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After five years I did my first club ride...now I'll never do one again

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

After five years I did my first club ride...now I'll never do one again

Old 10-02-09, 08:38 AM
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bigtea
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After five years I did my first club ride...now I'll never do one again

Actually I did two club rides on consecutive weekends. The people were nice enough, although none of them knew me and there wasn't a lot of conversation to be had. But after two hours of stop lights, hand signals, getting dropped by some while dropping others, and some clumsy riders too close for comfort, I remembered why I had quit club rides five years ago.

I'm a taint cyclist...taint strong enough to keep up with the fast riders, and taint weak enough to stay with the slow riders. And after about an hour I was riding solo and following a ride slip for no logical reason whatsoever.

So it's back to rolling out of my garage on my own schedule, taking my own route, and spending my time contemplating work, family, politics, art, and whatever comes to mind.
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Old 10-02-09, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bigtea View Post
Actually I did two club rides on consecutive weekends. .....

So it's back to rolling out of my garage on my own schedule, taking my own route, and spending my time contemplating work, family, politics, art, and whatever comes to mind.
amen
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Old 10-02-09, 08:42 AM
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huh, huh, huh... you said taint

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Old 10-02-09, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by NickDavid View Post
huh, huh, huh... you said taint

I got a chuckle out of that..thanks
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Old 10-02-09, 08:49 AM
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I've actually been contemplating going on a group ride, but was always a bit concerned whether I'd be able to keep up or what. I've never ridden with others, so I'm not sure if I'm fast or slow.
I've talked to my LBS rep. and we was saying it's a "mixed bag" some fast/some slower, but I really don't want any part of the ego trippers who think they're in the "Tour" every weekend. I still might give it a go, but I might need a bike a little newer than an '84 model.
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Old 10-02-09, 08:58 AM
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I was hoping for drama...

I've never understood the appeal of group rides. But then again, I'm not competitive, and do all of my riding to accomplish 2 goals. Keep my heart pumping, and enjoy the ride. I do that quite well by myself or with my wife.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:05 AM
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I'm in the same "taint" situation for running: too slow for the fast group, too fast for the slow group.

The solution, of course, is to HTFU and get faster.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:13 AM
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nothing wrong with pursuing bicycling as a solitary venture

however, in my opinion, approaching it this way misses out on the essence of road cycling
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Old 10-02-09, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bigtea View Post
So it's back to rolling out of my garage on my own schedule, taking my own route, and spending my time contemplating work, family, politics, art, and whatever comes to mind.
Agreed, I get very little "me" time, and I prefer the solitude.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:19 AM
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Well then, I think it's about time we form our own riding group. We can call it, Taint Rider's Club or Club Taint
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Old 10-02-09, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
nothing wrong with pursuing bicycling as a solitary venture

however, in my opinion, approaching it this way misses out on the essence of road cycling
??
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Old 10-02-09, 09:21 AM
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I've always done solo and group rides...never understood why I did the group rides as I felt pretty much the same as the OP. And then this past June decided I had done my last group ride and went solo...but in August my wife finally bought a road bike and now I ride with her 3-4 times a week and solo 1-2 times a week...

never again with the group rides...

I understand riding with stronger riders makes you stronger, but I also know how to train if I want to get stronger (and I do)...

now, I start when I want, end when I am done, turn left or right on a whim, speed up, slow down to check out a view when I want...at least when riding solo...
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Old 10-02-09, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
nothing wrong with pursuing bicycling as a solitary venture

however, in my opinion, approaching it this way misses out on the essence of road cycling
While I am not against group rides, I hardly consider sniffing the butt of the person you are drafting as the essence of road cycling (road racing, perhaps).

The essence of road cycling is freedom, the wind in your face, the feel of your body powering you to destinations known or unknown and the utter joy of pie after the ride.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tulex View Post
??
The community aspect.

Everyone gets something different out of cycling. Nothing wrong with that.

