Posted 11th Apr 2018
In the latest of our Humans of the Waterway features, courtesy of the Canal & River Trust, we meet Denis, of Bradford Lock
"I've already lost about two and a half stone since I've been slimming and exercising. I've cycled off and on throughout my life, but nothing like the long distances I do now. By the time I get back home, I'll have cycled around 50 miles today.
Canals are a very pleasant place to cycle because you haven't got hills so it's not such hard work. As you get older of course the hills get steeper! I've got a battery motor on this bike but I hardly use it now I've lost weight - although on my way back home, I'll come across one or two hills and the backup helps.
The cycle route I use follows the canal most of the way. It's a superb facility, I'm so lucky to live only three miles from the cycle paths. I live just north of Bristol which is about 25 miles from here. I cycle as far as this, have my lunch and then head back.
I suppose what started me off slimming and cycling was my health issues. I was overweight and had the start of Type 2 diabetes, and then I got blood pressure problems and internal fat causing liver cirrhosis. I got there in the nick of time to lose weight. I don't like to think what might have happened if I hadn't started cycling canals and slimming.
Eating is a habit and I know I wasn't always hungry when I ate. For example, I know they have gorgeous fruitcake in the café by the lock, and I used to have one every time I went past it - but I'm happy with my couscous salad for lunch today!
I'm retired and I don't have to rush anywhere, so I just like to get on my bike, head off and see where I end up. You've got to do something to keep going, haven't you? But this isn't my only bike. I've got a tandem and a 1200cc BMW motorbike which I'm going to Barcelona on this year with my Mrs on the back."
Information and images courtesy of the Canal & River Trust