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In need of sock puppet
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My cycling neighbor has been on, then off, and now on again for doing the Solvang Century next weekend with me. Problem is, he hasn't been riding that much, and although I know he'll be able to grunt out the full distance, I had set a time goal for myself that will be too agressive for him to maintain.

He's been cool with us splitting up on the ride, but my wife thinks I'm treating the event too much like a race, and that I should hang back and ride with my friend. My neighbor and I did a 62 mile ride last weekend, and for the last fifteen miles, I towed him on my wheel at a speed that was easy for me, but would put me at a time far slower than my goal.

Am I taking this ride too seriously? Should I back down my tempo and stick with my neighbor?

FWIW, my last 100 mile plus event was the Massachusetts District Road Championship in 1988. I came in second in the 30+ group. In the past three years I've been working back up to distances and speed after many years off the bike. My neighbor has done more recent centuries and talked up Solvang, so I made a commitment to riding it and trying to ride strong.
 

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If you have spent your time and energy training for this then try to meet your goal.It is his problem if he hasn't been commited to riding.He will find some people that are his speed.

A friend of mine and I race and do a few of the club rides each year with the local "fast" guys(25 mph average century).He and I ride in the car together to the start but we have a mutual agreement if we flat out,bonk or just can't hang we are at it alone.
 

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My practice is to ride centuries and longer at my own speed. Anyone wants to tag along that's fine. Anyone that wants to go ahead that's fine too. If I am doing a long ride with friends we usually let each other know at the beginning of the ride what our intended speed is going to be, that way folks can split into appropriate groups.

The direct answer to your question, IMO, is you should ride your pace. Let your friend know ahead of time so he will not be surprised if you drop him. He should understand.

My wife felt the same as yours until I explained that riding for me is not a social event, it is serious exercise and I have to ride at my pace. Social rides are when you wait at corners for others to catch up. That is not what centuries are all about for me.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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He's okay with it, you're okay with it, so do it like you have planned. Riding at someone else's pace (whether it is too slow or too fast) can absolutely take the fun out of a century.

I think riding centuries for time is a fine idea, although some folks take it to the extreme and are overly aggressive or have bad etiquette on the road. Not saying you'll do that, at all, but just beware of the temptation to forget that it is, after all, a recreational event. Trying to set a personal best in a crowd CAN be a recipe for frustration or conflict. But sounds like you're level headed about the deal.

Have fun.
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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Im with you coop...

You can ride a 100 mile ride any time. If he wants to ride with you that bad, pick another century where your goals arent so lofty. Honestly, if the course isnt that bad. When you are done, ride backward on the course to find him.... er, not ride backwards, per se, but you know what I mean. Its a good way to do a bit of a cool down. But then again, if he is as pokey as you say, he could be a good hour plus behind you and that would really be a long ride, so ... scratch that. Pop open a cool one and just wait for him to finish. Well, ... then again, better be a 12 pack.
 

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eminence grease
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You should ride the ride the way you want to.

I have a friend that I do a springtime century with. It's basically the only riding he does all year long, vs. my yearly total of about 8000 miles. No way he is going to keep up with me. So the way I handle it - I ride with him until I want to go on and then I just go. It's agreed between us that whomever is feeling stronger that day will wait back at the car.

You trained, you want to prove something to yourself, don't worry about.
 

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yep, I agree w/ the general consensus - just be sure to communicate w/ him BEFORE the ride as to your riding plans. It's not fun getting shelled in the middle of a long ride w/ no warning.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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If you want a better workout, just tow him the entire way. He'll get a good workout, and you will also.
 

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Ride at your own pace

I have done many centuries where I started out with friends. We always have agreed to ride at our own pace. I usually am one of the slower guys. The last thing I want is for someone to have a less than optimal day because they are slowing down for me.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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A couple of takes......

It seems to me there are 3 ways to do this ride:

1.) Decide that your friendship is more important that your time. I've done centries like this with friends where I consciously made the decision to stay with my frineds no matter the time.....no resentment, no problem.

2.) Decided that the time is the most important thing....all other things are secondary. Logic is as everyone here says, you trained for it, you deserve it.

