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The other day I was thinking about my first time on a road bike and thought this would be a good topic to bring back those memories, good and bad, about your first ride. Here's mine:

After riding a MTB for a number of years I finally decided to get a road bike in 1999. The main reason was where I lived at the time, eastern South Dakota, had two good trails to ride and both were an hour away.

Not knowing a thing about road bikes I found this site and a few weeks later bought a new Trek 2200. A month later (I had to order a 60 cm) and I was out on my first road ride.

It was an early spring day, a Saturday if I remember correctly, and as usual for eastern SD it was windy as hell. I started down a local highway and right from the start I couldn't believe how much faster a road bike was compared to my MTB, not too mention a ton lighter as well. I made the turnaround and experienced my first 20 mph tailwind. Nothing like floating along at 30 mph with minimal effort! I ended up riding around 30 miles that day, by far the longest I'd ever ridden a bike and it didn't even seem like it was all that hard. Since then I've completely switched over to the road and only do the occasional MTB ride/race.

So what was your first experience like?
 

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I'm thinking it was around 1962

The thing I remember so clearly was being amazed by how far you could go on a bike. Been hooked ever since.
 

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Damn, I can't remember...

I can't remember the first "ride". At the age I was, a ride consisted of going down the street.

I was kind of an oddball with regard to bikes. I got a Ross ten speed just before my 11th birthday. My friends were all riding BMX bikes. Strangely, everyone wanted to ride my bike.

The bike that changed it all was a '87 Fuji Palisade. I was 15 YO. I made a deal with my parents that if I saved half the cost with allowances, they'd pay the other half. $310 later, the bike was mine. It had all the newest bells and wistles. Hidden brake cables (under the bar wrap) and an index shifting 12 spd Suntour drivetrain. I remember my mom and I went to make the purchase. I couldn't get the quick release front wheel off to get it in the car. I had to go back in and have them show me. Apparently "Lawyer Tabs" were new that year too. :rolleyes:

I could go on but I'll spare you. Thanks for taking me back though.:D
 

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Fun times

Yeah, bought my first road bike in January of '03. That was a Friday evening. Took it Saturday morning out on its maiden voyage down Mission Gorge road in San Diego. At about mile 10 I got thrown to the curb by a moron who crossed my path to turn into a gas station. She didn't even know she hit me and thought I was scamming her as I asked her for her insurance info. 5,000 miles later and have had the rubber down since--no incidents. Bad, very bad, luck I guess.
________
Yamaha Xt225
 

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My first "real" bike was when I was 16. I had worked at Baskin Robbins for six months to get the money to build my bike. I was riding a Schwinn Varsity 20 miles a day till that point, and the local team hooked me up with the new bike. It was a Benotto frame with Columbus SL tubing. I think it was the first frames the chopped out to mexico for construction. It had Sachs-Hurret Jubilee deraileurs with Modolo Speedy brakes and Suntour Superbe Pro cranks. The bike was a dream ride and I immidiately started racing from that point. The frame was actually poor in construction and cracked at the headtube lug, so I took it to a local frame builder and he replaced the head tube and added cantilever bosses so I could build it into my cross bike. I was riding a team peugeot frame by then so it was an extra anyways.
 

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First "10-speed" style bike and the ride that finally peaked my interest...

I was probably 15 or 16 years old when I was given my first "10-speed". Ironically, it was actually a 15-speed Firenze. Just your cheap, low-grade steel bike; similar to a Huffy in overall quality. :( My great uncle surprised me with it. I think it may have came as an added bonus with some large furniture purchase of his! At any rate, this was my first non-bmx, non-freestyle, non-20" wheeled bike. I don't think I ever took it on any long rides - the longest maybe being a 4 mile round trip to a local job I had at the time. I had previously biked much further on my bmx bike! The Firenze didn't last long as I don't think I ever had it tuned up or took very good care of it. Truth is that I never cared for it! It never shifted with any precision and I can recall it having it's share of squeeks, noises, etc.

