Fifty Plus (50+) - How I got into cycling...you?
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11-10-11, 02:40 AM
When I was a kid I had a friend named Alan Grieco. We knew each other almost from birth. Played LL baseball together...went to school through HS graduating in 1964...even did a year of Community College together. I was always into baseball and football and he was a cyclist. He was a great cyclist and made the 1964 US Olympic Team and competed in Tokyo. He was always trying to get me on a bike. I was never interested. I went off to college on a football scholarship. Fast forward to the late '80's. My brother-in-law, who had run the Boston Marathon, suggested we ride in something called "Vernon to Vernon" which was a Century from Vernon, VT to Vernon, CT. I said I hadn't ridden a bike in years although I had a Panasonic DX2000 that I had bought the year before, ridden once and had given up on. Not to mention it's 100 damned miles! He says, "Let's go for a ride this Sunday and see how we feel." So, Sunday came and we went out on a flat 20 mi. ride. He says, "So was it that bad?" Surprisingly, it wasn't. So he offers, "All you have to do is that...five times." The next weekend we are off to the Century. As we are starting out a very attractive young woman rides next to us and says, "So, how have you been training for this?" And, I reply, "Well we did a 20 mi. ride last Sunday." There is this prolonged silence...her eyes are not blinking....she stares at us and says, "Well, we're going to learn a lot about ourselves today" and off she rides into the distance. I look at my brother-in-law, Bob and ask, "What did she mean, Bob." He says, "I haven't a clue." They were both right. We managed to finish and for the next two days I could barely walk. When I finally healed I knew that I had a choice....put the bike away or ride and learn. I did the latter and I'm glad I did.
11-10-11, 04:46 AM
I used to ride regularly up to my early 20s and then lost interest. 18 months ago my doctor told me to get active and loose some weight so I started to run and ride my son's old mtb. well my running progressed but my riding did not. So I purchased a road bike and here I am.
I honestly don't remember. I had a Schwinn Varsity when I was in late grade school and into high school, but it was ridden only for short transportation around the neighborhood. I got a Motobecane Mirage when I was in college, but again it was just a transportational tool around campus. It wasn't until I was out of college for a year or two that I bought a bike for recreational, "enthusiast" type riding, and I really don't remember why I did so. Glad I did, though. It's been a passion mostly ever since.
11-10-11, 05:13 AM
After losing 140 lbs I was plateued on my weightloss and needed to do something different. At 280 running wasn't a good idea. So last fall, I bought a bicycle. Who knew it would be so much fun?
11-10-11, 05:36 AM
I was a pretty good athlete in high school but when I graduated I had a really good job offer, babysitting a computer in the evenings, so I when to college part-time during the day. The sedentary life got to me right away. I was getting up each day, going from the car-to-class-to-car-to-desk-to-car-to-bed-to-car....you know, the way other people live. I couldn't do it, bought a new Panasonic,replaced the car with the bike,took up cycle touring for a hobby...lived happily ever after.
11-10-11, 06:02 AM
I was a hippie when I graduated high school in 1971, and then a couple of years later it occurred to me that having a job might make things a little easier. Not able to afford a car, I went down to a department store in Bisbee, AZ and bought a cheap bike. I was hooked. Now, 40 years later, still hooked. I did finally get a car, though - -
11-10-11, 06:26 AM
At age 3, I saw my older brother disappear around the corner while riding his bike and realized that it meant freedom. At age 5 1/2 I checked out the book Curious George Rides a Bike from my Elementary School library. Reading it I realized that if he could ride, I could teach myself to ride. I borrowed the bike of a girl I knew and spent a couple of hours in her driveway, teaching myself to ride it. Everything else followed from there. Since then, there were just a couple of times in high school when I didn't have and ride a bike.
11-10-11, 06:29 AM
I grew up in France, biked everywhere, School, work etc, then moved here got a peugeot, rode all over Queens for a couple of Years, then just when on to different things, this Year i got back into it (25 Years later) could not believe all the advances in technology....
Last time I did any serious cycling was over 20 years ago when I was on the Sheriff's Office MERT (SWAT medic) team and I did it for training only and really didn't like it. After I left the team, due to a bad back injury, I was forced to give up my martial arts and pretty much all strenuous exercise. I stayed on with the SO but started getting the pot belly and everything else that went along with sitting on your butt all day. My doctor kept on me to start some aerobic exercising, but I just had no interest in doing so.
