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Why Do You Ride?

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Why Do You Ride?

Old 12-27-22, 12:14 AM
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I'm just shy of 50. I started riding in '87 at 14 years old and never really stopped.

Now I have more bikes than I need, both modern and vintage. But it's fun/enjoyable to ride. It's fun to putter about, working on them. It's fun to window shop (or actually shop) for N+1. It's fun to plot about ideas of how to upgrade or modify them. I get better workouts running and the occasional transcendent moment, but riding is more enjoyable. Solo or with others.

And now I can reminisce about the bikes that I imprinted on back in high school and college, reading Bicycling and Bicycle Guide. Sometimes I even remember things from those articles and reviews and can contribute something to a contemporary discussion about "old" bikes from the late 80's into the mid-90's. One of these days I might even pick up an RB-1... Or recreate something similar in a custom frame.

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Old 12-27-22, 12:44 AM
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Lots of reasons: riding a bike is good for keeping my body functioning well, cycling is a key part of my social life, and it's a rational mode of transportation. On this last point, I see the automobile as the modern Moloch who demands regular sacrifices of human flesh - our streets have become an altar dedicated to this idol, washed with the blood of innocent victims (especially from those who are insufficiently reverent towards this false god), and I refuse to be part of this death cult. And less darkly, riding a bike is a lot of fun too! I ride both old and new bikes, though these days the old bikes are mainly conversation pieces and ridden occasionally for a change of pace.
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Old 12-27-22, 02:10 AM
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There's nothing that makes the precious bodily fluids circulate so abundantly as a good workout on the bike. And yes, a bike's a great tool for a better world. (Have bikes from every decade since the 70ies and ride them all).
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Old 12-27-22, 02:48 AM
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Transportation health and fun.

I have become fascinated with the equipment and enjoy the operation and maintenance of bicycles.

It lifts my emotions. I like the danger.
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Old 12-27-22, 04:30 AM
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When I was about 10 years old, I was at my cousin's house. We weren't being closely supervised because it was 1979. We were riding our bikes up and down the street. At some point we decided to ride over to a nearby golf course. Then we wanted to see where the road past the golf course went. Eventually we ended up at our grandmother's house. To this day I couldn't tell you how to get between those two places without taking the freeway. It was only about five miles, but it felt like a really big deal at the time. It was pure freedom. Over 40 years later, I can still get that feeling riding a bike.
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Old 12-27-22, 05:30 AM
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I just don’t know anymore

One morning you wake up, the girl is gone, the bikes are gone, all that's left behind is a pair of old tires and a tube of tubular glue, all squeezed out"

Sugar "Kane" Kowalczyk
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Old 12-27-22, 07:08 AM
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- I was a multi-sport athlete growing up, continued into adulthood playing competitive team sports, and cycling has filled the void left by leaving all but one of the team sports. I can't dunk anymore or keep up with younger players on the cpurt6, but I could ride faster and longer than any of those guys!
Typical story- individual transitions to solo endurance activities as they age.
This. For those that played the other sports competitively, endurance sports gives you a second athletice chance later in life. BTW, I was still dunking in my mid 30s. I'm 5'8". Kids came along and changed all that.
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Old 12-27-22, 07:51 AM
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Primary reason is to get away from the rest of life and reflect, therapy is so many ways, mental, physical, and spiritual. In addition, there is the freedom, all the elements of being in control and freedom of going where I want. Exercising judgement in so many ways. When in shape, feeling the power of accomplishment of meeting challenges. Then there is the enjoyment of having worked on something that functions really well and knowing that you may not have designed the parts, but you made them work as intended.
All that happens with every pedal stroke.

I have always ridden alone from childhood as a result of living in different countries between the age of 13 and 21. The challenge back then was to find anyone who didn't slow me down, or finding anyone locally who rode. Now is different but I still get the rush. life got in the way for too long, now I am struggling to get back.
Bikes don't stand alone. They are two tired.
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Old 12-27-22, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
When I was about 10 years old... it was 1979... It was only about five miles, but it felt like a really big deal...
I recently went on Google Maps to try to remember some of my rides at that same age. They were only a mile or two, but they really felt like a big deal ... maybe because I wasn't "officially" allowed to leave the neighborhood by bike.

