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Old 06-07-07, 08:44 AM   #1
Stevie47
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Anyone ever ride with a pro?

If so, how'd it happen and what were your impressions?

I was lucky enough to ride with Frankie Andreu for about 40 miles last winter. He participates in some bike tours each year. Great guy, very open and outgoing. I was particularly impressed with his bike handling skills. Extremely smooth and confident on the machine. I guess that's what comes after 9 Tour day France finishes!
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Old 06-07-07, 09:16 AM   #2
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Don't know if this counts, but I rode very briefly with T-Moblie's "B" team. They were out for a training ride and allowed me to jump on for a few miles. My impressions? These guys are genetic freaks. It's just not possible for a normal person to ride that fast with little or no effort. They were rolling along at 20+ MPH, which is no big deal... except, they were sitting up just chatting away like it was a social hour, taking both hands off the bars and using lots of hand gestures. They also rode very close to one another, bumping shoulders, etc. as if it were nothing. What bike handling skills! When we hit the hills, I was dropped with stunning ease. One thing I appreciated about them was there was no sign of being threatened by other riders. They knew they were the best on that stretch of road that day. Hence, there was no need to "put me in my place" or make me feel inadequate in any way. In fact they were a pretty friendly bunch of guys. How did it happen? As they first went by, a rider on the end simply said, "Jump on." I mean, how cool is that?
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Old 06-07-07, 09:19 AM   #3
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Did a 3 -day CTS camp this spring which included Gordon Fraiser former Health Net-Maxxis rider. He was the nicest guy in the world, all class. He was always cutting up and keeping things loose. Out on the road he was full of tips and tricks, he showed us a ton of stuff that the pros do to jack with each other.

When he cut loose and attacked on a climb or on a descent it was scary how big of an engine he had. And yeah, his bike handling skills were psychotic. After the three days of letting him work with me, so were mine too. He is going to be a great coach.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:28 AM   #4
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I raced against pros in 1,2,Pro fields in my younger years and it was always a thrill to be lined up with the 7-11 guys who were slumming after the TDF.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:35 AM   #5
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Don't know if this is "riding with a pro," but I did participate in a charity event that Lance rode in. It was an out-and-back ride. I didn't see LA at the start, but he (and some other hotshots) roared past me on the return. The speed was stunning.

I did have a long conversation once with a low-level pro who told me his job on the team was "wind donkey." That is, he was used for drafting by the team's better riders. When he got so exhausted that he couldn't keep the pace, he would be spit out the back like a watermelon seed. He was planning to go into real estate.
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Old 06-07-07, 10:15 AM   #6
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I rode a couple of mile chatting with Saul Raisin at a charity ride. Nothing special performace-wise as we were just easing along. Heck of a nice guy. He made my 11 y/o son feel very special.

I drank a few Heinekins with Jens Voigt once. He is definitely a pro, but I hung in there with him pretty well. My greater level of experience helped compensate for his youth and natural talent
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Old 06-07-07, 10:28 AM   #7
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I would love to be asked to 'jump on', that would be cool. Since that is not like to happen I will say....they are good, I don't downplay what they do, but I'd just like to ride with you guys, you are 'stars' in my books...
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Old 06-07-07, 11:06 AM   #8
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I arranged to ride with one of my customers one day and he bought a friend of his along. Boy was that friend fit and the handling skills he had were phenominal. We did a technical offroad single track and it was tricky. My customer was a mediocre rider but at that time I could handle a bike- Except for this set of stairs---Lumps of chalk- Fallen tree trunks and Natural drops in the terrain. This "Friend" not only managed it- He had enough time to do a trackstand on a 4" root and watch me come up. He passed on a few tips and put me on a 3 year journey of learning to trackstand competemtly.

That "Friend" was The Haro Bike Trials rider.
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Old 06-07-07, 12:22 PM   #9
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Yes

I rode with George Mount back in the late 70's. He was on a fixie and agreed to show me around Palo Alto ( I was there on business). He was really nice and had some great stories.

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Old 06-07-07, 03:00 PM   #10
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I think riding with a pro would be a little like the time I watched Jimmy Conners and John McInroe play tennis. They hit the ball so hard I couldn't see it (I was setting at the net) and they were so damned fast it was unhuman.

Just like watching golf--the guys hit it so far, one can't even identify with them. I'd much rather watch the ladies and know they are only outdriving me only 40 yards.
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Old 06-07-07, 08:03 PM   #11
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I once raced a former National ranked downhill skier down a hill (skiing). (I'm big so I figured gravity would help a little). By the time I had scared the Sh##t out of myself and got down the mountain, he had removed his skis, gone into the bar, ordered us both a beer, and was sitting waiting.

Pros are very good at what they do. The one interesting thing I have heard about some bike racers are that they are not very good other sports.
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Old 06-08-07, 12:04 AM   #12
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BSLeVan's story is GREAT! Very cool.

I was a reasonably successful amateur motorcycle road racer in the '70's. Raced at, and sometimes won races at the old Ontario Motor Speedway in So. California at least twice a month. I was especially fast around the "horseshoe" in the infield and always made large gains against the competition. . . . The AMA pros came to our "6-hours of Ontario" endurance race one year as a tune-up for their racing. Looking over my shoulder and seeing the pros on their 1000's catching me on my quick little Yamaha RD-350 before the horsehoe, I smiled knowing they wouldn't catch me there!

