People ask if i'm fast on the bike, i'm semi-fast

Mr. Beanz

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2015
People have asked me if I am fast on the bike. I am what is considered "SEMI-FAST." Last night thought little traffic, I was in the right lane heading West when a SEMI happened to hop on the same street I was riding. No shoulder and I could tell he was gaining but I had 50 yards to my next turn where I would be clear. 50 yards and a semi 40 yards behind me, gaining? :eek: Yeah, I am considered "SEMI-FAST" because I only go fast when there is a semi behind me ha ha ha! :D:D:D

I use to race up to a Cat 3, but today I'm not fast anymore, I average about 16 to 17 mph on a 70 mile mostly flat roads here in NE Indiana, I just ride for fun, fitness comes with the deal, but I got so burned out from training for racing back in the mid-'70s to mid-'80's I just don't want to go through all that training stuff again to become faster, I just want to enjoy riding, which is why I added bike camping and bike touring into the mix. Of course on the touring bike when it's loaded I can't go that fast, I think it's between 10 and 12 mph when loaded.
I use to race up to a Cat 3, but today I'm not fast anymore, I average about 16 to 17 mph on a 70 mile mostly flat roads here in NE Indiana, I just ride for fun, fitness comes with the deal, but I got so burned out from training for racing back in the mid-'70s to mid-'80's I just don't want to go through all that training stuff again to become faster, I just want to enjoy riding, which is why I added bike camping and bike touring into the mix. Of course on the touring bike when it's loaded I can't go that fast, I think it's between 10 and 12 mph when loaded.

I get ya! I'm not into dedicating my time to getting faster. I'm just into keeping myself a little healthy while going into my late years.

I thought about racing 10 years ago, even trained with a team. Once I realized I was not missing anything, heck, being one of 4 guys that could just about lap a crit team on a one mile course, it suddenly didn't mean anything to me to actually hold a race license.

Then I was challenged by a dude from a cycling forum. Some dude who did RAAM. Really big cycling hero. Challenged me on a timed event and talked a lot of trash. After spanking him on the ride by over an hour, I think I learned racing and holding a race license didn't mean much to me. I just like riding my bike and staying healthy. 100 miles with 10,000 ft of gain. This was the ride.

There were actually 5 racers on the forum that were constantly trying to give me advice on how to get fast like them. Race shoes, slam the stem, lighter seatposts, blah blah blah. I beat them all from 20 minutes up to 2 hours! :D:p:D

So now I just ride for fun, always have and consider myself Semi Fast now ha ha!

You beat a RAAM racer? And by over an hour? Holy ****! that's a big deal man, those guys are monsters. I knew a RAAM team out of Bakersfield CA, and those guys were fast, they even won and broke the record for the 4 man team, a record they still hold to this day, I think they broke the record in 2001 or near there.

I rode that Big Bear circle a couple of times myself back in the '80s.

I got out of racing for several reasons, like I said I was getting burned out, but also the expenses were horrific, at Cat 3 you don't get sponsors, so it was on our dime...or should I say on our hundreds. Spent a lot of money on travel, hotels, food, bikes, bike stuff, race event fees, etc. I was also getting older; on top of that, I had a child so that racing stuff was cutting into family time big time between working a full-time job, training, traveling, and racing. It all came to a head in 1986 so I quit. I wasn't the darling of the cat 3 thing anyway.

What's interesting about my racing adventure, is the doping scene. This is why I hate the fact that Lance Armstrong got all of his wins erased. But in 1980 I was dating a girl that was a cousin to the then #1 Tennis player in the world, I can't give out her name but it wouldn't take much for you to find out who she least within two. Anyway, she was at a family party that my girlfriend and I attended, and this tennis player sat down next to me and started asking me questions about how serious I was to turn pro in cycling, I told her I was serious, she said I needed to dope because everyone is doing it, which I knew guys in the Cat 4, which was where I was at during this party, that were doping. So she said to win I have to level the playing field, this was done in all sports including tennis! She offered me the name of a doctor but I declined the offer. My girlfriend didn't realize she asked me to dope and was more than a bit surprised when I told her about our conversation, she was very pleased I didn't take the dope offer. Speed up to Lance Armstrong, and in those days over 95% of the peloton was doping! And if you want a chance to win you have to level the playing field and dope. This is why I disagreed with the racing officials for disqualifying his wins, this wasn't about doping, it was about some American stealing their race, and they couldn't have that. Have you noticed they didn't put the 2nd place person into the first position spot during those 7 years? Because they knew that if they did that there would be an independent investigation, probably would be started by Lance, only to find out that the 2nd place person was doping too!! And the race officials KNEW that all these people were doping, they just turned their backs to it until Lance started to win too many races.
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Yeah, the guy that I beat was named Bernie. He was Paso Robles resident I believe. He was part of a 4 man team as well. He completed it several years. He would hassle me on cycling forums because I would do solo centuries at 5:45. He said he did many many centuries in 5:00 and that if I applied myself, I could too. And if I invested $8000 on a bike like his. FTR, I smoked him on a $1,000 bike ha ha!

