Andrea Parrish is a cyclist in Spokane. But she's no ordinary cyclist - she's 6 feet 4 inches tall, wears a size 24 dress, and tips the scale at 325 pounds. She's also a gifted writer.
Andrea deals with unique challenges because of her "super human" status. She has learned (as have I!) that bicycles are generally designed with smaller people in mind. She's hard on wheels, hubs, frames, saddles, etc. She observes that women's cycling-specific clothing - "incredibly cute" and "full cycling kits" - aren't available in Size 24.
But she loves cycling. "The feeling of freedom, the sense of accomplishment, and even the stares I get as I pedal by. I am a fat girl on a bike, and I love it. Biking allows me the chance to get in a workout in the time I would normally spend driving. Biking is the one thing that is easy to fit into my (sometimes far too busy) schedule."
Andrea rode a century ride last summer - awesome! And she says she's lost 85 pounds since she started riding. That is SO impressive!
She points out that we all stereotype bike riders, and anybody who busts the stereotype makes us react, perhaps more than is merited.
Every once in a very great while, somebody will comment about my physique. How could I get upset? They're almost always driving - frequently in a pickup truck. But Andrea makes me think. Sometimes I'll see a "super size" guy or gal on a bicycle, and my first mental reaction is probably harsh. But it's always followed by a "mental slap in my own face" - how can you possibly find fault with an overweight person riding a bike? Would it be better if they were driving... or sitting on a sofa downin' the snacks? GOOD FOR THEM, for making cycling part of their life! (If it weren't for cycling, I'm confident I'd have to be much more aware of my weight, and food intake.)
Read what Andrea wrote HERE. It's excellent.