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Riding alone all the time.

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Riding alone all the time.

Old 06-15-23, 01:28 PM
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Riding alone all the time.

I know this has been discussed but I am bring it up just to see if anyone else is in my shoes. I am retired and my routine is to get up very early in the morning. I am morning person and staying up late does not work for me. I generally go out and ride early myself going between 30-75 miles pretty much daily if weather allows. My reasoning is around here the wind is usually the calmest in the early morning and much less traffic. I go out before sunrise a lot have a good like and with a good light hopefully easy to see at night.

So I could try and hook up with friends and group rides but I just don't. I don't mind being out myself and it allows total freedom but the price is that sometimes company is good and certainly you can move faster in a group ride. To me it is just way to much of a change if I wait till the group rides that happen usually later in the day. There is a retired group that goes out of a few cycliist I could hook up with but the pace would be a bit slower than I got, although I am not some super cyclist. I go along from 16-19mph here in the flatlands.

So the moral of the story is this works and I am ok with it. Anyone else find the group rides are not really necessary and prefer the lone ranger approach?
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Old 06-15-23, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark
I know this has been discussed but I am bring it up just to see if anyone else is in my shoes.I am retired and my routine is to get up very early in the morning. I am morning personand staying up late does not work for me. I generally go out and ride early myself going between 30-75 miles pretty much daily if weather allows. My reasoning is around here the wind is usually the calmest in the early morning and much less traffic. I go out before sunrise a lot have a good like and with a good light hopefully easy to see at night.

So I could try and hook up with friends and group rides but I just don't. I don't mind being out myself and it allows total freedom but the price is that sometimes company is good and certainly you can move faster in a group ride. To me it is just way to much of a change if I wait till the group rides that happen usually later in the day. There is a retired group that goes out of a few cycliist I could hook up with but the pace would be a bit slower than I got, although I am not some super cyclist. I go along from 16-19mph here in the flatlands.

So the moral of the story is this works and I am ok with it. Anyone else find the group rides are not really necessary and prefer the lone ranger approach?
Yesterday was 12:36AM start time for my 33.33 mile solo ride. Had to avoid 2 Opossums running in front of me a 1 HUGE Racoon. Had 1 newspaper deliverer driving around who ALMOST blasted thru a STOP SIGN as I was approaching but we both slowed in time so no OOPS. Today's ride was a late start with the SUN UP and the HEAT ON HIGH so no fun for 41.14 solo miles.

Can't ride with the retired group anymore since their pace can be 21+ mph for much of the 35 to 45 miles they ride.
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Old 06-15-23, 03:15 PM
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I ride solo most of the time too. I prefer to ride when others don't. The middle of the day. Also, many of my friends have passed on or moved away. And I've always been sort of a hermit anyhow and not blessed with natural social graces.

However for charity rides and other annual rides I do have some that I ride with for those occasions and if not, then I've always been able to judge who can ride well in a paceline and not just as a mob. Usually if they don't ask me to join when they pass, I'll ask them and almost always they say "come on if you can keep up".

I enjoy riding more when there are a couple others along. Even riding the MUP or anywhere else, I'll engage a few of the more serious looking cyclists in conversation and ride with them till they have to go their own way or they drop because I attack the hills too hard for them.
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Old 06-15-23, 03:20 PM
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I have always ridden alone for the most part. That is because a big part of my riding was commuting to work. I like the idea of group ride until reality sets in. I am on someone else's time frame and I have to get in my car and take my bike somewhere to meet the group. When I ride alone I leave my driveway on my bike. I go when the mood suits me. And although I want companionship not enough to change my ways. I do not know about speeds and such because I do not clock that. I am mostly interested in how many miles I put in and the scenery that I see. I also when I ride try and make it functional in some way. That is not always doable.
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Old 06-15-23, 03:30 PM
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I prefer to ride solo because my choice of bike is usually one of my SS's. I set the pace/course and enjoy the serenity.....
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Old 06-15-23, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark
To me it is just way to much of a change if I wait till the group rides that happen usually later in the day.
One of the blessings of retirement is not having to accommodate a schedule. That said, you might be able to figure a way to ride with your friends once or twice a week. Maybe leave at your usual hour and stop for breakfast along the way.
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Old 06-15-23, 04:54 PM
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I ride mostly alone. Things I like about that:

1) Keep my own pace that optimizes my workout parameters.

