Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

An underrated aspect of cycling as a sport is ...

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

An underrated aspect of cycling as a sport is ...

Old 09-13-19, 08:38 AM
  #101  
CoogansBluff
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Unless you normalize by participation, you're just talking gibberish.
(and no one who only hits a tennis ball against a backboard is taking lessons.)
According to this, there are about 65 percent more cyclists than tennis players in the U.S.

CoogansBluff is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 08:43 AM
  #102  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
There's no money to be made trying to teach skills that anyone can master in a few hours, if it even takes that long. Cycling skills as the OP wished to discuss, are not as complex as some are making them out here.
Spoonrobot is online now  
Likes For Spoonrobot:
Old 09-13-19, 08:45 AM
  #103  
downhillmaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 809
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 480 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 161 Times in 86 Posts
Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
Not that I relish fanning the flames, but I had this thought/question as I was riding yesterday.

There are thousands and thousands of people who make a living teaching tennis in the U.S. Same for golf. How many professional cycling coaches are there? I presume that elite-level cyclists get coaching, but in tennis, it's not uncommon for all levels and ages of players get private coaching. Go to most any tennis center, and you can get a tennis lesson. Similar with golf. Is it true that tennis players, golfers, baseball/softball hitters & pitchers are more likely to seek out private coaching than cyclists? If so, why? And if so, would this be evidence that these sports have different learning curves and different challenges in terms of skill development?
Yes.
Well said
downhillmaster is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 08:48 AM
  #104  
CoogansBluff
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 5 Posts
Let me add that I agree there are many skills involved in group riding on the road. In one year of group riding, I've gotten (and solicited) many great tips on drafting, cornering, cadence and on and on. I still get tips, and still ask for them. As one who often rides in groups whose average competency is better than mine, I enjoy the strategy and skill of doing things that give me the best chance of keeping up. The fact that I can ride with better, more experienced riders (many who inspire me) is a fun thing about this sport, which was the point of the original post. I can draw on all of their experience because through hard work and time, I can ride with them (albeit still not at their level). I'm still not that good at getting through a turn without leaving gaps, to name one. In tennis, on the other hand, I've hired professional help to improve my backhand volley and other weaknesses. I like the fact that in cycling, while there are skills to be learned, I believe the repetition and the advice of some good mentors are sufficient, that is, unless I want to be a pro. That's a good thing about cycling, IMO. Love this sport. Hope I can do it into my '70s and beyond. Never meant to insult the sport or its participants. Have nothing but respect and admiration for those who are avidly riding bikes. Proud now to be a part of that culture and this sport.
CoogansBluff is offline  
Likes For CoogansBluff:
Old 09-13-19, 08:49 AM
  #105  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,749
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 428 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
According to this, there are about 65 percent more cyclists than tennis players in the U.S.
By definition, all those tennis players are competitive. That's not true for the cyclists.
asgelle is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 08:55 AM
  #106  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,749
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 428 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
There's no money to be made trying to teach skills that anyone can master in a few hours, if it even takes that long. Cycling skills as the OP wished to discuss, are not as complex as some are making them out here.
It can't be that easy. After a year, the OP admits he can't follow a wheel through a corner (not that that's a slam on him, it isn't as easy as many think), and following a wheel is relatively simple compared to more complex skills, e.g., sitting on the back of a pack when you're barely hanging on and letting a rider falling back slip in ahead of you without opening a gap.
asgelle is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 09:12 AM
  #107  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,165

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 523 Post(s)
Liked 180 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by jackb View Post
Are you kidding me? These things are skills?
In your post you bring up shooting 70's in golf. Let me put it out there that folks who shoot 70's in golf are in the realm of what would be a categorized bike racer. Not a group ride thing.

We can't talk about hitting curve balls and how much more skill there is required in tennis, golf, baseball but then use the most advanced examples we can find in those sports. But then dumb cycling down to managing to not cause a pile up on the group ride.

I don't think that's a fair way to approach the argument.

On the golf........
There's people who have shot in the 70's in golf, then there's the people who DO shoot in the 70's. Usually the difference being a weekend warrior who got lucky and took a few liberties during the round, versus a person who could possibly break par once in a while and always shoots 70's. From the big boy's tees. 7200+ yards. Not some 6500 yard BS.

