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Road cycling is boring me to tears!(30 posts)

Road cycling is boring me to tears!Jaybo
Apr 18, 2003 4:45 PM
I'm a hardcore mountain biker who uses my road bike to train and get out a bit. However, lately, I can barely get on the road bike. I just get so freaking bored I could scream. It feels like I'm on a gym bike with traffic, dogs, and pedestrians. I really want to like it, but I just can't talk myself into it. Has anyone ever felt this way about road biking? I'm really not trying to be offensive.

Thanks,

Jaybo
suggestionsDougSloan
Apr 18, 2003 5:06 PM
1. go faster
2. ride with a fast group
3. ride somewhere interesting
4. don't do it

Doug
Maybe its because I just got a new road bike but...ditchbanger
Apr 18, 2003 5:10 PM
I am in same boat as you being a mtb rider and just bought a road bike to train on. But in the last month I am really liking the road bike. I spend more time on the road bike since I don't have to spend .5 hour each way to and from where I ride mtb. With a family every minute I get to myself and my bike hobby is precious to me.

Lately when I go mtb riding the pace seems slow. I average between 12-14mph on mtb trail and average 20-22 on the road bike. Road I concentrate more on whatI am doing, cadence, breating etc. etc. On mtb I concentrate on whats ahead and bike handling.

I like them both and appreciate each. I think riding mtb helps me on the road and vice versa. I wouldn't give it up yet.
Sure, It Can Be Boring....Gregory Taylor
Apr 18, 2003 5:17 PM
Just like driving your car to work every day is boring. Just like riding the same old trails gets boring. Routine can kill enthusiasm.

It gets fun again when you go out and spice it up a bit. Are you training solo? Try a group ride. A group ride that is just a LITTLE bit faster than you, so you work like hell to keep up. A group ride that is a bit agressive and wants to race you to every street sign. A group ride where at least one person has "Metallica" tattooed on his or her calf. A group ride that stops for coffee and to swap lies about the ride that you just finished.

Or is it riding the same old roads that gets you down? Go find a different route that takes in some killer back roads or a wicked, twisty descent. Go find a loop where you can stop at a small country store that sells home-made PB&J sandwiches, Moon pies, and RC Cola. Never retrace your steps or take the same route home on any ride. Get so hopelessly lost that even the guys at the gas station that you stop at to ask directions don't know where the hell you are.

No, riding a road bike isn't orgasmic fun all of the time. But if you do it right, it can come damn close. Other riders make it interesting, nice roads can make it exciting, but it takes YOU to go out and make it happen.
It's what you put into it.jesse1
Apr 18, 2003 5:22 PM
My Trek 8000 is a Humvee that'll take hits, go through mud & streams, over rocks and crash a couple times every ride.
I love it!
My Fuji Team is a Porsche that'll take curves better than my nerves will allow, "stop on a dime", and accelerate quick enough that it will blow the minds of the neighborhood dog-bullies.
I love it!
i can sympathizemoschika
Apr 18, 2003 5:23 PM
i got my first road bike 3 years ago after having ridden mtbs only for 15 years.

a group can really help. find a group that can push you enough to make it interesting but not frustrating. also learn to appreciate the differences. ditchbanger said it right. when on the road i focus on cadence, breathing, etc. on my mtb it more about handling and getting through obstacles.

i went on a road ride today. it was a bit tough to motivate but once i was out there i started thinking how this will help my mtbing. that really inspired me to keep going.
None taken, but...seyboro
Apr 18, 2003 5:30 PM
...road riding requires a certain change in attitude. I rode off-road exclusively until about 5 years ago, now it's the other way around. Here are some of the changes I noticed:
-from driving to ride to riding
-thrills from spills to thrills from an actual workout
-eating dirt to eating miles
-weekend rides to daily rides, including commuting to work
-old trails to new roads
-closed trails to open roads
-solo to social
-hairy snob to shaved snob
-296 to 224
-DirtRag to Velonews and Cyclesport
If you ride hard enough, sometimes solo, sometimes with a club, if you learn to appreciate not having to drive to the trailhead and possibly pay, if you can enjoy plain speed without 5 foot drop-offs, mileage instead of carnage, in short: if you can learn to enjoy riding a bike for the sake of riding of riding a bike, you'll get it, too.
Good luck, keep us posted.
:-)I_See_Fred_People
Apr 19, 2003 4:35 AM
very good
If you don't like it, don't do it!MikeBiker
Apr 18, 2003 7:11 PM
If its not enjoyable then why do it? I like it better than mountain biking so I do it. If I liked mountain biking better than that is what I would do.

