Sorry, No I Won’t Hold

Published June 5, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I’m sitting here with a little sunburn today.  Not anything really painful, just a bit pink and tender.  Lightly toasted.  My sunscreen wasn’t enough for the stunning day that was today.  Check it:

Iris and the Story Bridge

See that gorgeous purple creature there?  That is my gorgeous, wonderful, adorable bicycle Iris.  Yes, her name is Iris and she’s totally a her.  My friend Kirk named her Iris, because she’s purple and Dutch.  Dutch because she’s an Electra Amsterdam.

When I was a kid, I loved my bike.  I had a red dragster one when I was in primary school, and rode all over town in every spare moment, that bike was my freedom.  Then in high school I got a full sized ladies bike, which I didn’t like as much because it was pretty uncomfortable.  I much preferred to ride my mother’s bike, which was a lot better quality.  But I still had that mode of transport.

However, there came a time where the douchebags and bullies picking on me for being a fat arse on a bike got too much, and the bikes went into the shed and never came out again.  Eventually my mother sold them, and I no longer had that transport.

Which is fairly significant, because I don’t drive.

Last year, my Manager bought an Electra Townie bike, and I fell in love with it on sight.  I was lamenting that I no longer bicycle, and she suggested that the very perfect bike for me would be an Electra Amsterdam.  I saw the pics, and was even more in love than I was with the Townie.  I just knew I had to have a purple Amsterdam.

Well, a few months ago, I bought one.  I went to New Farm Bikes, somewhat apprehensive about how they would receive a fatty buying a bicycle.  I didn’t need to worry – it was never even an issue.  As the guy in the shop said “I’m so happy to get another bike on the road.”

Going to New Farm Bikes is just so much fun because the bikes are so pretty.  I mean, look at these:


The detail on them is just fabulous. Not all of them have decals (mine doesn’t) but when they do, look how exquisite:


Now that I have her, oh how I love my beautiful bike.  Look, if you’re a DeathFatz like me, cheap bikes just aren’t going to cut it.  You want something strong and comfortable.  Here I am with my bike:

Me, Iris and the Story Bridge

See?  DeathFatz.  But happy and comfortable.  I went for a ride along the riverside bike/walk way today with a friend, and had an absolute ball.  What a beautiful day it was, and the ride was just so lovely.  Look at that view behind me!

I can’t believe I gave this up years ago because other people were asshats about me being fat and on a bike.

But I did.  And I regret it.  So much of my life I put on hold, waiting for when I got thin.  For 20 years I put things on hold, because I either felt I didn’t deserve them, or I wasn’t able to tolerate the bullying I got just for being a fat person living her life.

No more.  Life is too short to put it on hold.  If you do, you risk missing days like this:

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

61 comments on “Sorry, No I Won’t Hold

  • Woot! there are stores here in Germany that carry them! Bike riding, here I come!

    (I’ve been looking for a bike that would let me not sprain an ankle by trying to stop on my tiptoes.)

    • Electra bikes should be available worldwide, you just have to find a retailer – they’re a classic bike that never goes out of style. Go along and try out several of the models, some are more sporty and recumbent in posture than others. The Amsterdam is the most old fashioned, upright style, but you an go to the Townie or the Cruiser or some of the others.

      I call the Amsterdam the “Elvira Gulch” bike – sitting upright and straight backed just like Elvira Gulch in The Wizard of Oz. I always hear that bit of music in my head when I’m riding it!

      • I went and tried them out yesterday. Sadly, even though I’m 5’6″, none of the seats could go low enough for me to put my feet flat to the ground. *pout* Especially not the Amsterdam, which is what I really wanted because it comes with the carrier thing on the back and is the most upright –I have two slipped discs and have been told that an upright bike would be better for me.

        (What is wrong with bike design that it’s hard to find a ladies’ bike that is small framed enough for a woman of more-than-average height? WTF?)

      • What? I am 5’6″! And the seat isn’t anywhere near it’s lowest on my bike. Unless they’ve changed the design I can’t see how it wouldn’t fit you.

