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SummerG42 03-31-19 03:12 PM

New to everything...
Well, almost. I found this site a few years ago, when I first thought about getting a bike. I lurked. I read. I was encouraged. And I bought a bike. A custom built Worksman heavy duty bike. With everything reinforced, and all the upgrades. It was my 40th birthday present to myself, and I winced as I charged it. And then I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle before it got delivered. Then a bunch of other things happened, including having my face rebuilt (planned) which meant that maybe I should not get on a bike just yet. So, finally, yesterday, almost two years after I ordered the bike, I took it out, for the first time, and I rode it. For the first time. Wait... what I mean is... I RODE A BIKE FOR THE FIRST TIME. Any bike. at all. I learned to ride YESTERDAY. I taught myself (thanks youtube!) and I am still quite shaky at it, but I can honestly look back at 7 year old me and say "We did it. We finally got it."

So, when I bought the bike, I weighed about 350 pounds. That's why I spent the money I did on the Worksman. And it's beautiful. But oh, it's so heavy. I've since lost 100 pounds, thanks to significant diet and other forms of exercise. I now realize that I don't need quite as sturdy a bike as I own. So I'm thinking about selling it and replacing it with something a little less robust, now that I'm smaller, and still shrinking. Of course, I spent a huge amount of money on it, that I know I probably won't get back, but the idea that I can't really carry it in and out of my house easily is probably the bigger issue. I might just pass it on to my husband, who isn't bigger than I am, but could at least carry it around.

Until I make that decision... any tips for a very, very new rider? I'm anxious, nervous, and still above the average size of a cyclist. I am excited and glad to have a new form of transportation, as well as a new form of exercise. I live in a city, and look forward to being able to go out on my bike, though I am anxious about cars... traffic... lack of bike lanes... theft. This has all been a bit of a ramble, but hello! And thank you for the unknowing encouragement two years ago! I finally did it!
- Summer

Mmassey338 03-31-19 05:41 PM

Congratulations! Practice a lot away from cars before riding in traffic. Have fun!

cobalt123 04-01-19 02:21 PM

Great work on the weight loss!

Hiw much does the bike weigh that that you have currently? That will help with advice on what to do with it.

Personally, Iíve lost 55lbs and Iím still dropping. By the time Iím done Iíll have dropped 3-4 bikes worth. So saving a few lbs on a bike is not really that important to me. When/if I get closer to goal weight it may be a different discussion.

That said, if getting a new bike motivates you to get out and ride, and you have the coin, go for it.

cobalt123 04-01-19 02:32 PM

Also, can you define ďhuge amounts of moneyĒ? I went to their web site and optioned up a bike and had a hard time getting to $1000. Maybe I just picked the wrong one. Not that itís not a lot of money but some custom bikes are $5k-10k so there is a wide range.

And lastly: itís just great that you got out and learned to ride. I love that.

Id suggest industrial parks on the weekends/evenings or local bike trails until you are steady on the bike.

SummerG42 04-01-19 03:10 PM

Thank you! I looked it up and I think I spent about $1100 on it, with tax/shipping. And then I had to pay somebody to assemble it. Not huge amounts of money in the bike world, definitely realizing that. It weighs... about 65 pounds. Which is really hard to wrestle in and out of my house/car. And ... up and down the stairs (we were keeping it in the basement while I wasn't riding it....). I talked to my husband about replacing it and while he was surprised and laughed for a few minutes after everything I went through for it, he seemed to get it. I think I'm fairly set on replacing it with something I can manage. Getting past the fear and the anxiety has been huge. I feel much more comfortable now walking into a store and finding the right fit. I won't buy the next one online. And I'm very much looking forward to getting out and enjoying life on a bike, all these years later. Industrial parks sounds like a reasonable bet for more practice time. I am definitely not ready for anything populated yet!

cobalt123 04-01-19 07:03 PM

WOW! 65 lbs is really something! I was thinking you'd say 30lbs and you wanted something 25lb... LOL.

Yeah, that's a beast for sure!

I also bought my first bike online. It was a mistake. But I was also not comfortable going into a shop... and as it turns out I didn't really know what I wanted anyway. The one shop I went into steered me toward something that was really not what I wanted.

So, join the N+1 club and be proud of what you've accomplished!

Synack42 04-02-19 09:05 AM

Congrats on the weight loss, and learning to ride the first time -- as an adult. That must have been strange; People say you never forget and it's true. I picked it up again myself last year, after 20+ years and was able to just hop back on (albeit not gracefully with my obese self at that time :) ).

I'd second cobalt123's suggestion of industrial parks until you're feeling confident with handling. I'm in the suburbs myself so I was fortunate enough to be able to get readjusted in a subdivision before getting out on busier roads.

