Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Words of Wisdom

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Words of Wisdom

Old 01-08-21, 10:47 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,489
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 833 Times in 435 Posts
Words of Wisdom

As my wife and I were riding along the beautiful Main River Route in Central Germany an older couple passed us. They were typical of many European bike tourists; gray haired, dressed in street clothes, one pannier each, and riding what we call comfort bikes here in the States.

I am not a gear snob, contrary to what my wife says, but I do take note of what people are riding. For instance, on this trip I observed that out of the hundreds or touring bikes we saw, only 5 of the obvious touring bikes had drop bars.

The first thing I thought of was how much easier it would be for them if they were riding modern touring bikes rather than old utility bikes. Changing the bullhorn bars for flat bars will change the aerodynamics, and will look a lot better too. Everyone knows that replacing those heavy fat tires with light, narrow, kevlar-beaded slicks will noticeably decrease rolling resistance, increasing speed, and reducing weight.

Thinking about the couple, I couldn’t help but wonder if their enjoyment and efficiency could be improved by incorporating some of the wisdom I have acquired over the years. The first and most obvious area was appropriate cycling clothes. How can you ride all day wearing “golf” clothes; polo shirt, slacks, jeans or Bermuda shorts for the men, and similar attire for the women? I would bet that they both would be much more comfortable in padded shorts; and just think how handy those three pockets on a full zip jersey are. While we are discussing attire, a pair of gel-padded cycling gloves would certainly be a welcome addition.

I’ll bet that they would also really be thankful for the boost in pedaling efficiency and comfort gained by replacing their sneakers with cycling shoes. Adding toe-clips and straps has the potential to add miles to their touring day.

As my wife and I cruised along, I was wondering how I could share some of my hard earned touring wisdom with this couple. I finally decided it really didn’t matter because I don’t think I could catch up to them anyway.

Last edited by Doug64; 01-09-21 at 03:00 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 01-09-21, 02:33 AM
  #2  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,239

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 160 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 99 Posts
Haha! 😂 Love the last line! Well played, sir!
imi is offline  
Likes For imi:
Old 01-09-21, 03:51 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,203

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3459 Post(s)
Liked 1,465 Times in 1,143 Posts
Yup, been there.
Tourist in MSN is online now  
Old 01-09-21, 06:02 AM
  #4  
alo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 1,060
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 529 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 255 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64
As my wife and I were riding along the beautiful Main River Route in Central Germany an older couple passed us. They were typical of many European bike tourists; gray haired, dressed in street clothes, one pannier each, and riding what we call comfort bikes here in the States.

I am not a gear snob, contrary to what my wife says, but I do take note of what people are riding. For instance, on this trip I observed that out of the hundreds or touring bikes we saw, only 5 of the obvious touring bikes had drop bars.

The first thing I thought of was how much easier it would be for them if they were riding modern touring bikes rather than old utility bikes. Changing the bullhorn bars for flat bars will change the aerodynamics, and will look a lot better too. Everyone knows that replacing those heavy fat tires with light, narrow, kevlar-beaded slicks will noticeably decrease rolling resistance, increasing speed, and reducing weight.

Thinking about the couple, I couldn’t help but wonder if their enjoyment and efficiency could be improved by incorporating some of the wisdom I have acquired over the years. The first and most obvious area was appropriate cycling clothes. How can you ride all day wearing “golf” clothes; polo shirt, slacks, jeans or Bermuda shorts for the men, and similar attire for the women? I would bet that they both would be much more comfortable in padded shorts; and just think how handy those three pockets on a full zip jersey are. While we are discussing attire, a pair of gel-padded cycling gloves would certainly be a welcome addition.

I’ll bet that they would also really be thankful for the boost in pedaling efficiency and comfort gained by replacing their sneakers with cycling shoes. Adding toe-clips and straps has the potential to add miles to their touring day.

As my wife and I cruised along, I was wondering how I could share some of my hard earned touring wisdom with this couple, I finally decided it really didn’t matter because I don’t think I could catch up to them anyway.
You can make suggestions to people, but accept that some people may see things differently to you. I listen to suggestions from people. Sometimes I get good ideas from them. Sometimes I don't agree. When I suggest things to other people, it is ok if they have a different opinion.

