What are your major differances between training and riding for fun?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by nickiula, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. nickiula

    nickiula New Member

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    For decades I rode to improve. This year (and perhaps all future years) I am riding to have fun. These are some of my favorite "differences" between training and joy riding.

    • I no longer get into an aero position when riding down hills. In fact, I sit upright and allow the wind to blow against my torso! Feels great.
    • I no longer take gels, energy bars, or anything pre-fab for nutrition on my rides. Instead, I take dates, Nut-butter sandwiches, cold pizza (no cheese cause I am vegan), Stuff that tastes real good, requires chewing, and I look forward to eating.
    • I no longer fear corners. Most of the time I corner well within my abilities -- stress free cornering.
    • My new routes are now planned primarily on the basis of scenery and lack of traffic.
    • I have attached a mirror to my handlebar. No more am I a contortionist, petrified of riding outside the bike lane or making left hand turns.
    • When I come across another rider, no longer do I speed up and give the appearance that I am not at all tired. Instead, I greet them enthusiastically and do my best to make eye contact. However, I do sometimes catch myself speeding up "just a little." That is near impossible to control.
    • I have attached to my handlebar a small music speaker that can hold 16 gigs of music. I have it playing constantly at full volume. It's wonderful to ride and hear your favorite music. (note -- it plays music from a speaker -- I do not use earbuds).
    • Swapped out my 20mm tires for 23mm tires --- and use a heavier tube. As a result, less flats and more comfy ride.
    • Put my triple beam balance scale into storage. I no longer worry or even think about "grams".
    • I used to prepare my own energy drinks with a complex formula of, organic rice syrup, powdered electrolytes, organic sweetened cranberry juice (for the anti-oxidants) and well water. Now I use my favorite fruit juice at the time and dilute it 70% with well water. So much easier to prepare and tastier than cranberry juice (yuk!).
    • I almost never use my Camelback anymore. When taking long rides, I try to plan a refuel stop at my work or even back at home. OK, not too glamorous, but it beats wrestling with those Camelbacks.
    • NO MORE PUNCHING THOSE BIG GEARS!!!!
    • I live in an extremely rural part of PA. Most of my rides are surrounded by farms, forests and pastures. I will slow down and talk to to the grazing horses, goats, sheep, donkeys, ducks and cows. It's very therapeutic -- give it try!
    • Sometimes when I get home, I don't even check my cyclocomputer for distance or average speed!
    • I ride with an extra tube, CO2 dispensor and three cartridges, and tire pump. I like having the peace of mind knowing I can have multiple flats and not be concerned. I used to NEVER carry the CO2 dispensor and cartridges.
    • Any hill with an 11% gradient or greater is avoided. (but not always, they can still be fun sometimes.)
    • I don't voluntarily ride in the rain or dark.
    • My daily rides used to average about 30 miles, now only 22 miles. I do not consider that as a positive variance, but felt obligated to share with the group.

    I will probably always ride a bike until the very end. But, for now, it is more enjoyable -- though not as satisfying. There is certainly great value in pushing yourself to meet and eventually exceeding pre-determined goals. I am very curious if any one out there has any similar thoughts or experiences to share?
     
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  2. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    I like your approach, although for me, the ride and my surroundings are enough without music. I can sing pretty well, so sometimes I'll belt out a song that I know. :big-smile: You know what weekly ride is the most fun for me? My club has a regular "beginners/recovery" ride every Monday. We go out for about 15-20 miles and average about 13-14 mph. I lead it occasionally when the regular group leader isn't available. Hammering every day gets old, and probably does a guy my age (almost 61) more harm than good. But when I'm out there, and everything feels good, sometimes you just have to open it up and ride hard. There's a rush that you can't escape.
     
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  3. Colnago62

    Colnago62 New Member

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    As long as you are loving being out there, that is all that matters.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    OH MY GOD! Such blasphemy, and here on a cycling forum yet to boot. You should be tarred and feathered and ran out of here on a carbon fiber bike.

    When I use to live in California and rode in the mountains and desert areas it did feel good to come out of the "aero" position going down hill because going up hill made me hot and sweaty so the wind cooled me off.

    I'm too lazy to make my own stuff so I take the Met Rx Big 100 meal bar which is less expensive than the bike boutique bars and after eating one you don't have the craving to grab another bar because you're still hungry!.

    My routes are planned the same way, for enjoyment.

    I don't use a mirror, but I've never been petrified of riding in traffic either not even when I lived in Los Angeles; I'm 60 but I can still bend the old neck.

    I always say hi or wave at cyclists coming or going.

