What happened when I quit cycling

I’ll be brief.

For a few years I was obsessed with cycling. Structured training. Never missing a session. Spent my commute listening to cycling podcasts. My vacation was scheduled around races. Followed all the YouTube channels and forums. I had six paid cycling apps. Couldn’t remember to take out the garbage but could remember exactly how to apportion four different carb mixes based on each Strava segment. Six bikes in the garage.

Then…

I started my own business a year and a half ago.

Now all podcasts or forums are related to my career. No structured training. My obsession for bikes was transferred to marketing, prospecting and client service. I’m much better at my career than my 15th place on the Tuesday group rides.

Two reasons I came back to Post:

First, the single minded focus and planning I developed in cycling is very applicable to running a business. Maybe more beneficial than my business degree.

Second, it turns out I haven’t had to cut back on my lifestyle even though my income took a huge initial hit after I left my corporate career. Not having time to peruse PinkBike or travel to all those races really stretches the budget!

With any luck I’ll come back to cycling in a few years and be one of those older overweight guys with expensive kit and tour level bikes for each discipline.

Never apologize for a healthy obsession. Keep the saddle warm for me.

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I started my business over a decade ago. The bike obsession has been lifelong but the racing obsession happened only a few years ago. Did pretty well and even won an MTB race series. Got pretty heavy into gravel too.

Then it all came to a screeching halt when market volatility that started during the pandemic caused things to boil over. I realized my company was being run into the ground so I had to take back the reigns. Things are good now. Maintaining revenue while slashing costs. Some of the people were literally replaced by robots.

I would caution against running a business based on obsession, if that obsession is based on results. It’s just like bike racing. Some days you win, some days you lose. That’s just the way it goes.

The best takeaway from cycling that carries over into entrepreneurship? The ability, or should I say, the desire to suffer.

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@QuittingBikes what do you mean by ‘the desire to suffer’ ?

100% genuine question. :slight_smile:

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Good quote

I liken it to acquiring a taste for very spicy food. The suffering becomes addictive, and you seek it out.

As much as I don’t love the word ‘suffer’ when in the context of something that is 100% voluntary…

I think he’s just saying that to be good at bike racing (and business I guess) you can’t just endure the discomfort, you have to enjoy it, look forward to it, need it. If you like riding your bike but hate or try to avoid the discomfort when at the limits of your abilities then you probably won’t make it very far.

Isn’t that cutting back on your lifestyle?

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Everyones values are different I suppose - hope you enjoy the new chapter of your life.

I know you meant it as a joke (I hope) but I find it difficult to fathom prioritising wealth over health at any stage of my life - and I hope I never do.

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My take on it as well… I don’t care that I’m getting nearly-last at my races, I’m still having fun racing and training.

I tolerate work so I can enjoy the things outside of work. I occasionally get the urge to join the rat race, but a bit of introspect reminds me why I go to work in the first place.

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Agreed, cycling brought me to the highest level of fitness I’ve ever had, but “quitting” cycling gave me back more time and energy than I’ve had in years. The outcome is being able to practice kickboxing and BJJ at levels I couldn’t dream of a decade ago.

The icing on the cake is I’m still maintaining my cycling on 1 long endurance ride per week. I jump into the fast group ride from time to time and I’m still able to hang on without killing myself. 1 year ago, I was training 12 hours per week and barely able to hang on to the front. No thanks, I’ll take a nice 3 hour z2 ride over structured training :slight_smile:

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The general idea that if you’re not hurting, you’re not doing enough. The long lasting pain of regret outweighs the momentary pain of suffering.