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  1. #1
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    Got my butt handed to me again!

    I'm a military member stationed in Germany and there are a few different military bases where I am. I live on one base and work on another that is about 5 to 6 miles away. There is a cobblestone road that connects the two bases. The road was originally built for tanks to transit from one base to the other back during WWII, but now it is pretty much solely used for cyclist, joggers, and pedestrians. So this is the road that I use to commute to and from work every day.

    Anyway... There is a German guy that commutes in the mornings about the same time as I do. I usually see him on the trail about once or twice a week. I've never spoken a word to this German guy, but somehow we've established a telepathic mutual understanding that WE HAVE TO RACE anytime we see one another. The only problem (for me) is that he smokes me on the uphills. I can keep up with him on the flats, but the race is usually over shortly after we hit a nice sized hill.

    When I got to work today, a few people commented on how I was drenched in sweat. All I could do is laugh to myself and silently vow that one day I'm going to beat (or at least keep up with) my "Morning Commute Nemesis".
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  2. #2
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    So, each weekend, head for the mountains and climb, climb climb! Sounds like a fun little competition you have going on (except for being drenched at work).

  3. #3
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    Heh heh...
    For me the little races are part of the fun of commuting.
    I once got my a$$ handed to me by a guy on a dept. store bike wearing combat boots... That was embarrassing!

  4. #4
    turtles make me hot
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    I used to ride this huge hill every day pulling my daughter in her trailer. When group ride day came with my buddies, it was like someone cut me loose.
    Funny... I'm not the fastest guy anymore, but I still climb like a wildman. You'd think I'd be faster on flat ground.
    I like turtles

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeves
    So, each weekend, head for the mountains and climb, climb climb! Sounds like a fun little competition you have going on (except for being drenched at work).
    The being drenched at work isn't an issue for me. As soon as I get to work, it is time for me to do Physical Training (PT) anyway. So I just end up showering after PT like I normally would.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496
    I used to ride this huge hill every day pulling my daughter in her trailer. When group ride day came with my buddies, it was like someone cut me loose.
    Funny... I'm not the fastest guy anymore, but I still climb like a wildman. You'd think I'd be faster on flat ground.
    I do the same thing on the weekends when I go on rides with my son in tow, so I'm not a slouch when it comes to climbing. I can usually beat or at the very least keep pace with just about anyone I encounter on the trail, but this one German guy is a beast.
    Last edited by Solomon76; 03-03-2009 at 08:21 AM.
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  7. #7
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    LOL I wish I had some friendly competition to commute with. I dont even SEE another cyclist most of the time, let alone have anyone race me.
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  8. #8
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Awhile back I got PWN3D by a lady on a foldie going up hill. It was very humbling. Get PWN3D by roadies once in awhile, usually after they've just taken their bike off their car rack while I took the trouble to grind the whole 5 miles uphill to the bike path. I do wish I had a regular "nemesis" though to keep me on my toes! In the mean time, I'm content to PWN the occasional fellow cyclist. It's all in good fun!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    I'm a military member stationed in Germany and there are a few different military bases where I am. I live on one base and work on another that is about 5 to 6 miles away. There is a cobblestone road that connects the two bases. The road was originally built for tanks to transit from one base to the other back during WWII, but now it is pretty much solely used for cyclist, joggers, and pedestrians. So this is the road that I use to commute to and from work every day.

    Anyway... There is a German guy that commutes in the mornings about the same time as I do. I usually see him on the trail about once or twice a week. I've never spoken a word to this German guy, but somehow we've established a telepathic mutual understanding that WE HAVE TO RACE anytime we see one another. The only problem (for me) is that he smokes me on the uphills. I can keep up with him on the flats, but the race is usually over shortly after we hit a nice sized hill.

    When I got to work today, a few people commented on how I was drenched in sweat. All I could do is laugh to myself and silently vow that one day I'm going to beat (or at least keep up with) my "Morning Commute Nemesis".
    work on those hills and then we'll be looking for the update about you beating this guy! where area you in germany? garmisch?
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
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  10. #10
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    Do you ride with clips?Also if it's only on the uphill it may just be that your bike/cargo/weight is higher than his......

    I wish i had that, not to brag but i pass by fellow commuters at twice their speed....

