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I need to go slower(39 posts)

I need to go slowerishmael
Jul 15, 2002 12:14 PM
Ive got a really slow girlfriend. I want to ride with her but she is so slow, she doesnt want to go over 15 mph, I get bored. How can I make my bike slower without wearing parts down. Something equivalent to riding with weights but that wouldnt really work. I dont like the idea of tightening the brakes, its not smooth and I figure it will wear down my pads and rims. The best idea I can come up with is to put leaves or something between the tire and stays (did anyone else do this when they were kids to simulate riding a motorcycle?). Maybe wheels with really really crappy bearings? I cant think of anything better. I'm suprised this hasnt been marketed yet, everyone has a slow other, it should be simple to develop. It'll probably be in Colorado cyclist next month and I'll tell everyone I couldve been a millionaire (again)
It's all attitude.Len J
Jul 15, 2002 12:27 PM
I ride with my wife at least once a week. She averages aroud 14mph and when she gets tired, she averages around 11.

I have to admit that these can be some of the most enjoyable rides I have.

I do several things different:

1.) We talk when we ride, really talk.

2.) I do high cadence intervals at extremely low resistance. I'll spin up until I bounce & then try to smooth out my peral stroke so I don't bounce, it really helps my form. So far I can spin without bouncing up to around 140 with no resistance (I think it's easier with resistance, but not as good at determining flaws).

3.) I try to ride significant parts of the ride in the drops, gradually increasing my flexibility.

4.) I enjoy the scenery.

5.) I set up my workouts so that my ride with my wife is my recovery ride, I let her know that she is helping me by "forcing" me to ride slower. She likes that as before she always felt like she was holding me back.

6.) I focus on the purpose of the ride is to enjoy the company, riding is secondary. I use my other rides for hammering.

It's all what you make it.

thats pleasant, butishmael
Jul 15, 2002 12:37 PM
I'm not into it. I'm obsessed with riding hard and going fast. I guess I could try to enjoy the scenery more but that would be avoiding the issue, I want something to suit my need for painful exhaustion. I'll enjoy the scenery when I'm over 60
Then don't ride with your girlfriend........Len J
Jul 15, 2002 12:41 PM
the only result if you do will be frustration on your part & anger on hers.

Sometimes in a realtionship you have to agree that there are certain things that, for the good of the relationship, you shouldn't do together.

For my wife & I it's wallpapering.

there's got to be a simple solutionishmael
Jul 15, 2002 12:57 PM
yes there was frustration from me and anger from her. Infact I've scared her away from riding with me and she sold the road bike so "the question is moot"-J.J.. But the solution should be simple, going fast is supossed to be the hard part. I hope to get her back into it,(im not pushing at all this time). She's actually very strong when she tries, but she never pushes herself, if she sweats or breaths heavy she thinks she is about to die (more anger and frustation). She has a cruiser bike now which forces me to go even slower
Why do you want to ride with her?Len J
Jul 15, 2002 1:03 PM
It is a simple solution.

Either you give up the speed for the company or you give up the company for the speed.

A wise man once told me that if I wanted my kids to do something with me, I shouldn't make it a streeful event. D'oh. Of course (like you it seems) I had to learn this the hard way.

i want bothishmael
Jul 15, 2002 1:22 PM
and i should be allowed to have it. I need a mechanical solution, a simple gizmo that will make my bike move like the tires are worse than flat. Maybe a roller attached to the seattube with some good resistance(but Ive never heard of it). It's either I find something to make it harder or we dont ride together, its just the way it is. She likes to pedal once or twice and then coast. We just arent compatible when it comes to bikes but we could be if someone told me how to make it harder to pedal.
Old generator lights...Brooks
Jul 15, 2002 1:57 PM
had a wheel that pushed against your tire in order to generate electricity to power your lights. Try and find several, those really slowed you down (also wore out the sidewalls, so get a bunch of cheap tires too).
It's called a derailer.look271
Jul 15, 2002 5:04 PM
I take my kids mtb riding on a "multi-use" path at a nearby state park. Put the mtb into it's lowest gears and spin away. Guess what? It is FUN and it may give you a break that you need. I used to HATE to go slow. You miss too much with that type of attitude. Go her speed and relax. There are more things to life than "hammering" all the time.
there is - *you* need to ride slower, periodlonefrontranger
Jul 15, 2002 4:45 PM
Ishmael, I don't know how to say this, but riding hard all the time merely makes you a crappy mediocre rider. Period. It makes you flat and overstresses your systems to the point where YES you can ride 25 mph, but you haven't a chance of going 35 when the hard attacks come; riders like you (I've coached many) tend to do a lot of riding in the "dead zone", meaning no improvement; a plateau. Riding with your girlfriend should be looked on as a good way to recover and spend time with her. Then you can go out the next day and hit those hard intervals at 100% instead of 70-80% like you do when you're fried.

