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what's your story?(40 posts)

what's your story?JS Haiku Shop
May 22, 2003 10:00 AM
the J story:

1998: after 10 years of 1-2 packs per day, i quit smoking. wife quit same day, but was a bit worse off with the smokes than i was. we did it cold turkey. it was nearly a double-homicide, several times. hadn't been active/athletic since high school. decided to spend 1 month of cigarette money on a bike. bought a $320 rigid specialized mtb and rode it straight through summer, fall, winter, and spring (road, trail, whatever).

that next summer, rode the mtb on a local "fun ride": 17 miles of policed city streets at midnight with 500 other pedalers. my first "group" ride, and longest road ride. i was concerned about finishing the whole distance. after the ride realized that i was in fair condition, but would go way faster on this ride next year with a road bike.

from the classifieds on this site, i purchased my first road bike in 1999 (yes folks, i've been doing this road thing for only 4 years). it's pictured below (note the rear brake cable housing, LOL). the tires were dry-rotted and spokes pulling through eyelets on the rear wheel. i'm still using the seatpack you see in this picture--it's my favorite one. that came after i learned (the really really hard way) it was a good idea to carry a spare tube & patch kit.

tangeant: i was on the start of a road ride when that rear finally taco'd. walked back to the car, drove home, got the mtb, went for a trail ride, got stung by something, found out that day i was allergic. nearly lost consciousness several times, went to the ER and was rushed through ahead of people with severed appendages. fun day.

back on topic: my hands and nasty bits were constantly numb on this bike. it fit horribly, and worse than that, i had no idea where to begin working on it. the bike (all bikes were) was a "black box" as far as i was concerned. my only ride partner was a triathlete--a runner who swam and cycled grudgingly, out of necessity. he had no idea either. our idea of a long ride was 25 miles repeating a 7.25-mile out & back highway with a dirty shoulder.

needless to say, i sold this painful hunk of sh!te on eBay (got 70% back) and upgraded my mountain bike. there was a bump in the timeline there where i almost didn't pursue road cycling. now i are one.

Those centelevered drops outs were terrific....sn69
May 22, 2003 10:44 AM
...for our chiropractors. I had one too. Youch.

Great story for both of ya.
Had one too.KG 361
May 22, 2003 3:56 PM
That C-dale 3.0 was one of the reasons al frames had such a bad rep. Real nut-busters! However, one of those served to get me back into cycling after many years of not riding.
Waaaaaayyyy before then......KG 361
May 24, 2003 4:31 PM
July 1974. Rode 40m miles both ways to a state park to camp over for the night and ride home.The bike was a baby blue Gitane with toe clips, Suntour shifters (10 speed), and of course, the ever-so-cool bright orange safetey flag. We had NO IDEA what we were doing but at least none of us were injured on the ride. As I recall, no flats either! I rode up to college then traded a bike for a motorcycle and playing volleyball. Itr wasn't until about 11 yrs ago that I got the above mentioned C-dale. Been riding since. I would be the geek pictured oon the very far right! I was 15.
You want my story?biknben
May 22, 2003 10:46 AM
Age 10 ('82)...I got my first multispeed bike. A blue Ross with that funky Shimano freewheeling crank. My friends are all lusting after Thrusters and such. I have no idea why I got this bike.

Age 14 ('86) my first "Road" bike. A Fuji Palisade. It had, the newly introduced, index shifting and hidden brake cables. Looked real fast.

Age 17 ('89)...Dad wouldn't let me buy a car with money I was saving from my first job. He said I wasn't responsible enough and should save it. I blew it all on a Fuji Roubaix to spite him. Quad butted steel frame, 105 components. Speed is good.

Age 19 ('91)...Got a job at the Fuji warehouse in NJ and worked there for a long summer. Can you say heaven??? Bikes everywhere! Parts Everywhere! My Roubaix was upgraded to Dura Ace immediately. I got a MTB before I left and got hooked. I've been riding consistantly ever since. Raced a couple times on the MTB and found out it really hurts. I thought the Expert racers were Gods. Still used the road bike but not as much.

Age 28...Got married. Had my first child 15 months later. Finaly said enough is enough in regard to my growing wasteline. I dropped 55 pounds in 8 months. The riding became much easier and I began racing MTB regularly.

