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Old 08-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #30256
Gummee!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridge View Post
Sadly, you are mired in a virtual world that is completely devoid of the soul that embodies bicycle racing. Luckily you have taken the initiative to improve your fitness and actually step foot out into the real world of racing... even if it's just a TT. I sincerely hope once you toe the line of a true physical race with other actual human beings in the same physical proximity that you begin to appreciate the camaraderie and elements of risk that are appreciated, revered and respected by true competitors.

Racing is not about convenience. It is all about sharing the inconvenience that is part and parcel to suffering. Reading the body language of your competitors and testing the limits of your abilities against theirs head-to-head on the battlefields of pavement and dirt in every condition that Mother Nature can throw at you. To suffer through the elements and cross the finish line in a mess of dirt, sweat, bug guts and shake the hand of the racer that crossed the line before or after you is an experience we should all have the benefit of. To be humble in the face of those that bested you is to be human. Knowing that on another day, on another course, you will meet again and have the chance to battle. It's an immense rush of endorphins, adrenaline and emotions that simply cannot be replicated solo. If you think it is... you are kidding yourself.
Amen brother.

Fast group rides aren't races either despite some people's attempts at making them one. ...like tonite for example...

Hammerfest Day 2 is in the books. Legs started out tired and popped right before the end. Last hill I stood up for a bit and when I sat down, the gas gauge said 'empty.' Good thing it was ~2mi back to the parking lot! :whew

Tonite was the 1 loop with a combined 1/2 field. Mostly 2s if I read the riders right. (that's the Reston Bike Club's designations, not a USCF category) Both hills of any size saw attacks. Both hills of any size saw me in the red zone and unable to match said attacks.

Thank doG for stop lights!

[Forrest Gump]That's all I'm gonnna say about that[/FG]

Going for a 2.5hr toodle tomorrow AM. Who's in?

...and for the record: I race cross and track. Since there's no track in the DC area and I'm not willing to drive 4+hrs to get to T-Town, that leaves cross. ...which starts 29Sep! I'll race crits and have fun, but they don't turn me on like track and cross. I look forward to cross from the day after the last race of the season.

M
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:02 PM   #30257
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Originally Posted by k7 View Post
But that's what separates the wheat from the chaff. A brevet series runs 200, 300, 400 and then 600-km. At the top is the 1200.

As you work your way to the longer distances, you realize that it's as much a mental test as a physical one and the number of people that complete a 1200 in any given year is probably under 4000 unless its a PBP year.

In long distance events, I think only RAW and RAAM riders covers more distance but they also doing it under race conditions. They're the elite in my LD world.
Why begin by presupposing that there is some intrinsic value in enduring the suffering you've deliberately brought on yourself? The kind of individual you're describing sounds to me like a masochist, certainly not someone I would recommend emulating. Where I'm from, there's a group who derives some sort of perverse pleasure from cutting holes in frozen lakes and submerging themselves in the frigid water until there's only one left. Do you find that kind of thing admirable? To most, it's just pointless self destructive behavior.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:05 PM   #30258
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despite it being an ad, this is pretty nifty. Seems like just last month we were getting all dressed up to go riding:


M
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:06 PM   #30259
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Why begin by presupposing that there is some intrinsic value in enduring the suffering you've deliberately brought on yourself? The kind of individual you're describing sounds to me like a masochist, certainly not someone I would recommend emulating. Where I'm from, there's a group who derives some sort of perverse pleasure from cutting holes in frozen lakes and submerging themselves in the frigid water until there's only one left. Do you find that kind of thing admirable? To most, it's just pointless self destructive behavior.
Clearly, you need to try racing (head to head with other people) in order to 'get it.' Trying to explain it is like trying to explain 'blue' to a blind person.

M
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:05 PM   #30260
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
What none of them involve is deliberately causing yourself to suffer for the sake of enduring it.
Bicycling competitively or in endurance riding is an attempt to see how far or how fast you can go. If you're racing and it doesn't hurt, you're not giving it everything. That's the attraction for me - how much am I capable of? And that knowledge isn't obtained without pain, if it involves bicycles.

In other aspects of my life, that knowledge is easier to obtain. How far or fast can I ride a motorcycle? How many proposals can I write in a week? Whatever. But few of those items involve a strong physical component like cycling does for me. It is one of the few places in my life that I can get a physical challenge that tests me hard enough to start or king on me mentally and emotionally.

And endorphins are highly addictive.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:20 PM   #30261
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Tonight's ride. Got a chance to ride this trail Tuesday, went back for a couple laps tonight. Fun stuff. 2 crashes.

http://app.strava.com/activities/71538936
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:44 PM   #30262
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Speaking of pointless self destructive behavior, i signed up for the Everest Challenge stage race again. EC climbs 29,035' in two days with multiple 6000' climbs and trips to 10,000'.
I started doing EC when the Death Ride became not so hard a challenge. it's what got me back into racing. I've done a bunch of other races since then but EC is still my favorite.

