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Help wanted: domestique

Old 05-26-08, 05:40 PM
  #1  
michael01612
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Help wanted: domestique

Last year I did this charity ride...Cycle For Shelter, 100 miles ... in 18.6 mph avg. It's pan flat along the Merrimac River and Atlantic seashore, and very scenic riding. Great rest stops, and post-ride BBQ. Oh yeah...good cause too.

I'm riding it this year ...and I'd like to go even faster...and set a personal record for a century. I'm a little faster and lighter this year, so I think I can do it. But...and I am only half-joking....I am thinking of hiring a domestique to help me. (Am I crazy?)

So the entrance fee is $25. And the fundraising minimum is $125. I cover those fees for someone...and it goes of course to Emmaus, the charity organization. In return...they get a great ride...rest stops, scenery, post-ride BBQ, massage, foot baths...the works. I get...someone who is going to not drop me...take the wind and let me suck wheel ...and get me to that post-ride BBQ, massage...in the front group...hopefully the top 5 or 10 riders....and set a personal best.

Couple of questions:
1) Am I crazy? Ok...nevermind that question.
2) How would I manage that situation? I mean...this hypothetical person would be a stronger rider than me (cat 3 or better?) and I am 2nd year cat 5. Do I take any turns at the front? Does this person only start taking pulls when the group starts to break up...say at 35 or 45 miles? How do I tell this person to speed up, or slow down? How do I use their abilities...for my best advantage?
3) How would I interview and select candidates? On what criteria?
4) Any interest? (ride is in Massachusetts, Sunday July 27th)
5) Is that a fair rate...$150...for a day of riding domestique?

Link to my ride report from last year

http://michael01612.spaces.live.com/...FC0!2715.entry
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Old 05-26-08, 05:44 PM
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This is a new one on me.

Why do this at a charity event? Why not just find a training partner and work toward your goal that way?
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Old 05-26-08, 05:49 PM
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Here's a better alternative so you don't appear crazy

Sign up for a big organized falt and fast century. The Seagull in Salisbury Md in the Fall is a great example. Thousands of riders participate. Just show up, find some fast groups, and hope on. I've been in 28-30 mph pacelines there. If the griup is too fast or slow, drop off and join another.

You can easily average more than 20 mph there assuming the weather cooperates.

The Shorefire in NJ is another. I believe RI also has a fast one late summer.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:08 PM
  #4  
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Elliot Spitzer tried this and it didn't turn out so well.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:08 PM
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This sounds like an untapped opportunity.

"Sub 5 Hour Century if you Hold my Wheel, or your Money Back" on certain well attended, flat centuries I could offer a 4 hour option. All for the bargain price of my airfare/food/lodging/and a nominal fee.

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Old 05-26-08, 06:13 PM
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If you attain a PR and the only person there to see it is your flunky, is it still a PR?
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Old 05-26-08, 06:23 PM
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Is it a PR if you don't really do the work?
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Old 05-26-08, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cslone View Post
Is it a PR if you don't really do the work?
That is the right question.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:26 PM
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As long as you can figure out transportation for me and all that junk, I might do it... just let me check the race schedule.

I live in Allston, MA.

Oh yah, I'm 6'4".


shoot me a PM, it sort of sounds fun... whats he terrain like, and how fast are you looking to go??

-L
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Old 05-26-08, 06:26 PM
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Just find somebody to motorpace you then you don't have to worry about taking any pulls.
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Old 05-26-08, 07:16 PM
  #11  
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Does anyone else think this is a slippery slope toward doping?

Reminds me of a thread on another board, comparing the cost of going to Mexico for epo/testosterone/hgh vs a set of new wheels. Mexico is by far the lower cost. hmmmm
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Old 05-26-08, 07:24 PM
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If it's good enough for Le Tour...
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Old 05-26-08, 07:30 PM
  #13  
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Find a fellow Cat 5 and do a TTT. You'll have a blast. And who cares if you sat in for a part of your century (or whatever)? It's not like it's a UCI time trial.

My first charity ride was like this. I wanted to show up with a team and do a team time trial. The problem was I was in 8th grade and only one kid knew about my dreams about having a "team". So he got a bike (a sweet Motebecane with super slim seat stays), trained, and showed up. Since it was on a one mile loop my buddy could sit up for a lap, get more water (start/finish was the library and they had one of those really nice stainless steel cold water fountains), and then get back in to give me a hand. Only about four people showed up, and after three of them did about 5 miles they left. So it was me and sometimes my friend. He started cramping after about 3 hours so I finished off on my own. I did 72 miles in those 4 hours and it was the best ride I'd had in my life. I happened to "win" the charity ride too (how could I not - only four people showed up), raised just over $500 honestly (no parents going out and getting money for me), and I won a Schwinn Varsity type bike.

cdr
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Old 05-26-08, 07:41 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Here's a better alternative so you don't appear crazy

Sign up for a big organized falt and fast century. The Seagull in Salisbury Md in the Fall is a great example. Thousands of riders participate. Just show up, find some fast groups, and hope on. I've been in 28-30 mph pacelines there. If the griup is too fast or slow, drop off and join another.

You can easily average more than 20 mph there assuming the weather cooperates.
Yeah, come on out to the Seagull. A bunch of us are planning exactly that so we can burn the course in the fastest possible time. It's incredibly flat and the only thing that will slow you down are rain or the always present wind. Hope for the latter and the paceline will get you close to that goal of yours.
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Old 05-26-08, 09:31 PM
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If it's pan flat, and no wind, with a person in tow to break up my draft, I can do 22-23mph for several hours.

