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What started you riding road bikes?(52 posts)

What started you riding road bikes?TrekMan
Oct 24, 2001 8:14 AM
This is something that has always puzzled me: Why do some people prefer road bikes?

Where I live they're not trendy and they're not cool, everyone rides, sorry, posers on mtbs. I ride a road bike because as a 8yr old child everyone in my school stood on the side of the road on a wet afternoon in May to watch the FBD Milk Rús (pronounced Ros) streak past. Watching 180 cyclists rocket past had a lasting effect on me, and then of course there was the live coverage of the Tour De France a few weeks later. So I started out riding them because I wanted to be like the pros in the tour, now it's because I love it.

What about the rest of you? What got you into road biking?
freedom, speed...Dog
Oct 24, 2001 8:20 AM
"So I started out riding them because I wanted to be like the pros in the tour..." Heck, I still do.

Hard to know. For some of us, cycling, especially road cycling, has become so integrated into our being that we can't imagine not having it, or figure out why we started. It's like asking why you fell in love with your spouse.

When I was a kid, I rode all over the county. It meant freedom, well before I could drive.

Speed, freedom, fitness, accomplishment, getting outdoors, fiddling with mechanical thingies, testing ourselves... Lots of reasons.

For me, I was a runner. On the bike, though, you can go mucy further and faster than running. That was a lot of it.

College roommate was an amateur road racer.RhodyRider
Oct 24, 2001 8:20 AM
I bought my first serious road bike so that I could ride with and learn from him. This was in the early 80s, really before the MTB revolution (especially in the Midwest, where we lived.) I've preferred road by wide margain ever since, but I do also own & ride a MTB. Greg LeMond helped, too, for some of the reasons you stated.
re: What started you riding road bikes?morey
Oct 24, 2001 8:24 AM
I am 58 yo, been riding a bike since I was 8 yo. However, I have been riding seriously since I added it to my training as a competitive athlete. This was in 1982. But, I have really enjoyed the freedom that it provides.
Ditto Dog supra. Plus I like the natural high, and128
Oct 24, 2001 8:34 AM
in high school had a summer where I would take younger inner-city kids out to the country for rides (I was the "mechanic"). So, I found it's a great way to get up and out with a group of folks...
I still run the mile though, just for kicks...
re: What started you riding road bikes?zero1
Oct 24, 2001 8:36 AM
in 1983 when i was 33 yrs i was diagnosed with extremely high blood pressure...the 4 pills a day sometime would make me feel really i decided to start exercising and watching my diet...i bought my first bike which was a ross. i started cycling and riding...18 yrs later i am still riding and running and i am taking no blood pressure pills..i just recently purchased a colnago mxl and it makes riding a lot more enjoyable and i have had to cut back some of the miles on my running...the 18 yrs of it has taken a toll on my old wore out body...ride safe...
fitnessk mand
Oct 24, 2001 8:37 AM
Two years ago, I tore my ACL in martial arts tarining and it was all I had for a short time. I tried marathon training but it beats the hell out of me. I wanted something that I can keep a high level of cardio fitness without injury and road cycling provided that over most activities. I realized on initial group rides that I was as strong and alot of the competitve riders took me under their wing.I started training specificly to build on that and have developed an interest in it as a competitive sport and plan on racing. I also enjoy the freedom, building them, and being outdoors.
The rain camemr_spin
Oct 24, 2001 8:41 AM
I started on mountain bikes, but we had a very wet year here and many trails weren't ridable anymore. I bought a pair of slicks and started riding on the roads instead. When the rain eased up, I switched back to knobbies and rode on dirt, but then the rain came again, so I had to go back to slicks and the road.

After doing this for the umpteenth time, I went down to the bike store to "check out" some road bikes, and of course, walked out with one. Naturally, it would have been cheaper to buy another set of wheels instead of a road bike, but who said it has to be logical?

