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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-08-07, 05:53 PM   #1
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Clyde Dropped on "Instructional" Ride

Submitted to the email list of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia:

****************
I thank BCP for one of the most - oh what is the word? - *interesting* rides I've ever been on. Until I took part in the BCP 'Beginner's' Ride today, I had no idea that -

- a beginning rider can be dropped for being too slow;

- that an instructor would encourage falling by grabbing a rider's arm unannounced;

- that speaking rudely to beginners is proper behavior for a ride leader.

I am so happy that I, and others, got to experience this treatment today. I only had to drive 75 minutes and give up Easter church services to received the full benefits of BCP training. I encourage any beginner who wants to give up the bicycle to enroll in the next class.

Sorry Margaret, I did accept all 29 apologies you offered, but this issue still needs to be raised. If BCP wants to restrict itself to experienced riders, OK. Don't accept beginners as members and don't offer "beginners" rides. If you do offer beginners rides, have someone qualified to teach them.
************

Guys, I'm not just a clydesdale who happens to be a novice rider, I'm also a clydesdale with back and joint problems. Frankly, I feel discriminated against. Am I out of line?
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Old 04-08-07, 06:03 PM   #2
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I think your response is quite appropriate! I would have been very upset and a lot less likely to accept any apology.

Grabbing your arm unannounced is ridiculous and risky.

Dropping a rider on a beginners ride is ridiculous, and I don't care HOW slow you were riding! The point of a beginners ride is to teach and dropping doesn't teach anything but failure (Not that I'm worried about you taking that lesson to heart, you've accomplished too much to ever get that misteaching).

Take it in stride though, and remember that some people are just @sshats!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Historian
Submitted to the email list of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia:

****************
I thank BCP for one of the most - oh what is the word? - *interesting* rides I've ever been on. Until I took part in the BCP 'Beginner's' Ride today, I had no idea that -

- a beginning rider can be dropped for being too slow;

- that an instructor would encourage falling by grabbing a rider's arm unannounced;

- that speaking rudely to beginners is proper behavior for a ride leader.

I am so happy that I, and others, got to experience this treatment today. I only had to drive 75 minutes and give up Easter church services to received the full benefits of BCP training. I encourage any beginner who wants to give up the bicycle to enroll in the next class.

Sorry Margaret, I did accept all 29 apologies you offered, but this issue still needs to be raised. If BCP wants to restrict itself to experienced riders, OK. Don't accept beginners as members and don't offer "beginners" rides. If you do offer beginners rides, have someone qualified to teach them.
************

Guys, I'm not just a clydesdale who happens to be a novice rider, I'm also a clydesdale with back and joint problems. Frankly, I feel discriminated against. Am I out of line?
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Old 04-08-07, 06:08 PM   #3
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I agree with you. A beginner ride is just that and should be a no drop ride. I looked at the web site of that group and nowhere did it say that ride had a no drop policy but you would think that it being a beginner ride that it would have the no drop policy. Something that came to mind is maybe with it being Easter Sunday that they had a different ride leader that didn't follow the rules for that ride. Just a thought.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:12 PM   #4
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I don't know how the ride was billed. The local bike clubs "Beginner Ride" around here has a 18-20 mph average speed requirement/recommendation. I think it is a 2.5 hour 50'ish mile ride. I don't know how the ride you were on was billed.

If there were posted ride requirements or recommendations that you didn't meet it could have been a case of frustration on both your parts.

There is never an excuse for rude behavior.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:27 PM   #5
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Here is the way the ride is supposed to go according to the club website:

Sunday, April 8 - Instructional Riding Class for New Riders. Class D & C, 10-12 mph, depending on participants, 10-20 miles. Meet at noon at the formal entrance to the Azalea Garden at the circle behind the Art Museum. Class begins with some basic group and safety riding rules of the road. Most of the instruction will be done on the bike during the course of the ride. Two instructors will be present throughout the ride.

Here is the C and D classes:

Class C Moderate, 15 to 75 miles 12 to 15 mph average on flat terrain
10 to 13 mph average on rolling/hilly terrain
9 to 11 mph average on very hilly terrain

Class D Easy, 5 to 20 miles 5 to 9 mph average on easy terrain
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Old 04-08-07, 06:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike_Morrow
I don't know how the ride was billed. The local bike clubs "Beginner Ride" around here has a 18-20 mph average speed requirement/recommendation. I think it is a 2.5 hour 50'ish mile ride. I don't know how the ride you were on was billed.

