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The road world and the unshaven
#1
So, I know ZIP about the road world. I have been on a MTB for at least 10 years and most of the time i ride alone. This spring I plan to buy my first road bike and I have the feeling it will present a few socially challenging moments. When I roll into the shop on my MTB it seems the roadies always look at me like my head is on fire ( could be that my legs are not shaved?)
I always see roadie in packs... and they don't seem to be to friendly to non-roadies... am I crazy? I mean, I'm a nice guy so i don't think its me...
Anyone wanna throw me some advice on what to expect?
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#2
You are right most of the roadies are not to friendly to me either. But I really don't care I do my thing and they can keep on doing there thing. I think some of them are snobs anyway lol. I just ride my surly lht and don't care what they think about me.
My dad always told me a Sledge a matic can fix any thing.
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#3
You couldn't be more right. For two groups to share the same passion, and have such disdain for each other is amazing. I think I happen to be a rare few that get away with being friends with both crowds (Maybe because I fix their bikesBig Grin).

The reason you see roadies riding in packs, is because they actually think they are fast enough to draft. 9999 out of 10000 roadies don't ride fast enough to gain an advantage from drafting, but thinking they do makes 'em feel good. I've actually had this argument a gazillion times with my roadie friends. Lance Armstrong benefits from drafting. He's going 30 mph. Maybe its just the couple riding groups I go with, but this seems to be the common denominator.

As for shaving your legs, would you rather the roadies thought your were awesome, or have people on the trail think you had a horrible accident with a weed whacker. Big Grin
P.S. - Roadies are a good bunch, except for the bike shop sponsored a-holes. They are pompous.
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#4
Got some advice for ya! Do like I do,"I am Bill, I ride whatever, whenever, wherever, with whomever, and however that the number one person likes, me!" Wink . MTB, Road, BMX, Touring, etc. was and still is an awesome experience. The main fact is not to worry about first impression, but to continue self satisfaction. For an example, I ride my Trike while taking my Lab along with family on rides. We may go 1/2 mile or sometimes 5 miles or more and do not pay attention to people who rather exercise their mouth instead of exercise their bodies in the same manner as us. So in short lol it is what you think.

As far as the shaving legs thing, umm I REALLY am not going to comment on that.

Cheers,
Bill

P.S. jr, good point on shaving your legs.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#5
Just one remark on drafting: you benefit from that quite early. Of course the benefit increases dramatically with speed (or headwind), but it is not negligible, even when you are not exceeding 35km/h. (I'd say starting from maybe 25km/h it really makes sense, I'm too lazy to do the math right now). I also think that riding in a group can be great fun (though I have never been on an organized group ride, I ride with friends on-road, off-road, wherever), so I like riding in a small pack.

I also note that MTB riders almost never greet back when you meet them on the road... Yes, I mostly ride a road bike (commute, triathlon), maybe they are just baffled that a guy on a road bike just said hi to them....
Also some riders (road and MTB) look at the material and if the bike is worth less than 2000 € they don't even recognize you are there... (though I did cream many guys with 2000€ bikes when I was still riding my 35 yr old Peugeot in Triathlons). So I don't care about those. (probably those are the guys jr14 mentioned at the end)

As for the leg shaving: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/shaving.html
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#6
I know this is a little off track by its a shame that we could not put a snob ride together for them. That way ever one would know they are snobs lol or we could ask them to wear something to let all know we are snobs we are better than anyone. I would love to see there faces some of them would feel right at home with one on I bet. Silly I know. I just could not help my self here :-)
My dad always told me a Sledge a matic can fix any thing.
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#7
Very interesting piece of information Joe. Have to say that as far as making one "more streamlined" for speed? is babbycock (far fetched) {on the leg shaving}!!!! But eh, not gonna say too much.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#8
Every leg hair over 2 mm in length results in a .0000000171% decrease in aerodynamic efficiency. The typical MTBr has 10,000 12 mm hairs per leg. If the mathamatical purpose is Linear, a hairy legged roady would be at a .00171% disadvantage among his peers.
It's a lot like rocket science but more fun. I guess.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#9
Hehehe I can resolve that by wearing a racing suit Big Grin .
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#10
(01-23-2011, 05:54 PM)Bill Wrote:  Hehehe I can resolve that by wearing a racing suit Big Grin .

