Can it really be so long? 14 years?
When I was in high school, I started bicycling a lot. I rode to school every day. It was only 2 miles each way, but it made a difference. My dad & I would go for 30 mile rides each Wednesday, in the hilly Appalacians. A couple times we did the MS150, a fund-raiser ride for 150 miles in 2 days. I weight about 180lbs-190lbs, and didn't think about it at all.
Then I went to college, and stopped riding. I started smoking, made things worse a lot faster. I gained about 10lbs / year for a while.
Eventually I quit the smoking, but it was only this past spring that I really got any regular exercise. (a few summers ago I started doing a bit of exercise every day, mixing it up - swimming with my son, walking to/form work, in-line skates. I lost 15lbs from my peak of 280lbs, but the habit didn't stick when the weather changed).
However, for the last 6 months, I have been bicycling pretty regularly. I got a tandem attachment for my bike, and ride with my 5-year-old to school in the morning. I drop him & the tandem off, and then bike the rest of the way to work. I then pick up the tandem on the way home. It's a total of about 40 minutes of exercise each day.
I haven't lost much weight - maybe 4lbs in that time. But I can tell that I feel stronger, more able to move around. I am hopefull that as I continue to the biking habit I will continue to get fitter. I have 14 years to undo!
A couple weeks ago we picked up a kid trailer for the bike, too. One that can carry the twins. I attached it to the tandem trailer, so I now have a "bicycle" with 5 wheels! The trailer is way back there, so I bought a bunch of lights to make it a bit more visible. The seem to love the rides, which is a huge improvement over car rides, when they scream the whole time.
Last night the babies bike helmets arrived. They're a bit too big for their 8-month-old heads. Maybe I'll wait until the spring to take them out, when the weather is nicer and their heads have grown.In the meantime, I pull the trailer around whenever I ride with the tandem, so that I can build more strength and get some practice handling the rig.
I'm really enjoying it.