I choose to do things differently to you. For example:

I ride a fat bike. You may tell me thinner tires will reduce rolling resistance. Where I am fat tires actually result in less rolling resistance overall, because of mud, sand and rough tracks. I am sure there are some patches of mud that I ride through, that you couldn't ride through on your bike.

Let's say you and I were both riding on good cycling paths, where the fat bike has no advantage. I would probably choose to have a less expensive bike than you. Not because I can't buy an expensive bike, but because a less expensive bike is good enough for me. If it's performance is not quite as good as your bike, I don't care.

I prefer strength with a bike, not light weight.

I wear regular clothes, and have a comfortable seat. If I have a little more wind resistance, I don't care. If I go a little slower, I don't care. I am not racing, or trying to set speed records. It is personal opinion as to what looks better.

I can't speak for the people you saw. They may or may not have already thought it through, and be happy with how they do things. They may have learnt from your ideas.
alo is offline  
Old 01-09-21, 07:10 AM
  #5  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,214
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2738 Post(s)
Liked 970 Times in 793 Posts
Nice morning smile there Doug, danke

keeping regularly active and enjoying oneself no matter what we do or how we do it is the real kicker isn't it in life?
djb is offline  
Old 01-09-21, 08:06 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,837

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked 741 Times in 430 Posts
Yes, nice story, great twist.

Originally Posted by djb
keeping regularly active and enjoying oneself no matter what we do or how we do it is the real kicker isn't it in life?
Amen to this. I was passed the other day on a long climb (Mt Lemmon from Tucson) by a guy (half my age) on a racing rig. I was on my touring bike, wearing comfortable clothes and hiking shoes, with extra clothing and lunch in a pannier, making a day of the 75 mile round trip to the summit. I bet he could have given me all sorts of advice on how to ride faster and more efficiently. As he passed, making it look effortless, I told him, "Man, I wish I could do that." He replied, "You are!" Nicest thing another cyclist has ever said to me.
andrewclaus is offline  
Likes For andrewclaus:
Old 01-09-21, 12:56 PM
  #7  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 12 Posts
They're enjoying their life. That's what I see. Those were the times when cycling was cheap and fun. Brings me back to childhood. Not focused on the gear but on little joys. Simple. I think they reached wisdom. As long as we have each other it's all we need and nothing else that money can buy because money can't buy what we need anyways. Perhaps, they could have told you something wise too
Indigo82 is offline  
Old 01-09-21, 01:10 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,842

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Gen 3, Soma Fog Cutter, Focus Mares AL, Detroit Bikes Sparrow FG, Volae Team, Nimbus MUni

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Liked 2,063 Times in 1,081 Posts
Nice!

Cycling as a normal part of a normal life, rather than cycling as a more sporting activity undertaken by enthusiasts.
downtube42 is offline  
Old 01-09-21, 02:13 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,489
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 833 Times in 435 Posts
I hope you all know that this was written tongue-in cheek. Only the first two paragraphs are true! OK, maybe there may have been some truth in the last sentence
Doug64 is offline  
Old 01-09-21, 02:18 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,440
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 863 Post(s)
Liked 234 Times in 136 Posts
I absolutely LOVED this story.

Although not quite as old as the folks in the picture, I am them in many ways. As I've matured, I have learned to respect others' need for speed, style, and efficiency, but I've become a lot more comfortable with my own choice NOT to pursue any of those things when I'm on two wheels.
Papa Tom is offline  
Likes For Papa Tom:
Old 01-09-21, 04:53 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
DeadGrandpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Carolina
Posts: 1,215

Bikes: Too many, yet not enough.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 492 Post(s)
Liked 311 Times in 201 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64
I hope you all know that this was written tongue-in cheek. Only the first two paragraphs are true! OK, maybe there may have been some truth in the last sentence
And you absolutely nailed it. The best part of the story, the real art of telling the story, is the build-up. Well done.
DeadGrandpa is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.