Is it an age thing!

The danger is that the fallout from the obsession phase could put someone off cycling completely and permanently. When I read postings on here from beginners jumping in at the deep end and contemplating spending some pretty serious money on what is going to be their first "road" bike, I often find myself wondering how long they'll keep it up.
They'll be enthusiastically encouraged to go all-in by various posters, whereas I would just stand back and say "why don't you buy a £50 secondhand banger first and see if you still enjoy riding in a year's time?"

Agree with that I blame the numerous cycling mags and there obsession with with the blurb about inter vals.wattage CO2 max Diets etc etc.Fine if you are considering racing.
 
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JPBoothy

JPBoothy

Über Member
Location
Cheshire
I'd say it's because a lot of people start out as "blokes who ride a bike" then it gradually morphs into an obsessive way of life that takes over too much free time, prevents you from eating and drinking any "bad stuff" you want, and becomes something that is eventually resented because it controls you not the other way round.
Bloke starts out on a fairly basic and inexpensive machine, and it gets him from A to B and is a relaxing and harmless hobby. Then starts to read media reviews of fancy equipment, interact with people on forums who really think that £5k is a perfectly normal price for a push bike, looks at the weight of everything down to the last gram, has to have a separate wardrobe of cycling-specific clothing, gets a fancy cycle computer, signs up for Strava, starts obsessing about average speeds and achieving ever faster times over their regular routes. Forces themselves to go out on "training rides" even though the weather might be horrible, and they'd actually much rather spend the evening in front of the TV or down the pub. Feels guilty if they don't ride as hard and as far as possible as often as possible, because they might be missing out on a potential higher level of performance.
What starts out as a bit of fun becomes something that absorbs all of someone's spare time and all their spare money. I would actually consider it a form of addiction in some cases, especially when it gets to the point of people admitting to being bad-tempered and grumpy because other things in their lives (like work and domestic responsibilities) have conspired against them to prevent them riding for several whole days!.
Never lose sight of the fact that it isn't all about average speeds and longest distances and PB's and KOM's, it's just about jumping on a bike and going for a ride. Even if it's a tatty old worthless heap of a heavy steel bike and you are wearing jeans and a pair of builder's boots. As a casual utility and recreational rider, I can take it or leave it. Go for a ride, or go out for a load of beer and a doner kebab instead. If I choose the latter, I don't feel guilty about it and I don't feel the need to "make amends" by riding twice as hard or as far the next time. I own my cycling hobby, it doesn't own me - and because of that I don't ever feel forced to do it when I'm not in the mood or resent the amount of time it demands.
Yes, that is exactly it in a nut-shell. I like what you say about 'owning your hobby not the other way around'.
 
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JPBoothy

JPBoothy

Über Member
Location
Cheshire
Hobbies wax and wane in a natural cycle. The scope changes as well. My cycling has gone road, off road, road and is currently in a long distance road mode. I suspect in a few more years I will be more into touring. I am also a mountaineer so as I do less cycling I tend to do more hill walking and climbing. It's not an age thing.

So do whatever suits your mood and interest at any particular time. Whatever you do keep active as what people traditionally associate with age is no such thing but is the result of a lifestyle that became increasingly sedentary.
Yes, I agree about keeping on the go to delay the ageing process. My preferred activity of the moment is the gym and walking (to a Cafe!) and, believe it or not spinning. It doesn't beat the sound and smells of the countryside though but, it is an option in the bad weather.
 

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
Never been a lycra, weight weinie kind of rider although I have a lot of bike specific clothes, partially because temps here range from 10 below to 105 F and as we know, there is no bad weather but only bad clothing choices. I ride every day unless I am traveling, have an all day project or the weather is unsafe. Still enjoy tinkering with my fleet and find having a choice of bikes adds a bit of fun, although if there was only one that would be ok too. I have never raced and only recently have an app that tells me distance, speed, elevation etc. I ride because I feel better, mentally and physically, and unlike running, biking is easy on my geriatric body. I think being outside for an hour or two daily keeps me in touch with mother Earth and away from the internet, another moden addiction. Where I live the only pollution is summer time smoke from forest fires and I have paths and roads to ride that are safe, maybe even tranquil. Fortunately, the Doc says I might have another 30 years left to ride, being only 70, although that seems a little optimistic. I have to say, biking has been very good to me for the last 60 years.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Yes, I agree about keeping on the go to delay the ageing process. My preferred activity of the moment is the gym and walking (to a Cafe!) and, believe it or not spinning. It doesn't beat the sound and smells of the countryside though but, it is an option in the bad weather.
Walk in the countryside for those sights and smells.
 
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JPBoothy

JPBoothy

Über Member
Location
Cheshire
Agree with that I blame the numerous cycling mags and there obsession with with the blurb about inter vals.wattage CO2 max Diets etc etc.Fine if you are considering racing.
Yawn Yawn how boring.. The one I tend to hear a lot in work lately is how many meters of climbing somebody has done! If it was free-climbing with just a bit of chalk on their fingers then I would be in awe but, riding up lots of gradual hills over a day and then adding it altogether to give the impression it was one sheer mountain not so much!
 
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JPBoothy

JPBoothy

Über Member
Location
Cheshire
I'll be retiring to Scotland in the next 18 months so road cycling will give way to more walking, gravel riding, E mountain biking, rowing, gardening, probably something community-related and brewing beer. Are you allowed to drink and cycle in Scotland?
I'm sure you are but not at the same time :cheers:
 
Yawn Yawn how boring.. The one I tend to hear a lot in work lately is how many meters of climbing somebody has done! If it was free-climbing with just a bit of chalk on their fingers then I would be in awe but, riding up lots of gradual hills over a day and then adding it altogether to give the impression it was one sheer mountain not so much!
Unless it involved repetitive rides up one single chosen hill to achieve the total height of Everest. Granted, still boring but a mega hard challenge!
https://everesting.cc
 
Yawn Yawn how boring.. The one I tend to hear a lot in work lately is how many meters of climbing somebody has done! If it was free-climbing with just a bit of chalk on their fingers then I would be in awe but, riding up lots of gradual hills over a day and then adding it altogether to give the impression it was one sheer mountain not so much!
Unless it involved repetitive climbs up one single chosen hill to achieve the total height of Everest. Granted, still boring but a mega hard challenge.
https://everesting.cc
 

Shearwater Missile

Über Member
Location
Heart of Suffolk
About 7 years ago (53 then) I got very compulsive on my bike and felt that I had to get out as much as I could even just cycling around the estate at night (as it was winter) and that combined with things going on at work and my family, I was on the verge of a breakdown according to my doctor. I loved my cycling and job and it all got on top of me. I took a break from cycling because I needed all the energy I could muster and had time off work. It gave me a chance to slow down and relax and then I was gradually able to sleep again and feel better within myself. After this forced rest I then started riding again albeit gradually and the motivation came back. By this time it was getting into spring and I started to enjoy the countryside and wildlife. I, like many others ride on my own. That way I only have me to pleased when I am out and dictate when I come back. I am not suggesting that you feel the same as me those years ago. I used to beat myself over the head if I did`nt go out or perhaps did`nt set a PB for a route etc etc. Now if I have a slower ride what the heck. I don`t to Strava, never have, but I do keep a log of all my rides only for reference just as I did when I was a runner. I hope you get the motivation back but don`t force it. If you can combine the cycling with say something like photography like the photo challenges on this forum that would be great. The same reason that some people have dogs, just so they can get a walk in, if you know what I mean. Good luck & on a plus side the weather should be getting better.
 
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