June 21, 2011 at 17:42 #99660
Kinda thought about this topic because of Father’s day, kinda realized it’s a little late.
So tell me about your introduction to cycling and who mattered to you in that period of your life.
June 21, 2011 at 18:16 #99661
My dad had a home made seat on his top tube that I sat on when I was 3 to 5. Held on to the handle bars and had to keep my feet crossed on the down tube of they might get caught in the front wheel. Oh and you guessed it no helmets at all. some how I survived growing up as a kid in the 70’s. First bike has a baby blue Huffy with orange pin stripes, blue jean covered banana seat and a slick tire in the rear. learned to ride it at a cemetery (in case I didn’t survive?) when I was five and broke the frame doing jumps when I was 11. Oh and again no helmet. Well than again when we thought it was dangerous we might wear a foot ball helmet or my grandfather WW1 metal helmet.
June 22, 2011 at 06:37 #99662
For my 5th birthday, I got a green Western Flyer bike with a white banana seat, solid rubber tires and training wheels. I rode the crap out of it all that fall, and in the spring had my cousin remove the training wheels. I immediately took a digger, then got back on, and have been riding ever since.
June 22, 2011 at 06:46 #99663
What a great question. A bike was part of life for me – I can’t ever remember not having one. BMX growing up, Dad got me a 10-speed in my earlier years. A few years later, it was matching 18-speeds (GT Mt. Rushmore!) for my bro and I as presents. I rode the heck out of that thing for YEARS!
As far as mountain biking, though, it always made sense to me to ride a bike off-road since I grew up in the woods. My cousin was probably the one who really got me into it, though. He had a Trek HT and I thought it was the coolest thing to hit a bump and have your front end absorb it!
June 22, 2011 at 16:33 #99664
My parents got me my first bike, but I really got into cycling through Boy Scouts of America when I was 13. My troop started a group that was doing road rides in which we worked our way up to doing 2 centuries, then a few of the guys got mountain bikes and we started to ride Chino Hills State Park. I rode religiously for about 7 years until my bike was stolen. That was 12 years ago, but now I havea new bike and I am riding three to four times a week with my son.
June 25, 2011 at 20:17 #99665
Parents sent me to a BMX clinic at Black Mountain BMX in Arizona for a 10th birthday present (mom figured it was safer than go-kart racing). Anyway, I was good at it. The bug must have stuck because I crossed some MTBers at Norris when hiking and got to thinking about a road bike I had collecting dust, so I made the ole switcharoo and now I’ve found a new obsession.
Anyone else start out BMXing when they were younger?
Kentucky Roush 😎
June 26, 2011 at 03:53 #99666"brianW" wrote
some how I survived growing up as a kid in the 70’s.
Compared to todays saftey standarts, it was alomst impossible for us 😆
Riding bike all my life, used it for my way to school and later to work.
June 26, 2011 at 05:42 #99667
As a kid I had bikes, I don’t remember what they were… but I know they had 2 wheels and pedals and I crashed them constantly doing "stunts" and stupid things.
didn’t pick a bike back up until about 6 weeks ago. I’m hooked.
I’m 39, been in the US Army for 21 years and I feel like a kid again when I’m zipping along the trails! it’s great!
June 28, 2011 at 17:32 #99668
Oh boy, this is going to go long. I pondered this question for a bit and I couldn’t control my answer.
