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What got you into cycling?



  • HonestAlHonestAl Posts: 406
    A mate told me that he was going to do L2B. Having lost a load of weight over the previous year (about 6 stone!) I thought getting out on a bike might make an occasional change to spending the hour a day I'd religiously done in the garage on my cross trainer. Bought a Trek XO2 so I could go off road a bit. Went off road a bit but found hauling my as* along the roads dressed like spiderman was actually pretty enjoyable, so wanted something else a bit more suited to road riding alone, then.... hooked...
    "The only absolute statement is that everything is relative" - anon
  • davelakersdavelakers Posts: 762
    A combination of knee and back injuries forced me to hang up my football boots after a long career of hoofing round park pitches on a Saturday and Sunday. The resulting weight gain (Ive not been slim for years anyway) and trip to the doctors about high blood pressure gave me a kick up the jacksie to get out and exercise again. I remembered the days as a kid when I used to take myself out on my old Raleigh racing for hours on end. I bought a Halfords hybrid for about £150, which at the time I thought was a hell of a lot of money. After a few months of cycling, up to 10 miles a night my company introduced the cycle to work scheme and that was that. Quality road bikes within my budget that wouldnt upset the wife. The rest is history and Ive never looked back.

    I never ever thought I would get the same buzz that I got from football, but the enjoyment I get from cycling is on another level, its hard to explain to non cyclists!!
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    edited May 2009
    One person I suppose got me interested in cycling more than anyone/thing. ... podium.jpg

    Every time I see him I think of just what a great sport cycling is.

    Like others just started riding around with the other kids. Got more serious when a mate was knocked off my cheapo racer and the local LBS got me a good quote for the insurance company and with the money I bought a Dawes Jaguar. This led me into TTing as a junior. Sadly a crash in a race caused me to rupture my achilies tendons(thanks to toe clips and straps) and a 20 year absence from cycing followed. The need to keep fit and loose some weight has brought me back and I'm loving every minute of it.
  • 1983 Tour de France, Fignon, Millar et al. You used to get a half hour summary on World Of Sport with Dickie Davies on a saturday afternoon. I saved hard from my saturday job ( I was 13) and bought a Holdsworth in time for the following spring. One of my first big rides was to go and see the pro debut of some bloke called Malcom Elliott who had just signed for Raleigh-Weinnmann and was in this race somewhere in North Kent.
    Let's close our eyes and see what happens
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    Mine is a lot closer to home as it was seeing my big brother riding a round on racers with cow horn handle bars pulling wheelies and going off with his friend all day on they bikes.

    I did not get a bike for years ( not that I did not bug my parents for one :roll: ) but my first bike I got for my 11th or 12th birthday was a Raleigh Arena with a hard plastic seat.

    Use to ride almost every were and was happy too but made the mistake of lending it to a friend to get to work :roll: that, when he got a pun**re gave it back for me to fix.

    Wish I had done as I found it sometime later behind his shed with rust all over it :(

    Later got in to riding mounting bikes but always looked at road bikes and now after doing London to Cambridge last year on my hybrid, I got a second hand road bike and hope to do it again this year on it.
    Just need to get out more :wink:
    Joys of working for yourself.
  • pedylanpedylan Posts: 768
    15 -18 years old. Had a weekend and school holidays job on a dairy farm. Cycled 8 miles there and 8 miles back winter and summer, dark mornings and dark nights, rain, sun or snow. Sometimes starting at 7am and finishing at 10pm when it was hay time. Had a Raleigh hub gear drop bar bike that was repaired and welded umpteen times.

    There's probably laws against those sort of employment practices now :)

    But 10 years ago when I wanted to exercise and get fit, it all came back to me and a bike was the natural choice.
    Where the neon madmen climb
  • muffin topmuffin top Posts: 78
    Cycling home from the swimming pool (about 1 mile) one Sunday morning, I decided not to turn left into my road but rather to carry on a bit. Half a mile further on, at the top of a small rise, I decided I'd ride a 5-mile loop. While on this loop I saw a sign to a village 2 miles away, up a hill.

    The following week I took the country road, and kept on going. I was having such a good time exploring country lanes that within a few weeks I dropped the swimming to spend more time on the bike.

