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  1. #1
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    Smoking and Cycling????

    Anyone out there cycle and smoke?

    Started cycling a few months back, and during this time have changed many aspects of my life in a positive way to accommodate my new found love.... The one thing I have regrettably continued to do is smoke.

    3 days ago I gave away the evil weed. I am in my late 30's and have smoked a pack a day for over 20 years.

    It has been a tough 3 days but I am hoping I can make this stick for fitness, financial and long term health issues.

    My question? Has anyone else been a smoker and cycler and then stopped? I am imagining some great performance improvements but have no idea of what sort of % improvements I will receive and over what time frame to expect these?

    Info, advise or even motivation from someone who has been there before would be greatly appreciated...

    And please, do not fill this thread with comments such as "smoking is supid" and other non constructive comments. It is extremely hard to explain the addition of cigarettes to a non smoker. What I am looking for here are similar experiences and constructive comments.

    Thank you,
    TheSlug74
    2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad - George Orwell

  2. #2
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    Smoking is stupid. Cycling rox.

  3. #3
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    I went through this. And yes, quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things I've done in my life. You should begin to notice some improvement almost immediately, within a couple of days at most. After about four to six weeks the improvement should be significant, particularly when you are working hard. Congrats on quitting and best of luck.

  4. #4
    Bicycle Radical
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    I used to ride and smoke just like you. I then took a break from cycling for a bunch of years in which time, I quit smoking. Getting back on the bike a couple of years ago, it felt good to be riding again but it had been too long for me to feel a difference between my smoking and non-smoking years in the context of cycling anyway.

    Health wise and in terms of general well being, I've never been better though. Stay strong. It won't be easy to quit but you will feel much more alive in a month or two.

    Good luck. The demon of nicotine addiction is a hard one to beat.
    Participatory democracy demands low-energy technology, and free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.

    Ivan Illich

  5. #5
    jd3
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    I had the legs to go with the other guys but would run out of air before they did. After quitting smoking, I had the air to keep up.
    “You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” – Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd3 View Post
    I had the legs to go with the other guys but would run out of air before they did. After quitting smoking, I had the air to keep up.
    Exact same experience here. After racing as a junior, quit the sport and started smoking. Got back into the sport 30 years later and found out quickly that smoking got me dropped early-on in races. I was truly hooked—got very good at lighting a cigarette while riding!

    Just as an aside to jd3: route those brake cables in your avatar properly :-)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MPov View Post
    I went through this. And yes, quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things I've done in my life.
    You ought to try and quit drinking.

  8. #8
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    yes, I did that.
    I quit when I realized that the only reason I started smoking in the first place was peer pressure, no other reason, and that's a dumb reason to do anything.
    It's the only reason anyone starts smoking. I mean that first cigarette, did it really taste good? I'm sure they do now that you are addicted though, but I'm betting it taste like crap but you smoked it anyway just because you thought you looked "cool". I highly doubt it tasted good, not the first one....

  9. #9
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    I used smokeless tobacco when I was a teen riding around on a BMX with neighborhood boys. I moved to cigarettes later, but have never been a really heavy smoker (1 or 2 smokes a day, have been some periods of "quitting" or going back to smokeless tobacco).

    If you can quit, great, if not, try ecigs. The prices have gone down (online, don't buy in store or truckstop, too high). They aren't as satisfying for nicotine, but smell better and aren't barred in as many buildings.

  10. #10
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    I smoked for 20+ years; road cycling for the last 4, 3 of which while I was still smoking. Even then I could outride most of my friends though they didn't smoke but it's all relative (I didn't race or anything like that). I've quit smoking for almost a year now. However, I didn't immediately notice any performance gains but have seen improvements when I compare rides from back then and now. However, I have stepped up my riding over the this past Spring and Summer which definitely contributed to the increase in performance.

    I quit cold turkey (so far so good, still have cravings because of habit). My friend, who dropped the habit at the same time, used Chantix which he said really helped with the cravings. I on the other hand just tried to make sure I was busy doing something (at work or home) to help keep my mind off of cigarettes. I ride more now but I personally don't attribute it to having stopped smoking. Best of luck to you if you decide to quit.

