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My first group ride . . . dropped like a bad habit

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My first group ride . . . dropped like a bad habit

Old 11-24-07, 07:14 PM
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jhan
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My first group ride . . . dropped like a bad habit

I finally took the plunge today and tried to join my first group ride, the 10:00 Rock Creek Park Ride in DC. I decided to get into cycling a few months ago when my knees hurt too much from running. Four months ago, after much research, including endless hours on BF, I bought a Cannandale CAAD 8. I have been commuting to work 15 miles each way, twice a week. I read Lance Armstrong's books. I even read Floyd Landis' book. I felt in shape, I was comfortable on my bike, it was time to test my mettle against other riders.

We started at a nice easy pace through the park, about 16-18 miles slightly uphill. I was riding behind the slipstream of another rider and was thrilled with the ease, fall scenic beauty, and group effort of the ride. I can do this, I thought to myself. It was awesome! I looked to my right and examined an older rider, with a big white bushy mustash on a no-name bike. Well, at least I won't be the slowest rider, I reassured myself.

We hit the first hill and the group started to break apart with individual attacks to the crest. I kept up with them, but it took alot out of me. On the downhill, I tucked in with the others into a single file line as we shot through a 4 foot gap between the gates in the road at break-neck speed.

On the subsequent flat, the group stayed in a pace line cruising at over 27 miles per hour. I huffed and puffed, and . . . eventually blew up. I pulled to the side and let the other riders behind me pass and close the gap. "White Bushy mustash" flew by me on his no-name bike. Even in my humiliation, I thought to myself, that was awesome! I turned around and commenced the ride of shame back to my house. I got dropped even before I made it out of the park.

It has been a long time since the competitive juices of this decorated ex-high school athlete ran through my veins. I will train harder, ride longer, and endure the cold winter commute when the poser fair weather fans are tucked in their beds. I am envigorated by the thought of competition again, but not necessarily with the likes of "white bushy mustash." Rather my adversary is Father Time himself and his cruel joke of taking away the strength and speed and agility of my youth and replacing them with a 38 year old body with 6 knee surgeries, 3 wonderful little kids, and a honda minivan.

On this day, I vow...
I will endure . . . I will prevail... I will ride fast.
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Old 11-24-07, 07:19 PM
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You had my respect till you mentioned the minivan.
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Old 11-24-07, 07:20 PM
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Keep at it. One of the best things in cycling is the ride on which you realize you didn't get dropped.
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Old 11-24-07, 07:23 PM
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Everyone gets dropped at some time or other - no exceptions (except, maybe, Ryanf?).

38 years is no excuse; there are some wicked fast guys out there way older than that. 6 knee surgeries, on the other hand, could be a problem, especially in the hill. Fortunately, you live in Flatland, so go for it.

Commuting isn't going to cut it training-wise. The key for you, IMHO, is going to be interval training.

BTW - the only ride of shame is the ride you didn't do.
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Old 11-24-07, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jhan View Post
I finally took the plunge today and tried to join my first group ride, the 10:00 Rock Creek Park Ride in DC. I decided to get into cycling a few months ago when my knees hurt too much from running. Four months ago, after much research, including endless hours on BF, I bought a Cannandale CAAD 8. I have been commuting to work 15 miles each way, twice a week. I read Lance Armstrong's books. I even read Floyd Landis' book. I felt in shape, I was comfortable on my bike, it was time to test my mettle against other riders.

We started at a nice easy pace through the park, about 16-18 miles slightly uphill. I was riding behind the slipstream of another rider and was thrilled with the ease, fall scenic beauty, and group effort of the ride. I can do this, I thought to myself. It was awesome! I looked to my right and examined an older rider, with a big white bushy mustash on a no-name bike. Well, at least I won't be the slowest rider, I reassured myself.

We hit the first hill and the group started to break apart with individual attacks to the crest. I kept up with them, but it took alot out of me. On the downhill, I tucked in with the others into a single file line as we shot through a 4 foot gap between the gates in the road at break-neck speed.

On the subsequent flat, the group stayed in a pace line cruising at over 27 miles per hour. I huffed and puffed, and . . . eventually blew up. I pulled to the side and let the other riders behind me pass and close the gap. "White Bushy mustash" flew by me on his no-name bike. Even in my humiliation, I thought to myself, that was awesome! I turned around and commenced the ride of shame back to my house. I got dropped even before I made it out of the park.

