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Commuting "time trials" - who's a fair target?

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Commuting "time trials" - who's a fair target?

Old 07-12-07, 08:18 AM
  #1  
whatsmyname
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Commuting "time trials" - who's a fair target?

If you're anything like me, there are at least two or three occasions for a commuting "time trial" on every run. You know what I mean - the pointless little races against other commuters over a bridge, from a stop sign, up a hill.

Obviously there are no spoken challenges, but in 90% of the cases, everybody knows what's happening - when it's on, it's on. Glory to the victor, disgrace to the looser. This is the age-old law of the road that all commuters know and respect. Don't try to pretend this is something strange - you know what I'm saying is the truth.

Having said that, as a sprint and hill legend in my lifetime, I try to spare some people from crushing defeat - innocent old ladies on shopper bikes, delivery guys in Huffys working their fifteenth straight hour and kids on BMXs. They escape my wrath.

By the same token, there are some people who can expect to be raced (and beaten) on every corner. They are "fair game" and the rush hour is open season. In my book, if you fall into the following categories, you might as well be wearing a target on your back, buster:

- if you're riding a road bike
- if you're wearing a team jersey
- if you're wearing lycra
- if you're riding a singlespeed bike
- if you're wearing Oakleys
- if you cut me off
- if you look at me with that glint in your eye

Am I being too harsh here or am I missing any other categories of victim - I mean, competitor?
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Old 07-12-07, 08:32 AM
  #2  
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I ride a road bike... with a rack and panniers. Assuming I was in your area, would I be a race target?

Congrats you win. lol. When I'm commuting I don't pay much attention to the speed of other cyclists, I pass those moving slower than me and more often than not get passed by others. The only person I'm racing is myself - I shaved 10 minutes off of my usual commute time today!
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Old 07-12-07, 08:40 AM
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I prefer to race cars, although I often lose.
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Old 07-12-07, 08:44 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by caloso
Well, it's like the old saying: What do you need for a bike race? Answer: Two guys on bikes.
That is from a thread I posted a few years ago.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=170707

And it does hold true to a certain extent. When someone is drafting me, I tend to step it up a bit. However, I might see three other cyclists on my commute, (and they all seem to be going the other way).
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Old 07-12-07, 08:46 AM
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I pass lots of people... but can't say I get in many races! Either that or I'm unknowingly winning all of them.
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Old 07-12-07, 08:56 AM
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Some people really get bent out of shape when they get passed by a chick on a 20 year old five speed (with panniers!)... and I like to mess with their heads So I will admit there are a few stretches on my route where I get a bit competitive - spots where I have learned exactly how much power I need in which gear to get the best acceleration and speed - and I do try to pass people. Maybe that's cheating, but I call it fun!

(I also get a perverse joy out of catching up to people who pass ME at the next light. I have parts of the route timed so that I can often cruise up to a light just as it turns green. One time I managed to catch up to the same guy three times. I don't think he liked me very much because each time he passed he was pedaling harder... This is also even more fun to do with cars, but drivers have even less of a sense of humour about it).
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Old 07-12-07, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Buglady
(I also get a perverse joy out of catching up to people who pass ME at the next light. I have parts of the route timed so that I can often cruise up to a light just as it turns green. One time I managed to catch up to the same guy three times. I don't think he liked me very much because each time he passed he was pedaling harder... This is also even more fun to do with cars, but drivers have even less of a sense of humour about it).
I do this with cars on my commute, it gives me infinite pleasure, the best part of it is that I'm going nearly full speed when the light changes so I fly by them. One route I use once a week or so has a long flat stretch of road where the lights are timed perfectly to my top speed, I pass lines of 6-10 cars at every one of 6 lights. It always drives at least one cager bonkers.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:03 AM
  #8  
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The only qualification I have to be a victem of some race wanting bicyclist is that I ride a road bike. If you pull up to me and give me the look, I'll probably smile and say "hey how's it going". If you look at my bike and laugh knowing it's a GMC Denali purchased at Walmart, then it's on damn it and all 4000 watts of power will go into my pedals. When you eventually catch me, then I'll laugh at you as you go by and i return to my usual causal speed
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Old 07-12-07, 09:04 AM
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so true. When it's on, IT'S ON.

as I get older I get less concerned about the race. I'm enjoying myself just being able to be out riding my commutes, and am very thankful I am still able to do so.

