Why do people pack up cycling?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Mick F
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Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby Mick F » 24 Sep 2011, 10:32am

I was chatting to an old gent in Tavistock yesterday - he spotted me and my bike.

He asked me how long I would take do a 50 on it, and replied that I'd done home to Exeter the other day - 50miles - and it had taken me 3hrs 15mins. He seemed a little unimpressed and went on to say that in the 1950s he rode from London to Bath and back in 12hrs.

That's about 200miles I reckon - and quite a feat.

What I didn't ask was why he packed up cycling. He was fat and overweight with a stick, perhaps in his late 70s. I know that there are many reasons that folk stop cycling, but it seems to me that many just stop for no particular reason at all. They just stop.

Why?
Mick F. Cornwall

snibgo
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby snibgo » 24 Sep 2011, 10:42am

I seem to attract elderly gentlemen who want regale me with stories of their cycling exploits when they were younger and fitter.

I've never asked them directly, but always got the impression that they didn't deliberately stop cycling, but life (and the great convenience of cars) got in the way.

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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Sep 2011, 11:14am

It can happen at different ages, of course. One of my sons who seemed keen and was already able to ride some pretty big distances transferred his allegiance to soccer when he was aged about eight. When it was easier to get a licence, motor cycles attracted many in their teens, ditto the opposite sex. Familiy commitments in the twenties: I know there are plenty on here who combine the two but more don't. many return to cycling or take it up in middle age when the alternatives seem less attractive or there are fewer commitments. The "get fit" imperative attracts some in that age group. As the years fly by, age takes its toll. In my fifties I was able to get more miles in than I had since I was at school. Having been a year-round commuter + keen leisure rider, I bought a shopping bike and started with that as well. Then, just after I was 59, I had a searing pain in my chest when riding on a very cold winter morning on a flat road. It passed and I thought little of it, but then I began with chest discomfort when climbing big hills (ie Yorkshire Dales big hills.) It was angina and the specialist frightened me to death. I kept on riding but at a much-reduced level, fewer big hills, no 100+ mile rides, and then I did my achilles which meant a couple of months with a pot on my foot. In the meantime, my wife was bullied out of work so while I've not given up, my cycling is now curtailed. Age seem to make it much harder to shrug off injury.

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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby pete75 » 24 Sep 2011, 12:43pm

thirdcrank wrote: In the meantime, my wife was bullied out of work


She was a victim of constructive dismissal? Sorry to hear that but unfortunately this sort of thing is on the increase particularly with long serving employees who would be entitled to large redundancy pay offs.

My cycling stopped when I bought a Norton Commando.

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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby Edwards » 24 Sep 2011, 1:47pm

When we have been out with the tandem, the older people who have stopped to talk mostly seem to have stopped because of health conditions.
I have met some who seem to have lost interest as they were not able to do the rides they used to, and so the interest had wained.
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Sep 2011, 2:22pm

pete75 wrote: ... She was a victim of constructive dismissal? ...
We got as far as instructing solicitors in a personal injury claim. The problem being that if somebody is suffering from real stress-related problems, more stress doesn't help. Just as she had come to terms with the idea of proceeding, she slipped and fell badly on a wet floor (grandson chucking water about) which put her in bed and I started with bleeding from my backside. (My father ignored something similar and did from cancer of the rectum. It turned out to be only piles - actually a single pile if that's the correct term.) Anyway, that was her her resolve out of the window and we decided she risked more in going on than she was ever likely to receive. She's more or less OK now, but it's one of those chapters we don't discuss.

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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 24 Sep 2011, 4:59pm

Why do people pack up cycling?

IMO the reasons can be many and varied.
The more I think about it the many and more varied the reasons become.
I know people who have had two replacement hips and are still keen cyclists,people with all kinds of debilitating ailments who still cycle and others who have been bullied off the road by agressive driving standards.One things for sure IMO,if cycling fittness is lost at a late age theres less likelyhood of someone getting back on the bike,especially if they drive.
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 24 Sep 2011, 5:08pm

I didn't cycle much for a couple of years. I only rode my bike perhaps 6 times in two years. I was just doing other stuff: women's league football, long hours at work, looking after a baby....

I started cycling again with my daughter in a child seat. I started cycling lots more when I quit football & needed another form of exercise. If Mr V. had wanted to join me doing something, I might have become a keen walker, or something instead.
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Trigger
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby Trigger » 24 Sep 2011, 5:35pm

Because for most people life just gets in the way- we're working further from home combined with longer and longer hours, some of the longest in Europe, we spend more time out of the house than ever before. Throw in every other distraction of daily life and there becomes very few opportunities to go on a decent length ride.

