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Old 09-12-08, 11:34 PM   #1
tdister
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Outgrown my riding partner

What do you do when you've outgrown a riding partner who is also a friend?

This person got me back into riding, is seemingly in pretty good shape (I think most people would guess she would leave me in the dust going by looks) and has a true road bike (80's Panasonic with 105) vs my Hybrids/touring with racks and usually a pannier. We were great together at first, but I have been a level above her for a while and the spread is only getting bigger. This goes double on the hills.

She even cross trains with running a little (which could be hindering her cycling advancement...?)

I am usually fine with keeping it back a notch or 2, sometimes it's just fine, but often I just want to hammer and I feel she is keeping me from advancing. I have been short of time to train lately and I feel like I am wasting it when we go out. Maybe "wasting" is a bit harsh...

She loves to ride but won't go alone on the road and has no other cyclists at her level around. I feel obligated to keep going with her.

If this sounds like I am bragging at my super human abilities, I assure you I'm not. I still feel relatively slow and that there is much room for improvement.
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Old 09-12-08, 11:42 PM   #2
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I know the feeling... I have a friend who wants to get back into running and wants to train with me. Problem is when I run, I run 7 miles (+ or - 2), and when I ride its usually around 25-30 miles. She can handle like 2 miles running, and Bike maybe 10, and obviously not at my pace. I am trying to put her into my "off days" because I really need to get those kinds of workouts in, but I want to help her too.... UGH
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Old 09-13-08, 01:08 AM   #3
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A couple of ideas...Find the flattest route you can locally, ride with her on it, go hit the hills on your own at other times. Or ride a 20 mile loop with her and then do another 20 by yourself. Or go find one of these non-drop group rides, both go to it, get her started there, and see if that'll work for her riding. Maybe get a tandem?
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Old 09-13-08, 01:18 AM   #4
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If you Really feel obligated then be happy with it.

But since you're worrying about it, obviously you don't really feel like its a worthwhile obligation?
In which case, let it go and be happy doing your own pace.

Key point to being happy is really knowing what you want and sticking to it...



And if you're worried about how to break it to her, well, how about gradually increase your pace till she gets the hint and breaks it off herself? So its not your fault for being too fast, now its her fault for being too slow?
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Old 09-13-08, 02:38 AM   #5
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Have you actually discussed your issues with her? In the terms you choose here?
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Old 09-13-08, 05:06 AM   #6
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Tandem? My wife and I used to ride our own road bikes. She kept up *pretty well* on the flats, but not at all on the hills. I bought us a tandem ~2 years ago and I really enjoy cycling with her. I know they can be pricey, but keep your eyes out for something used.
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Old 09-13-08, 05:27 AM   #7
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When you are old and gray, and want to sit around and talk about hammering up a hill, I suspect you will want a friend to talk with...

Figure out a way to do both. Ride with your friend, and then go out for some fast rides on your own. I am sure that rearranging something else in your life is more reasonable than trying to wedge your friend out because you want to ride harder.

Besides, in the scope of life, you aren't going to be sitting around when you are old talking about how fast you rode anyway, I just used that as an example.
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Old 09-13-08, 06:17 AM   #8
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Ride hard by yourself. The next day ride with your friend, making it a recovery ride.

Why wouldn't she go on the road alone? What is her concern?
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Old 09-13-08, 07:10 AM   #9
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Keep riding with your friend, and remember what is really fun.

Train hard on your own.
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Old 09-13-08, 08:19 AM   #10
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WTF are you 'training' for that you can't take some easy rides with a friend? With your attitude most of us would never ride with our wives/SOs. Like banerjek said, remember what is fun...and what riding a bike is really all about.
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Old 09-13-08, 08:27 AM   #11
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I think I would sit down and have an honest talk with her. Tell her that while you appreciate the fact that she helped you and inspired you to get back into cycling...and while you enjoyed her company...at this point you really have no use for her because she is slowing you down.

Give her an ultimatum. Either you pick up the speed and get stronger on the hills...or you're history.
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Old 09-13-08, 08:39 AM   #12
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There are 7 days a week to ride. Train on some, enjoy a slower ride with a friend on others. Good friends are not easy to come by. You run the possibility of ruining that friendship if you handle this wrong. Maybe your one of the lucky ones with an over abundance of friends and losing one won't matter. For me friends and family are the most important thing.
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Old 09-13-08, 08:50 AM   #13
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Sounds like you have some specific goals in mind for riding and they're not the same as your friend's. Do you know what her goals are? Maybe she wants to get better at climbing but is in too much of a rut from your regular rides to focus on that aspect of riding. Do you think she can sense that she's holding you back?

You noted limited time for training. Don't let the rides get to the point where you're resentful about them! You'll have a crummy time and end up really losing a friend, not just a riding partner.
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Old 09-13-08, 09:18 AM   #14
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I see this "type" of question come up a lot here on BF. My only thought goes something like:

WHY it is ALL about YOU and ONLY YOU???

Your friend likes/wants to ride with you (obviously) yet you dis her because YOU want to do something else. And it's not even because that something else is more interesting. Au contrare, you want to do the same thing that you do with your friend but because your friend is less "capable" or "competent" than you are at bicycling you don't want to play.

Time to grow up. Either ride with your friend or don't but stop making her the reason that you have a problem.
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Old 09-13-08, 09:35 AM   #15
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don't ditch her, but make sure you can get a few rides a week in where you can hammer all you want. sometimes you just gotta hammer, and if you can't get it outta your system then you'll just resent these slow rides.
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Old 09-13-08, 09:55 AM   #16
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What most of them said.