Age 29...Finally replaced the Fuji road bike and built up a 15lb. Cannondale. I started dabbling in the road racing scene while moving up in the "dirt" scene.

Now @ age 31...I have two kids. I ride more than ever. Joe Friel's training plan is working. I commute by bike to work so that I can see my children before bed time. The 55 pounds are still off. I do a lot of training crits and an occasional road race (Cat 4). I finished 6th in last weekends MTB race in the Expert class. Although, I don't feel Godlike.

Are you still awake??? You asked for it!!!
why you braking.....?nmafrican
May 22, 2003 11:20 AM
Just to position for photo...biknben
May 22, 2003 12:10 PM
Call me a poseur.
dang ...sacheson
May 22, 2003 3:11 PM
... put away those legs! I think Gollum has more of a tan! ;-)
C' was winter...biknben
May 22, 2003 5:37 PM
unfortunately I don't get much of a tan in the summer either. Although I do have a tan line across my thigh now.

forcast is calling for 10 days of dreary weather. There goes my tan lines. Ugh!
Nice tanSpoiler
May 22, 2003 4:32 PM
I keep telling the kids they'll pay the fun-in-the-sun when they get older, but who listens?
Dude, those are the whitest legs I've ever seen!KG 361
May 25, 2003 5:11 AM
Congrats on your placings-just messin' with ya on those gams.....
my storytarwheel
May 22, 2003 10:46 AM
My story: I started riding in college during the 1970s when my 10-speed was my sole transportation for about 4 years. Funny, it was just that -- transportation -- and I never rode for the fun of it or long distances. After college, I started distance running and bought a new road bike for cross-training. It was a Nishiki touring bike and 20 miles was still a long ride to me. During that time I ran a marathon, and found that the cycling cross-training really helped my endurance. In my late 20s, I got married and my wife suggested we ride a cross-state cycle tour sponsored by the bike club in Savannah, where we lived. We started training and a few months later rode about 400 miles from Atlanta to Savannah on BRAG. I was hooked, and bought my first really nice bike, a Celeste Bianchi that I just recently put to pasture (and have for sale on RBR classifieds).

When I was about 35, our daughter was born and the responsibilities of working a stressful job and helping around the house led me to quit running and cycling. Bad mistake. Although I continued to walk, hike and occasionally swim, I quit cycling for about 8 years until I bought a mountain bike. Then, about 3 years ago, I dusted off the old Bianchi one day. I was going to visit my brother, who was really into cycling, and planned to do some riding with him. Ironically, I was the one who had introduced him to cycling when I sold him my old Nishiki. I started riding the Bianchi several times a week and found that I really enjoyed road riding more than mountain biking. I began training for a metric century, and after completing that feeling much better than I expected, I started searching for a new bike. Bought a used (but much newer) Bianchi through the classified ads on RBR. Although I later sold the newer Bianchi frame (aluminum didn't agree with me), I still have all the Ultegra components and other gear from that bike -- now installed on my Merckx Corsa .01. I'm riding now more than I imagined I would -- more than 7000 miles in each of the past 2 years. My main motivation for starting riding again was just to stay in shape and burn calories so I could eat more without gaining weight. But as I've ridden more and more, I've come to enjoy cycling more for its own sake and have been pushing myself to ride longer distances, improve my speed, etc. I also enjoy the "traveling" aspects of riding, and have ridden 3 cross-state cycling tours the past two years with another one planned this fall.
re: what's your story?No_sprint
May 22, 2003 10:54 AM
Back when I was 7 or so (1974) I'd had a Diamondback BMXer. I decided to go racin' at a local track in the valley here (SoCal), I proceeded to do that for a few. I raced for local shops for heavy discounts. I probably had 14 bikes when I quit. Torker, Cook Bros, Haro, etc. Transfer to mid 80s after spending summers on the lake and taking up speed skiing at 10, racin' hardcore til 1988 (retirement forcing crash). I pick up a Bridgestone MB-1 and start riding with the Dels Angels, pre-Norba, a hardcore group, pseudo racin'. College/lawschool forced me out of that and onto an ancient Peugeot for campus transpo. Out of school I pick up first $3000 ride, Quantum Pro. Start ridin' and racin' with local clubs. I do ok for some years. It's been over 9 years now. I took some time off a few years ago and decided to be a far more serious drinker. Quit that and got back into racin' at the bottom. Racin' had got to be much harder in that time off. Riding to the Manhattan race I had a mech. problem leading to a serious crash. It still scares me to this day because a couple days prior , I'm ridin' down Sunset Blvd. with my teammates and others, 60/70, FAST, lots of traffic. If that problem had occured then, we could have had 30 down, 25 dead and a 25 car pileup. I was out during an extended lawsuit and am recently back into racin' again near the bottom. My heart is not in it like before, don't know if it'll ever be again. Bangin' it with the 20 somethings is getting rough, masters is rougher. Ridin' is still good.
re: what's your story?macalu
May 22, 2003 11:04 AM
That Vetta Lite saddle is the worst thing I ever sat on. I took mine off years ago after an 80 mile ride and THREW IT IN THE TRASH.
That's your story and you're sticking to it? nmKristin
May 22, 2003 11:32 AM
My story....Dave Hickey
May 22, 2003 11:37 AM
Screen name: Dave Hickey