3.) Talk to your friend honestly about it....see how he feels about your riding itthe way you want. Make your decision after you talk to him. He will respond in one of 3 ways. 1.) Are you kidding, I really want you to go for it...I'd feel bad if you waited; 2.) Oh Man,I'm really disappointed, I was hoping to enjoy the ride with you. or; 3.) whatever, and you can't tell how he feels.

Which one do you think you can live with?

Len
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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I feel different than the others. If you make it perfectly clear up front, no problem. But if you are going to ride together, you ride together. - TF
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for all the confirmations and input. I spoke with my friend to find out what his expectations for the ride were, and he affirmed that he wasn't expecting us to ride together for the duration. I figure he'll want to go strong at the start, and for that stretch, he and I can stick together. Once he starts hitting his wall, I'll split and either wait at the end, or turn back once I'm done and ride the rest with him for his finish. My time goal isn't anywhere close to race pace; all I'll need to do is hold that early pace to finish with a time I'd be cool with.

What was really great about the posts above? I had my wife read them - these posts, along with my conversation with my buddy helped turned her perspective around. Thanks!
 

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BS the DC
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I'll talk from the slow man's perspective. I hate holding back my friends. It's obvious when they are holding back a lot for me. In return, I end up doing an all out time trial in an effort to not hold them back too much. I end up killing myself and they end up going too slow.

What we often do is join up, go to the ride together, start out together, maybe even ride to the first rest stop together. Then the faster ones go on and meet us at the end. It's nice to have your faster friends hand you a cool drink as you cross the finish line.
 

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I like the idea of riding together till the first rest stop. Your riding for time, so your going to grab stuff and go... he's trying to survive, so he'll want to linger a bit. Its a natural place to split up without just dropping the poor guy. I don't think it will hurt your time at all either, because I like the idea of finishing your first century in many years with a faster second half split. This will help you start out under control.
 

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MarkS said:
I have done many centuries where I started out with friends. We always have agreed to ride at our own pace. I usually am one of the slower guys. The last thing I want is for someone to have a less than optimal day because they are slowing down for me.
+1

I would not want to be "that guy". I have a neighbor that has mentored me from the beginning. We have a great route that I can mostly keep up on the round trip to a loop where he can go 100%. From the very beginning, I made sure he knew that I would much rather do a solo ride than a group ride if I am holding everyone up to the point the ride becomes much less fun.

Have you told your neighbor about your goal?? If you do, then he should get the idea. If he doesn't then ride at your preferred pace and let him try to keep up. If he can't, then he can find a group his speed.
 

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I ride with 2 guys younger and faster than I. I out train them probably 2 to 1 in time and miles but ahh youth has it's way. We have a great time on rides, I keep with them when i can and drop off when I cannot. I have no ill feelings towards them, complete opposite respect the heck out of there abilities. They have always insisted on me car pooling with them so they are always at the finish line cheering me on.
 

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Just curious

What pace are you shooting for? This is one crowded century and you might become frustrated with some fellow riders. A whole lot of beginners on this ride especially the first 25 miles where they are doing an out and back for a 50 mile ride. I'd suggest getting an early start and going out front. We were able to do the double in 11.5 hours. Fastest time we did the century in was 5:45 and we were worked. I heard there are people doing it in the 4+ hour range.
 

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Ride at your pace Coop. He should understand that you have a goal you are shooting for. Try not to upset your extremely hot wife too much though.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter #19
Dysfunctional ******* said:
What pace are you shooting for? This is one crowded century and you might become frustrated with some fellow riders. A whole lot of beginners on this ride especially the first 25 miles where they are doing an out and back for a 50 mile ride. I'd suggest getting an early start and going out front. We were able to do the double in 11.5 hours. Fastest time we did the century in was 5:45 and we were worked. I heard there are people doing it in the 4+ hour range.
5:30 is my target. When I rode my district champioship ride - 103 or some such miles, that took around four hours flat. That was in 1988 cat 2 condition, and today, I'm a lot slower. If I hit 6 with the crowds or some short stops along the way, that's okay.
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vol245 said:
Ride at your pace Coop. He should understand that you have a goal you are shooting for. Try not to upset your extremely hot wife too much though.
I'm renting her out for parties. She's quite entertaining. You want my paypal account details?
 
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