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  1. #1
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Frustrated Bike Evangelist

    Though I have only progressed moderately in this activity/sport over the years, I have on occasion tried to encourage people who showed interest to take up cycling again, as I do believe it an excellent activity for both young and old, extremely fit to only moderately fit, and men and women. But, maybe it is a waste of time, as so far, I don't think my efforts to spread the word has resulted in a single non bike enthusiast becoming a bike enthusiast. (as a professional advocate, a 0% success rate is hard to accept).

    I convinced one friend to actually buy a bike, but he hasn't really ridden it. I convinced an acquaintance to service his old road bike, but haven't been able to motivate him to actually ride it. After he replaced the wheels, tires, brake pads etc.. on his bike boom era 10 speed, he tells me yesterday, maybe I will just sell it now that it is in ready to ride condition. To which, I said, seriously? You just spent hundreds of dollars on a bike that is worth, maybe $125 to $150 so you would have something to ride this spring. To which he said, it is vintage, and worth much more than I put into it.

    Is it that people are just polite, that when they say they want to get into cycling, they are just making conversation? Maybe Voltaire was right and we should cultivate our own garden.

    Anyhow, I am volunteering at a local bike expo this weekend for a local cycling club, so will make my pitch to total strangers this Sunday.

    Edit: I am not perfect either. I had stretches of years where my interest in biking waned extremely, and now amount of coaxing by others could get me back on the bike.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-03-14 at 11:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    I've given up on trying to get other people to ride bicycles by talking to them. Now I just ride my bike, and make sure I smile really big whenever anybody mentions it. If they ask why, I just tell them it's fun!

  3. #3
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    They look over my LWB recumbent and tell me how comfortable it looks. I let them sit on it and they are amazed by the comfort. I tell them I have lost 76 pounds on it and they get REAL interested. I tell them what it cost and they are stunned into disbelief. No takers yet, 'bent or DF. bk

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I hate watching the guy at the alter be the only one with the Wine..

  5. #5
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Don't 'preach' bicycling to folks; just smile and tell 'em you're having fun.
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  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Though I have only progressed moderately in this activity/sport over the years, I have on occasion tried to encourage people who showed interest to take up cycling again, as I do believe it an excellent activity for both young and old, extremely fit to only moderately fit, and men and women. But, maybe it is a waste of time, as so far, I don't think my efforts to spread the word has resulted in a single non bike enthusiast becoming a bike enthusiast. (as a professional advocate, a 0% success rate is hard to accept).
    Don't worry about other people. Just focus on your own riding. You say you've only progressed moderately in cycling over the years ... focus on progressing more. Get involved in cycling events, increase your distance, increase your speed ...


    Not everyone has to cycle. In my office, one person is a competitive bodybuilder, two are runners who are training for some running events, one is a rower, another is involved in cricket and footy, several people swim, quite a few people enjoy walking, a couple people are long-distance bushwallkers ... and there are a few of us who cycle. It's all good!!

    I'm not going to tell the bushwalkers that they need to ride a bicycle. I'm not going to encourage the rower to give up rowing and start cycling.

    I might drop hints about getting active in general. But that's about it.

    Fortunately my office also encourages people to get active, and there has been a lot of information circulating recently about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. So we're encouraged to get up and walk around the office about once an hour, we're encouraged to get out for a walk at lunch, and we're encouraged to be active in the evenings on our own time. And quite a few people are active.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Lead by example...

    I don't preach, I ride, if people ask questions I give them short answers. The rest is up to them.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Over the years I've engaged in many activities or hobbies about which I was a bit fanatical. I would seek out others that shared my interest but generally not try to engender it in others who weren't so inclined on their own to begin with. If they showed interest, I give them a bit of encouragement, but it was up to them to pursue it. There are many many times more activities that absorb others and in which I haven't an iota of interest. I don't want anybody pestering me about them.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  9. #9
    Senior Member spdracr39's Avatar
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    I just promote how happy biking makes me and hope that the positive attitude will lead others to join me. I have extra bikes so they can ride with me but will go it alone if I can't find company. As they say you can lead a horse to water ....

