- That – "Oh my husband is looking for someone to ride with" thing…
Was told I was to take a chap to Cannock many years ago.Posted 4 years ago
“He’s American”, exclaimed the girlfriend, “so he’s really in to biking…”.
He comes wheeling his 40lb behemoth down the drive, resplendant in his spangly white gym shoes & tracksuit, complete with what appeared to be a time trial helmet.
We set off up what is now the fire road that the Follow the Dog spits out on to. I think we were about half way up & he was puffing so hard he was actually sick.
Had to take him home.
She never asked me to take anyone out again.andrewhMember
I’ve had everything from ‘really good, done loads of off-road’ (meaning ridden to work on the tow path occasionally) to ‘will be a bit slow, not ridden a bike for ages’ (meaning former Scottish junior champion who has been off a bike for a few weeks skiing)Posted 4 years ago
It can be hard for people to judge their own abilities, especially in new groups. I can run a 35min 10k, used to run with a few guys who could do sub-30, so I usually went in the middle group, couldn’t keep up with the fast group. Went out with a new running club a little while ago, asked to go in the middle group, they put me in the fast group and I was by far the quickest. I think whatever ability people are they see themselves as average.
Made my first alpine trip last week. Switzerland in a mates chalet.
I have no previous alpine experience and an “inappropriate” bike (steep head angle, no uppy downy seat post etc etc..)
Either way on day one I go a bit bonkers and find myself at the top of a 2950m mountain and eventually find a way down to 1475m. Long story short, scared myself a fair bit and got some insight into the reasons behind slack angles and suppy downy seat posts etc.
The evening conversation with locals reveal a very nice woman saying that her husband would like to go cycling but has no one to go with.
I know, I know, I’ve heard it all before. I am starting to lose count of the number of casual cyclists who “quite fancy someone to ride with”. The bastards.
They are all high speed super-fit bandits and this guy was no exception. Being acclimatized, living at 1500m above sea level he completely kippered me on the 8k, 700m climb to 2250m.
At one point as I desperately sought every ounce of oxygen from the rarified air, he was in the middle ring (me granny) while chatting and sending a text on his phone while riding one handed up a category 1 climb.
I have rarely felt quite so out of my depth. If ever there was an advert for the effects of altitude (accepting that I am also no climber (too fat) – when I filtered the climb by weight on strava I went from last to first – get in !!) then this was it.
I have since found out that the guy is super competitive and has previously completed the grand raid (albeit the half length one).
I was never under any illusion that Mr. I. Rarelyridemybike was actually Mr.S.Uperfitacclimatisedmountainman but I just wish these buggers would be honest. It was no test for him and made me feel bad for holding him up – I eventually practically ordered him to bugger off and do the ride he wanted to do rather than have me waste his time.
At the end of the day I had a great time. I was slow up but fast down. Mr.Superfit wasn’t interested in going down (the last few miles of the Grand Raid race route) and eventually admitted that tetchy downy stuff wasn’t his thing.
I am glad I rode but I suppose that in the end I’d rather ride alone and find my own limits rather than have them exposed by others who underplay their abilities for hollow victories.
I will be going back to the Alps. You can’t easily replicate 10k climbs/ascents in tthe UK with the level of technicality that is commonplace in the Alps. It is amazing.
Any slow, heavy, old, but stubborn Alpinists out there ?Posted 4 years agoBulletSubscriber
I got caught out years ago at work – chatting with a bloke who said he rode a mountain bike and lived on the way to Thetford. Met him and his ‘friend’ there and after about half an hour they stopped and unpacked a picnic rug and full cucumber sandwich picnic! Never been so embarrassed 🙂Posted 4 years agosolarpoweredMember
+1 for andrewh- I find that too!
However I do feel like the OP every time I have a ride with Bunnyhop et al on a Thursday evening! Never mind some mountain in foreign countries! (You know who you are!) 😉
After a bit of experience it’s a frame of mind you need to get in (or it winds you up too much), let things go and let people think what they want!
Ps; I’m very jealous you can go on holiday to somewhere like Switzerland! Bet you did waaaaay better than a lot of others there too 😛Posted 4 years agojamj1974Subscriber
I am a fat knacker and my nan beats me up some climbs – she is remarkably fit for a woman who’s been dead for nearly 10 years!
I have similar experiences – but so do some people I have been ‘matched’ with. One guy I have ridden with was touted as super, super capable on technical stuff, but there again most people are when they ride a machine with say 200mm travel on trails with about 20m of elevation to work with… Another rode a “little bit” and was “hopelessly out of shape”. He turned out to be a little bit quicker than say Nick Craig…Posted 4 years agobikebouyMember
My “whippet mate” who I ride roadie with bought his niece with us on a ride once, she was (at the time) 19. As he rolled his bike out of his van (we’d meet Bishops Waltham) his niece stepped out of the passenger seat, she was/is a *stunning looking Women.