Years later I bought my first ever "quality" bike. A 1995 Cannondale F700. I actually took it on a 27 mile road ride, which the stock tires, but I still hadn't caught the "road bug". The road bug finally bit me in May, 2002. I had a friend who encouraged me, and some other friends, to participate in Bike New York - The Great 5 Boro Bike Tour. For those of you that don't know, it's a 42 mile ride through Staten Island, Manhatten, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. To prepare for this ride I did a little bit of road riding/training on my Cannondale mtb, bought a new large chainring (with 2 extra teeth), dumped my old, no longer smooth shifting GripShift SRT800 X-Ray, in favor of XT Rapidfire, bought 26 x 1.2 Hutchinson Top Slick Gold wire bead slicks, and finally...a Camelbak. I also reinstalled my bar-ends, thinking that on this "long" ride it might be nice to have a few additional hand positions! I enjoyed updating and upgrading this bike and was really looking forward to this ride. At the same time, I was actually getting a little nervous/anxious, as I knew it might be a challenge. To my surprise, it really didn't end up being much of a challenge at all. I went on ahead of all my friends, including my gf (I left her riding with my friend), just to see how well I could do and I finished long before any of them (even the ones that started earlier and closer to the starting line than me). Along my route I even had an occassional roadie drafting me. I didn't know what to make of that. Nonetheless, this was it...bit by the road bug, or caught - hook, line, and sinker. I then found out about this site and started spending more and more time here. I basically "dove" in and tried to absorb as much as possible about road riding, racing, etc. This included reading Lance's book and other magazines (including buyer's guides), talking to friends, and as you can imagine, stopping by many, many bike shops throughout CT. In the meantime I also did two centuries on the C'dale mtb and watched a few crits, including seeing Lance in the 2002 NYC Pro Cycling Tour. In the fall of '02 I finally pulled the trigger and bought a TREK 5500. The first real ride on this bike was only 16 miles, back from the LBS after they made a few bike adjustments for me. I was amazed at how precise and crisp the bike shifted and handled, not to mention how efficient it felt. It just seemed so smooth, and seemed so fast. I was so greatful and excited about this new purchase and the fact taht I had a whole new interest, that when I got home, I called my LBS back to say "THANKS - my ride home was awesome!" This past fall, I bought my second road bike - a Fuji Track fixed gear and I already have an idea as to what I want next. ;-) There you have it.

Bikes, Bikes, Bikes!
 

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haha mine is prettty funny

kinda like Ferraros but more embarressing. I had been an avid Mtn biker for about 5 years since I crashed my parents car coming back from a concert with my girlfriend. In order to see her I had to bike to her house and to work..I was 18. I then saw Lance win the Tour in '99 a few years later. I was getting concerned for myself since I would spend hours alone in the woods riding around by myself on trails and never see anyone. I had some nasty falls being young and brave ( unskillfully so ) So I went out and bought the exact bike Lance was riding. They took it off the wall, put the cleats on my new shoes. I put it on my car rack and went to the bottom of Sugarbush VT to ride it.

Only problem was I could not for the life of me figure out how to shift the small cogs or get the rings to change. I sat there for about 10 minutes figuring everything out when a guy who is now a friend came up to me and said " everything all right? " I said "o yeah everythings fine, just ahh just umm making sure everything is tight " LOL I was to embarressed. I didn't ride with a flat pack for a year and never got a flat. Then someone educated me on everything and I discovered RBR. I was impressed how much more fun it was then mtn biking. Then I did my first race and it was unlike any experience I have ever had. Since then I have sold 3 mtn bikes which I only rode 3x after getting my road bike. I have owned 5 OCLV road bikes and my Madone will be here by the 15th as my 6th. All of my Mtn bikes were OCLV as well and Trek has treated me so well I just don't see the point in changing bike brands.