Mike
Quit and get marriedSpoiler
Apr 18, 2003 7:15 PM
If you're not already, get married, and stay married for ten years. Have at least three kids.
Then pick up road cycling again.
The posts on this and other boards seems to indicate a corrolation between the number of years married (and children still living at home) and the value of quiet, boring road rides. People married for 25 years or more have even been known to post about the how much they enjoy changing flats on the road.
Spoiler...The Human G-Nome
Apr 18, 2003 7:43 PM
... that was absolutely beautiful - especially the kicker at the end. that made my night and also made me feel less guilty for having just dropped 300 bucks at totalcycling. thanks!
Spoiler...Spoiler
Apr 18, 2003 8:53 PM
I'm glad you liked it. I'm not married, I'm just observing what others lay out there. Sometimes it seems like with married guys, just getting out the door and onto the bike is more work than climbing the hills. I'm sure it evens out, having a loving family that depends on you, but it's still funny to watch.
Keen obervation for one without childrenmickey-mac
Apr 18, 2003 9:09 PM
Tuesday morning at 6:15, I was in the garage ready to pull the bike off the stand and start rolling. Suddenly I hear my daughter saying "daddy, daddy" out the back door. I run into to find out that she had an "accident" in her bed. After changing her, changing her bedding, and putting her in bed with my wife, I ran back out to the garage only to discover that I had a front tire flat. Once I fixed the flat and hit the road, all the trouble disappeared immediately. With a wife and young kids, getting out can be difficult. However, I enjoy every minute I have once I get out there. More importantly, the wife and kids are simply amazing. When I get home the kids sprint to the door to rip the velcro straps from my cycling shoes. My daughter gets the right shoe, and my son gets the left shoe. Balance.
go fixed. or ride the roadie on trails. nmdesmo
Apr 18, 2003 7:41 PM
Quit and get marriedSpoiler
Apr 18, 2003 8:47 PM
If you're not already, get married, and stay married for ten years. Have at least three kids.
Then pick up road cycling again.
The posts on this and other boards seems to indicate a corrolation between the number of years married (and children still living at home) and the value of quiet, boring road rides. People married for 25 years or more have even been known to post about the how much they enjoy changing flats on the road.
Ride with a group...Bruno S
Apr 18, 2003 9:08 PM
I find group rides very motivating. It brings a completly new dynamic to cycling. Its not about the surroundings anymore but competition and interaction with other riders. My group ride of Saturday mornings has been exactly the same route for two years now. Riding fast in a large pack is an exciting experience unique to road cycling. You should try it.
Riding with dogs and pedestrians is not real road cycling.teamsloppy
Apr 18, 2003 9:47 PM
Riding with dogs and pedestrians is not real road cycling.

If you are riding somewhere that dogs and pedestrians are a problem (a Bike path or MUT or rural West Virginia or Mississippi), then you are not enjoying cycling on a real road. Although, I personally enjoy sprinting dogs and squirting them with my water bottle if they don't drop (the same for those landscaper guys driving pickup trucks that brush you off or squeeze you in the early morning), I find that you need to mess with some cars.

Try riding on the street. It's a little scary, it gets your adrenaline up to have a near death experience every day (or more frequent in an urban location). Real road riding is not the bucolic mountain bike ride where you are the fastest thing on the trail and where you never have to look back, left or right.