If you didn't like a group ride because of what happened then you should try a different group or start your own. I only say that because the OP obviously had interest in riding with a group or he wouldn't have gone in the first place.

That's like saying, "I've always cooked for myself and really enjoyed it. So I decided to finally try a restaurant. There were all sorts of people there and not many talked to me except the one behind the counter. The food was horrible, came wrapped in paper. I cook such better meals at home. I'm done with restaurants."

To each their own, but....seriously....
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Old 10-02-09, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bigtea View Post
Actually I did two club rides on consecutive weekends. The people were nice enough, although none of them knew me and there wasn't a lot of conversation to be had. But after two hours of stop lights, hand signals, getting dropped by some while dropping others, and some clumsy riders too close for comfort, I remembered why I had quit club rides five years ago.

I'm a taint cyclist...taint strong enough to keep up with the fast riders, and taint weak enough to stay with the slow riders. And after about an hour I was riding solo and following a ride slip for no logical reason whatsoever.

So it's back to rolling out of my garage on my own schedule, taking my own route, and spending my time contemplating work, family, politics, art, and whatever comes to mind.
Your story is very common. Club rides are often races, and I would love to tell a story about how I got turned off by club rides.

I live in the Tampa area, and I was still in my 30s back then, still pretty fast. One of my buds told me of a group in the USF area that he did, a club ride on a weeknight. I am the kind of rider who enjoys the camaraderie of a group of riders, so I thought it would be fun.

I show up and most guys have that ugly 'race face' on. Not good I think, but I see my buddy and we roll out together. The ride begins easy enough, at least for the first quarter mile or so. Suddenly someone jumps, and it's race time. Not what I wanted, and not what I expected. Also, completely stupid in my opinion. Who is warmed up after a quarter mile?

Anyway, I ride with a couple of guys trying to be friendly (read: talking a lot). These guys were kind of quiet and too serious, so I tell a joke. The guys all laugh, except this one guy. He tells me, "Hey, we're kind of serious group, and you trying to joke throws us off". At first I thought he was kidding, saw that he wasn't, and told him he needed to lighten up, it was only a joke. He says, "We are trying to train here, and if you're not going to take this serious, you shouldn't come out". I said, "Wow! You must be a great racer! Do you know Lance Armstrong?". At first he doesn't know I'm making fun of him and replies that he does, to which I said, "Actually I know Lance too, but he doesn't like you very much". Said guy then realizes I'm making fun of him, says several select things to me, then races away from me. I find my buddy in the pack, and he apologizes for that guy. I say, "No need for an apology, I just don't get why people can't have a good time and ride at the same time".

Later, we pass said guy who raced away from me, probably because he rode too hard getting away from me. So, I guess I'm not really a guy for group rides.

As for now, I ride with my buddies. It's fun, we play 'Name That Tune', and also I'm quite sure I couldn't keep up anymore in a normal club ride.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:29 AM
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to summarize:

OP abstains from group rides for 5 years.

OP then joins two group rides.

OP doesn't know anyone, nor does he like the freddish flow of the ride.

OP gets dropped by said freds, but consoles himself that he wasn't the first to be dropped.

OP decides that misery loves company, therefore solo rides are the logical choice.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:30 AM
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I haven't done group rides since I came back to the sport a year ago but did this 15 years ago and enjoyed them. There were some strong riders but overall it was laid back and not a competitive atmosphere. Back then I was among the strongest riders but I'm older, heavier and slower now so I don't feel comfortable trying it again. However, if I was ambitious I would seek out a group of like minded riders. It would be good for my fitness level.

Thanks, Mike.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
While I am not against group rides, I hardly consider sniffing the butt of the person you are drafting as the essence of road cycling (road racing, perhaps).

The essence of road cycling is freedom, the wind in your face, the feel of your body powering you to destinations known or unknown and the utter joy of pie after the ride.

Pie?,,,hmmmm....never thought of that...thought of pie at the end might help power me through those last hills...

