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Why Are you Here? Your Genesis Story.

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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

Why Are you Here? Your Genesis Story.

Old 06-12-11, 09:12 AM
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Why Are you Here? Your Genesis Story.

In high school I played football and was given a shot at a prestigious University in PA. I was quick enough but not big enough and lacked the top end.

Thanks for coming out.

A few years later I was a bouncer in a nightclub and my girlfriend bought a bike. The next day I went to the same shop. I found the salesman who had sold the bike to my girlfriend and I said, "My girlfriend came here yesterday and bought this bike from you. Show me one model better."

I had the "Elitist Prick" part down already. A natural.

The next day I went for a ride. It hurt. I hurt. I was a sloppy, slogging bull on a bike.

I loved it. I was hooked.

A few years and a few upgrades later the same wonderful woman said, "Hey, let's go to Europe." I said, "Screw Eurorail. Let's ride."

We bough some Bell V1 Pros, some panniers, the smallest tent in the world and plane tickets. We spent a year crisscrossing Europe by bike. Stories? I have lots.

We came home. I took the step out of beginner racing and moved up the cats. My first love rode for a few years but drifted from cycling as she drifted from me. A few more years and I was an Elite rider and she was having breakfast with someone else.

I moved across the country to follow a sponsorship after being humbled in Europe but gaining perspective. A **** brown Toyota took care of all of this foolishness for me.

I continued to race. I had some success.

I followed love to Asia. I reconnected with the industry in a new way and continued racing. I prospered and grew as a rider. She turned out to be a passive-aggressive ***** and I let that walking bag of social graces walk right out the door - much to my benefit.

Twelve years later here I am. My next love became the mother of my son. They give me laughter and joy and the reason to take my experience and start my own cycling related business.

I still ride but I am older, and slower and I spend far too much time on BF.

I found my way here because of my history, my passions and a **** brown Toyota.

What brought you here?
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Old 06-12-11, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post

I had the "Elitist Prick" part down already.
Actually if you were really an elitist prick you wouldn't be caught dead in the 41. You'd be in the 33.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
What brought you here?
I'm in it for the Endorphins and the Schwag. And because of this:

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Old 06-12-11, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
What brought you here?
What brought you to this forum? Or what brought you to cycling?
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Old 06-12-11, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I'm in it for the Endorphins and the Schwag. And because of this:

Good enough reason for sure.

I ruptured 2 discs and had spinal surgery a few years ago. I had a 10% chance of loosing the use of my legs and another 10% chance of becoming incontinent. Those are 1 in 5 odds of bad **** happening.

The opiates I was being given were no longer managing the pain and I was exhausted from the one hour a night sleep I was getting in my bath tub being the only respite I had. I had the surgery. They cut away the discs and honed out the inside of my spine where the nerves run to remove the clusters of spurs that had built up over the years.

I was on the table for 4 hours. When I woke up I couldn't feel or move my legs.

Once the swelling went down I was not only pain free but I felt 10 years younger.

My doctors felt that the injuries were a result of years on the bike and suggested I do something else. I was on the bike 30 days later.





I think we agree here.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
What brought you to this forum? Or what brought you to cycling?
I would assume that one has lead to the other, non?

Come on, share.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:33 AM
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Grew up in London. Played borough level cricket and tennis u16s. Got banned from both because of a "misunderstanding" with a tennis racket. Coach pointed me towards cycling. Cobbled a bike together with my old man. That was almost 30 years ago.

Lost some years distracted by mountain bikes.

Came back to my first love 12 years ago.

Now spend my time coaching and mentoring young atheletes. God help them.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:43 AM
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only 23 here so i dont have many stories as you all but they will come in time.

moved to virginia for college and after moving off campus I bought a 300$ mountain bike. Commuted a few miles to class everyday rain sleet or shine. Started taking my bike on local off road trails and really had a blast. That summer I got an internship that paid me completely too much money. And between trips to the beach and 300$ dinners at the capitol grille I bought a used road bike off craigslist. Been riding with school clubs and groups ever since. I have done a few races but its not really my thing, I just enjoy riding and hope to keep doing it.

Not to call anyone old, but on alot of my rides there are older guys who can still kick it. I hope to be like you all someday, healthy and badass.

cheers
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Old 06-12-11, 09:52 AM
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I don't have a particularly intriguing story.

I enjoyed riding my bike around the neighborhood when I was a kid. I remember being fascinated watching a road race in the Olympic games. I bought a 10-speed shortly thereafter.

I rode, for the enjoyment, through high school. When I went to college my bike went into storage and I did very little riding for several years.

Seven years ago, I started riding again. Short rides at first, but they became longer as my appetite grew. I decided to aquire a new bike and turned to Internets to learn more about them. Ironically, that led me to this forum.