1995: 37 years old- diagnosed with testicular cancer. Had left testical removed and went through 6 weeks radiation therapy. I was a heavy drinker and smoker and 195lbs( 5'7"). Being married with two kids, I decided I better make a life style change. I took up speed skating and shed 50 lbs.

1996: got bored with speed skating and bought at Dave Scott IronMan Centurion at a local pawnshop.

1997-1998: I bought a Vitus 979 and other various bikes and rode an average of 150 wk.

1999: Bought my first LOOK bike:-). I sent LOOK/France an email asking where I could buy LOOK jerseys in the US. A customer service guy named Claude emails back asking what size I wore. A week later I received two LOOK jerseys in the mail free of charge. I've been a devoted LOOK customer very since. (LOOK has definately gotten their money back for the two free jerseys!!).

2000-2003 6 LOOK's, 1 Gitane, 1 Peugeot, 1 Cinelli and numerous other projects later, I still love this sport. I've managed to keep my weight off. I weight between 145-150 and ride 150-200 miles/wk. At 45, I'm having more fun now than ever.
That is one nice bike....(lump in throat) nm....bicyclerepairman
May 22, 2003 11:55 AM
Thanks...Dave Hickey
May 22, 2003 12:03 PM
It's still my favorite ride.
But why did you want the LOOK jerseys to begin with?..nmchopper
May 22, 2003 1:21 PM
To be a poser. Why else???.:-)nmDave Hickey
May 22, 2003 1:30 PM
Cool Story. Congrats. (nm)newridr
May 22, 2003 1:16 PM
You asked, here goes it....TNSquared
May 22, 2003 11:39 AM
I'm not sure when exactly, or even why, but at some point in my very early teens I developed an absolute fascination with the TdF. Didn't follow cycling otherwise, but always made a point on July 4 to start scanning the box scores in the local paper for stage results and did so religously every day until the tour ended.

Always in the back of my mind was this little voice "buy a a bike...."

The summer of 1985 I did - a Fuji Team. Bought it specifically to do the local tri, and have no idea what type of frame (I'm guessing steel) or components. I just knew it was "cool." Did several tri's, and then sold the bike that fall during my first year in college. I have always been a runner and was on the cross country and track team in college. They frowned on independent cross training, and I had no time for the bike anyway. But always in the back of my mind was this little voice "buy another another bike....."

Several years ago, watched Paula Newby Frayser reduced to an incoherent, rubbery mass less than 400 yds from the finish of the Hawaii Ironman and decided I absolutely had to do that race. The voice said, "well dummy, you need a bike."

Since then spent alot of time running Boston, Chicago, Big Sur and several other marathons in search of a sub 3:00 hour finish, but still had a bike on my mind. This past winter I started shopping for a road bike and finally purchased one in January and started riding. And reading RBR. Read about brevets and made a mental note to do a brevet series someday. Watched OLN coverage of Paris-Robaix (sp?) and had to pick my jaw up off the carpet I was so stunned and awed.

While I originally bought the bike primarily for triathlons, I find myself viewing cycling more and more as my main athletic activity. I've already entered a local organized metric century in June, and have my eyes on our club's organized century in September. And while it's a stretch at this point, want to do the 3 state/3 mountain thing in Chattanooga next year.

