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Old 10-02-06, 08:06 AM   #1
cyclintom
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Always Trailing

One thing I'm beginning to grow weary of is the idea that most cyclists have that the only GOOD ride is the fastest ride you're capable of.

This last weekend I chased my brother and sister-in-law all day long and at the end of it I asked if they'd seen the (4) waterfalls and they said, "What waterfalls?" The part they liked wasn't the long quiet country road past the reservoir but the ride back along a busy road that was straight as a string and where they could get on the geek bars and ride as hard as they could.

Even on my tour a couple of weeks ago there was somewhat the same problem - after messing around all morning (it took between 3 and 5 hours to go the first 20 miles all but one day) they would suddenly get the idea that it would be dark before we got in and then we'd be riding faster than I wanted to in order to arrive at the camp sites before dark.

Is it just me or are people incapable of thinking and riding at the same time?
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Old 10-02-06, 09:27 AM   #2
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Tom, I have found that I will have a better ride if I ride my pace. Its slower than most, but I am not a person who likes to stop a lot. Other folks like to ride faster and stop more, some ride fast and don't stop. But I ride for my own rewards and enjoyment, and everybody is welcome to ride along. I will try to accommodate all riding styles, but if it becomes a burden, Well then I will See you at camp or whenever.
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Old 10-02-06, 10:17 AM   #3
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No one, "Stops and smells the roses", more than I do. But a good hammerfest is fun too. I won't poo poo anyone for either.
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Old 10-02-06, 10:19 AM   #4
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Why do many cyclists think that speed and time are paramount in cylcling? Is everyone a bicycle racer except me? One reason I generally cycle alone is so I can go as fast or as slow as I want. I'm out for the aesthetics of the ride. Time matters not.
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Old 10-02-06, 10:22 AM   #5
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Excellent point. One reason I like to ride solo is the ability to ride my pace. There are times to get "into the zone" and push as hard as I can, but I find joy in the ride, not the time.

A few years back my family did a bike tour through a commercial touring company of the San Juan Islands. Small group of around 20, with 3 guides. We were on our own mtb, the rest on road bikes provided by the company. After the first day, we figured out our pace was much different than the "roadies" so we enjoyed ourselves and let the rest of the group zoom out ahead. The guides learned we were strong riders, able to complete the routes without babysitting, so left it up to the sag wagon to check in on us. As we compared notes around the campfire in the evenings, my family saw a lot more of the islands because we were touring, not riding as fast as possible from A to B. By the end of the week, about half of the group was riding with us and enjoying the experience.

That said, the highlight of the trip my sons still talk about was the challenge race on the last day, as all 20 riders pounded the last 10 miles to the ferry -- my two sons finished 2-3 and I came in 6th to the surprise of all the skinny-tire folks! It also showed our group that the family's slower pace was deliberate, not a reflection of our ability.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackb
Why do many cyclists think that speed and time are paramount in cylcling? Is everyone a bicycle racer except me? One reason I generally cycle alone is so I can go as fast or as slow as I want. I'm out for the aesthetics of the ride. Time matters not.
For many, speed is fun. Going faster than you doesn't mean they're racers, it means they are going as fast or as slow as they want, too; but their favorite speed just happens to be faster than yours. If they don't rag on you for going slow, you shouldn't rag on them for going fast.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackb
Why do many cyclists think that speed and time are paramount in cylcling? Is everyone a bicycle racer except me? One reason I generally cycle alone is so I can go as fast or as slow as I want. I'm out for the aesthetics of the ride. Time matters not.
I'm pretty much the same. Plus I often drag a camera around with me, so I'm stopping to take a photo of this or that. The point is to be out there and having fun (at least, that's the point for me!). I do wish I had a titanium camera, however, to shave a little weight. (J/K!!!)
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Old 10-02-06, 12:07 PM   #8
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I am doing the Spaghetti 100 century this Saturday and have made up my mind that, if I complete it in less than 7 hours, I will have cheated myself. I'm taking a camera and I plan to make a lot of photo stops.

