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Life after racing

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Old 09-08-07, 05:21 AM
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konarocky
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Life after racing

For many years in the 1990's, I raced both road bikes and mountain bikes, and I enjoyed it very much, but at some point I got burned out on it all. I found that I had become primarily concerned with the end results, and lost sight of the fun that the actual riding provided. In 2000, I decided to sell my $3,000 bikes, and buy a $300 Specialized hybrid that I rode everywhere. I no longer worryied about long training days, sprint days, or anything else. I just rode. I found the fun again, and have kept it ever since. The best aspect of bicycling that I discovered at that time was the concept of using my bike for basic transportation. Using my bike in this way was much more satisfying than placing high in a mountain bike race had ever been. I still own that Specialized hybrid, which now has an xtracycle kit attached to it, and I again own a mountain bike and road bike, but the riding mentality that I discovered in 2000 has not changed, even though I still tend to ride at a high pace. Has anyone else had this experience?
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Old 09-08-07, 08:07 AM
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yes. definitely.

It used to be I couldn't even go for a ride just for fun, but all time spent on the bike I had to be pushing myself some way. Even for the first few years after I stopped I would still bike everywhere to save on gas and I abhored even simple rides to the grocery store because I thought about the lactic acid, the heart rate and how not-fun it sounded. I did it because I knew it was better than driving, but I never looked forward to it.

It was like a light bulb went on in my head when I realized I could just take my time and enjoy myself and now I can't get enough! I always wish I was on my bike just riding! It's such a wonderful thing. Remember when you were a kid and you would just go on a ride around the hood with your dad and mum? You never had a goal and you talked the whole way and saw sights and it was great...that's what I have again. It's awesome.
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Old 09-08-07, 09:03 AM
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Sluggo
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My experience is a little different. I commuted a lot and toured a little before I raced. Racing was fun for a few years, but too time consuming (and I was not very good at it anyway), so I went back to transportation and riding for fun, without missing a beat.

Did you all ride much before you took up racing? It is my theory that if you have a background of utility and/or fun riding to revert to, you will continue riding after you quit racing. But if racing is all you know, it is unlikely that you will ride at all after racing.
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Old 09-10-07, 08:47 AM
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konarocky
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Sluggo,

I rode a BMX during most of my youth, but I didn't get into "real" riding until 1993, and I starting racing soon after, in 1994. Since quitting racing in 1998, I haven't stopped riding. I've ridden at least 4 days a week (currently 7 days a week) since 1993. I have no interest to get back into racing, but I can see myself riding for the rest of my life. Even though I'm an exception, I strongly agree with your theory.
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Old 09-10-07, 08:55 AM
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konarocky, my transition has been very similar to yours. I began riding for the competition, then transfered over to commuting and "utility" cycling.

My transition began when I would look around at the group rides and realise that 99% of the people drove their cars to the start even though they all lived well under 10 miles away. It made no sense to me to drive my bike 8 miles to ride 40 and then drive it 8 miles back home. So I made a decision that all bike rides would start and end at my house (unless I was going a loooong way away and wanted to take my bike as well).

Then I got really burned out on training and racing, and haven't looked back.
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Old 09-10-07, 03:39 PM
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MyPC8MyBrain
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Yeah, I raced the MTB a few times. I realized that it really wasn't that much fun. It's much more fun to just ride. So I just quit racing. Who cares about who can ride faster.

Sometimes it's about who enjoys it the most.
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