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Old 01-15-06, 04:30 PM   #1
jppe
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Do you ride with others?

Sorry for the length of the note........

I bailed on doing the local Polar Bear metric century yesterday due to the wind blowing so hard it would take away from the fun of it. I went out today and rode about 60 miles just enjoying a nice day and traveling some roads I had not ridden in a long time. I met a few other riders out apparently doing the same thing. I took the camera but just didn't see anything unique enough that I thought might interest you folks-unless you like pictures of barns, houses with tin roofs, churches, pastures, goats, cows, etc.

On the return leg I turned onto a road that had a pretty good sight distance and out in front of me a good ways was another cyclist. I automatically picked up the pace to see if I could catch up. I found myself going really harder but I was able to close the gap and catch him over a stretch of 2-3 miles.

As I pulled up I quickly recognized him as "Ted"-someone I had met on the road this summer and also on most of the Blackberry Cobbler Centuries in December. He has been out of town for a while so I had not seen him in at least a month.

We chatted for a second which quickly lead to him telling me about his divorce-which I did not know he was going through. I could tell it was really eating at him so I just let him talk and tried to be a good listener. He and his ex had spent a good part of yesterday together dividing up stuff and doing some of the things I guess you have to do to part ways. He talked about his kids and how they were affected, etc. He seemed really happy just to have someone he could talk to. Later he made a comment about how nice it was to ride along with someone else.

I don't know why, but it seems when I ride with others the pace just goes up. Both of us had probably ridden along around 17 mph by ourselves-not really pushing it but just enjoying being out on the road. As we were riding side by side, a few miles later he commented about how he was glad I came along as it really helped him get his pace up. I looked down and we had been riding 21-22 mph just cruising down the road together and talking.

We probably rode for almost an hour together taking the same roads back to our houses.

This reminded me why I enjoyed riding with others-and another good reminder of why I enjoy riding at all.
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Old 01-15-06, 05:03 PM   #2
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I'd very much LIKE to ride with others, but I've yet to find ANYBODY willing to go on a ride. My neighbor (who I'd loan a bike to and who needs the ride more than me) "never has time." My wife has a skin that blisters in sunlight within 10 minutes, so she's out. I have two neighbors in the neighborhood who like to ride, but ONLY in the neighborhood and at walking speeds. There's a local bicycle club, and I sent my $$ to the address on their website - never heard from them AT ALL! I even put an ad in the subdivision newsletter inviting neighbors to an organized ride that I'd lead. Not a soul showed up.

I see other bikers while I'm out riding & always say hello, but am too reserved to ask if they want to ride with me on a regular basis. I'd really like to have a group to ride with at least weekly. It would give me something to look forward to and provide some structure.

For the time being, I'll remain a solitary cyclist. Hope to see someone sometime...
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Old 01-15-06, 05:13 PM   #3
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I consider myself lucky to have a GF who loves to ride as much as I do and also does not feel compelled to talk each and every second! Before meeting her all of my riding for all these years has pretty much been alone. Even on group/charity rides I'd ride pretty much alone and have never been much of a chatter. I talk more in one day on BF than I do in a year of riding!
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Old 01-15-06, 06:41 PM   #4
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My wife enjoys riding, and I enjoy riding with her. However, the pace and distance are quite different when I ride by myself.

I generally ride my longer and faster rides solo. I have a route of sorts, and there are "regulars" that I see, wave to, and sometimes talk to/with.

Last year I rode a few rides with the owner of the local fitness center where I go. He is nice, but quite competitive and younger, and I am not (neither, actually). There is a local bike club of just a few riders, but as I am still getting back in shape from my year of "heart" I am not up to speed with them, nor do I want to be in a position of holding anyone back.

I really enjoyed leading bike rides last season for our seniors at church. We actually did a 30 mile bike ride one day. But, again, they are slow and I spend a fair amouint of time waiting to get the group together as everyone catches up.