Those guys/gals represent around 5% and less of card carrying handicap holding golfers. You need to carry around a 5 handicap to routinely break 80 on a par 72 course. -7 being the bare minimum, and -5 being more realistic.

If we're going to talk the top 5% of cyclists, then we're certainly out of the B-group club ride scene and above my head.

We've got to at least get on the same plane here if we want to have some fun with this. I feel like we keep moving the goalposts.

Are we comparing to recreational participation in tennis, golf, softball? Or are we comparing to "advanced" skill levels in those.
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 09:25 AM
  #108  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 14,784

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 233 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6822 Post(s)
Liked 651 Times in 409 Posts
Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
There's no money to be made trying to teach skills that anyone can master in a few hours, if it even takes that long. Cycling skills as the OP wished to discuss, are not as complex as some are making them out here.
But can you do the Rapha Spin while riding the Tuesday Night Crit?



It takes as much guts as expertise to do it without a helmet.


-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 09:30 AM
  #109  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
It can't be that easy. After a year, the OP admits he can't follow a wheel through a corner (not that that's a slam on him, it isn't as easy as many think), and following a wheel is relatively simple compared to more complex skills, e.g., sitting on the back of a pack when you're barely hanging on and letting a rider falling back slip in ahead of you without opening a gap.
The point is, he can ride with much more experienced riders without being proficient at those skills.
Spoonrobot is online now  
Likes For Spoonrobot:
Old 09-13-19, 09:34 AM
  #110  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
But can you do the Rapha Spin while riding the Tuesday Night Crit?



It takes as much guts as expertise to do it without a helmet.


-Tim-

Dude I can't even get my bottle out to take a drink while riding the crit. I'm sure they're going to tell me not to come back when they find out

Spoonrobot is online now  
Old 09-13-19, 09:36 AM
  #111  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,749
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 428 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The point is, he can ride with much more experienced riders without being proficient at those skills.
Except no (and we're talking faster, not more experienced*). Every time he opens a gap and then has to close it uses energy. It means he'll be dropped that much sooner than if he were able to follow wheels without opening gaps.

I could play tennis with Rapha Nadal if he lowered his game to my level.
asgelle is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 09:41 AM
  #112  
BillyD
Administrator
 
BillyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 25,700

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene '04; Bridgestone RB-1 '92

Mentioned: 277 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6297 Post(s)
Liked 117 Times in 85 Posts
Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
if you're 50 and you're thinking about trying out basketball at the local YMCA, don't! You'll get your ass thrown around like a rag, and then only to get knee pain down the road. Stick to cycling.
It depends, you gotta play with your peers, not guys much younger than you. I'm 70 and I play with a group of guys mostly in their 70s, a couple of them are in their 60s but a couple of them are in their 80s. Half court is plenty for us. A couple of guys can get a good 6 - 8 inches off the ground.

__________________
See, this is why we can't have nice things. - - smarkinson
Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon
BillyD is offline  
Likes For BillyD:
Old 09-13-19, 10:03 AM
  #113  
jackb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Billings, Montana
Posts: 499

Bikes: Trek Domane 5SL Disc; REI Mazama; Specialized Langster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
In your post you bring up shooting 70's in golf. Let me put it out there that folks who shoot 70's in golf are in the realm of what would be a categorized bike racer. Not a group ride thing.

We can't talk about hitting curve balls and how much more skill there is required in tennis, golf, baseball but then use the most advanced examples we can find in those sports. But then dumb cycling down to managing to not cause a pile up on the group ride.

I don't think that's a fair way to approach the argument.

On the golf........
There's people who have shot in the 70's in golf, then there's the people who DO shoot in the 70's. Usually the difference being a weekend warrior who got lucky and took a few liberties during the round, versus a person who could possibly break par once in a while and always shoots 70's. From the big boy's tees. 7200+ yards. Not some 6500 yard BS.

Those guys/gals represent around 5% and less of card carrying handicap holding golfers. You need to carry around a 5 handicap to routinely break 80 on a par 72 course. -7 being the bare minimum, and -5 being more realistic.

