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Old 07-26-05, 08:59 PM   #1
glassman
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What is it?

What is it about cycling that makes me want to come home every evening and ride 15 miles? People ask me what is wrong with me, am I crazy, it's hot out there. I just tell them I love the way my lungs feel when the air is pumping thru them and the blood is flowing but I do have a hard time describing the experience to those who do not excercise or cycle. Do any of you have friends or relatives or spouses that think you are nuts for cycling so much?
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Old 07-27-05, 06:42 AM   #2
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I think it's a primal thing, back to our roots and beginnings in our psyche with the feeling of freedom when we were all so much younger...remember the thrill of finally getting the damn thing to balance and actually moving forward? My first solo was down an alley, fast! If there had been a car coming that day I would have ended my career way early. But I think God looks out for cyclists to a certain degree, I know he did for me that day. I got to school so fast that day I felt almost super-human. There's all the right reasons- getting fit, saving fuel, lessening traffic, improving the air, better parking...but I think it's under the surface. It's that grin you get when you shoot down the alley and out into the world with only your body and soul moving you along faster and farther than anything can go on foot. It's the exhilaration of feeling the wind in your face and the sun on your back. It's going back in time and actually being, not just remembering, what it was like to be a kid again...
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Old 07-27-05, 08:53 AM   #3
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You, your bike, the road, the elements, your muscles - all making something work properly with grace, speed and quiet.

And, yes, we are all a bit crazy!

My sister is always telling me to "take it easy." I ignore her, of course. I am sure many of my neighbors think I am strange, especially the guy across the street, who proudly bragged to me that he had lost a lot of weight, "Without any exercise." There was definitely a hidden meaning in those words.

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Old 07-27-05, 09:18 AM   #4
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All of the above, and, personally, its the circles. wheels, cranks, chain running sort of eliptically through it all, and feet endlessly doing circles. There's a smoothness that is fulfilling. I ran for several years...always felt herky-jerky. But cycling flows along-- a little life unto itself with its own rules, customs, lore. I like being 30 miles out, eating my Clif bar and looking at the gray clouds between me and home. A little adventurous. Finally, on days where everything hurts and nothing works, it feels good to get home and just stop.......but, like childbirth, its all forgotten next time with the fulfillment and excitement of starting out again.
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Old 07-27-05, 02:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glassman
. Do any of you have friends or relatives or spouses that think you are nuts for cycling so much?
Any non cycling aquaintance will think you are mad. Go to a gym, and even the some of the fitness freaks will think you are mad. Difference is, get out on the bike and see which way the remarks go. I mainly ride offroad, and the only people you see are other bikers, horseriders and walkers. Surprising how many other nutters there are out on their bikes. It makes me realise that I am one of the few with Sanity. It is the others that must be mad not to enjoy the pleasure that a bike can give.
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Old 07-27-05, 03:35 PM   #6
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It's the wind in your face and the freedom of the outdoors. Just like when you got your first bike, it has never changed.

Joe
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Old 07-27-05, 03:51 PM   #7
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To me, it is the great energizer (wind sprints too). I feel rejuvinated after a ride and that old bugaboo stress is greatly relieved as well. I have and used to use a Lifecycle indoors, but it is boring to go through that routine day after day. The wind in your face, mentioned by Taylor, along with the variety outdoor cycling holds is as enjoyable a way to exercise as any. I can even forgive the flats.
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Old 07-27-05, 06:56 PM   #8
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I guess I am crazy....I like the wind blowing thru the holes of my helment, pushing it to get up to max hr, feeling the blood flow. I do my riding in the country and love to watch the calves and cows jump and run as I whoosh by. I know that at one house a little dog will run out, start barking and then the big dog will run out but by then, I am running 24mph to get away. I missed riding tonight because it rained and I feel bad, yes I am becoming a cyclist and hope someday to ride more than one hour a day. Thanks for all the replys, I feel like I am in company here.
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Old 07-27-05, 09:00 PM   #9
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Try being about the oldest one at work and telling them that after work you did a 20 or 30 mile bike ride. I'm sure if they could they would have me committed
Like everyone has said, the feeling is something any non-exercise person will never understand. I've always thought of my after work rides as a mini-vacation, just me and my bike
At least I can say I have something special !
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Old 08-04-05, 09:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Litespeed
Try being about the oldest one at work and telling them that after work you did a 20 or 30 mile bike ride. I'm sure if they could they would have me committed
Totally agree w/ Litespeed (and others).
It's about trying to be fit in a rational way over a period of years, it's about being part of a small group of enthusiasts, it's about the freedom on a bike, it's about the simplicity of the machine and learning to master the machine. Plus, bikes are beautiful.

It can be different things for different people.
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Old 08-04-05, 10:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
Totally agree w/ Litespeed (and others).
It's about trying to be fit in a rational way over a period of years, it's about being part of a small group of enthusiasts, it's about the freedom on a bike, it's about the simplicity of the machine and learning to master the machine. Plus, bikes are beautiful.

It can be different things for different people.


I also think bikes are beautiful and find myself admiring them all the time, in fact I am thinking about buying another one so when I take my Lemond in for a tune-up, I will have something to ride....
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Old 08-04-05, 11:25 PM   #12
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I like getting from point A to point B in a way that IMO, is way more civilized than using a vehicle that relies on explosion for it's forward motion. The wind, the sky, the roots, and people saying hey and I can hear em make me feel connected and then I smile. Riding down the Kank at 50+mph knowing a blow out is more than just a helmet test. Wondering what is up that trail I just discovered and then finding out. The satisfied feeling my muscles have after a particularily tough day in the dirt or on the road.. The grin factor from cleaning a section I never cleaned before. The whir and buzz of a multitude of tuned derailleurs as the group swoops and dives through shady country lanes. That's why I ride a bike.
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Old 08-05-05, 07:12 AM   #13
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Hard to explain with one point. It is the great feeling of excersize. My lung capacity and stamina are much improved. It is the freedom of being outdoors, (I would hate just being in a gym). It's the wonder of a classic Peugeot where everything is working in sync and always has for 21 years. The flash of streetlight on the turning cranks and bright spokes. It's the small society of people I pass routinely, (mostly joggers) but some cyclists, each gives their own sign of recognition. Finally it's the camraderie of the forums particularly this 50+ group. Sort of lets me know I am not the only crazy person out there. KEEP RIDING!!
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Old 08-05-05, 10:47 AM   #14
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Love this thread! It helped me get off my duff and out the door on my bike this morning. Thanks!
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Old 08-05-05, 01:18 PM   #15
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I love the comments I get when I wheel my bike out the door at the end of the day's work. Folks can't believe that I, at 54, am going out to ride 21 miles. Or the feeling of rolling down the street and into the driveway after a 30 mile ride just as my hung-over neighbor is going out to get his morning paper.

My father is 80 and tells me that, when he was my age, he was already an old man. The bike keeps me young. Every time I ride I prove to myself that I do not have to go gently into that good night.
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