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Big Man on Wheels…Coming Soon

July 28, 2010

Yesterday I rode a bicycle for the first time in 25 years.

My conversation with my friend Jeffrey last week inspired me to take the plunge and visit a local bike shop. So, my brother Tim, who is in town from Wisconsin with his family, and my nephew Zach, headed out to Cycology in Maryville. I chose Cycology on Jeffrey’s recommendation and because they sponsored a ride for the American Cancer Society last summer.

I walked in to the shop having no idea what to expect, do or ask, but got great help from Jason, the shop’s assistant manager. After a series of questions (What kind of riding did I plan to do — street, trail, mountain? If you were to ride to work, how far would you ride? If you were a tree…) With Jason’s help, I decided on a hybrid. My bike is a shiny silver and white Trek 7300. Jason rolled the bike out to the parking lot, and I took it for a test drive.

Not gonna lie…I panicked a little. This time, I was asking the questions. Can I get on a bike? If so, can I keep it upright? We’re talking about balancing a lot of bigness on two skinny tires. Is this going to end with my face slamming into the asphalt? Know this…I got on that bike and, even though it was only a five-minute ride, I loved it. The sweet freedom of pedal power was awesome. I feel a bit like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” talking about the Red Rider BB gun he coveted. Like his gun, my bike is a thing of beauty.

I didn’t bring the bike home yesterday; I put it on layaway. I’m looking at the bike as a carrot, an enticement to continue observing healthy habits. I told Jason the bike is a reward for reaching a specific weight-loss goal. Not my ultimate goal, but a major goal nonetheless. When my weight drops to 295, I will bring my bike home. I want to say goodbye to Mr. 300 forever.

My 295-pound goal is not unreachable, not at all. At Weight Watchers on Saturday, I was at 316 pounds. The big 300 is near. I want to make sure I cross that goal line first.

Then, aboard my shiny new bike, I’ll work toward my next goal.

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