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Thread: slowing down

  1. #1
    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
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    slowing down

    I've been car free for about a year, utility cycling/car lite for a couple years before that. Generally I've always used any time on the bike as exercise as well and pushed myself pretty hard - riding just under what I would do if I were riding just for exercise sake.

    Anyways, a couple weeks ago it's like something clicked in me and I've been riding much more calmly everywhere. Riding time really hasn't gone up all that much, and I'm not so damn sweaty everywhere I go. But on the down side, it makes me feel like I'm an old man or something now. I'm only 22 damnit!! I've even actually thought some about giving up my eggbeaters for platforms

    Anyone else had this happen?

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    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    Nope. I can't break the habit of chasing cars. Woof! Woof!

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    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    No, hasn't happened for me yet, which is odd, since I'm 45. I don't know why, but more often than not, when I get on the bike, I feel an uncontrollable urge to ride the hell out of it, and arrive at most destinations hot and sweaty.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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    Conservative Hippie
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    Sounds like a normal progression in cycling to me. I did it, too. You've reached a point where you're more interested in riding for the sake of riding, and lost interest in riding to see how fast you can go.

    Although, lately I've become more interested in training for speed again. Want to see my average speed go up particularly on my work commute, since it's the same one of two routes, twice a day. I also want to try to figure out why I'm faster in the afternoons, on the way home, than in the early morning darkness, for what seems like about the same amount of effort.

    Come to think of it, the trigger for my renewed interest in training for speed may have come from a motorist in a biiig, lifted, 4x4, SUV with over sized Monster Mudders.
    I've seen you before. You're pretty fast on that bike.
    I wasn't on my road bike, nor even my hybrid. I was on my Townie3.
    Last edited by CommuterRun; 03-24-07 at 03:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    One of the most enjoyable aspects of biking is being able to travel at a pace that allows me to take in the scenery. I always see the coolest stuff when I'm out and about! Yeah, sometimes I like going fast but that's generally only during some of my bike club rides when I am fully outfitted in my "kit". 'Course I don't don any spandex to ride my Breezer

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I got fast out of my system years ago when I was racing, I spent untold $1000's of dollars trying to get that extra second or even half second on a time trial Then somewhere along the way I realized that it was futile for me, I was never going to win any major races, I was barely competitive in my age group, I had more money tied up in cycling equipment than most of my friends had in their hot cars of the day (not necessarily a bad thing ) and started riding for the enjoyment...still do. I suspect $3000 would cover the cost of my entire cycle collection at this time, I think I still have a pair of wool chamois shorts....somewhere

    Aaron
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  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I always tried to go faster. My commute home at Midnight was always a Time Trial, or really more of a four-mile sprint. (The best time to ride fast in the city is late at night when the red lights are on blinking mode.) I especially loved dropping road riders, 25 years younger than me, while I was riding a mountain bike. I don't think I went out of my big chain ring for about two years--even on most hills.

    I'm slowing down now only because I have to. The arthritis in my knees seems to flare up when I overdo it. But after walking everywhere for two months, even 12 mph on my bike feels like flying!!!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  8. #8
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I came out for exercise, gentle exercise, and to notice the scenery and to botanise. And no sooner do I get on that accursed machine than off I go hammer and tongs; I never look to right or left, never notice a flower, never see a view - get hot, juicy, red - like a grilled chop. Get me on that machine and I have to go. I go scorching along the road, and cursing aloud at myself for doing it. ~H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    The more I ride, the less my desire to obtain a higher average speed, etc. I ride for fun and for transportation, and I can still handily keep up with most people I see on high-tech wonder bikes. It's fun when they look back and see you right behind them, riding with no hands and enjoying the scenery.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamplight
    The more I ride, the less my desire to obtain a higher average speed, etc. I ride for fun and for transportation, and I can still handily keep up with most people I see on high-tech wonder bikes. It's fun when they look back and see you right behind them, riding with no hands and enjoying the scenery.
    Well, the bikes in your sig links might not be "high-tech wonder bikes," but they sure are sweet looking vehicles. Especially the silver nishiki with chrome fenders!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
    Live Deliberately. davidmcowan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamplight
    The more I ride, the less my desire to obtain a higher average speed, etc. I ride for fun and for transportation, and I can still handily keep up with most people I see on high-tech wonder bikes. It's fun when they look back and see you right behind them, riding with no hands and enjoying the scenery.
    All those bikes and not a single fixed gear? One of the best ways to ride for fun and transportation!

