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View Poll Results: Did you exercise before taking up cycling?

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  • I know enough to teach Lance Armstrong a thing or two.

    4 5.71%
  • I've used all the machines at the gym.

    9 12.86%
  • I ran for a month after making my New Year's resolution.

    6 8.57%
  • I walked up stairs sometimes.

    37 52.86%
  • I once worked up a sweat playing World of Warcraft.

    14 20.00%
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  1. #1
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    How sedentary were you when you started cycling regularly?

    ** For the purposes of this poll, I'm not talking about when you were six years old and already running all over the neighborhood when you found out a bike could get you down the block even faster. I'm talking about regular, "grownup" riding for commuting, fitness, race training, tooling around the park with the family, whatever. **

    No offense to anyone, but some of the questions I see make me wonder what people were doing to stay active before taking up cycling, if they were active at all.

    Good advice given in response to these questions often talk about improving core strength, cardio fitness, better posture, and similar aspects that, frankly, I would consider as fundamental in any exercise activity. At worst, it even makes me wonder if anything was taught in school gym class.

    Try not to view my question as, "What the hell were you thinking back then?", but more like, "Isn't it more fun since you're exercising now?"

    I know enough to teach Lance Armstrong a thing or two.
    I've used all the machines at the gym.
    I ran for a month after making my New Year's resolution.
    I walked up stairs sometimes.
    I once worked up a sweat playing World of Warcraft.

  2. #2
    Senior Member groovestew's Avatar
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    Of the choices provided, I picked "Walked up the stairs sometimes". In reality, prior to taking up real cycling in earnest, I spent a year riding a stationary bike 2-3 times per week, 30 minutes per session. I get more exercise now in one day by cycle-commuting than I did in a week on the stationary bike.

    Prior to my stationary bike stint, I was a lump on the couch for the most part.

  3. #3
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    Prior, I was walking briskly between classes/home for at least an hour on weekdays

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Try not to view my question as, "What the hell were you thinking back then?", but more like, "Isn't it more fun since you're exercising now?"
    I chose the last option. I spent the previous two years working from home and rarely leaving. While I have never been fit (weighed 260 lbs at 5'9") for at least 25-30 years, I was always able to at least perform the limited activity I wanted (the occasional hike (a couple of miles) to take photographs), but after virtually no physical activity for two years I was getting winded just walking from the car to the grocery store.

    When I started riding again in June it was all I could do to ride 9/10 of a mile. The first month saw only 60 miles on my bike. Just a few months later I now do that distance in about a weeks worth of riding, and that is just because that is about all the time I can spare for my current speed (abt 10mph).

    I am amazed at how much I enjoy the physical activity. I actually have a harder time getting started on the one day of the week I stay off of the bicycle.

  5. #5
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    Sorry dude but the poll really sucks. I have been thinking about a more polite way to put it but kept coming back to suck.

    If you are going to have five options, how about a smooth, logical transition between them? One being couch potato, Five being top physical condition. Look at the last three; somebody could run for a month and consistently pushing him/herself every day, or spent a whole year shamming at the gym. And how the heck do you jump from possibly shamming at the gym to teaching Lance a thing or two? How about:

    5 - Top physical shape doing something else
    4 - Very active lifestyle
    3 - normal activity, weekend warrior
    2 - Light physical activity, mow the lawn, etc
    1 - sedentary lifestyle

    I did back country snowboarding into the mid spring and hiking up the mountains during the summer and fall. I would put myself on number 4 around winter/spring time, degrading to number 3 towards the fall. Getting back on the horse and hiking up mountains with snow up to my armpits was getting to be a bit too much, so I picked up cycling to stay in shape (and the weight low) during the off season.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    My job keeps me fairly active, try a 110' stair tower (11 stories) round trip 4-5 times a day, then walking close to 3 miles along roof seams looking for faults... Some jobs aren't quite as physical, others more so.

    I ride my bike to decompress and relax and see things from somewhere besides behind the bug butts at 70mph. (50k miles in the company truck last year! less than 3k miles in the personal one)

    I have never really been away from cycling my entire life, just been times when I rode more than others.

    Rode to get places in the neighborhood from the late 60's well into the 70's, started racing in the mid 70's for several years, then used a bike as my only form of transportation into the mid 80's, more transportation cycling in to the late 90's. Then it became a release from having to drive way too much. Now it is used to keep from having to drive when I get where I am going, a form of recreation and mental health treatment.

