Chris Maffei – A Cyclist’s Journey…

October 18, 2015

ChrisMJust about 3 years ago, having had a recent check up at the doctors, I was told that I was very over weight (and catching sight of myself in a local shop window and not recognising the reflection, I knew it was time to do something about my lifestyle). I was 58 years old and I weighed 19 stone10 pounds (129.29kg) at the time…

My wife Liz advised me to become a member of a well know weight loss group. This has proved to be a good move – and I still weigh in every Thursday evening… I got started by changing the food I eat – and simply eating less food. After I had lost 30lbs (13kilos), through sensible eating alone, the leader of my weight loss group advised me to start an exercise activity to continue my progress – but she said it may not be a good idea to start running or jogging because of the impact it would have on my knee joints.

So I borrowed my son’s bike and I was off on the road. Little did I know at the time what would be in store for me in the future. Looking back now, I find it strange just how little I knew about cycling at the time…

IMG_3588Picking up a cycling magazine in the local supermarket and reading about a “reasonably priced” road bike (£299) I decided to invest. Being used to riding my son’s mountain bike this was whole new world for me! 10-miles was my first ride – it wasn’t fast (and I don’t think it was pretty)! But within a few weeks I entered the Manchester to Blackpool night ride, 52 miles long. This was my first ‘test’.

Had I done enough training?  Had I lost enough weight? I had no problem on the ride – and more than that, I loved it! There was no holding me back from that point. I joined a local cycling group and did my first 100 mile ride soon after, followed by an epic 210 miles from London to Manchester, in a day.

Now I ride with many cycling groups and clubs – Bury Clarion, Blackpool Clarion, Cleveleys Road Club, Rapha Manchester, Lancashire Cycle Link – to name but a few. An 80 mile ride, with 5,000ft of climbing, is a usual weekend ride on a Sunday for me these days. My fitness has improved as I have lost the weight, which works perfectly with my cycling.

3 years have passed quickly and I have made a permanent lifestyle change. I don’t think I am “obsessed” – I think I am “possessed” – and always looking to improve. But a few months ago I realised I was a a plateau with my weight loss. I had made good progress in the previous 3 years and had achieved a complete lifestyle change – having lost a huge amount of weight – but I was still not at my ideal target weight.

Having spoken to many of my cycling friends who compete in Triathlons they had told me: “Running is the thing that works best for weight loss”…

IMG_1328Not long after hearing that – just a few months ago – I was using Facebook and caught sight of a machine that looked like a bike (but it didn’t have any pedals). After researching the ElliptiGO website and viewing the excellent videos I realised it was a combination of cycling and running – and there was a showroom close to where I live (ElliptiGO Preston)! A Saturday morning visit was arranged!

Shane Cliffe was there to meet me and after a brief explanation of how to get on the ElliptiGO we were off! It was surprisingly easy to master and after a few seconds it felt great – and a really different experience to my other bike.  I bought an ElliptiGO 8C there and then. Shane had told me it was addictive – and he’s not wrong… Cycling is good – but there is not a lot of core involvement (and the hourly calorie burn of conventional cycling is not as high as running – or riding the ElliptiGO).

As I have improved on the road bike I now need to strengthen my core for the climbs. I am finding the ElliptiGO is more of a full body workout and it is actually improving my road cycling performance as well as helping the weight loss. I can only describe it as running in mid air. Running with no impact – perfect for me! And I started losing weight again – fast! Looking back at the last 8 weeks of ElliptiGO training, I have lost another 10lbs (3.5kg) in that time – and I currently weigh 12 stone 10 pounds (76.84kg).

Just the other week (in September 2015) again I took part in the British Heart Foundation Manchester to Blackpool night ride, for the 3rd time. This year I did the ride on my ElliptiGO – which was to be my longest distance to date (70 miles, including riding to the start). I did the 70-mile ride in 4hrs & 36mins (an average speed of 15.02 mph) and I really enjoyed it! The weather was perfect.

IMG_0864I intend to cycle even more in the future, as I have now traded my first road bike for an “all singing and dancing” carbon fibre machine. I am very much looking forward to my future ElliptiGO training. I mainly ride the ElliptiGO on week days and cycle on my road bike with my various cycling groups on weekends. I currently do 10 miles a night on the ElliptiGO and sometimes will do two bike rides a day on weekends (30-50 miles on the road bike in the morning and the same sort of distance on the ElliptiGO, in the evening).

I have another 55 mile event booked for early in October 2015 – with another ‘EliptiHOLIC’ – and I can’t wait. “I LOVE IT…”

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