Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Blogger!

Okay, I've just entered the 21st century and decided to write a blog.

I already know at least three cyclists who write blogs, @BikeCrave, The Surly Rando, and George's Epic Adventures. So do we really need another blogger? Probably not, but here I go.

Some have asked me how I got into cycling. So I will make my first blog as a brief history of what got me into cycling.

In April of 2006, I was 370 pounds. I had high blood pressure, and was on two medicines for it. I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. It was way past time to make some changes.

Me before my second bike ride. Approx 370 at the time:

The sleep apnea diagnosis was a blessing. The Rx: a C-PAP machine. This allowed me to actually get a restful sleep, which gave me some energy throughout the day.

What to do? Running hurt too much. Walking bored me. Hiking was okay, but my feet would really hurt within a mile or two. I liked riding a bike as a kid, why not try it.

I knew nothing about bikes. Went to Sports Authority, I guess I knew enough to know Wal-Mart bikes were crap. Bought a mountain bike for about $220.

My first ride was on the Hodges trail. Less than 2 miles. I was gassed! But, I had fun.

I started riding after work. At first 2.5 miles around the neighborhood. It took until July to hit 10 miles, around Mission Bay.

Weight loss was slow since I still hadn't changed my diet. But I was feeling better. Way better. I discovered I preferred riding on the road to trails. I went to a real bike shop in October of 2006. Black Mountain Bicycles in Mira Mesa. I wanted to do some road riding. Could a 330-340 pound man ride a road bike? Based on my Internet research, no, but a touring bike might work, or maybe a cyclocross bike.

That was exactly what Brian at BMB recommended. The Specialized Tri-Cross. Part cross bike, but could be converted into a touring bike. Strong enough wheels and frame for my girth.

I couldn't believe I spent $1,600 on a bike! I better ride it, huh?

I started to watch my diet, as my wife and I really got focused around that time, and started tracking what we ate. And I started to ride. And ride. And ride. Since daylight savings time was over, and I was too much of a neophyte to ride in the dark with lights, I got a trainer. And I rode.
Fast forward, in August of 2007 I did my first century, the Cool Breeze in Ventura. I was hooked. In 2008 I did a few more centuries and my first brevet

In December of 2008 I purchased a true road bike. A Specialized Roubaix. Built for distance riding, in the first year I had this bike I road over 8,000 miles. I did my first three Double Centuries earning a California Triple Crown, several brevets, centuries, and just went for rides in excess of 100 miles. I joined the UMCA and completed what they call the Larry Schwartz award.
So here we are, in early 2010. I am currently 214 pounds. I like to say I've lost over 150 pounds and 4 chins. No more high blood pressure. Me today:

If you told me back in 2006 I would be 214 pounds today, I would not have believed it, and I would have been thrilled. Funny how your perspective changes. Hanging around cyclists, I realize I still have some work to do. But I enjoy the process, love cycling especially Ultra events.

I want to say, I don't think I would have done this without the support of my wife, Angi. Thank you! and of course without my faith in the Lord.

If you like, I often "tweet" during my rides. My Twitter is @stevecycles200.
Stay tuned, I am going to try and write regularly.


  1. Hi Steve,
    Your story is inspirational. To lose 160 pounds is quite an acheivement. Many pats on the back to you.
    See you out on the brevets and doubles!
    P.S. Congrats on your Larry Schwartz award! (I am one of the UMCA volunteers who processed those rides you send in electronically.)

  2. I am so proud of you hubby! Keep up the good work.

  3. glad you have a great wife and our Lord to help!

  4. Steve,
    Thanks for starting this blog. What a great and inspirational story! Keep it up! -Rich Temple

  5. Steve,
    Congratulations. Ride more. Live longer.

    Miles Stoneman

  6. Thank you all for the kind comments. I will try and make this a weekly post, mostly about my rides and training.