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Old 11-20-11, 10:58 AM   #76
yamura
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I went through the usual bigger-bikes-as-I-got-older thing as a kid but pretty much dumped my Columbia Tourist when I got to high school, began distance running in earnest and like most teenagers waited until I got my driver's license. Bought a Schwinn Varsity to commute to a summer job and for the past 40+ years have alternately ridden or run until tearing a meniscus last summer (surgery Sept 28) and finding that the beginnings of arthritis in that knee means.....I have the opportunity to ride more and run less(!)
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Old 11-20-11, 11:35 PM   #77
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I rode as a kid, started driving and left the bike in the garage in 1976. In 1987 while working for a Police Department I was asked if I wanted to be on Bike Patrol. Rode Bike Patrol until 1992 when I went to a different Agency. Earlier this year I realized I was not getting any younger, had packed on some pounds after I retired and went into IT. I am not much for going to the gym, Dr said no jogging due to my weight and bad knees. I am not much for walking, so I went out and bought a bike earlier this year, Started riding again, and it is just as much fun as when I was younger.
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Old 11-21-11, 02:35 PM   #78
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Other than an idiotic 15 year layoff from cycling, I can not remember when cycling has not been an integral part of my life. The desire to loose weight and get somewhat fit again was the reason I got back in.
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Old 02-23-12, 12:48 PM   #79
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I rode as a kid until I got a DL and a car. 20 years later, I quit smoking and started riding to take my mind off cigarettes. Rode a lot for 3 or 4 years, the took a few years off. I've now been back at it for 6 or 7 years and can't imagine not riding.
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Old 02-23-12, 01:33 PM   #80
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I don't think I've had any periods longer than a year or two when I didn't ride, but I think when I realized it would be a life long interest was in the early 80's when I was stationed in Germany with the Air Force. I didn't have a car while there, and explored the region with my bicycle, a $100 Huffy Concours from the Base Exchange.


Had a blast, and knew I'd stick with it. When I returned stateside, one of the first things I did was to go buy a better bike, an '84 Trek 520.
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Old 02-23-12, 01:40 PM   #81
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Always had a bike since childhood. But that wasn't what I'd call "cycling". Had friends that were into that "strange stuff"...tight shorts and riding long distances . I got into cycling in my late teens through them. Continued into my early twenties. In and out of riding over the years. Gave it up but kept the bikes. Got them out 1.5 years ago and started riding again. Sold them and got a new road bike and used, newer mountain bike. Loving riding again.
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Old 02-23-12, 02:45 PM   #82
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One of my earliest memories is of riding a bike with solid rubber tires. I knew they were solid because there were big chunks of rubber missing from the tread. This was in the post-war Japan of the early 1950's. Later, I delivered newspapers on a balloon-tire Huffy in Berkeley, CA. I had a cheap Peuget 10-speed in late elementary school that I stopped riding when I pretzeled the steel rear wheel on a fast, wet turn. In junior high, I was friends with a guy named Denis Hammond, whose family owned a Peugeot (car) with the air-oil suspension. They'd drop Denis off at school and let down the suspension. Very cool. He also had a brother named Steve who was a bike racer. Denis would regale me with stories of Jacques Anquetil in the Tour de France, and I had no idea what he was talking about, but it sounded good.

Started smoking in high school, bought a motorcycle, rode across the US and Canada, then I traded it in on my first car. I was going to junior college in Oakland at the time, and to pay for the car I worked part time at the Oakland Public Library. I was a big fan of European-style auto racing (US-style oval racing requires little skill!), and my car was as close as I could get to McLaren orange. One of the more interesting librarians was a guy who drove a Porsche C and owned a couple of Schwinn Paramounts. We talked cars and bikes, and he told me I should get a bike; I would like it. So I did. I bought a cheap heavy steel Centurion from Velo Sport in Berkeley.

What a revelation! I found that I was dreaming about riding the bike, even such a poor example of one as the Centurion. It became a passion; it was what i was born to do. Riding that bike led me to quit smoking. I found that if I did not ride three days in a row, I would feel like having a cigarette. So I just rode every day. Well, things just escalated from there. I started riding with the Berkeley Wheelmen, moved to Vancouver, started racing and riding the old 250-meter China Creek track in Vancouver before they tore it down. What I liked best was that the more I rode, the faster I got; there was a definite correlation between what you put in and what you got out that I could never see in any of the high school sports that i was never any good at. Haven't looked back.