      • Weird. On the Electra Amsterdam Royal 8i, the lowest setting on the saddle, I could stand tiptoe with my heels about two inches off the ground. Maybe I have unusually short legs or something?? I never thought I did, though.

      • I have the Original 3i – I’ve never tried the Royal 8i, but they do look physically lower than mine. Mind you, I have a stumpy short body and longer legs, so that could be a factor too!

      • I’ve just figured out part of it, I think. I wear vivo barefoot shoes –extremely thin soles and no heel at all. I bet the bike would be a lot closer to fitting if I wore regular shoes, but that isn’t so good for my back.

  • Love the picture of you on the bike – you look so beautiful and happy! I have a road bike, and love it for commuting to work a few times a week, but at 25 miles round trip I have to gear up in Spandex to make it comfortable. I have a longing for a cute Dutch bike that I could wear with super-cute clothes (which I also don’t own – ha!). Congrats on rediscovering the joys of biking!

    • Thanks Amanda. I’m thinking if I was doing a long ride, I’d buy those long Lycra/Spandex leggings, but with the padding in the crotch. Just for a little comfort. But for “tootling” as I do, so long as I can move and it’s not too hot, most casual clothes will do. In fact the Amsterdam is designed so you can wear it with a long skirt! The chain guard and step through style are outfit friendly.

    • Thanks!

      Yes, it’s a FAR more comfortable seat than most bikes have on them. It’s wider (designed for a woman’s bum!) and made of leather with good springs/suspension. Everything about the Amsterdam is designed for comfort.

  • A-freakin-men to that! I too missed out on a lot of things like dancing, swimming, etc. because I figured “no, not until I get thin.” then tortured myself with crash diets and questionable diet drugs for years. Just to never have gotten thin. But FA helped me embrace life and grab it by the balls, and tell anyone who ridicules me to go shove it; life is precious and not to be squandered. I got two left feet and my balance sucks too much for bike riding though, so kudos to you!

    • I got a suggestion for you… get a tricycle! Yup, there are some fantastic adult tricycles out there, with carriers on the back, that are comfortable, easy to ride and you don’t have to worry about the balance thing.

  • I’ve put my life on hold. Let me tell you that it doesn’t only happen to people that are ‘deathfat’. It happened to me and I wasn’t even fat, I just believed that I was. I was told by family, strangers, doctors, etc that I was fat all the time so I believed them. I didn’t go out and have fun because I thought I was too fat to have fun where people might see me.

    Then, I turned 30 and I realized that life was passing me by. I also realized that those people that called me fat were wrong. It didn’t matter if I was ‘fat’ or not. I was going to go out and have fun. Life is too short.

    • Indeed – a lot of people put their lives on hold for other reasons. Until they find a partner, until they are earning lots of money, until they have a baby, and so on. Life doesn’t work like that. You gotta live for the here and now and value every minute.

  • I miss riding a bike, but my fear isn’t the deathfatz, it’s the falling and breaking the bonez! 🙂 I got back on a bike for the first time in years and promptly fell over and sprained my ankle (which isn’t difficult, I have the ankles of a twig!)

    But I didn’t have one of those nice touring bikes, I had a more “off road” bike my mom had given me that she didn’t use but had bought off her sister, who hadn’t used it. It was a boy’s bike and just getting on it felt like I was going to fall over.

    I might have to go one of the bike shops and see about finding one like yours and maybe making sure it is set at the right height and all that stuff.

    I’m sort of afraid to ask, but about how much did you pay for it? I especially like the purple part! You can give me round numbers, I’d just like to know how much I would need to save up before going to try it out.

    Congrats on getting back on the bike!

    • Like Rachel, I would suggest a tricycle for you Queen Aeron if you’re worried about balance.

      I think Electra even make one. I paid $800AUS neat for Iris, plus a fair whack for the accessories (helmet, basket, cover, bike pump, water bottle holder, adapter bar for the car rack) but the bike itself comes ready to ride.

