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View Poll Results: Are You a Cycling Elitist?

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  • Yes, as a rule I don't ride with slower/weaker/less experienced riders.

    3 3.57%
  • No, I ride with anyone regardless of ability.

    40 47.62%
  • At times Yes, and at times No. It depends on the ride and what I am training for.

    32 38.10%
  • I don't know.

    7 8.33%
  • Fat, middle-aged chess historians shouldn't ride bicycles.

    5 5.95%
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  1. #1
    Neil_B
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    Are you a Cycling Elitist?

    Are you a cycling elitist? In other words, do you ride with weaker/slower/less experienced riders? If you do, when do you ride with them, and under what conditions? If you don't, and you are an elitist, what prompted your decision?

    Please note that the concepts of an elite and elitism are considered offensive to many folks in our relentlessly lowest-common denominator world, but most of us recognize there are people who are, for whatever reason, better than most people at doing something or other. Lance Armstrong is only the most obvious example in cycling.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Yep...totally depends.

    Saturday Montrose Training Ride? If I've invited someone, I'll shepherd them regardless of how slow they are. If I'm alone, I'll drill it with the big boys as best I can. And I don't expect them to wait for me when they drop me.

    Home club orientation ride? It's my job to coach new riders through. Sometime, they're faster than me and drop me. Fine. If they're slower, I ride with them.

    Yeah, you're also right about elitism. I certainly don't consider myself one.

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  3. #3
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    I mostly ride alone, so I'm having trouble deciding between "I don't know" and "Fat, middle-aged chess historians shouldn't ride bicycles."

    But honestly: I'd love to go riding with you, to see the places you show us in your ride photos.
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  4. #4
    JRA. BikEthan's Avatar
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    I generally ride solo. Don't really do a lot of club rides up here. I should start... it would likely make me a faster rider. Those times when I am riding with friends I like to keep up with them, whether they're going slower than me, or faster. All depends on circumstances.
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  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Condorita View Post
    I mostly ride alone, so I'm having trouble deciding between "I don't know" and "Fat, middle-aged chess historians shouldn't ride bicycles."

    But honestly: I'd love to go riding with you, to see the places you show us in your ride photos.
    You can vote for both, if you like. The latter comment is a constant in all my polls.

  6. #6
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Are you a cycling elitist? In other words, do you ride with weaker/slower/less experienced riders? If you do, when do you ride with them, and under what conditions? If you don't, and you are an elitist, what prompted your decision?

    Please note that the concepts of an elite and elitism are considered offensive to many folks in our relentlessly lowest-common denominator world, but most of us recognize there are people who are, for whatever reason, better than most people at doing something or other. Lance Armstrong is only the most obvious example in cycling.
    Sometimes I am 'elitist' when riding, as odd as that may seem. But then it's a case of my not riding with stronger riders unless it's their recovery day or they are taking a day off from 'serious' riding.

  7. #7
    Go Leafs kgriffioen's Avatar
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    In the past year I have ridden with other people a grand total of 3 times. Sometimes I think that having company would be cool, but most of the time I'm glad I'm alone. I need my alone time. Its a great time to think, reflect, unwind etc etc.

    Really not sure how I would react with other people, but I probably should try it a bit more often.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    I voted "I don't know".
    That being said Sometimes I just want to train for an upcoming event and, though I normally ride alone (strange workdays don't ya know), I so relish the prospect of company on a ride that I'll usually ride whatever speed my companion for the trip is comfortable with. I'm not really fast to start with.

    There are times that this is a bit frustrating...but I have learned valuable lessons.
    For instance, I was on an organized ride with my wife (who is afraid of going any faster than 9mph)...in order to stay with her, I had to drop to a lower gear and "spin". She had to SAG out halfway through (she hadn't been feeling well), but I continued on at a bit faster pace but not pushing it (like I normally would),
    and finished feeling refreshed and recharged instead of worn out.
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  9. #9
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    Holy Cow. So someone that won't ride with slower riders is an "elitist"? That's a heck of a conclusion to jump to. Maybe that someone is a racer and his/her rides are training rides. Maybe riding slowly with others that can't keep up isn't fun. That doesn't make them an elitist. It just means that they know what they want to do.

    Yes, I'll ride with slow riders. Just yesterday I went for a ride with my 7yo son. I think our average speed was 9.5. As opposed to the day before when my ride avg was 16.

    BTW, you don't have a response there that fits. I won't ride with just anyone. I don't generally ride with total strangers that I come across, though I have once or twice. I also won't take my big weekend ride day and pare it back to accommodate someone that called up that morning and wants to join me. I'll instead offer to take them out a different day with more planning.

    On the other hand, I won't join in a faster group and expect them to wait for me when I drop off. If I can't hang with them, I'll find my own way when I get dropped.
    Last edited by JoelS; 02-02-09 at 10:42 AM.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    Holy Cow. So someone that won't ride with slower riders is an "elitist"? That's a heck of a conclusion to jump to. Maybe that someone is a racer and his/her rides are training rides. Maybe riding slowly with others that can't keep up isn't fun. That doesn't make them an elitist.
    Actually, it does. And there's nothing wrong with that.

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    There are some people I invite only for certain ride routes. Some people I won't call if it's cold. Or raining. Or if I'm going farther than 20 miles.
    I never considered myself elitist for understanding people's limitations and tailoring routes to specific people. I know my own limitations, and I don't try and hang with the A-group club riders; and I don't consider them elitist for not inviting me and my 15mph average on their weekend 70 mile, 5000' of climbing, 20mph carbon fiber hammer-fest.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgriffioen View Post
    In the past year I have ridden with other people a grand total of 3 times. Sometimes I think that having company would be cool, but most of the time I'm glad I'm alone. I need my alone time. Its a great time to think, reflect, unwind etc etc.

