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  1. #1
    Senior Mumbler steve2k's Avatar
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    Why did you stop and why did you start again?

    There seem to be lots of people on here who used to cycling in their youth, then stopped and are now returning to it.

    I wondered what peoples stories were.

    For me, I didn't really cycle as a kid. I only ever cycled as a way to get to the sailing club. I used my mums East German shopping bike (iron warhorse, solid tyres) because I could put my windsurfing stuff in the basket. When I was 16 I left home to go to school in England and didn't have a bike with me. It stayed that way until I was about 30 when I bought a mountain bike which just sat in the garage.

    A couple of years ago my wife and I went on honeymoon to New Zealand and got a real buzz from being out and active. So when we got home, we dusted off the bikes, bought a map and started exploring our local area. The birth of our son has reduced cycling time together but he's now old enough for a trailer/chair I'm looking forward to more family rides.

    In the meantime I've been commuting to work every day for about a year. I do longer distances (30+ miles) every now and then for charity rides, but mainly I cycle for commuting and to be active with my friends and family (10 miles).

    I feel like I've only just discovered cycling and I can't believe I didn't do it earlier.

    So what's your story, why did you stop cycling and why did you start again?

  2. #2
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    I've got a ton of excuses of why I didn't ride- hip problems, marriage, work, kids... but the biggest factor I think is that I used to live where there were a lot of hills- it was really difficult to just jump on the bike and ride because I would be going up hill for about 4 miles to start off- so I would drive to ride most of the time and it was just easier not to ride. Now I live in a flat area where I can get a good warm up before I hit any hills and I can just jump on the bike whenever I feel like it.

    But like you, now that I'm back and enjoying it, I don't think I will ever stop this time around!
    Are we having fun yet?

  3. #3
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I rode everywhere when I was a kid, as I lived in a small town and we either walked or road bikes. Once I hit 16 and had saved all of my money from my paper routes, I bought a car and never looked back. Then I got really fat and decided that was stupid.

    I went through my life and decided it was time for a life style change. Now I swim, bike, run, and many other things that I was putting off. I watch very little TV now, but when I do I try to find something worth watching and work my fun times around that or just keep the TV off. I love being outside now, so that is what I do. I think I missed out on a lot of fun for about 10 years, but the entire family is enjoying the outdoors a lot more now than they ever did before.
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
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    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  4. #4
    I'm Rad. vXhanz's Avatar
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    I stopped because I bought a car in high school to get to and from work... it was more convenient and "cool" to have a car, so that's what I did. I started again because I'm overweight/fat and want to get healthy again so I don't wind up taking a dirt nap too early.

    V

  5. #5
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Lets see, I used to ride my bike all the time back when I was a young pup. Then I turned 16.

    Fast forward 70lbs and 7 years, I'm at a gas station on my way to work angry that gas was still outrageously expensive at $2.30 a gallon. (In hind sight I would be happy to pay that again) As the numbers rolled up I started thinking to myself that there has got to be a better way for me to get to work. I checked in with public transportation and the bus was far too expensive. Then my thoughts drifted towards my bicycle which has pretty much been in storage since I bought it. I cleaned it up and it survived three rides before I bent the frame. I stumbled across bikeforums here and learned about better bikes, went out and bought one. Withing two weeks of getting the bike I was commuting to work and ever since then I have been a fair weather commuter. In addition to saving money on gas and feeling more energetic when I get to work, I have lost 27lbs which is a nice perk. So pretty much I got back into bicycling because I was miffed at the price of gas. I'm about halfway to breaking even on my investment, maybe by this time next year it will have paid for itself.

    Bau

  6. #6
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    I'm an old (59) former bike racer. I suppose my last "race," which was really a time trial, was about 10 or more years ago. One of the problems I developed, mainly as a result of my competitive nature, is that getting on a bike immediately triggered the old "no pain, no gain" philosophy/response that resulted from years of conditioning. It really took the fun out of riding, to be honest. Even now, I expect to feel that intimate connection with the bike and road that I felt when I was in peak form. It is very difficult to just stay in the moment and enjoy the ride and the scenery without feeling like I have to push harder.

    I guess I had a bad case of burnout. My strategy now is to take my brand new, fancy 29er MTB and hit the trails. Until two weeks ago, I had never used indexed shifting, front shocks, or disc brakes. The woods still have snow in them, so I am on the road for now, but this new machine is a wonder of technology and I think a switch to off-road riding will temper my riding style - it is just so different than what I did as a road racer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    I started biking as an adult as I needed to lose weight and my knees aren't up to running. That lasted about 2 years (in which I lost about 30 pounds) until I bought a house in the mountains that needed work. At that point, I wasn't strong enough to ride from my place, plus fixing the house was the priority. After the house was fixed, I got a puppy. After 2 years of sedentary life, the 30 pounds was back, the puppy was grown and the house didn't need any more work. I picked up the bike again and learned to ride in the mountains. Those 30 pounds and 30 more are gone. I'm not stopping anymore.
    just being

  8. #8
    zpl
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    Bike Fun Fanatic zpl's Avatar
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    I used to be obsessed with mountain biking when I was in high school. I worked at a bike shop and did some NORBA Beginner and Sport class cx races. Then I simply burned out really bad because of my racing/training obsession.

