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Old 11-07-07, 09:59 AM   #1
Siu Blue Wind
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When did it hit you?

Tell us about when you realized that riding on two wheeled objects with pedals (nooooooooooo this is not *ahem* cycling related.....) was something that you'd really get into.

I wrote an essay about it somewhere here on Foo but I can't find it now.

edit: It was in the essay contest but that thread has disappeared, even though I searched. Perhaps a mod will be able to pull it out of the archives for me? I should have kept a copy.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:04 AM   #2
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Rode alot of BMX bikes as a kid, did a bit of racing, nothing serious. Gave up bikes in highschool years. Bought a MTB at the the start of college and found I really enjoyed riding. A roadie soon followed and I have never been bikeless since.

So to answer your question, it was around 1984 that I discovered that I enjoyed the solitude and challenge of solo road riding. I really enjoy just getting out on the road where the only sound is the slight sound of the drivetrain, and the wind in your ears. I just space out, get into a rythym and crank out the miles.

Or at least I used to. Work and family has reduced by riding time drastically and my fitness level has suffered greatly due to that. The days of getting up, getting on teh bike and riding for hours on end may be gone for me.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:12 AM   #3
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1.5 years ago.

tried different "things" for exercise (e.g. weightlifting), but had to give them up for various medical reasons. tried cycling. rode every day for a couple of weeks. took a day or two off and all i could think about was getting back on the bike.

now, its just a part of who i am. when i meet new people, cycling doesn't take long to come up. it's probably in the top 3 or 4 things i mention about myself (my kids being #1).
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Old 11-07-07, 10:14 AM   #4
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My best friend for much of my childhood, (who has gone by miataspeed a couple times on BF and now for some reason unknown to me wants nothing to do with me) got me into MTBing when I was in 7th grade.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:14 AM   #5
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Summer of '06, when I knew that I was eventually going to need a very physical outlet for my inevitable grief. I remembered how much I'd loved road-riding 20 years earlier, and knew that cycling would become my healing therapy. And it has been that. *nodding*
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Old 11-07-07, 10:19 AM   #6
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It hit me right about the same time the windshield of my car did.

Just kidding. It hit about 7 months after that, when I was commuting in during a blizzard, after that I was finally totally sold.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:29 AM   #7
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When I was about 40 I relearned my joy of cycling. I love exploring and I could explore off road so much with a mountain bike. I still do - but in the tropics. In fact, one of my motivations to move here was so that I could explore year round without discomfort.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:30 AM   #8
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I think it was a combination of things that all came together a few years ago.

It *started* in December of 2003 just after my mom died. A friend of mine, both of us big and out of shape pretty bad, decided to do something "active" that weekend. She came up with the idea of renting bikes and riding "on the trail".

So that's what we did....all my love from riding my bike as a kid came back. She was riding soooo slow that I could hardly ride slow enough to stay with her....riding that slow I was falling over. After a few miles she said, "go on...I know you want to tear off" or something like that. After making sure she really meant it, I bolted and rode. I was quite surprised at how far I rode. I didn't realize at the time that the trail had mile markers, but we calculated when I got back that I must have gone about 14 miles (7 miles out and then back). In fact, I only stopped because the trail ended (later found it it picked up again on other side of road, but I didn't see it).

Anyway....that got me started. We both ended up buying a bike (same bike in fact, though we shopped separately, LOL). A comfort bike, - Trek Navigator 300. Which is what I was still riding when I started on bike forums and met my "Navigator Sister" (guess who that is...can anybody say O.P.?).

The lady that I rode with quickly fizzled out, but I kept going, even if it was only "weekend warrior" style. I did find some friends from work to ride with, but it was only one ride a week on Sunday mornings.

The miracle came about a year later, ironically, from that same friend that I had started with and had since quit. She was going on a vacation with a friend to California. Her friend was into bike riding and wanted to do this 18 mile California wine country thing. My friend asked me to help her "get in bike shape" enough to do an 18 mile bike ride. I said, "sure".

Also at that time, I had something happen at work such that I was going to be working evenings for a while (few months). So I had EVERY MORNING free. She was a professor and had most mornings free too. So she came over nearly every morning for a bike ride. After a month or so, one day she couldn't make it for some reason but I wanted to jump on the bike and ride anyway. THAT was when it first hit me......I had "caught the bug". I was looking forward to going for a ride, not forcing myself to do it for the exercise.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:37 AM   #9
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When I was a kid we were, well, not poor, but we were not well off enough for my parents to buy me a new bicycle. I learned to ride on a raggedy-assed old hand-me-down bike from my cousins. I think I was probably about five. I rode that pile of junk for several years.

