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Old 06-26-08, 10:51 AM   #1
shmulb
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Bike Virginia Rant

Just got back from this years tour. The wife and I had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves, we are already looking forward to next year. ( I may have to change my name to " Clownfish " though).
Onto the rant.
What is it with the testosterone charged 40+ years old cyclists, charging down rough, curving roads at more than 35mph screaming at people to get out their way ! Did the accidents and medevacs not teach you anything ? Yes the long downhills are fun after slogging up for half an hour, but when you are with 2000 other riders of all ages and abilities you are not only endangering yourself but you will probably hurt some other rider who is just out for the fun of it. It's a tour, not a race! If you think you are so great then race somewhere where you are with the same level riders ! Rant over.
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Old 06-26-08, 10:56 AM   #2
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You called it............................testosterone! It has been medically proven to put brain cells to sleep.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:02 AM   #3
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Are you sure they were 40+ yea old's? Sounds more like 25 year old's to me.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:02 AM   #4
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You're right, but the vast unlubed masses can be pretty clueless sometimes.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:05 AM   #5
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Are you sure they were 40+ yea old's? Sounds more like 25 year old's to me.
There were very few 20- 30 year olds on the tour. The average age was 55. These guys (and a few girls) were definitely over 40.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:15 AM   #6
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I used to ride alot with a local club but just got so tired of all the testosterone crazies (men and women) and have stopped riding with them. We just started having too many awful accidents. And then of course, the guys would complain about everyone taking off and rushing a hill etc. I would say "so why didn't you hang back and let them go...?" and the response was always (sheepishly) "well, you know..." Yes I do, nutso crazies; just looking for something bad to happen not to mention pisses off motorist etc.

I do understand at times why non-cyclists think little of riders. The reputation is deserved. I now mostly ride with a small group or alone and am much happier for it!

Thankfully however, on event rides, or tours, I haven't run into that problem. Most everyone is usually out to enjoy the scenary...
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Old 06-26-08, 12:37 PM   #7
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Saw similar stupidity on BRAG. Most riders were safe and courteous, but there were a few who would never warn slower rides as they passed by, or would rudely shout and pass too close for safety. Then on the other side of the scale there were the clueless riders riding along three abreast, chatting and never giving passing room to bikes or cars that overtook them.
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Old 06-26-08, 01:51 PM   #8
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Great meeting you, shmulb--and the Grampster too--on Bike Virginia. One way to look at it: There were 1800 riders. Assuming the median distance ridden was 300 miles (and it could have been higher), my calculator tells me that 540,000 bicycle miles were accumulated. Considering all the riding going on, there are bound to be some boneheaded moments.
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Old 06-26-08, 03:30 PM   #9
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Good meeting you, shmulb, and Jet Travis also at BikeVA. I got lots of attention from other riders in my 50+ jersey. I didn't have too much trouble with other riders...of course our group always started a little late, so most of the George and Levi watabes were well ahead of us. I thought the roads and the route and rest stops were fabulous. I was less enthusiastic about the general organization, meals, shuttle arrangements, etc. I'll never drive that far (400+ miles each way) for 350 miles of cycling again. Too bad the whole event could not have been headquartered in Abingdon, a really neat town. How about them hills!!! JET took lots of pics...where are they???
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Old 06-26-08, 04:06 PM   #10
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400 miles each way for 350 miles? No problem! I'm taking off tomorrow to drive 500 miles each way to meet a friend visiting from California on a 60 mile ride.

On organized rides you have to be tolerant of all kinds of riders. I would probably be one of the faster riders on a ride like Bike Virginia so my issue is with slower riders not staying to the right and even stopping in the middle of the road on hills (like no one else can climb it if they can't). On the descents, even coasting, I'm sure I could easily attain 40 mph. But traffic would dictate whether I did or not. If there wasn't a pre ride safety meeting to discuss how to ride then there should have been. I have found that most people just have no idea how to ride safely in a group.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:00 PM   #11
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I've done the Tour of the Litchfield Hills in CT and it seems for the most part that the kamikaze pilots are self regulating. Those that want to hammer usually just go right from the gun, so hanging back a bit allows you to avoid the craziness. Normally I get chatting with someone at a rest stop, and maybe ride with them for a while if they're at my pace. I'm contemplating doing the Bike Tour of Colorado one of these years and wondering how the testosterone level is there where the hills are longer.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:07 PM   #12
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"Most" of the big rides I rode everyone was nice, just a few nuts.
3 rides in Virginia and 15 rides in California and Mexico.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:07 PM   #13
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This was my first BikeVirginia, and I'll definitely do it again. I have to say I went as fast as I could stand on the downhills. Why not? I never zoomed around anybody or did anything unsafe however.

