Hi my name is Karry Rood and I am 56 years old. When I first started riding bicycles I was 48, so that was eight years ago and the reason I started riding was I wanted to do some activity with my grandkids that wasn’t over taxing. I was 220 pounds. I wasn’t into any kind of physical activity kind of things, I would kinda breathe heavy, and, you know, all of the stuff that comes with being overweight. So I learned when I was being physically active that actually my stomach hurt when I ate too much, and then tried to be active so by default I actually ended up losing like 40 pounds over the first year and a half. I went from a Walmart bike to a better bike, a hybrid, and then to a road bike.
All in the process of the eight years I became a League Cycling Instructor, I’ve been on bike touring, self tour, on group rides and I just, I don’t know, just fell in love with it. Martha Blackman and Carolyn Helmcamp were both very, very monumental in my bike riding. They ran a Clock Tower Group Ride every Saturday and I would ride with them, and it was just always very comfortable to ride with them and all of the time they were always giving me tips. Carolyn has passed away from cancer and Martha Blackman and I have gone on multi tour things, and she still to this day is my bike mentor. If I have questions I always ask her.
I would highly suggest anybody that wants to continue riding, always have a partner that has some experience or a mentor, always have a bike mentor that you can ask questions. Don’t think you are going to go out and do the Tour de France, you know, in your first year, start small. I remember riding my bike during my lunchtime at work and you know four miles to me was monumental and now its like I get sad if I only get to ride four.
But it has been a long time in the process so I think you know starting where you feel safe. I rode on trails and sidewalks and you know things that made me comfortable, you have got to be comfortable. If you are scared, you are not going to ride. My other suggestion is I highly, highly suggest taking a Confident City Cycling class. I did that as well and that is kind of when it blossomed out, after I took my confident cycling I joined that group which I didn’t know anybody yet on Saturday mornings, I found my passion and like I mentioned early on I was not an active person and I still don’t like running you know, but I love to bicycle and its an activity I enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it then you won’t keep it up.