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Old 06-05-07, 04:15 PM   #1
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Why??????????

I've thought and thought about why I like to ride bikes, and I really don't have a concrete answer. Bikes are beautiful; I feel good after a ride, but I hate exercise per se; I love to tour on a bike, but I hate the hassle of business travel; I have kept up with this web site and another one,
http://www.bicycletexas.com/ for a long time, but I won't check the news on the web; I can't drive past a bicycle shop without stopping; and, I really don't understand the addiction--and it is an addiction.

Perhaps, in this complicated world of hustle and bustle, the bike represents a simpler and more basic lifestyle.

So, I guess the question is, and it has been asked here probably countless times, "What do you like so much about bicycles, and what keeps you riding?"
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Old 06-05-07, 04:20 PM   #2
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1. I like the machinery. Building bikes takes the place of race cars that I can't afford anymore.

2. The exercise is less boring. I can ride places and see things. Sure beats a treadmill or even walking.
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Old 06-05-07, 04:31 PM   #3
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I'll argue the "addiction" comment. Being more of an etymological tradtionalist, I find the way this term is tossed about to be a little off-putting. Now, with that out of the way.

I like cycling because it lets me be alone with my thoughts for as long as I care to stay out.
I like cycling because it lets me go anywhere I want to go that my own abilities can take me.
I like cycling because I can always get better at it just by doing it.

It's just pretty darned satisfying
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Old 06-05-07, 04:37 PM   #4
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Old 06-05-07, 04:38 PM   #5
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I got on the highway on my bicycle in the 2nd grade. Quite frankly, there is nothing in life that I've been doing for quite as long. It is me.
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Old 06-05-07, 05:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
I'll argue the "addiction" comment. Being more of an etymological tradtionalist, I find the way this term is tossed about to be a little off-putting. Now, with that out of the way.

addiction
compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful

Although biking is not harmful--it has been after several very hard rides--I still think it is an addiction.

Main Entry: etymology
Pronunciation: -jE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -gies
Etymology: Middle English ethimologie, from Anglo-French, from Latin etymologia, from Greek, from etymon + -logia -logy
1 : the history of a linguistic form (as a word) shown by tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language where it is found, by tracing its transmission from one language to another, by analyzing it into its component parts, by identifying its cognates in other languages, or by tracing it and its cognates to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language
2 : a branch of linguistics concerned with etymologies

The way I view biking would satisfy my etymological tradtional views.
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Old 06-05-07, 05:11 PM   #7
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I think satisfying is a good term, it seems that I constantly am doing a personal best of some kind, whether it is faster ride than the last time I did it, or less stops on the hill I just climbed again, it is very satisfying. Also, so long as I am outside doing something I am ususally happy, somehow being outside and on my bike does make me even more happy!
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Old 06-05-07, 05:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
I'll argue the "addiction" comment. Being more of an etymological tradtionalist, I find the way this term is tossed about to be a little off-putting. Now, with that out of the way.

I like cycling because it lets me be alone with my thoughts for as long as I care to stay out.
I like cycling because it lets me go anywhere I want to go that my own abilities can take me.
I like cycling because I can always get better at it just by doing it.

It's just pretty darned satisfying

Just what you would expect an addict to say
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Old 06-05-07, 05:16 PM   #9
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I remember the first time I ever rode a bike.

My little brother always wanted to see DisneyLand. My family didn't have the money to go visit.

When I had just gotten my drivers license, I told my little brother, "Hey, what do you day we go to DisneyLand today?" He was very excited.

I drove him around for about two hours and pulled into the parking lot of an old abandoned warehouse that had burned down.

"Ohh nooo", I yelled, "Somebody burned down DisneyLand!".

My little brother cried and cried, but deep down I think he thought it was pretty funny.

When my parents found out about it, they grounded me. I had to ride my bike to get anywhere after that.

And I've been riding ever since.
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Old 06-05-07, 05:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link
I remember the first time I ever rode a bike.

