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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-09-14, 08:58 AM   #51
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Good thread. I learned how to ride a bicycle without training wheels when I was 4, and rode various BMX and mountain bikes all through my childhood and always took to it and enjoyed it. I didn't have a bicycle all throughout my teenage and early adult years. About a year ago at age 27 it occurred to me I should get a decent bicycle and start riding for fitness. I bought a Kona hybrid bike with usable components. Like you I started off with 10 mile rides, and then after a couple months it was 20 mile rides and now its 50 mile rides with lots of hill climbing every weekend. I am now at the point of wanting to get a serious road bike and joining local rides and possibly races in the future. I figure I have a chance of meeting new friends to ride with(none of my friends ride).
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Old 06-09-14, 09:55 AM   #52
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1.Wife wanted a road bike really bad and said she wouldn't buy it if I did not buy one.
2.I was not interested at all, but bought the cheapest road bike I could find at the LBS.
3.Co-worker invited me to a "Wednesday bike ride" and assured me I will have no problems finishing-up the ride
4.Tried to keep up and had to get out of my bike after a few rolling hills just a few miles out. Made it to 16 miles completely depleted to the point that I was feeling sick.
5.Pregnant wife at the time. Thought to myself, "most people here are 10-20 years older than me and they are in such a good shape. I want to grow old healthy for my kids."
6.Got a nicer bike, joined a club, and it is now a passion.
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Old 06-10-14, 05:08 AM   #53
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Started riding again about 9 years ago after selling my Harley. Had a Trek mtn bike but was not sure I could ride a road bike because of my arthritis. I got a bike from lbs dumpster, fixed it up and almost 50,000 miles later, I have eleven road bikes.
I went from a test to a passion. I ride every day, 20 plus miles, will be 70 next week, got my first bike in 1957. No plan to quit any time soon!

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Old 06-10-14, 05:50 AM   #54
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I have my wife to credit for that one. She wanted a bike for her graduation present so she could ride around the Palouse and not wear herself out on a MTB. So in fairness she got her bike, but I felt I needed one too! I did have a old custom build road bike my Dad made, but it didn't fit me and I never rode it.
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Old 06-10-14, 09:09 AM   #55
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Nice inspiring story OP:

Played soccer and rugby in highschool abroad. June 2013 my bank send me a list of gifts since i accumulated points using my bank card as a credit. I chose a mountain bike as one of the gifts listed then i started cycling on weekends and the roads became shorter and shorter. Our Benefits director saw me and let me have his old steel bike. I was hooked and thereafter bought my first road bike. I've gone through 4 bikes already but love the spot.
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Old 06-10-14, 09:41 AM   #56
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I moved to Chico, CA for school and used my older brother's aluminum mountain bike to get around (since Chico is a bike town). At the beginning of my sophomore year, the MTB was stolen from in front of my apartment. I started riding a steel Bianchi road bike my dad had ridden when he was younger, and it was a revelation--I'd never ridden a road bike before, and I had no idea it would be so much "faster." I signed up for my first century the next year and began hoarding bikes and parts shortly thereafter.

Since 2009, I've owned:
-1986 Bianchi Limited (gave it back to my dad, refurbished, as a birthday present)
-1973 Schwinn Speedster (dead)
-1990 Cannondale Criterium fixed conversion (sold)
-1986 Bianchi Brava (stolen, then stolen back, still own)
-1981 Bianchi Pista (still own)
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-2011 Wilier Izoard XP (still own)
-2013 Ridley X Night (still own)
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Old 06-10-14, 10:06 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by KonaRider125 View Post
Good thread. I learned how to ride a bicycle without training wheels when I was 4. . .
A more modern school of thought, and one I agree with, is that training wheels do more harm than good in teaching kids to ride a two wheeler.
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Old 06-10-14, 10:34 AM   #58
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Here's my bike story. I played soccer and basketball in High school. In college, I played both sports at the Intramural level as well. However, I always had tendinitis in my knees and at the age of 29 in 2010 my patellar tendon raptured while I was going up for a layup playing basketball at the gym. Now, rehab never went as planned because I had torn my thigh muscle (rectus Femoris) playing soccer in college back in 2003, and it made it physically impossible to successfully rehab my patellar tendon in 2010.
As a result, I gained 40 punds, was unable run nor partake in sports. Well, that last sentence isn't entirely true because in 2013 a friend lent me his old Schwinn bike that he had purchased from Target. He had recently bought a fully carbon Pinarello with Ultegra components. I found out there was something I could do, where I still got the sensation of being mobile and, what do you know, fast. I fell in love right there. My knees got stronger, I was active again. It was hellish keeping up with my buddy on his Pinarello, and I must say he was kind enough not to drop me completely on rides. I rode throughout the spring into the summer, then on the 4th of July weekend, bike got totaled via rearending while on a rack on the back of my car. Insurance would only provide a current market value payout for the bike, which was a pittance.
So, this spring, I purchased my first real road bike; a 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 on craigslitst and I have biked at least 4 days a week/ 100 miles a week. I have lost 30 pounds since I started biking last year and will upgrade my bike once it becomes the limiting factor to my progress. I know I've got it bad now because I watch cycling videos about the past greats and current whippersnappers. I steal quick ten mile rides even on recovery days. I know I am in for the long haul.
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Old 06-10-14, 10:47 AM   #59
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I decided that I didn't want to die driving my Kawasaki Ninja 600R. I sold it and bought a road bike the same week. Six years later and I realized that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life!
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Old 06-10-14, 05:35 PM   #60
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About nine years ago I had started mountain biking and flipping bikes to pay for that habit. Most of the roadies that I picked up from garage sales were from the 70's and 80's, friction shifters with 27" wheels. I went to one garage sale in an affluent neighborhood where I asked if they were selling any bikes. The response was "yeah, we've got a white bike, are you interested in a white bike?" I respond "of course" expecting a white beach cruiser to exit the garage. So the owner goes into her garage and rolls out a white Cannondale SR500 with brand new tires, two sets of clipless pedals and a spare saddle. I gasped and asked how much. She said, "Well, how about $40", expecting me to try and bring down the price. I tried to play hard to get, honest I did, then whipped out $40, grabbed the bike and ran to my car before she could change her mind. Once I owned it, I had to ride it and really liked riding with clubs. I've upgraded to a steel Bianchi and a couple of CF bikes, but I still have that Cannondale and still use it as my rain bike.
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Old 07-16-14, 01:19 PM   #61
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My family was traveling in France and we had just gotten to France and we walked out of our hotel to get our bearings and happened upon a large crowd .... It was the tour and as it passed by I said I want to do that and here I am at 15 years old putting in 300 miles a week
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Old 07-16-14, 09:17 PM   #62
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I've always ridden bmx and mountain bikes. Eventually bought a beach cruiser to casually ride with the wife. Then one day I got the itch to commute. Its an awesome ride, each way is 5 miles, almost 800 foot climb, lots of corners. Started on the mountain bike, found it slow. Got a hybrid, found it better, got a drop bar hybrid found it even better, got an entry level aluminum road bike and fell in love. Then I went for broke and got me a Tarmac Expert and all I think about now is riding it. I wish I did this road thing 30 years ago...
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Old 07-17-14, 09:38 AM   #63
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Rode BMX & Mountain as a kid/teen/young adult, and then somehow forgot about cycling from my early 20s until my mid-40s. I don't even remember what happened to the MTB I bought right after college.

