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Old 05-15-12, 03:27 PM   #1
NorCalVelo
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When I'm on a bike, I feel like I'm 17 all over again!

I turned 50 last October. No big deal right? Just another anniversary of my birth.

Several days later I caught a glimpse of myself walking naked past a mirror. Not the pretty sight I'd imagined. At nearly 230 lbs on my 6'1" frame, my fairly sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits had helped the natural aging process along. I smoked & drank way too much and other than the daily 15 miles I walk at work (Department Manager in a large retailer), my exercise program was nil.

What was I thinking. I had purchased a nice bike back in California before I relocated to the Midwest. Winter was coming on; the overeating and fat storing season for me. I vowed to dust the bike off come spring and start riding more.

Last week I commuted to work by bicycle for the first time (a 22 mile RT) and have executed several leisurely (12 mph avg, 15-25 miles) rides on my days off.

As I was returning home today on my 21 mile ride, ripping through my small Midwest town. I had this overwhelming feeling of being 17 again. Up out of the saddle, driving hard with my legs a pumping. When I was 17, I rode a 1976 Schwinn Varsity daily. It was my main mode of transportation. I would ride it to my girlfriend's house; some 17 miles away or to the local golf course where I would play a round with some classmates.

I've lost 20 lbs and quit smoking and drinking since pulling my Trek out of it's winter home in March. I look forward to my rides, like a kid looks forward to cake and I can't help but smile when that feeling comes over me while peddling away.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
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Old 05-15-12, 03:36 PM   #2
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Old 05-15-12, 03:54 PM   #3
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I grew up riding in NNJ and still feel like a kid when I ride at 61 yrs.
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Old 05-15-12, 03:54 PM   #4
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Riding bikes are cool.

The weight loss issue continues to escape me.
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Old 05-15-12, 04:23 PM   #5
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Every time I ride.....then reality hits me. I'm getting older, much older than I thought would ever happen.
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Old 05-15-12, 04:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NorCalVelo View Post
Anyone else have a similar experience?
Most of us here feel that way about cycling, so welcome to the forum; just make sure you spend more time riding than you do posting!

On the weight thing. Mine didn't start coming off until I started 'training' instead of 'just riding'. Training (to race, in my case) made me really think about what I was eating, and I started "eating to train" rather than the reverse. I'm now at my ideal weight: 40 pounds less than my max. In addition to eating better, I went from only commuting, a distance slightly less than what you are doing, to riding ~8K miles a year, much of it at a really good clip.

Go for it!
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Old 05-15-12, 04:32 PM   #7
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I really enjoy riding. I live in the desert SW. We are coming up on the time of year where the bike might get neglected. I have ridden in 95 degree heat a few times in the past week. Wears me out in no time. Age reminds me that I am not 17.

But during the winter, riding when its @50 degrees-wow, what a feeling of freedom.
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Old 05-15-12, 04:50 PM   #8
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I think we've all experienced it, Norcal. So, welcome! Congrats on kicking some bad habits, and getting back into shape.

It's not just the "being like 17 again" by itself. It's that sense of freedom and exhilaration, that comes from riding. A warm summer evening, moving along, and the only sound
is the sound of the tires on the pavement. Yes, kind of like that.
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Old 05-15-12, 05:07 PM   #9
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Although I'm far from in-shape, it is nice nonetheless to see my morning weight slowly receding.
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Old 05-15-12, 05:20 PM   #10
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I've lost 65 pounds and kept if off since I have been riding. Quit smoking 5 or 6 years ago. Gave up booze long ago.

With regard to 17, unfortunately there are those times, though few, when I act like I'm 17 when I'm on the bike. Oh well.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:16 PM   #11
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I have always loved riding. I started commuting by bike to work this past March it is 20rt. I lost 114lbs in the last year. I have always wanted to ride my bike to work and afte losing the weight made the decision to start riding to work. I enjoy going to work everyday as it never seems that is where I am going when I ride. Enjoy!!
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Old 05-15-12, 06:37 PM   #12
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Well said!
Well done!

Jeff, still fat
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Old 05-15-12, 07:36 PM   #13
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I'm fortunate enough to have worked at staying in shape since a long time ago, and doubly fortunate to have married a sweetie who made us both stick to it. I'm 63 but yeah, I feel 17 when I'm riding. Come to think of it, don't think I ever stopped feeling 17. I like to think I'm smarter now, but I'm pretty sure that bit is self-delusional.

I say, keep riding!
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Old 05-15-12, 07:47 PM   #14
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I feel like I am 65 again when I ride my bike!!

But, welcome anyway- 17 would be nicer.
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Old 05-15-12, 08:37 PM   #15
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The feeling of being 13 again is what got me to dump my cycle computer. I lost 70 pounds over the period of 10 months, started riding after 30 years out of the saddle, and lost another 20 pounds. I rode mostly for enjoyment - being 13 again, a zooming down hills to see how fast I could make up the next hill.

I got a cycle computer and started paying attention to things like cadence and average speed - and pretty soon riding wasn't fun anymore. Even on a beautiful day, if I didn't hit my "goals", I'd be depressed.

When I bought a new bike, I eft ht computer on the old one, and riding became fine again. I'm 13 again, zooming down hills to see how fast I can make it up the next one.

