Poll

You just finished an unexpectedly tough brevet. Compared with the easy ride expected, did you value (which does not necessarily imply enjoy) the day...

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Author Topic: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?  (Read 10710 times)

I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« on: February 14, 2011, 11:10:10 am »
There's an interesting discussion on the PBP sub-forum about having a support team to take care of you on the ride. My frank opinion is that being nursed round is not *as much* of an achievement as riding it with your own resources, but this seems a bit controversial.

So, I thought I'd open this up here for a wider discussion. I like a flat, sunny, windless brevet as much as the next man, but when I look back on great moments from my (short) time on a bike, it is the struggles that stand out. Surely I can't be the only one who values a tougher achievement more highly?

I copied my latest post from PBP below for reference.

Quote
Clearly I'm in a bit of a minority, but I stand by it.

An intrinsic part of the satisfaction I get from audax is that I'm covering distance on my bike through my own resources. If something breaks, I need to fix it or bodge it, not just walk 100 yards off-route, rendezvous with the support team and get one of the spare bikes off their roof. If I want to eat, I need to carry food (or buy it from somewhere and eat it on the spot). It doesn't get handed up in a musette as I ride past.

There's nobody to massage me in the back of a mobile home on a miserable winter 200km in Scotland, and I'm glad of that (afterwards!).

The beauty is that everybody gets to make their own choice. If you ride only for "fun" and give up at the first sign of trouble, good on you. I think less of you, but why should you care? In the most sincere way possible, you don't need my respect.

I'm not embarrased to say that personally, I value and respect a bit of a struggle. If you don't, don't mind me... but I'll still say it if asked.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 11:20:04 am »
Good idea to extract this from the PBP11 discussion. Here's what I already posted:

An intrinsic part of the satisfaction I get from audax is that I'm covering distance on my bike through my own resources. If something breaks, I need to fix it or bodge it, not just walk 100 yards off-route, rendezvous with the support team and get one of the spare bikes off their roof. If I want to eat, I need to carry food (or buy it from somewhere and eat it on the spot). It doesn't get handed up in a musette as I ride past.
I mostly think similarly, but it's often been pointed out that you can't define "self-sufficiency" - I didn't make my own bike, I didn't drop off my supplies at the checkpoints etc... So it's down to the rider how they go about these things:

The beauty is that everybody gets to make their own choice.

Quote
If you ride only for "fun" and give up at the first sign of trouble, good on you. I think less of you, but why should you care?
"thinking less" of another rider is going too far. There are too many variables - everyone has a different fitness baseline, different family/job factors, injuries/sickness ... you just never know.

Quote
I'm not embarrased to say that personally, I value and respect a bit of a struggle. If you don't, don't mind me... but I'll still say it if asked.
Sounds like a good summary  :thumbsup:
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

AndyH

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 11:28:14 am »
I think PBP is perhaps a bit different, and everyone will have support in one form or another, be it a Hotel, control, Baxters coach or whatever. I'm not sure that meeting someone you know within 5K of a control is
being nursed round
It' accepted and written into the rules so why shouldn't anyone take advantage of that. They still have to ride 1200K.

But yes, the rides that stand out in my memory are the ones where I've struggled home nursing a broken wheel, having grovelled or walked up ridiculous inclines, or got lost in the fading light and ridden an extra 20K coming home just in time. so in essence I'm with you on this one. I like a challenge & enjoy the self sufficiency.

(Are you riding over ? In which case I'm on the wednesday night Portsmouth Caen ferry with the Portsmouth lot if you care to join us)

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 11:30:42 am »
"thinking less" of another rider is going too far. There are too many variables - everyone has a different fitness baseline, different family/job factors, injuries/sickness ... you just never know.

Absolutely - everyone is different and people have to define their own personal sense of acheivement and should be recognised for that acheivement.  Thinking less of someone for, let's say, only being able to ride a 100km event without knowing any of their background is not fair. 

