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What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?(56 posts)

What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?Len J
Mar 28, 2002 6:13 AM
My mind wanders when I ride (especially when I'm doing an aerobic ride), so last night I'm halfway thru a 2 hour ride & i got thinking about what it was that attracted me to cycling (as opposed to other sports). What is the combination of attractors that makes me so passionate for this sport?

For me (in no particular order) it's the combination of the following:

1.)Sense of freedom.
2.)Sense of personal pleasure when acheiving a goal
3.)Sense of accomplishment when I can push thru the pain and still go on
4.)Pysicality of it
5.)The equipment, I'm captivated by the beauty in the simplicity of design.
6.)How good I feel at the end of a hard ride.

So what is it about cycling that captivates you?

re: good topic!RayBan
Mar 28, 2002 6:20 AM
I've been on bikes for at least 20 years. You've described a lot of reasons why I love the sport. The Equipment rocks, it's a great way to stay healthy, there are so many differnt types of riding (road, mtb, cyclocross, BMX, fixed gear commuting) that I never get bored. But I would have to say I'm in love with the bike itself, and how its such a beautiful piece of ewquipment that will get you in AWESOME shape if you work at it. PLUS I'm good at it so thats a keeper too.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?RideLots
Mar 28, 2002 6:32 AM
* Fashion
* Pain
* Humiliation of getting dropped
* Sweat
* Changing flats
* Chainring tatoos
* Leg shaving
* Sustained Energy taste
* Greasy fingernails
* Messages
* Eating
* Weight loss
* Plunging down mountains
* Sustaining 30 mph on a very good day
* Sprinting
* Passing 200 miles, and thinking "I could do that again"
* Looks from kids
* New bike stuff
* Gluing on tubulars
* PR's
* Anticipation of new (distance) frontiers
* Time to think
* Doing what people say I can't do
* Not being a couch potato
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?PatM
Mar 28, 2002 6:35 AM
1 - trying to get/stay healthy
2 - its my time, no phone,email,distractions......
3 - accomplishment of personal goals like, I want to do 4 centuries this year or I want to ride 10 miles in 28 minutes.
4 - always have done it since I was a teenager, not that I was any good at it. That was the way I got anywhere. So its just something that I will always do.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?ronvermeeren
Apr 2, 2002 4:30 AM
Sometimes i am in trance when i am on my bike all alone, i love that... you can think but you can also go for a hard ride and feel great after it...
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?hikerryank
Mar 28, 2002 6:44 AM
I have one new one, and one I'm going to copy from before. I love to drool over new bikes. As soon as I think I have my dream bike, another comes along.
The second, which I don't think anyone has mentioned yet, are the friends I've made. There are lots of cool riders out there. Most of my closest friends I've met through riding. It doesn't matter if the drivers are crazy, the trails just plain suck, or it is such a horrible day that you are stuck in a bike shop, if your with your riding buds, all is good.
Did I mention it is fun to drool over a possible new ride?
Good topicDave Hickey
Mar 28, 2002 6:46 AM
1. Technology- I like to tinker with things. I can always find something to work on or upgrade on my bike
2. Leaving the house a 6am on Sunday mornings and riding for 5 hours before a lot of people are even out of bed
3. Being 44 years old and having a 31" waist.
4. Being able to take a nap after a hard ride
5. Setting a new maximum speed
Another reasonDave Hickey
Mar 28, 2002 8:05 AM
Being able to ride at lunch and then looking at my bike all day in my office.
What wheels ya runnin? nmTroyboy
Mar 28, 2002 8:15 AM
What wheels ya runnin? nmDave Hickey
Mar 28, 2002 8:36 AM
My new training wheels. They're the Velocity/Formula Xero wheels from Supergo for $209.00. I bought them on my last trip to LA. The rims are 16 spoke Velocity deep v's laced to Formula hubs. I've got about 200 miles so far. No problems
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?MikeC
Mar 28, 2002 6:53 AM
1. As a kid, it combined personal mobility with the rush that speed offers
2. As a young adult, it provided an image ("he races bikes, you know") and helped satisfy a need for organized competition
3. As a middle-aged adult, it still provides an image ("he rides that thing 100 miles at a time, you know") and helps maintain both mental and physical fitness
4. It's an almost affordable way of being both a gearhead and into aesthetics.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?SteveO
Mar 28, 2002 6:54 AM
what brought me to cycling: The only form of transportation available to a 5 year old.

what keeps me in cycling: uncomplicated, efficient transportation. beats watching 'mtv cribs'
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?CFBlue
Mar 28, 2002 6:55 AM
I started riding again three years ago when i realized instead of being on an exerciser indoors, stewing in my juices, I could be out riding a real bike.