    Really not sure how I would react with other people, but I probably should try it a bit more often.
    Gee...sure sound elitist to me

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Actually, it does. And there's nothing wrong with that.
    No, it doesn't. Elitism is an attitude, a very negative attitude (and yes, there is something wrong with those people that truly believe themselves elite). It's the belief that you are better than those around you and will have nothing to do with them.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  14. #14
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    No, it doesn't. Elitism is an attitude, a very negative attitude (and yes, there is something wrong with those people that truly believe themselves elite). It's the belief that you are better than those around you and will have nothing to do with them.
    Better in what sense? I'm a better writer than many people. I don't write with them. It doesn't mean I won't ride with them, dine with them, etc.

  15. #15
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    When I ride with others I try to ride with stronger riders. That will only help me become a better rider myself.

  16. #16
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    I once rode with a neighbor that was 20 years younger then me but wasn't in good shape and mostly rode his bike no further the 3 miles. I was telling him about a MUP 6 miles away that I usually ride to and go up and down the rolling terrain of the MUP for another 7 miles without stopping.

    It was fun at first on the flat 6 miles to the MUP though my companion was puffing by the time we got there so we stopped to rest until he was ready. By that time I had cooled way down. I had him take the lead so I could coach him through navigating the rolling terrain ( shift down to before climbing the rises, shift up at the top to go down the drops, this is Houston, it's flat, not a lot of reasons to work those shifters).

    When he got the hang of it I went a little faster to get my warm up back. I noticed in no time he wasn't behind me any more. I found a place to wait after the worst bit of rolling terrain. Two minutes later he shows up and he was ready for another break. So off to the shade with lots of water we go. When he was ready again we went another half mil of fairly flat terrain and he was done. I had mercy on him and took him off the MUP and on a bike lane home.

    Over all, I don't think either of us had much fun. He never wanted to go back with me again, though he did go with another rider of his level. Does this make me an elitist?
    Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 02-02-09 at 12:27 PM.

  17. #17
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I might be if I found anyone slower than me. But usually, I'm riding by myself or with faster people, so it's a moot point.
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  18. #18
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    I'm one of those slower then most faster then some riders in no peer rider land myself

    I usually ride with a group on saturday that is no drop and there are a few folks who can ride fast and climb well. There are about 8 regroup points in the first 10 miles and there are a couple folks who will sprint out on hills but they will regroup. Usually in the beginning of the ride if i'm the only recumbent I stay at the very back until the ride leader makes his way back. Once he is talking to the rear folks I shoot around and catch the folks attacking the occasional hills to make sure they get passed by a clyde on one of those can't climb a hill recumbent. After the first few miles there aren't any hills so we all will meander along chatting as we ride along at 10-12 mph until we get to the coffee shop and take a 45 minute rest from our 10 mile ride. I'll probably ride my road bike next weekend and ride a little more sociably.

    On the other hand for longer rides I personally don't like riding with faster riders.
    I did my first 200k (124~ miles) with a group of 5 other recumbents and I think I did ok but it was the beginning of the year for them and I had ridden through the winter so was on a more even ground. Still I slowed them down as normally they would have finished 2-3 hours earlier. Multiply that out by the 10-15 rides they'll do a year and that would be a lot of waiting so with the exception of a recumbent celebrity appearance at one ride (John Schlitter) I tried to stay home unless I was going a different distance. This year I'm hitting my rides solo or with a somewhat slower rider which I can't drop because she carries the keys

  19. #19
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    I usually ride alone, so I'm in the I Don't Know camp. If someone comes up beside me, I'll ride with them, but I won't make an exceptional effort to keep up with them. Same thing if I'm passing someone. If they want to keep up with me, fine. I won't usually slow down for them, though.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Calling oneself elitist is elitist. Our club has enough members with various cycling abilities; each ride we normally seek out those who share any given day's ability
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  21. #21
    Senior Member natbla's Avatar
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    Ok, so what is the back story behind the post? I'm guessing you have something on your mind Historian?
    just spinning the wheels and up and over the hills of Western Maryland. Hmm make that the Hocking Hills of Ohio.


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  22. #22
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I'm pretty slow and I feel like a hypocrite, but I don't want to ride much with (the few) people who can't keep up with ME. It's OK for a short recovery ride or if they are just barely slower, but other than that I just get impatient and feel like I'm not accomplishing much.

    I do ride with slightly faster riders but I don't want to put them in the same position I dislike, so I let them know it's OK for them to drop me and I'll manage on my own. I don't mind having to breathe hard while they are chatting.

    I have had some fun playing cat-and-mouse with others who have similar speed to mine. Sometimes I am more in the mood for that than BS-ing while riding with strangers.

    Not sure I'd call that "elitist" -- I am all too aware at how it is to be the slow one. I ride solo most of my rides.

  23. #23
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    The question is a good one. I prefer to ride with people close to my speed. Since my wife is slower than me, I bought a newer, heavier 3-speed bike to help me remember to slow down. Is that elitist?

    I'm with JoelS on this one. The word "elitist" has connotations of snobbery and disdain.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Denny Koll's Avatar
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    I thought you were elitist if you didn't wave at everybody. What does speed have to do with it?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Condorita View Post
    I mostly ride alone, so I'm having trouble deciding between "I don't know" and "Fat, middle-aged chess historians shouldn't ride bicycles."

    But honestly: I'd love to go riding with you, to see the places you show us in your ride photos.
    I ride alone

    yeaaaaah with nobody else
    you know when I ride alone
    I prefer to be by myself

    but yeah, I'm a loner also.

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