Luis

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Old 02-23-12, 03:07 PM   #83
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A Schwinn Spitfire was the bike that lured me into rideing... I was 6 or 7 years old but I remember the feeling of freedom as my Dad let go after a good push and I was off and peddaling on my own. A few weeks later my Dad bought me a brand new Schwinn Stingray, blue with a metal flake silver bananna seat, for my birthday. Still to this day, that bike is the best gift I ever recieved... I rode that bike everywhere; to school, football and baseball practice, to my friends house. I rode the stingray until I was about 12, then with the money I earned from my paper route I bought an English Racer ( thats what we called them back then) 10 speed. It was a Vista, yellow with black tape and saddle. I rode that until I was 16 then got the drivers license and never rode again until last May when I took up the sport of cycling. I can' believe I just never rode bikes once I got my drivers license... Says something about our society...
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Old 02-23-12, 03:27 PM   #84
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As a kid, same as everyone; a bike was the way to get somewhere and get away to somewhere else. As a adult, what got me back in, was 20 years ago on a whim, I thought having a really nice bike might be fun. After trying a few, and that was no easy feat in the mountain bike crazy early 90's, I ended up with a beautiful lugged steel Serotta CRL. The wonder of a fine bike rekindled a passion that has yet to fade. And I still ride the Serotta.
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Old 02-23-12, 03:57 PM   #85
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Here on the island, we know each other quite well - too well, in fact. It's hard to get away from everyone when you're living on a tiny dot in the Pacific. Biking was a way to escape. I can go up and down our one 1.5 mile road and be alone for a little while.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:02 PM   #86
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Bikes were always my freedom even when I was a little boy. There was nothing like getting them out for the first spring ride after a long hard winter. My dad bought me a used Royce Union 3sp when I was 11, the bike was probably something out of the late '50s, very cool bike. When I was 15 I bought a '72 Motobecane Mirage and man I was sold on over-the-road biking. Get on the open road and ride the whole day away. Got the first car and bikes were on hold. Then in '81 I bought a Stella 10sp that was an Arctic Cat promo bike. Started putting good miles on that one. Then it was another biking layoff for the next 23yrs when I grabbed a barn stored '85 Trek 460 and that has been my road bike since. Love the open road, it's still my freedom.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:47 PM   #87
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Classic Thread

I'm now reintegrating bicycling into my life for the second time.

As most kids I rode (almost) all through high school. My beloved Raleigh 3-spd English Racer got bent around my leg when I was hit by a car in 1962. I was on my way to Lafayette Electronics to buy parts for my Ham radio. Last bicycling I owned for quite a while.

Fast forward to 1984 and our twin sons are 9. Kids bicycle of course so my wife (then a world-class field hockey player) and I (190 lb. marathon runner) bought bicycles. I still have my Miyata 912 over at my son's house. So we started riding with the kids and my wife started training them for longer rides. By now the boys are 10 and we've done a few 100K and I think one Century. We got the idea for a great adventure; ride from Northern California back home in Sunnyvale, CA. Planned the route, minimum supplies (early form of CC touring), 8 days allowed. Pulled into the train station at 3 am, put the bikes back together and four days, 385 miles later we were home. Kids got into swimming and water polo and cycling just kind of went the way of the DoDo.

I hit my early 40's, moved away from my running buddies, my running tapered to essentially zero, my weight did not. One day I just got the idea that I wanted to cycle again. Fixed up the old Miyata, rode a bit; next thing I knew wife and I, in our 60's, both had bikes. We rode and enjoyed some organized rides, but also saw couples on tandems having fun and we really couldn't ride our singles at the same pace. We test rode a few tandems and one followed us home. We've been mostly riding the tandem ever since. Ride as many 100K's as we can and some of the easier Centuries.

I'm going to retire soon and intend to pedal until I can't pedal any more.
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Old 02-23-12, 10:34 PM   #88
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Rode as a kid all over. Then I "grew up". Years passed. My now ex-wife thought we ought to buy a couple of bikes to get exercise so 29 years ago we bought a couple of 4130 (main triangle only) Univegas for $200 each. She quit the bike after a week (and then me some years later). I sorta kept on riding and here I am.
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Old 02-24-12, 12:07 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
... 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.

... However, I am still optimistic of seeing something like Davis circa 1979 again in America, ...
I went to school in "The Bicycle Capital of the U.S." during the best era to be there. I have a LOT more memories of the rides I went on than the classes I took.