I got into selling cards(Christmas, birthday, etc) from an ad on the back of Boys Life magazine. I sold enough cards to get a tape recorder and a couple of other smaller items. One day I was looking and decided I was going to sell enough cards to get a new bike. It was a three speed stick shift banana seat beauty. I sold cards 'til I was sick of it(and my parents were even more sick of it) but I finally got enough sold. Seems like it took FOREVER but I finally received my new bike. We lived in the country and I rode that thing all over the place. I rode the 4 or 5 miles to my friends house several times a week.

Grew up, started driving a car and that was pretty much the end of the biking for years. Got back into it a few years ago after a friend gave me an old ten speed. I liked it so much I bought a new road bike, then got my wife a new hybrid, then got a MTB. So basically it was another hand-me-down that got me back into riding after all these years...LOL.

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Old 11-07-07, 10:45 AM   #10
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The year was 1961. I was about two years old, and able to remember things and have aspirations. About once a month or so, I'd get to go into the city (Rochester, NY) to visit my Grandparents. The front of their house was my Uncle's bicycle shop. It wasn't that large at the time, but I always came in through the front door and walked past all those neat bikes. That was fun. Walking out... saying good bye to all that neat stuff was just the opposite.

When I was three or four, my Uncle put me on a seat he had rigged on the back of his bike. We didn't travel far, but it was fun. About a year after that, I got my first bike - a used, red, ordinary 20" single speed bike with coaster brakes that someone had traded in. I learned to ride it without training wheels in one or two sessions. The first day the training wheels came off, I must have ridden the length of the block 40 or 50 times.

I try to do as much of my own maintenance work as possible. This goes back to those formative years as well. My lasting memories of my Grandfather (who spoke very little, and never very loudly, and who died before I was ten) was of him bouncing me on his knee, and of him building wheels in the evening while smoking his pipe.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:53 AM   #11
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I've been riding since I could walk. I grew up in a small town so a bicycle was my primary mode of transportation. I started off riding BMX style bikes. When I was 12 my dad bought me a Nishiki 15 speed (triple crank). He enjoyed riding quite a lot. He bought a Bianchi (I still have it) at the same time he bought me the Nishiki. Once I starting riding road bikes with him I was hooked. I kept riding road bikes all the way through highschool. During my college years I rode a MTB to get around campus, but that was about it. After I graduated a gentleman I worked with race road bikes and got me back into road bikes.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:55 AM   #12
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i realized it was a good way to spend more time with my hetrosexual life mate and best friend of 10 years...

and then i just kinda took off from there...but, look at my avatar..if it's got two wheels i am all over it and have ridden allot since i was a kid.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:56 AM   #13
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2001. When I moved to Colorado. I already had a mountain bike but didn't use it too much. Having the Front Range and so many great trails at my door step changed that. Just got into road biking this past year after buying a "spur of the moment" bike during one of REI's year end sales. I've since put 1700 miles on the road bike in addition to completing two century rides and a week long tour of the Rocky Mountains. Yeah it "hit" me pretty hard.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:56 AM   #14
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Wow!! These are wonderful stories!! Keep them coming!!

Dang... I'm hoping maybe Donna or Snowy can help me find that essay.......
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Old 11-07-07, 10:58 AM   #15
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I think I was cresting a hill westbound on 303 somewhere between Penninsula and Richfield. The sun was low in the sky, I was on an endorphin high, and the rest is history.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:01 AM   #16
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Mar 30, 2005.

I was diagnosed with diabetes about 6 weeks earlier. My doctor wanted to try and control it with diet and exercise. Biking became my exercise. At first it was riding a few miles after work and on weekends. In June I started riding to work. I've been riding on weekends and commuting to work ever since. I honestly feel biking saved my life.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:02 AM   #17
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I think I know which essay contest you're talking about. Was it the contest where one or two of the mods were going to grant a member with a red star? If so, I wrote an essay for that contest. I'll try looking for it too.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:03 AM   #18
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I have never actually been all that far from a bicycle there has always been one in the house, whether it was my dad's old falcon or some random mountain bike of mine.

For a bit I ignored my pedal powered friends for the free and easy speed of motorcycles. But for a bit during a backpacking trip in Ireland I was on foot and walking everywhere so I learned to appreciate things a bit differently.

Here I was one morning waiting for the rest of my friends to wake up so I went for a walk around the small coastal village we were staying in. leaning next to a pub I found a bicycle with a note that read "please take me"



Feeling a bit like alice in front of the rabbit hole, I took it. and I rode it. Granted every bearing that could be busted was and every cable was loose. but for a moment there I was free. the fog was just coming in off the ocean, and the streets where still empty.