Trek replaced an OCLV Trek Y-33 I broke in 3 weeks with the next years Y-33 with no questions asked. After I got runover last year, I called the factory up and said " hey I have owned more then 6 of your bikes and convinced several people to get Treks. I have been riding them for 6 years and I am an avid racer. I just got runover by a car on my 5900 and I would appreciate you giving me a free frame to replace my destroyed one "" They laughed and said " well I don't know about free but send us the frameset and we will see what we can do" They gave me $400. I can't think of a company that would do that =)
 

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Probably 1974

I was a non driving teenager. "10" speeds were actually the hot "popular" bikes at the time (does anyone else remember calling road bikes "Spider Bikes", that may have been a regional thing). My folks got me a Japanese lugged steel bike with chrome forks badged with a European sounding name and low end Suntour stuff on it. When I first got it, it was just a kids transportation bike for the neighborhood. One day, on a whim I decided to take it over the river. The river was a big geographic obstacle for everyone on my suburban side of town. Pretty soon I reached the central city and was seeing places I remembered going to with my parents that were considered "so far" away. I was amazed at how easy it was pedal to these distant places. It was only 25 or so miles away but to me it was a grand adventure. Pretty soon I was doing it every weekend. I often had no idea where I was. All I knew was go north until I was too nervous about getting lost, then turn around and head south until I hit the river, from there I could get home. I'd often describe the things I'd see to my mom. At first she say things like, "That's the big Sears store, you went all the way up there !!!!", but after a while she'd ask what I'd seen and enjoyed telling where I'd been.
 

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Can't remember my 1st ride.

As a kid I rode bikes constantly, all over town. My 1st "10 speed racer" was a baby blue Gitane, probably around 1974 or so. I loved that bike and even did a 2 day ride that totaled over 75 miles. I then had a hiatus and didn't ride until about 10 yrs ago when I got a C-dale, 3.0 series, used. My 1st ride was only 7 miles or so and I thought that I was going to die. The rest, as they say, is history :)
 

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What is considered a road bike? My first "road bike" with more than one speed was a Schwinn 3 speed that I had from 9 years of age to 15. My first more than 3 speed bike was a Puch 10 speed that I only had for a year and it was a problemmatic bike. My first real road racing bike was a Trek TX900 with all Campy Super Record components when Trek first came into the world in 75. A great bike but had to sell it about a year later to buy a faster car! Back then girls wanted a guy with a fast car not a bike! But in 1979 I was back into cycling when I bought a 12 speed Trek 412 with a mix of parts but a decent component package with an excellent frame. Then in 1984 after crunching the 412 I got my current Trek 660 with all Suntour Superbe components. But I still wish I kept that TX900, it would have been a great conversation bike.
 

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My first serious ride on a serious road bike happened in about 1971. I had just sold my 12 string guitar and had used the money to buy a Gitane Tour de France 10 speed - 531 lugged tubes, simplex derailleurs, stronglight crank and sew up tires. My buddies and I drove out to Malibu, got out our bikes and then struggled our way up Mulholland Highway, starting at Leo Carrillo and the Pacific Coast Highway. It was all First Gear Agony. Then we turned around and descended. I screamed, yelled and hollered all the way down. I never had so much fun in my life. Afterwards, riding a roller-coaster seemed plastic and tame.
 

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So what was your first experience like?[/QUOTE]


My first road bike was a Sears 20 or 24 inch 10 speed.This was about 1978.I rode it a little and it was stolen out of our garage.The next road bike was in 1983,shifters didn't work.
 

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1968 - 12 years old - dad took me to the local Schwinn store - green metalflake paint to die for! A Stingray 2-speed - it couldn't have been cooler, especially when I had the shop swap in a 3' sissy bar! Man, I rode that bike everywhere! Dad wondered why I never even looked at the Collegiate on the showroom floor...