    I started out on a steel frame 5-speed Raleigh (that I got age 12), in ordinary shoes and wearing a fleece - it didn't matter, I was loving it! I eventually ended up at my LBS and asked them to sell me a road bike.
    I should get out more (on the bike)
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    As most people will say, I loved my bike as a kid. I ended up racing BMX when I was about 12 or 13 after having a go on a BMX track at Skegness and loving the jumps. At around 15 or 16 I stopped as I was far too into badminton and football.

    Then a few years ago I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. I was told that exercise would be a huge help along with other treatments I was undergoing, but due to numerous injuries I couldn't run or play football again so I was advised to buy a bike. Got a Reebok MTB from JJB, soon found it wasn't up to much so bought a Gary Fisher Marlin from Evans in MK. That quite quickly got upgraded and eventually I went back into working life at my local bike shop. After a couple of years MTBing (and various upgrades and new bikes) I bought my shiny new road bike a few weeks back and haven't touched the MTB since
  • 18921892 Posts: 1,690
    My big fat belly :lol:
    Justice for the 96
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780

    all keen, and especially in the case of uncle Dennis, talented bikers. we all rode on weekends etc and it was the method of transport to school and anything else we needed to do. I used to ride to work during university out of term jobs (the agency never quite believed that a 10 mile distance would be commutable.. but I did)

    I had a few bikes nicked during university in Salford so only recently started commuting on bikee again, wish I'd have stuck at it... hey no stopping me now !
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    I was a deprived child :( My brothers had 2nd hand bikes but I, as a girl, didn't get one. Forgot about it for years til I hit my 40s and started going to funerals, then decided to start doing things I wanted to do. Bought my first bike (way too big, advised wrongly) at 42, had lessons, lost my nerve so bike became house furniture for a year or two. Finally started commuting to work last September, changed bike to smaller one in February and am now hooked :lol:

    Still have a way to go but aiming to get second bike later in the year, just don't ask me to fix a puncture or clean the chain :oops:
  • tebbittebbit Posts: 604
    With everybody on the transport, but I saw the Water Carrier documentary on the BBC when I was about six, probably in the mid seventies and was amazed, races which lasted three weeks, the pathos etc. Totally lost interest in football and became a cycling fan.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    Cafewanda wrote:
    I was a deprived child :( My brothers had 2nd hand bikes but I, as a girl, didn't get one. Forgot about it for years til I hit my 40s and started going to funerals, then decided to start doing things I wanted to do. Bought my first bike (way too big, advised wrongly) at 42, had lessons, lost my nerve so bike became house furniture for a year or two. Finally started commuting to work last September, changed bike to smaller one in February and am now hooked :lol:

    Still have a way to go but aiming to get second bike later in the year, just don't ask me to fix a puncture or clean the chain :oops:

    Nice story but you really should learn to mend a puncture or, at least, replace on inner tube after finding what caused the puncture in the first place. My 68 year old wife does most of her own maintenance and she needs to be able to effect road-side repairs when she rides her Audax events. She's a tough old bird but then ... look who she's married to :)

    Tell me about the funerals. It gets worse I'm afraid and, sadly, some of them are cyclists.

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Grew up on the edge of industrial West Yorkshire, not much money. First bike was recued from the tip and restored for pennies. 3 speed sturmey archer gears. Weighed a ton but it was my only means of getting about. Inspired by my best friend from junior school who in turn was inspired by his uncle who was an indefatigable cycle tourist, we'd often be out all day and clock up 80-100 miles. First year at secondary school our English master organised a week long cycling tour of the Wye valley, by this time on a second hand 5 speed racer. Marvellous stuff. More second hand purchases and bike cannibalisation and I spent the next 15 yrs on a raleigh 10 speed with some lightweight alloy upgrades and a lovely Brooks B17. Saw me through school, college and into my first job. Lots of hostelling, day long rides and a couple of L2B's.