Kedosto 04-02-19 08:27 PM

I’d say just ride the one you have for now. I mean, you’ve already paid for it and it’s likely to be the victim of any possible mistakes or drops. Just think of it as a combination of riding and weight training. Once you’re cocky, confident and have worn out at least one tire buy yourself something special. You’ll have earned it and the heavy beast will have fulfilled it’s duty.

Congrats on the achievements. Be smart, be careful, and be determined. You’re a cyclist.


SummerG42 04-03-19 02:25 PM

Ha, you make a good point ... let this one be the "break-in" model... if it gets scratched up when I fall over, I'll cry less? about the chipped paint anyway....

Learning to ride for the first time as an adult is difficult. Especially as an overweight(++) adult. It's embarrassing enough to admit you don't know how, that you never learned. And then when my friends have offered to let me use their bikes over the years, I always knew I couldn't, but they didn't know that, or didn't say that. There was definitely an added barrier to learning to ride. All these years my husband has been begging me to learn, but didn't really get why I couldn't. Now that I've accomplished it, and did all the work to get here, I really feel pretty awesome. Even if I'm still trying to learn how to turn, stay balanced, etc. It is very much like being a grown-up kid again. Only for the first time.

rseeker 04-03-19 05:00 PM

About bike replacement, I'd say do what you have to to keep wanting to ride. Keep it fun so you keep coming back to it. I don't have to tell you, but exercising is such an important part of living well that I think it justifies investment if you can swing it in the first place.

Congratulations on your weight loss, that's very impressive. I'm a Clyde myself, and the biggest loss I've managed is 45lbs. That took nine months. You really turned in a superior performance. (Thanks to a medication change I just picked up 10lbs in two months, so back to weight reduction again.)

I'm back to riding as an adult after 20 years away. The two things that I had to see to believe are 1) how easy it is to steal a bike and how often they get stolen, even when locked up -- a huge problem IMO that you have to worry about and 2) how distracted drivers are these days, with phones and touch-screen dashboards and our crazy lives. Something to think about.

Welcome back! :thumb:

TrojanHorse 04-08-19 03:32 PM

Originally Posted by SummerG42 (Post 20868250)
I really feel pretty awesome.

Good job. :thumb:

zjrog 04-08-19 10:42 PM

Congrats on the weight loss!!! As a still heavy rider, I have lost 109 pounds myself, and still more to go. I cannot ride steep hills, nor in heavy traffic or in a group. I have tried. But, I also had a bad accident 7 years ago and just being on my bike is a victory. I have a 29er that easily supported my formerly 350 plus at the time, but at 269, it still feels light and easy to pedal. As I lose more weight I do want to ride my road bikes more and more. And I hope my confidence improves, as well as my fear on hills. (I crashed breaking my back and doing a lot of damage going down a hill on a roadbike... ) I keep at it, I just might beat that fear...

Aahzz 04-09-19 10:37 AM

Congrats on a great start!! I started riding again 2 years ago, though life kept me off the bike in 2018 - back on now, though! Anyway, when I started again in 2017, I took the opposite approach of you with a similar result - I figured "I'm a big guy, I'll buy a cheap heavy WalMart bike". So I did, a heavy (not 65 pounds, though!!!) Huffy bike-shaped-object and started riding. And I hated it, because the bike was awkward, not very nimble, not fast, harder to climb it lasted a week before I returned it to WalMart and went to a couple bike shops to find the one with the best service. They hooked me up with the right bike that is simply a joy to ride, and still didn't break the bank. So, my point is, if you have the cash, get the bike that inspires you to ride. I was worried about durability at 365 pounds myself, but I have over 1,000 miles on my Trek FX2 and it's holding up great. I did have to replace the rear wheel after I got run off the road and did a fairly large drop, but Trek replaced it under warranty...and really, avoid jumps/drops and you'll be fine :). So go unto some local bike shops, talk to the folks there, and find the shop that will serve you well - a relationship with the shop is more important than the brand of bike, IMO. I ended up on a Trek because my local Trek store provides the best service by far - they watched me test ride, make free adjustments (frequently, the first year!!), installed aftermarket parts that I bought elsewhere when they didn't have exactly what I wanted...they're awesome. Hopefully you can find a shop that's awesome, and they'll get you set up on something fun to ride and easy to handle.

SummerG42 04-14-19 04:02 PM

I've been getting more practice (and been getting my husband to load the bike in and out of my SUV) and am getting the hang of it, still making adjustments to the seat angle and height, and learning how to balance well. Practice practice practice. Turns were an interesting learning experience, but am getting that too. Speed, especially on a slope, scares me a bit, but I finally figured out how to manage braking without stopping. Going up hill IS harder than I expected, but will get there.....

I'm definitely still thinking about the new bike, but trying to bloom where I'm planted for now, at least until I get the turning thing down better!

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