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Old 07-03-05, 09:42 PM   #1
Eatadonut
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how do you guys handle riding with someone who is significantly less in shape than you? here's my situation:

My dad loves to ride. Has ever since he was a kid. Unfortunately, his work takes up all of his time, and he rarely gets to ride, and when he has the time he's always very tired. Luckily, today he had both the time and the motivation, and I had the pleasure of setting out with him (some details on my bike blog)on his beautiful blue allez comp (needs some adjusting, but that's not the point). Anyway, having ridden with him before, I knew I would unintentionally set a pace that would be too fast for him, so I let him lead. A few minutes in, I was casually drafting when I realized that I was actually making the ride even easier for myself, instead of leading and having him draft off me.

So here's the question: would you lead, concentrating on keeping the pace slow and letting them draft, or would you let your partner take the lead, and encourage them from behind?
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Old 07-03-05, 09:45 PM   #2
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Let him lead, that way he sets the pace. I have the same problem riding with the family, so I ride sweep.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:49 PM   #3
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You're not riding, you're spending time with your dad. I'm jealous since my dad is dead.

If it's too easy, put weights on your bike or ride really hard the day before.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:50 PM   #4
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I let them lead at the start so I get an idea of their comfortable cruising pace. Once you've got this figured out, it's usually safe to take the lead for a while, but don't push the pace too hard and look back often to check that they're still on your wheel.

Use the ride as an exercise in cadence - shift down and spin as smooth as you can!

Sounds like in your case, the opportunities to ride with your dad are quite infrequent. If this is the case, make the ride about him not you. If it's 'too easy' for you, who cares?
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Old 07-03-05, 09:58 PM   #5
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I remember when I was a kid in NY and my parents would ride a tandem and my brother would ride our kiddie roadies around town. I also know that I miss the heck out of those days. Those rides should be all about you and your dad. I lost my dad in 1985 and I would give all that I have to ride with him again.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:58 PM   #6
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Gee Whiz Eatadonut!! so your Dad's out o' shape and wants to ride with you! go fer the freakin' ride! I don't know how old you are or how old you Dad is but one day,
your Dad isn't going to be here to enjoy anything with you at all. and then all you'll
have are the memories.

I know my Dad died Christmas day 2000.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubacca
Use the ride as an exercise in cadence - shift down and spin as smooth as you can!

Sounds like in your case, the opportunities to ride with your dad are quite infrequent. If this is the case, make the ride about him not you. If it's 'too easy' for you, who cares?

i did do a bit of cadence work, i'm an opportunist. Also played with my posture a bit, I'm still leaning too hard on my hands.

and yeah, the ride was about him - the question was really whether I should be leading so that he could draft, it would have made it easier for him to ride the whole way. He kept telling me that i could go ahead and come back with the car, which I did eventually do, but only after he was convinced he would not be able to make it home. At that point I figured it was a good idea for him to stop riding - no need to hurt himself.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:59 PM   #8
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I remember when I was a kid in NY and my parents would ride a tandem and my brother would ride our kiddie roadies around town. I also know that I miss the heck out of those days. Those rides should be all about you and your dad. I lost my dad in 1985 and I would give all that I have to ride with him again. Besides, someday you may be the dad....how would you want your kid to ride with you?
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Old 07-03-05, 10:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eatadonut
i did do a bit of cadence work, i'm an opportunist. Also played with my posture a bit, I'm still leaning too hard on my hands.

and yeah, the ride was about him - the question was really whether I should be leading so that he could draft, it would have made it easier for him to ride the whole way. He kept telling me that i could go ahead and come back with the car, which I did eventually do, but only after he was convinced he would not be able to make it home. At that point I figured it was a good idea for him to stop riding - no need to hurt himself.
Like I said before, lead but lead carefully and attentively at a speed you know he can maintain. Is he a good enough rider to draft close enough for it to be beneficial? I'd ride beside him and chat as much as possible...
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Old 07-03-05, 10:05 PM   #10
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After reading your blog, I think your Dad played the day right. He realized that you wanted to get some speed under you so he sent you back to get the car. Then when you set off to get it, he made his way home at his own pace. You at the same time got to pick yours up a bit as well. I'd say good call on his part. When together, I would let him set the pace as well. Like it's said above, it's great that you have the oppurtunity to spend this time with Dad. That itself is a pace worth keeping up with.
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Old 07-03-05, 10:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubacca
Like I said before, lead but lead carefully and attentively at a speed you know he can maintain. Is he a good enough rider to draft close enough for it to be beneficial? I'd ride beside him and chat as much as possible...

I'm not sure, he probably could, he used to do club riding, and he was a big cyclist in college. So he's rusty, but he's got the skills in him.

I'd love to ride next to him, but 1) he's got a hearing problem that makes it difficult for him to understand anybody when there's a strong wind (or when riding), and 2) I'M not a good enough rider to ride beside him without worrying about running him off the road, and 3) the roads we have to ride around here are trafficked, and the shoulder is a necessity when it's there, and when it's not you need to crowd the edge.

