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  1. #1
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    How (I / you) got into cycling

    Let me apologize in advance for being long winded here..

    I'll write the brief one sentence version first in case you dont want to read the whole post. Here goes "I'm overweight, got a cheap bike broke it, got 2 more broke them, dad got sick, got good bike rode it a lot (still have it),lost weight, dad got more sick I rode less, started gaining weight, dad past, got new bike, rode it some lost some weight,didn't ride much gained more weight, came back to bike forums trying to get back into biking again"..... hehehe

    I guess about 9 years ago is when it started for me, cant believe its that long ago now. To start let me say i have been overweight most of my adult life. At the time my dads health was starting to get worse and worse in part because he had been overweight most of his adult life. While shopping at one of the marts I saw that they had bikes on clearance. So for an hour I debated should I get one, would I ride it if i did. I bought it... Within in 4 months had ruined it from riding it so much (which really isn't that much i know now). But i'm sure my weight didn't help, most likely ruined it a bit faster. So I went and bought 2 more bikes at the "Mart" .. one for me and one for the nephew (he rode it a few times LOL). I thought these are MUCH better because they cost me over 100 bucks each LOL.. Funny that I even thought that now... but i did. I rode both of those bikes to the ground in about a year. And that was including trying to keep them going, new rim, new axle and pedals. But I got from where I could barely ride a mile the first ride to riding 15 to 20 miles at a time. Also found out that I really loved riding. Yep and the weight was coming off, I was feeling good. All the while my dads health was getting worse. Bypass surgery he did really well for a year or 2 after that until other health issues came up. Anyway I had helped a friend paint his truck and in return he lent me the money to get my first real bike (and would NOT let me pay it back later....). A 2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara ... I did some trail riding and found out that its kind of scary getting out in the middle of the woods by myself. Was always scared i would get hurt and be in the middle of the woods. Ended up putting the tires that are slick in the middle with the treads on the sides (whatever they are called lol). Then did mostly road riding with the mountain bike. I put a LOT of miles on it (well a lot for me anyway). At least 2500 on the first bike puter before it died and have a picture of 5k on the next bike puter. In all maybe 9k on the mountain bike on the road. In this time I went for 270lbs to 185 at my lowest... but stayed around 200 (which was great for me). I stayed at the weight for a long time.

    But my dads health started getting worse and worse. He ended up going to dialysis 2 and 3 times a week. So more and more of my time was taken up trying to help my mom out and still earn a living. So I rode less and less. And started gaining the weight back... <sigh> Yep eating wrong, stressed out and not riding did not do me any good at all. My dad passed away in sept of 2007. At which point i was back up to 250lbs (where Im at now btw).

    In feb of 2008 I got my first road bike (2007 Trek 1500). In 2008 I put maybe 2k miles on it.. but never really got back into riding again. Just could NOT get into the swing of things, I thought the new bike would get me going again. It did but not for very long... I loved it when I got out on the bike.... but gettin on the bike was hard.... I dunno just could not do it with any consistency. I month or so ago I found my way back here and started riding quite a bit again... well not as much as used to... trying to build back up to the rides again. But after all that rain we had the temps went up and well here I am not riding much again.... <sigh>

    I guess.... this is my public commitment to start riding again. Kind of like saying it out loud that your going to do something. Makes it harder to NOT do it. I know in the "did you ride today thread" Somebody mentioned I should make some plans with other people to go riding, thus making it harder to break them. Maybe find some local group rides. At some point I plan to do that but I want to get back into it a bit first... get my legs back under me so to speak... After thursday i will have a bit more time for riding.... So the plan is to ride more!!!!

    Thanks for reading... That is my story and i'm sticking to it
    Last edited by zzOtherlandzz; 06-16-09 at 10:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I was fat, much less now, but still over weight. Yea, everyone needs to find their mojo sometimes.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2003 Trek 7300
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    The wife couldn't run, anymore.

  4. #4
    I pedal in my sleep... str8jakett's Avatar
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    My wife and I bought bikes in February. Her a KHS hybrid and myself a KHS alite 500 mb. Neither of us had ridden a bike in over ten years. The old adage that "it's just like riding a bike" did not apply to either of us. After a shaky month of riding mostly paved trails a couple of times a week, my wife began slacking and I started pissing her off by trying to push her to do it. I'm laid off of work, have been for a year now, so I am the stay at home dad to a 23 month old girl and my wife brings in the bike fund. I started shopping for a trailer so I could get out of the house during the day. Once I found one for a good price I hooked it up and started riding the neighborhood nearly every day. I do it because I love riding, I want to lose some weight, my daughter loves it, and I feel great after a good ride.

