Paceline Podcast 188

Paceline Podcast 188

Last weekend Selene rode her first Grasshopper, Super Sweetwater, so now she can report to everyone who isn’t already in Northern California (most of the world, honestly), just what it is Patrick has been going on and on about. She says she had a good time, even if Patrick did get dropped.

Patrick takes on how being a cycling and the time devoted to our sport can pose tension in a relationship. He cites neuroscience that could help noncyclists understand why we say that going for a ride is a mental health break. Consider it fodder for your next conversation with your sweetie about just what it is you’ll be doing for three hours this Saturday.



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  1. Montana

    Hi Selene and Patrick!

    I found cycling 2y ago during my 3rd year of college after some anxiety issues an injury that left me unable to run long distances. I immediately fell in love with the road (my Tarmac is my baby) and now I’m exploring gravel (bike no.2 is a CAADX) and have my first gravel event in 3 weeks!! Cycling ended up giving me the leg strength/stabilization to comfortably run again – and now I do both regularly, though now I proudly identify as a cyclist.

    All the best!
    Montana (also, female)

  2. Quentin

    Male, late 40s, road cyclist since my teens (late 1980s). I owned a mountain bike in the cantilever brake era, but not recently. I raced a few years on the road as a junior. It was Colorado, and there was an astonishing number of future pros in my age group, and I wasn’t very good, so I “went pro” in engineering instead, and didn’t do anything competitive for 25 years. When I moved to West Texas 6 years ago, I found the roads a bit scary (rough pavement, 75 MPH speed limits on 2 lane roads, and more wandering dogs than I’ve ever seen elsewhere), so I bought a gravel bike and it’s now 60-70% of my riding. I ride a local gravel race every year, and might consider doing more in future years. My kids are getting older and I see more spare time on the horizon, so I may be able to ramp up my relatively low ambitions a bit.

  3. Joe Marino

    My wife and I took up tandem riding 15 years ago – together – after both not riding since we were teens. BEST thing we ever did. The bikes (3 at this time) serve many purposes for us depending on our moods. Some days we are quiet and in our own heads just training, others times we chat, and last (and very importantly) it is our social time with our bike friends. So, 30 years of marriage, plus 7 years of dating, and now up around 5,000 miles a year of riding keeps us happy. It’s great to have a shared hobby!

  4. TomInAlbany

    Hey folks.
    I’m a male. 54.75 years old. 🙂
    I am primarily a roadie. Many, many of those miles are commuting/fitting my miles in to and from work and some weekend rides.
    I have a history of mountain biking some great stuff but that subsided when kids came along. I’d love to return to it but, time and money are still a challenge. (My mtn bike is 20 years old AND shot!)
    I own a CX bike. I’ve used it like a multi-surface behicle. I’d like a true, multi-surface rig. Time and money again…
    I am a father of two kids that will turn 14 and 12 this year. I want to get them on the wagon. They have decent bikes purchased at my LBS. My wide rides with the kids but is more of a runner.

    What else do you want to know?

    Comment on biking for sanity: That’s my WHY at 430AM when I’m getting ready to commute to work!

  5. Heather

    Thanks for the episode about navigating cycling relationships. I’m a female, late 40s newbie gravel cyclist. I took up cycling because my husband was suddenly MIA last summer on long gravel rides with another woman. Yeah, fun times. After some counseling and communication, I decided to take up gravel cycling to spend more time with him. Our relationship has improved and I found an activity I really like. Sometimes I ride with my husband, sometimes alone, or with friends. As you say in this episode, communication is key.

  6. Scott D Gilbert

    57 year old male, roadie and trackie (the last 4 years). I ride about 12-15 hours a week. I ride for the competition, the camaraderie and my health.

  7. Eric F

    mid 40’s, grew up in Davis CA riding everywhere. These days my riding is sporadic and mostly on the bike trails around Folsom but I prefer mountain biking and gravel. Bike packing is a goal of mine when the kids get a little older. I’m probably on the fringe of core RKP readers but I love the site and the podcast regardless.

