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What was your "this was a bad idea" ride?

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What was your "this was a bad idea" ride?

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Old 03-11-18, 07:49 AM
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dennis336
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What was your "this was a bad idea" ride?

I've had a lot of rides that were out of my comfort zone in that I was pretty wiped out at the end but those were just good opportunities to stretch myself. But only one where I was thinking "this was a really bad idea". It was on the "Great River Ride" out of Westfield, MA. It's a great event with a number of different distance offerings. I had done their century (actually, around 111 miles) a couple times, then decided to scale down to their 85 mile ride ... still a stretch for me but fewer miles of pain towards the end. In any event, a couple years ago, I was planning on doing the 85 mile ride and the forecast showed cloudy with a possibility of brief showers. This is really a great autumn ride that had been kind of the climax to the peak cycling season for me so I really wanted to do it. Well, it turned out to be more than "brief/light showers". It was rainy for much of the ride, windy, and cold. I ended up scaling down to the metric century and almost considered bailing on that. The ride is in mid-October and is a hilly ride with great descents in normal conditions. But with the wind and rain, combined with wet leaves falling on the roads, the descents were (for my skill level) pretty terrifying. I had a long sleeve base layer, cycling jersey, and a rain jacket on but the cold and wind, after a while went right through them. My wife (a non-cyclist) usually just shakes her head when she thinks I'm getting silly on one of my rides - then, just stays home and prays for me ... she must have seen that this day was turning out really sketchy because I got a text from her later in the day asking "how are you doing?". I just replied "I'm cold and I'm wet ... 8 more miles to go". I expect she prayed some more

This ride, by the way, is famous for its baked-potato rest stop. I can say this ... a hot baked potato NEVER tasted so good as it did that day at that rest stop. The few other riders that braved the day were huddled under a tent/tarp savoring our potatoes while preparing mentally for the home stretch.

Do you have any "what was I thinking" stories??
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Old 03-11-18, 10:03 AM
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Many years ago my brother-in-law talked me into an organized group ride. I hadn't ridden a bicycle in about 20 years. I did have a bike, a Panasonic DX2000 actually. Took it out for a 20 mile tune-up ride. The next Saturday we went off for the ride....from Vernon, VT to Vernon, CT...100 miles. Thought I was going to die at mile 85 but managed to make it. Couldn't walk for the next 3 days. My legs were in total spasm. That ride was the answer to the question..."So, how stupid are you?"
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Old 03-11-18, 10:21 AM
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A bad day on the bike (assuming rubber side down) is better than a good day at work.


If I remember work correctly.
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Old 03-11-18, 10:39 AM
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I call those: "It seemed like a good idea at the time" rides.
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Old 03-11-18, 10:46 AM
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Not a bad idea, (Setting aside those where I crashed & broke bones ),

It just would have been easier the other way ..

Road; south side of Loch Ness, rises steeply from the west end, over a short distance,
where if coming from the Inverness end, is a lot longer run to reach the same height..

main road on the north shore stays near the water..







...

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Old 03-11-18, 11:24 AM
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I had a similar ride, century 5 or 6 years ago. I'd seen the radar and forecast but it would be my first organized century and I was going, no matter what. My wife was concerned so I assured her that if "a killer storm" came up I'd stop, as I was thinking "that would never happen." And it was great for about 80 miles, but about then it got so bad that I didn't certainly even know where I was, but I was certain that I didn't want to be there. When I got back on the course sag teams were out picking people up and closing the course, saying that tornadoes had been spotted. I remembered my promise, so I had to throw in the towel

I should have shortened it to the metric, and it would have been a fabulous ride.
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Old 03-11-18, 11:50 AM
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This past December I really wanted to test out the winter conditions of the bike lanes that anti-cyclists usually sneer at.

But the bike route network in Toronto is really fragmented. Which means in order to get to the rideable streets and lanes near downtown, I had to navigate the trails which had no winter maintenance.

Only my fat bike was capable of riding through the freshly fallen snow. I had the tire pressures set at 4psi.

I never made it all the way downtown but my round trip was 34km taking 4hour and 47minutes. I was really pooped. I hadn't brought enough food and on the return trip felt like almost fainting as I kept nibbling on my apple core until I got to my gym when I bought a smoothie and a granola bar and rested 20 minutes. Average speed 7km/hr.

Btw the bike lanes were well maintained even after a snowfall. It was only the trails and sidestreets that weren't plowed. The fact that I rode through them to get to the bike lanes still proved it was all doable-which is what I had replied back to someone on Youtube.

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Old 03-11-18, 03:01 PM
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Too many.

Most of my D'oh! rides were brain farts, taking a wrong turn or deciding on a whim to explore an unfamiliar route, and ending up riding the shoulder of the highway for miles until the next exit. Last time was a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't too bad, other than wandering around after realizing the maps were wrong. As handy as a smartphone can be they're only as good as the data. Both Google maps and maps.me were wrong about routes to the nearest shortcut farm-to-market road.