I remember my folks buying me a "dirt" bicycle in ’76 or so. My buddy Billy and I used to try to ride off road all of the time. The dirt trail to the pool, the trail next to the rail road tracks, the home made jumps made out of cardboard and ironing boards, it was mostly carnage. Those bikes were so tough for kids to ride anywhere off of the hard pack. You ended up walking uphill a lot or popping tires. It was fun but a downer. It always stuck in my head though. I remember the day I moved away from town and I went to Billy’s house to say goodbye. His mom had just had their 7th kid (who was actually on her hip at the moment as an infant) when another buddy of ours came in and exclaimed "Billy’s dead!". Bill’s Mom in her classic 7 kids fashion just sighed and said that was too bad and Billy’s body would have to wait for his Dad to get home from work to be retrieved. She asked what happened and the kid said Bill had ridden down the uber scary "pool hill trail" and caught the guide wire off of a telephone pole on the run out. That was our idea of fun. Hike up a big dirt hill trail and bomb down and hope to god you didn’t need to use the coaster brake. My Dad and I found Bill wandering around a bit later at the bottom of the hill, covered in dirt and pebbles, red bruise across the chest/neck/cheek from the guide wire, woozy, alive, and wishing I was going to be around tomorrow to go with him and try it again. I didn’t really ride off road again for 20 years because we moved to… Florida. But the dirt bug never "un-bit" me and I had Billy and my folks to thank for that.
Jump ahead 24 years and my wife and I moved to WA in 2000. We lived in an idyllic spot. I am a big windsurfing fan and while I recreated out on the Columbia river when it was windy I needed a no wind pass time. It was time to finally complete that childhood dream. In ’01 I think, I bought a Fisher Sugar II from the LBS that was a demo from the previous year. I was in business. I rode that thing all over the fire roads and the available trails in the area. But even in 2000 the availability of trails was sort of skosh. Not to mention the availability of on line resources was nothing like it is today. I wish there was a singletracks.com (maybe there was and I couldn’t find it) back then. Most of the trails I found were frustratingly difficult for a beginner or frustratingly boring. There didn’t seem to be much out there for a intermediate rider. And all of my friends sailed. No one else rode. I really appreciate that my wife was patient enough with me to let me buy a bike when we probably should have been saving for the kid’s college to the tune of an extra $1400.00.
I lost my job in 2003 and had to move to AZ to start a new one. I HATED AZ. No offense to AZ’ians. The desert just isn’t me. Dry unending brown landscape just doesn’t do it. BUT… the mountain biking was frikkin awesome. Terry and Hank from work got me hooked on racing as a reason to ride more. I totally suck at it, still. But it was the first time I ever rode with more than one other person and more than once or twice a week. And I enjoyed the camaraderie among the "normal" riders at races all over AZ. Trail work, camping and bs’ing the night before and riding the next day was a hoot. I started bringing my kids along too. What a blast. Plus there is a group of weekend warriors from my career field that get together every two years for a bunch of Olympic style events (MTB is one). It’s a great excuse to stay in riding shape and a great excuse to travel to places I wouldn’t otherwise go. We were at Whistler 2 years ago. We will be racing in New Jersey this summer, Ireland in 2 years. It’s a good way to network and make some career contacts. I really appreciated Terry and Hank getting me started in the (relaxed) racing side of the sport.
I took a volunteer move with work to Montana in ’06. Now THAT was nice. A bunch of my co-workers there rode. There was always someone going out. There weren’t many organized community MTB community events like AZ or races, but there was never a reason to ride alone unless you wanted to. Those guys taught me a lot about technical riding and epic rides. Good dudes and great riding during the summer months. Plus my oldest started riding with me. Gingerly at first. But I got her hooked on a local intermediate trail and she started asking to go. That really got me stoked.
Last year the wife said it was time to move again. The oldest has started college on the East coast and Momma didn’t want to be a plane ride away. She wanted to be in driving distance. So we moved to Virginia with work. I’m getting to know some of the locals. But no one at work rides. I’m trying to tempt them. We’ll see if I can be anyone else’s inspiration in a few years like Terry and Hank were to me. My youngest, a 15 year old isn’t that excited about biking, he rides a couple times a month with me, but even at that he has the aerobic conditioning from lacrosse and swimming to put his old man to shame in the hills when I ride my SS against his FS. But I still crush him FS to FS in the climbs and the downhill if he starts talking smack. 😎
I know its a long story. But there are so many people from Mom and Dad back in the day, to my wife, to co-workers, the web site that provides a vector to trails I wouldn’t find on my own, to my kids who make me work at making riding easy and fun when what I really want to do is the bataan death ride on some 26 mile lung destroying trail. If it wasn’t for all of them I don’t think I would be riding.
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