2) I try to minimize as many "do this as this time" commitments as I can in my life. I go when I go.

3) I've always found road cycling to be a strange activity to attempt to use socially. It smacks of loner-ish-ness to me.

I heard a good Flloyd Landis quote recently. Something like this:

"People think that bike racers are a bunch of bad asses but they're really not. They're just a bunch of guys who like to ride their bikes alone. Or near other people without talking much".

That's me, all day long.
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Old 06-15-23, 05:02 PM
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I ride the local bike paths. The good thing is that Des Moines has a really fine system of paths. The bad thing perhaps is that it is really easy to ride them alone. I don't mind riding alone. I have a buddy or two I ride with from time to time particularly when going long.
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Old 06-15-23, 05:12 PM
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Old people have to much phlegm and are to lazy to wait before launching rockets, they can't hear, and they complain that your bike costs too much. Besides, driving a car to get to a group bike ride and doing it on a schedule is so......1980's
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Old 06-15-23, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Old people have to much phlegm and are to lazy to wait before launching rockets, they can't hear, and they complain that your bike costs too much.
Plus having to stop and pee.
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Old 06-15-23, 05:30 PM
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I always ride alone. I generally don't get started until the groups are finishing. I'll see other solo riders and occasionally couples who are also like to start a bit later. But I see no need to ride in company. I think the solitude is part of the enjoyment.

(I used to ride with my wife in the evening a few days a week, but she lost the inspiration and hasn't been out in a few years. That's the only 'group' ride I'd like to get going again.)
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Old 06-15-23, 08:40 PM
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Yes, the subject of riding alone comes up often here on the 50+ forum. I have been surprised at how many say they always ride alone, probably the vast majority of responders.

Riding alone is ok and I've had some fun rides solo but It's nothing like the right group ride. Not all group rides are good but you have the option to drop out and ride alone if it really sucks.

I've done thousands of group rides as a member of a road club for 34 years. Still do 2 group rides every week but now at least one is a small group instead of a club ride.

I've made some good friends and had some unforgettable experiences that would never happen on a solo ride. Road trips, multi day tours, and climbing adventure rides could be done solo but are so much better with friends.
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Old 06-15-23, 08:52 PM
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group rides are all good and dandy as long as everyone shows up and is ready to go at the agreed time (unlikely), no flats/mechanicals (unlikely), extended
bathroom visit(s) and aren't totally out of camber with the rest of the group (unlikely...there's always one guy/girl). hit the group rides on your terms and as @big john
sed, bounce out and ride alone.
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Old 06-15-23, 10:14 PM
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I see the big groups out there riding at speed in a perfectly spaced formation, Sometimes they all have the same outfit on. How they do that is a profound question. They must know what one another is thinking, but they can't be that close personally? They aren't a family. They must have some form of subliminal communication, like a flock of geese or a herd of elephants.
It dawned on me some are perfectly made for group rides, and others are made to be solo riders.
I think the world needs both kinds.
You have to admit however, you're probably a lot safer in a group ride. You get higher visibility, and the collective mindset will enforce safe riding habits.

Last edited by AJW2W11E; 06-15-23 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 06-16-23, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark
... certainly you can move faster in a group ride.
Not in my experience.
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Old 06-16-23, 03:46 AM
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Strangely I'm also up and about very early every day. Just got back from a 5am walk around the neighborhood. I'd rather do things when I want than wait on others.
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Old 06-16-23, 04:14 AM
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I ride alone here in a city of 14 million people. I’m not retired, but I work from home, and my schedule is flexible. I’m riding when most other people are on their way to work. I have found that riding in group rides is faster, and even if speeds aren’t higher, the time passes more quickly.

