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Old 01-24-10, 06:08 PM   #1
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Even other Cyclists give you that surprised look

It's that look you get when you tell folks how far you've ridden. It's pretty typical to get the look from people who do not ride.

I was out doing a long ride yesterday and was 50 miles from the house which was near my turnaround point. I'd seen a group of 4 riders up ahead and cranked it up a bit to catch up with them. Got to talking and they were from a neighboring town doing a nice loop. They figured I was from the area as well.

When they found out I had pedaled over from 50 miles away......and had that much to get back out came the look.

The interesting thing is both of us had left out about the same time.
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Old 01-24-10, 08:32 PM   #2
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I've gotten that surprised look when motorists have flagged me down to ask directions and my reply is "I don't know, I'm not from around here".
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Old 01-24-10, 09:25 PM   #3
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Back in the late 1990's I rode from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I walked into a hotel in Las Vegas and, when asked, told the guy at the check-in counter I had just come from Los Angeles. The look on his face was priceless!

Soemtimes it's the journey, and not the destination, that's the reward.
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Old 01-25-10, 05:15 AM   #4
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I've gotten "the look" myself once or twice. I confess that it's not a bad feeling.

When much younger we had a guy come into the bike shop with a pedal broken off at the spindle. He rode it in to get new pedals, because he didn't want the hassle of loading it into his car or waste the gas (this was during the 70s gas shortage). Another customer in the shop asked how far he had ridden using just one leg. His reply? Oh, about 30 miles. We all knew it to be true, but the shocked look on the other customer's face was priceless, too.
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Old 01-25-10, 05:19 AM   #5
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I've gotten that surprised look when motorists have flagged me down to ask directions and my reply is "I don't know, I'm not from around here".
Plus One.... Love it when that happens...
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Old 01-25-10, 05:47 AM   #6
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Besides biking I do some long distance motorcycling. A couple of years ago I did an Iron Butt ride called the 50CC , the point of which is to ride from one coast in the US to the other in less than 50 hours. I did the Jax Fl to San Diego in 47 hours and some minutes. (Pain)
When I arrived in SD my credit cards had been cancelled becuse their pattern of use suggested someone had stolen my numbers or something....7/11 charges every three hours for 47 hours must have done it!

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Old 01-25-10, 09:22 AM   #7
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The worst looks I get are from my family. Not from my wife, but my cousins, nephews, aunts and even my own grown boys.
I have developed a policy to mostly avoid mileage when talking with a non-biker or even a novice biker.
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Old 01-25-10, 09:28 AM   #8
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Many people don't realize how easy bike riding is.
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Old 01-25-10, 09:49 AM   #9
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/\ Many cyclists don't understand how hard cycling is for some people

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When I arrived in SD my credit cards had been cancelled becuse their pattern of use suggested someone had stolen my numbers or something....7/11 charges every three hours for 47 hours must have done it!

Mike
I've gotten that look many times. Often when I would ride around downtown Houston to go bar hopping, hang out, or simply do a ride. We'd all be splitting for the night, and talking about where we're going... most lived very close... I still had ~20mi to go. Last time there was a very drunk lady outside who kept asking exactly where I had to go, and couldn't believe i had ridden that far. She kept saying... "be careful out there on the roads". I was thinking... "I'm fine, I hope you aren't driving though."
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Old 01-25-10, 10:42 AM   #10
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Plus One.... Love it when that happens...
+1

This AM I was in the local lumber yard to take care of some remodel stuff. Several people start talking and someone told about seeing some nut riding a bike in the rain last Saturday, 10 miles from the nearest town.

Rather than embarrass us both I discretely finished my business and left.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:05 AM   #11
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My parents were going out to dinner with some friends, it was in the 20's and wet, and their friends were like "Would you look at that nut out on his bike!", mom replied "Yeah, that's just my son."
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Old 01-25-10, 11:18 AM   #12
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I used to do that 100mile offroad ride in one day and in 94 did it with a mate of mine from East to West instead of the normal west to east. This is a hard ride and there are organised treks that arrange accomodation to allow you to do it over 3 days.