I have to say there were just as many jerky, unsafe slow riders as jerky, unsafe fast ones. How about the folks on hybrid bikes with AEROBARS wandering randomly across the road? Or whole tribes of slow folks meandering along riding three or four abreast? Or the guy who, when I politely called out "on our left" as I passed on the WRONG side of the road because he was completely blocking the right lane, had to make a snide remark about "ooh look at you, Mr. Speedy Trek"... (whatever that means.)

There are always plenty of things to rant about. My mini-rant is the fact that we got preached at or sung gospel hymns to at most spots, and the food was predominantly home-baked junk food. Or that lunch was WAY too early and WAY too much. At many of the rest stops there was nothing suitable as riding food except apples and bananas.

But I survived
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Old 06-26-08, 05:16 PM   #14
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Heck, I would no longer be a Clydesdale.
Tell me about it. I gained weight.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:30 PM   #15
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Tell me about it. I gained weight.
Isn't that the point of an organized ride with a well stocked rest stop?
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Old 06-26-08, 07:11 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=JimF22003;6953585]

I have to say there were just as many jerky, unsafe slow riders as jerky, unsafe fast ones. How about the folks on hybrid bikes with AEROBARS wandering randomly across the road? Or whole tribes of slow folks meandering along riding three or four abreast? Or the guy who, when I politely called out "on our left" as I passed on the WRONG side of the road because he was completely blocking the right lane, had to make a snide remark about "ooh look at you, Mr. Speedy Trek"... (whatever that means.)

+1 There are two sides to any rant.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post
This was my first BikeVirginia, and I'll definitely do it again. I have to say I went as fast as I could stand on the downhills. Why not? I never zoomed around anybody or did anything unsafe however.

I have to say there were just as many jerky, unsafe slow riders as jerky, unsafe fast ones. How about the folks on hybrid bikes with AEROBARS wandering randomly across the road? Or whole tribes of slow folks meandering along riding three or four abreast? Or the guy who, when I politely called out "on our left" as I passed on the WRONG side of the road because he was completely blocking the right lane, had to make a snide remark about "ooh look at you, Mr. Speedy Trek"... (whatever that means.)

There are always plenty of things to rant about. My mini-rant is the fact that we got preached at or sung gospel hymns to at most spots, and the food was predominantly home-baked junk food. Or that lunch was WAY too early and WAY too much. At many of the rest stops there was nothing suitable as riding food except apples and bananas.

But I survived
You've noticed that too? Riders strung out to the center line and riding their brakes at 10 mph?
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Old 06-27-08, 07:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by tlc20010 View Post
Good meeting you, shmulb, and Jet Travis also at BikeVA. I got lots of attention from other riders in my 50+ jersey. I didn't have too much trouble with other riders...of course our group always started a little late, so most of the George and Levi watabes were well ahead of us. I thought the roads and the route and rest stops were fabulous. I was less enthusiastic about the general organization, meals, shuttle arrangements, etc. I'll never drive that far (400+ miles each way) for 350 miles of cycling again. Too bad the whole event could not have been headquartered in Abingdon, a really neat town. How about them hills!!! JET took lots of pics...where are they???
Here are some of you that I took. I will be setting up a website with mine in a few days. I will post a link here when done.
DSC_4598 (Large).JPG

DSC_4611 (Medium).JPG

DSC_4612 (Medium).JPG
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Old 06-27-08, 08:16 AM   #19
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I feel your pain. Last year at Seattle to Portland I was amazed by the how much of bad riding I saw.
The ride I did with the least weirdness: The Davis Double. Pretty much zero.
Go figure.
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Old 06-27-08, 08:32 AM   #20
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This is why I have always hung near the lantirn rouge position on the very few large group rides in which I have particpated. I have found a small local club (Encinitas YMCA MasterFit) which I greatly enjoy, partly because we rarely have more than a dozen cyclists on any given ride. I have been slow lately, but I can usually hold my own on ascents, although I am almost always the last one down on the descents.
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Old 06-29-08, 04:45 PM   #21
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I really enjoyed Bike Va this year. The speedsters are a problem, mostly because the whisper "on your left" when they've already about passed. Say it loud, say it proud! Bells are better yet. The slowsters can also be a problem, especially when they start climbing and weaving. That's why they had folks walk up that steep steep hill. Makes sense.

Last year, the ride was rated a 3 out of 10--alot flatter, and therefore attracted more families and newer riders. I really noticed the difference this year. Both were fun.
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