Since that time it has been a series of accomplishmetns, first 5 miles, first ten, first 50, then metric and century.

Then there was keeping up with the faster riders, moving from the last of the pack to the middle and now, occasionally the front

Then the solitude, the occasional sighting of wild turkey or a close encounter with a forest mammals...I've seen wild cats and nearly hit a deer. Seeing hawks and having turkey vultures fly low as I am grinding up a steep hill have added to the mix.

This season I am finding a lot of joy with weekend rides with friends, taking out a blind friend on my tandem or being out on halfbikes with the sighted.

I've got a nice enough bike to be considered a poser by some, certainly the bike is more capable than I, but I am not particularly into the hardware. When something breaks, I replace it with the best, but I am not constantly upgrading. The reliability of the bicycle, not having the need to tinker all the time, is a big appeal to me.

nice topic
I like the way world looks from the bicycle nmcyclopathic
Mar 28, 2002 7:03 AM
Commuting to workteacherguy
Mar 28, 2002 7:05 AM
I started riding with a friend who does triathalons but he started a new business and couldn't ride much any more. I sadly wasn't riding much. I was busy with school (7th grade world studies teacher)and also work after school and on Saturdays and thru the summer.(And try to be a dad) Then I decided to try to commute 14 miles to school. I really enjoyed that so then I used a 17 mile route. The challenges of riding in the winter (northeast Ohio) made it fun too. The look on the kids faces when they see I rode in on 15 degree day. The fact that I save a lot on gas now and I'm in good shape are just a bonus. I love it and I'm glad I found it.
Commuting to workspeedisgood
Mar 29, 2002 7:01 AM
Where are you in NEO? I'm in Lakewood and regularly commute to Westlake on Lake Rd.

re: It can feel so effin' good!dzrider
Mar 28, 2002 7:16 AM
The bike stands up with me on it and moves down the road with me driving it which still seems like a miracle.

Returning to childhood which, at 53, is a long way to go.

The stuff, fitness, and tinkering.

Being part of a group that cuts across the socio-economic strata that confine people in so much of daily living.

Transportation without internal combustion.

The overall feeling of wonder and well-being that comes on a good ride.
Good one Len...bigdave
Mar 28, 2002 7:20 AM
Nice topic...

All of your reasons, plus:

The lack of distractions

The craziness of some group rides when attacks are dropping left and right

Seeing things you might not otherwise see or appreciate in the same way... spotting deer in a field or just off the road in the woods that you would've never seen from a car. Or that wild turkey that popped out of the woods on a very narrow two-lane country road and ran parallel to me (me on one shoulder, him on the other) for about 50 yards before peeling off.

The seemingly unexplainable way that I eat healthier when I'm riding regularly... less junk food, so I am getting that healthy double-whammy. I need to ride to maintain my health.

It keeps me sane. My mental batteries are always recharged after a ride.

That's all for now. :-)

I got tired of sitting around getting stewed.hasenpfeffer
Mar 28, 2002 7:24 AM
so, I hopped over to Spirito's house one spring day to learn how to ride in the Bronx.

(I tell you that is not a good place for a bunny at night-- lots of really weird stuff going down. But thats another story.)

Anyway, met Colin Powell during one of our night rides. He eventually recruited me but Spirito declined. General Powell really liked my style so he decided to send me over to Saudi Arabia to entertain the boys during the Gulf War. I wowed them doing the wheely tricks and juggling easter eggs that Spirito taught me.

