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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 02-19-10, 09:18 PM   #1
CbadRider
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Bailing out of a long distance ride

I bailed out of a double century I was registered to do tomorrow. Rain is predicted for the first few hours of the ride and I'm not that comfortable going down slippery hills, but that's not the primary reason I bailed.

I'm on a big project at work and I have to fly to the east coast for a business trip on Monday. The VP who picked me to go on the trip would not be thrilled that I was planning on riding 200 miles in the rain on Saturday with the possibility of crashing and not being able to make my flight on Monday. So I decided not to go.

Now I feel bad. It's not the loss of entry fee, but the fact that I trained for this and planned and now I'm not going to do it. I'm almost thinking I should have started and just DNF'd if the weather was too bad.

Have you ever had to quit a long ride before you started?
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Old 02-19-10, 09:22 PM   #2
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You did the right thing even though you will wonder what the ride was like.

I sagged some on the 42 ride last summer.
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Old 02-19-10, 09:36 PM   #3
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Was this your first double century?
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Old 02-19-10, 09:39 PM   #4
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Was this your first double century?
No. I did the LA Wheelmen Highland double last year, and I did fine. I wasn't worried about the miles or the climbing, it was the wet weather that had me concerned.
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Old 02-19-10, 10:04 PM   #5
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A couple years ago I missed out on a 300k because of another commitment. A couple weeks later, in nice weather even, I soloed it. It was really fun.
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Old 02-19-10, 11:45 PM   #6
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I bailed on a double a few years ago because I wasn't trained right. Took like 3 plus hours to get back to the start. Luckily the person driving me around was a really nice guy. I had every intention of finishing the ride but it just didn't happen.

I think it's a bit rude to plan on using SAG support. So if you planned on bailing by using SAG support then you did the right thing. If you were going to bail and get yourself out then no big deal; just make sure you let the organizer know you bailed. Bailing without checking will cause a lot of unnecessary heartache for the organizers.
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Old 02-20-10, 12:29 AM   #7
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No. I did the LA Wheelmen Highland double last year, and I did fine. I wasn't worried about the miles or the climbing, it was the wet weather that had me concerned.
Well see, I didn't say what I thought you might think that I thought you might think what I was thinking without thinking and having the facts. My theory down the tubes! So I won't say a thing!
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Old 02-20-10, 12:58 AM   #8
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I had to ditch the Bellingham 300k last summer because my car broke down on the drive to the start.
Spent the day sitting in a radiator repair joint, wearing my bike clothes.

As for the boss' worry about crashing on the ride and not making your flight: You could slip and fall in the shower, get hit by someone running a red light while driving to the airport, or any of a million "what if's" out there in the big scary world. Don't let the boss' fear be the driving factor in not starting.
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Old 02-20-10, 01:44 AM   #9
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I had to ditch the Bellingham 300k last summer because my car broke down on the drive to the start.
Spent the day sitting in a radiator repair joint, wearing my bike clothes.

As for the boss' worry about crashing on the ride and not making your flight: You could slip and fall in the shower, get hit by someone running a red light while driving to the airport, or any of a million "what if's" out there in the big scary world. Don't let the boss' fear be the driving factor in not starting.
There is a big difference between getting hurt during everyday living and getting hurt doing a risky recreational activity. for better or worse, a lot of bosses will get a little bent out of shape putting your personal life before your professional life, and truth be told, they are the ones giving you money to survive.
In my opinion, you made the right choice. It likely would not have gone over well if you were hurt and could not go work on that project. Honestly, I am a supervisor, and a cyclist, and a road racer, but if one of my people hurt themselves too bad to do something important....I work for a public company, money is the only thing that matters, I would be legally bound to let that person go or do some sort of disciplinary action if they jeapordized company profits, even if it was on personal time. If you work for a public company, money is all that matters. Hence why I am fed up and now looking for a job at a private company.
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Old 02-20-10, 01:53 AM   #10
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I've been a manager in private industry for almost 20yrs and wouldn't even think of letting a someone go for that.

BTW, if they have worked long enough to qualify for FMLA I don't think you can legally let them go.

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Old 02-20-10, 02:36 AM   #11
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Have you ever had to quit a long ride before you started?
No.

I've thought about doing certain rides and have changed my mind, but not after officially signing up and paying for the ride.

If I've signed up and paid for a ride, I'll give it a go ... even if I'm not feeling 100% confident about the ride. Sometimes the ride has turned out to be great ... other times I've DNF'd somewhere along the way.
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Old 02-20-10, 08:51 AM   #12
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I bailed on a 200k the first weekend of feb. They issued a winter weather advisory and on the same weekend there was a local cyclocross race that tempted me away. An hour of suffering in very cold weather seemed better than the long slow burn in sub freezing weather. I still had a very good time.
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Old 02-20-10, 09:04 AM   #13
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So ... if they get hit driving to the grocery store, that's OK. If they get hit driving to a motel for a weekend getaway, they get the pink slip? What if they just get the flu over the weekend? Does it make a difference if they got it from a trip to the grocery store versus going out to eat on Friday night and the chef sneezed in their salad? Are your employees allowed to walk anywhere? As you may know, fatalities for pedestrians are higher than for bicyclists or car drivers. For that matter, fatalities per hour are higher for cars than for bicyclists, so I assume that if your employee gets hit while on a Sunday drive, they get the pink slip. Where do you draw the line? A friend of a friend died a couple of years ago when he slipped getting out of his La-Z boy and whacked his head on a coffee table and bled out while unconscious. If only he'd have stayed in bed all day, maybe he'd have been safer. Maybe your work could make cocoons and have everyone spend all their nonworking hours in the cocoons!

Life is inherently dangerous.

