What got you into cycling?

greasedscotsman Posts: 6,962
edited June 2009 in The bottom bracket
2nd year of secondary school, our French teacher used to show us the previous days stage from the Tour that he'd taped off Channel Four. For some reason we had done our exams and still had to go in for a few extra days before the summer holidays, so he'd fill the leasons with the TdF! Have vauge memories of Hinault and Lemond in big sunglasses!

Now "several" years later, been to see the Tour, Giro, Roubaix even the Tour of California, I have five bikes and far too much of lycra!

Thanks Mr. Jones!

So what about everyone else, what first got you into whatever type of cycling you do?


  • finchy
    finchy Posts: 6,686
    My parents bought me a racer bike when I was 8. Everyone else had mountain bikes, so I just enjoyed being the fastest boy in the village.
  • bobtbuilder
    bobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    I grew up in a small village 5 miles from the nearest town, and where most of my friends lived. So I got a bike, and everything went from there.
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Had a "racer" in my early teens (5 speed raleigh, £40 in 1979 if I remember rightly), relished the sense of freedom (6 miles or so into the city was suddenly nothing), did some touring - how many kids these days get to do multi-day, 100s-of-miles tours on their own but for their 14 year-old peers?
    Learned to drive & the old bike rusted away, then when mountain bikes came along I had the occasional outing on borrowed or hired ones, finally bought my own, loved the off road stuff.
    The thought started growing on me: home to work was 20 miles, those serious road cycling people did that sort of thing didn't they? Gave it a try one day (1:45 + cake stop), that wasn't so bad then, tried it again, and again... After a while I did some mods to the bike to make it go faster, but in the end I had to get a real road bike, now the commute is commonplace, I've done the Etape C twice (been there, done that, got the punctures), and enjoyed some great days out on the big scottish routes (bealach, glen quaich, all those beautiful highland roads).
    So I guess that I am now a fully paid up roadie. On a good day I can even wear lycra without cringeing.
    But I will never shave my legs.
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    I was a fitness freak when I was 13 and did 30 mins a day on my racer. Always loved bikes as a kid but Mountain Bikes (and living in the Lakes) really opened my eyes to the world of cycling at the age of sixteen. MTBing meant I was spending most of the weekend on a bike with my mates. The Tour coverage on channel 4 helped me develop an interest in road cycling which came later.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Porgy
    Porgy Posts: 4,525
    I started - about 7 or 8 - becasue all my mates were on bikes and it was fun just to mess about on bikes. Then I became interested in going further and further on the bike just for fun. Being able to get to the coast or onto Dartmoor at weekends or during school holidays kept my interest until i went to Uni in London.

    Then I stopped cycling for a year - but once I was in London cycling was my cheap and reliable means of transport as well as a way of escaping at the weekend - so I bought a good bike and found out i was hooked.
  • teagar
    teagar Posts: 2,100
    Watched the '98 tour whilst staying and my Dutch Grandparents when I was 10. First real memory of me enjoying it was Pantani racing up the Galibier and Les-Deux-Alpes with Ulrich cycling with what my Grandad kept calling (translated) "porridge legs" i.e. he was spent. Got me into pro-cycling.

    That made me interested in cycling - ended up doing a tour of cornwall on mtbs with a few friends at 16, which got me hooked. (Coming from Cambrige we planned to do an "easy" 60 miles a day, and carried about 10kg too much of stuff).

    Then when I worked out I had a much lower propensity to punch people after riding my bike, I've never looked back.

    Girlfriend bought me a replica pantani '98 jersey which was pretty cool of her. Always wear that when I go out to the hills in the wet.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • MrChuck
    MrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Bit like Bobtbuilder, grew up in a pretty small village 6-7 miles from the nearest town, and my family didn't have a car. Started out as just a means of getting about and now it's 2nd nature and I've never owned a car.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Cliche time. I got testicular cancer 3 and a bit years ago, my mate bought me the first Lance Armstrong book to read whilst having chemo. Then went to France on holiday with my family after I finished treatments and went to the local hypermarket in Compiegne on a sunday morning to find the whole car park full of roadies ready for their sunday run. Seeing everyone getting out on the same agenda just appealed to me, so feeling adrift after being ill I bought a road bike and am now obsessed, much to the amusement and bewilderment of my wife. :)
  • rhext
    rhext Posts: 1,639
    Pure necessity. When I was a kid it represented freedom. It was also a lot of fun and that stuck!