That sissy bar saved me once: I was flying along over one of the bridges that cross the Grand Canal near 59th and Indian School in Phoenix - and I mean FLYING! I figured I'd lay the longest skid mark in history as I crested the bridge, using my blinding speed and gravity to drag me for a couple hundred feet, at least. BLIP! I crossed the last expansion joint on the bridge! WHAP! I jammed on the coaster brake! BIP BOP BANG! The rear wheel skipped twice, bucked like a stallion and launched me OTB - WAY OTB! (OTB=over the bars, not off the back!) The 'ray launched itself high, arcing directly towards me as I was supermanning into the pavement, aiming to avenge itself for the extreme abuse just inflicted by my self-serving, thoughtless act (I just realized that Stingray was female!!!). Out of the corner of my eye I caught a flash of chrome, a quick splash of spark, and then I was tumbling, the bike bouncing past me on my right. Miraculously, I was unscathed - well, my palms were scuffed and I blew a hole in my jeans knee. And the bike, too was unhurt, except for a really nice scrape in the very top of the sissy bar - the sissy bar that saved my life!

I rode that bike for 30 miles one hot summer day... But that's another story.

First roadie? A white 23" Nishiki, purchased at age 19 while working at a bike/motorcycle shop, living in a haze of, well... I sort of forget... I wonder what happened to that bike... When I left that town the bike didn't come with me... I couldn't climb to the top of the hill behind the shop... too much smoke in the system... hmmm....

27 years later the bug struck again - first a second-hand Scott MTB, ridden mostly on the road, then a Centurion rescued (still riding that one as a beater!), then an older Specialized Sirrus, and now a Cervelo Prodigy. I am so totally hooked!
 

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That's Easy!

So what was your first experience like?[/QUOTE]

I just got my first road bike last year (at the tender age of 47). What I was doing all those years prior is a long story.
Anyway, the bike is a Bianchi Imola with 105 gear. It replaced a Trek Hybrid and made a dramatic difference in the whole riding experience.
My first club ride was with the Charles River Wheelmen (I later joined the club), and I remember being so thrilled at hooking up with a paceline and maintaining a (blistering) 21mph pace. The other big thrill was seeing places that I had never seen before. All the back roads and obscure town centers were an absolute treat to see. Walking would be too slow, and driving would be too fast, the bike is just right.
Add to that the sense of accomplishment and independence that i felt and you got a winnah!
 

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As kids growing up in the 70’s, we rode our bikes everywhere. Banana seat bikes, garbage-picked frankenbike home-made choppers, BMXs - whatever. If it rolled we rode it. In the summer we’d split on our BMX bikes after breakfast & rarely return before dinner. My paper route provided seed money for my low-budget bike lust & necessitated that I always have at least one working bike on hand.

A Schwinn World I bought around 1982 was the 1st bike I used exclusively for recreational rides but that was short-lived since I began to drive soon after. I probably rode 5x over the next 10 years but that changed when I got into mtn biking in ’93 & quickly became an enthusiast.

My 1st “real” road ride was in ’97 when a co-worker lent me his xtra bike (a steel GT Edge w/Ultegra) & took me out for a 40-mile ride in the hills of Passaic County NJ. I remember thinking: “why is he spinning so fast?” Between him & another buddy I got the short & brutal course in the finer points of road riding & was hooked. I bought that GT from him & took it home. Without them as mentors I never would have progressed much as a roadie. I can remember sucking wheel for entire rides, getting dropped on big climbs, hammering 50+ mph downhills & barely finishing 60-milers in hill country.

Thanks for bringing it up – I’m going to email those guys & thank them again.

- Chris
 

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First "serious" road bike was an incredible five speed Raleigh Arena, circa 1980. I hadn't really cycled much at that point, and my parents got it as bargain from my cousin's family who were moving (still don't know why they didn't take the bike with them) -it was used primarily to cycle to school.

Anyway, soon after I did my first century on it -five speed friction index shifting with flat pedals, electrical tape for bar tape and no gloves with one small water bottle. I seem to recall that since I had such little money, I didn't even have a puncture repair kit, pump or spare inner tube on my rides (would just push the bike and walk home!). Luckily I didn't get flats on really long rides. I really enjoyed that bike, though looking back, it was really pretty bad..... I later used that bike to commute to and from college. After I moved to the states in 1990, it was left to rust and later thrown out of my parents garage -it was pretty worn out. Suffice to say I got my moneys worth.