If we're going to talk the top 5% of cyclists, then we're certainly out of the B-group club ride scene and above my head.

We've got to at least get on the same plane here if we want to have some fun with this. I feel like we keep moving the goalposts.

Are we comparing to recreational participation in tennis, golf, softball? Or are we comparing to "advanced" skill levels in those.

Yes, you are right. As a person who does not golf, I simply chose the wrong number. But you are right. I was trying to compare recreational cycling with recreational participation in other sports that I believe require more practice and skill development.
jackb is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 10:11 AM
  #114  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Except no (and we're talking faster, not more experienced*). Every time he opens a gap and then has to close it uses energy. It means he'll be dropped that much sooner than if he were able to follow wheels without opening gaps.

I could play tennis with Rapha Nadal if he lowered his game to my level.
So in your scenario where he's riding with faster riders and closing gaps before getting dropped...is he not participating with faster, more experienced riders despite his lack of skill? The very supposition this thread is about?

Is there a minimum threshold before one gets to claim attendance? Perhaps a faster rider circles around after he gets dropped and tells him "you can't claim this ride"?
Spoonrobot is online now  
Old 09-13-19, 10:18 AM
  #115  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 14,784

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 233 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6822 Post(s)
Liked 651 Times in 409 Posts
Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Dude I can't even get my bottle out to take a drink while riding the crit. I'm sure they're going to tell me not to come back when they find out

Maybe a review of, "We are going to yell at you" is in order.


-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 10:23 AM
  #116  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
I got yelled at once but it was in French so I took it as a compliment.
Spoonrobot is online now  
Old 09-13-19, 10:34 AM
  #117  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,165

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 523 Post(s)
Liked 180 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by jackb View Post
Yes, you are right. As a person who does not golf, I simply chose the wrong number. But you are right. I was trying to compare recreational cycling with recreational participation in other sports that I believe require more practice and skill development.
Gotcha. Now that I'm on board, I'll play.

First we've got to pick sports to compare at the rec level, and define the rec level for them.

Shall we say golf? What handicap on what distance course or what tee-boxes?

For cycling, what is recreational? Let's pick the highest form of recreational from the following:
-greenway cruiser for 30min twice a week
-C-group critical mass brewery rider
-B-group rider......way under 20mph and pretty solid gaps, generous stops to eat/drink, take the turns pretty slow
-A-group rider.....19-20mph depending on elevation, tight formation, drink/eat on the move, take turns "at speed" but not breakneck,
-"Tuesday night worlds" group rider......over 20mph for sure, really tight, eat/drink/change/pee on the move, take turns at full speed, advanced rotations or workout groups and things like working an echelon, bunny hop obstacles,
-NO racers though.


Then, let's move on from there. Cause then you can guess at the skills and hours per week the people dedicate.
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 10:40 AM
  #118  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
The problem with your categories is that, in real life, they're all based on fitness, not skill. Which is illustrative in itself.
Spoonrobot is online now  
Old 09-13-19, 10:51 AM
  #119  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 506

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Ridley, Factor, Cervelo

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 286 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
According to this, there are about 65 percent more cyclists than tennis players in the U.S.
It's not clear what "engaged in" means. Do you think there are more people playing football than golf, tennis, or soccer? I doubt that's the case.
tomato coupe is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 10:55 AM
  #120  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 38,327

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1960 Post(s)
Liked 355 Times in 198 Posts
Originally Posted by jackb View Post
Are you kidding me? These things are skills? Perhaps in the pro peloton, but for the rest of us? How many years does it take to master looking over your shoulder without wobbling. Do you practice bumping elbows so as to become proficient in not freaking out? Most cyclists I see on the road appear fairly adept at following their wheels through a corner. Mastering these so-called skills doesn't quite seem up to becoming a good tennis player or hitting a curve ball. And who rides like this anyway? Perhaps cycling club members do and racers, but what percentage of cyclists do they make up? At any rate, the more you ride the better you get at controlling your bike up to a point, but I believe that that control comes rather quickly, certainly a lot more quickly than keeping your golf score below 70 or your batting average above .275, pro or not. Speed and endurance come from improved fitness.

