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Old 08-07-07, 08:27 AM   #1
BSLeVan
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What's something you learned this year?

About cycling that is. I was having a "discussion" with a friend about my "cycling obsession", which includes riding thousands of miles a year, reading anything cycling related, watching any cycling event I can, reading and posting here, etc. You get the point. In any event, he wanted to know what good all of this did, that is besides the riding. I told him I'm always learning something new. He says, "like what", in a not too friendly tone. The first thing that jumped into my mind as a retort was, "That chocolate milk is a highly effective (as effective as most sports drinks) at helping with recovery after hard rides."

So, am I alone here, or do you continue to learn new things after years of riding? What have you learned this year that was new to you?

PS - I'm gonna drag my smart***** friend to the computer and make him read this thread. He really drives me nuts with his judgments, especially because he's a golfer and reads more golf stuff than you can shake a putter at.

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Old 08-07-07, 08:34 AM   #2
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PS - I'm gonna drag my smart***** friend to the computer and make him read this thread. He really drive me nuts with his judgments, especially because he's a golfer and reads more golf stuff than you can shake a putter at.
He'll learn that biking is better exercise than golf!
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Old 08-07-07, 08:50 AM   #3
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"A bicycle is the long-sought means of transportation for all of us who have runaway hearts."

--Lance Armstrong

My guess is nearly everyone who hangs out on this forum would agree in one way or the other with the above quote. But I would also guess your friend won't be able to grasp it. To each his own, says this former golfer.
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Old 08-07-07, 08:55 AM   #4
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I learned that I am tougher than I thought I was. I rode coast-to-coast, totally self-supported, sleeping in my tent most nights, in 51 days. I turned 60 in Feb, '07.
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Old 08-07-07, 09:18 AM   #5
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I learned that i am a Slacker....after reading the work ethic (on the bike) of others i realize i have allot more to put out to really get into racing.
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Old 08-07-07, 09:24 AM   #6
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We've learned about colonoscopies, various blood pressure medications. We've learned about how to deal with dogs, rednecks and golfers. We've learned about what it takes to get ready to climb really large mountains on a bike and what it feels like to succeed. We've learned a little about carbon fiber and the social interactions that go with different riders opinions about saddles, pedals, mirrors. We've learned a little about raising kids, dealing with families, crossing the country with a bike and a tent. Then there's the physics of bikes being faster merely because of their color.

Oh, did I mention that we learned how to deal with golfers!
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Old 08-07-07, 09:36 AM   #7
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I learned that 65 is not too late to get in shape, lose weight, get off the bp meds and get a really low cholesterol.

I've learned that I can ride as far and as fast as a lot of the young pups--but not all of them

I've learned how to enjoy solo time, alone with my own thoughts.

I've learned how much fun group rides can be.

I've learned that endorphin highs really exist, and that they are wonderful.

I've learned that folks who don't get it need sympathy, not condemnation.
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Old 08-07-07, 09:36 AM   #8
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Like most forums I come to check out what bikes and parts get good reviews and which ones don't. I also use the forum to compare to some limited extent my cycling abilities to others i.e. mileage, speed etc. I found out I am kind of in the middle for the road forum and not up to snuff for the racing forum and that the 50+ group is pretty identical to the road forum as far as abilities. Besides where are you going to find 20 people to discuss the merits of toe clips vs clipless other than a cycling forum?

So I've learned a whole lot of things.
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Old 08-07-07, 09:56 AM   #9
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I've learned that I can push the limits of what I thought I could do, and now I set my goals a lot higher.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:10 AM   #10
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That bike commuting is not only possible, but fun. That riding in the dark or the rain or both isn't some dreary painful experience; that when properly equipped it's actually fun.

I learned that I can ride a lot farther than I thought. 200 miles in 2 days, over 4000 this year.

That thin tires pop more often than I like.

That I love the smells of an early morning ride; Breakfast cooking, wet fields, flowers, the earth after a rain
.
There are a lot more wild animals in suburbia than I'd have ever thought possible. The numbers of hawks, owls, skunks, coyotes, ducks, geese, snakes and other critters amazes me.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:22 AM   #11
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I learned to finally make the transition in mindset from:

"Fat Man tryin to get Lean"

to

"Weak Man tryin to get more Powerful" again...

#2 is way harder...
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Old 08-07-07, 10:23 AM   #12
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I think the most important thing I have learned is to ride what I like, wear what I like and fix my bike so it is comfortable to me! I rewrapped my handlebars, the list for me seems pretty endless, I love this forum.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
PS - I'm gonna drag my smart***** friend to the computer and make him read this thread. He really drive me nuts with his judgments, especially because he's a golfer and reads more golf stuff than you can shake a putter at.

