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  1. #1
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    Do you prefer cycling solo, in a group, or with a couple of partners?

    I've done all three, but my current preference is to go out solo. It allows me to concentrate on my cycling and go the speed I want as well as where I want.

    I also enjoy going out with one or two family members as it is a great shared activity. On occasion, when my 13 year old daughter isn't home, friends of hers will call and ask if I'd like to take a ride along the local creek's bike path with them, which is also fun.

    I used to do groups a lot and some of my best experiences were in this context. Haven't done it for quite a while, but might do so again in the future.

  2. #2
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    It depends. If I am riding my normal routes, I like solo. If I am riding long distances in unfamiliar territory, I prefer a partner. Also, I like a partner who is a little stronger than I am to force me to work a little harder than I would if I were riding solo.

  3. #3
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    I haven't had a good group experience yet but maybe when I'm a better rider. I'm in that "no man's land" -- not a beginner any more but not strong enough to keep up with the intermediate riders either.

    I enjoy riding with my husband but we go once a week or so. I wouldn't want to ride with him every day because he'd either be dropping me or having to hang back for me -- neither makes me very happy!

    So I'd have to say I prefer riding alone for now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    I do a lot of solo but thats because I live in a rural area and I have not seen many other cyclists. I think it would be nice to ride with some buddies and in fact a friend of mine just bought a Jamis bike today, so I will be riding with him some.

  5. #5
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, which Jamis did he buy? I just ordered a Coda Elite. Had never heard of Jamis before a week or so ago when I found this forum. Tried out the Coda Sport, but they didn't have Elites. The frame geometry is the same though, so when I found a good deal...

    Sorry for going off topic, folks.

    Longhorns situation is similar to mine. My family and I go at different speeds, so when I want to really exercise, I go solo. It's much more casual with my family.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bernmart's Avatar
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    I've been lucky--I found and joined a group here in Southern California which sponsors a slow-paced, 20-25 mile ride every Sunday AM. As I'm a virtual beginner, they've been a boon to me. I've gained a lot of confidence in riding in traffic with this group of laid-back but seasoned riders.
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  7. #7
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    do all 3 'types' - solo seems the more common ride just cause it's easy to jump on the bike and go - stop whenever and wherever I want - break wherever the mood hits and the scenery catchs my thoughts, and ride hard when I've got that hankerin.
    Occasionally I luck out and have a group ride that just seems to sync with what I'm looking for, but usually I accept some small compromises to take advantage of 'social' riding. A 3 or 4 rider group is just a slightly less compromised group variance. Still, small groups can be fun; given good, safe routes and nice places to stop and eat/snack/drink (a tasty snack is integral to what I would define a 'Good' ride, a post ride meal is even better).

    Large Organized Herd Rides with scores of Riders are about as much fun as a good poke in the eye, maybe not quite that nice. Centuries, MS rides, etc are avoided like the Plague. I'd rather just give them my money, hoping they leave me my cycling, untarnished.
    Organized racing was fun, back when I was in that frame of mind.

    Cycling is a singularly selfish endeavour, one of few that are still tolerated by society. Even in a group, one is 'required' to do their own 'ride' (there is no other way, unless maybe if you're riding a tandem) and blend it into 'group riding' with others.
    Big High sign for singularly selfish 2-wheelin, whether solo or in a group.

  8. #8
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Solo - my time to sort my life out, challenge myself.

    I have enjoyed leading the group rides for the church senior groups, but I hardly classify this as "riding."
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-07-05 at 05:49 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Most of my riding is offroad and I mostly ride with a partner but it is difficult not to do so on a tandem. We take this out with a group of 4 or 5 friends, but it is not enjoyable, Uphill we are slower than we think we should be, and within our group there is one that always has to be first up the hill. We get a bit of backchat from him that 4 legs can't beat him up the hills, but then we are not the ones to point out to him that on the gentler slopes , the flat bits, the single track and definitely on the downhills, we have to wait for all the group the catch us up. Our highlight of the week is evening rides, and we had one last night. Just the Tandem but on one hill we caught sight of a group of riders. Just about caught them at the top, but they still had a start on us for the flatter bit. Caught the tail end of the group, bibbed the horn and they moved over allowing us to pass them. Then we caught the leaders, bibbed the horn and they did not move. bibbed again, still did not move. Put the power in, yelled out "through the middle" and they hesitated. That was enough and we left them for dead.