I think part of it is because I have this wierd memory of seeing Pedro Delgado riding on some climb in the Pyrenees in the Tour, the year he won it. I forget when that was--late 80s, 1990? Because it was ABC's Wide World of Sports, it was just a really, really brief glimpse. But I remember it was dark and mysterious, because they were in the trees and it was probably raining. I saw that and said, this is cool! I want to do that. Whatever that was. I wasn't even a cyclist then, and wouldn't be for a couple more years. But even today, when I am doing a dark climb through the trees, I imagine I'm Pedro Delgado, with Miguel Indurain as my domestique. And without the performance enhancing drugs, of course.
My short cycling history...Cima Coppi
Oct 24, 2001 8:46 AM
I started riding/racing BMX at the age of 9 when my parents got me a Schwinn Predator. A few years later, they took me to watch the Coors Classic when it came through Denver for the Tivoli Criterium. The speed and grace in which the riders past by left a lasting impression on me, and I wanted to ride road, and dump the BMX. When I was 12, I got my first road bike, a Trek 400. Within a few months, a crashed it, crimping the frame. My frustrated parents, knowing how much I wanted to keep riding, replaced it with a Trek 460 (which I still have, and my wife now rides), and I began racing on the road the following summer. For me the rest is history.

re: What started you riding road bikes?cioccman
Oct 24, 2001 8:49 AM
I started BMX racing in 1975 when I was 9 years. After a few years of that I bought my first mountain bike around 1983 or so. There were no *races* that I knew of as mountain riding was in it's infancy. I started riding with a huge group called the Del's Angels. We were competitive amongst ourselves and the group rides sometimes swelled to over 140 mtbrs. Then in the early 90's I moved right next to the sand on the beach. All the riding right out the door was fast and on pavement. I got my first road bike. So, after 14 or more bikes of all types, here I be.
A really cute guy.Roxy
Oct 24, 2001 9:01 AM
Well, that was in my early 30's, and reintroduced me to a love I had as a kid.

In Jr High, I won a Huffy (don't laugh) in a raffle contest. I rode that bike all over Carmel in the three years I was there. Loved the sense of freedom.

Then on to highschool and a bigger sense of freedom...aka cars.

So, it took me all this time to get back to the basics.
Oops...wrong reply thread! nmRoxy
Oct 24, 2001 9:02 AM
Way too young to drive. (nm)grzy
Oct 24, 2001 8:59 AM
re: What started you riding road bikes?MCCL
Oct 24, 2001 9:02 AM
Asthma! Ever since child hood and still Asthama has been more or less my reason. But also the love of the ride. I have found other reasons like finding a house. But after going half way across this great country and many Denver Post rides I have never found any reason to let go of my Love. MCCL
Beside schwinn Breezes and LeTours...Tom C
Oct 24, 2001 9:02 AM
which were usually found only at Schwinn dealers, road bikes, at least in 1978 were the only bikes around. When my Torpado was stolen, I replaced it with a Peugeot with toe clips and straps. But to tell you the truth if MTB's had been available I still think I would have replaced the Torpado with a road bike.
I pulled an abondoned LeTour II off the street this summer!128
Oct 24, 2001 9:20 AM
Sort of an orange color and what a wreck! It's been rusting nicely in my yard. It must weigh at least 700 pounds...
Was going to clean it up and give it to some kid, but it's pretty well played...

My first bike was a Stingray, then a BMX, and finally a half decent 10 speed, Ventura, I think....
and dismantled it to it's constituant parts last night128
Oct 25, 2001 4:56 AM
that helped relieve some stress