But you are only cutting the coefficient by a margin of .12% while adding the same in weight carried.
Let's make some nachos! I'm hungry.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#11
Shaved legs ... Ummm! Maybe that is why I fit in so well. The medication that I take for my leukemia causes my body hair to fall off and my legs always look like they have been shaved. But if you look close, you can see that they aren't. I don't know where you guys ride, but the group I ride with welcomes all bicycles. We even have some folding bikes that ride with us.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#12
Same here, JohnV. Unfortunately though, I do know some of those type and it's refreshing to poke at them.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#13
(02-27-2010, 07:26 PM)boonerockfarmer Wrote:  . . . I always see roadie in packs... and they don't seem to be to friendly to non-roadies... am I crazy? I mean, I'm a nice guy so i don't think its me...
Anyone wanna throw me some advice on what to expect?

I have heard that about roadies. I ride classic road bikes alone for fun, but have never considered myself a roadie. My next-door neighbor is a roadie, kinda looks like a clown when he is all dressed up for riding, and he doesn't speak unless I speak first, he seems to be stuck in the sixties though. So maybe there are just people that aren't generally friendly. Then again, maybe that clown attire means serious business instead of fun and leisure. Smile

But it seems to me whenever I ride my 1984 Schwinn Super LeTour everyone looks and I'll tip my hat or say hi. They will smile or acknowledge my hello or something. It's almost like driving down a rural road in a car where everyone waves at you. Smile

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#14
If you think you get snobby looks on mountain bikes, you should see the looks I get when I pass them on my recumbent! Smile
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#15
Quote:I have heard that about roadies. I ride classic road bikes alone for fun, but have never considered myself a roadie.

I have a road bike and ride with other owners of road bikes in groups who consider ourselves as bicyclist. Most of us wear the riding pants (mostly in black) and stay dry shirts, but we don't have very colorful clothing so I guess that doesn't qualify us as being roadies.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#16
I don't understand why some of you guys make these complaints about "roadies", but then distance yourselves even further making fun of them without trying to really learn.

I'm one of these roadies you speak of. When I first got into long-distance bicycling over 30 years ago, I also wondered why every racer-type didn't give me a friendly wave or return my cheerful-sounding "hello". Well, the fact is there are some stuck-up kids who do act this way. But after having been on both sides, I can say that there is more behind this inaccurate judgment than many like to make of it.

First of all, you have to consider a couple things. One, many of these guys are out riding with a different purpose in mind than to socialize and make more friends. They are training, and training takes concentration and can hurt. That doesn't mean they aren't friendly. It only means that they are focused on other things, and might have to use their limited amount of time to train efficiently.

Another thing I noticed when I began riding more and more, is that you see more and more cyclists. There is no way you can acknowledge every cyclist you come across when you are out training. You just wouldn't get any work done!

So consider that there are other things that motivate one to ride other than what does it for you. I've been everything from a bike commuter, to a touring club member, a racing club member, a cross-country cyclist, and an ultra-marathon cyclist. I think some people just like to see things one way and take these things WAY to personally!

Oh, by the way...I also shave my legs during the racing season. And this is what I have to say about a couple of comments Brandt made on the topic:

Brandt: Don't put tape on a hairy leg or arm. Shave it first. Every medic kit should have a Bic razor or better anyway.

Medic? Does everyone have a medic with them on every bike ride? It's no secret that it's easier to clean a wound without hair, and I certainly don't want to run a razor anywhere near a strawberry if at all possible!

Brandt: Many folks with hair get massages and it has no effect on comfort. You'd think from this excuse, that those who shave get massages regularly and that massage parlors always shave their customers. Neither is true.

If you've ever received a deep-tissue massage, you will know this is a ridiculous statement. But most people who go to "massage parlors" wouldn't know what I'm talking about.

