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Old 11-01-12, 08:41 AM   #1
HawkOwl
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Do You Enjoy Riding? Or...?

In my few rehab rides so far I've noticed something that had apparently escaped me before. From the expressions on the faces of oncoming riders they aren't enjoying the ride.

I saw expressions of intense, this is a duty, concentration. I saw expressions of near exhaustion. I saw expressions of boredom. But, I didn't see many of joy, or satisfaction, or peace, or even just pleasure. Probably the happiest expression was on the face of a guy wearing a winter coat, wih a big backpack, with a radio hooked to his handlebars as he leisurely looked for a place to spend the night.

Wonder?
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Old 11-01-12, 08:47 AM   #2
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Do you cycle for exercise (to go as fast as you can on a ridiculously expensive, lighter-than-air bike), or do you ride for pleasure?
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Old 11-01-12, 08:52 AM   #3
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It's Serious Leisure.

... the systematic pursuit of an amateur, hobbyist, or volunteer core activity that is highly substantial, interesting, and fulfilling and where, in the typical case, participants find a (leisure) career in acquiring and expressing a combination of its special skills, knowledge, and experience. The adjective "serious" (a word research interviewees often use to describe their free time passion) embodies such qualities as earnestness, sincerity, importance, and carefulness.

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Old 11-01-12, 09:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
In my few rehab rides so far I've noticed something that had apparently escaped me before. From the expressions on the faces of oncoming riders they aren't enjoying the ride.

I saw expressions of intense, this is a duty, concentration. I saw expressions of near exhaustion. I saw expressions of boredom. But, I didn't see many of joy, or satisfaction, or peace, or even just pleasure. Probably the happiest expression was on the face of a guy wearing a winter coat, wih a big backpack, with a radio hooked to his handlebars as he leisurely looked for a place to spend the night.

Wonder?
You must not have seen any recumbent riders! We seem to be smiling and enjoying life all the time!
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Old 11-01-12, 09:03 AM   #5
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I'm sure I've made every single one of those faces at one time or another. Right now I'm in a phase where I feel duty bound at the start of a ride and satisfaction at the end.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:25 AM   #6
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Do you cycle for exercise (to go as fast as you can on a ridiculously expensive, lighter-than-air bike), or do you ride for pleasure?
Which can be the same thing.

The pleasure for many cyclists is achieving, for pushing their bodies to a limit and maybe exceeding that limit. It's the pleasure at the end of the ride you don't see.

For others, it's the perception of freedom when riding a bike that gives them pleasure.

In the end, there are probably as many reasons for pleasure on a bike as there are bicycle riders.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:25 AM   #7
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OP -- your comment / question reminded me of ride I did in late August.

"On Cheek, we started encountering the outbound charity cyclists.
First came the serious-faced, seriously fast riders, spread out in groups of two or three.
Then came the serious-faced riders in the serious-looking large double pace-line.
Then the riders that looked as if they had been jettisoned off the back of the large group.
Interspersed were those with not-so-serious-faces, that looked to be doing their own thing,
And likely enjoying it.

Finally, came the long tail of the charity ride.
Some mashing hard on ill-fitting, (dis)comfort bikes,
Obviously doing the hardest thing they've ever done (or at least hardest in a LONG time).
Interspersed with reasonably calm faces doing a mostly pleasant ride.
And best of all, the occasional happy-face, clearly enjoying being on their bike,
Out in the cool August overcast,
And likely well-beyond their usual "stomping" grounds.

I most like seeing the last described.
People having fun!
And not being SERIOUS about it."

Excerpted from: http://irregularveloadventures.blogs...-tomatoes.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that what you encountered and what I encountered are pretty much par for the course.
Some busily trying to inflict pain on others or on themselves.
Some out enjoying the day, the sights, etc..
And everything in between.

However, the oh-so-serious, pained faces do seem to predominate.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:37 AM   #8
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I enjoy my rides most of the time. There are moments of pure joy, but I'm not sure it shows on my face. There are moments of concentration, exhaustion, and so on, but that doesn't mean I'm unhappy.

For example, many of us get a big thrill on a swift descent, but at, say, 35 MPH, we're concentrating, not smiling. Equating happiness with smiles is too simplistic.

The moments when I am *not* enjoying a ride are either (a) when I'm riding in a group and I'm on the verge of being dropped. I *hate* that feeling. Or (b) when something isn't right, like my damned arthritic hip is hurting or I have a muscle cramp.

And then there's the feeling *after* the ride, which can be even better.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:37 AM   #9
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For me to get that 'runners high' feeling I have to ride at a high tempo pace which requires some concentration. I don't know what my face looks like but it's not the same as relaxing in the sun at the coffee shop after the ride. I still enjoy the ride even if my face might not show it.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:41 AM   #10
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Exercise........

















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Old 11-01-12, 09:51 AM   #11
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I need to exercise, I choose to ride because it gives me pleasure to exercise in this way.

Sometimes that pleasure is based on satisfaction that I challenged myself that day.
Sometimes that pleasure is based on finding that I can hang with a group of younger types going way faster than I could have just a few months ago.
Sometimes that pleasure is based on stepping on the scale and finding that I've shedded some unwanted weight.
Sometimes that pleasure comes from just being out on a quiet road by myself.