a nice pile of junk

ball bearings all over the place

spiders live in down-tubes
and an ancient Shimano Industrial Company der "Schwinn approved!"
I will not be re-constituiting the old beast...
Celebrate 4 years cancer free. . .js5280
Oct 24, 2001 9:25 AM
My original goal was to ride in the 2002 Ride for the Roses which will be my 5th year free of testicular cancer, the point in which they say you're "cured." Well, I couldn't wait that long. I am an avid mountain biker and started doing charity rides a few years ago and wanted to do more of them because I love cycling and having my health back. There's a good deal more road races and rides so I picked up my Airborne Zepplin early this year so I could do the Ride for Roses metric century (no regular century that year)this past April. Since then I've been hooked and find that I spend more time on my road bike because I don't always have time to get up to the good MTB trails. Cycling is also my way to celebrate the good times and escape the bad times. I've made a lot of new friends, raised funds or donated to many worthy causes, seen some beautiful scenery, and am now in best shape I've probably ever been. In short, it's all good :-)
Way to go JS, I'm 6 years Cancer freeDave Hickey
Oct 24, 2001 9:46 AM
Are you a member of Cyclist Combating Cancer? Their web site is . The group is made up of survivors. They always have a big group at the Ride for the Roses. I rode in 2000 and 2001 and I'm looking forward to next year.
Way to go JS, I'm 6 years Cancer freejs5280
Oct 24, 2001 10:09 AM
Congrats Dave on 6 years! Hmmm, not sure if I'm a member of the CCC. I'm a Peloton Project member, does that make me a CCC member? I did sign up for CCC mail list but I hardly have enough time for the TC list I participate on so I dropped it. I'm good internet buddies w/ Chris Brewer for the past 4 years, in fact I'll being seeing him here in week or two. I know he's a CCC member.

Hey, surfed over to LiveToRide and saw your bio. You're TC too (I was non-seminoma)! You ever post on the TCRC list? I'm not remembering your name offhand. I'll be embarrassed if we met last year. Did you go to the Hula Hut on Sat or Oasis on Sunday? I don't recall a Dave, but I'm bad w/ names.
Way to go JS, I'm 6 years Cancer freeDave Hickey
Oct 24, 2001 10:26 AM
I'm not familar with the TCRC list. Do they have a web site? I didn't make any of the events last year other than the actual Ride For the Roses. I plan on spending more time next year. Do you live in Texas?
Testicular Cancer Resoucre Center-
Oct 24, 2001 12:34 PM
The TCRC (Testicular Cancer Resoucre Center) is a great source for information on the disease for patients, supporters, doctors, and survivors. Chris Brewer (another TC survivor, 5 years) started the site about 5 years ago. Chris now does Lance's web site. Not a bad gig huh? The URL is . I've been there pretty much from the beginning, although because of the site, I went to the urologist knowing that I probably had cancer and more importantly, I would most likely survive it and what I needed to do to insure that. I am forever indebted to it because it made a hard situation so much easier to handle. I have remained active on the site, contributed some material on the site, and still answer emails from indivuals w/ questions. I wish I had time to contribute more.

There is a link for TC-Net which is a support list (listserv) made up of 500 individuals. It is excellently moderated, and even 5 years later, is of great value to me. Most importantly, you can help others who follow you by sharing your experiences. I have a rather detailed story of my diagnosis and treatment there at . There is also a separate list for supporters but many subscribe to both.

