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  1. #1
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    A friend's weight loss and growing passion for cycling

    ..and hopefully mountain biking too!

    One of my close friends has been in the process of losing weight for about two years. Before that he never managed to lose very much weight or keep it off. But now he has dropped from an all-time high of 470 pounds down to 393.

    He had a couple of recumbents for a short time about ten years ago, but he never could keep his interest in cycling long enough to continue riding them after the first few rides. He ended up selling them.

    Last year he expressed interest in buying a regular bicycle, so we took a drive to REI, where he got a Marin Kentfield hybrid. It's a good solid steel-framed bike that held up fine under his weight and has never given him any problems.



    We did quite a few rides together after he bought that bike. His weight continued to drop and his strength increased enough that he was able to ride some short rolling hills in a nearby town.

    He knew that I record video of all my road and mtb hill climbing rides, so he told me he wanted a good camera for documenting his rides. Once again we ended up at REI, where he bought a GoPro HD Hero2. REI had their anniversary sale going on, so he got the camera and the LCD BacPac for $299, which is the regular price of the camera by itself.

    When he saw how much I enjoyed my Garmin Edge 500, he had to get one too. The total ascent and percent grade readouts are probably his favorite data fields. I spend more time looking at those on my Garmin, that's for sure!

    He already had a Pedco UltraClamp for mounting cameras to various objects, so he bought the GoPro tripod adapter so he could mount the GoPro to his handlebars. We then took a night ride in a nearby town with rolling hills. He was able to climb all the hills without stopping or walking them. Here's video proof. For this ride he used the head mount that came with the GoPro.

    Roseville bike ride 6-6-12 - YouTube
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ev_So2XxCvc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    His enjoyment of cycling increased to the point where he started talking like me. It upsets him if he can't ride for some reason, and he prefers riding over anything he does at the gym he joined last winter.

    After a few of these rides with hills, he said he wanted a faster hybrid, so back to REI we went. This time he bought a Cannondale Quick 4. Even with the low spoke count wheels, this bike is solid as a rock and hasn't given him any trouble so far. It is his primary bike now, and the Marin is a backup bike.



    Last night we took another night ride, but this time the hills were steep enough that he had to walk a couple of them. However, he did make it much further up the first one before he had to walk than he did last year, when he was only able to make it about 100 feet up before dismounting.

    This particular hill is 3/10 mile long. It starts out with grades between 10%-12%, levels off a little, then pitches up again to a max grade of 15% before leveling off to about 8% once more for the remainder of the climb.

    After he walked the rest of that climb and rested for a few minutes, he was able to ride the short 20% section across the street without dismounting, which probably took enough out of him to cause him to have to walk part of the next hill, which was 14%.

    Here's video of that ride.

    Fair Oaks hilly night ride 8-19-12 - YouTube
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yIxUbNdeGxg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    He had shown an interest in mountain biking after I told him how much fun I was having with my new 2012 Trek Wahoo 29er hardtail, which I bought in February after not mountain biking for 15 years.

    Today we went to the same LBS where I bought my Wahoo. I have been a customer there since 1987, and they are my favorite shop. They always treat me very well, so I knew my friend wouldn't have any trouble.

    He doesn't have the money for a $2,000 bike or even a $1,000 one right now, so he settled on an entry-level Trek 3500 hardtail 26er.



    This bike should be good enough to get him started on easy trails. If he decides he prefers road cycling, he can either sell the Trek or put slicks on it, lock out the fork, and use it as another backup or guest bike (or I'll buy it! ).

    Since one of my passions is working on bikes, I set up all these bikes for him.

    He does not like standard narrow bicycle seats and says they are very painful, so that's the reason for the beach cruiser seats on all the bikes.

    Hopefully the Trek will see dirt very soon. I need to do some recon rides of easier trails in the area before taking him on a ride. I'm considering Granite Bay, but it's been 20 years since I rode that trail, and I remember a steep climb or two in there somewhere. I'm going to see if I can get up there tomorrow and ride it, with video camera recording as always!

    I think he will love riding on singletrack, so I'm going to find some nice smooth trails to get him started.

  2. #2
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    + rep for helping your buddy get into cycling!

  3. #3
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    Good story, congrats to you and your buddy.

  4. #4
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    i have a very similar story with one of my friends. he has always been pretty heavy, but as a cpa, the past few tax seasons really killed his available time to go to the gym and whatnot, and he gained more weight. so i convinced him to start bike riding with me. he went onto bikes direct and got a bike, and now he's calling me up asking me if i'm gonna go with him to the trails. its pretty cool to see him progress this much in one season. he's lost about 50lbs so far. it's probably one of the best workouts i can name. i'm a smoker so i don't run, plus i get bored. i used to run, but i ended up putting that time towards riding anyways.

  5. #5
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    Congratulations to your friend! Keep riding with him!

  6. #6
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    Epic post as usual. Great story. Hope to hear about some MTBing in the future

  7. #7
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    I hope to take him on his first ride soon. It will have to be on a weekend during the day, unlike our road rides that can be done at night. Due to his weight, his heat tolerance isn't as high as mine, so we'll have to ride on a day when it isn't too hot.

  8. #8
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    He told me tonight via text that he's been in the mood to do a mtb ride, but his work schedule won't allow it until the weekend. We'll probably ride our hybrids on the pavement again tonight.

  9. #9
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    THere's an old thread floating around of folks posting their before pics and after pics of their transformations from cycling.

    I hope your friend keeps up the good work!

  10. #10
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    Good for you for looking out for your friends long term health, and good on him for having the dedication to do something about his weight issue. There's a mtn bike group in SoCal that does a fun weight loss challenge every year that turns out well for everyone involved. Check out this link.


    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/foru...challenge.html

  11. #11
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Kudos to him for actually doing what a lot of people should be doing, getting into biking and changing his physique. And +rep to you for being an awesome friend to him.

    Edit: Dang, I already repped you for your general awesomeness it seems, you'll have to make do with some kind words until I've repped some more people..

  12. #12
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    Yeah I +rep you to , what a great friend. Keep up the good work, I have also lost about 25 pounds in the last six months. So tell your friend to keep his head up , and enjoy the trails.

  13. #13
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    Awesome post. Again, thanks so much for sharing! You Rock!!

  14. #14
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    Great story man...I was in the same boat picked up a cheap trek4500 on of CL and dropped a little under 100lbs...and I have to thank my friends for the help..you are a good friend..Helped save his life!
    2012 Trek Superfly 100 Carbon /Sid W/C XX / Fox CTD RP / xx1 / xo type2 / Stans Flows
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  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone. I'm hoping to get him out on his new mtb today. Thanks to the Delta breeze, the high temperature is only forecast to be 86, so hopefully he won't have a problem with the heat. I know he won't ride during the day when it's in the 90s and up.

    I'm thinking that when the pounds drop off his heat tolerance will increase.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Thanks everyone. I'm hoping to get him out on his new mtb today. Thanks to the Delta breeze, the high temperature is only forecast to be 86, so hopefully he won't have a problem with the heat. I know he won't ride during the day when it's in the 90s and up.

