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Old 01-23-08, 02:57 PM   #1
MDcatV
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Practice

Tell me about your team rides.

Do you practice things like:
-leading out/sprinting,
-paceline work,
-race simulations (if so, what specifically do you do?)

Right now on our typical saturday ride, we kind of go out in a double paceline, chat it up for a while, ride along at tempo, do some rotating paceline work, then we have 4 sprint points at the top of climbs where it becomes every man for himself, then proceed on home.

I'm looking for ways to make team rides more interesting and productive beyond just fitness training - like actually getting to know how to ride with and for each other.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:05 PM   #2
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We do rotating pacelines. We had to work on them a lot since some of these guys had no idea how they really worked (freakin' roadies). We also did leadouts and bike handling skills (see the article in Pez by Josh Horowitz). Another thing we might do soon is sprints for speed limit signs, and maybe even keep score. It makes intervals more interesting.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:05 PM   #3
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Our team rides consist of the young bucks dropping the old goats like a bad habit on the hills. It's not real organized. Race simulations/leadouts won't work for us much as we all have individual agendas throughout the season spanning several categories (I'm the only cat 3 who will be doing cat 3 races for example).
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Old 01-23-08, 03:07 PM   #4
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Every so often we'll try to get a rotating paceline going, but it's like herding cats.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:10 PM   #5
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yeah, my "group ride" is mostly tri guys who can drop me in a heartbeat but who can't execute a double paceline to save their lives.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:21 PM   #6
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team rides?

team rides in winter?

interesting concept.

fwiw during DSL i do a ride on tuesdays that's split into 3 segments, more or less.

we start out with a warm up, then break up into groups of 3-4, and do a TTT for +/-10km.

after that it's a cool down for a bit, then we a 2 man TT, with different exercises every week: working on power, cadence, etc.

then it's another cool down period, until we finish things up with a wild-west mock race, which comprises of 1 to 3 groups (maximum size of each group is 12-13 riders).

it's a good workout.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:29 PM   #7
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+1 to all the paceline stuff

For bunch sprint practice, the winner of the last sprint has to go into the sprint zone first, though at any chosen speed.

Sometimes we work our hill repeats like races, attacking each other and such.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:35 PM   #8
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team rides?

team rides in winter?

interesting concept.
What Winter? Our season just started last Sunday.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:36 PM   #9
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What Winter? Our season just started last Sunday.
yeah, bu you live in la la land.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:39 PM   #10
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Spring/Summer:
* Tuesday night, training crit/circuit with other racers/teams, includes two sprints per lap (6x10' laps)
* Wednesday night, sprint practice, leadouts and sprint drills
* Thursday night, single/double pacelines, echelons, positioning (all oriented toward new racers)
* Weekends are either long team rides and/or races.

Fall/Winter:
* Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday morning hill repeats
* Thursday morning, tempo/pacelining
* Weekends are long team rides (including fixed-gear training) or whatever is left of races in the fall

The weekend team rides usually involve a fair amount of climbing (go NorCal), faster climbers can do repeats until everyone gets to the top/regroup point. Some impromptu sprints points and KOM here and there, otherwise we shift between pacelining and mellow chatting pace. Morning hill repeats sometimes focus on a particular kind of climbing drill, such as low cadence/high gear, short repeatable efforts, etc...
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Old 01-23-08, 03:39 PM   #11
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yeah, bu you live in la la land.
aka California.
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Old 01-23-08, 04:32 PM   #12
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i think it would be a pretty neat idea, when there is enough people, to form two lead out trains and practice sprints at those designated spots instead of every man for himself. In reality even if the team isnt put together enough to make it work in a race the skills should still pay off in sprint finishes since you are still trying to use someone to lead you out wether they are knowing or not.
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Old 01-23-08, 04:38 PM   #13
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another drill i used to do, when i lived in scotland.

when we had a enough riders, we'd break into two groups, and paceline. if you were in the front group, once you did your pull, you moved over. sounds pretty standard.

thing is, you'd then drift to the group behind you, instead of working your way through the paceline again.

meanwhile, if you were in the group behind, instead of taking a pull, you had to bridge up to the group ahead of you.

depending on the wind, it could be a killer workout.
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Old 01-23-08, 04:42 PM   #14
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I practice highly valuable road maneuvers such as madison slings, and pushing others while they take a piss.
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Old 01-23-08, 04:43 PM   #15
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another drill i used to do, when i lived in scotland.

when we had a enough riders, we'd break into two groups, and paceline. if you were in the front group, once you did your pull, you moved over. sounds pretty standard.

thing is, you'd then drift to the group behind you, instead of working your way through the paceline again.

meanwhile, if you were in the group behind, instead of taking a pull, you had to bridge up to the group ahead of you.

depending on the wind, it could be a killer workout.
that sounds pretty damn fun too
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Old 01-23-08, 04:45 PM   #16
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Another thing that could be interesting to try is having a rider fall off the back and then have another rider drop back to see if they could pull them back to the group.

i got some experience falling back on my last group ride. pity the ******* that tried to pull me back
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Old 01-23-08, 04:57 PM   #17
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I practice highly valuable road maneuvers such as madison slings, and pushing others while they take a piss.
I practiced those as a teen. Funny, the pissing thing never came in handy in our 20-50 mile races.
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Old 01-23-08, 04:59 PM   #18
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Funny, the pissing thing never came in handy in our 20-50 mile races.
It makes the track slippery, too.
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Old 01-23-08, 05:01 PM   #19
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It makes the track slippery, too.
Hmmm, we never tried it on a velodrome, just while riding down Westlake Blvd.
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Old 01-23-08, 05:04 PM   #20
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We get together to eat pizza and drink beer while talking about how fast we think we are.

