I thought I'd drop by and say howdy.
My name is Paul, and I'm from Independence, MO. Yep ... that Independence, MO ... the one that is home to former President Harry S Truman (and yes, that is correct ... there is NO period after the "S"). I'm a 51 (very soon to be 52) year old male who has "rediscovered" the joy of bicycling. Like so many others here, I've turned to bicycling to get back in shape, enjoy the outdoors, and share some good times with my wife (who is an enthusiastic bicycle noob).
I'm a registered respiratory therapist (actually, both me and my wife are) and we work the same shift, same schedule at the same Kansas City area hospital. Despite being a respiratory therapist, I smoked up until about three years ago. I was deeply entrenched in a sedentary lifestyle. When I got hospitalized with atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response after a minor viral infection (basically, a nasty cold ... heart rate was ~200 ... A-fib with RVR for those medical types), that got my attention -- and I put down the "smokes" for good. After a battery of tests by my cardiologist (and my meds I'll most likely remain on until my last breath), I got the clearance and encouragement from him to start bicycling.
So ... I dug out my 1999 18 speed department store hybrid (that weighs more than railroad iron), that had sit idle for most of 10 years. We went and purchased my wife a similar "iron maiden" 18 speed department store hybrid, and we embarked on our "rediscovery" of bicycling. Our first ride was an eight mile ride along the Little Blue Trace bike trail, near the hospital where we work. During that first ride, the joys of bicycling that I experienced as a teen came flooding back. I was hooked, once again.
Since then, I've rebuilt a 1979 Schwinn World Sport 10-Speed, and my current "project bike" is a pre-1975 Nishiki Olympic 10-Speed road bike (currently awaiting a new crankset to arrive from Amazon.com and it will be complete). I've rebuilt a 1980's era Schwinn Caliente 10-Speed with 24" tires. Initially, it was for my wife, but she doesn't feel comfortable riding on narrow road bike tires. So, that bike has been given to my 10 year old niece, who is having the time of her life on her "new" bike. In March I purchased a 2011 Schwinn Tourist with 24 speeds, 700 x 25c tires, aluminum frame, and aluminum wheels. Tomorrow, my wife and I go to take a look (and hopefully purchase) a 2011 Giant Roam 2 hybrid from one of our excellent LBS's.
It seems funny, but ever since I passed "50," I find myself thinking more and more about my "bucket list." If you are too young to know what a "bucket list" is, it's a list of things you want to do before you "leave" this ball of mud, called Earth. One of the things that is high on my "bucket list" is to ride in the Hell of the West bicycle race in Grand Junction, CO. I really don't care where I place -- I just want to be able to say "I did it." I'm fortunate enough to have a wife who is fully supportive of my endeavor (hence, why we're going to look at a "premium" bike tomorrow morning ... woohoo!)
When I'm not riding or working on bicycles, I'm working on The PCLinuxOS Magazine as its Chief Editor. It's a volunteer position that I've fulfilled for more than three years. We (my wife and me) also enjoy fishing, lawn work, cooking, grilling out, and traveling. We just completed (August 10) a 50 mile bike ride (the longest ever for either of us) along the Prairie Spirit Trail, from Ottawa, Kansas to Garnett, Kansas ... and back. Today (August 12) was spent on bike repairs and tune ups.
I'm glad to be here and look forward to participating in the discussions in this forum. My "bike stable" is listed in my signature, below. (Don't laugh.)