    I'm thinking that when the pounds drop off his heat tolerance will increase.
    yeah it will, I am still new to the trails, but have been riding about 15/20 mikes on Mondays with no prob..there very easy but I enjoy the ride...
    2012 Trek Superfly 100 Carbon /Sid W/C XX / Fox CTD RP / xx1 / xo type2 / Stans Flows
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  17. #17
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    If your friend likes to look at his GPS data, tell him to get himself on Strava. It'll be easy for him to see how many miles/hours he's rode a month and see if he's getting quicker on the local loops. Although it doesn't sound like he needs much motivation now, it will probably make him try to go quicker or put more hours in.

    +1 for helping him too.
    - The seasons blow away, but the love is just the same -

  18. #18
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    Congrats to your friend on his accomplishment & kudos to you on helping him. Bicycling and proper nutrition seems to be a darned good way to lose weight and gain cardio fitness. I bike a 30 mile route that is a combination of concrete trails, hilly backstreets, dirt trails and a grassy, steep sledding hill. I hammer the route as quickly as I can and have lost 40 pounds in several months. I mix this up with some shorter rides in the woods to get my technical riding fix. I also stop along the paved trails to do chin ups, push ups, set ups, etc.
    I like to try to stay fit for my job and want to be healthy to enjoy retirement eventually (if it is still financially feasible in the future!). I try to do all my excercising outdoors as late into the year as the weather permits. When the winter weather and snow prohibit bike riding I put the hiking boots and pack on and hit the trails at a fast hiking speed. This is also a good time to practice woodcraft & survival skills such as procurring and treating water, firebuilding, etc. It is soooo much more enjoyable than putting up with all the pretentious muscle heads in the gym facilities. Keep up the good work!

  19. #19
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    We took our first ride this morning. It was some easy singletrack by the river that is not marked "no bikes". I used to ride it all the time 20 years ago.

    Other than some pesky blackberry bushes and two downed trees that I didn't know about ahead of time (oops! ), we didn't have any other problems. He soon got used to the bike and said it was very comfortable.

    A low-hanging branch caught my helmet-mounted ContourHD camera and stopped me in my tracks, which was caught on video by my friend's GoPro. Of course I had to leave that in the video I made of this ride!

    Here's his Garmin data: First mountain bike ride by kevingowen at Garmin Connect - Details

    Here's his video. There is some NSFW language, so be forewarned!

    My first MTB ride - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_m1KueAC9Do" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>

  20. #20
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    Good ride! Tell your friend that his actions are motivating me to get out and ride!

  21. #21
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    His enthusiasm is great. With that kind of attitude, the pounds will probably melt away.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    We took our first ride this morning. It was some easy singletrack by the river that is not marked "no bikes". I used to ride it all the time 20 years ago.

    Other than some pesky blackberry bushes and two downed trees that I didn't know about ahead of time (oops! ), we didn't have any other problems. He soon got used to the bike and said it was very comfortable.

    A low-hanging branch caught my helmet-mounted ContourHD camera and stopped me in my tracks, which was caught on video by my friend's GoPro. Of course I had to leave that in the video I made of this ride!

    Here's his Garmin data: First mountain bike ride by kevingowen at Garmin Connect - Details

    Here's his video. There is some NSFW language, so be forewarned!

    My first MTB ride - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_m1KueAC9Do" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>

    Aloha Freight, great post. So much fun watching him experience the trails. You are an inspiration. Thanks again.

  23. #23
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    He told me that he wants to ride that trail to the end next time. It picks up again after the pavement, but it is almost as wide as a fire road for a while before narrowing back down to singletrack.

    I'm glad he enjoyed that ride. I figured he would.

  24. #24
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    He told me that he wants to ride that trail to the end next time. It picks up again after the pavement, but it is almost as wide as a fire road for a while before narrowing back down to singletrack.
    Great to see him enjoy riding.

    Be careful and don't let him push too hard too soon. I've recently started bringing my nephew on a few rides. We ride in an area with a lot of hills, but also with the option to go up a hill and down the other side or to choose the pretty flat detour around the bottom of the hill instead. I'm slowly swapping some of the smaller hills for slightly bigger ones, making it slightly harder while keeping the distance around those 6-7 miles he seems comfortable with at the moment.

    Try doing the same with your friend. In the video I saw some detours along the route. Try repeating the same route, but alter it slightly to include an extra climb or two or add a short loop to give a little bit of extra distance. By repeating the route, you friend knows what to expect and know he's able to make it to the end, allowing him to "ration" the energy spent. By adding just a tiny bit extra, picking a slightly tougher route over one hill while keeping the rest the same, adding a loop around a small lake or whatever is convenient, you push him a little bit extra but not a lot, so both you and he knows he'll be able to manage it.

    If you let him push too hard, adding too much distance too soon, he risks bonking out, becoming so sore that he won't ride again for a while. It's much better to stick with a distance he's comfortable with for now and just add a bit of spice to the route before adding extra distance.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the tips, Sandrenseren When I planned this ride I wanted to make sure he didn't overdo it, especially since we would be riding during the day when it is warmer (we usually ride at night). When he told me that he wanted to take the singletrack to the end next time, I know I did all right by picking this route. The singletrack he is talking about doesn't go on for much longer anyway, so I will grant him his wish on the next ride.

    On future rides, I will do what you suggested and alter the route slightly.

    Any time we ride, I let him pick the distance. He seems to be pretty good at judging how far he can ride. The one ride we did where he had a hard time was one picked by another friend of his. It was hot out, and the route ended up having a bunch of unexpected rolling hills that my friend was not ready for.

    When I made this video for him, he told me to give it the "sufferfest" title because that's what it felt like to him.

    Now for the self-appointed, low rep power "forum police" who seem to like to try to tell other people that certain posts and threads "don't belong in the Passion forum", this thread does belong here. Why? Because my friend loves riding his bike. He is loving it more and more every time he rides, and he has told me that he would rather ride than go to the gym.

    Last time I checked, when you love cycling, you have "passion".

    Roseville sufferfest 6-30-12 - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5f3E187L1qg" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>

  26. #26
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    his comments are pretty adorable
    fap

  27. #27
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    I got a kick out of those too! That's another reason I love natural sound on ride videos. I enjoy hearing the commentary of other riders. Sometimes it can be downright hilarious!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Thanks for the tips, Sandrenseren When I planned this ride I wanted to make sure he didn't overdo it, especially since we would be riding during the day when it is warmer (we usually ride at night). When he told me that he wanted to take the singletrack to the end next time, I know I did all right by picking this route. The singletrack he is talking about doesn't go on for much longer anyway, so I will grant him his wish on the next ride.

    On future rides, I will do what you suggested and alter the route slightly.

    Any time we ride, I let him pick the distance. He seems to be pretty good at judging how far he can ride. The one ride we did where he had a hard time was one picked by another friend of his. It was hot out, and the route ended up having a bunch of unexpected rolling hills that my friend was not ready for.

    When I made this video for him, he told me to give it the "sufferfest" title because that's what it felt like to him.

    Now for the self-appointed, low rep power "forum police" who seem to like to try to tell other people that certain posts and threads "don't belong in the Passion forum", this thread does belong here. Why? Because my friend loves riding his bike. He is loving it more and more every time he rides, and he has told me that he would rather ride than go to the gym.