As Mattc said, personal background and history plays a large part in setting your own sense of acheivement.

I respect anyone who's ridden PBP - and I don't care whether they wheel-sucked their way around, had professional masseurs at every control and slept in beds furnished with fine egyptian cotton - they still made the challenge just as much as someone who's decided to make their personal challenge harder by riding a bike that's completely unsuitable for long-distance riding (like the chap with the two-geared bike that one of the gears involved pedalling backwards - or those real idiots hardy individuals who choose to ride 1200km on a bike with only ONE gear!  :P)
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 11:34:58 am »
I expect that truly self-sufficient AUKs reject the organisers' route-sheets, road signs, maps (other than self-drawn) and studiously ignore PBP arrows, carry all their own food and water and eschew sleeping at controls or random bus stops.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Alouicious

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 11:42:25 am »
I expect that truly self-sufficient AUKs reject the organisers' route-sheets, road signs, maps (other than self-drawn) and studiously ignore PBP arrows, carry all their own food and water and eschew sleeping at controls or random bus stops.

Exactly.

IF, a rider is unsure of his/her fitness for the trip; or is unsure about roadside repairs, or is unsure about nutrition; or unsure about sleeping patterns, they shouldn't be there.

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 11:44:54 am »
I expect that truly self-sufficient AUKs reject the organisers' route-sheets, road signs, maps (other than self-drawn) and studiously ignore PBP arrows, carry all their own food and water and  eschew sleeping at controls or random bus stops.

Probably just as well as they tend to be the scarier ones

 :demon:



Nonsteeler

  • If nothing goes wrong, I go wrong.
    • Elsewhere
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 11:49:30 am »
I am struggling with the poll question 'You just finished a tough brevet. Did you value the day...
more or less' than what? In general, I value a day that included a though brevet  and more often than not I also value a day that included gentle brevet. Most days with much cycling are good days.

TBH, I like a challenge but I don't like to struggle. Five flats in a row with two spare tubes and three borked valves? That's struggling. I don't like it. OTOH, for me PBP will be a nice and proper challenge this year as were last year's BCM and K&SW (likely to be a challenge also in this year).  And very memorable.

Having a support vehicle on PBP wouldn't be my cup of tea. That's not what I want make out of this event (and TBH, I don't have the funds to fund a support vehicle). But I see no reason (at moment) to judge people who are using a support vehicle on PBP.
Sadly, melancholy doesn't pay my rent.

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2011, 11:50:24 am »
There's a variety of traditions within the UK involvement in PBP. The self sufficiency tradition is very strong, but the origin of AUK lies within the desire of 24 hour time triallists to do PBP. Such riders are looking for a fast time, and come from a background where the rider is looked after when they are not on the bike. The rider and supporters constitute a team, and theirs is a joint achievement. I take it that the purists here are concerned that someone finishing PBP in just under 90 hours, supported, devalues the achievement of those who do it unsupported. I'm just doing it in my way, for myself.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 11:56:47 am »
I like a ride that leaves me feeling stretched, which can include bad weather and hilly terrain. That's what I signed up for. It can be satisfying to overcome uber grotty roads, mechanical problems and inadequate controls but really they just spoil the day.

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 12:00:01 pm »
I like a ride that leaves me feeling stretched, which can include bad weather and hilly terrain. That's what I signed up for. It can be satisfying to overcome uber grotty roads, mechanical problem and inadequate controls but really they just spoil the day.
+1

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2011, 12:01:13 pm »
I am struggling with the poll question 'You just finished a tough brevet. Did you value the day...
more or less' than what? In general, I value a day that included a though brevet  and more often than not I also value a day that included gentle brevet. Most days with much cycling are good days.

You're trying to overthink this!

It means
"... more than if it had been easy." [at least, that's what makes sense to me]

That's not the same as saying:
"Easy days on the bike are pointless and no fun.;D
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 12:01:35 pm »
I wouldn't do audax if it was easy. The Easy/Hard sliding scale is a complex interaction of weather, route, terrain, how I feel on the day, my fitness, the company... etc etc. A flat 200 can be easy, or hard. It depends.

