Obese, unfit and 50k challenge in may 2020!

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
As said it's great you've made a start and are working towards a goal. Well done.
Regards a bike don't buy used as you may have problems which could be expensive to fix if you take it to a bike shop. Better to buy new and I can echo the recommendations for Decathlon.

This offers good value, plenty of gears for hills plus a rack and mudguards and comfy ride on wide tyres.
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/hoprider-100-urban-hybrid-bike-id_8405477.html
Downside is its rather heavy.

This is more minimal with a lower price;
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/riverside-120-hybrid-bike-id_8405304.html
Again big tyres and upright position for comfortable ride. Minuses are no rack or mudguards included and fewer gears.
Small size should be fine for you. To check your leg should be straight sitting on the saddle with pedal at six o'clock. Your should not be able to put your feet flat on the ground when seated, you slide off and straddle the frame to do that.

You'll find it difficult at first but persevere.
Good luck.
 
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HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
@Joeycreature ,
Not much to add to the great advice above other than to add my congratulations for your first step and my best wishes for your new adventure.

I'd fully agree with @Vantage to consider a MTB, older model, no suspension for their sheer adaptability.
Take the advice from the posters to make local connections and seek advice there. When you make a connection with someone who understands your situation and goals, the outcome will be better.

The advice to concentrate on enjoyment rather than "training" is sound. As is the advice to try to rope in hubby - a day of cycling, having a picnic, doing a bit of sightseeing is more than just a bike ride. Not so sure about the tandem though.
Also very sound advice is to try to use the bike as much as possible - shopping, commuting, socialising etc. It's a great way of building up kms, but more importantly, it can really give you confidence in what you can do on the bike.

https://cycle.travel/map is a great little resource for planning bike friendly routes. Your first adventures should be comfortable, safe and enjoyable. It can help a lot - as can local contacts. If you're nervous about navigation, there are many apps you can use or splurge on a bike computer (but be careful! That can be a contentious subject! ^_^)

If you want to get an idea of just what you can do and where you can go on a bike have a look at https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/categories/?o=1mr&doctype=journal&category_id=384 for some inspiration.

The very best of luck!
 

HeebyGeeby

Regular
@Joeycreature I bought my first bike as an adult a few months ago as an overweight, unfit 52 year old. You've taken that first step/pedal which is by far the hardest part so well done on that. Nothing wrong with 1.28km, maybe try 1.4km next time (or just 1.28km without the cry). With a bike with gears you'll soon be riding 10km without thinking about it and 50km next year will be a bit of fun.
At 37 you will progress much more quickly than you would if you waited another ten years.
I use Strava to track every cycle and it's encouraging to see how with each trip I usually beat my own PR for a particular segment, meaning I'm getting better, (even though I'm in the bottom 5% overall, don't care).
Get in the habit of taking the bike rather than the car for short trips to the shops, buy a cheap rack and pannier and a less cheap lock and turn the whole experience into a convenience rather than a chore.
I love cycling on canal paths, cycle paths and greenways, no traffic, lovely scenery, relatively flat. I think you're not too far from NCN route 17? No idea what the surface is like but there are bound to be plenty of off road cycles you can do near to where you live while you build up your km's.
 

nickAKA

Senior Member
Location
Manchester
You've got loads of time to prepare so don't worry, take your time, start off nice & easy.
I started cycling with the wife (same age as you when she first got on a bike) and a 1 year old in a seat on my bike on the cycleways of Anglesey whilst on holiday. The weather was good, we took picnics and jollied along in the sunshine with zero time pressure and no ambitions to do anything except enjoy the ride, I have no idea how far or how fast we were going, it was wonderful.
12 months on we were doing the same but on longer rides, nothing earth shattering but 30 miles was a nice bimble travelling at our own pace.
The 1 year old is now 7 so the pace & distance is set by her, we've ridden most of the traffic free routes from North Wales to the Peak District (generally the old railway tracks repurposed for recreation) which are great for families & new cyclists; they're flat, straight & motor traffic free. I always seek out these routes when we go on holiday, they're as much a part of the break now as a day on the beach. Have a look on here, see what's handy for you to get to - https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/walking-and-cycling-inspiration/traffic-free-family-rides

TL;DR: as many have already said, do it because it's a great thing to do, the fitness & other health benefits will follow.
 
TL;DR: as many have already said, do it because it's a great thing to do, the fitness & other health benefits will follow.
Cycling's great "head space" as well.