Been hooked ever since. While I was over there I fell in love with a camel who converted me into a mtb rider. Donated my road bike to the afghan riders association.
true-i stayed w/ the hare's breadth, you went for a camels humpSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 28, 2002 1:17 PM
;-) Nm
re: RegressionQuack
Mar 28, 2002 7:25 AM
There is one thing that keeps me coming back. While riding, I can close my eyes and still see myself 4 years old on my new Sears bike I got for Christmas, my dad has just let go of the seat, and I am sailing solo without touching the ground, time standing still.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?rrodrigz
Mar 28, 2002 7:29 AM
I'm an old fart(47), had been sorta "fit" all my life (wrestler in HS, runner 6-8 mi/day), but because of an old knee injury was having trouble running. I went to the gym one day with my wife to get on the ergo-rower when I saw this bunch of women (including a pregnant one) getting set up to start a spinning class. Hmmm... I could look at a few babes, spin a little, and at worst not embarrass myself in front of a few women. How bad could it be? I was worse than I could have imagined, painful to the lungs, thighs and ego. However, as I got dropped even by the pregnant woman my only thought was: WHAT A DAMN SHAME TO HAVE WASTED ALL THESE YEARS WITHOUT A BIKE!!!!
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?badabill
Mar 28, 2002 7:52 AM
I think like a lot of people I sat around in my 20s and watched the waist grow. Started out riding to get in shape and it turned into a lifetime passion. For me the freedom of riding is why I ride. I still love those rides where I hop on the bike with no plan and just ride. Being in shape, able to hang with a fast group and the occasional race are great, but the freedom of a long solo ride, be it mountain or road are what keeps me riding.
The Art of CyclingALBikeGuy
Mar 28, 2002 7:56 AM
I always think of one of the taglines used to promote "American Flyers":

'The perfect union between man and machine'

I love working on bikes. If I could no longer ride, I'd still work on them.
Memories of ...Brooks
Mar 28, 2002 7:56 AM
A warm summer's evening, rolling down an empty road in the middle of nowhere. The sound of my bike chain smoothly circling the drivetrain. Late sun giving a golden glow to the rolling hills. A couple of horses on the other side of the fence along the road thinking this is great fun and joining me for a couple of miles. No cares, no worries, enjoying the moment.

Good times, good times. Many wonderful memories and more to be made.

It's freemr_spin
Mar 28, 2002 7:59 AM
I think I like the simplicity more than anything else. Once you own the equipment, cycling is basically free. I can do it when I want, for as long as I want, and it costs me nothing. (We all know that isn't really true, but play along.) I can do it just about anywhere there is a road or a trail. Try that with skiing, diving, football, etc. Perhaps the only sport that has more simplicity is running, but running is far more limited in scope.

From my house, I can ride over the mountains, through redwood groves, and down to the ocean. That's why I keep doing it. Find me a more amazing ride than that.
It keeps us togetherSlipstream
Mar 28, 2002 8:12 AM
My wife and I enjoy riding together even if we have our moments. Whether its 30 degrees and blowing up a gale or a perfect 72 with low humidity or 105 and nasty as can be--we find a mutual satisfaction from just being there.

Once we were in Colorado near a place called St Mary's glacier. (Not sure if they still allow bikes here though.) Parked the bikes and climbed about 150 feet up to a cliff to have our lunch. As we came over the top, there was an eagle hovering no more than 10 feet from us. It continued to hover in the updraft and wasn't the least bit bothered by our presence. After a bit it slowly glided away.
Do you have enought time for this?DINOSAUR
Mar 28, 2002 8:19 AM
Purchased my first road bike when I was in the service in 1962 (a Bianchi). Got back into it in the early 70's as a way to keep fit. Had to drop out in the late 80's due to childcare problems (I played Mr. Mom in the AM). Took up the sport again after I retired in March of '99. I used to alternate between running and cycling, can't run anymore because of a achilles tendon injury.

I like all aspects of cycling. It's fun, it's solitude and freedom or riding with a group of fellow roadies. I love being outside and seeing the seasons change in front of me. I love working on my bike and the equipment end, however I need to purchase a bike stand. When I cycle it's like time stands still. All I'm thinking about when I'm riding is what I am doing. I have no idea what time it is unless I click my computer onto the watch function. The first couple of season was extremely difficult for me. Now it's very exhilirating. I do a lot of climbing and descending there is nothing like the feeling of a high speed descent.
I'm extremetly lucky as I live in the foothills and I have nice places to ride. A lot of back country roads, and motorist on the whole are courteous to cyclist. I picked the place I live with cycling in mind.
I guess the biggest reason is because it's just plain fun!Retirement and cycling go very well together, unless the weather prevents me, then I am not a happy camper. I despise
weathermen/ladies who provide inaccurate forecasts.
Cycling is in my blood...I love Italian bikes and any thing Italian, especially my wife...I also should mention that my LBS is one of the largest in the Sacramento Valley region (Cambria Bicycle Emporium in Auburn). It helps to have a nice LBS close by and to have a owner who takes care of you..he really helped me when it came time to order my new bike. If this sounds like a plug for my LBS, it is! Maybe it's because he is Italian..
The sweet spot.KLM
Mar 28, 2002 9:15 AM
So much of my life has been affected by cycling it would be impossible to think of life without a bicycle. It was my first job in a bike shop that taught me that work can be pleasurable. It was cycling that helped me and my father both loose enough weight that we were no longer considered obese. It was cycling that showed me I could make it to the podium after a bike race. It was on a bicycle that my grandfather was hit by a car and killed before I was ever able to meet him. It was on a community bicycle ride in the rolling foothills that I met the first (and so far only) woman I ever loved.

