Category Archives: obesity

Link

cropped-web_header_bannerV2So you want to cycle across America?

Lecture at Edinburgh Festival of Cycling. June 13th 2014

Meet Chris Oliver, AKA the @CyclingSurgeon, he is an inspirational Edinburgh Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. Eight years ago he could not climb a flight of stairs let alone ride a bike. He was over 27 stone and had weight loss surgery. Twelve stones lighter he cycled 3,500 miles across USA in the summer of 2013 with his daughter. Come and be motivated by Chris’s incredible transformational journey and fight against obesity. Details and booking here

Media after TransAmerica Cycle

List of published Media

NHS Lothian Connections February 2014

page1-001

Fat Surgeon on the cycle path to a slim future
Scottish Daily Mail
Jan 2014

nmailphoto

Los Angeles to Boston 2013, 3,500 miles in 4 minutes TransAmerica cycle. YouTube Video

From Los Angeles to Boston an epic ride across the United States
Guardian Bike Blog – 18 July 2013  and comments

The Day I changed my Life – Interview with Heather Suttie
BBC Radio Scotland – 2 July 2013

John Beattie: Super Stories…Chris Oliver
BBC Radio Scotland – June 27, 2013

Charity boss to finish cycle across America
Women’s Cycling – June 28, 2013

The ‘Cycling Surgeon’ and his daughter across the US for WaterAid
CTC Webpage – June 28, 2013

Surgeon Looses half his 27 stone bodyweight
Deadline News – July 2013

Duo Complete US Cycling Challenge
WaterAid Website – July 2013

Endurance cycling TransAmerica with a bike called Pseudomonas
Guest Blog Cycle Law – Scotland August 9th 2013

Staff of the week – Mr Chris Oliver, Orthopaedic surgeon
Edinburgh Medical School – July 2013

Chris Oliver in WaterAid charity ride across US
Surgeons’News September 2013

Endurance cycling TransAmerica with a bike called Pseudomonas
CTC Blog August 2013

Inspirational Journeys: A Bike Ride Across America
Virgin Atlantic Blog August 2013

Endurance cycling TransAmerica with a bike called Pseudomonas
Scottish Cycling Magazine Winter 2013

Cycling Due turn miles into pounds
NHS Lothian Connections – July 2013

onnections

Riding Across America
CTC Cycle – Summer 2013

cycle

How I lost 12 stone and got my life back
The Weekly News – Aug 3, 2013
Meningitis Trust promotion for the Big Swim in Elie & Cycle

995141_10153089564600534_1806658381_n

The End – Thank you!

image

“3,454 miles, 15 states, 90,039′ of climbing, 2 oceans, 4 new tyres, 1 new chain, 25 punctures later and we’ve cycled across the USA!!”

WE MADE IT! Sorry for not posting since reaching the beach last Friday, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. Dad’s flown home and is back to work and I’ve made it up to New York City to explore. I even got to cycle my bike right past Times Square yesterday in the attempt to get my bike from the Upper West Side to Mineola. The short 3 mile ride was interesting – in stark contrast to the past two months there was so much to look at and without my orange flag fluttering from the back of my bike I felt much more on edge. Luckily I managed to cycle bits and bobs with people on these new city bikes that the city has just implemented. Now THESE people are the ones to look out for. Crazy people.

Riding through the city for that short amount of time forced me to think back along the two months of cycle. Absolutely NOTHING compares to the Big Apple. You wouldn’t think that these tiny towns in the Mid-West shared the same country with NYC, it’s just smack bang in the face big and shouting which is what I used to think America is like. The Dairy Queens and Denny’s were nowhere to be seen on Manhattan – in their place, delicatessens and neighborhoods of delicious international food.

So reaching the beach on the last day was fairly emotional. The weather was so grim that we couldn’t see the Atlantic Ocean until we were about 50m away from it. But that sight was wonderful! Relief set in, mostly that we had no more miles to cycle and also that we’d made it, mostly in one piece. My bike started skipping gears on the last day and I just willed it to hold out until the beach.

