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A Comical Encounter

Old 05-12-20, 11:25 AM
  #1  
Paul Barnard
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A Comical Encounter

My life is a series of anecdotes. Yesterday provided me a good one. I am 57 years old, graying, in good shape and good (not great) cycling shape. My bike is a Lynskey touring bike. I was riding the MS River path out and back yesterday. I guess my ride was about 34 miles long. My bike wasn't loaded. Just a rack bag in place. No speedometer.

When I made it to the half way point, I stopped moved my bike out of the way and took a pic to post on Facebook. Everyone knows if you don't post it on Facebook it didn't happen right. While I was stopped, an older guy wearing sandals on a hybrid came down the path headed in the same direction I was going to be traveling. I nodded as he passed. He didn't seem to acknowledge me. I tucked my phone away and mounted up.

About a mile or so after he passed, I found myself closing the distance. With an announcement I eased around his left. If I had to guess, I'd guess I was doing 18 with a light tailwind and he was probably doing 15. I didn't think anything more of him until a few miles later, he came around me. I glanced over at him. I'd guess he was pushing 70 years old. I thought to myself, "you go bud," and I processed his slight build with marvelously sculpted calves. After he passed he seemed to slow. Winds were light, variable and shifting, so I allowed the wind could have been affected our speed.

I laid back for a bit so as not to get into a game of leapfrog. His speed dropped off more, and I wanted to get into my groove, so I relented and passed him. As I got beside him, I said "it's a gorgeous afternoon for a ride huh? Stone faced, he continued to glare forward without so much as an acknowledgement. No nod, no smile, no glance over, nothing.

A few miles down the path he came around me yet again. This time his head and upper body were bobbing with each pedal stroke. He looked like he was struggling a bit, but at the same time I still thought that he was in incredible shape. Well, low and behold he began to slow again after he passed me. Again I laid back for a while thinking he might recover from catching me and speed back up. That never happened, so I moved out and started to go around. This time when I got beside him, he sped up. I didn't. I heard him grunt a time or two. This continued on a few more miles.

Finally we came up to a group of slower riders. He seemed content to stay behind them, so I passed them all, and after I passed I stayed on the gas a while thinking that I could create enough of a gap that he wouldn't try to come around again. I don't have a mirror but do a quick over the shoulder glance periodically just to see if anyone is close. He wasn't closing in.

Imagine my surprise when a few miles later he came around me. While I found it mildly annoying, and wondered why he seemed unpleasant, I had much respect for his condition and tenacity. There was no question in my mind at this point he was not going to settle for me being in front of him. About 2 miles from my finish, I found myself closing the distance. He had slowed appreciably. I thought to myself, I'll just let him stay there until I finish.

Then with about a mile to go, I changed my mind. The part of me that loves to gauge human response took over. I got on it, and as I moved past him, I gave him the Lance stare. I halfway expected some kind of response. NONE. I really nailed it from there as I often do on my rides. I like to gas myself a little bit at the finish.

TLDR, I know. I love life. I love riding. I love the stories and interesting things that happen along the way. I would really love to know what he was thinking and I hope he wasn't as bitter as he seemed.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:29 AM
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Some people are very competitive but you behaved like a gentleman. Probably made the guy's day for the few moments he passed you.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Some people are very competitive but you behaved like a gentleman. Probably made the guy's day for the few moments he passed you.
The guy was a stud honestly. I cannot believe the stamina and determination he displayed.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:37 AM
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Funny interaction. I often wonder what's going on inside other cyclists heads, then I'm reminded that it's their space, not mine.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by joelcool View Post
Funny interaction. I often wonder what's going on inside other cyclists heads, then I'm reminded that it's their space, not mine.
Like you, I have infinite curiosity over what makes folks tick. I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse. Every now and then it sparks a little deviousness in me. I halfway expected him to cuss me out when I gave him the Lance stare. He seemed bitter. He may be laughing while he's telling this story to his friends right now.
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Old 05-12-20, 12:04 PM
  #6  
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Did you look for a Flyby?
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Old 05-12-20, 12:06 PM
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Waiting for the thread "so I passed this guy and then just kept slowing to see what he'd do".....
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Old 05-12-20, 12:18 PM
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This encounter could have gone a number of ways.
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Old 05-12-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Waiting for the thread "so I passed this guy and then just kept slowing to see what he'd do".....
I was actually hoping for a great parody!
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Old 05-12-20, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Waiting for the thread "so I passed this guy and then just kept slowing to see what he'd do".....
"So I passed this young guy and then just kept slowing ..."
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Old 05-12-20, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
This encounter could have gone a number of ways.
I came close to just stopping for 2 minutes and being done with it, but my curious nature wouldn't let me.
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Old 05-12-20, 02:12 PM
  #12  
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In my mind, I am picturing Dennis Weaver and a noisy, smoky, rusty old tanker truck.
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Old 05-12-20, 02:14 PM
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Just watched that movie this morning, by coincidence.
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Old 05-12-20, 02:27 PM
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I have no judgement to make. Ride on and let it go. Not worth the time or energy.
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Old 05-12-20, 04:10 PM
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Dude, you were 100% in the wrong there.

You should have droped the hamer right off the bat and opened such a gap that it crushed his will to compete. Anything less is a lack of competetive spirit. Being old is no excuse - he could train harder if he wanted to. The MUP's are no place for the half hearted. Eye of the Tiger... Eye of the Tiger

No kOM's awarded for this effort.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-12-20 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 05-12-20, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
My life is a series of anecdotes. Yesterday provided me a good one. I am 57 years old, graying, in good shape and good (not great) cycling shape. My bike is a Lynskey touring bike. I was riding the MS River path out and back yesterday. I guess my ride was about 34 miles long. My bike wasn't loaded. Just a rack bag in place. No speedometer.

