A once morbidly obese man is celebrating losing 15 stone in weight – by riding the length of the River Thames on his bicycle with no saddle.
Determined Tony Ingles, 51, had struggled for years to reduce his 31 stone frame.
When even gastric band surgery proved too slow to shift the flab he decided to take up exercise.
“I remember my first walk was only 400 metres and I was worried about how I was going to get home,” he said.
Gradually Tony, of Woburn Sands, progressed to jogging, only to find it hurt his knees.
“I bought a mountain bike to take up cycling but I hated the saddle,” he said.
During a visit to Willen Lake, Tony saw an ElliptiGo machine – a bicycle without a saddle that works on the principle of a running machine.
“I looked them up on the internet and started riding as part of the Milton Keynes ElliptiGO club. I’m now addicted to riding it after decades of inactivity,” he said.
The machine provides low impact exercise, burns 30 per cent more calories than a normal bicycle, and provides a good cardiovascular workout.
Earlier this summer Tony rode his machine from London to Brighton. Now he is busy preparing for his biggest ever challenge next week – a 215 mile ride along the River Thames.
“I found out the river was exactly 215 miles in length. That’s a mile for every pound I’ve shed,” he said.
To remind him of the excess burden he once carried, Tony will wear a huge false boob designed by the breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel.
He said: “It will remind me that CoppaFeel is a great charity and also that I should have shed this weight years ago. I really was a boob.”