There's no earthly reason why you can't enjoy rides with her, but tell her that you're going to ride alone a once or twice a week because you just want to se how fast you can go. Personally I have no problem about riding alone, but it's much more fun to have someone to ride with, and I'll match my speed to them. No big deal.
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Old 09-13-08, 09:58 AM   #17
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Get a cheap mountain bike off craigslist. Let some air out. Stuff your panniers with weights.
There...you'll get a workout and she'll keep up with you.

I try to avoid biking with some casual acquaintances for the same reason you have. But if I had something with a good friend, I wouldn't complain. I'm very picky about who I'm "friends" with, and they're more important than biking.
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Old 09-13-08, 11:20 AM   #18
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Get a cheap mountain bike off craigslist. Let some air out. Stuff your panniers with weights.
There...you'll get a workout and she'll keep up with you.
This can be demoralizing for her since it makes her look weak.

A better way to go is to completely burn your legs up on a brutal interval set before going out with her. Then the ride with your friend will be a welcome recovery ride and you both will appreciate not having to hammer.
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Old 09-13-08, 11:47 AM   #19
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This can be demoralizing for her since it makes her look weak.
But since the OP said he has little time to ride, I assume burning his legs up before riding with her is not an option.

Just say you like the way the mountain bike rides. I love MTB's. They're crazy fun, versatile, comfortable, and if they weren't so much slower, I'd ride them everywhere.

Make it sound like a positive for your enjoyment...Don't let it sound like a "handicap." She'll be fine unless she's super sensitive and competitive.

And low air isn't all that noticeable. I was kinda kidding about the weights in the panniers, but she wouldn't know about that either if you did that.

Last edited by Big M; 09-13-08 at 11:58 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 09-13-08, 12:53 PM   #20
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Sometimes you just have to ride for the enjoyment of friends company. Every ride doesn't need to have goals of distance/time/HR ect...

Ride on your own or with others of equal interest/goals, but don't abandon friends. There's time for both, life is short.
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Old 09-13-08, 01:13 PM   #21
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I do enjoy riding with her, and I'm not trying too "dis" her, it's just the simple truth. I'm training so that I will be more capable and enjoy a tour that I have planned. I also like to see the improvements coming from being a slothful cigarette smoker a bit over a year ago.

Time is an issue. We usually go out not long after work and I need the time after our rides to calm my body or I won't get to sleep. My job involves me needing to be on call and often need to get across town quickly, being an hour from my house on a bike is a luxury I have a fairly narrow window of time to enjoy.

It's not all about me, but I certainly have to look out for my interests. As someone said, I want to keep from being resentful on slower rides. i want to keep enjoying our rides, not have negatives associated with them.

Thanks to those with positive ideas. Some really good ones. I think I may focus more on strength training for a while and use our rides just to keep my legs spinning. Maybe i need to study cycling training theory a bit to help me work something out. I'm also hoping the weather cooling off will help her. She often gets too hot before tired.
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Old 09-13-08, 01:32 PM   #22
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I have just one question here. Is your friend a friend or just a riding partner? Sometimes the words are misused here. Do you like to socialize with this person with noncycling activities? Or do you just meet for something....something bikes. Before you drop this person forever, see if you can meet for something other than bike-related.

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I do enjoy riding with her....I also like to see the improvements coming from being a slothful cigarette smoker a bit over a year ago... Time is an issue. We usually go out not long after work and I need the time after our rides to calm my body or I won't get to sleep. My job involves me needing to be on call and often need to get across town quickly, being an hour from my house on a bike is a luxury I have a fairly narrow window of time to enjoy..... It's not all about me, but I certainly have to look out for my interests. As someone said, I want to keep from being resentful on slower rides. i want to keep enjoying our rides, not have negatives associated with them.....I'm also hoping the weather cooling off will help her. She often gets too hot before tired.
I don't make friends solely based on hobbies, work, or activities. Those things are simply things I do and come into contact with others. I based my friendships on other things. I don't see "friends" here. I see no future here. Just another example of "stepping stone or "another rung on the latter going up." Besides why would anyone need someone else along while riding. I am perfectly fine alone and keep my thoughts and opinions to myself. I am very comfortable in my own skin. I ride the bikes I like-folding ones. I pace and go where ever it suits me. I commute if I training for more time on the bike. I simply had no need for a riding partner since I left my teens. Try it sometimes.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 09-13-08 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 09-13-08, 02:11 PM   #23
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Friend, in this case: One of my childhood friend's (non cyclist) girlfriend for a couple years.

She doesn't like to ride by herself. She is attractive enough that just walking in normal clothes can cause draw too much unwanted attention...being on a bike in a skimpy outfit doesn't help one bit. Having guy with her does help somewhat. The general safety in numbers feeling is a large part of it too, I'm sure.
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Old 09-13-08, 02:31 PM   #24
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If we ever get too busy for friends we are too busy. Not having much time to ride is relative. It is a lot more practical to find a club or group that rides once or twice a week and join them than it is give up riding with a friend. It can be real hard to find a new riding partner if you are only looking for one that is at your level. In most cases people will be stronger or weaker than you are and a stronger rider will have to hold back for you. Like it has been said, sometimes we have to sacrifice some of ourselves for the sake of others, like your friend did for you.
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Old 09-13-08, 03:31 PM   #25
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I'm training so that I will be more capable and enjoy a tour that I have planned.
If you are training for a tour, I don't see what the problem is. Touring isn't about speed, or hammering, or riding to keep your HR at some set point. Touring is about getting from point A to point B...daily - hopefully enjoying the ride and the places you are riding through.

If you are truly training for a tour, load up your bike with a touring load when riding with your friend...which will get you some realistic training at your friend's pace...effectively killing two birds with one stone.
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