  10. #10
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Lead by example...

    I don't preach, I ride, if people ask questions I give them short answers. The rest is up to them.
    ^^^ What he said.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Don't worry about other people. Just focus on your own riding. You say you've only progressed moderately in cycling over the years ... focus on progressing more. Get involved in cycling events, increase your distance, increase your speed ...


    Not everyone has to cycle. In my office, one person is a competitive bodybuilder, two are runners who are training for some running events, one is a rower, another is involved in cricket and footy, several people swim, quite a few people enjoy walking, a couple people are long-distance bushwallkers ... and there are a few of us who cycle. It's all good!!

    I'm not going to tell the bushwalkers that they need to ride a bicycle. I'm not going to encourage the rower to give up rowing and start cycling.

    I might drop hints about getting active in general. But that's about it.

    Fortunately my office also encourages people to get active, and there has been a lot of information circulating recently about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. So we're encouraged to get up and walk around the office about once an hour, we're encouraged to get out for a walk at lunch, and we're encouraged to be active in the evenings on our own time. And quite a few people are active.
    I am doing my part. My interest in cycling has ebbed and flowed over the years.

    This time two years ago, I was shocked at how far I had regressed as a cyclist. I had gained some weight and got gassed after 5 miles (one hot day late in May, gassed after less than 3 miles .) But I got back on it and willed myself back into condition, working up to 30 mile rides by the end of the season. Last Spring through fall was my best biking season in over a decade, though probably still modest compared to some on this site. This year, I am focusing on getting more riding in through March and early April so I am ready for peak riding season, when it is possible to ride most days. At a minimum, I expect to ride at least as much as I did last year and exceed the milestones of last season (50 mile ride by June, Metric Century by July), and thinking about some other goals to set this season. Thinking perhaps of a 100 or 150 mile weekend?

    It sounds like your office is more active than most.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-04-14 at 09:23 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Over the years I've engaged in many activities or hobbies about which I was a bit fanatical. I would seek out others that shared my interest but generally not try to engender it in others who weren't so inclined on their own to begin with. If they showed interest, I give them a bit of encouragement, but it was up to them to pursue it. There are many many times more activities that absorb others and in which I haven't an iota of interest. I don't want anybody pestering me about them.
    Not pestering anybody, or at least I hope I am not. I am talking about people who have come to me and asked me how to get into cycling. And I tell them to get a decent bike and start riding. (usually that results in my stock warning not to buy a BSO at Walmart, which leads to a discussion of what the differences are between $500 or $600 bike shop bike vs $150 Walmart BSO, so maybe money is the sticking point for some, IDK) I don't go around telling people they have to bike. Walking, running, swimming, Martial Arts, Gym. All are viable ways to get into shape.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-04-14 at 09:32 AM.

  13. #13
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    Don't beat yourself up over this. There's a streak of laziness in many Americans that runs pretty deep. The idea of doing something that takes effort is pretty appealing but putting it into practice is another matter. Over the past decade I have reintroduced cycling to several adults back who actually stuck with it. They tend to be better educated people who understand the connection between fitness and a longer life with fewer medical problems. Two of them are MDs and my own GP has promised to take up more cycling when he no longer can be a runner. If they don't follow your advice let it go. They are the ones that will be losers, not you.

  14. #14
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Everyone is different, just a few observations based on my own experience. It seems like you have started out right and done what others have suggested, and just enjoyed riding, since others have come to you to find out how to get into cycling.