    That is the problem with group rides. There is always someone oblivious to the other riders, In my opinion, group riding takes a particular type of rider, and that person has to enjoy the company of others. You have to cater for the capabilities of the other riders and it is no fun with being the slow rider within the wrong sort of group.

    Then I go to the other extreme and ride with a couple of riders on the solo, that are about my speed. I am faster than them on the offroad uphill, so "See you at the top" and I go, wait at the top and then we are off again. We all go at our own pace and if one of us is slow on the ride, then one of the others drops back so that the slow rider is never on his own. Mind you, as soon as we get on the Tarmac for the ride home, it is me at the back. I have spent myself up the hills, and to me the Tarmac is the cooling down bit.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lonestar1's Avatar
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    99.9% of my rides are solo. My wife says I'm "anti-social" at heart. I only do a few organised charity rides a year and those are solo as well. But, I really enjoy meeting/talking to different people during the rides or at rest stops. My work schedule (7 am- 3:30 pm) allows me to ride fairly early in the evening if I want. As
    Longhorn can attest, the weather in Texas these days dictates an early start for morning rides. I think it all comes down to people want to be able to ride at their own pace and on their own schedule, to take a break when they want,etc. It's just easier that way. I'd really enjoy someone to ride with on a regular basis but solo is simply easier.
    "...You ask me what I like about
    Texas? Well I'd tell ya', but we could
    be here...all night long."

  11. #11
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonestar1
    99.9% of my rides are solo.
    I'm not at the 99.9% arena, but I like to sort out my thoughts which is why I used to hike a lot solo and now have started cycling, frequently solo. Hey, my wife sometimes wonders if I'm anti-social as well, but she sees me quite adept in social situations all the time. It's just that I need my private time as well and biking affords that...well, listening to classical music on my headphones does too.

  12. #12
    Jim Shapiro
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    1. When on my fixed-gear bike I always ride solo because the fixie forces a certain speed (as opposed to pedal cadence).
    2. I ride with my wife fairly often, and always at her pace, and that is a special kind of ride.
    3. I ride every weekday with my younger son at lunch. It's always a good time and I get great pleasure out of watching him power up hills like his dad used to.
    4. I ride with a very strong former messenger when I want to be social (mostly at the coffee shop after the ride).
    5. One of life's simplest pleasures is a nice quiet early morning ride by myself and at my own pace. It's just me and the animals and my thoughts.

    I've never raced or ridden in a group of more than 4 riders and even that was too many for my liking.

    Jim

  13. #13
    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithA
    Out of curiosity, which Jamis did he buy? I just ordered a Coda Elite. Had never heard of Jamis before a week or so ago when I found this forum. Tried out the Coda Sport, but they didn't have Elites. The frame geometry is the same though, so when I found a good deal...

    Sorry for going off topic, folks.

    Longhorns situation is similar to mine. My family and I go at different speeds, so when I want to really exercise, I go solo. It's much more casual with my family.

    He bought the Jamis Eclipse.
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/bikes/05_eclipse.html

    He said it was $2600 retail but he bought one new on ebay for $1300

  14. #14
    there ARE no bad rides
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    Wow, I thought I was alone as far as riding mostly solo. It's nice to see I'm not. My wife and I have been riding for about four years and we pretty much ride either solo or with each other. I'm a pretty accomplished mountain biker who just bought a road bike to add some variety to my riding, and I also thought road riding would be more social than mtn biking. It seems, however, that it's a bit more snobbish/cliquish (sorry roadies), whereas the few mtn bikers I know are more fun oriented. In any case, I like the freedom of making my own decisions as far as speed, trails, how long I'll ride etc. I also appreciate the time my wife and I get to spend together.

  15. #15
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    It's always nice to draft.
    Bike riding Northern gentleman.