    Last time I checked, when you love cycling, you have "passion".
    This is certainly passion. We can't all be elite cyclists from the start and the fact that your friend is motivated to get out and ride is a great thing.

    Sufferfest, maybe but he did great. Each and every ride is an accomplishment and as a beginner the learning curve is steep. He said somewhere in there "this sucks". I laughed because I've been there myself on some of the long rides. In the end, it's all fun times to add to the treasure chest of memories. You can always remind him"This isn't a race, we're out here to have fun and you're just depositing into the bank". Remember to tell him about the Time In The Saddle. We all need more TITS.

    Thanks again for posting the updates. Loving following his progress.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    Remember to tell him about the Time In The Saddle. We all need more TITS.
    I will remember to tell him that. Since he has the same sense of humor as me, he will love that acronym! I know I did when I first read it somewhere.

    I can also tell him "that which doesn't kill you will make you stronger", but I want to go easy on him. For now! When he gets stronger and lighter and we are both sure he can handle it, I'll push him more.

  30. #30
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Last time I checked, when you love cycling, you have "passion".
    Cycling while listening to Nena's "99 luftballons" is ol' school passion!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    I can also tell him "that which doesn't kill you will make you stronger", but I want to go easy on him. For now! When he gets stronger and lighter and we are both sure he can handle it, I'll push him more.
    How often do you guys ride? The garmin data on the video shows an impressive 1 hour 39 minutes, way to go assuming that it doesn't burn him out so bad he's not riding for another week.

    I love the comments and his fighter instinct and yeah, he's right, a short 7% climb is much more fun than a long, steady 4% that goes on "forever"..

  32. #32
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    We ride on the road several times a week. We were going to ride last night when I visited him, but we both fell asleep in our chairs in front of the computers. Hopefully we can ride tonight.

  33. #33
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    You are a great friend.
    "Bad spellers of the world untie!!

  34. #34
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    We rode 12 miles last night. He had the GoPro on his handlebars in case we saw anything interesting, and we did!

    car cuts off truck - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7EYO7PDGBqQ" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>

    Now if that camera had been on my bike, I would have turned the handlebars to pan from left to right and capture more footage, like on my Sly Park mtb ride when I captured two USFS Law Enforcement (park ranger) vehicles hauling ass down Mormon Emigrant Trail (Iron Mountain Road) while I was enroute to the trailhead on my bike. This was captured with my helmet-mounted ContourHD.

    Contour | Stories | USFS Law Enforcement responding Code 3 7-29-12
    <iframe src="http://contour.com/stories/usfs-law-enforcement-responding-code-3-7-29-12/embed?map=false&width=848px&height=477px" frameborder="0" height="477" width="848"></iframe>

    I'll have to teach him a few things about action shots!

    On the way back home, we stopped so he could adjust something. We noticed a resident outside on his cordless phone, giving a description of someone. It was a guy walking a BMX bike down the street who had just attempted to burglarize a vehicle.

    We followed at a safe distance. Verizon had an outage at a very bad time, as neither of us could reach the Sheriff's Department on their emergency line. Our other riding partner was able to on his MetroPCS phone. Go figure.

    Within a minute or two, 2 sheriff's cars pulled up blacked out and busted the guy. A deputy approached us for more information, and when I told him that the guy never even attempted to get away from us, he said "That's what smoking crack will do to you". Love it! So true!

  35. #35
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    Great thread! I have a friend who has given up on cycling but I still try to get him out. It is nice to see you helping your friend by sharing your passion.

    Good to hear the criminal got cuffed too
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    We rode 12 miles last night. He had the GoPro on his handlebars in case we saw anything interesting, and we did!

    car cuts off truck - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7EYO7PDGBqQ" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>

    Now if that camera had been on my bike, I would have turned the handlebars to pan from left to right and capture more footage, like on my Sly Park mtb ride when I captured two USFS Law Enforcement (park ranger) vehicles hauling ass down Mormon Emigrant Trail (Iron Mountain Road) while I was enroute to the trailhead on my bike. This was captured with my helmet-mounted ContourHD.

    Contour | Stories | USFS Law Enforcement responding Code 3 7-29-12
    <iframe src="http://contour.com/stories/usfs-law-enforcement-responding-code-3-7-29-12/embed?map=false&width=848px&height=477px" frameborder="0" height="477" width="848"></iframe>

    I'll have to teach him a few things about action shots!

    On the way back home, we stopped so he could adjust something. We noticed a resident outside on his cordless phone, giving a description of someone. It was a guy walking a BMX bike down the street who had just attempted to burglarize a vehicle.

    We followed at a safe distance. Verizon had an outage at a very bad time, as neither of us could reach the Sheriff's Department on their emergency line. Our other riding partner was able to on his MetroPCS phone. Go figure.

    Within a minute or two, 2 sheriff's cars pulled up blacked out and busted the guy. A deputy approached us for more information, and when I told him that the guy never even attempted to get away from us, he said "That's what smoking crack will do to you". Love it! So true!
    It amazes me how much faith people put in other people's hands when they drive. Somehow being in a car gives them security that the truck they cut in front of will be able to stop and not take them out. Crazy!

    So glad you're getting out and riding with this guy. So much entertainment (distraction) instead of just staying indoors for some kind of work out.

    Checked out the GPS track. Something funky there, this was a loop right? How come the elevation is lower at the end than when you started? Is the elevation correction enabled? I think that's what I had to do with mine when I set mine up.

    Anyway, as always, thanks so much for the updates.

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    Yup, you never know what you're going to see in that part of town. That's why he uses the GoPro even when we're not climbing any hills.

    Speaking of hills, I have no idea what's up with the weird elevation readings. Elevation corrections are disabled. The Edge 500 uses a barometric altimeter, so maybe there was a change in barometric pressure that caused the funky readings. Mine does that all the time at home when I turn it on to erase the activities. I've had readings that are way off many times. Sometimes it even puts me way below sea level

  38. #38
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    Checked out the GPS track. Something funky there, this was a loop right? How come the elevation is lower at the end than when you started? Is the elevation correction enabled? I think that's what I had to do with mine when I set mine up.
    I've been recording a couple of rides with my smartphone and with a usbstick-gps-thingy and getting wildly different height measurements despite riding the same route with both devices. I loaded the rides into gpsies.com and asked gpsies to correct the heights. Gpsies does so according to altitudes on the map, at least both rides showed the same after the correction.

    The usbstick gps logger was pretty accurate while my htc smartphone was way, way off. The smartphone claimed I did roughly 1000 feet climbing and 1000 ft descenting, both numbers were pretty much cut in half after I asked gpsies to correct the altitude. The usb gps logger were roughly 10% off compared to gpsies' corrections.

    So next time you bike computer tells you that you've climbed 2500 feet, you might want to run the plot into gpsies and get the actual number. Barometric measurements in a smartphone or bike computer can be way off depending on build, the advantage of gpsies is that it checks the map of where you've actually been and compares to the official height data for those places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    the advantage of gpsies is that it checks the map of where you've actually been and compares to the official height data for those places.
    Same with Garmin's elevation corrections. I used to have elevation corrections enabled on all my rides until another cyclist told me I didn't need to. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I should re-enable it.

