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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean

    Yrs. on bike & what keeps you there

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    Ok, I belong to another women's forum..non-cycling. These women are aware that I cycle. A health conscious woman asked me today the benefits of cycling...which any experienced cyclist can rhyme off and point out Internet websites. I did both.

    but this forum would be super helpful if you could jot down:
    Number of consecutive years you have been regularily cycling.
    Your age
    What keeps you on the bike
    If you have lost weight, what was it and kept it off?

    The TE thread on "getting to know you" is abit too detailed to read for non-cycling folks. I plan to link this thread for non-cycling women to read in the future.

    Your cycling passion profile..please. (Drum roll...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Shelbyville, KY
    I did a lot of cycling while in college (84-89). It was a wonderful way to release tension associated with my course work. It also was a great way to avoid the parking hassles that existed on campus. Whenever the weather permitted I would make a 20-25 mile commute (one way) from home to campus. Sadly, upon completing my graduate degree and taking a full-time job my bike was put into storage and sat for nearly 15 years. Four years ago I pulled my bike out, dusted it off, had it serviced and returned to the wonderful world of cycling. With each passing year I have grown more passionate about my riding and I have learned I'm capable of a lot more then I gave myself credit for. I just turned 46 and I now am back to what I weighed when I graduated from high school in 1980 (120 lbs). I did not pull my bike out to work off weight simply to revisit something I loved many years ago. However, since returning to cycling I have dropped 20 pounds (the past two years) and my body is looking pretty darn good .

    I ride because I love it. Riding gives me a sense of freedom I've never experienced with any other activity I have tried. The stronger I become on my bike the more I want to ride. I guess some would call this an obession. I view it as a healthy way to work of stress, stay healthy and spend a lot of my free time with some great people. I ride because it is fun and it allows me to eat some of my favorite foods (in moderation).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Uncanny Valley
    Mmmmm, I'll go, but feel free to NOT share this if my history is too off-putting!

    I'm 48. I rode for recreation and transportation from childhood through age 33.

    When I was 27, a friend of mine got me interested in racing. I spent a few years doing that, and I got as fast as I was going to get and still be any good at anything else in my life. I knew that I'd never be Olympic or pro caliber even if I did give up the rest of my life. That's when I burned out really hard. It just wasn't fun any more. I didn't get on a bicycle again for 10 years.

    When DH and I got our winter home, within a short ride of many stores, businesses and restaurants, we got hybrid bikes to run around town. I thought I'd forgotten how to ride, I was that unsteady on mine. Two years later, which is two years ago, I signed up for a Women's Quest retreat, not knowing which sport they were going to emphasize at that particular session, and I was pretty apprehensive when I learned there would be a lot of cycling.

    I needn't have been. In those three days I re-discovered everything I loved about cycling. I'd finally been away from it long enough to enjoy it again. And I'm back.

    What do I love about it?

    The naked, knife-edge exhilaration of a fast descent.

    Cresting a long hill, physically depleted, and being awestruck by an amazing panorama for miles around.

    Experiencing my surroundings at that unique pace: slow enough to see and hear a lot that I might miss on a motorcycle, fast enough to cover more miles and see more places than I'd be able to walk or run. Smelling the smells (flowers, pine, cedar, ocean, loam, and yes the less pleasant smells too), feeling the sun and wind on my skin.

    Feeling the rain on my skin, and realizing that a warm rain actually feels really good once I quit worrying about the cleaning I'm going to have to do afterward.

    Finding in myself the resources to meet a challenge.

    Having a machine that lets me go out and not challenge myself when I don't feel like it, unlike running where I always have to dig deep.

    Sharing camaraderie with other riders... or being really alone with myself.

    Cycling is all of that and more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    How long: 2 years regularly cycling
    Age: 47
    Why: I am competitive against myself. The numbers are what motivates me to go harder and longer and faster. I now want to race. (Oh and of course I love being outdoors and flying down a hill etc etc etc).
    Weight loss: 22 lbs so far. And I've kept it off.
    It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Elliot

    My podcast about being a rookie triathlete:Kelownagurl Tris Podcast

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Columbia River Gorge
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Experiencing my surroundings at that unique pace: slow enough to see and hear a lot that I might miss on a motorcycle, fast enough to cover more miles and see more places than I'd be able to walk or run. Smelling the smells (flowers, pine, cedar, ocean, loam, and yes the less pleasant smells too), feeling the sun and wind on my skin.

    Having a machine that lets me go out and not challenge myself when I don't feel like it, unlike running where I always have to dig deep.
    These 2 points summarize it for me.

    I'll add that I've been cycling semi-seriously for about 15 years. I started because my BF (now DH) rode a mtn bike and commuted to work so I started. then I injured my hip running and cycling became my alternative after healing a bit. Then I got hooked on triathlon and have been riding hard since.

    The other thing I love about cycling is the way it makes my legs look and the strength it gives me to be abel to do other things, including running, without injury.

    It's freedom.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post

    but this forum would be super helpful if you could jot down:
    Number of consecutive years you have been regularily cycling.
    Your age
    What keeps you on the bike
    If you have lost weight, what was it and kept it off?

