Why did you start riding?

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  • Why did you start riding?
  • mikedoubleu

    I used to love riding my bmx in the woods when I was a kid. Got a 2nd hand mountain bike at uni but it got so badly vandalised that it was unrideable and I couldn’t afford another one.

    Fast forward a decade and an overweight non-exercising me won a Raleigh Chopper in a raffle about 8 years ago. Sold it on eBay and used the cash to fund a Spesh Rockhopper which totally got me into the biking I do now. A mates stag do in Morzine persuaded me to go full suss and I’ve never looked back really.

    It’s the woods, the mountains when i can get to them and the exercise for me.

    Premier Icon seadog101

    One day, not long after the birth of the universe, my brother came home with a Saracen Tuff Trax. I was amazed that you could actually get off-road on a bike with some degree of control, and there were 21 gears to choose from.

    That was enough for me. Soon after I got me a Marin Eldridge, the grey and orange one.

    Until 2002 we did mostly hill walking.. Then her work meant we could not travel up country so much and I needed something as interesting to do. The local paths were a bit tame to walk compared with the mountains but are ideal for bikes. So I’ve focused on bikes and learned that there is so much to learn. She died last year and I’m in a period of change where I’m getting used to the hill walking trips, but on my own. I’ll still keep biking but I want to climb mountains again.

    I honestly don’t know it was so long ago. I have a vague recollection that I might have bought a bike magazine and been intrigued by these new fangled mountain bikes but I couldn’t swear to it.

    I bought a bluey/purple Trek 830 that a local(ish) bike shop was getting rid of cheap as they’d massively overstocked and used it for all sorts from riding round the chilterns to commuting it really did get a lot of use.


    As a kid in a rural area a bike is freedom and a ticket to see your friends
    Just I never stopped when I got a car like many do

    I still just enjoy goin out with no plan and seeing where the road leads

    Ages all rough estimations….

    4yrs old – ditched stabilisers

    6yrs old – used to ride a mile or so each way to school and back on Glouscestershire country roads (this was the 70’s) on a solid rubber tyred bike

    9yrs old – 2nd hand Raleigh racer

    10yrs old – Raleigh Super Bomber (first taste of off-road)

    11yrs old – Raleigh Pulsar racer – 10sp – went on rail trip from Derbyshire with parents, then Scarborough – Whitby – Robin Hoods Bay cycle hol

    20yrs – bought 2nd hand Scott – huge, heavy, bar ends, saddle bag etc, etc – used to ride places I still struggle with! Got me into MTB’ing.

    ’97 (26ish) Kona Lava Dome – really getting into it now!

    ’06 (35ish) Spesh Enduro (cos mates had bought FS and I couldn’t keep up on the Kona)

    ’09 – Built S-Works Enduro, still being modified and currently blowing me away.

    Had some lay-offs along the way, but currently in a period of really enjoying my riding!


    Mostly started riding round the village as a kid. Then one day (i think id been a good boy) dad asked me if id like a magazine in smiths. I randomly chose mountain biker international November 1998 which had cully doing a massive table top on the cover coz it looked kool. Read it cover to cover and begged for a subscription coz you got a free video (sprung no1). Watched it over and over started riding my naf Raleigh more and more and started scrimping for a proper bike. Eventually ended up with a 99 stumpy m2 comp in the sales with 75mm of manitou sx travel and got some mates from school into it too

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    rode bikes as a kid because kids ride bikes – didn’t everyone?

    After a some time out just razzing round uni on my bike, I didn’t ride much then some climbing mates suggested going biking (they did) as the weather was crap. A few hire bikes later one of my mates went travelling and sold me his Orange Evo2. The rest is history!


    Developed shin splints so had to stop road & fell running, doc said cycling was ok. Bought an MTB in 89 and been riding them ever since.

    Premier Icon kennyp

    Had always ridden a wee bit here and there. Then in 2000 I had a bad leg break playing footie. On crutches for months. I couldn’t run for a long time after so started cycling more. Then found I really enjoyed the cycling and pretty soon it became my main sport (or time consuming money draining obsession as Mrs K sees it).

    buzz-lightyear; Enjoy your time in the mountains, sounds like you deserve a bit of time doing your own thing.


    I rode to the end of the street, the road ran out and the trails began. Seemed logical to keep going

    image by mattbibbings, on Flickr

    Premier Icon colournoise

    Always ridden bikes for a laugh (doesn’t everyone?). Moved to Barnsley for my teacher training and built a ‘bitsa’ MTB after speaking to a coursemate about his nice red Cannondale (this was about 1996).

    With a bit of a break in the early 2000s when I got married and got into archery been riding off road ever since.


    Had a family gathering tonight and exchanged lots of stories. Got me thinking about why I started riding.