Last RfR, a group of about 15 of us got together. I would expect probably at least that many this year. I am going again in 2002. We'll definately have to meet up if you go. Feel free to drop me an email at TRIJJJ@IX.NETCOM.COM. Also, I live in Denver, CO.
re: What started you riding road bikes?brider
Oct 24, 2001 9:28 AM
When I got a bike the first time, around age 12, road bikes were all that was available (besides ballooners). It was a Schwinn 3-speed with moustache-style handlebars. Had a lot of fun on that machine. Any way, when I was in early high school, I got an Azuki Gran Sports at a garage sale, and read the Bartlet's manual so I could repair the thing. It had the suicide brake levers (that I eventually disposed of). I eventually replaced the entire drivetrain with a Suntour Cyclone system and an Ultra-6 freewheel. In college, I bought a Trek 560, Reynolds 501 tubing. That was my first "real" bike. I had been basically a runner up to then, but injuries forced me into the swimming pool for rehab. The guys in the pool told me to get a bike (either because they didn't want me in the pool, or because they thought I might be good at triathlon). Well, that got me into triathlon, and I spent years as a triathlete, getting to almost pro level. I did get a mountain bike (a Schwinn), that's been replaced several times over (to Cannondale to Proflex). The road bike has gone from the Trek to a Specialized composite to a Paul Barkley custom Softride (which I stil own), to a custom Ti Cycles Softride (my main ride) to a bastardized Ti Cycles Softride track bike which I use for commuting (with a single speed freewheel and brakes). The funny thing is, I haven't been on the mountain bike in about 4 years, the urethane bumpers that supply the suspension have gone rock hard, and I don't really miss it.
Once upon a time...Rich Clark
Oct 24, 2001 9:33 AM
...there were cruisers, there were English 3-speeds, and there were road bikes. The road bikes were either racing bikes or sport-tourers. There were no mountain bikes or any of their mutant relatives.

If you wanted to ride a long way, you rode a road bike.

I ride a road bike now because to me there's only ever been one kind of "real" bike.

Additionally, to me bikes have always primarily been about transportation, not recreation. Fitness and fun are fringe benefits (very important ones, to be sure). Mountain biking, having no destination, has never appealed to me. Nor has getting dirty unneccessarily.

Oct 24, 2001 11:23 AM
An athletic kid, I climbed trees for two years waiting for my first bike, a Sears cruiser, at age 9. I explored the town on it after school and became intoxicated. Dad wouldn't fix the fork when I crashed into a cinderblock, however, so I went back to climbing trees.

Thirty years later I'm giving up 15 years smoking cigarettes, and lifting weights to relieve the boredom. My trusty 1963 Dodge Dart finally tanks and I have to find a way to get to work. I'm in great physical shape, its a 6 mile commute, and my dad never did get me another bike. Boing. So I picked up a 70s era 10 speed for 90., and have never looked back. Riding keeps the kid in me alive, and I'll do it until I die. Cycling is a metaphor for life.

Like RichC, I've never found much thrill in negotiating creekbeds on footpaths. My last MTB ride, trying to keep up with a fast friend showing off, I almost lost my front teeth on a tree root, and decided roads were alot safer than dirt. Plus, I like to see the world, the civilized world of towns and cities. At cycling speeds, you can see everything, much like those early automobile owners did exploring the same roads we ride on now. You work up the hills and coast into the valleys. The world is yours.
GirlsDave Hickey
Oct 24, 2001 9:40 AM
When I was 14 a friend and I met somes girls at summer camp.
My friend and I lived on the eastside of Cleveland,OH and the girls lived in Mansfield, some 95 miles away. Since we didn't drive, we hatched this elaborate plan to ride our bikes. After a month of planning and our parents permission, we set off. We rode back roads and rode 50 miles the first day. We stopped at an Amish farm and asked to pitch our tent in their field. The family was great and invited us in for breakfast the next morning. After fresh eggs and bacon, we rode the rest of the way to Mansfield. We did the same thing on the way home. GREAT TRIP. It's funny, I don't even remember the girls, but I sure remember the bike ride.