I still intend to do some tri.'s. I don't know if I can realistically qualify for Ironman Hawaii, but it will be fun trying. And I have the ultimate motivation. If I do qualify, my wife has agreed to let me purchase ANY BIKE I WANT! That now has become the real goal. The Ironman is just a means to achieve it.

I think you guys are stuck with me.
My first bike was a Raleigh 3-speed Chopperchopper
May 22, 2003 11:49 AM
I got this when I was living in England at about age 5 or 6. The bike actually made here Stateside with me and is probably buried in some land-fill close to Lompoc CA.

I then rode BMX bikes for the longest time, you know, in the days when you rode to school without a helmet and nobody cared and nobody seemed to get hurt. The BMX was a Redline with yellow mag wheels.

I finally graduated to a Centurion 10-speed which promptly got stolen and is why I'm paranoid even when I stop to get a gatorade while I'm riding.

I've had a series of bikes since, the highlight was a Guerciotti which I sold for some stupid reason and the lowlight was a Softride.

My current ride is a 62cm Colnago MXL.
re: what's your story?MR_GRUMPY
May 22, 2003 12:21 PM
To make a very long story, short.
1980: Quit smoking 12 packs a day(Well, 3 at least), cold turkey.
1981: Joined a local bike club as a geek tourist.(just cut-offs)
1985: Bought a Cannondale R400, and started to ride with a faster crowd.
1985: Started to race citizen races
1989: Started to race USCF races
1995: Bought my first "real"bike, a Bianchi racing department TSX frame with Campy Chorus components
1999: Bought a road race bike (Giant TCR) and a MTN bike (Stumpjumper)
2002: Bought my Gunnar Roadie
2003: Help, I need a bigger house. 4 bikes, 12 wheelsets.
lets see my story..........abicirider
May 22, 2003 12:28 PM
The Ray story of trials and tribulations:

1985 went from playing college football to competing in triathlons got a part time job at Sportech Triathlon Shop In Irvine, CA. Fell in love with the sport of triathlons, got to know alot of top athletes that led to connections.

1987: had known Dan Empfield for a year or so he said he wanted to make swimming wetsuits, so the saga begins in 1987 Dan started Quintana Roo its not like anybody thinks it was just Dan and Myself Ray Still we had a wharehouse in Santa Ana, CA. it was a great experience but I can remeber the phone ringing morning after morning it was the bank telling us we had more business checks that were going to bounce, thats how hard it was to get off the ground.
During my venture with Dan competed in triathlons such as Nice, France world championships (that was a hoot) Ironman Canada, Kauai Loves you triathlon(over at the Islands) and the ever so humbling Worlds toughest up in Lake Tahoe.
I had just graduated college so I really had the best of all worlds great career venture going, traveling, competing good ole times

1990. Opened my own 1500 sq ft retail full service with full bike building repair triathlon shop in Fountain Valley, CA in a new strip center. the name was Tri-Pro Triathlon shop that was the best experience ever I learned more than 8 years of college. First year was the nations leading retailer in sales of Quintana Roo Bikes and wetsuits problem was store triple net rent of $2,850 month and the first gulf war didn't mix. sales plunged I managed to stay aflot moved shop to Coast Highway in Laguna Beach but as the say sh*t happens and it did real fast. Bottom line I loss about $100,000 and filed BK

1993 The end of my retail store, decided I was not a runner and turned to just USCF Racing riding only no swimming or running, I'm too big for a triathlete,
1993 After being born raised and living 30 years in Southern Ca (Costa Mesa) moved here to North Carolina.

Present:Still here in NC not liking it at all gave up my job last couple of months it was killing my training, racing so now I'm a bum helping a friend out that owns a local LBS, no money, but able do do want I love Ride and Race.

By The way I'm 40 divorced no kids by myself so that makes it easier only have to worry about my self

P.S hope you arent to bored big yawn, also if any Rich single woman out there that just want to play sugar mamma and open a LBS with me please respond ASAP (LOL)

Be Safe Out On The Roads !!!!!!
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
Been back at it for 6 yearsPdxMark
May 22, 2003 12:38 PM
I rode single-speed off-brand Stingrays, and even one off-brand 10 speed, until I was 12 or 13. Sometimes through the Northern California hills between towns (Concord-Pittsburg).