    Saturday, my wife picked up a road bike, Giant Avail 3, she was just never happy with her hybrid. I think this will put more desire in her to ride. I'm also looking for a road bike (I'm a components stickler on a tight budget) to ride in addition to my KHS.

  5. #5
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    Growing up, of course I had bikes, but in high school, I had a three speed that was wonderful. I rode it everywhere and later, went to school, didn't ride anymore, but for years, I kept the memory of that bike... then my sister and I saw a Free Wheeling Bike ride magazine at a store in Atlanta, Ga and both of read the magazine and decided to get bikes. Luckily, we went to a LBS and I bought a Fila... I forget the particulars, but it had about 18 speeds and was a great bike. I rode for about 5 years... Then I moved to a neighborhood that wasn't as conducive to bike riding so I put the bike up... Finally I gave it to my brother, hoping he would get into biking, but sigh, he sold the bike without my knowledge.

    A few years ago, I was out of shape and desperate to get fit... I bought a Trek 7.2 FX... and rode it twice. I went to a good LBS, but the bike was a little big and I never took to it. A year later I gave it to some bikeless friends thinking that I just wasn't cut out for biking.... Then a year later, gas prices climb and gulp, I'm thinking that filling my tank could take my entire pay check for the week... so I go back to the bike shop. I tell them that I'm too old to change gears, I've forgotten everything I ever knew blah blah, and they decide I need a Trek Lime. One week later, I'm cursing the auto shifter and I have a huge case of buyer's remorse. Meanwhile, I've been reading about folding bikes and I ask my bike shop about them. They only sell the Giant and Sun bike so I order the Sun bike, cursing my recklessness. I get the bike and it takes me a while to get into it... but I love the bike. I put it in the trunk of my car and I take a lot of spontaneous rides and even ride home on night after a flat tire.

    But... the folder doesn't do hills and I'm in a hilly area... nor does the Lime... so I start looking for another bike. I start researching everything and I settle on the Jamis Commuter 3 because I'm charmed by the internal hub... So I get it and I'm happy for about six months, then I notice I can't get up hills... and bike riding becomes a chore. So heh, about 2 weeks ago, I bought my fourth bike, a Trek 7.2 FX. I felt a little sheepish about getting it again, but it's a smaller bike and has less front suspension than the bike I had before and I like it much better. I've come to terms with all of my bikes... the Lime is my Winter/Beater bike and I do yard work with it... the Jamis is my bad weather, flat land bike, and the Trek is my long ride/hilly terrain bike. I love all of my bikes for different reasons.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by moneal View Post
    I love all of my bikes for different reasons.
    Great story. I grew up riding bikes but never rode one as an adult until I got those mart bikes. Uggg supposed to be near 100deg F ... tomorrow. I've got to convince myself to ride in the mornings, I just cant seem to get on the bike in the mornings.... I know that if i can just get into a morning routine i'll be all right.... but its the getting started thats hard LOL.

  7. #7
    Daily Commuter-Tampa, FL drew55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzOtherlandzz View Post
    I guess.... this is my public commitment to start riding again.
    Well welcome back into the saddle! Hope you're able to keep that commitiment. It's not always easy when the "feels like" temprature gets up around or above 100. Still it beats many of the alternatives.
    It's always windy - just get out and ride

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  8. #8
    Daily Commuter-Tampa, FL drew55's Avatar
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    OK
    For what it's worth...Don't really recall getting my first bike - it was an old Schwinn Cruiser as a "hand me down" but the first one I got that was mine from the beginning was a Schwinn Strig-Ray, complete with banana seat, high raise handle bars, front suspension, and a gear shift to control the derailleur. Of course I almost immediately had an accident and did in the front wheel and got a concussion. Still kept riding that for years afterwards.
    Sometime I stopped for a few years, then got a Gitane when I was in High School and rode about 10 miles each way to school most every day. Went into the Army and a few years later lost that bike to a bike theif sometime around 1977. A year or so later, I replaced it with a Cannondale Criterion which served me real well until I replaced that one just about 2 years ago with another Cannondale, this time a R600 which I use as a commuter bike now. More often than not, I now ride an Orbea Ora.
    All of that helps that fat monster at bay, which kept cropping up during those periods when I dropped out of the habit to ride often. Keeping that beast as bay remains one of the main reasons I continue riding.
    Last edited by drew55; 06-19-09 at 11:05 PM.
    It's always windy - just get out and ride