My little brother always wanted to see DisneyLand. My family didn't have the money to go visit.

When I had just gotten my drivers license, I told my little brother, "Hey, what do you day we go to DisneyLand today?" He was very excited.

I drove him around for about two hours and pulled into the parking lot of an old abandoned warehouse that had burned down.

"Ohh nooo", I yelled, "Somebody burned down DisneyLand!".

My little brother cried and cried, but deep down I think he thought it was pretty funny.

When my parents found out about it, they grounded me. I had to ride my bike to get anywhere after that.

And I've been riding ever since.
I'm not saying you are wrong, but you sure ain't right!
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Old 06-05-07, 05:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Weak Link
I remember the first time I ever rode a bike.

My little brother always wanted to see DisneyLand. My family didn't have the money to go visit.

When I had just gotten my drivers license, I told my little brother, "Hey, what do you day we go to DisneyLand today?" He was very excited.

I drove him around for about two hours and pulled into the parking lot of an old abandoned warehouse that had burned down.

"Ohh nooo", I yelled, "Somebody burned down DisneyLand!".

My little brother cried and cried, but deep down I think he thought it was pretty funny.

When my parents found out about it, they grounded me. I had to ride my bike to get anywhere after that.

And I've been riding ever since.
Sounds a lot like a Jack Handy Deep Thoughts routine!
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Old 06-05-07, 06:43 PM   #12
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I like it because it's cheaper than boating. I went from motorcycles to a convertible, to a ski boat, to a bicycle. I have always ridden a bike, have just given up all the above for just the bike. I AM starting to look longingly at motorcycles again. I took some great trips on them when I was younger. Not sure I could get my wife on one though.
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Old 06-05-07, 06:57 PM   #13
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I got up early, tired, and ended up leaving late for work. The sun was shining, it was warm but the breeze generated as I started pedaling was cool. The gears were smooth and quiet - and all was right with the world.

Don't try too hard to understand a simple pleasure.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:04 PM   #14
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I think it releases some endorphen (sp?) that makes us feel good. Either that or it represents freedom- probably the first time you strayed very far from your house on your own was on a bike. Maybe the bike still represents freedom-from worries about work, kids, whatever. I don't know-I just like bikes-always have. Used to ride a motorcycle (nothing but a more sophisticated, motorized bicycle-still two wheels), and was into that for a while. Now it's back to pedal power again-takes my mind off of most everything else going on, for some reason.

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Old 06-05-07, 07:10 PM   #15
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As I said, I take a hard line approach to the definition of the word. There's habituation, there's compulsion and there's addiction. Right or wrong, it works for me but then I have dealt with a real addiction and it ain't NOTHING like, say, liking to watch TV.

A looser approach works for you... That's OK. Maybe you like the endorphins. That's a whole other can of worms.

I just think too many people use "addiction" as a cop out for lack of will.
Not saying you're one of 'em, mind you... I don't even know you... just sayin' I know people.
The word just has such cachet now... everyone likes to be "addicted".
It's so chic and fits right in with our lawsuit happy culture.

It seems sad... to me addiction indicates a need that cannot be fulfilled, an emptyness at the core and a distinct lack of joy or real pleasure.

That sure isn't what cycling is to me. It's fun and HIGHLY fulfilling.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:21 PM   #16
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Don't know if that was in response to my post, if it was, didn't mean to offend, and didn't see the post before mine or would have chosen another term (have changed the wording now). But something makes me keep coming back to bikes--hard to explain, still think it's the freedom thing-especially on the trails-no time to think about anything other than trying to get over that limb, or rock, or just trying to stay upright. I like the singletrack state of mind it puts me into.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:27 PM   #17
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My ride today was just as much fun as the ones I took when I was nine years old. There's just something about the wind in your face as you roll down the road on a contraption you propel, much faster than you could run, all on your own. Now, I can't believe how long it took me to get back to it.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeranger
Don't know if that was in response to my post, if it was, didn't mean to offend, and didn't see the post before mine or would have chosen another term (have changed the wording now). But something makes me keep coming back to bikes--hard to explain, still think it's the freedom thing-especially on the trails-no time to think about anything other than trying to get over that limb, or rock, or just trying to stay upright. I like the singletrack state of mind it puts me into.
Oh, goodness, no! I could never be offended by a fellow Reno-ite

