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Old 01-07-04, 09:31 PM   #1
ChAnMaN
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what got you into cycling?

I just wanted to know what got you guys into the sport of cycling and at what age it was.
My mom owns a salon right next to the LBS (a Specialized dealer) so i have always been around cyclists. Eventually the passion for cyling just rubed off on me.
I bought my first road bike a year ago when i was 13 and started riding. I now belive cycling will be a life long sport/obsession but you never know i might be to young to tell.
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Old 01-07-04, 09:33 PM   #2
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oops, this was supposed to go into the general cycling forum.
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Old 01-07-04, 09:47 PM   #3
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At age 58, read a story about a lady who was 60 and started training for the "Ride the Rockies" (about 400 miles of Colorado passes).

I figured if she could do it, so could I.

Now, I had ridden before, but only casually and like 5 mile rides. Within 3 months I had 1100 miles on my bike. An I did RTR two years in a row.

Now up to over 15,000 miles and still pedaling away!
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Old 01-07-04, 10:00 PM   #4
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The year was 1986, I was 15 years old. Yes, the Tour de France was around in 1986, It did not start in 1999 as some of you may believe. In fact it started in 1903! I even had a pair of those oakley factory pilot eyeshields, mine were blue.

Of course we all had bicycles, but it was watching the Tour that made me start to ride farther than just down to the corner store. I remember the first time I rode away from my friends on a hill without even trying.
I remember my parents thinking I was crazy for wanting to ride to school, instead of taking the bus like the "normal kids". I remember my parents getting mad at me the first time I had a serious crash, but the best memory of all was watching them cheering when I won my first race. I remember Citizen, Cat 5, Cat 4, Cat 3, I remember driving 8 hours only to get my ass handed to me in my first Combined Pro-Am. I remember wishing I didn't have to work, and go to school, so I could train full time.

But then when I hit that ceiling, I left the bicycle for a while, 6 years to be exact.

I raced motorcycles for a while, travelled all around the southeast crashing at 125mph+, at our countries finest race tracks (Daytona, Road Atlanta, etc.)had my fill after a few years of that. I was living the good life, great income, getting fat and soft, no worries other than who I was going to bang that night, and did she have any hot friends etc...

About 3 years ago I got the bicycle out, dusted it off, road about 5 miles, everything hurt so bad, I put it away for another 3 years. That day on the bike, when things started to hurt, I was like "F" this......

I remember hearing people talking about Lance in 1999, 2000 etc.... I knew who he was, after all I ran along side him up the hill during the Olympic road race. But I didn't really think about riding. Then this year for some reason, I got real excited about watching the Tour again, and like a lot of people in this country do the first week of July, I decided to go and ride my bike.

I had a different outlook on life this time, I hate my job, I make a fraction of the 150K I used to make a year, I'm pissed off a lot lately, bitter at the world etc... Out comes the bike again, I squeeze my ass into some cycling shorts I wore 6 years and 35 lbs ago, and a T shirt to hide my gut. My neighbor across the street yells "who do you think you are, Lance Frickin Armstrong?" I give him the finger and ride off.

I rode with no computer, no helmet, 12 year old shoes, on a 12 year old Cannondale, and I had the biggest smile on my face in years. Sure it hurt, everything from my bankers hands, to my superbike feet (my friends call me 9 toes). But it felt great. I didn't need the computer, I knew by the gearing that I was barely going 17. I laughed out loud, remembering how 10 years ago I could ride 25 miles in less than an hour while only riding 2 days a week.

I rode the next day, and the next day after that, and I'm still riding.

I have gained back some of my speed and power, and I have lost almost 20 lbs, but the one thing I have not lost, is my ability to suffer, It was missing that day 3 years ago, but It is with me now. I hope it never leaves again.