  40. #40
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    Great thread. I started riding last year when I purchased a beach cruiser trying to lose weight and get into better shape. I was pushing that heavy 3 gear bike all around my town. I would use that and an elliptical we have at home. It worked for a while. I got away from it for a little while. This year I wanted to get back at it. I rode the beach cruiser but wanted to be able to do more. I purchased a new bike a few months ago. I got a Specialized Crosstrail. I can feel the old workout addiction coming back from when I was a runner and had to get out each day or evening. It's getting that way with the bike now, I look forward to getting out each evening after work. I've topped out at 26.5 miles for my longest ride to date. My long rides take me along the canal path from Yardley to New Hope sometimes further and back. I've also ridden from Yardley to Bristol along the canal. I enjoy the scenery and will continue the rides looking to make the 60 mile ride Easton to Bristol ride at some point.
    Now I'm looking for some different courses, nothing to technical yet but I can see that in my future. Please feel free to offer any suggestions. I'm probably gonna try Pennypack Park soon and see how I handle the route.
    Good luck to any others looking to gain fitness and drop some lbs.

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    Great thread indeed. THIS is what the sport is all about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Same with Garmin's elevation corrections. I used to have elevation corrections enabled on all my rides until another cyclist told me I didn't need to. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I should re-enable it.
    I can't see any good reason to turn it off, why rely on barometric pressure that can act up if the weather changes during a ride when it's so simple to match the route to a map with known and pretty exact heights?

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    I have a friend too and hopefully I could also convinced him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    I can't see any good reason to turn it off, why rely on barometric pressure that can act up if the weather changes during a ride when it's so simple to match the route to a map with known and pretty exact heights?
    I just experimented with turning elevation corrections on on the three most recent climbing rides I've done. Two were road rides and one was a mtb ride. On the most recent road ride (66 miles with 6,837' of climbing), the elevation gain remained unchanged. On the Granite Bay mtb ride, it dropped from 1,296' to 979'. On the road climb and descent of Kingsbury Grade in Tahoe, it went from 2,533' of climbing to 4,104' of climbing. There's no way in hell I climbed that much just going up that 8 mile climb. It is listed on other sites as having 2,550' of elevation gain.

    I noticed similar inaccuracies when I first started using Garmin Connect two years ago when I bought my Edge 500, so I turned elevation corrections off.

    My friend told me he wants to ride the rest of the trail this weekend. He said he would ride it by himself if I'm out climbing on singletrack somewhere, but I will make sure I'm available. I really enjoy our rides.

    This is a first for him, as he used to tell me that he doesn't like riding alone (at least on the road).

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    We didn't get to do a mtb ride last weekend, but last night we did another road ride in Roseville, where we climbed a few short hills and overpasses. It appeared to me that he climbed these better than he did the last time we were in the area (that video is in my OP). He didn't appear to be struggling as much either.

    Here's his video. There's some NSFW language, so be forewarned.

    Roseville ride 9-3-12 - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/H7Oy77EuM3c" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>

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    More proof that the gene pool could use a little chlorine

    Last night we did another road ride. A silver car passed us and someone in the car yelled "FAT F^&*!" at my friend, which of course was caught on video. This guy must have had a bad day at work, because he did this right after leaving the Campbell's Soup plant nearby.

    These people need to realize that all it takes is one accident or bad illness to make them live a less-than-perfect life and either put on weight themselves or end up disabled.

    It's pretty said that we live in a world where someone can get picked on for trying to better themselves.

    This incident did not make my friend want to quit riding. If anything, it made him more determined to continue. We rode several more miles after this crap happened.

    Here's the clip of the dumbass in the car. One NSFW word.

    motorist harassment 9-6-12 - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/flC_7va4rzw" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

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    Great story and I think is perfect for a 'passion' thread - the beginnings of the disease we all know and live with, and love!

    I was once overweight as well, actually a majority of my life was spent obese and inactive - took until I was 23 before I decided I needed to do something. At my highest weight, I was 360+ wearing size 50 pants. Within 2 years I dropped half the weight and have kept it off by stoking the pedal-powered-fires. I love seeing people take the same kind of steps to better themselves. Once you experience an active life-style, you can't imagine living in the old sedentary way. I wish I could yell from the mountain tops espousing the virtues, and letting any one overweight and feeling like there's nothing you can do that all it takes is desire and determination. You have to want to change, and when you reach the point you've been working for there is no greater feeling of accomplishment. One of the greatest feelings I've discovered in my life - when my heart is pounding, feeling it in my chest, listening to the woosh of blood, even seeing it change your vision; that is why becoming fit is worth it to me. I now love to be on the edge of exhaustion, pushing my envelope to see how much further I can go.

    One piece of advise for people working toward a healthier lifestyle - in addition to keeping up with your activities, watch what you're eating and make appropriate changes there, too. First thing, stop drinking soda and start drinking water, lot's of it. You'd be surprised how much of a difference this alone makes in how you feel and how much more weight you can drop. Second, when you've got a sweet tooth, grab a piece of fruit. When you're craving something salty, trying mixed nuts or peanut butter (in moderation). Third, red meat - eat less of it. Although, I've been a vegetarian for about 5 years now, I stopped eating as much red meat and eating more lean meats like turkey. Fourth, force yourself to try new vegetables. This is an easy one, just do it - you'll be surprised. I attribute my former obesity, at least in part, to my disdain for vegetables in general in my youth. Until I decided to lose weight, I literally never ate vegetables as a child all the way into my twenties, unless they coated in cheese and/or butter - and it more than likely was corn or green beans. Veggies are yummy, but if you're used to sweets and junk food it's hard to acquire a palette for them, and get accustomed to the different textures.

    Anyway, love it! Tell you're friend to keep working at it, don't get discouraged. Don't let the naysayers driving by with comments get you down because you're doing something to help yourself, and just possibly inspire others. AWESOME!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Last night we did another road ride. A silver car passed us and someone in the car yelled "FAT F^&*!" at my friend, which of course was caught on video. This guy must have had a bad day at work, because he did this right after leaving the Campbell's Soup plant nearby.

    It's pretty said that we live in a world where someone can get picked on for trying to better themselves.

    This incident did not make my friend want to quit riding. If anything, it made him more determined to continue. We rode several more miles after this crap happened.
    It is sad. I mean what good does this do to that person who said those things, what does that person gain? Sheesh, SAD.

    So glad the incident didn't hamper his desire to ride. So much good in this whole post and story. Thanks again for continuing to post. Very inspiring.

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    Thanks guys He has made permanent changes in his diet like mattgVT suggested. The only thing he hasn't done yet is ditch the soda and cut down on the eating out. Unfortunately, he doesn't like eating at home. I also never see him drinking water. I'm not so sure diet drinks are a good solution. I usually feel bloated after drinking those, so I sometimes think they do more harm than good.