Most of the members of my local CTC are retired and are always out during the week, they also do a lot of moaning about why they get few younger people joining up, to be honest the times that they do the rides means your average person is probably still commuting home and weekends require family time.

Then there are just those whose interest wanes, not everyone is able to sustain interest levels for hobbies over long periods of time, I've had loads over the years and just drift in and out of them. I do enjoy cycling but I also enjoy sitting at home on my a*se doing nothing :lol:

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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby bigjim » 24 Sep 2011, 5:55pm

I also think it is a mindset. You have to put up with evermore agressive cycling, our so changeable weather, family life etc. It sometimes takes a determined mindset to keep going. We aslo have people who are fed up with cycling alone and turn up for a Sunday CTC ride with our club. Trouble is some members give no quarter and seem to delight in blowing them away. We generally don't see them again and I often wonder if we have put them completely off cycling. It has got so bad that the website has been altered so that only those that have already completed a 50mile ride are deemed welcome. I myself retreat to the gym on a regular basis rather than suffer the onslaught of the English weather. The trouble is that I find gym cardio work so utterly boring.
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby Edwards » 24 Sep 2011, 7:12pm

bigjim wrote:Trouble is some members give no quarter and seem to delight in blowing them away. We generally don't see them again and I often wonder if we have put them completely off cycling. It has got so bad that the website has been altered so that only those that have already completed a 50mile ride are deemed welcome.


That is so sad. Then in a short time the group will have no members.
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 24 Sep 2011, 7:13pm

bigjim wrote:............ Trouble is some members give no quarter and seem to delight in blowing them away. We generally don't see them again and I often wonder if we have put them completely off cycling. It has got so bad that the website has been altered so that only those that have already completed a 50mile ride are deemed welcome.........


Thats the most depressing thing I've read about a cycling club and shows why so many have a dwindling membership.
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby littleman » 24 Sep 2011, 7:52pm

reohn2 wrote:
bigjim wrote:............ Trouble is some members give no quarter and seem to delight in blowing them away. We generally don't see them again and I often wonder if we have put them completely off cycling. It has got so bad that the website has been altered so that only those that have already completed a 50mile ride are deemed welcome.........


Thats the most depressing thing I've read about a cycling club and shows why so many have a dwindling membership.



Yep! - it sure is. Also why I took quite some time to sign up here ......... and then only because someone had posted the same bike as mine so I didn't feel too embarrassed at not having the latest piece of technical science or hardcore kit.
I'm getting out every day, sometimes just a ride around the town [back streets and jits only - no main roads..... to scary by far] and every other day a good ride along the towpath [very rural not like a graded path at all]. Only doing about 12 miles at the minute but I'm loving every second out there - [it's as much time as I can realistically spare in a day anyway].
I'll take, ask for, and gratefully receive all honest opinion and guidance - but I won't be bullied into riding 50miles because someone else thinks I should. Being out in the countryside is more important to me, and I feel I'm going fast enough to cover ground, and yet slow enough to immerse myself within it.

And I guess I'll stop when I have to - or I no longer enjoy it

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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby bigjim » 24 Sep 2011, 8:06pm

I think originally clubs were populated by the actual touring riders [see utube 50s cycling video]. Now you have members that have been influenced by TDF and the marketing of ever lighter bikes and kit that are designed for speed. Nothing against the bikes, thats progress otherwise we would all be riding safetys. You get a bunch of younger guys shod with all the latest technology and the testosterone inevitably kicks in. They are a good bunch of guys and we have a laugh over lunch or at stops but the rest of the time it can be pretty much head down. I've seen the pace ever rising on club rides and have commented on it only to be poo pooed over my concerns. I'm fit enough to stay with them, like a lot of the original members, but at days end you know you have been out and you are fit for little else. Not good IMO. It takes a lot to tell certain members to back off without causing offence and then maybe lose these as well when you need to attract the younger element to ensure the club survives. Most of our members never tour and I have yet to see Dawes Galaxy on a club run. A few older stalwarts have stopped turning up for club rides because they cannot, or do not enjoy the pace. I don't know what the answer is or even if there is one.
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Re: Why do people pack up cycling?

Postby whoops » 24 Sep 2011, 8:14pm

[[i]quote="littleman"]
reohn2 wrote:
bigjim wrote:............ Trouble is some members give no quarter and seem to delight in blowing them away. We generally don't see them again and I often wonder if we have put them completely off cycling. .........


It's never been any different has it?

I remember going into a well known London bike shop in the 'eighties and was ignored completely, obviously because I wasn't dressed up in the fashionable cycling garb of the day. In order to get attention I had to start name dropping out loud: words like Campag, Clements, Regina, etc. to get attention! But that's the result of using top-class road racers as salesman instead of properly-trained, knowledgeable sales assistants!