Why Cycling? What got you into it.



MotownBikeBoy

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Nov 24, 2012
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For me, in a nutshell, it was therapy. Last summer, I hit the "perfect storm" of conditions that had me on the ropes mentally and in not the best of physical shape. Facing at first the question of diagnosis to see exactly what was wrong with me, and then having to face down being told it was pretty serious, that I had to spend some quality time at the hospital, well, let's just say I didn't handle it with grace or dignity. To compound things, I had a work situation where I was threatened by a client with a known history of violence. And, I was out if shape, really overweight (55 lbs) living on pop and junk food. I was a mess. Out of fear more than anything, I started walking at night, I couldn't sleep at all, so I walked around town all night. I walked so much I had to have surgery to reattach fascia to muscle in my heel. Since walking was out, I turned to cycling. And I found that to be calming and peaceful, especially at night when it is very quiet. It helped dramatically. Eight months later, I'm feeling pretty good, although I have days when I am nauseous and have muscle jerks and tremors from side effects of permanent ongoing drug therapy. I love cycling, I still go out primarily at night, and have an unrealistic goal of 5000 miles for the season. 5000 km is more realistic due to time. I also want to go on a camping tour this Autumn on the anniversary of my hospital visit, as kind of a victory ride. I joined a gym, lost the weight, and still want to join the tri team by the fall or winter. Cycling saved my life, without it anxiety and depression could have taken over. I started cycling out of fear, now I do it out of love of the sport.
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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Cycling is cool... I wish more people would cycle, it just helps not only you but creates a safer better and funnier environment to live in.

I grew up next to a huge paved area in the seaside, which was always a place that people cycled on. After a while I bought my first bike, a BMX type bike which sent me in hospital alot. Afterwards when I "grew up" a bit I got my first "mountain bike" out of hi-ten. I dont remember crashing that one so often and then I stopped cycling because the "cool thing" when I was younger and had friends was to go out drinking coffee in posh cafe-bars.

Then when I was a student I realized that I spent too much money on bus tickets so I actually managed to collect some money which I still cant understand how they were saved from beer and I bought a very strange formed 700c wheeled bike. The top tube was somehow forming an angle with two tubes. No idea why. lt was fun with that bike and I actually never crashed it! (unless I got a concusion and forgot it/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif) I was using a chain with a padlock to secure it underneath my appartment building in a gutter pipe. I sold it.

Then again 5 years ago I was seating on a bench in the seaside and I noticed that the bike path had evolved with new tarmac. Later I bought a bike and I got hooked. I started reading alot about bikes, joined a forum and cycled alot. I have now ended up with 2 bikes, one for exercise and one which I only use for commuting now. I also tried some crazy touring on my own 2 years ago cycling from one beach-camping to another. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 

mpre53

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Feb 20, 2013
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Cape Cod, MA, USA
I've been doing it off and on since I bought my first "real" bike, a vintage Motobecane Nomade, in the early 1970s. It was at a time when no one called it a "road bike" or even a "touring" bike. It was a "10 speed". /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

Got into it again, and seriously, about 2 years ago when I was diagnosed a diabetic.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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mpre53 said:
I've been doing it off and on since I bought my first "real" bike, a vintage Motobecane Nomade, in the early 1970s. It was at a time when no one called it a "road bike" or even a "touring" bike. It was a "10 speed". :D Got into it again, and seriously, about 2 years ago when I was diagnosed a diabetic.
I think there are a number of Type I's and Type II's floating around this forum.
 

vspa

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Jan 11, 2009
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alienator said:
I think there are a number of Type I's and Type II's floating around this forum.
type II looming into my future... i don't think ill make into 50 before it sets on :(
 

mpre53

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Feb 20, 2013
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Originally Posted by vspa .


type II looming into my future... i don't think ill make into 50 before it sets on /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif
If you're genetically pre-disposed---like I am---it might be inevitable, but you can delay it, and minimize the effects, if you start eating and exercising like you're one right away. I was sedentary, and overweight, and even though I have the genes for it, and had other warning signs---like chronically high trigylcerides---I ignored it. Most of my family developed it in their 60s. I was 56.