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    On a lighter note, here's something we caught on video last night that we all got a good laugh out of. We stopped at a convenience store to get cold drinks. This is a place where you often see unusual or funny stuff. Last night was no exception. A guy started his car and the left headlight didn't come on. Watch how he fixes it.

    redneck headlight fix - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/V2LvnWERPlE" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

  51. #51
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    yeah, soda is a big issue. i'm sure he knows that, but sometimes i dont think people realize how full of calories it is. a big soda has nearly the calories of a meal. Some people just dont like water though! i've tried to talk to soda addicts, suggesting water or tea, and they're like "yuck".

    yeah, diet drinks are calorie free, but sometimes people unknowingly eat MORE because if the insurance of diet drinks. i'm a big fan of iced tea i even put it in my water bottles for the bit of caffiene and general health benefits. That and lemon or lime juice in water. Something switched in me years ago, where i became super thirsty. i THINK it had to do with a bladder sensitivity condition i have (more water dilutes the bad burny stuff). Now i drink 2-3 liters a day of water (or iced tea) and cant seem to drink any less or i feel like crap.
    fap

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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Watch how he fixes it.
    That's the way I fix everything!

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    Yup, he definitely knows about the calorie-laden regular sodas, which is why he switched to diet versions. Now I've got him back on iced tea, as least partially. I prefer iced tea myself. It tastes better than Coke, and it doesn't go flat when it's jostled around in car or bicycle cup holders (no carbonation). No calories or artificial sweeteners either. I drink my tea plain, with no added anything. Tastes great to me.

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    Soda is one of the very worst things somebody can have in their daily diet. Even the diet ones are fairly awful.

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    Yup. That's why I only drink water at home. I still love Mountain Dew (a friend of mine calls it "t*t sweat" ) and Dr. Pepper, but I only drink that occasionally. I try to stick to iced tea when I eat out.

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    The guy in the car just hates his own life. I would bike everywhere if our gas cost as much as yours, hehe. I love this thread. I am proud of your friend. He really needs to stop eating out and the pounds will probably melt off like crazy. I suck at cooking and can find ways to have fun meals at home with minimal calories. I drink a lot of crystal light which is not zero calories but is low calories and tastes good when I am bored with water. No one ever felt bad after eating a healthy meal. I love his commentary. I would like to ride with you guys. Keep up the good work.

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    Thanks jrogs. We'd love to ride with you too. He prefers riding with others to riding alone.

    I'm happy to report that he's still riding and didn't let that incident discourage him. We rode on Monday and last night. He is able to maintain his speed much longer without slowing down, compared to a few months ago.

    There wasn't anything interesting caught on video on Monday, but last night we caught this city bus "threading the needle" between an oncoming car and a parked car in our lane. I've seen the bus speeding down this street before, but I've never seen them pass other vehicles this close!

    speeding city bus "threading the needle" 9-11-12 - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zM-chZWLwzI" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

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    Great job getting your friend hooked! I saw the trek at a LBS and loved the colors!!!
    The Salt Life... Pictures to prove it!

    http://saltlifemiami.blogspot.com/

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    Cudos to your buddy.
    Making the decision to finally start doing something about his weight problem is awesome. Especially since he is doing it the right way through exercise (and I would guess diet too).
    I never had the weight problem he had but was overweight at one time. I dieted and exercised, fell off the wagon and gained some back doing the yo-yo diet thing for a bit and then finally decided to make life changes. Health needs to be a life decision so hopefully he never quits.

    At my heaviest, I was 225 and I am 165 now.
    It was a lot of work but no where near the work that you buddy has put forward and will continue to need to put forward.

    With friends like you, he can achieve his goals for sure.

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    Thanks for sharing this great story.

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    Thank you . He's still waiting on cooler weather to take another mtb ride, as he's a night owl and would rather ride in the afternoon, which happens to be the hottest part of the day, of course.

    We've been continuing our nighttime road rides. We rode 12 miles on the 13th, and 13 miles last night. I made a video of the climbing and descending he did. One overpass was longer and steeper than the others, so it was more of a challenge for him, but he made it up no problem. NSFW language!

    9-13, 9-16 rides - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vmCypHmvXko" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

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    Love this thread
    I havent been on my bike for about 13 months, I hate it when other things tend to take priority. But now I'm back in the saddle so to speak, and being a clyde, your friend is quite an inspiration.
    Ive ridden the American River bike trail quite a few times but always on the other side. The First Mountain Bike Ride video looks like a good cardio ride, I'll have to head up that way and ride it soonish. currently riding the levee trails (boring and paved) with the occasional excursion on pavement that more resembles gravel.

    As a clyde I've had a few rims laced up for me and I keep breaking spokes (32H) on my road bike, when I finally flattened the rim (on a 2" curb no less) I went cheap and bought a $40 36 spoke wheel. After checking the spoke tension I've had zero problems with it. The rim is wider so I have to use a minimum of 25 width tire. Which brings me to the question, how is your friends Cannondale holding up? I really would like a new road bike (get something with STI instead of the down-tube I currently have) but I am leery because of the wimpy looking wheelsets.

    GPS units are the way to go I love my 705 Edge. The heart rate monitor works fantastic and its another way to check my progress. I have the cadence on my road bike and even on the trainer it can be quite the workout to set a cadence and maintain it. If your friend doesnt have that with his 500, maybe something he may be interested in.

    Anyways BIG KUDOS to you Freight for being a good friend and cycling buddy, I can see that you not only plan rides around his ability but maintain a pace that he can do rather than smoke him and leave in the dust like too many tend to do. Good job!!

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    Thank you . When we first started riding, I made sure he knew that I wouldn't leave him behind. I stressed this repeatedly when he expressed concern that riding would be too much of a sufferfest. One reason I despise hammerhead group rides is because I know I can't keep up with anyone in the group, and they leave you behind as soon as they're warmed up and you never see them again. I found this out the hard way recently. At least the ride leader and one other guy looped back periodically.

    He's had excellent luck with the Cannondale so far. I will never recommend a Trek 7000 to a clyde though. I've broken two spokes so far on the rear wheel, and I'm only 150 lbs. The first one was on the freewheel side. Last night I noticed my rear brake rubbing. Pulled over, whipped out the flashlight, and yep, broken spoke. This one is on the left side of the hub, so it will be much easier to replace. I keep spare spokes around for this reason.

    My friend wants the heart rate monitor, but the strap won't fit around him. I guess Garmin thinks only skinny people use heart rate monitors.

  64. #64
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    Great stuff freight!... Keep up the good work. I'm not as big as your friend but I can relate to his suffering. Most people won't ever know how much dedication, hard work and pain it takes to ride a bike when being overweight. I hope he keeps going and keeps being an inspiration to others.

    I would be down to do the Granite Bay trail if you guys ever do it Saturdays. That's the only time I get to do it early enough to beat the heat.

    BTW his comments are hilarious... Those are pretty much my thoughts exactly when I see and during a damn climb

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    He's had excellent luck with the Cannondale so far. I will never recommend a Trek 7000 to a clyde though. I've broken two spokes so far on the rear wheel, and I'm only 150 lbs. The first one was on the freewheel side. Last night I noticed my rear brake rubbing. Pulled over, whipped out the flashlight, and yep, broken spoke. This one is on the left side of the hub, so it will be much easier to replace. I keep spare spokes around for this reason.

    My friend wants the heart rate monitor, but the strap won't fit around him. I guess Garmin thinks only skinny people use heart rate monitors.
    Wow, bummer on the broken spokes. I loose the spokes from time to time but I can't blame anyone but myself. I built the wheels myself. Then again, typically it's a nice big stick that get stuck in there that causes the spoke to eventually break.

