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  1. #1
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    How to motivate a friend

    Hi,

    I have recently started cycling again after many years out of it so I am now overweight and unfit.

    I go cycling with a friend who is approx the same fitness and he is also overweight but much more powerful than me, but I am having problems trying to motivate him to try harder.
    We get to a hill and I do my best to ride it in as high a gear as I can to maintain a cadence of approx 80 where I know I am working, where as he will just keep dropping gears until he is in lowest gear and so I get to the top and have to wait for him every time which is becoming annoying as its killing my average speed.
    The problem is he is lazy and as soon as he feels even the slightest amount of work he will use a lower gear until he has none left.

    Now I have come up with a few ways to motivate him, see which you think is the best.

    1. I strap a doughnut to the back of my saddle and he has to catch it.
    2. I just tell him straight he is a lazy ass and needs to put some effort in.
    3. I try to get a lady cyclist to join us and lead the way, I know he WILL really work hard to keep close to her rear

    To be fair I am not asking the world here as my average speed is generally only around 12mph so its not like I am asking him to keep up with someone fast.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Support your friend or find someone else to ride with. He's getting to the top of the hill and you're not in his body experiencing what he is experiencing; are you sure he's not working hard? He may be powerful, but lacking cardio which is really going to compromise his ability to climb.
    Rick T
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  3. #3
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    Yes I am sure he isn't working hard as he keeps telling me he is in no way pushing himself, and I can assure you he isn't putting on a brave face, breathing heavy or anything else associated with physical work. He stopped wearing his heart monitor so I couldn't read it and see how little effort he was putting in.
    When we ride with road bikes he has no choice to go into such low gears as the bike doesn't have them, and in that case he kicks the crap out of me on hills where i don't have the legs to drive the lowest gear on the road bike.

  4. #4
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    Just ride with him. You can't force this. If you want to go faster ride solo or with faster riders.
    If he is like your typical male eventually his ego will take care of it for you.
    Ride, have fun, repeat.

  5. #5
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    It is good that he is currently riding with you and you still have a friend. If this routine becomes a chore, what do you think will happen? Don't try to voluntarily "teach" him how to ride a bike nor how to train. He'll ask for tips and tricks if he wants them from you. Just ride and as DataJunkie stated, have fun and repeat.
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  6. #6
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I do realize these are tongue in cheek and an expression of frustration, but I want to answer them anyway.

    1. I strap a doughnut to the back of my saddle and he has to catch it.
    Insulting and actually demotivating

    2. I just tell him straight he is a lazy ass and needs to put some effort in.
    I've given some thought to why we berate people we are trying to motivate and I realize when I have done it, I am wanting them to get angry enough to stand up and prove to me that it isn't so. But when I am on the receiving end of the beratement, I end up feeling "I'm already a loser, so why should I even bother?" Perhaps we have some psychology majors on the forum who can explain this better than I can.

    3. I try to get a lady cyclist to join us and lead the way, I know he WILL really work hard to keep close to her rear

    Following fit women in spandex shorts always motivates me. There's also some macho pride at work. You don't want to be seen giving up when the women can do it. That's what got me through spin classes last winter.


    Actually, you just need to be patient. Some of us enjoy hammering more than others do. My own enjoyment of hammering gets greater as my fitness and ability improve. A year ago, I never would have thought I would enjoy beating myself up on a steep hill. 12mph is very fast for some people. My own average centers around 13 mph, with cruising speeds of 14-16. Some other BF members are of the opinion that is REALLY slow. For others like my wife (who can manage to cruise at 7-8) it is an impossibly fast average.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  7. #7
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    it is my opinion that "motivation" is personal.
    not the same for everyone.
    you can't give it to anyone.
    it comes from within your own life.
    sometimes you can't find it for yourself.
    I had it for a long time. my trainer said one time, "wow you are incredeby motivated". yes I was but I thought to myself wow, I guess am. it just happened, I got it and kept it for a long time. I lost it due to a life changing event and I'm struggling with getting it back.
    there's no way anyone is gonna give it back to me.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  8. #8
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    /\ this