    I ended up going to college in Boston and didn't want to bring my $1800 CF mountain bike with me, as I didn't have room to keep it inside and figured it would get stolen quickly anywhere else. Taking away an enormous exercise outlet, dealing with a stressful engineering courseload, etc. added up when it came to my weight over time.

    Hence, I'm very wary now of getting too into training on my road bike. I like riding long distances but try to work up to them organically instead of riding according to a specific training plan.

  9. #9
    More like eventualfred eventualdave's Avatar
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    I was on my bike constantly as a kid. It was a "mountain" bike (from K-mart), so if course I used it like that and went bombing down ravines without a helmet or telling anybody where I was going. Conveniently, some of these ravines overlooked the local yacht club and it was fun to sneak in there with my friends and look at the dead fish on the pier. Then there was the time I rode it to an arcade a couple miles from my house - on the interstate. Kinda surprised I made it to adulthood sometimes.

    I stopped because I turned 16 and got to use the car. Didn't stop doing dumb stuff, but that's another story.

    Started again because looking at some old pictures I realized I wasn't fat as a kid. Hmm!
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." --H.G. Wells

    My cycling log.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ray Dockrey's Avatar
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    Life got in the way. We had our first child and there just wasn't enough time in the day. Then we had two more. Now they are 18, 14 and 13 and want to have nothing to do with me . So three years ago I started riding and have stuck with it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Rode as youngster, only way to get any wheres, replaced with a car.

    Acquired road bike in college, found tours fun, enjoyable, then distance events, and several 100 squares completed.

    Marriage and family, continued riding and teaching the kids with their own rides.

    They moved to cars, then college, and no time to ride again.

    Then as empty-nester's, my wife proclaimed we needed a hobby, and she decided cycling was what she choose. As long as she had a new ride. I liked the newer tech offerings and left with one as well.

    It is a great stress reducer, and with about a 10 year leave, I did find my balance, and my need for speed. Old road bike is getting cleaned this week, and with the higher gear range than my hybrid, expect some added fun.

    Unfortunately date of daughter's wedding conflicts with several ride opportunities, and will know have a year to improve old roadie, (Schwinn conti), or get new steed

    Also, the development of many trails, including one in the back yard has been encouraging. Plan to visit other communities and check out trails a week end getaways for us as well.

    PS: 4 of my 4 kids have rediscovered their crave to ride and adding their families, we have our own family group ride each month, or more often...

  12. #12
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Got my first real bike when I was 5. Off-brand stingray type bike. It was black with tiger heads on the ends of the grips and faux tiger skin banana seat. It was the first of many bikes throughout my youth. I rode all the time on BMX bikes I'd cobbled together from parts found in the trash and my Schwinn 10 speeds (always had at least 2 bikes that were roadworthy and a couple more in various stages of rebuilding). I'd do 20+ mile rides with friends without giving it a second thought. Then, at 17, I got a car.

    From 18 years of age to 48 years of age I always had a bike but rode maybe 10 miles per year (enough to get a sore butt a couple of times a year). Then when my sons hit 6' tall and were still on their small-framed MTBs, I knew they needed bigger bikes. Last September I gave my MTB to my oldest and picked up an '86 Diamondback Ascent on Craig's List for $40 that needed work so I would still have a bike. I hadn't really wrenched on a bike since I was a teenager but I tore it down, cleaned it, lubed it and got it in riding shape. As I worked on it, I took it for short rides to check the adjustments and see how it rode.

    The "test rides" got longer and more frequent and I found I'd put 500 miles on this old bike and was starting to ride a bit every day. I was hooked. I've logged over 1,500 miles since September and am riding more and further every month. Started commuting to work on an old Schwinn a friend dug out of the trash and bought a new road bike for my recreational rides. I'm losing weight and feeling better on top of having a great time riding. Just sorry it took me 3 decades to regain my love of cycling.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JohnKScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    I rode everywhere when I was a kid, as I lived in a small town and we either walked or road bikes. Once I hit 16 and had saved all of my money from my paper routes, I bought a car and never looked back. Then I got really fat and decided that was stupid.

    I went through my life and decided it was time for a life style change. Now I swim, bike, run, and many other things that I was putting off. I watch very little TV now, but when I do I try to find something worth watching and work my fun times around that or just keep the TV off. I love being outside now, so that is what I do. I think I missed out on a lot of fun for about 10 years, but the entire family is enjoying the outdoors a lot more now than they ever did before.

    No need for me to reinvent the wheel. Except for me it was 20 years instead of 10

  14. #14
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Good Question....

