Different abilities

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#1
Being a newcomer here I have been wondering about the following:

There are many people here with different cycling abilities.

I told a Japanese business man/friend about here and he told me this story about his friend-
His friend likes cycling and tried a ride with a Japanese cycling club he found. The guy found that all/most of the people in the club rode a lot more that he does. I think he ended up quitting cause he couldn't keep up with them.

I have been riding since I was a kid but took a few years off when my son was born.
I'm sure I've ridden more km than the average 'commuter mama' in Japan but as I've never gone on a 100km ride yet (and have ridden in relatively flat places) I feel I feel like I may be at a lower level of fitness than some (or most, haha) of the riders in here.

I've tried riding with friends before and for short fun rides it's OK but for serious long rides I think it's hard to find someone that 'matches'- if they ride too fast/far then I would feel bad if they had to wait up/stop for me.
That's probably one reason why (in the past) I thought cycling is mainly a solo sport.

I am hoping to get a ride in with a group or some people in here soon.

So I'd like to hear your newbie stories.
How was it when you first joined/rode with a group?

Ride organizers- how do you cope with all the different abilities?
I know that you can have different rides for different levels, have points (probably train stations) where people can start/stop and have rest stops- are there any other ways you cope?
(BTW I think a good ride organizer may make a good manager, haha).
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#2
Lawrence,

A quick blitz through the unofficial tour section will give you a whole host of information regarding rides, levels and policies on breaks and waits and new comers feed back on the rides.

Many of the guys that race will actually post that its a "Drop" ride meaning anyone that can't keep the pace gets dropped and althoguh there may"

Then there are "wait at the top" rides which means that any significant climb on the route riders will regroup at the top.

Then there is "group" rides meaning the group stays together.

To be honest though and it really is down to personality and what you really want from your cycling but the fastest way to improve are the drop rides. Nothing will push you as hard as these and the first few rides might see you getting dropped very quickly (Have a back up ride or just finish the course solo) but after a few months of this you'll find the body adapts very quickly and you'll hang longer and longer with the groups.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#4
Thanks for the good and thoughtful reply!

I've looked through the unofficial tour section and hope to do a ride soon (one that seems doable and fits my schedule).

As many of the rides are long I think any of them may push me past what I've done before.

I also may get iphone 5 when it comes out (one reason is for the GPS).
Now if I gotta do some ride (where I've never been before) alone I'll have to figure stuff out but if I had GPS (although I guess it'll be in Japanese) I'd feel better.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#5
GPS - Get a Garmin with UpUpDown maps. iPhone 5 may be a great little toy but you are out in the elements riding a bike. get a tool for the job otherwise you may end up having to fork out for a new phone if something goes horribly wrong!

The other thing is battery life. using the iPhone as a GPS will seriously drain the batteries then if something happened you are in a bit of a tough situation. If you get a GPS with mapping you can let it do the work while the phone remains a phone in the jersey pocket.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#6
I see there's the Edge 800 and 500 (up to about 40,000 Yen).

I've heard people talkin about them in these Forums.

There are English ones and JP ones.
You can't put Eigo maps in a JP one?
Are there Eigo maps for Japan?
 
Jul 16, 2011
9
0
0
Yokohama, Aoba-ku
#7
Looking for easy ride cyling partner

I just picked up my bike from the Mont Bell shop in Minami Machida. Rode it home to Ichigao via 246. Now I am looking for someone to ride with in my area. But please be aware: I am just a beginner who wants to get back in shape.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#8
I'm waiting for my bike bag to get here from Amazon.

Then (after 20 years herre) I'm gonna start takin my bike places (or it'll be takin me places, haha).

Not near Yokohama but maybe we can meet up someday.

Did you post in the intro thread area too?
 
Jul 16, 2011
9
0
0
Yokohama, Aoba-ku
#9
I'm waiting for my bike bag to get here from Amazon.

Then (after 20 years herre) I'm gonna start takin my bike places (or it'll be takin me places, haha).

Not near Yokohama but maybe we can meet up someday.

Did you post in the intro thread area too?
Yes, I am the "New entry in the cycling world". Where do you live?? Maybe we can meet somewhere in between??!!
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#11
Actually a pretty interesting thread.

I remember when I went on my first proper ride when I was 15. Broke me in. Struggled to keep up, but quickly learned it.

BMX is the same. Your first rail is the hardest thing to do in all of cycling, as you are guaranteed to really hurt yourself.

Road bikes are tough too - so many amazing riders going very fast in a straight line.

Just stick with it mate. You will be alright. If you dont want to storm up mountains, you dont have to. Just ride around enjoying your bike.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#12
Thanks for the stories!

Don't worry- I have been and will be cycling for life.

Guess the question is if I continue to do it by myself or find someone else to do it with (wife and son too slow and can't go that far so they are out, except for short fun/family rides).
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
#15
Thanks!

Part of this ride I already do (and did today)- it uses Hanamigawa.
The end has a dirt road that I take my mountain bike on.
I've seen road bikers cross a bridge and continue on a street and I guess that is where this trail goes.

I live on Keiyo Line so I'd start in the Mihama-ku area.

May hit it next week on a weekday- Hanamigawa is too crowded on weekends to ride on.