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Fontfroide

Etape du Tour - Cyclosportif and Tour compared

Some data of interest, maybe.

Etape St. Flour  
Tour Winner 5.27  Bus 5.38

Cyclosportif winner of each group
Men 18-29  6.53
30-39  6.49
40-49  7.11
50-59  7.19
60+  8.15
women up to 35  8.16
35 + 7.28

Etape Alpe  
Tour Winner 3.13  Bus 3.38

Cyclosportif winner of each group
18-29 (men)  3.44
30-39  3.41
40-49  3.39
50-59  3.47
60+ 4.08
Women up to 35  4.22
35+ 4.03

I have not mentioned the comparative weather for each date.  I have not said whether the winning time was followed by several riders with almost the same time, or it was one lone exceptional rider.  But I can look (or I suppose any of you could) at the site and find out more information.  If anything surprised me it was the close times of the cyclos for the Alpe stage.  Some of the cyclos could almost have kept up with the bus.  Or one anyway.  Whereas they would have been totally dropped on the St. Flour stage (which had awful weather for the cyclos).
SlowRower

Thanks. V interesting. The short ADH Etape is somewhat atypical, I'd say; the Etape winners are usually a fair bit slower than than the autobus if memory serves. (Could be wrong - autobus speed is the stuff of fantasties to me, and not the source of useful data for my calculations. Sad)

Most interesting to me is how fast the 50-59 winner was in the ADH Etape. Scary.
Fontfroide

The winner of the ADH Etape was a guy called M. Roux, but 1.30 behind him was a fellow called S. Rooks and third was P Andouard over 12 minutes behind him.  Fourth was D. Briand at nearly 29 minutes.

So in this case it was two incredibly strong riders, including someone who can beat Stephen Rooks.  Probably M. Roux was 50 and one day.  The rest of the field of 50+ riders were all half an hour or more behind.  As I said, the winner is sometimes ONE super fit guy.
Bartali

I'm not that surprised - especially with it being a short stage and the timing of the Tour stage (tired legs etc).  The top guys in the sportives are often semi pros - looking for contracts.  (Didn't Ballan win one of the Gran Fondo's before he turned pro?)  That said, there us usually a huge gulf between the top pros and the top etapees.  If You look at the Marmotte, the top guys regularly scale the alp in the mid 40 minutes - not sure what the top time was this year - but not too shabby.  All depends who's turned up and how tactical the front end of the etape is.

The St Flour etape was hit by super bad weather so that doesn't surprise me.
Boogerd_Fan

that's one thing i love about bike racing.. former pro like Stephen Rooks, still going strong in the Etape's?

Or am I just assuming its the same guy who was winning KOM in 80s?
kathy

From what Harmon and Kelly were discussing on ES durning the Tour, it's the same Mr Rooks!
Bartali

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
that's one thing i love about bike racing.. former pro like Stephen Rooks, still going strong in the Etape's?


Yup ... I love the fact that a mug like me can 'race' in a sportive against Merckx, Hinault, Indurain, Delgardo, Thevenet etc.  Just fantastic.
Beasley

Gran Fondo is big business. As Bartali said, those at the sharp end are normally seeking professional contracts or ex-pros.

Alternatively, it's not unheard of for riders to quit the professional ranks and ride sportive full-time. Primes and (individual) sponsorship can top the salary of a bottom(/mid)-tier professional, without having to spend 200 evenings per year in cockroach-infested hostels and almost as many afternoons slugging their guts out racing.
Fontfroide

Hey Beasley,

I had no idea at all that there were any primes or prizes or anything other than normal club sponsorship in French sportives.  No idea at all.

Where can I find out about this?

I do agree that many ride them with high hopes, and certainly it is quite normal for pros or ex-pros to ride them, also sometimes second tier pros who don't have another ride at that time of year (they happen all year around).  All kinds of people ride them.  The whole scene is incredible, since most of it is not to make money.  The two Etapes of course are just another money spinner for ASO.  But most of them are organised by amateurs of the velo.

I am curious about anyone being able to make a little money off them, must less to make something of a living.
Beasley

Suspect we're talking about two different things, Ff.