Around 17 or so I bought a Nishiki International, probably too big, but a fine lugged bike. I rode that through college for transportation, recreation, and some touring.

Then I was off cycling for about 15 years... Never got too big, but certainly got a bit light on the fitness. A friend suggested we do a one week, 500 mile supported bike trip called CycleOregon. I was game and borrowed an extra bike from another friend. The borrowed bike was rickedy and scarey to ride, so I got a Klien Competition (Shimano 105 parts). A great bike with a glorious paint job. CycleOregon and that Klein got me back into cycling 6 years ago.

Since then, I replaced the Klein with a Litespeed (a friend has the Klein now), got a Cannondale as a commuter/lunchtime rider, and just recently got a fixed gear Bianchi that is far too fun to ride. I keep telling myself that I can spend almost anything on bikes and it will be cheaper than (1) not getting the exercise and (2) using a car for transportation. It's really nice to be back on a bike.
My Story..sctri
May 22, 2003 12:56 PM
Rode bikes as a youngster, and have a few scars to prove it (my first endo at 5...)

I was never an especially coordinated child, ball sports never went well for me. I basically learned that I was generally more sucessful at those sports that require training, than practice.

Became a runner and a competitive swimmer

Raced MTB for a few years in our Highschool league, but never got the tecnical skills necessary to be any good, but I may go back one day...

Got onto the road as training for MTB at 14 or 15, and decided I liked it, this paceline buisness is fun....

Triathlons were next, (bought a cheap giant ocr 3) and I currently racing at a pretty high level. Most of my racing has gone to draft legal format, and very crit.-like at times.(currently on a trek 5200)

Looking towards road racing for training/fun/new challenge, but I dont know if i have what it takes to step up with some of those riders, we'll see...

my first bike..._rt_
May 22, 2003 1:28 PM
from start...^19436@.ef52b53

to finish...^19436@.ef52b53

ok, well that wasn't my very first bike (i got my very first bike when i was 4. it was pink & had a basket on the front....) but it was my first "grown-up" bike.

i rode sporadically, mostly for transportation, through high school and a bit during university. from the time i graduated from university until 1996 (~7 years) i was bikeless. then i got a hybrid (i had to be talked into buying a helmet!) and rode that for 2 years.

i upgraded to a mountain bike (a POS mongoose) in 1998 and got hooked on riding within a month. quickly upgraded the mtb to something that actually fit...

and then took a job at a LBS to support my habit in the fall of 1999 and bought my first road bike the following spring:

and started racing road that summer.

retired the bianchi to the back-up bike/trainer bike last summer and bought a trek 5200. did a little bit more road racing, did my first century, and have continued to ride road (planning at least one maybe 2 centuries for this year), but decided that my real passion lies on the trail:

^^^last weekend, StumpJump mtb race, Spartanburg, SC

however, without my road bike and time training on pavement my goal of moving up to expert after my next race will remain out of reach....besides, there really isn't any feeling like flying down the pavement at 55mph without having to worry about hitting a tree!

You have the best first bike...Dave Hickey
May 22, 2003 1:48 PM
I remember your first restoration post. Great story and pics.
May 23, 2003 4:50 AM
eventually i'll get stared on restoring my 2nd bike. currently it's sitting in my bike room gathering dust!

Pretty standard stuff really...summers in Rangoon.....sn69
May 22, 2003 1:32 PM
OK, that was cheesy.

Misspent Youth: Orange Schwinn Stingray with a maroon banana seat and cards in the spokes. Mom wouldn't let me get a nifty Mongoose BMX bike. "Nice young Jewish boys don't ride bikes in the dirts." No, mom, they ride their Stingrays in the dirt.

Graduated to multiple speeds: Huffy Santa Fe that I actually disassembled down to bare frame when I was about 10. It worked fine after I reassembled it. Naturally, today I'm afraid to be so bold.

1984 Summer Olympics: Got bit hard by the track biking and actually started paying attention to TdF. My father was a collegiate football star, but he never pushed me into sports. I was awkward and uncoordinated. I swam competitively, and had a growing interest in tris. Mostly, though, I rode a black Schwinn Continental, dreaming of riding with the 7-11 team.

