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Another happy 'boomer' astride her Pedego electric bicycle.
Another happy 'boomer' astride her Pedego electric bicycle.

You're Never Too Old, or Too Out of Shape to Get Back On A Bike

Scott Cutshall weighed more than 400 lbs when he started riding a bicycle, one specially made to handle his massive weight. I turn 67 next week and I am still riding a bike, made both fun and practical because it's an e-bike. Here's several inspiring stories to consider in case you don't think you can climb back on a bicycle again.

As I sat on the pavilion atop Pedego's display booth at Interbike 2014 a few days ago, the company president and founder, Don DiConstanza, told me the story of one of his customers, a lady who weighed well over 300 pounds (21 stone/136 kg). She had bought one of his electric-assist bicycles and gradually, over time, began to ride it further and further, pedaling more on her own 'steam' and using the electric-assist less and less. Best of all, she's gradually been losing that excess weight and feeling better as a result.

Hers isn't the only fat-to-fit story I've heard about. Bicycling has a wonderful story about Scott Cutshall who lost an amazing 320 pounds (22.85 kg) over the years from a morbidly obese maximum of 501 lbs. to his trim 185 lbs today.

At the 500 lbs point in 2002, a doctor told him he had just six months to live. It was then that Cutshall decided to try riding a bike, but finding one to support his quarter ton of weight wasn't easy. In the end, he had a custom bike built that could stand up to his massive bulk.

The other argument you hear about why more of us don't ride a bike is our age. We think we're too old and certainly not fit enough. Sorry, but today's E-bikes make that a bogus argument.

Next week I turn 67 and I am still riding a bike, albeit, an electric assisted one. Having the added mechanical torque to aid me on our local hills and against strong headwinds, makes cycling enjoyable for me. And because it's enjoyable, I want to do it at every opportunity I get. I work from home, so I don't have far to "commute", but I do use my e-bike to run errands to the store, the post office, the bank, the pharmacy,etc. The ePEDALER company minivan sits most of the week.

Others get even more use out of their e-bikes. Today I heard from Chris Faith, who was also at Interbike in Las Vegas recently. He wanted to say hello and wrote the following:

"My wife and I are riding our 5th and 6th Pedego electric bikes and, as I'm sure you've heard a million times before, they changed our lives. I put about 500 miles per month on mine commuting everyday to work and owning the bikes has allowed us to stay a single car family."

I gather Chris and his family live in southern California, so he can pretty much ride year-round. Out here on the Great Plans, only the heartiest of riders venture out by bike after December.

I started this blog because of another online article in Bicycling entitled 'Defy Your Age.' It focuses on the benefits and challenges of riding bicycles in our 30's, 40's, 50's and beyond.

One of the first points it makes is that the older you get, the longer it takes for muscles to repair themselves. States San Millan…

"When you're 20 and stop for three weeks, you can recoup your fitness in a month and a half. When you're in your 50s and 60s, it's more like four months."

The ability to exchange air between the lungs and blood vessels also degrades over time as the "chest stiffens… and lungs don't recoil as well." After menopause, women typically experience 20 percent loss of bone mass, while men lose only 0.4 percent.

The good news is, If you've been cycling fairly regularly, "cyclists age better than runners."

If you haven't been cycling much, if at all, through your middle years, its not too late to start. After hanging up my Schwinn road bike (which I bartered for from a pawn shop in my early-30's), I ceased riding. It was when I launched EV World.com in my early 50's, that I bought my first 'EV' - a Currie Tech electric folding bike with 16 inch wheels. After getting my M750 a couple years later, I sold the Currie. The rugged, dependable M750 e-bike has been my second set of wheels ever since.

I can't make any claims of huge weight loss like Scott Cutshall or lengthy work commutes like Chris Faith, but I delight every time I swing my leg over my bike and run down to see aging my parents or pedal over to the store for my wife to buy some small items for dinner.

It's that joy that I want others to experience through ePEDALER. E-bikes let you defy both age and gravity.

Posted By: Bill Moore [20-Sep-2014]

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