Looking at the trees, smelling the flowers, checking out the scenery. it's amazing what cool stuff there is out there.....
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Old 07-12-07, 09:08 AM
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The other day I passed a roadie who happened to be moving slowly. A moment later he sped up and passed me, giving me this perplexed smile like he thought I was trying to race. Since I'm a small woman on a heavy 1973 mixte frame, I'm sure he thought it was pretty funny.

Now and then when someone goes tearing past me, I'll step it up and see if I can chase them for a minute. Generally they pull away without noticing me, but I have a little fun.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:20 AM
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Someone around has a signature about this kinda thing, it goes something like: "if two bikes are going the same direction, it's a race!".
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Old 07-12-07, 09:22 AM
  #12  
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If you are slower than me, fine, I'll pass you. If you are faster, pass me. The irritating ones are the ones who pass you then slow down to a speed slower than what you were going, so that if you are to maintain your cadence, you have to pass them, and that starts the pass and slow cycle again. I've changed my route to avoid a clown like that.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:25 AM
  #13  
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None Shall Pass!
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Old 07-12-07, 09:31 AM
  #14  
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I'll be sure to give you "The Look" right before I dial it up to 400W and crush you.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:35 AM
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I LOVE racing the roadies! The more carbon fiber the better.

The hum of my 2.1 inch knobbies, the woosh and rattle of 35 pounds of old school mtn. bike, the slap of my panniers with a box of hot pockets sticking out, my floppy t-shirt and grass stained running shoes...Scares the crap outta them when I roll up "on your left." Love it.

Pushin' fat tires and big iron every day makes the hills feel a little smaller to me than the roadies. For me and my machine, there is so much wind and tire drag compared to the hill drag, that the hill makes less of a difference. I catch roadies on hills more than anywhere else.

Sure, 80% of the roadies blow my doors clean off on the downhills and 50% on the flats, but I choose to overlook that. Most of the commuters, fitness, recreational, and mountain bikers I can hang with at will on my commute.

BRING IT!
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Old 07-12-07, 09:43 AM
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I do have a competitive streak.

But I too more enjoy racing cars. I particularly like it when I'm faster then them while taking the lane (i.e., no darting around like a little fly or messenger). Of course, this rarely happens, but it's gratifying when I "win."
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Old 07-12-07, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Buglady
Some people really get bent out of shape when they get passed by a chick on a 20 year old five speed (with panniers!)...
ah, see on my route, most of the roadies are perfectly fine with being passed by a guy doing 20/22mph on a fendered road bike with panniers. if anything, I make a hell of a wake to draft in.

It's the last mile of the bike path where it turns into an absolute zoo. One time I was pulling a five person paceline, doing, like, 23 and as we pass the last mile marker, all of a sudden I'd hear the tell-tale clicks of shifters gearing up and a cascade of 'on your lefts' as everyone fought to be the first to the bike path finish. I just went 'pfft -- whatever' and reached down to my left shift lever and reminded everyone that I hadn't even shifted into my big ring yet.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:50 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by whatsmyname
If you're anything like me, there are at least two or three occasions for a commuting "time trial" on every run. You know what I mean - the pointless little races against other commuters over a bridge, from a stop sign, up a hill.

Obviously there are no spoken challenges, but in 90% of the cases, everybody knows what's happening - when it's on, it's on. Glory to the victor, disgrace to the looser. This is the age-old law of the road that all commuters know and respect. Don't try to pretend this is something strange - you know what I'm saying is the truth.

