Name: Jason Grant Ratner
Age: 34

  1. When did your weight become an issue?

My weight became an issue awhile before I started riding but didn’t have the motivation to really do anything about it. I run a restaurant so I work long hours, I was tired most of the time and have no interest in going to the gym.

  1. What kind of limitations did your weight cause?

I was unfit and overweight, I didn’t have energy and got out of breath really quickly.

  1. It is really hard to take that 1st step, what was your light bulb moment that pushed you to lose weight?

I always exhausted, I was feeling embarrassed about the way I look, my clothing size would increase everything time I went shopping for clothes. After having an assessment done by my medical insurance company they told me I had vitality age of a 45-year-old man.

  1. Oh wow, 45-years old, you must have been shocked. So, How much did you lose thus far? How long did you take?

Well I started riding at the end of May 2017 & in the space of 6 months I have lost +-22 KGS.

  1. Nice, What kept you motivated when you were down Jason?

Well there were a few bumps and falls after I started riding, but I had a mentor who has been a big part of my journey, her name is Linda Coltart. My nick name for her is Coach. She is fellow MTB rider who took me under her wing and taught me a lot about MTB riding. I did my first race along with her and I owe her a lot! She kept things interesting by showing me new trails and passing her knowledge on to me.

  1. It is always good to have a mentor that can push you to the limits; do you have any challenges that may have set you back?

I had a bad Jet Ski accident in 2000 and due to the trauma of that accident I now have arthritis in my lower back. Carrying all the extra weight and having a weak core, I was suffering from lower back pain. Riding my Silverback helped me make my core stronger and I do not suffer from as much back pain.

  1. Great progress Jason. What meals were you eating & kind of lifestyle did you live before you made your decision?

I did not live a healthy or active lifestyle at all! I never exercised; I was a heavy drinker and ate anything and everything! I was eating a lot junk food, drinking at least 2 liters of Coke n Cola per day and was consuming very little water.

  1. Interesting, how active were you in your younger days?

Very active, I was involved in baseball from a young age, I also did cross country running and played cricket during my school years.

  1. Why did you choose cycling as a way to help you lose weight?

My main reason I choose cycling (MTB) is that both my knees are finished from my younger years from participating in different sports. At the start of May when I decided to change my lifestyle, I tried jogging but experienced discomfort in my knees which de-motivated me. So then I decided to start looking at the mountain bike option.

  1. Good choice! Favorite cheat food when you in the mood?

I can never say no to a good old fashion American Cheese Burger and an ice cold beer.

  1. A burger always hits the spot, what is your biggest struggle: Food, exercise or temptation?

The first 2 months were the hardest. I think my biggest struggle was cutting down on my wine intake as well as cutting Coke n Cola out of my life. I was craving Coke n Cola all the time, eating junk food at night after work, which is a very lazy way of eating.

  1. Being a foodie, glass of wine VS a ice-cold beer?

I'll have a glass of wine if I want one, but it’s only a glass and not bottles as it was before.

  1. Now that you are living healthy, how does it feel?

I have a lot more energy and not as tired as I used to be. Emotionally I am more stable; I can deal with the stress of my job a lot more effectively.

  1. 6 months later, what is your focus moving forward?

I would like to lose another 2KGs. I want to maintain, concentrate on toning and endurance for longer rides.

  1. What specific changes have you made that are working for you?

MTB riding works well for me and is my way of getting fit and losing weight. I made diet changes, by cutting out bad carbohydrates, processed foods, eating healthier and more natural foods.

  1. Reaching your goals is good but it’s not the end, what are your current health and fitness goals?

My current health goal is to get to 80KG and is to do longer endurance rides.

  1. Cycling is one of your passions, what would you have done years ago with the knowledge you have now?

Start sooner!

  1. What kind of compliments are you receiving now?

One of the mostly amazing compliments to get is when someone that you have not seen in a while walks up to you and asks ‘where is the rest of you?’ I feel extremely proud of my achievements and what I have accomplished in the last 6 months.

  1. That must feel good, what do you think hitting your goal will be like?

I have hit a couple small goals during my journey. My first big goal was when I reached 90KGs and then I did my first race, but I continue set new goals. My big goal for the future is to participate in the Wine2Whales Stage Race. Hitting your goals motivates me to keep going.

You have taken part in 6 MTB races this year, what advice would you give others?

If you are thinking of buying a bike, BUY IT and never look back. Look straight ahead, hit that single-track and enjoy every minute of riding. Most importantly have fun because the fun is what makes you take your bike out.

  1. How long do you have your Silverback Bike for?

My journey with Silverback began on the 23rd of May 2017.

I live in South Africa, so once I decided to buy a bike, I started visiting local bike shop to get an idea of cost etc. I went a few shops where I didn’t feel comfortable. The sales guys made me feel like I shouldn’t be buying a bike, I almost gave up but then I walked into Mason’s Bike Inn. Mason himself assisted me, and I was originally looking at the Silverback Spectra Sport.

After a lot and research, I decided to purchase a Silverback Sola 4 with Shimano 3 x 9 group set.  I have made minor upgrades to my bike, but the biggest and most significant change is that I changed to the SRAM 1 x 11 group set which has changed my riding completely. I have done just under 2000KMs on my Silverback Sola 4 since I got it. I love the Silverback Brand and “Born To Be Fast” slogan.


His life is as full as ever, now he likes what he sees when he passes a mirror. Where did it all go? The answer these days is often simple enough: on a bike ride. Stay healthy #BornToBeFast