One thing I love about cycling long and hard, is for me, cutting back on good food and drink is not an option and doing 150-200kms a week ensures my weight stays down.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Well then, I think it's about time we form our own riding group. We can call it, Taint Rider's Club or Club Taint
Someone make a kit for it and I'm in.

Make the jersey work with sleeveless.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
The community aspect.

Everyone gets something different out of cycling. Nothing wrong with that.

If you didn't like a group ride because of what happened then you should try a different group or start your own. I only say that because the OP obviously had interest in riding with a group or he wouldn't have gone in the first place.

That's like saying, "I've always cooked for myself and really enjoyed it. So I decided to finally try a restaurant. There were all sorts of people there and not many talked to me except the one behind the counter. The food was horrible, came wrapped in paper. I cook such better meals at home. I'm done with restaurants."

To each their own, but....seriously....
No, I think that speaks more of a particular aspect of RC, not the essence of it.

It's what Chipcom said.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:43 AM
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Nothing can ensure my weight stays down. The day will come when this world won't be big enough for the both of us (this world and me), and one of us will become the second moon.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:44 AM
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Group rides are fun. Solo rides are fun.
Whatever floats your boat.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:47 AM
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I prefer racing and group rides with Road Nazis that are like racing. In either case the idle chit chat is minimized. And of course I like to ride solo. In either case I generally feel the entire world can go eff itself.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tulex View Post
No, I think that speaks more of a particular aspect of RC, not the essence of it.

It's what Chipcom said.
I was just replying to the "??" and to the OP. The answer to the "??" is "The Community Aspect."
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Old 10-02-09, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
While I am not against group rides, I hardly consider sniffing the butt of the person you are drafting as the essence of road cycling (road racing, perhaps).

The essence of road cycling is freedom, the wind in your face, the feel of your body powering you to destinations known or unknown and the utter joy of pie after the ride.

nicely worded, sounds very warren miller.

to me the essence of road cycling is the movement and dynamic of the pack. when done well, a six to 12 person rotating echelon where the only sounds you hear are the wind, hum of tires, and clicking of gears is as good as it gets. especially if there's apple pie after


Originally Posted by TomInFLA View Post
Your story is very common. Club rides are often races, and I would love to tell a story about how I got turned off by club rides.

I live in the Tampa area, and I was still in my 30s back then, still pretty fast. One of my buds told me of a group in the USF area that he did, a club ride on a weeknight. I am the kind of rider who enjoys the camaraderie of a group of riders, so I thought it would be fun.

I show up and most guys have that ugly 'race face' on. Not good I think, but I see my buddy and we roll out together. The ride begins easy enough, at least for the first quarter mile or so. Suddenly someone jumps, and it's race time. Not what I wanted, and not what I expected. Also, completely stupid in my opinion. Who is warmed up after a quarter mile?

Anyway, I ride with a couple of guys trying to be friendly (read: talking a lot). These guys were kind of quiet and too serious, so I tell a joke. The guys all laugh, except this one guy. He tells me, "Hey, we're kind of serious group, and you trying to joke throws us off". At first I thought he was kidding, saw that he wasn't, and told him he needed to lighten up, it was only a joke. He says, "We are trying to train here, and if you're not going to take this serious, you shouldn't come out". I said, "Wow! You must be a great racer! Do you know Lance Armstrong?". At first he doesn't know I'm making fun of him and replies that he does, to which I said, "Actually I know Lance too, but he doesn't like you very much". Said guy then realizes I'm making fun of him, says several select things to me, then races away from me. I find my buddy in the pack, and he apologizes for that guy. I say, "No need for an apology, I just don't get why people can't have a good time and ride at the same time".

Later, we pass said guy who raced away from me, probably because he rode too hard getting away from me. So, I guess I'm not really a guy for group rides.

As for now, I ride with my buddies. It's fun, we play 'Name That Tune', and also I'm quite sure I couldn't keep up anymore in a normal club ride.
so basically you went to a group ride, acted annoying, made a fool out of yourself, and then didnt go back. i'd advise keeping that story to yourself.
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