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  1. #1
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    Group ride today = worst idea ever

    Today I went on my first group ride. The title was "Nice N' Easy," so I figured this would be a good one to go to. I left my house, brought my bike to the LBS just to make sure everything was in working order, and then went to the meet-up spot. The ride was scheduled to leave at 1:30pm. When I get there around 1:15, there are a couple of people there and I chit-chat with them for a little bit. Everyone was really nice, although in noticeably better shape that I am. Someone then asked about how long the ride was going to be today. The answer "20-25 miles". Oh crap; the longest I had ever gone was 12. I know that I could have done more, but I wasn't sure just how much more. I should also mention at this point that it was about 90 degrees out.

    We left around 1:35 and everything was going pretty well. The route was basically an out-and-back with minor variations. We got to our first stop which was about 11 miles away from the start, so my total trip so far was 15 miles. I was actually feeling pretty good. We were keeping up a pace of about 10-11 mph and that was great for me. I normally do 12-13 now and going slower was keeping me less tired. I was happy. For the most part, the ride up until this point was pretty flat with some rolling hills and the like. There were no real big downhills.

    After we stopped on the side of the road with a great view of Lake Monroe, we went back the way we came for a couple miles and then took a right, instead of the left that would bring us back the way we came. I had no idea what was in store for me. We dropped about 200 feet in a mile and a half and this brought us right down to lake level. I was pretty sure I was going to have a problem soon. Right after the lake, maybe half a mile, I faced the biggest hill I have ever seen. It was about a mile long and I had to walk about 3/4 of it. A couple of the riders were nice enough to wait for me right at the top and the rest of them were waiting under a nice big tree about 1/4 mile away. At this point, I was exhausted. That hill, even walking it, absolutely killed me. Fortunately, we had another stop coming up at the Tibetan Cultural Center. This weekend was the Dalai Lama's 72nd birthday so there were tons of people around. I needed some water badly, (my bottle had run out before the giant hill) so I went inside and everyone was really nice and I got some nice cold water for the rest of the trip. Total mileage at this point was about 22 miles.

    Since there were so many people there, the group wanted to get going. I had had almost no rest since the giant hill too, since I was about getting water while they were all recuperating. I was exhausted. I don't know if it was just me, but it seemed like every time we turned a corner after this point, there was a long hill to go up. After we turned into a residential neighborhood, I (thankfully) knew where I was again. And there was also another hill to go up. My legs said no and I had to stop. One of the ride leaders circled back and I told him that I knew where I was, so he could continue with the rest of the group and I would be fine by myself. I just had to rest for like 10-15 minutes.

    After literally laying down in someone's front lawn under a big tree for about 15 minutes I got up. Well, I stumbled up. My legs decided they didn't want to do anything else today. I then made the horrible realization that I would not be able to make it home. After getting up enough courage, I went to houses to start asking for a ride. I was only about 3 1/2 miles from my house, so I figured it wouldn't have been much of a problem. That was a bad assumption. The first two houses didn't answer their doors, while both of them had garages wide open and at the second house I could see people in the living room. As I was about to head to the third house, the owner's of the first house I had visited left and drove right by me without making any eye contact. The third house I went to was having a party, or some sort of get together. I asked the lady who answered the door (!) for a lift, and she hesitated for a second and then said, "Why don't you go ask them?" She pointed to her neighbors across the street who were just about to leave. As soon as the last word was out of her mouth, she slammed the door shut. Thankfully, the people that this "nice" woman had directed me to were very friendly and decided to give me a ride home. The lady who drove me home was from Nigeria and I guess where she grew up she was always taught to help other people because no one can do everything by themselves. This lady is my new hero. I gave her $5, since it's all I had on me and she dropped me off about 1/2 mile from my door. The ride from there was cake. It was only 1/2 mile and I had been off my bike for close to 1/2 an hour at this point. Then, about 30 feet from my door, my front tire slips off the sidewalk and I had to perform a quick dismount. Thankfully I stayed on my feet and the bike wasn't damaged except for a couple scratches. At this point, this was salt on the wound. After that I finally got to walk in my front door. It was 4:45. I had left the house around 1:00. After having a nice tall glass of water, I stretched out on the couch and slept for 2 1/2 hours.

