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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    142

    What got you into biking?

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    I started biking on July 13, 2008. My 1st anniversary of riding is tomorrow! I've ridden 1601 miles so far. I hope to get in a ride tomorrow to add a few more miles to finish out my first year.

    I hadn't really done any biking since I was a child until then. In recent years I had done some running, until a foot problem required surgery (both feet). Since I couldn't run, I decided to try cycling. I think the foot surgery was a blessing in disguise because now I love biking so much! My feet are much better now and I could run if I wanted to, but I'd much rather bike!

    I'd be interested in hearing how other bikers got started and how long you've been riding.

    This forum is wonderful - getting in touch with other cyclist around the country and even in other countries!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    123
    Hmmm, well, I rode my bike as a kid of course, but that was just playing around. Then when I was around 15, I went to summer camp. They did a 30 mile trip, I think it was. It may have been 20, I don't know. To a kid who had only ridden up and down the street, it sounded like forever. I started going on rides before I went to camp, probably still only 2-3 miles total. I had an old hand me down road bike that someone had given me. Then at camp, they taught us how to shift and use the proper gears, how to ride in a pace line, how to look behind us or grab a water bottle without crashing. We worked up on our ride lengths. I remember the girls rode out to someone's house for a pool party while the boys traveled by bus. On the way back, the girls took the bus while the boys rode. I remember wanting to ride back with the boys, I was so thrilled with the whole thing.

    I never really did anything with my newfound love, though. We lived in a rural area and I would have been terrified to ride on the narrow two-lane roads there. Then I went to college, got married, had kids. I rode a bike in college, but not far (I commuted 20 miles by car, but sometimes rode a bike around campus). About 10 years ago my husband & I bought matching mountain bikes from Sam's club. We went on a couple of trails but DH is the balls to the wall type and I'm...not. Plus I learned that I'm not really the offroad type. I just don't like the feeling of bouncing around so much...makes my vision go blurry and my head hurt.

    Then one day a few weeks ago while I was out and about I saw someone riding. I see people all the time, so I don't know what was different here, but I thought, "I want to go ride". So I got home, dragged out my poor bike, and went for a 5ish mile ride at around 1 pm in 105+ degree weather. Dumb idea, but for whatever reason I felt that I *needed* to go on that ride. And I've felt compelled (most) mornings to go ride ever since.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by Lakerider View Post
    I hope to get in a ride tomorrow to add a few more miles to finish out my first year.

    I should have said, tomorrow begins a new year. Today's the last day of my 1st year. Unfortunately, I didn't get to ride today.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    162
    I always considered myself to be nonathletic. When my brother passed away 3 years ago at 47, I decided that I would really try to get healthier. I was having a difficult time since I really hated to exercise, but I had managed to lose 20 pounds. My DH had taken up cycling because he could no longer run long distances and I thought I could give it a try. I started out on a 20 year old hybrid with one working gear last summer and my DH surprised me with a road bike on September 11 for my birthday. It was scary at first since I never thought I could ride with the group, but I have fallen in love with the sport. My DH bought me an even nicer bike for Valentine's Day and I have gotten stronger ever since. I rode 70 miles today and stayed with the group the entire time, even when we were at 22 and 23 mph. I have logged 9960 miles since September 11, 2008 and dropped another 25 pounds. I have a normal BMI for the first time since I was in my 20s. I love riding my bike!
    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride"~John F. Kennedy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    The boyfriend actually got me into it. Well, him and a mutual friend. She bought a bike at a thrift store (the bike now known as DangerBike in polite company, less polite things otherwise) for transportation purposes--going from her house to class, around campus, that sort of thing, and she discovered she actually liked it. She bought a road bike (a Giant Defy 3), and the bike-nerd conversations going on in our dorm nearly drove me nuts. When she told BF that he should get his bike up here for the summer so that they could go on rides, I decided that I wanted to try it. I a) missed my childhood bike (and my parents were the overprotective sort and wouldn't let me ride it anywhere that was beyond the edge of the driveway ) and b) I was tired of being left out of things.
    The other reason that I wanted a bike is that I want to lose a few pounds and de-stress. My first sport is fencing, and while I love it, I could never make the practices because of my weird class schedule. I needed some kind of exercise and stress relief (fencing is definitely good for that!), but something I can fit into my schedule. For where I am (urban campus), cycling works quite well for that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    I've been a cyclist for 5 years. Can't say I had the purest of reasons for getting into it. Quite simply cycling (specifically mountain biking) was a replacement for the horses that I could no longer afford while in college.

    I now road bike as well and have 4 bikes. I will say they do eat less and their "vet bills" aren't quite as expensive as the horse's. Still more than I bargained for when I traded one set of saddles for the other!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,769
    I live on a popular cycling route and thought "hey, I want to do that"
    And here I am.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by nolemom View Post
    I have logged 9960 miles since September 11, 2008
    Wow nolemom! 9960 miles since Sept. 11? I've got some catching up to do!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by MartianDestiny View Post
    Quite simply cycling (specifically mountain biking) was a replacement for the horses that I could no longer afford while in college.
    Me too, sorta. I managed to hang onto my horse through college, it was after graduation when I had to choose which one of us I would support. Luckily I found my horse a great home, and took a break from all sports. That didn't last too long before I decided I really needed a sport/hobby, and thought that mountain biking might be fun.