Over forty years later, the bicycle still offers that same kind of individual, rebellious escape.
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Old 12-27-22, 09:35 AM
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Smile thinking about ride
Smile really big when riding
Smile when done with ride

older than I think i am, but my knees remind me that I really am that age.
I am not getting older, but am getting less young and I am getting "blonder"
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
(looking for Torpado Super light frame/fork or for Raleigh International frame fork 58cm)

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Old 12-27-22, 12:49 PM
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It should go without saying why C&V folks ride bikes. A much more mysterious question is why people post to BikeForums.
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Old 12-27-22, 12:54 PM
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I like getting around under my own power, and I cover more ground and see more things while riding than walking, crawling, etc. It's also reasonably good exercise, and I do still like to challenge myself at times.

Modern bikes? Of course. All my bicycles have two wheels that are the same size, and use chains... except for the unicycle.

My youngest has been able to drink legally for over a year now.
In search of what to search for.
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Old 12-27-22, 02:37 PM
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I'm 53. I started riding... I guess 2008/2009. I really started riding because I was going to quit smoking and I didn't want to get fat.

I quit smoking, but I did get fat... but that was after my mileage really wound down after a stupid medication change then my knees started yelling at me a lot. I think it had more to do with the medication change.

Level top tube, skinny tubed frames just look "right." I wasn't into bikes, I wasn't into racing, I didn't lust after famous racing people's bikes... maybe it's just because that's what bikes looked like when I grew up. I associate melty swoopy carbon fiber bikes with an attitude that goes along with a certain subset of bicyclers that I don't dig.

I used to enjoy "touring," but it got more difficult for me and I wasn't enjoying it. Now I ride much more 'recreationally' and nowhere near enough.
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

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Old 12-27-22, 03:34 PM
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Why do I ride? E&E - enjoyment and exercise.

Have both modern alloy and semi C&V (1990s TIG-welded steel), with others in the build pipeline from the 1980s & 1990s. The TIG-welded steel gets ridden more because it simply fits me better - and is now rather like an old friend.
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Old 12-27-22, 03:43 PM
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It's fun! It makes me feel good and the exercise from riding is also good for me. It never feels like just physical exercise as running five to ten miles often does.
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Old 12-27-22, 04:06 PM
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So I don't have to drive or walk.
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Old 12-27-22, 06:24 PM
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I ride bicycles to screw the government out of all that tax money, that gasoline users have to pay. 😋😉 Same reason I quit cigarettes.

I kinda like it too, when women ogle me, the same way us guys ogle women. 😍😉
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Old 12-27-22, 06:56 PM
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Mind, body, and spirit.

Mind: bicycles are both fun and easy to wrench on. I'm a car guy at heart, but cars take up more room, and more money, than I care to devote to them at this point in my life. Bikes keep my mind in the "mechanic's" game. I have more bikes than my whole family could ride at once, and I'm oft to swap parts back and forth between them, seeing what Part X will do on Bike Y. It's entertaining for me, it's inexpensive, and it gives my mind something to think about and chew on.

Body: there are obvious benefits to health from cycling, and I cycle at the recreational/enjoyment level. I don't do Strava, or KOMs, or heart rate monitors, or power meters. I just...pedal because I like it.

Spirit: distinct from the mind stuff above, this is the "connect me with nature" bit. I ride upright (I'm not a stem-slammer), and I enjoy the breeze in my face, the smells of nature, the sounds of the birds, all that. Bikes efficiently get me out into nature and back home in the time frame to which a dad with a typical family of four is often limited.

