At the bottom and still digging...
I used to think I had control over this thing. When I was a kid I could ride a bike, a skateboard, snowboard, surfboard, or anything else. Frankly, I could take it or leave it on any day…or so I thought. Now that I look back, I realize I have been seriously addicted for a long time.
At 10 years old, I rode to Calero lake from San Jose on my Murray MTB with my buddy Andy. He wanted to go fishing, I wanted to ride someplace really far away. At 10, 20 miles felt like another continent.
At 12 years old, I began building launch ramps in my garage. They steadily got bigger until I broke my bike in two pieces resulting in 650 stitches in my knee/leg. When it happened, I wasn’t upset about the injury…I just wasn’t sure when I would be able to get a new bike (my allowance was $0.75 a week…).
At 13 years old, I took a job with a bike shop. Not for cash, but for store credit so I could get a new bike…s. I picked up an Olmo Corsica road bike and a Peugot rigid MTB. I rode both of them into the ground. (The Corsica literally resulting in a fractured forearm and clavicle.)
I was able to break the cycle at 16 for a few years when I got my license. My sobriety lasted until I was 20….
I had a real job making real money and one day I was driving down the road to get gas. Next to the gas station was Wheel Away. Almost unconsciously, I drove in and wandered around the shop. I left with a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. That relapse was the final straw and there has been no help since.
I now look at my garage and see 6 bikes. Two road bikes, 3 mountain bikes, and a beach cruiser with a wee-ride. (My poor son…he loves riding with dad. He has no chance to break this cycle.) In addition to the 6 bikes, I have memories of at least a dozen others that I have sold, given away or have had stolen. I miss them all.
I am writing this now with a broken scapula. Its been two weeks from my accident and I am going through incredible withdrawals. I have literally been dreaming about descending my local ride at speed. I wander into the garage at night and work on my bike with my good arm. At 36,000 feet I look down at the Sierra Nevada’s and wonder how hard it would be to get to that trailhead from my last meeting.
Most of all I wonder if I will ever kick this habit. Every time I turn around there is another enabler…chainlove popping up in the browser, emails from my “friends” about their Strava rides, Jenson with a new “amazing deal”, Pricepoint guaranteeing the “lowest prices ever”, the Big Mt Enduro series, WHISTLER!!!…I cant get away.
Has anyone else been able to break free of the slightly burnt smell of grease and rubber? Is there a 12-step program? Maybe a therapist I can see? Medical study?
Sorry to be the bearer of "bad" news, but your condition is terminal. The silver lining to that is, the more your condition progresses, the further "terminal" gets from you at present.
A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....
Whilst this addiction is as expensive (or more) than a lot of others, it is at least healthy apart from the injuries. Embrace it. If you break this addiction, there's a good chance you will find another less constructive one.
Sorry about the injury... and sorry: you will not kick the habit. On the wagon for a while? Sure. Kick the habit? sadly, no. I started similarly to you - would ride my bike everywhere... was mtn biking on my 20" bmx long before mtn bikes were invented. I rode a lot in high school, then rode & raced all through college and after for a good number of years. Road, Mtn, Cx ... didn't matter. Then, life just got in the way for a good 5 years+ ... 1 1/2 years ago (at age 43) I got a txt from a friend one evening... put lights on the bike that night and it started again and has grabbed hold even stronger now: I race endurance mtb races!
Great post man. I feel you. I'm at day 14 post knee-surgery. Starting to feel like I'm never gonna ride again. Before surgery I rode 90-100 miles a week, all dirt, religiously. Not riding is really starting to effect my mental health. This forum, and buying bike crap online is the only thing that keeps me hoping. Supposedly, I should be spinning by the 21st. I also work at a bike shop, so this has been doubly hard.
Healing vibes sent directly to your scapula!
"They" say it takes between 21 and 28 consecutive days to form a habit. On the flip-side it also takes 21-28 days to break said habit. I don't know about you, but I can't go 21 days without a ride.
Looks like we're both out of luck my friend.
You are here asking for help, so there is no hope for you
I learned to ride a 2 wheeler in the hallway of a trailer house at the age of 18 mos(carpet and walls on each side make you feel infallible). That and kids are made of rubber. I have been addicted to anything with pedals ever since. I have owned more bikes than cars and have pedaled more miles than drove.
I am almost 40. People my age fear getting older, why? Because they are sedentary and think fun is taking the dog for a walk once in a blue moon. They look old and act old because they are old. They didn't work the muscles and joints. Don't get sunshine and fresh air or see the sunrise from the trailhead.
I say "Bring it!" So I ride. I buy bikes and sell bikes. I spend hours riding the same trails over and over. Wrench on my bike for no reason other than it is fun. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Heal well and spend your time dreaming of the next adventure.
One of the best posts I've ever read on these forums! Thanks for that.
Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes
So that's what a real passion post looks like. Rep on its way. Accept and embrace your passion, it is a good one.
Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.
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