah, still ride 8000 miles a year, every year!
really inspiring stuff all these posts!cycleguy
Oct 17, 2001 1:25 AM
In the past two years I have found this board to be the best place to find inspiration and like minded people. I have been a bike rider all my life. Some years more then others, some not at all. Ten years ago my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Five years later I rode with Team in Training at El Tour De Tucson in her honor. Her cancer had progressed so far that she was to weak to do almost anything. The weaker she became the less I was able to ride and did only one 30 mile ride in the three months before. Knowing her battle and the strength I saw in her everyday I finished every 110 miles. Took me ten hours but one of the greatest feelings I've ever had. As weak as she had become she still managed to get a bunch of our friends to meet me at the airport after I finished the ride. We missed our flight in Tucson and they had left before we got in five hours late. :( Four months later, in Feb, she passed away. I spent the next few months sitting on the couch most nights crying and drinking myself to sleep. I finally got back on my bike and began to ride again. The more I rode the clearer the fog in my head and heart began to clear. It will be five years next month from the ride in Tucson. I've lost 30 lbs and found that life does go on.

For those those who think 50 is old. I just spent over an hour "making out" on a couch with a beautiful, inside as well as out, women! The first women, other then my late wife, I have kissed in over 20 years! I feel like I'm 18 again!! But still a better rider! As for lover, thats still to be decided!! Can't believe I said that. LOL Sorry, non bike post. :)
Gotta keep those lips in shape, too, cycleguy! ;-) (nm)Roxy
Oct 17, 2001 7:02 AM
After three years back on bike ...scottfree
Oct 17, 2001 6:21 AM
following eight year layoff: Blood pressure drop from 155/95 to 110/68; resting pulse from 85 to 55; weight from 240 to 192. This in anticipation of 50th birthday next February.
re: Cycling fitness success stories wanted!morey
Oct 17, 2001 6:58 AM
I was always fit, in fact I won my class in the Jr. Mr. America. While I was training in 1992 on a bicycle, I was hit by a car (hit-run). It ended my career, I gained 80+ lbs in 3-4 months. I took a shower with a rain coat on.
I started riding again, Lost all the weight and some, my pulse is 59, my blood pressure is 114/74, and I feel good.
I am 58 going on 28. Now my wife and me both ride, it is our fun, our hobby all rolled into one.
re: Cycling fitness success stories wanted!zero1
Oct 17, 2001 8:08 AM
in 1983 i went to the doctor for a checkup...i was caught by surprise when he told me my blood pressure was sky high...160 over 118..he told me i was not quite at the stroking out stage...i had no idea that i had high blood pressure...i was 33 yrs old at the time..he put me on 4 pills a day and sometimes they really made me feel awful...i had always heard that diet and exercise could help control high blood i decided to buy a bike...i started riding and running and left off all red meat and all fried foods...within 4 months i was taking no pills at i am 51 and still riding and running and have control of my blood pressure without the pills...i also lost from 158 lbs to 125 lbs...that is what i still weigh 18 yrs later and i feel great!!! ride safe
Now as for what this stupid board has done for me --bill
Oct 17, 2001 8:48 AM
my office efficiency and my income have decreased, but I'm sitting here reading these posts, and I've got something in my eye, and wow. Some of these stories are something. Humbling and incredibly inspirational.
You guys are very cool.
LOL!!! Can totally relate! (nm)Roxy
Oct 17, 2001 9:21 AM
re: Cycling fitness success stories wanted!Lone Gunman
Oct 17, 2001 10:53 AM
Don't have a before and after story, but combined with a low carbo diet and riding, lost 25-30lb several years ago and last week rode 495 miles in 7 days, 250 in 3 of the 7. As Lance said to Letterman "boy is my ass sore".
Wow! and thanks!javagenki
Oct 17, 2001 11:13 AM
Thanks ya'll. I needed to hear some encouraging words.
My daughter died last fall. It was unspeakably horrible. I spent the winter climbing from my normal 250 up to 290. I discovered my comfort foods--beef jerkey and onion rings. I just couldn't get on the bike--that place where your strenght comes from was just as dead as dead can be. I spent the spring and summer climbing mountains, riding centuries, and getting my head, heart, and body back together. I'm just about back to my "normal" ride weight. Fall is setting in again, and I needed to hear that I'm not the only one who has discovered some healing on the bike. You guys are a real encouragement to me. Thanks!
success measured in fun, not poundstarwheel
Oct 17, 2001 11:26 AM
I started road biking again in August 2000, after a 10-year hiatus, and I've ridden nearly 7,000 miles since then. Starting weight = 185 lbs. Weight now = 185 lbs. Hey, at least I haven't gained any weight! My pants fit better, however, and I am certainly more fit. I've also had a great time. I now ride about 5 days a week, 500-700 miles a month, and can't believe I quit riding for so long. Rode a weeklong tour with my brother in Ohio (GOBA) in June, and 3 days of Cycle NC last week.
My StoryJon
Oct 17, 2001 3:03 PM
At the age of 42, as a result of 23 yrs. of 2 pack-a-day smoking and a totally Type-A existence, my
right lung collapsed twice in two weeks. I nearly died. Following a thorocotomy and a diagnosis
of emphysema, with warnings that my lung could go again at any time, I began lifting weights to
rehab my frozen shoulder, quit smoking and decided to run--even if it killed me. My first attempt
took me from my driveway to my neighbour's--about 200 ft. I ended up bent over double, gasping
for breath and hacking my newly repaired lungs up. I fought severe depression for two years, kept
training, endured injuries too numerous to mention. Finally I ran my first marathon! During this time
I picked up an old bike off a used bike rack and started to ride it for cross-training and injury rehab.