I got a new job about five miles from home, and the job came with a covered and access-controlled bike cage, showers, lockers, etc. so I figured I'd give it a try.

My first "adult" bike was a full-suspension Mongoose from Sports Authority (USA big-box retail store). I remembered in the '80s that Mongoose was a good brand, but this bike weighed a ton and rolled on the street as if stuck in hot tar. It was monster on single-track, but terrible on the road, and parts liked to come loose, fall off, and eventually the frame where the rear wheel attaches bent during normal riding.

Then I bought a '93 Raleigh rigid MTB on craigslist last summer, right around the time I found this forum. I put on street tires and rack and some lights and thought I had The Fastest Bicycle On Earth, compared to the Mongoose. It's a good bike and I enjoy it on and off road, although right now the rear wheel is out-of-round so it's hung up in the garage while I figure out what to do next.

Then I got to talking to a former co-worker who is so exactly my size that people used to say they couldn't tell us apart from behind. He and I worked together for six years but never discussed bicycles because I was in my 20+ years "off" from riding. I told him of my new passion and he said he had just gotten a newer road bike and I could have his old one, for free.

I use it as a commuter. I'm not a "roadie" like a lot of you guys. I run platform pedals and have a handlebar bag on it, and I'm thinking about fenders, if they'll fit. I had a LBS do a tune-up and also install a new chain and cassette and I love it. It's fast and effortless to ride and it rolls forever so I end up coasting a lot more than on the heavier MTB. I think I get a better workout on the MTB, but the Allez is so much more comfortable to ride. I've been riding this almost daily to work, including today, and really love this bike. The fact that I have very little money in it only makes it sweeter.

Last edited by Squeeze; 07-17-14 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 07-17-14, 11:45 AM   #64
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I trace it back to my first, and hardest, road ride. My wife had been shopping and the old car wouldn't start so I needed to get to the supermarket where she'd left it. I didn't feel like walking or imposing on a neighbor, and my wife had inherited a weird touring type bike from her father. It had a double top tube, steel I think, and I'd patched up the rot on the old tires and pumped them up. So I hopped on her bike and set out. It was only 2.5 miles, but about 250 feet of climbing and 100°+, both more of a challenge than I anticipated. I was 47 years old, terribly unfit and hadn't been on a bike since I was 15 but I finally made it, messed with the engine and drove home. I did not want to repeat that ordeal, but it stuck in the back of my mind that it was actually possible to bike to the supermarket, and theoretically, carry some groceries back.

I was, in my innermost thoughts a little impressed with the effort but simultaneously dissatisfied that it was so difficult for me, so I started riding her bike around in a less challenging area. I enjoyed the feeling that I was steadily gaining strength with these easy rides. Some months later I grew weary of pouring time and money into the Oldsmobile, and I thought back to riding to the grocery store and said, well why not? So we abruptly went car-free. I wasn't a "roadie" at that point because I didn't really enjoy it, and it was quite a challenge still to get everywhere I needed to be on an old, heavy worn-out bike. After a few months the challenge subsided, and a few months later still I realized that I enjoyed the trips and started riding for fun even with no destination (which frankly I thought was kind of weird but I didn't care). I got a new bike and rode constantly, then found a much better job and built my road bike. About 30,000 miles now since that first ride, 8 years ago.
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