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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In college, I raced bikes. I love riding, and my flexible schedule meant that I could have morning classes, ride for 4 hours and then do my evening classes. It was awesome, and I got decently fast while in school. I used to be able to show up to just about any group ride and hang with the local pros, maybe even trade attacks here and there. It was awesome.

I kept the fitness after I graduated for about 3 years, when I just sort of burned out. I first tried to keep the same hours (~15-20 hours per week) and I found that I was not doing anything other than riding after I got finished with work. I then tried to bump my intensity and cut my hours, and that didn't work either, I ended up screwing up my knees and I was always sore and tired in a bad way.

I got frustrated and bought a motorcycle. Well, actually three motorcycles over 4 years. Sportbikes are awesome, but I obviously didn't get the same workout as a road bike.

I sold the motorcycles, and got into mountain biking seriously. I'd always ridden mtbs in college, I just wasn't that hardcore about it. I like riding mountain bikes, but the trail is a 40 minute ride from my house and it's not nearly as convenient as riding out my front door like with a road bike.

So with that, I've been trying to get back on the road bike. Of course, I'm slow as hell, and it kills me. I get dropped on the bigger climbs on my local group rides and I'm going to have to start riding with the old men if I want to have an actual group ride. It sort of sucks, it seems that I'm slowly working my way into MAMIL status.

Has anyone else struggled with the transition from racer to "regular guy"?
 

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Getting old sucks! Like anything you get out of it what you put into it. Take time to enjoy your ride, smell the roses, enjoy what company you have, be thankful for every day your wheels spin. Last but not least, life is not a race unless you wish to die first!
 

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You need to figure out what's important in your life. Sounds like riding/racing isn't that important for you anymore, which is as it should be if you want to be successful in your job, and perhaps even take responsibility for a family. If this is you, then I suggest you stop whining and focus on what matters. There's far better riders than you that have done the same. In the grand scheme of things, that's not cycling, let alone dominating the local group rides, unless you're a pro who makes his living doing just that.
 

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I've always been just a regular guy.

I recommend you find yourself an old weathered porch with a rocking chair, a straw hat and a block of wood to whittle on so you can reminisce about the good old days. Bonus points if you have an old **** hound to lay on the porch with you.

OR - You ride when you can and try to enjoy the ride.
 

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I agree with Pirx. You need to figure out why you're riding. If you're riding to be fast, then you'll have to make the sacrifices to be fast. If you're riding for fitness, or for simple enjoyment, or for any number of other reasons, then who cares who's faster than you? There's ALWAYS someone faster than you, no matter what you do.


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The idea of riding your mountain bike to the trail head is not reality for most folks. Cultivate a small group of mountain biking friends and take turns driving. Start exploring a variety of trails within an hour or so drive from your home. Same with road riding. Unless you're mentally numb, local rides cause burnout. With some effort you should be able to find good local friends who are like minded. Every climb and every descent is competitive in a good natured way with the right small group.

I'm not sure where you live, but take up a second sport. White water kayaking, skiing, rowing, high performance skiff racing (sailboats) are all good sports that compliment biking. They can all be as competitive as you would like to make them.

Finally, burning out on various activities is part of life. Find a new passion and move on.
In college, I raced bikes. I love riding, and my flexible schedule meant that I could have morning classes, ride for 4 hours and then do my evening classes. It was awesome, and I got decently fast while in school. I used to be able to show up to just about any group ride and hang with the local pros, maybe even trade attacks here and there. It was awesome.

I kept the fitness after I graduated for about 3 years, when I just sort of burned out. I first tried to keep the same hours (~15-20 hours per week) and I found that I was not doing anything other than riding after I got finished with work. I then tried to bump my intensity and cut my hours, and that didn't work either, I ended up screwing up my knees and I was always sore and tired in a bad way.

I got frustrated and bought a motorcycle. Well, actually three motorcycles over 4 years. Sportbikes are awesome, but I obviously didn't get the same workout as a road bike.

I sold the motorcycles, and got into mountain biking seriously. I'd always ridden mtbs in college, I just wasn't that hardcore about it. I like riding mountain bikes, but the trail is a 40 minute ride from my house and it's not nearly as convenient as riding out my front door like with a road bike.

So with that, I've been trying to get back on the road bike. Of course, I'm slow as hell, and it kills me. I get dropped on the bigger climbs on my local group rides and I'm going to have to start riding with the old men if I want to have an actual group ride. It sort of sucks, it seems that I'm slowly working my way into MAMIL status.

Has anyone else struggled with the transition from racer to "regular guy"?
 

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How old are you... 30? And what do you consider "old men"?
Age isn't really the issue. There's young men who ride slow and old men who ride fast. You just need to find a group at your level.