    That's funny about the heart rate monitor. Yeah, you gotta wonder huh? Wonder if you can jury rig and "extension" to make the heart rate monitor larger?

    Thanks again for continuing the updates on this awesome passion post. Very inspiring.

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    steamed vegetables.... thats what helped me lose 50 lbs... They taste good, fill you up, and full of "good" calories... Also stay away from mass produced chicken or (god awful corn fed) beef.... Buffalo, Elk, or any other wild game... Mass produced meat will make you fat... naturally raised animals will take pounds off...

    For some reason whenever I spend time at high elevations, I lose weight.. I still haven't figured that one at yet... But I cannot recommend that, I think that is specific to just me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragos View Post
    Great stuff freight!... Keep up the good work. I'm not as big as your friend but I can relate to his suffering. Most people won't ever know how much dedication, hard work and pain it takes to ride a bike when being overweight. I hope he keeps going and keeps being an inspiration to others.

    I would be down to do the Granite Bay trail if you guys ever do it Saturdays. That's the only time I get to do it early enough to beat the heat.

    BTW his comments are hilarious... Those are pretty much my thoughts exactly when I see and during a damn climb
    Thanks I have faith in him. I truly believe that he will keep it up. He's enjoying the sport more and more, and getting stronger and faster. I think if he ever reaches his weight loss goal of 250 lbs, he might make me suffer on climbs!

    Granite Bay is fun! I went there with the intention of finding plenty of flatter sections for him, but as usual I got sidetracked climbing hills and riding the more technical sections. My ride report with video is here. I will let him know. I'm sure he would love to ride with you. We both enjoy riding with others.

    I love his comments too! They add to the fun!
    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    Wow, bummer on the broken spokes. I loose the spokes from time to time but I can't blame anyone but myself. I built the wheels myself. Then again, typically it's a nice big stick that get stuck in there that causes the spoke to eventually break.

    That's funny about the heart rate monitor. Yeah, you gotta wonder huh? Wonder if you can jury rig and "extension" to make the heart rate monitor larger?

    Thanks again for continuing the updates on this awesome passion post. Very inspiring.
    Yeah, it's just cheaply-built wheels in my case. The Trek 7000 is a low-end hybrid, but I've never had any other problems with it. The spokes are easy to fix, but if it keeps happening I'm buying a new, better rear wheel.

    Of course I got home and discovered that I had spare spokes for several bikes, but not the Trek! Off to the LBS I go to buy 5 spares!

    My friend called Garmin and they told him to buy another chest strap and daisy-chain it with an existing one. He hasn't purchased the strap yet, so I'll bring it up again and see what he says.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Of course I got home and discovered that I had spare spokes for several bikes, but not the Trek! Off to the LBS I go to buy 5 spares!

    My friend called Garmin and they told him to buy another chest strap and daisy-chain it with an existing one. He hasn't purchased the strap yet, so I'll bring it up again and see what he says.
    Awe, yeah, bummer. I keep a stock of spokes at home for sure for each of my wheels.

    Regarding the garmin, can he get some elastic strap from a fabric store? Use the strap to extend the HRM strap instead of having to buy a whole 2nd HRM?

    Good luck with that, that seems like it'd be such a great "upgrade" for many.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    Awe, yeah, bummer. I keep a stock of spokes at home for sure for each of my wheels.

    Regarding the garmin, can he get some elastic strap from a fabric store? Use the strap to extend the HRM strap instead of having to buy a whole 2nd HRM?

    Good luck with that, that seems like it'd be such a great "upgrade" for many.
    I bought five spokes yesterday, so now I'm set for a while. I thought I had several spares for that bike already, but I guess not. Normally I always keep several spares around.

    I found out the hard way that I still had to remove the freewheel to put the spoke in, even though it was on the opposite side of the hub. The freewheel is a Shimano MegaRange 14-34, so I think the largest cog gets in the way.

    While I was at the LBS I bought the Garmin speed/cadence sensor for my road bike. I don't think that item would be particularly useful on my mtb, so I'm only outfitting one bike for now. The sensor should eliminate the wildly inaccurate speed readings I get on my Garmin.

    I'll have to look at how my Garmin premium HR strap is made so I can figure out if we can make an extension for him.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    I bought five spokes yesterday, so now I'm set for a while. I thought I had several spares for that bike already, but I guess not. Normally I always keep several spares around.

    I found out the hard way that I still had to remove the freewheel to put the spoke in, even though it was on the opposite side of the hub. The freewheel is a Shimano MegaRange 14-34, so I think the largest cog gets in the way.

    While I was at the LBS I bought the Garmin speed/cadence sensor for my road bike. I don't think that item would be particularly useful on my mtb, so I'm only outfitting one bike for now. The sensor should eliminate the wildly inaccurate speed readings I get on my Garmin.

    I'll have to look at how my Garmin premium HR strap is made so I can figure out if we can make an extension for him.
    Oh, yeah, getting a spoke out of the rear wheel can be a pain sometimes, especially if you're wanting to do it without putting major bending in to the spoke.

    Cool on the speed/cadence sensor.

    Regarding the strap, I bet if you cut the strap in the middle back, you can use stuff like this to extend it:

    Amazon.com: Side Release Accessory Straps 1X24 by Liberty Mountain Adventure: Sports & Outdoors

    And..........

    Amazon.com: 20 1 Inch Plastic Triglides Slides: Arts, Crafts & Sewing

  71. #71
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    OP and friends are awesome. Keep it up.

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    I gotta say, having a friend with you is a HUGE motivation and help in losing weight

    You are an amazing friend! Keep it up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    steamed vegetables.... thats what helped me lose 50 lbs... They taste good, fill you up, and full of "good" calories... Also stay away from mass produced chicken or (god awful corn fed) beef.... Buffalo, Elk, or any other wild game... Mass produced meat will make you fat... naturally raised animals will take pounds off...
    Excellent point. Check out this recent article: Is Eating Fat Chickens Making Us Fat?
    The study, published in Public Health Nutrition and spearheaded by Dr. Yiqun Wang, shows that chickens have become obese at an alarming rate and, consequently, their nutritional value has plummeted. The explanations are many, but they can be summarized as a change in feed from grass to grain, a lack of movement due to confinement and gene selection for rapid weight gain starting in the 1970s.

    Great thread and very inspirational!

  74. #74
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    Right on! I am glad he is excited about the sport and the health benefits it offers!

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    Really cool thread; thanks for sharing OP. What a loser the person is who yelled at him from the car. Funny thing is, that person is so unhappy with themselves that they have to try to pick on others to fill some void in their crappy life. I'm glad he was able to shrug it off and stay motivated. Keep the updates coming!

  76. #76
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    Losing weight is always good in many ways. That said, there's a guy who posts on my local forum who's a pretty big guy. Maybe even 300 lbs but who's counting? His weekly ride threads keep us all happy. His size doesn't impair his ability to have fun in any way shape or form. Tell your buddy to just get out there and do it, no excuses.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    Excellent point. Check out this recent article: Is Eating Fat Chickens Making Us Fat?
    The study, published in Public Health Nutrition and spearheaded by Dr. Yiqun Wang, shows that chickens have become obese at an alarming rate and, consequently, their nutritional value has plummeted. The explanations are many, but they can be summarized as a change in feed from grass to grain, a lack of movement due to confinement and gene selection for rapid weight gain starting in the 1970s.