  11. #11
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    All I can say is my father quit smoking 20 years ago after smoking a pack a day for 40 years and he is alive today unlike my mother who died last year of enphasema from smoking. Once you stop its a big life change especially if all your friends were bar smokers like my fathers. Getting into biking is the best thing ever and I hope you stay with it. Try commutting it will force you to ride.

  12. #12
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    Good Luck, just think of all the money you will save too. I am not a smoker but, can not believe how expensive a pack of cigarretes has become.
    2012 Trek Lexa SL
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  13. #13
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    I used to be a heavy smoker. I started when I was 12 and between the age of 16 and 23 I smoked a pack every day. Then I decided that it is time to stop. I knew that I need some extra motivation to do this. I was interested in cycling so I bought a really expensive bike. I was a poor collage student and $2000 was a huge amount of money for me at that time.

    The idea was that since I have spent so much money on the bike I really have to ride it a lot. Riding lot and smoking at the same time does not make sense. You have to chose one. So this purchase of the $2000 bike made me quit smoking.

    The first year was kind of hard for me. I had cravings all the time. 5 years later I feel confident that I am not going back to that ****. Now I ride 10 000+ miles a year and not because I need a motivation but just because I enjoy doing it.

    I recommend such psychological trick to keep yourself motivated. But you have to spend a significant amount of money. It has to be at least the amount of your income for a month or better several months. I used it not only to quit smoking but for other stuff that requires a serious commitment. Want to learn a new language - sign up for a very expensive courses. Want to get fit - buy a yearly subscription to a fancy gym. And so on.

  14. #14
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    I quit smoking so my Ugg boots wouldn't smell like cigarette smoke! At first I thought I could simply get new Ugg boots at wholesale prices... but someone keeps deleting the threads telling me how. Bastards!
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  15. #15
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    I used to smoke a pack a day for 15+ years. I didn't get into cycling until I gained 30 lbs. after quitting smoking. So I can't really speak to smoking and cycling but in general you will feel so much better.

    I quit smoking using nicotine patches. I found this to be a little easier on me. It allowed me to break the physical habits of smoking first. Then once I got a few weeks of no smoke breaks - etc. You then start backing off on the nicotine with the patches. Allows you to deal with one aspect of the addition at a time. It is still pretty tough and it drags things out a little but I never had any real miserable days using this method.

    Good luck. No matter how tough it gets It is worth the struggle. Best life change my wife and I have ever made.

  16. #16
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    You ought to try and quit drinking.
    Blasphemer!

    That's like trying to quit breathing... or eating!
    “Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” - Susan B. Anthony 1896
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by perpetuum_mobile View Post
    Want to get fit - buy a yearly subscription to a fancy gym. And so on.
    I don't know about the others but you know this doesn't work don't you? I have some over weight friends and coworkers that are probably super-duper platinum gym members. I think you're right in having to play psychological games with yourself to achieve specific goals but those games vary by the person. Personally, spending money on things to entice usage won't work, I have a closet full of crap to prove that. But if you put some competition into the mix I'm more likely to participate. Case in point - Strava.

  18. #18
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    You can smoke and cycle if you do it with panache. Army basic training, Fort Leonard Wood, MO, 1982. I'll never forget the sight of my platoon's drill instructor rolling up on his Sears 3-speed with his Drill Sergeant hat on, puffing on a pipe.


    (I kid - smoking will kill you if you do it right. Cycling will kill you if you do it wrong - I choose cycling.)
    Last edited by jswilson64; 12-27-2012 at 01:29 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
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    I quit 37 years ago when I was in 11th grade (a pack a day at that point) after smoking from about 4th grade. A girl friend at the time and I both smoked. I quit and it made me realize how bad it tasted to kiss her.

    I eventually started again for a brief time and got another girlfriend that didn't smoke, I remembered how bad it tasted when I had quit and would kiss my smoking girlfriend. I quit cold turkey, although I chewed snuff for a few years but gave that up cold turkey as well.

    Quitting tobacco usage are 2 of the best things I have done in my life! I look back now how much money I saved and how much damage I saved my body. My 78 year old mother in law is on oxygen as her lungs are shot, her sister with emphysema same thing.

