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I need a Tuesday Team Decaf ride buddy

This topic contains 924 replies, has 65 voices, and was last updated by  mr marvelous 1 yr, 7 mos.

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mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:02am #

I just did my first Tuesday Team Decaf ride and I am slow. Anyone who is slow would like to buddy up on Tuesdays with me let me know. It wont be so bad if I fall behind if I’m with someone. Btw It was nice meeting all of you Tuesday riders today, sorry I forgot all your names.


boostuv

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:08am #

Details on Team Decaf rides?


Pseudacris

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:16am #

I’d be interested. I did my first one last week and got left in the dust after about 8 miles. I can do the distance, but my speed is meh. Also, I do it on a commuter bike.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:24am #

I have a commuter also, and after 8 miles I was left also. I could do 100 miles, just slower than the group. I’ll be there next Tuesday hopefully with a slower group riding with me. So who’s with me?


stefb

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:31am #

i may be able to make it every other tuesday. i thought about trying it out.


Kayla

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:36am #

If I know some others going, maybe I’ll check one out.


Pseudacris

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:43am #

I’ll do it.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 2:09am #

@ Pseudacris. Sweet I have no idea who you are or what you look like but I know it will be a great fun ride. Thanks for joining Team Dropped lol.


salty

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Jun 15 2011 at 2:15am #

I thought this was a slow, regroup at the top of hills kind of ride?


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 2:26am #

@ salty. No I was pretty much alone 10 miles out of the 25. They did regroup but lall the fast riders regrouped then moved on.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 2:27am #

@ Stefb. Every other Tuesday is cool, I’m in


Pseudacris

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Jun 15 2011 at 2:57am #

@mr marvelous: I’ll be the slow one on the commuter bike – lol. Seriously though, I’ll send you a PM describing what shirt I’ll be wearing day of the ride or something. I’ll recognize Stefb or Kayla if they decide to come.

@salty I suppose ‘slow’ is all relative. My first TeamDecaf ride was 2 weeks ago. Someone handed out cue sheets, and the riders seemed to break into little clusters pretty fast. It was definitely not “no drop” and I was thankful that I knew most of the route but, being dropped on what’s billed as a C level ride kind of killed the point of going on a group ride, for me anyway. Mostly it was folks on road bikes.

FWIW I did all right on the uphills but got crushed on the down slopes.


HiddenVariable

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Jun 15 2011 at 3:04am #

i’d like to try out these rides. it’s always been on my to-do list, but i never really got around to it.

i have no idea whether or not i could keep up. my guess is no, based on the information here. i once kept up with reddan (mostly) for a whole group ride, and i was pleased as punch about that, but i’m not in as good shape, nor as light.

hills are my bugaboo. i can put out plenty of power, i think, but it’s just tough to climb when you weigh 215 pounds. but it does make for some good catching-up on the downhills!

anyway, keep me abreast of what’s happening, and i would also like to join.


Drewbacca

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Jun 15 2011 at 3:16am #

I would have to drive 70 miles, but I think I’ll try to make it down for the ride for the sake of being social and putting some faces to the names on here. I’m in the same boat, commuter bike that can go the distance but not so much the speed (37mm tires and fastest gear being 48front/11rear).


Ahlir

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Jun 15 2011 at 6:33am #

I showed up for the Team Decaf ride today, mostly because I figure I need to pile up some miles to make up for the past three months of nothing. (I think I managed +100 miles this past week. Ok, but a bit short of respectable. I sense that I’ll need to log at least 500 to get back on track. Anyway.)

I did a few Decafs last summer and generally had a good time (especially on the after-season ones, with smaller crowds). So I was looking forward to it.

It was a fair crowd. Most of them looked like serious bikers (mid- to high-end bikes, lots of lycra). In contrast I was in my grungy commuter getup (street clothes, fenders, pannier). Oy, the shame. But so what? I was here to get in some miles.

Things started off ok, until we got to Penn where I decided to take off my windbreaker. I thought I could do it without getting my feet out of the pedals. Silly me. I managed to catch up to the tail somewhere on Beechwood above 5th. Not good enough. I cut a corner by powering up Beacon then dropping down a side-street to Beechwood. At last! Some bikers! I had managed to get myself back into this (no drop!) ride.

These guys don’t do stop signs, I discovered. So I found myself (along with fellow traveller Rick) bombing down Greenfield with no one else in sight. At least we were making good time (but at the 25mph speed limit; I figured I ought to be nervous about going fast, at least for a while).

