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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Getting annoyed but there is a cure.

    One of the things I like about cycling is the freedom it gives me. I am not into serious racing or Keeping up with the others on speed or distance or the number of rides I do- So I just do my own thing.

    Until last year I was mountain biking with a group that was about my standard and mentality- Just out to get a ride in- Have a coffee and Bun (Or pie if available)- and enjoy the ride. Mileage would be high enough to say we have had a good workout so it was not just out turning the legs. Gradually the group has diminished though and it has finished up with just 3 of us and the occasional extra joining in. Now amongst the other two is a rider that I do not enjoy riding with. He is fit and I cannot put that against him, but you never ride with him. If you do- he will wear you out for the first 30 miles- but then he starts to lose a lot of energy. It doesn’t really matter though as The other rider and I will accommodate him when he does slow down by waiting for him on the hills- taking our pace down to help him, or even cutting short our planned ride to get him home in one piece. If he is not out- then Martin and I go out for a good ride- take in some severe hills at our pace and probably get in 40 to 45 miles.

    All that changed last year though when I got the road bike. I then started doing Road rides on it and they came along with me on my rides. I had a learning curve to do but the Fitun was going to stay with me on the road on his knobbly tyres- Ok he could do it- Me lacking in finesse and him with his fitness. Mileage would have be lower and I started alternating road and offroad rides to keep in the two forms of riding. Didn’t work as the road rides were not giving me enough mileage and the offroads were still not right. I then modified things again and Weekends were for MTB and evenings were for the road bike.

    Those road rides carried on midweek over the winter but this year I have cried enough. I want to get out on the road bike more often and I want to do routes and distances that the others will struggle on. Martin could manage it if I set him up with slicks and higher gearing but just face it- how is an MTB going to stay with a road bike. One of the pair of us will have to modify his ride to suit the other and to be honest- neither of us is going to get a good ride. I will have to cut speed to keep Martin with me and He will have to put in just a bit extra effort just to stay with me on the flat at my reduced rate.


    So from now on- if I decide that I am going on the road- I am going solo. I will be able to get myself fit enough for a hilly 100 miler later in the year, I might even be able to get myself up the 15%ers with compact gearing, but unless I get out there and do the training at my pace and in my time- I am going to miss out on a lot of rides later in the year that I would like to do. Even the fitter of us have to keep in training so I can only guess what George- SKT- DG- -TWL and any others I have forgotten to mention have to do to get their Metric in this year.

    So to put it Bluntly- I am turning into a miserable sad old(er) man that is just out to enjoy himself and s*d everyone else. Just like the rest of you will be When you find a change of skills coming about.
    Last edited by stapfam; 06-12-07 at 07:05 AM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  2. #2
    Streetfire HopedaleHills's Avatar
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    No problem for me, I like riding alone. It lets me ride hard when I want and not so hard when I want. Except for a few organized rides every year, I really don't want to have to worry about keeping up with or losing someone else. As far as training, I guess I just consider it riding. I guess pushing yourself up some big hills or doing an interval once in a while is training. I just don't look at it that way.
    Tim
    Singing Do Wah Ditty, Ditty Dum Ditty Do

  3. #3
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    It seems almost impossible to find a compatible riding partner, either too fast or two slow. Someone is always waiting. I am usually the fast one because I've got the time and motivation to train during the week. I used to go out with the guys and stay in middle ring, 4 or 5 and spin my legs off to keep the speed below 15 or so, I gave that up because they just never got faster.

    When I want to ride with someone now, usually my SO, we take the tandem. No waiting.

  4. #4
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    I think there is a difference between a training ride, and almost any other kind of ride. With a training ride, you really do need to tailor it to your specific needs and goals. Hence, there's a very good chance that you may not find others with the same needs and goals. All of my training rides are done alone. When I ride with others, I have not expectation that it is a training ride. Rather, it is social riding, at least for me. If I can't keep up, then I can't keep up and it could become a solitary ride, but I don't worry about that. In any event, I try to mix up my rides so that I get both, but training rides are just for me.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  5. #5
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    find a local roadie club

    Ours has several groups that go out every Sunday

    Either work your way down from the fastest group or preferably work your way up from the slowest.