The appeal of things like the Death Ride and EC is 1) you have to execute your training plan for them, requiring mental discipline, and 2) the mental and physical challenge of completing the event (and of placing as well as you can if its a race). If you do all those, you get 3) an incredible feeling of accomplishment. The other stuff is good but the last is the best part.

Failing to finish my first EC made me get much more serious and focused about training, which was good for my life in general. The next year when I realized I was going to finish and be in the top 20 I nearly start crying with a couple miles to go. It'd been two years of work to get to that point. Now when i do it I am racing, not just trying to finish.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:56 PM   #30263
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Racing

No, really racing.
In a pack of about 90 guys, rolling along at about 25 mph on a two lane road. We're in the right lane. Double yellow lines.
Do not cross the double yellow. It is a cliff, it is the way you get disqualified, your license pulled for 30 days. The first time.
If you're lucky.

If you fuck up, you head on into oncoming traffic. Hence the penalties.

Cat IV field, we're riding away from a ski area toward the historic cold spot in the state. Today though, it won't be cold. About ten miles out of there we'll turn left and head up a short hill. A short hill I planned on attacking.
That didn't happen. Maybe somebody else attacked. I have no idea.
Some asshat decided to ignore the double yellow, crossed it and sprinted to the front of the field.

Only that oncoming traffic thing. Asshat dives into the field away from the oncoming traffic. This action pushed bikes together, bikes went down.

Bikes piled up. 20-something people went into medivacs. One guy had a broken femur, his scalp laid open and later we heard broken collar bone and concussion. He didn't die but, he was in the hospital for almost a year.
Racing in the 4's.
Now, they have 5's. Likely the same asshats. A bunch of guy's who think they are fast now, because they got KOM's on Strava.
Bullshit.
I got a broken finger and a broken bike. Bend every tube in the frame outside the chain and seat stays, The seat tube was broken at the bottom bracket. I wouldn't know this until the next race that I was absolutely set to win. I climbed like I liked it. Cat 1's and II's thought I was one of them when we climbed together.

Meh,
it was uphill both ways where I lived.

Meanwhile my buddy and I spend a good hour or more stacking hurt guys in ambulances, then tweak our wheels and bars back straight ride the twelve miles back to the ski area...


Only to find the key my buddy had secured behind his license plate opened the trunk, not the doors.

Good news is the trunk holds the ice chest of Sapporo beer, Yeah, big assed bottles. We unbolt the back of the rear seat and I can just fingertip grab his jacket with the real keys.

Time for more beer and the free alpine slide.
My finger hurts, but more beer makes me forget about it.
We burn our arms and knees on the fiberglass halfpipe of the alpine slide. Flirt with the college girls then drive home. I get back on the bicycle and ride 30 miles to my parents house to meet up with my wife and kids.
A couple days later my finger is not happy. Tape it to its neighbor some pain pills and it's a Criterium! I do a few laps, get my legs cut by peddles, and decide the pain pills are not race worthy. I pull up in a pit and stop, while leading.

Drink a bunch of water and drive back home. A week later I figure out 15 miles into the hill climb my frame is screwed.
Actually I figure out it isn't shifting up like I want so I sit and spin to the top. Outside the top five.

Pissed.
I turn around and bomb back the 28 miles off the top to my car. Load up, and head home where I hang the bike up and ignore it for a week. No riding nothing. Work and school.
Back at the bike I decide to figure out the shifting, and find the crack.

Dammit!
Call a frame builder friend, he sows me how all the tubes are bent.

Dammit!

We decide to replace the seat post with an Italian Columbus tube, he sets to work.
I drive off to my sponsoring shop.
Pick up an Italian Campy Super Record Seat Post, and order a bike.

A week later I'm back training on my bent bike.
Six months later my Ciocc Mocba 80 shows up.

It gets worked and raced, then dies an ugly death at the hands of the garage door.

Enter the Pinarello, on order.

Mpre drama.

Women's team van head-on crash nobody hurt, but all the bikes on the roof shear off and crushed.
I have a 54cm on order.
It came in.
It goes t the women's team.

More waiting, a 56 /57 cm comes in we grab that for me. A little bigger than I want, but who cares it's a year since crushing the Motobecane in the road race.
We build up the Pinarello. Meanwhile I lose my job, I'd about hit the limit and they were not going to hire me anyway.
I get an invite to a crit at the Coors brewery. I get to ride with the Killian's team. These boys are fun. I rode over from home, only 13 mies. One of the brothers takes my new bike, (13 miles on it) off fro a spin. The other brother tells me I shouldn't have let him take it as I'll likely never see it again.

