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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 01-14-14, 07:35 AM   #1
mdadams1
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Why does it matter?

I am new to cycling...I was a runner for over 30 years and started getting the same injuries and switched. I have a cyclocross bike and love to ride. I tried to ride with some road cyclists a couple of weeks ago. They did not appreciate the fact that I did not have the proper clothes and the fact that I had a rack and large bag on the back of my bike. (I keep a pump, extra tire tube, patch kit, phone in it) I also wear a skateboarding helmet. I want the protection. Even though I stayed with the leaders for the whole ride I was not invited back to ride with the group and was mocked about my helmet in an email that I saw sent to the group. Why does it matter what you wear/ride if you can stay with the group? I never experienced this with running. I am almost 60 years old and have no desire to buy an expensive carbon bike, clipless pedals and the proper clothing in order to get a aerobic workout... It is fun to ride with others that push me however...

Mike A.
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Old 01-14-14, 08:07 AM   #2
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It doesn't matter, the people you rode with are pr1cks. Subconsciously they feel weak because a guy on a CX bike wearing baggy clothes and carrying too much stuff could hang with them.

Find someone else to ride with.

FWIW you can fit a tube, patches, multi-tool, levers and a phone in a small saddle bag and hang the pump from your frame but its a matter of preference really. A CO2 setup should fit in the bag too. Also a skateboard helmet probably doesn't protect any more tha. A bike helmet and doesn't ventilate nearly as well.

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Old 01-14-14, 08:32 AM   #3
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Dicks get bigger when they're in a group.

Could be any number of reasons. There are skills to riding in a group or paceline that might not be obvious if you've never done it before. Good riders will welcome the chance to teach someone how to do it. Losers will mock the newbie behind his back. There's a definite bro-fest vibe to some riders, while others are much more casual and seem to actually enjoy themselves. You might just have to look around and find a group that isn't a bunch of losers.
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Old 01-14-14, 09:45 AM   #4
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I am new to cycling...I was a runner for over 30 years and started getting the same injuries and switched. I have a cyclocross bike and love to ride. I tried to ride with some road cyclists a couple of weeks ago. They did not appreciate the fact that I did not have the proper clothes and the fact that I had a rack and large bag on the back of my bike. (I keep a pump, extra tire tube, patch kit, phone in it) I also wear a skateboarding helmet. I want the protection. Even though I stayed with the leaders for the whole ride I was not invited back to ride with the group and was mocked about my helmet in an email that I saw sent to the group. Why does it matter what you wear/ride if you can stay with the group? I never experienced this with running. I am almost 60 years old and have no desire to buy an expensive carbon bike, clipless pedals and the proper clothing in order to get a aerobic workout... It is fun to ride with others that push me however...
Roadies tend to be very fashion-conscious. It's part of the culture.

I'm going to play devil's advocate here. A good group ride is something very, um, delicate. Once you get something good going, a good solid bunch of guys who are well-matched fitness-wise, you get along with them, they know how to ride, there's an established pecking order and style of riding, and it's something you look forward to once a week, you don't want anything to f&$k with it.

I obviously have no idea how you ride, but there are subtle ways in which a fred can goof up a ride. Surging when you get to the front of the line, coasting before pulling off instead of pulling through, braking too much in the pace line, slowing down when you get out of the saddle, etc etc etc etc.

When you see it from that perspective, it's about a lot more than just fashion. But fashion is the most obvious manifestation.

Or, they're just a bunch of a$$h0les.
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Old 01-14-14, 09:50 AM   #5
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Maybe they just didn't like you?
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Old 01-14-14, 10:15 AM   #6
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I am almost 60 years old and have no desire to buy an expensive carbon bike, clipless pedals and the proper clothing in order to get a aerobic workout...
Nor should you have to. However, to many roadies cycling is more than just a way to get an aerobic workout. With road cycling, the "typical" level of enthusiasm for the sport (and/or gear) goes far beyond what you see in running and other forms of fitness. There's a fuzzy line between enthusiasm and elitism and it sounds like your group crossed it. But by the same token, if you're only in it for the exercise, you may always have trouble fitting in with "enthusiast oriented" groups.
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Old 01-14-14, 11:15 AM   #7
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Once you add stuff to make it practical it's just a kind of bike .. you aint racing CX

Round laps off and on pavement, on and off the bike but always moving..

its just a bike with wider tires and drop bars like the 27"-1.25" tired bikes of the 60s.

with fancier gee whiz parts.

When I ride with people (US) needing to prove something , like I'm faster,

they are trying to Drop Me, and so I'm off the back and riding alone within 2 miles

so I quit riding with them..

When on a long bike tour [91] I joined in with a group ride in Northumbria
Northern England , the purpose was social , so folks dropped back to keep me company.

Entirely different Culture. riding as a Social Event.



Prior I had a trip Leader gig... there , the leader rode Sweep.

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Old 01-14-14, 12:28 PM   #8
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I admit I don't know the ins and outs of group riding..Might be something to it that they did not like how I rode. Interesting..
Does anyone want to start a group in the York PA area? I ride about 18 mph on our rail trail, and probably average about 20 mph on the road....Love to hear from some of you guys....I have the Specialized Tricross and run 43 mm tires on the trail. Will go narrower if I venture out for a road ride....

