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Get a grip! This is gonna be wheelie good!

My great great Grandfather’s, neighbours, best mates, uncle, cousins, friend.

So I learnt something last year, something that is pretty obvious, but you just might not think about.

Around June 2020 I was struggling with knee problems, due to running with all my excess weight. The added pressure on my poor patellas was not great, but I didn’t want to give up running.

One sunny afternoon in my local Tesco, I bumped into my mate. He was asking me how the running/weight loss was going and we started chatting. The topic of my rusty knees came up and that’s when he suggested getting a bike! That’s a great idea! Less stress on my lower limbs, but still the amazing benefits of cardio! Brilliant!

So I shot home and started looking online for a decent bike at a decent price! The first thing I realised was that ‘When did bikes get SOOO EXPENSIVE’….then I realised that it had been over 20 years since I’ve owned a bike! Christ!…but still some manufacturers are charging over £8000 for a mountain bike!?!?!? With that kind of spare cash I could put a deposit on a ticket for Richard Branson’s space shuttle to the moon!!

Anyway, I kept digging and did manage to find some decent bikes in my price range (under £900). Right! Now to do some research on the best bike for me.

There are a lot of factors to consider: Bike type - frame size - wheel size - gears - brand- colour - design.

So after vigorous searching I found a mountain bike with a XXL frame (for over 6ft 4in), big 19” wheels (so I don’t look like Coco the clown riding a mini trike)…I also found the right colour and design, I was ready to get my Uber cool bike…I was super excited!!!I put the bike in my online basket….but couldn’t find my wallet!!! Never mind, it’s late (11:30pm), I’ll pay for it in the morning.

The next morning I was up with the crack of dawn, even my daughter was still sleeping. So I brewed a coffee and made the most of the occasion by..…watching YouTube videos! (I have a very Rock N Roll life). Knowing my dream bike was only a click away, I was inspired and typed the follow search into YouTube ‘Tall Bike Riding Tips’. Lots of video appeared on my screen. I clicked the first one and sipped my coffee. After learning about a doggy toothpaste in the opening ad, it started. The video was about a tall rider who reviews different bikes. ‘Great!’ I thought.

As the tall guy continued to speak I started to drift off (it was 6am), then as I was just closing my eyes I heard the words ‘…Check the bikes weight limit‘. My eyes shot open and I was instantly awake…WEIGHT LIMIT???’…No Bastard said anything about weight limits!!!

With coffee flying out of my open mouth…I frantically ‘Google’ searched for the make and model of my ‘in basket’ bike, followed by the words ‘weight limit’…and there it was, in the small print!! WEIGHT TIMIT - 300lbs. This is bloody joke right!!! I’m 370lbs!!!

I was devastated. My heart was set on a bike…No! My knees were set on a bike! ‘OK’, I thought that’s just the weight limit for that make and model…I’m sure others are different…unfortunately not really! As where some makes do have a higher upper weight limit I couldn’t see anything over 355lbs…without going for a custom or specially made bike and then we are talking ££££’s.

So that’s it!…it was there and then I realised that the world isn’t made for people of my size and weight. I felt defeated and deflated.

After a few months rolled by and I got over it, or at least I think I did. But when Xmas rolled by I lost all control and self belief and gained most of the weight I’d lost that year.

Down, but not defeated! As January 2021 turned its leaf…so did I! And with a target in mind…I WANT THAT BIKE!!!

So I started January 2021 at around 380lbs. I worked my ass off and finally got to my ‘Bike Weight’ at the start of May 2021.

Feeling confident…and as motivation, I ordered my bike in April (as the waiting list was 6 weeks for delivery)…and that time has almost arrived.

I’m slightly nervous and excited, as I haven’t ridden a bike in over 20 years. I’m continuing to still lose weight to take even more stain off the poor bike….plus I don’t plan on doing any dirt jumps or wheelies (just yet) as I don’t think my perineum could take it!

I’m hoping that if I split my running schedule between running & cycling then (hopefully) my knees will start to feel a bit better…and if I continue with the strength training too then (fingers crossed) the weight should continue to drop…and as it does even more stress should be taken off my joints, which equals - less pain. Which is always a good thing.

So I’ll update you in a few weeks about the progression of the new and improved Fat Welsh Runner/Cyclist/Weight Lifting/Cardio/Monster/Ultra Marathon Beast. (OK, Well maybe not the last one…..yet!)

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