    Really that was it - I like going out on trails (by horse, hiking, however), so mountain biking seemed like a natural thing to try, and I loved it from the beginning. I'm still not sure how I feel about road riding though. Commuting and running errands by bike is great, but one of the the things I love about MTBing is how dynamic it is - uphill, downhill, over stuff, and under stuff! Road riding is just so different... if I ever really get into it, it will definitely be because I started out MTBing though!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    561
    My husband rode, and got me into mountain biking. I was GOOD at it, i am pretty athletic, fearless, and tough. If I am good at something, I work at it. I had a stroke in 2007 (January) and was on blood thinners for almost six months while the doctors tried to figure out why a 36 year old, 12 percent body fat, non smoking, non-hormone-taking healthy woman with no family history of stroke would have a stroke. So, because of the blood thinners, no mountain biking. I was going nuts! So I stated on the road bike then, and was hooked. Now, almost three years stroke free, I do both. And I am FULLY aware how quickly your life can change. For me, it took about two minutes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by kenyonchris View Post
    Now, almost three years stroke free, I do both. And I am FULLY aware how quickly your life can change. For me, it took about two minutes.
    Thank God that you recovered!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,297
    Wow kenyon, that is an insane story. When I was in college my roommate's now husband's sil had a stroke at 34. I never heard the final reason but she was in pretty good health, non-smoker, etc. No warning signs, glad you are back tearing up the pavement and the trails.

    I started because I worked somewhere that would pay for charity rides. They sponsored my husband in the ride to Shiner, Tx. It looked fun and I was already running up to 5 miles daily so I didn't think it would be hard physically. I got my first road bikeon our first wedding anniversary and 5 years later I am about to get my second mountain bike and am on my second road bike. I just love that the girl who never wanted to go outside can be covered in sweat or dirt and no longer care. It is liberating. Plus it is a really fun way to sight-see.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    I just love that the girl who never wanted to go outside can be covered in sweat or dirt and no longer care. It is liberating. Plus it is a really fun way to sight-see.
    It is kinda fun to get sweaty and dirty, isn't it! (Never thought I'd say that!)
    And wow, what a view!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Quote Originally Posted by kenyonchris View Post
    I had a stroke in 2007 (January) and was on blood thinners for almost six months while the doctors tried to figure out why a 36 year old, 12 percent body fat, non smoking, non-hormone-taking healthy woman with no family history of stroke would have a stroke. So, because of the blood thinners, no mountain biking. I was going nuts! So I stated on the road bike then, and was hooked. Now, almost three years stroke free, I do both. And I am FULLY aware how quickly your life can change. For me, it took about two minutes.
    Did doctors figure out what caused the stroke? Glad you're around!

    Learned to bike at 11 yrs. old. Dropped out of it after 19 for various reasons. Was hankering to return to cycling but had to buy bike, become familiar with bike routes, didn't know how. Coincidentally met my partner a few months later. So returned to cycling at 32.

    I wanted to be freer, see more that's what got me into cycling: I don't drive and was walking alot, taking public transit. First it was fitness, recreational , shopping/chores and bike trip touring rides. Started work-bike commuting 1 yr. later. Social circle widened to include more friends that cycle regularily. I was burnt out from other community volunteer work and found the cycling community as a great transition cross-over.

    So over 17 yrs. later..am still at it. As many folks know here already, Lakerider, I've been car-free for over a quarter century.

    By the way, it's alot easier for car-free me, to bike home 15 lbs. of groceries vs. carrying and walking same weight home.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Weir, TX
    Posts
    403
    Quote Originally Posted by Zen View Post
    I live on a popular cycling route and thought "hey, I want to do that"
    And here I am.
    Yeah, that's kind of where I am.. lol I live in the middle of nowhere I could see myself cycling a LOT more just to run regular errands.

    I biked a LOT in my teens following rehab on my right knee. I used to regularly commute to work (6 miles each way) before I had a car. I still occasionally commuted on my bike when the weather was good... I have no idea how many miles I put on my bike during those years, but it was just a department store bike... and after her boyfriend took the shifters completely apart and "rebuilt" them, I gave it to my roommate when I was 18 - she didn't have a car and needed it sooo much more than I did. I really missed it though... but by the time I really started to think about another bike (maybe a year or so later?), I was pregnant with my oldest kid and money was tight, so it was just not a priority. When he was about 5 months old I bought a Kelty and we hiked a lot though.. so I definitely didn't feel like all I did was sit around all day on the sofa. We bought him his first bike just before he turned 3, and within 6 months, he was riding it all over the house, so we took the training wheels off to stop him. Exactly one week later he was still riding it all over the house.. with NO training wheels. He was just 3 years and, 4 months old.

    A few months after that I bought myself another department store bike and rode it a few times.. never really quite got the bug then, but I got pregnant shortly after, and the bike really wasn't suited for what I wanted to do, so it pretty much sat in our barn unused... by the time I was interested in riding it again I got pregnant with our 3rd child, so it sat still. When I pulled it out a few months ago, nothing on it worked, and I realized how unhappy I had been with it anyways..so I started thinking about buying another bike. I rode DH's department store MTB a few times.. and it was enough to let me know that his bike definitely wouldn't work for me, so I googled bike fit, and opened pandora's box..... I instantly doubled my bike budget, and set out to learn more about what I was getting into... and that was that.. lol

    I already want to either get my DH a better bike, or by myself a road bike and give him my hybrid.... his bike sucks, and I think he'd enjoy himself more if he wasn't struggling on a bike that doesn't really fit and makes it more work to ride than it should be.
    Last edited by sarahspins; 07-12-2009 at 08:22 PM.

 

 

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