Then I made a crucial mistake, assuming that the ride went to the bottom of the hill then onto the Jail Trail, like the cue sheet said (well, in my recollection of it). Silly me; the group had done the same ride last week and decided to do “something different” this week. I think they went over the Greenfield Bridge (but whatever, we weren’t in on it; or maybe we just failed to listen up when this was announced).

Rich and I stopped at the post-Bates on-ramp and managed to figure out our (my) mistake. What to do? We decided to continue following the cue sheet and intercept the ride (which was now supposed to come down Penn). We hit them at around the bus depot. Of course this was the front pack. We should have waited.

Everyone seemed to know each other, in that roadie kind of way, and were chatting away about this and that. But, hey, I was here for the miles. Once we got back on the Jail Trail the ride started to breeze along. I end up behind but still kept up the pace (~18mph according to my flaky computer). Memo: I need to work on my acceleration (in addition to everything else). I also noticed the following, though maybe I’m just being sensitive: the front pack would periodically stop to regroup, which was great. Except that they would always seem to ride off each time I got to them. This happened, like, three times. At which point I decided to go home.

I’m looking forward to next time. Really.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 8:15am #

@ Ahlir I was in the group of the 3 riders that kept getting dropped. I remember you trying to take off your jacket, and I remember you passing me on Beechwood. I wasn’t ignoring you I was just working so hard to catch up to the group I was in a zone for about 10 miles till I did.


Morningsider

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Jun 15 2011 at 10:51am #

It sounds like there is enough interest (and need) to start a second group leaving from the same place at the same time(every other Tuesday for stefb of course). Perhaps, Team Half-Caf?


sarah_q

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Jun 15 2011 at 11:53am #

Sometimes my son comes out for this and we usually get dropped and then do our own ride home. We’d be happy to ride with the slower folks.

I have to admit I am guilty of being a lycra-clad rider otherwise, but I am friendly. Usually the protocol is the fast people wait for the slow one, then the slow one rides through without stopping and the fast people catch up. So they aren’t taking off as soon as you get there, they expect you to keep going and they’ll be with you in a sec.


brian j

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Jun 15 2011 at 12:36pm #

I spoke with John (the old ride leader) the other day, and he said the ride has gotten too big to really keep the group together, especially given the variety of skill levels. At this point, I think it’s morphed into “here’s a route, find some folks to ride with” kinda deal. Obviously not ideal, but as someone who has led large rides before, it is terribly difficult to keep things together when the group is large and diverse.

I believe there is a ride led by the Major Taylor club folks that is geared toward newer/more leisurely riders.


sarah_q

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:03pm #

Major Taylor rides on Wed at 6:30 from OTB. Tonight we are going to check out the newly finished trail towards McKeesport. :)

If there are new riders there we take it easy. If only fast riders show then we ride fast. So the ride adjusts based on the skill level of those who come out.

To be fair to the Decaf rides they are listed as C which is 12-15 mph average. You have to go faster than that to avg 12-15 if you are slow on the hills. So in the end, even the speedy ones are probably not averaging much more than 15 in the city.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 1:55pm #

@ Sarah_q it would be great if you come on the Tuesday rides with some of us slower riders. But from reading some of your blogs it sounds like you are a great and fast rider.


Drewbacca

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Jun 15 2011 at 3:05pm #

Spandex alone will boost my average time by about 5mph, right?

“Team Half-Caf…” I believe that should be Team Skinny De-caf. ;)


AviS187

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Jun 15 2011 at 3:27pm #

I did the Tuesday team decaf ride yesterday for the first time this year as well. I did it fairly often last year.

I was the guy on the fixed gear with the bike bag (and one of the few not in spandex :P).

The ride is technically no drop, but it breaks up into some smaller groups pretty quickly so you’ll want to find some people going your speed to regroup with.


Pierce

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Jun 15 2011 at 3:34pm #

It sounds like a lycra version of CM

Mr. Marvelous has a pretty nice commuter, so I’d be scared of performance in say a clunker like my own bike


stefb

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Jun 15 2011 at 3:51pm #

Don’t plan anythig around me. I sometimes have to stay late at work unexpectedly. I also may be able to keep up with the head of the group without killing myself.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 4:10pm #

Ok so this Tuesday we all meet and Team Dropped will stick together. (We will work on the name later)


Kayla

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Jun 15 2011 at 4:17pm #

I may show up.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 4:20pm #

@ Pierce. I do have a nice bike…… but it has a terrible engine.