Here are some of my favorite stimulants found in road cycling. It might help you to get out of your tears (you ride with glasses, right?):

You can blow off a lot of steam by swearing or insulting motorists. They can hear you pretty well if you speak up soon enough. It's especially exciting when they slam on their brakes after a good insult; it gives you a chance to slap their fenders (it makes a big noise and really pisses them off). Timing a well placed U-turn or judging their next act is also exciting. It is sort of like battle, but you're armed only with your wit and they have 1 to 3 tons of steel You need to take the time to hunt a couple of them down as they cut you off to turn into a parking lot. It's easy: they are going to park their car or SUV, probably requiring two or three or five attempts to park their monstrosity. You can easily sprint and catch up and confront them, pointing out what morons they are. I especially like to point out the hypocrisy of the American flag on a gas guzzling SUV with a single occupant, pointing out that they are supporting Arab and Arab terrorists with every fill-up. The special benefit and motivation is that I never yell or argue with my wife anymore I take like a man, then dump on any motorist who f__ks with me. I feel better, my wife is happy and she still f__ks me.

Pinning signs to the back of SUV's (sort of like the 'kick me' signs stuck on your back in high school) is also fun. There's the technology to apply the sign:: duct tape, or that clear stuff on Shimano V-Brake Boosters worked well but only once (I have only one V-brake booster box). There's the hunt for the right approach. I ride for days with the stupid sign in my pocket. There is the actual approach and danger of sticking the sign (way harder than slapping a fender). I am especially proud of a sign (Honk if you think I'm Stupid for driving this Hummer) on the back of a Hummer. The horns were going at every stop light as I caught up with it in traffic along Danville Blvd.

How can you not enjoy spotting that cyclist in the distance, closing, passing and breaking away?

Your problem is you are too nice a guy (or gal). You just are not crazy, mean or bored enough. Hey! When you get more bored, you will enjoy it more. You have not reached a sufficient depth of boredom. The marker of the depth of boredom is to feel the need to engage in senseless acts of desperation to escape boredom.

To really enjoy by riding, you must seek a real road, with cars, and soccer mom SUVs and bonehead truck drivers where it is so busy, any dog would be killed by all the traffic and any pedestrian stays on the sidewalk. Then, you will truly find the stimulation of road cycling.

P.S. I find mountain biking boring unless I occasionally do a night ride, the only way to ride single track, with the park closed, and cops lurking on motor-bikes (Kawasaki's). A night in the Oakland city jail is very interesting, especially when you are there for mountain biking. They serve disgusting sandwiches.
Dude, Please........I_See_Fred_People
Apr 19, 2003 4:38 AM
I saw a dog chase the peleton in the Vuelta last year.
Teamsloppy that's utter nonsenseCARBON110
Apr 19, 2003 6:50 AM
If that's your perception, your missing the point and it will cost you. I ride in and out of the city and on all kinds of country roads and have experienced as much B S as any. However, you are not entitled to anything, and deserve has nothing to do with it. Outside of race preperation for handling skills, which isnt everyday, that attitude is costly. If you have not been paying attention, people have impulses of absolute insanity, especially behind the wheel. You will have plenty of time to think about that the day you " wack " the wrong car and he backs up over you. Don't get me wrong, I have slapped a few cars but I am far more precautious now. Squirting dogs is a must at times. Further more projecting that attitude here is a little inappropriate and not really relative to the original question.
If you start your ride with that attitude then your missing a really good time. I meet guys like that all the time in races and they never fail to get flicked by the rest of the field not to mention dropped. Anger won't make you fast or intelligent or improve quality time on the bike.
In addition you may very well give people the wrong impression of cycling, not that they need anymore excuses. When I am on a 6 hour ride and I'm 55 miles from home outside the city in some country gas station,refueling, getting stared at by locals picking up the paper, they always say " your crazy to trust cars the way you bikers do..I wouldnt trust me behind you" I have heard that alot. Why increase the chances of accidents when the % is so highly stacked against you already. Don't we all anticipate a little crazy BS on the road when we get on our bikes, but we don't encourage it.
Becareful!!the bull
Apr 19, 2003 2:30 PM
Some of those people in cars are crazy and will come back to run you off the road!You sound like me 10 years ago someone pissed me off on my mountain bike and at the next light I road over there hood!Bending anntannas and wiperblades and squriting gatorade on the winshield can be fun.
All it takes is one guy whose got balls like you to run you into a ditch and come back at you with a tire iron!
Now I understand why some drivers are so angry at cyclists. NFMbludoggy
Apr 20, 2003 7:46 AM
re: Find a big fast group......I_See_Fred_People
Apr 19, 2003 4:34 AM
in your area. Your boredom will vanish. But...BEWARE, you MTB may start being neglected from lack of use. My two MTB's give me dirty looks everytime they see me.
Hmmmm....Jaybo
Apr 19, 2003 7:50 AM
First, what is with the angry guy above talking about cussing at motorists? I have always found roadies to have a bit more class then that. Like the scene in Goodwill Hunting, "It isn't your fault." That guy got screwed with somewhere. Anyway, I absolutely adore mountain biking. I jump on my Intense and just have one long orgasm for 2-4 hours. Pure Nirvana. However, your point is well taken.

