Your cycling gap years

anothersam

SMIDSMe
Location
Far East Sussex
I got off a bike sometime in 1983 and didn't get on again until 1996. It was a 1972 Pontiac Lemans that seduced me away, then a move to a new country and an urge to explore it under my own steam that brought me back. (I was so impatient to get going that within a month of buying my hybrid I rode it from London to Fort William just so I could hike up Ben Nevis and shout Hallelujah! I'm born again! closer to the heavens. Or something like that.)

How do you explain your gap years, if you had any, and what brought you back to the fold?
 
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dave r

Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner
Cycled as a child, nothing serious, playing riding to school and generally getting around, when I was old enough to get a license I brought a motorbike and was a motorcyclist for about 10 years, then got a girlfriend that I was serious about and the bike had to go, so I went back to cycling, that was over 30 years ago and we're still together, we've raised a family and now have a granddaughter, I'm still cycling though these days I also run a car, to start off with I couldn't afford a car and a growing family plus a mortgage so I just cycled.
 

Sara_H

Guru
I never really rode much as a child. Just pottered about with friends.
I had a really bad bike that never really worked properly when I was 12/13 and that was the end of that.
I got a car age 18 and was very happy driving everywhere.
When I was mid twenties it started getting harder to park near to my work. I worked late shifts and often ended up walking a mile or more to where I'd parked up, so eventually I realised it'd be easier to bike to work.
I continued riding through pregnancy, only stopped when my tummy was to big to bring my legs up when I was peddling!
I never rode with my son in a seat or trailer, so went back to driving when I had him with me, but always continued commuting.
 

MikeW-71

Veteran
Location
Carlisle
I did the usual riding about with friends when I was little. We even went out for family rides too, though there was substantially less traffic back then, and I even had a road bike at the time.. A 5 speed something (can't remember the brand) and I was jealous of my mates Raleigh which had 6 :biggrin:

When I went to college for a year in the Lakes at 16, I used my Dads tourer, which was great as it was 12 speed... none of which was really low enough for the hills round there, but I managed.

Then I learned to drive and that was pretty much it for cycling, until I found myself at 41 getting out of breath walking up the stairs and carrying two stone too many without realising it. Team GB was on top in cycling events, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, and I remembered the bike I'd bought years back that had barely done 10 miles. Something had to be done, and cycling was it.

Now I'm fitter than I've ever been, 2 stone lighter again and really enjoying myself. I will be riding now until I physically can't anymore. :smile:
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Didn't Cycle much while I was in the Army, though did get straight on the bike when I got home. The current near 3 month enforced break is the longest for nearly 3 decades.
 

LCpl Boiled Egg

Cuppa splosh please treacle!
I'm kind of in one at the moment. I bought a lovely new road bike, but by the time the next nice weather came round my wife was pregnant. Now I have an eight month old and no free time to use the bike!

On the plus side I can now think about trailers, balance bikes and the possibility that the young one will enjoy cycling too.

There's still the commute though. Without that I'd do no cycling at all.
 

Cyclist33

Guest
Location
Warrington
I got off a bike sometime in 1983 and didn't get on again until 1996. It was a 1972 Pontiac Lemans that seduced me away, then a move to a new country and an urge to explore it under my own steam that brought me back. (I was so impatient to get going that within a month of buying my hybrid I rode it from London to Fort William just so I could hike up Ben Nevis and shout Hallelujah! I'm born again! closer to the heavens. Or something like that.)

How do you explain your gap years, if you had any, and what brought you back to the fold?
Drink and the Devil.
 

Jayaly

Senior Member
Location
Hertfordshire
I cycled as a child when I had a pony in a field to look after and no other way of getting there, but that stopped when I outgrew the pony and had to study for exams.

The next one was pitiful - my grandmother loaned her shopper to me when I went to university and had to travel several miles from one campus to another. My first day took me up Shooters Hill in London, where the bike came very close to being dumped in a hedge and abandoned. It spent the rest of the term doing nothing more than taking my friends and I to the local takeaway then went home never to return.

Fifteen years later I got a job a couple of miles from home and decided that I wanted to commute. The other half bought me a BSO for £50 from Maccess. Commuting on knobbly tyres lasted two weeks in which time I had three punctures, all from the same half-rusted tacks. Never did find where they had been dumped. Walking home in the dark in pouring rain each time, and having to stop for a breather halfway up a hill the rest of the time, that was my lot as far as commuting went. The bike, however, did very well for a few years of puttering round at the weekends with a child seat on the back for son #1 until it got stolen out the garage.

Another ten years passed bikeless until my Old Bag MOT test showed high triglyerides. Commuting was the only way I could think of to crowbar some exercise into my day at the same time as looking after 1 year son #2. This time the other half got me an elderly Raleigh Vixen mountain bike off ebay. With memories of winter punctures at the front of my mind I went googling for solutions and discovered the wonders of hybrid tyres and kevlar. Different story this time: 10 months in and shopping for my first decent bike with cyclescheme.
 
I never really had a complete hiatus but a good few lean years, particularly when the kids were young and I was commuting a long way. My bike fitness dropped at that point and I've never really gone back to where it was as the patterns of life have changed. I also discovered running, which I could fit into my lunch break at work.
 

Dave 123

Legendary Member
I used to cycle to school, and in the holidays we'd go 10-20 miles away from home and then usually get chased by a farmer.
Once I passed my driving test I didn't ride much, but bought a Raleigh MTB whilst living in Devon. I used to like riding on the moors and in the woods.
My first 2 jobs in Cambs had tied accomodation and I was doing family stuff, we all had bikes but didn't ride that much.
Aalthough I wasn't riding it started to nag at me, so eventually I got a new bike. I can still remember the ride home from the shop..... It felt like I was going to die!
Still does now some days!
 

Simontm

Veteran
Went from build your own (two older brothers plenty of parts) to a BMX to a 12-speed then pass my driving test.
20-odd years later, realised I need some exercise and, to avoid commuting hell, got a second-hand bike that was broken (my fault, did not realise there was a hole in the chain stay and neither did two bike shops!) . Then got a hybrid with blancmange back wheel - not their problem apparently according to Evans, what did I expect for £350! - and now on a Diverge A1 Sport that does me 100 or so miles commute a week plus whatever I do at the weekend before Ride London ^_^
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Commuted short distance by bike most of my adult life with a couple gaps here and there but didnt start extending distance and fitness riding till I was about 42. Got seriously addicted, riding circa 150 miles a week, always as hard as i could. But, always struggled in the winter but commuted still so retained reasonable fitness. Redundancy stopped me commuting, too far each day in my new job but ill health at circa 54 then finished it just over 2 years ago. Over the last 2 years I was cycling perhaps 100 miles a year. Just started regaining some fitness this spring.
Its a slow process, mojo is hard to regain, speed is still there but stamina isnt of course, coupled with the thought my struggle is either based simply on lost fitness or long term damage to my lungs/chest.
There a rumour we're maybe relocating work to 12 miles away within 2 years...god I hope so then I can restart commuting, the biggest benefit to fitness you can have IMO.
 
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