Life is good.
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Old 05-15-12, 08:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essiemyra View Post
I have always loved riding. I started commuting by bike to work this past March it is 20rt. I lost 114lbs in the last year. I have always wanted to ride my bike to work and afte losing the weight made the decision to start riding to work. I enjoy going to work everyday as it never seems that is where I am going when I ride. Enjoy!!
Way to go!!!! I actually look forward to getting to work now.
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Old 05-16-12, 12:45 AM   #17
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With the rides I am doing right now- I don't feel 17--It is more like 106.That fitness lost over the winter takes a lot of finding.
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Old 05-16-12, 05:11 AM   #18
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I showed this to my stoker/wife and it made us both smile. It has always seemed just fun to be on our bicycles. Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-16-12, 06:57 AM   #19
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Great thread and I often feel the same. Once in a while the old legs get an urge to power up a short hill and what a feeling that is. When the bike is tuned and quiet and I'm feeling strong, it's even better than 17 because I have more money now and have a better bike! I'm "training" for a X-C tour this summer, slightly increasing my normal riding, and realized the other day that it's not like "training" at all--that implies work. Every ride has been a fun day. I can't wait to get out there and ride all day, every day, all summer.
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Old 05-16-12, 07:17 AM   #20
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I also feel like a 17 year-old. But I feel more like an improved version of my 17 year-old self. I now ride with an overall plan and care more about my health and my safety.

I was able to lose 50 pounds since I started cycling (again) at age 50. It took 5 years, but the combination of eliminating junk food and riding 4000 miles a year is very powerful.
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Old 05-16-12, 07:23 AM   #21
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When 17 I was driving a car.

I now feel like I am 4 when riding without a care in the world, but to have fun in the moment.
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Old 05-16-12, 10:12 AM   #22
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You guys are nuts! I would never want to be 17 again. Those were difficult times. Now...if I were 25 or 26 again, that would be great. Personally, I don't feel "young" when I ride, but have a sense of cheating death and the aging process. When I'm riding, I don't feel like I"m getting older and am just so thankful that I can do today at age 60 what I was able to do at age 20. Shoot! In a cycling sense, I can do more now than I was able to do back then. But 17? Nah.
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Old 05-16-12, 11:00 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalVelo View Post
I turned 50 last October. No big deal right? Just another anniversary of my birth.

Several days later I caught a glimpse of myself walking naked past a mirror. Not the pretty sight I'd imagined. At nearly 230 lbs on my 6'1" frame, my fairly sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits had helped the natural aging process along. I smoked & drank way too much and other than the daily 15 miles I walk at work (Department Manager in a large retailer), my exercise program was nil.

What was I thinking. I had purchased a nice bike back in California before I relocated to the Midwest. Winter was coming on; the overeating and fat storing season for me. I vowed to dust the bike off come spring and start riding more.

Last week I commuted to work by bicycle for the first time (a 22 mile RT) and have executed several leisurely (12 mph avg, 15-25 miles) rides on my days off.

As I was returning home today on my 21 mile ride, ripping through my small Midwest town. I had this overwhelming feeling of being 17 again. Up out of the saddle, driving hard with my legs a pumping. When I was 17, I rode a 1976 Schwinn Varsity daily. It was my main mode of transportation. I would ride it to my girlfriend's house; some 17 miles away or to the local golf course where I would play a round with some classmates.

I've lost 20 lbs and quit smoking and drinking since pulling my Trek out of it's winter home in March. I look forward to my rides, like a kid looks forward to cake and I can't help but smile when that feeling comes over me while peddling away.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
Bicycles can be a wonderful time machine !!
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Old 05-16-12, 08:19 PM   #24
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Got back into biking last year after a decades long absence & did, indeed, replicate the feelings I had cycling at 17..... after 15 minutes of exhilaration, the hunched over riding position, pressure on my wrists, shoulders, back, & rear end was already compromising my pleasure. The freedom biking afforded, & getting to where I was going (ball games, friends houses, candy store, etc.) was the primary joy of biking for me. Obtaining a car pretty much ended that phase of my life.
After a frustrating season fruitlessly attempting to convert a couple of diamond frame bikes into what I consider to be a "comfortable" mount, I lucked out with the discovery of my current semi-recumbent/extreme crank forward marvels, a Rans Cruz & a Rans Fusion..... now I feel like I wish I would have felt riding at 17..... had this been the case, I would never have stopped initially.

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Old 05-16-12, 10:53 PM   #25
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A similar story but it was not a mirror that I looked at. At 48 I was looking up at lights flying by above me as they wheeled me down the corridor of the hospital, into the cath lab where they proceeded to tear off my clothes. As I laid there butt naked on a cold table I could only pray that I would make it through. Not even my wife knew where I was. I thought I was going to die, cold, alone. But they saved me. 2 stints and a few days later I was in my own bed thanking God for allowing me a second chance. I made a promise to myself I would get back in shape.
The first year was the hardest. While on placid a they would not let me ride a bike. Walking was about the best I could do. But after getting off Plavics I bought a bike. I try and ride 20 miles each night. Some nights longer. At 51 I do not feel like 17 but I feel a lot better than I did laying on that cold table. I hope this bike keeps me from ever having to go through that again. Facing death was very scary for me.
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