Re: [Boulder-Mountain-Bikers] Why not have more rides?

From: Erin N.
Sent on: Thursday, May 3, 2012 7:16 AM
Beth-

You are great!!!!!  

The ability level/ fancy equipment thing seems to be a Boulder thing.  For a place that has a hippie rep people are awfully competitive.

As for me, I don't care.  Really I find the people who have raced a good long time are the most chill ( spandex=nice in my experience) when it comes to leisure rides.  I have been in both road and mtn circles, but it's been awhile and this "old" chicky isn't concerned with the 20-something fashionista with a very cute chip regarding anyone who doesn't affirm some aesthetic/lifestyle :)

I am out of shape, have a 16 year old Chromoly Kona, and would love to do a midweek ride.  Weekends are competitive time wise due to work.  Monday's are also pretty full for some reason and Tuesdays I work.

If anyone here wants to go riding with a born-again n00b on a weekday, lemme know- contact me and I'll give you my phone number, and maybe we can put a ride together.

My style?

I'll help you change your tire
I'll never drop you
I'll never say anything about your clothes
I won't complain or comment about speed/bike/etc
I might even bring a brew or two to relax and socialize after the ride.

Erin


Sent from my iPhone

On May 2, 2012, at 1:01 PM, Beth Jordan <[address removed]> wrote:

Marcus, Joan (and others) let me interject my observations and experiences as a strong (sport class racing) rider, cycling coach, and mountain biker of the female persuasion.  I've been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1992, and coaching kids, women and collegiate racers for the past fifteen years.
 
While it maybe the norm to do a "no drop" group, if that is not well messaged or obvious, then especially for beginners and/or women and newbies, it can be confusing and offputting when the front of the group just rides off.  And especially on open space, getting "punked" at gates SUCKS, especially if you feel hampered by technical skills (new to getting in and out of pedals, etc.).  If you run a "no drop" group, you should always designate one rider as the "gatekeeper", and it should be someone with enough strength and skill to hold the gate, then catch back on and pass the group for the next one.  Maybe a good job for a more advanced rider who wants to do a more casual day.
 
What I've also noticed over the many years I've mountain biked, raced, and ridden with my husband and various much faster exes...  Mountain biking is one of those sports where being dropped or left alone feels pretty intimidating, especially for women, juniors and newbies to the sport.  What if you get a flat or mechanical?  Many of us have become self-sufficient over the years, and I can fix a flat quicker than most shop rats, but there's a huge learning curve and broken chains and unfixable tire gashes do happen.  Walking back to the car alone also sucks.  Also there's a safety perception. A simple fall on rocks can lead to equipment breakage or injury.  If you're slow and it's getting dark, there is the mountain lion quotient that always kind of floats around the back of my mind.  And I have met my share of creepy guys on the trails around here, and being alone and broke down around creepsters is Not Cool.
 
Also, speaking for the female component, there is this constant attitude from the boys of "oh don't worry about holding people up, we'll just go ride".  Um, that's kind of not the point.  The point is, if we're by ourselves or off the back, we DON'T really want to feel like you're off somewhere 2K up the trail or whatever, if something happens to us.  And if you hang around obviously slowing yourself down for our sake, well that makes us feel guilty, maybe irrational but whatever.  So go do your ride, but please set up an *obvious* well-messaged, no-drop social group for the newbies, kids, ladies, and whatever other "slow" riders show up out there so that they feel like they're being taken care of.
 
Last but not least, I have to agree with the perception / trend-following thing.  If I show up in my full teamkit on my top end Anthem to social rides, I get the squiggle eye from the "casual" riders.  They make jokes about the spandex.  It cuts both ways, and it also sucks.  And I'm not about to go get a bunch of tattoos and baggy shorts just to feel like I fit in.  It's a biking snobbery-culture thing (roadies do it also to a huge degree) and it needs to go away whenever we're trying to be ambassadors to the sport.
 
