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All or Nothing Baby!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am moving to Colorado in may-June 2014!!! I'm excited, no doubt, but I have a question: I have heard that most cyclists out there are WAY BETTER than cyclists in other places. I live in Athens, GA, and we have quite a few pro riders, and quite a few guys of pro-caliber (Not my perception of them, it's true. I am one of the guys who is classed to race with the pros when USA crits comes to town :( ). The question I have is that I have heard that riders in colorado are as good as the pros are, but just aren't pros. I feel as though this can't really be true. A professional is paid to ride his bike anywhere and everywhere, and does so, but a local only rides and races with people in his area/region, so how can one say that a rider from Georgia is slower than a rider from Colorado?

Any thoughts or opinions on this? I know CO is at altitude an all, and that has a lot to do with it, but I will be living there fore at least a year, so I think I will get acclimated in 4-6 weeks and be back to normal.
 

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There are some bad ass athletes in this state for sure. A lot of people live here purely for the sake of being able to ride/run/ski some of the best terrain on earth. This attracts a lot of high caliber athletes, pros or not. Some of the local race series are very fast through the sport level or even CAT 4 and 5. Being fat and out of shape is not very common here- it's easy to spot the tourists! That being said if you are a strong rider you should have no problem here- just get used to long climbs and you'll be fine. While a lot of people here are very competitive, most of them are also very nice- we are all here to enjoy the same things.
 

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There are strong riders everywhere. I moved to CO from ME. There were/are strong riders there. There are strong riders here. People here may climb a little better because that seems about ALL we do. :D

For instance, two weeks ago I was doing Ride the Rockies. On day 5 I hooked up with a 33 y.o. guy from FL (here to do the ride) and a 17 y.o kid from Parker, CO. (he races Jrs and the guy from FL was obviously a club type racer) We did a 24 mi segment in under an hour. Yes it happened to be pretty darn flat at that point. I did take my turns at the front but by the time we hit the aid stop I was about out of gas. I'm 57 and have lived here for 6 years now and we live at 7100' in our "valley".

It will take you 6 weeks to fully acclimate to the altitude. When you go back to sea level you loose that in 10 days.

There are a lot of pro's that live and train in the Boulder area so perhaps that is what you are hearing about. Believe me, there are a sh#t ton of good athletes around the entire state. But no need to feel intimidated. IME people are much friendlier out here than back east.

Good luck with the move.
 

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they certainly love their cycling out there. and their climbing!

a fairly common experience for me was telling people that "i'm a cyclist" and having them respond: "me, too. why don't you come out and ride with us tomorrow. we're going to climb X thousand feet over 100 miles". :eek:

lots of good cyclists, for sure, but there are lots of good cyclists everywhere.

mostly, because people are so friendly and the cycling culture is so huge, (1/5th of the total industry I was told) I was able to meet a lot of great people who taught me a lot about cycling, and bikes in general.
 

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Good riders here are probably not much if any better than other places in the country, but the absolute number and percentage of good riders is huge. To coin a phrase, you can't swing a dead cat anywhere around the Boulder/Denver area without hitting a world class athlete in some discipline. It's a great place for staying humble whether you're a cyclist, runner, triathlete, kayaker, climber, skier (XC, downhill, freestyle, snowboard), you name it. Tom Danielson holds the record on the local hill climb about 5 miles from our house for one example (almost exactly half of my best time over 4.5 miles) and he and many other pros are frequently seen on popular local rides and climbs.

You can definitely find your fair share of poseurs here too (go watch "sh!t cyclists say" on YouTube - it was filmed in Boulder), but overall the community is pretty chill and friendly (and huge).
 

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All or Nothing Baby!!!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
haha, I'm a Clemson Alumn, but my wife is in Vet school and goes to UGA (but her undergrad is Clemson too!). I personally hate the 'dawgs.' It's really helping the image of the south when everyone around UGA spells dogs 'dawgs.'
 

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All or Nothing Baby!!!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm looking forward to going out there, but it must be very different. I have been out there before, but I have nevere experienced it in a work setting type of atmosphere. How do the 'locals' have so much time to devote to riding/other sports if they work an 8-5 job? I have been trying to do the work/ride thing for almost two years now and I basically have to cut my riding to 60-40% of what I was doing. Is it the same out there?
 

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People adapt to the terrain and style of cycling where they live. Colorado has altitude and lots of long climbs, you excel at that when it's what you have.
 

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I'm looking forward to going out there, but it must be very different. I have been out there before, but I have nevere experienced it in a work setting type of atmosphere. How do the 'locals' have so much time to devote to riding/other sports if they work an 8-5 job? I have been trying to do the work/ride thing for almost two years now and I basically have to cut my riding to 60-40% of what I was doing. Is it the same out there?
300+ days of sunshine gives a lot of chances to ride before/after work, at lunch etc. If you pick your location correctly, commute times are pretty short too. Also lots of access to good riding terrain, lots of MUPS and bike lanes to get out of city center quickly and easily, lots of folks commute by bike. It's a pretty techy community too so a lot of firms have flexible schedules, telework, etc.

Plus I'm sure selection bias is at work too i.e.talented or dedicated athletes in these sports are more likely to choose to live in CO vs Nebraska or Maine (for e.g.) due to all the advantages previously mentioned and pursue jobs or careers that allow them time to train.
 

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Boulder biking

There are strong riders everywhere. I moved to CO from ME. There were/are strong riders there. There are strong riders here. People here may climb a little better because that seems about ALL we do. :D

For instance, two weeks ago I was doing Ride the Rockies. On day 5 I hooked up with a 33 y.o. guy from FL (here to do the ride) and a 17 y.o kid from Parker, CO. (he races Jrs and the guy from FL was obviously a club type racer) We did a 24 mi segment in under an hour. Yes it happened to be pretty darn flat at that point. I did take my turns at the front but by the time we hit the aid stop I was about out of gas. I'm 57 and have lived here for 6 years now and we live at 7100' in our "valley".

It will take you 6 weeks to fully acclimate to the altitude. When you go back to sea level you loose that in 10 days.

There are a lot of pro's that live and train in the Boulder area so perhaps that is what you are hearing about. Believe me, there are a sh#t ton of good athletes around the entire state. But no need to feel intimidated. IME people are much friendlier out here than back east.

Good luck with the move.

I live just outside of Boulder and ride 5 days a week around the county. No one should make generalizations about the riders here. On any given morning I pass 65-year-olds like me-both slow and fast, slow commuters on upright bikes, overweight road cyclists working to get into shape, mountain bikers just coming off a trail, as well as super-fast pro-like cyclists. The only thing that might be unique about Boulder county is the sheer number and diversity of cyclists. And, if you don't feel like riding up a mountain, there's some beautiful riding on the plains of the county.

Come and enjoy!
 

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Nope, sorry, you're just plain wrong. The data shows there are per capita more high level athletes of all types including and especially cyclists in the Boulder area than in most (but not all) places in the country. Even if the percentages weren't higher (and they are) the sheer number of cyclists per capita would guarantee that there are a large raw number of high level cyclists. There are also a large number of fast, slow, commuter, fat, skinny, MTB and every other kind of cyclist. I second the advice to come and enjoy though!
 
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