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Closest I've come to quittig(26 posts)

Closest I've come to quittigRandyMH
Jan 13, 2002 9:05 PM
Every since I got my bike 6 months ago I have had almost every episode happen but none of which ever made me want to quit riding. But todays ride sucked away every bit of fun Ive had on my bike. I decided to ride from home to join the LBS ride, instead of driving to the shop. I joined up with them and rode about 20 or so miles with the group. I went further then usual in the pack. I usually get dropped at a certain point but today was able to keep up a little better. I think they went a little lighter today. Anyway after finally dropping off the back I decided to take the long route home to try to get in some extra miles in. The long way included a triple set of hills referred to as the 3 sisters. Going out there was a 5-10 mph tail wind but by the time I turned onto the road heading to the sisters the head wind was up to 20 mph with 30-35 mph gust. Im no climber as it is and this didnt help. I was in the country with nothing but open fields to let the wind just blow threw, no protection at all. Now Im 23 miles from home riding straight into the wind. There were times that if I stopped pedaling I would feel like I was starting to go backwards. I even had to push the pedals on the down hills. Im still new to the sport so my legs are not well acclimated to dealing with this type of situation. Plus I had gone out and rode 40 mile yesterday. Which is still a pretty good distance for me solo. It was probably one of the most treacherous things Ive ever had to do. I was riding at 8-11 mph and my heart rate stayed at over 80 %, sometimes hitting 95%. A friends house was on my way home and I was sooo tempted to just give up, go to his house and have him drive me home. I even almost made the call of shame to the wife and the car. But I decided to keep pushing. It took me over 2 hours to make it home. All of which was into the wind. Im very glad I stuck it out, but Im not sure if I had to do it again I would. I am hurting bad.
that's nothinggtx
Jan 13, 2002 9:18 PM
wait until you have your first nasty crash or see someone else seriously injured. Cycling can be a tough sport. Sounds like you didn't even bonk. I don't know, keep riding if you enjoy it--there's no other reason to do it. I think it takes at least a few years for the serious addiction to kick in--I remember the first year or two after long, painful rides sometimes wondering what the hell I was doing (but then I was 15 or 16). A lot of people drop out, but those that keep at it for a while usually get hooked.
re: Closest I've come to quittigfuzzybunnies
Jan 13, 2002 9:30 PM
Had a similar experiance through the middle third of a 40 mile ride which really made me question my commitment to riding. Thankfully the last third was with the wind to my back had a 5 mile stretch where the slowest I went was 26mph up a shallow rise and went as fast as 31 on the flats. Made everything before it worthwhile. Russ
Join the clubStarliner
Jan 13, 2002 9:33 PM
If it makes you feel any better, a lot of us have experienced a miserable ride of a sort like yours, where you ask yourself, 'what in the hell am I doing this for?' Have you ever 'bonked' yet? That's when your body takes on a live form of rigor mortis and you feel like you can't turn the pedals any more.

Over the long run, days like you had today simply become reference points in your memory bank, and whatever lesson you got from it will make you a better rider in the end. For you are bound to have a timeless moment when you look out at the road ahead and the scenery around you, and realize that all you've done to get to that special spot in life was worth every drop of sweat and every sore muscle you may have endured in the past.
Unfortunatley, cyclists have to deal with mother nature.Dutchy
Jan 13, 2002 9:55 PM
Considering you have been riding for only 6 months I remember what it was like for me in the beginning.
There will be days like this. Many of them. Try not to push yourself too much too quickly. It's easy to fall
into the trap of reading the distances others ride at this forum, and then try to go out there and emulate this.
In my first year of riding I didn't ride any further than ~50 miles, this was in the hills on an MTB with slicks.
I have never quit because of a headwind, but I have changed course to reduce it's affect. If you are
in "the middle of nowhere" and the wind really picks up, to the point that it is dangerous (severe crosswinds)
sure grab your mobile and get an EVAC. You will only do this once. Afterwards at home you will
be wondering whether you could have made it or not. You will feel guilty, and probably vow never to
get an EVAC ever again. Last year I had a similar situation, 25miles one way with a 30 knot tailwind,
then 25miles back into the same tailwind. I never thought of quitting, but I did stop several times,
and I did ask for the wind to stop, it didn't.

It took me twice as long to get back, but it was my most memorable ride for last year. It was
bloody hard and the wind was testing me all the way, but it didn't win. I will admit though I always
check the weather forecast first, and I decide when the wind will be less vicious morning/afternoon.
I can tackle the wind OK, but I don't go looking for a fight with mother nature.

