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Old 12-03-05, 05:45 PM   #1
jppe
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Another reason I enjoy riding

As background, all of the longer group rides I've done this year have been organized rides with the full support-rest stops etc. These are typical kinds of rides where someone is putting on a ride to raise some money for a charitable organization, their local bike club, etc. While not races-although some of the events record your times-instinctively you seem to want to get to the finish as quickly as you can. Many of you have ridden in these types of events in areas where you live.

Most of these types of events in this area stopped in the October timeframe due to the colder temperatures my miles have tapered off a bit as well.

A bike club near me is putting on 100 mile rides with no support each Saturday in December and I rode in the one this morning and really enjoyed it. It was 33 degrees at the start, the temps got up as high as 48 and by the time we returned it was raining/sleeting.

The purpose of the rides is to simply get in some base miles at a comfortable pace. While we had 25 cyclists with varying degrees of abilities, the group stayed together for just about the entire ride. It was really neat to just spin along and meet and talk to the other folks-not to mention riding in the pack behind wheels.

The "feature" of the ride is a country store at about the 65 mile mark that has a small kitchen/eating area and serves really, really good country cooking. Their special is a meat and 2 vegetables, roll and drink. Imagine 25 cyclists pulling in and filling up on Ribs, Country Style Steak, Roast beef, Fried Chicken plus vegetables and even blackberry cobbler!! My choice-Country Style Steak, mashed potatoes w/gravy and lima beans. It's not exactly what you'd call cycling food but it was incredibly delicious!!

Interestingly, while going through one small town we wound up on a road where they were running a 5k so we had to troll along behind a police car for a bit. Then when we returned to town at the finish there was a parade on the street where we had parked so we had to navigate through that.

Anyway, it was just a really neat experience-essentially a splendid social event with 5-6 hours of exercise-and another good reminder of how much fun it is to get out and ride with others in a different venue.

Tonight I'm headed to a party and will stock up on calories to replenish those I burned today!! No guilt here!
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Old 12-03-05, 05:55 PM   #2
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Sounds like a wonderful day! Thanks for sharing -- almost felt as if I was there.
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Old 12-03-05, 06:22 PM   #3
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Notice how our best rides, the ones written up here, end up being about food. Not beautiful young things (women in this case, DeeGee, not bikes), not hammer fest competitions......but FOOD. "Eat to ride, ride to Eat".

What a merry bunch!

BTW, jppe, sounds like a great Saturday....my biggest thrill this morning discovering my glue tube wasn't dried up. Please take the digital camera next time.
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Old 12-04-05, 05:03 PM   #4
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Notice how our best rides, the ones written up here, end up being about food. Not beautiful young things (women in this case, DeeGee, not bikes), not hammer fest competitions......but FOOD. "Eat to ride, ride to Eat".

What a merry bunch!

BTW, jppe, sounds like a great Saturday....my biggest thrill this morning discovering my glue tube wasn't dried up. Please take the digital camera next time.

Very interesting observation about the parallels with riding enjoyment and food. I guess it really doesn't take very much for some of us to be really satisfied does it!

A digital camera for riding is on my Christmas list. I saw one on sale for $70 that might just fit my budget-plus it's pretty lightweight and perfect for a jersey pocket.
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Old 12-04-05, 05:12 PM   #5
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More importantly, how is the pie? I'm jealous, as I haven't been on the bike since wed. As it snowed several inches last night it is unlikely that I will be back on it for a few more days. I may break down and buy an indoor trainer. The advantage of course being that its a short ride to the fridge. Sounds like a good group and a good ride!
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Old 12-05-05, 08:27 AM   #6
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Yes we are always interested in the PIE. If I ate that much food after 65 miles I don't think I would get back on the bike. Thanks for the ride.
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Old 12-05-05, 08:58 AM   #7
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I'd like to put in my two cents on this subject.

Bicycle clubs, perhaps from their inception, have come in three varieties:

1) The social club (these haven't been particularly popular in the USA since the 1890's as far as I've been able to tell.) You can read reports of these clubs riding down the road in ridgid formations two abreast and in military order. Most of their club activities seem to have been based on the non-riding activities. Banquets and the like.