    It has been quite a day, but I now have a new max distance: 23.28 miles. I think that I'll stay away from these "Nice N' Easy" rides for a while though. Up until my disgraceful end, I was enjoying myself. I think after all this I decided that group rides are fun, primarily because you get to see new sights and also meet new people. I just wish they had kept the ride to nice and easy, not nice and easy and horribly long.

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Ouch! Sorry it was as tough as that! Try the morning "Nice and Easy" rides, your energy levels are generally higher in the morning, and take some carbs to keep the blood sugars up (It's also cooler!).

    Stay hydrated as well on your ride, sip every chance you get, at least every 10 minutes. Drink before you get thirsty. If you do get thirsty, you are behind on your hydration curve if you waited until then to drink. Accelerade, Twin Labs Ultrafuel, and other Maltodextrin base sports drinks are your friend as well. If you don't need them, they taste HORRIBLE , but if you do need their electrolytes and carbs, they taste like the "Nectar of the Gods"!

    View this as a challenge and you'll win it. Your idea of horribly long will also increase as your fitness and capabilities increase. You've seen this already.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  3. #3
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Wow scarry, but glad everything worked out and congrats on the distance. As far as riding during the heat of the day, until your in better aerobic shape, don't, it's a killer, but if you are going to do that, buy a camelbak, 70 oz or more. In the summer if I ride after 10 am, I use both a 70 oz Camelbak and my bottles on my rides. The camelbak is for strictly for me to drink and I will use the bottles to pour on me to help cool me. Fill the Camelbak with some sort of drink mix, I use Lemon\Lime Powerbar mix, and let it cool in the refrigerator overnight. Then the next day, your drinking fluid will stay cold the whole ride. I have ridden in temps in the upper 90's with a humiture of 110 F and if not for the cool fluid and the bottles, I would have not made it. I learned my lesson pretty quick on those.

    Make sure you are fully hydrated before you go riding in the heat as well. Try and drink 32 to 48 oz of water a few hours before the ride so you wont dehydrate so much. Tom, correct me if I am wrong on the amounts as I know what I do here in the deep Southeast may not work for your conditions in Indiana.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
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  4. #4
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    It sounded like a good thing for about 60% of the ride. Sorry it turned out the way it did, but you have learned from this and become a stronger person from this also. You will probably try it again, but just not for a while and you can also find out more about the routes before hand in some cases.

    I have yet to do one, but the Omaha guys might actually get something started, and I will see if they will let a noob tag a long.
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    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMetal
    Today I went on my first group ride. The title was "Nice N' Easy," so I figured this would be a good one to go to. I left my house, brought my bike to the LBS just to make sure everything was in working order, and then went to the meet-up spot. The ride was scheduled to leave at 1:30pm. When I get there around 1:15, there are a couple of people there and I chit-chat with them for a little bit. Everyone was really nice, although in noticeably better shape that I am. Someone then asked about how long the ride was going to be today. The answer "20-25 miles". Oh crap; the longest I had ever gone was 12. I know that I could have done more, but I wasn't sure just how much more. I should also mention at this point that it was about 90 degrees out.

    We left around 1:35 and everything was going pretty well. The route was basically an out-and-back with minor variations. We got to our first stop which was about 11 miles away from the start, so my total trip so far was 15 miles. I was actually feeling pretty good. We were keeping up a pace of about 10-11 mph and that was great for me. I normally do 12-13 now and going slower was keeping me less tired. I was happy. For the most part, the ride up until this point was pretty flat with some rolling hills and the like. There were no real big downhills.

    After we stopped on the side of the road with a great view of Lake Monroe, we went back the way we came for a couple miles and then took a right, instead of the left that would bring us back the way we came. I had no idea what was in store for me. We dropped about 200 feet in a mile and a half and this brought us right down to lake level. I was pretty sure I was going to have a problem soon. Right after the lake, maybe half a mile, I faced the biggest hill I have ever seen. It was about a mile long and I had to walk about 3/4 of it. A couple of the riders were nice enough to wait for me right at the top and the rest of them were waiting under a nice big tree about 1/4 mile away. At this point, I was exhausted. That hill, even walking it, absolutely killed me. Fortunately, we had another stop coming up at the Tibetan Cultural Center. This weekend was the Dalai Lama's 72nd birthday so there were tons of people around. I needed some water badly, (my bottle had run out before the giant hill) so I went inside and everyone was really nice and I got some nice cold water for the rest of the trip. Total mileage at this point was about 22 miles.