Having said that, as a sprint and hill legend in my lifetime, I try to spare some people from crushing defeat - innocent old ladies on shopper bikes, delivery guys in Huffys working their fifteenth straight hour and kids on BMXs. They escape my wrath.

By the same token, there are some people who can expect to be raced (and beaten) on every corner. They are "fair game" and the rush hour is open season.
In my book, if you fall into the following categories, you might as well be wearing a target on your back, buster:

- if you're riding a road bike
- if you're wearing a team jersey
- if you're wearing lycra
- if you're riding a singlespeed bike
- if you're wearing Oakleys
- if you cut me off

- if you look at me with that glint in your eye

Am I being too harsh here or am I missing any other categories of victim - I mean, competitor?
4 out of 7 this morning, plus I always have the glint in my eye.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Leiniesred
Pushin' fat tires and big iron every day makes the hills feel a little smaller to me than the roadies. For me and my machine, there is so much wind and tire drag compared to the hill drag, that the hill makes less of a difference. I catch roadies on hills more than anywhere else.
There are two guys on my commuting route who humble me every time we overlap paths. One of them rides some ancient Fat Chance with slicks. Another rolls on an old Specialized Allez with flat bars, bar ends and a pretty upright posture. Both of them have mastered that mountain biker high cadence hill climbing pedaling style and easily cruise at 25mph with commuting gear on their racks. It's all I can do to get their wheel and stick with them. Every time I see them, it reminds me that, as the cliche goes, it's not about the bike.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:52 AM
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There is this guy on a mountain bike with skinny tires that I occasionally see on my commute at least twice a week going home. The first time I saw him it was definitely a race and he beat me that day. How did I know it was a race? Everytime I get close to him with my constant cadence he looks back and stands on his pedals to rocket away. I've sworn that day that he will never do that to me again. Its been 4 months now and at least once a week I am on a constant battle with this guy and I've beaten him everyday since.

I should thank him though because he definitely pushed me, unknowingly, to go faster. Our last encounter was last night. I felt him behind me and heard the click-clacking of his bike. I "was" on a recovery ride. But as soon as I looked behind me and confirmed it was him I poured it on and left him in the dust. The surprising thing is it did not feel hard to blow him away any more. He caught me at the stoplight in what felt like 40 seconds later and he passed me as the light turned green. He was on his usual cadence of standing up on his pedals. I stayed on my seat and pushed gradually harder and passed him easily. He gave me a look and I gave him a smile. Later dude.

I need a new adversary.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:54 AM
  #21  
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My targeting system knows no bounds.

I derive much pleasure from seeing the same cars in line at 2-4 consecutive stoplights, so even the cars are fair game. I wonder if they notice that I've been meeting them at the lights.

Oh, and I ride an SS. Bring it!
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Old 07-12-07, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by spokenword
I just went 'pfft -- whatever' and reached down to my left shift lever and reminded everyone that I hadn't even shifted into my big ring yet.
VERY nice!

I'm looking forward to getting my randonneur bike up and running. That triple crankset could make group rides entertaining

(I'm working on making it the bike equivalent of a sleeper... now if only i can figure out where to put the nitrous tank...)
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Old 07-12-07, 10:06 AM
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Old 07-12-07, 10:06 AM
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Tell me about why singlespeed is on there =)
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Old 07-12-07, 10:12 AM
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I have not had many challenges lately. However, the dudes that I can never catch are the bike messengers\hipsters 20 somethings that ride around downtown on FGs. The speed difference is such that I am generally dropped like a sack of potatoes. The exception was one moron who passed me while I was taking a right scaring the sh#$ out of me and almost knocking me over. Sprinted, caught up with him, let loose a fair amount of profanity, and then dropped him.
I did encounter another roadie this morning at the end of my commute who smoked me. Dang it!
Being competitive sure helps with ones training. I wish I had more riders on my route. Nothing speeds me up like seeing another bike.
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