Riding quickly became my passion! I rode my first century in running shoes, track shorts, and on
a borrowed bike. I was the total Fred, but I did it--6500 ft. of climbing and all. At the age of 57 now,
and many, many centuries and one double later, I hang with the old guy racers. All signs of
emphysema are long gone. I have attained a level of fitness I never dreamed possible. I've
become intimately reacquainted with my body,both intuitively and from a scientific/performance
perspective. Most importantly, I'm mentally, emotionally, and spiritually transformed. This year
I'll ride 11,000+ km. And I continue to meet amazing people, such as the ones on this board and
those of you who have responded to this thread. You are all my heroes and fellow travellers.
Inspiring. Thanks. nmLen J
Oct 18, 2001 3:20 AM
Oct 17, 2001 3:56 PM
Five years ago, I had a crappy mountain bike that I rarely road. I weighed 185 pounds. Bought a new one, and could not make it 100 yards up a hill without lungs exploding and passing out. Rode it 20 miles on a flat road at 15 mph and was totally wiped out.

Got a road bike for the first time in 15 years in December 1998. Trained consistently on the road since then, all year round, gradually upping mileage. Got weight down to 155. I can proudly say I can race 500 miles now.

Nothing but consistency got me there. I think anyone can do it, actually, if they put their mind to it.

Oct 17, 2001 6:53 PM
266 lbs. to 218 this summer (not counting vacation)cory
Oct 17, 2001 5:07 PM
I gained 2 or 3 or 4 pounds a year, and told myself I was doing pretty good. After 20 years, though, I weighed 266 lbs. at 6'4". After an aborted century in April, I had to admit I was out of control. I cut back a little on food--no miracle diet, just less of everything and try to avoid the obvious junk--and started riding seriously for the first time in several years. When I went on vacation last week, I was down to 218, waist down from 44+ to a little under 39, and WAY stronger on the bike.
Then I ate everything I thought of in Monterey for a week, and I'm up a few pounds. But as of today, I'm back on the plan.
These are greatDean
Oct 18, 2001 4:40 AM
These are all great stories, but how do you all stay motivated and disciplined on your diet. I was a fat kid growing up. I weighed 240 when I turned 16, and it was all fat. I got myself down to 185 over the next few years, but then college and a real job slowly put a few pounds back on. Then I sold insurance for 14 months and put on about 30 pounds. I'm now 225-230 and a decent cyclist. I was able to ride the local MS ride and I did centuries both days. I can average 17-18 on my own and keep up with a fast group averaging 20-21. But I just keep wondering how I could do back at 185. I know what to eat and not to eat. I know to eat small frequent meals and no junk. But even with this knowledge, I still eat after dinner. I still eat chips, ice cream, etc. How do you all stay focused an disciplined with your diet. I know that I have high clolesterol and I know the risks of being overweight but I do not think of those things when I am looking at food. All I think of when I look at food is that I want it, (and I usually know it is a mental not physical desire). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.