When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
freeflow
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When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby freeflow » 24 Aug 2014, 7:06pm

I ran into an odd situation yesterday when doing the Mildenhall 300k Audax with a good cycling buddy.

Due to a lot of changes recently relating to bike position and saddle I ran into a bit of knee pain and bonked a bit around the 230k mark. I tried to get my cycling buddy to carry on without me as I knew his lights had died earlier in the day and my pace meant we would finish in the dark. However he was insistent in staying with me even though it was obvious that I'd hit a bad patch.

I really appreciated having someone to ride with, but I've ridden enough on my own to not be intimidated or worried by being on my own. I had my phone. Even though it was an Audax I was less than 40 miles from home. I have proven ability to ride the distance and to do it riding solo. I think it would have been perfectly OK for my buddy to have cycled on, after all I might have decided alternatively to stop for an hour at a cafe when he didn't, what would have happended then?

If I'd been a distance riding novice riding such a long distance for the first time then I can understand staying with the rider to provide encouragement to complete. However for a old lag like me its not necessary. But I do greatly appreciate the emotional difficulties of leaving someone behind in such a situation.

What would you do in such a situation?

I'd probably have ridden on but check every 30k or so my buddy was OK (if mobiles were available). If I knew about the knee problem then I'd also have offered to drive back along the route (or to his final stopping point) to pick him up and take him back to his car.

beardy
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby beardy » 24 Aug 2014, 7:44pm

It rather depends how important the validation of the Audax was to the rider.

If it was really important to "get" that particular Audax for some reason, like having put a lot of training into it or needing it for some series then it would be understood that the rider had to carry on.
If on the other hand you are regular riding partners who are on yet another Audax then it would be more natural to stay with a mate to give them company than to worry about yet another stamp on yet another Brevet card in the bottom of a cupboard somewhere.

Then there is a whole range of shades between those two scenarios.

I have both continued without somebody or hung around with them on occasions.

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gaz
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby gaz » 24 Aug 2014, 8:23pm

When I used to do club rides abandoning a fellow clubmate on an Audax or TRT would earn the abandoner an automatic nomination for the Ide Hill trophy.
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LollyKat
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby LollyKat » 24 Aug 2014, 11:09pm

gaz wrote:Ide Hill trophy.

???

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Aug 2014, 11:13pm

I'd suggest that when it's suggested by that buddy is a reasonable line - but in various places wouldn't do it then.

Even non buddies can get this treatment - doing the WWC today a bunch of us ended up cycling as a group, and we didn't let people really drop (OK, different people were faster ascending/descending - so we kept splitting and regrouping)
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gaz
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby gaz » 24 Aug 2014, 11:42pm

LollyKat wrote:
gaz wrote:Ide Hill trophy.

???


More years ago than I care to remember a bunch of us were taking part in a TRT, 100 miles in 9 hours IIRC. Ide Hill was the last major climb, time was pressing and a few of the group were flagging.

One of our number decided he wanted to be sure of completing the event within the time limit and surged on ahead.

This was considered a dastardly deed so a plan was hatched to teach the dastard a lesson.

A small cycling trophy was purchased at a boot fair and a new plate attached "Ide Hill". At lunch on a subsequent club run it was secreted amongst a number of other sporting trophies that the pub had on display. We perused these innocently and upon spotting the cycling trophy began to speculate with the dastard about what it could have been awarded for and why it was the only cycling trophy in the pub.

After lunch the trophy was spirited away discretely until we reached tea.

By means unknown a passing friar of the Carmelite order was persuaded to present this to the dastard, who by this time didn't really have much clue as to what was happening or why and assumed he was being given stolen goods.

Ide Hill Trophy.jpeg
The Ide Hill Trophy


Whilst he accepted it from the friar he was extremely reluctant to take it home until the true purpose of the trophy and our frame up were explained.

Everafter the "Ide Hill Trophy" was awarded annually at the Christmas dinner to the rider who had shown the greatest lack of esprit de corps over the preceding year by abandoning his friends in their hour of need. The original trophy stayed with it's first owner and was replaced with a shield for future years, there weren't that many contendors.
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Vorpal
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby Vorpal » 25 Aug 2014, 6:12am

I would be reluctant to leave a friend behind, even if s/he told me that it was okay. I would assume that if s/he said I should just go & not worry about him/her that it was said only for my sake.

I wouldn't feel right leaving a friend behind, even if it meant riding in the dark without lights.
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Audax67
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby Audax67 » 25 Aug 2014, 8:10am

Only time I've done it was on PBP 2007 when my partner decided to give up in Brest.

There are two sides to it, though: I rode one particular 400 with folk quite a bit younger and stronger than me. Being good friends they said "we'll keep the speed down" but they couldn't: I probably couldn't have either if the situation had been reversed. So I ended up riding a notch or two over my capacity until breaking-point, when at last they accepted what I'd been telling them all along, i.e. I'd be better alone. Seeing them disappear into the darkness was an immense relief. I finished within the time by around 15 minutes, nursing cramp and tendinitis the whole way.
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ANTONISH
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby ANTONISH » 25 Aug 2014, 9:10am

Audax67 wrote:Only time I've done it was on PBP 2007 when my partner decided to give up in Brest.

