Finishing the 36-mile El Tour de Tucson in 2008.
At the finish of the 109-mile El Tour de Tucson in 2009 with new baby Luci.

The El Tour de Tucson bike ride is a big milestone for me each year.

I participated in my first El Tour de Tucson in 2008. The 36-mile ride was my big goal after having started riding a bike five months earlier. While 36 miles seems easy now, at the time I weighed 275 pounds and it was a challenge to finish.

One year later, I weighed 155 pounds and completed the 109-mile ride fairly easily.

I’ve alluded to it before, but bicycling provided me with a vastly better life.

I wrote a story for Inside Tucson Business about how much bicycling changed my life.

Here is an excerpt:

When I purchased the first bike, I was obese and unhealthy. I worked in front of a computer all day, ate unhealthy meals — sometimes four of them in a day –  and never exercised, took medication for high blood pressure and weighed almost 300 pounds.

At first, I went riding for fun, but after a short time my competitive nature came through. My friends were so much faster than me and they could ride for so much longer. I didn’t want to always be left behind, so I started getting serious.

I knew a radical change in my lifestyle combined with riding bikes would help, but I don’t think I realized it would lead to a complete shift in my life.

In September 2008, I changed everything I put into my body. Gone were the 5,000 calorie days, replaced with 1,300 – 1,600 calorie days, which I used a calorie counter to track.

Read the rest here.

6 thoughts on “My story: From 300 pounds to El Tour finisher”
  1. That’s really cool, Michael! Congratulations.
    I have the skinny gene but I’ve developed a pot belly since I started at a sedentary career. I need to put in more miles!

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