So, I keep doing mostly solo rides. It would take a lot for me to give up the freedom of stopping when and where I want, or of taking a new trail or road when I want, or of saying I am going for 20 miles and ending up going 40 or vice versa. I really treasure my independence.
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Old 01-15-06, 07:20 PM   #5
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Well, usually I go it alone, but love it if my family rides along with me. This morning, I took a ride of a bit over two hours. As soon as I got back, my wife and youngest daughter wanted to go on a ride. It was absolutely beautiful in my neck of Northern California today and we went out for an hour and a half. Only about 11 mph, but what a joy to feel the sun and breathing the clean after-rain air. I'll say it floated my boat, that's for sure. What life is all about.
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Old 01-15-06, 07:22 PM   #6
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I ride mostly by myself, but I'm hardly ever alone. There's all these voices in my head, you see....

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Old 01-15-06, 08:14 PM   #7
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My friends are too fast and my wife's too slow, so ....
I ride with my wife once or twice a week, mainly to encourage her to do it--otherwise she just goes to the gym, and that's so boring she doesn't stick with it. But as DnvrFox said, there's a big gap in our speeds and interest, so I try to schedule that for easy days or days off.
I've ridden with the same group of friends for more than 10 years, but they've all just passed 50 and apparently they feel the cold breath of death on their necks--they've gotten VERY serious, and I can't hang with them for more than a few miles. On organized rides (we do several a year) I sometimes start early with another slow guy and meet them at the lunch stop, or get a ride out to a midpoint and finish with them.
I'm going to go a little harder this year, with some goals in mind for late summer, but I still won't be able to match them. They're mostly self-employed or retired, and can take a few hours off to ride during the day when they want. I have to report to a boss, who's good about an extra 15 minutes but not about an extra half-day.
Most of my daily riding, 125 miles or so a week, comes in my commute ,which I do solo. The longer weekend rides are about half alone, half with others.
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Old 01-15-06, 08:42 PM   #8
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When I ride on the street for excercise, I ride alone. When I ride on a trail I ride with my sons, with MTB cyclists I work with, or alone. But, riding with my sons is the greatest! Unfortunately, due to an illness (MS) my wife can't ride.
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Old 01-15-06, 08:46 PM   #9
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Nearly all my rides are alone. That way I'm never holding anyone back, or being held back.

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Old 01-15-06, 08:53 PM   #10
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Usually solo, jppe, but you're right about the pace going up.
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Old 01-15-06, 08:53 PM   #11
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I'm fortunate enough to have a few friends to ride with...met them out on the road. We ride together regularly, are reasonably matched. If one feels the need for a more intense or less vigorous ride, the that person rides part way, or rides alone that day. Longer rides are made much more enjoyable by conversation, banter--and lunch afterwards. Riding friendship has extended beyond that to a broader friendship as well.

I also ride alone at times-- variety is good...I think there's an appeal to sometimes solo. Still, I much prefer having others to ride with on a regular basis. I spent several years riding alone. My distance and intensity, which had begun to wane through too much solo, picked back up having others to ride with. Besides, I can never remember that 6mm hex wrench.

I recall the time a partner volunteered to urinate on my tube when, out of water, I couldn't find the puncture. Luckily, I still had plenty of spit.

Family members, fast or slow, are a good change of pace. My 20 year old daughter, not normally a cyclist, is coming riding with me this week. Riding with your "kids", no matter the age, is still a heartwarming thing to do. I expect we'll talk a lot and walk up the hills. Ain't cycling grand in its multitude of appeals!?
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Old 01-15-06, 09:12 PM   #12
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GrannyGear wrote my reply for me. Especailly about the variety and the importance of family rides. However, I might add that I am lucky enough to ride every weekend one or both days with two guys who are very capable riders and we push along at about 18-19 or so and attack the hills. One of the guys is significantly faster, but he takes air out of his tires and takes longer pulls up front. We have a great time and work our butts off.

Today I rode 15 slow on my road bike. Then 12 more on MTBs with someone who doesn't get out that often. We found a country bar out in the sticks and stopped and had a beer!