HA! As I was dragging pegs and hooking it for all I worth about 12 inches from the inside of the corner, here goes Art Bauman on a fat cow of a KZ-1000 around me on the outside like I was parked and then zoom, Reg Pridmore on a wobbling BMW R-90-S appears out of nowhere to take up the 12 inches between me and the curbing! He wobbles away from me like a jet never backing off the throttle on a bike that was trying to spit him off.

I figured out right there that there are boys and there are men. I was a boy and the gulf was insurmountable.

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Old 06-08-07, 07:01 PM   #13
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If you're including Div III domestic pros, yes, lots of times. Euro pros, no.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:14 PM   #14
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Yep and I ride Solo. (Its a mental thing)
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Old 06-08-07, 07:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TysonB
BSLeVan's story is GREAT! Very cool.

I was a reasonably successful amateur motorcycle road racer in the '70's. Raced at, and sometimes won races at the old Ontario Motor Speedway in So. California at least twice a month. I was especially fast around the "horseshoe" in the infield and always made large gains against the competition. . . . The AMA pros came to our "6-hours of Ontario" endurance race one year as a tune-up for their racing. Looking over my shoulder and seeing the pros on their 1000's catching me on my quick little Yamaha RD-350 before the horsehoe, I smiled knowing they wouldn't catch me there!

HA! As I was dragging pegs and hooking it for all I worth about 12 inches from the inside of the corner, here goes Art Bauman on a fat cow of a KZ-1000 around me on the outside like I was parked and then zoom, Reg Pridmore on a wobbling BMW R-90-S appears out of nowhere to take up the 12 inches between me and the curbing! He wobbles away from me like a jet never backing off the throttle on a bike that was trying to spit him off.

I figured out right there that there are boys and there are men. I was a boy and the gulf was insurmountable.

Tyson

I used to follow the circuit around in the 70s and I bet you remember Kenny Roberts. I think he was the best rider I've ever seen.
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Old 06-09-07, 04:28 PM   #16
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I rode with Lance and his USP team. It was fantastic. I dropped them all. After miles and miles of cat and mouse in the pack, they all finally said, ENOUGH, We've had it. You're killing us. Stop.
Then I woke up to my wife gently shaking me. "Hon. you need to get up now. You know what too much sleep does to your back." ....
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Old 06-09-07, 04:32 PM   #17
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not call it riding with a pro.But met up with the TDF by following their same route about two hours before they . In Calif. , quite likely you will see them training on the same roads during times like January, February.
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Old 06-09-07, 05:40 PM   #18
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Having dealt with professional athletes in three non-cycling sports over the years, my experience has been universal. The higher up they are on the totem pole, the more decent and unassuming they are. On the other hand, the high end amatuers who are knocking on the door tend to be the rudist and most arrogant. Hard to say if the big time pros are nice because they've made it, or made it because they're nice. I tend to think 60/40, towards the latter.

In terms of cycling, I've ridden with a few high end amatuers, and if they weren't good enough to be low end pros, I don't want to even think what the big boys ride like!
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Old 06-09-07, 08:26 PM   #19
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Many years ago I spent a day riding with Pete Penseyres. Every inch a gentleman.

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Old 06-09-07, 08:38 PM   #20
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Exactly what kind of "pro" are you talking about?
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Old 06-09-07, 08:59 PM   #21
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Greg Lemond grew up here, and Inga Thompson lived here for a long time when she was racing (might be a native, I don't know). I didn't ride with either of them in the sense that they came by my house and picked me up to climb Geiger Grade, but I encountered both on the road many times. I was in my early 30s, pretty fit, riding 200-250 miles a week, and Inga made me sob like a schoolgirl. Greg was just unreal. Far as I know, he still holds the record from U.S. 395 to Virginia City.
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Old 06-09-07, 10:38 PM   #22
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I rode with an expro rider from Italy once. He was visiting a friend of mine in San Gabriel California and he brought his bike with him. He asked me if I knew of a good ride to go on. I took him on the San Gabriel river bed. He had no water bottle, he spun his 42 chainring throughout the ride and never looked tire. I gave it all I got just to try and stay with him, but I couldn't, it wasn't possible. All the really fast rider out there that day, he chased them down without any real effort it seemed. His comment to me after the ride was that I had heart but lack a motor. Best advice I ever received, from that point on I worked on my paceline riding a little more diligently.
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Old 06-10-07, 12:28 AM   #23
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I ride quite often with Bill Nickson, the last englishman to win the Milk Race, he rode the TDF and was british road race champion. One of the nicest, funniest guys I have ever met, but .. at his advancing age still rides short 21's for a 10 mile TT, on his ancient fixie.

I was riding a time trial when I was passed by a pro team going off to the start of the Tour of Lancashire, the shame, I would have loved to have "jumped on" their wheels, I was flat out and they were chatting and passing stuff to each other, seemed totally effortless. When I got back to control a few other guys had been overtaken by them and a few other teams too.

In our club there have been quite a few who have gone on to ride for England and Scotland.

On tour in Spain I rode, ( downhill) with a Danish team, well they slowed down to have a chat with me, then I managed to leave them standing, but it was at road works and I had fat tyres, so I went straight over and they had to look to find a way through. then they went past me like I was standing still a few seconds later. One even took a photo of me as they went past, I would love to see that photo!!!!

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