Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Ex-smokers: has quitting smoking helped with biking?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Ex-smokers: has quitting smoking helped with biking?

Old 03-08-09, 10:10 PM
  #1  
flyskies
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ex-smokers: has quitting smoking helped with biking?

If you're a former tobacco smoker or have quit smoking in the past, what was your experience with biking after enough time has passed after quitting? Were you able to bike faster? Was it more fun? Or was there no change?

The last time I tried to quit, I was able to stay off for about a month. At the time, I was commuting 6 miles to school on top of the biking I'd do working as a bike messenger. Thinking back, it seems like I had more fun commuting, but it's hard to say; I felt more comfortable on the bike and more motivated to ride fast. Also, I think at times I was able to ride much faster. My average for the 6 miles to class was about 30-35 minutes, but after I had quit, I timed a particularly fast commute of 19 minutes. That may have just been a fluke though.

I plan to quit again soon and hope that if some of you post your stories, they may motivate me.

Thanks.
flyskies is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 08:40 AM
  #2  
demoncyclist
Senior Member
 
demoncyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Medway, MA
Posts: 2,727

Bikes: 2011 Lynskey Sportive, 1988 Cannondale SM400

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Seriously? Of course quitting will have a positive effect on your cycling.
demoncyclist is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 08:54 AM
  #3  
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,365

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quitting didn't make me any faster or increase the distances I ride...but it did improve my wind, which makes it much easier to climb, recover, and maintain top end speeds for longer periods.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 09:14 AM
  #4  
Ka_Jun
Who farted?
 
Ka_Jun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,287

Bikes: '06 K2 Zed 3.0, '09 Novara Buzz V

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes.
Ka_Jun is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 10:02 AM
  #5  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,967

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Cycling is the ONLY reason I quit smoking. I'd smoked for 35 years.

Improvements came over time, but were amazing. I couldn't climb worth a damn before quitting. Twenty months after quitting, I climbed Mt. Evans, 14,130 feet. Not bad for an East Coast lowlander/flatlander, eh?



Of course, I'd trained for it, but still I wouldn't have even been able to train for it had I not quit.

BTW, I used the patch after tapering down to a half-pack a day.

Last edited by tsl; 03-09-09 at 10:06 AM.
tsl is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 10:57 AM
  #6  
Nightshade
Humvee of bikes =Worksman
 
Nightshade's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Two choices here that will work....one good....one could be good.

First and the most important........QUIT CIGARETTES!! PERIOD! KICKEM' TO THE CURB!!

Then if you still want to enjoy tobacco puff a pipe since only Superman can inhale pipe
tobacco smoke. You "puff" a pipe to taste the tobacco. Also a pipe will give you peace that
is impossible to discribe to the non-smoker. One or two pipes a day will often be enough
for any adult since you now smoke 'cause you want to not 'cause you have to to feed the
addiction.


Oh yes, to be fair.....I've "puffed" one or two bowls of pipe tobacco for 30 yrs and have full
lung capacity (just had my yearly doctors visit) for my age.

All that said........GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THOSE TOXIC CHEMICAL LADEN CIGARETTES.!!
__________________
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
Nightshade is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 11:24 AM
  #7  
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,365

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, my pipe gives me great peace...but only when I inhale and hold it for a bit.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 05:32 PM
  #8  
mumbles
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I quit after 30 years cause of the bike. I was one of those people that never thought I would want to quit. Mountain biking and gasping for air at the top of every little climb made me change my mind. I started chewing nicotine gum as I tapered off the cigs. I still love my nicotine but I don't need the smoke anymore and I can ride much better now. Nice thing about the gum is you can have your nicotine anywhere, anytime. Hopefully I will one day get off the gum, but in the meantime my lungs are getting much better and so is my riding.
mumbles is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 06:07 PM
  #9  
Unknown Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Two choices here that will work....one good....one could be good.

First and the most important........QUIT CIGARETTES!! PERIOD! KICKEM' TO THE CURB!!

Then if you still want to enjoy tobacco puff a pipe since only Superman can inhale pipe
tobacco smoke. You "puff" a pipe to taste the tobacco. Also a pipe will give you peace that
is impossible to discribe to the non-smoker. One or two pipes a day will often be enough
for any adult since you now smoke 'cause you want to not 'cause you have to to feed the
addiction.


Oh yes, to be fair.....I've "puffed" one or two bowls of pipe tobacco for 30 yrs and have full
lung capacity (just had my yearly doctors visit) for my age.