Edit: I wish I could remember the team name. It was pretty popular on bikejournal dot com years back. Team always posting pics and ride reports. Strange name like Cosmic Riders, Team Alien, something strange. I'd know it if I heard it. :p

But I myself feel more satisfied with my efforts solo than in a group of 20 while sitting in the pack. The ride had 10,000 ft of gain so nobody was going to set a draft good enough for him to suck wheel up the mountain ha ha! :D

Back in 2000-2006 were my best years. I had wanted to give the Furnace Creek 508 a try back then. I had a few friends that said I could do it and were supportive. I had a couple of guys on forums saying they would volunteer to crew for me if I decided. I looked into it and renting vans, official amber lights, food, gas, paying for food for the crew, hotel room, some people said if I was lucky, I could get away with paying 7 grand. WHAT!? Wasn't that important to me. I'm guessing like your racing, it all ads up and that part ruins the fun for me ha ha!

But yeah, I had some of those double century riders telling me that they could easily beat me on a ride because they were so conditioned. Ummm Okay! I got challenged by a few. A buddy of mine and I drove 4 hours to go do a century with some guy who boasted about his double century times. We did the first 20 miles fine then we hit a 7 mile climb in a a canyon. My buddy and I waited at the top for 10 minutes, for the DC guy. Ended up spending most of the ride waiting on the guy. Then he challenged me on riding up to Mt Baldy, my hometown. Heck, I rode the 20 miles 5,000 ft then headed back and met him half way up the climb ha ha ha! We actually did that ride because he actually said I only do sissy rides. I think he had a different opinion of my ride style after that! :D

As far as drugs, I am still a Lance fan. Level playing field, they were all doing drugs. I did read that all the top 5 positions over several years, all the podium placed riders were doping. Not my thing but hey, it is part of the sport it seems. Like most other sports. Tell me the NFL guys don't do something!

And even the amateur racers out here dope. Not something I would ever do but they do it in the lower levels too. There was a poster years ago that was giving advice to all the posters in a local SoCal forum. He was doing well but not winning, fast guy though! Turns out he raced in a pro level and go busted for doping, and banned for life from competing.

I don't understand the doping test procedure and why they would be tested. I have a bud that raced and he said they even get tested at this level (local pro category but not TDF types). I don't know how all that runs but he said they get tested. So I guess this guy got busted. Was all over the local forum till it got to the point where posters weren't allowed to talk about him or the issue. Crazy! I've always been a clean lifestyle person even when I was pumping iron. I'm a big guy already so if I did roids, I'd probably get really big but my health is not worth a few years of looking big. Even had a gal friend in the medical field that said if I ever wanted to do it, she'd get the syringes for me. No thanks!

I don't understand it at my fun ride level. But it has been funny to me, racers calling me out on forums only to be shut down. And I really don't consider myself fast. I might say I am a strong rider but I never claim to be fast cause that is when some other dude comes around and blows your doors off ha ha! I just ride for fun!
I had to check the records, the team I knew was called Team Action Sports, they won and broke the record in 2004, not earlier has I had thought. The race team consisted of Nathaniel Faulkner, Kerry Ryan, Sean Nealy, and William Innes; I knew Kerry Ryan, but not the others. Kerry owns Action Sports in Bakersfield which is a bike store but also sells a lot of other sport-related stuff with winter sports stuff like skis and snowboards as well as, running, diving and swimwear, plus they have a verticle climbing gym and spin classes. So when the seasons change Kerry has products for the next season so his story is selling something all year round, the other bike stores in that town would slow down to a crawl during the bike offseason. Kerry is a very intelligent person, as well as a very nice person, he owns the store but he has no problem helping customers and never talks down to them; and the shop doesn't have that typical bike snobby atmosphere a lot of bike shops have.

All the sports dope, that tennis player I was telling you about I'm sure she doped, she wouldn't come out and say it, but she knew the doctor! Take a look at the Williams sisters and tell me they don't take something, other women of tennis players as well. As you said, the NFL is a prime example of doing illegal stuff to get huge, boxing, MMA, etc, even in golf, they do stuff as well! I don't see how they could ever stop it, I think in the cycling world they have managed on the pro level to stop it I think, but for how long? But the other non-pro levels they can't stop it because it would be prohibitively expensive to check all the ranks and all the riders. Personally, I think sports is wasting a lot of money trying to stop people from using the stuff, they should just allow it all and forget about it, and in the process save a lot of money and headaches.

I knew a guy who was in his 30's who took his bike to ride a couple of the most challenging roads in Europe that the TDF riders ride, and he was a pretty good rider having raced in cat 3 races. So he's cranking up this steep road (I can't remember the name of the road now) and some local guy in his late 70's or early 80's, on a 3-speed bike, passes him!
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