Friday, July 24, 2015

Fat guy's transcontinental bicycle journey

You probably thought this story was about me!  And I kinda wish it was; I would love to ride my bike from sea to shining sea... given the proper amount of time.  But it's actually about another fat guy.

According to the Newport (RI) Daily News, 40-year-old Eric Hites is riding from the east coast to the west coast, with the intention of shedding a few of his 560 pounds.  (!!)  He wears pants with a 70-inch waist, and size 10x t-shirts.  (That's a big boy!)

He started his quest in Falmouth, Mass, in June.

The good news?  He's already lost 60 pounds!

The bad news?  So far, he's only made it to Tiverton, Rhode Island... 90 miles from the starting point.  If he continues to average about 1.5 miles per day, it'll be awhile before he's feeling that Pacific breeze coming off the ocean.  (He had intended to complete the ride in 4 months.)

More good news... part of his delay can be attributed to hardware problems.  Bent rims and such.  Understandable - most tandem bicycles probably aren't designed with a 560-pound payload in mind.  But things will get better - the good people at Newport Bicycle are outfitting a heavy-duty bicycle for him to continue his journey on.  (He's also pulling his gear in a trailer.)

Inspirational story!  I sure hope he's able to stay safe... he didn't get to 560 pounds while becoming an experienced on-road bicycle rider!

He's got a website - - where he's posting updates.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bicycle transportation - more savings today than yesterday

As of July 1, in Idaho, the gas tax went up 7 cents per gallon, and it costs $21 more per year to register your car.

There was no comparable bump in the cost of operating a bicycle.

That's a dangerous thing to bring up among the general public, because it invariably results in some motorists whining about the free ride that bike riders get, and how they should be paying a registration fee, road tax, etc.  It's an argument they wouldn't be able to win if facts are injected... because a significant percentage of the road budget comes from property taxes which "ding" us all... and most adult cyclists also own and operate - and register - one or many motor vehicles.  I ride a bike, and last week I paid $157 for a years' registration on 2 motorcycles and my wife's car.  You can't convince me I'm not paying a fair share.  (I re-registered 'em last week to save $50 by getting the pre-July rates.  Next time I'll pay more.)