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Finding motivation to get back on the bike

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Finding motivation to get back on the bike

Old 01-18-19, 05:00 PM
  #26  
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No Problem, it's only raining..
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Old 01-18-19, 07:07 PM
  #27  
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In my early 60s now. In my mid-20s to mid-30s rode several times a week (road bike), did a few centuries, etc. At 35 moved to Japan. Brought my bike with me, but found it hard to ride for various reasons, including traffic. Slowly, bike riding faded from my life. The spark would occasionally light up and I would get the urge, though that's as far as it went.


Go forward several years, after adopting 3 kids and doing all of the details of life, my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After 5 1/2 years of a valiant fight for our family she finally passed away. Just before her passing, we had good opportunity to talk at the bedside about everything. So painful then, but wonderful memories now. She consistently urged me to continue on with life when she was gone and we talked about all of those details. She died in January 2013. She was 56, I was 57.


After recovery from that event, including the exhaustion of taking care of her in the final year, spring came and I began to look ahead more than just a day at a time. One of my decisions was to buy a new bike. Got a Specialized Roubaix at a local bike shop and started riding after all of those years. What a wonderful relief! I was ecstatic and could feel life coming back into my bones. Only lasted for about a year though. With other family events and distractions, the Roubaix got ignored, sitting in the storage closet. So many times I wanted to pull it out. But as time went on, I realized that getting back on the bike was not just pulling it from the rack and going down the street. No, I had to do some maintenance just to get it ride worthy, had to find my clothes, shoes, etc.


Life stabilized and my 2019 new year's resolution was to ride again (I never make new year's resolutions!). But I knew that I had to break down the actual getting on the bike to some steps. First, I took the bike to the shop to get a tune up. Then, I sorted through my clothes and other gear, and got them organized. Finally, I took my first ride. But, just in the local area because I wasn't sure how I would do.


Exhilaration! After my first 30-minute ride, just to make sure I knew how to do it, I could feel the endorphins circulating. Wow! Why did I wait so long? That was a week ago and I've been on 3 more rides, each about an hour, since. But I realize that I could easily get distracted with other things, just like before, so am trying to make my renewed habit stick. One idea is specific goal setting. Time/km per week, for example.


For me, riding has always been a way to free my mind from the grind as well as do good things to my body. The bike is just complex enough to keep me interested in the mechanical side of things, which keeps me involved and pushes me to ride. I hate running. What do runners think about? Their shoes? When I run, I only think about looking forward to stopping. With a bike, the list of things to consider about the bike (and buy) is endless, while the wind on your face on a warm spring day is the greatest feeling in the world.


Well, that turned into a longer blog than anticipated. Hope it encourages someone.
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Old 01-19-19, 08:26 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by nishin91 View Post
In my early 60s now. In my mid-20s to mid-30s rode several times a week (road bike), did a few centuries, etc. At 35 moved to Japan. Brought my bike with me, but found it hard to ride for various reasons, including traffic. Slowly, bike riding faded from my life. The spark would occasionally light up and I would get the urge, though that's as far as it went.


Go forward several years, after adopting 3 kids and doing all of the details of life, my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After 5 1/2 years of a valiant fight for our family she finally passed away. Just before her passing, we had good opportunity to talk at the bedside about everything. So painful then, but wonderful memories now. She consistently urged me to continue on with life when she was gone and we talked about all of those details. She died in January 2013. She was 56, I was 57.


After recovery from that event, including the exhaustion of taking care of her in the final year, spring came and I began to look ahead more than just a day at a time. One of my decisions was to buy a new bike. Got a Specialized Roubaix at a local bike shop and started riding after all of those years. What a wonderful relief! I was ecstatic and could feel life coming back into my bones. Only lasted for about a year though. With other family events and distractions, the Roubaix got ignored, sitting in the storage closet. So many times I wanted to pull it out. But as time went on, I realized that getting back on the bike was not just pulling it from the rack and going down the street. No, I had to do some maintenance just to get it ride worthy, had to find my clothes, shoes, etc.


Life stabilized and my 2019 new year's resolution was to ride again (I never make new year's resolutions!). But I knew that I had to break down the actual getting on the bike to some steps. First, I took the bike to the shop to get a tune up. Then, I sorted through my clothes and other gear, and got them organized. Finally, I took my first ride. But, just in the local area because I wasn't sure how I would do.


Exhilaration! After my first 30-minute ride, just to make sure I knew how to do it, I could feel the endorphins circulating. Wow! Why did I wait so long? That was a week ago and I've been on 3 more rides, each about an hour, since. But I realize that I could easily get distracted with other things, just like before, so am trying to make my renewed habit stick. One idea is specific goal setting. Time/km per week, for example.


