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Am I Just an Angry Loner?

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Am I Just an Angry Loner?

Old 05-18-24, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Freedom, solitude and achieving goals through self-discipline don't mesh well with group dynamics. I want to take a turn when I want, go the speed I want and hop onto a sidewalk if I think it's safer. Can you imagine Rocky in a group training run with Eye of the Tiger blasting? How about Batman achieving the fortitude in group sessions to escape The Pit or Luke Skywalker in daily Force Strengthening classes? Nope Nope and Nope.
Have you ever tried riding with a group?
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Old 05-18-24, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Freedom, solitude and achieving goals through self-discipline don't mesh well with group dynamics. I want to take a turn when I want, go the speed I want and hop onto a sidewalk if I think it's safer. Can you imagine Rocky in a group training run with Eye of the Tiger blasting? How about Batman achieving the fortitude in group sessions to escape The Pit or Luke Skywalker in daily Force Strengthening classes? Nope Nope and Nope.
Ok.

I do not do group rides. Always ride solo; always have, always will. But it has never, ever -- not once -- occurred to me to start some sort of thread about that preference. Doing so strikes me as just ... odd.

That said, I might have found your perfect bike -- a 'Lone Wolf' special. Behold, the World's Greatest Madone (courtesy BSNYC).
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Old 05-18-24, 05:14 PM
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Back in the day when I got my first real Road Bike in Italy, bikers my age (22) would have nothing to do with me. In many ways I dont blame them. I did not even know about cross chaining... Ha.

But there was an old group of riders that I did get in with. They were old guys in their 50s and older. Some of them even used to race. They thought nothing of letting the lanky young American GI tag along. They showed me how to ride my road bike. But they especially showed me how to enjoy a ride. Its a skill I use today.

You will find your group...
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Old 05-18-24, 05:20 PM
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tl,dr.

I, too, am by preference a solitary cyclist. We should ride together, separately, some time.
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Old 05-18-24, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik
You had to be on-guard and focused every second.
Life presents a lot of that naturally, I for certain do not want to add more to it. Just watching out when on a solo ride is mentally tiresome, watching out for other riders & when they slip up, no way Jose!
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Old 05-18-24, 05:40 PM
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I've ridden a ton of solo miles randonneuring, day and night. I prefer to ride my pace, stopping when I want for how long I want. I rode most of Paris Brest Paris solo four times. Same with all the grand brevets I've done.

Some randonneurs can't or won't ride alone; if they find themselves alone, they'll slow up for the next group.

OTOH, without question the most fun times I've had randonneuring have been in groups. The Fleche is a 5-bike team event where the group rides together for 24 hours. Always a blast. It's one thing to ride a paceline; it's another thing to pace with the same people for 24 hours.

The last segment of PBP 2023 I rode with the North Carolina Adrian Hands Society gang, alternating goofing and hammering, So many great memories.
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Old 05-18-24, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Misapplication of the word anger as I don’t feel angry towards them. I find these large packs incomprehensible and surprising would be a better turn of phrase.

many people use groups and clubs as a social event.
go for a ride, stop have coffee, talk, finish ride (in any order)

really nothing surprising or incomprehensible No different say a curling team

you simple may not need this social interaction or get it other ways

I mostly ride solo because it is convenient as to timing and just doing my thing, but as I have more time will be doing more group riding.....especially a midweek 30 mile ride that ends with lunch at a place that just happens to have a 2 for 1 beer special on that day
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Old 05-18-24, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Freedom, solitude and achieving goals through self-discipline don't mesh well with group dynamics. I want to take a turn when I want, go the speed I want and hop onto a sidewalk if I think it's safer. Can you imagine Rocky in a group training run with Eye of the Tiger blasting? How about Batman achieving the fortitude in group sessions to escape The Pit or Luke Skywalker in daily Force Strengthening classes? Nope Nope and Nope.
side walks are pretty much never safer unless you are going at walking speed.

as to achieving goals, many time groups help do that. Example, I went kayaking today and pushed my self hard (5 foot wave, 3 miles off shore) and would never have done that without a group of paddles supporting and making is safer.

or in cycling no one wins the tour de france as a solo person, it takes a group to support the person who wins

clearly ride how you want there is not a right or a wrong, but just because you think a thing is not understandable does not make it wrong
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Old 05-18-24, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
I have started upping my cycling game in preparation for my first "serious" bike with early morning recreational rides in and around our lakeside paths, park trails and the city bike lanes. I have been somewhat surprised by the number of large groups of cyclists, from more serious-looking cycle groups right down to casual groups. Without having tried a group ride I can confidently say that this group riding is not for me. It appears stressful and chaotic, especially on narrow bike lanes; the antithesis of the serene, introspective and self-motivational ride I strive for to enhance mental and physical clarity. I see very few lone cyclists on these early morning jaunts

Am I just an angry loner?
Group rides are a blast. I was a serious loner as a kid, but an avid cyclist. The local bike shop owner invited me to take part in their Sunday group ride, and I did. I got dropped, got a flat when I was trying to catch up, and a passer-by in a pickup truck gave me a ride home.