Irish boys are a hoot.
We ride the crit exhibition. I put on a cornering clinic that the touring crowd don't pay close attention to and crash.

Spectacular crash that takes out the VIP seating. Me and the Irish can barely maintain our pace as we're laughing so hard.
Nobody hurt, just looks like a food fight in a bicycle shop.

Don't remember much else. Getting slapped on the ass while my training buddy and I climbed a steep hill. THe slappers were a jeep load of college girls. +35 year old guys did this stuff.
Our wives were in a car behind the Jeep and saw it all.

A while later I'm at Red Rocks Amphitheater, working on the hills. Intervals on the quarter mile climb up to the top. I do ten, then ride up to Evergreen and back home making for about 70 mils with mountains, and the interval climbs. As I'm climbing I ride past a guy.
I cool down at the top parking lot and we talk. I tell him I'm a 4 and he tells me he is a 2 from NY. Freaked that if I'm a 4 he's in trouble.
As we ride up the canyon we catch another guy I know who at a break tells the 2 I'm an animal on hills and not to worry.

There was a time.

60 guys leave the shop in lower downtown in the fog/mist. We decide to head north Riverdale Road. e let the juniors et to the front, then sit in and spin. we're rolling along on this nearly flat twisting and turning two lane road, at about 35 mph. Us old guys are about two rows back talking smack, food and tires. The sound the tires make on that pave is magic.

I decide at that point that, that is the reason we're here today. At about the halfway mark a bunch of guys turn west. a group of us continue north. We come over a rise and just as the rain begins we hit gravel. Road base actually. Washboarded from too high a speed cars and trucks. The next 40 miles are the American prairie version of Paris-Roubaix.
The rain stops about the time we get to a cafe. OUTside seating and a garden hose. perfect.
We ride to the Morgul - Bismark course Up and over the "Wall". Then back downtown. I think it was 128 miles. Took a long time, even with that early fast stuff. The gravel and resting at the cafe then the hump, bump and wall took a toll.
Flemish tans all around.

Group rides, racing. Friends before internet. Stories and sponsors. Crashes and scars.
Real bike racing is fun. For me it was fun to ride with friends. Push each other to be better. Literally push each other home when we bonked.

Bike racing when you stand in the infield a the track nationals and a guy nicknamed the Fastest Cat in the Jungle comes by in a 2 horsepower sprint, you know speed and you have just witnessed power. Get to look into the eyes if a 5 time TDF champion as he time trials, and you know this guy wants this.
Bike racing is cool. Real racing. On real roads. Against real guys who stink and sprint and fall, and laugh and yell and forget to put t heir pedals back n their bike.

Bike racing is fun. Training with the team is fun. If it feels like work you're doing it wrong and for the wrong reasons.
you aren't put to save the world, you're out to have fun going fast on a bicycle, and talk a little smack after with your friends.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:06 AM   #30264
Aurelius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
Clearly, you need to try racing (head to head with other people) in order to 'get it.'

M
I have no immediate desire to shatter my hip a second time, but should I feel the overwhelming urge to engage is self destructive behavior in pursuit of some dubious thrill, I'll be sure to let you know.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:39 AM   #30265
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It's not for everyone

http://bicycling.com/blogs/hardlyser...avorite-enemy/
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:52 AM   #30266
Aurelius
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Originally Posted by kbasa View Post
Bicycling competitively or in endurance riding is an attempt to see how far or how fast you can go. If you're racing and it doesn't hurt, you're not giving it everything. That's the attraction for me - how much am I capable of? And that knowledge isn't obtained without pain, if it involves bicycles.
But I know perfectly well what I'm capable of from years of training, as should you. I know I'm capable of pushing my body to the point of total muscle failure. I know I can ride to the point where my heart, lungs, and muscles are unable to meet the demands placed on them. I don't need repeated confirmation to know these things. Suffering is an undesirable but unavoidable byproduct of rigorous physical training, not something to be enjoyed for its own sake except by the mentally ill. Saying that you're only doing it to find out what you're capable of, like seeing how far you can ride, or how many hills you can climb, are measures no less artificial and arbitrary than seeing how long you can remain immersed in ice cold water, or how long you can survive without food.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:59 AM   #30267
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:12 AM   #30268
Ridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
What none of them involve is deliberately causing yourself to suffer for the sake of enduring it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
I'm not at all familiar with that, but my question was a rhetorical one, as you already knew.