Six years ago I purchased a "modern" road bike and have been pedaling away ever since.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dspaff088 View Post
only 23 here so i dont have many stories as you all but they will come in time.

moved to virginia for college and after moving off campus I bought a 300$ mountain bike. Commuted a few miles to class everyday rain sleet or shine. Started taking my bike on local off road trails and really had a blast. That summer I got an internship that paid me completely too much money. And between trips to the beach and 300$ dinners at the capitol grille I bought a used road bike off craigslist. Been riding with school clubs and groups ever since. I have done a few races but its not really my thing, I just enjoy riding and hope to keep doing it.

Not to call anyone old, but on alot of my rides there are older guys who can still kick it. I hope to be like you all someday, healthy and badass.

cheers

A good a beginning as any.



...one of us...one of us...one of us...
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Old 06-12-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
Seven years ago, I started riding again. Short rides at first, but they became longer as my appetite grew. I decided to aquire a new bike and turned to Internets to learn more about them. Ironically, that led me to this forum.
Ok.

So why did you start riding again?

You're so close. I sense a breakthrough.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post

My doctors felt that the injuries were a result of years on the bike and suggested I do something else. I was on the bike 30 days later.

I know right? But that doesn't mean the doctors were entirely wrong about that in your case, or in my case. For example I am now quite confident that my pain wasn't back related at all, but either a piriformis or sacroiliac joint pain syndrome issue related to years of riding and racing and not stretching. What surprises me is that nobody picked up on this in years of going to specialists and physical therapists.

Moral of this story: if you have back pain that's hard to diagnose, find a physical therapist with extensive experience treating competitive cyclists. Or in my case non-competitive cyclists. But somebody who deals with cyclists who ride 5K+ miles annually.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post

You're so close. I sense a breakthrough.
Riding past the Piggly Wiggly does not constitute a 'breakthrough'.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Moral of this story: if you have back pain that's hard to diagnose, find a physical therapist with extensive experience treating competitive cyclists. Or in my case non-competitive cyclists. But somebody who deals with cyclists who ride 5K+ miles annually.
True dat!


Every other doctor talks about neck problems from holding your head in some weird goose like position they demonstrate for me.

There is a case for neck problems but they are further down the list of cycling related injuries (over use, not acute) than back, knee or groin issues. I have had to 'guide' my care on more than one occasion.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Ok.

So why did you start riding again?

You're so close. I sense a breakthrough.
I frankly don't remember what prompted me to lug the 10-speed out of hibernation, leading to my cycling rebirth. It might have been that someone at church invited me for a social ride around an 11-mile loop in the mountains. Or I might simply have looked at it one afternoon and decided to go for a spin around the neighborhood.

Whatever the reason, it started the gradual crescendo which led to my sorry condition today.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:17 AM
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I started lifting weights as a teen ager and then took up martial arts a day after my 21st birthday because of a bar fight I watched on my birthday. I still lift but stopped the martial arts in my mid 40s because the older you get, the more it hurts.

In my late forties, I started experiencing shortness of breath which I thought was a sign of being out of shape. So, I started looking for a cardio exercise. I tried indoor rowing--boring. I tried running--ouch that hurts. Then, I tried cycling and it just right except I sucked at it. It was far harder than I remembered as a kid. It turned out that I had a medical problem that wouldn't have been diagnosed if I wasn't doing a cardio exercise like cycling. I went to the doc thinking I had a walking pneumonia and instead went under the knife and after eight months of recovery, I was back on the bike.

I suck less after the surgery but I still suck. I will ride for as long as I am physically able and maybe some day I won't suck at it anymore.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:22 AM
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I love bikes and riding them, ever since I was 4, 54 now and still not the fastest but not the slowest either, on or off road.
Sorry, no interesting racing story or loves lost, just like riding......
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Old 06-12-11, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I know right? But that doesn't mean the doctors were entirely wrong about that in your case, or in my case. For example I am now quite confident that my pain wasn't back related at all, but either a piriformis or sacroiliac joint pain syndrome issue related to years of riding and racing and not stretching. What surprises me is that nobody picked up on this in years of going to specialists and physical therapists.

Moral of this story: if you have back pain that's hard to diagnose, find a physical therapist with extensive experience treating competitive cyclists. Or in my case non-competitive cyclists. But somebody who deals with cyclists who ride 5K+ miles annually.
After a back injury playing basketball I was told running was not an option about 15 years ago. After spending a year gaining weight, dealing with pain and feeling sorry for myself I decided to start small (walking) and work my way back into an active lifestyle. It didn't take long. I pushed through the pain and got a good message therapist.

Since then I played badminton semi-competitively, ran local running club, and of course, cycled my butt off. Last year I did 3 half marathons as well as two back to back centuries - pain and drug free.

I personally think a lot can be solved with attitude and motivation. Listen to the voice inside you. .. and find a good message therapist to keep you running smooth.

My 2 cents..
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Old 06-12-11, 10:32 AM
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I rode a bit in high school and then graduate school (after getting my license suspended for overly exuberant motorcycle riding). Years later my wife wanted to ride and started making me ride with her on some clunky hybrid bikes we bought. I did so reluctantly and unenthusiastically for a couple of years. She got more serious about road riding and bought a used road bike and then a carbon Trek. Well, I needed a road bike too so I bought one and started getting into it again. That was about 10 years ago.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:40 AM
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"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son..."

