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Have you ever just stopped riding?

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

Have you ever just stopped riding?

Old 05-17-13, 06:05 AM
  #1  
banerjek
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Have you ever just stopped riding?

Yesterday on my way in, it occurred to me that I've been on exactly one ride over 40 miles since I took a new job last August. Yep one. That's my longest dry spell for that distance since at least 1980.

As recently as last year, I rode solo centuries all the time. I did organized rides as well. Now, my weekly mileage is barely what would have been a single day's commute. When I took the new job, I was very concerned I'd go crazy since my ride has been my favorite part of the day for many years. In fact, I made my long commute a condition of employment for my previous job and I was dead serious.

But now that I'm barely riding, the funny thing is I don't miss the miles. I really don't miss force feeding myself all kinds of crap to avoid losing weight. Strangely, I actually feel better than I have for years.

Don't get me wrong -- I still like riding. I get on one of my bikes almost every day and my bikes get more miles than the car. Despite the lack of mileage, my legs are still decent. But I've been spending more time on other activities so I can't be bothered to put the miles in. I'm sure I'll do a longer ride or two later this year, most likely someplace hilly (Crater Lake is one of my favorite areas). But something's changed. Mileage is down at least 80% from historical levels and it feels like it might be the new norm.
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Old 05-17-13, 06:11 AM
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I quit in 2009 and started back on 2012. A divorce, burn out, new job, and drop in dispoable income kept off the bike almost completely. Not sure if 150-200 miles per week have anything to do with it, but, things are better now.....
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Old 05-17-13, 06:12 AM
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There are times I need a break and I find that with age the need to prove something is not so strong. I don't need to be the fastest or ride the farthest. Now I ride for exercise and enjoyment with emphasis on the later. I have recently as well dispensed with my garmin as well after all who really cares what my average speed, heart rate or cadence is and guess what? I like cycling even more for it. I ride for many reasons but to enjoy it seems the best reason of all.
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Old 05-17-13, 06:25 AM
  #4  
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I read something a famous doctor wrote who also was a serious runner. It also applies to cycling. That is if you run for up to 30 minutes, it's for health and fitness. When you run more than 30 minutes, it's for a different reason. That includes competition, beating some goals you set, or mental/emotional needs.
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Old 05-17-13, 06:29 AM
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I started a new job in March that is rather demanding, with this new job and family obligations I don't ride half as much as I want to. I guess I could get out and ride late at night but it's just not my thing. I'm lucky if I get in 50-75 miles per week these days and that's mostly on Saturday and Sunday. I know it's going to hurt me because starting next Saturday (May 25th) I have four straight weekends that I will be doing metric century rides.

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Old 05-17-13, 06:34 AM
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All of the above, but mostly from burnout. Life has been simplified to the point where it it ain't work, sleep or yard work, it is riding. Took five months off about a year and a half ago, and it recharged the batteries.
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Old 05-17-13, 06:44 AM
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I've taken long breaks(3-6 months) from burnout and wanting to try something different. Got really busy with school 2 years ago and put in like 0 miles.

Back to it now feels good.
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Old 05-17-13, 06:44 AM
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I quit riding at some point every year. At some point, the urge to get my hiking boots out takes over, and if that doesn't happen, eventually winter sets in and I go skiing again.

My three-activity year helps keep everything "fresh". There's always one activity that I haven't done for a while, so if it's getting to the point where I feel like "oh. riding again" I can just lace up the hiking boots and go do that. Or vice versa.
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Old 05-17-13, 06:51 AM
  #9  
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Yup, I am in "quit" mode now. Can't explain why. Started last fall and kept getting worse.
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Old 05-17-13, 06:54 AM
  #10  
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I stopped riding in 1987-88 for no reason and didnt get back on a bike until april 2011. Working and flying on C-130's in the USAF with all the long TDY's took up much of my time. A lot had changed in that span of time and had to do some research before even thinking of buying a bike.

