General Cycling Discussion - what got you into cycling?
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01-07-04, 09:31 PM
I just wanted to know what got you guys into the sport of cycling and at what age it was.
My mom owns a salon right next to the LBS (a Specialized dealer) so i have always been around cyclists. Eventually the passion for cyling just rubed off on me.
I bought my first road bike a year ago when i was 13 and started riding. I now belive cycling will be a life long sport/obsession but you never know i might be to young to tell.
01-07-04, 09:33 PM
oops, this was supposed to go into the general cycling forum.
01-07-04, 09:47 PM
At age 58, read a story about a lady who was 60 and started training for the "Ride the Rockies" (about 400 miles of Colorado passes).
I figured if she could do it, so could I.
Now, I had ridden before, but only casually and like 5 mile rides. Within 3 months I had 1100 miles on my bike. An I did RTR two years in a row.
Now up to over 15,000 miles and still pedaling away!
01-07-04, 10:00 PM
The year was 1986, I was 15 years old. Yes, the Tour de France was around in 1986, It did not start in 1999 as some of you may believe. In fact it started in 1903! I even had a pair of those oakley factory pilot eyeshields, mine were blue.
Of course we all had bicycles, but it was watching the Tour that made me start to ride farther than just down to the corner store. I remember the first time I rode away from my friends on a hill without even trying.
I remember my parents thinking I was crazy for wanting to ride to school, instead of taking the bus like the "normal kids". I remember my parents getting mad at me the first time I had a serious crash, but the best memory of all was watching them cheering when I won my first race. I remember Citizen, Cat 5, Cat 4, Cat 3, I remember driving 8 hours only to get my ass handed to me in my first Combined Pro-Am. I remember wishing I didn't have to work, and go to school, so I could train full time.
But then when I hit that ceiling, I left the bicycle for a while, 6 years to be exact.
I raced motorcycles for a while, travelled all around the southeast crashing at 125mph+, at our countries finest race tracks (Daytona, Road Atlanta, etc.)had my fill after a few years of that. I was living the good life, great income, getting fat and soft, no worries other than who I was going to bang that night, and did she have any hot friends etc...
About 3 years ago I got the bicycle out, dusted it off, road about 5 miles, everything hurt so bad, I put it away for another 3 years. That day on the bike, when things started to hurt, I was like "F" this......
I remember hearing people talking about Lance in 1999, 2000 etc.... I knew who he was, after all I ran along side him up the hill during the Olympic road race. But I didn't really think about riding. Then this year for some reason, I got real excited about watching the Tour again, and like a lot of people in this country do the first week of July, I decided to go and ride my bike.
I had a different outlook on life this time, I hate my job, I make a fraction of the 150K I used to make a year, I'm pissed off a lot lately, bitter at the world etc... Out comes the bike again, I squeeze my ass into some cycling shorts I wore 6 years and 35 lbs ago, and a T shirt to hide my gut. My neighbor across the street yells "who do you think you are, Lance Frickin Armstrong?" I give him the finger and ride off.
I rode with no computer, no helmet, 12 year old shoes, on a 12 year old Cannondale, and I had the biggest smile on my face in years. Sure it hurt, everything from my bankers hands, to my superbike feet (my friends call me 9 toes). But it felt great. I didn't need the computer, I knew by the gearing that I was barely going 17. I laughed out loud, remembering how 10 years ago I could ride 25 miles in less than an hour while only riding 2 days a week.
I rode the next day, and the next day after that, and I'm still riding.
I have gained back some of my speed and power, and I have lost almost 20 lbs, but the one thing I have not lost, is my ability to suffer, It was missing that day 3 years ago, but It is with me now. I hope it never leaves again.
01-07-04, 10:01 PM
I grew up on a bike but pretty much put it away after high school until my 30's. I was working for a courier company here in Seattle as a dispatcher. I started dispatching our moped drivers and after a couple of years my boss decided to switch to cyclist. The cyclists basically cornered me into buying a Bianchi Special Edition Grizzly from one of our former riders that had opened up a bike shop. The Grizzly that year (89 or 90) was a cross bike the first time on it I rode 20 miles. It was a very sweet ride. I then started to commute and have been riding ever since. Well not quite I stopped for a couple of years gained a bunch of weight, lost weight then started to ride again. At 47 I am at a good weight and have no serious health problems so I figure it is the best thing I ever did!
