open topic, for anything cycling related.
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twice a week i ride with three guys, one being a friend and his two sons 23 and 26yrs. It was my mate who convinced me to get back into cycling and so its been a pretty regular thing the last 4 months.
We ride from brighton (qld) through sandgate into the wetlands then across to shultze's canal and at the nundah crit track we get onto the road and ride through to brets wharf where we follow the river front until we hit the goodwill bridge then cross into southbank for lunch break after which we head back along the same route - the milk run.
On the alternate ride we start at toowong, head along the centenary highway up to montpelier rd then head south to oxley , rocklea then along fairfield rd get back on the bike path follow the river to dutton park, up to the top of the hill then coast into southbank for lunch then across the river and down to brekky creek before doubling back along the river to toowong, its a shorter run but the hills! the hills!
To make the ride more interesting we have fixed challenge stages during the ride, they are short parts of the ride that use different bike skills, hill climbs , tight cornering, sprints between stop lights etc. On the fixed challenges the two guys who win the least points split the tab for lunch, needless to say i've helped pay for a lot of lunches!
But during the ride anyone can call a random challenge at the start of a new stretch and then we all pick up the pace to catch the guy making the break. Yea i know, we have weird ride games but the winner gets to look smug and the caller of the random challenge gets a point deducted if he looses.
It was all pretty casual for a while there, but as i started to get fitter and started to be more competitive (after which i had to suck my lungs back in), it dawned on me that the older of the two sons 26 was starting to call randoms on the long stretches or if we had a stiff head wind, or anywhere i would rather dawdle and conserve my str!, little bugger was wearing me down, fair enough, all in the spirit of friendly competition, what doesn't kill me makes me stronger.
But when he started sucking wheel for most of the rides, i got a bit cheesed off and decided i would make it my mission to deprive him of him of that smug look. I'm not normally a competitive person just for the sake of it but the gloves were off
/plays eye of the tiger
It was that time that i started thinking about replacing the cruiser with a road bike (by this time i knew i was hooked into riding) and got serious about training, joined the forums here, reading and learning heaps, started riding the roadie and upped the daily ride from 18 to 50 clicks and rode for cadence. On the group rides i continued to ride the cruiser improve my riding technique, disguising my slowly improving fitness by dropping back gears to match pace if i needed to and doing nothing too flash.
Two weeks ago i brought the roadie along for the first time, they were a bit cautious cause of the new bike and wanted to see what i was capable of on it so the number of random challenges were at a all time low, but i kept it casual ( gotta love the mind games ) putting on the pressure at the fixed challenges but watching his style as he went though his paces.
The next ride the smugness was back, totally confident of his riding prowess and he had picked up a new trick, after sucking wheel he would make his break and call out the challenge for short stretches on his way past the rest of us grrrr. But for some reason he had upped his seat height and because of this it would creak with every stroke when he put the pedal to the metal so after the third or forth time i twigged when he was starting to make his break, i could hear the creaking start then get faster .
So after that ride like rocky in russia i trained like a demon each day forgetting the diet and concentrating on doing bursts from 80 to 120 cadence and going up the gears.
The stage was set.
We were doing the milk run today so after a huge meal last night i got up early and pigged out on wheatbix to make sure i had a tiger in the tank.
Like most good things its the journey and the struggle thats ultimately more rewarding but the look of disbelief on his face was priceless as time after time i came up with the goods, revving up the bike and staying ahead when he made his breaks, the high cadence giving me greater controll in the tight bits, even managing to pull away from him sucking my wheel along the dreaded stretch of shultzes canal. Lunch never tasted so good and i thanked him for it I casually reminded him of the 20 yr age difference between us was that wrong?
Im stuffed, stiff and sore, i hurt in places i didn't think i could but it was a good day.
What is the saying, "Old age and cunning, beats youth and exuberance (or a variation of it) any time"
So what did you get fro lunch ? Lobster.
I am at the point of upping my daily rides as well, but time is the biggest factor. Have to keep getting up earlier and earlier. I typicically ride 4 times per week, and do weights routine on alternate days.
There's nothing wrong with old age and rat cunning - well done!
I'm pretty sure that Tuco's "Hold on, I'm rooted" technique wouldn't work with my 'just in it for fun' fellow F-graders - they'd go pedal to the metal before you even finished saying it!
thanks guys , We cant let the young fellas have it all their own way now can we ? .
Its always good to read about folks rides, especially tuco's race day posts. Whenever i read one i think how cool it would be to get into some structured racing. Going through the stats you include tuco, gives me some idea of the level of fitness needed, so next goal is to achieve that magic 30kph average ride speed (currently 24.7 over 50k's) , last thing i want to do is turn up all bling and no grunt.
Nothing wrong with all bling and no grunt - you'd fit right in
Have a look at some clubs. There are classes for everyone and it's just a matter of finding a mob you fit in with.
You must have me mistaken with someone else. I'm far from fit. I'm about 10kg over weight. Admittedly I'm fitter than most 44 year olds but there are plenty of older guys who'd leave me for dead in a race, in fact one guy is about 65 and he showtime all over me in a 20km time trial!
I'm D grade. May sound high to some who go down to F grade but it's our lowest grade above juniors. We have 14 year old boys beating us.
Our longest races have only been 20kms.
If I did a 50k ride then I'd probably be down to 25 average as well.
My magic 30km/h was in a 20km time trial. It was about 35 km/h out and 25km/h back into a head wind (head breeze really).
Any faster averages were a group effort.
One thing racing does is makes you put in that extra effort you wouldn't put in a regular tide. I'd recommend it to anyone. It'll fast track your strength and stamina. Think about this, if I was doing a 20km ride there's no way I'd sit on 30km/h average unless some sadistic bastard was at the end with a stop watch.
I'll just add a little P S -
Don't be scared about riding with people who are way better. I've started with the A/B graders and I've never kept up with them all the way but one day I will and there will be much rejoicing.
I am interested in getting into racing, but need to complete some other milestones first.
Key targets at the moment are Sea to the Vines in November (100km) and Tour Down Under next year (~ 120km).
May look at the racing after winter.
Others efforts are inspiring me though. Need to get the fitness up a bit more and weight down a bit more first as well.
Yea i have seen a few folks like that on the morning rides, all geared up and looking shiny. Couples with matching bikes and clothes look so purdy!!
You would be supprised how slow the lower groups are. Anyway, your best to ask at your local bike group.
A helmet saved my life
Great story! Fantastic that you guys can have a scheme that keeps everyone motivated. Cycling is so much more fun than running isn't it?
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
D grade easily (in Sydney) Michael. Grading classifications may be different in Adelaide to what I'm familiar with in Sydney, but you will fit in fine in your local scene.
A helmet saved my life
There seems to bee one big one in Adelaide, and that is Norwood Cycling Club - may check them out.
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