It has been a long time since the competitive juices of this decorated ex-high school athlete ran through my veins. I will train harder, ride longer, and endure the cold winter commute when the poser fair weather fans are tucked in their beds. I am envigorated by the thought of competition again, but not necessarily with the likes of "white bushy mustash." Rather my adversary is Father Time himself and his cruel joke of taking away the strength and speed and agility of my youth and replacing them with a 38 year old body with 6 knee surgeries, 3 wonderful little kids, and a honda minivan.

On this day, I vow...
I will endure . . . I will prevail... I will ride fast.
Keep riding. I bet that dude with the white moustache got dropped as a newbie, too, back in the day.
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Old 11-24-07, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jhan View Post
...and a honda minivan.


No worries, every single serious cyclist I know has been dropped, and at every level of riding/racing.
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Old 11-24-07, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jhan View Post
and a honda minivan.
As minivans go the Honda is real nice. Honest.

Keep at the training. The riding will get better.



Signed,

Former owner of a green 1994 Chrysler Town & Country with fake wood side panels and tan leather interior.
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Old 11-24-07, 07:59 PM
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Every time I get dropped I use my last remaining breath to yell out "I could kick your asses at pinochle!", then I smile at look forward to stopping for a donut on the drive home.
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Old 11-24-07, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jhan View Post
I finally took the plunge today and tried to join my first group ride, the 10:00 Rock Creek Park Ride in DC. I decided to get into cycling a few months ago when my knees hurt too much from running. Four months ago, after much research, including endless hours on BF, I bought a Cannandale CAAD 8. I have been commuting to work 15 miles each way, twice a week. I read Lance Armstrong's books. I even read Floyd Landis' book. I felt in shape, I was comfortable on my bike, it was time to test my mettle against other riders.

We started at a nice easy pace through the park, about 16-18 miles slightly uphill. I was riding behind the slipstream of another rider and was thrilled with the ease, fall scenic beauty, and group effort of the ride. I can do this, I thought to myself. It was awesome! I looked to my right and examined an older rider, with a big white bushy mustash on a no-name bike. Well, at least I won't be the slowest rider, I reassured myself.

We hit the first hill and the group started to break apart with individual attacks to the crest. I kept up with them, but it took alot out of me. On the downhill, I tucked in with the others into a single file line as we shot through a 4 foot gap between the gates in the road at break-neck speed.

On the subsequent flat, the group stayed in a pace line cruising at over 27 miles per hour. I huffed and puffed, and . . . eventually blew up. I pulled to the side and let the other riders behind me pass and close the gap. "White Bushy mustash" flew by me on his no-name bike. Even in my humiliation, I thought to myself, that was awesome! I turned around and commenced the ride of shame back to my house. I got dropped even before I made it out of the park.

It has been a long time since the competitive juices of this decorated ex-high school athlete ran through my veins. I will train harder, ride longer, and endure the cold winter commute when the poser fair weather fans are tucked in their beds. I am envigorated by the thought of competition again, but not necessarily with the likes of "white bushy mustash." Rather my adversary is Father Time himself and his cruel joke of taking away the strength and speed and agility of my youth and replacing them with a 38 year old body with 6 knee surgeries, 3 wonderful little kids, and a honda minivan.

On this day, I vow...
I will endure . . . I will prevail... I will ride fast.
Is this the 10:00 a.m. that heads out beach to tuckerman/glen/esworthy and back on river? If so, that's a race pace group ride attended by alot of local racers. I'm not trying to discourage you, but as a new rider, it's not a ride you should be on. You'd be better off joining up with the potomac peddlers, or IIRC there is a more recreational paced group that goes out of the bicycle place on saturdays and sundays, until you've developed more fitness and skill. Or, since you mentioned competitive juices flowing, join a local team now, start doing their rides so you can learn what you're doing, and start racing! There's a great racing scene in the DC area. Local clubs/teams can be found by surfing the link below.

www.usacycling.org
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Old 11-24-07, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
Is this the 10:00 a.m. that heads out beach to tuckerman/glen/esworthy and back on river? If so, that's a race pace group ride attended by alot of local racers. I'm not trying to discourage you, but as a new rider, it's not a ride you should be on. You'd be better off joining up with the potomac peddlers, or IIRC there is a more recreational paced group that goes out of the bicycle place on saturdays and sundays, until you've developed more fitness and skill. Or, since you mentioned competitive juices flowing, join a local team now, start doing their rides so you can learn what you're doing, and start racing! There's a great racing scene in the DC area. Local clubs/teams can be found by surfing the link below.

www.usacycling.org
By the same token. If you held on and didn't get discouraged, keep at it and more power to you.