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Old 01-14-14, 12:46 PM   #9
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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/
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Old 01-14-14, 12:51 PM   #10
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You are pushing faster than I , 8 mph over 3 months does get one quite far from their starting point,
I found..

example: Amsterdam to Warsaw Poland , via Southern Norway and Denmark ..and back.

way different from hanging with Roadies.. no team logo sausage wrappers of Lycra.

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Old 01-14-14, 01:05 PM   #11
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Roadies can be like a bunch of teenage girls when it comes to cycling clothes, bikes, equipment, etc. It's all about having the gear perceived to enhance peak performance. However, a cyclist wearing baggy clothes and riding touring/commuter/cylocross bike can also be perceived as a threat to the safety of the group. Riding in packs at fast speeds can be dangerous, and someone not experienced in the nuances of pace-riding can easily cause a wreck that injures a lot of people and ruins equipment. If you show up at a roadie group ride dressed as you described, whether justified or not, many of the other riders may assume that you lack the skills and endurance to ride safely in a pack.

I no longer ride with the fast groups around town for those reasons and many others. Instead I ride with a group of friends that I know and trust, and who don't care if I show up on my commuter bike with fenders and large seat bag attached. If you look around, you can probably find a similar group.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:26 PM   #12
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Wow, that is interesting...Okay, I can see that. We rode rather loosely however. But maybe they thought that I might screw up the group...Not sure but it throws a different light on this..
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Old 01-14-14, 03:24 PM   #13
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They sound like dicks. And probably not appreciative that a "Fred" was keeping up with them and putting the lie to their little conceit that carbon fiber and Euro-kit makes you fast. But we weren't there, maybe you weave all over the road or have an annoying laugh or something. Just kidding they still sound like dicks, but flargle makes some good points. I just started joining organized group rides as the new guy myself (I'd done lots solo and some with friends but I'm looking to expand my riding opportunities) and I found everybody to be very friendly and the ride leader very courteous and willing to go over all the protocols and etiquette etc. So hopefully you can find a more sympatico group in your area.

Regarding gear, I agree that you don't need to look like you're about to race the Tour de France, but cycling gear is designed to be worn cycling for a reason. In the organized rides that I've been on I look the least pro, but I keep up and do my share of the pulls too. I go for rides billed as "brisk" or strenuous. I'm on a lugged steel frame amongst a sea of largely plastic, but it doesn't slow me down and I've actually gotten some appreciative comments from riders that know what they are talking about. I don't see why a cyclocross bike with road slicks on it should be a problem on a group ride. I wear a bicycle helmet b/c well it's a bicycle helmet: it protects my head just fine, and it's lightweight and ventilated. I bought it about 15 years ago for $25. I wear cycling shorts/pants and jersey b/c well they're fitted for the cycling position and movements, and sure they keep you streamlined as well. They are generic cycling clothes which weren't very expensive and aren't covered with the logos of French cellphone companies etc. I think that within reason (i.e. long flowing dresses might not be appreciated in a paceline) you should wear whatever you're comfortable with, but you might consider that some cycling kit might improve your enjoyment and performance on the road. And for long rides you could probably ditch the large trunk bag or whatever you're using and get a small (and cheap) under the saddle bag for your essentials. Doesn't take much effort to swap bags around according to the ride conditions.

Good luck finding some better cycling companions and keep riding!
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Old 01-14-14, 04:37 PM   #14
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Thanks for the tips. I wear the skateboard helmet because I also unicycle and I need more protection
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Old 01-14-14, 06:56 PM   #15
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Thanks for the tips. I wear the skateboard helmet because I also unicycle and I need more protection
Ok now you've jumped the shark. or you're trolling. You should go back to that group ride with the unicycle (and the helmet) and say "I heard you were dissing on my lid, well what do you think of this?" as you unicycle your 60 year old self around the dumbfounded group making faces and poking fun at their lycra: "who do you think you are, Lance Armstrong? huh, huh?"
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Old 01-14-14, 09:35 PM   #16
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I guess after spending lots of $ on their "gadgets", they don't like it that you debunked the myth it will make them fast
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Old 01-15-14, 01:39 AM   #17
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I agree with what everyone has said above and am welcoming of any riders I see.
However, I'll probably get flamed for this and am in no way disparaging the OP, but it did make me think of this.

In all fairness to the group, why does everyone HAVE to be included in each group? If you feel like you are the odd one out, why must they all change and embrace you and your style? They may be a group of guys that have been riding together for 5-7 years every weekend and all of a sudden a new guy pops up they have to let into their paceline? Why can't the OP be the one who gets to change his wardrobe to fit theirs, or find a different group?

Is it normal for a stranger to hop onto your golf cart and begin teeing off with you because he just wants to play on the same day?

Why is it a problem if they look forward all week to riding with their buddies and looking like this:


But in order to be "nice guys" they are forced to look like this?


Sort of playing devil's advocate here but maybe a different group is better, or ride alone and enjoy the day.