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Old 01-15-06, 09:16 PM   #13
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I sometimes ride alone and sometimes with others. I enjoy both but tend to ride faster when with others. Competition is such a great thing.
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Old 01-16-06, 02:00 AM   #14
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normally ride in a group but when I ride the tandem, we have to keep our pace down to keep the group together. Then the tandem goes out on wednesday nights on its own and that is when it is pushed hard, but that is not solo riding.

Occasionally go out on my own and starts off as being an easy ride, but within a few miles find myself pushing harder than with the group rides, or decide the ride is going so well- I'll put a few extra miles in.
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Old 01-16-06, 06:18 AM   #15
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I ride solo ... don't think anyone would want to be seen with me given my Old MTB.

However, I am building some cycling partners .... here is a picture from 2004 ... they were 4 years old. We had just done a mile! They asked Grandma to go to bed early that night!

Last edited by never_be_rich; 01-16-06 at 06:29 AM. Reason: Pic did not appear to up load ... got an error message
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Old 01-16-06, 06:34 AM   #16
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Most of my riding, 95%, is done with my club. Many of the other riders are younger, fitter, and faster than I am so I don't get to ride much with them. The folks that I ride with are normally about my age and have similar interests and a similar level of fitness so our rides are not competitve and tend to be very social.
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Old 01-16-06, 07:36 AM   #17
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I don't ride with others, but then I'm a loner and don't do *anything* with others.
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Old 01-16-06, 08:08 AM   #18
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I would generally ride alone, except when I would ride the tandem with my husband. I do ride with a riding group about once a month and try and ride with a couple of friends (just the three of us) about once or twice a month. Now that I have ridden with people, I really enjoy it, makes the ride more fun. I know if I just took my bike other places then around where I live, I would enjoy myself, but just haven't done it. I love to go adventure and find new roads, even if they lead no where.
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Old 01-16-06, 08:09 AM   #19
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I usually ride my training parcours alone in order to find out the shape I'm in (i.e. time I need). But in summer my wife and me do our annually 10 days mountain tours in the french Alps. I take all the luggage which means: I'm 5 mph slower than usually and we can ride together
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Old 01-16-06, 08:52 AM   #20
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I usually ride with a group of about 10 from my local club. Most are younger than me and most are faster, too. They always wait for me and don't seem to mind. It's fun to hear their comments when I finally catch up. I've ridden solo a lot but there's nothing like sharing an epic ride with good friends.
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Old 01-16-06, 09:51 AM   #21
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I use to ride alone but since moving to FL I found someone at work who enjoys riding and lives a couple of miles away from me. We now ride 6 days a week together and generally chat the first few miles as we warm up and then take turns pulling. It is good since there are days I would probably stay in bed if I didn't know my buddy would be at the corner waiting and while we always say we are going to do an easy ride at 17 we end up pushing each other into the 20s. In addition to the motivation it is sure nice to have someone take a pull when the winds blowing (which is all of the time here)
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Old 01-16-06, 10:12 AM   #22
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I usually ride with a club. Group rides can be anywhere from 4 or 5 up to 40 riders, although the larger groups tend to break up into smaller packs of no more than 10-15. Once or twice a week will be a designated 'hard ride' day, which I do alone; but usually I'd rather take it easy and socialize.
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Old 01-16-06, 02:22 PM   #23
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Alone most of the time (about 98%). I try to go on a club ride a couple times a year, and on organized events a few times, but other than that it's solo.
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Old 01-16-06, 04:06 PM   #24
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I do most of my riding solo. When I ride with my friends my pace slows down. I have some friends that I ride with and when I ride with them I slow the pace down from 20 mph (my typical solo average riding speed) to 18-19 mph over 30 to 50 miles or so. I usually try to scedule my rides with friends on a recovery day or ride about 30 miles hard before meeting up with them. My friends are getting faster, though.
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Old 01-16-06, 06:42 PM   #25
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Solo 99%, a few select friends 1% Only way to go.
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