Now at 53 I feel better than I have in the past 20+ years since getting back on the bike!
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Old 05-17-13, 07:01 AM
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My riding has been intermittent for the last decade or so because of new jobs, moves, etc. Of course, those are also rationalizations. But I'm getting my bikes up and running and riding again. I think I started "riding" again by spending some time on this site; it helped get me motivated!
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Old 05-17-13, 07:15 AM
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I think quitting or slowing down makes perfect sense, as long as you ride a size 56. Now that we have that established. No sense in hanging onto bikes that will languish. PM me your address and I'm sure we can work something out.
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Old 05-17-13, 07:17 AM
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Had to stop then change intensity after my MI back in 1997 (which occurred BTW while drafting a very fine and scantily clad young woman on a hot August morning ride). Go figure. Since recovery and restarting I only ride about 50% of the distances and 80% of the average speed I was accustomed to. The legs are still there, but not the wind due to cardio scar tissue and loss of ejection fraction. I agree with those who say it is more fun now. When I am out riding, it is because that is what I really want to do, not because I have a training schedule or a goal to meet. The more conservative riding schedule doesn't affect the "hobby" aspects of cycling like wrenching and maintaining the bikes, building up frames and building wheels, and so on. The whole experience is still satisfying, just less hectic. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, more expensive too. Time off the bike is time that money can be spent on the bike, if you know what I mean. - Robert
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Old 05-17-13, 07:19 AM
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I have stopped several times for extended periods over the years. Mostly it had to do with interruptions in my schedule. Sometimes it had to do with being in a poor mental state of mind. However, I’ve been on a 12 year riding streak. The past two fall/winters I have had physical problems which interfered with cycling, but essentially I’ve been able to keep going. At this point I almost feel I would really be losing something important to my physical and mental well being if I gave it up, so I guess that’s what motivates me.
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Old 05-17-13, 07:19 AM
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i quit riding from age 16 until age 30. turns out i enjoy it as much now as i did back then. it seems to cost a little more now than it did back then.
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Old 05-17-13, 07:20 AM
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Changes in life require a recalibration of priorities from time to time. I had some medical issues for over a year that reduced my riding, but not completely. Now all is good and back to normal and riding 3-5 times per week, longer rides on weekends. Fortunately, in FL we can ride year round, so no excuses for time off in winter. If it wasn't for the different groups I ride with and the different routes, I'd find it hard to find the motivation to do lots of solo miles. I enjoy the social interaction and the challenge to stay with the faster groups. Although I frequently ride with those that race, I'm not interested in being pack fodder.
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Old 05-17-13, 07:31 AM
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After riding 2000+ miles last year (a PR for me), I'm about 350 so far this year. I think of myself as being in maintenance mode...I'm riding almost every weekend but only about 24 miles on a regular route for me...trying not to lose all my gains from last year.

My roadblock is that we're trying to sell our house and it has to be ready to show at any time, and we need to be able to vacate at a moments notice. couple that with the fact that my daughter's in a wheelchair and I need to be the one that gets her loaded into the van means that I can't set aside a big chunk of time for a ride.

Of course, that doesn't explain why I've dramatically reduce my postings on BF...maybe burnout explains that.
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Old 05-17-13, 07:34 AM
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Yep ...

Nov 1, 2001
... I dropped a large pot of boiling water on my left foot and burnt it to the bone. For the next 5 weeks, I couldn't walk. I couldn't cycle. I couldn't move at all. Any movement caused blood to pool in that left foot, which was absolutely agonising. At the end of 5 weeks, I was well enough to return to work and start walking a little tiny bit. I had to go to physio to learn to walk again. A couple weeks later, I eased my foot into a slipper and started riding my stationary bike. 3.5 months after the accident, I stuffed my still-bandaged foot into a cycling shoe ... and went for a ride.

So yeah, that was 3.5 months off the bicycle rather suddenly. Thank goodness it was over winter.


June 12, 2009 ... I flew to Australia. An hour before the plane landed, it felt like my left calf cramped and I figured I'd just walk it off. 6 weeks later I hadn't walked it off yet, and I was absolutely exhausted all the time. Struggling to walk, struggling to breathe ... and the only cycling I'd done since I arrived was about 2 km on a mountain bike. One day at the end of July, I had a really bad day ... standing up and walking around the cabin had me gasping and just about collapsing. Then during a bath that evening, I noticed that my left leg was twice the size of my right. The next day Rowan rushed me to the Dr and the day after rushed me to the hospital for an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech wouldn't let me leave the hospital when she discovered that I my left leg was full of clots. DVT.

It was another 6 weeks or so before I got on a bicycle again ... mid-September ... and then it was a long, long, long process to build back up again. It was about a year before I felt like myself again, and I went about 6 months between doing 100 km rides. Again, fortunately it was over winter.