Its all good.
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Old 11-01-12, 10:00 AM   #12
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These are not mutually exclusive options. I enjoy riding and that is why I ride. Sometimes that enjoyment shows on my face, other times not.
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Old 11-01-12, 10:05 AM   #13
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Same here, I enjoy it and even catch myself frowning or looking like a goof with an open mouth breathing hard. Just 'cause I don't show it outwardly doesn't mean I don't like it inwardly.
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Old 11-01-12, 10:19 AM   #14
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I wouldn't base an assessment on whether someone is enjoying an activity on their facial expression - that can be very misleading. And the fact that someone may be truly exerting themselves, with that reflected on their face, doesn't mean they aren't enjoying it. My 'suffer face' happens to be a grin, but others have more of a grimace. They are still enjoying themselves.
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Old 11-01-12, 10:20 AM   #15
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"Do You Enjoy Riding?"

Yes.

However, your real question appears to be this: 'Is someone who is 'enjoying' an activity obligated to provide you with facial evidence of that enjoyment by 'smiling' etc.?'

No.
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Old 11-01-12, 10:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I'm sure I've made every single one of those faces at one time or another. Right now I'm in a phase where I feel duty bound at the start of a ride and satisfaction at the end.
So you start on an upright bike and end on a recumbent??

(hides back under rock).
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Old 11-01-12, 10:38 AM   #17
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It's amazing to me how many people can not comprehend that riders with a look of determination, concentration, and motivation (mistaken as duty by too many) are actually enjoying themselves. Maybe even more than those with a smile on their face.

The times I have accomplished rides like this, the enjoyment goes on for hours, the smile comes after but goes on for days.

I've been amazed the years I've done 5000-7000 miles and somebody with 2000 miles tells me I don't enjoy riding.

I have done rides that many others haven't. I did not smile during the training rides, but after. I did not smile when things got tough, but after. I did not smile during to tough part of the ride but after......for a month!

This is at the top of the final climb before heading down from Big Bear. I'm smiling and that smile lasted for a month. If those that think we are not having fun could do the things we do, then they'd smile for a month too. But they haven't so they don't understand.


That's a month long smile after 10,000 ft of climbing. Something "some" nay sayers will never understand.




Here is something the riders with closed minds don't understand.

This is me a about mile 20 with a look of determination on my face (not duty) climbing a 12% grade after maybe 3000 ft of gain on the ride. This is what the OP sees.



This is what the OP doesn't see. Me at mile 72 after 12,000 ft of climbing with a smile on my face knowing what I just accomplished ON THE SAME RIDE!! What he also does not see is that this smile lasted for a year! Now tell me the OP is having more fun than me.

I'm on top of the mountain!!!

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Old 11-01-12, 10:50 AM   #18
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I love the exercise and the ability to "defeat" a hill. Sometimes what looks like total exhaustion and disdain is actually masking some serious joy. Sucking air, screaming leg pain, lungs ready to burst, --I can never get enough of that stuff.
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Old 11-01-12, 10:52 AM   #19
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There's a difference between riding a bike and cycling...
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Old 11-01-12, 10:59 AM   #20
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My countenance often belies my enjoyment I experience while riding. You'll almost never see me smile while riding solo, yet I'm thoroughly enjoying riding at my steady, on-a-mission-like-pace. You'll usually see a very serious look, especially when climbing a tough hill. I've just never been a smiley-face person although I smile much more now in life in my 50s than I did in my 20s, 30s, or 40s But guess what!? During road rides, I wave at or speak to to just about every other cyclist I pass (including those on MTBs or hybrids) Why not!?
What causes me to wonder is how some cyclist cannot find it to wave/speak to a fellow rider on the road
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Old 11-01-12, 11:08 AM   #21
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Facial expression is a poor indicator of actual emotion for cyclists.

Back in the 70's, there was a guy named George Mount who rode for a while in our club (the Berkeley Wheelmen, when I was living in the East Bay). I think he had some false teeth put in (he was in his early 20's at that time), so his expression was always a big smile, especially when he was powering up the hills. He was an awesome climber. Folks called him "Smiling George," and the common expression was, "the more he smiles, the more you hurt!"

Luis
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Old 11-01-12, 11:15 AM   #22
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Facial expressions are one reason some people can play poker and some cannot. But think about it when you see people walking or hiking even when they are enjoying themselves if they aren't looking at you there are few smiles. How many of us are smiling while we type on the computer? Are we not enjoying ourselves? I know I am and yet I don't smile at my computer. I have to post a smile to let others know I am having fun...
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Old 11-01-12, 11:22 AM   #23
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Sometimes I don't enjoy it while I'm doing it, but many times I enjoy having done it (or the results of what I've done). Other times, on a commute in the rain where I have no choice, there is no joy, but it needs to be done if I'm going to get home. Then there are times when I'm having fun. It may or may not be obvious, but I am.

So in answer to your first question. Yes, sometimes. And sometimes no.
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Old 11-01-12, 12:24 PM   #24
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If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it. And, sometimes you don't smile because you don't want bugs in your teeth. Finally, remember: "It is always by way of pain that one arrives at pleasure." - Marquis de Sade
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Old 11-01-12, 12:45 PM   #25
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The pursuit of pleasure can be serious business if you really mean it.
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