All that said........GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THOSE TOXIC CHEMICAL LADEN CIGARETTES.!!
It's a pity to see someone who cycles relating this fallacy to others, it simply isn't true.

you now smoke 'cause you want to not 'cause you have to to feed the addiction
Gee, where have I heard that before ?

Isn't that every smokers excuse, that they smoke because they want to ?

I can't believe such dumb sh1t.







Unknown Cyclist is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 06:11 PM
  #10  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,868

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 117 Posts
I quit when I was 23, when I took up cycling. Took me a couple more years to quit totally and completely. About 3 pack years, at most.
Remember, kids, there is no such thing as safe tobacco.
Don't believe this guy:
JanMM is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 06:56 PM
  #11  
bcarter6
Senior Member
 
bcarter6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yeah, any tobacco is bad, even pipe tobacco. If you don't inhale it won't give you lung diseases, but you still have to worry about mouth and throat cancer, yuck. But even much more practically: as long as you keep allowing nicotine into your body, you will never be free from wanting it, there will always still be a need. I'm an ex-smoker, and even with total abstinence from nicotine, I still dream about cigarettes, and I still want one now and then. I don't want to do ANYTHING to make that need worse. Cheating in any way will just be torture, or a total relapse.

But back to the original post: Biking is the reason why I quit. I didn't quit because I wanted to bike faster or better, I'm not nearly so competitive. But I quit because I was able to bike regularly. I needed the high from the exercise to replace the cigarette. If I was sitting around the house craving a cigarette, I made myself go ride my bike for an hour. It got rid of the nervous energy, it gave me a little relief. It helped that to go anywhere I have to climb a mile long hill, and the longer I went without a smoke, the less painful (and eventually more enjoyable) that hill became.

It takes years to get back to normal lung and heart function after smoking, and no doubt I am not completely healed; but I still hop on my bike every time I want a cigarette. It is the only thing that worked and I tried all the different pills and gums and patches.
bcarter6 is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 08:32 PM
  #12  
Restoman
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 45

Bikes: Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I quit about a month ago . The affects of quitting are showing up everywhere, focus, bowel movements, cleaner smells, I don't sweat funny odors, nor do I have to lie to anyone now (insurance).
Restoman is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 12:07 AM
  #13  
flyskies
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies. I know that smoking impairs one's ability to exercise at their peak, but it's still really helpful to hear anecdotes and I feel much more determined after reading these replies. My strategy for this attempt at quitting is to focus on my physical fitness and health. I've already cleaned up my diet and begun commuting again, and soon I will start going on club rides. I also plan to replace coffee with green tea(the l-theanine in green tea should help with quitting as well - it's relaxing and reduces many of the stressful effects of caffeine) and maybe eventually substitute the tea with l-theanine capsules. Hopefully if I focus on physical improvement rather than the "deprivation"(it's really not that big of a sacrifice, regardless of how I feel when I want one) of cigarettes, I'll be able to quit for good.
flyskies is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 05:56 AM
  #14  
mumbles
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here are some really really gross pics during the surgury of a guy that had mounth cancer. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the images.

https://www.trashyourcan.org/mystory.htm
mumbles is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 06:29 AM
  #15  
Unknown Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
Here are some really really gross pics during the surgury of a guy that had mounth cancer. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the images.

You should make it clear that the link is to An anti-smokeless tobacco campaign.

https://www.trashyourcan.org/mystory.htm
I can't say I like the pics, but THANK YOU for clarifying just how 'harmless' tobacco can be if you don't inhale.

Unknown Cyclist is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 06:48 AM
  #16  
Unknown Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Also a pipe will give you peace that is impossible to discribe to the non-smoker
No, it's very easy to describe, it's known as satisfying an addiction.

Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
you now smoke 'cause you want to not 'cause you have to to feed the
addiction
Yeah....that's right, of course that's why.

Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Oh yes, to be fair.....I've "puffed" one or two bowls of pipe tobacco for 30 yrs and have full lung capacity (just had my yearly doctors visit) for my age
Note: the dipping tobacco guy never inhaled tobacco and thought he was fit after 30 years of it.

You are a fool and you are fooling yourself. Please don't spread your toxic doctrine to others.

You believe what you choose to believe because it suits you and enables you to carry on doing what you enjoy (a pipe will give you peace that is impossible to discribe to the non-smoker) regardless of facts.

Oh yes, to be fair, I remember my father saying something very similar not long before tobacco killed him.

What was it ?

He had just visited his doctor and was 'As fit as a fiddle'.