01-07-04, 10:12 PM
While driving around with my permit last year (mostly on the weekends) I would see a lot of cyclists. So then a year later I got bored in the summer and picked up a road bike.
01-07-04, 10:18 PM
At my last job I worked with a few people who always talked about racing and riding. Just before I left I decided to get a bike. Best thing I ever did.
As a kid a bike was freedom, it was also one of the only things my family did as a group. The town I lived in had a nice forest preserve I loved to ride in so I got into Mtn biking, then I went to Germany in HS, there I rode every where for a couple of months, that sealed the deal. Living in Chicago gave me a whole other perspective, riding in traffic, awesome.
For me it was my best friend who got me into cycling. We were sharing a house together in 1993. He had a MTB from Giant, a sweet Cadex with beefy tyres. I was really impressed with his bike. They had changed a heap since my last bike purchase in 1986. The bike was light and looked really cool. I went out and bought a MTB straight away. We have been riding ever since. Just this week, the same friend bought his first road bike because he saw my road bike, and wants to start racing with us this year. Very cool.
01-07-04, 11:50 PM
The year was 1986, I was 15 years old. .... I hope it never leaves again.
Nice post Smoothie!
For me it started when i was around 16. I purchased a Bianchi Sport SX (road bike) off of my then girlfriend's sister's boyfriend. He was destined for a life of drugs and crime and I felt compelled to rescue the bike (how selfish of me). It was hardly top of the line and I wouldn't have been able to tell a Bianchi from a Schwinn from a hole in the wall at the time anyway.
I rode VERY recreationally back then. I'm the kind of guy that needs a little extra motivation and at the beginning I basically had zero other than what I could muster myself. I rode some time trials, but nothing serious and few miles.
Well, I put a little money into the bike (bought some shiny wheels) and went off to college where I found a great group to ride with (Square Wheels in Cleveland Heights, OH). These guys were all the motivation I needed and after getting dropped a dozen times or so I vowed to work hard to stay with the group. My abilities steadily grew from there. Permentantly etched in my brain is the feeling one gets from completing a fast paced group ride slightly drained but knowing that you had more to give while the other guys were toast. It didn't happen all the time but often enough to keep me coming back for more. I loved leading out climbs and made it a personal challenge to be as efficient and strong as possible. It all peaked in 94' when I entered and did fairly well in a couple of Cat 4 races.
That was enough of racing for me and riding in general while graduate school called. 95' to '01 were relatively lean years on the trusty Bianchi. Busy with school, busy with a new wife, I lost the motivation.
'01 saw a move to New York to a home in the country and a renewed interest in biking both for mental and physical fitness sake. With two young daughters I now see biking as a way to "take a break" from the insanity. It's occasionally difficult to balance my desire to spend time with my family, friends, the yardwork, etc. but I try never to use these as excuses.
I retired the Bianchi and purchased a new road bike and there are several good bike clubs in the area that I intend to leverage to keep me motivated. Moreover, there are some challenging local rides planned nearby that have whetted my appetite for the coming season. But, routine is EVERYTHING and until I make cycling a part of my everytime activity I will never achieve the level of fitness I once had. I read somewhere that it takes, on average, 30 days to develop a new habit. 30 days.
Now to get back on that trainer, only 29 more days to go.
01-08-04, 02:28 AM
Last summer my family got cable finally...and i was watching the tour one morning and was like hey i can ride a bike...i have been hooked eversince....i just fell in love with it
01-08-04, 05:26 AM
I had to stop running. My knee could not take it anymore. It was causing me to limp around..Looked half crippled. Did nothing for awhile..Gained a tremendous amount of weight. Meet up with some great friends from our church..Convinced me to buy a bike and give it a try.Bought a beater bike and loved it. Could find me all over the county..From the get go..
Been riding ever since. Now the county is not big enough and I think in terms of states and maybe continents.
01-08-04, 09:18 AM
I ran track in high school and when I went to college I continued to run but also thought that now that I have constant access to a pool I might as well swim. If Im swimming I might as well bike and do a triathlon. So I got an old 12 speed from a cousin and rode that for a while. That got stolen, then I got a used giant ocr1. I felt great on that bike. I continued training for triathlons, alternating running and biking days. When I came back to school after my first summer break I had burned out on running, I wasnt looking forward to my runs, my knees always ached after I went out for a run they ached when I kneeled down, I kept thinking get through this so tomorrow you can ride your bike. So finally I said 'Im just going to bike for a while, see what happens.' Havent looked back and missed running since. Bought a brand new carbon bike and havent really started to try and get in good shape to maybe try some races or join a club. Anyway, thats my story.