Come around me for a couple minutes every half hour so I can drift and stretch.

Fly me out, give me $150, and provide housing and we'll rock a 4:30.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:01 AM
  #16  
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Its weird -- when I was a runner I was always about the PR. Now, it seems like trying to set a PR is not too useful or relevant. There is always too many variables too make it possible to compare different events. Wind, hills, groups, equipment are always changing.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
This is a new one on me.

Why do this at a charity event? Why not just find a training partner and work toward your goal that way?
thank you.
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Old 05-27-08, 05:23 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Here's a better alternative so you don't appear crazy

Sign up for a big organized falt and fast century. The Seagull in Salisbury Md in the Fall is a great example. Thousands of riders participate. Just show up, find some fast groups, and
hope on. I've been in 28-30 mph pacelines there. If the griup is too fast or slow, drop off and join another.

You can easily average more than 20 mph there assuming the weather cooperates.

The Shorefire in NJ is another. I believe RI also has a fast one late summer.
Sounds like some of my races.
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Old 05-27-08, 06:49 AM
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It's a CHARITY EVENT why on earth would you make it a competition? Dont do stuff like this at charity rides, it's unsafe for you and for all the families, kids, and one time a year cyclists who are out to enjoy themselves for a good cause.

If you want to set a PR for 100 miles, map out a 100 mi. route, get prepared for it and go. Why do you need a charity event to do that? If you're looking to compete, find actual competition and start, but dont be "that guy" or "that group of guys" riding charity rides like it's Milan SanRemo.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:08 AM
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Throw in a plane ticket and I'd do it.

Understand that in order to not get dropped, there have to be NO attacks, no substantial hills and you still have to be strong enough to draft the fastest riders. If you fall off the main group on a flat, nothing short of an engine is going to help you.
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Old 05-27-08, 10:57 AM
  #21  
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Maybe the OP wants to be this guy?

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2008...five-boro.html
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Old 05-27-08, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
It's a CHARITY EVENT why on earth would you make it a competition? Dont do stuff like this at charity rides, it's unsafe for you and for all the families, kids, and one time a year cyclists who are out to enjoy themselves for a good cause.

If you want to set a PR for 100 miles, map out a 100 mi. route, get prepared for it and go. Why do you need a charity event to do that? If you're looking to compete, find actual competition and start, but dont be "that guy" or "that group of guys" riding charity rides like it's Milan SanRemo.
I dunno, there's only one "century ride" I do every year, and although the proceeds go to charity the front group very much treats the ride as a quasi-race. Granted, most of the strong guys ride it like we're working for a team mate, and pull/set the pace...but a group of a few hundred narrows to about 50 by mile 75 usually and is down to 5-20 guys by mile 100 of 103.

e.g. last year I ran my power meter and did 103 miles in 4:32 at .887 IF. The previous year was under 4:20. There's no harm in riding it fast, it's like a big group ride.

As an edit: It totally depends on the course. I've also done RAGBRAI twice, and riding that fast is for assh*les. It's totally irresponsible and unsafe, as there is no defined start time. So you'll have people doing 8-10mph on the right side of the road, and the odd moron (or gruppo di moronos) riding along at 22-25 in the right/middle. With people turning off to stop all the time. Total idiocy. My RAGBRAI average speed is about 14mph.

Last edited by Snuffleupagus; 05-27-08 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:16 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by buddyp View Post
I was waiting for someone to post this.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by buddyp View Post
We have a local who spent most of the summer training to "win" a local charity century. He even enlisted the aid of his brother to feed him while following along on a motorcycle.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by michael01612 View Post

Couple of questions:
1) Am I crazy? Ok...nevermind that question.
No. This isn't as uncommon as you'd think. I know a few coaches around here who ride in events for their clients. They carry spare tubes, water, food, etc. With the goal that they'll worry about the things you don't know to worry about and just let you ride. That is the true job of a "domestique" (IMHO).
Originally Posted by michael01612 View Post

2) How would I manage that situation? I mean...this hypothetical person would be a stronger rider than me (cat 3 or better?) and I am 2nd year cat 5. Do I take any turns at the front? Does this person only start taking pulls when the group starts to break up...say at 35 or 45 miles? How do I tell this person to speed up, or slow down? How do I use their abilities...for my best advantage?

I think you find someone "one or two levels" above yours and ask them to carry your tubes, water, food, etc. in return for fees and a small amount for their time. I think having a person cover your wheel all day completely defeats the purpose of a PR. Having someone there to give you their wheel or give a hand up is just removing the unfortunate realities of bike riding.
Originally Posted by michael01612 View Post
3) How would I interview and select candidates? On what criteria?
As I said above, find someone who can hold at least your pace or greater and is willing to ride along side you or in the same paceline and carry your stuff. They should also be able to stop for periods (such as for wheel changes and drinks, etc) and catch back on by the next SAG stop.
Originally Posted by michael01612 View Post
4) Any interest? (ride is in Massachusetts, Sunday July 27th)
If I lived anywhere near you I'd do it in a heart beat. 100 flat miles is my kind of ridin'!!!
Originally Posted by michael01612 View Post
5) Is that a fair rate...$150...for a day of riding domestique?
In addition to entry fees, yes. That works out to $30/hour for a 5-hour century. If that's inclusive of the fees, you'll need to find someone who has a vested interest in seeing you set the PR (like a friend or coach).

My .08 Euros, YMMV, void where incorrect, not valid in Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico, past performance is not indicative of future results.

Last edited by currand; 05-27-08 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Fixed some equally poor math and spelling skillz
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