MY CYCLING JOURNEY

Read my journey from an idle slob to a full on cycling addict!

Hi!

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Stephen “SleepyC” Cinch and I’ll be logging my journey as a Vegan Cyclist.

I started out on this journey in February of 2008 as a 267 lb. fat slob in a horrible marriage. I decided to do something about my physical shape. I was 37 years old, getting a divorce, and wondering what was next. To clear my mind, I started working out. By April of that year I was looking for something to keep me motivated and moving forward with my training as the elliptical at the gym was getting boring. I fitted road tires to an old Gary Fisher mountain bike and started riding around the block. Ahhh, this was better.

After a few weeks of doing this, I realized that the gearing of the mountain bike was running out on hills, and I was working way to hard to go nowhere. I went out and purchased my first “real” road bike. It was a 2008 Giant Defy 3. Simply stated, it was awesome. The speed, the gearing, the light frame, it all clicked. Soon I was skipping lunches to go for 20 mile rides.

That whole summer I rode everyday. As I rode more and more I became more conscious of what I was eating. I rode hard and started to eat many more vegetables. My lifestyle started to change. I stopped eating sugar, gave up sodas of any kind, and really focused on my job and my cycling. Over that summer I put over 1500 miles on my Giant and in the process lost over 80 lbs. I was weighing in at around 182 lbs by November of that year.

At this point I had refined my diet to basically being a vegetarian diet simply due to the fat content of most animal related foods. I had given up red meat, dairy products and was focusing on mainly vegetables and fruit and nuts. I felt great and started to gain some muscle definition.

The winter hit Ohio in early November and I had to put my bicycle away for the season, so back to the gym I went. But this time I was focused on staying in shape, because I knew that the next years cycling season was going to be coming in spring!

In the beginning of 2010 I met a wonderful girl that happened to be a vegan. Instantly we meshed and even our diets were very close, making going to dinner a very pleasant experience. At the time of meeting my Amy, I was still eating Salmon and the occasional Chicken Breast for my “protein.” Amy informed me of many things about how those choices really did not make sense. I watched many movies and read several books. But after watching the movie “Eating” I was convinced that a plant based diet was for me. My family has a history of heart disease and that movie made it clear that I did not need to put any animal products into my body. The mission was clear. VEGAN!

With my diet change came more energy and a better physique, perfect to become a better cyclist! Whoo Hoo ! Now I was EXCITED!

I put over 2000 miles on my Fuji in 2010. I love it. I now ride as much as I can. I train everyday. If I’m not on my bike, I’m in the gym.

Since my conversion to a 100% plant based diet for health reasons, I have become aware of how inhumane the farming and unnecessary killing of animals is. So over all I have become a much more compassionate person. My ex-wife to this day calls me a poseur, because of my transformation. She says “Just a few years ago you ate steak, now you are a Vegan, you are SUCH A POSEUR!”

The reality is, I am intelligent. I realized I was making a horrible mistake, and I corrected it. I embrace my new lifestyle (It’s not simply a diet) and I embrace the energy and physique I now have for cycling.

Anyways, this will be my little thought locker to log my training, and share cool information about cycling and the vegan lifestyle.

If you found this, please enjoy it.  If you have information to share please share it!

To follow along with my training please click here: Vegan Cycling Training Log

My bikes!
This is my road bike.
It a Cannondale SuperSix with SRAM Red Components and Mavic Ksyerium SL wheels. At the shop it weighed 15.1 lbs with pedals.
I love this bike.

My Cyclocross bike hanging with his ex-brother (sold the old super six as it was a size too big!).
Got a deal on a 2010 Cannondale Cyclocross 3 with an all SRAM Rival Group. Love it!

Also, this is my MTB I got from my buddy Russell Lee. I love this thing. It has changed my opinion of MTB’s!

My 2012 Ray’s Bike!

29 Responses

  1. Kevin and I are honored to be your friends. We are truly grateful for your friendship and Amy!! You are anything but a poseur, you were one for 13 yrs and decided to do make a positive change in your life and your kids! Very proud of you!!!