    35 years on, it still provides a sense of freedom which I simply can't get from any other mode of transport. Even if I'm not enjoying the physical cycling, I'm still moving, I'm not stuck because of other people and there's hardly ever any squabbling in the back seat!
  • White Line
    White Line Posts: 887
    I always loved to mess around on my MTB as a kid. Then when I was getting 'too old for bikes' I let it rust away in the garden.

    Years later, when I started uni, my trip on the bus was twice as long, but took three times as long. I used to watch all the cyclists go by, remembering how much I used to love cycling. Then when I got to uni there were a load of bikes outside (some secured awfully I may add). Then I decided to buy a bike. :D

    Much much better now. Get places quicker and a lot more reliable.
  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    One of my mates (but not a native speaker) told me that cycling to work on a Summer's morning was "erotic". :shock:

    Had to give it a go, really! 8)

    BTW it isn't and he meant to say "exotic". :(

    Fast and Bulbous
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • jos2thehua
    jos2thehua Posts: 76
    I had always been into MTB around my house and through out my land, but I think what got me interested in the road biking aspect of it all was triathlons. I remember I wanted to do something that combined two of my favorite sports and that was running and cycling, but also a little swimming on the side. However, I have yet to actually participate in a triathlon. I have participated in a TT though, but the tri is still on the back burner. :oops:
  • rhext
    rhext Posts: 1,639
    pneumatic wrote:
    One of my mates (but not a native speaker) told me that cycling to work on a Summer's morning was "erotic". :shock:

    Well it's certainly neither exotic nor erotic around Derby. That may not be true everywhere, however. Some posters refer to the phenomenon of fit lady cyclists wearing lycra.....which I'm half-convinced is actually daydreaming, but you never know!
  • Stone Glider
    Stone Glider Posts: 1,227
    I did not learn to ride a bike until I was about 13. I hated it, all my friends were faster than me and my dad had bought me a dark green Raliegh "all steel" town bike with chain case, dynamo and sturmey archer three speed. I hated it. Eventually got a Rotrax racer, but was still the slowest. It went into the hedge as soon as i could buy my first motorbike!

    Nearly fifty years later, i needed to add some excercise element to the weight-loss regime (stalled) that my wife and I were trying. Couldn't run, too heavy and dodgy knees, rowing would need too much social organisation; saw an advert. for BOGOF bike in sunday supplement (£100 plus postage). Then had a real stroke of luck, a friend "fettled" the bikes and with his encouraging words, I wobbled away.

    After some weeks I suddenly realised how much I was enjoying this (the wife hated the idea that she might fall and gave up) and that was that. Three years later, still wobbling but have done a couple of 100k+ rides his year and looking forward to more. Ain't it grand? :D
    The older I get the faster I was
  • shockedsoshocked
    shockedsoshocked Posts: 4,021
    I was 17 stone and there wasn't much happening with the ladies as a result.

    I'm a bad person.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • freehub
    freehub Posts: 4,257
    I wanted to get healthy as I was unhealthy at the time as a result of 6 weeks none stop on the PC playing MTA Vice City and eating pasta bakes at 9PM crammed with cheese then eating pancakes crammed with cheese.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I rode around on my bike as a kid but the teenage years introduced me to other pursuits.

    I always watched the cycling on the telly (which basically consisted of the olympics and the TdF) but never got a road bike.

    When I got sky I started watching more races and triathlons. At the same time I realised I was a right fat whacker and needed to do something. Also at about the same time I dealt with an accident where a road cyclist had been knocked off his bike on the A6 at Stockport (the Blossoms junction if anyone knows it). I interviewed and reported the driver for due care and made my way to hospital to check out the cheery cyclist who said he was ok in the back of the ambulance. I got a shock at hospital as it he had been taken into resus with a punctured lung, 6 broken ribs and a broken collar bone.

    Anyway, I kept in contact with the chap over the next few weeks as he recovered. Each time I saw him he enthused about his bikes and cycling in general. I was amazed at his determination to get back on the bike and ride. He was about 65. His enthusiasm rubbed off on me and I bought a road bike.

    The rest of the story is on my 1st blog in my signature...

    I started getting a bit fitter then but it was mostly weights for the upper body due to the nature of the job, lots of lumbering heavy door opening equipment about and bashing doors down. All good fun! I occasionally rode my bike in to work but the journey was horrible, travelling on a bike through Longsight and Levenshulme late at night was literally dicing with death, the traffic lights were very much a rough guide for the drivers of the parish and as for the speed limit, well…

    In July 2007 I got promoted after much hard work and became a Sergeant at Wythenshawe. This meant cycling to work was very much on the cards. It also tied in with the Tour de France starting. One of the most inspirational things I saw was Fabian Cancellara winning stage 3 to Compiegne whilst in Yellow. It got me really excited.

