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Old 11-10-11, 03:40 AM   #1
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How I got into

When I was a kid I had a friend named Alan Grieco. We knew each other almost from birth. Played LL baseball together...went to school through HS graduating in 1964...even did a year of Community College together. I was always into baseball and football and he was a cyclist. He was a great cyclist and made the 1964 US Olympic Team and competed in Tokyo. He was always trying to get me on a bike. I was never interested. I went off to college on a football scholarship. Fast forward to the late '80's. My brother-in-law, who had run the Boston Marathon, suggested we ride in something called "Vernon to Vernon" which was a Century from Vernon, VT to Vernon, CT. I said I hadn't ridden a bike in years although I had a Panasonic DX2000 that I had bought the year before, ridden once and had given up on. Not to mention it's 100 damned miles! He says, "Let's go for a ride this Sunday and see how we feel." So, Sunday came and we went out on a flat 20 mi. ride. He says, "So was it that bad?" Surprisingly, it wasn't. So he offers, "All you have to do is that...five times." The next weekend we are off to the Century. As we are starting out a very attractive young woman rides next to us and says, "So, how have you been training for this?" And, I reply, "Well we did a 20 mi. ride last Sunday." There is this prolonged silence...her eyes are not blinking....she stares at us and says, "Well, we're going to learn a lot about ourselves today" and off she rides into the distance. I look at my brother-in-law, Bob and ask, "What did she mean, Bob." He says, "I haven't a clue." They were both right. We managed to finish and for the next two days I could barely walk. When I finally healed I knew that I had a choice....put the bike away or ride and learn. I did the latter and I'm glad I did.
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Old 11-10-11, 05:46 AM   #2
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I used to ride regularly up to my early 20s and then lost interest. 18 months ago my doctor told me to get active and loose some weight so I started to run and ride my son's old mtb. well my running progressed but my riding did not. So I purchased a road bike and here I am.
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Old 11-10-11, 05:58 AM   #3
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I honestly don't remember. I had a Schwinn Varsity when I was in late grade school and into high school, but it was ridden only for short transportation around the neighborhood. I got a Motobecane Mirage when I was in college, but again it was just a transportational tool around campus. It wasn't until I was out of college for a year or two that I bought a bike for recreational, "enthusiast" type riding, and I really don't remember why I did so. Glad I did, though. It's been a passion mostly ever since.
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Old 11-10-11, 06:13 AM   #4
Watching and waiting.
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After losing 140 lbs I was plateued on my weightloss and needed to do something different. At 280 running wasn't a good idea. So last fall, I bought a bicycle. Who knew it would be so much fun?
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Old 11-10-11, 06:36 AM   #5
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I was a pretty good athlete in high school but when I graduated I had a really good job offer, babysitting a computer in the evenings, so I when to college part-time during the day. The sedentary life got to me right away. I was getting up each day, going from the know, the way other people live. I couldn't do it, bought a new Panasonic,replaced the car with the bike,took up cycle touring for a hobby...lived happily ever after.

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Old 11-10-11, 07:02 AM   #6
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I was a hippie when I graduated high school in 1971, and then a couple of years later it occurred to me that having a job might make things a little easier. Not able to afford a car, I went down to a department store in Bisbee, AZ and bought a cheap bike. I was hooked. Now, 40 years later, still hooked. I did finally get a car, though - -
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Old 11-10-11, 07:26 AM   #7
Pedaled too far.
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At age 3, I saw my older brother disappear around the corner while riding his bike and realized that it meant freedom. At age 5 1/2 I checked out the book Curious George Rides a Bike from my Elementary School library. Reading it I realized that if he could ride, I could teach myself to ride. I borrowed the bike of a girl I knew and spent a couple of hours in her driveway, teaching myself to ride it. Everything else followed from there. Since then, there were just a couple of times in high school when I didn't have and ride a bike.

"He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

Last edited by Artkansas; 11-10-11 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 11-10-11, 07:29 AM   #8
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I grew up in France, biked everywhere, School, work etc, then moved here got a peugeot, rode all over Queens for a couple of Years, then just when on to different things, this Year i got back into it (25 Years later) could not believe all the advances in technology....
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Old 11-10-11, 07:32 AM   #9
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Last time I did any serious cycling was over 20 years ago when I was on the Sheriff's Office MERT (SWAT medic) team and I did it for training only and really didn't like it. After I left the team, due to a bad back injury, I was forced to give up my martial arts and pretty much all strenuous exercise. I stayed on with the SO but started getting the pot belly and everything else that went along with sitting on your butt all day. My doctor kept on me to start some aerobic exercising, but I just had no interest in doing so.