  2. Awesome and inspiring Steve. Fantastic job.

  3. Hey, now there’s a familiar sounding theme. ;)

    Welcome to the world of both veganism and cycling, two of my top interests! Great and inspiring story, all the best! =)

  4. Wow Steve, its obvious getting divorced was the healthiest/best thing you’ve ever done. Great job Bro, you look great.

  5. so inspirational!

  6. Hey, you might be interested in my new website and discussion forum:

    http://VeganVelo.com

    Hopefully see ya there! =)

  7. …so…. when do you cut to the chase and start talking about toy airplanes!?!? :D

  8. I’m 38 and recently became a Vegan last month. Aside from the divorce, your story is what mine is becoming. I need to cut out the crackers, chips, and all the other processed foods though. This is inspirational to me. Thank you for the post, matt from Nebraska

  9. Wow – no poseur, had to look again as you are almost unrecognisable in the second picture. Well done on your fantastic achievment – this must surely be an insiration to others who have gone down the “abuse by food ” route – a great post.

  10. Steve,
    great to meet you at today’s race. I talked to you at registration. I missed my race today, should have been in the one you did. I did the 2nd race. Hope you did well. I slid out and crashed, did some major damage and had to DNF my race.

    • Oh man.. sorry to hear that! I hope you recover! Also it was a pleasure meeting you as well. I hope to see you out at a few races, even if your healing, you should come out, and soak in the races.
      Hopefully see ya soon!

      • I’m scraped up, but the bike is going to require a $500.00 repair. I plan to be at the next race, I will look you up and fill you in.

  11. Dude, I’m enjoying your blog! I stumbled upon it by sheer coincidence yesterday. What’s really funny is I used to work at a group home with your ex in the mid/late 90′s and would often see you spin records. I was vegan then and still am (goin’ on 18 years now) and for the past 12 years I’ve also been an avid cyclist and occasional racer (mostly cyclocross). Small world for sure. But seriously, you’re out there crushing it dude, amazing transformation! If I ever make it back to the Clevo area we should ride.

  12. Great story! Keep on cycling, stay vegan – it’s good for you, the animals, the environment. All the best! :-)

  13. I’m not a Cyclist but I am a staunch Vegan and HmmHmm boy you are now georgeous in more ways than one. Congratulations.

  14. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be
    aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while
    people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  15. HI, I am practically a Vegan (I’ll eat Honey :-) ) and am coming back after ACL reconstruction. My blood work says my protein levels are really low but I eat a LOT of peanut butter and peanuts! I also eat a lot of lentils, beans and the like. How do you keep your protein levels high enough?

  16. You may find this article interesting: Pedaling Veganism. http://www.cyclingutah.com/fitness/health/pedaling-veganism/

  17. Hi Stephen,
    I found your blog by Googling “vegan cycling” and I’m glad I did! Great info here. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Liz

  18. I am 58 and after a near heart attack that left me with two stents, I began changing my diet to lower my cholesterol. I was a cyclist, that became a runner, that became sedentary when running was hurting my body. Then for ten years I cooked and ate well, just too much of the wrong stuff: cheese, meat, margarine, fried fish, french fries.
    So I picked up cycling again, ate a healthier diet and took low doses of statins, I dropped 15 lbs and my cholesterol to under 100 with a good ratio of LDL to HDL. But the statins were causing muscle pain.
    Having seen the movie Vegetated, I decided to move away from animal sources of food mostly because of how they are treated. I have never been a person to say, “I don’t want to know”.
    My extensive in cooking is helping to make the transition. I also like beans, rice, dried fruit, nuts, and most vegetables. Trouble is, many vegies have lost their true nature from commercialization. Consider the grocery tomato.
    I just completed my first three day bike tour in 30 years and then rode a Century. I am not going to buck our industrial society so much that I isolate myself as a rabid vegan. Instead, I am going to remember the look on the faces of animals living in commercial farms, the milions of fish thrown away, and the little chicks pulverized live for being the wrong sex when I make food choices. And, I am constantly reminded of just what we have done to each other each time I stand in the grocery line and see the humans who look like the animals they eat.

    • Amazing Jim. Thanks for sharing your story. I truly believe cycling the the “fountain of youth” people are looking for, and a plant based/vegan diet keeps the pills and the men in the white coats away! Please keep me updated on your accomplishments! Again THANKS!

