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mb 10-28-2006 09:47 PM

The Ride's the Thing
There was a recent thread on what type of bike (the human powered kind) you ride.

But as Lance said it's not about the bike. It's what you do with it.

So what is your favorite ride? Long ride? Best bonk? Do you hammer the roads? Smash the single track? Or cruise the bike paths? Do you race or do tri's?

And do you plan to do anything different on your bike during RE?

Non-bicyclists, stop reading NOW you will just be bored by the rest of this post.

One if my ER priorities is to do some long distance, self-supported bike touring. I have told DW that shortly after RE I intend to strap a sleeping bag on the back of my bike and head out. Maybe become a bicycle PT for a while! I told her that she is invited. She just looks at me like I'm nuts. But she has done some week long supported tours (where they truck your stuff from site to site and provide meals) and really enjoyed them so I'm haven't given up. But I can imagine the following conversation in a couple of years:

Her: Honey, we're going on vacation next month.
Me: Where?
Her: San Diego.
Me: OK give me a week head start and I'll meet you at the hotel.

BEST BONK: Oakland, CA sometime in the mid-80s when I was young and foolish(er). Saturday morning about 8am I jump on the bike with no breakfast and only a couple of water bottles and head out. About four hours later I can't figure out what the problem is? After averaging about 20 mph I'm now having problems maintaining 12 mph on the flats! I also have goose bumps on my arms and can't seem to regulate my body temperature and it is 80+ degrees and sunny! So I stop at the first store. Buy english muffins, Snickers bars, Coke (2 liter bottle) and Twinkies. Good healthy food ;) This was before Brian Maxwell invented the Power Bar. Probably consume 3000-4000 calories. Thirty minutes later I'm on the road again and have no problem upping the pace to 18 mph for the remaining 10 miles home.

Best Recent Ride: The six hour week-end rides pretty much stopped when the kids came along. But now that they are a bit older I'm trying to resurrect them. DW and the kids had an all day activity on the past labor day weekend so I jumped at the opportunity. I start in San Jose and head north through Cupertino and Los Altos Hills, up over the Santa Cruz mountains, through the Live Oak, Redwoods and Eucalyptus, down the other side and then along the coast to Half Moon Bay.

Stop at a fruit stand. I have Cliff Bars and Gu this time but I need more calories and more fluids for the return ride. I consume two nectarines, two plums, two Cliff Bars, a Coke and refill the water bottles. What NO Twinkies???!!! How can they not have Twinkies? How will I get home without Twinkies?

I'm now climbing up the west side of the Santa Cruz mountains on LoHonda road. It's never really steep but just a long steady climb for about 8 miles and I'm starting to suffer. My mantra becomes "F***, I hate hills, F***, I hate hills, F***, I hate hills, . . . . "

I finally reach the top and it is now "I love hills, I love hills, I love hills" as I slalom the twisty roads down to Foothill Blvd and then cruise the flats home.

End up with about 80 miles and 5000' feet of climbing. I'm semi-comatose on the couch for the rest of the day. Glad DW isn't home to see. I'm not in good shape but I don't remember it being this hard before. Maybe it's the extra 20 years and 20 additional lbs? Naw, it can't be that! I know! It's the Twinkies! I didn't get my Twinkies!

As I drift off to sleep I'm already planning the next long ride and I won't forget the Twinkies ;)


wabmester 10-28-2006 10:05 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing
Good thread, MB. Keep posting and maybe I'll be inspired to go on some long rides.

These days, I just cruise around our semi-rural neighborhoods. I'll often have our 3.5-yo attached to the back via her "tag-along" bike. We've got some nice gentle hills, and we'll usually cruise by an alpaca farm on our way to the waterfront park.

Best bonks? Man, do I have some stories for you. Oh, you mean fatigue. Never mind.