1990: College. Same damn Schwinn slowly rusting to death at the University of Florida. I was watching the Bud Light tri series with interest and regularity as well as watching mountain biking on television. Tinker Juarez, Mike Pigg and Rushton Haskell became favorites of mine. I secretly took my "emergency" VISA my parents gave me and bought a Mongoose IBOC mtn. bike with Exage comps. Ha! I finally got that damned Mongoose.

1995: In the Navy in San Diego. The Mongoose, thoroughly abused in and on San Diego County's terrific mountains and trails and one extended trip to Sedona, was stolen. I finally decided to jump full bore into triathlon, and I bought a Cannondale R-700 with those infamous cantelevered dropouts.

1997: Deployment #2 on the Constellation. That bike, a mag trainer, and the first CycleOps video helped keep me sane while steaming cirles in Groundhog Station in the Persian Gulf.

1998: First half IM, first full IM. Fully obsesses by tri-geekiness. Also bought a new mtn bike (Specialized) and did a two man team at 24 Hours of Adrenaline in Laguna Seca. Fell lots, my knees swelled like grapefruit, had a terrific time.

1999: Traded the 'Dale in on a Softride, and promptly got car-doored along PCH. Out for a season re-habing my knee.

2000: Two more full IMs. Lovin' life.

2001: Married. Moved to NOLA. Realized how bike-friendly SD really was. Sold the Softride to a friend in frustration over the lousy biking here.

2002: Bought a Dean road bike, still not riding enough, though. Put slicks on the mtn. bike for additional fun. Still not enough.

Current: I'm goin' back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali.... Just bought an Ibis Spanky frame from this site and I'm gonna build it into a b!tchin' camaro, er...commuter bike.

Biking IS the source, dude.
bought a cruiser at the supermarket.colker
May 22, 2003 4:20 PM
i was buying so much stuff for this new house i was moving in and thought "why not?". it was fun to ride the cruiser.
then, i was out of town on a job and it was raining. nothing else to do and i saw one of the first mountain bike on a bike store window. custom made. black. instant love. bought it. rode it everywhere. it broke. bought another one. got bored with home trail full of downhillers. bought 1st road bike. sold car. now i ride everyday.
Re: Well, J, you asked ... (this is for the newbies)Elefantino
May 22, 2003 7:22 PM
An elephant never forgets:
1973: Buy my first real bike, a Raleigh Super Course MK II, do the tour of Tahoe before it's the Tour of Tahoe.
1976-1988: Take 12 years off for college, marriage, work, stress, kids, many vices.
1989: Bug bites again. Buy a KHS Triathlete Pro.
1990: Cat 5. I suck, but my elbows are dangerous.
1993: Move to Utah. Hills rock.
1995: Oops! Huge tumor discovered on spinal cord. Major surgery, tumor removed (5" long, but benign!), but S2 nerve in right leg is toast. Hills don't rock anymore.
1997: Move to Florida. No hills.
1999: Trek 5200 call is irresitable.
2000: Oops! Step in a hole while coaching soccer, blow out a disk. Surgery, the day before the election. I vote anyway. Lose that one.
2000: A Specialized S-Works M4 calls.
2001: Oops! July 7, tree branch, front wheel, endo, broken neck, central cord syndrome, nose and chin torn off. 100 stitches. Neck surgery. Four months of rehab to regain use of hands and arms.
2001: Oops! Dec. 28, broadsided by a crazed woman in a minivan who thinks red means go. Broken back (two places), same trauma bay, same room in ICU. Four months in a body cast. Two months of rehab.
2002: Specialized goes away. Serotta Atlanta replaces it.
2002: July, finally cleared to ride. Ouch! The 5200 is too stiff for the back. The 5200 is sold.
2003: De Bernardi SLX finds its way to the front door.
2003: Serotta CSi with full Record is listed on RBR for $850. Alertly spotted while surfing the Web, it is sold to me within 20 minutes of the listing. No haggling.
2003, July 3: Leave for Paris and the Tour. From the start until rest day, when we do the Mont Ventoux.
As Roberto Begnini said, "life is beautiful."