Well mike and I started at Eastbourne at 6AM and proceeded along. We had arranged for a mate of mine to meet us at the 1/3rd mark with spares- food and water and it was shortly after we met him that we had a long hill to go up. At the bottom of the hill there was a group of lads collecting who we nodded to as we passed. It was about 10AM now and still a long way to go. On a ride like this you take all the hills steadily so weren't surprised when halfway up a couple of the lads caught up with us.

"Hi-ya" they said "We're doing the South Downs Way"

"So are we" we said in between breaths.

"Where did you start"?

"Eastbourne"

"No-Where did you start this morning"?

"Eastbourne" was our reply again.------At this there was silence until----"So what Time did you start"

"6AM"

"%$**&> me- That means that you have done 35 miles in 4 hours. Where are you going to stop tonight?

"Winchester"

"So you are doing the wholeof the South Downs Way-100 miles in one day?"

"Yep"

At this they fell back and left us in peace to grind up the hill. But a couple of minutes later and a very attractive girl caught us up on a full suspension bike that was at the time top of the range. She was the leader of this group and had been telling the rest that this ride can be done in one day but you have to be fit- you have to train for it and you need better bikes than they had. But she had to come and check it out for herself as apparantly we had old crap bikes that didn't even have front suspension. One look at our bikes and she could tell the others that we did not have crap bikes and after a few more questions she went back to the group laughing.

We rested on the flat on top of the hill by taking the pressure out of the pedals and the group caught up with us. They went ahead except for the leader. This was an organised trek run by a London shop and we had put the riders in their place. All were experienced mountain bikers but this was the first time on the South Downs where the hills just keep coming. They were on the 3 day trek and had just started from the Village at the bottom of the hill after the first overnight stay in a Barn. After their first day of the South Downs- they were feeling the pain of second day on a saddle that was not set up for milage. They may have been young- they may have had energy- but when they saw a couple of older riders on rigid bikes doing what they thought would be impossible- they suddenly felt old. But not as old as I felt that night after the next 8 hours of Rain and a headwind. I always knew there was a reason for doing the ride West to East.
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Old 01-25-10, 07:48 PM   #13
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Years ago, I used to live in the village of Lake Louise, Alberta - and work at a hotel called the Emerald Lake Lodge in Field BC. The bike ride to work was about 35K with one mountain pass.

Once or twice a week a Butterfield and Robinson tour would stay at the hotel on their bikes - their days ride was precisely my commute to work. I worked as a waiter and would enjoy listening to their conversation of the days ride. Then, after we had cleaned up and cashed out I would hop on my bike and ride the 35K back home under the moonlight and over the mountain.
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Old 01-25-10, 10:56 PM   #14
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This happens to my group of 60+ riders two or three times a year. But my favorite was three years ago on AIDS/LifeCycle, a 7 day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. A group of us had stopped at a Starbucks/Jamba Juice a few miles in to the last day of riding, about 60 miles from Ventura to LA. I was sitting on the curb drinking my juice when a man and his dog asked, "Where are you guys riding to?". I told him "LA". "Helen!" He shouted to his wife as she came out of Starbucks. "These guys are riding all the way to LA!" I didn't have the heart to tell him we had started in SF.
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Old 01-26-10, 07:42 AM   #15
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I have had the surprise both ways. I have always been a lousy climber so I am frequently in awe of cyclists who go over mountains, as opposed to me who goes around mountains. Met a man in a hostel in Austria two years ago who had come via Grossglockner, one of the toughest passes in the Alps. He appeared to be in his late 60s. The next day he was to climb the Krimml pass, while we were taking the train to Krimml then cycling back to the hostel, about 75 km. We left about the same time and we ran into him near the base of the pass as we were starting our ride. We had spent some time visiting the waterfall, but it didn't take him much longer to get there than our train ride. In our defense, it was a very slow train.
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Old 01-26-10, 09:37 AM   #16
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Aw, heck, I get that ALL the time! Co-workers see me roll in every morning, and at least weekly I get The Question:

"You ride that bike all year?" Or, the alternate: "How far do you ride?"

The other day, a lady in the checkout line ahead of me overheard my morning chat with the cashier, who noticed and told her that I ride my bike to work daily. The lady asked, "How far?" I said, "In the winter, only a couple miles." She shook her head in disbelief.

One time only, I got the "not from around here" situation -- I'd ridden 20 miles to the next town where my mother had retired with her 3rd husband; on the way out of town, loaded with the complete curtain set my mother had pushed on me, another local asked me if I was going to some event.