It's one of my favourite things about it. I can just hop on a bike, go for a spin, enjoy the countryside, stop to take in a great view, and just put aside all the pressures that life can generate for a while.
 

lazybloke

Veteran
Location
Surrey Hills
Good morning. I'm 37, 5ft and 15 st, bmi puts me upper end of obese (scary). Friend of my asked if I would do the women v cancer ride the night 50k next year, I agreed thinking it would force me to get moving again. currently i'm using my teenage daughters bike (bmx, no gears), went out for the first time last night and managed a grand total of 1.28K before walking the bike back as we live on a very slight slope (the sort that when in a car you don't even know is a hill!) and I couldn't ride it back! When I got in my husband said yay you didn't die (just being silly and his way of supporting me lol), I just bust in to tears, I felt so deflated. this morning i'm determined to do this! We looked at bikes on line with gears thinking that may help (new to this and not ridden in over 20 years so no clue lol). Anyone have any advice / tips either on bike choice or training?
If not said already, the ideal place to initially build up your muscles is on the flat - perhaps there's somewhere like a local park, or one of the cycle-friendly routes marked by google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/xyuGueZk9NHCehHZ8

I like to point beginners to the thread, "My Firsts" by a former member of the site, Cannondale Lady. Her first ride was 10 miles, which might sound off-putting, but the story of her cycling progress - through tears and joy - is wonderful, and demonstrates how quickly you can can progress past various achievements, just by doing little and often. It's a great read, very funny.

Also, your charity ride target will provide excellent motivation, and will ultimately provide a great sense of achievement.
 
The best way to get un obese is to cycle. It’s low impact, and really can help. Build up your efforts little by little, bit by bit, and you’ll be smashing out rides in no time. Good luck:thumbsup:
 

Crankarm

Guru
Location
Nr Cambridge
Tbh in your position I wouldn't even buy a bike yet. I would focus on changing your nutrition to a much more healthy diet and just being generally more active, not driving everywhere, start walking, swimming, cross training, calisthenics, etc. even gardening if you have a garden. Once you have lost a lot of weight and got a lot fitter then buy your bike as you won't need to change it as you will likely when you get one now and you will enjoy cycling a lot more. I think maybe you are at such a low fitness level at the moment if you buy a new bike now you are placing so much pressure on yourself "this must work I must succeed" mentality you will probably give up fail as cycling can be very hard work! However do buy a bicycle, but give yourself several months to lose some of your fat and reach a base level of fitness then get a new bike. You will then enjoy your first cycling miles so much more. Just my 2ps worth. Don't flame me.
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
Tbh in your position I wouldn't even buy a bike yet. I would focus on changing your nutrition to a much more healthy diet and just being generally more active, not driving everywhere, start walking, swimming, cross training, calisthenics, etc. even gardening if you have a garden. Once you have lost a lot of weight and got a lot fitter then buy your bike as you won't need to change it as you will likely when you get one now and you will enjoy cycling a lot more. I think maybe you are at such a low fitness level at the moment if you buy a new bike now you are placing so much pressure on yourself "this must work I must succeed" mentality you will probably give up fail as cycling can be very hard work! However do buy a bicycle, but give yourself several months to lose some of your fat and reach a base level of fitness then get a new bike. You will then enjoy your first cycling miles so much more. Just my 2ps worth. Don't flame me.
I can't really agree with this. Making these major lifestyle changes will make a significant difference and should be a longer-term goal. However, you have to start somewhere, and I believe that establishing a cycling habit is a first simple step to a healthier and more active life and will make all these other things easier to achieve. It gives you an initial goal to focus on and it will encourage healthier eating.
 

Crankarm

Guru
Location
Nr Cambridge
I can't really agree with this. Making these major lifestyle changes will make a significant difference and should be a longer-term goal. However, you have to start somewhere, and I believe that establishing a cycling habit is a first simple step to a healthier and more active life and will make all these other things easier to achieve. It gives you an initial goal to focus on and it will encourage healthier eating.
Ehhh???!!! Which bit of what I wrote don't you really agree with? Was it eating a better diet, being more physically active, physical exercise, loss of physical weight, increase in base fitness or suggesting the OP avoid buying a bike immediately to avoid having to buy another when they have actually lost a lot of excess weight and the bike they had no longer serves their need as they have lost a lot of weight and achieved a base fitness which they could have done even if they had NOT bought a bike straight away. You don't think my advice is a step to establishing a healthier and more active life.

Here's your comment,

Well done for taking on the challenge. Decathlon is a good choice. Go for the lightest bike you can afford - without suspension. Build up the mileage slowly, little and often is best. One good way of doing this is to use the bike for any errands involving short journeys.