On my 63rd birthday, my wife got me a steel framed Giant Sedona so I would comply with the doctor's order of getting into exercising regularly to lose weight, lower the cholesterol and help my immune system after being diagnosed with chronic leukemia. I'm now 65 and have lost over 20 lbs and have gone through several bikes while battling this addiction to pedal. Retirement has only added to the addiction as I now have pretty much all day to ride, and I'm loving it.
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Old 11-10-11, 07:34 AM   #10
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Primary means of transportation in small town where I grew up. Quit riding when I graduated high school and got automobile. Started back 6 or so years ago. Got serious about it a year ago. Can't imagine not riding now.
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Old 11-10-11, 07:47 AM   #11
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While in college I purchased a Sears Free Spirit 10 speed bike. I ran track all 4 years and played football during my senior year in college and used the bike as a cross training tool and to keep moving when injured. In my junior year I bought a Raleigh Super Course with tubular tires and thought I was the 'cool dude' when riding it. After college and throughout the kid raising years the bike hung in garages silently waiting for my return. While in my 40's an ankle with no cartilage remaining forced me to take up riding again as my outlet for fitness. I got the 73' Super Course out, cleaned it up, purchased clincher wheels and tires and began riding. At first my rides were solo and I ventured out and rode longer and longer worrying about average speed that never seemed to get higher. I did find a few group rides but never felt welcomed. Once my 2 boys graduated from college, after swimming for 4 years, they both wanted to ride to keep fit. That is when I upped the ante and began group rides and riding harder to keep pace. Those few summers were some of the best times we had together. Next came the bike racing era and Im planning on staying there for a while. The Super Course has undergone a restoration with better components and tubular wheels and is still part of the stable.
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Old 11-10-11, 08:09 AM   #12
A might bewildered...
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I'm in it for the babes. They dig cyclists. Especially 'bent riders.
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Old 11-10-11, 08:23 AM   #13
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I lived on a farm that was about 2 miles from the little country grade school, and then the high school. It was a necessity to ride when I could. And that started my 64 year love affair with cycling.
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Old 11-10-11, 08:31 AM   #14
Have bike, will travel
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I used my bike to do everything as a child. I would visit cross-town friends, ride the bridle trails near my home: I had endless fun on my Schwinn Stingray until I out-grew it.

At the age of 15, I graduated from cutting lawns to start my first real job at George Garner Cyclery in Northbrook, IL. George Garner Cyclery was a performance oriented shop with a large volume of racing bikes sold.

Northbrook has a Velodrome. A wide range of competition track bikes, road-race bikes and touring bikes were always available to demo. I worked with frame builders & racers including Ron Boi. It was demanding but fun, I was very lucky to be there.

I spent 80% of my summer & weekend income on a Road Race Paramount bicycle. Fully lugged, top of the line Reynolds tubing, Full Campagnolo Neovo Record group, wood filled tubular rims.

Once I owned my own first car, a 15-year-old 1961 Morris Mini, I stopped riding.

Five years ago my father passed away and I began to think about my own health and mortality. Since then, I’ve lost 45 pounds and have put more than 15,000 miles on my evolving collection of bikes.
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-11-11 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 11-10-11, 09:21 AM   #15
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In my teens I have the bikes of the day, Gitane, Peugeot, Nishiki etc and rode as transport. Everywhere I went was on a bicycle. It never went any further until I was 20, married, and moved into a townhouse in Richmond. It was there, I met my neighbor who was old, probably 50 or so. He saw my bikes and asked me to join him for a ride. He showed up in full vintage kit as opposed to me in tennis shoes, Adidas shorts and a t-shirt. We rode around the circumference of Richmond and he made a lot of observations and comments, all constructive.

We did this a few times and I noticed he had a large riding group at his place one day. I asked if there was room for one more and he quickly refused with a curt "no". He later explained that he was coaching a team and that he himself was an accomplished racer in his youth.

He started taking me out on rides and started coaching me, teaching bike handling including body contact etc. We sat in his kitchen where he used condiment bottles to show the workings of pace lines and echelons and took me along of small group rides. We used that same table for lessons on truing wheels and basic mechanics. He instilled in me, the passion of the sport.

After a couple of years and a lot of miles, I was on his team and racing. I raced into my mid 30's when career and family time over rode the requirements of racing and I became a casual weekend warrior.

When I moved to Ontario about 10 years ago, I bought a new bike, started doing group rides as a social outlet and am now doing the odd cross and mtb race, but am still a roadie at heart. I enjoy the group rides, but temper the road racing bug with full awareness of the training requirements.
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Old 11-10-11, 11:04 AM   #16
What??? Only 2 wheels?
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Some time when I was in grade school my dad pulled out his old Schwinn. It was much too big for me but I learned to ride it going around in circles in the back yard. At that age it was just a cool think to do. My parents eventually got bikes for all us kids, mostly used cruisers though a younger brother somehow convinced Santa to bring him a nifty 3-speed. That one quickly became our preferred ride. A bike meant freedom and time saved that would otherwise be spent walking.

