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  1. #1
    Senior Member WestMass's Avatar
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    Commuters Passing Roadies

    I know people always brag on this forum about how they passed a guy on a $10,000 carbon fiber bike wear a full kit, aero helmet, shoe covers, shaved legs, going up a hill on their 45 pound extracycle carrying a trailer without sweating or losing their breath and how good they feel and what not.

    I had a funny incident yesterday where I was the roadie! I generally feel like I cross the line between many types of cyclist. I commute to work on a cyclocross bike with rack, lights, panniers, etc. I have a relatively nice road bike and a really enjoy riding road. I also do triathlon, cyclocross, and am starting to get into mountain biking.

    Yesterday I rode a bike for the first time in over a week because I've been home sick with the flu. I just got my caad-10 road frame warrantied because it cracked and I really wanted to try out my new bike! Early in the ride I passed a dude on an old 10 speed in baggy pants and a hoodie with no helmet. I said hi, and passed him going approx 16mph up a slight but long grade. For the next 5-10 minutes I could tell he was trying to re-pass me (and of course it made me think of this forum). Eventually we came to a stop light and I slowed to a stop just as the light turned green. The timing was perfect for him to catch up and zoom past me (without saying hi!), ha ha. Right after the light was a long downhill and he was pedaling like crazy. I caught up to him at the next traffic light and we had a nice conversation riding side by side for the next few miles before our routes went different ways.

    Roadies and Commuties can be Friendsies guys!!
    regular commuter, adventurer/explorer of backroads and mtb trails

  2. #2
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I was once going up a popular grade (Torrey Pines in San Diego). I am a bit Clyde, so am really used to getting passed by younger, lighter roadies up this hill. One day I hear this faint creaking behind me that started growing louder, then there he goes past me. The guy was a little younger than my fifty something, wearing cutoff jeans, flip flops, and nothing else, skin the tone of well cured leather, riding a single speed cruiser with a wobbly rear wheel, and baskets front and rear filled with bottles and cans. I never did catch up to him.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  3. #3
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    I am a commuter, and def not a roadie. I wear bike shorts with gym shorts over them, a cycling jacket, and have a rack with bag/panniers. My helmet, bike, and jacket all match coincidentally, so I guess some could say I am a wannabe or something. I have been throwing down 100+ mile weeks lately (140 so far since monday), and I wouldn't say I am the slowest person out there. On Strava, I am usually in the top 1/3 to top 1/4 of any given segment. Anyway, I got shamed twice this week.

    First was at the start of a 2 mile or so stretch of slightly ascending road. Not a massive hill, but enough of a grade to make you work a bit. I was waiting at the light before said segment and this guy rolls up past me and waits for the light. Kind of a dick move in my opinion to cut in front of someone waiting at a light, but whatever. There was even another guy behind me. So, the light turns and off we go. He is riding an older, vintage bike that was making a horrible noise like the rear wheel needed to be trued to the extent that a portion of it was rubbing the brakes. He is wearing cut off camo pants, backup, Ulock in his pocket, and some dirty looking T. I am behind him and gaining on him and about a mile in I pass. Another 1/2 mile goes by and I hear the squeaking of his wheel. I look back and he is coming up. He passes me but very shortly after he peels off into a shopping center, which due to the layout of this neighborhood, had to be his destination (There is an REI there and his dress would totally be inline with an REI employee). I felt shamed, but not too bad since he went full throttle at what appeared to be the end of his ride. I would have went full throttle too if I didn't have another five miles of hills to go before getting home.

    Yesterday I was commuting into work, probably mile 16 or so of 20. There is this decent hill, about 6% grade but not entirely long (Otis St for all you DC locals). It really blows because there is a stop sign at the bottom, so depending on traffic, you really loose your momentum. The road leading up to it is fairly steep too, so you are already sucking wind. I slowed down quite a bit at the stop sign due to a car and once I started off a guy on fixed gear comes up. He had fairly small tires, but not as small as a folder, so I am not entirely sure what it was. Anyway, he had a little bit more momentum then I but he tore this hill up pretty good, and put some distance between us. It seriously looked like he had bricks implanted into the backs of his calves though. After the hill he peeled off on a different road but I ended up catching him on the trail (MBT) ahead. Rode behind him close and could have passed him, but I didn't want to start a dual.
    Last edited by skins_brew; 09-26-13 at 10:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MattFoley's Avatar
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    I'm a full-time bike commuter and "roadie" (that term kind of annoys me, but alas)...some days I commute on my CX bike with rack/fenders, wearing baggy MTB shorts, and some days I commute on my cheap road bike wearing "roadie" kit. On weekends I'm on my carbon bike in full "roadie" mode. I get passed by all manner of riders, some pass respectfully and some pass like d-bags regardless of their bike/kit...but when I'm in "roadie" mode, the overwhelming majority of guys who seem to go out of their way to pass me and make a to-do of it by seemingly putting forth A LOT of effort into it (breathing hard, spinning like mad) are middle-aged guys on hybrids. I feel like this happens way more often when I'm in "roadie" mode, whether commuting or on a weekend ride, so I can't help but assume that there is a large contingent of dudes out there who get an ego boost from passing someone wearing Lycra.
    Cars man, whyyyyyy?!?!?!?!