B. Carfree, you really must come down for Foxy's one of these years and we should go do the classic Winters ride. I think I hear Steady Eddy's calling to us.
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Old 02-24-12, 11:30 AM   #90
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Summer of '81, when home on summer break from college, I bought a road bike for basic transportation (to/from summer school, to see girlfriends, and to take bike back to school for my main transportation around Wash., D.C.). Not to long after that, some guy named Greg Lemond won the World Pro Road Race Championship (I think 1982). That sparked an interest in riding fast and trying to look like a pro. Eventually, that lead to a 10 yr racing career from 1987 - 1997. Now, I ride my hybrid or MTB on the road for fitness.
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Old 02-24-12, 11:39 AM   #91
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I quit riding when I started high school and never owned another bike until I turned 39. At that time, I was a SWAT Medic with the Sheriff's Office and we trained every day in one form or another. I bought a used 10 speed Schwinn and rode about 10-15 miles every third day for about 2 1/2 years. When I got off the team, I quit riding again and became a big couch potato. At 5' 7" and 145 lbs, I gained about 40 lbs (got up to 185), and developed a gut to the point that I couldn't see my feet unless I bent over. My doctor kept trying to get me back into exercising but it went in one ear and out the other. He was ready to put me on cholesterol and blood pressure medication and then it happened.

In 2009, on my 63rd birthday, I came home from work and my wife said we needed to go pick up my birthday present, a Giant Sedona ST. I didn't know what it was until we got to the LBS. When we got to the LBS, I said "Oh crap, not a bike!", saw the big E word staring me in the face and panicked. Well, I rode that evening, after dinner, and didn't get out of the driveway before I ended up dumping the bike trying to correct an oversteer. Within a week, I was doing one mile rides with my legs feeling like jello at the end of each ride.

That year was a very cold winter for us, so I didn't get much riding in. In May of 2010, I found a Saturday morning ride club and stared riding with them on this heavy, steel frame Sedona. In July, I gave the Sedona to my brother and bought the Cypress because it was aluminum and much lighter. I started riding the Cypress on a daily basis, getting in around 10 miles riding in my neighborhood and continued doing the Saturday morning club rides. The problem now was that almost all of the riders in the club were on road bikes so in October of 2010, I bought the Defy and from that point on, I became heavily addicted to cycling. On January 31st of this year, I got the N+1 bug, again, and bought my Colnago.

I've been riding on a daily basis since I got the Cypress; going from 10 miles a day to my current 30+ miles a day. All this riding has to stop at some point, but I guess that will happen when the undertaker is done with me. Oh! And I'm back down to 150 lbs.
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Old 02-24-12, 02:37 PM   #92
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When I was about 12, my parents purchased 10-speeds for my brother and myself. The brand was Londoneer and it was sold in a Birmingham AL department store. Great bikes, instant freedom. The only rule was that we had to fly the bike safety flags that they also purchased. It wasn't too long before my father had reports of us turning up in the next county down - it was only 25 miles away but back then, it was considered quite a distance.

As I grew up, motorcycles took away my attention from bikes and I didn't purchase another one until 1977 while stationed in San Antonio. I got to be good friends with the guys at the Schwinn shop and it was common to ride on Sundays in distances ranging from 60 to 100 miles. I remember purchasing a new bike and when it was delivered, we went to see "Breaking Away" first and then we went back to the shop to assemble the new bike. We all chipped in for pizza and beer! The best ride was a 600-mile hill country tour in 1979.

I kept that up through college where my bike was a Mercian King of Mercia-framed touring bike. I did rides all over GA, AL and even a tour into the Smokies from GA. The best ride, though, was from Glacier to Yellowstone in 1983.

From marriage in 1986 until a year ago, I was out of cycling but now I'm back again. I started with a Salsa Fargo and the goal for 2011 was Ragbrai.

Unfortunately, a bad neck wouldn't allow me to ride more than 30 miles. In Feb of last year, I switched to recumbents. I'm on my third already and the new goal is Paris in 2015. This year, I've completed one century, one 300-km brevet and one 200-km brevet. I have a 400 next month and a 600 in April and the goal is ride at least one century every month if there's not a brevet.

Life is good!
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Old 02-24-12, 05:52 PM   #93
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2010 Empire State Games, his team won a Bronze medal.
Hi oldnslow2,

Congratulations to you, your son and his team. Glad to hear that the Empire State Games still exist.

I grew up on Long Island and was fortunate enough to qualify for and compete in the first Empire State Games which I think were in 1978 with SUNY Binghamtom as the host site. Have a lot of great memories from that event.
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Old 02-24-12, 06:21 PM   #94
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Hi,

From when I first learned how to ride a bike at around age 5, I have always been an enthusiastic cyclist. I always enjoyed riding around the neighborhood or riding to town when I was in elementary school. My first big bike adventure was the summer after 5th grade. Times were obviously a lot different than now and my parents (primarily my Mom) let me ride with a friend to the Fish Hatchery which was about 10 miles away from our house. We were on standard, single-speed, coaster brake bikes and it was an all-day adventure.