  12. #12
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    No, hasn't happened for me yet, which is odd, since I'm 45. I don't know why, but more often than not, when I get on the bike, I feel an uncontrollable urge to ride the hell out of it, and arrive at most destinations hot and sweaty.
    I mean well , I really do, I start out nice and slow for a few blocks, but before I know it, I'm in top gear and my commute to work/home is over way to soon. Good thing the wife and I are now able to take evening rides, she's able to keep my wanton bursts of speed in check.

  13. #13
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    I agree with most of the respondents who are not as concerned with speed as they once might have been. When I was younger, I rode heavy beater bikes and I rode them as fast as I could. Now, I ride for comfort and to enjoy the journey, whether that's the grocery store, the pub or down to the arena to catch a hockey game or the stadium to watch baseball. Because I'm not in 'hurry' mode, I find I have less stress and I am in a better mood throughout my trip and when I reach my destination. I also observe alot more. One of the things I've observed is the cyclists who fly past me (I'd never have a shot of catching them anyway on my heavy BikeE semi-recumbent) are the ones who wipe out or go flying over the hood of a car or wind up in the side of a panel truck. I'm not saying they were the cause of the accident, but their speed sure made it impossible for them to stop or maneuver safely or effectively. Of course, I ride in downtown traffic and not out in the burbs or rural areas so it is wiser to go slower simply due to the number of hazards. Fortunately, slow is all I can go.
    The slow down is accelerating

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    I started commuting 15 km each weekday about six months ago, and I've noticed that I have slowed down. I think it's for several reasons: more than before I don't like breathing in auto exhaust, and thus seek to avoid breathing as heavily, riding fast causes a bit more mental stress, I don't want to hit the bumps as hard, I'm a bit less wreckless riding in traffic, and during winter I don't want to go as fast in order to reduce wind chill.

    I say as long as you're satisfied with your health, don't worry about your speed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philatio
    I've been car free for about a year, utility cycling/car lite for a couple years before that. Generally I've always used any time on the bike as exercise as well and pushed myself pretty hard - riding just under what I would do if I were riding just for exercise sake.

    Anyways, a couple weeks ago it's like something clicked in me and I've been riding much more calmly everywhere. Riding time really hasn't gone up all that much, and I'm not so damn sweaty everywhere I go. But on the down side, it makes me feel like I'm an old man or something now. I'm only 22 damnit!! I've even actually thought some about giving up my eggbeaters for platforms

    Anyone else had this happen?
    I don't ride fast either, I think the realisation is that you don't really have to prove anything to anyone, other then yourself, and if your happy the way you are, then, you got most cagers beat . Especially the guys your age in those Japanese cars with the big tailpipes driving reckless, because they are compensating for a lack somewhere else

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Well, the bikes in your sig links might not be "high-tech wonder bikes," but they sure are sweet looking vehicles. Especially the silver nishiki with chrome fenders!
    Why thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcowan
    All those bikes and not a single fixed gear? One of the best ways to ride for fun and transportation!
    I have a frame in my closet that will become a fixed/single speed bike fairly soon.

  17. #17
    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herman47
    . . . more than before I don't like breathing in auto exhaust, and thus seek to avoid breathing as heavily. . .

    I wrestle with this dilemma myself. My father is a physician, and he warns me constantly about breathing in the polution. I've read the studies that suggest that polution within a motor car is 4X higher than outdoors, but that doesn't jive with my own senses. I smell ICE fumes much more on the bike than riding in an auto, and I seem to get a steady diet of diesel fumes from the adolescent drivers who have to *** the engine in my face by accelerating to 55mph in a 30mph zone just to pass me.

    Basically, I have no doubts that I'm getting more toxins and more exercise on the bike, but I hope that in the end it's a wash when it comes to my health. This is actually one of the reasons that I built and ride my electric bike around town for commutes and errands; I can ride the ebike at a level of speed comparible to my recumbent, yet never get my heartrate above 120bpm.