I remember harder ones more, I suppose, but I'm not sure I enjoyed them more or less because they were hard.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2011, 12:07:08 pm »
I think what both the two posters prior to mattc are saying is that they prefer a smooth passage, but I suspect mattc does too
I don't think feeling stretched rules out a smooth passage, if one prepares correctly.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2011, 01:05:37 pm »
I expect that truly self-sufficient AUKs reject the organisers' route-sheets, road signs, maps (other than self-drawn) and studiously ignore PBP arrows, carry all their own food and water and eschew sleeping at controls or random bus stops.

Of course, if you did not mine the ore that makes up your frame, melt it down, weld it together, you are a failure of a man.

What do you mean, you *buy* your chain oil? A genuine AUK would swim down to the seabed and bring back a mouthful of crude to be refined in their kitchen!

Did you not grow the raw turnip you're trying to subsist on? What, you bought the seeds in a packet?  >:(

etc.  :P

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2011, 01:10:04 pm »
I expect that truly self-sufficient AUKs reject the organisers' route-sheets, road signs, maps (other than self-drawn) and studiously ignore PBP arrows, carry all their own food and water and eschew sleeping at controls or random bus stops.

Of course, if you did not mine the ore that makes up your frame, melt it down, weld it together, you are a failure of a man.

What do you mean, you *buy* your chain oil? A genuine AUK would swim down to the seabed and bring back a mouthful of crude to be refined in their kitchen!

Did you not grow the raw turnip you're trying to subsist on? What, you bought the seeds in a packet?  >:(

etc.  :P

Good to see you agree that no Audaxer is actually self-sufficent.  Is this AUK's version of John Doone's quotation?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2011, 01:18:44 pm »
Quote
If you ride only for "fun" and give up at the first sign of trouble, good on you. I think less of you, but why should you care?
"thinking less" of another rider is going too far. There are too many variables - everyone has a different fitness baseline, different family/job factors, injuries/sickness ... you just never know.

These all need to be taken into account. I have a friend who lost a leg (below the knee) literally the week before last.  Do I think less of him because I walk unaided while he needs a prosthesis and parallel bars (and a team of physios)?

Of course not - it blows my mind that he is even moving around, let alone the way he is.

I guess it's difficult to articulate in depth in a few sentences of a forum post. "Thinking less" is too crude, of course. I guess if you bring it back to the original question posed - what do I personally think of having a support team with you round PBP vs doing it with no extra aids to those enjoyed by every rider of the event - I think it is less of an achievement.

Would I ever say it to the face of a new ancien at the finish line? Of course not. Unless he asked whether I thought his ride was as difficult as it would have been without support ;)

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2011, 01:39:17 pm »
Even if it rains a lot on a ride, one gets a bit lost, has a few mechanicals etc etc doing an Audax still isn't a challenge in the same way as getting lost on a foggy moor might be.  It's never particularly dangerous.

You need a poll option for "about the same"
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2011, 01:51:47 pm »
TBH, the sense of achievement went a long time ago and I cannot connect with the "If it ain't hard you ain't doin'  it right. Right?" mentality.

The inevitable and unavoidable moments of battling into <insert weather phenomemon of choice> with a <insert mechanical disaster of choice>, feeling like <insert bio-mechanical disaster of choice> and wishing I was <insert far more interesting and pleasureable passtime> I choose to relegate to the same mindspace occupied by root-canal treatments and trapping Little Hummers in my flies.

I find that effort in overcoming adversity tends to detract from an otherwise enjoyable ride.

Hope this helps.

H

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2011, 01:58:59 pm »
TBH, the sense of achievement went a long time ago and I cannot connect with the "If it ain't hard you ain't doin'  it right. Right?" mentality.