My other whoops rides usually involve overestimating my ability. I've tried hanging on with the local fast club on their weekly 50-60 mile rides and I'm neither fast enough nor possessed of enough stamina to keep up or finish without being miserable. At 60, I'm 10-30 years older than most of those guys and gals, and they drop me as soon as we hit the roller coasters. I don't climb. Not well, anyway. And my average speed on that rural route is 14.5 mph, looking at Strava over the past year and several rides. They consistently average 16-18 mph. No way I can hang with them for long.

And an old C2 neck injury starts aching on longer rides. So I need to limit my rides on the drop bar race bike to 10-40 miles, tops.

I've always enjoyed the speed and when I was in my 20s I did some pretty reckless and foolish stuff in pursuit of the speed. Including drafting trucks on highways in Mexico at 50 mph. No crashes or injuries. Just dumb luck. So I don't do that anymore.

But I do enjoy blasting downhills and sprint like mad to top my previous best time. While I can't climb for spit, I have the sheer luck to have the optimal physique for downhills: 160 lbs, just heavy enough to be an advantage on downhills; slender, for that aero advantage -- I can often coast faster than some less aero riders can pedal downhill; just enough leg strength and balance to spin like crazy to maintain momentum without losing speed to wobble. Most sensible folks I know, including the cyclists who are actually much stronger and faster than I, coast or soft pedal down those hills. So while I'm solidly middle of the pack on every local climb, I've actually cracked the top 10 on some Strava downhill segments just through sheer recklessness and having the right physical attribute.

But by far my stupidest idea is the persistent notion that next time will be better when I try to tag onto a faster group, or push beyond my capabilities while thinking "Oh, this is just my comfort zone, not my actual physical limit".
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Old 03-11-18, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I call those: "It seemed like a good idea at the time" rides.
THIS, coming from a guy who does 200mi and 24-hour rides for 'fun'... 'nuff said.
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Old 03-11-18, 05:34 PM
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Today. Riding due north to start the ride into a 25-35mph north wind for 10 miles with my 215 pounds feeling more like a sailboat's mainsail, all the while thinking at least I get to turn around for the return leg and pretend to be a sailboat's spinnaker on a downwind leg...
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Old 03-11-18, 06:17 PM
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I was on an 80mi ride with the ‘88 Cannondale Criterium (just to prove it could be done) on a predicted 85deg day. Normally, that is my temp limit on a long ride. Remember, I ride zero temps at night during cold season. Anyways, on the 65mi mark the temps spiked 95 and the winds kicked up. I was fried. Pulled into Walloon Village, took my shoes off, with everybody watching I walked in with riding clothes and sat down up to my neck in heavenly cool water. That was a ride too long for the heat.
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Old 03-12-18, 12:51 AM
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A 600K I attempted about a dozen years ago. We did the first 300K in absolutely torrential rain, and bridges were being washed out behind us (we found out later). Wind so strong we were pedalling downhill. Reached a main highway and were just about washed away by the waves created by the semis.

By the 300K point, in the middle of the night, we were starting to struggle with hypothermia because it was not only still pouring but it was getting quite cool, and so we pulled the plug (so to speak) at 300K.



A few weeks later I attempted it again and had to be picked up at about 330 km suffering from hyponatremia.


Never did complete that particular 600 km.
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Old 03-12-18, 04:32 AM
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When I first graduated college and got a job in Maryland, I went out and bought the bike I always wanted - a Schwinn LeTour 10 speed! I found a book in the library called the "Washington (DC) Area Bike Atlas" and started doing short rides after work and longer and longer rides on the weekend, many level and some rolling hills. Back then, I didn't even know what a water bottle was - carried nothing with me other than money.

I worked my way through the book and reached a ride around Prettyboy Reservoir that was listed as "challenging" and with "limited services" but was only 40 miles long. Since it was summer and stayed light pretty late, I went into work early and left early one day and drove north of Baltimore to the start.

I quickly learned that riding around a reservoir meant constant steep ups and downs and that summer in this area not only brought late light but lingering heat and humidity. Limited services meant that the only water was a water fountain at the halfway mark at the road over the reservoir dam - and vandals had destroyed that. I essentially bonked, went slower and slower as it got darker and darker and pretty much walked the last five miles back to the car in a thunderstorm - another feature of area summers.

Last year, I purposely went out and did that ride on my new road bike, with water bottles and carrying food - a nice challenging but enjoyable ride!
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Old 03-12-18, 05:25 AM
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Do you have any "what was I thinking" stories??
More than I can remember, but my most "memorable" one was about 15 years ago when I was just getting serious about my cycling, trying to ride 5 or 6 days a week instead of 5 or 6 times a month.

A friend invited me to do a nine mile, mtb trail loop around a local forest preserve with him. I figured I could do nine miles, and it sounded like a fun ride, so I joined him and a few other guys. What my friend "forgot" to mention was that it was a very hilly nine mile loop and at the time, I had been riding on flat streets and bike trails.