    In 1978 I bought a very nice red Sekine (yes red bikes ARE faster) 10 speed, in 1984 I bought a car, and sold the bike in 1985 (big mistake number one), after all the only adults that rode bicycles were DUI's, bankrupts and nutbars. So over the course of 20 years, I put on a good 80lbs (well into clyde territory at this point), suffering my penance for picking computers. The average 20 something computer nerd, will end up a fat, often balding, 40 something who either takes permanent stress leave, checks out with a massive coronary or ends up a babbling idiot at the nut hut.

    Okay so in 2005 looking at double sail boats on my birthday cake, I thought, I don't want to be fat and old, old I can't do anything about, fat I can, so I bought a mountain bike, thought I would get some riding in, and it looked kinda fun, until the big crash of '06. I decided at that point, while recuperating that road riding was more my thing, so I made a few changes to the bike (still have a couple more to do), trying to decide at this point if a different fork and different crank, would be worth it, or whether I should try and pick up and old road bike, that I can hack into ridable shape. Of course if our lotto group at work were to win the big money tonight, this dilemma would resolve itself at the Surly store Otherwise, gar(b)age sale season is starting now....

    As to the weight, nearly 60 gone now, hit a low point of 209 last year, think I put on about 10-20 during the winter hibernation, so I need to start going gangbusters again. Right now the bike is calling from the garage, it's 23℃, sunny and the wind is coming from the south and it's under 20km/h, so I'll go now.....

  15. #15
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    I stopped because I got a license. Hard to pick up chicks on a bike in high school/college

    I got back on because I have a chick now and I need to focus on staying healthy.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  16. #16
    Out fishing with Annie on his lap, a cigar in one hand and a ginger ale in the other, watching the sunset. Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I stopped because I got a license as well, and then I was driving fast freight coast to coast, as well as up on the north slope of Alaska, worked in Siberia and South and Central Africa for a number of years on overseas jobs.

    I resumed because I needed to exercise to stay alive and rediscovered the sheer joy of the sport.
    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  17. #17
    NYC Maggie Backstedt fan
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    Race-training as an 18-year-old, in the days when (leather) helmets were considered just way too "French", I split my head open rear-ending a van.

    Couldn't develop a taste for the bike again, until decades later I started getting hurt regularly playing basketball. With practice and many thousands of miles, I have no more fear of "regular" riding, but I'm still a bit squeamish on descents of more than 10% grade, especially on any unfamiliar roads.
    "I can't believe we still have to protest this crap." - courtesy, Johnny Monkey

    Visit "Inspirations and Aspirations" at http://alanfleisig.wordpress.com/

  18. #18
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    What is a "grade"
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  19. #19
    Senior Member breadbin's Avatar
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    I stopped when i was 16 and thats coincidentally when i started drinking so 2+2=? I loved bikes and used to race and cycled everywhere and i've only realised the last couple of years that i'm not drinking that life used to be so much fun and i'm trying to get that back. i'm building a bike up now and that is my idea of fun the smell of grease, the sweat, tears etc. ha ha
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/evildiesel
    October miles=18/100

  20. #20
    Neil_B
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    I never started. I never rode a bike as a child. Can I answer about giving up my Big Wheel? I outgrew it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Like many, rode a lot (3 speed & sting ray type) as a kid. Used a bike for commuting in college. Rode a 10 spd Schwinn in my 30's. Basically stopped riding in my 40's when I lived in places with no pavement, lots of steep windy roads, no bike shops, no knowledge of other tire & bike options for sandy dirt riding. Retired to a place with lots of options - dirt, pavement, trails, bike shops, real bike lanes!! Bought a bike last May and have put on 800 miles or so. My retirement bike is a Giant Suede step through that I totally feel comfortable on. Have ridden my bike for utility purposes a few times, but mostly recreational riding. Feel like a kid again.

  22. #22
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Stoopid driver's license.....

    Admittedly, it was close. I wasn't super gung-ho on the idea of a car, but spending a grand on a nice bicycle rather than a beater car just wasn't something that occurred to me and my family as a good idea.

    The whole car thing never really took hold until I got hooked on rally. Many thousand of dollars and hours spent on cars and motorcycles later, I've learned that bicycle racing is about the only kind of racing I can afford (but just barely).

  23. #23
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    The whole car thing never really took hold until I got hooked on rally. Many thousand of dollars and hours spent on cars and motorcycles later, I've learned that bicycle racing is about the only kind of racing I can afford (but just barely).

    Wouldn't that be easier if you only took on one type of bicycle racing, and skiiing,
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
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    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  24. #24
    5' 19" barndoor's Avatar
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    Probably should do a poll on this one....

    Easy for me.....I got a car at 16. End of story.

    Now, 30 years later, I would LOVE to get rid of the car and just cycle.

  25. #25
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Never really stopped. Maybe for about 5 years when I got my first car but since 1977, I've ridden at least once each month including after getting hit by a car and spending 4 days in the hospital and 6 weeks in a knee brace. I just squeaked by on that one Also rebroke an ankle and had surgery to remove old hardware and still managed to ride at least once in each month around the 6 weeks in a cast.

    I just figure it's easier to keep the butt calluses than try to get them back
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