But the next week I joined again, kept up, met a few people, and had a good time. The pace was faster than I could have kept up by myself, I learned the basics of drafting, and had fun sprinting at various landmarks. In time I moved to faster and more competitive groups, and this led to participating in races.

If group rides weren’t fun, you wouldn’t see so many of them.
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Old 05-18-24, 06:42 PM
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One advantage of riding alone is fewer arguments about where to go, when to go, how fast to go, etc.
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Old 05-18-24, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt
One advantage of riding alone is fewer arguments about where to go, when to go, how fast to go, etc.
isn't that called Riding Bikes with the spouse?
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Old 05-18-24, 06:58 PM
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On the GAP/C&O I met a couple on a tandem recumbent; they were on their honeymoon!
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Old 05-18-24, 07:15 PM
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68 mile club ride today. Not a ton of climbing but the pace was pretty high at times. Luckily the 2 fast guys were sympathetic and kept the group together. 10 riders started but one friend is on the comeback so he turned back early. One of the fast guys had to be somewhere so he took off several miles later.

Climbing is how riders get separated, dropped, or just worn out. Even fast groups will split apart when there is enough climbing. It's not a problem for slower climbers (like me) if the faster climbers are willing to wait.

This ride was what I look for in a group. Hard work, nice roads, friendly banter, jokes, snack stops with story telling and more. I enjoy solo rides every week but I really look forward to the group rides. Activities are more fun when you have friends to share them with. I've done road trips with club members to ride at different locations. Some have gone to Europe together. I did a cross country tour with 3 other club members and several short tours with other members.
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Old 05-18-24, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Life presents a lot of that naturally, I for certain do not want to add more to it. Just watching out when on a solo ride is mentally tiresome, watching out for other riders & when they slip up, no way Jose!
Shirley, you jest. Surely you do.
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Old 05-18-24, 07:33 PM
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I mostly ride alone, starting and ending at my house. I'd be happy to ride with a group if I didn't have to drive to get to where the group started.
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Old 05-18-24, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Freedom, solitude and achieving goals through self-discipline don't mesh well with group dynamics. I want to take a turn when I want, go the speed I want and hop onto a sidewalk if I think it's safer. Can you imagine Rocky in a group training run with Eye of the Tiger blasting? How about Batman achieving the fortitude in group sessions to escape The Pit or Luke Skywalker in daily Force Strengthening classes? Nope Nope and Nope.
Here’s some extra Freedom and it’s New! As a bonus, they make great Band-Aids.

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Old 05-18-24, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Freedom, solitude and achieving goals through self-discipline don't mesh well with group dynamics. I want to take a turn when I want, go the speed I want and hop onto a sidewalk if I think it's safer. Can you imagine Rocky in a group training run with Eye of the Tiger blasting? How about Batman achieving the fortitude in group sessions to escape The Pit or Luke Skywalker in daily Force Strengthening classes? Nope Nope and Nope.
I shook Stallone’s hand while he was scouting locations for Rock II.

Iggy list updated.
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Old 05-18-24, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Have you ever tried riding with a group?
Originally Posted by Koyote
Have you ever tried riding with a group?
Since MikeDeason has been back to this thread since I first asked this question, and has declined to answer it, I will state my rhetorical point more plainly: it's difficult to take you seriously when you claim to just know that you'll dislike something even though you've not tried it -- especially when it's something that is closely adjacent to an activity (cycling) that you claim to enjoy.
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Old 05-18-24, 10:41 PM
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I have done only a handful of group rides. It does take more awareness and communication to ride close to others, and coordination of schedules. It has benefits, of course. I remember liking a "hill ride" that the local fast guys would lead. It was a good challenge to stay with the first group (or even the second). Those hammer rides are a little sketchy at times, when there's an intersection where some want to run the light and others want to live.