Brandt: If this is a streamlining increment, then the rider should first get a tight fitting Lycra jersey and shoe covers.

I think Brandt should stick to giving advice in what he knows best, wheels. Yes, a tight fitting lycra jersey does help, as do shorts (and even lycra shoe covers to a point), but shaving your legs is probably better than covering them with lycra, since the bare skin allows the legs to cool more effectively, as they are producing more heat than any other muscles in the body during intense cycling.

This thread has shown quite bit of ignorance and immaturity that leads to nothing constructive. And except for Joe_W's link to Brandt, I have to say he's and JohnV are about the only ones who have had anything worthwhile to say.
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#17
When not riding with my bike group, I ride with my wife at a place called Flatwoods. It's a park about 4 miles from my house that is a very popular place to ride and has both a paved 7 mile loop and off road trails that connect to other parks in the area (about 30 miles worth). Flatwoods has all types of riders, but mostly those from around the University of South Florida area that are into road racing and triathlons. There are also a lot of MTBers that use that park. Most of the people there will acknowledge you when you say good morning or hello, even when I'm riding my hybrid . But just as anywhere else, there are those, roadies and MTBers, who don't and that's OK because I'm not riding with them.

When I'm on my road bike and ride by myself at Flatwoods, I usually am doing a pretty good pace (18-23 mph) and there are some of these guys that pass me as if I was standing still. The only thing that I have against some of these so-called roadies, is that there are some that don't let you know when they are passing you and that can be dangerous if you don't have a mirror and know they are behind you. Most riders in the park normally yell "to your left" or something of that nature when passing someone else. The park also has a bunch of runners, skaters and walkers that share the paved loop and not announcing that you are passing them can lead to a crash. It almost happened to me when I was passing a roller-blader and someone that didn't announce his presence passed me at a very high seed and almost ran me into the skater. The guy kept on going, never breaking stride and never saying sorry. But there are inconsiderate a$$holes everywhere, not just in biking.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#18
John, I've had similar experiences with cyclists such as you had with the skater. The path I've encountered this on sounds just like your situation. And I usually try to stay off the path when out "working", and only use it for easy/recovery rides. Because of the very example you gave, there are some inconsiderate cyclists who think it's their own little race track.

When we ride these trails, it should be done completely different that road riding. Every time I'm about to pass someone on the trail, I give the warning, "Passing on your left", then wait to see or hear a response that I was heard before I actually pass. Then as I pass them, I finish with a warm "Thank you!" or "Good morning!". And the response I receive is almost always warmer and more cheerful than my own.

To tell you the truth though, when I'm on the trail, I think most the cyclists I encounter who don't use passing warnings, tend to be the leisurely riders rather than roadies, and just haven't developed proper trail ettiquette. I realize that, and I always hope that my example will encourage them to do the same. Sure, I do realize that there are some cyclists of every type that don't care about anyone but themselves. But when we label them as a$$holes and clowns, just because they are uneducated or dress differently than we do, weren't doing nothing to help the situation.

BTW, I appreciated your input on drafting. Drafting isn't always done to go as fast as we can at that moment. But anyone should be able to realize that you need to practice it at slower speeds before you make an attempt to do it at 30 mph! Once you get good at it though (and it can take some time), and you feel comfortable in a paceline, it is a blast! There is nothing like the feeling of working together as pack, as one unit, with that unified goal in mind, to go as fast as you can. It opens your cycling world up into a whole new dimension. It's not for everybody, and if someone has no desire to even try it, that's fine. But to be part of a pack of refined cyclists to can trust each other to think and act alike - respectfully and intelligently - is a powerful experience. And when you've completed something like 1oo miles together, and there might be only 2 or 3 left from your original pack, it often produces a bond between each other that can't be understood or appreciated by those who haven't had that experience.

I hope my input in this thread hasn't caused anyone to be more frustrated with "roadies". I just wanted to suggest that things aren't always as they seem. As I said in my original reply, roadies often have a different goal in mind when out riding, and often encounter far more cyclists during a ride than a leisurely cyclist does, so the way they connect with other cyclists shouldn't always be taken so personally.
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