I don't know much about France, but I could easily envisage the sportive culture being as you describe, routed in brevet rides that have slowly became more organised as demand for cyclo-touring increased.

Italy is a different story. I've never competed (/participated) in one, but the Gran Fondo scene is hyper-competitive and whilst there may be a mass-participating element the 'first group' are invariably all serious cyclists, many with sponsorship and on 'trade teams', with the specific aim of creaming in as many prizes as possible.

Some say GF's are effectively pro races without doping control... I can't comment on that, but some performances are certainly of the highest standard.
Fontfroide

Thanks.  I know nothing at all about the GF scene in Italy, but I certainly would never have guessed that there were money prizes along the route or even at the end.  I guess I am like most people, they assume that if something is a cyclosportive, then it must be like the ones they know.  I know a bit about the ones in England, and have never heard of the prizes or primes, and the ones in France, ditto.  However, that might be becasue I would never win any no matter how they were offered, so I just missed them.  It is certainly true in all of them that club members participate and even my small club in France gets support from the mayor, sponsorship also from a number of local businesses, so we pay half price for our jerseys.  But I would never call us semi-pro.

I shall do some surfing to find out about Italy, I just never guessed you could make anything like a decent living or even decent money from sportives anywhere on earth.  My ignorance astounds me sometimes.
Beasley

Jamie Burrow is a prime example. Outstanding U23 who raced as a pro for 6-8 seasons, yet made more off the back of winning a Gran Fondo in 2009 (though it was Maratona dles Dolomites, Italy's grandest sportive!) than he ever did as a recognised bike rider.  

Two contributing factors:

Firstly, as we always say, the average cyclists isn't earning a great deal to start with. The minimum wage on the WT is E30k-ish, IIRC, & most 'professionals' slog it out in the second category, merely earning a subsistence wage.

Secondly, the rise of cyclo-touring as an industry - & the MAMIL as an entity! - has opened doors regarding sponsorship. A flick through the Comic says it all... those that have the money, the aforementioned MAMIL, rather spend cash on flashy gear that's only going to be used 3-4 times per year than trekking up & down the country seeking out decent racing.  

Pinerallo will flog more bikes by being associated with 'winning' sportive riders than by providing Sky with equipment, for example. Plus whilst providing a pro team with equipment is costly, keeping a 3-5 person sportive squad afloat costs peanuts AND the manufacturer will likely have naming rights AND, technologically speaking, the sportive peloton is far ahead of their pro counterparts: they can ride the machines MAMIL's lust after, not restricted to the 6.8kg versions demanded by the UCI.
Bartali

Beasley wrote:
Secondly, the rise of cyclo-touring as an industry - & the MAMIL as an entity! - has opened doors regarding sponsorship. A flick through the Comic says it all... those that have the money, the aforementioned MAMIL, rather spend cash on flashy gear that's only going to be used 3-4 times per year than trekking up & down the country seeking out decent racing.

I take exception to this!  Many of those MAMIL will be flogging their guts out week in week out trying to get in shape for those few days in the Alps or wherever just like those seeking 'decent racing'!  Please don't assume that lack of ability means these guys are any less dedicated to the sport than so-called proper racers.
Beasley

The carbonieri strikes back! Laughing

Well, I didn't intend to question dedication (per se) or ability. As I've said, many sportive riders are exceptionally talented & I've ridden enough to appreciate that 6+ hours in the saddle, regardless of context, isn't to be underestimated.

There's been a shift in priority, I believe, but I'm reluctant to criticise anyone when it comes to the allocation of their own time & money.

However, I don't think the explosion in the number of sportive (in the Italian quasi-race sense) is necessarily healthy for the wider sport, either. Perhaps choice is never a bad thing, but over-promotion by the cycling community undermines proper racing – no need for any qualification there; sportive organisers insist they put on mass-participation events, not races – which is the bread & butter, at least in this country.
Bartali

Okay ... I take your point.  But I'd have thought that the 'competition' from the sportives should be healthy for all sorts of reasons - not least that a lot of MAMILs will be encoraging their children into the sport which hopefully will feed the racing scene.

