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Old 04-09-14, 08:02 PM   #1
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Why do you ride?

I couldn't find a thread on this yet. I personally ride because my bike is a replacement to a car for me and the thrill and adventure.

What about everyone else?
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Old 04-09-14, 08:16 PM   #2
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too lazy to walk the three miles to work, and too bull headed to buy fuel to drive to the hills for camping-between 10-50 miles-but mostly I just like to ride!
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Old 04-09-14, 08:21 PM   #3
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As an exercise component to my weight loss journey. When my daughter graduates from high school I'll be able to calm down and ride for more casual enjoyment. For now it is exercise.
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Old 04-09-14, 09:02 PM   #4
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Short answer: fitness and fun.
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Old 04-09-14, 09:06 PM   #5
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I enjoy it.

For the most part, I just ride for the enjoyment and for exercise. I tend to ride out of town for a ways and take in the sights, sounds, and smells that I'd otherwise drive past without ever noticing. Take a turn down a different road whenever the whim strikes, just to see and experience what's there. Feel the sun and the wind instead of seeing it through glass. And it's good exercise without feeling like work.

Another reason I bike... I #$&%ing hate running.
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Old 04-09-14, 09:24 PM   #6
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Fitness and stress relief. Also, it helps keep the 65 pounds I lost, lost.
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Old 04-09-14, 11:37 PM   #7
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1) i can't drive safely(and we have 2 lane roads and no freeways locally) 2)NO parking for my apt building 3) associated costs of a motorized vehicle. I find my folding(and very apartment friendly) bike a good travelling method for most things. Cabs are relatively cheap here, so I can get gasoline propelled wheels if needed.
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Old 04-10-14, 12:17 AM   #8
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Others have mentioned my current motivations, including fitness and the joy of being outside soaking up sunshine (and rain), fresh air and rural countryside.

Counting my first bike (age 7 to 15), I've been riding about 45 years. Its part of who I am, and I fear developing a health issue that would end my cycling.

Be careful, cycling can become addictive.
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Old 04-10-14, 06:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SwampDude View Post
Counting my first bike (age 7 to 15), I've been riding about 45 years. Its part of who I am, and I fear developing a health issue that would end my cycling.
I've been riding 36 years. I had a few years off from riding though, oh, from about 1987 through 2013, LOL.

Mine is pure exercise. The fact that it is enjoyable is a bonus that keeps me exercising.

Last year I was trying to come up with some sustainable exercise. I could run, but it was hard on the knees and my knees were not well. They hurt every night so much that I couldn't sleep. I would have my wife dig into the tendon below the knee cap to massage it every night so I could get to sleep. I also have what I believe to be "restless leg syndrome." I also couldn't fall asleep at night because of this. As soon as I would lay down, I felt like I needed to get my legs moving. I'm now 42 and can remember this being a problem clear back to my teen years (after driver's license and giving up riding a bike to get around.)

I could lift weights and would start every now and then. It wasn't sustainable though. First, I don't have a gym anywhere around me, nor do I know anyone whom I could get together with to lift. Doing it myself down in the basement was boring and I would go for a few weeks, then come home from work exhausted and skip a day. Another week and I'd be tired or we'd have to run somewhere and the skipping would get more frequent until I was done lifting weights until the following year when I would think I should start lifting weights again.

My wife has always had an exercise bike in the basement. It was horribly uncomfortable and boring as heck so I could never do that.

Last year with the kids getting older and my wife working opposite times than me, I was out at an event at the lake and they had kayaks you could try out. I put my oldest girl in a kayak and the youngest and I climbed in a tandem to try it out. I need something to get the girls out of the house and I have always loved the water. The girls had a blast. This was something I thought we could do together to get away from the house and electronics since I have quite a few small lakes around, a handful of very nice large lakes close by, and I'm only a few miles from the river. I also thought paddling a kayak up the river might be pretty good exercise. Even if I paddled for an hour upstream on the river and only found myself 20 feet upstream, it would still be an hour of exercise. Problem is, to outfit all 3 of us with kayak equipment as well as something for my wife on her days off, it would be too expensive of a lump sum to come up with.

That leaves me with thinking about the old Walmart bike that was collecting dust in the garage. I bought it in 2005 when my oldest was 5 and got her bike. We would go down to the bike trail along the river and ride. It's been years since I've been on it, so I cleaned it all up, checked some info and videos online and adjusted everything so it would brake and shift and went out on a ride.

It was torture. I have nothing but constant hills around the house. I rode 3.5 miles in about 50 minutes. The next day I went out again. Torture again. I can't put any torque on the pedals of that old Walmart bike or the chain would start jumping around. I can't shift it fast enough when hitting the next uphill so I was having to stop a few feet up the hill, lift the back tire and spin the cranks to get it to downshift. At that point, I figure the oldest is old enough that I could leave them for a bit and head down to the flat bike trail. 12 miles later it was fantastic exercise and now enjoyable.