No, this is where we part ways. The extreme discomfort I experience during hard training is something I regard as a necessary evil. My achievement is not in overcoming it, but in getting the performance improvements that training confers. I would prefer being able to achieve that goal without all the pain and discomfort, but that just isn't possible. When I think of people who fetishize suffering, I'm reminded of kids I knew who would lay lit cigarettes on their arms to see how long they could tolerate the pain. The longer the burn scar left behind, the greater their 'accomplishment'. I regard that sort of behavior is indicative of a mental illness, certainly not something to be proud of. I don't say that because of the disfigurement it causes; my judgment would be the same even if it didn't.



But you'll notice that while I find the things you, Gummee, and Ridge do completely unappealing, I don't presume to criticize you for enjoying them. If only Gummee and Ridge would do me the same courtesy.
Then I guess the question begs (at least for me anyway), why?

Why do you continue to pursue Time Trialing on a bicycle when pain and suffering is integral to achieving good results? Why do you carry on about Strava times and records when, to achieve a better time, it will require you to dig deeper into your reserves of willpower to deal with pain? I'm failing to find the connection as to why you are that averse to suffering yet desire to be respected as an accomplished cyclist. To claim the title of competitor is to embrace that suffering is your bedfellow and training partner. You cannot defend that you are not into cycling to be competitive with your plethora of Strava posts here and the classes you are currently taking. Competing (even if you're simply chasing Strava KOM's) and suffering are not mutually exclusive.

I'll extend you courtesy when you stop beating your chest about chasing virtual times on a website that has zero value to those outside of that clique. Do I use Strava? Yes. Do I post some of my events here? Yes, when I have a race or event that was particularly challenging and I think others would find value in it.

What I do not do is clamor on about claiming to take times away from local racers and not having to work for it. It's your incessant eagerness to find some acceptance in a social network that you have no desire to be integral to that vexes me. Until you have gone head-to-head in a true sprint on a true race course, I will bestow no such courtesy.

I sincerely hope you find whatever it is you are looking for through your classes and, ultimately, the time trial you intend to enter. I do hope competing in that time trial opens your eyes to the bond that we cyclists share among our brethren. Please continue to regale us with your progress through the course and race but spare us the inane boasting about your accomplishments on Strava.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:13 AM   #30269
Ridge
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Originally Posted by Mr Head View Post
Group rides, racing. Friends before internet. Stories and sponsors. Crashes and scars.
Real bike racing is fun. For me it was fun to ride with friends. Push each other to be better. Literally push each other home when we bonked.

Bike racing when you stand in the infield a the track nationals and a guy nicknamed the Fastest Cat in the Jungle comes by in a 2 horsepower sprint, you know speed and you have just witnessed power. Get to look into the eyes if a 5 time TDF champion as he time trials, and you know this guy wants this.
Bike racing is cool. Real racing. On real roads. Against real guys who stink and sprint and fall, and laugh and yell and forget to put t heir pedals back n their bike.

Bike racing is fun. Training with the team is fun. If it feels like work you're doing it wrong and for the wrong reasons.
you aren't put to save the world, you're out to have fun going fast on a bicycle, and talk a little smack after with your friends.
Simply exceptional! I sincerely hope you and I get to ride someday and grab beers afterward.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:14 AM   #30270
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Originally Posted by Ridge View Post
Then I guess the question begs (at least for me anyway), why?

Why do you continue to pursue Time Trialing on a bicycle when pain and suffering is integral to achieving good results? Why do you carry on about Strava times and records when, to achieve a better time, it will require you to dig deeper into your reserves of willpower to deal with pain? I'm failing to find the connection as to why you are that averse to suffering yet desire to be respected as an accomplished cyclist. To claim the title of competitor is to embrace that suffering is your bedfellow and training partner. You cannot defend that you are not into cycling to be competitive with your plethora of Strava posts here and the classes you are currently taking. Competing (even if you're simply chasing Strava KOM's) and suffering are not mutually exclusive.

I'll extend you courtesy when you stop beating your chest about chasing virtual times on a website that has zero value to those outside of that clique. Do I use Strava? Yes. Do I post some of my events here? Yes, when I have a race or event that was particularly challenging and I think others would find value in it.

What I do not do is clamor on about claiming to take times away from local racers and not having to work for it. It's your incessant eagerness to find some acceptance in a social network that you have no desire to be integral to that vexes me. Until you have gone head-to-head in a true sprint on a true race course, I will bestow no such courtesy.

I sincerely hope you find whatever it is you are looking for through your classes and, ultimately, the time trial you intend to enter. I do hope competing in that time trial opens your eyes to the bond that we cyclists share among our brethren. Please continue to regale us with your progress through the course and race but spare us the inane boasting about your accomplishments on Strava.
Spot. The. Fuck. On.

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