Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fat Mom Across America: The Journey Begins! Long Beach, WA

Today was a perfect, beautiful day on Long Beach, WA for me to begin my ride across America. In case you missed my post yesterday, here's an explanation along with a map of the route I will be taking: Fat Mom Across America. At the suggestion of a commenter (thanks!) I have created a page at My Virtual Mission, where my route is mapped and I can enter my bike rides each day. The map updates after each entry to show where I am, and I can click "street view" to actually see photos of where I am riding! I love it so far! 

I have been to Long Beach, Washington many times in the last 20 years. It's a beautiful place where my kids and I have spent countless hours walking the boardwalk, playing in the sand, and watching the birds and the waves. 

Today's ride began this morning with a nice cool temperature of 62 degrees and overcast skies, according to My Virtual Mission's weather updater. I got on my bike and rode as far as I could go before my feet were almost numb: 4.3 miles, which took me 25 minutes. I changed resistance between levels 1, 2 and 3 and averaged 10.3 miles per hour according to my Schwinn's display:

I arrived at a beautiful spot on US 101, a road I am very familiar with. When I see these street view pictures, I know exactly how the rest of the ride looks. I can feel the cool, damp air and I can see the large, flat fields and the roadside clumps of bushes and wind worn trees.

Later this evening, I wanted to go farther! I don't want to overdo it and cause myself pain, so I gently biked another 1.4 miles at an average of 9.1 mph, which took just over 9 minutes. I arrived here, down the road a bit on 101, with more of the gorgeous scenery that I love.

Isn't it pretty? It's truly one of my favorite places. I know I am probably two days away from crossing the Astoria bridge, which will be exciting! I get goosebumps driving over that bridge in a car, so imagining riding across it on a bike is pretty thrilling.

A couple of thoughts on the ride: according to my Virtual Mission page, if I want to complete my 3,035 mile ride by my 10 year Blog Anniversary on August 4, 2017, I will have to ride 8.2 miles every day. Right now, that seems pretty far out of reach. I could only go 4 miles this morning before my feet were going numb, my knees were slightly sore and I knew if I pushed it farther I might end up too sore to ride much tomorrow. But I think I can do this. I believe I can build up to 8.2 and even more miles per day, over time. Obviously there will have to be longer rides and double rides on many days. I am up for the challenge.

This bike ride is different than the bike riding I have done in the past. The goal isn't weight loss, although I certainly hope that is a side effect. The goal isn't to "bike 5 days a week" and check it off on the calendar. The goal is to ride across America. Period. And that is a new motivation for me... one that has me excited for a new reason.

I don't know if I will post here every day, but I will update my rides live on my Mission page so you can check there to see what I am up to on a daily basis. I plan to write here about my rides and share photos frequently, too.

Thank you for your support!


Véronique said...

It's really neat to follow you on your trip, I'll get to visit the USA for free. Don't worry too much about the average necessary to reach your goal at a certain date. Let your gut feeling guide you and you will reach your destination.
To your success!

Anonymous said...

I love the photos! Thank you for taking us along on this journey with you.

Holly from 300 Pounds Down said...

Hey there! Sorry I've been off the grid for awhile but had to pop over and see what you've been up to. I hadn't read that blog you mentioned about the guy biking across America. I'll have to check it out. I think am the worst because I need to keep up better with other bloggers. I get in my own world and forget that other people are out there too. So I need to start catching some inspiration from those still on track. Now am I missing something or are you riding outside or on the recumbent bike? Are the pictures of you out there on the road or are you somehow figuring out where you would be virtually and snapping pictures of it? Either way that's awesome! Way to go!!

Lyn said...

hi Holly! Nice to hear from you! I am using My Virtual Mission. It gives me a street view (photos) of where I am. There is a link to it in the blog post where you can see where I am riding (on my indoor bike). Thanks for the support!

Lyn said...

p.s. the top photo of the beach is one I took myself on one of the trips I took there with my kids. The fun thing is I do have photos of some of the places I am biking through, as we have driven most of this route before :)

Darcy Winters said...

I just absolutely love this idea!I am thinking I may try this too! I look forward to hearing about your virtual adventures! :-)

Anonymous said...


I have to say I believed in Fat Guy for a long time. He had a brilliant idea, and if he had just gone out and ridden every day like he said he would, it would have been an amazing trip for him and for us to follow (if he had posted his route, pictures, etc). I am excited to see you do what I expected him to do, even if it is from home, it is still biking the miles and putting in the work. I am rooting for you!

Anonymous said...

There is a book called "The Memory of Running" by Ron McLarty about an obese man who bikes across the U.S. It is fiction, but could be inspiring with your current journey. I read it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. (The book may have even inspired the guy who was supposed to be doing the bike ride and then I guess never did.)

I saw you got some grief earlier this week when you said you'd talk to a doctor about the possibility of WLS. That's the way it goes on the internet, everybody is an expert in whatever everybody else should do. But I think you're right to at least open the door and see how it goes with your own doctor who knows your particular situation. I've not had surgery myself - my crappy insurance doesn't cover it at all - but I know several people who have. Their results have varied, some of them gained some of the weight back, but they're all smaller than they were before they started. Smaller enough to have made it worthwhile. Even the one friend of mine who had serious complications with the surgery does not regret it and only wishes she'd done it sooner.

Meanwhile, keep on with your bike journey! I can personally attest that you absolutely can exercise as an obese person and it helps tremendously in the way you feel, even if it doesn't directly cause weight loss.