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  1. #1
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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 03:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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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 02:25 PM.

  3. #3
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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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.

  4. #4
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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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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  5. #5
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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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.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
    www.photo395.com

  6. #6
    Member The Savages's Avatar
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    getting there and getting back in one piece

  7. #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.

  8. #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.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    (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.

  10. #10
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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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!
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  11. #11
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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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.

  12. #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.

  13. #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.

  14. #14
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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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.

  15. #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.

  16. #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.

  17. #17
    Slogging along rubic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    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.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    Every ride is good. Better than the alternative.

  19. #19
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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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.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  20. #20
    Senior Member flan48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
    Every ride is good. Better than the alternative.
    A big +1 from me!
    Best regards
    Barry,68,New Jersey
    2012 Trek 7.4FX - Exercise for life

  21. #21
    Senior Member GeneO's Avatar
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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
    2012 Felt F55X

  22. #22
    Over forty victim of Fate Cougrrcj's Avatar
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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
    '75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 45k+ miles and still going!
    '84 Univega Viva Sport
    '90 Schwinn Woodlands
    Huffy MTB - for trips to corner store
    MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'

  23. #23
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Good day is helping a rider with a flat tire.

  24. #24
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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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.

  25. #25
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    A good day on the bike is better than a bad day fishing.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

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