A dear friend had a heart attack on the golf course and he did not make it to the hospital. Cycling is not just fun but a lifelong part of you if you continue to ride. Someone I knew in his early 90's still ride and walk strongly without the aid of a cane or a walker. Glad to rediscover cycling again.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:47 AM   #14
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I learned that my preference decades ago for reading Aasimov, Heinlien and Herbert over Tolkein would someday come back to haunt me.
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Old 08-07-07, 11:04 AM   #15
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Wow, good question. What *haven't* I learned?
I, too, have learned I can ride farther than I thought, that I am capable of far more than I believed.
I have learned that the more I ride, the stronger I get.
I have learned the unmitigated joys of a good road bike.
I have learned that Kool-Stops ROCK!
I have learned that Brooks saddles ROCK!
I learned that it is easier to climb with my hands on top of the bars than on the hoods or the drops.
I have learned that -for at least as long as I am in the saddle, I can be free. Totally free.
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Old 08-07-07, 11:14 AM   #16
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I have learned how to ride no handed after tearing my left rotator cuff. It's not as easy at 50+ as it was at 10. I learned all about EKG's, Nuke scans, Stress tests, heart cath's medical insurance, my companys policys and proceedures and rotator cuff surgery. I am now trying to learn how not to ride my bike for 3 months (2 1/2 months now). Also trying to learn how to keep in shape and not go crazy with 3 months off work. I learned how to cancel 3 epic bike vacations. On the positive side I don't have to go to work for 3 months and I am getting full pay YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! But I learned that rediscovering biking was one of the best things in my life. I can still ride a exercise bike and maybe a trainer, look out next year!
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Old 08-07-07, 11:14 AM   #17
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Here's my top 10 list.

10. I can ride the big ring up some hills
9. 10 miles is now a short ride around the block
8. I can ride along the ocean at 10mph, just because
7. I can wear cargo shorts on a road bike and don't care
6. Little kids will talk to you if you are on a bike
5. They will talk alot if you tell them their bike is cool
4. No matter how many times I race a 10 year old on a BMX bike, I still lose
3. Riding with my wife is tops
2. Riding with my grandsons is the best

and the number one answer is...

1. I learned there is a really weird dude that lives in Kentucy
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Old 08-07-07, 12:08 PM   #18
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I learned [among other things too little to list]:

How to upgrade a bottom bracket from loose ball bearings to cartridge,

And how to swap twist grip shifters for triggers,

How to work with the SRAM folks to get replacement parts,

How to maintain a full-suspension bike, and

How to fall off said full-suspension bike into the nastiest, thickest, stinkin'est swamp hole in the Shenandoah and upon landing make a sound that's best described [in my finest onamatapoea] as "IEEEE!! Guschhhh".

OK, here's what I still need to learn. . .how to give up my numerous beater bikes and focus on just one. . .or admit that I don't need ANY beaters. It's SO hard. . .they're all such great friends. . .and such great rides. . .and so well cared for.
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Old 08-07-07, 12:12 PM   #19
Tom Bombadil
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I learned that my preference decades ago for reading Aasimov, Heinlien and Herbert over Tolkein would someday come back to haunt me.
And haunt you I will, to my dying days.

So if I had picked the moniker Guy Montag, Hari Seldon, or Paul Atreides, then you wouldn't have been duped?
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Old 08-07-07, 12:18 PM   #20
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I learned that I am tougher than I thought I was. I rode coast-to-coast, totally self-supported, sleeping in my tent most nights, in 51 days. I turned 60 in Feb, '07.
Good job, OHB!
I learned that, at 53, it's a lot harder to get ready for a mountain ride than it was at 36, and, I learned that that fitness goes away rather quickly.
I have also learned that my cycling friends are some of the best people on earth.
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Old 08-07-07, 12:23 PM   #21
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I've learned a LOT this year, hard to think of it all. Of course one has much more opportunity to learn after years of inactivity. Some things that come to mind:

- I'm familiar with almost every hybrid bike model being sold in the USA in 2007 and have test ridden well over 50% of them.

- I learned how to ride a recumbent.

- I improved my pedaling technique.

- I learned how to make adjustments to my handlebars, stem, and seat to improve my riding position.

- I learned that old men wearing Florsheim shoes are not to be taken lightly.

- I learned that road bikes have different geometries and some ride very different than others.

- I learned that I hate riding all road bikes.

- I learned that cycling jerseys have back pockets.

- I learned that some are willing to throw away their precious Fred-dom all for the sake of riding a century.

- I learned not to wear baggy shorts when riding a recumbent.

- I learned to not trust pointy-headed men giving advice on which bicycle to buy.

- And most of all, I learned that I could still ride a bike for over 20 miles ... in fact, well over 20 miles.
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Old 08-07-07, 12:33 PM   #22
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I learnt that Offroading for 100 miles on a 12 hour ride is not as much fun as it used to be. So much so that I got a road bike to find out what that side of riding is about and learnt that there is always a mountain to climb.
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Old 08-07-07, 12:36 PM   #23
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I learned how to say "Can a dog smile?" in Russian. Honest.
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Old 08-07-07, 12:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
And haunt you I will, to my dying days.

So if I had picked the moniker Guy Montag, Hari Seldon, or Paul Atreides, then you wouldn't have been duped?
I've never been able to decide if Michael Valentine Smith or Duncan Idaho or R. Daneel Olivaw is the best name ever.

For everyone else........if you don't get it, you don't get it.

P.S. Arthur C. Clark (pre-2001) should be included
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Old 08-07-07, 01:46 PM   #25
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I learned of the awesome power and speed and grace of white bikes.
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