My jaw dropped.
Nothing much more to say apart from she rode really well and enjoyed our company, she’s been out quite a few times since.
😉Posted 4 years agoDaveRamboSubscriber
The problem here is that fitness is a relative term.
I’ve been asked to take out someone for a ride (partner of my wife’s friend). He was supposed to be very fit but hasn’t got a bike at the moment.
Offered him 12, 22, and 32 mile routes and we went for the sensible 22.
Afterwards he was a shell of a man and reported back that I almost killed him.
I’ve equally been on the opposite side as I’m quite fit (for a middle aged bloke who gets to ride once or twice a week) and have ended up feeling like I’m 5 stone overweight with just one lung.Posted 4 years agoplumberMember
I was once taken out by a friend of my brothers in Calgary (before I lived there)
Jumping pound ridge I believe so imagine a ride up and down Garburn pass but a little longer
What I didn’t realize was the effects of altitude in what seems like a flat plane with a few bumps in it.
I’ve never been so close to puking my guts up and that was on the fire road
Brilliant ride but really tough with the altitudePosted 4 years agoFOGSubscriber
I took out a friend from London in our local Peaks area on what I thought was a steady ride, knowing he rides to work most days and has done some big road rides in France . He accused me of trying to kill him!Posted 4 years ago
On a return fixture, road riding in London , he out bottled me completely.DezBSubscriber
Good stuff!Posted 4 years ago
Only time something similar happened to me – staying in the French Alps with some friends who’d bought a chalet out there.
Chap I’d been snowboarding with before said he’d like to come on a ride with me – only bike available was a knackered Halfords special full sus thing. I had my rocky Mountain Instinct in pristine condition.
Other friend drove us up the mountain in his van and dropped us at the top of the track back down to their village. First descent and “er, Dez my brakes aren’t very good”, so spent half an hour trying to get plastic v-brakes in reasonable working order.
Off we go again and this bloke could ride – lucky for me my full functioning brakes meant I could keep ahead of him on the fastest dh sections.. then we came to some really tight switchbacks, I made the first one, just and then had to dismount and walk. Imagine my dismay as matey smoothly endo’d round each turn and cleared the lot!
Apparently he’d done ‘a bit’ of BMXing. (Much better snowboarder than me too, but then he did live in the Alps!)
Great ride anyway. Made sure I beat him to the village!molgripsSubscriber
I took a couple of active but non-biking colleagues out on a ride once. It was a fairly moderate ride, about 8 miles on roads out of the city then maybe the same again in the not overly hilly woods. We set off at a fair old clip, and I was beginning to doubt my MTBer credentials. I had no need to worry though; half an hour later they were fooked, and four hours later when we got back they were properly broken.
I was especially smug on the Monday morning at work when they were wincing their way around the office 🙂Posted 4 years agojackthedogMember
As said a few times above, fitness is relative and it can be quite remarkable what one person’s idea of fitness might be compared with another’s.
A few years back I started making efforts to expand my circle of riding mates, so I asked the lad at the LBS to put me in touch with other regulars.
In the space of a week I went on one ride with a bunch of guys who gushed over me like I was some sort of heroic Olympian riding god, then another ride sold to me as a ‘gentle’ evening ride with some other guys that made me want to curl into a ball half way up the first climb and cry for my mum.Posted 4 years agoRayMazeyMember
Its a fact, that assessing peoples skill / fitness levels is a really hard thing to do. Made even harder, if you have never ridden the trails that they normally ride, as there is nothing for you to relate too.
I still find it difficult, and its been my full time job for 10years. It is the most difficult part of my job (mountain bike coach). The only way you know for sure, is when you ride with them.Posted 4 years agosssimonMember
My wife has a habit of this and it either goes one way, her old boss who “has done a bit of road cycling” and turned out he was just back from the etape and had done the paris Roubaix route on his way home, or he mates husband who was ourdoorsy and had done some mountain biking but it turned out he had bought a decent full sus on his cycle to work and thought he was a trail god with a go pro and lots of armour but in reality was a mincer
have found a few though who fit right in with my not that good at anything but not that fussed mentality.Posted 4 years agosweaman2Subscriber
My favorite is someone who turned up for a ride as a friend of a friend and during the drive out to the trailhead said he “had done a bit of skiing the last few years”.
He proceeded to beast us for the whole day.. on the drive back home it turned out he’d just quit the Team Canada National Biathlon squad 😯
Suffice to say when he came Nordic skiing with us in the winter we just left him to it.Posted 4 years ago
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