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Hooray for me (a small egotistical post)

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Hooray for me (a small egotistical post)

Old 08-30-04, 02:43 PM
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Hello Gentle Readers,

It was a little over a month ago (Stage 17 of the Tour, in fact) that I threw myself back into cycling after a spate of sedentary living of about 10 years. I was fat, sloppy, and well on the road to early heart disease and who knows what else.

While watching the Tour de France every year since it began airing on OLN was always fun, something about this year's coverage, along with Floyd Landis' amazing performance on the Col de la Croix-Fry, flipped a switch inside me. As I watched Floyd absolutely crush his opponents, I was moved-- but there was a singular moment, in which he grabbed a large bottle of water from a spectator and doused his head with it, but then thoughtfully stopped short of emptying it and offered it to Lance-- where I said to myself, "Damn! I HAVE to start cycling again!" That act was just pure class and reminded me of my old racing days (CAT III). I know it sounds weird, but that's how it came about.

I've ridden every day since then (well, 6 days a week), increasing from a puny 30 minute ride around the block to, this week, two hour rides in which I cover about 36 miles-- still slow by my old standards but I'm loving every minute of it.

I've dropped 25 pounds so far, realistically I could stand to lose another 25 or more. Anyway, today is one of my 'the glass is half full days', I've had plenty of 'I have so far to go' days that I thought I'd share. Cheers everyone,

Dave
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Old 08-30-04, 02:53 PM
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i was inspired by this year's tour as well. except for me it was stage 13 that renewed me.
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Old 08-30-04, 02:54 PM
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Great story! Congrats to you! My husband never rode his mountain bike, it was practically brand new!!! After watching TDF this year, he wanted a road bike. He got one, I got one. I always rode, but now he is off the couch. Who said TV wasn't motivating or educational??
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Old 08-30-04, 02:55 PM
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Damn, nice job Dave -- keep it up!

25 lbs in a month is alot of weight. Think how you'll feel at the end of a year!
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Old 08-30-04, 03:11 PM
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I wonder how many bikes the TdF sold this year? Butt loads I bet. Hell, I bought one.
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Old 08-30-04, 03:12 PM
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and they say TV is bad for you.. huh!
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Old 08-30-04, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lucien2
I wonder how many bikes the TdF sold this year? Butt loads I bet. Hell, I bought one.
me too. I had been toying with buying a road bike for years, but this year's Tour finally got me motivated enough to go get one. No weight lost yet, but it's only been a week (and my eating habits will need to be reformed before I see any losses).
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Old 08-30-04, 03:57 PM
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It is simply amazing at the amount of people that have been turned on to cycling because of THIS year's TDF. Wouldn't it be great to see a physical revolution?

Congrats and keep up the work. We are all there for you!

Rocking the casbah.
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Old 08-30-04, 04:18 PM
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I too, felt motivated, but after last years TDF. Went out a bought a decent mountain bike because I like playing in dirt. But after a year I have lost almost 50 lbs. I went from 209 down to 165. Now I can not wait for the weekend to get here so I can get out and ride the trails then ride them again. Lance has done more for me than most people in my life. He is MY inspiration to do more today than I did yesterday.
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Old 08-30-04, 04:18 PM
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Good story Dave... It surprises me how you can look back at your life after a month (or a year) and really wonder how you used to live like that.

Keep it up! Soon you'll need a new by-line.
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Old 08-30-04, 04:30 PM
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I used it as motivation as well. I rode every day of the Tour. I figured if they could ride 100+ miles a day, that I had no excuse for my little rides.
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Old 08-30-04, 04:58 PM
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riding regularly is so good for you - it doesn't even matter if you're going fast or long really.

my glory days period was about five years ago when i had a healthy habit of commuting 150 miles / week. i ended up with some nasty overuse injuries from some other stuff and not cross training enough, but now after some off years i'm back to that level almost and i'm reminded of how it improves so many other things - eating, sleeping, attitude on life, etc.

congrats for getting in gear dave.
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Old 08-30-04, 05:19 PM
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TV IS bad for you people. 99% of the folks out there arn't watching cycling...are obese, and can't get up to excercise.
Cool you were motivated though...so 1% ain't bad I guess
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Old 08-30-04, 08:46 PM
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Me too. I watched the Tour and got out and started riding my old Bianchi touring bike on Saturdays. Decided I like it and bought a new Bianchi Virata (much lighter and racier). Now I can't wait to get out there every weekend. Next up is trying some club rides. But I am a little intimidated....
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Old 08-31-04, 07:29 AM
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I to was motivated by the tour,but can't afford to buy a bike at this time. I will be rebuilding an older road bike that I found. I have not been on a decent ride for many years. I did my first century at the age of 14 when I was diong 40-50 miles a day, nothing good since. I am now 26
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Old 08-31-04, 08:20 AM
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I hardly watch any t.v.

I watch the TdF and the occasional Star Trek series of programs, but I'm not dying to see every episode of the later. So being in the 1% is good. A lot of the so called entertainment on t.v. is bogus crap anyway.

Good work on the wieght loss my friend, ride hard!
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Old 08-31-04, 09:35 AM
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I went out and did my first 50+ mile ride the afternoon after the second individual time trial. Yeah, it was inspirational. Through diet and biking, I've dropped from 280+ a couple of years ago to 228 yesterday, and a 30 mile ride is now a non-event for me. Tally ho!

did
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Old 08-31-04, 09:49 AM
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I did 56 miles on Sunday and have been averaging ~100miles/week of hard riding since just before the TDF started. The tour motivated me to continue. I've lost 15 pounds in the process, after losing 20 pounds by dieting for over a year. 30 miles and I'm just warming up.