I continued to ride through high school, and even a little in college though the cruiser bike I had then was much too heavy for the hills around Blacksburg. When I finally got a real job after graduating I wanted to buy a derailleur bike. My dad tried to convince me not to, said a bike shop salesman had told him that that all those gears were just a fad, that nobody needed them. I knew better and eventually bought the UO8 I still own. I've been riding since then, sometimes more, sometimes less. Lately it's been more, which is good.
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Old 11-10-11, 11:33 AM   #17
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Just thought i'd post for my son... 21.

2010 Empire State Games, his team won a Bronze medal.

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Old 11-10-11, 11:39 AM   #18
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I got into it a number of different times. First time as something to do as a teenager. Next time was when I needed alternative transportation after getting my DL suspended for overly exuberant motorcycle riding. Next time was when my wife dragged me back into it after she got started riding with some friends.
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Old 11-10-11, 11:54 AM   #19
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I remember getting the first bike. Finally got Dad to pull the training wheels off. I went forth from there. I have always kept a bike but have been sporadic in riding. Then four years ago I decided it was not good to give my paycheck to the auto dealer and gas station. Have ridden a bike at least six miles a work day since then. I average seven miles weekdays and a longer ride 25 to 50 miles weekends.
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Old 11-10-11, 12:01 PM   #20
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Because of gridlocked traffic and a shortage of parking spots, my commute to my new job was difficult and time-consuming. My wife had given me a Specialized Crossroads hybrid as a birthday present several years ago. (I confess that I had no interest in the thing and only ridden it a few times. I think the lack of a chainguard made it inconvenient to ride) I brought it up from the basement storage room, pumped up the tires, and off I went the next morning. That was fourteen years ago.

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Old 11-10-11, 12:17 PM   #21
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I've had a bike as far back as I can remember. My first was a trike. Then I had a fixie. Never had training wheels. I remember when I was about 5 my GF, who was a couple of years older than me, agreed to show me how to ride a two-wheeler. I asked her how long it took her to learn to ride a two-wheel bike. She told me it took about a week, and I exclained "A WEEK!!!!" That seemed like forever to me.
We also did our own work, which we learned from older brothers and friends. If you didn't wrench, you didn't ride. I can even recall wrenching on my trike.
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Old 11-10-11, 12:23 PM   #22
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Rode bikes a lot as a kid. (Anyone remember the chopper like handle bars, banana seat, and high back bar?) When I got into College(local and lived at home), I needed a bike. I got a road bike( 10 speed back in the late 70s) and used that quite a bit. Funny story, the campus grounds people totaled my bike with their golf cart, and with the check, I got a Ross 10 speed(actually a little big for me) and rode that for a few years. Then, family and such seemed to get in the way and didn't start riding again until April of this year, 2011. I had been walking a lot starting September '10 and had lost 67 lbs during those 6 or 7 months, but then got some blood blisters and had some issues. Being diabetic, I was concerned about creating more issues--so, I got a bike, an Edgewood LX. I've been riding since and have improved my health and fitness level immensely--lost another 30+lbs. I am determined never to go back to my previous condition, or even slip--I see myself biking for quite a long time to come. My wife is now complaining that I'm too skinny--very bony as she states.
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Old 11-10-11, 12:45 PM   #23
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I rode a bike as a kid but I was mostly into other sports such as baseball, tennis, football, track and golf. When I got married, my wife and I purchased Schwin Varsities and tooled around a little. I started running in 1977. I did a lot of 10Ks. In 1979, we moved to San Diego, CA and I continued running and working out at the gym. I made some friends and got into cycling. I sold the Varsity and purchased a Nishiki followed by an SR SemiPro. I did a lot of cycling from 1979 to 1983. I continued to dabble in cycling but focused more on the gym, tennis and skiing.

In 2006, we moved to San Francisco Bay Area and decided to get back into cycling shape. The hills and the wind of the bay area are tough on out of shape cyclists. I slowly got back into cycling shape and purchased Trek Madone followed by a Cervelo R3. I started racing in 2007 and purchased a Cervelo P2C and did some time trials. I got into track racing in 2008 and now enjoy both road and track racing. The hills are still tough but I am slowly getting better. I spend a lot of time in the gym to support my cycling and throw in some skiing each year.
Whether you think you can or think you can't - you're right. - Henry Ford

"Change is easy. Improvement is far more difficult." - Dr. Ferdinand Porsche

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Old 11-10-11, 01:07 PM   #24
Time for a change.
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I got dragged back into cycling 20 years ago screaming. Found I enjoyed it and still cycling. No time for screaming now as no breath after the hills.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 11-10-11, 11:31 PM   #25
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Well, it all started when I was 8 and some of the neighborhood kids decided it was time for Scotty to learn how to ride. So they put me on a bike, gave me a push, and I've been going ever since.

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