"Never heard of it, I'm not from here."
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Old 01-26-10, 01:05 PM   #17
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I know I don't have the longest commute out there; several friends and online acquaintances ride just as much if not more.

That said, when people ask me how far I ride my bike to work and I hear myself saying 17 miles, even I think it's too far to be going twice a day. (My old commute was 7 miles.) I'm getting my head around it though; at the end of the ride I feel a little fresher than I did when I first started riding it. And my new office has showers, something the old one didn't have.
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Old 01-27-10, 09:10 AM   #18
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Many people don't realize how easy bike riding is.
Sad but true. People judge cycling difficulty based on their experience going a few miles (or blocks) untrained and over weight.
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Old 02-01-10, 04:51 PM   #19
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I know I don't have the longest commute out there; several friends and online acquaintances ride just as much if not more.

That said, when people ask me how far I ride my bike to work and I hear myself saying 17 miles, even I think it's too far to be going twice a day. (My old commute was 7 miles.) I'm getting my head around it though; at the end of the ride I feel a little fresher than I did when I first started riding it. And my new office has showers, something the old one didn't have.

You guys are giving me something to think about.
I just bought a 30lb hardtail (2009 Fisher Wahoo). I have not ridden in years and trying to get in shape (I am 51). My commute is 12 miles and as you know the bike is not really optimized for road use or light weight. How long would my commute likely be on this bike if I were "in shape"?
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Old 02-01-10, 05:19 PM   #20
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Was doing a west to east tour and was in New Mexico out in the middle of nowhere. Had stopped at an old gas station to fill my water bottles and these two guys on off road motorcycles pulled up. We kind sized each other up and began the conversation...

Where ya headed...
Texas.

Where you guys headed...
State line.

They were riding motorcycles across country, off road... apparently some state law required that even fenced in ranges had to have openings.

I was going from CA to TX. We all nodded in approval, and then rode off.
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Old 02-01-10, 06:24 PM   #21
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You guys are giving me something to think about.
I just bought a 30lb hardtail (2009 Fisher Wahoo). I have not ridden in years and trying to get in shape (I am 51). My commute is 12 miles and as you know the bike is not really optimized for road use or light weight. How long would my commute likely be on this bike if I were "in shape"?
If its not too hilly, and assuming you're using the hard tail- I would guess around 45 mins.
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Old 02-01-10, 06:31 PM   #22
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Funny, I just had the opposite interaction with a neighbor. We ran into each other in a grocery store, and he asked me if I rode my bicycle there (I was in the car this time). When I said no, he looked surprised! I guess the neighbors of avid cyclists probably talk about us around the dinner table. After all, they are the ones who see us coming and going all the time on bikes!
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Old 02-01-10, 07:04 PM   #23
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It's standard entertainment on randonneuring rides, watching peoples faces after telling them you're riding 130, 187, 200 miles, or whatever it is on that day. Most next ask, "How many days will that take you?"
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Old 02-04-10, 10:49 PM   #24
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Besides biking I do some long distance motorcycling. A couple of years ago I did an Iron Butt ride called the 50CC , the point of which is to ride from one coast in the US to the other in less than 50 hours. I did the Jax Fl to San Diego in 47 hours and some minutes. (Pain)
When I arrived in SD my credit cards had been cancelled becuse their pattern of use suggested someone had stolen my numbers or something....7/11 charges every three hours for 47 hours must have done it!

Mike
I did that same ride, only in reverse from S.D. to St. Augustine for my 60th birthday. Only two differences; I did it on my bicycle, and it took me 51 days. I can't even begin to tell you the comments I received... No credit card problems!!
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Old 02-05-10, 08:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razzoo View Post
You guys are giving me something to think about.
I just bought a 30lb hardtail (2009 Fisher Wahoo). I have not ridden in years and trying to get in shape (I am 51). My commute is 12 miles and as you know the bike is not really optimized for road use or light weight. How long would my commute likely be on this bike if I were "in shape"?
On your equipment and not in shape plan for 'bout 1 hr. Traffic and terrain could stretch that out. That behemoth will get you in shape. If you were on a road bike in peak shape with no traffic stops you could do it in 1/2 hr if you were really hammering.
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