Inspiration through blogging

I’d like to post a comment that was made on an old post.

Hey Matt, great Job on the weight loss and the increase in your speed! I found your blog via a search for the Nashbar touring frame and as a result, have started reading it from the oldest posts to the most current.

Three years ago, after a 24 year hiatus from tearing up the country roads on my 10 speed, I decided to start riding again and bought myself a used mountain bike. I started out 100lbs heavier than you… yeah, if your friends say you’re like a barn door, then I’m like the whole barn! Twenty years at the same desk job with minimal exercise really added some bulk to my frame.

That first summer back on the bike was painful, I started out with 4 to 5 mile rides, felt like I was going to die! I put about 100 miles on the bike that summer and started to doubt my sanity. Last year I didn’t start riding until the middle of the summer. I had changed my diet a bit more though and when I did start riding, I worked up into longer and a little faster rides, then I started seeing the weight drop off. This year I try to get three 18-20 mile rides in on weeknights with a much longer ride on the weekend. I’m down to 317lbs as of this morning and feeling great! I find myself always looking forward to the next ride.

Lately, I’ve been riding with friends who are on road bikes and I am getting comments from them that they’re impressed at my speed on such a heavy bike. On our trail rides I have no problem keeping pace with them (sometimes I play tour guide and get to hear about the wonderful vacuum I create that pulls them along!), though I suspect if we headed out on a 60 mile ride, they’d grind me into the pavement over the long haul. So I’ve been looking for another bike, reading up and debating over what my next purchase should be… It’s definitely time for something lighter and time to stretch my rides out farther.

I was just down at Garden of the Gods the last weekend of June. I would have loved to have brought my bike with me and got a little riding in. Maybe some weekend this fall I can load the bike up and head back down there. It would be nice to cross paths and meet each other.

This comment really fired me up, this is what I’m talking about.  When I started this blog I was mainly doing to inspire myself to stay strong and ride.  I never thought I’d be inspired by so many people in the blogging community and  I never dreamed I would inspire others.  It’s comments like these and the ones I regularly get from Steve and Jim that make this worthwhile.  Thanks for taking the time to write back. 

I did a mountain bike ride yesterday, it hurt.  I haven’t been on my mountain bike in months and my shoulders and hands were really taking a beating.  Sure my legs could handle it but the road bike doesn’t do much for the rest of your body.  It was about 97 degrees which sucked, but it was nice to get out in the woods for a change. 

My friend Joe that I rode with gave me some advice in the way the wise people usually do, a parable.  He told a story about a character from an old comic strip named Pogo who was a possum.  Apparently this character once said, “We have met our enemy and it is us.”  He told me this after I went pretty hard on what should have been a relaxed downhill session.  On the next climb I blew up and barely made it to the top.  Wise words.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in lifestyle, Mountain BIking, Stories, training and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Inspiration through blogging

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks for your entertaining, knowledgable, funny, and inspirational blog! Your note about soreness on the mountain bike resonated with me. I’ve recently started to run again (bit of a story there) and I was surprised at just how little of my bike conditioning translated over. There’s definitely a blog post about cross training in there somewhere!

  2. jrezz71 says:

    Hello Matt,
    I just finished reading your all of your posts, from oldest to newest….just a few minutes ago as a matter of fact. Imagine my surprise when I saw that your most recent post was about my comment!

    I’m glad that I could fire you up and that I happened across your blog! You know, I’ve never felt compelled to reply to a blog post before. Now I have subscribed to it and look forward to keeping up with your adventures. Hope you have a good day!

  3. rlhoover says:

    Pogo!! Now there is a good comic strip. Walt Kelly made the country laugh, chuckle or howl during 50s and 60s, especially if your name was Joseph Macarthy from Wisconsin!! Keep up the good work, Matt! Your experiences are fun to read and good inspiration to the rest of us. -Ron

  4. Matt, the cycle blogging community got me started back in 2009, and it has supported me as I hope I have supported others when the going got tough.

    Even though cycling and weight loss is by defination solitary pursuits our little community always turns it into team game.

    The power of the internet eh?

  5. JC Wise says:

    “We have met the enemy and he is us”
    that is the actual quote. just wanted to be accurate. you should have mentioned that this is the first project you’ve stuck with for more than a year. ;->
    and I like to think that I was of absolutely no help in the creation or continuation of this blog.
    “thank, drive thru” Butthead

  6. Matt Gholson says:

    We need more media like Pogo, I was reading about it, Walt Kelly lambasted extreme leftism, extreme rightism, and extreme middle-ism.

    JC you don’t get off the hook that easy! You have been extremely influential in the creation and continuation of this blog, in fact it probably wouldn’t have made it a few months if it wasn’t for the fact that I knew you’d add it to my long list of unfinished aborted projects.

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