On my 63rd birthday, my wife got me a steel framed Giant Sedona so I would comply with the doctor's order of getting into exercising regularly to lose weight, lower the cholesterol and help my immune system after being diagnosed with chronic leukemia. I'm now 65 and have lost over 20 lbs and have gone through several bikes while battling this addiction to pedal. Retirement has only added to the addiction as I now have pretty much all day to ride, and I'm loving it.
11-10-11, 06:34 AM
Primary means of transportation in small town where I grew up. Quit riding when I graduated high school and got automobile. Started back 6 or so years ago. Got serious about it a year ago. Can't imagine not riding now.
11-10-11, 06:47 AM
While in college I purchased a Sears Free Spirit 10 speed bike. I ran track all 4 years and played football during my senior year in college and used the bike as a cross training tool and to keep moving when injured. In my junior year I bought a Raleigh Super Course with tubular tires and thought I was the 'cool dude' when riding it. After college and throughout the kid raising years the bike hung in garages silently waiting for my return. While in my 40's an ankle with no cartilage remaining forced me to take up riding again as my outlet for fitness. I got the 73' Super Course out, cleaned it up, purchased clincher wheels and tires and began riding. At first my rides were solo and I ventured out and rode longer and longer worrying about average speed that never seemed to get higher. I did find a few group rides but never felt welcomed. Once my 2 boy’s graduated from college, after swimming for 4 years, they both wanted to ride to keep fit. That is when I upped the ante and began group rides and riding harder to keep pace. Those few summers were some of the best times we had together. Next came the bike racing era and I’m planning on staying there for a while. The Super Course has undergone a restoration with better components and tubular wheels and is still part of the stable.
11-10-11, 07:09 AM
I'm in it for the babes. They dig cyclists. Especially 'bent riders.
11-10-11, 07:23 AM
I lived on a farm that was about 2 miles from the little country grade school, and then the high school. It was a necessity to ride when I could. And that started my 64 year love affair with cycling.
11-10-11, 07:31 AM
I used my bike to do everything as a child. I would visit cross-town friends, ride the bridle trails near my home: I had endless fun on my Schwinn Stingray until I out-grew it.
At the age of 15, I graduated from cutting lawns to start my first real job at George Garner Cyclery in Northbrook, IL. George Garner Cyclery was a performance oriented shop with a large volume of racing bikes sold.
Northbrook has a Velodrome. A wide range of competition track bikes, road-race bikes and touring bikes were always available to demo. I worked with frame builders & racers including Ron Boi. It was demanding but fun, I was very lucky to be there.
I spent 80% of my summer & weekend income on a Road Race Paramount bicycle. Fully lugged, top of the line Reynolds tubing, Full Campagnolo Neovo Record group, wood filled tubular rims.
Once I owned my own first car, a 15-year-old 1961 Morris Mini, I stopped riding.
Five years ago my father passed away and I began to think about my own health and mortality. Since then, I’ve lost 45 pounds and have put more than 15,000 miles on my evolving collection of bikes.
In my teens I have the bikes of the day, Gitane, Peugeot, Nishiki etc and rode as transport. Everywhere I went was on a bicycle. It never went any further until I was 20, married, and moved into a townhouse in Richmond. It was there, I met my neighbor who was old, probably 50 or so. :) He saw my bikes and asked me to join him for a ride. He showed up in full vintage kit as opposed to me in tennis shoes, Adidas shorts and a t-shirt. We rode around the circumference of Richmond and he made a lot of observations and comments, all constructive.
We did this a few times and I noticed he had a large riding group at his place one day. I asked if there was room for one more and he quickly refused with a curt "no". He later explained that he was coaching a team and that he himself was an accomplished racer in his youth.
He started taking me out on rides and started coaching me, teaching bike handling including body contact etc. We sat in his kitchen where he used condiment bottles to show the workings of pace lines and echelons and took me along of small group rides. We used that same table for lessons on truing wheels and basic mechanics. He instilled in me, the passion of the sport.
After a couple of years and a lot of miles, I was on his team and racing. I raced into my mid 30's when career and family time over rode the requirements of racing and I became a casual weekend warrior.
When I moved to Ontario about 10 years ago, I bought a new bike, started doing group rides as a social outlet and am now doing the odd cross and mtb race, but am still a roadie at heart. I enjoy the group rides, but temper the road racing bug with full awareness of the training requirements.
