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The Old Man and the Felt

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Felt

Old 06-26-22, 08:43 PM
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beng1
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The Old Man and the Felt

Sometimes it is nice to have extra motivation on my regular bicycle rides to keep a higher speed than I may otherwise maintain. A good remedy to break routine and boredom is to run into other riders on your route riding at a clip that is challenging. This morning I was lucky enough to have the rider of a nice Felt-brand bike whiz across my path as I was merging onto a particular route I like to travel. So once I got onto the road behind them I tried to see if I could catch up.
It was a bit tough, I am guessing the Felt was tooling along at twenty mph, which is about as fast as my 60 year-old body can go for any real distance when I and mother nature are having a good day. So I had to push it down on the drops in a very aero position to catch up and it took some time and speed and deep breathing. The Felt was the same color yellow as my Huffy, which I thought was nice as there are not a lot of yellow bikes as there once was. So when I got up beside the Felt I exclaimed "Hey it's the yellow bike club!". And the guy on the Felt was good and friendly about it and said something agreeable about the concept. He seemed to be breathing hard between words. He then said something about my going on ahead and he would draft, and I thought sure I will give that a go, but it did not work because the Felt seemed to want to go faster than I could lead, so immediately back ahead it went a car length or so.

The Felt rider looked about twenty years younger with plenty of muscles on a stocky frame. I figured I was just going to get back into my regular gear I was used to spinning in, stay down on the drops and be content with however things played out. I knew the Felt was breathing hard to keep the pace we were on so maybe I would see how long they could keep it. It turned out not that long, after a few minutes the Felt slowed and I caught up again and went by, and the Felt rider immediately latched onto my rear wheel, and I thought he was much too close, when I looked back it seemed his front tire was inches from my rear tire, and I just thought if I had one problem he might ram into me and take himself or both of us out. But I kept quiet and just kept my cadence in the gear I was comfortable in and stayed low on the drops. After a short time the Felt once again moved past and ahead quite a ways thirty or forty feet and stayed up there for a few minutes then again slowed and fell back behind me and once again latched onto my rear wheel very closely. This became the routine, it seemed the Felt wanted to break away but would get out of breath, fall back but then maybe because of their youth quickly recover and storm ahead again for another try. When a bit of a hill I knew well loomed ahead around a corner, and the Felt had fallen back even with me I thought it might be my turn to break away, as I always speed up considerably before i hit this hill so when I crested it I was hopefully going about 19mph, it was a good place to drop a following rider. I did a good job getting up the hill, I think I probably hit 22 or 23mph before I hit it, and shifted up going down the other side and was surely going quite fast, maybe 25 or 26 for a while before I slowed and went back down into my comfortable gear, but the Felt was right there on my rear wheel still, and after a while went off ahead again quite a distance, maybe three or four car lengths, and I just went back to hammering my one note I knew I could keep playing for miles. We caught another rider, a really tall guy who turned out to be riding a carbon-fiber Specialized with disc-brakes, I saw the Felt catch and overtake the Specialize, and after a fashion I was able to do the same, and maybe the Felt had gotten excited and used too much power in passing the Specialized because I caught the Felt and passed it too. Then a minute later the carbon Specialized came storming past with some authority, maybe it did not like being passed by twice, and it seemed to very easily pull away ahead a hundred feet or so and then just seem to sit there. The Felt was still close behind me, but was not passing, just sitting back there on my wheel. On some long straights that were up-grade a bit I put my head down into my best aero position and hammered out my cadence in my favorite gear, and I was keeping up with the Specialized but not gaining. I heard the Felt rider try to say something but did not understand what they were trying to get out between strained breaths, but after a little while more the Felt dropped back like a rock and disappeared, my guess it had been going too fast to go as far as I and the Specialized were going. Maybe I will see the Felt again another day.

So with the Felt gone I thought the Specialized was a target and kept hammering away with my body as horizontal as I could stay, where the wind noises disappeared, and very slowly I began to reel the Specialized in as the yards and miles went by. Up ahead I saw the Specialized overtake a recumbent that was not much slower than we were, and eventually I caught the recumbent too while inching closer to the Specialized. It was hot and humid, in the mid-eighties and only the airflow generated by the pace was keeping the sweat down. I was coming up to a point on the ride where I regularly stop and drink a bottle or two of water at a public bath-house before I ride up a steep grade and then back towards home, and it was my plan to do so today. I made it my goal to catch the Specialized before I got to that watering hole. I had to stay down and keep the speed up to do it, around 20 or 21mph, but finally I caught up and got back beside it, exchanged a pleasant hello with it's rider and then kept going on ahead as fast as I could, maybe piling on another mph in the process, which is not hard to do when you know the end is in sight and it was. I rode past the watering hole and sat up and coasted down to a speed where I could turn off, the Specialized whizzed back past and down the road. I putted over to the state-maintained water-fountain and drank a couple bottles of water and filled it up again for the ride home. I talked about the weather with a homeless man that hung out in that area of the state-park named Mark, then got back on the bike to finish up the morning's ride and get on with the rest of the day.






Last edited by beng1; 06-26-22 at 09:18 PM. Reason: added photos
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Old 06-26-22, 08:59 PM
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tl;dr
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Old 06-26-22, 09:26 PM
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10 Wheels
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2,000 Mile Month
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Old 06-26-22, 09:38 PM
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[QUOTE=10 Wheels;22554996]2,000 Mile Month/[QUOTE]
Another member of the Fraternal Order of the Yellow Road bike. !
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Old 06-26-22, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
tl;dr
Yeah, with the title, I was expecting something a bit more like Hemingway (although I do think he pursued the other cyclists in Earnest.)

Yellow bikes playing tag, a Special Eyes, confusing pronouns, and a State Park named Mark.

Last edited by Polaris OBark; 06-26-22 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 06-26-22, 09:59 PM
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So, is 10 Wheels the yellow "Felt rider [who] looked about twenty years younger with plenty of muscles on a stocky frame" that beng1 was talking about?

Also, how does a guy in Galveston, Texas come to have a Bicycle Club of Irvine BCI -- Bicycle Club of Irvine (bikeirvine.org) jersey?
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Old 06-26-22, 11:17 PM
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https://forum.bikeradar.com/discussi...mmuting-racing
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Old 06-27-22, 05:44 AM
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10 Wheels
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Friend sent me some Jerseys.
I have rode in CA.
NY to LA
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Old 06-27-22, 08:35 AM
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OP better check with the UCI in case he/she needs a license for CAT 6 racing.
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Old 06-28-22, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
OP better check with the UCI in case he/she needs a license for CAT 6 racing.
The time-trial I am signed up for early in July had no such requirements to belong to any sanctioning body, so I doubt the state or county I live in does either, but thanks for the concern.
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Old 06-29-22, 06:00 AM
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Day passed
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