For the record I'm always on a vintage steel bike or my roadified cyclocross bike. I have been wearing cycling jerseys less often, usually commute in shorts, and have wild hairy legs. I also have a little group I ride with of cool retired age guys and gals I aspire to ride as strong as; who are lycra clad on carbon wunderbikes... I am friendly to every cyclist I meet (I even ride with the guy who always yells "ATTACK! ATTACK!" at random times) and have been snubbed a few times. I just ride off the font or the back when I need to. I'm perfectly happy riding alone.
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Old 01-15-14, 04:44 AM   #18
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Very good point. I will remember this if I ever get a group started.
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Old 01-15-14, 12:27 PM   #19
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(I even ride with the guy who always yells "ATTACK! ATTACK!" at random times)
He may be announcing he is having one, at the time ..
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Old 01-15-14, 01:36 PM   #20
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Funny. Around here, old-school racers will give you **** if you show up to a group ride with race wheels and an aero helmet. "Save that stuff for race day, Fred."
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Old 01-16-14, 11:24 AM   #21
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I agree with what everyone has said above and am welcoming of any riders I see.
However, I'll probably get flamed for this and am in no way disparaging the OP, but it did make me think of this.

In all fairness to the group, why does everyone HAVE to be included in each group? If you feel like you are the odd one out, why must they all change and embrace you and your style? They may be a group of guys that have been riding together for 5-7 years every weekend and all of a sudden a new guy pops up they have to let into their paceline? Why can't the OP be the one who gets to change his wardrobe to fit theirs, or find a different group?

Is it normal for a stranger to hop onto your golf cart and begin teeing off with you because he just wants to play on the same day?
I really like this response. It does not excuse a group of people from being a bunch of jackasses or sending mocking emails about someone after the fact, but it does explain a bit why someone new might not fit in with the group.

Sort of like if you were an experienced lawyer attending a conference for the first time and showed up at the keynote dinner in khakis, a Hawaiian shirt and Teva sandals. You might be able to run rings around all those people in a courtroom or contract negotiations, but if they are all dressed in dark business suits you will be out of place. Now I don't think a bike ride should be as serious as a room full of lawyers, so allow me a little latitude with this analogy.

There is one rider that I run into on some club rides two or three times a year. Nice enough guy and he is a strong rider. He also always wears a loose t-shirt (along with mountain bike shorts and what appears to be a 15 year old Bell helmet). On first impression, you would wonder how well he rides. What happens is that on his own he is fine. But in a pace line he uses aero-bars, doesn't keep a tight line, doesn't keep consistent pace and, to be honest, his t-shirt flapping in the wind at 23 mph does make it more difficult to see around him to what's happening up ahead. So in this case, his "I don't care" appearance does carry over into his riding style. And that does color my judgement to any new person on group rides.
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Old 01-16-14, 03:56 PM   #22
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It's always possible that there are ride groups out there that really are so capricious (and new riders who really can keep up in their wind pants and skateboard helmets). But I have to admit that I always suspect that these stories are made up, embellished or at least incomplete, because I have never in all of my experience encountered any group that was so mean. I've been to plenty of rides where people have shown up wearing the "wrong" clothes, and the most they tend to get is some mild surprise and encouragement if they manage to stay with the group, and possibly some suggestions that they'll be happier with more specific clothing or equipment. And I myself, when I was new to road riding, showed up wearing clothes that weren't specific for riding and with a bike that was a long way off from the cutting edge. And never received any mistreatment at all, except once people knew who I was I received the occasional bit of friendly ribbing about my heavy old bike slowing me down.

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. This is especially true when the experience of everyone else in the group is that the clipless pedals, lycra, jerseys, etc, are more comfortable and pleasant to ride in than non-specific clothing. It would be as though you showed up to a group run in skateboard shoes, or loafers or something. Maybe no one will say anything, but they're going to wonder if you're a tiny bit crazy - running in loafers sucks! Well, riding in a t-shirt and running shorts sucks, too. Been there, done that.
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Old 01-16-14, 04:48 PM   #23
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I'm unsure of this whole scenario. A new member comes up with an elaborate and stereotypical diss of roadie culture. The same old "I'm as fast as they are but they don't like my helmet/shoes/bike/etc,etc." If the story is factual, then you have to admit that some folks are just a'holes and people don't want to ride with them. Not saying that's the case here, but our group has certainly had riders who were not encouraged to come back. The reason could be unsafe riding or just generally obnoxious.
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Old 01-16-14, 07:42 PM   #24
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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...

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Old 01-16-14, 08:09 PM   #25
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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.
Exactly!
I'm a long time cyclist and photo enthusiast. I learned photography with an old Argus camera. Probably the best photos I ever took were with that Argus.

And cycling, I ride vintage bikes from the 60's and 70's. No shoe cleats. I do wear cycling shorts, vintage ones at that. And vintage Jerseys. I jump into group rides on the weekend. Most guys know me now, but it took a while to be accepted. Like two years. Now after riding with various groups they invite me back at the end of the ride. Just be yourself. If you ride well, and are a strong rider, they will accept you.
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