I started again as an adult about 6 years ago after recovering from testicular cancer(before Lance). I was 45lbs overweight decided I wanted to live a long life. I ride 100-150miles/wk year round and I've never felt better.
It all began on a breezy spring day...Kristin
Oct 24, 2001 9:46 AM I drove past some riders. A sudden, strong desire stirred to life deep within my soul. Within two months I'd purchased a Trek hybrid. Riding off and on as time permitted until, in 1999, televsion was declared arch-enemy and subsequently ejected from my home. I rode lots after that and noticed a seemingly continuous stream of road bike riders to my left. I enjoyed watching them. Graceful and strong. They made it look so effortless and pleasurable. Not to mention fast! The clothing they wore gave off an air of true athletisism. Perhaps I could be like that someday.
Oct 24, 2001 12:02 PM
My dear, you are like that. Don't you remember passing at least 100 riders in the first five miles Saturday? Sure, some of them were on hybrids and such, but there were probably a few thinking as we passed them how easy we made it seem. story, past, present, next year (*yawn*)Js Haiku Shop
Oct 24, 2001 9:49 AM
quit smoking cold turkey in spring of 1998 after 10+ years of 1.5-2 packs per day. my wife and i took a bike tour of NY's central park (on a huffy mtb) in july '98. it'd been a couple years since i'd ridden a motorcycle, and many since i'd been on a bicycle. was reminded of how much fun it is, and that i've always felt a sense of freedom, or flying, or wind in my hair, or something, on a bike. saved my cigarette money from not smoking and bought a fully rigid mtb a month after NYC. rode it once during the week and both weekend days on trails 'round town, striaght through a cold, windy, icy, snowy, WET winter, in standing water and eventual way-below-freezing temps. not a big deal now, but it was then!

bought a gary fisher mtb with front suspension in early 1999 and fell into "sweet mother earth" or whatever you guys are calling it. :o) rode the midnight fun ride in summer '99 on the GF and found that i would've been right at the front of the 'pack' were i riding a skinny-tired bike. my ironman (great floridian) friend turned me on to road bikes, so i bought a used c'dale criterium bike off the roadbikereview classifieds. it fit poorly and my 'nasty bits' went numb after 30 minutes. i put 88 miles on that bike in six months.

spring 2000 my son was born and i decided it was time to get serious about performance on the mtb and lose some weight, become a respectable role model, an active parent, not a football couch sloth (i despise sports involving the use of a ball, anyhow). sold the cannondale on ebay, bought a new specialized allez sport from the LBS, sold the GF on ebay, downgraded to a new (NOS) rockhopper from another LBS, put in between 1000 and 1500 miles for year-2000. october 2000 to feb 2001 did't ride much (weather / wimp!), but did become a gym rat and wore out the treadmills and stairsteppers.

jan/feb 2001 bought a trainer and got accustomed to it. went from 235-240# to 190-195# in about four months from gym and trainer work. got the road bike back on the road in jan/feb of this year and didn't look back.

april 2001 first metric (plus hills). may 2001 first century (plus mountains). september 2001 first double metric (plus hills), first ms150 with century on day 1, second double metric. currently going on 4200 miles for the year. 3000 was the year-2001 goal set in december 2000, now i've upped it to 5000 miles for the year. over the winter i'd like to drop to 165-170# through gym, trainer, weight training and running, and counting those calories (and being careful about my pabst blue ribbon intake!).

the 2002 calendar has a couple of challenging mountain centuries on the same weekend (saturday chattanooga, sunday cheaha), two double centuries in a one week span, and a possible Mississippi Valley 24-Hour Challenge (the 12-hour option). i'm also considering a brevet series, but that combined with the others would certainly cause some strain on the homestead. to say that i'm considering some "longer rides" for 2002 will suffice.
re: What started you riding road bikes?MrCelloBoy
Oct 24, 2001 9:50 AM
Reading an account of a Davis Double vet in 1974.
Road bike allowed me freedom to get anywhere in any weather in Oakland, CA at a time when I couldn't afford a car.
I got strong, I got fast, I got self-confidence, and the rest I got in the communal house i lived in during the free-love era!
I almost can't remember NOT riding road bikesTig
Oct 24, 2001 10:22 AM
The training wheels came off at 5 years old on my Schwinn banana seat single speed. I started riding motorcycles as well. If it had 2 wheels, I was on it! At 8 years old I choose my next bike, a single speed road bike, white frame, Bendix coaster brake. Maybe I saw a race on TV, but I just wanted to go fast and that bike was the right one. Riding it put me in another world. Riding it without a helmet almost put me in the hospital! Helmets in the early 70’s? The kids in the neighborhood started drag racing and I always won thanks to the bike. The problem with it was it threw the chain at the end of a sprint and racked me as I fell onto the top tube! Ooowww!