01-08-04, 09:28 AM
I was riding an old 3 speed a few miles a week and my dad gave me his GT with 15,000 miles on it.It was the first,decent bike i ever road that road nice and when i shifted,it didnt take an hour and was'nt not very loud.I said wow,this is nice and was hooked.
01-08-04, 09:37 AM
I moved to Colorado four days after graduating from college. When in Colorado, does as Coloradans do so I bought a mountain bike six weeks later. I fell in love with it instantly. I rode the crap out of that bike and upgraded to a better one a couple of years later. I would spend hours and days riding in the mountains. In May my daughter was born. I didn't want to give up riding but also didn't want to spend as much time away from home so I bought a road bike. However, the best road bike in the world would never replace my mountain bike.
I stopped at the charity yard sale this past summer, mind you I was there LATE (12 noon) and I saw this cool looking road machine sitting there. I walked over, realized it was a Bianchi, and lifted it off the ground. Just a few inches and I knew I needed it...the price makes the whole damn story.
Guy walks over and I casually ask... "What do you want for it?" He comes back with $25.
Yes, $25, American dollars...that's twenty five!
I immediatley reach into the pocket and discover I have only $10...damn..."honey, do you have any money?" She had $10. The guy says "That's good enough." I laughed and told him flat out "Look, I live around the block, less than 400 yards as the crow flies, I can grab the extra $5 and be back in 5 minutes." He told me ot to worry about it.
I started cruising around the block, after new tires, adjustments, etc. Then I joined a group ride and realized I was NOT in "bike shape." Of course, I realized this while puking on the side of the road during the ride.
After that, I started riding alone and working in to the whole bike culture. Then I got hit by a car and have been off the bike since Sept 15. The insurance man finally paid me and I've started rebuilding the Bianchi.
Good news though, trainer is coming, spring is coming, and I have 5 more new OLD bikes (steel lugged machines I found cheap) in the basement to play with...although, there will be a NEW road bike this spring.
Oh yeah, the Bianchi is full Campy.
01-08-04, 10:00 AM
Basic transportation. Town was far enough away that a bike ride was a good workout, but close enough it was too tiring. I kept at it for a long time, even after I go tmy driver's liscense, until a job kept me away by demanding my attention for up to 14 hours a day.
Back in early 2000, I found myself living in a place with tons of bikepaths, and a company with a bike rental department in need of a shop supervisor. I applied, and got the job. I then bought a cheap bike from Toys 'R' Us, which I replaced with a better bike from an LBS, then I bought an old road bike and kept riding. A move away from work has kept me from commuting, but I ride as much as I can, even taking to Spin classes in the colder months.
01-08-04, 11:50 AM
Another former runner/athlete that was sick of running. I was out of college, gaining weight, running hurt every joint in my body, I had to do something. My brother was the serious cyclist. He had spent years in Japan and Hawaii riding, racing, and touring on his bikes. I started doing research on what to buy, what I needed, gathering information when I found out about a group of people that spent a week riding their bikes across Georgia (BRAG) every summer. I was awe struck. What a cool idea, riding your bike across the state, seeing all the stuff to see, I was hooked. I got a new bike and dove head first into all things cycling related. It was a couple of years before I could do BRAG but I was smitten with a passion for cycling that has only grown over the last 16-17 years.
This past year has been tough. In fact 2003 may be my worst year for mileage total but I look forward to 04. I'm going to pull my 3 y.o. son in a trailer as much as I can, I'm finishing building a fixie and a new mtb, and I should finish grad school by May and I think I'll buy myself a new toy when I finish. I think 2004 is going to be a good year.
I always rode a bike as a kid, it was my ticket out.
Through High School and most of college it slipped away.
When I started skiing I took up cycling as a way to keep
my legs in shape over the long non season. I did some research (read bicycling!) and ended up buying a Viscount Aerospace pro. Found I flew more on the bike
than I did on skis. I haven't been on skis in years but
the bikes are still here (and I wish I still had the Viscount).
Since original posted mentioned he wanted this in
General cycling discussion I'm gonna move it there
01-08-04, 02:42 PM
I was so big at the time and wanted to lose weight. I bought my first bicycle and lost 72 pounds.
I then saw how much it draws girl's attention and that definitely hooked me!!!