If I kept up riding into the beginnings of winter, I figure I'd treat myself to a nice bike in the spring with the tax return. I rode almost daily for 3 months and put 500+ miles on that Walmart bike. I lost 30 pounds. One of the reasons I wanted to start exercising was because we started a wellness program at work checking cholesterol and such. I'll let you know, my triglycerides were 425. Cholesterol and glucose were borderline. My blood pressure was always high at around 149/90. After 3 months of riding, my triglycerides were down to 200. My cholesterol wasn't much of an improvement but the glucose was a pretty nice improvement. My blood pressure had gone from an always for years 149/90 to 122/78. Winter hit us with a sledgehammer this year and I hadn't been back on the bike since November.

Tax refund came and I dropped $600 down on my new Giant Escape 1 March 6th. Rode about half a mile on the maiden ride on the way home from the bike shop because it was 20°. First 40° day we got in March I took off on the same roads I rode when I first started on the Walmart bike. It was fantastic! I could climb the hills. I could stand up and put some serious torque on the pedals without the bike nearly falling apart. I could shift to any gear I needed immediately when coming to the hills. I love it. Weather hit us over the head again after 2 days of riding weather and now it's finally breaking.

Riding 500 miles on that Walmart bike and reading here all winter gave me a pretty good idea of what I wanted. I wanted a hybrid and not a lean over road bike. The Walmart mountain bike position was fine. I wanted the most gearing options I could get so I knew I wanted 9 speeds in the rear. From what I read, I wanted a carbon fork giving up any sort of shock front fork that isn't needed on pavement/dirt roads. On the old bike after some time, I found myself always holding onto the ends of the bars (no bar ends.) So I ordered up my Giant Escape 1 with the 9 speed and carbon fork and added a set of bar ends. This bike is just about perfect, exactly what I was expecting and then some. I absolutely love it and it is extremely enjoyable to go out and get some exercise.
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Old 04-10-14, 06:06 AM   #10
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I could give dozens.of reasons but it basically boils.down to... because I can!
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Old 04-10-14, 06:56 AM   #11
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'cause I live here

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Old 04-10-14, 08:50 AM   #12
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Yup-------------fun and exercise. Also the social aspect of club rides.

And-------------for the simple fact if you sit you will rust.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:32 AM   #13
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I enjoy it and there are real benefits from this pleasure, in that it mitigates the effects of some of my other pleasures.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:39 AM   #14
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This article I posted on my website says it all ...

Why I Ride
A Story Of Recovery
By Greg Bullock © 2007

When I was nine years old my parents were divorced and I began living nearly ten miles from my Dad. Not far by some standards, but to a young boy whose Dad was suddenly no longer at the dinner table each evening, it might as well have been the other side of the moon. I spent every day I could traversing the distance to see my Dad. I would frequently borrow my uncles Schwinn Continental, which I had to ride sitting on the top tube as my legs were not long enough to sit on the seat and pedal. I was often scolded for “borrowing” that bike, but it was that bike that allowed me to discover the bicycle as life support. During those days I spent many hours on the bike. By the time I was twelve, my cousin was racing in the United States Cycling Federation, and although I could not afford to own a sleek Schwinn Paramount like he had, I learned how to train on my very own Schwinn Continental. I learned to eat properly, to carry water with me, to hold my line riding safely on the roads, all the things I needed to know to build a solid foundation for bicycling to become part of my life. I was putting in between ten and twenty miles nearly every time I got on the bike, after school, on weekends, whenever I could ride, I did. I once entered a local race, and won in my age group. Bicycling had become my passion. I never thought about why, I just got on the bike and rode wherever the road would lead me.

I continued to ride through the years, spending countless hours riding longer and longer distances, while escaping to the magic of the countryside. Nearly all of my cycling during those times was on solo excursions, including a stint of commuting twenty-miles in the darkness to work the mid-night shift at a local factory. I’d ride with a lighting system to my job, and return home after working through the night twenty-miles each morning, riding forty miles a day round trip. At the time I did not know what I was riding for, but the ride was what was important, and I didn’t need to know why I did it. When I was twenty I rode from my home in New Jersey to Canada, and back, averaging nearly one hundred miles a day over a two- week period. My bike was a Motobecane Grand Touring fitted with panniers front and rear, and the almighty granny gear. I carried a tent, cloths, cook stove, and a sleeping bag, stopping at campgrounds, rest areas and town parks along the way. I miss that ride. Throughout the years I continued to log miles. I used my bike over several years to commute to work again, an average of twenty-six miles a day. When taking the long way home, my daily mileage would climb to fifty plus miles or more. My goal was to ride 300-400 miles a week whenever possible. I continued that pace for many years. Over time my weekly mileage rose to around 400 miles during the summer months, with centuries ridden frequently on both Saturday and Sunday, and I kept to a 6 day ride schedule as time permitted. Some folks would say I was obsessed, but to me it was normal. I love being on a bike.

