Man bikes to Florida to promote better health

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Heavy rains stopped minutes before Tony White mounted his cyclo-cross bicycle and embarked on a 425-mile trek from Alabaster to Gainesville, Fla. for his friend Tracy Ryan on Dec. 21.

White was leaving regardless of the weather. His first stop was Chilton County to share the reasons for his ride, one of which was to inspire people with Ryan’s story of drastic weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

“I wanted to honor her and just get the word out there,” said White, a personal trainer and yoga instructor at Riviera Fitness in Birmingham. “It just shows that through diet and exercise, someone can transform their life.”

Tony White is biking from Alabaster to Gainesville, Fla. to promote good health.

Ryan has shed 180 pounds in one year by eliminating meats from her diet, eating healthier foods like fruits and vegetables and sticking to an exercise regimen with help from her trainer, Juan Carlos Asse, at Zen Fitness in Gainesville.

White said he wanted to promote “the healthy lifestyle” and felt there was no better way to motivate others than to perform a “physical feat.”

“I’m 41 years old and I’m out here on a bike,” he said. “She (Ryan) had to be the girl that put 110 percent into it, and she did. She works and she goes to school, and she was able to do this.”

White said Zen Fitness is working to release a documentary called “UnSuperSize Me” about Ryan’s journey.

“We’re not talking about vanity here. We’re talking about health,” White said. “Looking good is secondary to better health.”

White’s goal is to cover 75 miles a day, rain or shine, and disperse information about his cause at each stop along the way.

When he reaches Gainesville, he said Ryan will probably ride into town with him.

“It’s a journey and adventure for a good cause,” he said. “I’m just honoring good health and nutrition.”