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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Not a good ride.

    For the last couple of months I have been riding with a few others. One of which is my 30 year old neighbour that I am trying to get into road riding and the other is my son-in-law.Now I know they are both younger than me and a lot fitter but they are not ideal riding companions for me. Went for a short ride this morning with them and have decided to go back to solo riding.

    Trying to stay with them and keep within the draft has been a new experience but I like to go for 60 mile rides at the weekends. Trying- and succeeding- to stay with them takes a lot out of me and by the time 20 miles comes up- I am knackered.

    This mornings ride finally did it for me. From the off and they were away. I like to have a couple of miles to bring the legs in and at twenty mph from the off doesn't do that. Then on the ride I was in the lead for a while and pushing a bit firmly and they came past me as I dropped off the lead. Speed went up by 5mph and I let them go. Then on the ride- IF I managed to talk to them between gasping for air- they just had to keep a wheel in front all the time.

    So I am going back to my solo rides and going to enjoy riding again. I have done that for 5 years- ever since I went road (mountain biking is different as anything may happen so you stay together except on hills). I will leave the "Competitive" Riding to the youngsters.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  2. #2
    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me. To my mind there is absolutely no point to riding if you don't enjoy it.
    The more you drive the less intelligent you are. - Tracy Walter as Miller in Repo Man.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    95% of my rides are solo, the other 5% are with my wife. It's just so much nicer that way. For me group rides are a very infrequent occurrence.

  4. #4
    Senior Member EdIsMe's Avatar
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    Just a note from a young guy...

    When I'm riding with a group, and especially when I'm the one setting the pace, I try to keep the speed controlled so that everyone in the group is able to comfortably keep up, including the older riders. The people I ride with regularly have even recognized this and have named me their "official morning ride puller" for a short portion of the ride on the way out and back in.

    Dropping cyclists twice or even three times my age (we had one guy join us that was 82) just isn't where I get my kicks.

  5. #5
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Young guys simply cannot be stuck behind someone they consider "elderly". Let them blast away. Some will put the bike away and some will keep riding.......you will keep riding

    Cheers to the solo artists.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Remember what the jersey says..."Experience counts..." Let the young bucks charge off. Ride for you not them. If they are just lucky enough they'll reach a point in their lives where a good warm up is important to them to, and learn that fast isn't always better.

    Edit/Addition:

    Stapfam, the more I think about this, the more I think there is a lesson to be taught. If I remember correctly you've invested time, knowledge and a bit of money in getting these guys out there riding. For them to treat you this way seems a bit disrespectful. Maybe before the next ride you should get them away from their bikes just long enough for you to unscrew the Presta stem core a half turn and then put the valve cap cover back on. Just a thought....
    Last edited by NOS88; 06-05-11 at 09:05 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member willb1046's Avatar
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    I am group riding for the first time this year, keeping up with the "faster folks" is out of reach for me at this juncture. I am younger (49 years old) but smoked cigarettes for years (kicked the habit Jan. 2010). I am group riding to get used to riding with other people because in September I'm riding the MSbikeride a few thousand people. Yesterday I went for the longest ride for me so far, 40 miles. I rode solo and really enjoyed it! Not to say I don't like riding with other people, I do. It's just nice if the group can stay as a group. As stated above - riding a bike is suppose to be fun!

    Do what feels right for you! Enjoy yourself. :-)
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    A bull and his son were standing at the top of the hill looking down on a herd of cows. The son said "hey Dad, let's run down there and have our way with one of those cows!" The father calmly replied, "No son. We're going to walk down there and have our way with all of those cows."

    Let them go and have their fun. Someday they'll be like you...if they're lucky!

  9. #9
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    willb1046, congratulations on quitting smoking! I quit on May 26, 1998 cold turkey and haven't cheated once. (I'm afraid to this day that if I have one tonight with a beer that I'll have a whole pack tomorrow. Keep up with the biking. One problem I had/have is that after quitting, I started eating and gained 50lbs. It goes up in the winter and down in the summer by as much as 35 lbs! But I'm better off for it. Stay strong! My apologies for hijacking the thread, delete if you wish.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Riding with any group will always be a compromise. What's fun is subjective. For many, working at being faster and impromptu testing of themselves against others is fun. I haven't yet been on a group ride where that doesn't go on. Solo riding has it's charms too.