I have been out on MM/Doudy/Springbrook a lot recently and have probably seen/missed some of the meetup rides, but we've been involved in a HUGE house remodel that has sucked up a bunch of my riding time of late.  Hope to get back out there soon.
 
I would lead a women's / n00b ride if anyone wanted one in the MM area.  Just don't be intimidated by the spandex!
 
-- Beth

On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM, Marcus Ward <[address removed]> wrote:
You guys know this is a loop, right?  If you get dropped just keep riding -

That said, the group ride at Marshall should be structured so that
people know there are 3 groups.  A, B, and C.

The A group is the fast people - everyone starts in the A group.

The B group is medium fast but doesn't wait at gates.

The C group is the less adventurous people and that is a no-drop
group.  They wait for all the stragglers at every intersection or
wherever it's convenient.

When the group starts out it's one big pack that gets strung out.
Eventually it'll break into 3 groups (or more) but the last group is
the no-drop group.

Joan, don't worry about holding people up, if they don't want to be
held up they won't wait, and if they don't mind, don't let yourself
worry about it.

Just my 2 cents.


On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 12:08 PM, Joan Hess <[address removed]> wrote:
> Hello All,
>
> It has been quite interesting reading the responses.  I have to admit, the
> few times I have gone with some of the meet up riders, they were beyond my
> level, (intermediate and cautious) but I did not feel even a hint of
> snobbery.  Everyone was very friendly. I just haven't signed up again
> because I don't really like holding people up.  But I would be willing to
> try again.  I have a group that I ride with on Tuesday nights, but I am
> pretty open most other nights of the week.  I will try next Monday.
>
> On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM, Arnie Sharp <[address removed]> wrote:
>>
>> I'm all for having more rides. I just recently discovered "meetups" too.
>> I can't do the Monday rides because on Monday's (and only Mon) I work until
>> 6pm.  Tues & Wed & Sat I coach a soccer team.  So until soccer ends (mid
>> June), my time is limited to Thurs and Sundays.  I guess I just haven't been
>> bold enough to initiate a ride yet.
>>
>> I'm an intermediate rider but have no problem riding with novices or
>> experts (if they'll be ok riding with me).  I just love to mountain bike and
>> would really enjoy riding with anyone.
>>
>> Arnie
>>
>> On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 7:56 AM, Wendy <[address removed]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi, well I can say that for me, I just recently discovered "meetups" and
>>> I thought as a total novice mountain biker this group might be able to help
>>> me learn the area and learn some basics too.  When I inquired about the
>>> Monday night rides as being a novice - I was discouraged from coming, so I
>>> have not come.  As a beginner - I am looking for a friendly supportive group
>>> to 'show me the ropes' a bit, and was about to cancel this meetup actually
>>> since it has had nothing to offer me up to now.     That is my two cents.
>>>
>>> Wendy Peters
>>>
>>> From: Alex <[address removed]>
>>> To: [address removed]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, May 1,[masked]:41 PM
>>> Subject: [Boulder-Mountain-Bikers] Why not have more rides?
>>>
>>> Dear All,
>>>
>>> Am I the only one wondering how a mountain bike meetup with nearly 500
>>> members has such a small number of actual meetups? Modulo the heroic effort
>>> of Dave, lets face it, there is just about nothing going on here. Seems to
>>> me that most of the original organizers have vanished. Yes, there are other
>>> mountain bike meetups and many are significantly more active.  However, many
>>> are a bit too far away. A Boulder mountain biker meetup would seem to make
>>> sense. Given that you all have signed up suggest that there is interest in
>>> mountain biking principally but somehow this is just not working out. So
>>> far, the ride I organized attracting the most people here was the Nivot
>>> Ridge one, but this is not something that can be done regularly.
>>>
>>> What kind of rides would you all like to do? Is there interest in more
>>> advanced rides (e.g., Hall), more exploratory rides (e.g., Sourdough
>>> network)... should we do a poll?
>>>
>>> Please share your thoughts.
>>>
>>> best,  Alex
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
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> --
> Joan R. Hess
>
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