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Old 09-30-07, 04:02 PM   #1
The Weak Link
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First "special event"

For the first time ever Today I rode a "special event", ie. one that you pay someone for the priviledge of inflicting pain upon yourself. This was the "Harvest Homecoming Bike Tour" set in lovely Starlight, Indiana. It was not as hard as it might have been; there are some truly monster hills in the area and they didn't make us do them. It still was pretty tough. In my 41 miles I climbed 3200 feet, and -- yes, I know -- while some of you consider that a warm-up for bigger and hairier climbs, it was my personal record for climbing and hence for suffering. I had fun.

A few memorable observations:

1. Doesn't anyone out there take care of their bikes? In the first 5 miles there must have been 20 mechanicals. After harsh Darwinian forces had winnowed the weak, the lame, the un-lubed and the unmaintained from the herd, the rest of the trip was almost mechanical-free. It was pitiful. And the cyclists who rode two abreast and managed to tie up the entire road AND had bikes that sounded like combines need to invest in some Tri-Flow or something. And use it.

2. I'm not such a bad cycllist, especially on a quick bike pointed downhill. Going uphill still got me dropped by many, although I never suffered the shame of pushing my bike up, unlike many of my bretheren out there.

3. The intermediate lengths can be lonely. The joy-riders rode 25 miles and the hammerheads 65, leaving the 40 miler to an assortment of wanabes, poseurs, and low-to-mid level Freds. By mile 30 the 40 milers had become dispirited and disorganized, with no one trusting anyone else to even ponder the possibility of a paceline. Was it perhaps a cycling version of "Lord of the Flies"? Anyway, by mile 34 I began to get weepy and just wanted to be held. Maybe next time I'll ride the tandem.

And that is how I spent my day.
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Old 09-30-07, 05:18 PM   #2
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Any Tshirts provided by chance?

I have a rule that if an organized ride gives me a Tshirt I have to throw one in the closet from another ride away....Seems I almost have a different Tshirt for every day of the year now.......They have gone to giving away Tshirts in colors other than white, though.
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Old 09-30-07, 05:42 PM   #3
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I registered late and could only buy last year's Tshirt for $3. I set it by the Porta Potty, and when I returned a hour later (not from the Porta Potty you perverts) someone had pinched it. It was ugly anyway.
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Old 09-30-07, 05:56 PM   #4
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These can actually be fun. I did an MS ride in July, my first as I don't believe in either coughing up $200 or hounding my friends for donations. I noticed there is a culture around these things, a group of retirees that come from all over. There were few locals in this one, in fact it was not even advertised by my local bike club and almost impossible to find. My brother found it and he drove 400 miles to get me to ride it with him. I think I will do it again next year - this time try to get a team up from my local cycling friends. It is a fairly easy century, way to many rest stops though - you have to pass a few up. Good food at the lunch stop.
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Old 09-30-07, 07:20 PM   #5
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For the first time ever Today I rode a "special event", ie. one that you pay someone for the priviledge of inflicting pain upon yourself. ...

A few memorable observations:

1. Doesn't anyone out there take care of their bikes? In the first 5 miles there must have been 20 mechanicals. After harsh Darwinian forces had winnowed the weak, the lame, the un-lubed and the unmaintained from the herd, the rest of the trip was almost mechanical-free. It was pitiful. And the cyclists who rode two abreast and managed to tie up the entire road AND had bikes that sounded like combines need to invest in some Tri-Flow or something. And use it.

...
If you really want to experience the full range of riders, find a popular, FLAT charity ride & then start as "tail-end Charley", but ride your natural pace, being careful to avoid the unannounced sudden line-changes, the "weavers", the "exhausted after 5 miles because the seat must be low enough that I can sit on it with both heels firmly on the ground mashers", etc..

And knowing all that, I still volunteered to be a Bike Marshall and help?!
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Old 09-30-07, 07:24 PM   #6
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Around these parts, 3,200 feet of climbing is viewed as respectable; therefore, consider yourself duly congratulated for a fine effort.
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Old 09-30-07, 09:26 PM   #7
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Around here, 3,200 feet in 41 miles would be hard to find. Good job!
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Old 09-30-07, 09:47 PM   #8
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Good ride, TWL. Yes, the clueless and the un-lubed don't often make it far into a ride like that.








Anyone want to buy an ugly, last year's Tee shirt? Brand new, never worn...$2.
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Old 10-01-07, 06:22 AM   #9
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Any Tshirts provided by chance?

I have a rule that if an organized ride gives me a Tshirt I have to throw one in the closet from another ride away....Seems I almost have a different Tshirt for every day of the year now.......They have gone to giving away Tshirts in colors other than white, though.
It's good to see something besides white

I often give my t-shirts to the granddaughters. They like to wear them as pajamas.
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Old 10-01-07, 06:25 AM   #10
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And that is how I spent my day.
A great way to spend the day, TWL. These types of rides are fun and that's what keeps us going back for more
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Old 10-01-07, 06:29 AM   #11
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Good ride, TWL. Yes, the clueless and the un-lubed don't often make it far into a ride like that.
Anyone want to buy an ugly, last year's Tee shirt? Brand new, never worn...$2.
Some don't even carry the tools or supplies necessary to change a flat
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Old 10-01-07, 06:33 AM   #12
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Some don't even carry the tools or supplies necessary to change a flat
You're supposed to do that?
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Old 10-01-07, 07:07 AM   #13
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Sounds like a good time. Wished I could have made it, but was just over a stomach virus that was going around, and didn't feel quite "up to snuff" yet. Probably would have taken me forever to ride it (even though I would have opted for the 25 mile joy ride), as you know how I like to work on bikes, and all those mechanicals would have been calling out for me to fix! Perhaps I should have gone just to provide SAG? Donna and I did end up getting an easy 15 miler in, and watching most of a cyclocross race over at Sawyer park.
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Old 10-01-07, 12:08 PM   #14
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Don't take the Tandem next time- They are lonelier than a solo. Slower than most uphills- On the flat you can't find anyone to keep your pace and when gravity takes over- The solos on this type of ride get in your way.