I really enjoy XC racing, and I've become acquainted with some of the local regulars. Not the same as a group ride, for sure, but still social. My problem with general group rides is that during racing season I'm always riding to train, and group rides don't usually fit super well into my plan. I have a few planned workouts to get in each week, working around weather, how I feel, and other life commitments. I'm not interested in a chill trail ride where folks stop and catch their breath and wait for stragglers, and I'm not interested in a Wed night hammer ride when I need a different workout.

But many, many cyclists love the social riding thing. The bike is a really a means to a social experience. That's just not me, and I'm old enough to be cool with that.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:07 PM
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You should try a club

You might be surprised; I was.

i learned a lot. Met a lot of great people. Raised my pace in a group.

i ride probably 50/50; you don’t have to choose; do both!
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Old 05-18-24, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
I have started upping my cycling game in preparation for my first "serious" bike with early morning recreational rides in and around our lakeside paths, park trails and the city bike lanes. I have been somewhat surprised by the number of large groups of cyclists, from more serious-looking cycle groups right down to casual groups. Without having tried a group ride I can confidently say that this group riding is not for me. It appears stressful and chaotic, especially on narrow bike lanes; the antithesis of the serene, introspective and self-motivational ride I strive for to enhance mental and physical clarity. I see very few lone cyclists on these early morning jaunts

Am I just an angry loner?
Solo vs group are not mutually exclusive. When I moved here first, I solo’d for a few years, but ultimately joined a club to shake things up a bit. Sat AM I join or lead a group, comprising 8-20 riders depending on the weather. Our club runs rise at different levels - “banana” ride (13-16 mph av.), B18, B19, A20, A21 and “P ride”, comprising high-level cyclists and Ex-Pros. Rides range from social meanders to highly competitive Hammerfest, with everything in between. There are enough rides for anyone to find their level in terms of sustained speed and comfort riding in a group. I lead the B19 Sat AM ride, but I generally solo in 2-3 additional rides during the week. I enjoy the social aspect of the group rides, but I also enjoy the lack of stress - and great conversation 😀 - of a long solo effort. There’s room for both in your cycling life.
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Old 05-19-24, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Random11
I mostly ride alone, starting and ending at my house. I'd be happy to ride with a group if I didn't have to drive to get to where the group started.
That is one of the issues I have with group rides. I have a drive of 12 to 25 miles to get to a starting point for any group rides in my home area. In the summer months, the traffic is enough to deter me from doing that. Even off season, I dislike getting into a motorized vehicle to get to the starting point for a bike ride. My other main complaint, too many wannabe chiefs. I prefer to ride how, where and when, I want to. Most rides I have no set route, and often don't know which direction I will start, until I get to the end of my driveway. My pace varies greatly on most rides, and I stop more often than I used to.
I do, occasionally hook up with another rider. That is usually for no more than a few miles. If the that rider wants to talk a lot, and/or, ride side by side where there is likely to be motorized traffic, I usually bail out fairly quickly.

There is nothing wrong with being a lone wolf, even if surliness is part of that persona, Embrace the inner self.
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Old 05-19-24, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1
That is one of the issues I have with group rides. I have a drive of 12 to 25 miles to get to a starting point for any group rides in my home area. In the summer months, the traffic is enough to deter me from doing that.
Yeah, I have an issue with this. The local club's group rides are too fast, and the slow club's group rides are right after rush hour, which can mean more time sitting stopped on a the road than riding on a path, trail, or road.

On the other hand, there is a good, non-competitive group out there beyond the gridlock, where there are no pacelines, no pressure, people stop to let the group reform now and then ..... if it were a little more convenient (after I get some fitness back) I would ride with them more often.

I like solo rides, but I am not so narrow-minded as to only do one thing ... I Can like a lot of things. I don't even mind the occasional head-down paceline ride .... variety is okay in small doses.

I am no fan of long hours in gridlocked traffic, but I do not regret any of the group rides i have participated in. I always enjoy the people and the riding.

But then, I don't imagine myself to be an iconic movie hero ......
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Old 05-19-24, 10:14 AM
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I've seen cyclist riding solo that are a good example of what the OP is asserting about the group rides being witnessed.

Groups have their pro's and con's, just like riding solo has it's pro's and con's.


Just for the record, I ride solo most of the time. Not because I don't like groups, but because few want to ride in the middle of the day as I do.
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Old 05-19-24, 10:16 AM
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I generally prefer to ride solo, mainly because I have a sporadic schedule and I treat cycling more as a fitness routine. I could care less about the social, sporting and lifestyle aspects of cycling. I'll do occasional group rides only for route exploration and/or trying to improve my fitness levels riding with strong cyclists.
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