HFWR 10-29-2006 08:41 AM

Re: The Ride's the Thing

That's "boinks"... :P

I ride the local bike paths/trails; too many impaired motorists... :-\

Edited for dyslexia... ::)

larry 10-29-2006 09:39 AM

Re: The Ride's the Thing

That's "trails".... :laugh:

and I don't blame you for using them, too many 2000 lb death machines out there.

wabmester 10-29-2006 02:51 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing

Originally Posted by HFWR
That's "boinks"... :P

Oh, I thought "bonk" meant a quick boink.

urban dictionary

wompo 10-29-2006 03:00 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing

Originally Posted by mb

So what is your favorite ride? Long ride? Best bonk? Do you hammer the roads? Smash the single track? Or cruise the bike paths? Do you race or do tri's?

My favorite ride is the C&O canal. It is 184.5 miles long and is mostly a dirt path. http://bikewashington.org/canal/

wabmester 10-29-2006 03:34 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing

Originally Posted by wompo
My favorite ride is the C&O canal. It is 184.5 miles long and is mostly a dirt path. http://bikewashington.org/canal/

That looks great. I much prefer trails to the street. SoCal has about 30 miles of trails along the Santa Ana "river" (really a drainage ditch) that take you to the beaches. I used to ride them almost every day.

Santa Ana River trail

mb 10-29-2006 03:40 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing
Sometimes after a bonk it's difficult to boink :'( Er, at least that's what I have been told. No personal experience of course ;)

wompo 10-29-2006 03:46 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing

Originally Posted by wab
That looks great. I much prefer trails to the street. SoCal has about 30 miles of trails along the Santa Ana "river" (really a drainage ditch) that take you to the beaches. I used to ride them almost every day.

Santa Ana River trail

I will have to get out and bike the Santa Ana river trail some day.

There is also a trail from Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA. The following link describes this trail system.

Great Allegheny Passage

They are going to connect the C&O canal to this trail to make a continous trail from Washington DC to Pittsburgh. The trail will then be over 300 miles long. Should be a great ride when it is completed.

TromboneAl 10-29-2006 05:33 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing
Just got back from a nice afternoon ride through Prairie Creek Redwoods state park. Nice smooth road, about 10 miles each way, not much traffic.


I used to live on Tunnel Road in Oakland, and rode to the top every few days. Anybody make that ride? If you still do, take a look at 1901 Tunnel Rd and let me know how big the redwoods I planted are (or take a picture!).

mb 10-29-2006 08:19 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing

I lived in Oakland, one block off of Piedmont in the 80's. Rode Tunnel sometimes but usually took Shepherd Canyon or Snake and then either north or south on Skyline. There were some nice rides once you got out of the city. I still get back there sometime for meetings at UC or LBL but I haven't lived there since '89.


MJ 10-29-2006 08:25 PM

Re: The Ride's the Thing
Since I moved to Tucson, I have been riding about 200 to 300 miles a week riding all over the hills. I enjoy the rides for the speed and exercise that I get cycling up and down the hills on my folding bike. On occasion, I slow down a bit to enjoy the gorgeous desert scenery. What a great town for cycling!
I am looking forward to my trip to Chiang Mai and the cycling around that region. I am hoping the cycling there will keep me fit, tired and out of trouble. ;)

CyclingInvestor 10-30-2006 02:58 AM

Re: The Ride's the Thing
General style - long slow tours (12mph average, down from 14mph when I was
younger), 80m days (down from 100m), start at 3-4 am each day, finish all but
5-10 miles by noon (often by 10am). Mostly solo, all unsupported. Mostly motel,
some camping. Moderate training rides, same speed, usually 30-60 miles.

I intentionally ride slower because my knees have told me to repeatedly. My legs
are much stronger than my knees, and rarely get tired, but if I do not purposely
ride slower than I want to my knees will scream for me to slow down, although
too late to avoid serious damage. I have had several tours ruined by this.

Best ride ever - Los Angeles to Denver in 1992 - 1500 miles in 15 days, no rain
until the last day coasting into Denver, no bonks, every day perfect, just as
pre-planned, great scenery, 5 Divide crossings.