I did get to get up next to him once or twice out in the country. It really is one of the best experiences a son could have - we never played baseball or any of that stuff when i was growing up, and this is something we both love.
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Old 07-04-05, 12:10 PM   #12
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cattle prods can work wonders
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Old 07-04-05, 12:45 PM   #13
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I ride with my sister all the time, she is 10 and she rides about 10 MPH... I just ride next to her and protect here from the "evil cars" (her words). Man she has the same competative spirit I have... always wanting to race... just need to let her win!
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Old 07-04-05, 07:42 PM   #14
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This made me think about my son. Seems like it was just yesterday that he could barely keep up on his solid rubber tired bike. But overnight he grew-up we have gone on two tours down the pacific coast. The last being last summer. My son and another father and son team. Rode from Canada to Calif. The sons could have gone alot further alot faster. But we all had the time of our lives. Now both our sons have moved away and I know we both miss them very much and and cherish that trip. Our sons kept us laughing all the way down the coast.

They both fixed up digital movie cameras onto their bikes. We have like 9 hours of video. Just last week the other dad called me and said he had just been watching the dvd my son had made of the trip and how glad he was that I had encouraged him to go. He struggled the first few days ok the first two weeks. Ok most of the trip. But it was an amazing exsperience.

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Old 07-04-05, 07:46 PM   #15
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Take turns. Nothing says you both can't get a little work in.

My dad still has his bike, but he has cancer and Parkinson's. I'd kill to get him on a bike.

Just use the time with him as a recovery day. Spin in low gears and use it to work on your spinning technique. There's no such thing as time wasted when you're on your bike.

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Old 07-04-05, 07:47 PM   #16
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P.S. Have you considered investing in a tandem bike?

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Old 07-04-05, 07:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eatadonut
how do you guys handle riding with someone who is significantly less in shape than you? here's my situation:

My dad loves to ride. Has ever since he was a kid. Unfortunately, his work takes up all of his time, and he rarely gets to ride, and when he has the time he's always very tired. Luckily, today he had both the time and the motivation, and I had the pleasure of setting out with him (some details on my bike blog)on his beautiful blue allez comp (needs some adjusting, but that's not the point). Anyway, having ridden with him before, I knew I would unintentionally set a pace that would be too fast for him, so I let him lead. A few minutes in, I was casually drafting when I realized that I was actually making the ride even easier for myself, instead of leading and having him draft off me.

So here's the question: would you lead, concentrating on keeping the pace slow and letting them draft, or would you let your partner take the lead, and encourage them from behind?
I have two strategies when I ride with my fiance. 1) I ride with her after I complete my ride so I am not wasting important training time and 2) I let her lead. I have tried and tried to pace her, but she always falls off my wheel even though I am going painfully slow. Now I just let her set the pace and ride to her rear, or alongside of her when the road allows that.
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Old 07-04-05, 08:44 PM   #18
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I really doubt if drafting at those slow speeds makes any difference whatsoever. Wind resistance is very much related to the speed of the ride.

It's easier to talk if you ride abreast, then you, the more agile rider, can temporarily take the lead if you need to let a third person pass.
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Old 07-05-05, 09:10 AM   #19
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Yep, dads are pretty smart.

I ride with my 9-year-old twins, and I spend most of my time watching them and herding them.
Like herding cats. Cats with ADHD.
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Old 07-05-05, 09:53 AM   #20
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Keep making fun of him, say it's motivation for him.
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Old 07-05-05, 10:25 AM   #21
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Want I do with my friends is get my trailer out load it to 100 pds and then ride with them. It works most of the time, except when they ride about 10 mph, then I have to get a slower bike out.

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Old 07-05-05, 11:29 AM   #22
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Rubber band your brake lever to your bars. That will take care of the unintentional pace-pushing.
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Old 07-05-05, 01:20 PM   #23
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Ride a MTB with two inch tires and let the air down to about 30 psi. That will slow you down and give you a work out. And only use in high gear. 5 mph will seem real fast.

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Old 07-05-05, 03:10 PM   #24
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Being a slow out of shape rider myself heres my take:

I dont wany anyone behind me pushing me, I am already pushing myself to the max and thats as fast as im going...any faster and im going to have a heart attack or pass out.

Go ahead at your own pace and wait every so often or double back around every so often so you can keep moving, but dont get behind me saying "lets go, you can do it"etc...all thats going to make me do is turn around and go back down the hill and go home and never ride with you again!

My girlfreind who is faster then me on the climbs knows better then to hang behind and "root" me on. We start out together and about a mile in she is gone and i dont see her until we are back at the car an hour or so later...totally fine by me.

When I ride with my buds they are gone from the beginning but wait at the top for me so we can bang bars the whole way down. yeah they wait for 10 minutes or so at the top but they like the rest...

On a better note I actually passed somebody on my climb yesterday on the uphill and made it stick...I have never passed anyone on the uphill and usually get passed by bikers, hikers, joggers, walkers, snakes, turtles etc...so i was stoked, but I still couldnt catch my girlfriend.
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Old 07-05-05, 10:29 PM   #25
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I second the MTB and trailer strategies. When I go riding with my wife, I'll pull the twins in the chariot with my Super P.O.S. GT mountain bike. I'm spinning like mad and my wife is just gliding along. She gets a mellow ride around the park, I get a workout, and the twins get reinforcement that, like it or not, they've been born into an active, outdoorsy family.
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