It might also be useful to find out if there is anywhere near you offering Bikeability courses to prepare you for riding, with traffic, on the road.
The OP states they only rode 1.28km on a fairly flat surface and found this a struggle. They have not cycled since they were in their mid teens some 20 years ago. The OP became very disheartened and upset when they arrived home and it was pointed out by their husband that they didn't die.

I think my advice is good advice and was intended for the OP not for you to rubbish. I wouldn't be so rude as tell you I don't agree with your above advice implying it was wrong. In contrast you do not give any specific advice except stating starting a cycling habit is a simple step. Maybe it is or was for you but then maybe your circumstances were quite different and your idea of simple is quite different to that of the OP as she alludes to. You do not seem to take into account important considerations that the OP mentions. Did you not properly read the OP's initial post? Bog off, rubbish some one else's comment. By far the easiest way to lose weight is eating a healthier diet and being generally more active what ever you do. You don't actually need to take up cycling to lose substantial weight and increase fitness. Not saying it won't make you fitter and slimmer, it will, but it is relatively energy intensive and expensive compared to other options. Some of the activities I mentioned especially swimming is a very good alternative sport for obese people as the activity is totally non load bearing and buoyancy assists them. It is ideal if base fitness is very low. Also it would be considerably cheaper than cycling if the OP decides on reflection cycling is not for them. Cycling is actually hard work and it is my belief why many chose not to do it or give up soon after starting. If the OP wants to take up cycling just to lose weight why doesn't she consider joining a spin class at a gym? Spinning is a very good way to burn fat and being on an exercise bike she wouldn't have the relatively large initial capital expenditure of a bike and all the accessories before she's even started, creating a lot of pressure for herself to succeed. The OP has a year until her cycle challenge next year so taking a couple of months in preparation now to reach a base fitness is easily achievable.
 
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CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Little and often as others siad. first week 5min rides, second week try 10mins. Dont look for hills, just ride the flatter roads. ride 5 times a week. remove easy sugars, from tea/coffee eat slightly less white bread and reduce food volume, just a little. cut down alcohol and have treat day once a week, but dont binge on that day. Within a month you will be upto 30 min rides. Then its just about riding regularly and slowly increasing distance.
 

Gary E

Veteran
Location
Hampshire
I've nothing to add to the sound advice that you've already been given but just wanted to add my best wishes for the journey ahead.

Take care, stay safe on the roads and, above all, have fun :smile:
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Ehhh???!!! Which bit of what I wrote don't you really agree with?
I disagree with your advice to defer trying cycling until after swimming, cross-training and calisthenics (whatever that is). You have, possibly unintentionally, given the impression that cycling is some kind of advanced sporting activity to be attempted only by those who have trained for it and "lost a lot of weight and got a lot fitter", rather than an every day activity that can be tried by pretty much anyone, any time.

I disagree strongly with the idea that "cycling is actually hard work".

I disagree that it would be better to join a spin class at a gym. Nothing wrong with spin classes if you like them. A friend of mine enjoys them and bases her fitness around them but that's just a personal preference. If you want to try cycling, try cycling.

I disagree that bicycles are so specialised that one purchased to suit a beginner won't suit them later and they'll "have to buy another". Provided it fits and has appropriate gearing it'll do fine.

Perhaps it wasn't your intention, but that's the impression I got. Sorry if I've misinterpreted.

I also don't think it's "rude" to express a different opinion, nor is it appropriate to tell a poster to "bog off" for not agreeing with you.
 
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nickAKA

Senior Member
Location
Manchester
I disagree with your advice to defer trying cycling until after swimming, cross-training and calisthenics (whatever that is). You have, possibly unintentionally, given the impression that cycling is some kind of advanced sporting activity to be attempted only by those who have trained for it and "lost a lot of weight and got a lot fitter", rather than an every day activity that can be tried by pretty much anyone, any time.
FWIW I agree 100% with this...
I'd recommend anyone begin their journey toward improved fitness with cycling; it's simple and there are benefits across the board. OK, you might need to acquire a bike but that's it - there's no gym subscription, you're instantly self-sufficient for transport and it's great for the 'soul'. Becoming KOM won't be your primary goal but you can achieve it if you are willing to put the work in.* It won't happen overnight but with time & effort you CAN get there.

*relatively speaking for most of us, just enjoy every small victory!
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
To encourage you with some numbers, I lost 3 stone within a year from cycling. Once you get going, the weight comes off. You will feel great after a ride from the feel good endorphins exercise gives you- puts you in a good mood. I lost a further stone after year one to be as my wife says Scrawny :biggrin:.
I
started cycling again in my late 40s, now into my mid 50s and can cycle 100miles and run circles round my kids,never have I been fitter
 
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