E.. you are one tough sob!colker
May 23, 2003 4:53 AM
are you indestructible or what? congratulations: great life force within you bro...
my gosh! you win the stick-to-it-ness awardtarwheel
May 23, 2003 4:57 AM
I'm afraid I would have dropped the sport after the first back surgery -- but 4 of them! You definitely have a lot of guts. Let's hope you've used up your share of bad luck.
wow! impressive..._rt_
May 23, 2003 5:20 AM
maybe you ought to consider body armour?? ;-)

started riding & racing at age 15 in 1983, never quit nmgtx
May 22, 2003 9:02 PM
My favorite subject: ME!!!!BowWow
May 22, 2003 10:37 PM
Learned to ride neighbor's bike (self-taught) at age 6. Neighbor's dad cussed me out for skidding too much - I loved to lay rubber!

First own bike at age 8 - a stingray clone with a three-speed stick shift. Stolen.

Second bike at age 10. A gorgeous metallic green Schwinn Stingray two-speed (kickback to shift). Upgraded to a high sissy bar and box handlebars. Eventually built into a chopper by jamming a couple of 5' long water pipes over the forks and putting a 12" front wheel on it. Died a horrible death under the T-Bird's rear wheels... I was turning 15 and didn't care, I was into cars and dirt bikes by then...

Third bike was a white steel Apollo - my first "10 speed." I was still a bike (motor) freak, working at a motorcycle/boat/bicycle shop in Medicine Hat as a motorcycle wrench. Rode a 1974 Kawasaki 900 Z1. Smoked a lotta ... stuff ... don't remember what happened to that Apollo....

At 23 I moved to Japan for a couple of years, and rode a 60 lb "jessie" bike every day, for miles and miles - fully enclosed chain, rod actuated brakes front and rear (rear was a drum brake), built-in rack. While in Japan I managed to wangle a couple of laps on a keirin bike - fixed gear track bike. The owner instructed me to stay off the bank, but I still turned a couple of blistering laps. The racer commented that he was glad I didn't ride professionally... didn't mean a thing to me. Still not "bitten" by the biking bug...

Over the ensuing years I moved back to Canada, acquired a couple of junkyard bikes (one 25" Apollo I still have...), got married, had 8 kids, gained some weight... then one day 4 years ago I stuck my arm in a Wal-Mart blood pressure machine and got the wake-up call that changed my life. The next day I went into the local sporting goods/bike shop and walked out with a used Scott rigid MTB.

First rides took me 30 minutes to ride three miles. I gradually stretched them out, eventually getting out to four miles, then five. I reported my success to the shop owner, who had been riding the same course but going much further - 16 miles in about 70 minutes. So the next day I gave it a try, and managed 1:05! That fall I got a deal on a year-old NOS Norco Storm MTB, dropped some Tioga City Slickers on a spare wheelset, and started seriously dropping time. The shop owner and I started riding together the next spring (we're starting our third year riding together), learning how to draft, and achieved our goal of doing our 22.8km round trip training ride in under 45 minutes. Last year my riding bud managed 39:55, while my PB on the MTB was 41:45.

Last winter I picked up a Centurion from a lady for free, tossed on my best (only!) scrounged road wheelset (27" rear, 700c front), tuned it up, and this spring hit the road on a "true" (well, this may be debatable, but it rides nice and feels faster than the MTB!)road bike. Without question, the bug has bitten!

As Styleman once said, "there is no road biking or mountain biking, there is just biking!"

What a long strange trip it's been........Len J
May 23, 2003 8:16 AM
and continues to be.

-Grew up in a ghetto in Philadelphia. Given my first bike at 10 (Hand me down from a cousin of course) Discovered what freedom was.

-1973 Serious Marathon runner in high school (Running away from a terrible home life)who discovers that if he keeps running 20 miles a day he will not be able to walk unaided when he is 40. Decides he better find another outlet for all his rage, remembers the frredom of riding. Scrimps & saves to buy a used Schwinn Varsity. Not bad for less than $100. First ride is a 90 miler to the Jersey shore for senior week (High school) (Yea I never do anything half way). Ride bike to party, come out, Bike is gone.

-1973 Replace with Peugot which I use for 4 years to get back & forth to College. Home life still sucks, riding is the only place I'm free.