I'm still riding my trusty Davidson from 20+ years ago, so don't let an old bike stop anyone.
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Old 08-31-04, 09:50 AM
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Congratulations Dave. Don't bike for just the health benefits, keep biking because you want to bike!
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Old 08-31-04, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by operator
Congratulations Dave. Don't bike for just the health benefits, keep biking because you want to bike!
Absolutely. Also, don't ride to eat, eat to ride.

Of course, now that I posted how much I'm enjoying my old road bike (a Cannondale from 1984 or so, with mostly Dura-ace componentry), everything fell apart this morning. I noticed some dry rot on my tires, so I grabbed both rims off the bike and took them into the shop, whereupon a mild inconvenience and expense quickly escalated into me seriously contemplating my next bike purchase. The salesdroid helping me pointed out where the sidewall of my old Mavic rim was cracked (right above a spoke), so new tires/tubes escalates to new rims. Ok, fine-- they're 18 years old, but the freewheel/chain combo is a bit newer and still pretty fresh. So, we find a new pair of built up Mavics, pretty bombproof-- except wait, my freewheel is ancient 19th technology, it's all cassettes these days. So, I'm looking at a new cassette and chain combo (grit teeth)... OK, well, I gotta ride so let's write the check, we're pushing $320.00 now... oh but wait! My old freewheel is a six cogger, and the new cassettes are 7 or 8, and spaced so wide that getting the new rear wheel into the back triangle will take a bit of flexing of the frame to do it... but wait, it's an old aluminum Cannondale you say? Nope, no way we can do it without cracking the frame, so solly.

So, I had to jump onto Ol' Busted, my fat tire flyer, for my mileage today. I have a date with a Salsa dealer tomorrow to check out their aluminum/scandium rode frames.

Dave
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Old 08-31-04, 02:21 PM
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Dave

You could always have your rear hub built up with new rims. It's a lot less money than a new bike. Of course, a new bike is much more fun...
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Old 08-31-04, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster
Dave

You could always have your rear hub built up with new rims. It's a lot less money than a new bike. Of course, a new bike is much more fun...
Good point zac. It's finding a competent mechanic to lace it up that will be the challenge. Anyone know a good-- no, a great-- mechanic in the Washington, DC metro area (VA/MD/DC)?

Dave
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Old 08-31-04, 11:21 PM
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I lived on my old Huffy from age 12 through high school, then lost touch for about 15 years. After TdF Stage 17 this year, I started shopping for a new road bike. With a 6 month-old daughter and frugal wife, I'll be shopping for a while yet. However, I got my Raleigh MTB off the garage wall about 10 days ago, and have been riding for about an hour every other day. With slicks on, at least I can do 10 miles on the bike trails around here without shaking my a$$ to pieces.

My plan is to drop 10 lbs off my waist before the snow flies, then spend the winter replacing another 10 lbs with muscle. By Christmas, both my fitness level and checkbook should be worthy of something along the lines of a C-dale R1000 or Bianchi Vigorelli.

Dave, did, zac, it's stories like yours that keep me inspired to keep hammering, even when I have to get up before sunrise to fit it around the rest of my day. Thanks for sharing.

Craig
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Old 09-01-04, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Huffy Huffer
I lived on my old Huffy from age 12 through high school, then lost touch for about 15 years. After TdF Stage 17 this year, I started shopping for a new road bike. With a 6 month-old daughter and frugal wife, I'll be shopping for a while yet. However, I got my Raleigh MTB off the garage wall about 10 days ago, and have been riding for about an hour every other day. With slicks on, at least I can do 10 miles on the bike trails around here without shaking my a$$ to pieces.

My plan is to drop 10 lbs off my waist before the snow flies, then spend the winter replacing another 10 lbs with muscle. By Christmas, both my fitness level and checkbook should be worthy of something along the lines of a C-dale R1000 or Bianchi Vigorelli.

Dave, did, zac, it's stories like yours that keep me inspired to keep hammering, even when I have to get up before sunrise to fit it around the rest of my day. Thanks for sharing.

Craig
My first three bikes were Huffy's, and that was when they still made them at a plant in Southern Missouri. About 12 years ago, my old boyfriend bought me a Huffy from Kmart. I appreciated the thought, but I kept having problems with it. I got three different bikes from the same store in hopes that I could find a decent one. I ended up getting the money back and putting it in my first Schwinn from a real bike shop. I had to put twice the money in to get it, but it was worth every penny. The boyfriend was offended and eventually I dumped him after 10 years of dating. I was much happier with the bike.

Dave, keep up the good work! I just bought my first road bike and I am having a little trouble adjusting, but I plan to keep on track and give it more time.
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Old 09-01-04, 11:15 AM
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Watching this year's Tour inspired me to start riding again too. My '91 Raleigh Oplympian had been sitting in the storage shed for 9 years, so I cleaned up the drivetrain, replaced the tires and tubes, and began riding on the weekends. Last Saturday I rode 22 miles. I plan to start bringing the bike to work with me at least one day a week for a ride during lunch.

I got off my butt and decided to get healthy again two years ago. Being a dad was what motivated me to quit. I wanted to keep up with my little boy and live to see him grow up. After smoking for 18 years I quit in Aug 2002 on my son's 2nd birthday. Then I was 6'2" and 155 lbs, too skinny and I didn't look healthy. I wanted to get back in shape and bulk up my upper body mass. I started lifting weights and running and now I'm 175 lbs and have decent looking arms and a chest for the first time. I run 3 miles 2 to 3 times a week and lift weights twice a week. I would like to cycle twice a week.

Watching the the Tour de France in the late 1980s inspired me to get into cycling originally. I think it was the Tour LeMond won during the final time trial.
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