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Old 01-07-04, 10:01 PM   #5
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I grew up on a bike but pretty much put it away after high school until my 30's. I was working for a courier company here in Seattle as a dispatcher. I started dispatching our moped drivers and after a couple of years my boss decided to switch to cyclist. The cyclists basically cornered me into buying a Bianchi Special Edition Grizzly from one of our former riders that had opened up a bike shop. The Grizzly that year (89 or 90) was a cross bike the first time on it I rode 20 miles. It was a very sweet ride. I then started to commute and have been riding ever since. Well not quite I stopped for a couple of years gained a bunch of weight, lost weight then started to ride again. At 47 I am at a good weight and have no serious health problems so I figure it is the best thing I ever did!
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Old 01-07-04, 10:12 PM   #6
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While driving around with my permit last year (mostly on the weekends) I would see a lot of cyclists. So then a year later I got bored in the summer and picked up a road bike.
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Old 01-07-04, 10:18 PM   #7
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At my last job I worked with a few people who always talked about racing and riding. Just before I left I decided to get a bike. Best thing I ever did.
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Old 01-07-04, 10:35 PM   #8
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As a kid a bike was freedom, it was also one of the only things my family did as a group. The town I lived in had a nice forest preserve I loved to ride in so I got into Mtn biking, then I went to Germany in HS, there I rode every where for a couple of months, that sealed the deal. Living in Chicago gave me a whole other perspective, riding in traffic, awesome.
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Old 01-07-04, 11:01 PM   #9
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For me it was my best friend who got me into cycling. We were sharing a house together in 1993. He had a MTB from Giant, a sweet Cadex with beefy tyres. I was really impressed with his bike. They had changed a heap since my last bike purchase in 1986. The bike was light and looked really cool. I went out and bought a MTB straight away. We have been riding ever since. Just this week, the same friend bought his first road bike because he saw my road bike, and wants to start racing with us this year. Very cool.

CHEERS.

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Old 01-07-04, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothie104
The year was 1986, I was 15 years old. .... I hope it never leaves again.
Nice post Smoothie!

For me it started when i was around 16. I purchased a Bianchi Sport SX (road bike) off of my then girlfriend's sister's boyfriend. He was destined for a life of drugs and crime and I felt compelled to rescue the bike (how selfish of me). It was hardly top of the line and I wouldn't have been able to tell a Bianchi from a Schwinn from a hole in the wall at the time anyway.

I rode VERY recreationally back then. I'm the kind of guy that needs a little extra motivation and at the beginning I basically had zero other than what I could muster myself. I rode some time trials, but nothing serious and few miles.

Well, I put a little money into the bike (bought some shiny wheels) and went off to college where I found a great group to ride with (Square Wheels in Cleveland Heights, OH). These guys were all the motivation I needed and after getting dropped a dozen times or so I vowed to work hard to stay with the group. My abilities steadily grew from there. Permentantly etched in my brain is the feeling one gets from completing a fast paced group ride slightly drained but knowing that you had more to give while the other guys were toast. It didn't happen all the time but often enough to keep me coming back for more. I loved leading out climbs and made it a personal challenge to be as efficient and strong as possible. It all peaked in 94' when I entered and did fairly well in a couple of Cat 4 races.

That was enough of racing for me and riding in general while graduate school called. 95' to '01 were relatively lean years on the trusty Bianchi. Busy with school, busy with a new wife, I lost the motivation.

'01 saw a move to New York to a home in the country and a renewed interest in biking both for mental and physical fitness sake. With two young daughters I now see biking as a way to "take a break" from the insanity. It's occasionally difficult to balance my desire to spend time with my family, friends, the yardwork, etc. but I try never to use these as excuses.

I retired the Bianchi and purchased a new road bike and there are several good bike clubs in the area that I intend to leverage to keep me motivated. Moreover, there are some challenging local rides planned nearby that have whetted my appetite for the coming season. But, routine is EVERYTHING and until I make cycling a part of my everytime activity I will never achieve the level of fitness I once had. I read somewhere that it takes, on average, 30 days to develop a new habit. 30 days.

Now to get back on that trainer, only 29 more days to go.

-mark
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Old 01-08-04, 02:28 AM   #11
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what got you into cycling?

