We’re in the midst of winter here in Ohio. I always make sure I have a winter project to keep me busy. This time of year affords me with extra time to do these projects. This winter I am working on organizing a cycling club for weight loss patients, their friends and families. I asked my weight loss surgery buddies Susan and Chris who are also avid cyclists if they would help. They loved the idea and the three of us are off and running with the planning.
We met this past Sunday to get the ball rolling. It turned out to be a great meeting. We discussed a lot of the logistics, how we are going to launch the club and encourage people to join us. There is a special challenge with this club in that we have to encourage people of varying abilities to cycle and have a good time.
Most area cycling clubs are road based; cycle at speeds around 12-16 mph; and cover a distance of 20-30 miles a ride. That is just too aggressive for our WLS patients. We decided to base our weekly rides on the Towpath and local rail trails, cycle at speeds of 8 mph, and cover a distance of 5-10 miles. We are going to offer the option for those of higher abilities to continue on after the initial distance is covered.
We are going to round our ride schedule out with special rides several times a month. These will tend to be longer, 15 – 25 miles and less than 2 hours from Akron. That would give people the ability to travel; see new sights; and enjoy the benefits of cycling.
Cycling is a great form of exercise. It is a low impact form of aerobic exercise that’s easy to incorporate into your life. You enjoy increased joint movement and less pounding reducing the risk of arthritis. Cycling helps the large muscles in the back develop and become stronger and strengthen the small muscles that support individual vertebrae. A nice bike ride reduces stress, which leads to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Stay tuned. Look for updates over the next few months and an early April announcement about the club’s schedules, rides and events. We will be welcoming anyone who wants to join us on a ride.