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  1. #1
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    It's about time I found the "fun" in cycling again...

    I did most of my cycling back in the 90's as a kid (teen). Back then I had no trip computer, odo or phone to record Strava miles.

    I sold the bike, got fat and didn't get back on the saddle again until last June (2012). My brother in law was nice enough to let me borrow his 2009 Spec Roubaix and I fell in love with road cycling. I rode when I had the chance and absolutely loved it...the speed, the endurance...I found what most here already know but I just rode for the love of it. It became my therapy session.

    Towards the end of last season I started paying more and more attention to my "stats"...time on the saddle, miles traveled, average MPH, top speed, climbs...etc. Like I tend to do with most things in my life I started taking the fun out of it and more and more became obsessed with "PRs" and beating fellow riders on pointless aps like Strava.

    This season was no different. I bought a new Spec Tarmac, got a nice kit and spent all winter training to be some silly racer or something.

    In the few times I've actually been on the road this miserable spring (its done nothing but rain here in the midwest)...my rides have been focused on stats, numbers, PR's and other silly things.

    ...and it lost all of the fun.

    I found myself getting pissed when I couldn't perform...I stopped taking to the road if I only had time for a short ride. I successfully made it miserable on myself.

    That brings me to a few weeks ago. I had to have surgery on my rear (you know, hemorrhoid) and this has effectively ended any riding for the past few weeks...and probably a few more before I can attempt to ride again.

    This has given me time to stop and reflect on things. Figuring I'm not a racer nor to I compete in anything...its time I found the fun in cycling again. As of now I'm done with Strava. I'm done with PR's...with focusing on time, distance or other pointless things. From now on I'm going to hit the road looking to unwind, to get some exercise and to enjoy myself. Sure, I'll keep the bike computer to log total miles because that's an accomplishment thing but other than that...it's about time I rediscover the hobby and stop focusing on things that in the end, don't really matter.

  2. #2
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    I tend to make things Un-fun too. I recently put away my bike computer and just ride to ride now. No more looking down at the stupid thing to see how fast I'm going or what my average speed is.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by raudi View Post
    I tend to make things Un-fun too. I recently put away my bike computer and just ride to ride now. No more looking down at the stupid thing to see how fast I'm going or what my average speed is.
    There's nothing like riding without electronics. The only things to focus upon are the road and your surroundings. I've found that electronics cheats my love of nature. It's not nice to cheat Mother Nature!
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  4. #4
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    Stats <=/=> electronics. Stats predate electronics. Back in the day we used mechanical wheel rev counters and mechanical watches/stopwatches.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  5. #5
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    when you can get back on the bike try something different like a century ride if you have never done one. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed these events. ita about finishing your first time, not how fast etc.
    3 road bikes, 2 MTB, 1 CX and 1 Fatbike....for now

  6. #6
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    It's about time I found the "fun" in cycling again...

    I got back into racing this year after a 7 year break, but semi-deliberately ended my season early (last race was May 18) so I could just ride when I want to and not have to think of it as "training." Now I am free to ride the mtb when I want, or ride a motorcycle or even - perish the thought - go fishing!

  7. #7
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    I did this with golf a number of years ago. Three buddies and I have been going to Mexico for a week of golf every Jan for a long time. My game had slowly deteriorated but nothing major. Then one year I dropped off the deep end. Extremely frustrating. The next January I think I made things miserable for all four of us the first few days. Then one night I decided that I didn't really care about my score nearly as much as I was whining about it. I played the next couple of days without a scorecard and then began keeping score again but not giving a nit how good or bad it was. I began enjoying golf again and continue to this day.

    I don't know that I bottomed on cycling to the extent you did, but I did rediscover the joy of riding an upright city bike. We ride them now either for fun or, mostly, to shop, eat, etc. Very surprisingly I've found that I now enjoy my city bikes better than my road or mtn bikes. Even getting a new Scott Addict didn't help. I probably spend four of five times as much time on the city bikes now as the others.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Stats <=/=> electronics. Back in the day we used mechanical wheel rev counters.
    tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9
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    Computers and logging aren't what takes the fun out of things, they are good tools to maximize the efficiency.
    The part that takes the fun out is when you start putting those stats info on line and you are looking for gratification. The same holds for forums, they are great tools for info, for some folks they turn into a social life, at that point when things don't work out online things go south.

  10. #10
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    I found myself in a similar position. I bought a fat bike. So much fun.

  11. #11
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    I can definitely relate. I often find myself getting caught up in the number of miles ridden, feet of elevation climbed, average speeds, etc... instead of relaxing and enjoying the sun and the breeze on my face while riding. I'm trying to change that.
    My other chainring is a 39...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typetwelve View Post
    ........ it's about time I rediscover the hobby and stop focusing on things that in the end, don't really matter.
    ... it's about time I discover the joys in life and stop focusing on things that in the end, don't really matter. Hope you don't mind that I edited this little part of your post.

    I am also a bit of a task orientated type of guy. It would seem.... that generally also means naturally being kinda two dimensional in our thinking. Most humans realize more easily.... people are physical, intellectual, and spiritual beings.

    The physical workout is important... don't throw away the record keeping with your cycling. Growing stronger is a good goal.

    I feed my intellectual side with books, news, on-line reading and so forth. In the off (or WET) season... reading about bicycle repair, or touring can feed both my cycling interest AND my intellectual side.... making me smarter... about cycling. I even watch bicycling movies on DVD in the winter months. I've also taken to keeping a project bike to work on when weather or healing has me sidelined.