    Since there were so many people there, the group wanted to get going. I had had almost no rest since the giant hill too, since I was about getting water while they were all recuperating. I was exhausted. I don't know if it was just me, but it seemed like every time we turned a corner after this point, there was a long hill to go up. After we turned into a residential neighborhood, I (thankfully) knew where I was again. And there was also another hill to go up. My legs said no and I had to stop. One of the ride leaders circled back and I told him that I knew where I was, so he could continue with the rest of the group and I would be fine by myself. I just had to rest for like 10-15 minutes.

    After literally laying down in someone's front lawn under a big tree for about 15 minutes I got up. Well, I stumbled up. My legs decided they didn't want to do anything else today. I then made the horrible realization that I would not be able to make it home. After getting up enough courage, I went to houses to start asking for a ride. I was only about 3 1/2 miles from my house, so I figured it wouldn't have been much of a problem. That was a bad assumption. The first two houses didn't answer their doors, while both of them had garages wide open and at the second house I could see people in the living room. As I was about to head to the third house, the owner's of the first house I had visited left and drove right by me without making any eye contact. The third house I went to was having a party, or some sort of get together. I asked the lady who answered the door (!) for a lift, and she hesitated for a second and then said, "Why don't you go ask them?" She pointed to her neighbors across the street who were just about to leave. As soon as the last word was out of her mouth, she slammed the door shut. Thankfully, the people that this "nice" woman had directed me to were very friendly and decided to give me a ride home. The lady who drove me home was from Nigeria and I guess where she grew up she was always taught to help other people because no one can do everything by themselves. This lady is my new hero. I gave her $5, since it's all I had on me and she dropped me off about 1/2 mile from my door. The ride from there was cake. It was only 1/2 mile and I had been off my bike for close to 1/2 an hour at this point. Then, about 30 feet from my door, my front tire slips off the sidewalk and I had to perform a quick dismount. Thankfully I stayed on my feet and the bike wasn't damaged except for a couple scratches. At this point, this was salt on the wound. After that I finally got to walk in my front door. It was 4:45. I had left the house around 1:00. After having a nice tall glass of water, I stretched out on the couch and slept for 2 1/2 hours.

    It has been quite a day, but I now have a new max distance: 23.28 miles. I think that I'll stay away from these "Nice N' Easy" rides for a while though. Up until my disgraceful end, I was enjoying myself. I think after all this I decided that group rides are fun, primarily because you get to see new sights and also meet new people. I just wish they had kept the ride to nice and easy, not nice and easy and horribly long.
    Joe,

    You were not disgraceful, nor was your end. I thought you handled yourself well. You performed better than anyone, including yourself, probably expected you to do.

    And it appears the ride leaders were nice to you as a beginner. They didn't drop you or turn it into a hammerfest. (That happened to me in a Bicycle Club of Philadelphia "Instructional" ride three months ago today.) They even turned back to see how you were.

    Your mistake was in going on a group ride that was longer than you could handle. But even that has a good side, in that you now know you can ride 23 miles at a time.

    I'm glad you found a good Samaritan to take you home. You said she's your hero. Well, Joe, for riding as hard and as long as you have, with your experience level, you are now my hero. (I'm Terrierman's hero, so I'll pay forward the compliment.)

  6. #6
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Wow. I'll be remembering this* story for quite a while.

    In a year, you should resurrect this thread and tell us how things have changed...

  7. #7
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr
    Wow scarry, but glad everything worked out and congrats on the distance. As far as riding during the heat of the day, until your in better aerobic shape, don't, it's a killer, but if you are going to do that, buy a camelbak, 70 oz or more. In the summer if I ride after 10 am, I use both a 70 oz Camelbak and my bottles on my rides. The camelbak is for strictly for me to drink and I will use the bottles to pour on me to help cool me. Fill the Camelbak with some sort of drink mix, I use Lemon\Lime Powerbar mix, and let it cool in the refrigerator overnight. Then the next day, your drinking fluid will stay cold the whole ride. I have ridden in temps in the upper 90's with a humiture of 110 F and if not for the cool fluid and the bottles, I would have not made it. I learned my lesson pretty quick on those.

