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When did you first recognize that cycling was a combination of joy and work?

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When did you first recognize that cycling was a combination of joy and work?

Old 11-19-14, 07:43 PM
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NOS88
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When did you first recognize that cycling was a combination of joy and work?

I was looking at old family photos and suddenly remembered when I first had the realization that cycling was joy and work. I was 12 years old and my father had just turned over a new single speed, red, coaster brake bike that I had earned by helping him assemble "swing sets" for a store owner who sold outdoor furniture. I worked the entire spring and summer with him. (As a side note, it also gave me a new level of appreciation of his commitment to put food on the table and a roof over our heads; he was holding down three part-time jobs and doing this to pay the bills.)

On my first ride, I eagerly tore down the alley behind our house. I hit the coaster bakes too hard when I approached the first cross street. This caused me to swerve and hit a utility pole with a reflector on in. The reflector shattered and caused a flat front tire. Less than 10 minutes and I had my first flat and accident. When I walked the bike back home my father was standing there waiting. He simply said, "Now it's time for you to learn how to change a flat tire." He gave verbal directions, but never offered any physical help. It took me well over an hour to change that tire, but the whole time all I could think about was the thrill of the speed and freedom that first ride gave me.

SO, what about you? When did you first recognize that cycling was a combination of joy and work?
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Old 11-19-14, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
SO, what about you? When did you first recognize that cycling was a combination of joy and work?
1968...Central Jersey....I was 10...and had established my first "TV GUIDE" route...in the summer...my parents were so proud....then this thing called February came...I was riding a 20" ROSS Spider Bike...banana seat...3' sissy bar...and a messenger style delivery bag with about 80 freaking TV Guides in it...in full winter wool garb...on ice.....uphill....most ways...God Bless Cable! LOL!
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Old 11-20-14, 04:11 AM
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Probably at about 12 years or so on those 8 mile rides into town on my single speed JC Higgens sometimes bucking those mean Texas Panhandle headwinds.
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Old 11-20-14, 04:51 AM
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Summer of '73 as a junior in high school I bought my first 10-speed, a Motobecane Mirage with my busboy money. The next two summers I rode the Rigida's off that thing. Did a 60mi "thon" with my girlfriend on her LeTour (I teased her for that). The first 15mi up M-119 was a chore but a fun kind of chore.

Oh and I was one of the few that carried a water bottle. Never did have a seatbag and never a flat tire.

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Old 11-20-14, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
...SO, what about you? When did you first recognize that cycling was a combination of joy and work?
Do you mean energy expenditure, or occupation? The latter for me in May of 1970, one specific, memorable and life-changing day:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban...

After the birth of our son in 1988, I have pretty much been a year–round commuter only, but in the past few years I have done a century or two a year ...I have a really great commute that belies, IMO, the image of Boston as a city unfriendly to bicycling...
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Old 11-20-14, 07:48 AM
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After my second bicycle was stolen, I was 9 Y.O., my father had me clean everything up, when the sheriff's department called to say my bicycle had been found when they busted some teenagers that were running a parts scheme. I had to learn how to repair two flat tires, like NOS said, and get everything straightened back up, to my dad's standards. Fortunately I got all of my bicycle back, it hadn't been stripped of parts yet. After that my dad made me responsible for all tire repairs and maintenance on my bicycles. I never knew that a bicycle repair shop existed until I got my first "10-speed" bicycle. He decided that I needed to learn how to fix and maintain these too. He wasn't going to pay those exorbitant shop repair rates when he had a son that could do them. Eventually.

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Old 11-20-14, 07:57 AM
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Can't remember the fist day or ride, but sometime in the mid sixties I discovered the freedom that a bicycle offered. It greatly increased my range of opportunities both in how far I could go, and what i could do. I started riding to school instead of taking 2 buses, and was delivering drugs (for a pharmacy) which paid better than most part time jobs available to a 16 year old. I also started touring at 16, and never looked back.
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Old 11-20-14, 09:41 AM
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When did you first recognize that cycling was a combination of joy and work?
Unlike many of you (above) I didn't have any thoughts like that when I was young. I just rode my bike . . . didn't get thoughtful enough about the experience to recognize the combination.

When I was a bit older (18), got my first "real" road bike (Peugeot PX-10) and started training with a local racing club I was loving it (hence the joy part) until I started really suffering on a long climb one day. When I made the mistake of expressing this to a nearby rider, his response was, "Good for you, now you're getting it. Suffering is what makes this real!"

So that was the work part. Over the years I have learned to suffer with a better attitude!

Rick / OCRR
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Old 11-20-14, 09:49 AM
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Not yet. Pure joy for me. I'd take more time to expound, but I have to get ready to head into town for my shift at the bike shop.
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Old 11-20-14, 11:34 AM
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Summer 1958. I was 11 years old riding my first proper bike, a Raleigh Trent Sports, about 11 miles from home in the Brecon Beacons, no road traffic, far from any houses. I had a puncture and, stupidly, no puncture kit. No phones of course, and my father didn't have a car or a home phone. It was a long walk home, even though I hitched a lift in a lorry the last two miles.

The ride out was a joy, the walk back was hard work.
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Old 11-20-14, 12:01 PM
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1950
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Old 11-20-14, 12:23 PM
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For me, there was never any distinction between the joy and the work of bicycling. This attitude helped me work my way through the first two years of grad school by supplementing my $3K/yr. UCLA teaching assistant salary and my wife's intermittent $35/day substitute teacher pay with part time work at a local Peugeot/Nishiki dealership. On the "riding as work" side, the attitude got me through a 12:18 double century, with remains my one big athletic achievement.
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Old 11-20-14, 12:25 PM
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Work? No way!

Joy: Endless!

Back in the mid 60s in and around Paris in my mid teens!
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Old 11-20-14, 03:07 PM
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I have COPD and use my bike for commuting and touring. It's all hard work. The joy part comes when I stop.
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Old 11-20-14, 05:56 PM
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I'll need to add to my reply here, doing mechanical things like maintenance or just plain tinkering, at times, has never felt like work to me. Even when I wrenched and assembled bikes part time in bicycle shops to make a little extra money it never felt like work, as said many times above. Blues Dawg best sums things up, and besides, I am just a wrench head type. Bicycles, dirt bikes, cars, trucks, I just like to turn wrenches. Makes me feel like I can better understand things.

Bill
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Old 11-20-14, 06:05 PM
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I don't call suffering on a bike (or building/repairing) work. Its all Joy. Sure it can get irritating when that internally cabled frame just won't co-operate and let me get the cable through, but its worth it when I finish the build and get to ride it.
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Old 11-21-14, 03:56 PM
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I've actually found joy in work, whether on a bike or not.
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Old 11-21-14, 05:41 PM
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Work???!!! Oh great, now you've spoiled everything...
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Old 11-21-14, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I've actually found joy in work, whether on a bike or not.
Yeah, me too.
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Old 11-21-14, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
Probably at about 12 years or so on those 8 mile rides into town on my single speed JC Higgens sometimes bucking those mean Texas Panhandle headwinds.
My first bike (mid 50's) was a J C Higgens. The model was a "Fall Apart" as labeled by my friends because of its habit of shedding parts. Sometimes I got shed too, as I am reminded of every day because of a funky shaped eyebrow.
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Old 11-21-14, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Matariki View Post
My first bike (mid 50's) was a J C Higgens. The model was a "Fall Apart" as labeled by my friends because of its habit of shedding parts. Sometimes I got shed too, as I am reminded of every day because of a funky shaped eyebrow.
Yeah mine shed everything except the chainguard which I put back on after catching my trouser leg in the chain and crashing hard.
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