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Old 07-26-13, 01:12 PM   #1
Rootman
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So what makes a "good ride experience" in your opinion?

Upon returning home my wife saw me grinning and asked if I had a good ride. I had. She then asked me something I never gave much though to. "What makes a ride good?". I had to think for a moment. We live in a rural area so my rides start out in our small town an inevitable end up out in the country somewhere. I made a mental list of what made a GOOD ride and what made a BAD ride.

GOOD:
  • See animals - I just love seeing animals on my rides, cows, horses, bunny rabbits, birds. I even see a Roadrunner once in a while!
  • No near misses with traffic or other bikers
  • Light traffic too
  • Good weather
  • No headwinds, just alight breeze if you please
  • I'm in tune with the bike, shifts are smooth and I have no physical problems as well

BAD:
  • Oppressive heat or cold
  • Goobers in their cars almost hitting me, worse are goobers on their BIKES almost hitting me - hey we're on the same team here!
  • Lots of traffic
  • Heavy winds, especially headwinds, although crosswinds are scary too when they gust and nearly knock you over
  • Bike issues

After making my mental list I mulled it over and threw it all out. I decided that a truly GOOD ride was one that I can't even recall. That is, I am so in tune with the bike, traffic and route that I can live in the moment and do not have to think about a thing. One minute I am leaving my driveway and it seems like the next I am pulling back in. I might of seen a few animals, glimpsed a beautiful view, seen a truly spectacular house and not even spoken to a soul, but when I get back home I can't even remember much about the ride, just that it was "good". I feel rested, relaxed, tired and fulfilled, I just LIVED during those hours and that FOR those few hours all was right with the world. I didn't have to think of anything, deal with anything, deal with anyone - just RIDE. That, in MY opinion is what a call a truly great riding experience.

Last edited by Rootman; 07-26-13 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 07-26-13, 01:21 PM   #2
David Bierbaum
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Some additional good ride points for me are:
  • A new destination reached.
  • Cruising through a suburb, listening to the wind in the trees and the birds chirping, and looking at the lawnscapes of those folks with green thumbs.
  • Fall Colors.


Some additional bad points for me are:
  • Aggressive dogs on the loose.
  • Unexpected impediments to my chosen route.
  • Bad weather when I feel like riding.

Last edited by David Bierbaum; 07-26-13 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 07-26-13, 01:23 PM   #3
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Absence of Death.


Second best is passing a cyslist going uphill while I'm on my bent. It doesn't happen very often.
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Old 07-26-13, 01:34 PM   #4
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Just feeling good - I don't care what I am doing as long as I feel good...

and then there's feeling bad - for whatever reason. Maybe lack of sleep, stomach upset, stressed out at work... I always hope the ride will help but sometimes the ride remains a struggle from beginning to end.
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Old 07-26-13, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
Absence of Death.


Second best is passing a cyslist going uphill while I'm on my bent. It doesn't happen very often.
Lol.

For me, it's all about who I'm with. A good ride is with good people.
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Old 07-26-13, 02:23 PM   #6
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getting there and getting back in one piece
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Old 07-26-13, 02:25 PM   #7
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Sounds good to me Rootman. I would add that over and above the items you listed, I particularly enjoy riding in a new area. I anticipate many fine rides as I have not been to most places on the planet.
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Old 07-26-13, 02:26 PM   #8
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What makes a ride good:

Not getting injured or killed.
Not getting cussed out by an idiot driver.
Not having something on the bike or my body break down.
Not having the same happen to my kids (on family rides).

Other than that, just being out on the bike, pedaling away, feeling fresh air in my face and lungs, is enough. A firm destination helps, but it's not necessary, some days are just "meandering" days, just to see what's where.

(Right now, I MISS it SOOOO much, being disallowed by doc -- no weight bearing on the right foot, bone spur.)
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Old 07-26-13, 02:29 PM   #9
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(Right now, I MISS it SOOOO much, being disallowed by doc -- no weight bearing on the right foot, bone spur.)
Sorry to hear of your milady, hope you get to ride again soon.
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Old 07-26-13, 03:16 PM   #10
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ON the road:

NO FLATS
The wind is fair and doesn't change directions on me.
If someone cuts me off in a car I get to catch them at a light and glare at them.
I find a quarter or a tool somewhere.

On Single Track:

NO FLATS
See wildlife
No crashing
Hooping and Hollering spontaneously
Seeing some good people


A nice cold beer post ride for anything!
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Old 07-26-13, 03:28 PM   #11
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Good:

Those moments where it feels effortless. Wind at your back and you are flying!
The top of a hill in the UP of Michigan after the long, slog up in the heat, after swatting deer flies who find you a tasty sweaty meal.
Grilled ham sandwich in Packwood, Iowa, on the RAGBRAI route.
A conversation with a cyclist you will never see again.
Wide, smooth shoulders.
A ride after dark on closed park roads in Texas, listening to the pauraques and night herons.
Compass tires on my hybrid.