Although I owe much of my present life to cycling it is not the past that keeps me riding. What keeps me riding is something I call the "sweet spot." The sweet spot is a magical moment when there is a sort of synergetic link between me and the bike and everything else just fades away. You know when you've been there, and it's like no secular experience you've ever had. It's a natural drug that's good for the body and spirit. Sometimes it happens when I take a corner at full speed; sometimes it's when I fly downhill with the wind in my face; sometimes it happens when I'm motoring across the flats and my lungs burn as sweat drips down my legs; sometimes it's there when I'm just spinning along on a sunday afternoon enjoying the new blossoms; sometimes it happens when a good ride is over and all I can think is "WOW!" Every once in a while it happens just by staring at my bicycle.

You nailed it...DINOSAUR
Mar 28, 2002 9:47 AM
Man and machine merge into one...
Well said. Thanks for reminding me! nmLen J
Mar 28, 2002 10:06 AM
moments of beingdotkaye
Mar 28, 2002 2:11 PM
is what Virginia Woolf called this.. those instants when you are fully alive in the present moment, undistracted by memory or anticipation. Though I don't recall Ms W being a cyclist..
been there too....Starliner
Mar 29, 2002 8:10 AM
and for me it's like being in the center of the universe, where everything around is clear as a bell, and where no other place or time matters. Drug highs don't match this experience.
I was grappling wih the same question posed by a friend, who,bill
Mar 28, 2002 9:19 AM
as I hemmed and hawed for an articulate response, began to list, with her very analytical mind, lots of the things already said above ("fitness, outside, gear, freedom, etc., etc."). All I could say was, "Yeah!"
At any given time, one of those, none of those, all off those, some of those, etc. etc.
All I really can say is that, at some point in just about every ride, it hits me.
I just love to ride my friggin bike. Always have.
Why ride a bike?Mike P
Mar 28, 2002 9:40 AM
A lot of friends and co-workers ask why. And that's not a hard question to answer to myself but how do you explain something like that to someone who just refuses to understand? So, good post Len!.

I have only been into riding for 4-5 years now. I started riding a mtb to have something to do on rainy days when I could not climb. Then I had to get a bike to ride on the road to get in better shape to ride the mtb. I started really enjoying my time riding, to the point my climbing gear is not used any more, my mountain bike has dust on it and I don't run much either.

So why do I ride?
1. You go past things a lot faster than when you are running.
2. The anticipation experienced getting ready to ride. You know, during the pre-ride ritual. . . drink water, pump up tires, check this, check that, this sock first. . .
3. I like to ride alone to enjoy the solitude.
4. I like to ride in a group because it sounds really cool, and the dynamics of riding in a pack. Nothing like being part of that machine.
5. Going down fast.
6. Going up, trying to go fast.
7. The occasional, somewhat elusive, feeling of being "in the zone". You know, where your cadence, breathing, heart rate, the bike, the road, and everything in the universe, is propelling you forward.
8. I also like the way I feel after I ride.
9. It's fun to clean the bike too.
10. I don't eat much junk food but I do not have to watch what I eat.
11. A bunch of other things I will remember or think of later.

re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?zero1
Mar 28, 2002 9:47 AM
just being able to get away on some country road by myself with no one around for miles....also just think, i am an adult on a child's toy....ride safe
Ditto. But..........STEELYeyed
Mar 28, 2002 9:49 AM
what I would really like to do is turn other people on to it,most people that I invite to ride always come up with some excuse why they can't............some just give me strange look and say "I could never ride like that". If they only knew.
Mar 28, 2002 11:15 AM
What got me into cycling when I was 14 was the legs. Being a bit overweight back then, everyone of my friends wanted to go in a gym and shape up but me, I wanted to be in great shape and get the cycling legs (as I called them), so I started cycling and it will be 15 years this summer that I began riding.

