How I Got Into Biking

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Don’t forget to read my RACE RECAP! After burning 2,400 calories on my bike race this morning, I knew I needed to buckle down about my eating this afternoon.  I am STUFFED!


Granola and yogurt:


Bowl of cereal (times two) and a bowl of cherries:


Leftover ziti:


I am so full but I’m still about 800 calories under my net! There is just no way for me to eat all that back.


How I Got Into Biking


Adi from Oatonomy asked me to describe how I got into cycling.  It’s an interesting little story that goes WAY back:


My Dad has always been an avid cyclist.  When I was a kid, he would strap me to the back of his bike and take me for lonnnng rides.  I would just suck on my bottle the entire time. 🙂


As I got into my teenage years, I lost interest in biking (and physical activity in general).  My Dad took me on a few biking trips (like one to Yellowstone National Park), but I never latched onto the sport.


In Spring 2007, I was one year into my running hobby and wanted to try a triathlon in the Summer.  For my  23rd birthday, I bought myself a used Giant bike (my Dad pitched in a little, too).  It was on sale on Craigs List for about $350, but it originally retailed for $1,300! 


I signed up for a sprint triathlon and trained for 8 weeks.  I felt confident on the run and bike portions of the tri, but I was under prepared for the open water swim and ended up being disqualified.  You can read the story of my DQ here.


After my tri was over, I put my bike on the porch and hardly ever rode it — mostly because I was too busy training for three 5Ks, two 10Ks, two 15Ks, two Half Marathons, and a 15.4-mile trail race!  I was running so often that I just didn’t have time to bike.


In September, my knee issues really started to act up.  I was first diagnosed with chondromalacia  (read about my diagnosis in this post), but my diagnosis was recently changed to patellofemoral pain syndrome (read about my diagnosis in this post).


I would say I started to get serious about my riding again about two months ago when I went on a running hiatus.  Biking doesn’t bother my knees as much as running and it’s generally easier on the body.  I started off at 10.0 miles and slowly worked up my long Sunday rides 5.0 miles at a time.  Running provided me with a solid cardio base so training was more about getting my muscles used to being in the saddle so long.  I was doing 20.0 miles, then 25.0, then 30.0…. and I kept going!


To learn more about cycling, I read and talked to salespeople at bike shops.  There are several bike shops in the area that offer free Bike Maintenance 101 classes, although I could never go with my schedule.  So, to learn how to change a tire, I watched a YouTube video.   There’s more to "learn" about biking than there is about running, but I found it fun to be challenged and study a new hobby! 


I know picking up bicycling can be intimidating, but it’s a really fun hobby and I encourage you to check it out if you’re interested!


If you haven’t already checked out my race recap, be sure to!  It was a craaaaaazy 60 mile ride!



  • Stacey June 14, 2009, 5:22 pm

    I found my bike on Craigslist too! Mine was only two years old and my boyfriend bought it for me for $400 🙂 I guess he wanted to spread his cycling happiness onto another person, haha.

    Even though I LOVE running, I have to say there is nothing like being out in the middle of nowhere on my bike alongside my sweetie 🙂

    Is your hubby thinking of signing up for any races??

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health June 14, 2009, 5:33 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! I knew you would smoke it! That's so wonderful you got to experience it with your father!

    Reading all this makes me really want to start biking!

    Have a great rest!

  • Betsy June 14, 2009, 5:40 pm

    I love the pic of you and your Dad. And congrats on the race, I've enjoyed reading about it all this weekend! 🙂

  • Kelly June 14, 2009, 5:49 pm

    That was a great story to read. Since I am just getting into biking (still scared to get my first flat tire!), I can definitely relate to a lot of that. I never knew your triathlon story, but you have completely motivated me to do open water swims before my triathlon! I am a little scared of the ocean and I know it's going to be crazy when everyone is trying to swim all at the same time around me.
    Anyway, I wanted to tell you that yesterday I posted my stretches for my knee. I thought they may be helpful for you since we now have the same knee problems. At least I hope, since your posts constantly help me!

  • Jenn June 14, 2009, 5:53 pm

    Congrats of your ride! It all sounds so exciting and I really hope to do a race someday! Unfortunately I don't own a rode bike right now, I rented the one I used on my 24 mile ride. But I loved it so much I willing to invest so more money into this hobby because I think I really might love it! Thanks for your constant inspiration!

  • Bec June 14, 2009, 5:58 pm

    cool love the behind the scenes info on how you got into cycling!

  • Susan June 14, 2009, 6:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing!! My dad is really into cycling too, he's so pumped now that I'm getting into it. He's already plaaning long bike trips for us! I have to say, I think my love for biking may be surpassing my love for running!! I like the speed, and besides my butt, it doesn't kill my joints and muscles.

  • Danielle June 14, 2009, 6:15 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! You did it and you even did better than you thought you could! Amazing my dear 🙂

  • SweetPea June 14, 2009, 6:25 pm

    Thanks for posting your story!

    I'm considering getting into tri's so I needed a little bit of a pep talk about the whole biking component since I don't even own a bike! It is a bit more intimidating than running, but certainly less stressful on the body.

  • Matt June 14, 2009, 6:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Great story!

  • Adi ( June 14, 2009, 7:02 pm

    *Thank you* for posting this! It's a great recap!

    I can't believe you've only been biking for two months and have already gotten up to such huge distances. I think that speaks volumes for your cardiovascular health and how running does more for your body than make you a better runner – it makes you a better cyclist, too.

    I think I need to map out some good routes and hop on my bike next weekend!

  • Priyanka loves food June 14, 2009, 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much for the story and that pic of you and your Dad is so cute!!

  • MarathonVal June 14, 2009, 8:08 pm

    Congrats!! I am soooo impressed that you raced so far. I'm also impressed at you doing the tri – even though you consider that a "DQ" I am still inspired. I want so badly to sign up for a tri but I am petrified of the water portion!!! Are you planning on doing another tri soon?

  • mayapamela525 June 14, 2009, 11:09 pm

    I would love to get into biking, I've tried spinning but I want to see what the sport is like on a real road!

  • sarah June 15, 2009, 2:57 am

    reading about your biking does totally make me want to ride. i enjoy spin class and had a great time doing a 25 mile (interrupted by wine tasting breaks!) guided ride in napa valley on vacation, so maybe someday i'll learn how to ride 'for real' like you do!

    it seems like a great balance to running and like it would be a lot of fun.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point June 15, 2009, 3:25 am

    val – hmmm i dunno. maybe, maybe not?? now that ive been cleared to run again i think i would rather spend my entry fees on running races LOL. plus, open water sucks! LOL

  • Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) June 15, 2009, 3:48 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! 😀

    Oh, and for getting all your calories back in, I wanted to let you know that it *is* possible to do without any of those "too overfull" feelings. 😀

    I was running a lot last summer and found myself dropping more weight then I wanted. I kept on stuffing food in my over-full belly, but then realized I needed to switch up my eating habits a little to include more of the calorie dense stuff. Like avocados, nuts on practically everything, cheese, occasional desserts, and less salads/more calorie dense veggies (sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, etc.) It helped me not to feel sooo full while still getting in some hefty (and healthy) calories. 😀

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point June 15, 2009, 3:54 am

    sarah – very good tip!!!

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