    I thought it would be nice to exchange stories on why you started riding, and have subsequently spent too much money & time on it.

    I started riding properly when I was 12 after failing to master skateboarding. I wanted to ride so that I could get out of my sleepy village but also to do some tricks at the skatepark. Slippery slope from there and is now a passion and a release.

    Why did you start?


    As i mentioned above had alot to do with this:


    Needed something new to do after snapping my achilles playing badminton.

    Figured I’d give cycling a crack to help with the recovery, a few of my mate’s did it which would give me the extra motivation to keep on getting out.

    I’m now one of only two regular riders left 🙂


    Started running to keep fit, then fancied trying a duathlon so bought a s/h hybrid. Next event was off road so bought a s/h MTB. Quite enjoyed that so when work started a C2W scheme I ordered a new MTB. Whilst waiting for the approval to come through I happened to be sent working about 15 minutes from Dalby. Had a spare day so hired a bike to see what the fuss was about and that was it – hooked! 🙂


    I rode to the end of the street, the road ran out and the trails began. Seemed logical to keep going

    is that a 29er and you are a giant? 😀

    but ss and no beard…. Rebel! 🙂

    b r

    At 40 after some acquaintances had been jailed for speeding (160 ish on m/c’s); me and a pal thought that we’d better find a hobby that didn’t include jail as an option…


    Grew up in the 70’s in an Ex-mining village in Scotland so loads of bings around (slag heaps for the southerners) so was always riding off road on jumps etc. Everyone did it (few mates ended up in hospital at times!)

    Didn’t ride much after starting high school in the 80’s and not at all in the 90’s due to other distractions and University etc but bought my 1st Mountain bike in 1999 (Marin Alpine Trail).

    Used it for a couple of years but got too busy with other stuff until I realised the other stuff (work) was turning me into a fat knacker so dug out the Marin again in March 2010, used it a few months to start getting fit and losing weight and got hooked and then bought a Giant Anthem in the July and never looked back (also lost 7 stone between the March and Oct).

    Also got the Missus and kids into cycling as well so becomes a family thing now!


    I was a hillwalker / cycle tourer and a mate suggested mountain biking . .. 😀

    Edric 64

    My parents and grandparents rode .My first “tour” was overnight from The Mendips to Watchet in the hot summer of 76 on a singlespeed with rod brakes with my dad on his Sturmey 4 speed Parkes “racer” did 130 miles in 2 days age 12 and been hooked ever since


    two phases

    – as a child/teenager it was the done thing (in my day/location) to have a bicycle and use it offroad, this ended with a motorbike licence at 17.

    – as an adult, in the early late 80s they were already clamping down on motorbike trail riding (my main hobby), went to Centre Craps had a great time on the cowhorn bikes looning around, remembered cycling and got my 1st mtb off a bloke in the motorbike club and off I went.

    Premier Icon kayak23

    I got a message from God.


    Have always ridden bikes like lots of kids, even did a bit of TT’s while injured from running track races. Been getting into the hills walking, fell running and unhealthy amounts of cragging (was very good at being a ledge lizard). MTN started because I had vision whilst sat sheltering from the rain at Water cum Jolly, winter 85/86 I recall. Was just sick of being wet, cold and rained off rock routes, even the overhanging routes were getting boring. Then down the track came a mate with what I now recognise was the future.

    Premier Icon stevied

    Started MTB in 1988 on a Raleigh Avanti..
    Living in Malvern it was the obvious thing to get into 🙂


    Always ridden bikes of varying degrees just to get about…. I am a skateboarder, a fairly busted and broken one, my knees and elbows and ankles are knackered. I decided cycling gently would strengthen them. Never looked back. Skating well again too now.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    Got my first Chopper around 4 for my birthday. Still remember fighting with my brother because he wanted it. Rode the hell out of it, but never got a replacement for it. Parents gifted it to local tuk tuk driver when we moved house.

    Around 13 a boy down our road got an MTB. Horrendous thing it was. Discs (like aero ones, not brakes) on the wheels, 12 speed, plastic tyres. Colour scheme could probably be described as “Neon And Blue Slushy Vomit” and probably designed by someone who’d never ridden a bike! I was so jealous. Convinced my Mum to buy me an MTB. Single speed, steel and rigid. No mountains at all around where I lived in Sri Lanka so messed about riding to classes, mates houses and such. Eventually discarded it when other sports took precedence, but not before converting it to 3 x 6 with a gear kit I bought on a trip to India! Head tube shifters and all!

    Brother got a free BMX-ey kids bike with his bank account (I never had my country pegged for such a forward thinking place). It was neon pink because they didn’t have anything in his size! We messed about the neighbourhood doing skiddies, endos and dumb jumps with it. Wish we had someone who could have taught us to wheelie or build proper jumps then. Probably never would have stopped riding at all! Still playing other sports at this time so didn’t really get into it. There was no riding scene back home at all to sustain interest.