I have ridden over the years with several Cat I and pro guys who use me as their "anchor" for the days they need to take it easy. Yes, they climb hills 3 or 4 (or six) times to my once, but they spin along and chat the rest of the time. If they can do it, you can do it.
Absolutely!! Nail on the Head LFR.JBurton
Jul 15, 2002 8:51 PM
The older guys in the group I ride with have learned this. They also can diesel for twice as long and hard as the young, dumb guys when they have to. Riding hard all the time is really, really counterproductive. Hell, I've heard people say that one should only really push hard about 1/3 of the training week to get good benefits.

Anytime I'm on a bike I enjoy it. Whether with my GF on a 8 mph mountain bike ride or with the really fast guys that try to kill me. I don't understand why he can't just enjoy the ride.
and I thought an "anchor" was a good thingDougSloan
Jul 16, 2002 6:02 AM
Now I know why my fast friends want to ride with me from time to time. I -- feel -- (sob) -- so -- used.

Back in my track (and field) days an anchor was a good thing.

Len, great post! (nm)Chen2
Jul 15, 2002 1:04 PM
It's all attitude.zray61
Jul 15, 2002 6:51 PM
Well said.
Len J's #5 is what I dogreg n
Jul 15, 2002 12:35 PM
Schedule your rides with your girfriend after your workout and/or on recovery days.

On the weekends, I'll do my group ride or distance ride early in the morning. Get home at 9:00 or so. Have breakfast with my wife, and then go for a ride with her, at her pace. It works out great.
Rent a Tandem and ride as hard as you want (nm)Gregory Taylor
Jul 15, 2002 1:05 PM
Knowing how much communication.....Len J
Jul 15, 2002 1:08 PM
is required on a tandem, do you really think it will work for them?

Oh, I'm quite sure that a tandem wouldn't work at all...Gregory Taylor
Jul 16, 2002 5:58 AM
In theory, a tandem is "the answer" to this dilemma. You are right, however, that there needs to be a high level of trust and communication to make it work. Riding a tandem will either kill or cure a romantic relationship.

And that's what's behind my advice to him. If we have to hear about his personal life, we might as well try and make it as interesting as possible. So I'm hoping that by giving questionable advice to the lad I'll actually up the ante a bit in the area of bike-related intergender strife and finally give him something to talk about. With any luck, ten minutes into their tandem adventure there will be a very public argy-bargy complete with recrimnations, insults, and shouted references to their respective parentages. Ishmael may be hosed, but we, the gentle RBR Readers, benefit from better, higher quality posts about his personal life. Posts like "My girlfriend and I had a fight - does anyone know how to pry an Ultegra brake caliper out of my ass?" are incrementally more interesting to hear about than the rather fatuous "Help me because I'm such a stud that I can't ride slowly when I'm out with my girlfriend."

I guess that I'm just trying to prevent an encore of one of the more infamous threads on this Board, The Legend of Ishmael's Butt (as told to the readers of RoadBikeReview). I'm sure that we all remember the saga of Ishmael's Perineal Cyst -- those posts were absolutely world class. Gripping stuff. Thanks to that particular thread, there are thousands of people who -- against their will, I might add -- now know more about Ishmael's hygene habits and the geography of his nether regions than his proctologist. Or his girlfriend, I'm willing to wager.
LOL, That made my morning. nmLen J
Jul 16, 2002 6:00 AM
Mtn bike with knobbies....jtolleson
Jul 15, 2002 1:16 PM
I do that for leading beginner rides for our club.
Same problem, different genderRoyGBiv
Jul 15, 2002 1:37 PM
I'm going out with a buddy from the office this weekend. He loves cycling, but limits it to an hour after work on his hybrid. Nothing wrong with that. But I like to gun it on my Colnago for five or six hours at a time..
Think I'll try Len's suggestion on the high-RPM cadence. Why, just the other day I was thinking I really need to work on my spinning ...
get a tandemDougSloan
Jul 15, 2002 1:40 PM
You can get a decent KHS tandem for about $650. You can ride as hard as you want, then.

An idea. Or you could go 0 for 2.fracisco
Jul 15, 2002 1:42 PM
Go to the Salvation Army, get a cheap, POS beach cruiser, leave all of your riding gear at home, and enjoy some time with her. You will go slow and be frustrated, but don't be such a child and deal with it. At least she is on two wheels.

Have her meet you after the big group rides, and have a coffee with her, so she can understand where you are coming from. Or go for the fun ride with her on the POS after your hard workout.
My solution...alansutton
Jul 15, 2002 1:43 PM
I had the exact same problem with my girlfriend. So I did two things:

1) I built her up a nice lightweight bike that fits her well and is comfortable for her.