In any event, I'm controlled by diet and exercise. No medications. For now.
 

stevegreer

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Sep 4, 2008
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When I was a kid growing up in small town Mississippi my bike was the only way to get around. My dad was a cyclist and competed in amateur events and group rides and such. He made sure that as soon as I was off training wheels that I was capable of changing my own flats and adjusting the handlebars and chain tension on my BMX bike. I lost touch with my cycling roots once I got my driver's license. It actually took me many years to get the bug back. It started back up again when I bought myself my mountain bike. Then my dad gave me the '87 Trek 400 and it took me one ride on that steel frame steed to get the road cycling genes to activate.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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mpre53 said:
If you're genetically pre-disposed---like I am---it might be inevitable, but you can delay it, and minimize the effects, if you start eating and exercising like you're one right away. I was sedentary, and overweight, and even though I have the genes for it, and had other warning signs---like chronically high trigylcerides---I ignored it. Most of my family developed it in their 60s. I was 56. In any event, I'm controlled by diet and exercise. No medications. For now.
Pretty much what he said: awareness, exercise, a careful diet, and keeping tabs with a doctor are key. Many can live without medication, but far too many are either undiagnosed or don't take care of themselves.
 

OregonNative

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Apr 27, 2013
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My dad was/is a very active cyclist. He's 52 now, and has been actively riding for the better part of 30-35 years. I'm a big guy, but also used to be fat. I was 300 lbs @ 6'3" and my dad suggested I get into cycling (at 14 years old). After a hellish learning curve (and lots of lactic acid), I fell in love. Dropped a lot-o weight too which is nice.
 

rubberfish

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Mar 20, 2013
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I climbed on a bike a few years back and found out
it was almost as much fun to ride as my wife is.
Don't know why I like cycling so much, but I do. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
 

MotownBikeBoy

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Nov 24, 2012
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Well, almost. I still think I would take sex over cycling, depending upon how attractive she is of course. Is that sexist? Probably. Do I care? No.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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MotownBikeBoy said:
Well, almost.  I still think I would take sex over cycling, depending upon how attractive she is of course.  Is that sexist?  Probably.  Do I care?  No.
The two things aren't mutually exclusive and can usually both be accomplished in any given 24hr period.
 

MotownBikeBoy

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Nov 24, 2012
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Originally Posted by alienator .


The two things aren't mutually exclusive and can usually both be accomplished in any given 24hr period.
If you're really good, you can do both at once./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 

Zerosven

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May 8, 2013
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Necesity, i live in a rural area where a truck or car is the only way to get around but im moving soon to a large city and the situation dictates that i sell my truck. i still need transportation so i got an old 10 speed out of a scrap heap on my parents property and im -finally- a year and half later fixing it up. due to necesity.
 
Due to a bad back (ruptured disc and arthritis forming in lower lumbar area), I couldn't run anymore to stay in shape. I took up cycling for my cardio workouts. I ended up losing 35 lbs and no longer need my cholesterol medication. Cycling changed my life.
 

FHII

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May 14, 2013
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I got into cycling because of hard financial times.... Lost my car and still had to get to work! A friend gave me a Schwinn Tourist "hybrid road" bike which I still use. My first ride since I was in middle school (almost.... rode 4 times with my wife to the ice cream shop) was about 14 miles with a lot of hills! Took me almost 2 hours and had to walk the bike up some hills. I've moved closer and my ride to work is about 9 miles and about a 370 foot climb over those 9 miles. I'm averaging that ride now under 40 minutes and my PR is 35:05! I still don't have a car and plan to get one for my wife... But I'll keep my cycling to work!

As you can see I'm new to this forum, and overall to cycling in general... I started about 14 months ago and still don't know all the lingo or ins and outs of cycling. I am able to change my brake pads and tires and tubes though... Basically, I'm here to do a lot of listening/reading and learn more about cycling. At the risk of boring people with a long post, let me state some general observations and stuff about me....

