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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 01-16-14, 08:11 PM   #26
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I teach a digital photography class and I know I surprise my class in the beginning by starting class using an iPhone and a point and shoot camera. They are convinced that they need an expensive digital slr camera. I want to teach them that a photo is captured in the mind and not the camera. Yes if you work for sports illustrated you need the expensive equipment but not for the average person wanting to take some great photos. I've had a few folks come from my class and start their own business. They keep buying more and more of the expensive equipment and I know they are a long way from making a profit. To each his own I guess. Maybe the real problem is that I am a tight wad and don't want to part with the money to buy bike equipment or expensive cameras...
It's a bit off topic. Anyway, the modern society is brainwashed into thinking money is the solution to everything. A fool and his money...
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Old 01-17-14, 12:51 AM   #27
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Ride what you have, wear what you like, enjoy the ride. Group riding can be fun but it can also be overrated. Sometimes riding with just one more buddy can be great, sometimes the group dynamics can get old.

I've not ridden in a group for over a year or two now. I'll be joining some groups again as I ramp up my riding for 2014. I know I'll have to take it slow with them, be friendly, hang near the back, be predictable etc. After a while I'll know where its good to start in the pack, who to watch for, who likes to push the pace etc. After a while i'll be a regular.

That's the way I approach it all. They don't owe me anything.
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Old 01-17-14, 05:08 AM   #28
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This has been a most interesting and eye opening thread... I never realized how many other factors were involved. I have been very naive. I thought it was all about getting on a bike, pushing each other and having a good time.
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Old 01-17-14, 12:25 PM   #29
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It is about having a good time.

If basketball is a good time but a guy is a foul-monster or shoots air-balls all day it can be annoying.
If golf is a good time but a guy tears up the green and has to hunt in the woods all day for his 14th swing at the same hole it can get annoying
If beach BBQs are a good time but one guy is raucous, vulgar and drinks till he pukes every time it gets annoying.
If going to a classy event is a good time but one guy in your party always looks a step away from homeless it gets annoying.
and so on

We all have our personal norms and what we are comfortable with and willing to accept. Why is cycling any different? Each group has their own standards and to a certain level that's just fine. When I go out with my wife to spend $100 per plate on our anniversary I DO NOT want to have to sit next to a guy who should be at Margaritaville.
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Old 01-17-14, 02:21 PM   #30
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Seems people event treat Commuting like its the TdF ./.

And touring like its a Stage Race .. knock your self out ..
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Old 01-17-14, 02:56 PM   #31
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They feel as ridiculous as they look when someone like you can keep up with them
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Old 01-17-14, 02:58 PM   #32
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You guys have convinced me..I will never make a good rider for a group. Thanks for all of your input. It definitely helped me understand the mindset. All are valid points...If anyone out there ever comes my way...York Pa. let me know. We can ride the local rail trail. It runs about 100 yds from my office...I will make sure I have a watermelon ready for when we get done....
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Old 01-17-14, 05:18 PM   #33
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If you wanted to ride with a road group I don't think it would be a problem, but you'd have to find a more casual group. Road riding is fun even if you don't have all the gear, because of the drafting, taking turns to pull, etc. I eschewed a road bike (or even anything other than a MTB) for many years, partly because of cost and partly because of my perception of the road crowd, but now I ride road rides more often than others (excepting commuting).
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Old 01-17-14, 07:03 PM   #34
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Group riding requires social as well as biking skills. If you lack either you will be less welcome in a group. Both types of skills can be learned but it requires an open mind and the ability and inclination to accept instruction.
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Old 01-17-14, 07:31 PM   #35
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See "the rules" below. This is tongue and cheek but there is a fair amount of truth and perhaps will explain what you experience.

http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/
Thanks, that was a great read
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Old 01-18-14, 12:13 AM   #36
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Some road cycling clubs can be more cliquish than high school girls. That's just the way it is, and as far as I know it's always been this way.

However, this may bring you some cheer.
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Old 01-20-14, 04:52 PM   #37
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You guys have convinced me..I will never make a good rider for a group. Thanks for all of your input. It definitely helped me understand the mindset. All are valid points...If anyone out there ever comes my way...York Pa. let me know. We can ride the local rail trail. It runs about 100 yds from my office...I will make sure I have a watermelon ready for when we get done....
Well, I don't know about that. You might not make a good rider for certain groups, but there's gotta be a group of people that are more your style. I for one like groups in lycra racing around pretending to be Euro pros, makes me feel special. But there are a lot of group rides in my city that take all comers that I wouldn't want to ride in, but maybe you would. Give it some time, figure out how you want to ride, and then maybe you'll find some like-minded folks.
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Old 01-20-14, 07:55 PM   #38
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http://cyclingtips.com.au/2011/09/th...-group-ride-2/
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Old 01-21-14, 05:26 AM   #39
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I see now how serious some people take group rides. I just thought you did it to stay in shape and you rode along with a group of guys. I never realized how structured they can be.
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Old 01-21-14, 08:10 AM   #40
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Now you know.
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Old 01-21-14, 12:22 PM   #41
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Re Reading :
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I wear the skateboard helmet because I also unicycle and I need more protection
the dress code violation may have set the whole , 'lets drop the Fred' thing going with the roadies

who have their own self image issues ..


Anyone in the group a friend from work? or any other affiliation?

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Old 01-22-14, 11:06 AM   #42
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They feel as ridiculous as they look when someone like you can keep up with them
This is a common refrain on this topic, but it always strikes me as being fairly unrealistic.