  8. Jackie

    I’m 62 years old, female and loving my newly reinvigorated passion for road biking. As a teenager we rode our bikes everywhere (no helmet and often with a cigarette in our teeth——- yep, stupid teenager. )
    Thankfully those bad habits are gone and I ride 4-5 times a week, 20 miles or more per ride and once a year I sign on to a tour company’s group trip. I don’t ride competitively, just for the sheer joy and health benefits. Thank you for your thoughtful podcast. I won’t be participating in DK or other feats of strength and willpower, but it’s great to live them through your experiences. Patrick, I appreciate your thoughts on relationships and cycling. Selene, I purchased your book, “Climb”. It’s helping me a lot to prepare for trips at higher elevations. Thank you both. Ride On!

  9. Rich

    65 with 5 bikes hanging in the garage. Road and Gravel. Started 25 years ago when the Doc said I need to do something about my cholesterol. My brother in law talked me into a 30 mile event ride. I was “You can’t ride 30 miles!”. 115 centuries later Still going. Struggling now after surgery that left me with balance issues and went down last week on my shoulder. Determined to get there. Spring has a 8 day 800 mile tour scheduled down the Cali coast.

  10. Nick Gwozdz

    Roadie and now doing a little gravel riding also.. grew up riding it got out of it when I got my license. Later on got married and decided to dust off my bikes since and since 2008 Ive ridden around 2000-2500miles a year tho last year was only 400 due to selling our place and all the work that goes Into that and the. Moving and all the work that goes into that. I decided to I was going to make up for it and shoot for 4k this year, nearly 800 so far and my longest ride was yesterday. 79 mi and just shy of 5kft. I’m not a fast guy, my physiology doesn’t support it but I’m a solid B+ and can suck wheels of the As. Running around 156lbs at 6’ my focus is more climbing and endurance riding. I did enter a crit once last year. That was enough for me. 39 year old male. I listen mostly to podcasts about Cycling and Disney Parks during my 50min commute.

  11. Nick Gwozdz

    Correction. It should say 70 miles it 79. Also wanted to add that in the warmer months I’m one those who are riding at the “ass crack of dawn” to get back home at a reasonable time on the weekends for family balance. I hit the road when it’s still dark out, and since January I’ve been riding until 8 or 9pm Thursday nights.

  12. Donna

    56 year old female. I’m coming up on my fourth anniversary of getting on a bike, which will coincide with my 24th wedding anniversary. My husband is a life-long cyclist who is fulfilling his dream of road racing on the masters’ circuit after retiring from the military. I’ve lost weight, gained fitness, and completed rides I never could imagined myself capable of (a century, the Utah Ultimate Challenge (the easy year), the Foza climb to Asiago in Italy). Mostly road but I’m skittish around traffic, so I’m always looking for the quiet routes. Love me a good bike path! Really tried mountain biking — did the local ladies clinics and workshops, even a sleep-away ladies weekend, and while there were a few moments of joy, all I have left is a collection of scars from cactus spines and sharp rocks. I enjoy going to watch bike races and but have no desire to compete in that way, and I say that having a hill climb, time trial, and road race on my USA Cycling results page. Even gave cyclocross a try. Loved ripping around in the parks and skills and drills evenings, but just don’t have the heart to duke it out for a win. There’s a brand new gravel bike in the garage and I’m hoping she can be my companion for a bit of road-less-traveled adventuring. Still getting settled in a new community at the moment, so I mostly ride alone or with my husband on his recovery days. The truth is, I wouldn’t be doing any of this if I were in a different relationship. And I often wish he had encouraged me to take up cycling much sooner, but the ability-asymmetry issue was always a hindrance. Not to mention that cycling was always his thing, his release from family or job pressure. What did Selene say about the resentment of “other people always getting the best of you?” So, I have a complicated relationship with bikes and cycling, and my own history of battling depression, but I’m committed to keep trying. If anything, cycling seems to be the only thing that allows me to consume more than 1200 calories a day without gaining weight. Other than that, still searching for my “Why?”

  13. Author

    Everyone: thank you for your comments, not to mention your kind words for the podcast and us. Unexpected benefits. For those of you who have mixed relationship and riding, especially those who took up riding for their relationship, my hat is off to you. It’s not easy, ever, but it’s always encouraging to see people step outside their comfort zone for a relationship. The best part of all this: You’re obviously an interesting and intelligent bunch and to know you’re our listeners when you have so many other choices means a great deal to both Selene and me. Thank you.