Upon leaving the hotel for the front wheel dip way back at the start of May, dad got his first puncture (and tyre replacement) of the trip. As we’re in a bigger group of riders (about 25) we agree to cycle together at the very start and end of the trip. We joked that dad would get a puncture just before we reached the beach, meaning that we’d all have to wait until it was fixed before cycling to the ocean. And guess what? He did! We were about 100m from finishing the 3,415 miles and I heard a hissing noise coming from his bike. Sod it. He rode the last part of the ride with a flat tyre, ready to throw his ill-tempered bike into the Atlantic Ocean, never to ride it ever again.

Just joking. We only dipped the front wheels in, got our photos and were met by family and friends. Thanks to mum and Elizabeth for being there! I was less emotional than others I think. To me, this wasn’t a life changing trip but merely a fun experience and a good way to spend time with my dad and see America.

What I’ve learnt from this trip is that you really need to take care of yourself physically. We had women aged 69 on his trip and men aged 76 – yes they were a little slower than the rest but the bottom line is – they rode their bicycles across a continent. These people keep fit and eat well and I imagine they will go on to keep completing similar feats like this. Seeing them has made me want to take care of myself better. At age 70 I could either be contemplating moving into ‘an old folks home’ or rowing across the Atlantic. I’m aiming for the latter.

The people and staff on this trip have been superb! If you’re considering riding across America, I seriously recommend Crossroads Cycling Adventures, no matter what age you are they work so hard to getting you across safe, happy and healthy. It’s been great to spend this amount of time with dad – it might never happen again. It got a bit too much at times but I’m sure it would for many people sharing a room for 7 weeks with their dad?

Thanks to those who’ve donated towards our fundraising for WaterAid – we’ve smashed our target and raised £3,863 which is just amazing! You can still donate here

Thanks to you reading this blog and for those we’ve met along the way. Support is always appreciated. It got tough sometimes and it was nice to know we were cycling for a cause and people had our backs.

Oh and the verdict on East vs West. I’m going to have to say the West. They have the Pacific Ocean and therefore lots of cool sharks so it’s a no brainer really. What’s next for us? Dad’s back to work and ever active with cycling in Scotland and I’m off to Bangor University in September to do a MSc in Marine Environmental Protection. So absolutely nothing to do with this cycle – which is perhaps a good thing? Time to expand my horizons a bit further than the United States of America again. I think it’s time to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

All the best,

Catherine xox

Just over 100 miles to cycle to the Atlantic Ocean at Boston

Today was a wet hilly day from Albany to Battleboro, VT. I have had trouble with both my hands having crushed both my median nerves in the carpal tunnels. I do not have carpal tunnel syndrome but I have muscle weakness especially in my right hand which affects my grip, it’s very difficult to brake and change gears. It will recover in a few days to weeks once I get off the bike.

Cycling an average of 85 miles has been truely exhausting. It’s a bit like running a marathon every day. It’s a bit like doing a job. The alarm goes off at 0530, it’s the worst bit of the day. 0600 breakfast, then riding by about 0700. Once I’m on the bike, I’m free from any worries. Nothing really gets sore. I just have a deep sense of fatigue. I was stronger in the hills of Missouri.  i just seem to have weaker legs despite the stretching I have done instructed by my friend and personal trainer Colin Wycherley. It’s still great fun.

i still have a lot to reflect on about the end of this ride. But yes I am planning to do it again if fit enough in ten years!

 

Press Release – Cycling surgeon and daughter complete American challenge for @WaterAidUK

Father and daughter duo, Chris and Catherine Oliver, have almost completed an intense and gruelling 3,415-mile cycle ride across America in aid of international charity WaterAid.

The pair left Los Angeles on 11 May and will ride into Boston on 28 June. After nearly seven weeks of intense riding they can’t wait to reach the finish line.

They have now reached their fundraising target of £ 3,415 – representing £1 for WaterAid for every mile they have cycled.

The achievement is especially incredible for Chris, an orthopaedic surgeon at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, who just a few years ago weighed over 27 stone and struggled to complete the most basic exercise.

The route took Chris and Catherine along the Rockies, through the Mojave desert, across the Midwest and the Great Lakes, and finally over the Appalachian Mountains before reaching Boston on Friday 28 June.