If there were posted ride requirements or recommendations that you didn't meet it could have been a case of frustration on both your parts.

There is never an excuse for rude behavior.


Ignore the above

I pulled the ride reqs off their site.

Sunday Afternoon Rides
Designed for the beginning cyclist and cyclists new to Philadelphia. The Sunny Sunday Afternoon D ride meets every Sunday at noon, at the "Italian Fountain" behind the Art Museum, near the trellis. Sometimes there are other starting points, so please check the newsletter, or http://www.phillybikeclub.org/current.html#regular. It's a 15-20 mile leisurely bicycle ride.

Class D Easy, 5 to 20 miles 5 to 9 mph average on easy terrain

Sounds like there is no way in the world you should have been dropped.

As to the rest it would be unacceptable under any circumstance.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Morrow
I don't know how the ride was billed. The local bike clubs "Beginner Ride" around here has a 18-20 mph average speed requirement/recommendation. I think it is a 2.5 hour 50'ish mile ride. I don't know how the ride you were on was billed.

If there were posted ride requirements or recommendations that you didn't meet it could have been a case of frustration on both your parts.

There is never an excuse for rude behavior.
The only way that could be a "beginner's ride" is if it's all downhill! And in that case, I think it would be the Clyde's doing the dropping. Otherwise, Show up on your Harley.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:40 PM   #8
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Similar thing happened to me here in Atlanta on the "Freight Room" ride, advertised as a beginner friendly ride, they all rode off like they stole something, and I was maintaining a 10MPH pace on hilly terrain - I just ride by myself now, f'em.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:43 PM   #9
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This is why I've never ridden with a group of roadies and probably never will. Well, this and I just enjoy going at my own pace without having to slow down for the slowpokes and speed up for the Lance-wannabes
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Old 04-08-07, 06:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mike_Morrow
Ignore the above

I pulled the ride reqs off their site.

Sunday Afternoon Rides
Designed for the beginning cyclist and cyclists new to Philadelphia. The Sunny Sunday Afternoon D ride meets every Sunday at noon, at the "Italian Fountain" behind the Art Museum, near the trellis. Sometimes there are other starting points, so please check the newsletter, or http://www.phillybikeclub.org/current.html#regular. It's a 15-20 mile leisurely bicycle ride.

Class D Easy, 5 to 20 miles 5 to 9 mph average on easy terrain

Sounds like there is no way in the world you should have been dropped.

As to the rest it would be unacceptable under any circumstance.
I've included a fuller report on my blog:

http://historian2wheels.blogspot.com...il-8-2007.html
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Old 04-08-07, 07:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
I think your response is quite appropriate! I would have been very upset and a lot less likely to accept any apology.

Grabbing your arm unannounced is ridiculous and risky.

Dropping a rider on a beginners ride is ridiculous, and I don't care HOW slow you were riding! The point of a beginners ride is to teach and dropping doesn't teach anything but failure (Not that I'm worried about you taking that lesson to heart, you've accomplished too much to ever get that misteaching).

Take it in stride though, and remember that some people are just @sshats!
Well, I did throw a fit, especially after it happened the second time. I met up with the group about 15 minutes after I was dropped, as I was searching for someone to give me directions back to the ride start. After I was persuaded by one of the riders to resume the ride, I was told to "go practice skills" while the group ran loops through the park. I drove 75 minutes into town to ride circles in a parking lot? My second display of temper ended the ride; the other beginners asked to leave.

To her and the club's credit, BCP's president assures me that the 'instructor' will not be leading any future beginner's rides. I in turn assured her I will not ride again with BCP.

It's flattering that bicyclists assume a beginner has all the skills they do. But when I tell people I can't maintain 11 MPH, I mean it. I also find it frustrating that the only friendships I can form through cycling are electronic correspondence.
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Old 04-08-07, 08:15 PM   #12
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You'll eventually find some riders in your area....and if not, just a thought, I like solitude a lot on my rides. I'm definitely not into the Bicycle Club scene. I do enjoy riding with others though and just usually hook up one on one or develop my own group of riders. I also adjust my pace ti theirs, if they are slower and it's never an issue with me.....I do NOT drop ride partners....ever. It's just bad form, and how could I continue my advocacy of cycling as a healthy lifestyle if I don't stick around to support and encourage, right?

