I have been an avid recreational biker all my life. I started and stayed with hand me down and second hand bikes until my late teens. Weekends were spent and my parents cabin riding through the woods of Malone NY on big tire dinosaur of a bike that is the predecessor of the modern mountain bike. Weekdays I rode a Ross road bike on 15 mile loop from my hometown of Seymour, CT to Southford Falls State Park in Southford CT. I was content in this pattern for a few years in the early 1990’s until I learned of a bike company called Cannondale. I took a trip with my girlfriend to Baybrook Bikes in West Haven to check out these Cannondale Bikes. It’s didn’t take long for me to notice a bright red “Mountain Bike” the M800 “Beast of the East”. One test ride and I was hooked. I had to have this bike. Unfortunately I could not afford it. Not even close. Well not long after testing out the M800 a difficult to diagnose physical ailment I had been living with finally made itself known in full. My appendix was rupturing. It was an awful experience as once the defective organ was removed I got sicker rather than better. After two weeks in the hospital I was sent home where I was greeted by a brand new bright red Cannondale “Beast of the East” M800 mountain bike. My parents had gone out and bought the bike as sort of a get well gift. The folks at Baybrook Bikes were also kind enough to give my parent a break on the price as it wasn’t something they could readily afford.
I enjoyed the M800 for many years. The bike was light and nimble, what’s not to love. Eventually, somewhere around the age of 30 I moved to New Haven, CT about 5 minutes from Daniello’s Amity Bike Shop. I frequented them for tune ups and spare parts. While there I started to see how far the full suspension bikes had become. One test ride and I was hooked. I knew my days riding the M800 were limited. I set out to test ride every mountain bike in my price range. I ended up finding my new love a Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc at Class Cycles in Southbury CT. The Sugar remained my primary ride. I would ride nearly every day on the trails of Westrock State Park or a mountain filled 15 mile road loop from New Haven through Woodbridge and Bethany and back to New Haven.
Then something bad happened. In 2006 or so while walking I hurt my ankle when my foot rolled under. For all intents this ended my bike riding. The injury took well over a year to heal and even when I thought I was healed the ankle was not strong enough for riding. As time went on I focused on other things only riding a few times a year on the road.
When the riding stopped my lifestyle also changed. I began eating lower quality food with low fiber and high fat content. That coupled with very little exercise I packed on the pounds. I went from a 32″ waist at 175 pounds to a 42″ waist at 245 pounds. I remained at that weight until September 2012, Labor Day weekend at the age of 46. That weekend I began to have a little pain in my lower abdomen. I ignored the pain for a week until it would not let me ignore it. A few trips to the doctor and a CT Scan later the results were in. My diet and lack of exercise had caught up with me. Sitting in the doctors office I made a decision. It was time to get back in the saddle and do what I enjoy and that I would treat myself to a brand new road bike, a Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 105.
It is with this “Wake up call” that I launch this blog that will hopefully benefit others as well as myself.