Chris said: “Crossing through the Mojave desert was the most challenging part. The temperatures reached 119 degrees plus (48oC); it was like riding in an oven. It made us realise just how important water is in the desert.

“The most fun part was the hills in Missouri; we did 148 roller coaster hills in one day with 5,000 feet of climbing over 80 miles.

“Getting enough food was also a challenge for me. Even though I had my gastric band adjusted before I left I still didn’t want to eat. I’m using over 6000 calories a day and I need to make this up somehow, but it’s still a real challenge for me to consume enough food.”

Chris also struggled with altitude sickness when crossing the Rockies – but managed to recover quickly and continue the challenge.

Catherine, 22, a graduate environmental geography student previously at the University of York, said: “Staying hydrated has been a challenge, especially through the desert where we were literally having water poured over us every 20 miles or so. The water on our backs was for drinking and the water bottles on our bikes were for pouring over our arms, legs and head to keep cool whilst cycling.”

Water has been vital to Chris and Catherine on this trip, and not only when crossing the valley. Chris says: “Every 15 minutes cycling we’re supposed to drink to keep up hydration. Why shouldn’t everyone in the world have the luxury of drinking every 15 minutes if they want to? We are very glad to have raised money for WaterAid.”

Sarah Walker, Community and Events Manager for WaterAid, said: “Congratulations to Chris and Catherine for completing such an impressive challenge for WaterAid. It can cost as little as £15 to ensure one person has a lifetime access to clean water and improved sanitation, so their efforts could potentially transform the lives of more than 225 people.”

Chris made the decision to lose weight during a business trip to China in 2006. Chris said: “I was at the Great Wall of China and was so unfit that I couldn’t manage to get up ten steps. I decided then that I wanted to do something.”

The following year, Chris had a gastric band fitted: “Obesity is a massive societal problem and people do need support. Bariatric surgery is not for everyone, but it’s a tool to help you change your life. It helped me to lose weight, and return to exercise. Now my patients don’t even recognise me I’ve changed so much.”

Chris has since lost 170 pounds and completed many impressive challenges, including triathlons and cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Having conquered the UK, he set his sights on America with his daughter.

Ends

Chris will return home on 2 July and Catherine will return home on 8 July. For more information, photos, or interviews, please contact Laura Crowley: lauracrowley@wateraid.org / 020 7793 4965.

Notes to Editors

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 27 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 17.5 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 12.9 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org , follow @wateraiduk on Twitter or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid

• Around 2,000 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
• 768 million people in the world live without safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world’s population.
• 2.5 billion people live without sanitation; this is 39% of the world’s population.
• For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity.
• Just £15 can enable one person to access a lasting supply of safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation.

Century Cycle Rides

Century rides are an illusion. You think 100 miles on a bike is tough. There are so many variables to affect you; wind, temperature, hydration, food, incline, mechanical failure. However it’s all in the mind. as Graham Fife says: “The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, the steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going.”

and Jens Voigt says “Shut up Legs” just about sums it up. But the century rides are getting much, much easier, people like Mark Beaumont who pedalled round the world doing at least 100 miles a day I have nothing but admiration for, I am beginning to understand the life of an endurance cyclist. My riding will never be the same again.

Altitude sickness, rough few days cycling

On arrival for rest day in Sante Fe I developed mild altitude sickness, although only at 7,250 feet we all had some symptoms, except Catherine whom seems indestructible. A number of factors occured, relativley fast rate of ascent, pedalling 80+ miles a day for the last two weeks, going anerobic on some climbs, mild dehydraton and the heat. Had a constant unrelenting headache, fatigue, mild shortness of breath, tachycardia and peripheral oedema of my legs but worse in the left leg. The limb oedema unfortunately devolped some mild celluitis. So I have taken diuretics (now pee’d gallons) and antibiotics and with leg elevation I am on the mend. Will probably take one more rest day tommorow and ride again to cross the Texas State line. Cycling Transamerica is undoubtably the toughest thing I have ever done. Despite loosing 170 lbs I guess all those years of being obese are hard to catch up with. Thanks to Shermann Bull MD for helping sort me out, he’s riding with us, he is an amazing man. Catherine is an Amazon and is ploughing through all the hills, she’s incredible.