From Beginner to Enthusiast: My Transformational Cycling Story
Updated: May 7
I've been meaning to write this article for a while now, as it's a reflection of my personal journey towards health and fitness. In my teenage years, I was lean and in good shape. However, as the years went by and I entered the workforce, I found myself leading a more sedentary lifestyle due to my desk job. The stress and long hours didn't help either, and before I knew it, I had gained a significant amount of weight. Despite my efforts to stay fit, it seemed impossible to do so while working a night shift and odd hours, as many people in similar positions can relate.
It didn't take long for me to realize that I had reached a weight of 94 kilos/207 lbs, which was a disappointment. I regretted letting myself become so unfit, but I was so busy with work that I didn't have the time to focus on my health. Perhaps I was too lazy, or maybe I needed a wake-up call.
My First Cycling attempt after Ages
Upon returning to India from Muscat, Oman, my friend Bobby came to visit me one day with his bicycle and asked me to accompany him. Despite my doubts about my ability to ride a bike due to my weight, I decided to challenge myself and join him. However, it turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated, as I had to stop every 10 minutes to catch my breath. Bobby had to do the same because of me. Despite the difficulties, I managed to ride about 30 km, but I was exhausted by the time I got home and vowed not to do it again.
Despite facing obstacles and challenges, I didn't give up on cycling. Thanks to my friend Bobby's encouragement and his passion for cycling, I started to ride regularly and gradually fell in love with it. I noticed that I was becoming more active and started making time for cycling, even when my schedule was tight. It had become a healthy habit, and we even joined cycling clubs and rode in groups, which was enjoyable. However, things started to change as Bobby became irregular in his cycling routine, and I also became dependent on him. Consequently, I started to ride less frequently and only when I had a companion. I was unsure why I was reluctant to cycle alone.
One day, I decided to challenge myself and ride alone to see why I was reluctant to do so. This decision turned out to be an eye-opener for me, as I enjoyed my solo ride so much that I regretted not doing it earlier. I discovered a place called "Hessarghatta," near my neighborhood, which had breathtaking landscapes, lush greenery, and its own charm. Those who are from Bangalore would definitely be familiar with this place. I was amazed by its beauty, which I had been unaware of, even though I grew up nearby. From that day onwards, I decided to cycle not only to improve my health but also to explore the beauty that this little place had to offer.
When I began solo cycling, I decided to make Hessarghatta my daily destination until I discovered other places to cycle. I also wanted to upgrade my MTB Hardtail, so I purchased a Merida Matts 6.500 and named it Heisenberg after my favorite character from the TV series Breaking Bad. My friends Putta and Rathan, who are both avid cyclists, helped me shortlist the bike. Since that day, my love for cycling has only grown stronger. One thing I appreciate about cycling is how it allows me to observe even the smallest things around me. Though it wasn't easy at first, I persisted and started cycling almost every day. As I gained endurance and lost weight, my motivation to continue grew stronger, and cycling became a positive habit that I was addicted to.
From Couch Potato to Fitness Enthusiast
Over time, I noticed a significant improvement in my fitness level and endurance. There was a time when I would feel out of breath after cycling just one kilometer, but now I cycle to work, which is a total of 33 kilometers (60 kilometers round trip) from my home. Not only do I save a significant amount of money on fuel, but I also feel like I'm contributing a little to the environment by not polluting it. While I may not be the best citizen of my nation, I'm doing my part in a small way. From Panting to Pedaling: My Journey Back to Fitness and Saving the Environment.
In addition to cycling to my workplace, I also enjoy cycling to Hessarghatta on days when I work from home or on weekends. It is still one of my favorite spots to cycle because of its beauty. I would like to share some photos that I take while cycling there.
Although I am not re-branding my website from Travel to Fitness, I still want to share my experiences and insights into my daily life. For those who are looking to lose weight like me, I recommend taking things one step at a time and being kind to yourself. Remember, nothing is impossible if you have the desire to make it happen. Ultimately, you are the most important person in your life.
As an amateur cyclist who simply loves the activity, I'd like to share a few tips for those starting out:
Cycling isn't difficult - although it might seem daunting at first. Stick with it and you'll soon find your rhythm.
Don't worry if you don't have a cycling partner. Group rides and solo rides are both great options.
You don't need an expensive bike to get started. Just use whatever you have and consider an upgrade down the line.
Research your options carefully before buying any equipment or upgrading your bike. Online forums and other resources can be a great help.
Always wear protective gear, especially a helmet.
When using a geared bike, be sure to ride in the right gear. Avoid prolonged periods in high gears that might strain you.
Invest in a good quality saddle. As you'll spend most of your time seated, it's important to ensure it's comfortable. Move around and change position to avoid numbness.
Keep your attention focused on the road ahead and be aware of your surroundings.
These tips should help any beginner get started. As you gain more experience, you'll likely connect with more experienced cyclists who can offer additional practical advice.