Also, I'd tentatively suggest that the racing scene needs to move with the times - something it's never been too good at in this country.  It seems to me that here are two very obvious reasons that sportives are so popular.  First, riding great routes in the Alps, Pyrenees, Snowdonia, Yorkshire Dales etc just somehow seems so much more exciting than 60 laps of the local aerodrome.  Now there are all sorts of reasons for lack of good races in this country, but if the sportive organisers can make such progress in a handful of years, I'm not too sure why the racing scene has, if anything, gone backwards since my racing days.
The second issue I see with the racing scene is the terrible snobbery that still exists.  Again, something that if anything seems worse now than in the eighties.  Obviously that a sweeping generalisation, but in my experience many clubs are very poor at encouraging newbies - even old newbies - and the forums are full of proper racers taking sideswipes at Rapha, MAMILs, etc etc.  Personally I don't get it.  I love all things BIKE and, probably like you, wish the explosion of cycling in the last few years had been more evenly distributed between the racing scene and sportive scene ... but I can understand why what's happened has happened.
Beasley

It's hard to disagree on either point.

There's certainly a sinister side to the racing community, a school of thought that advocates a noob should turn up to his first (second, third, fourth...) club ride on a rickety 'n rusted second-hand stead in his old PE kit, heaven forbid he get beyond his station. Of course once he's won that first race he can go carte blanche on the spec'ed-out carbon and heavily-marketed Rapha. After all, he's earnt it: those 60yo Cat. 4's had to be taught a lesson and our hero, now the consummate racer, was the man to get the job done!

Likewise, I'd like to think there's somewhat of a trickle-down effect, though I'm a little sceptical on that. However, I have nothing prove or disprove either way, plus getting folk out on their bike has a benefit in itself, regardless of motivation.

My primarily problem, I suppose, is those that should know better, from the UCI all the way down to LBS owners, have been hypnotised by the glitz 'n glam of sportive (especially the chance to make a quick buck) & forgotten what pays the preverbal mortgage: the poor sods that not only cough up £32 for their racing licence, but look after and nourish the grassroots and do the dirty jobs, from marshalling to commissaring, often paying for the privilege.

Both of the clubs I'm associated with have scaled back their racing calendars in the past five years due to declining numbers and mind-numbing bureaucracy yet both have seriously contemplated putting on a sportive, due to rising numbers and bureaucratic loopholes that sidestep certain costs. Popularity is no one's fault, it's up to the punter where he spends his money & sportive organisers normally put on a good show, though with vastly inflated registrations fees for what is (effectively, IMO) the same of they've always done, just with an extra lick of paint.

The second point, on the other hand, is a typical case of the ruling body admiring their nose job whilst they're going deaf & blind: why go into bat for ordinary RR/TT organisers when keeping the sportive mob happy brings in the cash? However, if the sportive 'market' goes under, who do they have to lean back on? Ultimately, TPTB are after participation numbers, whilst in a sportive that can be in the thousands in a race in can be the tens. No problem with that in priniple, but by circumnavigating the club structure they're compromising the long-term health of the sport.
Fontfroide

Hiya Beasley,

I did a bit of surfing, but I still can't find anything that would back up the claim that people can make a living off Italian sportives.  I must be looking in the wrong places.  Before I start telling this story to other people, I should have more information than "a guy on a forum said so".    I am not saying I don't believe you, its just I would like to hear it from one other source too.  I don't get but a few copies of a comic each year.  I know there are small teams of guys who do it.  And I know they might get sports drinks and maybe a bike, but I am looking for evidence they get paid good money.  Honestly I don't doubt you as such, I just need more evidence or somewhere to look it up before I start asking or telling people about it.  I assume you are talking about Italian sportives here, not British or French.  I know absolutely nothing whatever about any other county than Britain and France, regarding sportives.  the british scene is so new, I kind of assume that paid pros, paid for sportives, don't exist.