    The TE thread on "getting to know you" is abit too detailed to read for non-cycling folks. I plan to link this thread for non-cycling women to read in the future.

    Your cycling passion profile..please. (Drum roll...)
    I'm 40. I've been cycling regularly since 1992ish, so that's what? 16 years?. Like many, I rode my bike as a kid, but put it away when the pressures and constraints of adulthood took over. I had always been "chunky" as a kid - and still as an adult. But in '91 I had a very stressful period where I didn't eat or sleep for many months. I found I had dropped nearly 25 pounds! So I started walking to try to keep it off....trying to turn a bad thing into a good thing.
    I moved from Connecticut to Massachusetts, taking my bad back with me to a chiropractor. He recommended a hybrid bike for exercise...upright and comfortable. So I got one and started riding. I've managed to keep off the weight, plus or minus 5 pounds or so, and I'd love to drop an additional 10 but have no ambition to actively try. I guess I like to eat too much!
    What keeps me on the bike is (1) having a DH who encourages me, and (2) getting involved with cycling groups and having an active group of cyclists in my core group of friends, and having a wide interest in how and where I ride (on road, off road, fast, slow....as long as it's on a bike...it's all good). I am a couch potato and somewhat anti-social by nature....often, I'd much rather sit alone on the couch with the paper or magazine. It's good that I have an activity where I can say "Hey...let's meet on Saturday and go for a bike ride." Lord knows, you'll NEVER catch me in the gym's aerobics classes!
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Concord, MA
    I'm 54 and I started cycling in the fall of 2000. I rode a lot when I was a kid, up until age 14 or so (wish I still had my classic Raleigh with the generator light and a Brooks saddle). Before I started riding I was heavily involved in aerobics and other gym stuff.
    When I started cycling, I lost the last 5 lbs. of the 10 I had been trying to lose. I was very skinny when I was doing aerobics, but I got sick of it and had gained a bit in my late forties.
    I ride because I can be competitive, social, or just be relaxed while I am riding. I am competitive against myself only; I was the kid who got picked last in gym class. I have new friends because of cycling, some of them from this list! Best of all, I have a whole new lifestyle, based on being outside. Not only am I cycling, but I am hiking, walking, nordic skiing, and snow shoeing. Yes, I still belong to a gym because I go to yoga, spin class, and use the weights, but I have developed quite a home gym, with weights, balls, and my bike on the trainer for the winter. Maybe next year I might join a place just to do yoga.
    I weigh the same as I did when I graduated high school.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oslo, Norway
    Hmm - my major passion has always been rock climbing and mountain hiking. Biking has been one of the ways to keep reasonably fit to be able to go hiking, but I used to find aerobics classes much more fun. Mostly I'd just bike if it was the most convenient way to get around and the weather was nice. For the past 8 years or so I've commuted regularly by bike, a few days a week to begin with, for the past 3 years all year round.

    A year and a half ago my brother died very suddenly from a heart attack. Going through the grieving process I rapidly found out that the days I didn't bike I felt terrible, the days I did bike were passable, even a lot better. And it took away the feeling that I'd be next. So I started biking as medication, every day no matter what. Whomping through the woods at high speed is a great form of "grief management"

    Once I got used to biking every day it got hard to stop. I'm probably heavily addicted to the endorphins. I love the speed. I'm also addicted to doing something I feel I'm good at. All that commuting has turned me into a "real biker" without my really noticing... So I've been upping my mileage, bought a road bike last summer and am trying road riding proper this year.

    I'm 38. Biking a lot has maybe taken off a few pounds. I have trouble eating enough in high-mileage weeks.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central NJ, a quick ride from the shore
    How long: 2 years regularly cycling

    Age: I'll be 43 in two weeks

    Why: I'm not sure - it's one activity that I genuinely enjoy. 99% of the time I ride alone and just love the feeling of having time stretching out in front of me, no one looking for me or even knowing exactly where I am and being able to go where ever the spirit moves me. I love a hot summer day, the sun on my back, riding along the ocean. I love feeling fit!

    Weight loss: I've gone from 211 to 165 and I'm holding my own there. I could lose more but I just love to eat & drink!

    In short, I think I just really like knowing that there is something in my life to help me maintain health and fitness going forward - no matter how old I get, I should still be able to ride the bike to some extent!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Cycling 2.5 years

    Age: 42, 43 next month

    Why and weight lost: At age 36, I moved off the couch and became active. I did this to fight back against depression and lack of fitness. I started with weight lifting and running. I ran 7 marathons. I lost 40 pounds and went from size 14 to size 2. The running was too hard on my feet. I developed a stress fracture in the left foot, healed that up, went back to running marathons, developed an avulsion fracture in the right foot, needed surgery. At this point, I bought a bike.

    Wow, I was so excited to move again. Cycling didn't hurt my feet. I could go farther, faster. A whole new world was opened up to me. I cycled almost the entire time that I was rehabilitating the foot.

