What If I’m Fat

You may ask, can I still have fun riding a bicycle if I am fat?

Yes, I said fat, and yes it’s time for another C.S. Lewis quote. That guy must have never shut up because you could fill volumes with his quotes alone.

“Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one.”

C.S. Lewis

So, yes I am fat, not weight challenged, not plus size, nor any other vague platitude. I could have said morbidly obese maybe, because as late as last fall I met the definition of morbidly obese, but OMG does morbidly obese just sound so much worse than just fat. I’ve lost some weight since then so now I’m just clinically obese, i.e. fat.

Let’s bring this post back around to the real question, of which I am eminently qualified to answer.  So, can you enjoy biking while fat?

Yes, why yes you can. I’ve enjoyed biking throughout my life, during much of it I would have been considered over-weight, if not obese, and like I said, at times morbidly obese. Let’s just say I am fat and have been fat, but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying a bike ride.

A funny thing happened 3-4 years ago when I was doing the Tour de Whatcom(TDW). I was about 75 miles into the ride when I pulled over to the side of the road either sending or receiving a text, I can’t exactly remember. Well anyway, as I was leaning over trying to use my body to shade the screen, a group of much younger and more fit riders slowed to ask if I was ok. Over the previous 6 months I had wrangled and exercised my way from 290+ down to about 260 lbs, but to the casual observer I was still fat, because in reality I was fat. Yes, I was absolutely ok, but they were also absolutely okay to think that an overweight 55 year old guy leaning over his handlebars might need some help. I finished the 104 mile course in a very slow time, but I did do it fat, and I did enjoy it, and I did feel a great sense of accomplishment for finishing.

Many decades back, a couple of friends and I rode a lot together, mostly mountain biking and we kiddingly call ourselves the “Fatboys” as we were not lean mean athletes. However, fat is a relative term, because at that “Fatboys” time in my life, I likely weighed about 220. And, maybe 10 years before that I rode the Seattle to Portland (STP) with the same friends and I think I weighed in the 190-200 pound range. Wow, I just double checked my math, when I rode the STP, I was 100 pounds lighter than when I started training for the TDW. Shocking, yet real.

In the couple of years following the TDW I had kept biking regularly, but still managed to eat good food and drink good beer myself back up to 290+. Never saw 300, thank God, but I still biked, biked regularly and had fun biking, all while fat. Every couple of weeks I would push, pull and drag my bike up to the top of Galbraith, catch my breath and enjoy riding down some trails. I was slow, fat and having fun.

So given my first hand experience, I am going to say positively that biking fat is certainly possible and certainly fun, because I’ve done it and I it was fun. In fact I still am fat, still am biking, and still am having fun.

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Garin

Poor as my writing might be, I still like to write. I’ve written a blog or two in the past, but at one point or another they each became a chore rather than a joyful pastime. C.S. Lewis said, regarding writing, “Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.” I will be following Lewis’ advice so this blog, which bears my name, will remain a joyful pastime. Hope you like bikes.

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