11-10-11, 10:04 AM
Some time when I was in grade school my dad pulled out his old Schwinn. It was much too big for me but I learned to ride it going around in circles in the back yard. At that age it was just a cool think to do. My parents eventually got bikes for all us kids, mostly used cruisers though a younger brother somehow convinced Santa to bring him a nifty 3-speed. That one quickly became our preferred ride. A bike meant freedom and time saved that would otherwise be spent walking.
I continued to ride through high school, and even a little in college though the cruiser bike I had then was much too heavy for the hills around Blacksburg. When I finally got a real job after graduating I wanted to buy a derailleur bike. My dad tried to convince me not to, said a bike shop salesman had told him that that all those gears were just a fad, that nobody needed them. I knew better and eventually bought the UO8 I still own. I've been riding since then, sometimes more, sometimes less. Lately it's been more, which is good.
11-10-11, 10:33 AM
Just thought i'd post for my son... 21.
2010 Empire State Games, his team won a Bronze medal.
I got into it a number of different times. First time as something to do as a teenager. Next time was when I needed alternative transportation after getting my DL suspended for overly exuberant motorcycle riding. Next time was when my wife dragged me back into it after she got started riding with some friends.
11-10-11, 10:54 AM
I remember getting the first bike. Finally got Dad to pull the training wheels off. I went forth from there. I have always kept a bike but have been sporadic in riding. Then four years ago I decided it was not good to give my paycheck to the auto dealer and gas station. Have ridden a bike at least six miles a work day since then. I average seven miles weekdays and a longer ride 25 to 50 miles weekends.
Because of gridlocked traffic and a shortage of parking spots, my commute to my new job was difficult and time-consuming. My wife had given me a Specialized Crossroads hybrid as a birthday present several years ago. (I confess that I had no interest in the thing and only ridden it a few times. I think the lack of a chainguard made it inconvenient to ride) I brought it up from the basement storage room, pumped up the tires, and off I went the next morning. That was fourteen years ago.
I've had a bike as far back as I can remember. My first was a trike. Then I had a fixie. Never had training wheels. I remember when I was about 5 my GF, who was a couple of years older than me, agreed to show me how to ride a two-wheeler. I asked her how long it took her to learn to ride a two-wheel bike. She told me it took about a week, and I exclained "A WEEK!!!!" That seemed like forever to me.
We also did our own work, which we learned from older brothers and friends. If you didn't wrench, you didn't ride. I can even recall wrenching on my trike.
11-10-11, 11:23 AM
Rode bikes a lot as a kid. (Anyone remember the chopper like handle bars, banana seat, and high back bar?) When I got into College(local and lived at home), I needed a bike. I got a road bike( 10 speed back in the late 70s) and used that quite a bit. Funny story, the campus grounds people totaled my bike with their golf cart, and with the check, I got a Ross 10 speed(actually a little big for me) and rode that for a few years. Then, family and such seemed to get in the way and didn't start riding again until April of this year, 2011. I had been walking a lot starting September '10 and had lost 67 lbs during those 6 or 7 months, but then got some blood blisters and had some issues. Being diabetic, I was concerned about creating more issues--so, I got a bike, an Edgewood LX. I've been riding since and have improved my health and fitness level immensely--lost another 30+lbs. I am determined never to go back to my previous condition, or even slip--I see myself biking for quite a long time to come. My wife is now complaining that I'm too skinny--very bony as she states.
I rode a bike as a kid but I was mostly into other sports such as baseball, tennis, football, track and golf. When I got married, my wife and I purchased Schwin Varsities and tooled around a little. I started running in 1977. I did a lot of 10Ks. In 1979, we moved to San Diego, CA and I continued running and working out at the gym. I made some friends and got into cycling. I sold the Varsity and purchased a Nishiki followed by an SR SemiPro. I did a lot of cycling from 1979 to 1983. I continued to dabble in cycling but focused more on the gym, tennis and skiing.
In 2006, we moved to San Francisco Bay Area and decided to get back into cycling shape. The hills and the wind of the bay area are tough on out of shape cyclists. I slowly got back into cycling shape and purchased Trek Madone followed by a Cervelo R3. I started racing in 2007 and purchased a Cervelo P2C and did some time trials. I got into track racing in 2008 and now enjoy both road and track racing. The hills are still tough but I am slowly getting better. I spend a lot of time in the gym to support my cycling and throw in some skiing each year.
