[Home]My Cycling History

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My Entry, Exit, and Eventual Triumphant Return to Cycling

Entry

The Motobecane that started it all (and my sweet 240-Z).

I started bicycling seriously during the big cycling boom of the 80's. A good friend of mine was leaving for the Air Force in '83, and left me his way-too-big Motobecane bike. The Motobecane was the best bicycle I'd ever owned, having had a series of cheapo models in my youth. At this point, I had been running pretty seriously for the past year or so (another boom), but as soon as I started riding, it became my passion. I still ran, but running always felt "slow", once I'd started cycling. I did longer and longer rides, and my friends started riding, too.

The cycling bug bit me hard. I rode in several centuries, the most "famous" of which is the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV), which is a two-day ride of back-to-back centuries from Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio and back. I did the TOSRV in '85 and '86. A riding buddy of mine and I planned a cross-country tour for the summer of '85. We had the route planned, we had the touring bikes (mine was a Trek 620) and panniers, etc. We were ready. Unfortunately, in the spring I totalled my car (which I had to have in order to work) and replaced it, which left me no money for the tour, so we cancelled it (sorry Louis). For competition, rather than footracing, I started doing short-course triathalons.

'84 Cannondale (note the huge early bike computer).

Me and my riding buddies. I still ride with Steve (left). Everyone is laughing
because one of my bottles had fallen out and hit me on the head.

So, you can see I was pretty into it. I owned two bikes: a Trek 620 touring model (for the ill-fated cross-country trip) and an early Cannondale Road racing bike.

Jobs, How they Get in the Way

As a matter of fact, the '86 TOSRV was the last long ride I'd do in a very long time. I'd joined EDS and moved to Detroit in February of '86. I found riding difficult in Detroit, and I did the '86 TOSRV in less than awesome shape. I rode less and less in Detroit, and basically gave it up for a while, selling my Trek 620 touring bike to a friend (I kept the Cannondale).

EDS moved me to the Saturn construction site in Spring Hill, TN in late spring of '86, and I did start riding again once I got settled into this rural area. I met up with a fellow triathelete, and while I didn't do any triathalons, we did enter a time trail in which I truly sucked. The groovy "disc" attachments I'd put on the rear wheel for the race started rubbing the brakes around the turn-around point and I'd had to get off the bike to adjust them. I didn't even bother checking the standings at the end.

After about a year in TN, EDS sent me to Dallas for training. After the training period, I was reassigned to Dallas full-time. Again, my riding suffered. Dallas is one of the least cycling-friendly places you can imagine, and I let that get in the way of my favorite sport. I did ride occasionally (and especially on a training stand), but I was also having back troubles. My back doctor recommended I avoid riding a racing-style bike, which put the final nail in my Dallas cycling coffin. I sold my Cannondale (I did buy a mountain bike, but never rode it much past 1991 or so).

The Return

I lived in Dallas for a total of ten years, during which I met my lovely wife MB. She eventually talked me into moving to Denver in the fall of 1997, where the cycling story picks back up. The first thing I did was replace my old Trek 830 (I think) mountain bike with a full-suspension Cannondale SuperV. I rode this bike in the foothills and around town a bit, and when I started working downtown I used it to commute home from work.

I hadn't had any back issues in a long time, and it struck me that I could maybe get onto a road bike again, which would make my commuting a lot more comfortable. So, I started checking the classifieds for a decent road machine. As luck would have it, I ended up with a '95 R500 that was a dead ringer for my '85 Cannondale racing bike. I was right - the commute was much more comfy on the road bike, and I was falling back in love with cycling. I eventually replaced the R500 with a Cannondale XR800 in order to get STI shifting. This purchase marked my full return to road cycling.

An older, fatter, but still tough cyclist on Loveland Pass (Triple Bypass 2002)

Since those days, I've gotten more and more serious (and have collected more and more bikes). I've bicycle commuted to work, one way or another, for the past five years, and counting. I passed the 10,000-mile mark of my new cycling career in 2004. I hope to continue into my old(er) age. I have standing rides every weekend through the "season" with my Denver cycling crew. We also do a couple of area rallies every year. I also return home to KY every spring to to a big rally with my KY crew. In the winter I do spinning sessions to stay in shape for cycling.

Bike Rally Participation

Since coming back to cycling, I've taken part in a lot of bike rallies (a bike rally is a giant group ride, not a race). For me, a bike rally is the best way to ride a really long distance, since there are plenty of other folks suffering with you. More at Bike Rally Participation.


On to my bikes.

Back to bicycling.


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Last edited April 14, 2005 8:51 pm by Mike (diff)

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