I'll never forget my Raleigh Arena -it was my first real introduction to longer cycling distances, and the sense of freedom for young teenage kid. Now and again I do a search on the web and I've seen a couple of pictures of them -but while I do have a soft spot for the Arena, I don't miss the weight, the rock hard solid plastic saddle or inexact downtube friction shifting on that 5-speed freewheel!
 

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Bicycles have always been a part of my life.

Probably age 6 Dad teaching me to ride without the training wheels on my 24" Roadmaster. He gave me that pushoff and away I went about 4 houses down before vearing off the sidewalk and crashing into a wood picket fence. I put the front wheel through the fence knocking out a board and crashed. Freedom, it was great.

I grew up in Chicago and first memories of riding dates back to the mid 60's. All my friends and myself would go all over the city, to the zoo and museums on our Stingrays. This progressed into Schwinn Continentals, the 36 pound beast, that we would ride from our neighborhood in Lakeview, north along Lincoln Ave to Route 41 into Wisconsin. These trips were good for 100 to 120 miles riding along the interstates, which back then was called whiteline riding. Great time. I had one friend who ride ride almost always no handed and play his harmonica along the way. Theres nothing like Led Zepplin on the harmonica.

Then in 1974, a junior in High School, I was working and I saved up to buy the Bob Jackson I had been drooling over every since I saw my first one. I wish I still had that bike today.

It's 30 years since I had the first real road ride and the magic of riding my bike is still as exciting as the first day.
 

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Don't remember first ride but

I do remember my first road bike. Got it in 1970 or 71. It was metalic orange Nishiki. Saved up all my paper route money and blew it on the bike. Spent most of my free time on the bike and could get far from home on it, and did.

It and I got flattened by a car. I came out of it with only a head wound but the bike was just a twisted chunk of metal. Took the homeowners insurance money and again all the paper route money I saved up an blew it on the best European bike I could afford. An 18 pound Belgium made Libertas. It got me even faster and further. I was never passed by another bike on it (but there were no races where I was back then). My friends gave me **** for blowing my money on a bike instead of a car (I was 15 at the time), but it was a no brainer for me to spend the money on the bike. You got to have your priorities.
 

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It was today, and I was humbled.

I remember my first road ride very well, this is because it was today.

I have been riding mountain bikes off road for a good number of years and have experimented with hybrids for road training, and the occaissional commute.

Last weekend I picked up a road bike and today was its maiden voyage over the rolling terrain of the Oxfordshire countryside.

My ride was 15 miles, my time was not important, my comfort at the end was superb and the overall experience was exhilarating to humbled. I found it difficult to tune into the different riding positions, the gearing felt like nothing I have ever ridden and I anticipate that over the next 6 months once I've tweaked my riding position, sussed out the gears and worked on my cadence - I am sure the road will start to feel like home....that is until someone on a butchers bike catches and passes me :D (Ooops - did I say that the time was un-important?)

Tonight will be my second ride on the road - the return leg, I can't wait - I have already lowered my seating position slightly and also emailed the guy who sold me the bike to request a shorter stem so that I am not overreaching when I use the position that has my hands on the brake hoods. It didn't feel too comfortable.

My bike is an S-Works E5 w/Ultegra groupo, Mavic Cosmos wheels and a beautifully sculptured razor-inspired Selle seat.

A happy man indeed.

Viva La Road!
 

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Freedom!
I don't really remember the ride, but I remember why I fell in love with it - freedom. A sense of freedom that you don't get from driving a car. The feeling that you can explore everywhere - find new things around every corner, and be in love with just being outside. Going fast is good and pushing your physical limits is also good. But those aren't the real reasons I fell in love with cycling and still love it after 25 years. For me, it's really about making my world bigger than it would be otherwise.
 
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