Friday, October 2, 2009

Progress Report

It's been two months now since my gastric sleeve surgery and I am down 38 pounds and two pants sizes as of this morning. The weight is just melting away. I've had immediate benefits in my cycling as well. Aimee and I took the Seavo out a week or so ago. We hadn't ridden it since my surgery. When we rode it this spring I actually thought about selling it because it just wasn't comfortable any more. Although I was loath to admit it, the trouble was that my stomach had grown so big that my thighs were hitting it when I pedalled. Riding the bike since my weight loss was a revelation. With my stomach gone (literally) pedalling the Seavo was the way it used to be: easy and comfortable. Our speed picked up as well. I'm glad I didn't sell the Seavo. Aimee and I will be using it for the Bike Around the Bay this coming weekend.

This morning I met Jim and David for the maiden run of my new Mocon low racer. I spent last night with the final details of getting it set up and practising getting on and off. This another example of the benefits of my weight loss. Frankly, I doubt I would have been able to mount and dismount this bike, much less ride it.

We found a quiet country road for this test. I didn't want to have to worry about traffic as well as trying to ride this beautiful bike. My first challenge was starting the bike. The machine gun handle bars make for poor handling at low speeds so it's fairly important to get up some speed right off the bat. While puzzling how I was going to get both feet up on the pedals as I pushed off, I realized that I could put both feet on the pedals with the bike standing still. All I had to do was steady the bike with my hand on the pavement (yes, the bike is that low). After 5 or 6 tries I did get the bike started. It accelerates quickly and handling improves with speed. Nevertheless, it took 15-20 miles before I could take turns with confidence. I easily moved up to 20 mph with a couple of gears left unused. I decided, though, to save a speed run for another day when I had a little more experience on the bike.

By the end of today's 30 mile ride I felt at home on the bike. I have a little tinkering to do before the next time I ride it. I couldn't get my computer to work properly. It's new and suspect it may be batteries. I might get a new seat pad and perhaps trim the chain stays a bit to fit my shoulders. I'd also like to mount a red light on the back of the bike since it's ultra-low and easy for drivers to miss.

Fortunately, I am exactly the same height as John, who made the bike for himself, so no BB adjustment was needed. The bike is very comfortable and after 30 miles I had no recumbent butt or foot numbness. I can't wait for the next ride.