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My Story so Far

August 13, 2012

My Long story

So years ago I used to be a fit and health young man, I cycled, skated  etc…etc..
fast forward I got a job in IT working overnights along came the sugary caffeinated drinks and chocolate bars, 150lbs later and I weighed in excess of 330lbs, Then I had my adoring daughter. She was the light of my life but at the same time my life was shortening almost daily. I knew i had to do something to address this but what it needed to be permanent something I could maintain, so I did what everyone else in my situation does I dieted I tried most fad diets and discovered they were not for me I was always hungry that would never do.
So FF to Nov 2010 my son was about to be born and I was getting desperate my health was deteriorating, I caught myself grunting getting up from the sofa, I could no longer shop in any normal shops for clothes, I had to go to specialized large men shops. It was then I decided to re-focus my energies, I joined a Gym I was not going to deal with weight just yet just getting fit was my number one and only requirement.
I started off just walking on the treadmill only a mile at a time then worked up to 3 miles then 4 miles, by May 2011 I was getting fitter then it happened a car accident I was layed up in bed for two weeks (which is bad for motivation) after 6 weeks I recovered and got back to the gym but was finding it hard to get momentum again.
I was still training around October my fitness was improving again but slowly I was ready for phase two the goal, to get on a bike I bought a Pinnacle Dolomite One bike.
and off I went I got to about 40 miles and it happened the handle bars slipped and over I went, a very bruised pride, gashed knee and damaged wheel etc..etc..

I got in contact with the shop and after some wrangling it was agreed to replace my bike with a Pinnacle Dolomite two the one was out of stock and no longer in production the two had stock.

So I started on the Pinnacle two off I went this was November tho and getting cold so I kept my miles low and took it slow I was still grossly unfit compared to others so I just tried my best, I kept up cycling about three times a week till January when I felt ready to try something really but I was ready to commute to work (This is 19 Miles) so in a not so cold Monday morning I got up at 7am and off I went cycling to work. It was hard I remember it like it was yesterday I didn’t have a good idea of the route to take and ended up on some pretty major roads as a consequence. But at 8:35 I arrived at work. I was so happy with myself and proud of this achievement.

The next few months are a little hazy but what  I remember most is cycling in the cold and wet, and the breakages specifically the wheels alexrims SUCK plain and simple. so at about 300 miles I had to replace the rear wheel with a Shimano R500 which was not great but better than a alexrim 200 miles later the front wheel failed so I went off to replace front wheel.

Then at the end of March I attempted a sportive a 36 Mile Ride round the Surrey hills, It was hard VERY hard I also had a cold and felt very very rough and ended up walking up some of the hills.
But most of all I did it, I survived it and so did my bike.
I kept cycling when I could putting in miles but it was less frequent I was afraid my knees ached after riding and I was under the impression i was overdoing it.

FF to May we had some fantastic weather and my colleague encouraged me to go for a ride at lunch time this was a turning point for me, he didn’t cycle with me he cycled ahead of me setting a pace faster than anything I had cycled before. This went on for a week strait I cycled with him at lunch, This taught me two things.

1.) that the aches and pains in my knees were because I had not used them enough and

2.) that when your trying to improve you need to be pushing yourself.

also at that time he introduced me to hills something I had been avoiding ever since march. In that week I made massive gains on Monday I could barely climb a hill. by Friday it was slow but constant and progress real progress, Steve is you ever read this I owe to big time your encouragement you pushed me to make gains where I did not know they were possible.
As we entered summer my rides became more and more frequent, I have to admit to neglecting home life a bit in my challenge to improve myself. So in May I was riding 68 Miles total that month. In June it jumped to 339 then July 426  including my first 50 mile  ride which proved to be easier than I thought it would be, still damn tiring.

Then it started.

The Troubles – First it started with minor things bolts coming lose and minor buckling of the rear. Wheel then the snapping time after time the rear wheel kept snapping spokes and during this time I became very proficient at replacing spokes. By early Aug I had replaced a fair few spokes then one fateful journey home from work I lost 4 spokes, I was stranded and I had to call for help my wife and kids collected me. It was heart breaking I felt let down by the bike and myself. I wanted to improve but the bike seemed unable to cope with it (or at least the wheels) so it was time for something with a bit more strength to put on the rear so I purchased a Hope Pro 3 – Mavic Open pro a very expensive purchase, but hopefully it would be much stronger than the R500’s, That weekend I decided to go for a ride up Box hill this was bigger than anything I had attempted in a while, this was still on the old r500’s while I was waiting for delivery of my new rear wheel and apart from breaking a spoke, it went well. I was pleased with myself.
The next day was my usual commute to work 19.1 miles, then pulling away from the lights at 18.5 miles It happened the big one something I never expected would happen, the rear derailleur sheered off, completely all the way. I was stranded again. I completed the ride to work on foot and rung my ever understanding wife who picked me up after work, we went straight to evanscycles where I purchased the bike and was told evans needs to check with the Shimano that this was a manufacturer fault.
so thats my story so far, I’m on my ancient old mountain bike, waiting on a decision from shimano on whether my 8 month old bike is covered under warentee, at this point I suspect that bike shops are too comfortable with using ware and tear to get out of warentee claims.
And my weight well, back in may I also made a change to my diet, I cut out aspartamine, sucralose and all those fake sugars something strange happened then. I got less hungry I found that I was not snacking so much and did not get hungry anywhere near a regularly, my weight so far 298lbs 32lbs loss, it does not sound like much but I need to get fit, I’ve reversed so much damage to my body and I’m writing this blog to inspire myself and hopefully others to join me.

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