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  1. #1
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    First Organized Ride...Musings

    My wife and I completed our first organized ride last Saturday. The ride was 45 miles of rolling hills with three larger sized hills thrown into the mix. We did well and finished the ride comfortably as we took our time in the first hot day of the year. The ride was the Seattle areas "Flying Wheels" ride. We had a great time but here are a few minor things that we noticed:

    1. As a Clyde, do I really need to hear "on your left" from every rider in a "pace line" that whooshes passed me? I understand an individual, but it gets a little irritating for 1000+ riders to pass you and every time have to hear "on your left" - it was constant and irritating when a little tired.

    2. The finish line did not exist - just a "photo-op" type finish line erected off to one-side. We weren't sure if we had finished or not.

    3. Some of the skinny "amateur-pro's" are a$$es. Shouting instructions on road etiquette to a 300lb guy trying his best to get up a 7% grade hill in 80 degree weather (road empty except for him and me - no danger). Talk about big fishes in a small pond.

    4. $6-8 hot dogs at the finish line and no competition

    These are minor annoyances, it WAS a lot of fun to get out there and be with other riders. I was just wondering does this sound the norm for an organized run?

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    every group has it ********. some people are snoby pita, but at times it is a safety issue. even if what you were doing when it was you and him wasn't endangering someone, at another time if you weren't taught previously it could be bad. I almost bit it when someone pulled up in a pace line without signaling or verbalizing they were doing so. I was 2 riders back and we were both lucky to avoid crashing. and the paceline passing is kinda odd, I like to know the first guy and who the last guy is that way I can jump onto his tail and try to keep up.

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    Don't you know it is a rule you shout "On your left" to everyone you pass? That way you declare your superiority! (just kidding)

    I have experienced that as well, don't worry about it. One thing I do is start 5-10 minutes after the official start, lets everything thin out a little bit. Plus I feel better because then I'm doing some passing instead of being passed so much!

    I've come across a few idiots on rides, but 95% of the people are friendly, helpful and encouraging.

  4. #4
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    1. As a Clyde, do I really need to hear "on your left" from every rider in a "pace line" that whooshes passed me? I understand an individual, but it gets a little irritating for 1000+ riders to pass you and every time have to hear "on your left"
    Each ride was more than likely an individual, better safe than sorry. I call out to alert others of my presence for my own safety. It's the one time you don't call out, the other rider drifts into you or is startled poopless, then they get upset!


    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    - it was constant and irritating when a little tired.
    Remember, you are on an organized ride and it aint their fault you are tired. IF you want to ride alone, don't join the event.



    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    2. The finish line did not exist - just a "photo-op" type finish line erected off to one-side. We weren't sure if we had finished or not.
    How much did you pay to join? Some of the small rides out here can be lacking in the deco dept. Usually the $100 events are much better, I think they pay for spectators to clap for you when you cross the line!



    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    4. $6-8 hot dogs at the finish line and no competition
    Again, how much did you pay? The bigger more expensive rides include a post ride meal or BBQ at the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Each ride was more than likely an individual, better safe than sorry. I call out to alert others of my presence for my own safety. It's the one time you don't call out, the other rider drifts into you or is startled poopless, then they get upset!
    Good point. And sometimes, when a paceline passes a rider, they try and get behind the wheel of the first rider that passes, not realizing there are 12 more riders in line! I have seen that happen several times on rides.

  6. #6
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    All good points - We paid $44 to ride.

    Don't get me wrong, it was a great experience and the major majority of riders were wonderful people, its always the odd one that sets the tone. It was literally just me and him on the "big hill" and I was approx 2 feet over from the far-right of the road. He just had to yell "Lets practice riding on the right shall we" in a snotty tone. There was at least 10 feet of space to the left of me with NOBODY else around. Admittedly, I had kind of drifted as Im still new to climbing in a straight line. There's just ways of telling people in a more friendly manner.

