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  1. #1
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    A celebration of coasting

    As I've been reading this forum, I realize that since I've never ridden with anyone else, I'm apparently doing several things wrong.

    My technique in general needs a lot of work, but there's one thing I don't think I can change: I LOVE to coast. I do it as much as I can. I pedal for a while, and then coast until I slow down, then pedal, then coast. It's the payoff for every hill... I never* pedal when I go downhill. I don't like to go especially fast, I like the free ride.

    You can stretch, you can sing, you can yodel if you want if it's a nice long downhill. It's like finding free money.

    Anyone else feel this way?

    Susan

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I coast more than many cyclists, however I don't do it a high percentage of the time. For example, on a ride the other day where I was riding mostly downhill with a 20mph wind behind me, over a 13 mile distance, I may have coasted for a mile of it. Yesterday on a lunch ride, I coasted most of the way down a long downhill MUP.

    However as it is also pretty easy to pedal downhill, and it is good for fitness to keep working my legs, I tend to pedal 80% or so of the time downhill. But there are times when I do enjoy a nice long coast.

    But if it is a steep hill, then I usually ride the brakes to keep my speed under 25 mph. Highest speed I've hit down a steep (10% grade) hill yet was 27 mph.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  3. #3
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    Coasting...Amen !!!!!
    I've taught all three daughters to attack the uphill and enjoy the downhill reward that follows. As far as riding style is concerned, if your tires are on the bottom and you're on the top side what else really matters?

  4. #4
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Not only do I coast - I use the brake! We have hills that if you don't use the brake you will break all right - perhaps the sound barrier. I just am not fond of hitting 60 MPH on a bike.

    Once my speed hits about 30 MPH - there is no need to go faster - I just enjoy it.

  5. #5
    SSP
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    If you ever do ride with a group, you'll need to modify your riding style.

    One of the most irritating (and potentially dangerous) things when riding with others is the "squirrel" who pedals, then coasts, then pedals, then coasts...
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  6. #6
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Ooooh, I wonder if I can change my handle to "Squirrel". That really* suits my riding style. Sometimes I weave back and forth just for the fun of it, too. And, of course, the yodeling would be considered an irritation by many. So I assume I should maintain my single-rider status?

  7. #7
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    Ooooh, I wonder if I can change my handle to "Squirrel". That really* suits my riding style. Sometimes I weave back and forth just for the fun of it, too. And, of course, the yodeling would be considered an irritation by many. So I assume I should maintain my single-rider status?


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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    If you ever do ride with a group, you'll need to modify your riding style.

    One of the most irritating (and potentially dangerous) things when riding with others is the "squirrel" who pedals, then coasts, then pedals, then coasts...
    Uh, I don't think she was talking about that kind of ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    Ooooh, I wonder if I can change my handle to "Squirrel". That really* suits my riding style. Sometimes I weave back and forth just for the fun of it, too. And, of course, the yodeling would be considered an irritation by many. So I assume I should maintain my single-rider status?
    LOL - unless you're ridin' with a group of like-minded coastin' yodelers...yeah.
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    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    Isn't the purpose of the freewheel/freehub to enable coasting?? Coasting is a reward for dificult pedalling!!

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    Coasting is what I do Sunday mornings before getting out of bed. I'm caught between sleep and being awake... a blissful state I've always called coasting. On the road? Not unless if I can help it. Well... maybe into my driveway at the end of the ride so I have time to unclip before hitting the garage door.

    Seriously, riding alone you can pretty much do what you want.
    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.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    Not only do I coast - I use the brake!
    And then there are those rare hills you simply get off the bike and walk down . . . my wife is threatening to stop riding with me because I found one of these on our ride Sunday -- rocks, 17% grade and loose gravel makes for a long walk down. I was ready to bomb down it, but opted to walk and talk with my wife.

    By mutual agreement, that route is now marked with skull and cross bones and will never be attempted again . . . but that is another story.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    solveg, if we ever meet up on a Minnesota or Wisconsin trail, we can coast and weave for a few miles. I also enjoy doing both.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude
    Coasting...Amen !!!!!
    I've taught all three daughters to attack the uphill and enjoy the downhill reward that follows. As far as riding style is concerned, if your tires are on the bottom and you're on the top side what else really matters?
    I once knew a guy who refused to coast. He would get off his bike and walk down hills. I think he was a nut. I like to coast.

  15. #15
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    So I assume I should maintain my single-rider status?
    Not at all! Just make sure you're in the very back of the pack!!

  16. #16
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    Coasting is free ride and recovery time after that uphill climb. Why not use gravity in your favor to save all that energy for the next hill?

  17. #17
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    LOL, Tom, it's become apparent that you will recognize me if you see me.

    Clearly I have to someday start a riding group called the "Coastin' Yodelers". What a great name. Don't any of you make to the top of some HUGE hill on a cool day in March when the sun is hot, and as you descend down the crest you break out in song, or a good Tarzan yell?

  18. #18
    Happy Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    As I've been reading this forum, I realize that since I've never ridden with anyone else, I'm apparently doing several things wrong.

