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  1. #26
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    That's just not so. It can happen at a stop light with only one attractive female sitting at the light to witness the fall, roll down her window and ask if you're OK with a puzzled look on her face, wondering why did that guy just stop and fall off his bike? Don't ask me how I know that.
    I had a near fall when unclipping on Saturday, when riding in a "Girls With Gears" training ride. Just what every guy wants, to not only be slower than attractive young women, but to appear to be a klutz as well.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Iv'e belonged to a couple non bicycle groups that have held various events. These events were designed to generate revenue and also expose people to our club in hopes of gaining new members.
    We are all volunteers, and sometimes you just wish some of your volunteers would stay home!

    Our ***** club holds an annual sight in days before hunting season. Many of the participants are brand new shooters. The last thing they need/want is someone "smirking" at their skills. When the "volunteer" makes the "customer" feel uncomfortable because of their lack of skills, you lose a potential member and may get additional "bad advertising" about your club. We've had a very few "volunteers" do that. A little bit of "nurturing" can help the "customer". We have gotten MANY new members because of simple kindness & help.
    You experienced ONE JERK! I admire your resolve to eventually lead a ride.
    You might give that club another shot at the "Beginners Ride". It could be a golden opportunity to smooth the waters.
    Maybe you could get a group of "Novice Beginners" from that ride pool to do a separate ride. Not to compete with the club, but to add another option. Maybe without the "JERK", their Beginners Ride actually IS what you hoped for??
    You have to remember that you posted your experiences on the internet for all the world to see. That's because of ONE JERK that you happened to experience on ONE DAY! Does the club really deserve that?
    Give the club another opportunity to prove that it was a one time occurence. I think that's only fair.

    Hopefully, you can post back in the future that it really is a good club, and MAYBE you'll become one of their better members. You have the insight of what a beginner DOESN'T WANT.

  3. #28
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    My club generally has 3 rides on Saturday a slow/short, a medium and a long/fast ride. None of the rides are "no-drop" You have a route slip and are responsible for following it.

    On the first saturday of each month we have a "newbie" ride specifically designed for new riders. Before the ride we do a 1 hour instructional class speaking about traffic safety etc. Also before the ride, the ride leaders are responsible for assessing each new rider. I have been known to tell a person that their bike is not safe, or perhaps more practice on their own would be advisable but basically we have take off with who we have. It's hard to do a n-drop ride especially if you have some folks you travel at 15 mph and some who struggle at 5. So we split the groups up. The sweep (generally me) is responsible to make sure every rider gets to the ride stops safely. I hope each of our riders feels that are well looked after and their ride is enjoyable.

    Sounds like you had a poor experience and I can appreciate your anger. Most of us club riders have this fancy saying "it's a no drop ride... if you can keep up!" Pretty much the way no drop rides go that why I like our system better. Each travels at their own speed and there is no pressure to hang with the main or faster group. The rides must have a lead, middle folks and a sweep to be sucessful.

    Do not give up on riding. Get out there and practice, practice nad practice and soon or later you'll be hanging in there.

  4. #29
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
    You have to remember that you posted your experiences on the internet for all the world to see. That's because of ONE JERK that you happened to experience on ONE DAY! Does the club really deserve that?
    Give the club another opportunity to prove that it was a one time occurence. I think that's only fair.
    Bill, I posted my comments to both the Internet and the BCP list because sunlight is the best disinfectant. I wasn't the only person to complain, and this isn't the first incident. Or would you rather I simply stop riding with the club as others have before? I am a BCP member. I have standing to complain. I've also offered to lead beginner's rides for the club in a couple of months.

  5. #30
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    This is how a bicycle club should define their rides:

    http://http://www.capitalbicycleclub.org/filez/CBC%20Road%20Ride%20Roster.pdf

    I think this club pretty much sticks to what is described. I've done the recreational mid week rides and while some of the group does go the 16-20 mph the ride leader assesses the skills of those that show up and usually stays with the slowest riders in the group. Yes, he'll push you to go harder than you think you are able... but you will not be dropped. There is usually a regroup halfway through the ride.

    I'm rather inexperienced at the group rides and plan to take the course offered by the club to teach group riding skills and etiquette. This class also includes a group ride.