- 1977 1987 Graduation, Job Marriage, 4 kids, 3 relocations with work. No time to ride. Still trying to take care of everybody else, lose me.

- 1987 wife asks for a divorce, Company shuts down division & I lose job, Alone in Memphis with no job, visitation only with my kids, no money and little hope. Life finally forced me to confront my own sh%% Hardest thing I've ever done, Best thing I've ever done. Learned I could survive & had survived things that most people couldn't. Part of my recovery was buying a bike. Brand new Bianci. Rode it and my past into the ground for 3 years.

- 1991/1995 relocation, remarriage, dealing with my fathers cancer (He was the center of the bad home life) stopped riding focused on family/job and golf.

- 1996 Remembered riding bought a used Peugot and began "dabbling" again.

-2000 Bought a Lemond Buenos Aired & started riding regular again. 3,000 miles in 2000

-2001 Wife bought me a Trek 5,500. Did the Alaska Aids ride, 5,000 miles for the year.

-2002 Decided to train using Friel. Never stronger. By the middle of Sept. had 8,200 miles in. 9/21 OPPs T-Boned a car at 20+ MPH coming out of a driveway, Fracture of Back, 2 ribs and collarbone. First time in my life I've ever realized my own mortality---Humbled beyond words.

-Dec 21 2002. First ride since accident, more fearful than I exopected. 15 miles, 11 mph, death grip on bars especially when I see cars backing out of driveways.

Dec 23. 2002 took delivery of my "mid-life crisis" bike 2003 Serotta Legend Ti. I've always lusted after a serotta & thanks to the Insurance co, I finally have one.

-Today. Riding regular, about 85 % of where I was prior to the accident. Grateful for every hour on the bike.

It still tastes like freedom.

Another long-winded storymickey-mac
May 24, 2003 5:45 PM
I didn't start out chubby, but at 16 I got a job at an ice cream shop to get together enough money to buy a car. I got to eat all the free ice cream I wanted while working and took her full advantage of the situation. About the same time I discovered beer and would spend days eating ice cream and nights drinking beer.

Although the job at the ice cream shop lasted only until I got the car, my bike never again saw the light of day after getting my first car. I also continued on a steady diet of beer, cheeseburgers, and pizza. By the time I hit 20, I was a little over 200 pounds, with a substantial portion of it being fat.

One day, I decided that I didn't want to end up a fat old man at 25. A friend of mine was a cyclist and went used bike shopping with me. I picked up a used Italvega with Nuovo Record components and took a flat 10 mile ride. I got home exhausted, hit the couch, and slept for three hours. However, I kept it up and upgraded to an SR Maxima with Suntour Superbe. I got the bug in a big way. About a year later, I got a brand-spaking-new Medici Pro Strada with all Campy SR. It was a thing of beauty and a pleasure to ride.

In the dark days of the late 80s, I sold the Medici and bought a mountain bike, which was my only ride. I got some good use out of it, but it just didn't give me that road bike experience. In '89, I bought a Raleigh road bike that helped me stay sane through the remainder of law school and the bar exam.

I grew up in Orange County, CA. In '93, I move to L.A. (Wilshire and Fairfax to be specific), which isn't exactly the cycling haven of the west coast. Despite the occasional ride on the Raleigh, I was for the most part intimidated off the bike by LA traffic until '95.

By summer of '95 I had ballooned up again (now it was red wine and dinners at Italian restaurants) and bought a used Bertin, which convinced me to jump in again. In early '96, I bought a Torelli EL-OS with Chorus and started up with a vengeance. Being a long time rider solo or with just a few friends, I joined my first club in '96 and did a few races in '97 just before my daughter was born.

In '98 we move to an other area in LA, which put the group rides out of the picture. With that move and another kids, my rides since have been 99% solo and with a departure time that is almost always before the sun comes up. In '01, I got my Strong Foco with Chorus and absolutely love the bike.

After 20 years, I enjoy cycling more than ever and am in much better shape than I was 20 years ago (about 175 instead of 200+). I hate to think where I'd be if I hadn't discovered cyling. Nothing else has ever caught me the way it did. I've loved the technological innovations, the racers who have come and gone, the beautiful rides I've done, and the great people I've met. I just finished washing my bike and after all these years still find myself standing there staring at it in amazement.