    Great thread and very inspirational!
    I spent 3 weeks in Ecuador eating (more) naturally raised animals and lost weight... I feasted on cheese, yogurt, lamb, beef and chicken the whole time.. I was shocked when I got back to the USA and found out I lost weight... 12 lbs in 3 weeks..

    Corn feed beef and sugar are a huge problem in the United States...

    There is a farm here in Arizona where I purchase grass fed beef and I eat it at least 3 times a week.. It has not made me gain weight like the corn fed stuff does...

    You could always just give up meat... but I don't think I can do that...

  78. #78
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    Btw, if you guys ever find yourselves in the SoCal area, namely the low desert (Coachella valley area), drop me a line! I would love to bike with you guys

  79. #79
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    I started riding more regularly this may/june (4-6 times per week) with a goal to get down from 217 (5'9") to 175-180. So far I am down to 203 as of a week ago and will be happy with getting under 200 this year with an end goal to hit my goal weight by the enmd of next summer.

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    Curious,

    What lighting systems are you using. why strobe only?
    I think the strobe would get seriously annoying after awhile. I understand the need to be seen but what about the need to see? I think a strobe with flood would be optimal.

    Then again, I dont ride at night.

    I would like to ride at night, could probably get more/better rides in, but I haven't decided on a lighting system yet.

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    Sorry for the late responses. I haven't logged into mtbr for a while.

    My friend wants to ride those trails again that I posted video of earlier in this thread. So do I, as riding with him is a blast! He has a great sense of humor! This weekend looks promising as it's not supposed to be as hot as it's been lately.

    He is down to 389 lbs now. We've been doing our usual nighttime road rides.

    Quote Originally Posted by OCtrailMonkey View Post
    What a loser the person is who yelled at him from the car. Funny thing is, that person is so unhappy with themselves that they have to try to pick on others to fill some void in their crappy life.
    I'm definitely not excusing that motorist's behavior, but I wonder if he knew about this bad news before the official announcement? He was leaving the plant at about the time swing shift would end.

    Still, there is absolutely no excuse for that guy to take his frustrations out on innocent bystanders. Especially someone who is trying to better themselves by exercising and losing weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    You could always just give up meat... but I don't think I can do that...
    Neither can I. I love beef and chicken. I just don't eat it every day. I also do very grueling hill climbs like this one (yes, it's road but damn it makes you strong, and it's great training for mtb climbs ), so hopefully I can avoid gaining weight. I'm not losing any, but at least I'm not gaining any either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whacked View Post
    Curious,

    What lighting systems are you using. why strobe only?
    I think the strobe would get seriously annoying after awhile. I understand the need to be seen but what about the need to see? I think a strobe with flood would be optimal.

    Then again, I dont ride at night.

    I would like to ride at night, could probably get more/better rides in, but I haven't decided on a lighting system yet.
    He's using a 350 lumen NiteRider rechargeable light. I'm using a 140 lumen Dinotte that takes 4 AAs, so I just use rechargeable Eneloops, which IMHO are the best rechargeable batteries out there.

    We use flashing mode because it makes us more visible to motorists. Even though our lights are flashing, they still help us see as well as be seen.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    My friend wants the heart rate monitor, but the strap won't fit around him. I guess Garmin thinks only skinny people use heart rate monitors.
    I have a 44" chest and use one of these Bike24 - Polar WearLink Chest Strap in size M-XXL. The descriptions says 63-83cm for the M-XXL which translates to 25-33" but when you adjust the belt to it widest setting it measures 33" when it's slack. It fits very comfortable on my 44" chest and stretches to 50" if needed. The belt is soft and elastic with no hard edges, ultra comfortable.

    According to this link DC Rainmaker: A solution to heart rate dropouts/spikes with Garmin HR Soft Straps a garmin unit fits on a polar belt and vice versa, so no worries about the belt being the wrong brand.

    So I'm thinking that the polar belt in size XXXL could be worth a try, or if all else fails get two belts and attach them end to end..

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    Thanks for the link, Sandrenseren I will be sure to forward it to him. Hopefully we can find a US shipper, as that site is from Germany. Even better would be a local seller where you can just walk in and buy it.

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    My friend continues to get stronger . On October 7 he did his first 20 mile ride: 20 Miles!!!! by kevingowen at Garmin Connect - Details

    First 20 mile bike ride - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bSbUa-niZcA" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    Two days later he climbed a short 15% hill a few miles away, along with some other short grades: 10 miles.... Some Hill Climbing by kevingowen at Garmin Connect - Details

    10-9-12 ride - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/IhqU5YrV7HU" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    Last night I introduced him to a couple more short steep inclines in the same neighborhood-15% and 18%: Nice Ride/New hills by kevingowen at Garmin Connect - Details

    10-14-12 ride-two new Land Park hills - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/I-_EE22DFJw" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    He dreads having to go back to the gym when the crappy weather arrives. He told me that people snicker and stare at him when he works out WTF is wrong with people?!? You would think that people who are trying to better themselves by working out would understand and respect a larger person who is trying to do the same thing. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes that exercise helps a person lose weight.

  85. #85
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    I love seeing these stories. I hope your friend keeps it up. Cycling's great, especially mountain biking, because it's exercise disguised as fun. I also love the community.

  86. #86
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    As a fellow fatty, I can tell you non fatties that gyms are the WORST for us. I have always gotten the nastiest looks and treated condescendingly and like trash. The 'gym' types who hang around there all day lifting weights or chase adrenaline highs as they circle the machines never seem to have left high school. They gather in little cliques and love to make fun of people on 'their' turf. They gossip, stare, snicker, and outright bully, behaving like total tools. I have been kicked off machines by them before or they had their friends 'babysit' machines so no one else could use them. Have always been too embarrassed to say anything to management, I just left and never went back. Corporate gyms usually see them at their worst, because the owners don't care about the gangs, they just care about getting their monthly fees. I have been to smaller gyms that were tolerable if I went during the right time. But, if I went when it was busy, I still got the nasty looks, whispering and giggling to friends, etc. And there was still the 'Oh, sorry, I am saving this machine for my friend, find another one' BS.

    Have your friend get a trainer and keep riding inside. That, or grab some crampons, a parka, and a hiking pole and get hiking! Stay out of the gym, they are a total demotivater. The BS makes fatties not want to ever go back, and that kind of feeling really sets people back in fitness goals.

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    I suggested a trainer but he likes the gym because he also uses the pool and the weights. Swimming is a good low-impact exercise for him that's easy on the joints.

    He's a member of 24 Hour Fitness, which is a corporate gym. A year or two ago he got into a shouting match with a couple of guys who started harassing him. Both of the guys and my friend got kicked out for the night.

    That incident caused him to avoid working out at all for quite a while, but now he's so determined that he hasn't let anything stop him .

    These idiots who bully, stare, snicker, etc. need to realize that they are one bad accident or illness away from ending up like the people they despise. Life in a wheelchair or hospital bed tends to make it a wee bit hard to work off the calories, so guess what happens?

  88. #88
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    Yeah, didn't see that post about the gym. That sucks. That can be very demoralizing, but try to remember that those sort of people are doing that to fill a personal insecurity. Obviously that's no excuse for them, but it says more about them than it does you.