    The club should provide something for everyone. And, as a member of the club... if there isn't something there for you, it's your responsibility to start something for you and others that are in your situation. That's how the club will grow and provide for members of the community. And all the members of the club will pull together to influence community members and leaders to make bike friendly roads, MUP's, and bicycle facilities.

    Anyway, I'm sure that not everyone in the club is against the OP. There are people in the club that are and will help him if he will just stay with it. You don't want to be to critical with your first few experiences. You've got to ask around for help. But, if you really continue to rip the club, people will shy away even though they really want to help... they don't want to be ripped too, just for trying to help out. They probably aren't going to do it exactly right the first time either.

  6. #31
    Circling GypsyAngel's Avatar
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    Wow. What a crappy experience. I've hesitated to join my local club for fear of not being able to keep up on the hills but I know their D-Class ride (listed as a 'beginner's ride' or 'if you don't know what class you fall into') stresses no one will be dropped. I think their C-class ride also lists a sweep and 'no one dropped'.

    I was worried about not being able to keep up when I joined Team In Training last year and stressed that to my cycling coach. Turns out I was not the slowest one in the group and it didn't matter anyway. No one was made to feel like they were holding anyone up and no one was dropped during training. We usually drifted into a couple groups but our coach was with one group and a mentor with with the other. It was a great experience. (ETA: (Just to say I was surprised to find I really enjoyed cycling with others. Not comparing TNT to local bike clubs. I realize they are two different things.))

    I would have been pretty angry, especially at first. I think both emails to the bike club were well worded and well deserved. Sorry your Easter was spent that way.

    Gypsy
    Last edited by GypsyAngel; 04-10-07 at 03:11 AM.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by STewmeister
    Similar thing happened to me here in Atlanta on the "Freight Room" ride, advertised as a beginner friendly ride, they all rode off like they stole something, and I was maintaining a 10MPH pace on hilly terrain - I just ride by myself now, f'em.
    Rode off like they stole something. Oh man thats good stuff. That made my day reading that.

  8. #33
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your experience OP. Sounds like the ride leader was a real dickhead in need of an atitude adjustment.

    Last "group ride" I was on was w/ some mtb'ers in Manhattan. I told them I was a noob so they took it easy on me and waited for me when I fell behind. Of course, they didn't tell me when we went from the beginner trail to the intermediate trail, but that's probably cuz I was too far behind. Great guys and made me feel welcome. They seemed happy to see a new face.
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  9. #34
    Air
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    What club? I'd love to do some beginner mtb trails at some point...

  10. #35
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    ride leaders

    The ride leader apparently had a Richard Crainium complex and you should try to forgive them or it will eat at you. When I first started ridng after my cancer surgery, I could barely go 5 miles without passing out. These days, I'm still 260 and 48 years old but I did 31 miles last Sunday in 2 hours over rolling terrain so your efforts will pay off. I too, do alot of riding on my own and really enjoy it when I can ride with someone of compairable ability. Anyone who wants to ride along is always welcome and if I just have to go faster, I just ride up a ways and ride back or If I think I will be frustraitingly faster, I will ride my slowest, heaviest bike.

    My bike page: http://www.myspace.com/eccentriccyclistcharlie

  11. #36
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience with a club ride here in L.A. I am not a total beginner by any stretch, just out of shape compared to the typical SoCal whippets where even the Masters guys are puttin in 200 miles/week.

    My beef is with clubs mixing or confusing "no drop" rides with beginner rides. To me a beginner ride means we (or at least somebody) will stay with the slower riders. So far my experience tells me that "no drop" rules simply means "we'll drop your slow butt every chance we get...but we'll wait at the top of the next hill with disgusted looks on our faces in hopes you'll just drop out so we can go the speed we really want to go".

    If better riders are not prepared to stay with slower riders just find another ride. There are plenty of fast rides in Los Angeles....but there are painfully few true BEGINNER rides. Don't ruin those for us too. Thank you and good night.

  12. #37
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles vail
    The ride leader apparently had a Richard Crainium complex and you should try to forgive them or it will eat at you. When I first started ridng after my cancer surgery, I could barely go 5 miles without passing out. These days, I'm still 260 and 48 years old but I did 31 miles last Sunday in 2 hours over rolling terrain so your efforts will pay off. I too, do alot of riding on my own and really enjoy it when I can ride with someone of compairable ability. Anyone who wants to ride along is always welcome and if I just have to go faster, I just ride up a ways and ride back or If I think I will be frustraitingly faster, I will ride my slowest, heaviest bike.