In fact, I think we were typing up our posts at the same time and yours got in just ahead of mine
No, I'm not offended at all by anything posted here, just stating my opinion.
I'm 54... I get prickly sometimes.
Ain't no big whoop, though.

And I absolutely agree with your observation about the freedom of it all
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Old 06-05-07, 07:30 PM   #19
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I've been riding many years, and to swing my leg over the saddle and to meet the road ahead transports me into a world of grace and beauty--just as it always has.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:34 PM   #20
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Some of my most joyful rides ever were back in '78 - '80, or so.
I worked a swing shift job in downtown SF; I'd get off at 1:00AM and take my bike out for a leisurely ride through the deserted city streets... there was something about the cool air and the street lamps that made it so appealing. Just not a care in the world about anything (except trolley tracks).
It still feels like that. Every time
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Old 06-05-07, 07:35 PM   #21
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For me, it has something to do with the opportunity to become a costumed superhero, at least for a little while each day.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
As I said, I take a hard line approach to the definition of the word. There's habituation, there's compulsion and there's addiction. Right or wrong, it works for me but then I have dealt with a real addiction and it ain't NOTHING like, say, liking to watch TV.

A looser approach works for you... That's OK. Maybe you like the endorphins. That's a whole other can of worms.

I just think too many people use "addiction" as a cop out for lack of will.
Not saying you're one of 'em, mind you... I don't even know you... just sayin' I know people.
The word just has such cachet now... everyone likes to be "addicted".
It's so chic and fits right in with our lawsuit happy culture.

It seems sad... to me addiction indicates a need that cannot be fulfilled, an emptyness at the core and a distinct lack of joy or real pleasure.

That sure isn't what cycling is to me. It's fun and HIGHLY fulfilling.
I think I understand where you are coming from and I don't like being "addicted." If people had enough "will," we probably would not have had to deal with addictions. Like you stated in your life, I have dealt with, and am still dealing with a real addiction. I, unfortunately, am too familiar w/real addiction.

Not trying to prove a point or start a long dissertation--went through similar circumstances w/golf--when you try to get in 9 holes before work, you can "lose the farm." Fortunately, now, I own my own business and have no one but myself to answer to when I ride--but, too much riding is harmful to my business and health.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
For me, it has something to do with the opportunity to become a costumed superhero, at least for a little while each day.
"With the heaps of overly specialized gear — gloves, shoes, and biking jerseys — most cyclists realize that every day on the road is Halloween. Plain and simple, it's wearing a costume each time out of the gate.…We're neon signs, stylistically impaired wonders blinding pedestrians and fooling small children into thinking that the circus has come back to town."
-Joe Kurmaskie, the Metal Cowboy: Riding Outside the Lines

Cycling is a circus that's always coming to town and never packing up and moving away--another reason to love it.
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Old 06-05-07, 08:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Travis
"With the heaps of overly specialized gear gloves, shoes, and biking jerseys most cyclists realize that every day on the road is Halloween. Plain and simple, it's wearing a costume each time out of the gate.We're neon signs, stylistically impaired wonders blinding pedestrians and fooling small children into thinking that the circus has come back to town."
-Joe Kurmaskie, the Metal Cowboy: Riding Outside the Lines

Cycling is a circus that's always coming to town and never packing up and moving away--another reason to love it.

Good book wasn't it.
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Old 06-05-07, 08:37 PM   #25
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Sounds a lot like a Jack Handy Deep Thoughts routine!
Good pick-up. I can usually get away with it.
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