    It's interesting that people think you need to be in shape to work out at a gym when really, it's the non-gym rats that should also be there trying to get healthy. It should be a wide mix with a supportive atmosphere.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    My friend continues to get stronger . On October 7 he did his first 20 mile ride
    Nice work! I love those videos, being on a ride-a-long sort of. Also good to see that your friend still has enough air left to complain about the climbs, that's a healthy sign.

    In the 10-14-12 video at the top of the hill where he says "hold on, give me a second" it sounds like he stops. I generally find it better to keep rolling and slowly spin without really putting any effort in rather than stop. Naturally it requires that the climb levels out or starts going downhill to do so. If I come to a complete stop after a hard climb I find that my legs have a hard time getting rid of the acid buildup, however if I keep rolling and spinning the pedals "in idle" while coasting leisurely on a flat or slight down hill my legs get rid of the acid faster. It sorta keeps the blood flowing to carry away the acid and replenish the muscles with fresh oxygen.

    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    He dreads having to go back to the gym when the crappy weather arrives. He told me that people snicker and stare at him when he works out WTF is wrong with people?!? You would think that people who are trying to better themselves by working out would understand and respect a larger person who is trying to do the same thing. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes that exercise helps a person lose weight.
    Get some decent rain gear and ride through the winter, actually riding in rain or colder weather can be rather refreshing as I cools you off. I find it difficult to take the bike out and start riding when it already rains, but if I'm already riding when it starts raining I don't mind at all.

  90. #90
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    You're right, he did stop at the top of the hill. I'm with you. I find it better to keep riding after reaching the top of a climb. If there's a descent after the climb, soft-pedaling helps to flush the lactic acid out of the legs.

    When I rode my bike past the big front window of the closest 24-Hour Fitness, I got a bad vibe when I looked inside. It looked like the kind of environment that would make me rather uncomfortable, and I'm only 20 pounds overweight.

    It's the same feeling I got when I made the mistake of attempting to ride with a bunch of hammerheads on a road group ride and got dropped within a mile or two. I had a post-ride conversation via email with the ride leader (who the hammerheads dropped like a hot potato, btw). When I told him how miserable I was on the latter part of that ride, his response to me was "lose a bunch of weight", among other things. He knows I already know I need to lose more weight (I had already dropped 71 pounds between May 2010 and July 2011). There was no need to bring it up again.

    Needless to say, yesterday's road ride was a solo ride on part of the same loop, with the same 1.8 mile, 12.5% average grade climb. I had a much better experience, set several PRs, and even got an unintentional QOM on the steep, twisty descent of that same hill (that's where having a fat ass is an advantage! )

    Neither one of us likes riding in the rain, unfortunately. I was forced to do it all through childhood while growing up in the Pacific Northwest. My solution to rain is to watch the doppler radar and go out in between storms for a quick ride. I'll climb bridges and overpasses on an 80-pound adult trike to get my workout. It may sound redneck, but that keeps me from losing strength over the winter. I even made a video of one of those rides on the first day of spring last year, with some flooding footage thrown in on the last part.

    climbing bridges on adult trike, Discovery Park flooding - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/R5JHdnPxIB0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="480"></iframe>

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    1. Never stop at the top of a hill to catch your breath. Just keep riding and recover while still pedaling.

    2. I work out at a 24 Hours in Colorado. There are a lot of really heavy folks that work out there and it's all good. I've never heard any snickering or badmouthing going on.

    Of course, I'm not the heavyweight interpreting what others are doing/saying. I just see the fit, the ripped, the housewives, the heavyweights, all working out at their own pace. What I'm saying is, my 24 Hours is great and I wouldn't want people to get the impression that all 24 Hours are intolerant. Blacks working with browns working with whites, I shoot hoops with guys of all color, including me and other white dudes.. Mixed race workout partners is the norm. It's all good.

    The guy that greets me in the morning at the front desk must weigh 400 lbs. You would not want to give him a hard time about his size and I bet the thought doesn't occur to anyone who walks in the door.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  92. #92
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    It's probably a California thing. I have heard that people are more image-conscious here. It's especially bad in SoCal. Luckily we live in NorCal, but we still have our problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    When I rode my bike past the big front window of the closest 24-Hour Fitness, I got a bad vibe when I looked inside. It looked like the kind of environment that would make me rather uncomfortable, and I'm only 20 pounds overweight.
    I dislike gyms in general. The smell of jock straps and sweat, getting athletes foot in the showers, the heat and the usually crap music. It's just SO much better to ride in the fresh air.

    Quote Originally Posted by freighttrainuphill View Post
    Neither one of us likes riding in the rain, unfortunately. I was forced to do it all through childhood while growing up in the Pacific Northwest. My solution to rain is to watch the doppler radar and go out in between storms for a quick ride. I'll climb bridges and overpasses on an 80-pound adult trike to get my workout. It may sound redneck, but that keeps me from losing strength over the winter. I even made a video of one of those rides on the first day of spring last year, with some flooding footage thrown in on the last part.
    I got plenty of rain growing up too, bikes were my main means of transportation. I hated commuting in the rain, getting where I was going all drenched, but don't mind it much now that I'm mainly biking for the fun and exercise. I'm used to do my training loop and come back home pretty soaked, so a little rain doesn't really change anything except cool me down a bit.

    Why a trike rather than any ol' two wheeler?

  94. #94
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    "I dislike gyms in general. The smell of jock straps and sweat, getting athletes foot in the showers, the heat and the usually crap music. It's just SO much better to ride in the fresh air."

    There are those who don't go to gyms (and have a million reasons why not, like the above statement) then there are those who regularly go to gyms (like me and all my buddies at the gym I go to). We have our own reasons for doing so.

    I've belonged to gyms since I was 18. What can I say, I like lifting heavy objects!
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    Why a trike rather than any ol' two wheeler?
    Trikes are great around-town cruisers and grocery-getters. Also, none of my two-wheelers are as heavy as my trikes. I figure the extra weight of the bike will make up for the short length of the "climb" up a bridge or overpass.

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    Great story. Huge props for you. It's obvious that your friendship is what drives the passion.

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    awesome story! keep it up

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    Could we get before and after pictures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Could we get before and after pictures?
    I'll have to talk to him about that. When I look at him there isn't a big difference in his appearance between then and now. This is probably due to the fact that he was 470 pounds when he started his weight loss. He's down to 387 now. As the weight loss progresses I'm sure there will be a bigger difference in his looks.

    Now that the weather is cooling down, I'm going to see if he wants to go mountain biking again. I know I need to. I've been road riding for the past few weeks and I'm missing the dirt again. Besides, there's some steep trails I need to check out that I haven't ridden since 1997. I ended up walking one of them back then. Time to see if I can ride up it instead.

    On our last ride, a pedestrian shouted encouragement to him as we passed. She said she lost 200 pounds and told him to keep it up. Listen for yourself here.

    Encouraging weight loss comment from pedestrian - YouTube
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EOvViPjwZSc" allowfullscreen="" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe>

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    Aloha Freight,

    It's been a while, any updates on your friend? I know the season's turning colder with less daytime hours but was hoping you guys are still able to get out and get some Time In The Saddle.

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