When I made it to the half way point, I stopped moved my bike out of the way and took a pic to post on Facebook. Everyone knows if you don't post it on Facebook it didn't happen right. While I was stopped, an older guy wearing sandals on a hybrid came down the path headed in the same direction I was going to be traveling. I nodded as he passed. He didn't seem to acknowledge me. I tucked my phone away and mounted up.

About a mile or so after he passed, I found myself closing the distance. With an announcement I eased around his left. If I had to guess, I'd guess I was doing 18 with a light tailwind and he was probably doing 15. I didn't think anything more of him until a few miles later, he came around me. I glanced over at him. I'd guess he was pushing 70 years old. I thought to myself, "you go bud," and I processed his slight build with marvelously sculpted calves. After he passed he seemed to slow. Winds were light, variable and shifting, so I allowed the wind could have been affected our speed.

I laid back for a bit so as not to get into a game of leapfrog. His speed dropped off more, and I wanted to get into my groove, so I relented and passed him. As I got beside him, I said "it's a gorgeous afternoon for a ride huh? Stone faced, he continued to glare forward without so much as an acknowledgement. No nod, no smile, no glance over, nothing.

A few miles down the path he came around me yet again. This time his head and upper body were bobbing with each pedal stroke. He looked like he was struggling a bit, but at the same time I still thought that he was in incredible shape. Well, low and behold he began to slow again after he passed me. Again I laid back for a while thinking he might recover from catching me and speed back up. That never happened, so I moved out and started to go around. This time when I got beside him, he sped up. I didn't. I heard him grunt a time or two. This continued on a few more miles.

Finally we came up to a group of slower riders. He seemed content to stay behind them, so I passed them all, and after I passed I stayed on the gas a while thinking that I could create enough of a gap that he wouldn't try to come around again. I don't have a mirror but do a quick over the shoulder glance periodically just to see if anyone is close. He wasn't closing in.

Imagine my surprise when a few miles later he came around me. While I found it mildly annoying, and wondered why he seemed unpleasant, I had much respect for his condition and tenacity. There was no question in my mind at this point he was not going to settle for me being in front of him. About 2 miles from my finish, I found myself closing the distance. He had slowed appreciably. I thought to myself, I'll just let him stay there until I finish.

Then with about a mile to go, I changed my mind. The part of me that loves to gauge human response took over. I got on it, and as I moved past him, I gave him the Lance stare. I halfway expected some kind of response. NONE. I really nailed it from there as I often do on my rides. I like to gas myself a little bit at the finish.

TLDR, I know. I love life. I love riding. I love the stories and interesting things that happen along the way. I would really love to know what he was thinking and I hope he wasn't as bitter as he seemed.
You completely missed it. the guy was telling you, Without any words,let's work together, I'll go at the front and then you take a turn at the front and we can both go faster. shame.
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Old 05-12-20, 05:53 PM
  #17  
Paul Barnard
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
You completely missed it. the guy was telling you, Without any words,let's work together, I'll go at the front and then you take a turn at the front and we can both go faster. shame.
I considered making the offer, but after the stone faced 1000 yard stare when I spoke nicely to him, I had a hunch he wasn't interested.
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Old 05-12-20, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Dude, you were 100% in the wrong there.

You should have droped the hamer right off the bat and opened such a gap that it crushed his will to compete. Anything less is a lack of competetive spirit. Being old is no excuse - he could train harder if he wanted to. The MUP's are no place for the half hearted. Eye of the Tiger... Eye of the Tiger

No kOM's awarded for this effort.
I was kinda afraid he'd reel me in and humiliate me. BTW Eye of The Tiger is on my playlist.
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Old 05-12-20, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I was kinda afraid he'd reel me in and humiliate me. BTW Eye of The Tiger is on my playlist.
Next time, turn it to 11
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Old 05-12-20, 06:42 PM
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As you passed; Should have asked if he prefers wax or grease... that might have gotten a response, maybe not what you'd be expecting tho.
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Old 05-12-20, 09:22 PM
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1. Old
2. Sandals
3. Hybrid
Just making a note to add to my list of what to watch out for when riding. In my tennis days it was:
1. Old
2. Cardigan
3. One or more knee braces
because those old ladies could place the ball and clean my clock every time.
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Old 05-12-20, 09:47 PM
  #22  
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i'm sure we've all been on those rides where we vacillated from feeling great to blah to okay to second wind to kill me to best day ever to pablo cruise.
i know i sure have. usually for me, it's miles 15-60. after mile 60, i'm usually pretty consistently slow but willing to chase down distant targets and drop said targets.
yes...most of them are on cruisers and wearing flip-flops.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:03 PM
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https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fit...lery&gallery=1

I'm guessing you were a three and he was around a seven. He didn't earn a scalp, but you didn't exactly defend, either. It was a draw, so with your fcn, you lost.
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Old 05-13-20, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fit...lery&gallery=1

I'm guessing you were a three and he was around a seven. He didn't earn a scalp, but you didn't exactly defend, either. It was a draw, so with your fcn, you lost.
Make no mistake about it, I consider that guy my better. Well, not with the personality thing. He couldn't possibly compete with my effervescence.
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Old 05-13-20, 06:00 AM
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Hopefully, you also gave him "the Look"...

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