    My technique in general needs a lot of work, but there's one thing I don't think I can change: I LOVE to coast. I do it as much as I can. I pedal for a while, and then coast until I slow down, then pedal, then coast. It's the payoff for every hill... I never* pedal when I go downhill. I don't like to go especially fast, I like the free ride.

    You can stretch, you can sing, you can yodel if you want if it's a nice long downhill. It's like finding free money.

    Anyone else feel this way?

    Susan
    Amen. Happy coasting is the reward for going up the hill.

  19. #19
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    But if it is a steep hill, then I usually ride the brakes to keep my speed under 25 mph. Highest speed I've hit down a steep (10% grade) hill yet was 27 mph.
    Seriously??

    Dude...that's the fun part.

    FWIW - It's good you live where it's pretty flat. Riding the brakes on a long downhill is a good way to blow a tire due to heat buildup in the rims (it also shortens the life of brake pads and rims).
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  20. #20
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    In the beginning I use to pedal like mad to achieve some max speed. It looks like that will forever be 40mph. Since I put on a cyclocross double with a 46t big ring, I can't get beyond 35mph, so stopped trying. Now with my longer rides I coast down all hills as a way to pace myself and usually to rest the legs that just made the climb up the hill. On hotter days I even stand up on the pedals for maximum body cooling. No yodeling, maybe singing along with the tunes on my mp3 player.
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  21. #21
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by guybierhaus
    In the beginning I use to pedal like mad to achieve some max speed. It looks like that will forever be 40mph. Since I put on a cyclocross double with a 46t big ring, I can't get beyond 35mph, so stopped trying. Now with my longer rides I coast down all hills as a way to pace myself and usually to rest the legs that just made the climb up the hill. On hotter days I even stand up on the pedals for maximum body cooling. No yodeling, maybe singing along with the tunes on my mp3 player.
    Regardless of the gearing, getting faster than 40 mph or so is all about aerodynamics. The basic rule is to get "low and narrow"...the lower and the narrower, the faster you'll go. Keep your upper body down near the top tub, and your knees and elbows in tight.

    If you're wearing loose fitting clothing, that will slow you down. Likewise, if your jersey is unzipped.

    I routinely practice getting aero by chasing down pedaling riders while I'm coasting. It's a kick to pass folks pedaling like crazy while I'm just down low hugging the top tube and grinnin'.

    Getting faster than 50 is more about luck and favorable conditions. You need to be very aero, there can't be any wind, and the road needs to be fairly steep and straight, with smooth pavement. You'll know when you get near 50 because the wind starts to sound like fabric being ripped apart, and your mind starts thinking "Holy Sh*t!".
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Regardless of the gearing, getting faster than 40 mph or so is all about aerodynamics. The basic rule is to get "low and narrow"...the lower and the narrower, the faster you'll go. Keep your upper body down near the top tub, and your knees and elbows in tight.

    If you're wearing loose fitting clothing, that will slow you down. Likewise, if your jersey is unzipped.

    I routinely practice getting aero by chasing down pedaling riders while I'm coasting. It's a kick to pass folks pedaling like crazy while I'm just down low hugging the top tube and grinnin'.

    Getting faster than 50 is more about luck and favorable conditions. You need to be very aero, there can't be any wind, and the road needs to be fairly steep and straight, with smooth pavement. You'll know when you get near 50 because the wind starts to sound like fabric being ripped apart, and your mind starts thinking "Holy Sh*t!".
    don't forget if your tires trip over a rock or a bump going at that speed and you fall you will die

  23. #23
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by exas
    don't forget if your tires trip over a rock or a bump going at that speed and you fall you will die
    Oddly enough, I get into a "relaxed hyper-aware groove" when I'm going fast like that. I probably should be nervous (and I'm old enough to know better), but it's nearly the opposite.

    To avoid hazards, I've learned to make quick "flicks" of the bike, and to bunny hop.

    That said, I really don't want to hit the asphalt at speed again. Last February I got put on the ground when a guy towing a trailer clipped me while I was going 40 mph...and it hurt like hell (thankfully, nothing was broken except the bike).

    But, the sheer joy of bombing down a big mountain is just too much of a rush to pass up.

    One of my most fun moments on the bike came when I was descending Loveland Pass in Colorado. I came up behind a semi loaded with Cadillac Escalades as he approached a tight left hand switchback at 25 mph. There was another semi coming up the pass about 250 meters down the hill. I put my 50-year old sprint in gear, passed the semi at about 40 mph, and moved back into my lane as both truckers blew their air horns at me (I think they were congratulating me ). And the semi I passed? He didn't catch up to me until the road flattened out about 7 miles further on.
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  24. #24
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    My brother got a speeding ticket on his bicycle.

  25. #25
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Seriously??

    Dude...that's the fun part.

    FWIW - It's good you live where it's pretty flat. Riding the brakes on a long downhill is a good way to blow a tire due to heat buildup in the rims (it also shortens the life of brake pads and rims).
    Hard to heat up the rims with disc brakes...

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