Jaybo
Like they said: need to make 2 changes:MXL02
Apr 19, 2003 6:49 AM
Ride in the country, and ride in a group. Road biking is basically a group sport, and the real fun is had when riding in a pace line.
while riding appreciate your consciousnessContinental
Apr 19, 2003 7:16 AM
free your intellect and transcend your mundane existence. In other words, value the boredom.
Go faster. It makes things more interesting.Ken of Fresno
Apr 19, 2003 7:45 AM
I think speed can be more addictive than dodging branches or jumping rocks.

Ken
re: Destinations and Getting ThereSuperGnome
Apr 19, 2003 7:50 AM
I'm pretty lucky and live in an area that has all sorts of cute little towns 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, etc... miles away. I can sort of choose how far I want to ride and could pick a town to go check out. (I'm in Madison, WI btw)

There's a local chap who does Pie Rides. For the life of me, I can't track his ride logs down (if you know what I'm talking about and find them, PLEASE post em here for everyone to enjoy). He basically picks a distance he wants to ride, finds a town that far away, then goes there and tries out some diner's pie and coffee. He writes up accounts of the trip, the food, and the experience. Anyways, coming up for a purpose behind your rides might help you out. It doesn't have to be pie... you could tote a little digital camera, ride as far out as you're going and take a picture. Bring it home to show the fam. I'm pretty lucky, in that I just started road biking here and am having a blast exploring new routes. As I get in better shape, I can go a little farther and see what's around that next bend. It always seems to be interesting.

Gnome
Never bored....DINOSAUR
Apr 19, 2003 9:14 AM
I've been riding road bikes since the early 70's and I have never been bored. I guess it depends on what your goals are and why you do it. I'm always trying to improve and make little goals; like riding a distance in a certain time, or a mini ten mile time trial in the middle of my ride, see how many miles I can ride in a week, how many days in a row I can ride, improve my climbing skills, explore new places to ride, find a riding partner, ride with groups, train for a century, the list goes on. Since I had a big crash 3 years ago I'm just happy to make it back home and unclip at the bottom of my driveway.

I'm fortunate as I live in a place where there are a lot of back country lightly traveled mountain type roads. I did some riding in the San Jose Ca bay area a couple of months ago and I got tired of stopping for all the redlights, but never bored, just an inconvenience.
about your crash...jtferraro
Apr 21, 2003 6:47 AM
how bad was it? I'm assuming you were off the bike for a period of time? Did your injuries require any type of surgery? Just curious b/c I recently had knee surgery and I have a partially torn ACL. I'm somewhat worried about taking a fall this spring/summer and tearing it the rest of the way, then being back off the bike again, etc.!

Thanks,

-Jeff
I once felt like you do...now ROAD BIKING UBER ALLES!!!pnitefly
Apr 20, 2003 9:11 AM
Like you I bought a road bike to help my MTB training. My biggest fear was that I would spend all this money on a road bike and realize it was completely boring and throw it up in the attic. Initially, I did feel that way. But, I had the wrong approach. Road biking is a totally different experience. Like a previous poster, road biking involves more attention to cadence, breathing and position. Whereas, MTB is more about concentration and reaction. For me, road biking is more therapeutic and gives me more time to relax mentally.