The inevitable and unavoidable moments of battling into <insert weather phenomemon of choice> with a <insert mechanical disaster of choice>, feeling like <insert bio-mechanical disaster of choice> and wishing I was <insert far more interesting and pleasureable passtime> I choose to relegate to the same mindspace occupied by root-canal treatments and trapping Little Hummers in my flies.

I find that effort in overcoming adversity tends to detract from an otherwise enjoyable ride.

Hope this helps.

H

There is sometimes a very fine line between suffering and misery.

Actually, the bit I really don't like is when you come of a nice warm control on a cold night and get the massive shivery shakes until you warm up.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2011, 02:17:29 pm »
Quote
If you ride only for "fun" and give up at the first sign of trouble, good on you. I think less of you, but why should you care?
"thinking less" of another rider is going too far. There are too many variables - everyone has a different fitness baseline, different family/job factors, injuries/sickness ... you just never know.
These all need to be taken into account. I have a friend who lost a leg (below the knee) literally the week before last.  Do I think less of him because I walk unaided while he needs a prosthesis and parallel bars (and a team of physios)?
Of course not - it blows my mind that he is even moving around, let alone the way he is.

You're (all) still making the general assumption that if someone steps back from a 'more challenging' situation it's because they somehow need to, and not because they might actually want to.  You're judging them on your terms, when actually there's no need to judge them at all, because randonneuring is such a broad church.

Here's my judgement -
... someone who's decided to make their personal challenge harder by riding a bike that's completely unsuitable for long-distance riding (like the chap with the two-geared bike that one of the gears involved pedalling backwards

I actually think this sort of thing is disrespectful of PBP, and turns it into a bit of a freak show.

But there - I'm in a minority of 1 on that one.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2011, 02:20:37 pm »
Quote
If you ride only for "fun" and give up at the first sign of trouble, good on you. I think less of you, but why should you care?
"thinking less" of another rider is going too far. There are too many variables - everyone has a different fitness baseline, different family/job factors, injuries/sickness ... you just never know.
These all need to be taken into account. I have a friend who lost a leg (below the knee) literally the week before last.  Do I think less of him because I walk unaided while he needs a prosthesis and parallel bars (and a team of physios)?
Of course not - it blows my mind that he is even moving around, let alone the way he is.

You're (all) still making the general assumption that if someone steps back from a 'more challenging' situation it's because they somehow need to, and not because they might actually want to.  You're judging them on your terms, when actually there's no need to judge them at all, because randonneuring is such a broad church.

Here's my judgement -
... someone who's decided to make their personal challenge harder by riding a bike that's completely unsuitable for long-distance riding (like the chap with the two-geared bike that one of the gears involved pedalling backwards

I actually think this sort of thing is disrespectful of PBP, and turns it into a bit of a freak show.

But there - I'm in a minority of 1 on that one.
  No you're not, Francis and I'm not even doing PBP.

Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2011, 02:22:15 pm »
I actually think this sort of thing is disrespectful of PBP, and turns it into a bit of a freak show.

But there - I'm in a minority of 1 on that one.

Difficult to know where exactly that line of thought takes one. Is riding PBP on a bike with one gear a freaky thing? On a recumbent perhaps?

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2011, 02:25:07 pm »
I'd just like to point out that my opinions are all completely unique, and that there is room for all assumptions in AUK/YACF, so no need to judge mine, or the basis on which I might make them :)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: I'm not the only one who enjoys a challenge... right?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2011, 02:37:55 pm »
i think the question is not properly formulated - what's a challenge? what is considered as a support? is going to a shop for for a flapjack considered as a support? if someone hands you their spare inner tube when you run out of your ones - support? eating in controls served by volunteers?.. audax is not competitive and very challenging activity unless you decide to add some rules of your own. who would have more challenging pbp - the one that does it in 60hrs with "support" or someone else in 90hrs "with no support"? who would enjoy it more? everyone rides their own ride as i see it.