An early 70's front suspension bike came and went, but the white racer remained until it was replaced by a new, blue Schwinn Sierra 10 speed. This bike took me all over the west side of town until I could drive at 16. At 19 and out of the house, I strayed and rode BMX and freestyle, followed by an early bull moose handlebar MTB. MTB was fun, but limited in Houston. I bought a bicycling magazine and felt the draw of a road bike pulling me back (sans the top tube racking!).

A gray 1996 Cannondale 500 with 105 started me back off. Riding with older guys who used to race opened the road world up, filled with good knowledge. After getting hit, a blue and white Cannondale with Chorus and Record took me into many races that later turned into wins. A Tommasini taught me what a road bike should feel like until it died in a crash. Mountain bikes and a track bike came and went, but never replaced the road fever. Why the love of road riding? Words just can't come close. It's a combination of emotions, physical feelings, challenge, the passion of competition, the freedom, and other ingredients too numerous to list. Road riding is the wife, and other “mistress” activities can never take her place.
i like bycicles.colker
Oct 24, 2001 10:58 AM
i like riding them, looking at them, fiddling with them...i like machines.
first i was on mtbs but then came suspension and it ruined the mtb. so i tried a road bike and felt how far and fast i could go on it. the handling, the body/ bike interaction. i got hooked. it was love at first pedal. i guess a road bike is the perfect machine.
I grew up in England...(more than you wanted to know)...MikeC
Oct 24, 2001 11:15 AM
...and during the early-to-mid sixties, public transportation or bikes were the main vehicles available to many people. In our Bedfordshire village, my dad was only the second person on our street to get a car in 1957 (when I was almost 5 years old). When I started "public" school in 1962, I rode the train ten miles each way. Nobody would ever have thought of driving a car for a trip like that!
Anyway, bikes were just part of our culture, but boys would still be boys, so we would also be constantly racing our Sturmey-Archer three-speeds against each other, and looking for ways to make them faster. Then one day a friend of mine showed up with a full-Campy Raleigh racing bike! From that point, we focused on road bikes with the intensity that kids now reserve for In Sync and computer games, and we learned about drilling parts to make them lighter, properly mounting tubulars, and all of the other arcane delights of cycling. And, of course, we had to be inventive, because nobody could even imagine buying a brand-new, built-up, competitive machine.
We moved to the US when I was 17, and I brought my Raleigh with me. People generally looked at it with amusement, because it didn't have a banana seat and big, swept up bars, but I kept riding it. I also played rugby and ran, but as various body parts started wearing out, the bike remained friendly to my body. The Raleigh made way for Motobecanes, Bianchis, and now a Seven Odonata, but each one made me feel twelve again each time I slid down to the drops. Now (at age 49) it's more important than ever, as it helps keep my genetically-high cholestrol in check, and my weight around 150lb.
Cycling is a great friend which will stay with you for a long time. Start early, and get your kids started early!
triathlete who saw the light. nmSurge
Oct 24, 2001 12:05 PM
In '69 I started riding, I am a cyclist not a roadie.MB1
Oct 24, 2001 12:09 PM
Does it matter where or what you ride? Cyclists are a minor fringe group on the edge of accepted behavior.

Then we divide ourselves into smaller subdivisions? I don't think so. Ride your bike brothers and sisters.
Got my first 10 speed...Debby
Oct 24, 2001 12:34 PM
as a freshman in highschool back in the spring of 1973. It was just a clunker but got me hooked on cycling!
re: What started you riding road bikes?DINOSAUR
Oct 24, 2001 12:49 PM
I was in the Marine Corps stationed at NAS Moffett Field in 1962. My parents lived up the road in Palo Alto. I purchased a Bianchi road bike that I rode around when I came home on liberty or leave. I don't know why I started. Perhaps it's just destiny. The Italians have an expression they use for their carefree, happy way of living. I forgot what the word was, my wife's Italian 81 year old aunt told me once. Someday when I finally get that dream bike I'll have it painted on my top tube. What will be, will be. Life's too short to try and figure stuff out...
the word: que seramr_spin
Oct 24, 2001 1:29 PM
Que sera, sera,
Whatever will be, will be;
The future's not ours to see.
Que sera, sera,
What will be, will be.