01-08-04, 03:22 PM
It was 1984 and I was 13 years old. My dad was recovering from a serious back operation, and used my Raleigh 10 speed to help him regain some fittness. (he used to play tennis, but the back operation put an end to that)
He liked it so much that he bought himself an Allan 12 speed, I kept the heavy Raleigh for another year, and we started cycling together, - first just for fun, but within a year we were both cycling competitively in our respective age groups. Although we now live on separate continents, we still try and cycle together when we see each other. I seriously hope to have this same wonderfull experience with my own son one day. Who knows, maybe all three of us could enjoy this.
I had JC Penneys bikes when I was a kid. Just loved riding around town and out into the country. For a HS grad present my parents bought me a Schwinn World Sport road bike, which I rode all through undergrad and law school. I wish I still had it but it was stolen due to my own stupidity.
A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted a nice road bike. I mostly rode it to work and around town and then started doing some sprint triathlons. Two years ago, I unexpectedly came into some money and decided I wanted to ride what Lance rides. Now I ride everyday, farther and faster.
My wife is pregnant with twins and at night I dream about pulling a trailer, then training wheels, and then maybe doing a century with the kids when they're big....
I've had bikes since I was a kid. Mostly Huffy type cruisers and 10-speeds. I had a Schwinn Le Tour in high school. It wasn't till the 2003 TDF that I got "into" it. I started watching Lance but found myself rooting for Tyler. What a gutsy rider! I started riding my toy store mountain bike. Then in August I got a Trek hybrid. I was hooked. Got the jersey and shorts. (Not shaving my legs yet :) )Started riding longer distances. I now have a road bike and am looking to do my first century next month.
01-08-04, 04:18 PM
I always cycled a bit as a kid, but for no real reason at all. It was just a way to pass a bit of time every now and again with mates.
I got back into cycling a few years ago. In '99 I bought a Giant hybrid as my apartment backed directly onto a gorgeous bike trail and it seemed a waste not to use it. I still didn't ride much until my wife and I started jobs a long way apart - me in the city, and her about 20kms north of the CBD. She needed the car to get to work, and we both hated the thought of owning and maintaining two vehicles, so I started riding my bike. The more I commuted to work, the more I started to enjoy cycling.
After moving to Denver about 2 years ago it seemed a waste not to explore some of the Colorado mountain bike trails, so last summer my wife and I both started getting more into mountain biking. After it became too cold for her to have the motivation to mountain bike, I began riding a lot more on the weekends on the local paths and roads. Finally got serious about it all and bought my first road bike a few weeks ago! Planning to do my first century ride in a couple of months...
01-08-04, 08:27 PM
An old issue of BMXPlus!
01-08-04, 08:35 PM
Riding a bike was transportation until I got my drivers licence. But at the tender age of 42, inspired by my uncle, I got on a road bike and never looked back. Two years later I'm ripping legs off people for amusement(that cuts both ways by the way) and have a host of new friends. I am also in the best shape of my entire life. In short, bik'in rocks! :)
I guess I have always liked bikes. One of my earliest memories is of getting a trike for Christmas. I was really mad when my parents made me go to church that day! I didn't want to get off. I even ate our Christmas brunch while seated on my trike at the dining table.
When I was a bit older I "borrowed" my next door neighbor's bike to learn to ride. I worked as a paper boy and saved up enough money to buy a 3-speed Hercules at the base PX. I rode or walked to school during in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. In high school and college I didn't ride at all.
My wife and I started riding with our best friends in the late '80s. We had gotten involved in skiing but when a chair lift broke down in 5 deg F. weather with the wind blowing and the chair suspended over a ravine, my wife thought we should try a sport that wasn't quite so cold! I've pretty much been riding since. Before starting a family, we did a few tours in New England and some in England, Germany, and France. When the kids were small -- between '87 and '97 -- I didn't ride all that much, although I never completely stopped. When I came out to California I found that there were lots of great roads to ride in the Bay Area all year 'round and I could ride right from my house. After 15 years my wife has returned to cycling and has rediscovered how much she enjoys it.
Now that I am currently unemployed I am riding a whole lot more. :) and :(
I started riding after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I have really fallen in love with the feeling of being on a bike. Road or MTB, I enjoy both. I also commute as often as possible around 10 miles one-way. It has helped to loose some weight and also got the dabetes in check.