What kept me there, well someone nailed it by callig it the sweet spot, I call it the zen zone. I have two memorys that stand out, the first, on my road bike, coming back from a 65k, about 10K from home (it was around 8pm), it rained all day, stop around 4PM, I got home from college at 5pm and left around 6:15pm. The road was a bit wet, the sun was breaking trough the clouds but it was setting (twilight), the smell was of the wet forest (trees) around me, I had a song in my head, and bam, right there, I felt like this was the time that I was the most alive, I was one with the surroundings and the bike and I was pushing hard to maintain my avg speed over 39km/hour. I felt so good, I came home with a smile and felt so good.

The other time was on the mountain bike, climbing on a rocky surface, it was in october, gray skys but no rain, pretty cold. It was a hard climb and I was focusing on the terrain in front of me. At one time, I looked up and looked around, pine trees everywhere, a nice view behind me, nobody around and I said to myself, I am so glad to get the chance to enjoy this...this is life.

These two memorys are still with me. And I often get these moments when I'm out riding. Nothing in the world brings me that kind of feeling.

P.S. By the way, I'm still glad 15 years later that I did not go into the gym to bulk up....all of the people I knew that went stopped at some time (sooner than later), and me, I got the cycling legs I wanted ;-)
I like to feel the weather and be all by myself. (nm)tempeteKerouak
Mar 28, 2002 11:55 AM
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?hinaults dog
Mar 28, 2002 12:30 PM
a combination of two things got me started-
brief saturday morning tdf highlights on uk tv's
world of sport- watching Hinault ride out of the bunch to win
on the champs elysee and (ive tried to keep it quiet!)
im afraid im a campagnolo nazi
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?BikeViking
Mar 28, 2002 12:48 PM
Tough question that I will answer from the hip, with hopes of a "proper" answer.

I love pushing myself. Just when I think I can't go anymore, I find out I can. Knowing that helps me through the tough times in life. Knowing that no matter how bad it gets, I can still keep going because my bike told me I could.


honestly?..........Spirito di Finocchio
Mar 28, 2002 12:58 PM
my school bus home used to stop outside this small bike shop just on the edge of town as a part of its route. day in, day out i used to look in but all they had was 10 speeds with funny names and my mentality was still that of a bmx bandit and i was "one" with my kuwahara with skyway tuffs and checkerboard vans. inside me i had a deep teenager's angst feeling that my parents didn't buy me the PK Ripper or Redline out of spite.

till one day i saw hanging in the bike shop window this long sleeve black wool jersey with a hoop of rainbow colors (world champion stripes... but i didn't know that then) around the waist and big white letters on the chest with the words C-O-L-N-A-G-O in large white blocks on the front.

being quite impartial to aesthetic sensibilities and also dying to get laid i thought that would be the coolest thing to wear especially for my nightclub debut - i was on the verge of 14 mind you and just itching to experience the dark, mysterious and adventuresome side of life and the troves of barely dressed women that house them.

i raided my piggy bank, sold my bmx things and worked odd jobs and raised $600 odd as i knew it would be poseurish to have the jersey without being a cyclist. walked into the store and first tried on the jersey and then bought a bike and shoes and shorts with the remaining money. rode out with a mercian with reynolds 501 tubing and ofmega parts that were mostly plastic bodied (shifters and rear derailleur), modolo brakes that didn't, ambrosio rims, turbo saddle, mesh detto pietro's and a pair of shorts that had some dead animal in the crotch but the store guy (a fat chicken slurping 300+ pound serial killer in the making) was adamant that a real chamois was better, more comfortable and what real cyclists wore (how would he know?).

thus a cyclist was born.

roll on 20 or so years, half way accross the world to NYC with all its seedy clubs....

spirito is in a habit of stumbling out of the all the clubs at dawn. he now finds them tedious, boring and a total waste of time. but living in a big city lacks any real challenges, becomes monotous and leaves a single guy with not much to do after dark except "get fly" and chase pertty women.

missing the chance of being able to surf twice a day and rely on the ocean for a challenge, tranquility and drug of choice > SURF. seeds of some form of phsycal activity are germinating in my pickled brain. one morning on the stinking, rat infested streets of the lower eastside, with falafel kebab in hand, and with an equally drunk mate lamenting all the women that got away during the nights missadventures because we ran out of "gear" i saw a group of cyclists fully donned in gear and beautifull bikes zooming off for an early morning spin. the noise of all them freewheels instantly jolted some distant memory and somehwere in my head a very sure "bingo" was heard.

