Isaiah Coleman - Springdale, AR


In April of 2013, I was a sophomore in high school and after years of public schooling, I had spent this year as a homeschool student. I became homeschooled because I was tired of all the chaos that public schools faced you with. In public school, my grades consisted mostly of Ds and Cs I had a very hard time understanding things.

As a homeschooler, I would often find myself with a lot of spare time on my hands. So I dug out my old bicycle from beneath all of the junk on my carport and would occasionally go for a spin around the neighborhood. I had a lot of fun with it and I knew that it was great exercise. With myself being 5'10" and weighing nearly 235lbs, I knew I needed all the exercise I could get. I even took up commuting to and from work by bike.

Roughly a month later, I found out that my dad was dying of cancer and after not seeing or hearing from him in about 2 years, me and my siblings finally got the opportunity to go see him down in Louisiana. The two days we spent there were two of the saddest days of my life, and I knew that it was probably the last time I'd see him. Two weeks later, I received word from my mother that my father had passed away. My life would never be the same!

At that time, I was dealing with depression and loneliness, and would often find myself thinking about doing things to myself that no one should ever do to themselves. I felt completely worthless.

I knew that to keep my mind off of things I'd have to have something to pass time so I rode my bicycle. I told myself to take out all of my pain on the pedals of my bike. To pedal away the past and make for myself, a better future. I found myself wearing out my bike's components way quicker than most people do, due to the amount of power being put into every pedal stroke. Eventually I invested money in a better bike.

Throughout my first year of riding, I learned many new skills and gained loads of experience. I even got the chance to ride in my first strong thunderstorm. 

I was slowly transforming from a low-mileage, casual neighborhood rider to a powerful, long-distance rider. I was becoming one of the "pros".

Then, on February 16, 2014, I managed to ride my very first century, ending the day with over 100 miles. I soon began to realize that the possibilities were endless. 

Sometime in August, I stepped on the scale and saw that I weighed 170lbs. I had lost 65lbs in a little bit over a year. I had overcome depression and started living more.

To this day, I have ridden 10 successful centuries and am now making plans to ride my bike from NW Arkansas all the way to Alabama this summer. 

Through rain, shine, snow and ice, I'll still choose my bike over a car any day.

People think I'm crazy, and that's just the way I like it!

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