From there, my passion for motorsports combined with cycling. There was no way that I could afford a go kart, but I was able to save up enough newspaper route money to buy a 10-speed with Campagnolo Valentino derailleurs. Forget about the fact that these were terrible derailleurs, I had done enough reading to already revere the name Campagnolo. I saw the Team Pursuit competition on television from the 1972 Olympics at Munich and the next thing I knew, I'd organized 7 other friends into 2 team pursuit squads in a large parking lot at our local park. Now I was racing around an oval and drafting just like my NASCAR heroes at Daytona. I was able to keep enough friends interested in having parking lot races on and off for a couple of years.

An elderly Italian-American gentleman, Tony Simonetti (who had been racing bicycles since the 1920s), saw us racing around the parking lot and took us under his wing. At the same time the local paper did a write-up on "The Racing Barber," Vito Perucci, who ran a local club and organized bike races. My best friend and I started racing at the Tuesday night races when were 15 and the next year we took out our first Amateur Bicycle League of America (now USA Cycling) licenses and the rest is history.

I never imagined as a Junior racer that I'd end up as a 55+ racer. Back then the Veterans (40+) seemed ancient!

Now I am combining my passion for cycling and racing into volunteer work for bicycle advocacy. I really believe that the butterfly effect of cycling on society can really help our country and the world move to a sustainable path of growth and reasonable prosperity for all.
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Old 02-24-12, 08:00 PM   #95
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Like most kids of the '60s, my learning to ride a bike was a big rite of passage. It was mildly weird if a kid of that era didn't know how to ride a bike. My dad took the training wheels off my Sears bike (20" solid tires) one day, ran alongside me and held the bike steady until I got the hang of balancing it, then ran me down the street and let go. I still remember the thrill of it. My world grew enormously in a matter of weeks, and before long I was riding all over the neighborhood with other friends- none of us much more than 7 or 8 years old. Very happy that I grew up when I did!

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Old 02-29-12, 10:09 AM   #96
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Well, since I've already introduced myself in the introductions section, I thought this might be a good place to jump in since my story parallels so many others.

Rode a 3 speed English racer in my childhood until 1969 when I got my drivers license. The only other two wheeled vehicles I've owned since then were Harley Davidsons.

Fast forward 43 years......during a regular doctors visit he tells me my cholesterol is high. Tells me he doesn't want to put me on medication nor do I want to go on medication. I'll be 59 in June and don't take meds for ANYTHING! I prefer to keep it that way. We have the discussion about diet and exercise. He wants to see me again in 6 weeks to see where I'm at.

After thinking about it, I recalled how much fun I used to have as a kid riding that bike all over the place.

Flame away if you will but here's the rest of my story and I stick to it being the right decision in my situation.......

While discussing this with the wife, she tells me that he has a friend that works at Target and gets a 20% discount. So I head over to the local Tarjay and lo and behold, I find a pair of mens and womens Schwinn Silver Creek comfort bikes marked at half off for clearance. Coupled with the discount it works out to a two-for-one deal and I'm out the door with both of them for $150.

Now I know that these types of bikes are generally frowned upon in these forums however, I'm a musician and have several Chinese made, mass produced, budget instruments that are in the $150 range as well as high end, hand crafted instruments, made in the USA and costing several thousand dollars. No, they're NOT the same but YES, each serves it's purpose.

The $150 guitar gets to go boating, camping and to the beach. The $3500 doesn't. Plain and simple. Point is, I get the gear snobbery thing but I don't buy into it. IMO, it's about enjoyment.....whether it be cycling or playing guitar. When it's no longer enjoyable, it's either replaced, recycled or disposed of in some fashion.

Anyway, of the the LBS I go to look at accessories. Turns out, they've have a Spring special going on...half price tuneups and safety checks. After talking with the Tech, he was happy to see that I didn't pay full price and that for the type of riding we'd be doing, they were a good choice for getting started. I left both bikes there for a tuneup and, when all was said and done, two new (budget) bikes, a Pro tuneup on both and we're back in the saddle again for $180. I've also now created a relationship with my LBS and because of their courtesy and helpful advice, they've got me as a customer for parts and service and, when the time is right, a new bike. Maybe two if the wife continues to enjoy it as well.

I've only put about 20 or so miles on it and I already see myself upgrading to a better bike at some point but, for now, this is literally, just what the doctor ordered!

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Old 03-01-12, 07:43 AM   #97
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Lapetrarca,
No flames in the 50+ forum, we like all bicyclist. Just post lots of pictures and enjoy some pie after rides and on Pie Ride day. You'll like it here.

Bill
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"I did not choose to have Parkinson's Disease, I choose to not allow it to control my life." Davis Phinney

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me. Philippians 4:13 NIV
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