Any time you want to trade episodes, let me know. nmElefantino
Jan 13, 2002 10:17 PM
I've been there many times... butJC
Jan 14, 2002 12:05 AM
after a ride from hell (like the one you described) and I'm home relaxing, the feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming. Overcoming the elements - whether its the weather, the terrain, or I'm just not feeling that great - is what makes me love cycling. Don't get me wrong, while I'm out there during a difficult ride, I sometimes hate it as much as the next guy, but when I'm done... the feeling is great. For me, cycling is a way to keep challenging myself, both physically and mentally.

Just my perspective.
but you didn't quit.Mike P
Jan 14, 2002 4:29 AM
Sounds like you passed that test. You didn't call the wife. You didn't stop at the friends house. You kept riding. I would say that you aren't really close to quiting because you didn't.

Keep riding. After a while you might even look forward to stuff like that, in a sadistic sort of way.

The elements can really improve your workout.DaveL
Jan 14, 2002 5:41 AM
It's been very windy. Some of the hills around here can make me drop down to the 30 chainring just to keep spinning. But I got the triple when I started riding last year just because I knew I wouldn't want to get off the bike - ever. Yesterday the winds were 15 - 25, and going out I had to stand to climb the last part of one hill in 30/23. I usually overdraw my account on the way out into the wind, and never am able to make it up on the way back for an average speed I can brag about on the forum. But hitting 25-26 uphill and 30+ with the tailwind is worth it. Remember just don't quit!
re: Closest I've come to quittigRayBan
Jan 14, 2002 6:17 AM
If you give your body time to recover from that ride, I guarantee that it will make you a stronger rider, and you will notice that you are hanging with the pack for an extended period of time! For what it's worth I encounter those types of rides in the late winter on a fixed gear bike. They are indeed brutal and your wiped out afterword BUT if they are worked into your riding program you will progress into a STRONGER rider!
re: Closest I've come to quittigBikingViking
Jan 14, 2002 6:30 AM
I feel your pain!! When I lived in West Texas, it would seem like the wind was ALWAYS in your face, even though I had "gone around" a 25 mile block. My way of dealing with it was to treat the wind like a person trying to "break" me. I would be out there riding at 8 - 9 mph and cursing like a sailor (or a wingnut in my case) at the wind, telling it there was NO way I was going to quit. Pulling into the driveway after rides like that is a true blessing!! Such rides are best appreciated AFTER you finish!

RAGBRAI 1995, "Saggy Thursday"MisJG
Jan 14, 2002 6:52 AM
Anyone there for this one? I was. Over 70 miles into a steady 30 mph headwind with stronger gusts. Had to pedal going downhill. The event had a record number of people SAG that day, so it was dubbed 'Saggy Thursday'. Yeah, it sucked, but I didn't quit. Just put my head down and kept going. Would I do it again? You bet. I learned a lot about myself that day. My friends and I had a motto then (still), "Body Bags before we SAG". It was really tested that day. . .
re: Closest I've come to quittigSTEELYeyed
Jan 14, 2002 6:57 AM
You will face situations that will make you question your resolve,the more you achieve,the more pain and suffering you will seek,wait and see.
re: Hang in there!Steve A
Jan 14, 2002 6:59 AM
You just put something in the bank, in reality you made two deposits (1) mentally because you did not quit (2) physically because you did it . The next time will be better and the time after that will be better yet. Yesterday I did 60 miles wind, rain, sleet, some ice, sand on the road,it was about as bad as it can get. I was with (4) other guys so we suffered together, there was not that usual chatter you get on these rides, just a good pace line ride with hand signals from time to time.After the ride was over and we where sitting in the coffee shop everyone had a smile on there faces . We new we just put one in the "bank"
Yes sir! Well done. Got some Jalabert in you!tempete
Jan 14, 2002 7:48 AM
And you did not even get really bonked?

All you needed was some rain and a flat tire. How about that. You had the choice and stuck with it. So now you have something more than the one who gets a drive home. I don't know if you understand this; I heard this boat captain interview the other day; "why do you stay on the bridge under the rain and wind, with your rain coat nicely folded beside you"?
-To FEEL the weather, sir.

You went a little too far. Ok.

You got some Jalabert inside you man! How can you know how to recognize the warning if you've never been too far?

...and you did not even get really bonked, I tell you. Well done. Rest and drink! Feet up.
...And your story is inspiration for anyone. Thanks!tempete
Jan 14, 2002 7:55 AM
I've been theremr_spin
Jan 14, 2002 9:44 AM
When you are miles from home facing a headwind the whole way back is when you find out how strong you really are mentally. It's easier if you don't have any options--passing a friend's house is certainly tempting!

