I’m a husband, a dad, and generally a pretty average guy. I do not consider myself an expert cyclist but I have been a fan of cycling since the 80’s and rode a bit when I was younger. Being 100% Italian we are genetically predisposed to it. I am not an expert on anything I preach about, but I love to babble so this is where I start. I try to find humor in my shortcomings and in the mistakes I have made in my life as opposed to dwelling on them. And I hope to share them with you.
My life had taken me down a path I needed to get off of. Depressed and demoralized I somehow found the energy to go for a bike ride. It was this ride that changed my life. I count myself lucky to have had incredible support from family and friends but I have also been very determined to continue on this new path. I will share my thoughts and hopefully some nuggets will inspire or amuse you. And if your life parallels any of mine, hopefully you can appreciate this even more.
About 60 lbs. heavier than I am today. I was doing myself zero favors other than a guaranteed bypass or worse. Imagine walking up a flight of stars with 2 thanksgiving turkeys strapped around your gut. I had high blood pressure, probably a few other concerns and oh yeah and did I mention I felt like shit? After a few back to back epiphanies I decided that if I wanted to be around a bit longer to see my kids through life It was time to get moving. Literally.
It was a morning in July while watching the Tour I decided it might be good to go for a ride. I despise exercise or gym workouts, but I did enjoy riding my bike from rare time to time. After all, in my former life (20 years ago) I used to do a fair amount of cycling. My first ride was a brutal 4 miles. But I was determined. And I was angry at myself for letting myself get to where I was, so I rode on. I rode every day. A week later I was doing 8 miles, then 10. Two months later I was up to 30 miles a day. Not including 50-80 more per weekend. by December, I celebrated by stepping on the scale and realizing I had dropped under the 200 lb mark. I actually cried. Either that or fat was melting from my eyeballs.
I still have more than a few stubborn Cornish game hens attached to my gut that need to be dropped, but I do feel much better and am finally able to ride with pleasure and pace. My rides range from solo, with friends, to group or team training rides combined with a smattering of races. Most recently I’ve added a fat bike, for snow, trail and single track rides and hope to get some snow races in before the end of winter.
I will never be a true bike racer. I consider myself a recreational cyclist who likes to ride fast. Although, I do like to race from time to time. Unfortunately, my body type is more of a mini rhino than svelte cyclist, but pushing myself to achieve personal goals is the key to retaining fitness. Plus, my belief that dropping another 20 would allow me to ride even faster is a goal that I am constantly shooting for. Just a few short years ago I shed many pounds and a few bad habits by jumping on this velo-adventure. The by-product has been great times, new friends and a better overall outlook on life. There is a heavy Eddy inside me constantly trying to get out, I just need to remember to keep the door locked.