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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 11-25-09, 11:50 AM   #1
bretgross
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Legends in our own minds

or "Who needs testosterone when you have an active imagination?"

The "Story" in my mind:

I was returning from an early morning ride last summer. The Amtrak Century was only a few weeks away and I was putting in 175+ miles per week, with some days hitting the hills hard, some spin/recovery days, an interval day, and one long day per week.
This ride was my 'longer' one, so my pace was a little slower. I rode from south O.C. down PCH through all of the beach towns toward San Diego, turning around at the top of Torrey Pines grade, 45 miles into the ride.
I was on Camp Pendleton, about 15 miles from home and approaching a stop sign. I noticed two single riders and a couple on a tandem parked at the intersection. As I got closer I recognized the couple on the tandem -- Pete and Joanne Penseyres.
I hadn't seen him since the start of RAAM in Oceanside a couple years ago. He and his brother Jim were on an 8 person mixed team.
So I said hi, stopped to eat a granola bar while they went ahead and off they went.
I caught them a few minutes later on the short hill heading north from Las Pulgas. I passed them with ease. A couple miles later I stopped to use the restroom and they were there when I came out. This time I decided to stay behind them.

Wow, my training was really paying off! I had to shift to an easier cog and really spin to stay behind them. After 8 or 10 miles they bailed out on a left turn and I was able to pick up my pace for the rest of my ride.
Imagine that... after 75-85 miles of a 90 mile training ride I was still able to 'push' an actual legend.
Note to self: Buy a larger helmet. I'm just too awesome.

The Real story:
All of the above is true except the important little details.
Like the fact that Pete and Joanne weren't on a 'training ride'. They were on their way to breakfast in San Clemente from their home in Fallbrook, a ride of at least equal length to mine but with a lot more hills (not that hills would slow them down). And the fact that I was riding within 2 mph of my maximum century pace (14-16 mph) and Pete has maintained that average speed for 3000 miles, over the Rocky Mountains, against 25 mph headwinds, in the dead of night, in the desert and in thunderstorms -- a RAAM record that has stood for more than 20 years.

But who wants to include 'reality' in an internet post?
I guess my helmet size is actually too big after all.
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Old 11-25-09, 01:07 PM   #2
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Ha! Good story! I too am a legend in my own mind.
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Old 11-25-09, 06:17 PM   #3
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It's funny! I've met some GREAT riders and the riders that are GREAT really have no attitude at all. I met the guy that has been the California roadrace champ for several years. I thought the guy would drop the hammer on me and turn his nose up like most wannabes I meet. Just the opposite, he rode by my side while pretty much complimenting everything about my riding style. It was cool. the two of us riding side by side while he told me race stories!

I've pretty much learned that the GREAT riders encourage and try to motivate other riders as much as possible. The reason I really try to motivate others that I meet. Well yeah, I'm a legend in my own mind too, so I have to be nice!
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Old 11-26-09, 07:47 AM   #4
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It's always cool to ride with those whom you look up to. I have also noticed the ones that do all the talking are the ones you need not worry about. The ones who just sit quietly while everyone else is talking big are the ones who will put the hurt on.
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Old 11-26-09, 08:45 AM   #5
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It's funny! I've met some GREAT riders and the riders that are GREAT really have no attitude at all. I met the guy that has been the California roadrace champ for several years. I thought the guy would drop the hammer on me and turn his nose up like most wannabes I meet. Just the opposite, he rode by my side while pretty much complimenting everything about my riding style. It was cool. the two of us riding side by side while he told me race stories!
I recall a night trip with a fellow training for RAAM. Although he didn't use these words, the reason he rode with me was that he knew he was the better cyclist, so there was no competitive element present between us. That same idea might have been running through the head of your racer friend.

I'd add that while "great" riders may try to motivate and encourage others, keep in mind it's not for the sake of motivating and encouraging. Increased interest in the sport means more money, more races, and perhaps safer roads. In Lance's case it also means more attention paid to Livestrong.
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Old 11-26-09, 08:51 AM   #6
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It's always cool to ride with those whom you look up to. I have also noticed the ones that do all the talking are the ones you need not worry about. The ones who just sit quietly while everyone else is talking big are the ones who will put the hurt on.
Yes, humility seems to be a lost art.
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Old 11-26-09, 09:50 AM   #7
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Yes, humility seems to be a lost art.
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It's always cool to ride with those whom you look up to. I have also noticed the ones that do all the talking are the ones you need not worry about. The ones who just sit quietly while everyone else is talking big are the ones who will put the hurt on.
Definitely true of parking lot discussions, but the ones that keep talking as a group accelerates can be a problem. There's a girl that rides with the Annapolis group who never stops talking (and I think she's a sailor) that always seems to have the breath to provide "motivational" discussion. I'm usually silent and focused on not throwing up.

My self legendary status ends every time I watch that group ride away (much contrary to my plan and pre ride visualization).
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Old 11-26-09, 10:22 AM   #8
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Hey OP that is a fun and well written "adventure." The Heroes that encourage the "hero to be" inside all of us are true heroes. How was the Amtrak Century?
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Old 11-26-09, 11:44 AM   #9
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The Amtrak Century is always a treat. About 2/3 of the course is along PCH, which is always beautiful -- especially for folks who don't get to see it very often. There isn't a lot of climbing, so it's a really good choice for first-time century riders. The Torrey Pines Grade at the 80 mile mark is more intimidating than it is difficult, and it's always so fun to see the big grins on the faces of folks when they make it to the top and get their frozen juice bar!

I love your comment about heros. It's so true!
Now I guess that I'll have to share a couple stories about some of those....

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Hey OP that is a fun and well written "adventure." The Heroes that encourage the "hero to be" inside all of us are true heroes. How was the Amtrak Century?
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