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Support your friend or find someone else to ride with. He's getting to the top of the hill and you're not in his body experiencing what he is experiencing; are you sure he's not working hard? He may be powerful, but lacking cardio which is really going to compromise his ability to climb.
    +1

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Support your friend or find someone else to ride with. He's getting to the top of the hill and you're not in his body experiencing what he is experiencing; are you sure he's not working hard? He may be powerful, but lacking cardio which is really going to compromise his ability to climb.
    /endthread
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyarceye View Post
    ... so I get to the top and have to wait for him every time which is becoming annoying as its killing my average speed.
    Don't worry about him. Just HTFU and repeat the hills instead of waiting at the top.

  12. #12
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    I feel I have to answer here again as reading back it looks like I am trying to run the guy down which isn't the case I have watched this guys back for the last 20 years. This is a guy who is a "that's good enough" type of person in everything he does, he wants to improve but can't find the motivation. I hoped that him losing 13 Lbs in weight over the last 3 weeks (fantastic job) would have helped motivate him but he has discovered the weight loss means he now has to do less work for the same achievement.
    The hanging the doughnut from my saddle was of course me messing around, however with the sense of humor we have between us it would work for a short while.
    I am just getting frustrated with him only wanting be just enough and never wanting to improve on his previous achievements when he is capable of so much more, and I know he can do so much more as I have my ass handed to me every time we are on road bikes due to me not being able to handle the hills in the higher gearing (lowest road bike gear 39 26 is to much for me on most hills) where he can power up them.

    Yo Spiff

    I agree with everything you said there with the exception that hanging the doughnut would not in any way insult or demotivate him, he would see the joke and it would work for a short while
    Last edited by andyarceye; 10-01-12 at 02:16 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Seriously, get to the top as quick as possible. Then, ride down to where he is and ride up the rest of the way with him.

  14. #14
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    So I guess I will just give up and wait for him to motivate himself, I still think the lady cyclist would work best though

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Seriously, get to the top as quick as possible. Then, ride down to where he is and ride up the rest of the way with him.
    I would love to do that but i know doing it would make him feel humiliated to the point he would take the wheels off his bike a call a taxi. During playing video games I have chosen a slower car deliberately so I have to work harder to win, which I rarely every do with the slower car ( to challenge myself ) at which point he will quit insisting I am trying to humiliate him.

  16. #16
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyarceye View Post
    . . . and so I get to the top and have to wait for him every time which is becoming annoying as its killing my average speed.
    Quote Originally Posted by andyarceye View Post
    . . . and I know he can do so much more as I have my ass handed to me every time we are on road bikes due to me not being able to handle the hills in the higher gearing (lowest road bike gear 39 26 is to much for me on most hills) where he can power up them.
    You've lost me with this inconsistency. First you're waiting for him every time, now he's handing your ass to you on the hills?

  17. #17
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    You need to find a new riding partner.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  18. #18
    Senior Member BR46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post

    1. I strap a doughnut to the back of my saddle and he has to catch it.
    Insulting and actually demotivating

    2. I just tell him straight he is a lazy ass and needs to put some effort in.
    I've given some thought to why we berate people we are trying to motivate and I realize when I have done it, I am wanting them to get angry enough to stand up and prove to me that it isn't so. But when I am on the receiving end of the beratement, I end up feeling "I'm already a loser, so why should I even bother?" Perhaps we have some psychology majors on the forum who can explain this better than I can.

    3. I try to get a lady cyclist to join us and lead the way, I know he WILL really work hard to keep close to her rear

    Following fit women in spandex shorts always motivates me. There's also some macho pride at work. You don't want to be seen giving up when the women can do it. That's what got me through spin classes last winter.
    I would try step 1 & 3
    strap a doughnut to the back of a lady cyclist

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