11-10-11, 12:07 PM
I got dragged back into cycling 20 years ago screaming. Found I enjoyed it and still cycling. No time for screaming now as no breath after the hills.
11-10-11, 10:31 PM
Well, it all started when I was 8 and some of the neighborhood kids decided it was time for Scotty to learn how to ride. So they put me on a bike, gave me a push, and I've been going ever since.
I looking for a way to get this number under control
11-11-11, 04:55 AM
As a child in the 60's, the bike
was my way of extending the reach of my world. Now it is just something I like to include in my life.
11-11-11, 04:57 AM
+1 on that..... anytime extended off the bike my A1c shoots through the roof.
I looking for a way to get this number under control
11-11-11, 05:59 AM
My first bike that I remember was a 3 speed Raleigh girls bike that I got for Christmas when I was 9. My older brother had a 10 speed Schwinn and I can’t remember what my older sister had, or, if she even had a bike. That sort of thing may have been too childish for her. :rolleyes:
At that time we lived on a huge cul-de-sac w/a green space in the center in a military housing apartment complex. All us kids in the neighborhood would play bike tag for hours during the summer, riding around and around and around that ring. I do remember loving the feeling that I got when I pedaled really fast and was able to catch up and “tag” one of the other kids.
Then, when I was a teenager and my brother was off at college, I used his 10 speed to get around and ride to my part time job. I remember liking biking at that time, but not necessarily loving it. It wasn’t until 20 years later when my husband bought me a very basic Giant mountain bike that I really fell in love with biking. :love:
11-11-11, 09:27 AM
Started back in 1963, my Mom, a poor working stiff busted her bunns on a bit of overtime to get myself and my brother a couple of used bicycles for Christmas!! It was COLD but we rode anyway and I've always had a "bike" from then on.
I'm on the 20 inch in background, my brother Bob on the 16 inch in the foreground!:thumb:
11-11-11, 09:30 AM
A couple of friends went on a bike trip from west-central Indiana up to Indiana Dunes in 1974. When I would come back "home" for a weekend we would take some shorter rides. In 1979 I bough a Schwinn Varsity 5, and progressed from there.
11-11-11, 11:22 AM
Sone fun and inspiring stories here....lovin' it. Anyway, as with many, I started when I was a kid, of about 6 or 7. It wasn't really safe riding in my neighbourhood in Mt Vernon NY but I would take my bike with me in the summers when my parents sent my brother and I down to Virginia to stay with my grandmother, and I would ride from sun up to sundown on those wonderful empty country roads. Once I graduated high school and entered college I stopped riding. I got diagnosed as a Type II diabetic in 2003...at 290+lbs and had the 2 outer toes of my left foot amputated. It took me 14 months to fully recover and after that I vowed to become more active (I thought I was already pretty active as it was) and in 2005, bought my first new road bike since 1977 to get myelf back in some semblance of "shape."
I am now, stil,l a work in progress but down to 210lbs (6'1"), and I feel better now than I did in my 30's (I am now a youngun' at 50:D). I feel so good riding. Not only for the exercise, but for the overall freedom it provides. I will keep riding for as long as the Good Lord allows.
11-11-11, 12:20 PM
Started riding about age 5 as a means to get away from my mother... seriously. I've also always enjoyed being outside (maybe because mom was not there????). Anyway, have never lost the passion for cycling although at times I have been more gung-ho and into it. Now for me its still that lovely means to get away from it all and get outside and enjoy the smells, breeze, sounds, color of nature. I hope I can ride to the day I die... as an adult, I really got into cycling after suffering a bad stress fracture from running in around 1980 or so. In 1986 I rode across the country, back and across and back again. Took 9 months to tour. Talk about the ultimate adventure! In around 2002 I got into club riding and doing centuries. 2005 I had a bad accident with a serious head injury and in 2007 I was dx'd with cancer and went through surgery and treatment. Stopped riding with a club, slowed down but developed a passion for mountain biking. Old gal can learn new trips.
11-11-11, 12:50 PM
Started at age 5 with a Stingray knock-off. As a kid, I loved riding and working on bikes. Then, got my driver's license and the bike mostly sat. Eventually had a couple of kids and bought a new bike to ride with them. Ended up only using it a couple of times a year. Around my 48th birthday, I noticed my older son needed a larger bike so I gave him mine. Decided I didn't want to be "bikeless" so I started scouring CL for a replacement. Found an '86 Diamond Back MTB that was cheap but needed a lot of work.