For me, riding has always been a way to free my mind from the grind as well as do good things to my body. The bike is just complex enough to keep me interested in the mechanical side of things, which keeps me involved and pushes me to ride. I hate running. What do runners think about? Their shoes? When I run, I only think about looking forward to stopping. With a bike, the list of things to consider about the bike (and buy) is endless, while the wind on your face on a warm spring day is the greatest feeling in the world.


Well, that turned into a longer blog than anticipated. Hope it encourages someone.
Your wife sounded like a wonderful person. Your story is very inspirational ... thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-20-19, 01:48 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
Your wife sounded like a wonderful person. Your story is very inspirational ... thanks for sharing.
Yes, she was quite special. We were married for nearly 35 years. During our last days together, when we had some great conversations about the past and the future, she on a few occasions insisted that I get married again. That was the last thing on my mind at the time! Several months after her passing, I actually started to consider getting married again, much to my surprise. Because her words were ringing in my ears I could actually go on a couple of "dates". (Those are horror stories in and of themselves, because I had no idea of how to talk to "another woman".) I was then introduced to a woman who is now my wife. I don't think that I could have gone through that without her encouragement, but I and my family are so much better off with my new wife joining us. To make sure that this is about bikes, my new wife is very supportive of me riding and has been cheering me on for this recent restart. :-)
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Old 01-20-19, 10:35 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by nishin91 View Post
Yes, she was quite special. We were married for nearly 35 years. During our last days together, when we had some great conversations about the past and the future, she on a few occasions insisted that I get married again. That was the last thing on my mind at the time! Several months after her passing, I actually started to consider getting married again, much to my surprise. Because her words were ringing in my ears I could actually go on a couple of "dates". (Those are horror stories in and of themselves, because I had no idea of how to talk to "another woman".) I was then introduced to a woman who is now my wife. I don't think that I could have gone through that without her encouragement, but I and my family are so much better off with my new wife joining us. To make sure that this is about bikes, my new wife is very supportive of me riding and has been cheering me on for this recent restart. :-)
Doesn't always have to be about bikes. Sounds like you were lucky with love twice in your lifetime. Nice to have supportive partners
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Old 01-21-19, 09:32 AM
  #31  
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I got back in the saddle 2 years ago after a 20+ year hiatus. The only "exercise" I was getting was my trigger finger (I'm a competitive rifle shooter). I ride an '84 Peugeot that I bought new. Luckily it was stored inside so it didn't deteriorate in the weather. One day I said to mineself, "Self, we need to get back on the bike and do some exercise". So I went thru it from stem to stern, got it looking and operating like day one, and rode. It felt good. Now I look forward to my weekly ride and am really grumpy all week if I miss it. At 64 years of age I feel great (again). I'm sorry I missed the last 20 years of riding but sure am looking forward to the next 20.
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Old 01-21-19, 04:34 PM
  #32  
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I would recommend looking into the charity rides in your area, and selecting a charity that appeals to you. They are invariably well-run and well-supported. Selecting a reasonable but challenging distance could be a motivator. Preparing and training for the event will help you, and the funds you raise will help others.
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Old 01-27-19, 06:25 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
I got back in the saddle 2 years ago after a 20+ year hiatus. The only "exercise" I was getting was my trigger finger (I'm a competitive rifle shooter). I ride an '84 Peugeot that I bought new. Luckily it was stored inside so it didn't deteriorate in the weather. One day I said to mineself, "Self, we need to get back on the bike and do some exercise". So I went thru it from stem to stern, got it looking and operating like day one, and rode. It felt good. Now I look forward to my weekly ride and am really grumpy all week if I miss it. At 64 years of age I feel great (again). I'm sorry I missed the last 20 years of riding but sure am looking forward to the next 20.
Jon
Yeah, when I restarted biking in my late 30's it felt great to be back on a bike. I was able to commute daily to work (20km round trip). The morning ride was amazingly zen, with a variety of wildlife seen on the 5km river trail to work. Then the evening ride back from work was a full out ride to work out the day's stress. When I look back at it, I'm not really sure why I ever stopped cycling. Now at 52 years of age, I'm really looking forward to this spring when I can start riding our paved country roads.
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Old 01-27-19, 06:27 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by MontgomeryMeigs View Post
I would recommend looking into the charity rides in your area, and selecting a charity that appeals to you. They are invariably well-run and well-supported. Selecting a reasonable but challenging distance could be a motivator. Preparing and training for the event will help you, and the funds you raise will help others.
I'll probably do just that. When I was biking regularly, I would do charity rides in the Toronto area. I know there's a large MS Charity ride locally here in Alberta.
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