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  1. #1
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    That "care free" feeling.

    I can't say that the anxiety is completely gone, but the "care free" feeling is coming back.

    I rode around 115 miles this week, all of it on my recumbent. About half of the miles were around Creve Coeur lake, a course that definitely puts a premium on low speed handling.

    I had a couple of close incidents. In one, I came around a blind curve to find about 10 middle school agers spread across the whole trail. 1/2 went one way 1/2 the other. I managed to squeez between them but it definitely spooked me. In the other, a dog walker was watching his dog poop by the side of the trail. I dinged my little bell and I thought everything was cool until he side stepped right in front of me. He got to hear the grouchy side of retro but he deserved it.

    I'd rather ride my diamond frame beater around Creve Coeur but, the last time I tried, lifting my head so I could see ahead with the low handlebar made my neck and upper back ache. I've ordered a new taller and shorter stem but it hasn't arrived yet. I hope that does the trick. I should know within a week. FWIW that seeing ahead is one of the places that recumbents have it all over diamnod frame bikes.

    One of my rides was with two tandem couples that I used to ride with a lot. I could only keep up with them for about 15 or 16 miles, but I couldn't keep up with them before my accident either. I'm thinking that my speed, at least on the flat, is about what it used to be. I'm averaging around 13.5 MPH. The bike handling is pretty much back. My confidence is coming back. The next monster I have to confront is riding the recumbent up steeper hills.

    All-in-all a good week.
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 06-11-11 at 12:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    "Mabrouk" as they say here, which has a feeling of - congratulations, well done, happy for you

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Not for the same reasons but I was worried about having the compact on the 2nd bike instead of the triple on the 1st. We have hills so I started gently. Did the 5% first then the 8s and gradually got up to the 15s. No problem as I think it was confidence boosting that was required but I had to have a big long talk to myself before I tackled the Basket16% May only be a "Little" bit steeper but That took some guts. Last time I did that hill was on the MTB with 22/34 gearing. 34/27 was going to be different and it was. It was quicker.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that your elbows are back to where you are able to ride safety bikes.
    After riding bents for 5 years by myself, we've had a bit of a learning curve, and a few anxious moments, in our first season on a bent tandem. Not unexpectedly, we've had to relearn how to take off from a standing start. Uphill starts of any degree have been the biggest challenges. What works best is for the captain to keep both feet on the ground at a stop while the stoker prepares to power us forward when we start. When it's time to go, I place my foot on the pedal and say "OK. Let's go." It's taken a while for the captain to fully trust the stoker to get us moving forward - on the KHS tandem, that was primarily my job.
    We plan to get up early tomorrow and go to a carefree club ride of 35 or 50 miles.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
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    Congrats, Grouch, on your return to the road. 115 miles this week... sounds like you're doing pretty well.

  7. #7
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    Congrats, Grouch, on your return to the road. 115 miles this week... sounds like you're doing pretty well.
    Yep, 115 miles shows that you're no Slouch, you're a Grouch.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  8. #8
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    Good for you!
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  9. #9
    Has opinion, will express
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    Good for you, Retro. A few successful negotiations of tricky situations certainly help restore one's confidence.

    FWIW, we did a century today on the tandem, and it was one that I enjoyed very much compared with some of the others we have done in the past couple of years. Our average speed was much better, and I coped with the conditions much better than I have been. My confidence for long rides like that is returning, too.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Retro Grouch,

    We have similar issues on the MUPs here in Ann Arbor. One I've started when I approach gaggles of middle-schoolers or the lone dog-walker, is to slow down and speak to the kids or walker, something like "hey, kids, I need to get through!" to make sure you are seen. I've seen my wife, a veteran middle and high-school teacher, handle these situations, and a simple, plain request can work wonders, in addition to the bell. Yes, we need to slow down, but it is much more calming. Plus to get people to interact smoothly with me is a small daily achievement.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Good for you, Retro. A few successful negotiations of tricky situations certainly help restore one's confidence.

    FWIW, we did a century today on the tandem, and it was one that I enjoyed very much compared with some of the others we have done in the past couple of years. Our average speed was much better, and I coped with the conditions much better than I have been. My confidence for long rides like that is returning, too.
    Congrats, Rowan! We briefly tried a tandem but didn't buy it, and I think it was a confidence thing.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    We have similar issues on the MUPs here in Ann Arbor. One I've started when I approach gaggles of middle-schoolers or the lone dog-walker, is to slow down and speak to the kids or walker, something like "hey, kids, I need to get through!" to make sure you are seen. I've seen my wife, a veteran middle and high-school teacher, handle these situations, and a simple, plain request can work wonders, in addition to the bell. Yes, we need to slow down, but it is much more calming. Plus to get people to interact smoothly with me is a small daily achievement.
    Trust me, I'm not aggressive when I ride around Creve Coeur. It's just crowded because it's such a nice place to use the MUT. Lots of different kinds of people is part of what makes it nice, and conversely, is sometimes also a drawback. I knew that when I chose to go there.

    I'd already passed the middle schoolers once going in the same direction. They weren't being smart-aleckly or anything, it's just that when I went around the blind corner I was surprised to see them spread completely across the trail. I drive a school bus so I can deal with middle schoolers - MOST of the time. I don't think it would have spooked me so much if I'd been on my diamond frame beater, but the recumbent is a little different at near track stand speed because your feet are clipped in up in front of you. Keep in mind that the core cause of my anxiety was an accident two years ago that broke both of my elbows and a low speed crash a few weeks ago that caused a concussion.

    The dog walker, I don't know. I saw him in plenty of time, I slowed way down to let some riders from the other direction pass, I thought I had given him an ample warning and, just as I got to him, he side stepped directly in front of me. He was just oblivious.
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 06-12-11 at 07:41 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    congrats. didn't recall your accident. glad to hear you're back on a bike and thanks for the reminder about that feeling of riding a bike.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  14. #14
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Glad to hear things are getting back to good.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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