    My bike page: http://www.myspace.com/eccentriccyclistcharlie
    I've forgiven them and moved on.

  13. #38
    jcm
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    Too bad you don't live out here and could ride with my club. We're pretty new and have a No Drop-No Exceptions policy. Typically, the two fastest riders will always sprint back as sweeps to encourage and accompany the slowest rider. Re-group when appropriate. Sometimes, we use a strategy that places a fast rider within sight of the slowest rider, but some distance ahead, waiting for them. All riders are told at the beginning that they will never be left behind for more than a few minutes, and, should they find themselves alone, they should simply look ahead to see someone coming for them. This seems to give the beginner the idea that there will always be someone looking out for them. The idea is to bring new riders along as they develope. It works.

  14. #39
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    Too bad you don't live out here and could ride with my club. We're pretty new and have a No Drop-No Exceptions policy. Typically, the two fastest riders will always sprint back as sweeps to encourage and accompany the slowest rider. Re-group when appropriate. Sometimes, we use a strategy that places a fast rider within sight of the slowest rider, but some distance ahead, waiting for them. All riders are told at the beginning that they will never be left behind for more than a few minutes, and, should they find themselves alone, they should simply look ahead to see someone coming for them. This seems to give the beginner the idea that there will always be someone looking out for them. The idea is to bring new riders along as they develope. It works.
    I think the biggest fear for new cyclists is that they will have a crash or breakdown out on the road, and have no way to get assistance. Heck even some guys who have been riding for 50 years may have a fear of a crash without ability to get help -- usually guys who have been riding for 50 years have the knowledge and equipment to do some field repairs so breakdowns are less of an issue. This got me thinking, you have 3 ride leaders, lets call them blue leader, red leader and green leader.

    Blue leader, is a fast rider, usually a young guy that is trying to prove he is the next Floyd Landis, he will be breaking the trail for the group. Green leader is an average rider, he/she will stick in the middle of the pack. Red leader is an old F**t who really doesn't care about speed, and is willing to bring up the rear, he/she will ride with the slowest rider, or even be the slowest rider. Each leader has a GRS radio, and they stay in contact with each other, would allow for a group to cover a distance of about 14 miles. I doubt the fastest rider will really get 14 miles ahead of the slowest on a 50 mile club ride, unless the fastest rider IS Floyd Landis. Then again, Floyd really doesn't need to prove anything to anybody, so he might enjoy pootling along at 10MPH, with a bunch of noobs.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Bearonabike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Morrow
    I don't know how the ride was billed. The local bike clubs "Beginner Ride" around here has a 18-20 mph average speed requirement/recommendation. I think it is a 2.5 hour 50'ish mile ride. .


    THAT is NOT a beginner's ride. If you look at the PPTC ride classifications, 18-20 mph is a class A ride, class AA is 20-22 mph on average. I would think a beginner would be a C or CC class ride (10-14 mph on average).
    Cycling - It isn't about the bike, its about the ride.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearonabike
    THAT is NOT a beginner's ride. If you look at the PPTC ride classifications, 18-20 mph is a class A ride, class AA is 20-22 mph on average. I would think a beginner would be a C or CC class ride (10-14 mph on average).

    It is likely I may be a bit off on the pace of the ride. With that said I know I steered clear of it. I usually average 17 mph or so for 1.5 to 2 hours. It seemed awfully fast to me to be a beginner ride thus the reason I never rode it.
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  17. #42
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    This is a shame. Obviously the Ride Leaders were more experienced riders and either wanted to get it over with or just didn't care. As a Ride Leader ONE of them should have stayed behind with the slowest person or group and offer encouragement and support. They should have been looking at how you were shifting and WHEN, if you had proper Air Pressure, or even if your position on the bike was correct. Obviously they did NONE of he above. That is what a Training ride is all about. It sounds like they started it correctly, but they didn't follow through.

