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Old 07-01-14, 04:55 PM   #26
Moyene Corniche
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I'd mostly agree with this. One of things that turns me off about group rides is the pecking order of things. You typically have 3-5 pro's / ex pro's / studs, and then 20 guys trying everything to impress them. Some try to win their affection by being an enforcer or just an all around snob. Others do it by trying to race them which is silly, because most of the pro types see group rides as training sessions where they work on things, where Joe Local is treating it like his A race. The Tuesday Ride is the worst. Socializing with some in that group is like that scene in swingers where the girl ignores Jon Favreau because of the car he drives, except it's more like 'what category do you race?'
I rarely join group rides. Mostly because of the chaotic content. It often becomes too difficult to explain to people why separating a group ride into 3 groups based on ability is the least problematical way to resolve such a wide range of riders.
More often than not group rides fall under my rest day, which is specifically set for a max and minimum effort level. Riding in group guarantee's that I won't reach a consistent tempo or that I will go above the HR range was to stay at.
And Yes, it sometimes seems like instead of a group ride it resembles a casting call.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:00 PM   #27
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I will assume that is just sarcasm.
I'm cat 2 if that helps you decide.

And the best way to separate a group ride into groups based on ability is to just use it as 30s interval day and attack the **** out of it until it's sorted.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:22 PM   #28
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I'm cat 2 if that helps you decide.

And the best way to separate a group ride into groups based on ability is to just use it as 30s interval day and attack the **** out of it until it's sorted.
Pretty much that. From what I've seen, if the intent isn't expressed at the start of the ride (i.e., we all stay together, hold hands, and whatnot), the group tends to do one of a few things:

a) break into equally skilled sub groups (say a lead group, a "b" chase group, and the stragglers) [hilly rides];
b) have a few guys pushing the pace off the front and those that aren't strong enough to consistently contribute sit in and pull when able [flatter rides]; or
c) drop people that either keep coming back or find another ride.

I don't say any of that to be a snob, but I've been in each of those situations and learn more each time. Getting dropped is no big deal and I'd rather be dropped than be on a ride where I constantly had people waiting on me during regroups. Maybe this approach and/or result is "wrong", but it's what I see on pretty much any one of the bigger rides attended by "racers".
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Old 07-01-14, 05:26 PM   #29
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I'm cat 2 if that helps you decide.

And the best way to separate a group ride into groups based on ability is to just use it as 30s interval day and attack the **** out of it until it's sorted.
Around here, the race rides have a neutral section where it's 19-20mph, pretty casual, pretty social and then there's a point where it's on. If you're not one of the big dogs, hang on as long as possible. If you hang on long enough, you get enjoy the neutral roll back into town with the group. If you get dropped, well, no hard feelings, enjoy your solo ride back into town, and see you next week.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:27 PM   #30
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Is this an East Coast, West Coast difference?
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Old 07-01-14, 05:29 PM   #31
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I dunno. The AV A-ride I do some Sundays has regroups, but they are no big deal. We stay together on the flats and people hammer the climbs to their content. Regroup at the top. It's just NBD.

I read about the "no-drop" ride drama and have never experienced it, on either side.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:31 PM   #32
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I dunno. The AV A-ride I do some Sundays has regroups, but they are no big deal. We stay together on the flats and people hammer the climbs to their content. Regroup at the top. It's just NBD.

I read about the "no-drop" ride drama and have never experienced it, on either side.
We do regroup on a couple of the hilly rides. It's not a wait for everyone regroup, but more of a 3 min wait then roll out.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:36 PM   #33
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I'm cat 2 if that helps you decide.

And the best way to separate a group ride into groups based on ability is to just use it as 30s interval day and attack the **** out of it until it's sorted.
But then that is not a group ride. If the group rides off together and you and other's start attacking the group to shell the less fit riders. Then the only thing you've surely achieved is that it makes you look like a horses backside. The group needs to be sorted out before everyone sets off, otherwise it just becomes confrontational. People get offended at this all too common practice and justifiably so.
This is not the way to recruit riders into the sport or keep them. For example let's illustrate.

