Meeting Guys on the Road

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Cycling is strange in the respect that you tend to run into people while out training and they can converse with you. I’ve never really just been out running or doing some other sport and a random guy comes up and starts talking to me. And out here in Southern California, it happens all the time. Probably because there are just so many more people out riding and probably the guys out riding tend to be on the same roads.

A couple days ago, I was riding North, about ready to descend Torrey Pines, when a guy rides up and asks me why I wasn’t wearing a helmet. Then he asks me how many miles I ride, for the day, the week, the year. He then says I must be really good and asks me my “record time” climbing Torrey Pines. I told him I didn’t know, but I’m sure there is a Strava segment up the thing. He tells me that Floyd Landis holds the record at 4:10, but he was “juiced”. I was thinking that 4:10 sounded pretty fast for climbing Torrey Pines, but I really didn’t know.

He then goes on to say that he is a runner and that he is just using cycling for training to run. He goes on to quote the mile record times for virtually any age group of runner. He was only talking about male times, not female. I wonder if he knew the female times too?

Anyway, he tells me that if I could run a 4:25 mile, I’d have a world record for the mile. Next year it would be 4:35. 4:35 doesn’t sound that quick for the fastest ever ran. I figure the reason for that is that by the time most great runners are in their 50’s, they’ve destroyed their knees enough that they can’t really run very fast.

Anyway, the guy was a numbers genius.

On the way back down the coast on Sunday, we rode up by a guy that looked like he was homeless. We got stopped at a light and I looked over and realized he was a bike tourist. I said something to him and he tells me he has ridden 150,000 miles and had been to 60 countries. I told him I had him on the mileage, but not the countries. I asked him where he was going and he said wherever the wind takes him. I guess Tijuana if that was really the case. I guess about asked him if he wanted to stop and get something to eat, I’d was interested in hearing a few of his stories, but somehow I missed the opportunity.

Anyway, both these guys were really interesting and added to my day. Cycling allows that. I like it. Randomness is a good thing sometimes.

Sue passing the tourist in Solana Beach.

Sue passing the tourist in Solana Beach.

Mile record times for males.

Mile record times for males.

Strava segment for Torrey Pines.  I've never killed myself up the thing, on a tailwind day, so maybe the KOM isn't out of reach.

Strava segment for Torrey Pines. I’ve never killed myself up the thing, on a tailwind day, so maybe the KOM isn’t out of reach.

18 thoughts on “Meeting Guys on the Road

  1. Francisco Mancebo

    My Emir only makes me wear a helmet when the team is going skydiving. PS: the cyclotourist had your Di2 battery that I sent. Remember? You’re supposed to help me escape from this Dubai thing

  2. Jason

    Well, I mixed up the runner and homeless tourist, but Chew is not a runner that uses cycling for training regardless.

  3. RogerH

    While on my “bikation” this winter, I met two guys biking from Boston to San Diego at The Alamo Springs Cafe outside of Fredericksburg TX. Cool stories. They were never cyclists. 22 years old. Picked up a couple bikes, packed up and headed out. They had cell phones but not much more than bare essentials. They said they learned very quickly they had started out with too much stuff, i.e. cut it down to two pair of merino wool socks. They were hitting campgrounds and a website called that anyone can sign up for and welcome touring cyclist into your home. I just looked at the web site, there are over 23,000 hosts. I had no idea. They said they would sometimes stay a few days and up to a week with people they meet. What a great experience! And we all three agreed the burgers were the best we had ever had. I think they had helmets though…

  4. Dog

    Just curious, my being a long-since racing retiree… You had one of the lower wattages. Does that mean you’re really light, or perhaps you use a lower gear? Or perhaps it doesn’t mean shit, as no two power meters are ever calibrated the same?

  5. Rod

    I’m not into all the Strava stuff so can anyone tell me what the start/finish is to the Torrey Pines climb? I could at least see how close (far) I am from those times.

  6. Dog

    You’d also need to know if it means PCH or the park road. They are side-by-side, but the park road is shorter and steeper.

  7. Neil Rintoul

    Ha, all of us on that Torrey Pines leaderboard say we weren’t killing ourselves and could have had a better tailwind! Love reading your stuff.

  8. Ted


    I believe only the ones with the lightning bolt icon next to them are ones where the user was actually capturing data with a power meter. I believe the other ones without are just ‘calculated’ estimates by Strava.

  9. Dog

    There once was an organized USCF race up the park road. 1983 or 1984. Mike Farr won it. Talk about a crazy scramble.

  10. The Cyclist

    Actually, back in times (the times Steve is from) when cycling was a real sport and not just a televised Strava segment it is today, the real pros didn’t wear helmets. Only amateurs did. Amateurs like you, Ted.


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