I like the organised rides and I do several a year. The one I really like is a 40 miler in April. First ride where I can see if My winter training has worked- but I still ride it solo. Well nearly as I do it on the Tandem. The thing I like about this ride is the variety of people doing it. You do get the Club racers- The wanabe's and the ones out to enjoy a ride. You also get the family groups and Plenty of Youngsters on BMX's who astound me on how they can do such a ride. Lasrt year did it with a "New" stoker who doesn't like hills.

Most of them in my area do ask for donation for a particular charity - and they get 25 or so donated from Bikeforums.net. I used to do a great ride from London down to Brighton for a Mentally handicaped School but they got greedy and started asking for 200 sponsorship. One good ride that I no longer support.

Glad to see you enjoyed the ride- But get out and do the 65 miler next time- Better poseurs that you can pass after 25 miles.
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Old 10-01-07, 12:36 PM   #15
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And knowing all that, I still volunteered to be a Bike Marshall and help?!

Sometimes helping out is more fun than being in the event.

I managed the 75 mile sag stop for the Tour De Palm Springs for two years and more recently helped out with the 70 mile Aid stop at the Big Dam Bridge run. If you want appreciation, just hand out water to 1000 thirsty cyclists.
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Old 10-02-07, 05:12 AM   #16
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If you really want to experience the full range of riders, find a popular, FLAT charity ride & then start as "tail-end Charley", but ride your natural pace, being careful to avoid the unannounced sudden line-changes, the "weavers", the "exhausted after 5 miles because the seat must be low enough that I can sit on it with both heels firmly on the ground mashers", etc..

And knowing all that, I still volunteered to be a Bike Marshall and help?!
I did the MS City to Shore this weekend, a ride with 7,500 riders, and while I didn't see 'the full range of riders,' I did see an awful lot of riders on ill-fitting bikes.
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Old 10-02-07, 07:52 AM   #17
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Don't take the Tandem next time- They are lonelier than a solo.
Hey! Maybe that's the solution to DG's girl problem! Deeg, you should buy a colored tandem with an easily adjustable stoker saddle and ride it around the beaches alone. Stop a lot and look at the water. I'll bet tons of women will ask to go for a ride.
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Old 10-02-07, 09:35 AM   #18
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Hey! Maybe that's the solution to DG's girl problem! Deeg, you should buy a colored tandem with an easily adjustable stoker saddle and ride it around the beaches alone. Stop a lot and look at the water. I'll bet tons of women will ask to go for a ride.
I'll give that lots of thought.
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Old 10-02-07, 09:44 AM   #19
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I suggested that to DG earlier this year. And I even gave him a suggestion as to what to buy to entice beach babes to ride with him. The Electra HellBetty tandem.
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Old 10-02-07, 09:59 AM   #20
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Oh, MAN! I'd sure want to ride that tandem!
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Old 10-02-07, 10:17 AM   #21
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78 feet of elevation gain per mile is a workout. 100 feet per mile is hard. Good job.

Your observations about charity rides are spot on. It seems that some pull their bike, not used in years, out of the garage and expect it to work in a 50 mile ride. You will see almost anything if the ride has enough entrants.

We did 65 miles of a Cancer Society Cycle Splash ride which was aptly named as it poured rain the entire way. Miserable ride for a good cause. More flat tires than I have ever seen.
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Old 10-02-07, 11:08 AM   #22
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I suggested that to DG earlier this year. And I even gave him a suggestion as to what to buy to entice beach babes to ride with him. The Electra HellBetty tandem.
Ride the tandem. Get a backpack. Buy a Ferret. Train it to ride in the backpack with its head out. Priceless.
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Old 10-02-07, 11:59 AM   #23
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Doesn't anyone out there take care of their bikes? In the first 5 miles there must have been 20 mechanicals. After harsh Darwinian forces had winnowed the weak, the lame, the un-lubed and the unmaintained from the herd, the rest of the trip was almost mechanical-free. It was pitiful. And the cyclists who rode two abreast and managed to tie up the entire road AND had bikes that sounded like combines need to invest in some Tri-Flow or something. And use it.
Hey, how about a pre-race lube and minor adjustment station -- kind of like a "Jiffy Lube" for bikes? Combine this with a tent nearby with frequent showings of "How to Ride a Bicycle Charity Event" and "Bicycle Etiquette for Idiots" and you could support your riding habit in style!
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Old 10-02-07, 12:10 PM   #24
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Oh, MAN! I'd sure want to ride that tandem!
You should see it in person. The picture doesn't begin to do it justice. It is extremely eye-catching.
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Old 10-02-07, 12:11 PM   #25
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So TWL, do you plan to enter more of these events?

What is your upper dollar limit for the entry fee?
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