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Where did it all begin?(18 posts)

Where did it all begin?Lazy
Mar 5, 2001 1:06 PM
I was wondering how everyone got started in cycling. What drew you in? My deal:

I don't really remember how it all began really. Near as I can recall, I saw a mid-seventies (or so) Wide World of Sports that happened to be carrying the TDF. I was drawn to it. A little while later, RIF came to our school. I picked up a little book on racing bikes. I think I was in 5th grade or so. I always thought road racing was awesome, but for some reason I never took the step to actually do it. I rode quite a bit on and off throughout the years, and have always been a big fan. I think it's due in part because not very many people (relatively in the US) know what it's all about.

Flash to February 1999- I'm visiting a friend in Italy, who happens to live a couple towns over from the Carerra factory. On a whim, we went in there one day. We ended up talking to one of the owners (super cool guy, and parlays English) and before I knew it I was ordering a bike. Been riding like mad ever since.

That's my deal, how 'bout you?

P.S. partly inspired by an article on, but I've been thinking about this for a while.
Soon after I started walkingDog
Mar 5, 2001 1:26 PM
Just always did it. I loved the speed and freedom. I love tinkering (gadgets). I was taking apart and fixing my bikes before I was 5 years old.

Then, I got serious about it in high school, when I was running marathons, cross country, and track. Had some friends who road raced, and they got me interested. Loved it from minute one. What I never could understand, though, is how different the fitness for running and cycling is. People I could whump running totally thrashed me on the bike early on.

After lots of running, I stuck with cycling because it's so much easier on the body. Running just has too much jarring. Plus, you just can't cover 200 miles in one day on foot (at least I never would).

Speed, freedom, tinkering. That's it for me.

re: Where did it all begin?look271
Mar 5, 2001 1:57 PM
I'm like Doug. I've loved bikes of various varieties all of my live. Back in elementary school, it was a Murray "chopper" style bike with a banana seat that I beat to death while delivering the morning news to 70+ people. Saw the light and bought (with my own $$, saved from delivering said newspaper) a baby blue Gitane 10 speed with brazed lugs and suntour shifters. Made my buddies Schwins look like K-mart bikes. Next a Fuji Grand tourer 12 speed. (I outgrew the Gitane-still wish that I had it though...). College brought a new type of 2-wheeled excitement-motorcycles. Marriage fixed that! Now, after several years of back on bicycles, I can see myself doing this to retirement and beyond.....,.
I believe it was my 5th birthday ...Humma Hah
Mar 5, 2001 2:15 PM
... Daddy got me a little bike, don't remember the brand, not a Schwinn, maroon and cream, maybe 20" wheels. He took me out to the parking lot, held on to the back of the seat while I learned the basics. Within about 15 minutes, I looked back and he wasn't there.

That day, he created a monster! I loved it, and have ever since.