  11. #11
    WooHoo Biking!!!!
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    Was it a Korean guy in a tan jacket with a voice like Howard Cosell?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    Awhile back I got PWN3D by a lady on a foldie going up hill. It was very humbling. Get PWN3D by roadies once in awhile, usually after they've just taken their bike off their car rack while I took the trouble to grind the whole 5 miles uphill to the bike path. I do wish I had a regular "nemesis" though to keep me on my toes! In the mean time, I'm content to PWN the occasional fellow cyclist. It's all in good fun!
    I've only been commuting about 10 months (I started in April of '08). Within the first couple of weeks from when I started, I got PWN3D by an old lady. It was definitely embarrassing, but it actually turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened to me. It made me realize that I was burning myself out by grinding in the high gears. I ultimately became a much better rider thanks to that old lady. Now I can pretty much beat anyone I encounter during my commute with the exception of this one German.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Z
    work on those hills and then we'll be looking for the update about you beating this guy! where area you in germany? garmisch?
    I'm going to download "Eye of the Tiger", put it on my iPod, and start training like Rocky. From now on instead of seeing him as a German, I'm going to think of him as the Russian in Rocky 4. But seriously, during the warmer months I use my Garmin Edge to compete against my own commute times but I've gotten away from doing that during the colder months. The good news is that it will be warming up again soon. I'm in Stuttgart.

    Quote Originally Posted by damrtn
    Do you ride with clips?Also if it's only on the uphill it may just be that your bike/cargo/weight is higher than his......

    I wish i had that, not to brag but i pass by fellow commuters at twice their speed....
    Trust me; I've analyzed all the circumstances over and over again in my head trying to figure out if he has some kind of advantage over me. It isn't that he's on some super performance bike because both of our bikes are fitted to be dedicated commuters (fenders, pannier racks, lights, etc). He even had a pannier bag hanging on his rack yesterday, although I don't know if there was anything in it. I only had my trunk bag on my rack, but it still didn't matter.

    I usually ride with clips although I gave them up for the winter because of the road conditions and the temperatures, but I had my cleats on yesterday and I still got dusted. I've come to the conclusion that the only possible explanation is that he's on "The Juice", HGH, or some other form of performance enhancing drugs.
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  13. #13
    local trails rider
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    It's good thing I have an excuse

    I am doing my commute (less than 10km each way) on a 26er singlespeed with 32/16 gearing. I still go past people but I don't feel the need to worry about those I cannot catch.

  14. #14
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    Hey, Thats my exact set up.

    I get owned by the roadies who know what they're doing but I can unally catch and overtake the knobby tire guys.

    BTW, I just put some 1.25 slicks on my bike (down from 2.25 slicks) and the difference is amazing

  15. #15
    jrm
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    I had some kid roll up next to me

    [and ask me if i wanted to race. i **** you not. i just laughed

  16. #16
    weirdo
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    What is PWN3D?

    I`m in the same boat as Helmsdini. The only other bikes I ever see on my commute are kids riding figure eights in the street. If I ride into town, I sometimes see other riders, but never tried racing any of them- in most cases the winner would be obvious, so absolutely no point. Eeither they`re walking their bikes up the hill or they blow by me so fast I`d never even catch them, let alone keep up the speed for any length of time. I know about getting embarrassingly beaten though. I used to do an anual fundraiser race from Lake Tahoe to Truckee, CA. 30km of XC skiing. Many little old ladys left me in the dust every year.

  17. #17
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    What is PWN3D?
    Oh sorry, l337/internet shorthand for "owned." I'm probably one of few people here who still finds that sort of thing amusing. Simple minds, simple pleasures as they say.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  18. #18
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    Saw him again today...

    Had I known that he was behind me, I would have slowed down a little so that we could race again. But by the time he caught up with me, we were at the point where we go seperate directions. We did wave and smirk at each other in passing.

    Once it gets warmer, I'll have a lot more people to race between the bases because more military guys will start riding again. I love racing other military guys for a few reasons:
    1. For the most part, military guys are ultra-competetive.
    2. Most of the military guys I encounter are Army. I'm in the Navy so I get to represent for my service.
    3. I almost always win because most of them only ride during the warm months.
    4. I usually end up seeing them on one of the bases and they almost always remember me smoking them (we usually smile at one another in passing).
    5. I get the most pleasure from beating the younger guys that just got out of Basic Training because they don't understand why they can run 10 miles hualing a 50 pound ruck sack on their back, but they can't beat some 30 something year old guy over a few miles on a bike.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    5. I get the most pleasure from beating the younger guys that just got out of Basic Training because they don't understand why they can run 10 miles hualing a 50 pound ruck sack on their back, but they can't beat some 30 something year old guy over a few miles on a bike.
    It took me a long time to learn air is different.
    When I swam, It never helped with biking.
    When I trained for the 1/2 marathon as a novice runner, biking didn't help.
    Doesn't seem fair.

