Chig Martin, right, rides on the Olympic Discovery Trail on Sunday, marking one year of riding his bike every day. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Chig Martin, right, rides on the Olympic Discovery Trail on Sunday, marking one year of riding his bike every day. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

LEFTIES: ‘Voice of the Lefties’ loses 120 pounds through cycling

PORT ANGELES — A year ago, Chig Martin, the “Voice of the Lefties” had to buy a bus ticket to get up West Hill Street in town.

This summer, he rode his bike up to the parking lot at Hurricane Hill.

Martin, who Lefties’ fans know as the public announcer at the games, was once a serious cyclist and ironman triathlete. But, he found himself in a bad place a year ago. He was deeply overweight, in the hospital with cellulitis. And right after he was released from the hospital, his brother nine years older than him passed away from heart disease.

Martin at 55 years old decided he had to change the direction of his life — and his body. He vowed to ride a bike every day for 30 days to try and get back in shape, lose weight and feel better.

Well, that 30 days turned into an entire year. Every single day on a bike, rain or shine. And now that he has lost 120 pounds and feels great, his friends threw him a celebration and went on a ride with him from Barhop Brewing down the Discovery Trail to Morse Creek and back with dozens of other cyclists on a “Ride with Chig” event.

That was a total surprise to Martin and touched him, partly because he hasn’t lived here that long. He has only lived in Port Angeles for three years having moved here from Tennessee.

“It’s exciting to be here for three years to have that kind of love and friendship,” Martin said.

Martin has been chronicling his exercise and diet regimen on social media, getting the word out about getting in shape and getting healthy.

His avatar on social media has him wearing a hat that says “Ride your damn bike.”

It wasn’t easy to begin with. Martin’s first day on his bike, he literally brought a dollar bill with him for bus fare because he couldn’t get up West Hill Street.

“Now I can go up Hill Street like it’s nothing,” he said.

Not only can he go up Hill Street, on Canada Day, he participated in the brutal 17-mile, 5,000-foot elevation gain ride up to Hurricane Ridge, making it to the top of the ridge in 2 hours and 20 minutes (and just 39 minutes down).

“It wasn’t easy,” Martin admitted.

Interestingly, because he had experience of riding a bike when he was younger, that didn’t necessarily make the first few weeks go any easier.

“It’s harder that you were once good at it and remember what you used to be able to do,” he said.

Every day, he posted his bike ride on Instagram. He got to the end of his 30 days and was encouraged to keep going to 90 days, every day on a bike. He also changed his diet, dropping fast food, sodas and sugary drinks. He bought an indoor spinning bike so he could continue riding a bike on bad weather days.

After Martin hit 90 days, people on social media told him to go for 100. Once he got to 100, he figured why not go for a whole year.

So, through the winter rains and the snow of February, he kept riding every day, either outdoors or on his indoor spinner. He is now also an indoor spinner instructor at a local health club.

He rode 75 to 90 minutes a day, doing 20 to 30 miles a day, even taking his bike along on trips to Canada and California and borrowing a bike at his son’s college graduation in May.

Martin’s now a big believer in working out and dropping weight. His previous 52-inch waist is now a 35-36-inch waist. Because he’s burning so many calories a day on his bike — he estimates 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day — Martin can cheat a little bit on his dietary changes and eat some junk food once in a while. He stressed though that this isn’t a diet, because a diet is temporary. This involved a complete change in lifestyle.

“For me, there’s no finish line, as corny as that sounds,” he said.

His avatar on social media has him wearing a hat that says “Ride your damn bike.”

That’s his message to his followers. Get out. Do something.

“If I can do this, you can. Just do something, walk, hike. For me, it’s riding my bike,” he said.

Now that Martin hit his goal of riding his bike every day for a year, he’s set a new goal.

“I’m still riding. I may do this another year,” he said.

Chig Martin before he lost his 120 pounds, announcing at a Port Angeles Lefties game last year.

Chig Martin before he lost his 120 pounds, announcing at a Port Angeles Lefties game last year.

Chig Martin, on-field announcer for the Lefties, has ridden his bike every day for a year and lost 120 pounds in the process. Friends surprised Martin by joining him on his ride from Barhob to Morse Creek and back on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Chig Martin, on-field announcer for the Lefties, has ridden his bike every day for a year and lost 120 pounds in the process. Friends surprised Martin by joining him on his ride from Barhob to Morse Creek and back on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

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