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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    43

    How can you tell.....

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    if a rider is new? I've heard many people talk about seeing 'newbies' out riding. I think it's funny that you can actually tell if someone is new at it, just wondering how? Is it the general 'squirreliness' on the bike?



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Gardner, KS
    Posts
    17
    People probably knew I was a new rider when I fell over at an intersection. I'm sure there are other signs too. I can usually tell when someone isn't new--they go faster than me.
    Cannondale Saeco R1000 Caad4
    Trek Classic Cruiser

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Mostly when their bike AND all their gear is shiny new. When a rider's been riding for years, bikes get replaced, refurbished or added to, gear gets replaced, but not all at once.

    Poor skills is a good sign, and it's a charitable assumption that someone's new, but lots of people go years and never improve their skills.

    Speed has very little to do with it. Some of the most experienced riders I know are also some of the slowest, just because they're so old and not as strong or healthy as they were at their peak.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Newberg, OR
    Posts
    758
    When their helmet is on backwards I'd guess they were new. Yes, I've seen this on a supported ride. :/
    Road Bike: 2008 Orbea Aqua Dama TDF/Brooks B-68


    Ellen
    www.theotherfoote.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I can usually tell a newbie if they seem uncomfortable--either on their bike (it doesn't fit and/or they don't have a good position or core strength) or on the road (nervous riding in traffic). An experienced rider will generally seem confident and at ease, have a good position on the bike (although not always), and be drinking from the water bottle while riding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    I've only been riding since Nov. and have had several people express shock at how comfortable I seem on my bike and my ability to keep up at a pretty decent clip for many miles (my hubby says I took to cycling "like a duck to water"). Of course, the fitness/endurance thing has more to do with years of running.

    My MIL has been biking for decades. Yet I suspect she doesn't know how to pump her own tires (I pumped hers for her one time and she hovered so closely that I had to ask her to back up when I was preparing to pull the nozzle off of the stem) or know how to remove/reattach her quick-release front wheel (as we have had issues with her refusing to take it off so that she can fit her bike in the back of her Rav 4 and not have our 9 year old in the front seat where he's at risk from airbag. Repeatedly she has been told that he cannot be in the front seat and there is no reason for her to have him up there when we can fit 2 bikes and 3 people in my tiny Mazda 3 hatchback). She also has fairly regular falls with her clipless pedals.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Seattle
    Posts
    129
    I figure everyone knows I'm new because when they say "On your left" to pass me I oversteer in response and get all "squirrely" XD Also the grip of death on the handlebars!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by schnitzle View Post
    I figure everyone knows I'm new because when they say "On your left" to pass me I oversteer in response and get all "squirrely" XD Also the grip of death on the handlebars!
    Ha, that was me just a few months ago. The bike-handling comfort comes pretty fast when a person keeps riding on a regular basis. Now I look back and can't believe how un-natural my bike felt at first (I had a really tough time on group rides taking my hands off of the handlebars to signal or take a drink from my water bottle). Now it feels like an extension of me. It's kind of like when I first learned to drive stick. It took all of my concentration and coordination to do it. Now it's just second-nature.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Well, I guess I must appear to be new... sigh, ten years later.
    I don't think I'm squirrelly, but I can barely drink from a water bottle, my (right turn) cornering sucks, and I am a downhill weenie. I know how to do the quick release, though, but I don't want to have to do it. That, or any other mechanical thing. I *know* what to do, but have never been tested on the road. I have serious mechanical anxiety when I ride, although nothing bad has ever happened. Yes, I have taken more than one class and nothing changes. I am fine in the class, but when I practice at home, I end up with my bike in pieces on the ground and a lot of tears. So, then I stop practicing.
    I generally hide this very well when I ride. I ride with one group who actually think I am a "strong" rider or a couple of close friends who know they have to wait for me on the downhills.
    But, I can climb.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,769
    Crankin, we would be good riding partners
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    185
    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    An experienced rider will generally seem confident and at ease, have a good position on the bike (although not always), and be drinking from the water bottle while riding.
    Yeah, so I got all cocky on my last ride and grabbed my water bottle while riding. I tried to pull the spout up with my teeth but instead pulled the entire lid off with a pop...splashed water all over the front of me. I'm too sexy for my bike...
    2008 Specialized Globe Sport
    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    I figure someone is a new rider when they are:
    --riding on the sidewalk when there's no compelling reason to,
    --riding in the 'door zone',
    --hugging the curb while riding.
    --remaining on the right side of their lane in an intersection even when they are about to make a left turn.
    --locking only a wheel with their cable lock. Sadly, I saw a lonely front bike wheel nicely locked to a metal fence on Main St in our little rural town last week.
    --Both wheels are fairly flat while they are riding.
    --saddle is set way low and their knees are bent at 90 degree angles on the upstroke. (does not apply to teenagers on teeny circus bikes, who do this normally) lol
    --gigantic poofy foam saddle

    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Ha, Lisa, I think those are the things I look at, too. Your list made me laugh, especially the hugging the right curb to turn left. Somehow, that stuff seems natural to me.
    Zen, I will ride with you anytime. But, you or I would have to take a trip to do that. I am seriously thinking of finding a sports psychologist, or, I can just blame my fears on my neurotic Jewish family of origin.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Ummmmmmmm..you should all go to Copenhagen.

    and see the variety of cyclists there. And I bet alot of them are regular cyclists. Quite a number of women who hopped awkwardly off and on their bikes yet once they were on bike, they were rolling calmly away, unflapped.

    Obviously their bikes didn't fit them perfectly. And some of them rocked from side and side on their bikes. It hurts my hips just to see other people do this.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hudson, MA
    Posts
    28
    Crankin I'm the same way on downhills and cornering. My brakes get quite a workout but seeing some of those crashes during the Tour De France reinforced it for me - I just don't want to get hurt on my bike! Sure sign of new is when they're mashing the living daylights out of those pedals on a little tiny upgrade - I did that for a long, long time
    Trek Madone 4.5
    Trek 4500 MTB
    Specialized HardRock

 

 

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