  18. #18
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandLuger
    I wrestle with this dilemma myself. My father is a physician, and he warns me constantly about breathing in the polution. I've read the studies that suggest that polution within a motor car is 4X higher than outdoors, but that doesn't jive with my own senses. I smell ICE fumes much more on the bike than riding in an auto, and I seem to get a steady diet of diesel fumes from the adolescent drivers who have to *** the engine in my face by accelerating to 55mph in a 30mph zone just to pass me.

    Basically, I have no doubts that I'm getting more toxins and more exercise on the bike, but I hope that in the end it's a wash when it comes to my health. This is actually one of the reasons that I built and ride my electric bike around town for commutes and errands; I can ride the ebike at a level of speed comparible to my recumbent, yet never get my heartrate above 120bpm
    .
    It's gonna be hard to avoid fumes no matter how you travel. Sometimes you're stuck right behind a tailpipe in a line at a stop light, and you do breathe in some bad stuff. But I don't think that cars don't have any magic filters that detox the air, and cagers and their passengers are probably huffing at least as much gas as we are--probably more if you factor in the fumes from their own car. Of course cars emit MUCH fewer fumes than they used to. This is one area where strict pollution regulations have worked pretty well.

    I would try to find routes that are less busy. Don't get right behind the tailpipes, and allow at least 2 bike lengths space when you queue up at an intersection.

    If it really worries you


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandLuger
    .... and I seem to get a steady diet of diesel fumes from the adolescent drivers who have to *** the engine in my face by accelerating to 55mph in a 30mph zone just to pass me.
    The exhaust fumes that I really do not want to breath in are the ones from motorists running biodiesel or recycled cooking oil, makes my hunger factor increase by ten

  20. #20
    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn
    The exhaust fumes that I really do not want to breath in are the ones from motorists running biodiesel or recycled cooking oil, makes my hunger factor increase by ten
    That would be a welcome change; perhaps the best argument for a cooking oil conversion

  21. #21
    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    It's gonna be hard to avoid fumes no matter how you travel. Sometimes you're stuck right behind a tailpipe in a line at a stop light, and you do breathe in some bad stuff. But I don't think that cars don't have any magic filters that detox the air, and cagers and their passengers are probably huffing at least as much gas as we are--probably more if you factor in the fumes from their own car. Of course cars emit MUCH fewer fumes than they used to. This is one area where strict pollution regulations have worked pretty well.

    I would try to find routes that are less busy. Don't get right behind the tailpipes, and allow at least 2 bike lengths space when you queue up at an intersection.

    If it really worries you

    Roody,

    I don't know. . .Seems like a bicyclist is spending more time on the roads from A to B and breathing harder than they would sitting on their fat @ss in an auto--all road ragers exempted

  22. #22
    Senior Member swwhite's Avatar
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    I'm not car-free; I just commute to work when I can, around three days a week on average unless something comes up (kid schedules, sore knee, etc.) After a couple years of that I noticed a slight psychological change. I sort of felt like I was living at a slower pace. That was true only while commuting, since home life has gotten worse, but it was a noticeable shift in attitude, or someting.

    My personal theory is that the transportation mode changes us. In a car, we go fast because we can, and then we expect to be able to all the time, and get frustrated when we can't (traffic, bad roads, etc.) On a bike, at some point we realize that we are not going "fast" (compared to cars), and we never will go fast, and somewhere around there we embrace the slowness and make a psychological adjustment to a slower lifestyle (during the commuting time). But I can't prove that.
    Riding in search of the simple life.

  23. #23
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    There have been some studies that seem to indicate that a cyclist is actually better off than the slob sitting in the car when it comes to the amount of pollution being breathed in and the disposition of it. Apparently the cyclist comes out ahead, because he is active and the body is shedding itself of the stuff quicker. I will have to see if I can find the link. The study was either done by Duke or UNC and fairly recently.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    _krazygluon

  24. #24
    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    I remember seeing that study posted last year on BF or somewhere. I'm hedging my bets by taking a variety of anti-oxidants as well as eating better than in the past. I'm not going to stop riding nor would I hope anyone would be disenfranchised from cycling by concern over breathing polution. But wouldn't it be wonderful if cyclists didn't have to be concerned at all.

  25. #25
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Ah yes, you have learned to enjoy the ride. That's one thing I like the most about pedaling. I can go fast or slow, I don't have to keep up with traffic. Sometimes its fun to sprint. One time I managed to take two hours to go 9 miles home from work and I didn't have any problem. I was just riding real slow enjoying the sunset.

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