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  1. #1
    Still can't climb
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    Do you like group riding?

    Last summer I rode for a while with a really nice bunch. Although they were all very strong riders they were so non-elitist and none were clydes. In fact I just met them while I was on a solo ride and they invited me to join them the following week. They always had a non-drop ride when I was invited and had a seperate drop ride where I could just not show up or try to keep up as long as possible (usually only til the first steep hill).

    The problem is I think I actually prefer solo riding. I can go at my own pace, stop when I want, change pace depending on how I feel, eat and drink anytime, take random detours. Even if people say it is non-drop and don't seem to mind waiting, I always felt embarrassed holding things up or pushed myself too hard to keep up.

    Now the weather is getting better I'm expecting the group to start riding together soon. I actully feel a bit of trepidation! I'm wondering how to tell them I would rather not ride with them when they are so friendly to accommodate me. They have nothing to gain by including me ... except maybe my charming company for the post ride coffee.

    What do you like about group riding if you never race so don't need pack skills?

  2. #2
    W A N T E D Juggler2's Avatar
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    I'd say your very lucky to have found such a group. I envy your good fortune. As for riding solo... just tell them the truth.

  3. #3
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    Riding in groups pushes your limits because you want to do better, your lucky you found such a group. I bet after a while you will get dropped less, go on solo rides when they do have the drop rides. Seems like you got a choice. Its nice having friends on 2 wheels. Good Luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I have a group I ride with on occasion. Nice group and no one tries to show anyone up. We are going to try and ride the MS 150 together this year.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2003 Trek 7300
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I'm like the OP. I prefer solo riding or riding with one or two friends. But if I was included in a friendly group like he was, I would probably join them once in a while. Maybe I would explain that I like riding with them, but my schedule is going to make it hard to do that more than once or twice a month. I wouldn't think of that as a lie, since I really do schedule my solo rides.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  6. #6
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    It doesn't have to be a one-or-the-other thing. I like riding solo and I like riding with a group. Riding solo is like meditation time - my alone time...MY time, while riding with a group helps to increase your fitness, bike handling and social skills.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Senior Member piper_chuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coasting View Post
    What do you like about group riding if you never race so don't need pack skills?
    • A group pushes you harder. This can translate to faster and/or longer rides
    • Someone to talk to
    • Someone to help if an emergency develops
    • New friends
    • Positive role models, from a fitness perspective at least

    When I was at my peak, 11 or so years ago, I rode with groups a couple times a week and on my own the rest of the time. One of the groups was mostly stronger, faster, but over time, less so . The other groups were usually people with similar or less speed and strength than me. On those rides, I used the skills I learned from the other groups to lead rides and help newer riders.

    One of my goals this year is to get at least one group ride going in my area.
    Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

  8. #8
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I would like to try a group ride, and was hoping to do so when I was headed to Tennessee, but scheduling conflicts left me with no free time. There isn't anyone in my area to ride with, or at least that I am aware of.
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
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    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  9. #9
    ROAD enthusiast revolator's Avatar
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    It is easy to ride by yourself, anytime you choose to, weather permitting. Harder to find company to ride with, when you do, it's well worth it.

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I joined in with a group of retires that ride six days a week. Wednesdays is down day. We had nine show up last Thursday. With the different mix of bikes and riders it is a Blast. Four of them are former road racers. One has a low to the road trike. Another a custom bent. We are joined sometimes by two young Tri racers, on 11 lb bikes. 50 to 75 miles each ride on county roads. Meet afterwards for coffee, beer , what ever at ones house.
    The leader has logged 160,000 plus miles.
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  11. #11
    el sombrador loco MetalClydesdale's Avatar
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    I tend to prefer riding in groups because I like the company and the opportunity to challenge one another. I enjoy riding alone too, but I don't like to do it all the time.

    When I still lived in Eugene I had a lot of people to ride with which I really enjoyed. Since moving to Ukiah I have been unable to find anyone. About half the riders I've met here tend to avoid any ride longer than 20 miles and the other half are racers and triatheletes. Both are nice groups of people but the former doesn't ride far enough for me and the later tends to outpace me in short order.
    What you risk reveals what you value.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coasting View Post
    Last summer I rode for a while with a really nice bunch. Although they were all very strong riders they were so non-elitist and none were clydes. In fact I just met them while I was on a solo ride and they invited me to join them the following week. They always had a non-drop ride when I was invited and had a seperate drop ride where I could just not show up or try to keep up as long as possible (usually only til the first steep hill).

    The problem is I think I actually prefer solo riding. I can go at my own pace, stop when I want, change pace depending on how I feel, eat and drink anytime, take random detours. Even if people say it is non-drop and don't seem to mind waiting, I always felt embarrassed holding things up or pushed myself too hard to keep up.

    Now the weather is getting better I'm expecting the group to start riding together soon. I actully feel a bit of trepidation! I'm wondering how to tell them I would rather not ride with them when they are so friendly to accommodate me. They have nothing to gain by including me ... except maybe my charming company for the post ride coffee.

    What do you like about group riding if you never race so don't need pack skills?
    Sometimes you just wanna yap with someone as you ride, so even if you can't ride with the group for every ride, you should stay in contact with them, so that when you want a group ride, you can go, when you want to be solo, just go solo. You will also find, the skill of riding in a peloton very handy for strength, speed and precision training rides, and those are handy skills. By drafting a stronger and faster rider, you become stronger and faster yourself, and you learn to be more in control of your bicycle, hanging on someone else's wheel.

    I prefer solo riding as well, the biggest reason though, is that I like photography as well, and the bicycle goes with photography like bacon does with eggs. Lower speed, and the ability to easily pull completely off the road, make it easy to do. I didn't do as much as I wanted last year, but I want to extend my range this year, and get in a century before my birthday (mid June) and an American measure century before the end of the season, now if only the weather would improve. Regular training rides for the year start in less then 3 weeks, so we need to get rid of the white stuff.

