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Our inauspicious beginnings(7 posts)

Our inauspicious beginningsseth1
May 4, 2001 12:31 PM
Does anyone out there have funny stories from when they first started riding (ie riding in cut-off sweats and t-shirt, going out for a fifty mile solo ride with out food water tools money or id, peculiar bike set-up, going for months without inflating tires or lubing chain)?
I STILL ride in cut-off sweats and a T-shirt.Cory
May 4, 2001 12:41 PM
I do own one jersey, that somebody gave me, and I wear bike shorts for longer rides. Most of the time, though, I don't bother with the superhero costume. On the rare occasions when I'm able to pass somebody these days, it's SO much more satisfying when I'm wearing a T-shirt that says, "Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter Racing Team."
Biggest dumb mistake of my career involved not closing the brakes after I put on new tires. The pads would barely touch the rims, and I went ripping across a major street at about 20 mph.
ProgressMass Biker
May 4, 2001 12:47 PM
Can't say that I've made that much progress, but I can say that I was even more clueless then I am now (which is scary). To wit:

* going on my first 50 miler without any food while in high school. I ended up bonking so hard that I must have stopped at 5 Wendy's on the slow, painful drag home
* not realizing that cycling shorts served a function (i.e. protecting one's nethers) and relying on a too-small pair of surf shorts for my first real "season" on the bike because, like cycling shorts, they were "tight"
* going out on my first pair of clipless pedals (the old white "Bernard Hinault" style Looks) and doing a slow, graceless tumble to the ground while stopped at a traffic light with motorists looking on in disgust
* signing up for my first race (a TT) and having to ride there because I didn't have a driver's license. I have a photo somewhere of me at that TT, going all out to post the best time I could: hands on the hoods, long knee socks, front, rear, and wheel reflectors resplendent, jersey flapping in the wind, biopace chainrings in mid revolution. The ride home was pretty awful too

re: Our inauspicious beginningsAkirasho
May 4, 2001 2:41 PM
my beginning was getting out of the recliner...

Persoanl life upset caused a deep depression to which, said recliner and a half gallon of Cookies 'N Cream satiated... at least for a moment. Then, after an inhuman weight gain, followed by the health repercussions of such, got out of the recliner and unto a bike (an old Trek 800 which I still have)... On the first ride, I rode about 4 miles in an hour through a local cemetary (might have been something to that)... a tough but telling day.

In the days leading up to my return to cycling, I regularily consummed the abovementioned half gallon as well as a steady daily diet of (and I'm not joking or exaggerating) two whoppers (heavy mayo and onions) two large fries and a 2 liter bottle of Coke (still hit the Coke too much). Add to that, my butt was glued to said recliner (renting a crane would have cost too much) and you get the picture.

I can only imagine what an image I created... folks probably seeing me glide over the ground but unable to detect a bike underneath all that ummmmmmmmmm heavy mayo and onions.

In those days, it was cutoff sweats, sneakers... a friend who tried to talk me in to toe clips and straps (they were too radical for me). No tools, no pump, patch kit or spare tubes... barely a helmet. The bike was worth more than my car... and much more reliable.

I did my first century (actually 124 miles) on that bike at an average speed of 15 mph... and that was by accident. I decided to ride to the end of the trail... not quite realizing that it was 62 miles away. Great motivation to return... when you've got no real choice!

Now, 16 bikes later (including the Trek 800), with all manner of lycra... specialty bikes with tubular tires... aerobars... clipless pedals... more helmets than changes of underwear... and an obsession with all things cycling... here I be.

I'll admit that a bit has been lost over the years with the tech side of road and MTB riding... but overall, I guess it's a fair trade... besides, I rarely have a bite or two of Cookies 'N Cream... haven't touched a whopper in over a year, and I doubt that I'll own another recliner for years and years.

Be the bike.

P.S. as for the weight... A LOT... as for the weight loss... A LOT... and still a bit to go... wish me luck.
Stopped by a female police officer...John R.
May 4, 2001 4:06 PM
who actually detained me and asked me where I had been riding. At the time I paid no attention to street names and she became suspicious. She checked my shoe tread and made a call on the police radio...a few minutes later she received some kind of response and let me go after telling me they were looking for a flasher who had exposed himself at a nearby college dormitory.

I was riding an old beat-up Columbia 10-speed with a big round Spalding helmet from Montgomery Ward and a pair of irregular bright red compression shorts from the local Champion outlet store. Oh yeah, I had an adjustable wrench attached to my top-tube with electrical tape. I guess I did look suspicious.

John R.
Back in the days of old...Rich Clark
May 5, 2001 10:02 PM
...1968, 1969, I lived in Chicogo, and had some friends who had a house in New Buffalo, Michigan. About 60 miles, I guess. I was 16, 17 years old, riding a series of 10 speeds built up from used parts and ridden until they fell apart or got stolen.

I just wore what I wore. Jeans, jockey shorts, t-shirts, sandals. I carried a patch kit and a couple of tools in a bag under the saddle, and bundled up whatever clothes I was taking and tied the bundle to the rear rack.

It was no big deal. Got up in the morning and rode. Tried to get there before dark. I wanted to go, and couldn't afford train tickets. Stopped for hot dogs and root beer and smokes as needed.

The world was clearly a simpler place back then. The bike was the same bike I rode all the time. If the bike failed catastrophically, I hitchhiked. No fuss, no stress, no worries.

Was it the youth, or the times? ::sigh::

Was it the youth, or the times?..............yes (nm)cycleguy
May 6, 2001 8:17 PM