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Thread: Solo Riding

  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Solo Riding

    I normally ride with a group of youngsters, but today they all chickened out. Riding with the group has recently been causing me a problem as I am a great deal older than them. I seem to be slowing down, hence possible ruining their ride by making them wait at the top of hills. Advantages of riding in a group?. As I am totally offroad, it is reassuring to have others around in case you have the accident, or not feeling right, or a mechanical occurs when you are miles from the nearest road.

    However, Today I went on my own. Took an easier route that was not quite so desolate, and in case of misshaps, it would not be too long before other bikers or walkers came across me. What a difference. No wearing myself out chasing the fit bugger up the hill, no other bikes to have to repair when they break down, and a sense of relief that I was not ruining their ride by having them wait at the top of each hill. Still put in the effort up the hills, had to take it a bit easier on the downhills though, as I didn't fancy an off on the slippery surface, took my pace on the flat bits, and took the stops when I wanted them.
    Average speed on the ride was back to levels of 2 years ago, and I finished the ride without the aching muscles or bruises that I would normally expect, and still with energy.

    I do enjoy the company of others on the rides, but today has probably been one of me most enjoyable rides this year.

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    "O solo mio!"

    I LOVE solo riding.

    It is a time for me to think, reflect, stop and appreciate nature, go fast, explore new places, stop and take pictures - whatever my heart desires.

    All day long I am bombarded by noise and other's demands. On my bike I AM THE BOSS!

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    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    I too am a 'lone wolf' rider. Strangely I do not enjoy the whole 'process of protocol' while riding in a group. But bottom line that's my personality speaking. Occasionally I will ride with a few close friends, but out of 2250 miles this year, I would guess less than 50 were with someone.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

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    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    Up until two weeks ago I did two 20 - 25 mile rides a week, Saturday by myself and Sunday with a few friends about my age (early to mid 50's). Then 2 weeks ago in preparation for my first Metric Century on 11/13 I started riding with an all ages group doing 40's. I like to talk while I ride so I enjoy riding with a group, but there is something to be said about alone, it allows me to think and clear my mind about things.
    "Angel, Bop Bop loves you!!!"

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    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    "O solo mio!"

    I LOVE solo riding.

    It is a time for me to think, reflect, stop and appreciate nature, go fast, explore new places, stop and take pictures - whatever my heart desires.

    All day long I am bombarded by noise and other's demands. On my bike I AM THE BOSS!
    I,also, find solo is best. As I've grown older I have learned
    the value of silence and peaceful quite. I grow very tired
    very fast of the noise, noise, noise that surrounds us for
    every waking moment.

    I suppose that at 50+ a person has a right to be a bit selfish
    with our remaining time on earth to take time to enjoy God's
    handywork such as the bike trail along the canal close to
    where I live. NO cars, no kids, no noise other than he rushing
    canal waters. Peace at it's best.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Bop
    Up until two weeks ago I did two 20 - 25 mile rides a week, Saturday by myself and Sunday with a few friends about my age (early to mid 50's). Then 2 weeks ago in preparation for my first Metric Century on 11/13 I started riding with an all ages group doing 40's. I like to talk while I ride so I enjoy riding with a group, but there is something to be said about alone, it allows me to think and clear my mind about things.
    See you are doing your first metric 100 shortly, and as a "past hand" on these, good luck to you. Only a couple of tips, and that is food and water.

    Seems daft that even though you may be doing the ride in a cool spell, keep up your water intake. I know I did a 100 mile offroad in the summer, but we were drinking 1.5 litres of water per hour. Seems a lot but we did not become dehydrated at any time, and as we were using an additive aswell, we also kept up the carb and salt intake. Says a lot that at the 40 mile mark, the ambulance were checking all riders for dehydration, and it was surprising how many were taking advantage of the free bottles of water, and I actually saw 2 on drips. (Only after 40 miles but it was hot) On the food side, if you can get a good Carb Breakfast a couple of hours before, you may be ok for the first 2 hours. Other than that it is down to cereal bars or the like for carbohydrates, and plenty of them. One exceptional food that does work is "Marmite" sandwiches. the bread for carbohydrates, and the Marmite for an overdose of essential salts. Marmite? its like a beef extract but made from Yeast, and I think the Aussies have "Vegemite"

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    i also like to ride by myself. i figure this is my time to play, now that i am retired. having others around me makes the ride a social thing rather than a being with the world thing. and i also find that when i go alone, i end up with the same overall time as when i occasionally ride with a faster friend, for having to go by their irregular cadences throws me off and i find i am thinking of keeping up rather than enjoying the ride. of course, the stops for a beer with them tend to bring the overall average down to my constant rate when i'm alone!