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  9. #9
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    I've always ridden a bike except for the 8 years I had a real job. My first bike that was not a hand me down was a gift for my 7th birthday, a lovely blue bike from the local discount store, Gaylords. Can still picture in my mind the first ride down the driveway without training wheels. My Mom forced me to learn to drive at 17 when my sister went off to college so I could run her errands.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rc51crazy's Avatar
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    my cycling career began @ 1986. I had moved to PA to go back to college and took my motorcycles with me.. Kawi 900 ninja and my honda xr250. Once i got up there i figured out there was not a whole lot of places to ride dirt bikes and wanting to get into the woods again i thought i would try this new fangled thing called mountain biking. (never knew what it would lead too). Bought an inexpensive mt bike (think i paid $500 for it) a montagna, from a little shop in Lansdale PA. I then rode around in Valley Forge Park for about 6 months and started meeting other riders. Well one thing lead to another and meet some serious mt bikers out of Harleysville and Jim Thorpe PA and found out how to get into better condition by riding road bikes. Bought a used Trek 1100 w/ 105 on it and rode it for about a year (i called it the flexy flyer, aluminum frame and my then 200 lbs just didn't work too well together) The following year i came a cross a used ciocc frame and robbed the parts off my trek and rode it for 2 years. Then in the fall of 93 i was looking to buy a new bike (wanted a De rosa) and some friends suggested i have a custom frame built. Meet a guy named Peter Dreesens who was building a few frames for track riders. We got together and he built the bike i'm riding til this day. Thats all folks

  11. #11
    better to burn out
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    I started cycling a lot when I moved to the beach and had someplace to actually ride. I started on a clunker mountain bike. Liked it so much I bought a used road bike from a friend. Liked that so much I bought a new road bike and haven't looked back since. That was about 5yrs ago.

    I actually weigh more now than I did when I started... but I was already skinny and I've actually added muscle

  12. #12
    All day...everyday KirbyPop's Avatar
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    I was born with a bicycle between my legs. And they lived happily ever after....the end.

  13. #13
    Daily Commuter-Tampa, FL drew55's Avatar
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    While that story's a bit hard to accept, it's a great pice of art work there KirbyPop. BTW, Welcome to the Bike Forum.
    It's always windy - just get out and ride

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  14. #14
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KirbyPop View Post
    I was born with a bicycle between my legs. And they lived happily ever after....the end.
    How did your mother feel about that??? And what did the doctor say???
    SloSpoke Jim

  15. #15
    Daily Commuter-Tampa, FL drew55's Avatar
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    ROFL....Even if all the wheels (including the mandatory training wheels) were taken off...It had to hurt. Would that push it to a mandatory "C Section" or what?

    Another thought - Would that have been a doctor or a wrench that would have been "attending"
    It's always windy - just get out and ride

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  16. #16
    All day...everyday KirbyPop's Avatar
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    The delivery went without any complications.
    Hot...hothothot
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
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    i got started because i wanted a training method for my motorcycle track days and anticipation for becoming an amateur motorcycle club racer. i have found that i really like the sport in general and am now focusing more on cycling after seeing some fitness results (lost 14 lbs in 5 weeks of riding and am down to about 185 lbs) feeling the best i've felt since HS. analyzing the cost and physical danger between the sports i'm actually now leaning towards racing the bicycle and leaving the motorcycle as fun transportation and the occassional trackday throughout the year. i've entered my first crit that is happening on sunday and another in the same series the following saturday.

  18. #18
    Member from- uh... France pharasz's Avatar
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    zz, you have developed a dependency on riding for weight control. I have the same tendency, but to a lesser degree: rather than blaming a lack of exercise for my weight gain, I focus on what I've been shoving down my pie hole. You need to understand that 80% of weight control is controlling what you eat. The other 20% is exercise. So focus on watching what you eat. You don't have to give up eating ice cream forever - you just have to be aware that, if you had it on Saturday, you can't have it again until at least another Saturday has arrived. After almost 30 years of fitness, I have discovered that I can be fit and fat, or fit and lean, and exercise is only 20 percent of that equation.

    But I digress...

