Clive Chapman: How Just One Year and a Bike, Saved His Life

Now, please don’t get the wrong idea about this. I’m not after sympathy. I have no-one to blame but me for being fat. It wasn’t a food industry conspiracy or a testament to modern living that I ended up like this. It happened because I ate too much and stopped pedalling, playing rugby and doing the other stuff that kept me active. I have now found something that appears to work for me and a support network of likeminded people who keep me honest.  It is hard, some mornings at 0530hrs when it’s raining windy and dark, I really want to reach for the car keys. But I don’t. This is me now for the duration, and pretty soon I’ll be back into Snowdonia, charging around Cannock Chase and trying to reel my mates in at Sutton Park as well as saving a shed load on fuel and food bills, all because of my re-discovered love of the bike.

Advice wise, if you’re reading this and have thought that you need to grab a hold of your life, then don’t think any more, just do it. I can’t begin to tell you how much I wished I’d done this sooner. Only this weekend I was climbing a tree with my 3 year old son, something I hadn’t done with him before because I was fat. I still am fat, but at least I’m not too fat to climb now.

I don’t profess to hold any answers for you as an individual, I know only too well what obese folk do with well intentioned advice, if I am used as an example it’s to nod sagely, say you’re right, promise to act, then do precisely nothing.

You need to find your own motivation, we’re not stupid people, even though our relationship with physical activity and food would suggest otherwise, I believe obesity is like alcoholism, only food related. Maybe the medical profession should start to acknowledge that fact? That’s a debate for another day and quite possibly another blog!

The bike blogging community is a fantastic place, Darryl’s site is wonderful and I visit it every day to catch up with what’s happening on his side of the pond. Ok you folk over there have a different attitude and if I might be so bold, a more open and positive way of looking at the world, which I find very refreshing compared to cynical, mickey taking good old “Blighty” (English slang for home). But we all have one thing in common, we all love the bike and it does us a power of good!

If any of you good people reading this do need any specific advice about fat biking, starting out or just a bloody good kick to get you going, please feel free to get in touch with me on my blog, maybe I will be the one to “flick your switch” just like Frank Kinlan did for me a year ago.

Finally a huge thanks to Darryl for giving me the honour of representing English fat bikers on his brilliant site, I enjoyed writing it!

Clive Chapman is an inspiring blogger with an incredible personality.  I encourage you to visit him over at and become a fan like I have.  Congratulations, Clive on the first anniversary of your comeback and gaining back your life.  Well Done.

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  • DareToBecome

    I really enjoyed reading this post and now I’ve found another great blogger to follow. Congrats on finding your “why(s)” to be stronger than your “why not(s)”!

  • Clive Chapman

    Thanks for the opportunity to Guest Post Darryl. There have been some lovely comments on my Blog and Facebook page.

    I’m truly humbled, thanks… :-)

    Oh and I’ve linked Bryan’s blog on mine too!

  • VitaminLee

    I’m feeling so inspired by Clive’s journey. I love love love that quote “if you’re reading this and have thought that you need to grab a hold of your life, then don’t think any more, just do it” – it reminds me that time will go on with or without my dreams and aspirations so like CLive says, why not just do it?

    Way to go Clive, WAY TO FREAKIN GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • Bryan

    Clive, congrats on the weight loss! I’m a fellow fat biker who is also trying to win the battle of the bulge. I’ve subscribed to your blog as well.

    • Darryl

      Hi Bryan, great to have to stopping by the site again. Yes, you and Clive are both great inspiring cycling stories. I’m looking forward to reading more of yours soon. I’m glad I was able to hook you up with Clive and his journey.