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    I am retired and always ride alone. My wife has some serious health problems and cannot ride. I must do most of the work around the house. Time on my bike is time for me! It is a fantastic stress reliever and gets me through the tough times. Thanks to biking I dropped the anti-depresent meds and feel oh so much better! I'm also dropping some weight as well! Riding a comfort bike this year - next year I'm going for the recumbent!

    Cheers!

    rls

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Bop
    I like to talk while I ride so I enjoy riding with a group, but there is something to be said about alone, it allows me to think and clear my mind about things.
    So, when you're riding alone and talking to yourself, do other riders passing by give you a wide berth?

  10. #10
    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    No, they do not give me a wide berth, but I do get some very strange looks!
    "Angel, Bop Bop loves you!!!"

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    Biking is kind of like sex, isn't it? Either way its fun, with yourself or with someone!

    Name withheld by request!

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    IStill put in the effort up the hills, had to take it a bit easier on the downhills though, as I didn't fancy an off on the slippery surface, took my pace on the flat bits, and took the stops when I wanted them.
    Average speed on the ride was back to levels of 2 years ago, and I finished the ride without the aching muscles or bruises that I would normally expect, and still with energy.
    regretting my posting of a week ago, as yesterday I went out with the others in my group. Kept my own pace at the back up hills, and wasn't too far behind them. On the flat kept within my limits and stayed with them, however, on the 1 downhill, decided to show them how the downhills should be ridden.

    I now have to buy a new helmet. Bunny hopped a lump of tarmac on the trail, and the front wheel caught a rock. Besides the new helmet, have a big hole in the knee length shorts, a bigger hole in my knee, and a big scrape along the thigh that is just a bit tender and bruised. Perhaps I am earning my nickname of Buzz (Lightyear fame) as I seem to be making a habit of "Falling with style"

  13. #13
    Live to Ride,Ride to Live
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    regretting my posting of a week ago, as yesterday I went out with the others in my group. Kept my own pace at the back up hills, and wasn't too far behind them. On the flat kept within my limits and stayed with them, however, on the 1 downhill, decided to show them how the downhills should be ridden.

    I now have to buy a new helmet. Bunny hopped a lump of tarmac on the trail, and the front wheel caught a rock. Besides the new helmet, have a big hole in the knee length shorts, a bigger hole in my knee, and a big scrape along the thigh that is just a bit tender and bruised. Perhaps I am earning my nickname of Buzz (Lightyear fame) as I seem to be making a habit of "Falling with style"
    That hurt just reading it.

  14. #14
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    regretting my posting of a week ago, as yesterday I went out with the others in my group. Kept my own pace at the back up hills, and wasn't too far behind them. On the flat kept within my limits and stayed with them, however, on the 1 downhill, decided to show them how the downhills should be ridden.

    I now have to buy a new helmet. Bunny hopped a lump of tarmac on the trail, and the front wheel caught a rock. Besides the new helmet, have a big hole in the knee length shorts, a bigger hole in my knee, and a big scrape along the thigh that is just a bit tender and bruised. Perhaps I am earning my nickname of Buzz (Lightyear fame) as I seem to be making a habit of "Falling with style"
    I wish I still had one of the bumper stickers we sold in the early 90's. It said, "If you ain't bleeding, you ain't riding hard enough." I guess you ride hard enough. Some of the riders I ride with say about some scrape or bruise they have, "I got all CRUM'ED up." Hmm. Not sure how to take that.
    Keep it 'tween the ditches

    My Blog - Lost in the Bo Zone

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    I wish I still had one of the bumper stickers we sold in the early 90's. It said, "If you ain't bleeding, you ain't riding hard enough." I guess you ride hard enough. Some of the riders I ride with say about some scrape or bruise they have, "I got all CRUM'ED up." Hmm. Not sure how to take that.
    Those of us on warfarin therapy may have a slightly different viewpoint!

  16. #16
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    I ride solo most of the time. I commute, and I ride when my wife runs (I cannot keep up with her!) on the weekend. I find that solo riding, like solo canoeing or solo scuba diving, can be quite enjoyable (and I do all three). Today I used a heart rate monitor, and found that I averaged a pulse rate of about 119, with a max of about 144 going up a hill this morning. This way, I can get the workout I need, and not let it be dictated by others invariably younger than myself.