I started working on the bike and taking it for test rides. Working on the bike reminded me how much I enjoyed wrenching and the test rides reminded me how much I enjoyed riding. Once I started riding regularly, my wife started riding with me. Ended up putting over 1,000 miles on that old Diamond Back in about six months. That led to getting a pair of vintage road bikes for us (late '70s Schwinn Le Tours) and, eventually, modern road bikes. Along the way, I decided riding to work made sense so I started commuting as a way to get more exercise and save on gas. Cycling has become a big part of our lives.
Now, as I recover from a broken clavicle (car vs. bike accident on my commute to work 3 1/2 weeks ago), I find myself stuck riding the spin bike I'd bought for my wife last year. I long to be back out on the streets but at least I'm able to keep my legs moving so I'll be ready to ride once my shoulder is ready. And I've got lots of time to decide what my new commuter bike will be. I'm thinking cyclocross.
11-11-11, 04:04 PM
I apparently started just before my second birthday when I took off on someone's trike to find my missing sisters (they had gone to school and I didn't understand why). While I didn't find the school, a friendly cop did find me and return me to my frantic mom. A few years later I'm sure she would have been even more frantic if she had known that my friends and I were regularly doing forty mile rides that included tours of Huey Newton's house. Still, most of my riding was purely for transportation; I had a car, I just preferred to travel by bike.
During college, the lure of longer rides finally took hold. I still remember my first century; I finally got feeling back between my legs the next Thursday and I haven't used a Brooks saddle since. I was one of only two people who rode bikes to my community college. I remember riding from S.F. to Yosemite and back and seeing only one other cyclist. Then I moved to Davis and thought I had gone to heaven. In a town of 40,000 people there were about 39,000 who went just about everywhere they could by bike.
I used to hope my fellow citizens would leave the car behind as they recognized the insanity of all the damage car-dependence does. I've since given up on that notion. However, I am still optimistic of seeing something like Davis circa 1979 again in America, but it will likely be due to either economics or supply disruptions rather than any conscious choices made by anyone.
11-11-11, 05:15 PM
I road as a child of course and then after the kids left home I got a bike to keep the pounds off. Got away from exercising and the weight came back on. at about 55 I happened to look into the mirror after a shower and really saw my reflection. I said out loud "Thats just disgusting" I started ridding again. Lost over 50 lbs. and have done lots of centuries and thousands of miles from coast to coast. Love cycling.
I remembered, while I was reading this thread, my dad running next to me holding up a small bike the first day the training wheels came off. When he let go, I managed to stay upright, but veered into the side of a parked car. Got my ear pinned between the handlebar and the car somehow! I was probably around 4 or 5. Haven't been without a bike since, but my old Schwinn spent the better part of two decades in the basement. I got back into it this summer to lose weight, and try to ride three or four times a week now. I've got an older mountain bike that I ride most of the time, but I've been looking at a Jamis Coda Comp at the bike shop lately...
Jim from Boston
11-11-11, 05:40 PM
How I got into cycling...you?
In my introduction to Bikeforums, I wrote:
…Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario…
I can recall literally the exact day of my epiphany in Ann Arbor. I was a student at Michigan staying in town over the summer, and needed a job. One sunny day in May I decided to make applications at several businesses down State Street over a length of a few miles. I asked my roommate if I could use his Schwinn Varsity to make the rounds. He explained that you must pedal while shifting, and I was on my way. I was amazed at how quickly I could cover the distances I only knew previously by car; and my life was changed forever. :D :thumb:
11-11-11, 07:56 PM
Didnt get my first bike until 1967 when I was eleven. It was a 'buzz bike'. By the time I was twelve I was riding out of town to the 'swimmin hole' and back (bout 10 miles) . Rode that bike everywhere. At night, me and some other kids use to ride all over town stealing water mellons, so 'yeah', you can steal watermellons while riding a buzz bike. We also stole bananas and other produce in the middle of the night, riding our buzz bikes and holding the produce crates onto the 'ape hanger' bars. Had a few scrapes with the law until my dad came back from Vietnam and beat my a'ss.