    When I was able to run again I moved into Triathlon. Doing triathlon gives me the chance to run a little bit, bike alot and challange myself to learn to swim.
    "Being retired from Biking...isn't that kinda like being retired from recess?" Stephen Colbert asked of Lance Armstrong

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I'm 46. I've been cycling regularly for the last 4 years. But, I learned to ride when I was 4 (it was a birthday present for my mother--4 yos think like that). I rode everywhere a lot when I was a child and would rather ride my bike than do anything else that little girls like to do. Through my teen years I rode a bike everywhere I went, until I got a license, and then got a car in my senior year. I still rode for recreation, though.

    I had a bike up until my first child was born at age 20. I took him on a ride in my backpack when he was just 3 months old. (It was a risk, I know that now, but I was young, stupid, and desperate to ride--and he grew up in spite of me.) That was the last time I rode or owned a bike for 20+ years. Life took over and I began raising children, working, divorcing, remarrying, paying the bills, moving, etc. I don't remember what happened to the bike I had when I was 20, but I do remember buying new brakes for it that summer and fixing it up so I could ride.

    I got back into it about 2004 because my youngest child was big enough to ride with me, and the guy I bought this house from sold me his RV bikes while he was moving ($50 each, Wal-Mart bikes, his and hers). My youngest and I started riding them, and the next summer we bought mountain bikes.

    The next spring I bought a road bike, which is the kind of bike I always had in my teens. (They were always getting stolen, but replacements seemed easy to come by.) Now I have two old steel bikes, a 1985 Schwinn cruiser, the mountain bike, and my modern road bike, a garage full of tools and parts and etc., etc.

    What I would say to anyone new is to try to put the fear aside. We do many things every day more dangerous without really thinking about it. Go at your own pace, keep an open mind, and consider it an adventure.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    I am 42 and hooked on cycling.

    I have been pretty active most of my life until my knee injury started to slow me down. I had to quit doing step aerobics and turned to weight lifting and power walking, but even the walking was too hard on my joints. So in '96 I bought my first *real* bike--a Terry Symmetry. However, by the 3rd season I was sidelined due to knee pain and gave up cycling for 5 years. I bought another bike, one that truly fit me, and I have not been sidelined with knee pain since. I enjoy the freedom, the sense of well being, and the feeling of empowerment.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Florida panhandle
    I'll play.

    Years cycling: Off and on since 1985, regularly since 2002
    Age: 55
    What keeps me on the bike is that it's one of few exercises that I truly enjoy (other than yoga, but that's a different kind of thing). As someone else said, I can either challenge myself or just twiddle along and smell the flowers if I want to, or any combination of the two. Whereas running, well, I did it for several years but I never fell in love with it like I have with cycling. Also, I've done a couple of multi-day bike tours, and those were wonderful. The Chief is not a cyclist, which is too bad; on the other hand, we're not looking to be conjoined twins, and cycling provides some quality "me" time.

    My weight has been all over the place for years, and it's still not under control. BUT, for an overweight middle-aged woman, I'm in pretty good health--my resting heart rate rocks! In fact, I started a weight-training program just this morning, and the trainer asked me if I'd made an error when I recorded my resting heart rate! That made me feel pretty good--and I have cycling to thank for it.
    Bad JuJu: Team TE Bianchista
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress." -Roth
    Read my blog: Works in Progress

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Victoria BC
    Got my first tricycle at age four, my first bike at five. Rode steadily from then all through high school, even racing at the high school level. In my twenties (~1980) the I sorta went off the rails...partied far more than I should have and made toxic living an art form...sprung a few leaks...then pulled myself together and got a career. Climbed a few rungs of the corporate ladded and perched there awhile, decided it wasn't for me, retired in 1999, and took up cycling again. I had barely touched my bikes for nearly two decades. Just didn't have the time or enthusiasm (or sometimes, the ability) to ride.
    After ~20 years of very little riding, getting back on the bike was tough! But the passion was back. It felt so darn good to ride! It still does.
    I lost almost 50 pounds when I began riding again, My weight has also always been all over the place, but I've kept much of those 50# off. Except around my tummy. Grrr. Weight loss, plus overall fitness is what keeps me on my bikes. And the passion....the sheer enjoyment of just being out there.
    Last edited by Popoki_Nui; 01-14-2008 at 09:58 AM. Reason: add weight info
    All vintage, all the time.
    Falcon Black Diamond
    Gitane Tour de France
    Kuwahara Sierra Grande MTB
    Bianchi Super Grizzly MTB

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Columbia, MO
    I've been commuting by bike for 2.5 years.

    I'm 33.

    What put my on the bike was convenience. We were down to one car, could hardly afford to keep it going much less get a 2nd, and it was much easier on everyone if I biked.

    What keeps me on my bike is 1. the fun and 2. the ego trip. There are many, many other reasons I ride, but those are the main ones, without which the others wouldn't matter.

    I lost 30 pounds, which mostly stays off, it seems to creep back during the winter when I only ride as transportation, but I lose it in the summer when I ride for recreation as well.

    I enjoy this thread. Thanks for starting it, and thanks everyone for sharing.



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