I was fat, forty and not particularly happy with myself in Glasgow Scotland. My health was a source of concern, if I didn't do something about it I was going to end up as one of the casualties of a West of Scotland lifestyle. You know, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, the lot !
As a kid and into my mid teens I used a bike all the time, until I managed to scrape together enough money to buy a motor cycle. I was absolutely intoxicated with petrol and power ! Well, this never wore off until about twenty years later. And one day, purely on a whim, I borrowed a bicycle. I was horrified by how unfit I was, hills that I climbed with ease as a kid had me off the bike gasping and walking ! I'll never forget that moment, maybe it was oxygen deprivation, but it was as if I was being shown what was in store for me in a few short years time.
This was not good !
Soon after, I read an article by Jock Wadley about riding the Paris-Brest-Paris cycle event. This had not actually been an official race for a number of years as it was considered to be too hard and too long for for professional cyclists. Sure they could have done it, but the training required for this particular event would have had an adverse effect on a pro rider's condition for the other races on the calender. To ride Paris-Brest-Paris successfully, you start in Paris, ride to Brest, turn round and ride back to Paris,a distance of 1200km. Sounds easy ? How about having to do it in 96 hours ?
This became a goal for me. Especially when I read that guys well into their seventies were doing it and turning in pretty respectable times too !
So this was the start. I researched weight loss, many kinds of diets, physical training, psychological preparation and everything I could learn about bicycles. I even learned how to build a bike frame at night school and build my own wheels from scratch. And on the way I discovered things I never expected. Like sheer joy, total excitement, a sense of inner peace and deep and lasting friendships. The bicycle made me what I am today, healthy and contented and fit !
For quite a while now I've been gladly sharing my experiences with people wanting to improve their lifestyle, lose some weight healthily, take up cycling without having to start from square one and generally get more fun in their lives. Some folk suggested I write a book but jings! this is the twenty first century !!
I would rather give out my expertise for free and take satisfaction from the fact that I'm giving back what many other people gave me over the years.
Watch this space....there will be more !