    I have several bikes (and some BSOs), and have basically just asked others to join me, and let them ride one of my bikes. This removes expense as an issue. I have a few bikes I never plan to ride, they are specifically loaners. If someone wants to evangelize others, maybe buying a spare bike or two is a good step. (We can discuss the N+1 principle later)

    Last year a guy that I have been working with retired, and I kept in touch with him. He went on a few rides with me. In his case, his son had a nice hard tail 29er that he borrowed for the rides

    A guy I had been walking with joined me for a couple of rides. I picked him up, with a spare bike that I quickly adjusted for his use. His daughter thought that he was crazy to ride a bike at 75... But, since then she has changed her mind. He has his own bike now, a Christmas gift. It is not a $500-600 bike (nor is it a department store BSO), and it works for him. We plan to do a multi-day trip later this year.

    For someone who hasn't ridden them, road bikes are intimidating, and in my opinion a poor place (for some) to start when they are just getting into riding, or starting again. When I was a kid, I didn't start on a drop bar bike, but a few decades later I bought one to get back into cycling. I rode it a couple of times, and then it decayed in the shed until it got tossed. A few years later, I got a hybrid, and things were much better and formed the basis of one of my current addictions... cycling.

    There may also be a factor that riding on roads is intimidating to people who haven't done it. Especially someone who has not had the opportunity to build their skills and confidence by spending time in the saddle. Rail trails are wonderful to help to build the basic skills of balance, cadence, shifting, and many other things that many of us do automatically after some time on a bike.

    Among some there is an attitude that someone getting into cycling should get a decent quality road bike, since if they get into riding, they won't have to upgrade. They seem to ignore the fact that the first bike needs to be something that will allow them to get into riding. A cheap hybrid (or BSO) that gets ridden is much more appropriate than the nice road bike that sits in a garage for years until it is finally sold or discarded. This attitude seems silly after the fact, since after we have ridden for a year or two, we know we're going to upgrade anyway. But, I didn't know that when I started.

    And finally, don't worry whether an individual rides or not, just stay willing to share your experience and knowledge with anyone that is interested in getting into cycling. It is up to them what they do with the information you share.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. #15
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    Everyone is different, just a few observations based on my own experience. It seems like you have started out right and done what others have suggested, and just enjoyed riding, since others have come to you to find out how to get into cycling.

    I have several bikes (and some BSOs), and have basically just asked others to join me, and let them ride one of my bikes. This removes expense as an issue. I have a few bikes I never plan to ride, they are specifically loaners. If someone wants to evangelize others, maybe buying a spare bike or two is a good step. (We can discuss the N+1 principle later)

    Last year a guy that I have been working with retired, and I kept in touch with him. He went on a few rides with me. In his case, his son had a nice hard tail 29er that he borrowed for the rides

    A guy I had been walking with joined me for a couple of rides. I picked him up, with a spare bike that I quickly adjusted for his use. His daughter thought that he was crazy to ride a bike at 75... But, since then she has changed her mind. He has his own bike now, a Christmas gift. It is not a $500-600 bike (nor is it a department store BSO), and it works for him. We plan to do a multi-day trip later this year.

    For someone who hasn't ridden them, road bikes are intimidating, and in my opinion a poor place (for some) to start when they are just getting into riding, or starting again. When I was a kid, I didn't start on a drop bar bike, but a few decades later I bought one to get back into cycling. I rode it a couple of times, and then it decayed in the shed until it got tossed. A few years later, I got a hybrid, and things were much better and formed the basis of one of my current addictions... cycling.

    There may also be a factor that riding on roads is intimidating to people who haven't done it. Especially someone who has not had the opportunity to build their skills and confidence by spending time in the saddle. Rail trails are wonderful to help to build the basic skills of balance, cadence, shifting, and many other things that many of us do automatically after some time on a bike.

    Among some there is an attitude that someone getting into cycling should get a decent quality road bike, since if they get into riding, they won't have to upgrade. They seem to ignore the fact that the first bike needs to be something that will allow them to get into riding. A cheap hybrid (or BSO) that gets ridden is much more appropriate than the nice road bike that sits in a garage for years until it is finally sold or discarded. This attitude seems silly after the fact, since after we have ridden for a year or two, we know we're going to upgrade anyway. But, I didn't know that when I started.

