1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How I Got Into This

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Over The Hill, 4 Nov 2007.

  1. Today was the big day- my first ride on (what you would call) a proper bike.
    It all started last April, a tall blonde said to me "do you fancy going on a bike ride", at that point there is only one answer as the vision of said blonde in cycling shorts popped into my head. Then I found out the bike ride in question was the London to Brighton, but by then I had said yes and I thought I needed a bit of exercise.

    Two months from the L2B I got on the Mountain bike I bought the previous year having ridden it twice since purchase and off I went for a knackering 7 miles. As the day got near so the panic set in at the thought of 54 miles and the legindary Ditchling Beacon just outside Brighton. So I got some road tyres for the mountain bike and pushed on with the training.

    The day came. Said blonde did turn up but with boyfriend (but I am twice her age and married anyway) and we cruised home in about four and a half hours with hold ups and London traffic lights. I managed to cycle up the Beacon, as the Mountain bikes was perfect for that one mile out of the 54.

    I had a few days rest but then had a great urge to get back on the bike, the bug had bitten. Even now with the dark evenings and cold I am getting out there at the weekend for my fix.

    So yesterday I bought a Felt F85 second hand. Today was the big day of my first ride.

    It was like riding on an imaginary bike, sort of air guitar cycling. The saddle and the frame felt like they had dissapeard and the thing went along with no resistance. It has 24 gears so even the hills were OK, I had an idea I would be walking up them as I had passed dozens of racing bikes on Ditchling Becon as they walked up the hill.

    I have not fitted the speedo on yet but I could hardly see where I was going with all the wind in my face.

    So if you see a strange middle-aged grinning man on a blue Felt bike in North Hampshire- that will be me.

    How did everyone else get into this?
     
  2. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Hi OTH and welcome to the forum! My return to cycling is rather boring and it's too late to get into detail, but basically me and the now ex walked past Halfrauds one day and as it had started to rain we sought shelter and came out with 2 bikes (posing as mountain bikes, but basically even a few months of road use were too much for them and both died), me and the warranty replacement never got on, so that got sold and after a few more complications I ended up with my current bike, still a mountain bike, still basic(trek 4300), but a far cry from the first hellfrauds machine. And I love it, no intention of changing it for a road bike - only thing I don't seem to get round to these days is actually getting on it and finding more than an hour for a ride..., but hey, things can only get better!!!

    Anyway, hope you enjoy the forum, I'm off to bed! ;)
     
  3. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    O' slO'
    OTH!
    Nice story, and well done for completing the L2B.
    Glad to see that you're hooked. If you hang around here for long, you'll be hooked here too.
    Apart from cycling as a kid, and using a bike purely as a means of transport in the 80s, I only got 'seriously' involved with cycling three years ago when a mate here asked me if I was interested in cycling from Sweden to Gibraltar.
    Since then I have cycled mainly as a commute, but also at weekends spending 6-8 hours away on a Saturday or Sunday.
    Long-distance cycling is my choice, but I don't have the time (or the money) to do as many as I would like: the idea of cycling across the USA is an idea that's beginning to develop as a plan, but the current girlfriend isn't too happy about me being away for 2-3 months (but whose life is it anyway? ;)).
    But good luck to you and keep at it.
     
  4. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Location:
    Peterborough
    I go with Dayvo...nice story.
    Me, i always favoured 'racing bikes' in the 80s and 90s, when to be honest, for normal purposes, they werent very commonly used.

    Got the desire about 5 or 6 years ago to progress into a 'proper' road bike and to extend my meagre mileage quota.
    Started with 10 milers...they were hard enough when youre pushing yourself.

    The trouble is, i always push myself. Top mileage so far is 52 miles. I havnt really got the time to do any more, i'd need to slow down a bit to go any further ;)

    I'm well and truly hooked. When we go on holiday, shopping, anywhere....my eyes are always turned by bikes. sad innt :smile::biggrin: My wife continuously tells me so..:becool::biggrin:
     
  5. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

    OTH, welcome to the forum.

    I worked in the City in the eighties and used to eat and drink too much so used to go to the gym and sit on a stationary bike...sooooooo BORING!

    I hated the commute by train so ;) why not kill two birds with one stone etc etc. Get a bike and commute.

