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Old 01-12-13, 07:13 PM   #1
Timtruro
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Ashamed in Aruba

Last year when we were here in Aruba, my wife would not let me bike, crazy drivers, narrow roads and not knowing where you are were her reasons. This year (we are here for 9 weeks), our Dutch neighbors invited me to bike with them. She said that's great, they know the island and bike all the time.

Well, they use mountain bikes and bike through the National Park which is near where we staying. So I rented a mountain bike and this evening off we went. I was totally humiliated. They stopped and waited for me several times. Twice I walked up hills! My heart was pounding, legs felt like rubber, and I felt like vomiting. At the end of this gruelling, hilly, muddy ride, we had done a grand total of 8.3 miles!! For those of you familiar with the island, it was in the Arikok National Park, full of rough, windy terrain.

I will only say that I normally ride a road bike on paved roads, I have never really ridden a mountain bike, nor have I ever biked through such rough terrain. That said, I have not biked since last October, have fallen into a Ben and Jerry frenzy, along with beer, pizza and other bad habits. Still, I hope this was a wake up call to get back in some sort of shape. Not making excuses, just need to confess the results of my slacking off.
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Old 01-12-13, 07:19 PM   #2
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I simply would not go anywhere for 9 weeks if I couldn't ride there.

Getting back into shape can be painful, but it sounds like this time your time in Aruba is going to be a great adventure.
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Old 01-12-13, 07:22 PM   #3
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I call BS without pix.

(Just a lame excuse to get pix of Aruba, of course.)
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Old 01-12-13, 07:51 PM   #4
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I don't do either road or mountain -- I stick to trails...

But I suspect the requirement of the two are quite different.

It would be interesting to get your friends on road bikes and see how far or fast they could go...

... And: Nobody should EVER feel humiliated about being on a bike.
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Old 01-13-13, 01:00 AM   #5
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The Ben and jerry's and the lay off had had something to do with it but most of your problem is the terrain- and the bikes- and the mud and--------------------------

I have always said that mountain biking is harder that Road biking but the advantage of going out in a group is that the group have to reform. You work hard and do have a few rests waiting for others so you have probably done them a good favour by giving them the rest breaks they need. Reckon they owe you a few beers tonight.

They are different disciplines and not knowing Aruba- I can imagine it with steep muddy rutted trails that take a lot of competence to ride. If you did not get off and walk the hills then it shows how much brute force and ignorance you had to use instead of skill. That takes energy so you definitely deserve the beers.
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Old 01-13-13, 06:14 AM   #6
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I've been to Aruba, but not ridden there. It's pretty rough terrain and that constant wind doesn't help. It's very close to the Equator, so what's the current temperature?
Keep at it it and don't get discouraged.
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Old 01-13-13, 06:31 AM   #7
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You need to get some practice in and then rejoin them. Desert riding sounds like fun. I used to go to Aruba for the windsurfing. Much of that still happening or is everyone kite sailing?
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Old 01-13-13, 07:10 AM   #8
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You need to get some practice in and then rejoin them. Desert riding sounds like fun. I used to go to Aruba for the windsurfing. Much of that still happening or is everyone kite sailing?
Windsurfing and kite sailing are both popular activities here. We made sure to bike in the late afternoon when the sun was going down and and it was a bit cooler. It's either that or early morning before the sun is high. Temps here are running in the mid 80's during the day, but closer to the equator here, the sun feels stronger, attention to hydration is a must.
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Old 01-13-13, 07:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
They are different disciplines and not knowing Aruba- I can imagine it with steep muddy rutted trails that take a lot of competence to ride. If you did not get off and walk the hills then it shows how much brute force and ignorance you had to use instead of skill. That takes energy so you definitely deserve the beers.
+1. The good news is that mountain biking has a favorable learning curve.

There's the fitness required for the climbs and there's the technique. As your fitness improves, you can roll over obstacles that used to stop you. As your technique improves, the required degree of fitness decreases. As you gain experience, you develop both at the same time so, in the initial stages, you can improve pretty fast.
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Old 01-14-13, 06:48 PM   #10
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Only been there once. The car drivers are totally nuts there. They do not even look when entering a traffic circle at full speed. As for biking the wind has got to be an issue, on the road anyway. I saw some guys riding and they looked like they were on indoor trainers due to lack of progress against the wind. On the home ward run they should have been flying.

The island is only something like 21 miles long and there are paved roads on the developed side only so it might get boring riding the road. Now on the dirt road that goes through the Dutch Navy firing range might get kind of interesting on a mt. bike.
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Old 01-14-13, 07:01 PM   #11
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I have a friend who is a world class marathon/crosscountry runner and I rode with him out of Kennewick, WA, and he wore me out. He ran, I rode. He Owns this brewery now in Winthrop... http://www.oldschoolhousebrewery.com/index2.html . He and his wife love the outdoors.
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Old 01-14-13, 07:49 PM   #12
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When we were there, I ran along the beach & boardwalk close to the butterfly park. Roads are too narrow for biking.
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