Thanks in advance.
Bartali

Beasley - I'm in total agreement.  Its just a shame the traditional clubs can't use a bit of imagination to appeal to the average newbie sportive rider rather than just bad mouth your average Cervelo riding Rapha wearing MAMIL.  I'm not sure exactly what, but I'm sure they have lots to offer your average MAMIL looking to beat his PB or get one over on his best mate at the next big sportive.

Training programmes, articles in the comic etc about how joining a club will help, 'ITT your way to sportive success', or even just talking to guys out on the road.  Like you, I see both sides but I really do think the big clubs should be at the vanguard here.
kathy

OK, I'll ask the question.  What's a MAMIL?
Guiness

kathy wrote:
OK, I'll ask the question.  What's a MAMIL?


Someone like me - Middle Aged Man In Lycra.
Guiness

Bartali wrote:
Obviously that a sweeping generalisation, but in my experience many clubs are very poor at encouraging newbies - even old newbies - and the forums are full of proper racers taking sideswipes at Rapha, MAMILs, etc etc.


You probably haven't found the right club. Even though some are full on with wanting to only attract serious top racers (Mrs G's former club is an example), my local club is what I call a broad church. It encourages new riders (those new to cycling as well as those returning to the sport and even those who want to take it seriously) and accommodates them on club runs by splitting groups according to ability; what they want to get out of it on a weekend club ride. People tend to find their comfort zone/group and ride with them. I understand that I am a MAMIL that would be hissed at by certain clubs but in others I am welcomed with open arms. Just like everything in life (job; partners...) you just have to find the right one that fits. The one you are accepted in.
kathy

Guiness wrote:
kathy wrote:
OK, I'll ask the question.  What's a MAMIL?


Someone like me - Middle Aged Man In Lycra.


Thanks, Guiness.  I got the Lycra bit, Just wasn't sure what the rest stood for Laughing
Beasley

Ff – I can't provide much additional information, I'm afraid. What I know comes via word-of-mouth and from a brief search I can't find much info on the web.

That doesn't surprise me, actually. Whilst it isn't 'hush hush', I doubt those who are able to make a living from the Fondo-circuit go around shouting from the rooftops, in case the tax-man takes an interest. Many of the riders are Italians who failed to make it in the pro ranks or foreign riders who are perhaps trying to slip under the radar – Raimondas Rumsas carved a niche for himself, though for obvious reasons kept a low-profile – earning a crust from bashing up amateurs isn't much to boast about, after all.

These interviews with Jamie Burrow may be insightful:
Sept '09 - http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=7559
Jan '11 - http://www.podiumcafe.com/2011/1/...-the-seven-dwarves-a-conversation
Bartali

Guiness - I'm sure you're right and that there must be good clubs out there too - I did say it was a sweeping generalisation.  Nevertheless, IMO there are an awful lot of guys who turn their nose up at all but 'proper' racers.  I remember joing a club is Sheffield back in the 70s only to be greeted with a chorus of "why have you got a 531 frame when you don't race".  Thanks guys ... that really encouraged me.  It was another 5 years later - and a different club - before I pitched up at a starting line!
SlowRower

On the MAMILs doing Sportives rather than joining clubs front, I'd say that the main issue is purely practicality.

When you've got family commitments at the weekend, typical club-run times don't coincide with the need to fit in a "long ride" (e.g. 5 or 6 hours) and still being able to keep a whole morning or afternoon free. From what I can gather, Sportiving MAMILs with kids generally head off ~730am either Saturday or Sunday morning (or both if they're really lucky!) and have 50k under their wheels before club runs even start to gather. Club runs are also waste a lot of time on the cafe stop.

Club-runs aren't ideal from the viewpoint of training correctly, I'd guess. I would think that 90% of people who go out in a bunch either go too hard or too easily to be of optimum benefit.

I've cycled with a couple of clubs - Cheltenham in the mid 90s and Keighley in the late 90s and was made to feel very welcome at both. I was on a very basic bike, so might have got a different reaction if I'd turned up on something flash. The Keighley guys "kindly" let me join the chaingang, which was an experience to say the least, and even more kindly offered to help me do racing if I wanted to. This was an offer I had to turn down, as even I have my limits in respect of the amount of pain and humiliation I can take in the name of physical exercise! I think a major issue with racing is that the gulf between the standard required and that of even a good "club-runner" (not that I was even that good) is so large as to put a lot of people off.