    Started on MTB, got nicked (of course), then Trek hybrid, then bought a road bike (only for best of course), then ANOTHER road bike (for winter commute), then another "best" bike, so first best bike is summer commuter hack bike (well it is 12 year old now).

    I now commute about 100/120 miles a week and do a Sunday club ride of about 50/60 miles...love it! :smile: :becool:
     
  6. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Location:
    Meanwood ,Leeds
    Brilliant well done, keep it up.Now you need a cycle chat jersey- check out clothing section about the new and unique top that is coming.I started after voluntering during a drunken party i said i would ride from Wetherby to Scarborough the Great Yorkshire bike ride .Well from that humble start i became the secretary of a works team.Started it up all on my own then got some wonderful people involved we stayed together for 10 years raising money for charities.
     
  7. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    Welcome OTH: Good story.

    I got into it relatively young whilst still at school. My best friend moved a long way away (20 miles but it's all relative). So the only way to see him was get a lift or cycle. Cycling was a big adventure and the first time I did it was in the summer hols with a borrowed canvas backpack on my back for a weeks stay, including a skateboard. No-one thought I'd make it but I did.

    Then one day I really discovered what it was all about when we set off from his for a day ride in the country. The feeling of freedom and adventure was just indescribable and we didn't stick to the roads but to footpaths and forests (before the Forestry Commission got hip). We went on to do many more and some touring, a story in itself.

    Slowly over the years I learnt more and more about cycling. All of my bikes were built out of 2nd hand bits, it's only in the last 2 bikes I've bought new.

    Up until this year I was without a roadbike for 10 years so I didn't do that much but now I'm back into it and enjoying it, trying to think up my next adventure, though nothing wil ever compare to that first ride in the country.
     
  8. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    There will be no hope for you now-join the club....

    I'd cycled a fair bit as a kid - loved bikes (had a Chopper...when they weren't hip) and probably did about 5 miles a day on a paper round.

    When I left school (21 years ago) I decided to get a good road bike - Raleigh Road Ace 531 with Shimano 600 (now Ultegra)... joined a club, got really into it.

    Did a bit of commuting, then moved jobs 20 miles away so did a fair bit more. Got into Time Trials and a litttle bit of road racing and carried this on until my late 20's - job and family commitments reduced the racing, then the job cut out lots of cycling.... Spend about 8 years still cycling, but only on occasions and in fair weather....

    Decided last December to get back into it, so cycled in the evenings and a little at weekends through the winter (get some warm kit)... then did a few 60 mile round commutes in the spring (one a week).. Decided that job was enough and moved on - still working too hard....

    Got back into commuting in August, where the weight fell off, the speed went up, the cash flew out the door as bit's needed updating/replacing....

    Haven't looked back - commuting 15-16 miles a day, eye balls out pace, training runs are now done at weekends at the pace I used to do when racing (I was 10 years younger), and my power and climbing ability is better than ever....

    The wife is happy I've lost a stack of weight ;), I'm building training into my commute, so home early and don't need to rush out, kids see me loads more, and I fit rides into family commitments at weekends - nipped out for 10 miles on Sat between Swimming lessons and food shop/cooking - nearly killed me as I made the 10 miles count.....

    You have no hope - you'll be hopelessly hooked on it, get very fit, feel loads better, loose weight..... but end up spending far too much on new clothes/cycle bits etc....

    Well done...no going back now......
     
  9. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I decided that if I was ever going to change my life it was now or never
     
  10. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I gave up football (dodgy knees), gave up running (dodgy hip) now I cycle as it's great fun, great equipment and a lot easier on the joints. I now cycle at weekends with a few ex-runner friends and we are all obsessed nerds now having been complete novices a few short years ago. We have just come back from a beer heavy jolly in the Peaks and are planning an alpine assault next June on Ventoux.
    My wife, fortunately, also loves cycling and our holidays now consist of touring somewhere in europe with tents.
     
  11. yorkshiregoth

    yorkshiregoth Master of all he surveys

    Location:
    Heathrow
    My story, looked in the mirror and noticed I had gone up 3 trouser sizes in about 5 years and decided to do something about it. Bought myself a cheapish Hybrid initially and started doing about 4 miles to my local station, getting on the tube to work and the same back, eventually I started commuting all the way to work and took the tube home. After a month or so of this I upped the ante and commuted both ways. At this point my cheapish Hybrid started to die on me, so I bought myself a road bike, and now nearly 3 years later, 30 KG lighter, 5 trouser sizes less, 3 bikes and counting, and about 5 grand lighter I am addicted.
     