    Although my wife and I did not smoke two of our kids smoke (just beaks my heart)and are just to young to realize how "stupid" it is to smoke and the damage it causes to other family members when these health isues come up from smoking.

    I quit drinking almost 8 years ago now. This is the other thing I am glad I got away from. If you give yourself some time you will eventually realize how much better off that you don't smoke or drink. It is not easy and it takes time.

    My way of doing anything I may quit is to see how many days I could go without doing it. After a while if I were to want to take a puff or a drink and did, I would be so upset with myself as I would have to go that long again to get to that point. After thinking that way I wouldn't do it and always was so glad I didn't!

    Good luck to you!

  20. #20
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    If you've made it 3 days, then by far the worst is behind you.

    I quit a year and a half ago after being a pack a day smoker for 28 years. I was a pretty strong rider too 'back in the day'. But eventually it got harder and harder each year, and I got slower and slower as I will turn 50 next year.

    I noticed improved breathing and lower heart rate almost right away. But I haven't really gotten faster, partly because I've added 15 pounds I can't get rid of. But I'm not discouraged and wouldn't go back for the world. I can still easily imagine breathing with congested lungs.

    The first couple of days were awful, but not so bad after that. I did quit once before for over a year and that was a battle each day. Now my success is more from my attitude. I started to dread traveling because you can't smoke in airports and even hotels anymore. I got tired of being an addict, having to go out in the cold and rain. I do still occasionally get a strong urge, but I know I better not do one puff.

    Like I said, the worst is over, and I hope that's motivation for you.

  21. #21
    white trash
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    Be careful smoking and biking, you'll get ash in your eye.
    Greg

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by octobahn View Post
    I don't know about the others but you know this doesn't work don't you? I have some over weight friends and coworkers that are probably super-duper platinum gym members. I think you're right in having to play psychological games with yourself to achieve specific goals but those games vary by the person. Personally, spending money on things to entice usage won't work, I have a closet full of crap to prove that. But if you put some competition into the mix I'm more likely to participate. Case in point - Strava.

    Of course spending just money is not enough. There have to be some enjoyment in what you are doing. However, I am sure that your coworkers did not spend a significant part of their household income on the super-duper gym membership. They probably did not have to give up anything because of the gym membership. The key is to spend enough that it hurts - then you are committed. For a poor collage student it might be $1k but for someone that makes $200k a year it is probably $20k or maybe even $50k. I am not suggesting that everyone should spend big bucks on a bike gear but it works for me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    If you've made it 3 days, then by far the worst is behind you.
    .
    Three days is easy. Ten days are easy too. The hard part is that there is always temptation. After you made it through 2 or 3 weeks you start thinking that now you are strong and that you can afford to have one. Or maybe you had a bad day at work and you just don't give a **** for that one night. Or had a few drinks in a company with smokers. And bams your back to smoking pack a day. Start again from square one.

    I don't know about others but it took me a full year till I feel confident about myself.

  24. #24
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    Re: Smoking and Cycling????

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSlug74 View Post
    Anyone out there cycle and smoke?

    Started cycling a few months back, and during this time have changed many aspects of my life in a positive way to accommodate my new found love.... The one thing I have regrettably continued to do is smoke.

    3 days ago I gave away the evil weed. I am in my late 30's and have smoked a pack a day for over 20 years.

    It has been a tough 3 days but I am hoping I can make this stick for fitness, financial and long term health issues.

    My question? Has anyone else been a smoker and cycler and then stopped? I am imagining some great performance improvements but have no idea of what sort of % improvements I will receive and over what time frame to expect these?

    Info, advise or even motivation from someone who has been there before would be greatly appreciated...

    And please, do not fill this thread with comments such as "smoking is supid" and other non constructive comments. It is extremely hard to explain the addition of cigarettes to a non smoker. What I am looking for here are similar experiences and constructive comments.

    Thank you,
    TheSlug74
    Cycling is the one thing that has kept me from smoking. Maybe one every few months. But since really getting into this, I know I can't do my best on the bike if I smoke.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    Blasphemer!

    That's like trying to quit breathing... or eating!
    Nah, I'd say that the Minister that called me a "detriment to society" was the Blasphemer.

    But I really should thank him, because if he didn't get my back up I probably wouldn't have quit.
    Motivation, you know.

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