      One of the best things about New Farm Bikes (other than the fat friendly thing) is how personal the service is, and how they really care about the bikes. When I say “I need a water bottle holder.” the bike dude says “There is one I want to put on this bike.” not “Pick one.” They really think about the practicalities AND the aesthetic. They’re passionate about the bike being just right. I think that’s common amongst Electra sellers – it’s not about getting the most money out of you – it’s a whole culture. Like Mac computers!

  • I haven’t ridden in forever, but I used to love it. I’d go for 20-30 mile rides every weekend. I mostly used bike paths, but to get to them, I had to ride on a not so wide two lane road. One day a group of boys driving past me opened the passenger door and pushed me into a ditch and drove off. I don’t think it was because I was fat, but maybe it was, I think it was just because they were d-bags. I haven’t ridden much since then, but I wish I had. Your bike looks fabulous, I am crazy jealous. 🙂

  • You make me want a bike again! I simply stopped biking when I got my driver’s license, but I miss it! I toyed with the idea last year, but then I opened my own cafe and well…I don’t have much time for such things anymore and biking 36 miles to work isn’t doable with groceries. But I love that pic of you on your gorgeous bike!

    • At this point I’m not interested in endurance or distance riding. I want to “tootle”. I want to swan around with a loaf of crusty bread and a small fluffy dog in the basket, wearing a long skirt and beret!

  • I’m really guilty of putting things on hold way too much. Cycling isn’t an option for me due to disability, but you’ve totally inspired me to start thinking about what I should take *off* hold. Thank you!

  • YAY You! I LOVE my new bike too! SO much fun, it is like being a kid again. Good for you! (I cried when my bike got stolen last year-it was my 35th birthday present. First bike I liked and felt good riding- no back and shoulder pain… So, I bought another one just like it!) Enjoy, and don’t forget sunscreen! 🙂

  • That is such a pretty bike. If I lived closer to town, I’d love a cruiser like that for riding around and running errands and things. I also just got back into bike riding – right now, I have a Cannondale mountain bike, and am saving up to buy a road bike for triathlons and endurance rides (’cause I’m crazy like that).

    I hadn’t rode a bike since I was in middle school, and I think part of the reason is because I was afraid of being picked on for being fat. In the past couple years, I took up running, and got the catcalls and insults for running while fat too, so I figured I might as well do whatever I enjoyed, because ignorant people are going to give you crap either way.

    • That always drives me nuts. We aren’t allowed to be fat, they constantly tell us to get off the couch and get some exercise, but when we do, we get humiliated. GRRRR!

  • That bike is beautiful! It’s making me think about selling my bike, which I’m not so fond of, and getting one of these. I hate having to hop over a high bar and having a tip-toe stop, so maybe an Electra bike is in my future. And they sell them at REI! Hmmm…

  • Love your bike & you on it! I am slowly getting back into bike riding. As for douchebags, remember they are afraid of being different and it makes them feel small when someone as beautiful as you goes by on your beautiful bike.

    Unfortunately for them they are stuck in their sucky reality while lucky folks like you swan on by. For anyone who has been picked on (I have while thin, young, fat, old, etc.) remember you have the power to change only your own life. Choose the best! You deserve it!
    Pity those fools (that’s the best they’ll get) while you let them eat your happy, enjoying life to the fullest dust!

    • I couldn’t agree more. I mean, I was cleaning out this box of stuff that came from my dad’s place when I initially moved out 9 years ago. I found my junior high yearbooks (ack!) and remember when all those assholes used to make like I was so monumentally fat. I looked at the pictures recently and was like “Are you fucking serious? I wore size 9/10 jeans. That’s NOTHING compared to sizes I wore in my adult life!”

      But yes, those who just want to build themselves up bring others down for whatever reason. But beauty’s really in the eye of the beholder: that’s horrible about those douchehounds shoving Raine in the ditch; I’ve heard similar stories. The worst that happened to me was one day my foot wasn’t bothering me so I decided to hazard jogging around a more remote area of a local park and these asswipes who drove past yelled out the window at me, “It ain’t gonna work, fatty!”