-D
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Old 11-24-07, 08:40 PM
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Bah, 38 is nothing. I rode with a guy who's new to racing this year at age 46 who ripped my legs off for three hours.

Enjoyed the write-up!
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Old 11-24-07, 08:43 PM
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<<<<<<<<<<<<< 34, Honda Minivan and 3 kids as well.


Just ride.
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Old 11-24-07, 08:49 PM
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don't sweat it....we've all been dropped at some time....me more than others!....and I drive a Dodge Grand Caravan that is very nice bicycle vehicle...it has fold into the floor seating and I keep one side of the van clear of seating...I have a quick release fork mount screwed onto a board that velcros to the seat brackets in the floor...my bike fits nice and secure and with two bikes mounted in the van(I have another board for the other side) there is still plenty of room for bags, coolers, ride gear, tools and more....it's a company vehicle and when I have to turn it in, I will be bummed...there are only sedans on our new vehicle list.
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Old 11-24-07, 08:52 PM
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real men drive minivans...I don't yet, but I aspire to
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Old 11-24-07, 08:53 PM
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It doesn't matter that you got dropped, what matters is that you go back.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
It doesn't matter that you got dropped, what matters is that you go back.
Correct.

The rest is static.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
It doesn't matter that you got dropped, what matters is that you go back.
+100.

One of the first things I learned in my first group ride is to not judge the other riders before you ride with them. I knew I wasn't the strongest rider in the group but when I looked around at some of the others I thought to myself "cake". Boy was I wrong!!!! The old man and the rather full figured female (among a couple of others) couldn't possibly do too much harm.

As I stumbled into the Panera's Bread after that first ride I decided then I'd never make that mistake again.

Hang in there. If you can find a ride more comfortable to you do like I do, alternate between rides.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:28 PM
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By the way, well put Mongo. Thank you for cutting through the bull*****.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:40 PM
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That is a good lesson not to judge a book by its cover. My soccer coach taught me this, he use to go to a resteraunt and alway see this one guy who was basically a custodian, swept floors and took out trash. He saw him at a soccer game and said I'm going to run over this game. Yea long story short the guy could play and he was the deciding factor in my coaches loss. Looks don't mean much in a lot of things, even in weightlifting, theres a guy at my gym who can bench 315 after a workout and hes only 170 lbs. Good story though, I am waiting for the weather to clear up so I can go into my first race.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:45 PM
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No shame in getting dropped.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
Keep riding. I bet that dude with the white moustache got dropped as a newbie, too, back in the day.
Yeah, but that's because he was riding one of these:

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Old 11-24-07, 09:48 PM
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age and appearance are very deceiving in cycling, I learnt this the same way.

the group ride i go on has many guys in their high 40's and 50's and a couple close to 70

27mph is pretty fast and many would consider in racing category
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Old 11-24-07, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Ulle97 View Post
No shame in getting dropped.
Incorrect. It is humiliating.

Humiliation is your friend. Become one with it. Your path to Pcad Cycling Zen requires you to embrace Self Loathing. You suck. I got gapped on a ride today. I suck. When you blow your gaskets on a ride, come to the realization that you're a pathetic cyclist, but do not care because the endorphin buzz is working, you're getting there.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Incorrect. It is humiliating.

Humiliation is your friend. Become one with it. Your path to Pcad Cycling Zen requires you to embrace Self Loathing. You suck. I got gapped on a ride today. I suck. When you blow your gaskets on a ride, come to the realization that you're a pathetic cyclist, but do not care because the endorphin buzz is working, you're getting there.
You forgot to say that you are also older than the hill you got gapped on.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieWoo View Post
You forgot to say that you are also older than the hill you got gapped on.
And you are dumber than a box of hammers. Your post eloquently says that for you.
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