April 1, 2012 ... Rowan and I rode our last century. Then we more or less put the bicycles down and started packing (while still working, of course). We packed until June 20, 2012, and then we set off on an 8-month Round the World tour. We hardly cycled at all in the 6 weeks before we left on the tour. And although we took our touring bicycles with us as we hopped from one country to the next around the world, the cycling was rather sporadic. We would cycle just about every day for a week or two, and then not for a week or so, and then back on for a week or two, etc. And we never did anything more than about 65 km.

When we returned to Australia in mid-January, 2013, we continued to live in a temporary lifestyle for the next 2+ months (even now we're still not entirely settled), and we tried to fit cycling in when we could. We did manage to do two 89 km rides in April, and finally, last weekend we rode a 100 km randonneuring event ... the longest we've cycled since April 1, 2012.


But I have to say, even though we didn't cycle massive amounts over the past year, travelling around the world was worth it.
http://www.machka.net/RTW_2012/RTW_2012.htm

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Old 05-17-13, 07:41 AM
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Like many, I simply fell out of riding in the late 90's and moved around with my bike or bikes but never using them. I had been incredibly active in the industry and spentany hours on both road and Mtn bikes. I picked it up again back in 2005 until my son was born in 2007 then dropped off again with work changes, more moving, etc.

just over a year ago I had shot up to 192 lbs (I'm small boned and 5'7). Doctor had me on cholesterol meds felt like poop, etc. I kept reminiscing about how much I used to love being on the bike and started back on my old wind trainer to builds self back up. My first road ride I could barely handle 10 miles my cardio was so bad! After the first few months I gradually got back to it. This will be my second summer back on the bike. 40lbs lighter, medically in better shape than I've ever been and working towards 4000 miles and 4 centuries this year.

sometimes a break can be good if nothing else to remind you how good you had it!
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Old 05-17-13, 07:52 AM
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op reads like one long stealthbrag. good for you bro?

#livejournalisdowntoday
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Old 05-17-13, 08:01 AM
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Yes, but more by circumstance than lack of desire. Just over 2 years ago I had a spill that caused achilles issues. Went through physio for months before it became apparent I needed surgery. Had a period of zero mobility and six months of wearing an air cast. The sedentary lifestyle caused the formation of a DVT that kept me off the bike until this spring. I am back to limited riding but have a long way to go to get the fitness level back. I also need to get the passion back but that will come in time.
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Old 05-17-13, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Yesterday on my way in, it occurred to me that I've been on exactly one ride over 40 miles since I took a new job last August. Yep one. That's my longest dry spell for that distance since at least 1980. As recently as last year, I rode solo centuries all the time. I did organized rides as well. Now, my weekly mileage is barely what would have been a single day's commute. When I took the new job, I was very concerned I'd go crazy since my ride has been my favorite part of the day for many years. In fact, I made my long commute a condition of employment for my previous job and I was dead serious.

But now that I'm barely riding, the funny thing is I don't miss the miles. I really don't miss force feeding myself all kinds of crap to avoid losing weight. Strangely, I actually feel better than I have for years.

Don't get me wrong -- I still like riding. I get on one of my bikes almost every day and my bikes get more miles than the car. Despite the lack of mileage, my legs are still decent. But I've been spending more time on other activities so I can't be bothered to put the miles in. I'm sure I'll do a longer ride or two later this year, most likely someplace hilly (Crater Lake is one of my favorite areas). But something's changed. Mileage is down at least 80% from historical levels and it feels like it might be the new norm.
OP: Life happens to everyone, typically on a repeating, nausous circle. But there is a big difference between life and quality of life. It is your decision as to whether quality of life means time on a saddle or only time sitting in some stuffy cubicle. Hopefully you will choose the better choice and hold onto it.

/K
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Old 05-17-13, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by island rider View Post
I think quitting or slowing down makes perfect sense, as long as you ride a size 56. Now that we have that established. No sense in hanging onto bikes that will languish. PM me your address and I'm sure we can work something out.
You have to pick up, no shipping.
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Old 05-17-13, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
You have to pick up, no shipping.
Dude, check out my location, I can probably be there before you read this post.
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Old 05-17-13, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
force feeding myself all kinds of crap to avoid losing weight.
Hmm, maybe now i have some motivation to come out of my dry spell.
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