But I will not deny these so-called skills are important for certain kinds of riding. I just don't see them as taking long to develop.
I am not kidding you. You originally asked:

What exactly are these skills that are so difficult to master in cycling that would enable me to ride with a group and that can't easily be acquired? The first time I rode with a group, a serious group that is, was many years ago. I don't remember having to master any particular skills. The most difficult part of the ride was keeping up, and that was simply physical fitness.
Those are exactly the kind of skills that would enable you to ride in the group rides I go on. I will tell you from my experience that "simply physical fitness" was not enough. I had run and competed in triathlons for many seasons before attempting my first group ride and that was exactly the attitude I had: How hard could it be? It's just riding a bike, right?

And yes, I have practiced, and would recommend practicing, bumping elbows, leaning on the rider next to you, rubbing tires. Get a friend and practice in a soccer field. Also practice taking a drink, eating, and putting on and taking off clothing. All good skills to know if you're on a ride that doesn't stop and wait for dropped riders. You'll get hot, you'll get thirsty, you'll get hungry.

Oh, and learn how to bunny-hop. Also a good group skill, as sometimes there will be something in the road or pothole and you may not have room to swerve around it. So, bunny-hop it and carry on. (Think of it as a Z-axis swerve).
caloso is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 11:05 AM
  #121  
86az135i
Senior Member
 
86az135i's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 149

Bikes: 1996 Cannondale R900, 2016 Trek Boone, 2005 Giant Yukon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 26 Posts
I just passed my drivers test. I can probably keep up with with professional formula 1 drivers.
86az135i is offline  
Likes For 86az135i:
Old 09-13-19, 11:11 AM
  #122  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by 86az135i View Post
I just passed my drivers test. I can probably keep up with with professional formula 1 drivers.
It's rare that a quote so effectively skewers both sides of debate. Well done
Spoonrobot is online now  
Likes For Spoonrobot:
Old 09-13-19, 12:04 PM
  #123  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,165

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 523 Post(s)
Liked 180 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The problem with your categories is that, in real life, they're all based on fitness, not skill. Which is illustrative in itself.
Ok, let's work with that then.

So, for tennis instead of golf, fitness WILL matter. Let's change it to tennis. How many sets we playing? One? Best of three? Best of five? A rec tennis player probably won't make it best of five, they'd die.

So, best of three? Average schmuck playing with friends at the community center for a bit each week probably won't play more than one set. Especially if it goes 7-6. I'd bet.

So we need an over-head serve. We need a forehand and a backhand also (one or two handed, whatever). None of that at a low fitness level is very difficult. Just clearing the net and in the lines? Cake. With some zing and able to chase it? Fitness.

Can this tennis player run a 5k in under 1/2 hour? They workout a bit? Arms? Core? They sending a serve at me like a fart in the wind or are they zinging it?

I think in all these comparisons we're struggling with agreeing about how fitness and skills merge to form an overall competency level.

Our old creepo neighbor dude took lessons from some hot Russian chick in a group of other creepy guys for like two years. He was about 230 lbs. I only ever played with him for his practice. No lessons.

I could smoke his ass.

Skills have a depth. Assigning a competency in a sport requires having a depth of skills and a fitness level combined.

I'm not seeing yet how the skills gap for "rec" people is that vast.

We call it fitness on the bike, but it's different enough sometimes I dare call it a skill. It's a skill to know how many matches you've got and how to burn them.
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 09-13-19, 12:19 PM
  #124  
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,349
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1101 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I think in all these comparisons we're struggling with agreeing about how fitness and skills merge to form an overall competency level.
I'm not. I don't understand the rest of your post either, so please direct your attention back to jackb.
Spoonrobot is online now  
Old 09-13-19, 12:29 PM
  #125  
downhillmaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 809
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 480 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 161 Times in 86 Posts
Again.
There seems to be an awful lot of highly skilled group riders in this thread.
Exactly how many of you chosen few have spent money and hired a coach?
Or did almost every one of you learn
it on your own?
downhillmaster is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.