Last summer my family got cable finally...and i was watching the tour one morning and was like hey i can ride a bike...i have been hooked eversince....i just fell in love with it
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Old 01-08-04, 05:26 AM   #12
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I had to stop running. My knee could not take it anymore. It was causing me to limp around..Looked half crippled. Did nothing for awhile..Gained a tremendous amount of weight. Meet up with some great friends from our church..Convinced me to buy a bike and give it a try.Bought a beater bike and loved it. Could find me all over the county..From the get go..
Been riding ever since. Now the county is not big enough and I think in terms of states and maybe continents.
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Old 01-08-04, 09:18 AM   #13
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I ran track in high school and when I went to college I continued to run but also thought that now that I have constant access to a pool I might as well swim. If Im swimming I might as well bike and do a triathlon. So I got an old 12 speed from a cousin and rode that for a while. That got stolen, then I got a used giant ocr1. I felt great on that bike. I continued training for triathlons, alternating running and biking days. When I came back to school after my first summer break I had burned out on running, I wasnt looking forward to my runs, my knees always ached after I went out for a run they ached when I kneeled down, I kept thinking get through this so tomorrow you can ride your bike. So finally I said 'Im just going to bike for a while, see what happens.' Havent looked back and missed running since. Bought a brand new carbon bike and havent really started to try and get in good shape to maybe try some races or join a club. Anyway, thats my story.
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Old 01-08-04, 09:28 AM   #14
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I was riding an old 3 speed a few miles a week and my dad gave me his GT with 15,000 miles on it.It was the first,decent bike i ever road that road nice and when i shifted,it didnt take an hour and was'nt not very loud.I said wow,this is nice and was hooked.
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Old 01-08-04, 09:37 AM   #15
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I moved to Colorado four days after graduating from college. When in Colorado, does as Coloradans do so I bought a mountain bike six weeks later. I fell in love with it instantly. I rode the crap out of that bike and upgraded to a better one a couple of years later. I would spend hours and days riding in the mountains. In May my daughter was born. I didn't want to give up riding but also didn't want to spend as much time away from home so I bought a road bike. However, the best road bike in the world would never replace my mountain bike.
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Old 01-08-04, 09:54 AM   #16
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I stopped at the charity yard sale this past summer, mind you I was there LATE (12 noon) and I saw this cool looking road machine sitting there. I walked over, realized it was a Bianchi, and lifted it off the ground. Just a few inches and I knew I needed it...the price makes the whole damn story.

Guy walks over and I casually ask... "What do you want for it?" He comes back with $25.

Yes, $25, American dollars...that's twenty five!

I immediatley reach into the pocket and discover I have only $10...damn..."honey, do you have any money?" She had $10. The guy says "That's good enough." I laughed and told him flat out "Look, I live around the block, less than 400 yards as the crow flies, I can grab the extra $5 and be back in 5 minutes." He told me ot to worry about it.

I started cruising around the block, after new tires, adjustments, etc. Then I joined a group ride and realized I was NOT in "bike shape." Of course, I realized this while puking on the side of the road during the ride.

After that, I started riding alone and working in to the whole bike culture. Then I got hit by a car and have been off the bike since Sept 15. The insurance man finally paid me and I've started rebuilding the Bianchi.

Good news though, trainer is coming, spring is coming, and I have 5 more new OLD bikes (steel lugged machines I found cheap) in the basement to play with...although, there will be a NEW road bike this spring.

Oh yeah, the Bianchi is full Campy.

PJ
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Old 01-08-04, 10:00 AM   #17
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Basic transportation. Town was far enough away that a bike ride was a good workout, but close enough it was too tiring. I kept at it for a long time, even after I go tmy driver's liscense, until a job kept me away by demanding my attention for up to 14 hours a day.

Back in early 2000, I found myself living in a place with tons of bikepaths, and a company with a bike rental department in need of a shop supervisor. I applied, and got the job. I then bought a cheap bike from Toys 'R' Us, which I replaced with a better bike from an LBS, then I bought an old road bike and kept riding. A move away from work has kept me from commuting, but I ride as much as I can, even taking to Spin classes in the colder months.
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Old 01-08-04, 11:50 AM   #18
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Another former runner/athlete that was sick of running. I was out of college, gaining weight, running hurt every joint in my body, I had to do something. My brother was the serious cyclist. He had spent years in Japan and Hawaii riding, racing, and touring on his bikes. I started doing research on what to buy, what I needed, gathering information when I found out about a group of people that spent a week riding their bikes across Georgia (BRAG) every summer. I was awe struck. What a cool idea, riding your bike across the state, seeing all the stuff to see, I was hooked. I got a new bike and dove head first into all things cycling related. It was a couple of years before I could do BRAG but I was smitten with a passion for cycling that has only grown over the last 16-17 years.