  11. #11
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    Are we talking about a group ride of 10, 20 or 30 people? Or three?

    I think the ride partners didn't behave very well for not trying to ensure everyone (ie, stapfam) was happy with pace. The fact the pace increased as stapfam rotated off the front is a pretty clear indication of this. It's a strict no-no in pacelining or group rides

    Whose fault is it? Did stapfam set out the group rules and explain what riding together is about? Or should it have been a matter of courtesy for the young guys to ask, and especially when it was obvious that he was struggling? Not sure.

    willb1046, good on you for giving up. I've gone past a decade. Smoking almost killed me, so I know how important it is to stop it.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  12. #12
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    The operative word for me is "fun." Why in the world would anyone purposely do something that is not fun, if they have a choice in what they are doing? Now, fun is obviously defined in many, many different ways. Different strokes for different folks. At age 71, I don't have time to do things I don't thoroughly enjoy, given the choice and opportunity.

    I have (and still do) spend too much time on unavoidable "non-fun" things, generally in response to someone else's agenda over which I have no control, or situations in life where I am forced to participate due to circumstances. All the more reason for bicycling, weightlifting, swimming, stretching, singing to be fun for me.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Sounds like a sensible decision to me, stapfam.

    I've never enjoyed trying to keep up with the faster riders. I simply found people who like to ride at my speed
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  14. #14
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdIsMe View Post
    Just a note from a young guy...

    When I'm riding with a group, and especially when I'm the one setting the pace, I try to keep the speed controlled so that everyone in the group is able to comfortably keep up, including the older riders. The people I ride with regularly have even recognized this and have named me their "official morning ride puller" for a short portion of the ride on the way out and back in.

    Dropping cyclists twice or even three times my age (we had one guy join us that was 82) just isn't where I get my kicks.
    Somebody needs to explain that to the young folks in group I ride with. It's not the Saturday Morning Ride anymore, it's the Saturday Morning Race. That's NOT fun...
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    I mostly ride solo because:

    1) I ride for fun and I don't like spending my ride looking at the rear wheel of the bike in front of me and missing the scenery.

    2) Group rides usually turn into "who can we drop".

  16. #16
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I've basically given up riding with my club. It's not that anyone drops anyone else. It's just that they ride for 4-5 hrs. and I don't want to spend my day doing that. And, because I'm built more like an NFL running back than a TdF cyclist, I can crank out good speed on the flats and downhills but am slower than most on any climbs. So, I end up yo yo-ing with the group pace. That's no fun. Riding alone lets me ride my ride.

  17. #17
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    We have 3 group rides a week, Tues is a no one left behind ride, Thursday is a 25 to 30 mile as fast as you can ride, Saturday is fun 30 to 40 miler. I'm 50 & there are 65 yr old riders I can't keep up with, but they slow the pace or turn around & climb the hill twice to let us catch up & that's the way it is. It's fun. They're are rude for leaving you on a 3 person ride.
    If you want a lighter bike ? Eat more salads !!!!

  18. #18
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Group riding is a learned skill. You can ride with faster people by being smart. When the other riders are going fast, don't take pulls. "doing your share" doesn't help if you blow and get dropped as a result. If the group ride is competitive then there's no reason at all for you to be on the front, just like in a race. If everyone is cooperating and doing a rotating pace line, you either sit in at the back and let each rider in to line in front of you, or participate in the rotation but take a short token pull and rotate through.

    If the guys tend to go too hard at the beginning, go to the front and set a "false tempo"- fast enough that they will be content to sit in but slow enough, and steady, so you can warm up.

    Agree ahead of time on places to regroup. Usually at the tops of climbs.

    Most riders half-wheel (keeping a little ahead when riding side by side) because they are not paying attention, not because they are intentionally being rude. Sometimes a polite reminder works.

    These guys may just be faster than you are. You can still ride with them by letting them know ahead of time that the ride will be a long endurance paced ride. If they're not interested in that then they won't show.

  19. #19
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    I don't go on club rides any more. Just didn't fit in with any of the local cliques - the social riders who stop "everywhere" for a something (coffee, beer, pics, whatever), the wannabe TdFers, the group-who's-ridden-together-since-God-created-the-Universe, etc. There's a group who pacelines like a well-oiled machine but blows thru intersections/lights and I'm not going there safety-wise. Shrug.

