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Questions about starting up cycling--->>>(5 posts)

Questions about starting up cycling--->>>ZenJones
Sep 8, 2003 5:50 AM
Hi everyone-

I was big into cycling in my teens but completely stopped riding around 20 years old.

I am now married, we have a 4 year old daughter and I am about to turn the dreaded four-O in 2 weeks.

My wife and me are getting burned out on life here(NYC)and are thinking about doing something extreme(or at least extreme for us)... buying 2 bikes, getting back into shape, buying a trailor, loading our daughter into the trailor, do some short weekend and then eventually longer 1 and 2 week tours with fully loaded panniers and once we have our chops back into shape and our finances taken care of... setting off for 6-10 months at a time. When we find areas that we like-stop/get jobs/save some more $$ and then take off again.

Our plan is to do this across the USA and then start in the UK and keep going.

My question is this(and I am sure I'll get blasted here after reading some posts on riders weight while I've been lurking here)... I have always carried some extra lbs my whole adult life. My weight has always fluctuated from 25 to 75 lbs overweight but when we had our little girl we decided that I'd become a SAHD(Stay At Home Dad)and that's when I really ballooned up.

My heaviest weight topped the scales at 450 lbs and while getting prepared for a bariatric procedure(weight loss surgery-I want to get it under control once and for all)that I will be having within the next couple months I have lost 50lbs. My surgeon feels that cycling would be a great thing not only post-op but a great thing pre-op. As a result of this we are thinking to bump up our plans to purchase our bikes sooner rather than later.

At 400lbs, do you think a bike made with a quality chro-moly frame would be able to the job for me now or should I just wait until I am post-op even though I have been cleared for riding now? Basically, my surgeon says "go for it" as I don't have any pre-existing health conditions due to my weight(Thank Goodness)but at the same time if I am just going to put too much stress on the bike... it's obviously worth waiting until after surgery to start riding.

Any opinions?

My brother(he's a cycling addict and owns an LBS)is of the opinion that as long as I don't do curbs or anything the bike will be fine.

Besides the obvious nasty comments I'll receive, any thoughtful suggestions would be appreciated.

Listen to your brother.Scot_Gore
Sep 8, 2003 6:07 AM
You have a trusted expert. Your brother is in the best position to give you great advice. He knows you well, likely knows your capabilities, and knows bikes. With the smattering of information you'll be able to provide in a forum like this you won't get near the quality of advice that's a phone call away. Use it.

re: Questions about starting up cycling--->>>Fatnslow
Sep 8, 2003 6:48 AM
Zen, I'm new to cycling, so I won't pretend to give you any advice there.

My advice to you concerns your weight loss.

I would seriously consider putting off the bariatric procedure for several months...perhaps even a year until you see what cycling can do for you on its own (along with a modified food intake, of course). Of course, you're probably thinking that you've exhausted all alternatives, but you haven't. Bariatric should really be the absolute last resort.

Think about it this way, after the procedure, you will only be physically able to eat a very small amount of food. The type of riding that you are thinking about undertaking requires you to be able to consume a good deal more than what you can have after the surgical procedure. At best, you'll be walking a fine line.

Talk to your brother and see what he can put you on. You may rediscover the joy of riding and find yourself "effortlessly" losing that weight. Believe me, I've walked in your shoes.
re: Questions about starting up cycling--->>>MXL02
Sep 8, 2003 7:56 AM
First of all, congratulations. Making the decision to go for it is the biggest step. My suggestion...just get a bike and do it. Go to an LBS, the will find a bike that will work for you, then just ride...ride as much as you can.
Hope you reach your dreamFred Fredricks
Sep 8, 2003 9:05 AM
I was on a group ride early in the year and there was this fellow on the ride that was almost your weight.

He had an older model Cannondale and it held him just fine. (Cannondales are know to be solid, just keep an eye out for frame cracks). You will want to go with 36 spoke traditional wheels. Go for tires larger than 25 cm or you will get pinch flats on pot holes and the like. Keep your tire pressures up.

Back to the heavy rider. I got to talking to him. He was riding his bike to & from work every day and trying to put in 200 miles a week.

I was on a century ride a month ago. I was cruising with the front group and decided to put a little pressure on when we got to the first serious hill.

I got to the top and a guy on a Cannondale hung on. A mile later he asked if I wanted him to take a pull. I did not realise who he was until we were trading pulls. He must of dropped 100-150 pounds! I would guess he was at 200#.

We continued trading pulls for the next 30 miles till we got to our breakfast stop. We had to wait 10-15 minutes for the next group of riders.

Just ride