About three miles in, I realized I was in waaaaaay over my head, but kept at it anyway. At five miles, I was in agony and before I reached six miles, I bonked....big time. That was the first time I had ever bonked on a ride and I was praying that God would just kill me right then and there, that's how bad I felt. The three mile hike back to where we were parked was the longest three miles in history. Thankfully, the friend who invited me along stayed with me while the rest rode on to the parking lot.

About two years later I tried that loop again and had a much more pleasant ride that day.




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Old 03-12-18, 05:30 AM
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A bad ride for me was heading south from Tijuana on a solo tour. Within an hour, I had two offers to buy my bike (a px10) and a couple others shouting compliments as they slowly drove by. This was in the early 1970's, before the widespread cartel violence, but I was still a little on edge. So I turned around and headed to the border. Looking back, I was a young and a little naive. With no Mexican heritage either. Then again, nothing bad actually happened.
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Old 03-12-18, 06:38 AM
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I will say that, by the 80 mile mark of almost every century ride I've done, I will ask myself what I was thinking and why I put myself through it ... but, a couple days later, I'm thinking about maybe doing "just one more". The first couple, especially, were brutal ... the first because i went out too fast and didn't hydrate enough. The second, I did better with pacing but the temperature was deep into the 90s and humid ... both times didn't think I'd make it but kept trying as wanted to work out the kinks in my riding approach and avoid the extreme heat to see if I could manage the long distance better.
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Old 03-12-18, 09:46 AM
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I thought I could get a 20 mile ride in & beat the coming storm
I lost,
50 down to 40, pouring rain
for 5 miles.
Got home, driveway was dry
Wife laughed, I was shivering.

Not so intelligent lifeform
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Old 03-12-18, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bogydave View Post
I thought I could get a 20 mile ride in & beat the coming storm
I lost,
50 down to 40, pouring rain
for 5 miles.
Got home, driveway was dry
Wife laughed, I was shivering.

Not so intelligent lifeform
I love racing storm fronts. Part of that is getting caught and dropped.
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Old 03-12-18, 11:04 AM
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Looked like this:
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Old 03-12-18, 11:19 AM
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ice w/o studs. went back home & swapped bikes
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Old 03-12-18, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by camjr View Post
Today. Riding due north to start the ride into a 25-35mph north wind for 10 miles with my 215 pounds feeling more like a sailboat's mainsail, all the while thinking at least I get to turn around for the return leg and pretend to be a sailboat's spinnaker on a downwind leg...
I was really tempted to take advantage of that north wind here in north central Texas Sunday, but my neck was still aching from Saturday's ride. It'd be great for hill climbs.

A friend set some new KOMs on some difficult southbound climbs out toward Weatherford on Sunday. He's already a strong, fast rider and with the wind assist those KOMs will probably stand for years. I also learned from him that almost all local KOMs and top tens on Strava are wind assisted. So I no longer feel guilty about using invisible doping.

As long as the risk is low for storms, bring it on.
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Old 03-12-18, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
A bad ride for me was heading south from Tijuana on a solo tour. Within an hour, I had two offers to buy my bike (a px10) and a couple others shouting compliments as they slowly drove by. This was in the early 1970's, before the widespread cartel violence, but I was still a little on edge. So I turned around and headed to the border. Looking back, I was a young and a little naive. With no Mexican heritage either. Then again, nothing bad actually happened.
That could be a typical ride anywhere in the U.S. My fellow pickup driving rednecks are the worst. Although I'm a redneck in recovery and remission, still working on my 12-step don't-be-a-jacka$$ program.

All my rides in Baja were large group rides so we never experienced any problems. The police even escorted us and set up traffic control along the routes. Those were the Rosarito-Ensenada and Mexicali-San Felipe rides. Lots of fun back then. The locals were terrific. We'd pay kids to watch our bikes while we ate or visited cantinas -- some in advance, more when we returned. No problems.

While Tijuana has always had some crime problems, for the most part Baja still seems to have a pretty good rep for American tourists and cyclists. At least the group rides should be safe. Just stick with drinks in sealed bottles or cans. And eat the worm after drinking the mescal. Guaranteed cure for roofies, dysentery and whatever ails us Americans.
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Old 03-12-18, 06:27 PM
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I once made the cardinal mistake of going out solo mt. biking into the New Mexico backcountry having A) Told my wife I was going up to Los Alamos yet diverted enroute and instead went to Taos high country, B) Parked the car in an out of the way unused (in summer) x-country ski area, car parked under trees and C) Followed a cow up a trail, pushing bike on a trail unsuitable for bikes, noticed finally that the cow had no tail and was actually a cinnamon brown bear. Oops.

Got out of there in a hurry.
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Old 03-12-18, 08:34 PM
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Got sick as hell weekend before last with a nasty cold. By Thursday of last week, I thought I was well enough to give my regular work commute a go. My wife insisted that I was not ready, but of course I would not listen. Halfway to work I realized she was right and the ride was really a bad idea. She had to come get me. Not good. Can I ever learn?
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Old 03-13-18, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
noticed finally that the cow had no tail and was actually a cinnamon brown bear. Oops. Got out of there in a hurry.
hahahaha OMG!
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