Scott Cutshall, 38 years old, was not sure if he'd live to see 40. He wore size XXXXXXXXXXL pants and could not tie his own shoes. He could walk only nine steps at a time. Breathing was sometimes difficult. A doctor said he would be dead in six months.
The rebirth of Scott Cutshall began Thanksgiving day 2005, a bowl of vegetable soup for breakfast kicking off a new life where nothing would be the same. Cutshall, living in Jersey City at the time, weighed 501 pounds. He was having breakfast. And then he was getting ready to go on a bike ride.
He rode 1.9 miles that day, rolling through neighborhoods, biking on the street, stopping to rest four or five times to sit on a curb. Head down. Panting. Hot even in November.
The ride of less than 2 miles took Cutshall three hours to complete. But the wheels were turning. His body was in motion. The journey had begun.
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First, kudos to Scott for changing his life. So how long until some pissed-off snot in a car takes him out for impeding traffic?
Bikes can clearly do so much for people. Of all the challenges a cyclist faces, or a non-cyclist faces in becoming a cyclist, motorist hostility is the most frustrating because it is so unnecessary. And, like all prejudices, it breeds a backlash that creates a counter-prejudice. These opposing forces actually reinforce and perpetuate each other.