2) The racing club - unfortunately MOST clubs like to think of themselves as racing clubs and treat their rides as "training rides" instead of group rides. Even more surprising so few of these clubs even know the purpose of a training ride. These rides turn into a chase with the strong men attempting to drop everyone else in a blatant display of ego second only to those guys who drive Cadillac Escalades to work every morning. While this might appeal to young riders it is a very strong turn-off to most bicyclists and is the reason so many clubs fail to grow. And yet of the 20 or so clubs in the bay area every one I've been to has been this sort of ride save my own club.

3) The group clubs. These are surprisingly rare and I'm happy to say I belong to one. One of my foundest memories was a ride about 40 miles long. The group was cycling along with me near or at the front. We were going around a bend on a nice road in the country on a sunny, warm day. I glanced back and each rider in the line was wearing a different jersey so that the colors were shocking and looked like a painting of a French Master. The slower riders had to ride a little faster than then wanted to and the faster riders a little slower but that day everyone simply enjoyed the group ride to its fullest.

There are rides in which you want to test yourself. There are rides in which training should take priority. But club rides should be based on the idea that it is a CLUB first and that you don't want people getting lost or left behind to find out that their spare tube has worn a hole in itself in your seat pack, that the glue in your patch kit has hardened or that your pump has ceased working with the dissolution of the seal.

Once I even found a woman upside down on the sharp slope at the side of the road unable to release those old Cinelli "clipless" pedals and get out of the bike. Her husband had dropped her and she had been like that for 5 minutes when I found her! Tears aren't the half of it.

Maybe it's because I'm older that I so enjoy group rides but even when I was racing I would ride in the group except on the climbs which I'd use to do the necessary training on group rides.
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Old 12-05-05, 09:13 AM   #8
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1) The social club (these haven't been particularly popular in the USA since the 1890's as far as I've been able to tell.) You can read reports of these clubs riding down the road in ridgid formations two abreast and in military order. Most of their club activities seem to have been based on the non-riding activities. Banquets and the like.
There is a wonderful documentary produced locally which highlights the rise (and fall) of the social clubs here in Denver - with the club buildings, outings, and all the rest. They were a gathering of the rich and socially prominent. Their demise was caused by the rise of the automobile.

One of the interesting sidebars featured the first woman to wear other than a cycling dress!
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Old 12-05-05, 06:08 PM   #9
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The Pie you ask? Interestingly I keep asking myself the same question and cannot get it our of my mind! I have a real sweet tooth but I knew if I had gotten the pie, the last 35 miles could have been terribly uncomfortable. But, I think it's just the motivation to do the ride again and sample it to let everyone know exactly how good it is. I did notice that it had plenty of pie crust along with the juicy blackberry filling........

Dnvr-thanks for the insights on the clubs and rides. I think you've absolutely nailed it. A lot of the rides I've done start out to be social rides but unfortunately always seem to turn into "races" at some point during the ride. This is even happened this past summer on our Tuesday/Thursday 30 mile ride with small groups of 10-12. I don't mind pushing myself a little but at this point in time I just want to spend some time in the saddle, enjoying the sights and trying to keep the winter bulges to a minimum.

On second thought maybe I really don't need the pie/cobbler.
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Old 12-05-05, 06:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jppe

Dnvr-thanks for the insights on the clubs and rides. I think you've absolutely nailed it. A lot of the rides I've done start out to be social rides but unfortunately always seem to turn into "races" at some point during the ride. This is even happened this past summer on our Tuesday/Thursday 30 mile ride with small groups of 10-12. I don't mind pushing myself a little but at this point in time I just want to spend some time in the saddle, enjoying the sights and trying to keep the winter bulges to a minimum.
Thanks, but the credit really goes to Cyclin Tom, whom I was quoting.
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Old 12-06-05, 03:06 PM   #11
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Calorie replenishment is certainly one of the greatest pleasures of calorie expenditure!

Nice reading of your ride.
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