01-09-04, 12:45 AM
ANother factor. I am a scuba diver. After I stopped running, my muscle tone in my legs went to heck..I recall diving off a point of one of California's channel islands..A really strong current came along..Without a "Sea Palm" to cling onto I would have been involuntarily heading south.. After I got out of the current, I swam like hell. Soon afterwards the legs staring cramping like crazy.. Being out of shape and a scuba diver is not a good idea.
Since biking I feel more comfortable in the water.
01-09-04, 12:44 PM
When your a Canadian boy hockey is the first sport you know, but after 33 years the body cries out for something a little less brutal. This past spring I started thinking of what I could do that kept me equally in shape and as happy as what hockey gave me. One day while organizing the garage I stumbled over my old mountain bike and thought to myself "why not", so I soon began riding it casually around the neighborhood.
What got me seriously into cycling was the World Cycling Championships this past summer in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. Yeah sure I've ridden a bike before, and I've always watched the TDF since I can remember, but it wasin't until I saw these guys on their bikes in person that changed me. I can't explain the feeling I got when a group of riders whipped by me so fast that it literally made my hair blow back. Their shear power sent shivers down my spine, and all this speed coming from their legs!! I couldn't get enough of it. At that moment I knew that there was much more to this sport than spinning the wheels and getting from point A to B. I needed to know more about it. I rode my old Boulder MTB for a few months but shortly after I did some homework and purchased a 2004 Klein Aura XV and I haven't looked back since.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of riding. I've found something that keeps me in shape and puts a smile on my face. I can do it till I'm old and gray and that has made all the difference!!
01-09-04, 03:34 PM
built mod ramp jumper @ 12, a chopper @ 13 ( forks fell off, couldn't weld.) rode mtbs, had 'em stolen.
Last burn was a Raleigh Century uggg heavy monster. (why anyone would pinch it I have no clue.)
Got restless so I bought a fine old frame (Ritchey)
REALLY liked the responsive feel-
Wanted to say that the BIKEFORUMS has helped a lot to rekindle my intrest and love of biking, the resource of mech posts and the bike intrest shared here has really got me more into the sport. Thanks all!
Wish I had more tech advice to share but, as I work more on bikes (rarely get lbs to work, just for parts)
I'm shure I'll have more constructive posts in the future.
Again thanks all, good forum, keep on riding and writing.
01-09-04, 04:30 PM
Some good information on this forum local to my area:
01-09-04, 04:31 PM
Sorry...I accidentally posted into the wrong browser window.
01-09-04, 06:51 PM
My best friend bugging me for about 3 weeks to join the school team. :p
A date. Dropped the boy- kept the bike!
I just wanted a bike, so I went to Target and bought a bike. I liked riding it, and actually took it on dirt. Then I went to a LBS and bought a Raleigh M80. That was last year, and I ride almost daily now on my new Specialized Epic. It's great. I love it.
01-09-04, 11:00 PM
Once powerlifting and Parachuting had blown my knees the bike was the best low impact option to keep my legs in good shape.
01-10-04, 08:30 AM
I was approaching my 56th birthday and was getting tired of being fat and out of breath. My wife, daughter, and younger son all had bicycles and I was looking at them, trying to figure out if I wanted to try it or not.
My wife got me a bike for my birthday, and I thought "Great, just what I wanted. An effing bicycle!"
But, I gave it a try. And pretty soon, I was hooked. It has become part of who I am. I used to be the "fat guy" and now I am a cyclist.
Yesterday, my daughter ran into a family friend who remarked "I saw your dad riding his bicycle yesterday." My daughter thought to herself "It's like he doesn't do that ALL the time?"
When my wife can find me, the first thing she checks is to see if my bike is here or not. Then, she tries my cell phone!
01-10-04, 08:32 AM
But, I gave it a try. And pretty soon, I was hooked. It has become part of who I am. I used to be the "fat guy" and now I am a cyclist!
We do have something in common :D
I always loved going for long bike rides. Then I got a mountain bike as a birthday present. It was the best bike I'd had so far in my life! I loved it and it's great for a city which is prone to bad roads. I really marveled at the roadies in those thin wheels, and thought, yeah right! But I also realized I wanted to go faster and get more distance.And of course, you realize those skinny tires are a lot tougher than they look and of course, you can go a lot farther and faster.
Now I have a road bike and have since gotten a cross bike. And I still have the Rockhopper. It pays to have a couple of early season bikes.