what better way to surf manhattan and the 5 boro's than to kit up and ride a sexy race bike around the streets. outlawish without seemingly appearing that way, a sense of freedom, a chance to feel alive with all the buzzes and thrills that come with it. also at a perfect height to check out all the sexy chicks in the back of yellow cabs before giving them a wink and a smile and riding off down the avenues between canyons of concrete and steel. and of course a chance to wear all those beautifull cycling jersey's without shame in nightclubs.
{picture spirito with vodka in hand at a bar bewildering an 80 pound, coke addled wannabe supermodel with the words " YEAH, im a cyclist BABY"}

the first time i went for a roll thru central park to gets my legs back without being squashed - i was hooked all over again. nobody could wipe the grin off my face and anyone around me thought i had taken too many substances as i truly thought that i had found some secret paradise that nobody else knew about within the picturesque cental park. me and the bike with not a ca
aggghhh .. too long - part 2Spirito di Finocchio
Mar 28, 2002 1:40 PM
- with not a care i the world. my own secret and thrilling pursuit. feeling that i was riding in a different direction to the masses. and feeling more alive than i had felt in a long time. i really felt not a part of the city as i zigg zagged thru its inherent maze and i distinctly felt as other wordly as did charlton heston in the plannet of the apes. the shrill of the freewheel and noise of the wind have now replaced the drunken mates.

and so a cyclist was reborn. and true to my prior convictions i encountered women that thought cycling jersey's were sexy - but they prefer derosa's logo's to that of colnago. and it may pain some to hear but shimano doesnt have as much sex appeal as that written script that spells campagnolo. trust me - i know these things.

but some things remain the same - the best form of post 'anything' feed is a falafel from the turks at the corner of stanton and houston. and i still feel adult angst that the world is conspiring against me coz' i dont have a merak with bora's as well as a fixed gear steel merckx with campy pista high flange track hubs.

spirito (50% cyclist - 51% posuer/fred/martha stewart)

Mar 28, 2002 11:01 PM
i gotta just say you've got some terrific ramblings... you paint pictures with your words that bring back my own memories of the big city in technocolor. watch your health, bud
Spirtio.... Yes, keep writing.tempeteKerouak
Mar 29, 2002 9:01 AM
I know some don't like long posts. And some don't like when one talks too much about oneself. But what do you have to give otherwise?

I also know how easy to be mislead by a too concise expression. But I most of all appreciate when people try to express themselves better. It comes easier to some, but it's the intention that comes through first. Always.

You do it well, and it sounds generous. I appreciated that.
as long as i can ride, i can never have a truly bad dayaet
Mar 28, 2002 1:30 PM
it really provides great perspective adjustment when i think i am having a bad day. after work i can hop on the bike and go hurt. i think about christopher reeve and how he cannot ride. makes me think about how nice the cosmos has been to me.

and it all started because my ankle hurts when i run.
The real reason: Money and money.Elefantino
Mar 28, 2002 2:03 PM
I got into the sport because my neighbor had a more expensive Raleigh than I did and I wanted to prove I could kick his tail. True.

Now, 30-plus years later, I have spent enough on this sport that I'll be darned if I'm going to get out of it now. I have to justify all the outflow. OK, untrue.

Forgive me for waxing sophomoric.

re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?Indiana Rider
Mar 28, 2002 2:22 PM
my son was in high school and was mountain biking. I did it spend time with him. Ofcourse as soon as I got into it he stopped. Five years later I am still riding. Only on the road... my bones don't heal fast enough for off road anymore.
bycicles..i like them. nmcolker
Mar 28, 2002 2:27 PM
Equipment, conditioning, scenery, but mostly:Leisure
Mar 29, 2002 2:01 AM
The serene adrenaline rush of wailing down tight, dark trails, sliding through turns and taking to the air, piling through mud, rocks, and roots in flow, all the while hearing the turbulence around your ears with the crisp smell of pine flowing through the back of you nose.
couldn't run anymore....prestigio
Mar 29, 2002 5:50 AM
due to knee injuries. Doctor gave me a good tip on how to improve my knee strength. Started off with MTBing first, got tired of being drop off by roadies, and now in the midst of getting a racer.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?speedisgood
Mar 29, 2002 7:37 AM
I remember growing up in Wisconsin and having a bike as the only transportation. The bike gave me physical freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted. Now, the bike gives me an emotional and psychological means of escape.