Got the first two down and I feel like the "41" is making me smarter every post.

Rode in college a lot (trusty Schwinn Traveler - a lot of fun upgrading without the use of the internet).. got a grirlfriend (amazing), riding stopped. Rode in the 1990's (Vitus), got married.. riding stopped. Got divorced... Riding started again.. Upgraded to Wife v2.0 (totally compatible with antiquated Husband OS) and had a kid. Wife v2.0 started doing triathlons. I remembered what I was missing road biking and started again 3 months ago.

Also, In 2008, I ballooned to 218lbs. I have high blood pressure, screwed up thyroid, and major reflux issues. Last check-up the Dr. said Im pre type II and one check-up away from cholesterol medication. Now, my weight is down to 165lbs, Im hoping riding and Diet/lifestyle changes will assist with the Type II and cholesterol. I wanted to pick an exercise I know I liked and most of all is FUN!
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Old 06-12-11, 10:40 AM
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Old enough to remember the 1970s Bike Boom. Most of my friends turned in their StingRays for BMX but I got into "10 speeds" as roadbikes were collectively called back then. I hung out at Schwinn shop helping the guy put together Varsities and Continentals and I threw newspapers from the back of my dad's 3 speed (the only bike I'll probably ever actually make money riding). Despite the Schwinn affiliation I went Euro when it was time to buy my own. I traded in an old (even then) English frame with parts the Schwinn guy would give me along with newspaper route generated cash for a Motobecane back in '77. Swapped the drivetrain to SunTour and I was off.

Pretty vibrant bike scene in south FLA back then. Lots of riders and not organized like it is now. "Races" at Haulover Beach were the schniz. Race isn't accurate; it was a bunch of people with athletic backgrounds who got into bikes being competitive. We'd sprint for distances measured by light poles on the beach utility road. Fun and you could make a couple dollars if you could sprint.

Got out of it when I put on weight to be a defensive end for the high school and played in college as well. Football ended while I was still in college and I returned to the bike. My girlfriend and I helped a couple of guys who wanted to get into the LBS business start a club at the U of Central Florida and that was probably my best riding days. When we went to Gainesville (UF) for grad school kept riding but not as much. Grad school was harder. Got back into it when I returned to south Fla but a bad motorcycle accident took me out until about 1999. Got back into it then when I realized people were selling "old" bike parts on the internet and I could put together a Super Record Italian framed bike that I lusted for back in the 80s for reasonable money (even if it was "obsolete").

Lots of bikes in addition to that one in the last 12 years or so.

Long, but you asked.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:49 AM
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What I'm seeing so far are a bunch of decrepits whose lives were changed for the positive by a bike or a bunch of lost souls who became hooked on endorphins.


Glad to see I' not alone.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:51 AM
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Started riding back in the mid 70's mainly because I was not old enough to drive yet and needed transportation. I ended up really enjoying cycling and after high school carried this passion on to college. After college I joind the Air Force and started to move away more and more from riding until I just stopped back in the late 80's.
About four months ago and now at 50 I have found my love for cycling once again. I really look forward to my nightly rides and being on a bike again...

It's like being reborn into something you loved along time ago...
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Old 06-12-11, 10:58 AM
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Just had a double lung transplant and never had the energy to do anything physical. Now 3 months post transplant I can't get off my bike :-)
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Old 06-12-11, 10:58 AM
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I had just turned 12 and a new kid my age named Matt moved into the neighborhood. The day after they moved in, I saw he and his parents ride away on matching fancy racing bikes, returning several hours later. I couldn't imagine a ride lasting that long! I had never seen one of those bikes close up, and when we eventually met, he showed me their Peugeot bikes, and I've been hooked ever since. As soon as school let out for the summer, I worked every day for several weeks at my father's plumbing shop to get enough money to buy my own 10 speed racer bike, a Schwinn World Traveler. It was 32 lbs of steel and canary yellow paint, plus 10 gears to keep it moving forward. Overnight I went from riding a banana seat Huffy to a modern road bike.

I began going on early morning workout rides with Matt and his mother, both of whom would often join the father for another ride in the evening. And of course, Matt and I went on additional lengthy rides as often as we could (two 12 year old boys, no cell phones, miles from home). By the end of that summer, I joined the three of them on a 120 mile, two day group ride (several hundred, supported, we all slept in large tents overnight) along a scenic river valley in NW OH.

Today I enjoy riding throughout the scenic mountains that surround Los Angeles. To the north and east are the San Gabriels with two beloved mountaintop finishes -- Mt Wilson which overlooks Pasadena, and Mt Baldy. In my immediate neighborhood are the Santa Monica mountains which run parallel to the Malibu coast. While the climbs don't exceed 2500 feet in the Santa Monica's, they offer plenty of challenge, and there are many route and distance options to keep you coming back for more. On any given weekend morning, the Malibu coast and Santa Monica mountains are owned by thousands of roadies.

Thank you for asking. I enjoy all your stories.

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