Super Sized Cycles held a press conference yesterday afternoon. It was gorgeous outside, and we were right next to the bike path in downtown Burlington, VT. Here’s the content:
Good afternoon and thank you for joining us. My name is Joan Denizot, and I’m the founder of Super Sized Cycles, the first and only store to offer bikes for big riders. This summer we are proud to sponsor the first annual “Just Start Riding!” bike challenge.
The “Just Start Riding!” bike challenge is the bike riding challenge for people who don’t do bike riding challenges. Taking advantage of May being National Bike Month, Super Sized Cycles wanted to create an event where those who don’t normally participant in organized fitness activities would feel welcome.
The objectives of the program are to increase fitness levels and self esteem, to “go green”, and to have fun! Riders set their own goals. While we suggest working up to cycling 10 miles per week, for some people that may be too much. For others it may be too little. Whatever the individual wants to set as his or her mileage goal is what it becomes.
We encourage people to set a weight loss goal, too. It doesn’t need to be huge—in fact, it shouldn’t be huge. This is about living life to the fullest, and who among us doesn’t find good food a part of that full life? Eating right is important, and so is allowing ourselves to sample all the pleasures of the season—a ride to a strawberry patch where we can feast on fresh berries, an afternoon picnic at the lakefront, maybe even an occasional ride to Ben and Jerry’s. It’s all good, and when you get there on your own power, you can allow yourself to indulge without too much guilt.
The goal of the “Just Start Riding!” campaign is to create a safe, encouraging environment for everyone to start exercising. We’d love to hook up people who are interested in meeting other riders, but it can also be done completely individually. The support comes from blogging, emails, and encouragement from Super Sized Cycles and other participants. There will even be prizes for those who meet their goals.
What difference, you may ask, will a few people riding short distances, make?
I speak of the Just Start Riding! Campaign as a summer program, but it is actually 6 months long. It starts now, in May, national bike month. It ends in October. We stretched it out as long as we thought Vermonters might actually ride! Six months—of fun, of connecting with people, of remembering the joy of exercising!
In six months many people who start biking can easily lose 10 pounds. That’s reasonable, about 1 ½ pounds per month. If we have only 500 riders, who each lose 10 pounds, that’s 2 ½ tons—just gone!
I daresay we can make a very moderate guess that our riders will total about 50 miles over the course of the program. Put those miles end-to-end, and we’ve cycled the circumference of the earth!
If those same riders are cycling instead of driving, that means that they’re conserving 1000 gallons of gasoline. This means eliminating 22,000 pounds of carbon dioxide! Not to mention saving money on gas.
Why the push to get people of all sizes biking? Did you realize that physical inactivity is the cause of one third of all deaths due to:
coronary heart disease,
That’s a lot of premature deaths from just not moving. Obviously, physical inactivity has a strong link to being overweight and obese also.
I spent the weekend as an exhibitor at the Going Green Expo held at the University of Vermont here in Burlington. I had several bikes for people to test ride and was available to answer questions and encourage people to ride. My observation is that most big people attending the event didn’t even glance at my booth.
There could be many reasons for this, but one that I’m sure is a factor is that they are conditioned to “know” that they’re too fat to ride. While this is NOT TRUE, I know that I believed it for a long time. The fact is that the exercise options that many people take for granted are not easily available for big people. Cycling is a perfect example.
Bigger people just need bikes that are built better. They need
wide tires with strong rims and spokes
Some bicycles can be adapted to be made strong enough for a big person to ride. For those looking to purchase a new bike, Our Zize Bikes are built to hold up to 550 pounds.
I searched for a long time for a politically correct way to say fat. Every word I came up with was charged with negativity. My response was to invent a new word. I’d like to introduce you to Zize: Size with Attitude!
Zize is about people of size who just get on with their lives. If they’re happy being big, that’s great! If they want to lose weight, that’s great! It’s about the attitude of being positive and about that proverbial glass being half full. “Just Start Riding!” is an invitation to all people—of size, of zize, or otherwise, to decide to actively play.
Because the bikes built by Super Sized Cycles are so amazing and awe-inspiring, Zize Bikes seemed like the logical name to give them. They represent all that is positive, powerful, and attitudinal!
I’d like to end with some quotes from 2 emails I received just this morning. Not planned nor planted, here’s what they say:
“Greetings to you my name is jason and i am 6ft 3incehs and 500 lbs.my knee is in bad shape and doc says walking is out of the question and i need a bike…”
Bob says, “Hello! I cannot articulate how excited I am to have found a vendor that sells bikes for “oversized” people. I am in my mid 40’s and have not rode a bike for at least 25 years because of my size. I am pleasantly surprised at your web site.”
Helping people find a way to reconnect with cycling is what Super Sized Cycles is all about.
How can you become involved?
- Sign up at SuperSizedCycles.com/JustStartRiding, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
- Connect with your zize friends and invite them to ride with you.
- Ask you favorite businesses to contact us to participate in providing incentives for riders.
- And especially, strap on your helmet, hop on your bike, and Just Start Riding!