Sportives are much more civlilised than racing or chaingangs. You can still push yourself to the limit and judge performance by means of % winner, percentile finishing position or whether you beat your mate etc. but there's not the same Darwinian brutality as there is to being spat of the back of a bunch to limp home in humiliated isolation.

If you train largely on your own, then doing a few Sportives throughout the year gives a good structure to your training and breaks up the monotony of being a "Billy Nomates" but without the commitment to riding a series or representing a club etc.

Coming from a rowing background, I definitely appreciate the idea that top quality kit has to be earnt by means of performance. (Most clubs have a limited range of kit and the good crews get the decent boats with novices etc. getting the heavier, slower stuff.) I've come to the view that for cycling, if you want to spend £7k on a Dogma, matching Sky kit and barely ride it, and ride it skowly when you do, then that's fine. Carbon bikes are to MAMILS what shoes are to women with Imelda Marcos tendencies. Smile
Bartali

Well there's a couple of ideas right there.  First, promote early start rums for the MAMILs.  Second, try to tailor said runs for the sportive rider.

SR - I take your point about club runs not being 'ideal' training, but I think many guys aren't as scientific in their approach as you are.  Therefore the natural competitiveness of a group ride will likely do them more good than 3 hours of garbage miles.

As for rowing, I've never quite understood why a predominantly well heeled bunch should rely on club kit in the first place?  I take the point with the eights etc, but surely a single scull is only the same price as a top end bike?
Fontfroide

Thanks Beasley.  I had no idea at all that Fondos were like that in Italy.  Now I have to start asking more questions around here and maybe I will find out that the sportives in France are the same.  Somehow I doubt it, but I guess life is sometimes about finding out stuff you didn't know and didn't even know you didn't know.  Appreciate the effort you took to find the links.

If you ever come across anything else, I would love to know.  When reading reports of sportives, I just don't see that kind of thing.  Maybe you are right, it is not talked about, but it exists.  I do know old pros or sometimes young ones who don't have a ride during a given period, have always ridden the sportives.  The woman who won both Etapes is also riding actively in the French championships, and clearly is on a team of some sort.  Magdalena de Saint Jean.  No idea if she is an exception or a norm.
http://desaintjean.over-blog.com/categorie-11164513.html

Reading her blog, I guess she is rather an exception, having begun cycling at 32, four years ago, and finishing so well in the French national championships.  In fact she looks beyond merely 'interesting".
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
As for rowing, I've never quite understood why a predominantly well heeled bunch should rely on club kit in the first place?  I take the point with the eights etc, but surely a single scull is only the same price as a top end bike?


Rowing is more a younger person activity than Sportives, so the rowers don't tend to have much cash vs MAMILs and in the provincial clubs, there's not a huge amount of cash about either. Certainly, there are a few in every club who buy their own single, but rowing is mainly about crew boats at club level, and it wouldn't be right or proper to buy a crew boat yourself. For a start, you might not be worthy of a place in the crew that rows in it on merit! It would be considered on a par with sh*gging the coach to get selected, which is just too appalling a thought to contemplate further.  Twisted Evil

In general, most people drift away from club rowing as careers and family take off (ie before one has matured into a MAMIL) as the time commitment for even club rowing is enormous. There are a good number of ex-rowing MAMILs out there.

FWIW, athletics clubs are facing a similar problem. Lots of people train alone and turn up just for the big road races, as they face similar problems in matching available time to running club sessions.
MrsSR

SlowRower wrote:
and it wouldn't be right or proper to buy a crew boat yourself. For a start, you might not be worthy of a place in the crew that rows in it on merit! It would be considered on a par with sh*gging the coach to get selected, which is just too appalling a thought to contemplate further.  Twisted Evil


True - but face it, most people know someone who's done that. Rolling Eyes
Biosphere

I've been waiting for the debut post, imagining it might be something like the old patented Schleck 1-2 when MJM is being particularly feisty, but that was much, much better  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

Welcome.
Bartali

Smile
SlowRower

So this is what is meant by "You can run but you can't hide".

