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  1. #1
    Senior Member callmeclemens's Avatar
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    A serious thought.

    I'm just curuious.

    In the world of cyclist you always here about the guy (or gal) who got a new bike, new view on life, new found physical fitness, and a slender frame, then left their old life behind: friends, family (wife/husband etc.), and even a new career.

    I'm not certain I know exactly what I'm asking, just how, for the better worse or indifferent has cycling changed your personal life?

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
    I'm just curuious.

    In the world of cyclist you always here about the guy (or gal) who got a new bike, new view on life, new found physical fitness, and a slender frame, then left their old life behind: friends, family (wife/husband etc.), and even a new career.

    I'm not certain I know exactly what I'm asking, just how, for the better worse or indifferent has cycling changed your personal life?
    For the better, honestly. I got to leave behind the friends that sabotaged me because they weren't able to keep up, and developed a whole bunch of new friendships in the process. Losing the psychic vampires in my life was the second best thing that ever happened for me. The first was losing the weight and doing things I never thought would be possible for me ever again, or ever, period, as the case may be.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “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

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Well this may not be what you want but here goes.

    I started cycling as an adult during the first gas crisis of the 70s. Both to save gas money and to only require 1 car. Enjoyed it. This may sound a bit hokey but I watched the movie "Breaking Away" and got interested in racing. I live near the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. Eric Heiden happened to be making an appearance. So I went to watch. Eric didn't show up but his sister, Beth, did. The racing was fantastic. So I started reacing.

    I was better on the track than road. At 6'4" 187 lbs. I still couldn't climb. Anyway, I was not real good but enjoyed the sport. Became an official. Due to the then reputation of the Velodrome I was able to work with some really good people and progress as the sport grew in the early 80s. Worked many races across the country. My biggest accomplishment was being an official at the Atlanta Olympics.

    Never would have done that without cycling. It has also kept me reasonably fit! And I still like to ride.

    Bill
    Last edited by LongT; 05-11-11 at 06:04 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I gave up my not-good-for-me friends several years before returning to cycling. My return to cycling happened when I gave my almost unused MTB to my son because he'd outgrown his bike. I replaced it with a rough, mid-'80s MTB that I picked up for $40. It needed a lot of work and I rediscovered the joy of working on bikes that I had as a kid. Then the test rides got longer which led to riding because I wanted to. My wife started coming along and after 1,000 miles, N+1 kicked in (several times). Along the way I lost weight, felt better and found I could do a lot of things that I hadn't been able to do for a while. No desire to change family or career. Just enjoying life more.

  5. #5
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Pffft. My "not good for me" friends are my cycling friends. Cyclocrossers in this area (by and large) are a bunch of drunks, and I can't drink. I'm the only guy on the team who has a dedicated ginger-ale hand-up dude on the sidelines.
    But hanging out with them keeps me honest and in shape. When everyone knows you don't drink (and respects that fact) they make sure you don't. And by riding with this bunch of maniacs every weekend (including a current World Champion) and keeping off the empty calories, I'm dropping weight like a madman and I'll hit race weight in time for this next round of kit orders (and I need to go a size or two smaller.)
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  6. #6
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I got rid of my crummy so called friends quite a while ago and that helped me get a bicycle and change my life for the better. It was nice not to hear their nagging and negative voices: "You can't do that. Why would you do that?" etc. The job took a bit longer but that was next on the chopping block.

    The best weight loss in the world is the 400 or so pounds of negativity from the people who get a rush out of seeing you fail.


  7. #7
    Senior Member callmeclemens's Avatar
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    It's nice to hear people have alot of the same things as me, I'm relativley young, though I feel like I'm currently shedding some friends, the type of friends who generally only want to drink and be irresponsible, while I'm gaining some good friends, perspective and a good sense of accomplishment.

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    I'm 31, and left behind bad friends when I got married. the ones who kept trying to get me to be the old single me needed to go.

    I think cycling will only hurt you if you make your obsession with the next ride greater than your commitment to your family.

    My wife is in early pregnancy, and after we found out she was pregnant with our second, i became obsessed with loosing weight because the thought of chasing two kids at nearly 400lbs was giving me migraines. obviously this change of pace was unsettling to her at first (we are headed different directions) but once we sat down and discussed it and put all our cards on the table its something she wants to do as well after she has the baby, and is already adopting a healthier diet while pregnant.

    one thing I have seen happen with other hobbies healthier and not, is that if you are in a questionable or unfit relationship, committing to other activities and learning more about yourself can bring you to change those things. I think my point here is, if you are in a solid marriage with open lines of communication, changing your life for the better is not something you need to worry about. if your not then if it wasn't cycling it would be something else.

    added- probably the thing she likes least is I joined BF and now am toying with expensive bike possibilities, but she understands that I'm looking for the road to where I want to be, and many here have found it and are looking as well.
    Last edited by BigHuf; 05-11-11 at 08:09 PM.