      Yes, because so many people believe fat people do nothing but lay on the couch while mainlining lard and cornstarch but a fat person does a healthy activity and gets told they can’t…? What kind of bullfucked logic is that?!

      And yes, we all do deserve the best in our lives in spite of our age, body type, what have you. Life’s too short, but it’s better knowing there are people like us out there to share it. 🙂

  • P.S. I would also recommend adult tricycles for those who have balance, etc. issues. I know a 450+ fellow who loves his trike and it has really expanded his knowledge of this neighborhood. All good 🙂

  • There’s a bike shop near the Boyfriend’s place that sells those! Oh, how I drool over them. I haven’t bought one because the idea of riding through Sydney traffic scares the poop out of me.

    Maybe I’ll take your lead and get one to pootle around. Centennial Park has some lovely bike tracks that would look even lovlier with one of those Amsterdams on it…

    • Go talk to the bike shop Frances. They’ll find the right bike for you. I don’t like riding in traffic either, on main roads or anywhere crowded. But there are plenty of bike paths in Brisbane, there HAS to be some in Sydney!

  • For over 4 years I’ve coveted that bike. And I’ve come close to buying it, but I was too afraid to walk into the bike shop. Now you have inspired me, and the next time I am flush with cash I am buying that bike in seafoam green. Thank you for being braver than me. Your bike is awesome and you look like a rock star on it!

    • Do it Rachel! Go talk to them. Electra lovers are cool, I’ve not found one yet that had an issue with fatty mcfattersons. My fatness never even jiggled their antenna.

      • Excellent! “My fatness never even jiggled their antenna”–that made me spit out soda.

        I just need to find a bike shop that isn’t super mean in my area. Fingers crossed!

        • LOL, well… it didn’t! And they didn’t even overcompensate, as though I wouldn’t be able to ride the bike. All they did was measure that the seat and handle bars were right for my arm/leg length.

  • I so LOVE that picture of you on your beautiful bike! I had this banana-seat monstrosity as a kid, but I just loved it to pieces. The roads here just aren’t what they used to be though. As much as I’d love to attempt biking, there’s no room for bikes on the sides of these country roads anymore. It’s either road or ditch….*sigh* Still though, nice bikes!

  • I have a Schwinn bike at my parents place in Iowa, but I haven’t ridden in years. And I kinda don’t have a place for it where I’m at now. Mind you I’d love to have my bike here to ride places, but it’s just not possible at this point.

    • The most difficult thing for me has been a place to store my bike. I don’t have a garage or shed, and live in an upstairs flat. I have a super-duper fabulous strong lock on it and bought a nylon cover to keep the elements out.

  • Just catching up on some reading. I love this post, it almost makes me want to get a bike – even though I don’t really like bike riding. Or maybe I would, if I had a comfort bike! Anyway, good for you for pursuing an activity that makes you happy. That, to me, is completely what health is about.

    • This is definitely a comfort bike. My butt smiles.

      It makes me happy and I feel great afterwards (I usually sleep like a log too).

      It’s all about being active because I enjoy it.

    • You love my magnificent tits. Lots of people love my magnificent tits. I should have photographed them from the angle I could see them today, my tall librarian dude friend from O/S was enjoying the view, I caught him more than once.

      • That poor fellow! What a conundrum he must have been in. To look or not to look!

        He knew the correct answer.

  • Thank you so much, you inspired me to walk into my local shop today and there was my dream bike, Electra Deluxw 3i with step through frame. Of course then I chickened out, it doesn’t look like it would hold my 330 lbs of loveliness. The nice man there came over to talk and I sputtered something about my sister in law being interested and left. But hey, I managed to get into the store 🙂

    • Well done Michelle!

      Go back. If you need to, take a sassy, fat friend who won’t let anyone give you shit. Ask about the bikes. If they don’t treat you with respect, dignity and manners, take your money and spend it somewhere else, and make sure they know they’ve lost your sale.

      But something tells me that won’t be needed. If he came over to talk, and didn’t ignore you, he’s interested in selling you a bike.

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