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Driving to ride(21 posts)

Driving to rideTylerman
Oct 22, 2001 12:12 PM
Is it considered bad etiquette to drive to a start point for a ride when the drive is longer than the ride itself? I drove from Houston to el Campo this weekend to ride with a buddy of mine and on the way home I realized that I had driven 80 miles just to ride 50. Felt kinda stupid. Gas is cheap so I'm not worried about that aspect, and I'm not good enough friends with this guy to ride down there and spend the night to ride back in the morning. Have I displayed a lack of cycling good manners?
I don't think so...RhodyRider
Oct 22, 2001 12:16 PM
I drive to meet up with my little group of riding partners at least once per week, and they drive to ride with me just as often. These are not 80 mile drives, mind you, but if all of us only rode out of our garages, we'd be riding solo all the time. I've also driven to club rides and organized rides around Southern New England. And sometimes I tote the bike somewhere just for a change of scenery.
Don't sweat it, man, just ride!!
I agree with Rhody; don't sweat it.nigel
Oct 22, 2001 12:33 PM
I don't have a car (I live in NYC), but I'd love to have one sometimes so I wouldn't always have to ride to the ride. For me, this means miles of unpleasant (but you get used to it--not to LIKE it, but certainly used to it--it probably makes me stronger or tougher mentally) city riding just to get to where it's nice and/or smooth and relatively traffic free. If I had a car, I'd drive a little ways to a nice area to do some super-pleasant riding, or if I knew people who lived out there, I'd ride to meet them. Since I don't--and don't have a car, anyway--I must ride through crap to get to where the riding's great.

It's life, and life is too short, man; do what it takes to make you happy and enjoy each and every day. No one should criticize you for this. Time is short, as is energy sometimes. Drive to the ride if you like--and ENJOY.

Hey Nige, you don't need a car ...cyclinseth
Oct 23, 2001 6:28 AM
Metro North has been my ticket to greener pastures. Even a short 1/2 hour train ride can get you well enough past the Bronx into Westchester Cnty. If you've never riden up there I've got some excellent routes.

Next time I'm planning on it I'll let you know.
Tell me more, Cyclinseth!nigel
Oct 23, 2001 7:00 AM
I hadn't really thought of the Metro North route, really; just never occurred to me (maybe I thought it'd be costly, or too complicated or something).

Let me know when you're going next. You going on a ride today? I'm looking to get out later in the morning or in the early afternoon. Email me at when you can....

Thanks a lot,
Guilt riddenmr_spin
Oct 22, 2001 12:42 PM
What's the big deal?

Saturday I drove 20 miles to ride 22 miles. Didn't feel guilty at all. It was a great ride with great friends on great singletrack.

If you restricted yourself to riding only where you didn't have to drive to the start, I think you would get bored really quick. Not everyone is lucky enough to live next to an endless series of roads and trails to ride. In fact, no one is.

Even hardcore Sierra Club members drive to trailheads.
Think like Bob Roll...Wannabe
Oct 22, 2001 12:43 PM
Before I get to Bob Roll, I personally don't see any problem driving to the ride. That really is the point of meeting with someone or going to some place special to ride: That you experience the object of the ride for what it is!

Anyway, about Bobke, read about his first year in Europe! He hated the American RR scene so he went to Europe. He lived out of a tent and would ride to one day races the morning of the race, then race, then ride home to the tent! Check this out:

Now THAT'S dedication (exploits of Doug Sloan excepted!)!

Andy - Wannabe
Bob Roll rules.colker
Oct 22, 2001 6:36 PM
the coolest guy ever to pedal a bike; in my book.
i had no ideaJs Haiku Shop
Oct 23, 2001 4:40 AM
read this yesterday afternoon and thought about what i was doing in my burgeoning years...pretty similar, except without a bike. :-)
I think you should run to the ride ;o)Tig
Oct 22, 2001 1:38 PM
Just kidding. Nothing wrong with driving to anything worth going to, including a ride or race. Living in Houston keeps us out of the decent hills, so you gotta drive to get to some climbs. There are so many good rides out there that are worth going to. The Washington On The Brazos is a good example. Wanna train in some super steep hills like Lance does every year? Drive past Austin and towards the Lost Maples Natural Area or around Kerrville. The Dogwood Trails ride in Palistine and so many others are worth hours of driving to get to. This all makes me want to plan a trip soon. Thanks for the inspiration!
Oct 22, 2001 1:56 PM
The only bad etiquette I know of is driving to a start point for a ride when the drive is significantly shorter than the ride. Our weekend club rides routinely begin 10, 15 or even 20 miles from home, and I ride to the starts. It probably saves fossil fuels and trees and spotted owls or whatever. It also gives me a longer ride, better workout, bloated ego satisfaction, superiority complex... well, you get the idea. (Because I do this, I feel I have complete immunity from snide comments wen I show up in my all-pink Mercatone Uno kit.)