    As for the finish line, my point is that we had no idea if we had finished or not. There was no finish line, just a ride into a crowd of static cyclists. I would have been happy with a chalk line on the road. There was an official start, just not a finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrClyde View Post
    Good point. And sometimes, when a paceline passes a rider, they try and get behind the wheel of the first rider that passes, not realizing there are 12 more riders in line! I have seen that happen several times on rides.
    If I am back a ways in the line I will say "Hold your line" in order to alert those we are passing that the paceline isn't finished and thus they should not swing out to join or to pass someone in front of them.

    However, unless I am absolutely sure of it, I will never let someone know if I am at the end. On large rides you may be at the end at one point but then have 12 people jump on the back without knowing it. Sometimes you just can't look back.

    As for the constant "On your left," live with it. It's for your own safety and the safety of others. And it is almost always asked for by the ride sponsor.

    As for being schooled on road etiquette, if you are doing something like riding all over the road trying to get up a hill you warrant it, whether you are 130 lbs. or 330 lbs.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrClyde View Post
    Good point. And sometimes, when a paceline passes a rider, they try and get behind the wheel of the first rider that passes, not realizing there are 12 more riders in line! I have seen that happen several times on rides.
    Yup, when I ride by., I will let the rider know the number of riders in our group. As I pass, I'lls say "4 of us" cause like you said, sometimes they try to take my wheel thinking I'm alone.

  9. #9
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    1. As a Clyde, do I really need to hear "on your left" from every rider in a "pace line" that whooshes passed me? I understand an individual, but it gets a little irritating for 1000+ riders to pass you and every time have to hear "on your left" - it was constant and irritating when a little tired.

    This is common, just a nicety to let you, or any other rider for that matter, know there is another rider passing on your left. No difference between a single rider or a paceline. He/She/They are merely riding a bit faster than you, no biggie as your speed will increase over time.

    2. The finish line did not exist - just a "photo-op" type finish line erected off to one-side. We weren't sure if we had finished or not.

    It is not a race.

    3. Some of the skinny "amateur-pro's" are a$$es. Shouting instructions on road etiquette to a 300lb guy trying his best to get up a 7% grade hill in 80 degree weather (road empty except for him and me - no danger). Talk about big fishes in a small pond.

    See #1, and think of your safety and theirs. Some of us "chunky" guys can be a$$es as well. A young lady pointed this out to me downtown yesterday afternoon.

    4. $6-8 hot dogs at the finish line and no competition

    Agreed.


    These are minor annoyances, it WAS a lot of fun to get out there and be with other riders. I was just wondering does this sound the norm for an organized run? [/QUOTE]


    Don't let this put you and your wife off group rides. Many are far better organized, and supplied. Sunday we rode the Tour deCure in Kennebunk, varied routes for different abilities, I'll wager the riders ages went from 10 to 70+. Food and drink at the rest stops, motorcycle "marshals" to check traffic at intersections and a massage and pulled pork sandwich at the finish. Don't give up, keep riding, "ride lots".

    Lee

  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    All good points - We paid $44 to ride. .
    For the two or each? If it's each, that's cheap, I'd be happy to buy my own hotdogs....at Weinerschnitzel that is!

    Big ride around here, not expensive, $50 each (?) no postride meal, so $44 for the two is great!


    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    He just had to yell "Lets practice riding on the right shall we" in a snotty tone. There was at least 10 feet of space to the left of me with NOBODY else around. Admittedly, I had kind of drifted as Im still new to climbing in a straight line. There's just ways of telling people in a more friendly manner.
    True, sounds snotty, could have been friendlier. Yes there are lots of snots but he could have just overreacted. I have to say still better safe than sorry. I can't count the times that someone drifts a bit then SUDDENLY swings into us as we approach. It happens in an instant so better to give a warning, but he was a snot.

  11. #11
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

    As for being schooled on road etiquette, if you are doing something like riding all over the road trying to get up a hill you warrant it, whether you are 130 lbs. or 330 lbs.
    Agreed. Holding a line was perhaps the most important ability I learned as a cyclist. And I'm amazed at how many cyclists on club rides don't do it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the words Frosty and all - I have no intention of giving up. I have lost close to 25lbs since February and feel myself getting stronger on the bike as the weeks go by.

