EP #2 Doug Karr

Audio link and video of the second episode of my podcast. My guest is local business owner Doug Karr. We discuss his weight loss journey, medical tourism and his struggle finding a proper bicycle.

http://thepsychicderailleur.buzzsprout.com/193775/807562-ep-2-doug-karr

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Do you really want to “save” the bike biz?

It seems that every year the industry rolls out the next product that will “save” the bike business.  A product so great, so revolutionary that rabid throngs of customers will rush into stores all over the country.

Of course, it never really lives up to the hype.

The products always seem to appeal to niche audiences, and said products always are on the higher end of the price range.  The funny thing is that there’s a gaping hole in the offerings from the big bike companies.  Something that truly could make a very big difference in the health, and happiness of a large number of people.   As far as I know no one is addressing it.

Here in the midwest we have a population that skews……..larger.  I’ve lost count of the number of customers I’ve talked to that genuinely want to ride a bike.  They just don’t know where to turn.

The first inclination seems to be visiting one of the big box stores and just buying a bike.  This rarely ends well.  Lack of sizes, and poor components make for a bad experience that usually ends in the person giving up.

Buying a bike in a bike shop should be a better alternative.  The trouble is that the wheels spec’d on recreational bike in the $400-$600 price range are not sufficient to hold someone tipping the scales over 250 lbs.  This is the problem.  Could the customer invest in a bicycle that is considerably more expensive with better, more durable wheels?  Absolutely.  Trouble is most new riders aren’t willing to shell out $1500 on what may be their first bike since childhood.

You may be saying “So what?  Just sell them a bike.  Having a bike with sub standard wheels is better than no bike at all”.  Unfortunately it’s not that easy.

Let’s say that you’re the one in this situation.  You’ve decided to exercise, and you’d like to ride a bike.  You go to a bike shop because that’s where you get “good” bikes.  You may have had a couple of not so great experiences at bike shops already.  You explain that you would like a bike, but don’t think there is anything available that will “hold” you.

Now let’s say I assure you that said bike will be fine.  I may even provide a gentle warning you that there may be issues with the wheels, but they can be serviced.  You buy the bike, and within the first few months spokes start breaking.  What are the chances that you end up discouraged, and stop riding all together?  What are the chances that you are left feeling a bit betrayed by me for selling you something that should have “worked”?

I am in no way suggesting that larger folk not seek out the joys of riding a bicycle.  The point is big bicycle companies don’t think that this is a category worth spending time on.  For that they should be ashamed.

If they really want to “save” the bike business they will stop allocating all of their resources to high dollar, ever more complicated racing bikes and start spending a little more time on the other 95% of their customer base.

 

Where does your food come from?

swanson-tv-dinner-01-27-1961

 

I’m turning 52 in just a few days.  It’s understandable, I think, to spend more time thinking about your health as you get older (probably shouldn’t wait that long).  While many people focus on the need to exercise more, I’ve spent more time focusing on the food I eat.  I think mine may be the first generation raised on processed food.  I remember eating tv dinners, the emergence of diet soda etc.  These were all promoted with convenience, and health in mind.  Little did we know.

Just a little investigation tells you that for decades we’ve been sold a bill of goods when it comes to what we should eat.  I’m no doctor, nor am I’m not a nutritionist, but cutting processed foods out of my diet has had a positive impact on my health and well being.

I’ve recently become fascinated by the small farmer.  People that have devoted their lives to growing natural foods and raising animals without stuffing them in cages and pumping them full of unnecessary hormones.  These are the folks selling their goods at your local farmers market.

We have several of these small farmers here in Indiana.  I hope to speak to some of them soon, so I can share what I learn in this space.

Great.  Now I’m hungry.

 

It’s not about the bike

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I was always a chubby kid……adult too for that matter.  I’ve recently gone back to a (basically) grain free way of eating.  I’d done it once before with pretty remarkable results.  I’ve tempered my approach a bit this time ’round with the expectation that I will be able to make the change stick.  Permanently.

The point of this missive is not to push one “diet” or another.   The indisputable fact is that if you eat real food, positive things will happen.  I’ve been able to lose a pretty remarkable amount of weight with little or no exercise.

The point of this?   On a weekly basis I talk to folks that want to buy a bike to lose weight. While I will never be the one to begrudge someone a bike ride, it’s not going to do much for your waistline.

Ride a bike.  Please.  Do so often.  Do it for your health.  Do it for fun.  It’s one of the few things we did as children that is still acceptable to do as adults.

Wanna lose weight?  I can tell you from experience that it all starts with what’s going into the end of your feeding tube.

For me it all started with Mark Sisson and “The Primal Blueprint”.  If you’re interested.