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One Year Anniversarry Today!!!(10 posts)

One Year Anniversarry Today!!!keith m.
May 24, 2001 7:41 AM
One year ago today, I bought my first road bike on sale (Bianchi Giro with 105 group) at Supergo. I was 42 years old, out of shape, and wanted to do something about it. Running just was'nt for me. $879.00 later, not counting the super cheaply made supergo shorts and an on sale bell helmet, and the bottom of the line shimano shoes, I was a ROADIE. I honestly thought that three months later, this bike would be collecting dust in the garage. I am 6 feet, and was 197 pounds, and climbing all the hills around here even with a tripple was a real chore. I can remember going to a relativly flat area to ride for 45 minutes at an average speed of 17 mph and thinking, "wow, I'm really making some progress here." Now at age 43, I weigh 170 pounds, and am the proud owner of a Bianchi EV2 with record group and SR-3 wheels, I can ride around my town twenty one miles, including all the hills and average 21 mph. I have ridden 4300 miles this last year not counting trainer miles and feel soooooo much better than when I did'nt do anything. I enjoy riding more now than when I first began. It's so much fun and spiritually therapeutic for me (lottsa prayer time). Thank you to all who encouraged and offered great advice when I needed it. This is a good forum most of the time, I check here almost daily and I just want to thank all for the good time this last year, and the good times to come. To all newbies, this is awesome, stick with it.
Congratulations!!!Len J
May 24, 2001 8:01 AM
The power of commitment! Who sez ya can't do anything.

Keep at it!
Cycling is a spiritual thingOnrhodes
May 24, 2001 8:13 AM
This is the type of thing that I love to read. I have tried countless times to explain to the non cycling people in my life what it means to ride. Over and over again I usually just get blank stares or the "Yup, ok" When in truth they have no clue what I am really saying. For me, this fellow, and thousands more out there. Cycling is more then just a sport we do, it is something that we are. Deep inside there is this need and this desire to ride. When I ride, I feel complete. Stress is alleviated. Cares melt away. I am in a similar area as the guy up above. When I started ridding, I was 5'5" and almost 150lbs. Now 11 years later, college, and the "real world" I am still 132lbs. While many of my friends have put on anywhere from 15-50+ lbs of fat in the past 10 years since high school when they were a Jock. Now a lot of them look like they are well onto the way to bypass surgery.
So to those of us who have been bitten by the cycling bug and it has become an integral part of our lives, not just something we do, but something we are. Cheers to you! Ride on and have fun.
Cycling is a spiritual thingkeith m.
May 24, 2001 10:17 AM
From what I have learned about riding in that past year, the shifting to anticipate changes in the road, changes in the wind. When to crank hard and when to relax. Being able to 'feel' what is happening to the air around you and staying one step ahead of nature. Feeling your heart, lungs, legs and mind interacting with it. I liken cycling to the oceans tides coming in and out, and swimming in it, feeling it encompassing you, always learning. It truely is a living and breathing experience, this thing we call cycling, and the more you do it, the better you can "feel" it, the more you like it.
Cycling is a spiritual thing-NICLEY PUT !QUADzilla
May 24, 2001 5:12 PM
What a great post. I'd like to share my story, now that you got me in the mood. I started cycling about 12 years ago, sometime in college. My room-mate had back problems and his thearapist had suggested cycling. He suggested it would be a great way to meet women(not). So we went out & bought Schwinn 434's (aluminum). I went out for about a 2 mile ride & almost puked !! I was so out of shape. This was mostly due to a drug addiction that I had, as a result of being abused while growing up. After several months of riding, we did get better. However, there was one giant (at the time) hill that we could never get up without walking (yes, walking) up the last 1/4. We would try almost every weekend. Then, one day I was out by myself, and decided to try it on my own. You know what ? I got to the top of that hill for the first time without stopping !! I got to the top, looked down and just yelled !! I stood there stareing into the skies, knowing that after all those years of being told that i was never "good enough" or was stupid, or couldn't do anything right, I did it, damn it !! From that day on, I have never thought about giving up on cycling (even after getting hit by a car), or anything else in my life for that matter. Cycling had brought a purpose in my life. I was finally good at something, and nobody could tell me otherwise. So here I am, 10 years later. Back then, I weighed 165 lbs at 6'. Today, I'm 235. I know, alot of you must think "what a pig". But, Cycling has changed my life in other ways. No drugs, eating better & met a person who drags me to the gym twice a week. I now can press 315 on incline bench for 2 reps, recently did 1100 lbs (yes, over 1000lbs)on leg press, and can comfortably squat 350 for about 10 reps.

This story recently came out during a marriage counsling session. When my wife heard it, she broke down in tears. She now realizes that I HAVE to ride. It's my thearapy after all those years....

She also promised to break out that c'dale mountain bike I got her a few years ago to join me more often.

Sorry about the rambling, but I know we all have our reasons why we ride. This is mine. I still make the journey to that hill. I stop at the bottom, pray to the heavens above & climb....I stop at the top as I did that day & thank God for that Schwinn (but now a Trek). It just may have saved my life.
Funny how we get what we need, exactly when we need it!!Len J
May 25, 2001 8:40 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. Hang in there & Keep riding.
You the man!yapsaw
May 24, 2001 9:03 AM
It gave me goosebumps reading your post because I know what you felt and went through. I remember building my first road bike with the help of my friend (bikeshop owner Mr. Ng in Singapore). Took me about a week to sort parts and assemble them. After that first ride I knew it would never be the same as MTBiking. That was in 1997. I'm glad I made the switch then. Cheers to you and others who made that magical trip.
What You AreJon Billheimer
May 24, 2001 9:39 AM
Yours is a fantastic story. And one that has been experienced by a lot of us. CONGRATULATIONS! I especially like the comment that "cycling is what you are." I don't know that it starts out that way, but the experience does change you and become a part of you. The late George Sheehan wrote a column years ago in Runners World in which he talked about the moral dynamics of racing. Running a race, he said, is a three part experience, the preparation, the race, and the aftermath. The aftermath consists of an increase in virtue. He meant that the qualities that it takes to train and race, e.g. discipline, courage, self-confidence, etc., become a part of you as a result of your experience. Whatever! It's great to read posts like yours.
What You AreTeach
May 24, 2001 10:40 AM
I have a friend who has been willing, for the past 9 months, to keep me accountable for several disciplines I'm trying to build into my life (losing weight, exercising, devotional time, etc). We meet once or twice a month and spend time talking about what's going on in those areas and others in my life. Every time we meet at least one of her sentences begins, "It's just like when we're riding..." Cycling has taught me in a way that nothing else has. A friend asked me after a rough, cold, hilly, windy, ride that she had sagged in on what the secret of my success (i.e. - finishing a tough ride) was. My answer was that I don't consider any other option. That's the kind of mindset I want to have in other areas of my life.

Sorry, that was long, but I feel kinda passionate about cycling.
re: One Year Anniversarry Today!!!MeDotOrg
May 24, 2001 10:47 AM
Congradulations! Getting in shape is getting in touch with your body. It really can be part of a spiritual experience.

I leave you with 3 quotes from The Quotable Cyclist:

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

—Arthur Conan Doyle, in an 1896 article for Scientific American

"Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia."
—H. G. Wells

"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live."
—Mark Twain

More of The Quotable Cyclist can be found at:

http://www.breakawaybooks.com/Quotable_Cyclist.htm