Best bonk - in the mid 80s I partied and drank until 2am, went home and slept 2
hours, then tried to climb Mt Wilson from Torrance - about a 130 mile ride to a 5700'
summit that I had ridden a few times before. At about the 45 mile point, where the
climb gets steeper, my legs turn to jelly/lead, and I just lay down by the side of the
road from dehydration and low blood sugar. It took two hours to gain enough
strength and thought clarity to roll back down the hill into town so I could eat and
drink enough to crawl home on my bike.

donheff 10-30-2006 04:59 AM

Re: The Ride's the Thing
Mainly just short rides (5-10 miles) around DC - down to the Mall, across the river and down to Alexandria. DW and I plan to start extending the rides to get our butts accustomed to the saddle since we are going on a bike trip to Italy in May. My alternative to biking is roller blading. It is more vigorous exercise (the way I ride) and my joints are not up to running. I used to play roller hockey but my lower back gets sore from the bending so I dropped it.

FinanceDude 10-31-2006 10:49 AM

Re: The Ride's the Thing
Best Bonk? Easy, when I rode 3-man paceline on a metric century with my sister and her boyfriend (62 miles). They were in shape, I was not.

On the way back, we're tooling around at about 20 mph, when as I'm looking at my sister's wheel in front of me, I see THREE wheels.......... :o :o

So I picked one to follow, overlap her wheel, and crash on the shoulder. My sister walked up the road to a house, and asked if she could have some sort of sugar drink. The lady is really nice, and makes a big pitcher of Country Time lemonade, and I drank the WHOLE THING.......... :laugh: :laugh:

Finished the last 12 miles, and ate two whole chicken Q's at the picnic at the end............:)

Favorite route? Riding the bluffs and hills around La Crosse, Wisconsin. There are a lot of cuts and switchbacks, and MANY 1-2 mile climbs. They even had Junior Nationals there in the late 70's, which Greg Lemond won.

Grea topic.......... ;)

mb 03-15-2008 04:05 PM

Spring, Love, Sex and the Coolness of Cycling
We'll it's spring time in California (actually it's never really winter here but I have to start this post somehow) which means that it is time for?


Er, uum, well maybe but that's not what I was actually thinking of exactly!

Oh, that's right. You're a guy so what you're really thinking of is sex!

Well, uum no, surprisingly not this particular time, but something about as good! (Don't tell DW!)

So, what is it that is as good as sex?

It's Spring so it's time to hop on your bike and crank up the mileage!

So tell me why is biking as good as sex?

Well, on the bike I can go stay hard for 6 hours! Sex, uum maybe only four! (Probably not the worst lie on the internet. Really glad DW isn't here now.)

So has anyone else had any great rides lately? A summary of a recent ride follows. There is no further mention of sex in this post so non-cyclists need not read any further. It will only bore your.

I leave my driveway in San Jose at about 9am on a beautiful Sunday. I did a 10 mile run the day before and I'm sore so the plan is to do a nice easy spin north up the SF peninsula along the east edge of the Santa Cruz mountains.

About 10 miles in to the ride I pull up and stop behind a woman cyclist at a red light. (One of the unwritten rules of cycling is that you don't "diss" another rider by pulling in front of then while they are stopped at an intersection even if your name is Lance.)

She's wearing jeans, a winter coat and pink fuzzy gloves. She's probably in her mid-50s. No lycra at all!

She turns around says "Hi!" and gives me a million mega-watt smile. Not the "I want your body sort of smile" but the "I'm a really nice person and I'm having a great time on my bike and I want the world to know it" sort of smile. I fall instantly in love. (Don't tell DW about that either.) Pink-fuzzy-glove-lady understands the coolness of bicycling!

About 5 miles later I'm spinning to the top of a short hill, one of the few on this route, and as I reach the top another cyclist catches me and says "Hi!" as he pulls up along side me and we have a short conversation. He's probably in his late 50s, maybe even 60. He has the lean body of a cyclist, like Lance when he was winning the Tour every year. His gaunt face has an almost impossible combination of weather beaten cragginess and youthful vigor. You don't get that in the gym, the only way you get that sort of look is with decades of pushing the limits in the outdoors. That is what a bike and California weather will do for you. I let him go and notice that you can see every muscle fiber defined in has calves as he pulls away from me.

I love it when I see guys like this tearing up the roads and trails because I think that I'm seeing my future and I like it!