The only times I quit are when I'm physically unable, and there have been a few. Otherwise, you grit your teeth and tough it out. It makes for a good battle against the elements story, too.

One bit of advice: Never fight the wind--You'll always lose. Find a gear you can spin and spin the while away. You can attack a hill, but you can't attack the wind.
re: Closest I've come to quittigmorey
Jan 14, 2002 10:10 AM
Lightning has made me almost quit. The only reason I did not quit was (1) fear (2) No phone available (3)Ego-stupidity. I live in the lightning capital of the world, Tampa, Florida. It scares the hell out of me!
Also, my first Century. If it were not for my son riding with me I would have quit!
The next time will be easiersalmonwheel
Jan 14, 2002 10:16 AM
We've all had those type of rides, fierce headwinds, sleet, missing a turn so the 40 miler turns into a 50 miler. Just remember if the same thing happens to you next year it won't be nearly as bad. When I first started there were a couple of hills on my route that I used to think were really hard to get over. Now, I just cruise over them thinking about my speed and climbing style rather than panting and hoping to reach the top soon.

Also, You can always take a break, sometimes 2 minutes can make a huge difference.
what doesn't kill you...Js Haiku Shop
Jan 14, 2002 12:39 PM
"...makes you stronger..."

"...makes you faster..."

"...usually hurts a bunch..."

my usual saturday morning ride is a 15-25 mile commute to the group ride start, 30-50 miles with the group, then 10-15 miles back. if i stick to the commute route, it's southbound for the first 8 miles, and the return route is the opposite, northbound for 8 miles. typically i'll have a strong tailwind on the way out, which turns into a stiff headwind on the way home, after the group ride and 30-60 miles down, and the last 5-10 miles of group ride is usually surges and a long, flat pull.

it's like a sore tooth. the first day it's really troubling, then you go to the dentist, and--after it's fixed--you miss the pain. to continue the tooth analogy, if you start *looking for* the pain, it's perhaps equivalent to my saturday ride without gears. :o)
ps...Js Haiku Shop
Jan 14, 2002 12:40 PM
don't forget to eat and drink lots. those last few miles into the wind are why i carry that extra powergel...
No gears??? Not even 1? What a stud! ;-) nmMB1
Jan 14, 2002 1:01 PM
ok, just one. but, it's still no fixed. nmJs Haiku Shop
Jan 14, 2002 2:18 PM
the French have a word for it,guido
Jan 14, 2002 1:07 PM
Courage. Belief in yourself. That's one of the most valuable lessons cycling can offer. Now you know how much those pros "suffer" going up Alpe d'Huez, the pain they endure in a long time trial.

On your next ride, you'll probably feel a "training effect" from that hard effort!
It's a fine line between the pleasure and the pain.grzy
Jan 14, 2002 5:01 PM
That's what it's all about - knowing your limits and then blowing them away. That totally cashed feeling is awesome - kind of like drug with only positive side effects. Ultimately you'll store this experience in your memory and you'll either realize that future things aren't as tough or, more dangerously, you'll tell yourself that you can go further/harder/faster and you'll raise the bar another notch or two. Sometimes you're going to have some spectacular failures, but it's OK as long as you don't get injured. That injury part sucks. Realize that there may be a day when finding a Coke machine in the middle of nowhere that takes dollar bills is your salvation.

Sounds to me like you went far hard enough that you were starting to bonk - learn to stay ahead of your body's nutritional needs. I always bring extra stuff when we've got a nasty group ride planned - there's always some one whose tank is on empty. Go into the red on your HR at your own risk.
Why we love it...theBreeze
Jan 14, 2002 8:04 PM
Quit'cher bitchen' and get back on the bike.

Look, there are two supreme moments on a bike.
One is when you're an hour or so into a ride and everything is clicking. You're hitting on all cyclinders; you and the bike are one piece of machinery; your mind and body are focused like a laser beam; no hill is too high, no corner too sharp. Riding is effortless and you feel you could ride forever.

The other is a battle; against Mother Nature or your own inner nature. Your muscles won't do what you know they are capable of; every turn of the crank seems to take an hour. Your legs hurt, your a$$ hurts, your back and neck are seizing up, and your lungs feel like they're going to turn inside out. You may be cold and wet, or blisteringly hot with sweat burning your eyes. So you push and you swear and you spit, but you finish the ride.

You can never fully appreciate one without the other.
Enjoy them both.