Now I will routinely drive two hours to ride a century. But I average about 75 mph, so the math is in my favor.

Don't sweat it. The ride's in the details, not the other way around.

Ride on,
75 mph! ... man, you're fast!tarwheel
Oct 23, 2001 6:14 AM
Lance rode the whole TDF at a 25-26 mph pace. Have you ever considered going pro?
75 mph! ... man, you're fast!Elefantino
Oct 23, 2001 1:53 PM
Yep. And that's downhill on my new $5,000 Seven ti cyclocross bike.
Oct 22, 2001 6:46 PM
You can't help it alot of the time, unless there are group rides from your back door. I will ride up to 10 miles to go to a group ride, but that's about the limit, especially in the evening. They're aiming to get back around dusk; I've still got 30 min or so to ride.
Oct 22, 2001 8:26 PM
This isn't an etiquette question, its a safety question. Too many cars, too little vision in Houston. I envy those who do feel safe on the roads near their back door.
ride to the rideDuane Gran
Oct 23, 2001 5:18 AM
I personally like to ride to the ride, but this is only if it is 20 miles or less distance and if the road conditions are good. It is a great uber-stud feeling to know you put on the extra distance. Of course, if the ride is 80 miles away then one needs to drive. The fact that you carpooled is well enough in my mind to settle any stress over it.
No problemFlava
Oct 23, 2001 6:00 AM
I have to do this a lot since my team mates are kinda scattered. So, sometimes I'm driving 30-40 miles each way for rides.

What's worse is driving 2.5 hours to do a 60 minute crit (and paying your entry fee to boot! thank goodness for race reimbursements).

To ride in an area that I like with people that I like is worth a drive in my book.
drive to...?Dog
Oct 23, 2001 7:10 AM
Do you driver to work, drive to eat, drive to baseball games? Same thing. As much as we might like, things are just too spread out to bike everywhere, including to bike rides.

Nonetheless, I've seen people load up their bikes in the car and drive 3 miles to the start of a group ride. I think that's a little ignorant. Depending upon the ride and when it starts, I'll bike up to about 10 miles to the start of a ride.

Unless it's a group ride starting a good distance away or a special training or event, I always start from my house. But then, I live at the edge of town, and don't contend with any urban roads or traffic lights to get out of town.

Safety could be a concern, if your group ride starts at daybreak or might leave you riding to sunset, and you don't want to ride through town in the dark, it would be perfectly valid, in my book, to consider the safety issues and drive.

No big deal, in any event. I don't think we need to put cycling on such a pedalstal (pun) that we have to treat it a whole lot differently than any other activity in our lives.

We try to always ride from home-doesn't always work.MB1
Oct 23, 2001 7:35 AM
There are a lot of reasons to drive to a ride, but if it bothers you try to cut back. After a while it will seem natural. Plus think of all those bonus training miles you will get.

We do about 80% of our miles each year starting at our back door. Our new favorite is to mail clothing and supplies to a motel 100 miles from home. Then we ride to the motel, ride for a day or 2 then check out, mail our stuff home and ride home.

Another thing you can do is organize/lead a club ride from your house or a park near your home. Lead, follow or get out of the way.
We try to always ride from home-doesn't always work.guido
Oct 23, 2001 10:52 AM
Riding to the ride seems dependent on whether you ride a bike for transportation, getting around, commuting, or purely as a fitness tool.

I've lived without a car in two cities, and rode my bikes everywhere, including the local criterium races, and club rides within a 20 mile radius of where I lived. Most people in Tyler and Longview, Texas, and probably most cities, meet on the edge of town in their cars and ride out on "safe" country roads.

The problem is that in order to get motorists bicycle friendly, they have to see individual cyclists using the city streets all the time, so cycling will be a socially acceptable alternative to driving. If serious cyclists only ride in large groups out on country roads, and must drive their motor vehicles to get to the start, cycling never becomes acceptable as an alternate mode of transportation.
Tow that truck! :)breck
Oct 23, 2001 9:36 AM
When i was younger and stronger would tow the Toy truck with the MTB to the off-road site and do some 4WD for a few hours; then tow the truck back home. A class III hitch on a mountain bike will turn heads!

Now it's the Toy's turn but she don't mind :)