This veteran-uber-cyclist would make a good match for pink-fuzzy-glove lady because although one is in lycra and the other is in jeans they both understand the coolness of cycling.

I stop for a water break at Robert's market in Woodside. They have an outside water tap and a lot of cyclists stop there. It is across the street from Buck's where legend has it that the VC deals for a number of Silcon Valley companies were made. It's a very upscale community and it is not unusual to see a half dozen $50k cars and a half dozen $5k bikes in the small parking lot. The bike part I can almost understand but why anyone would spend $50k on a car is way beyond me?

I decide to continue north along Canada road to highway 52. That will make it about a 50 mile ride.

There are a lot of cyclists on Canada road. Looking ahead and behind me, I see about 30 cyclists and no cars.

There are also a couple of roller-bladers. One of them is pretty fast. He looks like an Olympic ice skater and is passing a number of cyclists. I pass him but ease off a bit and he catches me. He pulls along side and says, "Don't let me pass you!"

I tell him that I have a pair of roller blades at home but that I'm not as fast as he is.

He says, "Yah, but I suck on the bike!"

I don't believe him.

Near the end of the ride I'm stopped at a red light with 2-3 other riders when another cyclist pulls around us and stops directly in front of us without saying a word or even looking around. My testosterone starts to flare. Doesn't this guy know the rules! (See above for description of rule.)

I look him over. He's a late-20 or early-30 something and he's on an expensive bike. The kind that Lance rode. It's lighter than a fart and more expensive than a divorce.

I also notice that the bike is really clean. But it's not the "I ride 300 miles a week and tear my bike apart and wash every part in my solvent tank once a month" sort of clean. It is a "I just bought this baby along with the matching jersey with my recent round of stock option money sort of clean."

He probably thinks that Lance is the best cyclist ever just because Lance is the only cyclist that he has ever heard of and that is why he bought this particular bike.

Well the bike doesn't make the rider and I decide that stock-option-dude needs to be taught some humility. He may be on the type of bike that Lance rode but I'm on the type of bike that Eddie would have ridden. He's probably never heard of Merckx but Eddie won the yellow, green and polka-dot jersey for overall leader, best sprinter and best climber in the same Tour, something that no one else including Lance has ever done.

My bike weighs at least two farts and although I give up that and at least 20 years, I'm will to bet that I'm at least 1 fart and 20 years better cyclist than stock-option-dude.

Shortly after the light turns, I ease in front of him. If he wants to stay with me, let him try. I increase the pace. He sucks my rear wheel for a mile or so and then drops like a whipped puppy.

Stock-option-dude is only starting on his path to understanding the coolness of cycling. But he'll eventually get it, as long as he spends more time on his bike and less time thinking about buying the next carbon fiber component that will cut 0.02453 g off the weight of his bike.

It's not about how much your bike weighs. It's not about how fast you can ride and if you can beat your budy in the club ride. (Although it is ok to revert to that level and let the "alpha cyclist" rage every once in a while especially when you encounter a stock-option-dude!) It's not even about how fit and healthy it makes you and how good it makes you feel.

What it is really all about is how much fun you have on your bike and if you're having fun, the bike, the competition and your fitness will all take care of themselves.

Happy cycling,


ProspectiveBum 03-15-2008 05:48 PM

Great, great post, mb. I'm still LMAO at "lighter than a fart, more expensive than a divorce". :2funny:

Need to get back on my bike!


DblDoc 03-15-2008 08:38 PM

I thought this was going to be another Eliot Spitzer thread...


mb 03-15-2008 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by ProspectiveBum (Post 629362)
Great, great post, mb. I'm still LMAO at "lighter than a fart, more expensive than a divorce". :2funny:

Need to get back on my bike!


I confess that I plagarized it from a bike forum.


Walt34 03-16-2008 08:02 AM


Originally Posted by wompo (Post 442081)
My favorite ride is the C&O canal. It is 184.5 miles long and is mostly a dirt path. The C&O Canal Bicycling Guide - Welcome!

Yes! The photo is about 20 minutes away from home. Trails are the only real option around here, on roads you'd have a life expectancy of 30 minutes at best.

On the other side of the river in Sheperdstown is a boat ramp.

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