    Peak yearly mileage was in the late 70's 7,000 miles a year wasn't out of the question, now it is probably around 1500-2,000 or so.


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    Last edited by wahoonc; 10-15-10 at 04:37 PM.
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    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
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  7. #7
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abdon View Post
    Sorry dude but the poll really sucks. I have been thinking about a more polite way to put it but kept coming back to suck.
    I just wanted to write something more interesting. I don't work for Gallup.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    I just wanted to write something more interesting. I don't work for Gallup.
    Actually, my bad. It is early in the morning here, and I was stupid enough to post before my morning coffee. My tone was rude and I honestly apologize for it. I should not be allowed to interact with other human beings without having enough caffeine on my system.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I've always been very acive. Racquetball, volleybally leagues, softball leagues 2 times a week, tournaments on the weekends, working out 4 or5 times a week, benching 330 lbs, "running" 3 miles 3 or 4 times a week. I was very active, now that I cycle, I'm more of a big softie than I ever was!

    typing was never a stongpoint!
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 10-15-10 at 06:56 PM.

  10. #10
    tsl
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    I was on the inert side of inertia.

    When I rode my hybrid home from the LBS on that first day, I had to stop and rest for five minutes or so halfway home. Since then, I've measured. It's 0.67 miles.

    Yes, I needed a five-minute rest after riding a third of a mile. It was a month or two before I could ride the entire two miles to work without stopping.

    Nine-months later, by the end of that calendar year, I'd covered 2,900 miles, and was looking at road bikes.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  11. #11
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    It took me 45 min to bike 3.5 miles when I started. I could work up a sweat thinking about moving over to the computer.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I cycled quite a bit as a kid up till the age of 17, and then between the ages of about 17 and 23, I didn't do much cycling at all ... maybe just once or twice a year. Then at the age of 23 (on April 29, 1990) I started cycling regularly.

    Between the ages of 17 and 23, however, I kept fairly active. I ran several km several days a week between about 17 and 20. I lifted weights relatively regularly. And I walked lots. In the year or so prior to deciding to start cycling regularly, I was walking anywhere from about 1-5 km a day 5-6 days a week. So I figured I was in fairly decent shape.

    And then I got onto the bicycle on April 29, 1990 with the intent of doing a ride around the little town where I lived. The distance was 2 miles ... and I had to take a break at the end of the first mile. That did it for me! Obviously I was not in as good shape as I thought I was ... and I set about getting into shape and cycling lots. I also started bodybuilding about 6 months later.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Sedentary ?

    Whuzzat ?

    I came into this world with bad knees and never let that stop me from participating in athletics throughout my life... I ran and wrestled in high school and used to get up in the morning to swim 50 lengths of the pool, would go to work, teach Karate classes every evening, and find a way to put 40 miles on my bike.

    After burning out at my desk job I started work in a machine shop and would ride 50 km a day and put in 8-10 hours of hard labour... I would laugh when anyone asked if I wanted to go to the gym and was knocking down 16,000 km a year on the road and trails.

    After my back injury my doctor said I needed to adopt a sedentary lifestyle so now I only average 30 km a day on my bike and stay on the road most of the time.

    I figure that if I stop moving I will die.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Sedentary ?
    I figure that if I stop moving I will die.
    Nah. You don't die, you just stop living. Small but significant difference.

  15. #15
    Strong with the Fred Big_e's Avatar
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    I was not active at all and weighed 200 pounds before I started bicycling. A friend suggested I bicycle so we both went to walmart and both got the same kind of Mongoose bikes. I started to ride around the nearby park and lost 20 pounds in about 4 weeks. I got a better bike and gave the mongoose to a neighbor kid and I haven't looked back since.
    Ernest
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  16. #16
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    When I started cycling again as an adult, I was only moderately active and did not exercise. I smoked about 1.5 packs of cigarettes per day. Since I've started cycling, I've lost 65 pounds, quit smoking, and feel good. I'm 6'2" and weigh 162 lbs this evening. As others have reported, my first few rides were fairly short and tough.

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I had about 10 years away from severe physical activity-but just face it- Running around with the kids and an active job does keep some fitness in you. Not enough for Cycling though.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  18. #18
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Runner for years, did some weights occasionally...but nothing serious.