  14. Scott M.

    Male. 54. Roadie (gravel curious).
    Whips: Giant TCR mechanical/rim DuraAce, Trek Domane mechanical/rim Ultegra .
    Ride: 10,000+ miles a year for 25+ years. ~200 miles/52 weeks a year. 19 rides of 100+ miles in ’19. 4 to 5 rides/week (mix of race ride, club-pace distance, solo adventures).
    Crashes: ~15. ICU: 2
    Founding Member/Ride Leader of Cycle Folsom (a 650-member club). Instigator of an epic century series.
    Bucket Rides Ridden: North Rim Grand Canyon (AZ), Moab/Arches NP, Colorado NM, Bryce Canyon NP, Lassen NP, Yosemite NP, Big Sur (CA), San Juan Islands (WA), Million Dollar Hwy (CO), Grand Tetons (WY), Sun Valley (ID), Sea Ranch (Sonoma Coast), Death Ride (CA), Napa (CA).

  15. Luke Lopez

    To explain what kind of cyclist I am I have to explain my unique situation. I am a husband, father of 3, mailman, single income household, homeowner in SoCal (which is a rarity). Cycling can be an expensive activity, if you allow it to be. #1 The bike- I always ride some type of mid to low level 80’s road bike. Inexpensive, relatively easy to work on, replacement parts are inexpensive, and they remind me of when I was growing up in the 80’s (I share the same birthday as Lemond so have always enjoyed watching him as a youth). #2 The kit- Again, can be expensive if you allow it. I wear a chamois for comfort but then over that some snug khaki shorts I can find at the thrift store and a light but snug fitting button down shirt for comfort (this is not a gram saving kit). I enjoy riding quiet roads especially gravel if I can find it. I love spending time with my wife and kids but my wife does not like to ride long distances. So I typically leave between 5 and 6am and usually ride for about 3 to 4 hours on my 2 days off each week. I ride for the simple enjoyment of riding and it’s health benefits, almost always alone, which I thoroughly enjoy. Occasionally I’ll go on a group ride with the local bike shop, however, they always say they leave at 8am but typically don’t leave until 8:30 and for me time is precious. This is the type of rider I am. Enjoy the pod.

  16. Neil Winkelmann

    Ooops. I might inadvertently have become a “career” DK200 cyclist. :0

    As I slide towards retirement, and as the children leave home, my cycling hours have been increasing steadily. Not always easy to justify.

  17. Jace

    I am a long time skateboarder, who found cycling through an ACL injury in 2015. They put me on the bike in rehab and they suggested I got a bike when I finished, to continue to strengthen my knee. I borrowed an old Fuji road bike from my brother’s friend and it was essentially Love at first pedal stroke. It was the only other thing I had ever experienced flow state while engaging in the activity. I found a group of guys that took me under their wing and “showed me the ropes.” They showed me how to get stronger and faster, while taking care of my body. Most importantly, they made it a point that I always had fun before everything and never to be too serious.

    My wife started to jab here and there about my long days out without friends, or even solo. We actually had the talk and I explained how it has taken the place that skateboarding once took in my life. I was already heavily involved in skating when we met. I tried here and there to get her on the bike, only to have her complain about the discomfort. I didn’t want to push it, as I wanted her to enjoy it if we were to do it together.

    I recently got an old Ridley x-night from a friend and I am on gravel and dirt roads now. I’ve been showing her my rides and she is becoming more interested, now that I’m staying off of the roads. After a few test rides on gravel bikes, she is now considering getting a bike to bikepack with me! We are both backpackers and I finally figured out that if there is a reward like camping at the end of the ride, she is game!

    Thank you bikes!!!

    1. Author

      Awesomeness. And from one retired skateboarder to another, I like not having to wear knee pads and wrist guards.

  18. Megan

    36 year old woman here, primarily a…. runner. Wait, what?

    I have both a road bike and a mountain bike collecting dust in the garage. Running’s my primary fitness love, but I’ve dabbled with bikes at times when I’ve gotten bored with running, or injured from it. I started listening to the podcast while cycling through a running injury two summers ago, and I kept listening even after I stopped riding and went back to just running.

    You’re the only cycling podcast I’m still listening to. I can relate to a lot of the conversations, I may just get a bit lost on the more detailed discussions of bike specs. Keep up the great show!

  19. Jernej

    forgot to drop this here… 38yr old male cyclist. Road, MTB, whatever… OK, not CX. Maybe just for your stats – international podcast audience. I’m from Slovenia.

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