    Then lots of stuff happened; in 1981 I bought my first car, 1982 some swine nicked the bike. Of course it wasn't insured. 1986 bought a house, 1989 first child etc etc. Suddenly found myself teaching our 2 boys to ride, and realising how much I missed it. Bought a £60 "mountain bike" in a box and spent 2 years watching it disintegrate while I rode forest trails with the boys and regained some fitness. Next I bought a proper mtb which is still going strong 10 years on, but on reaching 50 I decided I could no longer cope with the off-road stuff. Bought my first ever brand new road bike last year, and have been enjoying it ever since.

    Like some other posters, I suffer from recurrent bouts of depression, and cycling is bloody marvellous therapy. It's also given both our sons a taste for an active lifestyle, which is no bad thing, and I noticed that since having a go on my new bike with clipless pedals our eldest has become determined to buy himself a road bike when he gets back from uni.
  • LittleB0bLittleB0b Posts: 416
    Didn't ever really cycle as a kid although i do have memories of a blue trike. This was because i had a pony (think more potters pony kept in a scabby feild than show pony in luxuary stables) - but what i loved about that was being able to get on it and head out for the morning or the day and explore the roads, bridleways and footpaths (yes bad i know) of the Lakes.

    Move forward 20 years - and i went to glentress with some freinds for a day out - cycling up that hill nearly made me vomit - but i went to the bike co-op and bought a cheap MTB for communting on the next week. From nevrvous beginings i was soon getting used to cycling in Edinburghs traffic, and picking fights with buses and taxi drivers.

    role forward a few more years and girl meets boy - boy who owns road bike. A combination of his bike seeming much easier than mine - and him wanting someone to go out and play with led to us going halves on my bike.

    I'm much enjoying recaptuing that going out and exploring the roads (but not the footpaths) of Scotland - and you can cover even more ground than on a horse.
  • Al_38Al_38 Posts: 277
    Learnt to ride a bike at the same time as my dad when I was 5 in 93 I think. Got my first bike shortly afterwards - little white Raleigh thing. Used to go cycling along the promenade at Crammond in Edinburgh.
    Anyway I grew up but it was something my Dad and I really bonded over - we each got each other more involved. First full sized mountain bike at around age 10, my dad upgraded from a halfords something or other to a specialized hardrock at the time. We used to go out cycling into the hills around about Edinburgh most weekends. I started saving up and bought my first bike in 2000 - Scott Navajo. Still rank it as one of my favorite bikes, although I would never have admitted it at the time it was basically a womens mtb as it had compact geo. Discovered Glentress at around the same time, my Dad decided he didn't like being beaten up and down the hills and invested in a Cannondale.
    Like many teenagers I thought that all the really scary stuff was good fun and got quite into downhill and all the aggressive off-road stuff. Round about this time I started rowing for my school having switched from rugby. At the time I would laugh about the roadies in their silly lycra and stupid shoes that they couldnt walk properly in... didnt see where I would end up!
    I continued to spend most weekends off cycling in the hills with my mates from school who were into it too and my dad. Undoubtly the fitness helped me and coupled with rowing training most days after school, I started to get quite good at rowing. By my last year in school junior national selection had become a fairly serious option and my cycling started to decline. I couldn't afford the time out from injuries - whereas previous falls causing scrapes and bumps and minor broken bones were a bit of an inconvenience, they disrupted the rowing. Coupled with spending the majority of weekends away racing at various events in the country, I didnt have so much time for it.

    In my 1st year at Uni I started to quite want a road bike, but didnt have the money to buy one. It was compatible with the rowing training and around Cambridge everything is flat so there isnt really an option of mountain biking. After working the summer for a local company, I saved up and bought a Cannondale road bike on ebay. It formed a large part of my winter training that year as I damaged several facet joints in my lower back and couldnt row without excruciating pain. I really started to get into it then - actively relish the prospect of early morning rides in the wet and wind. My back recovered and the rowing was back on, but I was still doing over 100miles a week in general. Last summer it was my principle method of transport too and from work. Commuted 50 miles a day and loved it - faster than getting the bus and so much more enjoyable.

    Over the last year I haven't done as much as I would maybe like, despite adding to the stable with a CF bike and a fixed gear. Rowing kind of gets in the way with 10+ sessions a week and trying to hold down my degree. Looking forward to the summer again though and the commute. I plan to join a local road club and hopefully do some local races too.
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