    This poll probably doesn't have the choices to reflect a lot of people's activity levels....but something tells me you're already aware of that .
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  19. #19
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurbineBlade View Post
    This poll probably doesn't have the choices to reflect a lot of people's activity levels....but something tells me you're already aware of that .
    Yeah, pretty much. For example, I purposely put in "ran for a month after New Year's" to describe what I used to see at the YMCA where my parents have a membership. When I'd visit on vacation at the end of the summer, I'd only see the full-time gym rats, but as soon as January 1st hit, there were at least three times as many people in there.

    I know that there's a difference between regularly hitting the gym (or doing workouts at home) 3-4 days a week and just cruising the gym, but then again, I didn't want to make the poll ten options long, either. Then again again, maybe the Lance and Warcraft references are a bit too silly to take seriously...

  20. #20
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    Lets see... I first started riding seriously way back around 1974-75. Amazingly, I didn't have a bike as a kid. (In the 50s, all you got were those big, heavy, single-speed cruisers) I started motorcycling, and eventually got into amateur motocross. I read somewhere that riding a bike was good training for motocross, so I went out and bought a 5-speed Schwinn Varsity.
    The motocross career didn't last long, I broke two bones.... But I kept riding. Eventually, I bought a much nicer Schwinn Continental and rode that for a couple of years.
    However, marriage and work and all that pretty much ate up my riding time and I sold it.
    Fast forward some years....I had left my first police job, and was working hospital security, and had almost no money. Needed something physical.... I bought a well-used Raleigh Record from the thrift store for 25 bucks and spent as much more for new tires and tubes.
    Rode that Raleigh for about 2 years, going from a pretty-depressed level of fitness to doing quite well. Gradually expanded my riding to include Mountain Biking and in my 50s was doing 100+ miles per week and was in good enough shape that my colleagues were generally in envy.....
    Now, 15 years later, post-knee-surgery, post stents, etc, etc, I'm working my way back.

  21. #21
    Neil_B
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    I was completely sedentary from my childhood until I reached the age of 40 and 400 pounds. I began to exercise and eat better and lost 115 pounds in a year. I then bought a bike and taught myself to ride, never having learned as a child. My first ride was a mile, ending with a crash when a mailbox jumped in front of me. (Pennsylvania does not have a leash law for mailboxes.) My first year I rode 3000 miles.....

  22. #22
    Senior Member slorollin's Avatar
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    Being 55, I've lived all of your categories at one time or another. Now my bike is a fun way to get out and about, exercise myself, my wife and my dog with minimal joint destruction. Have always biked to various degrees; admittedly never with much ambition.
    Last edited by slorollin; 10-16-10 at 02:31 PM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian T.'s Avatar
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    I went back and forth from 205-210 lbs and had no inclination to work out. I started riding- to my wife's and families dismay -to work and back when gas hit $4.50/gal. here. I could barely go around the neighborhood w/o running out of breath. A buddy of mine took me to a local trail and had me do a 27 mi. ride. I thought I was going to die. But I kept with it, got a better bike, then got another better bike. I love it now and am planniing a bike trip to my hometown of Waynesburg, Pa.
    Never get into an argument with an idiot, they only drag you down and beat you with experience.


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  24. #24
    Senior Member slorollin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian T. View Post
    I went back and forth from 205-210 lbs and had no inclination to work out. I started riding- to my wife's and families dismay -to work and back when gas hit $4.50/gal. here. I could barely go around the neighborhood w/o running out of breath. A buddy of mine took me to a local trail and had me do a 27 mi. ride. I thought I was going to die. But I kept with it, got a better bike, then got another better bike. I love it now and am planniing a bike trip to my hometown of Waynesburg, Pa.
    Waynesburg, PA: I used to drive there from Carroll Co., MD to buy Lord Chesterfield Ale before it was sold in MD. Stopped for lunch one day at a little restaurant that had autographs and pics of all the celebs that had eaten there. It was amazing! I mean, what was Aerosmith doing in Waynesburg?
    The great Confucius said that he would
    rather be a profound political economist than chief of police.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Brian T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slorollin View Post
    Waynesburg, PA: I used to drive there from Carroll Co., MD to buy Lord Chesterfield Ale before it was sold in MD. Stopped for lunch one day at a little restaurant that had autographs and pics of all the celebs that had eaten there. It was amazing! I mean, what was Aerosmith doing in Waynesburg?
    Probably got lost. Nah, might have stopped on the way to Pittsburgh or something. Do you remember the name of the restaurant?
    Never get into an argument with an idiot, they only drag you down and beat you with experience.


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