I am a former personal trainer and collegiate strength coach. I am 43 years old, and 151 lbs... I have never been overweight and despite my small size, I've always been a strength athlete or wrestler (in high school and very briefly in college). I was actually a powerlifter (not great, but not bad.... At 165 lbs I could squat 550 and bench 300) and competed in other strength sports. However, at 33 I had high blood pressure and it stayed with me until I started cycling. I'm talking 150/100 or worse. Last time I had my BP checked it was 117/76 which is below normal!

I'm not a fan of pro cycling. I know who Lance, Greg Lamonds and Floyd Landis are. There ya go! That's what I know, but I'd like to start following it more. As I said, I'm a former collegiate strength coach and find all sports pretty interesting and can follow them. I just haven't been exposed to it enough to know who and what to follow. Let's face it.... They aren't exactly featured on ESPN on a daily basis. I'm going to have to seek it out.

Do I ever want to compete in cycling? Well, sure.... Maybe. Right now I race to work trying to beat my best time. I've competed in many sports in an organized form and maybe one day.... Right now I'm kind of like the 12 year old playing sandlot football saying, "I'm Roger Staubach!" Yea... Sure I am... But hey, why not?

I'm looking to upgrade to a Trek bike. Why Trek? No other reason than the bike shop closest to me is a Trek dealer and they've been very friendly to me (props to The Bike Connection in Bel Air, MD). From what I've read most think that chosing a bike is a matter of brand preference. I'm not opposed to a Giant or any other brand. Furthermore, if I can't find a Trek I like, I'll look elsewhere, but I'm going to start with Trek. I seems the best thing for me to do is go to the guys at the shop, explain what kind of riding I do, and let them make suggestions within my price range and ability to add parts and upgrade the frame over time.

I USED to be very knowledgable in supplements. 15 years ago. Today, I haven't followed research or trends. Right now I'm taking protein powder, a multivitamin and aspirin (a very underrated thing as it is a great blood thinner). I think I should get back into what the research says and explore what might help. My philosophy on supplements hasn't changed despite not following them in the last 15 years: and that philosophy is that supplements only "supplement" a good diet. My diet is pretty solid! More on that later.

Got some pet peeves to talk about:

Prestor valves.... Hate them! I don't think I've owned a tube with them for more than a month.

Wind.... Can't do anything about it, but I ride west every morning.... Why does the morning wind always seem to come from the west? Sometimes it seems I have to pedal downhill if I want to keep moving! Overall, yea, I know it's actually making me a stronger rider. Still hate it.

I don't hate rain.... But I hate all the dirt and grime that gets on me and my bike when I ride in it. Plus I hate wet feet. I've been told to put bread bags over my socks, but it doesn't help. I'm thinking about shrink wrap because wet feet when it's 34 degrees out is miserable!

Motorists not paying attention or thinking you shouldn't be out there? Sure.... But I gotta say on my route, most of them have been pretty kind.

Finally, people who say, "Wow! With all that biking I guess you can eat what ever you want!" No, I can't. I have a problem with weight. It is a struggle to keep a weight I am pyschologically and physically comfortable at. I've analyzed my diet and caloric expenditure and I need at least 3700 to 4000 calories a day just to maintain. The problem is that I'm not a big eater and 4000 calories sometimes leaves me feeling like I just had Thanksgiving dinner! Furthermore, I've been a healthy eater all my life so no I can't just eat a McDonald's double quarter pounder and ride.... I feel sick! Anyone see that episode of Married With Children when Peggy had a personal trainer who died from eating their diet? Same thing kind of... Hey, to you folks who are at the other end of the spectrum.... Sorry. Did I mention I work in the Public School system? We got donuts all around the place at least 3 times a week! But they weigh heavy on my stomach if I eat more than one and riding is miserable.

Thanks for listening and I will be reading!!!!
 

vspa

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Jan 11, 2009
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2000 calories should be enough, even if you commute daily on your bike