  12. biggash

    biggash New Member

    Hi to everyone on here
    I'm New to Cycling and thought i'd Say hello and Thank You's guys and gals for the Info and tips on this site, That you's have all posted

    As a 33 year old guy From Glasgow, I Wanted to buy a bike For Years but never thought I' d be able to Go or ride it right, Never really had a bike as a kid ...As I say my level of cycling was 'beginner'
    But 6 weeks ago I got Myself a Basic bike 'Trek 3500 For £200 and Over The last few weeks
    I have build up my experience on the bike From Riding around Local parks to Now on the road's
    I Owe a Lot to this site and All you 's who have posted Great advice on here.

    As For the cycling bug , I have it big time !!! Now I have plans for a better bike for
    next year when the summer comes, The now i can only ride my bike to work 4 miles That's there and back and With the Dark nights now !!! I can only really get out on it at weekends.

    I must Also say That Bus drivers are The peanuts of the road..Always Trying to put you on the kerb or There Driving Half in the cycle lane
    Maybe Time for me to get there registration numbers

    Was Going to get a exercise bike as The dark Nights are here , To keep my fitness up
    looking to pay about £100 for one ? Have my eye on V-fit Atlanta Triple Action Cycle from Argos ..Again Any info on this would be great or Is exercise bike a waste of money ?
     
  13. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    O' slO'
    Personally, unless you prefer sweating buckets in the privacy/solitude of your own home, I'd suggest having a go at spinning at the nearest sportsclub. Often with lots of scantily-clad girls, er, like-minded cyclists/sporty people, the atmosphere is fun, motivational and beneficial, and you can spin at your own pace.
     
  14. Thanks for all your responses guys! Really good to hear from you all and for your encorgagement.

    So is my Felt F85 OK as a general hack? At 47 I am not going for any records but wanted to be fairly comfortable. The old mountain bike was way too small and I had a really bad position which seemd to put all your weight on your bum AND your wrists.
    I left the gel saddle at home for the first run and it was fine. I got on OK with the bent over riding positon. I think my legs have not been so close to my chin for about 20 years.
    As to weight loss how do you do it? I have creaky (old mans) knees and want to get some weight off me. Belly is going but legs growing just as fast. They were like two bits of string with knots in but now are getting chunky (steady girls) but I still weigh the same.
    I don't think I am quite there as far as being a real bike nut as I have not got any lycra shorts.
    As I have no idea what I am doing, could you recommend :
    A good web site/shop for buying bike stuff
    A tyre for general road use (i have size 700 23c or something now)
    I have not had a puncture in my mountain bike in my 8 months riding, from what I hear it seems a regular thing with road bikes. What kit do you all carry????
    Thanks
     
  15. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    Probably shouldn't say this now, especially as it's getting colder, and I'm still on the same set of tyres on the commuter, but I haven't had a p****** since Oct 2005 on either of my road bikes. And I do actually ride them both. A fair bit too. I use Specialized armadillos (700x 23 on one, and 700 x 25 on the other). They appear to be pretty tough, but they don't roll as well as many other tyres. Some people say they are crap in the wet, I ride pretty cautiously when the roads are damp so I haven't noticed. Search the forum- there are probably a few tyre-related threads.

    The main thing for not getting p*******s is to inflate the tyres properly and top 'em up often. A track pump is pretty much essential here. You will not regret buying one. Give the tyres a once over every few days, pick out any bits o' glass and stone etc. that might be working their way thru' the tyre.

    I carry a multitool, a pump, two spare tubes, two plastic levers.
    Supplement with food/money/drink/phone etc. as required (I don't take a phone because there isn't anyone I can call to pick me up if I get stuck. I've never got stuck BTW, there's always some kinda bodging tactic available)

    I get a lot of my parts and stuff from my local bike shop. For everything they don't stock there I buy from the internet. Often Wiggle or Chain reaction cycles, but there are plenty others. I get a lot of bits for my hack off eBay for pennies. Sometimes Literally.