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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Sure I ride a bike, and I'm a cyclist.

    I was talking to my niece who rides 1000+ miles a year. She said, I know I ride a fair amount, but I wish I was a cyclist like you. At first I wasn't sure what she meant, but in hindsight I think I am a cyclist. It has become a part of my sense of self. And, I think I know the general time frame of when this happened. I think I first thought of myself as a cyclist in the summer of 1978 when the guys wanted to go out and hit the bars one weekend, and I declined to do so, because I had planned to do a fifty mile ride on Sunday morning. It was at that point when I knew cycling was part of who I was.

    So, if you are a cyclist, when did it happen to you?
    Last edited by NOS88; 04-25-12 at 05:30 AM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  2. #2
    Señor Blues on the path's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    So, if you are a cyclsit, when did it happen to you?
    It happened to me sometime within the last 12 months. I've been riding, in this portion of my life anyway, for less than 3 years. I think I became a cyclist when I bought my multi-speed roadie last September. I then proceeded to put 1000 miles on it before Christmas. And I live in the Northeast. I became willing to ride in temps less than 40 degrees F. I felt a tinge of sadness when 40 mile rides came to an end. I can think of many things that I think, and do, that make me a cyclist. Perhaps most telling is when I say to my girlfriend, "I am a cyclist". We both crack up when I say it, and we both know it's true.
    IMO, FWIW, CFM, YMMV, E PLURIBUS UNUM

  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I became a cyclist when I began commuting. I wanted to stop spending thousands on gas. I wanted to get out of the car and into the air. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted reduce my carbon footprint.

    What I got was a new and different life. I became more self-sufficient. I became healthier.
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  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I became a cyclist when i did my first ride- a 28miler on a flat route and was my first time on a bike for 20 years. Once i got over the butt ache- I was hooked.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    LOL, glad there is more than one type of cyclist. The nail in the coffin, indicating that I was not that kind of cyclist, was at the 4:25 mark.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Torture? Legs screaming pain, lungs pushing max, about to run out of energy and fall off the bike... what could be more fun? I don't agree with the $10,000 bike bit though. I might spend $800 but never that much. Still, I do get out every morning at 4:45am to "torture" myself, and enjoy it. So I guess I am a cyclist.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Torture? Legs screaming pain, lungs pushing max, about to run out of energy and fall off the bike... what could be more fun? I don't agree with the $10,000 bike bit though. I might spend $800 but never that much. Still, I do get out every morning at 4:45am to "torture" myself, and enjoy it. So I guess I am a cyclist.
    That's the beauty of cycling....you don't have to spend a lot of money to be miserable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    that's the beauty of cycling....you don't have to spend a lot of money to be happy beyond your wildest dreams.
    fify
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  10. #10
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I became a cyclist in the summer of '73 when as a junior in high school I purchased my first 10sp, the Motobecane Mirage. There have been spans of time through my 35+yrs to follow where I didnt ride but I've always been a cyclist. Especially now.

    When people ask how far you rode yesterday and regrettably it was a little 20mi personal TT....and they look at you like your hair is on fire.....you KNOW you are a cyclist.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    It depends on whose definition is used for the term "cyclist". If you go to the 41 and go by their definition, I think very few of us here qualify for that term, including myself.

    I became a cyclist after my wife gave me a bike for my 63rd birthday, got hooked and stared riding it everyday. It was her response to my doctor's order that I start doing the "E" word to lose weight or start on several medications. I think the term "cyclist" really became part of me the following year when I purchased my hybrid and then treated myself to a road bike for my birthday and really started increasing the miles. I'm now riding my second road bike 30, or more, miles a day and doing almost every charity event that is in our area (just finished an MS 150, my third charity ride this year). Today, I'll break the 2,000 mile mark for this year's total milage; an increase over last years miles at this same time.
    Last edited by John_V; 04-25-12 at 06:50 AM.
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  12. #12
    Semper Fi qcpmsame's Avatar
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    In 1971, when I purchased my first "10-speed" from Sears. A Puch with Sears badging, a one piece crank, rubber covered pedals, a Troxler saddle, top-tube shifters and plastic Huret ders. I rode everywhere that summer and ventured the 20 miles to my future university's campus to see a girl whose dad was doing Post Doctoral work there. I replaced the bad parts except that crank with stuff from the LBS Schwinn dealer that I saw on good road bikes. it lead to my first "good" bike, a Bottecchia. I learned what freedom a bicycle could provide me and how far I could go when I set my mind to things. That is when I became a Cyclist.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    When people ask how far you rode yesterday and regrettably it was a little 20mi personal TT....and they look at you like your hair is on fire.....you KNOW you are a cyclist.
    So true. I can recall saying to a friend that I didn't have much time so I only rode 15 miles. His response: Miles!?