Bart - Mrs SR knows you played a central role in persuading me to do the Marmotte, so you might have to do a bit of "running and hiding" of your own once I've been dealt with...
Bartali

Ha ha ... and now I can persuade Mrs SR to ride the Marmotte!!
kathy

Welcome, Mrs SR!
Slapshot 3

Biosphere wrote:
I've been waiting for the debut post, imagining it might be something like the old patented Schleck 1-2 when MJM is being particularly feisty, but that was much, much better  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

Welcome.


Like Bio I've been waiting for the opening post wondering which two ribs Mrs SR would select to point the first barb....nice one!

Welcome to the madhouse, look forward to watching SR and Bartali squirm Wink
SlowRower

Slapshot 3 wrote:
Welcome to the madhouse, look forward to watching SR and Bartali squirm Wink


At least I have a few aces tucked up my sleeve, not least of which is the threat of withdrawing my services as Gin & Tonic waiter "Chez Rower". Bart, I fear, will be defenceless. Smile
Bartali

How did I get wrapped up in all this ... I've never even met SR's better half!? Wink
Slapshot 3

Bartali wrote:
How did I get wrapped up in all this ... I've never even met SR's better half!? Wink


You didn't need to....SR dropped you in it anyway who says you need to be wed to get into bother Wink
MrsSR

Thank you all for your welcomes!

SlowRower wrote:
So this is what is meant by "You can run but you can't hide".

Surely this can't be a new experience for you - although your point about the G&Ts is duly noted.

Bartali - you have just given the kids a nasty shock. They thought I was having some sort of attack when I read your suggestion for the marmotte. Shocked
MAILLOT JAUNE

Good to have you on board Mrs SR.
Guiness

SlowRower wrote:
On the MAMILs doing Sportives rather than joining clubs front, I'd say that the main issue is purely practicality.

When you've got family commitments at the weekend, typical club-run times don't coincide with the need to fit in a "long ride" (e.g. 5 or 6 hours) and still being able to keep a whole morning or afternoon free. From what I can gather, Sportiving MAMILs with kids generally head off ~730am either Saturday or Sunday morning (or both if they're really lucky!) and have 50k under their wheels before club runs even start to gather. Club runs are also waste a lot of time on the cafe stop.


Don't quite agree here. You just need to hook up with the like minded individuals in your club. I go out with the 7.30am dads at my local club who need to be back home for family duties by lunchtime. Others go out later, but that's their choice. Club just has several club runs each weekend to fit in  with people's commitments. As for cafe stops, my club run doesn't have one. You eat on the go. The ones who are just starting cycling or coming back into it, do have a cafe stop. Their call.
Guiness

Bartali wrote:
 I take the point with the eights etc, but surely a single scull is only the same price as a top end bike?


Mrs G tells me that single sculls (new ones) cost about 8k. She also tells me rowing and sculling are very different. Most serious scullers (and rowers who want to improve by sculling - as that is the backbone to rowing)  buy their own sculls. New or second hand (third, fourth etc). Sculls don't loose their value unlike carbon bikes. They don't rely on club boats for sculling as they are not usually available (limited supply); not looked after by rowers; they want one that fits them properly... some of many reasons. And this applies to the young fresh blood as well as the MAMILS amongst scullers. I know several of Mrs G's friend who are either quite high level scullers and have decent expensive boats or those who, like yourself are not elite level but want good reliable equipment to hand and want to spend their well-deserved cash on something they love and enjoy doing. Depending what club you are in, some might be mocked ("why have you got that scull when you are not going for Team GB") whilst others are accepted for having good taste and not being judged on kit = ability. If they can scull, let them scull (whether or not they are heading for Team GB or their local regatta). In whatever fancy boat they want. Just welcome them into the sport and encourage more rather than scare them off.