I first started mountain biking in and around Ann Arbor with a classmate. The most incredible experience is bombing down singletrack as fast as you dare to go, zipping around, through, and over trees, rocks, roots, barely maintaining the ability to stay upright, but somehow you do. Then when it's over, you think to yourself, "Man, that was awesome! But I want to go faster tomorrow . . ."

Nowadays, I ride for the same reasons and then some. If I may repeat some of the other well-expressed replies:

1) Adrenalin rush. Taking corners in a pack going 30 MPH, waiting, waiting, waiting for the sprint to the finish, and occassionally winning the sprint.

2) Endorphin rush. The "runner's high", but for cyclists. That feeling of peace and calm after a hard race/ride/hill/interval session.

2.5) The challenge of pushing myself physically, mentally, emotionally through training for racing. How far can I push myself before I break?

3) Still got that freedom! (Yes, I'm single.)

4) The funny looks from people at work when they see me smiling while I walk my bike into work when it's snowing and 30 degrees outside. They just don't get it.

5) Being self-sufficient at keeping the bike running. The PROCESS of maintaining the bike. It's therapeutic in itself to overhaul a hub or fiddle with the derraileurs.

5.5) The coolness of bike parts that are made for one thing: speed. Aero anything. Carbon fiber trinkets. Oh man, I just love technology that's been pushed to the limits to attain a goal (TT bikes, F1 cars, supermodels, etc.)

6) And of course, the comraderie of the brother-/sisterhood of cycling. I've met SO MANY quality people through this sport who have become good friends (and drinking buddies.)

Bottom line: cycling is so much a part of my life, like most of the people on this board, I can't imagine being without it. Being a cyclist helps define who I am.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?scruffyduncan
Mar 29, 2002 11:12 AM
wher do you start?

I bought a road bike so I could get to work quickly, it went from there.

Why do I like it?

Exercise makes you feel good (endorphine high, more eneergy, less gut)

Bikes are so much fun we give then to kids as toys

cyclig isn't a "jock" sport, you can pretend you're all inndividual, mysterious and european.

It combines sport with retail therapy. (Come on, how many people really need anything better than a £200 used bike?)


Moral high ground over motorists

A really geeky technical side that we all love

a chance to see alot of countryside

impressive sounding figures (100 miles sounds a fantastic distance to the uninitiated)

All food tastes great after cyclig, especially in enormous quantities.

You can combine training and commuting.

the shorts make you're cock look big

I'm sure there;s more.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?flyinbowlofmilk
Mar 29, 2002 2:34 PM
For me it was getting back to something I use to do when i was a child. I use to ride my bike up and down dirt roads when I was a child . So when I started back riding it was like remebering how to do something all over again. it was the feeling of being able to have the freedom of not worrying about anyone. As far what keep me cycling I would have to say being different. It the driving force for me. Being ridicule by my peers and being talked about because I am not like the norm. Enjoying the freedom of being so different and yet being accepted by a certian group of people.
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?harry hall
Mar 30, 2002 6:11 PM
What brought me in? Pure chance, that in 8th grade in 1968 the store where I got the flats on my Schwinn Collegiate fixed was the home shop of an ABL of A racing club and I got to reading their scrapbook one day, gazed at the Allegros and Alex Singers of some store employees and club members that were stored there, and got talked into going out on some club rides............a youth was corrupted.
What keeps me in? 31 years of working on bikes for a living, writing about them for over 20 and building custom frames for the last 6--my fascination with cycling culture, the fact that bicycling at it's worst is better than most of the rest of America 2002 at it's best, the cold stark fear of the ultramorbid obesity that most of my blood family is susceptible to, the fact that my wife and I can talk on our tandem anywhere but the I-205 bridge, the views of Silver Star and Mt. Adams from most of northern Clark County, WA, the way that the noise from the chain of my fixed gear reminds me of Mozart at high rpms and Brahms at lower revs, I could go on and on...........................
re: What brought you to (keeps you in) cycling?netso
Apr 2, 2002 4:19 AM
I started riding as a means of cross training for my career as a bodybuilder. It was great for my joints, and was aerobic. I found I really enjoyed it. It was also very relaxing. When my wife started riding and we went to many group rides it also became fun. I have been riding since I was a boy, almost 50 years. The bike is a thing of beauty. My most expensive hobby! I love it!