HiddenVariable

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Jun 15 2011 at 5:02pm #

team abv?


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 5:22pm #

Abv?


Mick

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Jun 15 2011 at 5:36pm #

@ ahylir Most of them looked like serious bikers (mid- to high-end bikes, lots of lycra). In contrast I was in my grungy commuter getup (street clothes, fenders, pannier).

To me, you sound like a serious biker. They sound like sports bikers.

My impression is that the Team Decaf folks try to be open to anyone that wants to ride with them and they make an effort to stay together.

OTOH, their natural pace is faster than riders like me (and some others here). I’m guessing that Dan (the leader) would really be open and appreciative towards a group of people that wanted to ride a little slower.

I’d love to join with the slower-paced riders sometime, but I’ll be busy most tuesdays for a while.


sarah_q

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Jun 15 2011 at 6:25pm #

Thanks, Mr. Marvelous. (A+ board handle, by the way!) If I’m riding with my kid we’ll join the Sanka ride. :) Otherwise I’m likely to go out with the faster spandexians.


Ahlir

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Jun 15 2011 at 7:13pm #

Folks, I didn’t mean to start this long of a discussion. I actually did enjoy myself; if I hadn’t had to stop I would kept up just fine. The folks I caught up to were fine, friendliness-wise. The mildly snarky last paragraph was really about the hard-core front pack. I’m sure they’re all very nice people in real life.

There’s really nothing wrong with Team Decaf as it’s constituted. As someone pointed out, riders sort themselves out according to speed and everyone ends up happy. This actually works better the larger the group since you’re more likely to end up with enough others travelling at your speed. I wouldn’t want to see Decaf split up over something like this.

Finally, as a gesture of good will and in support of the universal brotherhood of cycling, I am willing to go out and buy myself a cycling jersey. But I just might get wool. ;-)

Just to repeat:

I’m looking forward to next time. Really.


Lyle

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Jun 15 2011 at 7:23pm #

Ahlir, what size are you? I have an unworn wool jersey that I’m realistically not likely to lose enough weight to look good in…


TeamDecaf

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Jun 15 2011 at 7:43pm #

I just dropped in on this thread, so I haven’t had the time to read everything, but I’ll offer the following…

I am one of 4 ride leaders. I have a Team Decaf website here. Check it over for a few more details and some of my ride maps.

Yes, the group is mostly road bike, spandex-wearin types, but not me. I wear riding jerseys for visibility, but no junk-enhancing spandex pants. I don’t even clip-in, running shoes and Power Grip straps on my pedals. My bike is a basic urban commuter/hybrid, you may have seen it on Wheelset of Fortune or Tag-o-Rama (only 4 tags, but trying for more).

By Wheelmen standards the ride is average speed. By most other accounts, it’s fast. We love having new people. In years past, it was a NO DROP ride, but we aren’t officially a No Drop group now. We talk about how to insure that slower riders can join us, but we need riders who want to step up and say that they’ll stick with the slower riders. I welcome a slower ride group and anyone who wants to help out with the slower segment.

Just an fyi – I am leading the group next week (June 21) and we’ll be taking a 22-mile hilly ride through Fox Chapel. I expect that the hills will slow the group down.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 7:43pm #

@Ahlir you are right about the ride, it is fun and I did have a great time. The only point of this blog is so I can find a few riders who ride at my level. But I love Team Decaf and will be there every Tuesday from now on.


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 7:44pm #

Btw I wear spandex so I look fast when I’m going slow


TeamDecaf

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Jun 15 2011 at 8:19pm #

I finished the ride in the 2nd group, including mr marvelous. The faster group probably beat us by 15 minutes easily. My computer tells me 13.3 mph average. 23 miles.

Here’s a link to last night’s map Big Figure 8

A link to next week’s ride (June 21) Zoo and Fox Chapel Loop


mr marvelous

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Jun 15 2011 at 8:38pm #

@ TeamDecaf Leader, you are right the group ride is a No Drop ride and the faster riders did waint for us after about 4 of us got droped. I think the topic got miss understood, I just wanted to see if a group of us slower riders would like to buddy up on the ride. I have no complaints and what you guys do is wonderful. I hope I didnt offend anyone I really do love the ride


TeamDecaf

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Jun 15 2011 at 8:49pm #

@mr marvelous – no offense taken.

And to reiterate – I would love to have a dedicated group that takes it a little slower and insures that no one gets dropped. Please join us.

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