  5. #5
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    I commute on a steel road bike. Sometimes I pass "roadies," sometimes they pass me. Sometimes I pass people on CitiBikes, sometimes they pass me. I just keep going at my pace. I don't see why some people need to make commuting a race. I have had some people pass me dangerously just to be in front, and others who are going slower will often pass me at a stop light, forcing me to pass them again and again. It's stupid and dangerous.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson) San Remo Plus, 1989 Trek 520, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  6. #6
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
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    I was on my way to work a few weeks ago and a roadie passed me. He had been chasing me for a while. I didn't pedal any harder, I was just kind of cruising to work. There's a mile long downhill grade and then a mile long slight uphill grade. I slowly closed the gap going up the hill and caught up with him at the top and he was dripping sweat and clearly out of breath. I was overdressed in long pants and a long sleeve shirt and talked to him a little bit while we waited for cross traffic.

    I think it may have been then that he realized I had electric assist. =)

  7. #7
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
    I was on my way to work a few weeks ago and a roadie passed me. He had been chasing me for a while. I didn't pedal any harder, I was just kind of cruising to work. There's a mile long downhill grade and then a mile long slight uphill grade. I slowly closed the gap going up the hill and caught up with him at the top and he was dripping sweat and clearly out of breath. I was overdressed in long pants and a long sleeve shirt and talked to him a little bit while we waited for cross traffic.

    I think it may have been then that he realized I had electric assist. =)
    I was passed by a guy on an e-bike on a long uphill, but later caught and dropped him on the flats. Bike was limited to 20 mph. Enjoyed the challenge.

  8. #8
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I pass most people on the Greenway, but those who pass me don't all look like super athletes. I'm with lostarchitect on this.

    But since so many people go so fast, I find myself going faster than I normally would.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  9. #9
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Where do I fit into this equation? I use a road bike, clean with no rack & fenders and aggressive setup, race-fit jerseys but like as not running shorts and tennis shoes. It feels more like "roady" than commuter although better than 90% of the time I'm out it's commuting.

    There is one "hill" just before the Greenway on which I'll always try to pass anyone I see. It's all of 45 feet vertical but it's the only rise on the greenway route so it's my daily "interval training" (I like to break my intervals up, one per day). So I generally swoosh by the cargo bikes and commuters and the occasional roadies who are resting up from the Windward hills. Unfortunately I can count on one finger the matches I have in reserve and that effort burns one of them, so the latter roadies often catch me less than a mile into the Greenway.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Was tooling along the MUP one day and hear a shout from behind me and a guy pulling a tag along with a trailer behind it and a kid in each behind his mountain bike zoomed past me like I was standing still. Kids squealing having a great ride. I kept pace with him for about 1/2 mile and then gave up. That section of MUP went uphill at a gentle but noticeable slope.

    Some bike just have better engines This guy was a MAC truck!

  11. #11
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    when i ride with the better half its always amusing to see fredly types make huge efforts to pass me while i am toodling along waiting for "she who must be obeyed" to catch up. sometimes they even make breathy bleating noises as they pass the "roadie" on the carbon fiber bike.

    *sigh*
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  12. #12
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Ohhhh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends....
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  13. #13
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    I am sitting in City Park right now having seen this thread on my pod. Ten minutes ago as i commuted home i scalped some guy on a carbon bike hunkered down on his aerobars. I was on my $110 beater with 2.0 cross tires. Even though i am cooled down now I still glow like fireplace embers in my heart.

    He was riding in the bike lane as i passed drafting a line of cars in the auto lane. Nothing he could do but wish it wasnt so.

  14. #14
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I know a lot of commuters who are also very fast because of the distances they put down and how they handle those distances.

    I know lots of folks who have dropped massive coin on their bikes and kit that ride less that are slow as dirt.

  15. #15
    Randomhead
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    I was out on my road bike on the second day of a 750 mile, 4 day ride last month when I caught up with a commuter. He was lollygagging, so I passed him with a greeting. I don't guess he heard me because he passed me back and said some smart-alecky thing to me. If someone passes me when they are racing me in their mind, all I ask is that they don't slow down

  16. #16
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    I was on mile 90 of a 95 miler on my Allez, suffering pretty bad just to maintain 15-16 mph. My diaphragm muscles hurt with any hard breathing (or laughing or hiccups or talking too loud). I got passed by an old couple on hybrids with racks and fenders, dressed in baggy wind suits. They slowed down to talk to me and asked me if I was riding my bike through Sheboygan (about 45 miles south of where I was) a couple of hours earlier. They were locals, but had been at the farmer's market and craft swap there, and said they had seen me and my friends there. I told them I had started in Milwaukee and they said that it looked like we were having so much fun, they went for a ride when they got home.