This past year has been tough. In fact 2003 may be my worst year for mileage total but I look forward to 04. I'm going to pull my 3 y.o. son in a trailer as much as I can, I'm finishing building a fixie and a new mtb, and I should finish grad school by May and I think I'll buy myself a new toy when I finish. I think 2004 is going to be a good year.
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Old 01-08-04, 02:18 PM   #19
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I always rode a bike as a kid, it was my ticket out.
Through High School and most of college it slipped away.
When I started skiing I took up cycling as a way to keep
my legs in shape over the long non season. I did some research (read bicycling!) and ended up buying a Viscount Aerospace pro. Found I flew more on the bike
than I did on skis. I haven't been on skis in years but
the bikes are still here (and I wish I still had the Viscount).

Since original posted mentioned he wanted this in
General cycling discussion I'm gonna move it there
(with redirect).

Marty
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Old 01-08-04, 02:42 PM   #20
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I was so big at the time and wanted to lose weight. I bought my first bicycle and lost 72 pounds.

I then saw how much it draws girl's attention and that definitely hooked me!!!
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Old 01-08-04, 03:22 PM   #21
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It was 1984 and I was 13 years old. My dad was recovering from a serious back operation, and used my Raleigh 10 speed to help him regain some fittness. (he used to play tennis, but the back operation put an end to that)

He liked it so much that he bought himself an Allan 12 speed, I kept the heavy Raleigh for another year, and we started cycling together, - first just for fun, but within a year we were both cycling competitively in our respective age groups. Although we now live on separate continents, we still try and cycle together when we see each other. I seriously hope to have this same wonderfull experience with my own son one day. Who knows, maybe all three of us could enjoy this.
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Old 01-08-04, 03:48 PM   #22
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I had JC Penneys bikes when I was a kid. Just loved riding around town and out into the country. For a HS grad present my parents bought me a Schwinn World Sport road bike, which I rode all through undergrad and law school. I wish I still had it but it was stolen due to my own stupidity.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted a nice road bike. I mostly rode it to work and around town and then started doing some sprint triathlons. Two years ago, I unexpectedly came into some money and decided I wanted to ride what Lance rides. Now I ride everyday, farther and faster.

My wife is pregnant with twins and at night I dream about pulling a trailer, then training wheels, and then maybe doing a century with the kids when they're big....
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Old 01-08-04, 03:55 PM   #23
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I've had bikes since I was a kid. Mostly Huffy type cruisers and 10-speeds. I had a Schwinn Le Tour in high school. It wasn't till the 2003 TDF that I got "into" it. I started watching Lance but found myself rooting for Tyler. What a gutsy rider! I started riding my toy store mountain bike. Then in August I got a Trek hybrid. I was hooked. Got the jersey and shorts. (Not shaving my legs yet )Started riding longer distances. I now have a road bike and am looking to do my first century next month.
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Old 01-08-04, 04:18 PM   #24
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I always cycled a bit as a kid, but for no real reason at all. It was just a way to pass a bit of time every now and again with mates.

I got back into cycling a few years ago. In '99 I bought a Giant hybrid as my apartment backed directly onto a gorgeous bike trail and it seemed a waste not to use it. I still didn't ride much until my wife and I started jobs a long way apart - me in the city, and her about 20kms north of the CBD. She needed the car to get to work, and we both hated the thought of owning and maintaining two vehicles, so I started riding my bike. The more I commuted to work, the more I started to enjoy cycling.

After moving to Denver about 2 years ago it seemed a waste not to explore some of the Colorado mountain bike trails, so last summer my wife and I both started getting more into mountain biking. After it became too cold for her to have the motivation to mountain bike, I began riding a lot more on the weekends on the local paths and roads. Finally got serious about it all and bought my first road bike a few weeks ago! Planning to do my first century ride in a couple of months...
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Old 01-08-04, 08:27 PM   #25
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An old issue of BMXPlus!
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