    Make sure you are fully hydrated before you go riding in the heat as well. Try and drink 32 to 48 oz of water a few hours before the ride so you wont dehydrate so much. Tom, correct me if I am wrong on the amounts as I know what I do here in the deep Southeast may not work for your conditions in Indiana.
    Looks good to me!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  8. #8
    Senior Member tt1106's Avatar
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    Nice job. Soon you'll be climbing the hils like a demon. I puked yesterday on my 30 mile ride and my ultra-marathoning friend. (talk about intimidating) said, "cool". LOL. He's a little jealous that I can get my heart rate above 150 so easilly. Don't lose heart.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BeckyW's Avatar
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    What a hero YOU are! I'd have probably chickened out when I saw that first big downhill, and gone back home defeated. You can be really proud of yourself for pushing on to a distance much, MUCH further than you'd ever gone before. And it won't be long before you'll be ready to ride with that group again, and keep up easily.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    Stay hydrated as well on your ride, sip every chance you get, at least every 10 minutes. Drink before you get thirsty. If you do get thirsty, you are behind on your hydration curve if you waited until then to drink. Accelerade, Twin Labs Ultrafuel, and other Maltodextrin base sports drinks are your friend as well. If you don't need them, they taste HORRIBLE , but if you do need their electrolytes and carbs, they taste like the "Nectar of the Gods"!

    View this as a challenge and you'll win it. Your idea of horribly long will also increase as your fitness and capabilities increase. You've seen this already.
    I'm pretty sure that my hydration was a factor at the end there. I'm also pretty sure that my blood sugar levels were dangerously low. In fact, after laying down for a while, I was a little light headed and dizzy upon sitting up. I've actually been planning on getting Accelerade for riding, instead of just using water. Do you know anywhere I can get it other than the website? Like, a real store?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr
    Wow scarry, but glad everything worked out and congrats on the distance. As far as riding during the heat of the day, until your in better aerobic shape, don't, it's a killer, but if you are going to do that, buy a camelbak, 70 oz or more. In the summer if I ride after 10 am, I use both a 70 oz Camelbak and my bottles on my rides. The camelbak is for strictly for me to drink and I will use the bottles to pour on me to help cool me. Fill the Camelbak with some sort of drink mix, I use Lemon\Lime Powerbar mix, and let it cool in the refrigerator overnight. Then the next day, your drinking fluid will stay cold the whole ride. I have ridden in temps in the upper 90's with a humiture of 110 F and if not for the cool fluid and the bottles, I would have not made it. I learned my lesson pretty quick on those.
    I was looking at some discussions about Camelbaks (I think it might have been in the Road Cycling forum) and they all seemed against them. Right now I just use one water bottle, which will be changed to two bottles very shortly. Especially after today.

    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572
    It sounded like a good thing for about 60% of the ride. Sorry it turned out the way it did, but you have learned from this and become a stronger person from this also. You will probably try it again, but just not for a while and you can also find out more about the routes before hand in some cases.
    I will definitely try this again. Although, it won't be next Sunday. Hopefully before August I'll go out with these folks again. As far as finding out about routes beforehand, I'm not sure if I like that. I'd like to be able to just go whereever no matter what lies in front of me. I'll make sure to climb no mountains or anything, but if there is a hill coming up that might be pushing my limits, I would rather HAVE to try because I have nowhere else to go instead of just avoiding that hill because I knew it was there. Like, yesterday I took a ride down by another lake on the north side of town and I had no idea how much of a drop and then climb it was. If I had gone that way in a car beforehand, I would have never taken that route. The hill was much less steep, but that doesn't make it any less there.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian
    Joe,

    You were not disgraceful, nor was your end. I thought you handled yourself well. You performed better than anyone, including yourself, probably expected you to do.

    And it appears the ride leaders were nice to you as a beginner. They didn't drop you or turn it into a hammerfest. (That happened to me in a Bicycle Club of Philadelphia "Instructional" ride three months ago today.) They even turned back to see how you were.

    Your mistake was in going on a group ride that was longer than you could handle. But even that has a good side, in that you now know you can ride 23 miles at a time.