    That was that, I was hooked. I had started cycling properly in July 2007, I was 18 stone, with no idea what I was doing but by jove, I was going to have fun doing it!
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    I got into cycling when I hung up my football boots for the last time. Initially MTB but after about two years I realised the true way was one of tarmac.

    I fell out with it for a time after a collision with a car, but the need to get fit again inspired me to climb back on the bike, well, that and Mrs tank keep telling me I was a fat b@st@rd helped a bit. I've not looked back since. Just got to get my hip operation out the way now. :(

    I still do a bit of off roading but only to "break it up a bit".
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • JC.152
    JC.152 Posts: 645
    i messed about on mountain bikes at the farm when i wass little, my brother had done the Rourkie cat and fiddle a couple of times so i wanted to as well and did it after 2 weeks of cycling on the road 8)

    Bettinis Lombady 07 was probly the first bike race on TV I paid attention to
  • Eau Rouge
    Eau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    As a kid it was the heyday of messers Kelly and Roche that got my attention. My dad had been a cyclist, but work and kids had seen him give it up, but he still watched the Tour when he could, and so so did I. I had a 5-speed racer that I used take off into the countryside and explore every bit of tarmac I could find.
    It all ended when I got a moped and later a car.

    Fast forward 7 or 8 years to last summer when I moved to within 3 miles of work. Driving the car 3 miles in and out of work was not the sort of thing that was going to prolong it's 11 year life. Then the funniest thing happened...

    I was at home on holidays, and the Tour of Ireland was on. With nothing better to do on a nice day I went along to the top of Patricks Hill to watch, and all the memories of Kelly and Roche and my own cycling started to return. When I watched the highlights later that evening to see Pinotti launch the winning attack on the very same country lane where a 10 year old me had pretended to be the next Sean Kelly, I knew what to do.
    When I got back after the holidays I dug out an ancient old bike (since replaced by shiney carbon) and haven't look back since.
  • DomPro
    DomPro Posts: 321
    I would like to recite some nostalgic story from my childhood about how cycling became a lifelong passion, but the truth is my first road bike was entirely an impulse purchase. I couldn't resist a set of drop bars and shiny black framework, helped by a good sales pitch from the shop assistant. Possibly one of the best purchases I have ever made :) Things went on from there really.
    Shazam !!
  • mattbass789
    mattbass789 Posts: 355
    What got me into cycling?

    Stuff like this.... http://www.bikeradar.com/road/forums/vi ... start=2360
    “If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”

  • geoff_ss
    geoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    I cycled as a youngster but once I was 16 motorcycles were my passion until I started dinghy racing in the early 70s. You need to be fit to race small boats but it doesn't get you fit so we started cycling and caught the bug. We were in our late 30s. We've had trikes and tandems as well as singles; I got so obsessed I ended up editing the Tandem Club magazine for a while.

    Ironically it was cycling that stopped me sailing after an incident with a suicidal cat put me over the handlebars and into hospital totally paralysed due to spinal shock. That was in 1990 when I was 50 and I've mostly recovered but really serious long distance cycling is now a thing of the past. So now I'm lucky if I can do 70/80 miles in a day with lots of stops but I still enjoy it.

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • Roastie
    Roastie Posts: 1,968
    I've always liked moving quickly - so I've always loved running, cycling, cars, ...
  • nasahapley
    nasahapley Posts: 717
    Lance Armstrong

    (*runs away from baying horde*)
  • When I was a kid, Mick Ives opened a cycle shop down the road from my parent's house. And thence it began...
    It doesn't get any easier, but I don't appear to be getting any faster.
  • richk
    richk Posts: 564
    My doc told me to get some exercise & lose some weight.
    There is no secret ingredient...
  • alanmcn1
    alanmcn1 Posts: 531
    1987........Stephen Roche........La Plagne..........Jeff Bernard in multi-coloured jersey sailing up Mont Ventoux.............say no more
    Robert Millar for knighthood
  • Mark Alexander
    Mark Alexander Posts: 2,277
    I started going out around the lanes to get some space at a difficult time.
    Just found myself going further and therapeutic. I then bought a road bike.... and I've been broke ever since 8) . And I love it!! :D

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • NGale
    NGale Posts: 1,866
    Again like many people it was the TdF that got me into cycling about three years back now.

    I had always enjoyed cycling as a recreational thing before hand, but the TdF got me into the sport and the seriousness of it.

    I still don't have a pure road bike yet, but that will come, possibly by the end of the year, but the flat bar road bike I have at the moment is great fun and is getting me some decent cycling and letting me enjoy it.
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men