    I was married and my wife got into triathlons. I was a fitness jogger for 20 years, and an occaisional fitness swimmer, so I bought a six year old carbon fiber Specialized racing bike and decide to get into triathlons also, as a way of trying to find something in common with a wife who basically never had time for me. We did our very first ride together, and I was cruising about 21 MPH, and she kept saying "Aren't your legs hurting?"
    "nope"
    "getting tired yet?"
    "nope"
    We did 18 miles that first ride at over 20 MPH and I was hardly sore the next day. It was then that I discovered I had some strange genetic makeup for bike riding. Within months the wife could no longer keep up with me. In triathlons, I was a middle of the pack swimmer, and a back of the pack runner. But my bike time was consistenly in the top ten percent for my age group.

    But I digress again... So what got me into biking was to try and improve my marriage. But when I said "let's bike together", she said "you're too fast". When I said "Let's run together" she said "You're too slow". We got divorced three years ago. 20-20 hidsight: it didn't matter, she just did NOT want to be with me. But I have her to thank for discovering biking as a lifestyle. So no hard feelings - she left me with so many gifts, including my son.

    Today I have two bikes, a racing bike for my club rides on the weekends, and a touring bike (complete with a rack and panniers) for commuting to work (18 miles one way). And, I had a bowl of ice cream Saturday night. I bike and I pay attention to what I shove down my pie hole.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=pharasz;9322852]zz, you have developed a dependency on riding for weight control. I have the same tendency, but to a lesser degree: rather than blaming a lack of exercise for my weight gain, I focus on what I've been shoving down my pie hole. You need to understand that 80% of weight control is controlling what you eat. The other 20% is exercise. So focus on watching what you eat. You don't have to give up eating ice cream forever - you just have to be aware that, if you had it on Saturday, you can't have it again until at least another Saturday has arrived. After almost 30 years of fitness, I have discovered that I can be fit and fat, or fit and lean, and exercise is only 20 percent of that equation.

    Yep..... I know what your saying and its true. The thing is... when I am on the bike a lot I dont eat as much. Not that I do that on purpose, i'm just not as hungry and dont eat when I'm bored like I do when I'm not riding..... Its weird.... Right now i'm finding it hard to get back on the bike (with any consistency) when its this hot 90's. Back when I was riding everyday in the heat it wasn't a prob... but starting over again... i'm finding it rough.

  20. #20
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    After I got my Licence at 16 I stopped riding my bike.
    I got back on a bike about 8 or 9 years ago. It as after breaking my leg in winter. During the pt the put me on a stationary bike. When spring came I purchased a $99 Target special mountain bike. I rode this for the summer mostly on a multi-user path about 20 miles from my house. The next year, I took the bike out of the garage and had problems with shifting, brakes, ect. I then when to a bike store and purchased a Trek navigator 400. I used this for the summer and did an organized tour on it. Then next summer I decided to do 3 tours, during the first one I found out that it was not going to work for multiple long days in arow (60+ miles) in hills and headwinds. This convinced me to go recumbent. I now have a Toureasy, Longbikes Slipstream and a Greenspeed GTE Trike. I spend my vacations doing biking.

  21. #21
    Fred wnl256's Avatar
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    I've done the occasional family ride up to the park (on the sidewalk of course). I didn't get seriously in to cycling until May of this year. On those first rides I would take my Trek 7200 out for a 5 mile jaunt "around the block" and I would be done for the day. Now I have a Cannondale, my daily ride is 12 miles (because that's all I have the time for), and I've done 50 and 60 mile group rides. Maybe some day I will be able to do a century.

    I have rediscovered how much I really love cycling. But now I worry about mixing it up with traffic and wonder if some day I'm going to become road pizza.

    Two people inspired me in different ways to take up riding. The first is a good friend of mine who has ridden RAGBRAI 4 times on his tandem. I thought "wow, ride across Iowa. How cool is that?" He says he is done doing RAGBRAI but that it was a fun experience that I should have at least once. So riding RAGBRAI is now one of my life goals.

    My second inspiration is Phil Keoghan. Yes, the host of the TV show "The Amazing Race". Earlier this year Phil got on his Specialized and rode across America in 40 days: from Los Angeles to New York City. The ride helped raise money for MS research. I followed his ride via his daily webcasts. And I thought: if he can ride across the US then surely I can ride a few miles every week.

  22. #22
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    IN: Way to get off the block before parents could call me home.

    OUT: Cigarettes and Beer.

    IN: DWI and poverty.

    OUT: Sobriety, job and car.

    IN: Mental instability and obesity.

    IN: Trips to top of Laguna, Palomar and Anza Borrego.

    IN: Racing.

    IN: Club

    IN: Ability to eat 3000 calories per day.