That bike got stolen, there were a couple of years when I didn't have one. I got a Schwinn cruiser when 12, it got stolen and stripped, but rebuilt. Even when it was not available, I would borrow my sister's bike, so, except for a couple of years when very young, I've ridden since about age 5.
re: Where did it all begin?fuzzybunnies
Mar 5, 2001 3:15 PM
It didn't really start untill my parents moved and I used a bike to go everywhere, though at the time I still didn'r consider it a sport and was riding about a 100 miles a week. My parents finally helped me buy a good bike(my giant) when they saw I liked riding, when I realized how much faster I was on the new bike I entered a local race a week later. Didn't win but the thrill of competition was created. A lack of money helped me learn how to repair bikes, a patr and a tool is cheaper than a part and installation at a shop. TTFN
re: Where did it all begin?tommyb
Mar 5, 2001 3:38 PM
Sure, I rode bikes as a kid. But I really got hooked in 1983, after my second year of college. A couple of friends were going to ride their bikes from Montreal to Quebec and back. It sounded neat. I borrowed a yellow Schwinn Varsity, and joined them. I suffered a lot out there, but, by God, I was now a cyclist. A lot of epic rides (and some races) later, I still remember that trip. I just don't ever want to sit on that Varsity saddle for 7 days straight again.
November 2000Erap Estrada
Mar 5, 2001 4:02 PM
I've wanted to get a road bike ever since I saw the Tour de Lankawi and this cheap $100 HUFFY at the local Duty Free shop around 7 years ago when I was a sophomore in High School. My parents wouldn't let me get it since they thought that it was too dangerous to ride in my neighborhood (it really is dangerous) so I let it go and forgot about getting a road bike, but was still into watching cycling on TV. Upon graduating from college last March 2000, my granparents promise to get me a high-end laptop...I postpone as much as I can so that I can get the latest and best technology. I change my mind and decide to get a Concept 2 ergometer, but my place doesn't have space for it. One night, it pops into my mind, I remembered my desire for a roadbike. Screw the laptop...I go to several LBSs and assemble an $800 road bike. Sure, it doesn't have the best parts, and the frame is one heavy piece of unbranded steel. Cycling is great, now all I need to find is a bunch of guys to ride and race with. Pretty hard for a 22 year old, when all the guys riding here are 40+ year old poseurs on Sunday morning easy pedal excursions.
November 2000fuzzybunnies
Mar 5, 2001 5:37 PM
Check the local bike club, a good majority tend to be older but there is liable to be some younger riders. TTFN
Alexi Grewal and Breaking AwayHank
Mar 5, 2001 4:21 PM
those were both big for me. Of course, before that, I was into BMX. Stu Thompson!
I was lucky enoughmike mcmahon
Mar 6, 2001 5:06 AM
to see Alexi Grewal and Connie Carpenter take the gold medals in the 1984 Olympic road race on a hot day in Mission Viejo, CA. Although I had already been riding for a year or two by that time, the experience of seeing these two great victories sealed it for me.
I was lucky enoughHank
Mar 6, 2001 9:38 AM
Yeah, I watched it on TV at age 16. I alread had my NR equipped celeste Bianchi and hair net helmet and Dettos and everything, but being a skinny kid and seeing Grewal take Bauer in the sprint was huge for me. I was like, yeah, I could race, too...
I was lucky enoughmike mcmahon
Mar 6, 2001 2:22 PM
That brings back memories. I remember cruising around my hometown of Garden Grove, CA on my green and white Medici with my black and blue Cinelli hairnet helmet, Detto Pietro shoes, and Le Coq Sportif jersey and shorts. I thought I looked pretty suave. The football players in my neighborhood didn't agree. Cycling is definetely one of those sports where you have to get used to getting crap on a regular basis. Most jocks probably view cyclists as one step up the ladder from chess club geeks.
re: Where did it all begin?Darragh
Mar 5, 2001 7:03 PM
I was 16, living in Scotland, and my school made me run in the cross country nationals (running). With no training I came in 14th. A friend of my told me I should try bike riding (the endurance thing I guess), anyway, I did nothing about it until I saw Greg Lemond in the '86 TDF and thought..that looks like fun. Being from Ireland I was always aware of Kelly and Roche. So, I bought a bike and been doing it since.

Oh yeah, when I thought "looks like fun", it is but not in the way I thought. Much harder than running. The pain in cycling is something to be experienced. You can't explain least I can't
re: Where did it all begin?Larry Meade
Mar 6, 2001 5:40 AM
I learned to ride a bike at the age of 4. I rode all through childhood but didn't start "serious cycling" until my senior year of high school. It all started when my junker bike got stolen. I didn't really miss it because I was your typical car drivin' teen. Well, I got some insurance money back for the stolen bike and my older brother was wanting to get a new bike. We went to a Schwinn dealer and I got a brand new silver LeTour. The shop owner asked us if we wanted to join the local club. My brother politely declined but I joined. After my first club ride I was hooked.