  13. #13
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Group rides are pretty fun and it sounds like a good group. I'd stick with them.

  14. #14
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I like both. If I'm wanting to process mentally while I'm riding, though, I prefer alone. Then it's a meditation and I can get clarity of thinking.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juggler2 View Post
    I'd say your very lucky to have found such a group. I envy your good fortune. As for riding solo... just tell them the truth.
    On the same subject, I recommend the Fat Cyclist's little essay on "The Core Team":

    http://www.fatcyclist.com/2007/07/04/the-core-team/

  16. #16
    My cassette goes to 11 Barabus's Avatar
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    I know that I ride more when I have regular commitments to my club rides.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I do both. My cycling buddies are great people . I look forward to group rides. Makes a ride more fun. Still, solo can be nice when you want to concentrate on the ride and just be alone with your bike.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Yes and No! Yes when it's with a bunch that I know. We have a few riders that we know and join in as we go by along the trail. I'm usually out in front so I keep a steady pace, no sprinting or opening gaps so that the wife keeps up without having to struggle. We don't mind a fast pace as long as it doesn't involve sprints.

    No when a rider decides to take the lead after drafting for 30 miles then sprints off the front. Holding 19 then he goes around and picks it up to 24.................for 2 minutes. Then drops back down to 19.

    Yes cause I like to hold a pace and give all riders a chance to stay in the paceline. It's fun when there are about 10 riders and they all feel safe. We can go fast or slow as long as we're all on the same level.

    No when you email 5 riders, 3 times a week by request on ride info. Then get 5 calls at breakfast on ride day all within 3 or 4 minutes. Got to the point I don't answer the phone before a ride.

    Yes when some of the monster rider like Big John get in front and carry a high pace but allow others to hang on if they can. No arrogance, just pure power!

    No when you catch up to a group of club riders, hten they look back at you like they are trying to drop you after you closed the gap of about 2 miles! Silly wabbits! It's always fun to see a group of guys drop jaw when the wife kicks their azzes!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    No when you catch up to a group of club riders, hten they look back at you like they are trying to drop you after you closed the gap of about 2 miles! Silly wabbits! It's always fun to see a group of guys drop jaw when the wife kicks their azzes!
    It's even more fun, when you see a group of kitted out skinny 20 somethings on the latest fancy plastic bicycles, and they get dropped by a 50 something fred on a 70's steel, bike boom 10 speed, who has more fat on him then the whole dozen of them, combined..

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    The bike community is pretty large here, so there is a wide variety of group rides, and people that show up at them. You can show up at the same no-drop ride, and one week everybody is chatty, helping each other, strong riders cutting the wind, etc. The next week you show up to the same ride, and with a slightly different mix of people it is a racer-type hammer-fest. You know, where they take turns to reluctantly drop back and stay miles behind the pack with the other small group of "no drops".

    The rides without a no-drop policy around here can be brutal. They GO HARD, and it is like a mini-race every single time they leave the parking lot.

    I don't race or ride with groups on charity or lone long distance rides, but I always learn something that makes riding more enjoyable when I go on group rides. If it is not riding technique, it is physically watching a new, to me, flick-of-the-wrist while someone fixes something on a bike that broke down. Group rides also instill that competitive spirit in me, which makes me ride harder, which in turn gets me into better shape, so that I can better enjoy the scenery and stufff on my lone rides.

    If you like how these guys ride, and can make the ride schedule-wise, then I would probably go if I were you. It is only once per week, right? You have six other days per week to ride alone. Shake things up.

    Have fun out there!

  21. #21
    Senior Member JohnKScott's Avatar
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    I have never joined a club or been on a group ride (with the exception of riding with doghouse and his son and a few other folks here and there at the last (and first) century ride I did last fall). I have been thinking about joining a local club to do some group rides. I would like to learn better pack riding skills and be challenged to improve by people who are faster than me. Can't help it, I like to get faster and faster. Maybe I need to race someday . It also would be kind of fun to meet some other folks in the area with a similar interest.

    OTOH, I really like riding solo. I like to take some "just for fun" rides and take pictures like I did last Friday on my first 100k ride of the year. I also like to be able to follow my training routine or just try to go out and beat my best time on a course I've ridden before or just time trial like a maniac (even though I'm not a fast maniac..yet). Plus, I like leaving and getting back on MY schedule .

    So, I probably will join a club (got invited to come to a club ride last Friday when I had to make an emergency stop at a LBS due to a blow out). Get to know some of the folks and ride with them on occasion. But I probaby wouldn't commit to every week or twice a week. I don't see any problem with that. It's just a little variation from the routine. Plus, if I join a club and pay the dues, they probably won't care anyway .

  22. #22
    Still can't climb
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    I think I might stick with the group rides as so many suggested. It really is a nice bunch. It's not a formal club just a bunch of keen cyclists who used to race before they came to the UK.

    Maybe I just go every other week with the group on shorter rides where I can push harder and then go solo for long slow fat burning rides. Maybe I can surprise them as I improve. Actually they do the no-drop ride as a recovery ride so I can use it as a push myself ride.

  23. #23
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    I go on solo rides, but with so many people passing me on the bike path I feel like I'm riding in a group.

  24. #24
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    it would be nice to find a group to ride with, every group is pretty much skinny rider and when you are a clydesdale they tend to want to drop you.

  25. #25
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themetalman View Post
    it would be nice to find a group to ride with, every group is pretty much skinny rider and when you are a clydesdale they tend to want to drop you.
    Real cyclists can't stand us fatasses blocking the way.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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