This morning, sunrise in Tokyo was around 4:30 in the morning, so there is plenty of time to ride before rush hour starts.
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Old 06-16-23, 04:41 AM
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I've gotten away from group / club rides in recent years. And, my rides are shorter at an uptempo pace. I either ride solo or with my wife. When I'm riding solo I don't have to be concerned about her schedule when trying to decide when to ride. On the ride I can ride my own pace.without concern for her being too far ahead (early season climbs) or behind (sprints and descents). With respect to group rides I don't have to ride with recreational (in the worst sense of that word) riders who are all over the road, have no idea how to ride predictably and safely and have no clue what taking the "racer's line" through a corner means. Usually this means that when you go to the outside to set up for a corner, they go under you and then drift wide. A pet peeve of mine. The lack of communication can be deadly. So, in summary, I ride solo as much as possible. I will ride, however, with certain people most of whom are ex-racers. Not only is it safer but I learn things that make me a better and safer rider.
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Old 06-16-23, 05:18 AM
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Yes, early and solo for me too. I used to ride with others more than now, but always did ride solo a lot. Lately I trail ride every morning and I actually talked to a few neighbors about their riding thinking maybe they'd join me once in a while. The one guy who seemed remotely interested said the trail I rode were to tough for him and he'd be walking most of the time. He said needed much more flowy trails. We discussed maybe doing a trip to where he rides. The trails there are nice smooth twisty paths and quite nice, more like gravel riding though. His trails are 45 minutes away vs mine which are accessible pretty much right out the front door and down the hill from both our homes. I am pretty sure we will never get around to riding together.

Given the Tallahassee heat I am getting lighting set up for trail riding even earler, before dawn. I did a bit of night riding decades ago and really liked it, so with the unbearable summer heat here it seems like a slam dunk.
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Old 06-16-23, 05:25 AM
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I ride alone all the time. I’ve been retired for 10 years now so am pretty spoiled about “doing my thing” at my pace, on my schedule, for my reasons. I also still get up quite early. Towards the end of my, so called, career I had my alarm set for 4:40am and was at my desk by 6:00am (to avoid morning traffic)*. Even now I say “if I could get up that early to work, I sure can get up that early to play.” I ride dawn patrol alone and don’t worry a bit. Freedom to do what I want and I can handle whatever comes up.

Besides, I rider faster than some and slower than the rest. Group rides would not suit me. And I would not join any group that would have me.

* I preferred going to work at 70mph than at 20mph.
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Old 06-16-23, 08:38 AM
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The best rides are with best friends - not what I call a group ride.
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Old 06-16-23, 09:35 AM
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I can barely figure out when I'm free for a ride, never mind coordinate w/ any other ppl
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Old 06-16-23, 12:55 PM
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I dont normally ride early but I mostly ride alone. Pretty much all the factors land in favor:
1) convenience to ride out the garage exactly when Im ready,
2) ride where I want with my pace and style,
3) no safety issues with bunched riders,
4) I get to do all the work all the time,
5) relaxing and meditative.

Otto
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Old 06-16-23, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by diphthong
group rides are all good and dandy as long as everyone shows up and is ready to go at the agreed time (unlikely), no flats/mechanicals (unlikely), extended
bathroom visit(s) and aren't totally out of camber with the rest of the group (unlikely...there's always one guy/girl). hit the group rides on your terms and as @big john
sed, bounce out and ride alone.
My main club (I ride with other clubs on occasion) starts at 8:00. There is a moment for announcements, who is doing which ride, and we're off. There is no waiting for anyone who is late. OK, it has happened,, but rarely.

The bathroom breaks happen at the designated rest stops. If someone needs to stop before, they are on their own unless they can convince someone to stop with them.

Flats and mechanicals happen. it's normally not a big deal.


Originally Posted by AJW2W11E
I see the big groups out there riding at speed in a perfectly spaced formation, Sometimes they all have the same outfit on. How they do that is a profound question. They must know what one another is thinking, but they can't be that close personally? They aren't a family. They must have some form of subliminal communication, like a flock of geese or a herd of elephants.
When you ride with someone a lot, you learn their movements, if you can trust them, what to expect. Also, you learn to be suspicious of new riders and learn who to stay away from. When I've gone to charity rides, I don't get in a line with strangers. If I go there alone I am prepared to do the whole ride without drafting a stranger. I'll chat and joke with people but stay wary of them. Sometimes I meet someone I feel comfortable being close to but usually I'm happy to keep my distance. Haven't done one in a long time, though.

Originally Posted by Wildwood
The best rides are with best friends - not what I call a group ride.
I agree with you about the friends part, but it's still a group if it's 3 or more.

Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Not in my experience.
Some group rides suck but several riders working together against the wind should always be faster than a solo rider. Just takes a little practice.

Last edited by big john; 06-16-23 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 06-16-23, 03:35 PM
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Running i liked doing with a partner. But biking I prefer to do solo. When I was a kid of course we all rode together all over town. But when we became teens I was the only one that continued riding and discovered my love of road bikes. I think all those miles every summer riding alone when and where I wanted to just became what I was accustomed to. These days of course I have my grandkids to ride with so I will make exceptions for them.
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