I enjoy a good hammerfest as much as the next guy, but I'm planning to get my money's worth out of the ride this weekend.
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Old 10-02-06, 12:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I'm pretty much the same. Plus I often drag a camera around with me, so I'm stopping to take a photo of this or that. The point is to be out there and having fun (at least, that's the point for me!). I do wish I had a titanium camera, however, to shave a little weight. (J/K!!!)


Here you go.
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Old 10-02-06, 12:37 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=cyclintom]One thing I'm beginning to grow weary of is the idea that most cyclists have that the only GOOD ride is the fastest ride you're capable of.
QUOTE]

I work full time and travel much on business. Therefore my free time is limited. Another priority is fitness through exercise. Reasonably fast biking is pretty good CV exercise. I do at least 90 Minutes/day exercise and double that on weekends. That limits time for sight seeing.
We do plenty of that in vacation. Our typical average speed on our tandem is below 15 MPH.
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Old 10-02-06, 01:12 PM   #11
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[quote=will dehne] Our typical average speed on our tandem is below 15 MPH.[/endquote]

after reading your wonderful posts about cycling across America in 72 hours with a single protein bar and various other exploits, I am relieved to know that one day, you may come cruising by at a speed that I would be able to recognize you and wave...
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Old 10-02-06, 01:18 PM   #12
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This Sunday- I will be doing a 65 miler. In 98 I did this in 4 hours 10 minutes and was pleased with the speed. Had plenty of time to sit down at the end and wait for a few friends that were also on the ride. Done it a few times since but never got that time in again. Last time was a couple of years ago and I did it on a Tandem. Unfortunately- we had to wait for one friend that was also on the ride and he struggled to stay with us. He said that pushing that hard- for all the distance- he did not enjoy the ride. This year I am doing it on the road bike. Two of my usual riding partners and one of my customers. I have done a couple of rides with my customer but this will be the longest ride he has ever done.

So two ways of doing this. Grind the customer into the ground to show how fit I am- or take it steady and enjoy the ride. As this ride has spectacular scenery- and you will all want pics- I'll take it slow and keep the customer.

The time for me to blast it is on a local ride where I know the scenery- Like the organised 40 miler that I do in the spring. 40 miles non stop on very twisty roads in 2 1/2 hours. Then there are the rides where if you go fast- you miss out on a lot of the rides pleasure. So I am planning a 6 hour ride with a stop or two for refreshments-Hopefully at a cafe somewhere instead of a pub. Then at the end we will have 4 riders, or at least 3 as one is a speed merchant, that would have have a great day out on the bikes.




quote=will dehne] Our typical average speed on our tandem is below 15 MPH.[/endquote]

after reading your wonderful posts about cycling across America in 72 hours with a single protein bar and various other exploits, I am relieved to know that one day, you may come cruising by at a speed that I would be able to recognize you and wave...


If you saw us struggling to get our tandem up the offroad trails- You could walk past us and wave all the way. Mind you- Put the camera on a fast shutter speed when gravity takes over. Its the only way we can keep up with the rest of the group.
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Old 10-02-06, 02:16 PM   #13
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Guilty as charged. There's a stretch of road south OKC about 20 miles that is often used by various century rides so I've ridden this road many times. About a month ago I realized that there's a huge prairie dog town along both sides of the road for about 3 to 4 hundred feet. This thing is huge. I noticed this while DRIVING. At 60mph. I'm ashamed. This Sunday I'm doing a century and my new goal will be to go see things and socialize instead of going for my fastest time.