It's always been about escapeGadfly
Mar 6, 2001 7:44 AM
I wish I could remember the brand name of my first bike, a Krate-like knock-off. My parents couldn't afford to buy it outright, it was on lay-away for months. The day it appeared in the driveway was the day I learned about freedom. Packing a brown bag with a bologna sandwich and heading out for a full day's adventure. That was 30 years ago. I still look forward to those kinds of days.
On a flukePaulCL
Mar 6, 2001 8:15 AM
It started from two sources...with a small (I mean small) inheritance from my grandmother, my wife suggested that we both buy bikes. OK, I bought a 40 lb schwin "10 sp" to cruise around with my wife. Then a buddy of mind invited me to ride with him on a local paved bike trail. He rode a Peugot. It looked really cool. Well, before I knew it, I had ridden 30 miles on that trail with ease. I was hooked.

Six months later, I stepped up to a less heavy steel DiamondBack road frame with cheapo components. Gradually I upgraded the components to Ultegra STI. From there to a Colnago frame with Ultegra to the recent replacement with Campy Record. Then light wheels, then who knows what??

By the way, the friend that got me into cycling quit the sport. He liked having someone to ride with, but, when I exceeded him in the sport (I more competitive and athletic), he quit. Only now, after 8 years,is he starting to ride again. Good for him.
With a brown/tan and red 'Bronco'...JBergland
Mar 6, 2001 9:38 AM
... from the local Pamida. It had a banana seat, monkey handle bars (or ape bars for you HD riders out there) and had fenders. I wish I knew how many miles I put on that bike. After the 'bronco', I had a Huffy BMX bike for a while... did stuff with that bike that I wouldn't even think of doing now. For a couple years in middle school I rode my sisters old 10 speed... I think it was a Holiday??? I remember thinking I was the fastest guy in the world on that thing. My first real bike was a Raleigh 10 speed. Then came a Trek 830 Antelope. That was my basic transportation when I was in college.

Having come from a running background, cycling seemed like a good choice. Much better for the body as far as getting beat up with high miles, plus cycling has been a learning experience!! I can't say enough good things about the sport!!
re: Where did it all begin?jimbob
Mar 6, 2001 2:45 PM
Cycling for me started with a weekend staying at my oldest sisters house for the weekend. I was 3 and we were in the front yard and her neighbor had a truckload of trash going to the dump. I spotted a little tiny (10" wheels with non-pnuematic, but rubber, tires) bike heaped up on top of the load and I asked the guy where he was taking the bike. He ended up taking it out of the truck and giving it to me. It was one of those direct drive bikes that never stopped pedaling (kinda like a fixed gear) with no brakes. I could reach the ground and I just pushed it around until I could ride it which wasnt too long. I never used training wheels. From then I never stopped. We rode and rode as kids. Often doing mountain bike type rides on our BMX bikes. It was my love. Then a friend from our church who raced BMX took me to a race and the next week I was racing. Then in seventh grade MT bikes were starting to get popular. Me and a group of friends would always ride to school together. It was a blast. The bus was so boring. We had all these back trails to get to school and a MTB was perfect for this as it was a 15-20 minute ride with hills and creek crossings etc. I loved going to school and hitting all the natural jumps on the way and showing up to homeroom sweaty with all my friends. So I got a MTB and just started exploring. I still can remember all the parts and charactaristics of this machine. Tons of great trails. The Sea Otter race is on the trails that we used to ride on and still do to this day. Anyway, my freshman year in HS I entered a mountain bike race and just loved the competition and was stoked to see Ned and John Tomac at the same race as me. They were legends to me. I did well and kept racing and after several years i was traveling all over the country to race. I got into road riding to sharpen my form and loved it. I'd do the famous tue./thur. Santa Cruz road rides with Andy Paulin and Fast Freddy. Those guys were so fast.I still ride today and just got another road bike for the first time in 8 years. I'll never stop.