    And Some Bike Clubs wonder why thy can't get new members!
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  18. #43
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    That's just not so. It can happen at a stop light with only one attractive female sitting at the light to witness the fall, roll down her window and ask if you're OK with a puzzled look on her face, wondering why did that guy just stop and fall off his bike? Don't ask me how I know that.
    I discovered this morning that it can also happen in the middle of nowhere, after you just blew past a Polish guy riding to work on an MTB 3 sizes too small for him. There was no "race mentality" here, just that he was doing 10 mph, and I was doing 18-20, so I shot past him, then on the way up the hill I discovered my derailleur low-stop is too low, dropped the chain, and, already going slow, couldn't get my foot out, so I just rolled into the stinging nettles (ouch!). It wasn't like a gave him "the look" or anything, but it was a lesson in humility as he plodded past, asking if I was ok!

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    crashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy
    I discovered this morning that it can also happen in the middle of nowhere, after you just blew past a Polish guy riding to work on an MTB 3 sizes too small for him. There was no "race mentality" here, just that he was doing 10 mph, and I was doing 18-20, so I shot past him, then on the way up the hill I discovered my derailleur low-stop is too low, dropped the chain, and, already going slow, couldn't get my foot out, so I just rolled into the stinging nettles (ouch!). It wasn't like a gave him "the look" or anything, but it was a lesson in humility as he plodded past, asking if I was ok!
    Another good reason to avoid click in pedal systems! Did a recent 41 mile organised ride with old school (loose fit) toe clips and straps and skateboarder shoes......totally comfy and easy out when stopping. I am going to try a longer ride with no retention and my sandals next, just to see how my speed and comfort compare from previous rides.!

  20. #45
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    All my other bikes have clips and straps, and this one is my first with clipless. After this, my second fall, I found the best spot in the pedal cycle to unclip, and practised a lot. I don't think people need to avoid clip-in pedals, just practise a little with them. I remember having trouble with clips and straps at first, but that was 20 years ago, and I've nailed it now. The clipless do give me better connection and better pulling-up power than I can get with clips unless they're tightened down, which I NEVER do. I also find that my feet hotspot quite a bit on a longer ride with sneakers on clips and straps.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy
    All my other bikes have clips and straps, and this one is my first with clipless. After this, my second fall, I found the best spot in the pedal cycle to unclip, and practised a lot. I don't think people need to avoid clip-in pedals, just practise a little with them. I remember having trouble with clips and straps at first, but that was 20 years ago, and I've nailed it now. The clipless do give me better connection and better pulling-up power than I can get with clips unless they're tightened down, which I NEVER do. I also find that my feet hotspot quite a bit on a longer ride with sneakers on clips and straps.
    The hotspotting might be due to the width of the pedal or the shoes sole. I ride now with Adidas skateboarder shoes ( I know it sounds goofy) and so far, I have been very comfortable. I recently purchased a set of Teva Hurricanes because my toes/toenails get all jammed, in most shoes and I have ridden in Lake/SPD sandals but I wanted to ride with no cleats. So far, riding without clip in shoes has not been any slower or uncomfortable plus I can walk in them. I recently put on some extra long powergrips on my commuter, mustache bar bike so I can ride in winter boots or sandals in the summer. I know what you are talking about with the hotspotting and that is true, if you use a running type shoe with thinner flexible soles.

  22. #47
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    I am sorry you had that experience. You might want to try the Sunday Breakfast ride. It is very slow paced, no dropping and they break for breakfast. The leader is very nice and does not push it at all. It is listed as a C pace, but it is at the lower end of C.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  23. #48
    el padre
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    Way to go...not only get back on the bike a ride,,, but help others to follow in your footsteps... peace

  24. #49
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    I'm sorry you had such a negative experience, but am very impressed with how you've handled it.

    I hope you get to lead some rides. I think it would be a fantastic opportunity to share cycling with folks who might not feel comfortable with group rides.

  25. #50
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    My club has a sweep. That means they are ALWAYS the last rider. This person VOLUNTEERS to do this.

    More clubs that advertise "beginner" rides should do this.

    I rode with two groups before this one, and every ride everyone just took off and left me, I always finished them on my own, but it pissed me off.

    Since I found this group, I'm not always riding with the sweep anymore, but if I need to I know that person is there and will not ditch me. Occasionally I'll tell them to go ahead if I'm just not feeling it, but almost always, unless it's getting super super late, they will refuse and stick with me.

    To me, that's a beginner ride.

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