    Fast forward 7 years to living in England. Started riding to work using a borrowed bike to save time. It got nicked. Replaced it with an MTB. Thrashed around fire roads and some rocky stuff in Somerset with my partner’s family. Moved to London, bike followed, rode some trail centres with some quick guys. Realised my 21″ bike was way too big for me and how unfit I was. Decided it was cheaper to improve fitness after spunking too much money trying to upgrade the bike. Convinced current partner to buy a decent MTB after she hurled her crappy hire bike down a hill on a trip to the Peak District screaming “I HATE THIS SHITE!”. Sold my Crap Claud Butler gate sneakily hoping she’d not like MTB and I’d get her bike instead. Got threatened with a dumping if I didn’t buy my own bike and I now own my first full susser.

    Somewhere along the line I acquired a road bike (impulse buy after being dumped), entered my first MTB race (which was also the very first time I rode clipless, and I’d not recommend it to anyone), went on my first overseas trip to ride some proper mountains, met some people I’d never have met if not for mountain biking, found out what Allen keys are for apart from assembling Swedish furniture and am now close to the fittest I’ve ever been.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane on a rainy morning OP.

    TL;DR: Messed around as a kid with them. Started riding to work. Rode with some better guys. Got hooked. Love it.

    buzz, I hope you’re at peace mate.

    Premier Icon RobinL

    Unlike most on here I didn’t ride a bike as a kid, I wobbled around on friends bikes but never had one. One Xmas in my thirties my wife bought me a Townsend Topeaka ….. at that point I had to learn to ride ! I started going to a quiet park to learn to ride, eventually moving onto riding with a neighbour …… then further off-road and it just carried on from there …. 20 years ….. several bikes ….. and many hours riding later I often wonder if my wife regretted it …. probably not, she still encourages me to go out as I’m in a better mood after riding 🙂
    I know I’m not the most proficient rider and I use the excuse of not having a bike as a kid and learning without fear !

    Premier Icon Sqwubbsy

    Used to ride an old racer with coo horns round the waste ground behind our house as a lad in the 80’s.

    Fast forward to ’96 and I got dumped by a girl so spent a very wet weekend riding round Mabie forest on a halfords pile of carp. Went on a few of the “Sunday, muddy Sunday” rides that Rik ran at the time and the bug bit so I bought an Orange Clockwork from Riks Bike Shed.

    Spent way too much over the following years but met my wife at Mabie as a result of those organised rides.

    Haven’t bought a bike in 7 years but love my 853 Inbred SS.

    Premier Icon xherbivorex

    i always had a bike when i was a kid, from as early as i can remember up until about 17, when i discovered getting so drunk that i couldn’t speak or stand up. did that for about 3 years, almost died, decided i needed to quit that entirely and got into being in bands for a bit (well, 20-odd years!)
    flirted with MTB initially in the early 90s, had a cheapo BSO, then a trek 450 (fully rigid thing), then a kona kilauea (which was ace and i wish i still had it). then i got bored and got more into the band thing, plus skateboarding.
    fast forward to 2004, when i got myself a kona again because i needed to lose a lot of weight and fight the effects of hypertensive cardiomyopathy. there’s no going back for me now.


    always rode bikes up until the age of about 20, then discovered cars, got involved with a lady/did other stuff…

    bought a BMX at 26, had a big off which required stiches.. didn’t ride it again.

    FFWD 11 years… i’m 37 and move to a house within riding distance of ‘the countryside’ buying a bike through C2W looks like a cheap way to get a nice bike that I actually want to ride…. a razzing from the GP about my slightly high blood pressure is the final straw.

    3 years down the line (aged 40) I still have the hard-tail bought on C2W, I have a pretty nice hybrid (also C2W) and am thinking of getting a proper road bike.

    I try to get out 3 x per week, and hope to carry-on riding for ever.
    It hasn’t been the magic weight-loss tool I hoped it might be, but sitting at a desk eating cakes for the rest of the week doesn’t help.
    I’ve seen a massive improvement in fitness though, which is nice.


    Proper adult MTBing in the 90s while Munro bagging purely as a way to get to some of the more remote hills and still be back in time for tea and cakes

    But if I’m honest the real reason is that I have always had a phenomenal appetite – really quite scary – and if I didn’t exercise regularly I’d be wildly overweight.


    Grew up in the 80’s/Early 90’s my first full size bike was when MTBs were trendy. Bought a copy of MBUK in about 1992/3 for the free gift (a plastic chainstay guard, oh yeah) and just kept going.