Seriously though..

As a group right now we're on a 1 day a week sprint workout (try to beat up the other guy, I tend to be that other guy), and a weekend group ride/race, with the rest of us doing our own things the other days. When the sun starts setting a little later we'll start up a 2 hour group ride with lots of attacks 2x a week plus the weekend group ride/race. Additionally, our local cycling club will start a "parents and kids social ride" which is a perfect 60 minute recovery ride on Wednesdays.

There's also a legendary 2x a week "race" on the other side of town which usually has upwards of 30-50 people in it. It should be starting up soon enough...
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Old 01-23-08, 05:17 PM   #21
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We've done attack/bridge drills, where one rider attacks, then others attack and bridge one by one. Any soft attacks and we follow.

Also trackstand fights at lights.
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Old 01-23-08, 05:41 PM   #22
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When at UCONN I ran the cycling team (mid late 80s). Over 1988-1989 we met twice a week for 60-120 minutes at a frozen over lacrosse field. We did a bunch of stuff which apparently is not unique, based on the Josh Horowitz article. We made all of this up based on Eddy B's book and some suggestions from ex-national team riders who happened to be students.

- wipe tires
- bump
- wheel touch
- bunny hop
- track stand
- pick things up
- bottle toss circle - sort of a full contact, low gear, "crit" weaving around bottles thrown out in a 10-15 yard circle, the idea being that you can't go without being in full contact with someone.

The C team was extremely comfortable riding in close quarters and actually spooked so many guys that I got worried. In the 1989 spring season they caused a lot of crashes simply by riding too close to scared witless non-UCONN riders who would freak out and crash if you got closer than 5 feet to them.

I think sprinting to the top of a hill is not really productive except for sprints that go to the top of a hill. Instead, work on flat sprints. Drafting and tactics become much more important than how strong you are. Ideally a flat or slight uphill sprint after a couple miles of slight downhills would be great - the downhills act as a "virtual" pack so even the guys leading out won't be unduly handicapped. A slight uphill sprint (i.e. 1% grade) is nice as it allows for some semblence of power and speed. A downhill sprint doesn't emphasize power enough, just aerobic capacity and gearing.

In high school a racing classmate and myself would use the "over the driveway crosswalk" as a finishline. A 90 degree bend 200 yards from it made for an excellent "last corner", and the 90 degree turn to get into the high school was an excellent "second last corner". We'd come hauling down the main road, turn right, turn left, and sprint for the line.

Of course, when some event filled the driveway with buses it got a little hairy (fly around a turn at the edge of control and suddenly you're looking at the tailpipe of a bus). These ended when they installed speed bumps in the driveway.

Such a "race simulation" type sprint would be good too, esp if you have a few more people to make the turns interesting.

In the late 80s the guys would do a very disciplined 50 mile paceline ride. Too much for me, too serious, too fast, and left me dead for the weekends.

In the 90s there was a group ride at SUNY Purchase. Tues sprints, Thu TT. I did the sprints, as did perhaps 50-200 other people (100 was probably average, 150 was a good night). They started at about 5, ended about 7. Ideally you cruise around from 4:30 or so, and you "warm down" until you were going too slow and the mosquitos started biting bad, maybe 8 pm. 2 mile loop, 1 mile neutral, 1 mile (starting with a short downhill) was "whatever it takes to cross the line first". Go early, go late, line up a team, ride off of a lined up team, whatever. Ride clean and it was okay. We absolutely honed our leadouts there. It became very, very apparent that leadouts below, say, 35 mph were a waste of energy - everyone else used your leadout too. 37, 38, 39 mph was about right - fast enough that you used a big part of your sprint to move up. As the guy being led out, a 37-39 mph leadout gave me maybe 3 or 4 contenders to fend off, a 35 mph leadout would give me 15 or 20. 40 mph was a bit fast for me (after the initial burst of speed down the short hill got scrubbed off), but in the last 100-200 meters of the leadout that was about right. Ideally a leadout is so fast that only one, maybe two guys can even think about trying to beat you. If more are contesting the sprint the leadout was too slow. Sprint speeds were typically 42-46 mph (head/tail wind). Some national level riders would show (I remember Jessica Greico mixing it up, I imagined George Hincapie there but I don't know) and it was a blast. Unfortunately a solo runner got hit by a car (severely injured) and the school decided to shut down all unofficial sporting activities and the ride ended.

You can create such a ride in some industrial park (a big one) or doing laps around some big shopping mall thing before they open. I imagine there must be some good loops in semi-developed cities even - I used a busy street and cars and practiced sprints with 0-3 teammates in the middle of a city. Cars made the initial leadout and us racers would take turns leading one another out.

cdr
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Old 01-23-08, 07:16 PM   #23
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Also trackstand fights at lights.
As in who can track stand the longest or are you guys actually trying to knock each other over?
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Old 01-23-08, 10:16 PM   #24
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As in who can track stand the longest or are you guys actually trying to knock each other over?
Knock each other over. We could trackstand until starvation The trick to knocking over is that you have to commit fully, throw yourself off balance and use the other guy to get you back in balance. It's his "win" if you land on top of him, and he can pull you down too. No grabbing bikes though.
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Old 01-24-08, 07:38 AM   #25
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Team rides? No team I was ever on got together for specific training. Just headed out to the local race-style groups a few days a week, did a bunch of through-and-off's, plus a few attacks here and there and a spint at the end. After a month or two of that, it's time to race.

If you have beginners, they'll figure it out quickly and be the better for it, rather than sitting in pre-programmed team pacelines.

I'll call it the KISS method.

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