Sure, there are the few group rides out there where dudes in full kit are taking it easy and a newb can struggle and keep up. But let's be serious. For most of the serious rides in my area, no untrained 60-year-old is showing up with a rack and a large bag in street clothes and keeping up. Just not happening. I'm a young guy in fairly good shape and there are times on my local weeknight ride when the guys get chippy and they can literally ride away from me on the flats. As in, I cannot keep connected while drafting, no matter what I do, and have to meet up at the next stoplight. I personally love it, keeps me honest. But no: non-serious cyclists are not showing up and making them "feel as ridiculous as they look." Not happening. In fact, this last summer, a VERY fit, young Ironman triathlete showed up to get his cycling workout and our ride leader, gent that he is, had to take him on a truncated route so he wouldn't get dropped.

Being rude is of course inexcusable, but don't expect roadies to roll out the red carpet to guys who haven't earned their stripes.
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Old 01-22-14, 01:43 PM   #43
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This ^. Well said NatUp.

We've beat this a bit to death, but we only have the OP's side of the story. Maybe he could keep up with them because they were on a slow paced ride, or felt they had to take it easy to accommodate him. Or maybe he's crazy fit and could keep up with them. And there are MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra - a funny term I hadn't heard before and hey I'm middle aged!) that are all hat and no cattle. On one of the group rides I went on that was billed as brisk (not crazy - 18 mph in the flats) an older guy showed up on a mountain bike with slicks and Fredly kit (he had a regular helmet though). Well guess what? He got dropped. Well the route passed near his house and he dropped himself. Nobody was rude and people checked in with him to make sure he had a plan, but I doubt he'll be back for that ride until he has a road bike and maybe some more training. There are rides billed as easy and moderate that he could try. The rudeness the OP experienced was inexcusable and I wouldn't want to ride with people who behaved that way even if I did fit their mold.

I have an old mountain bike I use for short commutes and utility purposes. It's got platform pedals, rack and panniers, fenders etc. I jump on it in whatever street clothes and shoes I want. But when I go for a group (or solo) ride where the purpose is to ride and ride hard for 1,2-3 hours I wear cycling kit. Sure it helps me fit in, but it is also functional. I eschew corporate logos and neon colors (not my style) but hey that's just aesthetics. Clipless pedals are awesome and I wouldn't want to ride without them.

There's a group for everyone (I hope) but not everyone is for every group.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:55 PM   #44
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well said
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Old 01-22-14, 07:04 PM   #45
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In my experience, the more and higher category racers in the group, the less they'll care about whether your kit matches and the more they'll care whether you can handle your bike.
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Old 01-22-14, 11:07 PM   #46
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This has been a most interesting and eye opening thread... I never realized how many other factors were involved. I have been very naive. I thought it was all about getting on a bike, pushing each other and having a good time.
It is, for some people, and that's the group you want to ride with. There are a few different clubs in my area and each has a few different rides. Some I fit in (or at least they tolerate me) some, not so much. After you ride a while, you tend to make friends with similar skills and interests. I found that charity rides and organized centuries were good places to meet people as mini-packs tend to form along the route with people popping in and out of groups until they find the place where they fit. I often end up riding with at least a few people I have met on previous rides just because of common characteristics in our riding styles.

If I don't find a group to ride with, I'm perfectly OK riding solo.
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Old 01-28-14, 11:50 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
You guys have convinced me..I will never make a good rider for a group. Thanks for all of your input. It definitely helped me understand the mindset. All are valid points...If anyone out there ever comes my way...York Pa. let me know. We can ride the local rail trail. It runs about 100 yds from my office...I will make sure I have a watermelon ready for when we get done....
I'd ride with you if you were in my area. I'm more comfortable with the weirdos and misfits than with a bunch of people who value conformity over genuinely interesting, surprising, and unpredictable experiences. Groupthink is boring.
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Old 01-28-14, 12:01 PM   #48
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But I'll bite, briefly: why does it matter? Well, there's just a certain amount of cultural cohesiveness that any small group sharing a specific interest will tend to anticipate. And exceptions can seem very strange.
That also happens to be a good description of racism, homophobia, misogyny, etc...just sayin'
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Old 01-29-14, 01:01 PM   #49
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I'd ride with you if you were in my area. I'm more comfortable with the weirdos and misfits than with a bunch of people who value conformity over genuinely interesting, surprising, and unpredictable experiences. Groupthink is boring.
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That also happens to be a good description of racism, homophobia, misogyny, etc...just sayin'
If you're so unfamiliar with the reality of what roadie culture is like that you think it's composed of conformists and groupthinkers, you just aren't qualified to comment. For someone so keen to come down on roadies as bunch of cold meanies who are predisposed toward sexism and homophobia you haven't gone to a whole hell of a lot of trouble to actually understand what roadie culture actually is. Because then you would have to engage with reality instead if your ridiculous construction, but that would be tough for you, wouldn't it, seeing as reality is a actually kind of complex. I think you would be surprised to find that roadie culture actually composed of people, with a wide range of political views and social skills.

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Old 01-29-14, 02:46 PM   #50
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I'd ride with you if you were in my area. I'm more comfortable with the weirdos and misfits than with a bunch of people who value conformity over genuinely interesting, surprising, and unpredictable experiences. Groupthink is boring.
If you knew anything about roadies you'd know there's very little thinking involved, group or otherwise.
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