    I'm glad you found a good Samaritan to take you home. You said she's your hero. Well, Joe, for riding as hard and as long as you have, with your experience level, you are now my hero. (I'm Terrierman's hero, so I'll pay forward the compliment.)
    I certainly think that I performed better than I thought I would. I was absolutely amazed when we stopped the first time after 15 miles and I was fine. Actually, (I just realized this) that was by far the longest I have ever gone without stopping. I think the longest I had gone before was under 8 miles. So it wasn't all bad, I just wish that whole ending part didn't happen. Next time I go out on a ride like this and they give some "large" (since it's relative) number for the mileage of the trip, I may opt out instead of being stubborn and just saying that my body won't give out if I don't let it. And as far at the hero thing goes, ... wow. Thanks, a lot. I'm not sure if I'm hero material, but I'll try not to let you down.

    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    Wow. I'll be remembering this* story for quite a while.

    In a year, you should resurrect this thread and tell us how things have changed...
    That is an excellent idea. It is almost always a bad idea to compare yourself to someone else, but I feel it is an excellent idea to compare you to yourself. Hopefully in a year I'll have a similar story, but this time instead of trying for 25 miles, I'll be trying for a double century. Wait... scratch that. I'd rather the story end with me getting home with some energy after 200 miles.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JumboRider's Avatar
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    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing, it sounds like a rough one. I am sure there are many clydes that could end up in the same situation. That ride would have killed me. Frankly, I have been too afraid to join in a group ride at this level of my riding ability.

    Lessons I learned from your hardships:

    Carry cash with you.
    Know the length of the ride before going and have a route map if you can get it.
    Cell phone charged.
    More liquid than my two bottles will hold.
    Have the gumption to ride.

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    CVS is supposed to carry Ultra Fuel from Twin Labs.

    Store #8671:

    Graphic for stores with 1-hour photo 1-hour photo
    510 COLLEGE MALL ROAD
    BLOOMINGTON, IN 47401
    Front Store Phone: (812) 336-0279
    Pharmacy Phone: (812) 336-0279
    Front Store Hours: 07:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8:00 AM-10:00 PM; Sat., 8:00 AM-6:00 PM; Sun., 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
    View the Street Map.

    Store #6697:

    Graphic for stores with 1-hour photo 1-hour photo
    Graphic for 24-hour stores 24 hour store
    2701 EAST THIRD STREET
    BLOOMINGTON, IN 47401
    Front Store Phone: (812) 332-1419
    Pharmacy Phone: (812) 332-1419
    Front Store Hours: Open 24 hours
    Pharmacy Hours: Open 24 Hours
    View the Street Map.

    Store #6698:

    Graphic for stores with 1-hour photo 1-hour photo
    1911 SOUTH WALNUT STREET
    BLOOMINGTON, IN 47401
    Front Store Phone: (812) 336-6223
    Pharmacy Phone: (812) 336-6223
    Front Store Hours: 08:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8:00 AM-10:00 PM; Sat., 8:00 AM-6:00 PM; Sun., 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
    View the Street Map.

    Store #3195:

    Graphic for stores with 1-hour photo 1-hour photo
    1000 NORTH COLLEGE AVENUE
    BLOOMINGTON, IN 47404
    Front Store Phone: (812) 339-2233
    Pharmacy Phone: (812) 339-2233
    Front Store Hours: 08:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Pharmacy Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8:00 AM-10:00 PM; Sat., 8:00 AM-6:00 PM; Sun., 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
    View the Street Map.


    GNC will also carry some good alternatives.

    Acelerade is currently online sales only, but are expanding to retail soon it looks like.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  13. #13
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    Acelerade is currently online sales only, but are expanding to retail soon it looks like.
    I purchased it in my local Safeway last week.

  14. #14
    Vorsprung durch Technik epcolt's Avatar
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    You should also get some PowerBars or Clif or some solid carbs. Also on long rides some gels work good to keep energy levels up. Accelerade is also good to mix in the water. Congrats on the attempt. Next time with a little more preplanning you might just be at the front of the pack.
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  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    [QUOTE=JumboRider]I just wanted to say thanks for sharing, it sounds like a rough one. I am sure there are many clydes that could end up in the same situation. [ /QUOTE]

    I was one. Three months ago today, as a matter of fact. Now you know why Joe is now my hero:

    Clyde Dropped on "Instructional" Ride

    ******
    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?

  16. #16
    Senior Member hr2510's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMetal
    I'm pretty sure that my hydration was a factor at the end there.
    I was looking at some discussions about Camelbaks (I think it might have been in the Road Cycling forum) and they all seemed against them. Right now I just use one water bottle, which will be changed to two bottles very shortly. Especially after today.
    Hmmmm, I'm not sure why they would be against them. They are probably the best made out there. This is the brand our military uses. I have the military version of the 3 liter Camelback "Mule" and I think it's GREAT!! I stuff it full of ice then top it off with water and have cold water for many hours even here in the Texas sun. I bought it to use hiking but I use it now while riding also. I tried the water bottle on the bike thing but with the heat from the asphalt bringing it close to boiling point.....YUCK! Congrats on your new long distance!!
    • Mike
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    First, congratulations on pushing yourself, I think it's good to do once in a while! Keep at the riding, before you know it you will be able to do this type of ride without thinking twice. At the beginning of this year I thought 10 miles was a long ride, now it takes me that long to warm up and I don't feel I've had a long ride until I'm over 30miles.

    I have a couple of thoughts:

    1) It's a sad state of our society that people aren't willing to help someone out who is having a physical/health problem, sad indeed.

    2) The lightheadedness could could be from either low blood sugar or dehydration.

    3) I was on a recent ride and about 1/2 way through I was dead tired, just no pep in my legs. I took a break, ate a Cliff bar, and about 15 minutes I felt like a new person, better than when I first started my ride. I could actually feel the energy surge. I actually began riding about 3mph faster than before the bar. I am sold, I will alway keep a Cliff bar or two with me just in case

    4) In regards to the CamelBak, I wear mine on just about every ride. I drink a lot of water and I love not having to bend down and drink from a dirty water bottle. Plus, I can keep my cell phone, car keys, Cliff bars, gels, etc... with me. Don't worry about what other people like/don't like, if it works for you, DO IT! On my longer rides I fill my CamelBak with 70oz of plain water and fill my 2 water bottls with Gu2O so I have both, it has worked well for me.

    I'm glad that you didn't let this ride discourage you. Learn from it, then your troubles will have not been in vain.

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    About the CamelBak, who cares why they are against it. I've ridden with a camelbak and without one, but I can tell you, it is way more important to be hydrated than fashionable. The camelbak is worth the investment, as Huzzah said with a camelbak you can have both and cary food or pretty much anything else that you may need.
    Check out the online buyers guide for cycling
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    OH MAN! good job on the ride. I bet if you look back on this ride you can think of some things that you might do differently. It sounds like you bonked (muscles gave out because of not being properly hydrated or nourished before and during the ride.) I'd dare bet that if you took care of that you would be able to finish the ride with the group. Hey, no reason to "step back" now. Get "back on the horse" and try again. You will be absolutely astonished at how fast you improve when you push yourself. Another thing that is extremely helpful to us Clydes... learn how to properly climb hills. Learn how properly use your gears so that you don't "spin out" or "burn out" on hills. Another huge benefit, if they take the same route, is that you can plan better... get some speed before the upcoming hills.

    I've been in the same situation on "recreational" rides. The first one that I did this spring, I kept the "ride leader" or "sweep" company at the very back of the pack (so far back that I couldn't spot another rider for the last 8 miles of the ride.) But, I kept going, and here I am now riding in the middle of the pack at 15mph on hilly rides and 16.5mph on flat rides. The ride description says that the rides will be 25-35 miles long at a pace of 14-16mph. Granted... to some guys in the group, "recreational" means 20-21 mph, and that's fine because they don't want to be pulling up the tail end of the "fitness" ride which is classified as 18-22+ mph (I have a feeling it's closer to the 22+mph than the 18mph.) "DON'T BACK OFF -- KEEP PUSHING YOURSELF!!"

  20. #20
    Man, Myth, Legend,Bigfoot chunkyd's Avatar
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    Congrats on the ride! don't sweat it everyone bonks starting off at somepoint.
    i bonked on a 35mile group ride (fast pace, experienced riders) and while i ended up finishing i was going at a snails pace. My bonking was directly related to hydration.. once your dehydrated you start to shut it down..

    Personally i'd go on that same ride next week and just let the ride leader know
    that if its to much you'll split off.. use it as motivation... nothing like personal competetion to make you pull out the extra boost.

  21. #21
    Senior Member JumboRider's Avatar
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    Just a comment on the people not opening their doors or being a bit rude. I would say that the op was overheated and exhausted and probably looked a bit crazed and dazed. It is unfortunate, but it was probably safer for people not to answer the door. If I found that my wife had given a stranger a ride I would be very upset. It is not a matter of being rude, but being safe.