  14. #14
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    When I spent more money on a bike and gear than my first car. I knew if I didn't keep riding it, my wife would never let me forget it for spending the money
    Gary F.


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  15. #15
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  16. #16
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    I'm a cyclist, a fisherman, a golfer, a softball player, a kayaker, a hunter, a skier, a dirt bike rider, a this, and a that. But I don't wear any of them on my sleeve. I don't wear camo except to hunt. I don't wear a cycling jersey except to ride. I don't live thru what I do. I do what I enjoy and put it away.

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  17. #17
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I didn't consider myself a "cyclist" until I had realized that I enjoyed it. Until then, I was just riding a bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
    I think I disagree with the basic premise, which is we are all cyclist. Rather, I think being a cyclist if first and foremost something held inside of the self. My niece does not define herself as a cyclist, despite the fact that she rides more than most people do. As a parallel example, I walk the dog every day for at least one mile. Yet, I don’t define myself as a dog walker or a pedestrian. So, my original unstated premise is you are a cyclist when it become onf of the ways you self-identify.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  19. #19
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    I don't consider myself a "cyclist", just a guy who enjoys riding his bike for fitness and for just being outside and experiencing the world. But, my lady friend says that I'm "a hard-core cyclist". Just because I can go faster and further than her doesn't make me hard-core. She frets when we ride together because she says that she is holding me back. How can I get her to realize that I enjoy riding with her, just because I like being with her and riding together with her? I tell her that when I want to go all out, I'll ride by myself.

    Oh, been riding my whole life and was my main mode of transportation in high school. Somehow, I acquired an Atalia 10-speed with Campagnolo. I still use those hubs from that bike, from the late 60's. Good hubs. Perfect for a touring bike.
    Deut 6:5

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  20. #20
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    That's the beauty of cycling....you don't have to spend a lot of money to be miserable.
    My nomination for Quote of the Day!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    It seems that riders that wear street clothes, ride cruiser bikes and consider anything over 10 MPH as high speed are always defending their status as a "cyclist". Do you ever hear or see a lycra wearing road biker having to defend that status? Just something I noticed.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  22. #22
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeArkansas View Post
    It seems that riders that wear street clothes, ride cruiser bikes and consider anything over 10 MPH as high speed are always defending their status as a "cyclist". Do you ever hear or see a lycra wearing road biker having to defend that status? Just something I noticed.
    Perhaps that's because they're lycrists.
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  23. #23
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I don't think the terminology matters much. I've heard my passion for cycling described, accurately in most cases, using each of these: Cyclist, Bike Racer, Fanatic, Addiction, Pathos, and my favorite: "You know you have issues, right?" Regardless of the terms, it's clear to anyone who has been there what NOS88 is getting at. For some of us, it was a gradual evolution, and for others more akin to being hooked like a fish. While I was gradually getting more into it, and had just acquired my first road bike, I think I can name the event that put me firmly in the "cyclist" camp. After commuting for a year on a hybrid, I got a custom steel Gunnar, and immediately signed up for a 65 mile charity ride. That would have been fine had I taken it easy and cruised through the ride. But I had a bike-racer friend that was there ate the front, and after chatting with him, I never moved back to where the rest of us "Freds" were lining up. I took off with the big dogs. I was immediately amazed to be in a pack, going faster than I had ever gone, while frequently coasting. Wow. Then we got to turns and some climbing. Ouch.

    At about the 10 mile mark I was going backwards, watching group after group cruise past. I kept pushing it as best I could, and, while taking a downhill turn in a state of exhaustion, went wide, hit the curb, and woke up in the next zip code with someone staring down at me asking "Are you okay?". If you haven't been there, the most common answer, and one I've used a couple times since then, is: "I don't know." After the paramedics patched me up, repeatedly told me my BP was low (prompting me to tell the really cute EMT to "just stand a little closer"), asked if I wanted to go to the hospital (I should have, but was in no state to make such a decision, having been knocked sensely) and then leaving me to be driven back to the start by the SAG vehicle. Turns out I had cracked ribs, bruises, road rash, but also a clean brain scan, which greatly reduced my faith in the medical establishment.

    I was also totally and hopelessly hooked on becoming a "cyclist".
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  24. #24
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    "I would never join a club that would accept somebody like me as a member!" - G. Marx

  25. #25
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I didn't consider myself a "cyclist" until I had realized that I enjoyed it. Until then, I was just riding a bike.
    Are you serious? Just riding a bike?? Oh man. Well, keep that to yourself lest you ruin it for all of us
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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