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Old 10-02-06, 02:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centexwoody
after reading your wonderful posts about cycling across America in 72 hours with a single protein bar

Across America with (27) Steak and Potato Dinners, (27) 1000 calorie Milkshakes, (27) Double Oatmeal BF, (27) Lunch breaks of undefined content
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Old 10-02-06, 04:21 PM   #15
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When my wife and I are in a new area on pavement we average a shade over 8 m/h. That's 4 to 5 hrs to cover 40 mi, including sight seeing stops, lunch breaks, 30 to 50 photos, and half an hour discussing how to get unlost.
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Old 10-02-06, 04:25 PM   #16
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Everything in moderation. Scenic rides... in moderation. Hammer fest... in moderation. Ultra long rides... in moderation. Short, quickies.... in moderation!
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Old 10-02-06, 06:46 PM   #17
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That's why I ride alone a lot of the time. Most of my friends are a lot younger and a little faster than I am, and my wife is a lot slower. I go with my wife once or twice a week, and with friends occasionally, for a few organized rides every year. Most of the time, though, i enjoy getting off by myself and just riding and looking around.
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Old 10-02-06, 07:30 PM   #18
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I'm an x-drag racer, i love speed, crave speed, need speed..working on getting faster, love carving corners, climbing hills, passing 50 on down hills, but thats me. thats what i like. i say hi when i pass other bikers, sometimes slow and talk awhile. we each like different things and usually will find like-minded friends to ride with. the group i ride with has 7 riders over 50 that ride fast, we love to pound each other and beat the younger riders. then we have a beer afterward. the last in buys the beer for after the next ride.
i also like to see the sights, but when someone passes me something gets triggered, and the hammerhead comes out.
by the way here in corn land, theres not much to see on our local regular rides. when i ride in a new scenic areas, speed does drop, to see the sights and because of not knowing the roads.
i guess in the end, to each his own and may you find like minded friends.

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Old 10-02-06, 07:32 PM   #19
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I enjoy both fast and slow. When I'm doing a club ride on my Corsa, I'm likely to be riding hard most of the time, and then looking forward to the next club ride. On the other hand, My EZ Rider and EZ Tandem are two of the slowest bikes ever made, but I enjoy my rides on each of them, too.
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Old 10-02-06, 08:54 PM   #20
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The point of being a youthful acting at the same time 50 years plus is.......you can do whatever the hell you want and not give a damn what anybody thinks but you. The one advantage of being an Olde Pharte is that, hopefully, peer pressure is about as weighty as a valve stem cap.

Whichever of you posters said this: Our perception of ourselves is based on our perception of others' perception of us.........thanks, I kept turning that over in my head on my ride this a.m.
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Old 10-02-06, 09:05 PM   #21
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That must be why I think you think my slice of pie is bigger than yours?
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Old 10-02-06, 09:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradopenguin
That must be why I think you think my slice of pie is bigger than yours?
Well, I certainly hope it's bigger, but, being insecurely dependent of what you think about me...I'll never know for sure and will tend to think my slice is smaller while deluding myself its bigger. Or something.
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Old 10-02-06, 09:29 PM   #23
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I enjoy a hammerfest as much as the next guy, once in a while, but my raison d'etre for riding is to experience nature in all its glory whilst pedalling quietly along a country road. No waterfalls here, unfortunately, but we have some amazing desert scenes.
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Old 10-03-06, 01:20 AM   #24
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maintenance of pie

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossChain
Well, I certainly hope it's bigger, but, being insecurely dependent of what you think about me...I'll never know for sure and will tend to think my slice is smaller while deluding myself its bigger. Or something.
My favorite wife's primary role in our relationship is to help me maintain my illusion of control. She does this admirably and I remain (relatively) secure in the strength of my delusions.

Since my favorite wife has already assured me that my slice of pie is of the perfect size, I'll leave each of you with the responsibility for maintaining your own delusions about the size of your pie slices ...
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Old 10-03-06, 03:04 PM   #25
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on Bike NOrth Woods, my wife and I (we both take aday off to volunteer site coordinate too) are always at the end of the pack... 'Tailenders' is what we call it. By week's end, we've gathered about 40 other riders who are tailenders as well, laughing, enjoying the time... getting into camp early enough to shower and get some grub... but seeing the sites... and only about 2 mph slower than everyone else.

I never understood the charm of being the first to arrive at the bitty little four corners where the overnight is.
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