    • HI.. I saw that movie and am now 98% Vegan.. I do sometimes eat cheese but rarely. Anyway, I went Vegan not because I object to eating an animal. I don’t but because of how they are being treated. I do not know about you but if I went out and caught my own fish or shot my own deer, I would eat that. But I don’t want to support downright abuse.

  19. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and i don;t judge. (I know some vegans can be pretty opinionated) Lessening the demand reduces the supply. For me my big ethical transition (my first transition was more health oriented) came when I looked at my dogs and cats, and then went to a farm and saw the same warm look in a cow, a chicken and especially a pig. The same depth of character was there. You can see it in a deer or a turkey and all the other animals. So i could no longer justify killing one kind of animal and snuggling up and giving my heart to another. They are all the same to me, and it was at that point i could never go back. Even cheese destroys the life of a cow. 9probably worse than being killed, that suffering lasts for years potentially) Anyways. Do what you can, the less people demand the less the supply will become, and when big industry finds out there is less money in it, things will change. Sad actually, no one considers health, or the environment or anything, just money…

  20. Not starting any arguments just simply stating the definition of veganism in its most current form for the benefit of everyone:

    “The word ‘veganism’ denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to end the idea of animals as property and exclude all forms of exploitation of (use of), and cruelty to, animals for food (including products derived wholly or partly from animals), clothing, research or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives and respect for their inherent rights as our fellow earthlings.”

    Weaking the definition doesn’t help animals which is counter to our goal. Therefore it is defined as above to help animals and keep it strong. People who are not yet ready to go down the path of veganism
    should take things a slowly as they need to while always moving forward to help more animals and eliminate more of their exploitation from your life. We should always strive to move forward and never backwards even if it is baby steps.

    Congrats Steve I cannot wait to check out the rest of your blog especially as a fellow cyclist: )

    • I agree with you as well. But from my personal experience and many others if a person is interested enough to attempt to go “vegan” for any reason, but they are missing the compassion aspect that transformation is not far off. But that definition is def the def I follow. In fact I had to rethink my last new car purchase because they did not offer a version without leather seats. (how dumb is that, and I’m not buying expensive cars!) Fortunately my Prius came with cloth. I put a “vegan” sticker on my car and my wife commented “that’s kind of redundant, you are driving a Prius.” HAHAHAHA

      • Veganism itself is purely about the animals. The plant based diet or strict/pure vegetarianism can be about health or the environment or what have you.

        I think it is very important to keep the definition and explain it to people like that. It doesn’t mean if they are wearing leather or eating meat or cheese or something like that, they cannot eventually go down the path of veganism. It is just important to keep the definition and try and make more actual vegans rather than change the definition to do ??? (I say that because I don’t see what changing the definition is good for)

        We cannot expect people to transform. The reason I started on the path of veganism is because people defined it properly and kept me focused and motivated. I was lucky enough to be around people involved with animal rights, if I hadn’t I would probably just be a dairy and egg eater. Most people aren’t as lucky as me and they here it from some celebrity or someone who is on a health kick or something like that and they won’t really get more than that. Even many of the national animal awareness groups are focused on diet (to the exclusion of other animals and issues) or aren’t even promoting just vegetarianism.

        Finding non-leather stuff can be hard. Especially with these newer leather-alternatives like Lorica which look and feel almost exactly like leather. People have this big fetish I have never understood. I have never really been a fan of the look or feel of it. On cars especially, leave one out in the sun and you’ve got a hot sticky seat.

        If the Prius was a diesel hybrid it would be so much better. You could run it on biodiesel or if they set it up properly straight veg oil. Plus they could fit the top of the car with high efficiency solar panels and be even better. I would probably also make it super aerodynamic like one of those fancy super cars or race bikes that way it will use less fuel.

  21. congratulations you are such an inspiration to me, i love biking and is difficult to get resistance and be faster than others, so with a lofestyle like this maybe i will get better, i dont need to lose weight but i am not so fast

  22. hello: are you the same fellow that worked at/ran the business “rider-4 -life” back 10-11 years ago ?
    thanks: R.J
    turbo75085@yahoo.ca

  23. Freaking wonderful story man! I will be using your pictures to help inspire my other family members to eat healthier.

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