    So, yes, I did get passed by two 50-somethings on hybrids while I was all roadied-out but I guess that's fine with me since they had been inspired to go on a ride themselves!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    I make myself ride slowly during the commute so that I don't arrive at work sweat drenched! Who cares if someone else passes me?

  18. #18
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by bengreen79 View Post
    So, yes, I did get passed by two 50-somethings on hybrids while I was all roadied-out but I guess that's fine with me since they had been inspired to go on a ride themselves!
    that's a nice story, thanks for posting it. Nobody has ever told me I inspired them to go riding, at least not when I was out riding

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    I make myself ride slowly during the commute so that I don't arrive at work sweat drenched! Who cares if someone else passes me?
    I do too, the hills really start as I get closer to work, I really hate to be sweaty when I get to work

  19. #19
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I enjoy the Silly Commuter Racing game on my commutes.

    At a FCN of 8, I don't have many opportunities to pick up points. 8 is high, but your typical Portland commuter is >11, I figure. So I have to pass pretty much everyone I see, when I'm in the mood for the game.

    There are seldom any actual "roadies" (all Lycra, carbon road bike, no accessories) on my commutes. Makes sense. On my Lycra fun rides, I don't choose traffic-choked city streets, and I guess others feel the same.

    The closest we come might be the very occasional guy who is in team kit and Sidis, and on a carbon bike, but is clearly commuting - backpack, RaceBlades.
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  20. #20
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I was on a weekend tour, riding my hybrid bike, two Ortliebs in the rear, a handlebar bag, the works. I was spinning in headwind when two roadies caught up with me. As they were passing, the guy who was drafting at that moment said I'm welcome to draft them if I like, they'll do the pulling. I politely declined, they were going significantly faster than I felt comfortable with. The offer was appreciated thought.
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  21. #21
    Senior Member FenderTL5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    I commute on a steel road bike. Sometimes I pass "roadies," sometimes they pass me. Sometimes I pass people on CitiBikes, sometimes they pass me. I just keep going at my pace. I don't see why some people need to make commuting a race. I have had some people pass me dangerously just to be in front, and others who are going slower will often pass me at a stop light, forcing me to pass them again and again. It's stupid and dangerous.
    Agree.
    I ride a hybrid with fenders, rack, panniers, lights.. I'm not racing anyone. I'm just trying to get to work/home. About the only thing I race is a thunderstorm but that's more a matter of leaving at the appropriate time than speed.
    Nashville, like L.A. without a tan.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    I passed a young fellow in triathlon kit on the way home one night, but I don't fool myself that I'm fitter and faster. He looked exhausted and had probably just blown himself apart on a training ride. Also, many people use parts of the pathway system to get to the edge of town for highway rides and are very conscious of the need to ride carefully at a conservative speed to avoid collisions with pedestrians. Some people will blow past them and no doubt brag to their friends later that "I passed some bike racer poseur in lycra!"
    One thing that irritates me is when I'm stopped at a red light or stop sign and someone will push past me to get in front because they just know they're going to be faster than me... and sometimes they aren't. So I end up on their back wheel looking for a safe way to pass when we get moving again. Or, they'll even ride straight through the intersection just to "win". Years ago I saw a young fellow nearly get hit by a garbage truck at a four-way stop, he was that desperate to get ahead of me. And I still ended up having to pass him further down the road. Last summer a fellow ran a red light to pass me... same again. I'd really like to know what it is about me that certain people feel compelled to compete with me. Why don't they find someone their own age and gender to "race" with???

  23. #23
    Senior Member Worknomore's Avatar
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    Is this the Commuting forum or the Recumbent forum? I'm so confused......
    Litespeed Blue Ridge, Serotta Colorado CRL, Cannondale Delta-V, Bacchetta Ti-Aero

  24. #24
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    Admittedly(ashamedly) I've been caught up in a few commuter races. I am however determined not to do it again (well not much more). The fact is there are some days when I want to ride an easy pace and people shouldn't feel pride in passing me while I'm in a relaxed mode, and neither should I feel pride in passing somebody else for whatever reason. Though there are a couple situations that make it tempting. Like when somebody blasts by, and then slows down 20 or 30 yards in front of me, which tells me they probably went all out to pass me and are running out of gas, in which case I would actually have to slow down not to re-pass. Or if I pass someone while riding my normal pace and they speed up to pass me back. Nonetheless its best to refrain.
    Last edited by turky lurkey; 09-27-13 at 08:30 AM.

  25. #25
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Riding with my spouse many years ago she had a little dog carrier on her front bars for our longhair miniature dachshund. The dog loved to ride, would hang its head out the front in the wind, but would go nuts if someone passed us. The dog would be OK if you road up along side, but as soon as you got so much as a wheel in front the dog would go nuts and start barking, yipping and jumping around inside the carrier, and stay that way until lead bike was about a half a block distant.

    That says it all.

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