    And finally, don't worry whether an individual rides or not, just stay willing to share your experience and knowledge with anyone that is interested in getting into cycling. It is up to them what they do with the information you share.
    I have a stable of extra bikes, so have that angle covered. Last fall, I finally set up a ride with my cousin and his wife. She expressed an interest in cycling. She borrowed my wife's Trek WSD hybrid, though it may have been a little too big for her while my cousin rode my old Bianchi hybrid. I just bought an old Trek 930 mountain bike, so that could easily be a loaner for out of town guests or friends who want to give cycling a try. We even have my wife's old Peugeot 10 speed that we can bring out of retirement if we really need to. Anyhow, the family ride was deemed a success. My cousin remarked how much easier it was riding my 17 year old hybrid compared with his department store bike. We rode about 18 miles together without a major snafu, but as far as I can tell, it didn't take as far as them actually taking up cycling.

    I recently went through a whole process with a guy I know from the gym. He expressed a desire to get back to riding outdoors. He is in his 60s and hasn't ridden in a number of years, but though he actually brought his bike boom 10 speed into the bike shop (actually I did, as he had no way to transport a bike) and had it serviced. Though I don't know if the money he spent was worth it compared to just putting it into a new bike, he believes that his old 10 speed is a superior bike to anything you can get for $1,500 or less. I can't say I agree (I told him that $600 or at most $800 would get him a bike that has a wider range of gears, is lighter, more responsive, faster, and more reliable than his old 10 speed, but he didn't agree with me. I can see he is a stubborn man with odd ideas about biking that he picked up from God knows where or when, so I can see I have my work cut out for me. Riding an old bike is fine. I have a preference for steel, which makes me old school, but he has ideas that go beyond quirky and IMO are downright dangerous, such as why it is unnecessary, or counterproductive to bring water with you on a long ride. But I will lead by example and see where it goes. So far, he passed when I offered to ride with him last week.

    I agree with your assessment of hybrids being a decent entry point for beginners or people getting back to riding after a long hiatus, and I usually recommend them, even though I currently ride a drop bar bike. The only exception being people who start out wanting to do long road rides (50 miles or more). In that case, better to just get started with a road bike.
    Last edited by MRT2; 04-04-14 at 11:47 AM.

  16. #16
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    My public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  17. #17
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    I find that most observant people want to sip the Kool Aid, once they see how it refreshes others...

    Some people can't help but to notice that I'm mostly smiling when I'm cycling
    Last edited by WestPablo; 04-05-14 at 08:51 AM.

  18. #18
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    Start with kickin' great looking legs, 20 lbs lost weight and good appetite for great foods, no dieting. Then I tell them that it takes me 1 hour by car to commute, and 20 minutes longer by bike. Nope, they would rather sit in their cage to go to work and drive to the spin class or gym. Whatever....

  19. #19
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    Here is a thing that sums up some Americans attitude toward actually working out. At the gym my wife goes to, there are several women who insist on "workouts" that will not make them break sweat. They pay $135.00 per month for this and the staff tolerates it because they are paying members. Incredible. bk

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    See this recent thread on the General Cyclig Discussion Forum, "Face Palm Ė Some People Just Donít Get It".

    On that thread I posted this favorite quote about the American View of Bicycling:

    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    I've found that most Americans think of bikes in three ways: children's toys, exotic toys for fitness fanatics and transportation of last resort for the impoverished and disadvantaged. It's socially acceptable for an adult to dress up like a circus acrobat with friends once a week, run around in circles as quickly as possible with no other purpose or destination, but to ride a bike somewhere for a purpose implies some sort of need and is looked upon as an act of desperation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    It took me a couple of readings to figure out that the adults who dress up like circus acrobats and run around in circles are joggers.

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