    Packed in when I discovered cars and booze, started roadie commuting to get the weight off when I was 25ish. Packed in the commute a couple of years later but now ride for fun. I’ve got seriously into MTB again about 18 months ago. Mainly because of follow the dog over the chase which I can ride a mile to to join halfway.

    Now I’ve got 4 bikes, no money and scarred legs. Joy.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster

    I’ve ridden for as long as I can remember. Grew up in Birmingham and didn’t learn to drive until I was in my 30’s as public transport was so good and used to either get the bus, train or cycle everywhere.

    So it’s not so much ‘Why did I start’ as ‘I’ve never stopped’.

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    I’m another one of those kids that always had bikes. Probably because my dad thought it was important. He cycled a lot before years on motorbikes, and I think he sees bicycles as a good life experience and a good way of learning some of life’s lessons: independence, looking after something valuable and important, learning mechanical aptitude, preparedness (knowing where you’re going, puncture repairs, that sort of thing). A lot of those things aren’t particularly interesting for an 8 year old, so you end up learning the hard way!

    Started taking the road bike I had when I was 8 further and further off road, and the grown up bike I got when I was big enough to ride one at 14 was a mountainbike – a Tim Gould Peugueot Team. Loved being out on it and rode it everywhere, mostly on my own, then with a mate when he got a Carerra. Started riding with a couple of mates at school, realised how heavy the Peugueot was, started reading mags and getting expensive ideas.

    Largely resisted the expensive ideas, next 2 bikes were 2nd hand, still got one of them, new frame last year and a bitsa road bike.

    Off on the bike in a sec (to ride to work) and I will enjoy it! 🙂

    instant hit

    I can remember badgering my mum for a bike with drop handlebars when i was about 8, but she said i wouldn’t be able to see where i was going, so ended up with a succession of second hand flat bar bikes.
    My bikes became a means of getting around, getting to friends, riding to school, all day rides just because we could. Drop handlebars gave way to cow horn bars and “scarmbling” over the golf course.
    Bought my first decent road bike road bike at about 14 on HP, every saturday had to take my money into LBS until i had my brand new Dawes 10 speed.
    Then it became local club, time trials, triathlon, first MTB was a super heavy peugot thing then onto a succession of road and MTB’s.
    Chatting with a mate the other night we decided we have another 30 years of riding left!!


    Progressed from bmx’s and ramps in the street, to a half pipe in a friend of a friends back yard.. We also had a love of flatland and a home grown style that would have been a predecessor to modern street/trials.. Exploring in the woods was done on a Raleigh racer with nice 70s cowhorn bars, as was the 3 or 4 mile commute to the nearest town for girls and cider.. which could be considerably livened up with a shortcut through the woods.. This all fell by the wayside once I got my hands on a battered ford escort and could get to the raves that were springing up..

    fast forward to the mid 90s, a new hill, new woods and my baby sister had a bike too, and I’ve kept a variety of mountain bikes since then.. Mostly cheap BSOs, until I really got the bug to ride regularly for fitness and salvation about 10 years ago

    Premier Icon simmy

    To lose weight and get away from everything for a bit.

    As a kid I had the standard issue 80’s BMX and still have the broken front teeth to remember it by. Wish I’d kept it as it was a Raleigh Mag Burner, but Nan offered to buy me a Mountain Bike for my Birthday, think I was 12 at the time and now we can’t remember at all if we threw the BMX, PX it, or gave it to someone.

    Anyway rode the Mountain Bike every few days whilst at school but then got a car out of the scrap yard to drive on the fields so the bike was literally just transport to the car and back home. This carried on till I was 17 and passed my test and got a car that was road legal.

    The Montain bike lived in Nans kitchen for 13 years ( yeah she is patient ) before I lent it to a mate in 2007 who commuted on it for a few weeks. I remember riding it 1/4 mile to the garage to pump the tyres up and it nearly killed me I was that out of shape not having exercised for years.

    About 3 years ago, a mate who is only in his teens was getting heavily into Mountain Biking so my Best Mate decided to get a couple of old Bikes he had at his Dads out for a laugh and we went for a ride. It was winter, probably -3 and had just jeans, jacket, no gloves, no helmet or anything. Bloody freezing lying on the floor after slipping off on ice 😳

    Anyway I bought one of the old BSOs off my mate and started riding. I was really out of shape so started by taking the bike to Blackpool and going up and down the Prom as it is flat.

    Slowly started going more miles and riding hills and got a decent MTB about 2 years ago. Now got a road bike as well and try to get out every day. Didn’t get out yesterday due to a 11 hour working day and 2 dogs to walk but got some good rides planned for the weekend.

    Premier Icon goslow

    Once I was into my 30’s I seemed to get too many injuries playing football and wanted something involving exercise to replace it. 20 years later I’m still riding bikes.
    Funnily enough I started playing football again in my 40’s and have just retired from it again.

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