Didnt get my next bike till '77 (by then I had renounced crime) so I could ride with my GF, who had a Panasonic girls 10-speed. I was more interested then in getting into (well, you know what)...with her than anything else, so the road bike I had was just a conveyance. We rode around together and it got me hooked on road bikes (and her). Sort of dropped out of it for a while as kids started popping up and I had to work for a living. Got diabetes in '97 and also heart surgery, so I picked right back up and started riding again, only this time a bit more serious. Bought a Fuji road bike and put 1600 miles on it in six months. I was loving it, so I dropped some major coin on a fancy Italian bike in 2001 that was ten years old and never looked back. Since then I acquired a nice Centurian road bike and a GT mountain bike to add to my collection. Riding bikes has virtually saved my bacon, so I'll never give it up again.
~ oh yeah,...I wound up marrying that cute chick on the Panasonic
11-12-11, 12:26 AM
How I got into cycling...you?
I got a bicycle for Christmas, never been without since.
11-12-11, 06:46 AM
I went from a kiddie car that looked like a Hudson to bikes, then went through Stingrays and Varsities to Raleighs. When I went to college, I got an old Columbia three speed with rod brakes. After college, I got intorunning, but gave that up after I got married. I went backto bikes, a Murray from Montgomery Wards. We were a one car family, and I used the Murray a lot, then went into the photo biz and worked long hours. I got back into biking when I got a Huffy in a church sale in 2004 after the photo businesses all tanked, and I was working in Security, walking alot and getting fit again. I got a Giant mountain bike after the Huffying and Puffying on the hills around my house got to be too much. I've been into fixing and riding bikes ever since. I now have a Ross Signature, a Giant Cypress, and a Fuji Grand Touring. The Fuji I'm currently restoring.
11-12-11, 07:00 AM
I stopped riding and playing tennis after law school and getting a "real" job. Four kids and 26 years later, at 47, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I read a study that showed a strong negative correlation between physical acitivty and the return of colon cancer for stage 3 folks like me, so I pulled the bike out of the garage (while doing chemo) and did 3 miles. I came back and laid on the bed panting for 45 minutes - later I found that my red count had crashed, which got me my first shot of EPO, and I've been hooked since (on cycling, not EPO, but that stuff really is magic juice). I also started swimming, but in 2004 3 hurricanes came by a wrecked my house (2004 was a really crummy year), so it was just biking. Cancer came back in 2005, so after more surgery and more chemo in 2006, I got serious about it based on a strong fear of imminent death. Quite the motivator, fear is. And also this:
I'm in it for the babes. They dig cyclists. Especially 'bent riders.
Except the 'bent part.
11-12-11, 07:57 AM
Like so many, I was cycling as a fresh-outta-college guy, then progressed to being half of a married cycling couple. But then we moved to Texas, learned about Texas driving and roads and cycling, had kids, and the bikes rusted.
Last year, we started helping make breakfast for local college triathletes before their Sunday morning ride. Two of the kids we have known for quite some time, and they and the others started working on us to climb on a bike again. They were sly, and used videos of Portland's Cross Crusade as the bait. We bit.
Bought a Fuji Cross bike in April. Followed soon thereafter with a used Motobecane Fantom Cross for my Bride. I have become a riding fool (going out today in the cold and wet with this stupid cold), and my wife is using the word "addicted" in reference to herself.
We have progressed to having bought new road bikes in October, and are shopping for a spin bike on Monday (Dec-Feb is really dark and wet here) so my wife can keep spinning in spite of her ugly work shifts. I live close enough to commute, picking up about 17-18 miles each day.
Being in our early fifties, this has turned out to be an activity that we can do together, and it doesn't hurt. As we expand the folks we ride with, we can ride together, solo, or with groups that match our individual training paces. Organized events are a blast, as are our rides out in the rolling farmland together.
And, the Hopyard and Brewery are only 13 miles from the house, so it fits very well into our riding plans as well. Beer and cycling, life is good!
11-12-11, 08:40 AM
I've been asthmatic from an early age so I didn't do much physical exercise. My 12th birthday present was a Schwinn "tank" which I rode around my neighborhood for maybe four years. I lost interest, started fiddling with electronics <part time job fixing electronic amplifiers and organs <Pop music<rock band. At age 20, working part time jobs, needed cheap transportation, bought a 3-speed and noticed that bicycling induced a shift in my perception of space-time:innocent: or something... anyway, it got me out of identifying as needing a car for everything. Was given a beat-up 10 speed Raleigh Blue streak by a visiting English "natural foods" entrepreneur, and spent the next two years burning up the streets until it cracked at the DT shifters. In 1972 I bought my first 531db-framed bike:), and have been riding ever since, touring, commuting, and just pootling around.