2) I inflated the tires to my grandmothers 1962 Schwinn rust bucket crusier.

Now, we are pretty evenly matched for most riding, although I can still put some distance on her during a good decent. Also, she's improved quite a bit the past month, so I'm getting a darn good workout in the process.
"BB's" are the solution!Colorado Premier Training
Jul 15, 2002 1:49 PM
Get a large water bottle and go to your local hunting and fishing store.
Buy BB's - you know - for a BB Gun.
Fill the bottle with them and have a 6-8 pound weight on your bike when your out training. I suggest this to the guys I coach when doing hill repeats - it's like weight lifting on the bike! It'll work, I promise.
Steve Owens
Professional Cycling Coach
or this:DougSloan
Jul 15, 2002 2:13 PM :-)
re: I need to go slowerNo_sprint
Jul 15, 2002 2:19 PM
Put some panniers on and fill them with a couple of 25 pound Hammer weights. You can also fill your backpack with rocks and strap it on ya. Heck, if you post a pic of her, I'll let you know if I'd like to take her off your hands during your rides.
Handicap raceTypeOne
Jul 15, 2002 3:33 PM
Yeah, sounds like you are out at the horse races with weight handicaps and so forth.
I thought I read a post on this site a year or so ago from someone who wanted to train on climbs but didn't live near any big hills. His solution was to pack a bunch of weight in his panniers or messenger bag or something.
People on this site blasted back that this was ridiculous, detrimental, dangerous, counterproductive---you name it. Darned if I can remember why. Can anyone refresh my memory?
re: I need to go slowerbic
Jul 15, 2002 4:04 PM
Sounds like your just looking for an excuse to dump your girlfriend. If she was that important in your life you would not need reasons to ride with her you just would.
Or the corollary...MXL02
Jul 15, 2002 4:20 PM
When you ride with your wife, it's about HER, not you.
Hybrid/comfort bikefiltersweep
Jul 15, 2002 4:06 PM
I bit the bullet and purchased a cheapo Specialized like my wife has (she thinks roadbike tires are too narrow). Anyway, I ride behind her- it serves a few purposes... 1) my male protective self (I'll get clipped first) 2) enjoyable "view" (no explanation necessary) and most importantly 3) SHE can control the pace (when I lead, I start pushing it).

Also- I try to coordinate these rides as "recovery rides."

Also, you CAN get a good workout going slow, and I usually go back and forth between a high cadance and abnormally low cadance- but either way, I avoid my "usual" cadance or I'm right back in my rut of pushing things.

You get "bored" ? I don't want to turn this into a "relationship issue," but think about it- you are probably doing something you love with someone you love. Eventually she WILL get bored with going 15 mph, and maybe you'll get more than you bargained for if she is wanting to spend "your (as in "your and her") money" on a $2000-3000 bike (oh wait a minute, you're NOT married!).

I don't want to make it sound easy- it is something I struggle with. I have a very supportive wife regarding my cycling, working out at the gym, and working looooong hours at work. Sometimes she thinks I'm nuts when it is 95 degrees outside, or a dry cold day in Feb. in MN when I'm out and about... and she has occasionally issues, like the fact that I get grease on the carpet occasionally, or that I insist on keeping my main bike IN the house, that I don't throw out the wheel boxes, that there are extra wheelsets in the front coat closet, that a skewer might turn up in the utensil drawer, that there are always cycling clothes air drying somewhere in the house... that I forget to take the cleated shoes off in the house, that I might rub a tire mark against the wall, or that she didn't completely freak out when I came home after a run-in with a car (I was a bloody road rashed mess), or that I bring up some odd, out of the blue comment about a great deal on a OCLV frame at ebay... or the mysterious packages that arrive ("what was wrong with the old pedals?" "Um, well the cleat platform wasn't that comfortable" "Well, what are you planning to do with the old pedals?" "Um... save them, I might use them again someday" -OR- "HOW MUCH DID THOSE TIRES COST?!?!"

Let's just admit it, we are HELL for non-cyclists to live with... so if you can do ANYTHING to heighten her appreciation of the sport, DO IT! And don't groan about it or make a big deal (I can see you are working up to dragging a boat anchor behind you). It is a big mistake to go on your leisurely ride with her that wipes her out, then go out on a 40 mile solo ride (I can think of a few inappropriate metaphors...).

