Back in 2011, I weighed 354lbs. I led a sedentary and lonely life which eventually saw me lose a wife. I was both unhealthy and unhappy.
I then saw some pictures of myself and realised that I could not continue on this path to an early grave. I needed to make changes to my lifestyle. Out went take-aways and beer and in came walking and eventually running. I was determined to lose weight.
I lost 176 of those pounds in under one year and for the next three years, running took over my life. I blogged for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Men’s 10K and for Great Run. I launched Great Run Local in Scotland and became a JogScotland Jog Leader, helping to launch and deliver a school running group.
I became a Lay Adviser to the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, a Step Count Champion, a radio star (my mum really loved our shows) and, a Civil Service Physical Activity Champion. I even fell in love with the most wonderful woman in the world (apart from my mum, obviously) and her two brilliant boys. I completely changed my life and my world.
All while travelling the country and the world clocking up miles and adding events, medals, t-shirts and er, selfies and smiles to my collection.
Then in late 2015, I started to experience knee pain while Great Run and I parted company. My love affair with running started to wane and my weight began to increase again. My mental health suffered and over the course of twelve months my waistline bulged as my confidence deflated.
I needed to find a way out of the dark hole I was digging and sinking into and decided to chase my dream of being an Ironman.
In addition to learning to swim (or learning not to sink), I needed to be become proficient in the saddle and I bought myself a hybrid bike on which to commute to work and being someone who throws myself into the deep end (hence me learning not to sink) I set myself the goal of being able to cycle 100 miles by the end of 2017
Well, it seems that I might need to achieve that goal ahead of schedule.
For Cycling Scotland have appointed me as their Pedal For Scotland Big Belter Ambassador and Blogger
On September 10th 2017 I will be cycling 93 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh as part of Pedal for Scotland and over the next four months, I will be blogging, vlogging, tweeting and instagramming my progress and sharing tips on how you can take part in and enjoy this brilliant ride and event.
Currently, I am 44 years old, weighing in at 246 lbs , and rather than being a mamil on the open roads , I am more like a mammal found in the open seas. My goals will be to shed enough fat to look good in lycra (possibly an oxymoron), to get bike fit and to complete the Big Belter in under 9 hours.
Although I am committed (I possibly should be) to the Pedal for Scotland 93 mile ride, there are options for all from fun 6 mile Wee Jaunts for the family to the 45 mile Classic Challenge which my buddy, and co-ambassador Paula Must Try Harder will be
If my words don’t yet inspire you to sign up for Scotland’s biggest bike event, then maybe the video below will.
My longest ride to date is 21 miles and I am aware of how much training will be required. I also have a fair idea of how many miles I will need to cycle in preparation and while it IS going to be fun, it is not going to be easy. Like the Big Belter course, I will have highs and lows during the next four months and I hope that you will follow my training and preparation at www.howmanymiles.co.uk ; on Twitter and on Instagram ( and wherever Cycling Scotland share it).
And hopefully, our man on the inside, Paul Wright of Cycling Scotland, will keep us on the right path (I do tend to get lost occasionally) while I might also be getting some support from Pedal for Scotland’s sponsors and partners.
Let me know below if you are signing up for Pedal for Scotland and how you are preparing for the big day of the Big Belter.