    I also FULLY understand why "on your left" is yelled and it makes total sense. I was just pointing out that on a ride with a couple of thousand riders (90% faster than you), it does drum on the nerves after awhile.

    The hill incident - I think some riders forget how was to be at the beginning of the learning curve and get so wrapped up in their own self-importance that they come across as arrogant and oh so perfect.

    As to the finish line, if finish lines are for races only, why have a start line (as they did)? It just confused us for awhile, especially as my cycle comp only reported 43 mile at the end, we weren't sure if the "finish line" was elsewhere.

    Thanks all for you input - much appreciated.

    P.S $44 each...

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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    All good points - We paid $44 to ride.

    Don't get me wrong, it was a great experience and the major majority of riders were wonderful people, its always the odd one that sets the tone. It was literally just me and him on the "big hill" and I was approx 2 feet over from the far-right of the road. He just had to yell "Lets practice riding on the right shall we" in a snotty tone. There was at least 10 feet of space to the left of me with NOBODY else around. Admittedly, I had kind of drifted as Im still new to climbing in a straight line. There's just ways of telling people in a more friendly manner.

    As for the finish line, my point is that we had no idea if we had finished or not. There was no finish line, just a ride into a crowd of static cyclists. I would have been happy with a chalk line on the road. There was an official start, just not a finish.
    If this anecdote is as you describe, then yeah, the dude was being a ******, to which I most probably would have responded, "how about we practice shutting the **** up, dick."

    But I am a ******, too, so don't go by my advice.

  14. #14
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ochizon View Post
    If this anecdote is as you describe, then yeah, the dude was being a ******, to which I most probably would have responded, "how about we practice shutting the **** up, dick."

    But I am a ******, too, so don't go by my advice.
    As would I but at the time i was gasping like a goldfish out of water ...

  15. #15
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    I was just pointing out that on a ride with a couple of thousand riders (90% faster than you), it does drum on the nerves after awhile....
    Keep doing those rides, you'll get used to it. It's really not a problem, if I hear riders behindme "onyerleft" you automatically hold your line and it's no biggie. In my case, I apprciate it. On mtn rides, you really need to learn to ride with others. You can't pass at times, guardrail one side and a tanker on the other while climbing a 10% grade. So I alert others when I am forced onto a wheel for a mintue or two. When I hear someone passing me, I know to give them as much room as possible. Keep doing them rides, you'll learn to apprciate it!


    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    As to the finish line, if finish lines are for races only, why have a start line (as they did)? It just confused us for awhile, especially as my cycle comp only reported 43 mile at the end, we weren't sure if the "finish line" was elsewhere.....
    That also could have been your fault depending on how accurate your computer is set up. I do the rollout test and then test with mile markers on th trail, average between several for accuracy. Some just go with the generic numbers provided with the computer. On several of our rides, my distance is .5 of a mile less than some of the others eventhough we did the same ride...



    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    P.S $44 each...
    I myself would have wanted a hotdog but like I said, the $50 rides out here get you nuthin'

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    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Better to have somebody tell you what you're doing wrong that to just let you do it and say nothing... perhaps his tone could be improved. Perhaps he just wanted to let you know that he had extra breath while you were struggling. Who knows.

    Head over to the road forum here for a while and you'll get the same sort of attitudes in full, consider it training for when you meet another skinny road nazi out there in the wild.

    But don't let the bast@rds get you down...

  17. #17
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    - thanks all. good tip on the mile markers, I actually just ordered a Garmin 705 (as Im a gadget geek) so I should be good to go this weekend .
    Last edited by magohn; 06-15-10 at 04:26 PM.