    Riding alone is never the same training as riding in a group.

    See if the group has weekday evening 10 mile TT's. I found these the best way of gauging my improvement, don't worry about anyone else it's just you and the clock.

    I ride my Thorn on a club run sometimes, great training.

    Welcome to the road.

    george
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  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    It seems to me that all my rides are training ride. I try something different all the time. Like stapfam said, it's pretty hard to ride with someone when we all have different goals. I want to be a distance rider, where someone else would want to go as fast as they can, others want to smell the roses. I like to do it just the way I am now, and if I could find someone, who likes to do like I do, that would be heaven sent, just saying.
    George

  7. #7
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George
    It seems to me that all my rides are training ride. I try something different all the time. Like stapfam said, it's pretty hard to ride with someone when we all have different goals. I want to be a distance rider, where someone else would want to go as fast as they can, others want to smell the roses. I like to do it just the way I am now, and if I could find someone, who likes to do like I do, that would be heaven sent, just saying.

    I train alone too but...

    I use the Sunday rides to see how I'm doing in my training. different bikes different groups

    with the fast ( Cat 1 and 2) boys I can stay with them for 5 or 6 mile or to the first hill, they are not even breaking sweat

    with the medium group I use it to learn about new routes, new hills etc and have a laugh.

    with the slow group I am a helper, getting people new to cycling to learn how to enjoy it. But I ride up to the front, go back and cajole, fix gear problems and punctures etc

    every ride is used for a specific reason, to help me become a better cyclist. Just saying

    george 2
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  8. #8
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I never ride alone. When I ride, I have thoughts of my friends on the 50+ forum all the time. Funny stuff, serious training stuff, gread advice stuff, encouragement stuff, off topic stuff, and so on. And the 50+ riders always seem to go at my pace. Amazing.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  9. #9
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    I gues it's like driving on the freeways. Everyone in front of you is a moron and everyone behind you is a maniac.

    For a long time I've been the slowest MTBer in my area. I don't mind riding alone but prefer to ride with others so if I get injured I won't end up as buzzard meat. I do feel bad about being so slow and I have to concentrate on not committing one of the cardinal sins of biking: constantly whining and apologizing. There's not much etiquette on the trails, either. No paceline, no riding abreast, it's pretty much you against the trail with others watching on.

    On the road, it's an entirely different situation, with traffic laws, paceline etiquette, and so forth. The best place to learn these are on club rides. The only problem with club rides is that you have to be ready to ride hard or be dropped.

    On training rides, especially the ones where I push myself, the only way I can ride at my own pace is to ride on my own.

  10. #10
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    I gues it's like driving on the freeways. Everyone in front of you is a moron and everyone behind you is a maniac.


    ...

    On the road, it's an entirely different situation, with traffic laws, paceline etiquette, and so forth. The best place to learn these are on club rides. The only problem with club rides is that you have to be ready to ride hard or be dropped.

    I hope that, in the UK at least, it is possible to find other clubs, like the one I belong to, that ride at the pace of the slowest on a Sunday social ride. everyone learns something from it.

    I love to see riders moving up to faster longer rides.

    No-one gets dropped in our club, and there is no need to ride harder than you need ( on a Sunday that is , on a Tuesday chain gang , now that's a different ride all together).

    george
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  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    TWL has raised a point- On MTB rides- whether it be A full offroad or just on trails- you can accomodate the slower rider- or even the fast one. When it comes to the gruelling bit-Uphills- you take your own pace and you congregate and meet at the top. I suppose this is why I can get my HR up so high because you will have frequent rests in between the extreme effort to form back up. On the Road it is different- If you ride with others- a pace get set and you go at it. Might be a bit fast for you but you persevere or get dropped and then you do your own ride. I do not get my HR nearly as high on the road- but I do it non- stop. No breaks waiting for others, unless it is a social ride, but you are out for an intense ride and I keep the HR at around 75 to 80% of max.