    No music at all, I prefer to hear the sounds of nature and any behind coming cars unhindered.

    Swapped out my 23's for 25's and use the same ultralight tubes.

    Grams? what's that?

    Again I'm too lazy to make my own ride drinks, so I just buy good ol cheap Gatorade powder in the big can or bag if Costco and dilute it 66%.

    I haven't used my Camelback since I left the Mojave Desert of California, just don't need one here in Indiana.

    I don't punch my gears either, aluminum gears against bare knuckles hurts too much these days.

    I try not to talk to farm animals, I'm afraid with the way I look someone will have me arrested and confined me to a state hospital.

    I ride with an extra tube and tire along with patches, and use a pump instead of CO2 because I don't want the stress or the expense of having to buy CO2 and worry about recycling them or worry about by some slim chance not having enough air someday.

    I don't care if a hill is in my way no matter the gradient, I look at it as a challenge...but in Northern Indiana there is no such thing as a challenging climb!!!

    I like riding whatever time of day, the night brings on a different perspective and can actually be more relaxing than the daytime, and rain can be really fun if it's been a hot humid day. But I draw the line on riding when it's below 40 and or snow or ice on the ground.

    Average miles? I don't really track that stuff anymore but I do have a computer on the bike and I've been averaging about 25 a day.

    I too hope I can ride into my 100's...ok fine, at least past my 80's! I'm only 19 years out from being 80, so far so good.
     
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  5. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    That's an interesting list. I feel like the only real differences between my "training" rides (in quotes because of no formal program) and my fun rides are the speed and number of stops. The relaxed rides are usually tempo pace for nose breathing and minimal sweat - easy up hills and coast downhill. If I see something interesting I'll stop and check it out. That's something I don't normally do on training rides. I also tend to do training rides solos, whereas with fun rides it's nicer to have someone (or multiple people) around to talk to. Otherwise, I enjoy them both equally. The day any type of riding becomes a chore or something I don't thoroughly enjoy is the day I sell my bikes and give up riding.
     
  6. nickiula

    nickiula New Member

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    When you say you are only 19 years out from 80 ----- OUCH! I'm only 22 years out from 80. Hopefully I will be riding a lot more then. I should be retired with lots of time on my hands!
     
  7. nickiula

    nickiula New Member

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    I agree! You are spot on!
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking forward to retirement too so I can ride a lot more and hopefully do a trip across the US, but I have 8 years to go before I can retire as far as pension benefits are concerned, but even when I do retire I'll take enough time to do the USA trip than find another job doing something completely different because doing nothing drives me crazy, I know because I tried to retire...this was before the USA trip got into my pea brain. I have rental properties that I take care of but those are easy to do and doesn't take enough of my time to give me something to do if when I retire.
     
  9. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine New Member

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    I find training really exhausting and more of an errand that needs to be done for upcoming races. The muscles hurt after training and fatigue takes toll on the body. Riding for fun is also exhausting especially long distances, but it is not that intense and stressful. You can go at your own relaxed pace and don’t have anything to mind about achieving a certain speed or maintain a number of cadence for maximum speed. Just a chill bike ride outside and enjoy the scenic view.
     
  10. OGRICHBOI

    OGRICHBOI New Member

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    When training, I tend to come home beat up and extremely tired. This includes calves hurting, legs sore, and arms being tired. It's all a part of high intensity workouts though. When I am riding for fun, I just focus on why I cycle; to relax. Sometimes if I am lucky I am able to catch a nice sunset, and I just stare at it for a while.
     
  11. Kiprasn

    Kiprasn New Member

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    Well for me the differance between training and riding for fun is probably pace. When I train, I have endmondo app on and know the time I have to beat from the last workout by at least a second for every km. Also I stop only once, when I finish the end of the distance, drink some water and start cycling back. Also I always go alone, music is pretty hardcore to get me pumped up. Now when I go riding for fun, I ussually go with friends, the pace is slow, mostly to enjoy the view, I dont get tired, maybe take few snacks, stop more than few times to see the view and enjoy the surroundings.
     
  12. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Member

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    Forgive the ignorance but why the CO2 cartridges? Do you mean as a quick fix for deflated tires as opposed to a manual pump? Is this just the preferred method because it takes less energy/time or because it's more compact?
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Going as fast and as hard as I can is still my idea of fun. Keeping up with the young guns is still fun. Lining up with the boys is still fun. I'm 61 and when I get old(er) and slow(er) I'll stop and talk to the neighbor's nags.

    In the mean time I can talk to my own nags when I feel the need.