As I'm sure you know, people who have active lifestyles are healthier and have fewer sick days than people who don't. I'd think that if your goal is to maximize profits, then you would want to encourage employees to have active lifestyles, because those employees maximize your profits. But you can't have an active lifestyle without a bit of risk. The question is, over time, is the extra revenue that the employee produces greater than what you are paying them? If so, keep them on. If not, fire them or reduce their pay. If your management cannot understand this, then they are incompetent, and who wants to work for incompetent management? Good luck in your quest to look for a job at a private company.

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Old 02-20-10, 10:55 AM   #14
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It is sad that fear of job loss is controling your off time activities. I am sure that on your death bed you will be crying whishing you had worked more.
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Old 02-20-10, 11:43 AM   #15
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Old 02-20-10, 11:49 AM   #16
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Looking out the window here in Pasadena I hope you went on the ride. Seeing as the storm was coming in from the north I can't imagine you got rain in south OC or north SD County. Forecast called for rain - I see blue skies and clouds.

Unfortunately I at work trying to catch up on stuff. Had it not been for an accident last weekend where I lost a lot of skin and got three stitches just above my right knee I would be enjoying a nice 300K today. Drat.
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Old 02-20-10, 12:23 PM   #17
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It rained hard here last night but was clear this morning. I was starting to regret not doing the ride and then it started pouring rain about 15 minutes ago. I know a lot of people don't mind riding in the rain, but I'm not one of them. I don't have rain gear or fenders on my bike and the times I've had to ride when it was raining I was miserable.

With 20-20 hindsight I think I made the right decision. I've been really stressed out at work, I had to stay late yesterday, and I wasn't in the frame of mind I needed to be to ride 200 miles in sketchy weather. I haven't done a lot of long distance rides but I've done lots of marathons, and the mental aspect is a big part of my game. I actually felt a bit relieved when I called the hotel last night and cancelled my reservation.
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Old 02-20-10, 12:44 PM   #18
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Well see, I didn't say what I thought you might think that I thought you might think what I was thinking without thinking and having the facts. My theory down the tubes! So I won't say a thing!
Anyway you can put that in English?
Thanks
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Old 02-20-10, 02:27 PM   #19
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I am sure that on your death bed you will be crying whishing you had worked more.
I wouldn't be quite as cynical as howsteepisit, but I sympathize with your situation. I haven't worked for a company yet that earned the respect it demanded of its employees. Maybe yours is different.
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Old 02-21-10, 11:41 PM   #20
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Not riding because of the rain makes perfect sense to me. Not riding because conditions are unsafe makes perfect sense to me. But not riding because of fear of crashing and not being able to work the following week seems pretty silly to me.

Regardless, you're the one that has to ride your rides, and decide if it is safe or prudent to ride under one condition or another. There's a saying "There are old mountain climbers and bold mountain climbers, but there are no old bold mountain climbers".

I've bailed on one permanent when I got to the start point and was in the middle of a thunderstorm. I posted a question about "Would you just ride off into a thunderstorm" and got mixed responses back. I think generally, if it was just a weekly 200k, a lot of people wouldn't, and if it was PBP or something major, they would. And here a week ago, we had a brevet planned, and most of the riders on it backed out due to potentially icy conditions.
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Old 02-22-10, 04:43 AM   #21
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Yes. I bailed out of an Easter Arrow (400 km in 24 hrs) a couple of years ago: the forecast was for rain, snow and temperatures lower than 5C and below frezzing during the night. Riding through the night is difficult enough (and I personnally don't like it), I couldnt imagine riding through the night in the snow and below freezing temperatures. Another guy from the team bailed out, so on the evening we were supposed to leave we went out for dinner and a movie... The other three in the team went for it, one dnf'd (his wife was following with the campervan...), the other two finished. But there were quite a few accidents that year because it did snow quite a bit...
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Old 02-22-10, 10:36 AM   #22
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I don't have rain gear or fenders on my bike and the times I've had to ride when it was raining I was miserable.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I ride my bike to have fun. If I'm not having fun (even if I'm complaining I'm still usually having fun) then there's no reason to be on the bike. Sounds like you make a good decision.
Nothing is worse than gritting through a ride which sours you to cycling, even if only for a short while. Last summer I did a century with some modest climbing (~6500') on my fixed gear. I was hurting bad by 80 miles in, and after I finished the ride I didn't touch my fixed gear for 3 months.
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Old 02-22-10, 11:28 AM   #23
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Patty, it rained for the first hour or so, I didn't dress right and I was wet for a long time. If you're not comfortable riding in the rain, don't do it. You made the right decision. Doing early season doubles usally means unstable weather, rain, wind and cold. I've bailed on doubles for a variety of reasons. Don't second guess yourself, see you at the next double.
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Old 02-22-10, 06:49 PM   #24
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I'm probably the worst person to give advice on this because I have to be just about dead before they can pry my hands off the handlebars if I'm racing or on a qualifying event. If I'm doing a training ride or "fun" ride that's another deal. Just because it's cold or raining doesn't mean you can't have a fun ride. If you are prepared it's no problem.

Danteb, are you doing Solvang???
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Old 02-22-10, 10:20 PM   #25
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Don't worry yourself Patty. I think you did right. There is a loss of the fee, but you would probably hate it even more had you paid to suffer. Like Dante said, don't second guess yourself. If you aren't comfortable with wet weather, you would have been miserable. That and the wind. I know how much you hate the wind, and we had a head wind all the way from Fallbrook to Capistrano. There were a couple times I nearly pulled out myself.

I personally have never DNS'd a ride, but I have passed up on some, or I wait until the last possible minute to register if I'm unsure. I skipped on our local 300k a few weeks ago as I had a bad feeling about it. I can deal with wet and some light rain, but not what was forecasted. It was much worse than expected and over half the riders DNF'd.
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