I knew in that moment I needed my own bike.

When I got done I returned the bike to the spot where i found it and replaced the note in the hopes that someone else would throw a leg over it and maybe fall in love much the same way i just had.
then I walked off into the fog grinning from ear to ear.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:04 AM   #19
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Got a Pacific mountain bike for my first communion. So whenever that was, and since.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:05 AM   #20
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I'm not sure that it has, yet!

I really like cycling to work, but I think it's that I feel proud of myself (and a bit self righteous) for having cycled instead of taking the car.
I love riding with my wife and son, but it that cycling or is that being outdoors with my family, we never go very far or fast but it's great to be out together?
I also loved the long (for me) solo rides in France this year, but maybe it was achieving a goal that I enjoyed.
I loved doing the charity rides I did this year, but was that cycling or was that the challenge I enjoyed?

I've often wondered about this, do I really enjoy cycling? I don't seem to have the passion others have for it. But, if I don't ride my bike for a few days I feel like somethings missing and I'm itching to get back on it.

Would I get excited about a 20 mile ride tomorrow in the warm sun, maybe.
Would I get excited about a 5 mile ride with family and friends to a park, absolutely.
If it was cycling I loved, wouldn't I prefer the first?

Maybe it's the thought of cycling home on the country roads in the pitch black and cold that's making me so melancholy.
Nuts, I've just remembered I need to charge my lights. Looks like it might be a little darker and a little colder when I finally get going.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:08 AM   #21
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I think I know which essay contest you're talking about. Was it the contest where one or two of the mods were going to grant a member with a red star? If so, I wrote an essay for that contest. I'll try looking for it too.
Yes, that's it!! I have to leave for work soon but if you find it, will you post it for me? I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-07-07, 11:10 AM   #22
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blimey I'm boring
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Old 11-07-07, 11:11 AM   #23
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No you are not. You got the bug, admit it!
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Old 11-07-07, 11:20 AM   #24
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When Dad took the training wheels off my first bike when I was 4...and I didn't fall over (at first).
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Old 11-07-07, 11:47 AM   #25
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c0urt, you write some of the best stuff.


Okay, here's mine. For my birthday back in 1977, I got a new Raleigh ten-speed. It was a limited edition bike, all steel frame and silver paint and dubbed a "Jubilee"--a name to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's silver jubilee that year. It was just about the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. For the next few years, I rode nearly every day I could over the cobblestones of Edinburgh, dodging the traffic and the pedestrians. I just about rode that bike into the ground. When my family moved to the U.S., of course, my Jubilee came with me. While the other kids took the bus to school or caught rides with their folks, I commuted on that bike.

Finally, I outgrew my Jubilee and by then, I'd moved on to high school where it wasn't "cool" to ride a bike to school. My Jubilee sat in the garage and rusted.

Fast forward about 20 years. I'd been through brief bouts of nostalgia for my riding days and bought a hybrid after college. But even though the riding was fun and I liked being able to run errands on the bike, it just wasn't the same as the old days.

In 1995, my wife and I got married--a life-changing experience, of course--and, the weekend of our wedding, I saw something else that would change my life. We hosted the wedding and reception at a bed & breakfast in Round Top, Texas. It was Saturday, April 22, and I looked out the front gate of the place that afternoon to see hundreds of cyclists passing by. It was the Houston to Austin MS150 ride. Something down deep wanted to be out there on the road with those riders, and I promised myself I'd do it one day.

It took another six years before I made an effort to keep that promise. My mom was managing a sporting goods store, and I asked her if her bike manager could recommend a good starter roadie for me. A few days later, I bought an inexpensive alloy frame Iron Horse. Nothing fancy. I wasn't sure if I could really do this or not. The minute I set out on that bike, I felt it. It was my Jubilee all over again. It was charging down a hill in Edinburgh, vibrating from the cobblestones under my wheels. It was dodging the cars and buses. It was not having a care in the world.

I rode my first Houston to Austin MS150 seven months later, and I'll ride my sixth one next April. I upgraded from the Iron Horse and sold it for cheap to a friend of mine who hadn't been on a bike in years. He took that bike on his first MS150 two years ago and has since upgraded, himself. My hope is that he'll pass the Iron Horse on to someone else who can use it the same way he and I did.

Anyway, now I can't imagine not calling myself a cyclist. It's part of who I am, though I suspect it always was. It just took me 20 years to re-discover it.
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