  16. #16
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    I like both...probably do more solo. Most local riders are considerably younger than I and, if SERIOUS RIDERS, when the pace picks up, I eventually get spit out the back. Otherwise, group riding can be fun flying along as one-- laughing, talking, teasing. Group riding can be a help on long, "painful" rides; they're another focus besides how much my butt, back, legs hurt. What is less fun is when some needy personality loses the "group esprit" and pushes just to dominate others--riding in the ego-feed zone. Riding alone isn't so much anti-social as liberating in many ways: ride your own pace, think your own thoughts, follow your own whim. Good to strike a personal balance of both.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  17. #17
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Solo - I abhor 'cattle drives - being in a stampede would be a better description' but will admit to enjoying a slow recovery ride with 2 or more newbies. I like to bike at MY pace, no peer pressure, do what I want when I want.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  18. #18
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
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    I like meeting another solo rider that's riding a little bit faster on a trail or path and asking them if I can ride with them. It just seems to help pull me along, kindof like the bunny and greyhound

  19. #19
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Daily fitness ride is solo so I can ride to my potential without slowing anyone else down (or forcing them to struggle to keep up with me). Weekend rides to a specific destination are with others for security and companionship.

  20. #20
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    At the moment, I do five group rides a week, and one ride with just one other person (a regular Tuesday morning ride). I happen to be able to ride with a fantastic group of talented, competitive riders, and at least two days a week we have real hammerfests, one day a week is set aside for a nice 20 mph spin, and other days just sort themselves out according to the prevailing mood. There is nothing more fun to me to ride with these wonderful folks.

    As my competitive season nears (this fall - quite a few time trials scheduled), I start doing two solo rides a week for the purpose of doing intervals.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  21. #21
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Went for a ride this a.m. - wanted to do a recovery ride. About 12 mile mark I saw I was catching another solo rider far ahead. Dang! Competetive brain takes over. Almost caught rider about a half mile ahead and - oh my gosh - its a she & I remember seeing her before (riding solo). Absolutely stunning woman. I kept my pace, hollered 'on the left' she replied, "OK", and as I passed I said "nice day" she replied "beautiful". I never looked back.

    I figured she was in her late 20's early 30's, I'm an old fart at 58. I must admit- felt macho catching and passing like that. I like riding solo that much.

    I told my lovely spouse, she just smiled.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  22. #22
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Red Baron, as one 58 year old farte to another, here's my own sweet young thing experience. I recently overtook a young woman--mid 20's. As I pulled up to her I noticed she was in street shorts and sandals, but speedo bike. I swung around her with a "Nice Day!" She pulled up even again. We smiled. I sped up, she caught up. I shifted up. She was already "up", spinning slowly. Then I noticed her bronze thighs. (Some years ago, I would have noticed them sooner.) She smiled, and blew right past me. In tevas on top of her clipless pedals. I knew better than to try to catch her. I had been merely cannon fodder for her ego. Sigh.

    I wonder if I could find an inflatable female cyclist accesory that would patiently ride beside me and flatter my aging pride? 8-)
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  23. #23
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I prefer solo cycling, but I often fall into or pick up a small group enroute. I detest massed group rides for safety reasons, but I don't mind each-at-his-own-pace "spread out" group events.

    I am another "in betweener," too fast for the casual crowd and too slow for the serious jocks.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  24. #24
    fredelicious mini-masher overthere's Avatar
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    I find it's stressful and requires more focus when riding in a paceline or double paceline, even at a casual 15-16 mph, with people changing pace, traveling conversations, and merging when there's traffic.

    With one or two people, it's stressful riding side by side and carrying a conversation, and watching up and back for cars/bikers, etc... to single file it.

    Alone, it's awesome. I can go at whatever pace I feel like, but a the same time, there's no back-up in case something happens, and if I do stop someplace to eat, well, I prefer eating with a social group, talking about biking.

    So I do a bit of everything. Can't have it all at once, I guess.

  25. #25
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    I ride solo a lot. My schedule says I can ride right now or forget it. I need my alone time, My solo rides are for exercise and meditation. They are necessary for me to maintain emotional stability. My wife is always saying "Why don't you go take a ride--NOW". Weekends I will ride with a friend or my brother. I'll ride to friends houses or ride to places with people I know. I am in a bike club, but my schedule rarely matches their ride times. I'm an "in betweener" too, so most of the potential ride partners just blow right by me.

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