I've always been just a "regular guy" so I can't relate to transitioning. The group I ride with ranges in age from 20's to 60's. Most of the faster guys are the older ones. Some still race. Some never raced. But we all have one thing in common... we enjoy riding.
 

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As an ex-racer I enjoy competitive group rides, as a 50-year old I know I won't be attacking like I used to but it's still enjoyable to me, regular guy or not.
Endurance takes time to build, or re-build in your case.
 

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Pretty much everyone who isn't earning a living at the sport or in some elite development program is and always has been a regular guy.

Rather than focusing on what you think is a transition to being a regular guy you should address the delusion that you were ever anything but. Then you should be good to go.
 

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Maybe try to get some perspective. You seem a little impulsive, jumping full-bore into something different every time things aren't going well. It's possible to enjoy cycling (and life) without riding 4 hours a day or being the fastest guy on the group ride.

And guys in their early 30s shouldn't ***** about getting old. It amuses us 60-somethings, but it makes us a little cranky, too.
 

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Regular is a variable, it changes with time and place.

As far as getting old, it's a good thing. I know too many dead young guys who never got the chance to get old.
 

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Just enjoy the ride and the ride will find you.

Speaking from an absolute newb perspective. I can say the more time you spend on the bike the better, you dont have to always push it to be with people on a level. I have gone on great rides with guys that were older than I, and what I took away is cycling is a timeless activity.

I am a rider who is 33 yrs old, and I just start less than 2 years ago. What i have begun to realize it does not matter how i stack up against other people, all that matters is i am on the bike.

If i ride with a group it isn't because i want to race or show my skills, i am still very inexperienced in terms of being a general rider. I ride with a group to get to know people and share in experience solo riding doesnt provide.

When i ride solo, either on a pre determined route or making it up as i go along; i am out there for a primary reason to be free of certain things in life. It is also a time to work things out physically and mentally.

The biggest benefit to biking and me is that it mentally and physically improves my life.
 

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One thing I didn't see in your history is bike commuting.

Bike commuting is a great way to get the training in without having to carve gobs of extra time out of your schedule. I can get in up to 75 minutes each way without seriously impacting my regular schedule. And for me, the psychological value of the way it clears the mind before and after work is priceless.

It doesn't necessarily mean having to give up your roadie for a sled either. I use my converted cross bike at the beginning of the week to haul in work clothes and food for the week. I leave the panniers at work. Then at the end of the week I use them again to haul home the laundry. Other folks I know use their car for this part of it.

In between--weather permitting--I can ride the roadie, carrying only my glasses and a sandwich in my jersey pockets. The two concessions to commuting I make on the bike are lights and a slightly larger than fashionable seat bag. On the weekend, those things come right off. Mid-week, I even commute on Dura-Ace.

Contrary to popular opinion, low-spoke count wheels (20/24) shod with Conti 4000S or 4000S II tires are up to the rigors of daily commuting. And they keep it fun. They spin up nice and quick, which is great for chasing cars. I seriously pissed off a guy in a Porsche one night in stop-and-go traffic by catching him at every stoplight. Puts some fun into intervals.

Just a thought.
 

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How old are you... 30? And what do you consider "old men"?
Age isn't really the issue. There's young men who ride slow and old men who ride fast. You just need to find a group at your level.

I've always been just a "regular guy" so I can't relate to transitioning. The group I ride with ranges in age from 20's to 60's. Most of the faster guys are the older ones. Some still race. Some never raced. But we all have one thing in common... we enjoy riding.


^^^This^^^

Bottom line. Find people at your riding level to ride and have fun with. Riding is great exercise and we always strive to be better. But it also needs to be fun, otherwise you will lose interest. If it's not fun, why bother?

As far as getting old, let me just say that I know riders in their 70s and early 80s who rack up thousands of miles every year.
 

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As an ex-racer myself, I know what the OP is getting at. To me, this is simply what happens when you get a job. I'd say either make going fast a priority or don't but stop fretting about it. There's no secret to getting in shape: ride lots. If you don't have time to ride lots, don't worry about it. Find a chill group and relax. Cycling is supposed to be fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There are some good thoughts here. I'm 29, btw. I'm not really that old, but my buddies that I raced with went into grad school or hipster jobs for the most part and were able to keep up their lifestyle of training. I went directly to work after school as an engineer working a regular 8-5.

I've done a little bit of bike commuting, my current job is only 5 miles from my place. I love it, but it can be a bit of a hassle sometimes.

I like the quote that "...I need to address the delusion that I was anything but ...[a regular guy]. Good burn, and probably not far off the truth. I was a mid to upper pack CAT3, not a pro or anything. At the risk of sounding elitist though, my handling skills are much better than my fitness. So if I find a group that I can hang onto, they're either sketchy or in their 60s with nothing in common with me (or even worse, both).
 
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