The new rider to the club / group ride, may be a woman may be not, but if this is this person's 1st group ride and it's a shelling game, she / he won't return, same goes for anyone else who is testing the waters. Even seasoned riders after a couple of group rides like this will just decide not to attend. You really cannot blame them and you cannot say " If they can't keep up Too Bad. "

It's actually a reverse form of Snobbery, by unceremoniously dropping people you are telling them, " You have no worth unless you can ride like me " It sends out the worst possible message about Licensed Cat cyclists to the rest of the cycling community.
We the one's with the Cat II and Cat III licenses are the one's that are obligated to reach out with an open hand. You never know, that woman or that guy that was dropped might very well be the person responsible for the sponsorship of your preferred local race.
Iv'e seen a somewhat similar scenario at the Harvard Mass Road Race some years back. Some idiot was badmouthing the race in less than polite verbiage. Just happened that the Bank President responsible for funding the race was within earshot. He pulled the plug right then and there.

I know this, I would probably not have stayed in racing early on, be it Cycling or Ski Racing without welcoming encouragement from racers like John Teague, Bente Dalhum, and 3 Cat I's who allowed me to caboose on a ride from Hamden to Hartford.. Not to mention many other's in France who just allowed me to join their club, race with them and offered me the same support a their riders.
Sometime a little humility works best.

BTW.. The key word here is Group-Ride, not Club or Team-Ride. On the latter it's expected to get shelled but on the former it's not a training ride, much less a race.

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Old 07-01-14, 05:36 PM   #34
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I'm cat 2 if that helps you decide.

And the best way to separate a group ride into groups based on ability is to just use it as 30s interval day and attack the **** out of it until it's sorted.
Its a good option for the stronger guys, the weaker ones get picked off and usually don't organize a chase.

Our Saturday Ride we have a Category 4 hill you can skip, and the weaker riders typically take that option. The great thing about that format is that it creates a race to the end to see if the fast guys can catch the slow group (which is still pretty fast) before the end. It also means being dropped from the hill group really makes it a long day.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:43 PM   #35
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The new rider to the club / group ride, may be a woman may be not, but if this is this person's 1st group ride and it's a shelling game, she / he won't return, same goes for anyone else who is testing the waters. Even seasoned riders after a couple of group rides like this will just decide not to attend. You really cannot blame them and you cannot say " If they can't keep up Too Bad. "
Different things motivate different people, I suppose. I got dropped like a stone on my first several group rides. I used that to motivate myself to stick in longer each time, then take some pulls, and so on. No hurt feelings and I wouldn't have wanted anyone to ease up on my account. I guess I view that as part of the cost of entry/learning the ropes/etc.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:52 PM   #36
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Different things motivate different people, I suppose. I got dropped like a stone on my first several group rides. I used that to motivate myself to stick in longer each time, then take some pulls, and so on. No hurt feelings and I wouldn't have wanted anyone to ease up on my account. I guess I view that as part of the cost of entry/learning the ropes/etc.
We've all been there, but it isn't the way to build the sport, notice how there are larger contingencies of casual riders, fixies, touring, recreational, many more than the Cat II, III and IV's. Making the sport difficult for those who may want to experience it at a moderate level is a Fail.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:28 PM   #37
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So would Harley riders also be considered snobs since they greet one another but do not acknowledge riders on other brands of motorcycles ?
Some years ago around Monroe Ct I had one of those days where on a 5+ hour ride I suffered 3 flats, ran out of patches and had to walk the last 6 km to home. The only person that stopped and asked If I needed assistance was a guy on a Harley in club colors.
<snip>
I call snobbery on the wannabe's who wear all the regalia, poor riding skills, think they're all that and couldn't acknowledge anyone else might perhaps have a few more miles than they do. I took a detour yesterday to check out the bike path from Hadley to Northhampton.
Plenty of examples on that conduit. Especially lately the touring types. Riding with the full accoutrements of panniers and kit. This has happened multiple times, i'll nod or acknowledge them and will get a blank look in return.
I broke down on my Harley on I-84W in Cheshire on a Sunday morning on the way to Marcus Dairy. If you know the area you know why I was going there. Harley after Harley rode by me and nobody stopped. I had a shorted coil wire. This was in the PaleoiPhone era, before cellphones existed. After about an hour a vet on a ratty old Honda with the stereo blaring pulls over. I ask him if he has any wire. He shuts off his stereo and rips the left speaker wire out. We jump the bad wire and my bike starts right up. He's fine because his other speaker works.