I really do not agree with top quality kit has to be earnt by performance. SR - for you to buy your Willier, do you need to have gold at under 6.5 hours at Marmotte? I don't think so. Let the Dogma and Sky wearers enjoy their experience. They are riding and that is good for the sport. Encourage more rather than alienate.
Guiness

Mrs SR Welcome! I am sure you will keep us gents under control in here. My Good Lady is not on any forums or social networks come to think of it so this is a  hello from her via me. She tends to read the odd post when I am logged on ... and answers all the bl**dy quiz questions before me!  Wink
SlowRower

G,

Re "earning" decent kit, I'm pretty sure I posted earlier that I had relented on this issue! Either way, my emphasis was on earning kit via commitment rather than performance. After all, we can't control our genetic ability, but we can control how much training we do. Whilst I accept that people can spend their dosh how they like, there is something slightly "wrong" to me (and I accept that this is probably me being horribly judgemental) about clearly overweight folks on flash kit puffing and blowing on the lower slopes of the Telegraph in the Marmotte. At the very least, it demonstrates an appallingly bad level of research as to the requirements of the event and at worst, a lack of proper training, which is the #1 sporting crime in my book!

My "new bike" target was 9:45 for the Marmotte - Gold standard (9:15) plus 15 minutes to allow for the estimated saving from a UCI weight-limit bike and 15 minutes for unfamiliarity with the route and feed-station strategies. As I came home in 9:55, including at least 20 minutes of being stationary whilst cursing my seized up back, I awarded myself a new bike all the same. Smile

Re local clubs, I did some research and it may be an issue of population density in my locality or northern preferences given the prevailing early morning weather conditions (i.e. "it's grim oop north, particularly first thing in't morning") but I only found clubs that did the traditional 930/1000 starts. To be fair, training with a club is not a big issue for me, as I'm a highly self-motivated type and enjoy the time-efficiency and 100% personally focused nature of solitary training. If I'd felt the need for a club or regular riding companions I'm sure I'd have found a workable solution.
Boogerd_Fan

I'd kill to find a club in the BA region, even if they would leave me in their wake at the beginning. Solitary training is good too, of course, but when it's summer and the rides get longer upto 100km on a weekend, it'd be nice to do them with somebody else. Primarily for a share of the workload..

G - that "dad's club run" sounds awesome. That's exactly what I need around here, some motivation with some like-minded folks who need to be back in time for afternoon shenanigans in the park with the kids!

Quite a few clubs in Bratislava. But i have never got around to joining. Probably out of fear that they will have a similar attitude to clubs in UK. I was interested to be a CAT 4 maybe 12 years ago... but after a few club runs i left it behind to focus on solo-rides.
MrsSR

Guiness wrote:
Mrs SR Welcome! I am sure you will keep us gents under control in here. My Good Lady is not on any forums or social networks come to think of it so this is a  hello from her via me. She tends to read the odd post when I am logged on ... and answers all the bl**dy quiz questions before me!  Wink

Thanks. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, that's what I say.

Interesting thread this - you could apply it to any sport. I'm no Franz Klammer but I would love a flash new pair of skis. If I apply SRs logic maybe I should pop out at lunchtime??  Laughing

And on the rowing/sculling front you do have to be able to scull with some degree of proficiency before you can cope with one of the expensive boats - otherwise you fall in!! So there is some sort of self selection there.
SlowRower

MrsSR wrote:
...I would love a flash new pair of skis. If I apply SRs logic maybe I should pop out at lunchtime??  Laughing


Now I know you are indeed the real "Mrs SR". I'd been wondering for some time if this "Mrs SR" was the real deal or some crazed internet stalker. (I've plenty already, just so you know. Smile)

If you come home with new skis, then my new bike will mysteriously turn up kitted out in Dura Ace rather than something more in keeping with my abilities. (Sturmey Archer, perhaps...)

Anyway, how are you, Ma'am?
Biosphere

[quote="SlowRower:190061"]
MrsSR wrote:
If you come home with new skis then my new bike will mysteriously turn up kitted out in Dura Ace rather than something more in keeping with my abilities. (Sturmey Archer, perhaps...)


You youngsters know how to treat yourselves. After God knows how many thousands of kms, 3 Tours, 3 Rondes, 2 TdS and many other holidays I bought a new chain today Laughing
Guiness

MrsSR wrote:


And on the rowing/sculling front you do have to be able to scull with some degree of proficiency before you can cope with one of the expensive boats - otherwise you fall in!! So there is some sort of self selection there.