  18. #18
    Clyde - Grinder Kamala's Avatar
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    Keep coming along with the good work and you'll be able to take on some more challenging rides with better grub! Cascade Bike Club is great about a lot of things, but I find their rides crowded and less than well organized. There are still spots open on the Crater Lake Metric Century in August where you can finish up with some awesome BBQ and homemade dessert, all part of the entry fee. Closer to home, Seven Hills of Kirkland was an awesome ride with excellent support.

    As for some of the other stuff, you'll be passing people soon enough. Remember the crap you didn't like about being a beginner and treat the guy who looks what you used to look like as well as you would have liked to be treated. I find people are generally better behaved on the charity rides than on Cascade's rides, more feeling of camaraderie and esprit de corps I guess.

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    I had almost the opposite, I too had my first ride last weekend, $20/rider included lunch, police at every major intersection.
    I did the 60K (38mile) loop which was the same loop that the 100km, 72km and 160km did and I only heard on your left a couple of times, I did pass a few people but not going up hill.

  20. #20
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doughboy View Post
    I had almost the opposite, I too had my first ride last weekend, $20/rider included lunch, police at every major intersection.


    Any chance it was in Arizona? I've done a few rides in AZ and they blow away the California rides as far as support etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Any chance it was in Arizona? I've done a few rides in AZ and they blow away the California rides as far as support etc.
    Nope, It was in Cambridge, Ontario

  22. #22
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    My first organized ride is going to be in early August and I can't wait. One day of riding costs $15 or two days for $20. However this ride has no sag or food stops, just a water bottle, tee shirt, and 10 minute sport massage. But then again, thats plenty for me for 10 bucks a day. I will be riding with at least one other person, and you can call their base if you need tech assistance.

    The next ride I was going to do is much better organized. It's $60 for the 50 mile option I was thinking of doing, plus a $150 fundraising commitment. You get bbq, 2 beer tickets (the event is run by harpoon for starving VT families), full sag and food stops. To bad after I got interested they remembered to include the over 21 only part, o well, maybe next year.

    Next ride is to benifit a local environmental group I support. $40 bucks gets you a complementary tech check at the start, full sag, emt's at every aid station, and a post ride picnic. At that price, I don't mind paying 65 bucks for the jersey. Although if you raise 250 for that event you get a free one of those and a membership in the organization for a year.

    Just giving you an Idea what we have here in New England (and NY, which as far as I'm concerned Upstate New York is New England.

    As for dealing with people, I'm pretty non aggressive, until someone gets in my bubble. So if people yell at me on the road or what not, I'm sure I'll pass it off.
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  23. #23
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Around here, the charity rides like that normally don't have a distinctive finish line- a few do, but on most, you just get back to the start point, and when you find your car, you figure you're done.

    Most of the rides around here either have free food at the end, or not, but I've never seen food for sale at the end like that. That may vary from place to place, though.

    On the people passing you, I'd be wondering how they all got behind you in the first place. Anyway, better for 'em to talk too much than the be too quiet.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    You must also remember or realize something else and this is from my own learning experience. When a rider is struggling they tend to take offense to everything that is said to them. I know when I started riding I would be climbing a hill all over the place doing everything I could to turn the crankand someone would start on with steady strokes, nice and smooth, steady line....man I felt like telling them to f888 off, when you are hurting you don't want to hear anything. Best way to get around it though is keep loosing weight and get faster than them...lol
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  25. #25
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by youcoming View Post
    You must also remember or realize something else and this is from my own learning experience. When a rider is struggling they tend to take offense to everything that is said to them. I know when I started riding I would be climbing a hill all over the place doing everything I could to turn the crankand someone would start on with steady strokes, nice and smooth, steady line....man I felt like telling them to f888 off, when you are hurting you don't want to hear anything. Best way to get around it though is keep loosing weight and get faster than them...lol
    I can't say that's true. I took offense at bad advice*, and there's a lot of that among club cyclists, but I don't recall my wanting to tell anyone to "f off" for being a better cyclist than I am.

    * Examples of bad advice - "You need to ride for hundreds of hours on a trainer before you can ride outside." "Bonking is caused by not using clipless pedals on long rides." There are many, many others.....

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