Incidentally, I know of a few people who've turned to cycling as part of a training regimen to bring type 2 diabetes under control. And yep it works- they got off meds and lost weight. And it doesn't hurt your joints like running!
01-11-04, 01:42 AM
I can't remember when biking hasn't been part of my life.
Growing up in Stockton, CA I used to race my neighborhood play pals around the block with my first yellow K-Mart bike when I was 5. It had a standard saddle but I always envied my neighbor's Schwinn with it's banana seat.
Then I got a Monkey Wards "Open Road" 24" wheeled ten-speed at about 8 and man could I get some long tire skids with that baby. I remember once trying to make a championship distance skid and hit the front brake... I was like superman!
My early to mid-teens were filled with many BMX bikes that the "gang" and I rode around town with. We were your standard teenage hooligans: sidekicking garbage cans, goading people into chasing us with their cars, dropping off 5 foot walls, bunny hopping 30in walls... all in all nothing too destructive. We did ride alot, sometimes leaving in the morning and not returning till dinner time. My stable included a Redline, a Hutchinson, a Torker, a Mongoose, and the first ever Haro Freestyler. I always wanted a PK Ripper though.
At about 16 I got my first road bike, a grey Cannondale with fushia lettering. I loved that bike and put many miles on it riding around Stockton. Two years later, I came across a 15 spd white w/ red lettering Cannondale mountain bike on sale. I snapped it up and was hooked on off-road riding. Soon after I sold the road bike and later regretted it.
At 20 I started school in San Francisco and along came my second Cannondale MTB in British Racing Green. I rode at least 3 to 4 times a week doing a loop from SF State, through Golden Gate Park, up to Coit Tower, down to Fisherman's Wharf, across the GG Bridge,up to the Marin Headlands and back down the Great Highway. Those were the days... During the college years, I went through yet another Cannondale MTB in Red, and eventually ended up with a Red Trek 970 frame I built up. (The Cannondales all developed an annoying creaking from the seat tube that couldn't be fixed.) The Trek 970 was divine after having been on the Cannondales for years. At 24, my Trek 970 went up in smoke, literally. I had it at my GF's place when the apartment burned down. That sucked!
It was two more years before I got another bike, this time a Trek 7000 MTB and I had great riding partner from work. We rode consistently for a good year... mountain rides, night rides, etc... till the falling out between him and the GF. It was the girl or the riding partner. Damn! At least the girl is now my wife and mother to my two kids.
Between 1997 and 2002 I had the Trek 7000 but hardly rode it. Between home improvements, raising two small children, and everything else, cycling took a back seat in priority. Besides riding well and smoking didn't mix and I had taken up smoking during the past 8 years.
Then on April 21st 2003 my first daughter's 5th birthday, I made a vow to quit smoking and get back on the bike. I bought a used black 1997 Cannondale R200 and got on the road again, this time with another co-worker. The obsession returned and now I've sold the Trek 7000 (bad memories), upgraded the R200 with full Ultegra, built a Bianchi Strada for my commute to work, and started racing Cyclocross with my Bianchi Axis.
This year, I hope to do the STP or the AIDS Lifecycle and possibly an Olympic distance triathlon. (I have to learn to swim and run better first.)
01-11-04, 03:57 AM
This year, I hope to do the STP
This will be my 3rd year on the STP it is well worth the trip up. My brother and a friend are planning on coming up from San Diego to ride it for their second year. If you do PM me we can have a forum gathering. There's a couple of us up here getting ready to do it.
It started for me in 1975, my first year at the U. of Miami (FL), and no way to get to all those neat places. Bought a very used Raleigh Grand Prix. Rode it everywhere, and after some months, noticed that not many people could keep up with me. Dealt a rich kid out of his pristine Falcon San Remo 76 (531 frame, all Campy NR - that was real style in those days!), and a group of us just rode everywhere. Hardly a hill in S. Florida, so you could just go all day.
Burned out in college, left Fla and came home to KY, started working in a bike shop, kept riding. Started hitting some serious hills, now I see why the TDF riders look so pained... Got tired of working with my hands, went back to college, lost interest in cycling.
Fast forward 20 years. Been working professionally for some time, kids in the house now, so I have to set a good example and quit the filthy smoking habit. That got replaced by weight gain - ugh, how disgusting. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not fat - time to burn it off. By coincidence, some friends were doing the MTB thing, and hey, I used to love cycling, so give it a try.