I've never been in a boat so i've no idea about this self-selection mechanism (Mrs G has. She's an ex-rower).  I guess it is a bit like moving from a tricycle to a proper bike! Laughing
Guiness

SlowRower wrote:
I'd been wondering for some time if this "Mrs SR" was the real deal or some crazed internet stalker. (I've plenty already, just so you know. Smile)


In your dreams! Like every bloke I know we'd love to think we are followed by many admiring women.  Laughing Two's enough for me.  Mrs G and Mabel (the new cat).  Wink
Slapshot 3

Guiness wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
I'd been wondering for some time if this "Mrs SR" was the real deal or some crazed internet stalker. (I've plenty already, just so you know. Smile)


In your dreams! Like every bloke I know we'd love to think we are followed by many admiring women.  Laughing Two's enough for me.  Mrs G and Mabel (the new cat).  Wink


Followed.....stalked.... I'd just be happy if someone hot floozy talked dirty to me once in a while.. Wink
SlowRower

Guiness wrote:
In your dreams!


Cruel. Sad

But true!

One Mrs SR, 2 daughters and 2 female cats is already too much for me!
Bartali

Slapshot 3 wrote:
Followed.....stalked.... I'd just be happy if someone hot floozy talked dirty to me once in a while.. Wink


This should help mate ..... Lucious Lucy 07654 608350
kathy

You guys don't know you're born - try being female on Facebook etc Laughing  Laughing

Good job I've got a sense of humour!
Slapshot 3

Bartali wrote:
Slapshot 3 wrote:
Followed.....stalked.... I'd just be happy if someone hot floozy talked dirty to me once in a while.. Wink


This should help mate ..... Lucious Lucy 07654 608350


It's engaged mate, you must be spending too long on there..
Bartali

Okay ... I've hung up so she should be free now!

So Kathy, what happens to the fairer sex on Facebook?
kathy

One word - pervs!
Slapshot 3

kathy wrote:
One word - pervs!


Pervs on Facebook...I thought that was the Girls!
kathy

I didn't specify which sex, Slapshot Wink  Laughing
MrsSR

kathy wrote:
One word - pervs!

I constantly say what a sheltered life I lead - no pervs for me  Confused
kathy

I play Scrabble on Facebook.  I have 'met' many nice people on there, and I've met several of them in real life.  But there are some weirdos who use the games for their own ends......
Slapshot 3

kathy wrote:
I play Scrabble on Facebook.  I have 'met' many nice people on there, and I've met several of them in real life.  But there are some weirdos who use the games for their own ends......


Tried Scrabble but couldn't get into it properly so play poker instead when I get time...not often enough though!
Bartali

kathy wrote:
I play Scrabble on Facebook.  I have 'met' many nice people on there, and I've met several of them in real life.  But there are some weirdos who use the games for their own ends......


How does one play scrabble for your own end?  Are we talking naughty words?  scratch
kathy

There is a chat thing on the Scrabble games.  Some people's idea of chat is, well - I'll leave it to your imagination Laughing

I will freely admit that my internet presence should  not be copied by kids - and if I had any, I would certainly stop them doing what I do online Very Happy
Slapshot 3

kathy wrote:
There is a chat thing on the Scrabble games.  Some people's idea of chat is, well - I'll leave it to your imagination Laughing

I will freely admit that my internet presence should  not be copied by kids - and if I had any, I would certainly stop them doing what I do online Very Happy


The mind boggles!!
kathy

Sorry!  That probably came out wrong!  I just mean that I'm fairly 'open' online - don't go out of my way to hide my identity etc.  Apologies if you thought anything different Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
Slapshot 3

kathy wrote:
Sorry!  That probably came out wrong!  I just mean that I'm fairly 'open' online - don't go out of my way to hide my identity etc.  Apologies if you thought anything different Laughing  Laughing  Laughing


I was just thinking about what the "different" side of Kathy was...Wink
Guiness

Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

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