On the other hand, if you really want a dirty way to slow yourself down, I'd buy a $10 excercise bike from a garage sale, unbolt the resistance mechanism (it is usually simply tension based) and bolt it to your bike). Then pop on some ankle weights- the heaviest you can find, and tow a Burley filled with rocks. Not only will it slow you down, but she'll never ride with you again (if she doesn't leave you completely).
a perfect excuse for one-legged drill? (nm)5ive
Jul 15, 2002 4:30 PM
I can make it hurt!LC
Jul 15, 2002 8:18 PM
I bet you can't ride more than 3 miles with one leg, so if you do 6 miles (3 on each leg) you would be hurting more than she would and would be happy to just finish the ride. The other thing I do is do the the whole ride standing, or at least as much of it as I can take.

If you really want to hurt yourself, do one leg...standing!
Isn't it funny how much this reads like RRP's threads?Leisure
Jul 15, 2002 10:45 PM
Yeah, my girlfriend is a slug, too. Slow, slow, slow. I can't deal with how SLOW she is. SHE is SLOW. What can I do to go as SLOW as her? SLOW the way SHE is SLOW?

About 2/3 of my riding is easy going. Probably half of those rides are with friends and/or siblings. Force yourself for a couple of rides and a whole new world opens up to you. You start looking at the scenery, talking about life, thinking about pleasant things. I don't just do hard rides because I like them, I do them to make my easy rides even easier. There's something liberating about realizing that your not always obligated to be pushing the limits of your abilities - that you can do the same rides and not even have to force yourself. It seems to me that that should be the initial motivation for getting in shape, right? Sometimes we forget that along the way.

If my advice doesn't work for you, try using a DH mountainbike. Throw on some five-pound freeride tires at 15 psi. If you make things ugly enough for yourself you might reconsider taking things easy.
RBR=Lugubrious nihilism?AllisonHayes
Jul 16, 2002 4:36 AM
I like I's own idea of removing some bearings from his hubs--and maybe he should remove a few more elsewhere too...LOL:)

(just kidding Ismael--we all luv 'ya. LFR's recommendations are just stellar.)
don't use words I don't understand :-) nmDougSloan
Jul 16, 2002 6:50 AM
this has been a testishmael
Jul 16, 2002 6:42 AM
not really, but all the different responses I've gotten have come to form a test of what kind of people (YOU) are. You all have read more or less the same things about me but the answers have been across the spectrum. Anywhere from humorous, insulting, inaplicable, and the few that are actually helpful, you know which one you gave. Thanks for the help, I am now off to the lab to develop the latest in bicycle slowing technology, and then it's off to the girlfriends for lunch(we are still together even though I go fast and she is slow).
here's somthing that is a real roadie
Jul 16, 2002 7:53 AM
A disc hub with magnets mounted on either side of the disc fo induction resistance would work nicely, but is probably hard to set up, at least on a road bike. At 15 mph, some sort of aero-drag chute would probably work.

Probably the simplest thing is to ride a fat tire (2.1 inch minimum) knobbie MTB with an upright position. That makes a almost a 10mph difference in my average speed, although I take my MTB on much different terrain...

Or you could get a trailer- add knobbie tires, weights, and a big non-aero canopy to it, and it should slow you down plenty but be easy to remove. Load it with a picnic lunch, and you have a great excuse to bring it along and to stay out on a longer ride. But if its a trailer designed for a child passenger, it might give your girlfriend the wrong idea....
5 Suggestionsdjg
Jul 16, 2002 11:46 AM
(1) Take some air out of your tires. Not too much, you'll get pinch flats. But if you're used to riding 120 lbs, try 100. This won't actually slow you down much, but it will slow you down a little bit, make your ride comfy, and do no damage to your bike.

(2) Tow something. Sometimes I tow a kid in a trailer. Recently I bought a trail-a-bike thingie which my older daughter (4) seems to like. I saw a Trek ad once where some Postie or other towed a sofa (on which rested another Postie). The sofa seems a bit extreme, and you may not have a kid. Maybe a golden retriever in a burley? Just a thought.

(3) Switch to a mountain bike. Get a heavy one--go old and cheap, but not f'd up, if you don't already have such. Approximate your road setup, but ride a heavy mountain bike with nobbies while the GF rides a nice road bike. It's a bit of an equalizer.

(4) Slow down and quit complaining. In my experience, people (GF, now a wife) are happy for your company only if you don't complain. If she's not happy, it's not worth it--you're frustrated because you're riding slow and she's frustrated because you are being...that way about nobody wins. Also, many companions are happy to let you sneak some hard intervals in--for example, my wife never minds if I drop her on a hill and then come back for her. Or if I go hard for a few hundred meters and then wait. Asking always seems to get a yes. What is, on the other hand, frustrating for a slower rider is if you structure your pace so that she's always playing catch-up. Note: this is not really a way to get the ride/workout you want. It's a way to get something of a workout and some interesting bits to break up the monotony. You might try conversing during the slow parts. If you converse.

(5) Don't do the leaves thing or anything else that will screw up your bike.