  20. #20
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    Don't you love that? My gf and I get passed by grannies on our commutes. It took me a few weeks of riding to get into it on the big uphill, but then I was getting killed by people on the way home who rode level ground faster. It never ends.

    Speaking of which, I'm usually carrying a full backpack of books and my laptop and running it as an SS.

  21. #21
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    2. Most of the military guys I encounter are Army. I'm in the Navy so I get to represent for my service.
    USN in Stuttgart? I had no idea. I was in Darmstadt (Army) from 86-88.

  22. #22
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    I bet he wears Spandex!!!!

    "Trust me; I've analyzed all the circumstances over and over again in my head trying to figure out if he has some kind of advantage over me. It isn't that he's on some super performance bike because both of our bikes are fitted to be dedicated commuters (fenders, pannier racks, lights, etc). He even had a pannier bag hanging on his rack yesterday, although I don't know if there was anything in it. I only had my trunk bag on my rack, but it still didn't matter."
    [/QUOTE]

    Gotta be the pants.....I remember riding in southern Belgium in the mid-80's, commuting on the weekends from off-base quarters to the base. My housemate and I (him on a Huffy 10 speed and me on an AAFES-bought Peugeot touring bike) would be huffing and puffing up the hills and from behind we would hear this kind of whooshing sound. Soon enough, here would come a local biking club, all kitted out in team colors and Spandex pulling their way up the hill. Steve and I would try to jump on the last person's wheel, but we got dropped real fast. Our constant consolation was that we were riding in jeans and tee shirts, while the Belgians had the advantage because of the shiny pants.

    I guess you will have to go shopping for Spandex?

    Bill
    If you want to get there, go there.

    "Their civilization was just a thin veneer over the unyielding realities of life beyond the frontier, and all too soon these dreams of civilization gave way to the inevitable."
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  23. #23
    Seeeriously easy Livin
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    I had one good race in the last 6 month of my commuting. I guy on a 16lb full carbon ridley (I think) road bike vs me on my 24 lb steel voodoo mountain bike with bald twister supersonic tires. I first met up with him about 2 blocks from my house, and raced him at least 7 miles to my school. I had leads on him the first 5 miles on the flats and first small hills, but I got stuck at 2 red lights where he caught up, and we had chats with each other. Then I got to the one big hill in my commute and dropped to my middle ring up front to spin up it, feeling comfotable with my lead. He then proceded to mash past me up the hill. I wasn't able to catch him on the flat, and I spun out on the down hill only to maintain the same distance between us. Luckilly at the bottom of the downhill it was his turn to hit a red light where I caught him, and when we went our separate ways I called the race a draw. I've since swapped my wheels and tires to 1" high pressure slicks saving close to 600 grams in rotating mass, and I'm itching for a rematch. I can now mash up that big hill in my 44 18 gear, and I've knocked about 3 mins off my commute time. All the other cyclists I've encountered seem to be more the putter along type, but even they present good inncentives to ride fast when I see them a few hundred yards ahead.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in AK
    Gotta be the pants.....I remember riding in southern Belgium in the mid-80's, commuting on the weekends from off-base quarters to the base. My housemate and I (him on a Huffy 10 speed and me on an AAFES-bought Peugeot touring bike) would be huffing and puffing up the hills and from behind we would hear this kind of whooshing sound. Soon enough, here would come a local biking club, all kitted out in team colors and Spandex pulling their way up the hill. Steve and I would try to jump on the last person's wheel, but we got dropped real fast. Our constant consolation was that we were riding in jeans and tee shirts, while the Belgians had the advantage because of the shiny pants.

    I guess you will have to go shopping for Spandex?

    Bill
    As a matter of fact, he does wear spandex but I'll concede if it means that I'll have to wear spandex to keep up with him. I wear regular jeans with the legs cuffed so that they don't get to oily from the chain, regular t-shirts, and regular jackets. Once it warms up I'll ditch the jacket and start wearing shorts so maybe I'll have a better chance of keeping up with him then.
    Last edited by Solomon76; 03-06-2009 at 02:36 AM.
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  25. #25
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    I commute on a rigid MTB with 2.1 slicks so technically just keeping up with a roadie is a win but somehow never feels like it.
    I can never decide if the best races are the ones where your opponent tries to draft you and you still pull away or the ones where you are really feeling the pain and just about to give up when your opponent does.

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