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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Supersized Cycles Opens on the Internet

Meet Joan, founder of Supersized Cycles. Supersizedcycles is an internet based distributor of bicycles admirably suited to heavy riders. She sells Workman Industrial Bikes and Trikes.

The trikes are available in both upright and recumbent designs. I applaud Joan’s mission, to make bicycles available to us heavy folk. Her experiences have benefited heavy future cyclists everywhere. Her site is called SupersizedCycles.com and is located at http://www.supersizedcycles.com .

Tom Stormcrowe: When did you start up Super Sized Cycles?

Joan: I opened the ecommerce store in April of 2006, so it's still brand new.

Tom Stormcrowe: What have you personally found to be the most satisfying aspect of cycling and how it has affected your general health? Joan: What I really love most in cycling is the fact that it is such a freeing experience. You're sitting down, and just a push of your leg sends you flying so much further than you could if you were taking a step. The rush of the wind against your body, and the freedom going where you want on your own power is exhilarating. This the one exercise that I've always loved, and therefore I do. Up until a few years before my surgery, when I had gotten too heavy for bikes and could not find a place to buy one strong enough for me, I'd still get on my bike whenever I could. This is the one place I've always gotten the exercise high.

Tom Stormcrowe: When did you start looking for a bike stressed for a heavy rider and how long did it actually take you to find one?

Joan: About 5 years ago I decided that I was going to find a bike built for a fat person (me!), and spent quite a bit of time searching for one. I finally gave up, discouraged. After my bariatric surgery in December of 05, I decided that I was simply not going to give up--I would find a bike to ride.
Since I live in Vermont and I knew that I had several months of winter to get through after my surgery, I was not really in a hurry to find a bike, but I did start researching through the Internet at about that time. As January evolved into February, I started looking more actively. I sent emails to every bike manufacturer I could identify asking them for weight limits for their bikes. I joined framebuilders@phred.org and lurked on that site while bike techies talked, hoping to pick up some information. I emailed bike gurus and asked their advice. I talked to local cyclists and bike stores. I spent over 100 hours actively searching the Internet and could not find ONE bike that was advertised for heavy people. The more I searched, the more I realized that I am not the only fat person in the world who wants to ride a bike. It was then I decided that not only was I going to make sure to find a bike for me, but I would also create a store where I'd sell these wonderful, sturdy vehicles. It just made sense to me that cycling should be available to everyone, even the obese and severely obese. This is an easy, non-weight bearing exercise that creates that rush that all those skinny exercisers talk about. With the right bicycle and a little practice, even very heavy people can have that same, self-created and healthy joy!

Tom Stormcrowe: Joan thanks for the interview and I wish you luck with your new endeavor.

If you are a heavy person who wants to ride, definitely feel free to drop by the site and browse around! Joan tells me that the bikes are rated for up to 500 pounds and I can tell you, it is possible to ride at 400+ pounds bodyweight, having done so myself! Cycling has really helped me get my life back, and it can for you too!

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