Ah, Doris Day....
The word she used was "Destino" NMDINOSAUR
Oct 24, 2001 5:45 PM
Doris Day....nice gal, I stopped her for a registration violation outside of Watsonville, middle 80's. She's in real life as she appears on the screen.
Que sera, sera might be too many words to paint on my top tube, but I like that also....
My dad. nmjavagenki
Oct 24, 2001 1:46 PM
re: What started you riding road bikes?Jon
Oct 24, 2001 2:18 PM
I won't bore you all again with the collapsed lung/emphysema story. But after seven years of running,
at the age of 49, I was desperately looking for a way to cross-train while my ever-present running
injuries healed. So I started riding an old used Raleigh which I had bought for my wife for $60.00.
She hated it. I loved it! The feeling of freedom, speed,smoothness hooked me. Then my son-in-
law challenged me to join him in "his sport", since I had cooked him on a marathon. "His sport"
was allegedly road cycling. So I trained for ten weeks and joined him on a century ride down at
Los Olivos, Ca. I ended up "towing" him through that event as well. From then on it has been a
growing passion/obsession. I can't imagine life without riding.
Kelly, Roche (& Magee).eoind
Oct 24, 2001 3:24 PM
What really got me interested in road bikes was watching Sean Kelly & Stephen Roche becoming two of the best in the world, and listening to the enthusiastic commentary of Jimmy Magee. Jimmy's affection to the sport and to these two Irish superstars was infectious.
Unfortunately, (much to my shame), I kind of got disinterested around the time Kelly & Roche retired, and it's only lately I've started to get back into the sport.
my brother-in-lawgregg
Oct 24, 2001 3:30 PM
He's a roadie from Texas and most everything I know about road riding, I learned from him. I've learned the advantages of sew-ups over clinchers and what threading is.

Also, road riding was a natural extension of mtn. biking and in particular, mtn. bike racing. When I was heavy into racing, everyone said, "you need to train on a road bike". So I wanted to be like the real racers and got myself a road bike.

My racing bug didn't last too long, but fortunately my love of riding the open road and enjoying just being outdoors stuck with me.

(oh yeah, and the downhills, too!)
I just always did.look271
Oct 24, 2001 3:58 PM
I have always loved to ride. I rode my bannana-seat Schwinn knock-off on my paper route. Earned enough $$ to buy a baby blue, lugged steel Gitane "English racer" (remember, this was the mid-late 70's) and rode that thing. Alot. Traded it for a Fuji Gran-tourer. Rode it to work, all summer. When I got a real job, sold the bike, bought a Kawasaki crotch-rocket. Still fun, but not the same. About 8 yrs ago some friends of mine got back into cycling. I bought a used C-dale and remembered how great it was to fly over the road under your own power on 2 wheels. Still miss that Gitane....I'll get another one one of these days.
Not having a car as a seniorDoothaBartman
Oct 24, 2001 5:22 PM
I really started out riding back and forth to grade school and middle school. I never really thought that it was riding, I just looked at it as getting to school and back. When I got to highschool it was a few miles farther than middle school so I got my mom or dad to take me and pick me up. Then I got too cool for that and hooked up with friends. Most of the time that was more of a hassle than anything else and I couldn't count on it. So I bought a 300 dollar hybrid, a Univega Rover 2.1, and started riding getting myself to school again. This time it was different. I was the only person riding a bike to school and it set me apart. People found me interesting because of it. I made new friends, (other roadies) saw my legs swell and chicks liked the change in my physique, especially the stretch marks on my thighs that were the result of early morning sprints so I wouldn't be late to Algebra. It filled me up during my teenage angst and made me someone else.
A long, wet, rainy, cold weekend started my present interest ...Humma Hah
Oct 24, 2001 5:37 PM
... I had been riding mostly MTB, but a very wet period, culminating in a soaking weekend, rendered the trails 6" deep of sticky oatmeal mud. I switched to road riding to get my miles up, rediscovered my old love for it, and now do about 90% of my miles on the road.
re: What started you riding road bikes?Dutchy
Oct 24, 2001 5:50 PM
In 93' I had a flatmate that owned a Giant Cadex MTB. I was astonished how light
it was and how many gears it had. I couldn't believe how much bikes had changed in
the 7 years since I had given up my BMX & started driving my car. I went out and bought a Repco MTB
(Aussie version of a Huffy). Six months later, I bought a GT MTB then a Shogun MTB.
After 3 years of riding everywhere, going faster every ride, I finally bought a Giant CFR1 in 96'
Gradually over the years all my friends, my bother and my wife have also bought bikes
after hearing about the riding I do. They are slowly getting bitten by the cycling bug also.