    So I ride solo. IF someone decides to ride with me, at my pace, where I want to go, when I want to go, cool. If not, ah well.

    stepfam, I feel for you tho - riding with people you WANT to ride with and then feeling they've ignored your needs has to suck to an extent. (I have a similar issue when playing golf with my 80-year-old father. It's not the same as when we played together 20 years ago. Our expectations (playing pace, score, riding/walking) have changed and it's no longer fun for either of us.)
    -----------------------------------------
    While others have labelled me antisocial at various times, it's actually not true. I just don't like people.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    For the last couple of months I have been riding with a few others. One of which is my 30 year old neighbour that I am trying to get into road riding and the other is my son-in-law.Now I know they are both younger than me and a lot fitter but they are not ideal riding companions for me. Went for a short ride this morning with them and have decided to go back to solo riding.

    Trying to stay with them and keep within the draft has been a new experience but I like to go for 60 mile rides at the weekends. Trying- and succeeding- to stay with them takes a lot out of me and by the time 20 miles comes up- I am knackered.

    This mornings ride finally did it for me. From the off and they were away. I like to have a couple of miles to bring the legs in and at twenty mph from the off doesn't do that. Then on the ride I was in the lead for a while and pushing a bit firmly and they came past me as I dropped off the lead. Speed went up by 5mph and I let them go. Then on the ride- IF I managed to talk to them between gasping for air- they just had to keep a wheel in front all the time.

    So I am going back to my solo rides and going to enjoy riding again. I have done that for 5 years- ever since I went road (mountain biking is different as anything may happen so you stay together except on hills). I will leave the "Competitive" Riding to the youngsters.
    Well now, I'm sure that I don't know about the particulars of this ride and your feelings about it

    But I've enjoyed your descriptions of family, and riding, and introducing new riders.

    And I'm minded of this.

    As a teenager, I spent more than a year building a balsa and tissue tow line model glider, wingspan wider than my armspan, length more than my height. It was a beauty, and I was proud of it.

    After the final varnish and paint, I kited it up on its tow line over Ilkley moor. The tow line was 500 meters. It looked beautiful as it did 3 rising height turns and disappeared into Lancashire over the horizon.

    You get them started, then you watch them go. Well done

  21. #21
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Guess I just like riding solo, having said that, I know some like to ride in a group. The club I belong to has many organized rides each week, and are set up according to speed, and to the size of any hills expected along the route of the day. Maybe you have such a club in your area, it may be worth a search if you would like to ride with others.

  22. #22
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    "At age 71, I don't have time to do things I don't thoroughly enjoy, given the choice and opportunity."

    And that's the reason they're dropping stepfam.

    Seriously, I find a lot of give-and-take in cycling, especially in group riding. We had an incident a while back where one rider took off, group followed, at the next stop, the person that took off was soundly cursed, etc. That doesn't need to happen. There have been times when the group dropped me, and I was sort of peeved about it, but then there's been times when I dropped others, and times when the group waited up for me, and times when I waited up for even slower riders. Just remember that no good deed goes unpunished, and just because you wait 30 minutes for someone to fix their tire doesn't mean they'll wait 30 seconds while you change out water bottles. The secret is to just let any little slights just slide off like water off a duck, and then you can enjoy the ride the next day, too.

    And Stepfam, a specific suggestion for you: Try something like "How about riding my pace for the first ten miles so I can ride with you a bit, then y'all can take off after that?" And maybe get some good feelings on both sides about it, rather than them feeling stuck or you feeling dropped.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  23. #23
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    That's why God created tandems.

    Finding enjoyable riding companions is hard because, unless you're pretty evenly matched physically, it doesn't work for very long. The slower rider always feels like they're raceing and the faster rider doesn't feel like they're doing anything. If your partner doesn't ride as fast as you do you will, in spite of your best intentions, eventually find yourself at the top of a long hill with your partner nowhere in sight.

    I've attempted a few group rides where it was appearant from the start that the rest of the riders wanted to go about 5 miles faster than I was capable of maintaining for very long. In at least one case the other riders even offered a couple of compromises - wait for me at rally points and/or take turns hanging back with me. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm old enough not to need a baby sitter. Let me do my own thing and we'll have a drink together after we've finished rideing."

  24. #24
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Hey the kids don't need a bike chaperone . . . let 'em go and enjoy your ride!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Hey the kids don't need a bike chaperone . . . let 'em go and enjoy your ride!

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