So we cut a few miles of trails on my rather hilly farm, and I got a MTB. Lots of fun, and we started visiting some of the nearby singetracks, but I noticed I was enjoying the road rides more than the off road rides.
While getting parts for my old Trek Y22 MTB, I had noticed a wild looking street bike Trek made out of carbon, called a Foil. So I ended up getting a bare Foil frameset and putting a Chorus group on it. Started putting in serious road time - 50 to 60 miles a day with plenty of hills, and noticed something that few people in their 40's and beyond get to see - real improvement in physical condition. Started out averaging 15 mph in the spring, was up to 22 by the summer. That's all the motivation I need - if I'm getting better, it means I'm not getting worse.
And I discovered another reason I love road riding - it's a mental vacation. Clear the mind, and think of nothing. Put all the day's frustrations and tribulations on hold, and just watch the average speed and the heart rate. I look forward to the evening ride in the spring, it's as much a mental tuneup as physical. Bought an old Cannondale tandem to get my wife out (I'm smart enough not to comment on HER weight) and she loves it. We're averaging 18-20 mph on it, that sucker will fly on the downhills.
I'm also getting nostalgic - after a two year search, I found another example of my old college days Falcon. The frame is a bit small, but hey, I found it, and it rides every bit as smooth as I remember. To tell the truth, my space age Trek isn't all that much better than this distinguished British gentleman.
So here I am, 25 years later, still doing the same thing, on the same bike, and still having as good a time at it. Come back in another 25 years, and I'll probably be doing the same.
Oak Park Biker
01-12-04, 12:00 AM
After running for 23 years, my left knee just couldn't take it anymore. At 202 pounds, I purchased a bike on ebay to cross train. Now after one year and a lot of miles, I have dropped 42 pounds and am completely hooked on cycling. It has to be the hardest sport in the world. I love the local mountains and the rolling courses. The other benefit is I feel 10 years old again.
01-12-04, 04:06 PM
A red Columbia bicycle that was underneath the Christmas tree when I was around 10-11 years old. I've had a bicycle just about continuously since then. So I guess my answer is that Santa Claus got me into it.
Since I was young I have always enjoyed ridding bikes around the neighborhood with friends. But not until this past summer did I get into it seriously into it. And like everything I get into, I become quickly obsessed with it.
So here I am, living in my dorm room with 2 bikes and will be racing for my schools newly formed collegiate cycling team.
01-14-04, 09:40 PM
Like most of us, I'd ridden as a kid. Commuting to school, etc. In High School, I pretty much stopped.
Sophmore year in college, there was a guy named Pete on my floor, who had a Fuji he tooled around campus on. He had endless fun on it, so I went out and found my first Peugeot. I used to take time off, every day, and tear around the local graveyard or the Wisconsin countryside on the Peugeot, at least until the @#$%! snow got too deep. By spring, I'd be itching and the first nice day, I'd be out riding. Sometimes I'd wipe out on some leftover ice, but hey, I was back on two wheels.
When I got a job, I continued riding on a daily basis, commuting, whatever. Cycling became a practical part of my life.
Late last year I found out Pete died suddenly of an anyereusm in his NoCal cabin. I went back up to the college and rode around on the Peugeot one more time. Never did get to tell the guy what he'd led me into, or how he'd altered my life for the better. Maybe if I'd never met him, someone else would have introduced me to the joys of a nice bike, maybe not. Who knows?
So here's to Pete.
I was born in to itů..The thing that got me was my tricycle. Ever since I had a bike, for fun mostly, I only started taking it more seriously for the past year or two.
01-14-04, 11:45 PM
Rode when I was young, stopped riding in high school, then rode again in college. Once I moved out in the country, I stopped riding again for years.
A friend of mine who is an avid rider (and is a member of Bikeforums, too) got me interested again a couple of years ago.
When I was about seven years old, my dad decided that it would be essential for me to learn to ride a bike (he lived in Texas during college and got around solely his bicycle; back then they even let you go on the freeway with them). Well, all my friends were learning how to ride, to, so I supposed it would be the "cool" thing to do. He got me a $50 Huffy BMX bike at Toy's 'R Us (he insisted on building it himself; know I know why) and one of the happiest days of my life was when I could get off the training wheels.
I had a lot of good times on that bike, but when I outgrew it my parents gave it away and I kinda forgot about biking. Well, about a year ago I remembered how much fun it was to bike and used the money I was going to get a computer with to get a used bike from a friend. Aaah, the memories return...
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