    There are places in my normal cycling routes that inspire the joy in bicycling that every cyclist knows. If it's riding past the ballpark full of sounds from childhood, a neighborhood always filled with the smell of Bar-B-Que... or just an easy quick downhill (or really tough climb up hill).... make that joyful minute a part of every ride.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 06-11-2013 at 06:46 AM.
    If I didn't bicycle when the weather is bad... I wouldn't be a cyclist. I'd just be another old fat man... with a bicycle hanging in his garage.

    Urban Cycling.... Overcome your fears (a YouTube Link).
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    Or... just HTFU

  13. #13
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    Hey, there is nothing wrong with a "G" ride (Gee look at that, gee that's cool, etc.) I rode 5600 mi last year but still will sometimes go out and only ride ten miles. Most of the cyclist on this group would scoff but it's 30-40 min of relaxing exercise. I save my long rides for group rides where I ride much harder than when biking alone. BTW, while I did 5600 mi last year, this year my goal is 4000mi every year for ten years. A good goal I think.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteLoop View Post
    I did this with golf a number of years ago...
    have done the same thing with diving. I used to jump in the water with a single tank, come out 40 min. later, and think it was way fun. this weekend, I did a 4-hour cave dive that required extensive planning and logistics, great expense, and ridiculous amounts of equipment. something that was relatively simple, cheap, and safe has been transformed into difficult, hideously costly, and fairly risk-laden.

    there's a lot to be said for making things simple...

    luckily, I don't have a problem with cycling...yet.
    eff all y'all...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    have done the same thing with diving. I used to jump in the water with a single tank, come out 40 min. later, and think it was way fun. this weekend, I did a 4-hour cave dive that required extensive planning and logistics, great expense, and ridiculous amounts of equipment. something that was relatively simple, cheap, and safe has been transformed into difficult, hideously costly, and fairly risk-laden.

    there's a lot to be said for making things simple...

    luckily, I don't have a problem with cycling...yet.
    I was in the same boat as you. Started diving, got into cave diving, and all of a sudden everything was more and more technical with long drives up to cave country, more focus on details and less on the fun.

    I switched over to mountain biking for the winter and road biking for the summer and am finding it much more relaxing (and less expensive oddly enough). I am trying to not fixate on the technical side of biking too much to keep it as enjoyable as possible.

  16. #16
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    I haven't had any computer on any of my bikes for at least 5 years now. One by one they all crapped out on me, and I delayed in replacing them. Eventually I realized that I really didn't like to focus on my stats, just enjoy the ride. I'm not training for anything, just riding for fun & fitness. I do keep a log of my miles, which I determine by mapping out the ride after the fact, or relying on a companion's numbers. And it always amuses me how after a group ride everyone feels the need to check their computers and compares their stats. There's usually a lot of variability.
    Insert something clever here:

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  17. #17
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    The only stat I seem to care about is feet climbed. Even when it comes to that stat, once I see the computer get past, say, 1500, I forget about it. This isn't to say that getting tweaky with stuff isn't enjoyable or fun. But to each his own. Let a thousand flowers bloom.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  18. #18
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    Been there. I only did a couple of caves though, sometimes wish I'd done more. I started instructing and as far as diving goes that's about the most enjoyment I've had, especially with kids.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteLoop View Post
    Been there. I only did a couple of caves though, sometimes wish I'd done more. I started instructing and as far as diving goes that's about the most enjoyment I've had, especially with kids.
    tourist cave gold-line cruises are still pretty enjoyable...love going to the Yucatan and doing that kind of diving there.

    but, the exploration project I'm leading involves working dives requiring 4-stages, double-DPVs, and set-up/clean-up support teams. these aren't really registering very high on the 'whee-this-is-a-hoot' meter.
    eff all y'all...

  20. #20
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    and wouldn't it nice if we all could say the same thing about WORK???

    I love to someday say:

    "I'm done with deadlines. I'm done with keep track of my projects. I'm done with emails. From now on, I will go to work to enjoy working. That means not picking up the phone when coworkers call. That means not going to the seemingly daily meetings. And of course, no more yearly reviews and goal-setting bullsheet from the boss."

  21. #21
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    There's a church marquee at the corner of Mt. Zion & Blackrock in northern Maryland that this week reads: life is more fun if you don't keep score.

  22. #22
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    great thread. the battery on my bike computer has been out for awhile; haven't missed it much, so just may let it go.

  23. #23
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    Been in and out of the sport since 2001. Nicest bike I've owned was a Giant OCR 3. There was a point in my life when I did want something in the TCR price range but never could afford it.

    Back in the saddle and bought my first single-speed/fixie with a flip-flop hub. Honestly cycling is just as fun without buying all the expensive gear and gadgets I used to own.

  24. #24
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    Ocd with #'s

    Wow has this thread hit home with me , nice to see I am not alone. I too take the fun out of things I do. Last year I jumped back on my 35 year old Paris Sport , to tag along with a friend who rides every Sunday. It was a whole lot of fun , but obviously he was in better shape. I then got a cycle computer app on smart phone and joined Mapmyride and Strava to keep track of my progress . Replaced old bicycle with a new Giant Defy 1.
    I have improved and just finished my first Century , Very ecstatic at first of my accomplishment, but because of being able to compare #'s against others ,now feel a little deflated.
    After reading this thread , I will hopefully try not be so ocd against phantom competitors. Thanks for this timely post .

  25. #25
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    It's all about goals. Electronics on a bike are merely there to satisfy your needs/goals. I want to know my speed, HR, wattage, distance travelled etc. so I can work towards training goals, improve my fitness etc. If over the years my goals changed and I decided that I was more interested in the ride, the scenery, my co-riders and their stories then clearly I would have less need for electronics. Neither aspect of cycling is more correct and electronics are only useful if you value their output.

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