An ex-girlfriend got me into them. Lance got me back on them.nigel
Oct 25, 2001 6:30 AM
When I was just out of high school, the girl I was dating got into cycling, and she picked herself up an Atala (no-longer-made Italian racing bike). I had an old Ross (Ugh!), so we went on little rides together. We both got the racing bug soon after, and I got an Atala as well, having tried hers out and liked it. (And yes--cutesy as it is--hers was red and mine was blue. I picked the blue simply because that shade of blue was my favorite color in the world, NOT because it was a "boy's" color.)

After riding a lot and racing for a few years, I stopped riding for a few years (we'd gone our separate ways at that point, and I put my energies into other things). Last year, when my wife (not--at all--the same girl as previously mentioned) saw an excerpt from Lance's book in a non-cycling magazine, she pointed it out for my interest. I read it, ran out and bought the book, and pumped my tires up on that old Atala for the first time in a LONG time.

I've been putting in the miles (though on a new bike, and with even more passion than previously) ever since....

I'd never really wanted a mountain bike. I thought they looked kind of cool, but the road was where I'd be riding, so a road bike I got.


re: What started you riding road bikes?Len J
Oct 25, 2001 2:51 PM
Feeling of freedom & independance as a young kid running(riding) away from a terrible family life was the first escape I remember. Became addicted.

Ran competitivly through High School. Ran so many hard miles that I startded serious hip & knee damage (20+ miles a day 6 days a week 52 weeks a year for 4 years). Doc told me that if I wanted to walk when I was 40, I better stop running. Almost killed me, until I remembered that feeling on a bike.

re: What started you riding road bikes?Markman
Oct 29, 2001 4:56 AM
Started riding about four years ago at age 40 when my legs started getting a bit purturbed at me for running. Began riding with a friend experiencing the same leg problems caused by running. We pulled out our 8 year old mtbs and began riding. These heavy beasts are alot like SUVs for most people. Designed to go off road but rarely if ever do. So after rinding for 3 years and establishing, for our own benefit, our committment to ride we walked into our local bike shop looking for more efficient bikes so we could go further faster. Both of us were selected road bikes and have never looked back.
GREG LEMONDskip work to ride
Nov 8, 2001 7:57 PM
The only two words that matter as an american rider. Man, myth and legend.
re: What started you riding road bikes?weiwentg
Nov 9, 2001 6:47 PM
I'd intended (and still do intend) do do triathlons - I'd at least like to do a half-Ironman. but to do that, I'd have to get a tri bike (all of which are WAY too expensive) or a road bike. so, I went to the store. there was a red/white Specialized Allez '01 in my size (I'm 5'5", and that was the only bike that fit me). I tried it out. I was well anand truly hooked after travelling less than a kilometer. end of story.