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Share you story of pain and woe. It doesn't count if you are simply between bikes and that time frame has been very short, but if you have been without a bike for quite a while, let's here it.

My story is that I have not enjoyed riding a great deal ever since I got rid of my full suspension bike. I sold the frame, fork, and wheels so I could use the parts to build a 29er hardtail. I rode that a little while and did enjoy it a lot, but started to miss having a full squish bike. Not too long after building up the bike, I graduated and had to move. I needed some cash, so I sold the bike because I wasn't riding enough to justify having such an expensive toy. Soon after I moved and was settled, I decided to build up a budget 26er hardtail using the parts from my commuter bike. I ordered a Nashbar steel frame and Rockshox Tora fork and literally rode it once. I was working so many hours I was always too tired to ride, even though I had some nice trains half a mile away. I sold that bike since I wasn't using it. At the end of 07, I got a better job with regular business hours, so I figured I needed another bike. This time, I bought a Redline 29er with rigid fork and 1x8 speed drivetrain. I rode it once on the trails. It just beat me up too much, even though it was a corner carvin' son-of-a-gun. So, I sold it because it was too painful to ride.

Certainly my work situation and financial circumstances contributed to me losing my nice bike and the time to ride. However, even when I was still riding my fully in college, I wasn't riding as much as I had just a couple of years prior. Moving out of my parent's home definitely contributed to me eating unhealthy since I would always buy fast food. I could not ride as well as I had once been able. I still stayed in decent shape compared to after graduation since I rode a bicycle as means of transportation to get around campus, but the worst was yet to come. I pretty much stopped riding after I graduated and slowly started gaining weight. Once I got my new job, I had been so used not riding, I just stayed in that bad habit. I had a supervisor who was food junkie and would always want to go eat at really good restaurants. The weight started piling on.

I have always been a bit on the heavy side. I did manage to drop a few lbs in high school and got down to 185 lbs by the end of my junior year. At the time I was 6'0" and by the time I finished high school, I had leveled out in the low 190s. After my first semester, I crept back over 200 lbs. At about 2 years out of high school, I bought my first mountain bike and managed to drop from 225 down to 215. A year later, I moved out and then you know what happened.

At the beginning of 2008, I weighed somewhere between 245 and 250. Today, 265. About a month ago, I started feeling really tired all the time and felt sick a lot. I also started getting dizzy spells which were signs of low blood sugar (a problem I had when I was a fat young kid). If you have seen the movie Supersize Me with Morgan Spurlock, that is how I felt. I was eating most of my meals from fast food and restaurants, a habit I really fell into starting in college and worsened when I worked crazy hours and never wanted to cook food for myself. So, about a month ago, I started riding my Townie cruiser 3-4 times a week. It made me feel marginally better, but I was frustrated because those crank-forward bicycles make it hard for me to get a good high cadence going for a decent cardio workout.

For 2-3 weeks, I had been trying to figure out what sort of bike I wanted to get for more fitness oriented riding. I was thinking more towards a hybrid, but then started to consider a hardtail mountain bike with slick tires because I could always throw on some knobbies and hit the trail. Then I realized that I did not want a mountain bike, at least not now, and certainly not another spine crushing hardtail. I live in a suburb that has a decent network of paved hike/bike trails and there are a lot of nice farm roads just a few miles away. I decided to get something for the road. I went and visited the bike shop where I used to work and surprised the heck out of myself. I swore I hated road bikes because I could never get comfortable on them. My problem was I had only ridden old 80s bike with horrible unergonomic 38cm wide bars and terrible hunched over geometry. The bike I test rode was a touring bike with a nice short cockpit and comfy, wide bars. A swipe of the Visa and it was time to take it home.

Since this past Sunday, I have put 72 miles on the bike. Despite being the heaviest I have ever been, I have never ridden more in my life. I already have more energy and sleep better. For the first time in a very long time, I actually want to go ride. I don't feel like it is a chore. Tonight, I went for an 18 mile ride, which is quite an accomplishment for me. My goal is to ride 80-100 miles per week. I hope to get back to 200 lbs. My short term goal is to be 240 lbs by the time I am to get married in October. I am actually thinking about riding in the MS150 next April

So, will I ever get back on a mountain bike? I think so. I feel I will be better able to stick with riding off road if I am in better shape and have a bike that is comfortable. If I get a mountain bike, it is going to have to be a squishy bike. At this time, I don't have the money to plop down $1500 or so on a toy.
 

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I went 5 years without a mountain bike after my Trek was stolen at college. With unstable income ( bartending in a college town ) and school bills, buying a new bike wasn't very high on the list. It seemed like everytime I saved up for a decent hardtail, something happened and the money had to be spent elsewhere. It's all too easy to fall into the fast-food trap. I work long unpredictable hours. It's also very hard to eat at the same time every day depending on when calls come in. I'm still trying to overcome that bad habit. I was able to buy a couple of new bikes for my wife and me this spring. She's just learning to mountain bike, and I've rekindled my old passion. Riding for at least 1 hour 3-4 days a week. I do get some 20+ mile rides in 1-2 of those on my days off. Now I'm looking at getting a Long Haul Trucker to commute to work and get more rides in.

I wouldn't call a mountain bike a toy though. Good luck with your road bike. Congrats on getting back into the sport as well.
 
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