    Then there is "Etiquette" of group road riding. Not that I have done much of it but I can pick out the rider that does not understand it a mile off. Doesn't keep his position in the group- Never takes a turn at the front or if he does he shoots off ahead. And the worst bit out of the lot is that he is not concentrating on the surroundings. He is the one startled by the car that suddenly appears- although the warning has gone out. He is the one that doesn't notice the group slowing or the hill coming up and is in the wrong gear and even doesn't know that a right turn is coming up.

    I would like to find a group to ride with sometime but until then I will stay as the solo rider.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  12. #12
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    don't expect to be perfect in a group first time out.

    It is an acquired art, we all had to serve time learning
    I have been that guy, in the wrong gear, falling off while riding clipless etc etc


    stay at the back, watch, learn, and listen.

    In a good group just shout "take one off" to get them to slow down, and they should wait to regroup.
    We accommodate the slower, lesser experienced rider because we have all been there.

    Try any club, or even CTC rides, to learn the "ettiquette", its the quickest, friendliest way.

    Once you dip your toe in the rest will follow. Ride with no preconceptions, if its too fast and hard drop off and ride your own route, just try to let them know you are dropping off, If its too slow, help others.

    every time something will be learnt

    george
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  13. #13
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    I've belonged to a few clubs over the years, and with the exception of one in Pa., never enjoyed the whole club thing. Usually too serious for me-I'm more of a "recreational" rider who rides because he enjoys it. Don't really care if I extend my rides next month by 10 more miles. My rides are measured by SMILES per hour, not miles per hour! And since most groups are out to see who can outdo who, probably be doing more solos myself, or with Donna (wife), as she has the same philosophy. Might host a "slowpoke" mtb ride, as I've never been a fast dirt rider, but do enjoy getting out there, and I'm sure there are others who enjoy it also who aren't overly fast or technical riders.

  14. #14
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibi
    don't expect to be perfect in a group first time out.

    It is an acquired art, we all had to serve time learning
    I have been that guy, in the wrong gear, falling off while riding clipless etc etc


    stay at the back, watch, learn, and listen.

    In a good group just shout "take one off" to get them to slow down, and they should wait to regroup.
    We accommodate the slower, lesser experienced rider because we have all been there.

    Try any club, or even CTC rides, to learn the "ettiquette", its the quickest, friendliest way.

    Once you dip your toe in the rest will follow. Ride with no preconceptions, if its too fast and hard drop off and ride your own route, just try to let them know you are dropping off, If its too slow, help others.

    every time something will be learnt

    george

    I went out a few times with group rides and I might as well went riding by myself. After a few miles they were gone.
    George

  15. #15
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    but until then I will stay as the solo rider.

    Nothing wrong with riding solo. I'm the perpetual 'lone wolf' when it comes to riding bikes. I dont run in a pack. I ride alone, and have done so all my life. I do it in full kit, riding my own pace for thousands upon thousands of miles, measuring myself against myself in the sun, and the rain, and the wind.

    For me its 'killer'. For someone else, it may not be.

    sometimes I feel like "jerimiah johnson" on a bike, but thats not a bad thing.
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  16. #16
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    I have just this spring joined a bicycle club for the first time and for me it has been just great. It is a big club with over 900 members and it is easy to find a group to ride with at your own speed. They have an online calender that shows every group ride and what that specific ride is about. They also have a forum where you can join smaller ad hoc groups or invite to your own group ride. It has been a good thing for me to stop always going hard on solo rides and getting many long slower rides with good companionship.

  17. #17
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    There are several good bike clubs in the area. One thing they don't do very well is categorize the pace of the ride. There are R&R rides (rest and recovery), Slow-poke rides (which I'm too proud to do) and such. They also rate rides by the hilliness: #1 being flat, #3 being over 50% hills, and #4 being downright brutal. Locally they don't rate rides as C for cruising, B for hammering, A for Kool-Aid inspired mass suicide, stuff like that. I think it would be a good idea.

  18. #18
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

    Drop the pride, start from the bottom, and work your way up.

    I did.


    george
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