  9. #9
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHuf View Post
    probably the thing she likes least is I joined BF and now am toying with expensive bike possibilities, but she understands that I'm looking for the road to where I want to be, and many here have found it and are looking as well.
    Ha ha, if you thinking cycling is expensive, you should try photography! Oy!

    Biking is tough if your spouse isn't into it because it's time consuming... and then your kids are involved with every doggone thing under the sun and it gets even worse. I'm struggling with it now. Sigh.

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
    It's nice to hear people have alot of the same things as me, I'm relativley young, though I feel like I'm currently shedding some friends, the type of friends who generally only want to drink and be irresponsible, while I'm gaining some good friends, perspective and a good sense of accomplishment.
    Don't fall for the belief that weight loss and exercise will seriously improve your batting average in the friendship game. Yes, you may get some new friends. They may be better or worse than the ones you had. You may get some winners, but you'll get some real losers as well. Trust me on this - personal experience is talking here.

  11. #11
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    For me, I like to say that I got my "swagger" back. I always used to be a confident and aggressive personality. But when I got heavier, I turned more introverted and shy. I took less chance, became more passive and became very unhappy. I was letting my life take me for a ride instead of controlling my own destiny. Now I am the captain again. It has caused some strain between family and friends, but I continue to try and find a happy balance.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Hasn't changed my life at all really. Other than spending time on the net. I've always been physically active in one sport or another. As far a s friends, +1 to Historians comment. I've met a ton of riders as I did in other sports. But we don't hang with any of them. Most are of acquaintence status but as far as close friends, still just me and Gina.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kstephens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
    For me, I like to say that I got my "swagger" back. I always used to be a confident and aggressive personality. But when I got heavier, I turned more introverted and shy. I took less chance, became more passive and became very unhappy. I was letting my life take me for a ride instead of controlling my own destiny. Now I am the captain again.
    Same here.

    I feel it was an overall positive change for me. I have two year old twins, and I knew if I wanted to play an active role in their life, I needed to make some changes. I never was extremely overweight, however, my BMI reached the obesity point. I went from being a division 1 swimmer 15 years ago, to being about 75 - 80 pounds overweight (6'4" 280). I have dropped about half of the weight getting back in the pool and working out again. I just started cycling again as well, and the weight is falling off more rapidly. I used to tire easily playing with the kids. I went for a quick 20 mile bike ride the other day, and still had the energy to play outside for a couple of hours after that. That example alone, is worth the effort to become fit again.

  14. #14
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Hasn't changed my life at all really. Other than spending time on the net. I've always been physically active in one sport or another. As far a s friends, +1 to Historians comment. I've met a ton of riders as I did in other sports. But we don't hang with any of them. Most are of acquaintence status but as far as close friends, still just me and Gina.
    It seems to me there are twin problems fat people go through. One is assuming that changing your weight automatically changes your life for the better. It can, but it doesn't have to.

    Then there's what we can call the "reformed smoker" way of thinking, where you find yourself looking down on people who have been less successful than you at weight loss. Some of the "losing friends" aspect could be this.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JohnA42's Avatar
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    In addition to losing weight it's gotten me back outside again. In my teens I practically lived outside; my 20s-40s not so much. My wife isn't too keen on some of the changes -- like the fact that I just can't sit still any more. She's been a good sport, though -- she's going camping with me this weekend despite being what she'd describe as an "indoorsy" type.

    Don't know if this is weight loss, exercise, or meds, but for the first time in decades I am not suffering from insomnia. That alone would make it all worthwhile, even if I did really enjoy what I was doing.

  16. #16
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    umm, IMO, Historian, not so much looking down on them, but the fact is if you hang out with people who eat a crap-load of unhealthy food and live the way you did when you were heavy, its going to make your life with loosing weight harder. I think its safe to say we all had to move on from a unhealthy influence to be able to succeed, and sometimes it IS people. I do not look down on people who are fat, I am still fat, so maybe I'm not "there yet" but when I was more fat I wasn't unhappy at all, so its kinda hard for me to judge them. That changed, and my weight changed with it, but as much as I hate to say it, life had been good, so I don't think I judge heavy people that way at all. up until my wife got pregnant with #2 I really never cared if I lost weight, then it was a light switch (thinking.. two of these things running around? how the heck am I gonna keep that up?). I still don't mind being fat, but it just doesn't suit where I need to be for my family.

    I think I do look down on people who try and hold me back, be it from a career or a weight loss goal or any kind of success real or perceived. I take that as a insecurity on their part and I just can't help it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member callmeclemens's Avatar
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    I agree BigHuf, I'm not saying I'm better than anybody, old friends or new. I am simply stating in my personal case, this time two years ago, I would be out drinking carrying on and god knows what til all hours of the night. Thats what everybody around me was doing, and looking back I was not happy.

    Sure I see them from time to time, but instead of wasting my money, liver, and time, I'm investing this time on me, feeling better in alot of different ways. I like what Sayer said about getting his "Swagger" back.