As to why I like C&V, that's sort of a spin-off of the mind stuff above. I like the later C&V stuff -- '80s and '90s -- because they share so many standards with some of the more modern bikes that I own (hybrids and such). Hubs are 100/135mm. BBs are BSA square taper (except for our cool old Pug'). I run 9-speed chains on everything and stick to 7/8/9-speed drivetrains for interchangeability. I like the later C&V stuff because they have that one foot in the more modern standards, but still have much of a traditional look, with chromed/anodized shiny bits like spokes and hubs and derailers.
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Old 12-27-22, 08:30 PM
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Why do you "still" ride a bicycle?
- it brings me joy

Why do you ride C&V bicycles as opposed to modern bikes?
- I buy the best I can afford so never new

Do you also own and ride a modern bike?
- yes but even my modern bikes are old

After all, what, really, is the point of all of this, from your perspective?
- it brings me joy
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Old 12-27-22, 08:45 PM
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Feels like a zen koan - going for a ride to figure out why I like to ride.

I like the philosophy of C&V bikes in keeping something ’old’ working perfectly. I never had a desire for latest and greatest.

I’ve got a carbon fibre CX bike with all the bells and whistles, but it doesn’t get me as excited as my steel roadies.
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Old 12-27-22, 08:56 PM
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I "still" ride because it keeps me mentally and physically solid and confident. I am 68, 6ft, 165lbs, ride about 6K miles/450-500K ft per year. I ride C&V (CR-ish) most of the time, but when there are big miles, 80+, lots of climbing, 7K+, with multiple day efforts to be done, its more modern. 10 speed Campagnolo or SRAM, steel or carbon (Bianchi). So, two modern-ish bikes. Vintage steel bicycles are a my main hobby, I love its aesthetic, in many ways it sort of defines my personal culture. That said, I am also a dedicated rider/climber. Recently I rode my 1976 Masi GS to San Luis Obisbo from home in Redwood City over the course of 3-days. That was 2-100 mile + days, 1- 40 mile day, 19K ft was climbed during that time. I rode that bike just to see what its like to load the vintage steel bike and do the miles/climbing. Super fun.
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Old 12-28-22, 03:10 PM
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I ride because I enjoy it. I always feel better after a ride. I have yet to find another form of exercise that I enjoy nearly as much (or at all, in most cases). I'm 65, and will keep riding until I can't do it anymore.

My five regular riders are all classic lugged steel, the newest from 1982ish. I mostly ride a 1965ish frame with Campy 10sp triple, but I ride 'em all and two are Eroica-compliant if not period-correct. A lugged steel frame is what a good bike sported in my formative teen years. And yes, the look is important to me; the look of my bikes is a big part of the enjoyment. Carbon fiber frames do not look right to me, so I don't want one. This is strictly a "to each his/her own" thing. I have no problem with other people riding their CF bikes. I hope they enjoy them; they just aren't for me. Ditto aluminum. If I couldn't ride steel, I'd ride titanium. But I can ride steel, so I do.

I also don't think the more recent four-arm cranks or 11 and 12 speed derailleurs look right, so I don't want them. Again, to each his/her own.
"I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney
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Old 12-28-22, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
It should go without saying why C&V folks ride bikes. A much more mysterious question is why people post to BikeForums.
google says:

A forum is a place online where people can post questions, ideas or thoughts. It's a way of starting a conversation, about something important to you, that you hope other people will engage with and respond to.

hope that clears it up for ya!
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Old 12-28-22, 05:31 PM
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For me it was the onset of tinnitus.

Drs said I had high blood pressure. I already run. I didn’t want to run more. Plus COVID and the hell-scape danger-zone that portland became made thoughts of running away from a situation when already tired scared me.

vintage bikes tick all the boxes.

The objects of desire from when we were children/teens are now accessible

like vintage Italian scooters (Vespa, Lambretta) vintage stereo equipment (McIntosh), vintage bicycles can be had for very little if one is patient and willing to hunt. I enjoy the hunt.

fixing these vintage things is a joy. I got my first real bike, a Holdsworth, in boxes. Down to individual bearings. I love seeing the finished project, knowing it was my hands that put it all together.

riding them is the icing on the cake.
"Leave the gun. Take the Colnagos."
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Old 12-28-22, 05:33 PM
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it's actually the great "cycle" of life!
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