Several years ago, my wife became pregnant with our son, and my riding partner got off the bike at her doctors suggestion. We bought a house and started a new business together. This was an exciting time for us both and we were going through a lot of changes. I stopped riding as well, claiming a lack of time as my excuse as to why I could not get on the bike. I began to eat poorly, choosing high saturated fat food sources, instead of the pasta and vegetable salads I had been eating for years. Cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill, on the patio of our new home, while sitting around with a cold beverage, was how I chose to spend much of my time. Ice Cream was our fun food of choice, eating a full half-gallon in only an evening or two. I was enjoying this new phase of my life, even though I had gained over sixty pounds since I got off the bike, and well over my weight of a time when I was logging close to 400 miles a weeks. I was no longer riding my bicycle, and I had myself convinced that all the little physical inconveniences I was feeling at that time, were the signs of “getting older”.

I turned 47 years old in August. I was beginning to feel my age. I was finding myself fatigued most of the time. I’d always thought I’d still feel good when I got older, but I was feeling terrible. Then in mid-January, I could not get enough water, always thirsty, I needed a nap every afternoon, headaches came nearly every day and I was having trouble with my vision. I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes. Hypertension was also something I began to have treated, though I had known I was afflicted with it for sometime. Both diseases run through my family history, along with heart disease. In February we had a major ice storm here in the northeast. The next day, with temperatures in the twenties, I went out to chip the ice from our driveway, spending more than two hours banging on the ice with a shovel until all of the ice had been cleared. That night while getting into bed, I felt pressure like a strap wrapped tightly around my chest. My wife and I discussed it for a short while, and we decided I needed to go to the hospital. I was having a heart event, which required a stent to be placed into my left anterior descending artery. The LAD had more than a seventy-five percent blockage, while other arteries had blockages of over fifty percent. My cardiologist called the LAD the “widow maker”, and told my wife that I was a short time away from having a massive heart attack, which I probably would not have survived. A diet loaded with saturated fat, family history and lack of exercise all contributed to what had happened. My cardiologist also said, the fact that I had been a cyclist all of those years, greatly contributed to the ability of my heart to survive my undoing, thus far.

Why do I ride? … Because when I didn’t, it nearly killed me.

Last edited by the engine; 04-10-14 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:03 AM   #15
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addicted to speed and maybe the pain and suffering. Ask me at the end of the ride....
Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
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Old 04-11-14, 10:53 AM   #16
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I ride because I live 800 miles from the nearest mountains. I'm actually a hiker and a skier, but one or two trips a year doesn't cut it, so I got into biking as an alternative. It gets me outside, and we have a nice wooded bike path about 30 miles long, where you don't have to watch for cars.

Plus it's good exercise. I don't like being sedentary, and like being fit and having the added benefit of the endorphine / higher oxygen content highs that come with exercise.

If I lived in Colorado, I wouldn't bike very often. I'd be in them thar mountains hiking and skiing all year round. I like dirt and snow better than pavement.
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Old 04-11-14, 11:00 AM   #17
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I started riding before even being able to walk so it is part of me and when i look at all the advantages of it i see no reason to not to.
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Old 04-11-14, 11:11 AM   #18
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1: for the fun of it. 2: for the exercise. 3: for saving fuel and other motor vehicle costs.
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Old 04-11-14, 01:27 PM   #19
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Q: why did the bear cross over the mountain? A: to see the other side.
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Old 04-11-14, 02:07 PM   #20
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I cycle for fitness, physical and emotional. I feel less stressed when I ride regularly.
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People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 04-11-14, 02:24 PM   #21
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It's an elaborate cover story for my bulimia and leg-shaving fetish.
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Old 04-11-14, 02:44 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
It's an elaborate cover story for my bulimia and leg-shaving fetish.

For me, it's fun to ride...and not only is it better for my health, but I feel energized after about the 2nd mile. If I bike to work, my energy level only drops at the end of the night after getting home, catching a shower, and eating a good hearty dinner.

It's just plain fun (once everything is dialed-in properly).
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Old 04-11-14, 03:49 PM   #23
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While exercise is nice, it's mostly because it's a fun activity. I only ride with my wife and we use it as a change to get out and enjoy being outdoors and enjoy each others company.
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Old 04-11-14, 07:08 PM   #24
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These threads are scattered around on Bike Forums ... however ...

I started riding because my parents cycled and they got me into it.
I continued cycling because I enjoyed cycling and I enjoyed the freedom it offered.

My cycling dropped off a bit and I started to focus on other aspects of fitness.

I resumed cycling to train for an event and because it was the cardio component of bodybuilding.
I continued cycling because I enjoyed it ... it was a great way to see the world. And it keeps me in shape.
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Old 04-11-14, 09:57 PM   #25
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Fun, Friends, Exercise , Save money by avoiding bridge tolls, Save money on gas, Riding makes me smile on rainy days, it makes me smile on sunny days. I find it exhilarating while standing on the pedals while climbing a hill, as well as screaming down a hill. I love touring on a bike, meeting people while on tour. Did I mention it's fun?
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