There are two sides to it, though: I rode one particular 400 with folk quite a bit younger and stronger than me. Being good friends they said "we'll keep the speed down" but they couldn't: I probably couldn't have either if the situation had been reversed. So I ended up riding a notch or two over my capacity until breaking-point, when at last they accepted what I'd been telling them all along, i.e. I'd be better alone. Seeing them disappear into the darkness was an immense relief. I finished within the time by around 15 minutes, nursing cramp and tendinitis the whole way.

As a slow Audax rider I am sometimes overtaken by another rider who for the best of social reasons decides to ride "with" me. This usually involves me having to make a gradual acceleration so that we are riding at his/her chosen speed. As I don't find this comfortable I try to lag behind saying things like" Don't wait for me - I'll only hold you up", most eventually ride away - but some are insistent on staying with me - albeit halfwheeling me. I don't know of a polite way of dealing with this.
I rarely ride an Audax with a companion - if I do it has to be someone as slow as myself - also most of us go through strong and weak periods during a long ride so this has to be accepted. On these occasions one accepts that if the other rider has a problem that comes before completing the Audax.
On the rare occasions that I catch another rider I ride past and just check that they are o.k.
I'm always willing to stop and help with a puncture or mechanical though.
On club runs I always wait for anyone having difficulty keeping up. This is as it should be - but sometimes I find some in the group don't have much concern for stragglers.

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Si
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby Si » 25 Aug 2014, 9:41am

On things like audaxes I'm happy enough to leave people for the carrion to pick over their festering corpses, as long as there wasn't an agreement that I was to be looking after them. I say this due to having been on the other end a few times: I've been riding with people when I've hit the wall and told them to go on without me to which they have refused......this has led to me feeling guilty because of slowing them down, to them having to do the ride at a speed that they wouldn't have chosen too, and to me making my situation worse by trying to go faster than I was able to just to reduce the amount by which I slowed them. Thus, although I've appreciated the generosity and kindness of their actions it has led to all concerned suffering more than they needed to.

Mark1978
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby Mark1978 » 25 Aug 2014, 9:42am

Most of my rides are solo but I do ride with a friend occasionally. He's faster than me at climbing so he always leaves me on the climbs but waits for me at the top. Which I think is fair enough we both want to climb at our own pace. We ride together on the flat.

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661-Pete
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby 661-Pete » 25 Aug 2014, 10:56am

I don't have any cycling buddies either :oops: :cry: - though I do go on pootles with Mrs P - I'm usually a bit faster than she, partly due to me being on a road bike as against her hybrid, but... Once or twice we've ended up taking different turnings at a junction (my mistake) and then mobile phones become indispensible!

I do recall being dropped rather gratuitously when out on a supposed 'leisure' ride with several forum members of - well, let's just say, "Another Place"... Of course I'm slower than the average, but I thought the whole credo of the so-called 'leisure' or 'fun' ride was, Thou Shalt Not Get Dropped. It seems not! - at least, not with those t***ers. Anyway, I ended up stranded in unfamiliar territory without a map (more fool me! never again!) - but luckily, while I was stopped at a junction in some bewilderment, another straggler behind me turned up who knew the area, so eventually I got reunited with the bunch. I don't recall whether I was polite to them or not: certainly they didn't deserve it for what they did...

I think the general rule is, as others have stated, if you think your companion will have difficulties, don't drop him/her. Otherwise...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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Ayesha
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby Ayesha » 25 Aug 2014, 4:39pm

If there is a rider in physical difficulty, never, never, NEVER leave them.

Your friendship will be rewarded many times more than a stupid little medal.

freeflow
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby freeflow » 25 Aug 2014, 4:51pm

I may not have phrased the original question as well as I should. The difficulty here is that it is not a rider just disappearing off. That's pretty unacceptable. But instead a competent but struggling rider encouraging a buddy to ride on.

On saturday there was no question that I would not finish, but I whilst my buddy was willing to ride slower it still put pressure on me to ride faster than I wanted and to do so with fewer stops. If my buddy had followed my advice and ridden on then I could have slowed my pace for a while to get my energy levels back up, and I could have stopped for short period more frequently to rest my knee and eat/drink.

Of course there is always the ego thing in that I didn't want to be continually saying, can we go slower please.

If I am accompanying a struggling rider, I will, if I can, ride besides or behind the rider. I'll only go in front if there is a strong headwind or if I'm specifically requested to do so.

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661-Pete
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Re: When its OK to drop a cycling buddy

Postby 661-Pete » 25 Aug 2014, 5:02pm

freeflow wrote:I may not have phrased the original question as well as I should.
For the record, I thought your OP was perfectly clear. And I think you did the right thing in giving your companion the option. That he chose not to exercise it, was his decision.

The point I made in my earlier post was that, unlike you and your companion, and I'm sure the majority of posters on this forum, there are I'm afraid some incredibly selfish cyclists about. And social networks thereof. I'm not about to name any specific forum because I don't need to!
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).