    Yes, the percentages are against something ever happening if my wife picks up someone and our media hypes the horrific cases, but that protective fear has been instilled.

  22. #22
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMetal
    I'm pretty sure that my hydration was a factor at the end there. I'm also pretty sure that my blood sugar levels were dangerously low. In fact, after laying down for a while, I was a little light headed and dizzy upon sitting up. I've actually been planning on getting Accelerade for riding, instead of just using water. Do you know anywhere I can get it other than the website? Like, a real store?



    I was looking at some discussions about Camelbaks (I think it might have been in the Road Cycling forum) and they all seemed against them. Right now I just use one water bottle, which will be changed to two bottles very shortly. Especially after today.



    I will definitely try this again. Although, it won't be next Sunday. Hopefully before August I'll go out with these folks again. As far as finding out about routes beforehand, I'm not sure if I like that. I'd like to be able to just go whereever no matter what lies in front of me. I'll make sure to climb no mountains or anything, but if there is a hill coming up that might be pushing my limits, I would rather HAVE to try because I have nowhere else to go instead of just avoiding that hill because I knew it was there. Like, yesterday I took a ride down by another lake on the north side of town and I had no idea how much of a drop and then climb it was. If I had gone that way in a car beforehand, I would have never taken that route. The hill was much less steep, but that doesn't make it any less there.



    I certainly think that I performed better than I thought I would. I was absolutely amazed when we stopped the first time after 15 miles and I was fine. Actually, (I just realized this) that was by far the longest I have ever gone without stopping. I think the longest I had gone before was under 8 miles. So it wasn't all bad, I just wish that whole ending part didn't happen. Next time I go out on a ride like this and they give some "large" (since it's relative) number for the mileage of the trip, I may opt out instead of being stubborn and just saying that my body won't give out if I don't let it. And as far at the hero thing goes, ... wow. Thanks, a lot. I'm not sure if I'm hero material, but I'll try not to let you down.
    All the advice about hydration and fueling is good, but the problems at the end sound more to me like asking the muscles for more than they have in them. You rode nearly double your top distance; training guides I've seen online suggest no more than 10-15 per cent improvement week to week.

    Choosing routes beforehand is a wise move, and not only because of hills. Road conditions and traffic volume come into play as well. For instance, I've had to change some of my local riding routes to avoid a steel grate bridge. When I ride to my gym, I use back roads to avoid a major highway interchange.

    Why not next week? You sound as if you could ride the whole thing. You logged 23 miles; next week you will probably top that.

  23. #23
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joemetal
    I was looking at some discussions about Camelbaks (I think it might have been in the Road Cycling forum) and they all seemed against them. Right now I just use one water bottle, which will be changed to two bottles very shortly. Especially after today.[/B]

    They are against them because they think it doesn't look cool on the 3000 dollar bikes. I could give a crap. I want my hydration and if a camelbak will give it too me then that is what I will ride with. I would also get a second bottle.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
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    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  24. #24
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Actually, a Camelback isn't the most comfortable item on Earth when you are in a forward position down in the drops or on an aerobar, either. That's the biggest thing I have against them.....the discomfort factor. Others mileage may vary of course, and if it works for you, then yes, it's a great solution!

    Keep it clean though or you'll wind up with a complete ecosystem in there...
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  25. #25
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    I have to say, reading about the experiences some of you have gone through has really helped me see things through different eyes.

    I semi-led (I didn't start off leading because I'd never been over the course, but as soon as I figured out where we were going, the person leading was happy, nay, ANXIOUS for me to lead ) another group ride yesterday (with 6 people). One rider was an Athena, who has logged around 500 miles on her bike. She is planning on going on next week's STP, doing a two day version. Although she is quite fit (she does rowing), she was not very fast, and her knees were beginning to bother her by the end. I have discovered that if left to myself, and with a strong, fast rider, I am perfectly capable of speeds I would have found astonishing not more than a year ago. But the point of the group rides has been to meet people, and to encourage them in cycling more. I find it shocking that you would go on group rides advertised as for beginners, and then to be left to fend for yourselves. It's one thing for me to be left by myself (I'm pretty self-sufficient), but I would never abandon another rider, especially one who was not looking all that well.

    Keep reminding, everyone. I don't want to turn into an uncaring ride leader , and your stories are a good way to keep me thinking.

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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

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