Guest Post: How I Got Started, by David Kerr

06.1.2012 | 1:56 am

I just got back from my arthritis doctor for my six month check up.

We had been discussing knee replacement surgery on one or both of my knees, not a happy visit. At fifty-two, knee replacement is not a good thing being that they don’t last as long as I would. Fun news.

Well I was surfing tv channels looking for something to get me out of the growing depression. I landed on the Tour de France and Phil Ligget was talking about how amazing it was that Lance Armstrong was not only racing in, but leading the race!

Well I watched the last two days and was captivated by the fact that Lance was able to beat cancer and win the TDF. Then it hit me. If he could do that I could try to ride to help my knees.

Let me state that at this point I was well over 320lbs. I was so discouraged the last time I got on the scales at the doctors office that when I decided to start riding I didn’t weigh myself.

My first attempt at riding was on a mtn bike around our one acre back yard. I made two laps. Two only because I thought one was wimpy, I wanted to die after one.

That was two years and seventy five pounds ago. Since then I have joined a cycling club here, East Alabama Cycling Club, I ride at least five days a week averaging fifty plus miles a week. I also have been without knee pain for over a year and my Doctor said that I have put off surgery for the future.

I know that this is not a unique story, but it is one that I hope will encourage some one to either start or keep going.

Just one more turn of the pedal to reach your goal!


  1. Comment by Graham | 06.1.2012 | 5:58 am

    That is awesome! Ride on, Man!

    I wonder what it’ll take to get the medical community to recommend lifestyle changes FIRST instead of surgery. It seems to be the better (if harder) option. Anyone?

  2. Comment by Liz | 06.1.2012 | 6:25 am

    Chapeau, David! You didn’t say it, but I bet you feel a lot better, too. Glad you have connected with other local cyclists — that adds to the fun.

  3. Comment by J. Galvin | 06.1.2012 | 6:42 am

    Great story. Glad to see you changed your lifestyle rather than opting for surgery.

    Keep turning the pedals and inspiring others- one pedal stroke and pound at a time.

  4. Comment by mykill | 06.1.2012 | 8:15 am

    Great story David, keep on rolling and pushing back that surgery!

  5. Comment by Erik Stoneham | 06.1.2012 | 8:51 am

    Good for you. I am in the same boat. Though I did not tip the scale at 320 I was at 280. 2 years later and a slimmer 242. Love my bike. It is what started me on the right path
    Keep up the good work and stay positive !!!

  6. Comment by Jeff Bike | 06.1.2012 | 10:47 am

    I’m so encouraged by your story. I have had three knee surgeries due to injury. I ride regularly or the pain comes back. I’m down to 225 myself (just 20 to go).
    I used to live in Alabama, between Brewton and Flomaton.

  7. Comment by Liz | 06.1.2012 | 1:08 pm

    Isn’t the 100 Miles of Nowhere tomorrow?! Good luck, everyone!

  8. Comment by AKChick55 | 06.1.2012 | 2:29 pm

    Yes, we all have versions of this story to tell, but all are unique because they are about us so I’m so happy you wrote this! Each one inspires me to quit whining about hills and headwinds and be a better cyclist. At least the Davis course is flat! Which is good cause I’m getting a slow start with training!

    100 MoN is tomorrow!!! I’ll be tweeting and posting pics from Alaska. We are supposed to be a balmy (don’t laugh) 63 degrees so I probably will not take off my jacket, but I might be able to ride in shorts without freezing. Not my Fatty ones though – they are made for lower 48 riding where it’s warm or if I travel north in Alaska where it’s warmer (weird, I know, but Fairbanks is usually in the 70-80s in the summer with 90s-100 not out of the realm of possibility). So good luck to everyone!!! I plan on tweeting and including #100MoN as the hashtag. :)

  9. Comment by AKChick55 | 06.1.2012 | 2:30 pm

    Oh and if anyone cares to look me up on Twitter, I’m at AKChick55. :)

  10. Comment by Skye | 06.1.2012 | 4:30 pm

    David- nice story! No, not entirely unique, but its always impressive when people manage to defy the current course and make some good solid positive changes. I love that you already had a bike laying around though, and that just one lap was “wimpy”, thats totally my style!

    @ AKchick, there’s a Fairbanks contingency of 100MoN riding tonight (bragging rights for under the midnight sun), but it’ll be cool and cloudy with possible thunderstorms, so you at least shouldn’t feel as though we *always* get better weather up here! I’ll do a few laps with them, weather dependent tonight, but good luck tomorrow- may the stretch of highway between Eagle River and Anchorage not get too mind-numbingly dull!

  11. Comment by Calvin Jones | 06.1.2012 | 4:31 pm

    Totally inspired by your story. Thinking about getting a bike myself. Just curious what brand did you start out on. I’m a bit north of 300

  12. Comment by Lonster | 06.1.2012 | 5:09 pm

    Great success story. Weight loss and improved health are two of the best benefits of cycling.

    My 100 MON could be a bit warm. Temps today are over 100 with associated lousy air quality here in the central valley of California. Starting at dawn and hope to miss most of the heat and ozone damage to the lungs. Laps or the local climb should keep it fun with friends.

  13. Comment by Onomastic | 06.1.2012 | 6:39 pm

    Free Verse Friday.

    Nice week of how I started stories

    Bikes are blessed

    As am I.

    Thank you

  14. Comment by Corrine | 06.1.2012 | 8:35 pm

    As one of the Fairbanks contingency that was going to ride the 100 MoN tonight under the midnight sun, well, it is a “dark and stormy night” so we are postponing our ride until tomorrow. I know, how wimpy can we be?! And for Graham, as a doctor I am always trying to get my patients with arthritis to lose weight and exercise more. It is difficult to motivate a lot of patients and so I am always encouraged when I hear about people like David that actually do it! Way to go!


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.