Does that seem familiar to you Nightshade ?

Does it ?
Unknown Cyclist is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 08:39 AM
  #17  
joe_5700
CAT4
 
joe_5700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 1,681

Bikes: 2009 Cervélo S1, 2009 Felt F75, 2010 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5, 2011 Cannondale CAADx, 2011 Specialized Transition Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bcarter6 View Post
It takes years to get back to normal lung and heart function after smoking, and no doubt I am not completely healed; but I still hop on my bike every time I want a cigarette. It is the only thing that worked and I tried all the different pills and gums and patches.
I smoked for nearly 20 years with a few years in there where I didn't. I haven't had a cigarette for a little over a year now. I quit using the patch, and it was not as hard as you think. The hardest part is telling yourself that you have had your last cigarette forever. I know I am getting faster and climbing hills better, but I cannot prove that it is because of better lung capacity. I always considered myself to be a "conditioned smoker". That is one who is in better shape than 80% of non smokers my age. What really pushed me over the edge to quit was the constant coughing at night and my 5 year old son SEEING my addiction as I went out to my deck to smoke.
joe_5700 is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 09:17 AM
  #18  
Treker
Zebra
 
Treker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa ON
Posts: 590

Bikes: '04 Trek 1000, '05 Devinci Millenium; 07 Spec. Allez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The day I gave up smoking 25 years ago I went for a short jog, (I know, blasphemy for mentioning that sport on BF) and promptly woofed my cookies on completion. Haven't woofed since. Started cycling in earnest 5 years ago and have no doubt that all bodily systems are better off than they would be otherwise.
Treker is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 11:11 AM
  #19  
mumbles
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The thought of getting cancer and dying is not really much motivation to quit. Maybe stupid to say but it's true. We are all gonna die of something. It's not that easy though, you don't just get cancer and die. You first get it cut out or radiated, then maybe you get some chemo and radiation to make you sicker. You spend hours & years going to the doctor, laying in a hospital and generally feeling like crap and have your life totally screwed up. That is the scary part of cancer, not the dying. Then there is all the money you spend on doctors that you coulda been having fun with.
mumbles is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 11:35 AM
  #20  
Unknown Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
The thought of getting cancer and dying is not really much motivation to quit. Maybe stupid to say but it's true. We are all gonna die of something. It's not that easy though, you don't just get cancer and die. You first get it cut out or radiated, then maybe you get some chemo and radiation to make you sicker. You spend hours & years going to the doctor, laying in a hospital and generally feeling like crap and have your life totally screwed up. That is the scary part of cancer, not the dying. Then there is all the money you spend on doctors that you coulda been having fun with.
You've got me wrong, it's not the smokers I feel sorry for.

It's the poor b@stards that have to sit around and watch them die.

Smoking must be very nearly the most selfish thing it's possible to do.
Unknown Cyclist is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 11:52 AM
  #21  
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
UC,
you have the tact of a mafioso wielding a 2X4.

Though I do agree with you.
DataJunkie is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 12:02 PM
  #22  
Unknown Cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
UC,
you have the tact of a mafioso wielding a 2X4.

Though I do agree with you.
My father died recently from tobacco.

My mother and stepfather are currently engaged in dying from tobacco.

One of my friends is as well.

At the moment I don't quite feel like standing idly by while some fool tells people that any tobacco usage isn't harmful.

I also object to the fact that my cycling has always been compromised by the lung damage I received from passive smoking from birth onwards.

Unknown Cyclist is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 02:50 PM
  #23  
Nightshade
Humvee of bikes =Worksman
 
Nightshade's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Yes, my pipe gives me great peace...but only when I inhale and hold it for a bit.
Not my speed, fella. I puff tobacco only so you can have my share of brain numbing drugs to enjoy.
__________________
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
Nightshade is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 03:39 PM
  #24  
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,365

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Not my speed, fella. I puff tobacco only so you can have my share of brain numbing drugs to enjoy.
Thank you, very much. Nice guys, meet em everywhere.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline  
Old 03-10-09, 03:48 PM
  #25  
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
My father died recently from tobacco.

My mother and stepfather are currently engaged in dying from tobacco.

One of my friends is as well.

At the moment I don't quite feel like standing idly by while some fool tells people that any tobacco usage isn't harmful.

I also object to the fact that my cycling has always been compromised by the lung damage I received from passive smoking from birth onwards.

Sorry to here that. My condolences.
You have a right to your 2X4.

Smoking is one of the worst mistakes I made. Quitting was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
DataJunkie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.