One option you might consider. You are physically challenged, that's an indisputable fact, but you continue to overcome your physical issues, so why not use it in your community to model your successes for other people who might benefit from the lifestyle and getting out and riding. You could be a powerful Agent of Change in their lives for the better. If you positively affect even one persons life, then you are successful, and believe me when I say that you will affect far more than one person positively!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Historian
Well, I did throw a fit, especially after it happened the second time. I met up with the group about 15 minutes after I was dropped, as I was searching for someone to give me directions back to the ride start. After I was persuaded by one of the riders to resume the ride, I was told to "go practice skills" while the group ran loops through the park. I drove 75 minutes into town to ride circles in a parking lot? My second display of temper ended the ride; the other beginners asked to leave.

To her and the club's credit, BCP's president assures me that the 'instructor' will not be leading any future beginner's rides. I in turn assured her I will not ride again with BCP.

It's flattering that bicyclists assume a beginner has all the skills they do. But when I tell people I can't maintain 11 MPH, I mean it. I also find it frustrating that the only friendships I can form through cycling are electronic correspondence.
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Old 04-08-07, 08:22 PM   #13
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There is a group for you out there....I know in my area there is a group for you....there are also groups not for you as well. It takes a bit of work to figure it all out but you will get there. I wish I had some pointers to help but it can be a crap shoot.

As you can see in this thread alone the idea of beginner is wide open. I would call the ride description posted to be a beginner ride and I think they did have good intentions of having a beginners ride. I think there choice of leader might been a little off and ALSO mentioned above there choices might have been limited by the day....still I am not offering any excuse only a possible explanation.

Hopefully you still want to ride and you will keep trying....keep riding!!
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Old 04-08-07, 08:28 PM   #14
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You'll eventually find some riders in your area....and if not, just a thought, I like solitude a lot on my rides. I'm definitely not into the Bicycle Club scene. I do enjoy riding with others though and just usually hook up one on one or develop my own group of riders. I also adjust my pace ti theirs, if they are slower and it's never an issue with me.....I do NOT drop ride partners....ever. It's just bad form, and how could I continue my advocacy of cycling as a healthy lifestyle if I don't stick around to support and encourage, right?

One option you might consider. You are physically challenged, that's an indisputable fact, but you continue to overcome your physical issues, so why not use it in your community to model your successes for other people who might benefit from the lifestyle and getting out and riding. You could be a powerful Agent of Change in their lives for the better. If you positively affect even one persons life, then you are successful, and believe me when I say that you will affect far more than one person positively!
Thank you, Tom. That's one reason why I blog as frequently as I do, and in such detail. Meanwhile, I'm trying to develop my own herd of riders here. My bike shop has even suggested I lead beginner's rides for them, but I don't feel I'm experienced enough to do that... now.

As for physical challenges, my structural problems pale next to my struggles to master clipless pedals. :-)
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Old 04-08-07, 08:37 PM   #15
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no one should ever touch you while you are pedaling a bicycle. A ride advertised as beginner should be slow, and have a re-group policy. no you are not out of line.
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Old 04-08-07, 09:20 PM   #16
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Well, no one should touch you while you're a beginner, anyway. (Road riding is more about bumping and comfort with it than most would imagine.)

I have to say, you were sorely mistreated. I have experienced the same with a friend and a group of his acquaintances. In this case, it wasn't so much a fitness issue as it was a directional issue...I needed to keep up with them to know WHERE to go. Everyone assured me that this was a friendly trail ride, and looking at them, I didn't think they'd really drop us even if they tried. During the ride (in a large area of wooded singletrack, with many crossing trails), my friend dropped a bottle and I stopped with him to retrieve it. His "buddies" took off like scalded cats. We didn't see them until we ran into them at an after-ride hangout. "Where'd you go?" they demanded. I told them what they could do with themselves, and queried exactly WHY they considered this a group ride when all they did was string out and attack someone with a mechanical. I don't think I've ever blown up so badly in someone's face before.

It was EXACTLY this that you experienced today. Simple dickishness. Some people can't be trusted to be kind or helpful or even semi-thoughtful. They were out to dust some "beginners" and show what super-tough-fast-guys they were. Reality? Small minds and small abilities. You were right in telling them where they could shove their ride.