  18. #18
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    For the better, honestly. I got to leave behind the friends that sabotaged me because they weren't able to keep up, and developed a whole bunch of new friendships in the process. Losing the psychic vampires in my life was the second best thing that ever happened for me. The first was losing the weight and doing things I never thought would be possible for me ever again, or ever, period, as the case may be.
    Few people understand that those you know , or are close to you, can sabotage any effort for your life change efforts if they feel threatened by your efforts.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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  19. #19
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHuf View Post
    umm, IMO, Historian, not so much looking down on them, but the fact is if you hang out with people who eat a crap-load of unhealthy food and live the way you did when you were heavy, its going to make your life with loosing weight harder.
    I'll add that to the list of excuses....

    "American culture made me fat!"
    "My parents made me fat!"
    "My race/ethic background made me fat!" (Thank you, Starr Jones.)

    And now:

    "My friends are fat, and so....."

    Sorry, I don't buy it. I can see a friendship breaking up because obesity was all you had in common with someone, but in that case it doesn't strike me as a strong friendship anyway. If you change your lifestyle it might mean you spend less time with someone because you do different things, but there's no need to end a friendship because you lose weight and they don't. You are the only one who picks up the fork. No one makes you fat but you.

    BTW, while on the subject, I've learned an awful lot about who my friends are over the past six months while I recover from my running injury. You would be surprised at just how many people, and who, tossed me aside when I ceased to be "awesome."

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    lool fair point, I was leaning more towards Nightshades interpretation though, I think I agree with the fact that if your lifestyle changes force them out of your life it likely wasn't strong, but like you said you do not know until you cross that road.

    I'm sorry getting hurt put those shortcomings on the table, but like you said it may not have been so strong to begin with. I think that is kind of where I am with it.. if these things that i no longer wish to do was all we had, perhaps its best to become acquaintances.

  21. #21
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I don't think cycling has changed me. I've always been a well adjusted human being .
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I'll add that to the list of excuses....

    "American culture made me fat!"
    "My parents made me fat!"
    "My race/ethic background made me fat!" (Thank you, Starr Jones.)

    And now:

    "My friends are fat, and so....."

    Sorry, I don't buy it. I can see a friendship breaking up because obesity was all you had in common with someone, but in that case it doesn't strike me as a strong friendship anyway. If you change your lifestyle it might mean you spend less time with someone because you do different things, but there's no need to end a friendship because you lose weight and they don't. You are the only one who picks up the fork. No one makes you fat but you.

    BTW, while on the subject, I've learned an awful lot about who my friends are over the past six months while I recover from my running injury. You would be surprised at just how many people, and who, tossed me aside when I ceased to be "awesome."
    Although I see your point, Historian, in that we need to accept responsiblity for our own actions, I also know how bad company can influence (bad) decisions. For example, I have friends that made a social event out of going to local eateries--pastramis, BBQ, etc... Difficult to avoid over eating if I hung out with them, and so, I no longer do. And the fact that I don't want to became a point of contention and further drove us apart.

    Same with, unfortunately, significant others--it becomes a divisive point when one is striving to self-improve and the other wants to wallow in "complacency." Maybe not insurmountable, but undeniably tough...
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  23. #23
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I'm surprised so many people are talking about leaving old friends behind when/because they took up cycling. This is seriously confusing to me, an alien concept, and a bit sad. Why should this be?

    Cycling probably hasn't changed my life all that much, but it's been a positive thing in my life since I was a little kid. There might be nothing I enjoy more than riding a bike - it's a hard call, and depends on the day - it relaxes me, makes me happy, and, it makes me feel like I'm spending my limited time wisely.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Pffft. My "not good for me" friends are my cycling friends. Cyclocrossers in this area (by and large) are a bunch of drunks, and I can't drink. I'm the only guy on the team who has a dedicated ginger-ale hand-up dude on the sidelines.
    I can vouch for Clifton's observation. Cyclocross people are all drunks, at least in this neck of the woods.

    I'm curious why you don't drink, Cliff? I don't, either, and in my case it's because the family tree has a lot of alcoholics ... better not to go down that road. ( Now ask me why I don't race CX! )
    Don't believe everything you think.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Fletch521's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    For the better, honestly. I got to leave behind the friends that sabotaged me because they weren't able to keep up, and developed a whole bunch of new friendships in the process. Losing the psychic vampires in my life was the second best thing that ever happened for me. The first was losing the weight and doing things I never thought would be possible for me ever again, or ever, period, as the case may be.
    Where is the like button?

  25. #25
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Sorry, I don't buy it. I can see a friendship breaking up because obesity was all you had in common with someone, but in that case it doesn't strike me as a strong friendship anyway. If you change your lifestyle it might mean you spend less time with someone because you do different things, but there's no need to end a friendship because you lose weight and they don't. You are the only one who picks up the fork. No one makes you fat but you.
    While I agree with you about the "no one makes you fat but you" part, I disagree that a friendship can't be broken up by major lifestyle changes. When I was leading my sedentary life of over-eating, I was also occupying my time with things that didn't require physical exercise (like video games and such.) When I made my change to eating healthier, exercising, and getting outdoors, I realized that a friend I'd had since the 7th grade and I no longer had anything in common.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

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