11-12-11, 08:50 AM
Was a 2 pack a day smoker. Quit smoking and used my cigarette money to buy a bike.
11-12-11, 10:06 AM
As a third-grader (I started late) my dad bought a weather-beaten black Schwinn 20" mini-cruiser from our neighbor for $5. I learned on that, which was better than the (seemingly) 2000 lb. 24" J.C. Higgins cruiser my older sisters rode, which also had balloon tires, a rear rack and front basket - Nothing a self-respecting boy would be seen on!
It wasn't long before the Schwinn was replaced one Christmas by a bright metallic green MTD Sting Ray clone with a sparkle-finish plastic saddle. After adding fake exhaust pipes, I was ready to go!
Later I sold the MTD and bought my BIL's red 26" 3-speed Rollfast, complete with horn, mirror, saddlebag and generator light. Eventually that was sold to a friend who habitually left it out in the rain. :notamused:
Next, a 26" coaster brake "lightweight" cruiser (brand unknown) showed up at the house. I think my dad bought it, but I rode it little. It was my high school days and around there, only dorks without cars rode bikes... :rolleyes:
That was about 1976-77, which was the last time I was on a bike until getting my current ride in the spring of 2010. It's been a while...
11-12-11, 10:38 AM
Had to have a bicycle to deliver on my newspaper route. Poor ol' 3 speed carried tons of newspapers before I retired it when my family relocated.
11-12-11, 10:46 AM
I got a bicycle for Christmas, never been without since.
Yeah, I have to give credit to Santa also. For a man that commutes by sled he sure gives out a lot of bikes.:)
11-12-11, 03:32 PM
I started as a kid with a Western Flyer. Still miss that bike.:thumb:
As a pre and early teen I had a French Knock off with a Simplex derailleur. Still miss that bike.:thumb:
First Adult bike was a Schwinn Varsity. Don’t think I miss that bike.:(
Next Adult bike was a Schwinn Continental. No soft spot for that bike either. :(
I still had the Continental when a friend of mine talked me into going to the LBS with him and I found a Viscount Aerospace Pro. The first bike lighter than my old French knock off and something I enjoyed riding even when I didn’t have to. I even made a kid trailer to haul my son around and we did our shopping by bike. :thumb:
Promotions and better homes in better neighborhoods got in the way and I was off the bike for close to 20 years.:cry:
When I retired and moved back down to the flatlands from a mountain community I started thinking about cycling again. Once again I went to a LBS, ended up with a multispeed comfort bike. N+1 was a MTB. Then N+1 was a road bike, then a better road bike and now a CF road bike. I now ride about 7000 miles a year. I sold two road bikes and believe I have been infected with N+1 again. Thinking TT or Touring or maybe a classic rebuild.:lol:
The day they gave out athletic ability, I must have been locked in the fruit cellar at the Bates Motel. I was very late at beginning to walk, was always the last person selected for team sports, flunked every physical fitness test, had lots of very worried teachers talking to my parents about my ineptness and clumsiness, attended "posture class," wore corrective shoes, and normally brought home a straight-A report card, except for a "gentleman's C" in physical education. I finally figured out how to balance a bicycle around age 12, and my parents were delighted to oblige when I asked for one. That used 2-speed Schwinn middleweight was the start of my continuing love of bicycles and bicycling.
My participation kicked up a notch when I joined the Earth Action Council as a UCLA undergrad and began commuting on my bottom-of-the-line Bianchi 10-speed and exploring Los Angeles on weekends and on weekdays with light class schedules. I had finally discovered a sport I could truly love, and at which I could actually perform decently. Cycling was health, freedom from gasoline shortages and traffic jams, and just plain fun. It was also a source of income -- I worked part-time at a bike shop during the first two years of grad school, and I met another part-time employer, a 50-year-old UCLA physics (my major, as well) PhD who ran his own medical equipment sales firm, while cycling. His became my cycling mentor and convinced and coached me to do the impossible -- a 12:18 double century on 4 months of preparation. That remains my one big athletic achievement in life. :)
Today I am as klutzy as ever (a fact my wife, an artist and amateur ballerina, accepts but still does not understand, even after knowing me for 43 years), but I have great cardiovascular fitness, thanks entirely to bicycling, which has also brought me numerous friendships in person and online and hours of enjoyable mechanical tinkering. In true "the more things change, the more they stay the same" fashion, today I ride a fat-tired Schwinn and a Bianchi road bike, just as I did at the end of 1962.
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