Riding with a group of friends is great. Unfortunately, some people just won't be friendly. Keep looking and keep riding. You'll find a place to fit in.
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Old 04-08-07, 10:12 PM   #17
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Gees, the only thing I can equate this to is when I was a professional ski instructor, if I took a beginner student where they didn't belong I would have been fired. I think the ahole leader should be canned.
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Old 04-08-07, 10:38 PM   #18
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Last edited by Horse; 04-18-07 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 04-08-07, 10:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by The Historian
As for physical challenges, my structural problems pale next to my struggles to master clipless pedals. :-)
Just remember. As far as clipless pedals go, you won't fall while using clipless pedals until you are in an area where at least ten people can watch you go down.
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Old 04-08-07, 11:29 PM   #20
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Beginner rides with my club are generally 3 to 10 miles and no one ever gets dropped. I can see why you would be angry.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:56 AM   #21
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That is terrible. Some people consider riding their bike a competition. I'd like to consider riding a bike for pleasure. That is why I ride alone. I'm not interested in "racing" with a group.
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Old 04-09-07, 02:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by oddiseeus
Just remember. As far as clipless pedals go, you won't fall while using clipless pedals until you are in an area where at least ten people can watch you go down.
ain't that the truth!

like the rest, I'm pretty shocked at the treatment received here. had similar experiences here, even going out with mates. Had a few trips with friends where I'd end up burying myself or doing ridiculous things on descents to keep up/catch up. Eventually found a few guys I could go out with that would stick at more of my pace, and eventually really got into being out on my own as well.
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Old 04-09-07, 04:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
One option you might consider. You are physically challenged, that's an indisputable fact, but you continue to overcome your physical issues, so why not use it in your community to model your successes for other people who might benefit from the lifestyle and getting out and riding. You could be a powerful Agent of Change in their lives for the better. If you positively affect even one persons life, then you are successful, and believe me when I say that you will affect far more than one person positively!
Submitted to the email list of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia:

*************
Having lit a fire, I'd like to light a candle instead. I'm offering to lead beginner's rides for BCP in a couple of months, once I've gotten to be a more confident and better rider. As [the club president] has observed, BCP is volunteer. Despite yesterday, I've profited greatly from the support BCP has shown me over the past three months. Perhaps I should start giving back.

Leading a beginner's ride will require me to improve my bike handling and riding skills, and be prepared to help with mechanical problems. Frankly, it will a challenge to me to reach that level of ability. But I'm used to challenges as a former 385 pound man. I often beat them. And I, perhaps, have a better idea of what a beginner thinks than someone who has been riding for 30 years.

Besides, I think I make a darn fine inspiration to take up cycling. "If a middle-aged fat guy with two crooked knees and a spinal curvature can ride..." It's important to show that BCP isn't entirely Lance-wannabes if you want to attract beginning riders. And please remember, Lance was once a beginner too.
********
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Old 04-09-07, 05:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Historian
Submitted to the email list of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia:

*************
Having lit a fire, I'd like to light a candle instead. I'm offering to lead beginner's rides for BCP in a couple of months, once I've gotten to be a more confident and better rider. As [the club president] has observed, BCP is volunteer. Despite yesterday, I've profited greatly from the support BCP has shown me over the past three months. Perhaps I should start giving back.

Leading a beginner's ride will require me to improve my bike handling and riding skills, and be prepared to help with mechanical problems. Frankly, it will a challenge to me to reach that level of ability. But I'm used to challenges as a former 385 pound man. I often beat them. And I, perhaps, have a better idea of what a beginner thinks than someone who has been riding for 30 years.

Besides, I think I make a darn fine inspiration to take up cycling. "If a middle-aged fat guy with two crooked knees and a spinal curvature can ride..." It's important to show that BCP isn't entirely Lance-wannabes if you want to attract beginning riders. And please remember, Lance was once a beginner too.
********
YES! Good move! Excellent!
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Old 04-09-07, 05:13 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by oddiseeus
Just remember. As far as clipless pedals go, you won't fall while using clipless pedals until you are in an area where at least ten people can watch you go down.
That's just not so. It can happen at a stop light with only one attractive female sitting at the light to witness the fall, roll down her window and ask if you're OK with a puzzled look on her face, wondering why did that guy just stop and fall off his bike? Don't ask me how I know that.
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