    [​IMG]

    The day I turn into a recreational rider is coming, but I will fight it back as long as I am capable.

    Sometimes I take the wife out on the local rails-to-trails cycling paths and I try not to terrorize the bird watchers, dog walkers and families out for a bike ride. I guess that is 'not training'.
     
  14. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    Training is very intentional, where riding for fun is about the pleasure of the ride, enjoying the scenery, feeling the wind, and just having a good time doing it.

    I personally have never trained for a bike race, but I have trained for other things in my life. Training means you have a plan, a goal to push yourself physically and you are in a mindset to work hard, even if doing so greatly decreases how much you are enjoying what you are doing at the moment because you are persuing a goal rather than just enjoying yourself.

    Personally, I just ride for utility. My bike is my vehicle, so the extent of my training has been specific to building the strength I need to make the various commuting routes around town easier for me. Maybe someday I'll get into cycling as a real sport, but I don't have the money for that kind of bike right now.
     
  15. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Member

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    Riding for fun for me is just heading wherever I want to and just enjoy myself. Training implies counting time or preparing for a specific event I want to make, so I ride for fun, I don't train.
     
  16. stevegreer

    stevegreer Member

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    I think both can be fun, but I actually prefer the non-training rides because I tend to pay more attention to the scenery when I do those. It is more of a "free" feeling to me. My planned ride distance decides if I will bring anything other than a water bottle though. I'll normally only bring a granola bar or a PB&J if I am going to be riding more than 30 miles, but only if riding at a B pace or above. I've never thought of bringing pizza before. That could be good. But if I do, then it will have meat on it (because I'm a carnivore!).

    One thing I am always going to do is greet other riders I come across. I grew up riding BMX bikes, and got into mountain bikes before getting into road bikes. My first road bike was (is, as I still own it) my 1987 Trek 400. It is a BEAUTIFUL USA made steel frame with friction shifters on the downtube and pedals with toe clips. I LOVE the thing! I remember the first time I took it out for a spin. I was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of cargo shorts. I passed by a couple of roadies, waved and said hi... and they didn't even give me a second glance. No greeting in return. Nothing. I would have been offended, if not for the fact that it takes a lot to actually offend me. But I did promise myself that no matter what, I would never act that way towards a fellow cyclist. The funny part about it is that once I got my Trek 5500 and started riding in a jersey and lycra shorts, now I always get a return wave or other greeting. Silly.
     
  17. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    Both - Smaller and quicker. Personally speaking, I do a lot of group rides and as I work at a shop as well, I am generally stuck doing most of the tire changing on the road (I have it down to about 2 1/2 minutes). Small, can be tucked into a jersey pocket or a tiny saddle bag. People talk about the expense but how many flats a year do they get? I live around some of the worst roads and ride about 800-1000 miles a month spring-fall. I get like... 1 flat... maybe. The $2.99 is well worth it.

    Back on topic. "training" and riding for fun IMHO are the same thing. My wife and I will go ride a bike trail, as she only rides recreationally. She's on her hybrid and I will pull out the fixie... That's fun. But then the following day I'll yank my tri-bike out and just totally suffer through whatever is on my tri training program. That's fun too. Then the next day I hit the group road ride and play "who's got the legs today" - still fun.

    If you don't enjoy it then why are you doing it? Although I say that but I do triathlons and I hate running. Not so much hate as tolerate because I love the swim and the bike so much.
     
  18. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    Training takes discipline to stick to your plan and for my plan most days that means keeping the pace down on hills whereas when riding casually, who cares if you jam a few hills and that can be boring while having to do the interval training can take extra motivation and focus. Almost all of my rides are for fun even if there is a training objective.The objective might be as simple as easy riding 5 hours at LT1 or below on beautiful country roads and stopping for a latte just before arriving home. The intervals are not really fun.
     
  19. slack tidings

    slack tidings Member

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    Listen, Brah, I've trained HARD for the last couple of decades and real training is nothing to take lightly. It changes you, you begin to feel the need to dominate the competition and plant your seed. People may think you're taking it too far but a burning desire takes over and you want nothing more than to hammer their ass! It can get messy so never train after a large meal, brah.
     
  20. Dez97

    Dez97 New Member

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    I can definitely agree with some of those. When your training to ride the focus is mostly on the fact that you are going the right speed, your doing everything on time, and that you will win. When your just riding for fun its completely different. You're just riding to ride, you are enjoying that moment of just being there all on your own and not thinking of anything except that its just you and your bike in that moment. Its one of the best feelings in the world.
     
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