    IN: Physical fitness.

    IN: Availability of women.

    IN,OUT,IN,OUT,IN,OUT,IN,OUT...

  23. #23
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    short: "I grew up on bikes"

    long: My Dad was an enthusiast that rode and trained regularly and did time trials and raced a few times a year. He was also the neighborhood "bike guy" - he would fix up bikes from the scrap metal bin in town and sell them to kids on the cheap. I started "riding" (vs. cruising the neighborhood on my bmx) when I was around 12(?) and did a few races and time trials when I was 14 and 15. My mom had issues riding by herself so they got a tandem, which they still have but she can't ride anymore due to illness. I rode pretty regularly until I was 16 and it tapered off a bit as I was spending most of my free time messing around w/ my cars) I graduated in high school in '99 and Jan '2000 moved 1200 miles from home. I didn't ride again until March 2008. I was a little shy of 2000 miles last year. I constantly kick my butt for not riding during that break but I didn't really have any reason to, it mostly was something I did with my Dad vs. something I did for myself.

    I got back into it because I rediscovered my bikes one winter and cleaned them up... I thought it would be fun to ride them again... mostly as recreation / stress relief / hobby type thing. I messed with r/c airplanes for a few years but it eats up a whole day at the airplane field to have a good time of it, and with cycling I can get it in after work or on the weekends a couple of hours at a time which works better for the family. I'm also built pretty well for it, so I've got that going for me.

    Last summer we got a trailer to pull the (now) 2.5 year old and My wife rode a too-big specialized crossroads my Dad hnd found at a tag sale and shipped down for her ($150 invested including shipping, new tires and saddle) but it "owned her" and she wasn't very comfortable on it. A few weeks ago for her birthday I got her a new, proper sized entry level mtb which she has not had a chance to ride due to surgury she had 2 weeks ago, but we should be good to go tomorrow assuming we can find someone to watch the 1 month old. This past spring I picked up a 650c road bike for our 11 year old (adopted foster) but she's rather nervous about the drop bars, and the 7 year old (also adopted foster) couldn't ride a bicycle to save her life... so we're also looking to cycling as something we can do as a family, though we're still very new to it in that reguard (okay, maybe a little more background than you were asking for)

  24. #24
    Junior Member Hondo74's Avatar
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    Specialized Roubaix Elite
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    How I got into cycling

    I spent the formative years of my adulthood in the Marine Corps from 76 to 96. I was a runner and fortunate enough to remain a Platoon Sergeant in one capacity or another almost the entire time. Somewhere around year 17 I developed a knife like pain across the front of my right knee any time I ran.

    Since one simply does not tell the Commandant of the Marine Corps nor especially their platoon of young Marines that it hurts too much to run, I swore the Chief at BAS to secrecy, and hid the condition until I retired. By that time there wasn't enough Motrin made for me to continue running.

    Eventually after mucking around on 79 dollar 'Mart' cinder blocks, I moved up to a Fuji Roubaix in 2004. I rode it religiously, learned to commute to work on it, learned how to do a century on it, had the required falls on it when I wasn't as smart as the clipless pedals, learned the definition of 'bonk' on it and knew I would never buy running shoes again.

    I'm still learning, progressing, and generally having more fun than the average human ought to be allowed to have. The Fuji was replaced by a Specialized Roubaix Elite named Cridhe Fairche (Scottish for HeartHammer), my commute ride is a Fuji Absolute 1.0 who calls himself Shillelagh Law, and there's also a 74 Schwin Varsity named Geezer Bike for just running to get coffee. The newest member of the clan is an as yet unnamed Gunnar Roadie sitting upside down in the living room right now trying to get a carbon seat post unstuck.

    So I came to cycling because I needed a physical outlet for my type A personality. I remain with cycling because I simply love riding.
    Bicycles, Bagpipes, and Guinness; further proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.

  25. #25
    bikerchick66
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    south central virginia
    My Bikes
    diamondback
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    In short, it was my best friend's favorite sport. I'm actually a born hiker......could hike ALL day long and never get tired. Give me the woods please!! However, my best friend has some ankle issues, and can't hike very far. So, I gave in and started biking with her. I had only the run of the mill walmart bikes for the first two years...but this summer..... I got tired of having so many tires blow and brake issues......so bought a 'real' bike. Not nearly as expensive as many, but is a GREAT bike. I got a Diamondback Lestre 2.
    I LOVE it and really hate when I have days I can't get out and ride.
    I'm fairly addicted now.

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