The repaved rail trail is fast, isn't it? If you're in the area and want to take a recovery ride give me a shout.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:34 PM   #38
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The repaved rail trail is fast, isn't it? If you're in the area and want to take a recovery ride give me a shout.
Please tell me they left the broken glass out of the pavement this time around.
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Old 07-01-14, 08:40 PM   #39
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The broken glass was never a problem for me. I commuted on the north end practically every day it wasn't snow covered for five years and it never caused a flat. This is plain old tarmac and is super fast. They didn't widen it much.
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Old 07-02-14, 06:04 AM   #40
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I do group rides whenever it's that time of the year to do group rides. Hammerfests have questionable training value because you could be going way over or way under target if you want to stay with the group. Social rides are usually too long and too hard for recovery days so I only do them during the offseason or during mid season breaks. In those cases I ride within the group for the first half of the ride and then if I need to get some work in I'll pull the group back into town at a speed that will keep most of us together.
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Old 07-02-14, 07:44 AM   #41
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Is this an East Coast, West Coast difference?
Nope, that's every Tuesday around here, and I'm the one chasing
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Old 07-02-14, 09:47 AM   #42
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I do group rides whenever it's that time of the year to do group rides. Hammerfests have questionable training value because you could be going way over or way under target if you want to stay with the group. Social rides are usually too long and too hard for recovery days so I only do them during the offseason or during mid season breaks. In those cases I ride within the group for the first half of the ride and then if I need to get some work in I'll pull the group back into town at a speed that will keep most of us together.
I recognize the inefficiency. Luckily I have the time and I enjoy the social aspects.

I'm only saying there is more than one way to train. I don't lost because I'm weak or under trained. It's that my gamesmanship still sucks and I'm way underexperienced compared to the crowd I have to race against now.
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Old 07-02-14, 10:05 AM   #43
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I recognize the inefficiency. Luckily I have the time and I enjoy the social aspects.

I'm only saying there is more than one way to train. I don't lost because I'm weak or under trained. It's that my gamesmanship still sucks and I'm way underexperienced compared to the crowd I have to race against now.
Agreed, there are lots of ways to train and not one right way. It's not about efficiency for me, it's about sticking to a plan that has a purpose aligned to goals. Break it, and the goals are at risk. That's why they call it structured training, not efficient training, although there can be efficiency associated with structure.
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Old 07-02-14, 10:25 AM   #44
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The local race rides can be built into a structured training plan. It's not always a perfect fit, but it doesn't necessarily have to blow up a plan.
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Old 07-02-14, 04:33 PM   #45
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I rarely look into the group rides, but when I do meet up with others it is usually to start off from the same point. It is usually best for me to just train with one or two others of similar strength. I haven't ever been offended after being dropped; only highly motivated to come back stronger. I think to welcome new riders into the sport the best way is to chat with people of higher talent rather than try to hold on for dear life.
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Old 07-02-14, 04:53 PM   #46
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But then that is not a group ride. If the group rides off together and you and other's start attacking the group to shell the less fit riders. Then the only thing you've surely achieved is that it makes you look like a horses backside. The group needs to be sorted out before everyone sets off, otherwise it just becomes confrontational. People get offended at this all too common practice and justifiably so.
You're saying that because rider A is stronger and feels like going faster, that said rider is now an ass? Sounds like you are projecting and just don't like it when someone rides away from you. I do a ride every Saturday in the winter and it breaks apart pretty quickly, yet no one gets confrontational about it. Maybe because we're adults and don't cry when someone can ride their bicycle faster than us.
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Old 07-02-14, 05:30 PM   #47
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You're saying that because rider A is stronger and feels like going faster, that said rider is now an ass? Sounds like you are projecting and just don't like it when someone rides away from you. I do a ride every Saturday in the winter and it breaks apart pretty quickly, yet no one gets confrontational about it. Maybe because we're adults and don't cry when someone can ride their bicycle faster than us.
(1). You missed my point.
(2) If there had been offense taken by what I posted, ( none was intended ) then I would have received a repost.
(3) I'm sure everyone can argue their own position, no need for an advocate.
(4) I wasn't projecting, but your comprehension of points made in the discussion is amiss.
(5) Therefore the discussion was about group ride versus Team / club ride and their inherent distinctions.
(6) I wasn't referring to myself but you also missed that.
(7) As for the adult part, perhaps you'd like to participate in the discussion on that level.

Cheers..
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Old 07-02-14, 05:45 PM   #48
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I think there are multiple definitions of a group ride. There's a group ride, then there's a no-drop group ride. The latter suck.
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Old 07-02-14, 06:24 PM   #49
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I find the pace of a "group ride" is often dictated by the size of the group.

As the size of the group tends towards zero, it (the pace) is more likely to be no-drop, and thus dictated by the pace of the slower rider(s).
As the size of the group tends towards infinity, it is more likely to be dictated by the pace of the fastest rider(s).
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Old 07-02-14, 06:35 PM   #50
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No drops are great for social riding.
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