Making his bike his number-one form of transportation
Name: Michael McKisson
“Anywhere I go, I want to do it on a bike.”
Background: When Michael McKisson was born in Phoenix he weighed 14.7 pounds. “I was always the chunky kid,” he says. Though he struggled with his weight throughout his life, he was still active in sports until his junior year in high school. “I’d be fit during the season,” he says. “But once it was over, my weight would shoot back up.”
The Challenge: After college, McKisson landed a job at the U of A where he sat behind a computer all day and usually ate lunch at one of the fast food restaurants near campus. But worse was his habit of eating two dinners. “I’d often stop at a fast food place on the way home,” he explains. “Then I would get home and eat the dinner my wife had made for me.” He estimated he was eating 3500 to 4000 calories per day, and he wasn’t exercising. His weight topped out at 300 pounds in June of 2008.
The Turning Point: McKisson and his wife rented an Oceanside condo that had beach cruisers for them to use. Riding during that vacation was fun for McKisson. “I decided when I got home I would get a bike,” he says. “The first month of riding was torture, but then it changed. Riding made McKisson feel better than he had in a long time. He began counting calories, weighing himself every day and was dropping weight fast. When he crossed the finish line of his first long race in November of 2009, just a year and a half after weighing his heaviest, he was 153 pounds.
Staying Motivated: “I would not have lost the weight if I hadn’t had a blast riding a bike,” McKisson says. “You see the success and you want more of it.” McKisson loves long rides, and believes that “major problems in the world can be solved by a bike.”
Goals: Now, biking is a way of life for McKisson, who’s “terrified of going back up” to his old weight. He’s passionate about not using a car, eating better and maintaining his Tucson cycling news website. His goal to ride 6000 miles in 2010 was close to being completed at the time of his interview. In 2011, he’ll shoot for 6500, which is possible, especially if he can “talk his wife into selling their second car.”