    John

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  17. #17
    DJColorado
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    I mountain bike and scuba mostly solo and white water kayak solo about a third of the time. This is through a combination of circumstance and choice. In all three, solo violates conventional wisdom on safety. I don't see this as reckless though, if you have the competence to understand the risk and pick your spots. This means a scenerio well within your capabilities and one where multiple things have to go wrong to create a threatening situation. Besides the social benefits, group outings to provide a support structure that lets one go a lot closer to the edge. Accordingly I would probably be better on a bike today if I didn't solo so much. As others have mentioned though, it has lots of benefits and I don't look back on the choices.

  18. #18
    Jim Shapiro
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    The tradeoffs of riding with others versus riding alone have always favored the latter, at least for me. The exceptions are when family members want to ride or the occasional ride to breakfast with friends. My wife and I have a wonderful time riding together (separate bikes though -- that's another issue entirely), and riding with either of my sons is always a good social outing, but for either solitude or outdoor exercise there's nothing like a solo ride. Every Sunday, weather permitting, I wait for the sun to rise then don my cycling clothes and head out for an hour or two. It doesn't get any better.

    Jim

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    Probably 90 percent of my riding is solo. I got into the habit 25 years ago when cyclists were rare and there wasn't anybody to ride with. Now a number of my friends ride (including a lot of guys my age), and I do go with them occasionally, but I still get out by myself several times a week.
    That's road riding, though. I live about a mile from the Tahoe National Forest, and my wife's starting to get nervous about me going up there by myself. The old "A man your age..." argument, and it does make sense (I'm about thisclose to 60). But I expect to sneak off sometimes next summer, too.

  20. #20
    Live to Ride,Ride to Live
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog
    Probably 90 percent of my riding is solo. I got into the habit 25 years ago when cyclists were rare and there wasn't anybody to ride with. Now a number of my friends ride (including a lot of guys my age), and I do go with them occasionally, but I still get out by myself several times a week.
    That's road riding, though. I live about a mile from the Tahoe National Forest, and my wife's starting to get nervous about me going up there by myself. The old "A man your age..." argument, and it does make sense (I'm about thisclose to 60). But I expect to sneak off sometimes next summer, too.
    That's what they make cell phones for.

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    With over 1700 miles this year I would say I now ride about 60% with a group. Was almost entirely solo until I joined a club. I enjoy both types of riding for what each has to offer. We have rides everyday of the week except Friday. Monday night is a 20-mile trail ride with beer, pizza, and interesting conservation afterwards.

    I do find I ride more now that I promise people I will ride with them. I usually ride a little longer and a little faster with a group. I am retied so my bike and gardening club are my social life. Still see old friends from work on special occasions, wedding, graduations, funerals, etc, but that is it. Also, they were the people that thought I was crazy to spend $600 on a bike.

  22. #22
    'Bent Brian
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    The mantra of our local cycling club is "Ride to eat and eat to ride". They are a social/touring oriented group. Yes, there are pizza rides and one Sunday a month is "Ice Cream Sunday". Sounds like your group is similar.

    'bent Brian

  23. #23
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I prefer to ride solo or with a friend who actually likes to ride with someone rather than "against" someone. It is not unusual when out alone for me to see another rider or group riding in the same direction in front of me and chase to catch up without actually joining them. It's also fun to try to stay ahead of someone coming up from behind. I usually slow just before their arrival so that they are not tempted to stay with me.

    I think it true that riding with others generally tends to make me push a bit harder. As I've said in other posts though, I am a recreational rider looking for improved fitness, not a racer.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  24. #24
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    I usually do solo rides unless I ride with my husband on Saturdays. I try and get out on a ride on my lunch hour but sometimes work doesn't permit it (I'm too dedicated to work, even though I work at home). I have ridden with a group a couple of times and it was nice, but today when I finally got out again on my single after having not been on it for about a week, it was WONDERFUL. I really enjoyed myself, even though I got a flat. I went on a route I hadn't done in a long time (a lot of up hill) and it was like a mini vacation for me. I'm going to try and make a point of getting out on my lunch hour more often, it's just to much fun not to do it.

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    Regarding cycling and cell phones: I expect to be the last holdout. I have three cells--four, if you count the one my daughter has at school--and I probably haven't talked on them a dozen times. One of the reasons I ride is to get away from distractions and annoyances. I carry a phone at work when my boss demands it (usually not an issue), and I toss one (turned off) in the car on vacation trips, but I never carry it when I'm riding. I'd rather walk out five miles pushing the bike than call for help (it isn't a macho issue--I don't mind asking for help when I need it--but I just don't want the annoyance.

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