BAD:

Deer flies.
Flats.
Bugs in the helmet.
Heat rash.
Going to the bathroom and trying to pull your shorts up in the heat and humidity.
Being always the last person up the hill.
Asthma.
Ratty pavement.
Cars that buzz you.
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Old 07-26-13, 04:56 PM   #12
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Hi,

For me as I'm still improving its clearly noticing the
improvements as I is push on different parts of my
routes. How often I can push is improving.

Doing one bit clearly better makes my day.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 07-26-13, 05:02 PM   #13
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Nice lists. I always notice how far I get from my front door before I get passed by a motorist. My record is 137 miles and that was on a very good ride. Temps were in the low thirties at the start and there was enough fog in the hills that I actually had to slow down while going uphill to avoid over-riding my vision. A beaver scared the dickens out of me when he jumped into the water as I rode past in the dark and there was the usual bear sighting. Part of that double century involved doing the same sixty mile loop twice, but since the first lap was in the dark and the second was after sunrise it was like two separate loops.

Great rides always involve riding a tandem with my wife. If she has a good time, it was a great ride. Her criteria are pretty simple: no negative issues with motorists. She relies on me to pick our routes and a good time to do them so that her criteria are met. We'll be off and rolling around 0400 tomorrow morning and I expect it to be another great ride.
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Old 07-26-13, 05:14 PM   #14
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Good:

Seeing some improvement, no matter how slight
Just riding
No flats
Chatting with nice folks along the way
Trying a new or a new old area
Trying a different mode of bicycling
Wildlife
Having a swim along the way
Having a treat along the way

Not so good

Flats

That's about it.
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Old 07-26-13, 05:15 PM   #15
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1. Cycling -- anywhere, anytime. It's all good. I'm infantile; I just like riding my bike.

2. Being alone; not having to 'talk' to anyone -- anyone. For me, cycling is a chance to escape from the social commitments of my 'normal' existence, which by definition involves the constant clamour (talk/talk/talk; give me this/let me do that; etc. etc. ad nauseam) of colleagues, students, etc. I like being on my own for a spell.

3. Wildlife/nature. I am by inclination (though not by physical ability and/or talent, or place of residence) a 'mountainbiker'. My best cycling moments occur when I stop by the riverbank, on the trail, to watch a turtle or a family of geese wander about, then move on and stop for the next attraction (a hitherto unknown wildflower, etc.).

4. Good coffee mid-ride; double-long espresso -- lots of sugar, lots of milk. Typically occurs some 30 - 60 kms. into the ride, according as to route (weekend ride). On the commute, it's a morning ritual on my way into work.
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Old 07-26-13, 05:28 PM   #16
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Coming back into town with a tailwind just after sunset. Salt caked on the face and legs and feeling whooped after a good spin. And having the energy to draft a car or two for the last mile. And sucking huge lungfuls of air all the way.
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Old 07-26-13, 05:49 PM   #17
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Lol.

For me, it's all about who I'm with. A good ride is with good people.
Same for me. Also, feeling strong and not cramping up certainly helps with the goodness experience.
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Old 07-26-13, 07:45 PM   #18
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Every ride is good. Better than the alternative.
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Old 07-26-13, 08:03 PM   #19
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A bad day on the bike is better than...

I find that all rides have some value. The fact that I'm able to be out there and pushing those crank arms around is just good in and of itself. Rain, heat, wind, snow? Yeah, they can be good. Alone or with friends? Either can be good. I never know what a ride will bring me, but they always bring me something of value.
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Old 07-26-13, 08:30 PM   #20
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Every ride is good. Better than the alternative.
A big +1 from me!
Best regards
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Old 07-26-13, 09:36 PM   #21
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Except for crashes, every ride is good, but the worst of the good is:

Flats
Too much pain
Cold
Pouring rain
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Old 07-27-13, 04:39 AM   #22
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Good:
Gentle breezes
critters in nature
sunshine
moderate temps (mid 50s - low 70s)
roads less traveled
the smell of fresh cut grass or fields

Bad:
cold rain
rough roads
headwinds
closed roads (around here, anytime without snow on the ground is construction season)
biting bugs
Flat tires
rude traffic
'cattle' on MUPs
unleashed dogs
trash on the side of the road
oppressive heat and humidity
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Old 07-27-13, 07:07 AM   #23
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Good day is helping a rider with a flat tire.
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Old 07-27-13, 07:59 AM   #24
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No discussion of what is best in life is complete without this:


Having said that, in addition to what everyone else has said, I like to finish a long ride feeling that I could go another hour or two if I just had the time.

I once stopped to help a young woman with a mechanical and she asked me if I were an Ironman. That was pretty sweet as well.
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Old 07-27-13, 08:17 AM   #25
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A good day on the bike is better than a bad day fishing.
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