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NOS88 11-10-08 03:56 PM

I'm the hard core real deal.... so they say.
I forgot my water bottle on today's ride. So, I swing by the local LBS to pick up one. As I'm taking off the gloves, helmet, and unzipping the jacket, I hear three young riders (20s?) jawing with two of the mechanics. The conversation went like this: "I'm telling you, Dude. He's the real deal. Look at the way he climbs." Response 1: "Man, JJ is much faster. He's the real deal." Response 2: "No way look at the mile... just the sheer number of miles... way more than JJ." At this point I tell the mechanic I need a bottle because I forgot mine and that I'm headed back to the restroom to make room for some more liquids.

Now I've ridden with both of these mechanics before and they both know I ride without my hearing aids (without them I only hear about 25% of what most folks hear). But today not only did I forget my water bottle, I was in such a hurry I forgot to take off the hearing aids. So, the younger mechanic probably doesn't think I can hear him while I'm down the hallway. And, he says, "You guys want to know who the hard core real deal is? Well, he just walked past you." I hear one of the 20 something guys ask, "You mean that old guy?" Now the older mechanic chimes in and says (of course I've stopped dead in my tracks to hear all of this... the bladder will have to wait just a bit longer): "Remember last week when we had those horrible rain storms with the gusting winds and temperatures near freezing? Well, that old guy was out putting in his miles. He'll be out in Jan. & Feb. cranking out the miles regardless of the weather. Hell it will be another 25 years before you get close to putting in the miles he does."

At this point I'm feeling a bit self-conscious and head the rest of way back the hallway into the restroom. When I come out the young guns are gone and I ask to pay for the water bottle. The older mechanic is smirking from ear to ear and says: "Those dudes just here bought it for you." I blurt our: "What?" He says: "Yeah, they wanted to pay tribute to an old dude who's a hard core real deal."

OK, so here's what I know. There are many of you on this forum who make my cycling experiences look pale. And I stand in admiration of so many of you. Hence, every time I take a drink from my new water bottle, I'll be making a toast to all of the 50+ hardcore real deal riders out there. Bottoms up!

10 Wheels 11-10-08 04:04 PM

They are good guys.
My bike guys have given me, 5 bottles, one hub cone. one spoke repair.
One chain protector.

stapfam 11-10-08 04:14 PM

Have to admit that most of the comments I overhear about me are the other way round. Just face it- a couple of Old gits on a Tandem ain't going to go very fast. Did a ride in 2003 and at one of the rest stops the young bucks were talking about the number of "OLD" riders attempting this ride. None of the olduns had a chance of finishing and "Did you see the grandad on the Tandem- They probably packed in at the 20 mile mark." This was at the 65 mile mark and we let them go ahead of us and as we flew past them on the downhill- Stuart just yelled out "The 20 milers are passing on the right" He then took them on the left and they never saw us.

europa 11-10-08 05:19 PM

Dunno what you put in that water bottle but the stories are getting better all the time ;)

Richard :D

George 11-10-08 06:46 PM

Good story, I bet it made you ride a little farther that day.:D

gruffydd 11-10-08 07:07 PM

Cool story. Good for you. And good for those lads. Bicycling, you gotta love it.

cccorlew 11-10-08 07:35 PM

What a fun story. And what cool young guys oo.

Louis 11-10-08 08:04 PM

Good post.

I had a pair of young racer types look me over as I rode past going the opposite direction, one yells to his buddy "hey, check that out".

I'm still trying to figure that one out.:o

Mojo Slim 11-10-08 08:07 PM

Great story. That bike mechanic and those youngsters are very cool, themselves. Your ride must have been on air.

Melo 11-10-08 08:17 PM

I am often asked how old I am, and how many miles I ride. I just say 80 and counting, and that I have riden 11,300 + miles this year. (daily posted on BikeJournal) I am not fast anymore, but steady. :) Haven't received any free stuff though :(

Kurt Erlenbach 11-10-08 08:42 PM

I'm not to the point where actual bike riders think my riding is anything special. I am always tickled by the non-riders who are so amazed that an old guy can actually ride a bike 40 or 50 or 60 or more miles at a time.

one_beatnik 11-10-08 09:25 PM

Good grief, I'm only 52 and people can't believe I can ride 12 whole miles to get to work. I mean it's only 12 miles! On good days in the summer it may be 30 but whatever.

one_beatnik 11-10-08 09:26 PM

We may have the subject of a new thread here on people's perceptions of bicycling miles...both ours and the general public's. Don't want to hijack this one. Good story NOS88

roadfix 11-10-08 09:29 PM

Good thread!

People never talk about my accomplishments so I spend a lot of time at coffee shops posing with my bike. :D

europa 11-10-08 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by one_beatnik (Post 7827476)
We may have the subject of a new thread here on people's perceptions of bicycling miles...both ours and the general public's. Don't want to hijack this one. Good story NOS88

I don't give a flying furball about anyone else's perceptions, I'm the one that's hurting :D


Red Rider 11-10-08 10:54 PM

Great story! I love reading these kinds of stories -- good karma all around.

BengeBoy 11-11-08 01:33 AM

Fantastic post!

Thanks for sharing.

I'm sitting here late at night, staring at a gloomy forecast for the morning commute (48 degrees, 16 mph wind, 97% probability of rain), thinking I would wimp out and drive my car tomorrow.

I guess now I have to ride my bike...

Burr 11-11-08 04:23 AM

Nice story, thanks for sharing.

I get the how old are you all the time.

bikinfool 11-11-08 05:23 AM

Excellent story!

Last year I owned part of a bike shop up in Downieville and we provided shuttle services for the somewhat famous "Downieville Downhill" (there's more to it than that, but what 75% of the folks who shuttle up ride after getting dropped off, it's the course of a fairly well known downhill mountain bike race; the trip back to town is about 16 miles long descending about 4500' with some pretty rocky and technical sections). Once in a while I'd jump on a shuttle myself to get a ride in when I had the time. It was always funny how a lot of the young guys full of themselves would get their gear together and hurry to jump on the trail, trying to impress themselves/their buddies. Same guys when they saw me in the shop didn't even think I rode. Their faces were often priceless as I caught up to and passed by all but the fastest of them on my way back to town, and it was even better when I caught a bit of a conversation to the effect of "did you see that old guy?" after cruising by...

HAMMER MAN 11-11-08 05:41 AM

yep good story,i have had similar instances where I have ridden with younger riders on the road or chased them down and vice versa, sometimes hammering and sometimes not and for the most part they say you do pretty good for an old guy,{@ 57** I just smile and say yea not too bad.

Allegheny Jet 11-11-08 06:39 AM

Great story. Earning their respect did have its price, even though you didnt know you were earning it at the time. Clean bike with rusty bolt heads = real deal bad ass.:D

tntyz 11-11-08 04:05 PM

Way to go, old dude! You earned it!

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