(WMC-TV) - A Memphis physician tipped the scales at 250 pounds; now in the picture of good health, he says cycling helped him get there.
"When I was 53, I weighed 250 pounds, and I had heart disease," said Campbell Clinic orthopedic surgeon David LaVelle. "I had an angioplasty. I wound up losing 60 pounds. Getting in shape at the advanced age of 53. That was seven years ago. So I'm 60 now."
LaVelle often rides to work, and says bike riding has a low impact. He spends most days fixing patients' hips and knees.
"On a mental level, the worries of the day disappear. They just disappear because you have to be in the moment when you're riding. I have to look at this truck and see if somebody is going to open the door," he said.
LaVelle says after six months of regular hard work on the bike, he could go 15 miles. Now he's capable of much longer distances, averaging about 100 miles a week. He says he watched the Memphis cycling scene explode.
"The interest in cycling, the bike lanes, the Greenline. It's amazing how many more people ride now than when I started seven years ago," he said.
Although he suffers from hip arthritis, LaVelle was able to compete in the Senior Olympics in Houston.
"One thing I learned is that there are a lot of really fast old guys," he said.
LaVelle will be riding Saturday morning in a charity event that bears his late daughter's name.
The Liz LaVelle Charity ride rolls out from Forestview Church on North Watkins at 10 a.m. The ride honors the memory of the LaVelle's youngest daughter who was killed in a car crash three years ago.
Liz's passion was caring for foster children so AGAPE Child and Family Services will benefit from the ride. Learn more about it by clicking here.