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  1. #1
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    first group ride report...warning long post

    My first group ride. I had called a local bike club to see if I could ride with them. A few requirements, but yes I could. I knew the meeting time, location and approximate speed the group would travel. I knew the distance and location of where they said they were going to arrive. I arrived at the meet location and meet a few guys and introduced myself. I was a little nervous, but excited too. I was expecting to see a female there because that was who was listed as a leader for a ride. No biggie, I had tried calling her earlier and didnít get a return call. I figure she is gone, it is summer vacation come up, so one of the guys is filling in. I tried to gauge the group by their appearance, age, and bikes. I was close to age to some, probably one of the younger ones, fitness level there were a couple of other clydes there (whether they knew they were clydes I didnít know) and some vintage ten speeds, no carbon fiber. Ok, looks like a group that I can ride with.

    So off we go. As we start off, I hear one of the guys ask where do you want to go and the other replies the park. This isnít the route I was told. It took me a couple of tries to clipin, since this was only my third ride with clipless pedals no big dealÖif I was alone. The group was off and I lingered behind working to get clipped in. Well, as I rounded a corner about two blocks from the start, the group was doing circles in the road, waiting for me. That was a good sign.

    The first part of the ride was downhill so the speed was fast and I couldnít judge what to expect from the group. So here I am off riding with a group, that I am unsure about the distance or speed we will be traveling. As we come to the first significant hill I see one of the riders take off. An ATTACK, wait guys I donít do attacks, fortunately neither does the rest of the group and we let the rider go. As we get riding along (there are 7 of us) it is apparent there are two groups a faster group and a slower group. I get talking to one of the other riders and find out a little bit about the route. I havenít ridden it, but it is actually my current goal ride. Iím told to take it easy as there are some hills on the return route. As I continue on I learn this isnít the bike club ride, it is a group of guys who meet to ride together.

    Fortunately, the distance and group speed was right. The faster group would get ahead and then in an area where there was room they would do circles waiting for the slower group. I found myself in between the two groups. I eventually slowed my speed, because I didnít want to push myself with the faster group not knowing the route. I didnít want to ride in the gap between the two groups because that defeated the group ride somewhat.

    In the end I found I pushed myself more then if I rode alone, but I wasnít killing myself. The group invited me back as they ride together twice a week. I found it interesting I got talking to one other rider towards the end of the ride. I asked how long he had been riding with the group and he said that he saw the group at a stop sign and joined in. And as for judging riders on appearance, age and equipment forget it. The oldest guy, with the oldest bike, the fastest rider

    Link to route http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...e/746670614945

    Here was the big climb of the day, minus all the people http://www.flickr.com/photos/scampion/487562460/

  2. #2
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    That's a hilarious and wonderful story, just the sort of weird thing that happens once in a blue moon. I hope you ride with them again.

  3. #3
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    I am glad you enjoyed yourself. I just joined the largest local bike club the NFBC. When I went to the Saturday morning ride last weekend I found that I was not the youngest (at 37), but the majority of the riders were 30 years my senior. As the group left it natually split separated with the faster riders taking off. They do make sure that everyone is riding in a group with others. I enjoyed myself. Yesterday I went for one of the weekday evening rides. It was quite a large group. There was a short and long ride (19 vs. 21), so not much difference. I went on the long ride and start to catch up to some of faster riders. I stayed with them for the 1st half and then had a bunch of folks on my tail for the last half. I had to ride HARD to keep the pace, but it was a blast. I'll be joining them every Wednesday night as the ride starts only a few miles from my house. I'll also be jointing the goupon the 17th for their International Ride. I'll be attempting the Centry ride. It starts in Buffalo. We cross over to the Canadian side of the Niagara river for a while. Around Niagara Falls we cross back into the USA. Loop over to lake Ontario and then back. My previous longest ride was 87 miles, but that was one way with the wind at my side or slightly at my back. This one will be a round trip so no "cheating" by using the prevailing winds to my advantage. I've been riding hard the last few weeks to help get stronger so that I'll be able to do this without huring too much afterwards.

    Happy (group) riding,
    Andrť

  4. #4
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Umm...two words to help you and others out in the future:

    Ask questions!!


    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good group to be with.
    I ride with a retired group. They have been together for over ten years.
    They change the route at every intersection.
    Enjoy you rides.
    61 miles this day.

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  6. #6
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    Great post! I remember eying the cast of my first group ride and thinking to myself that "this is going to be piece of cake". I will NEVER judge anyone on a bike because of their looks again! People much older than I (53) and more than one more out of shape looking than I kicked my butt. Lesson learned.

    Fun was had by all, and now I do two group rides during the weekend.

  7. #7
    This Space For Rent Stujoe's Avatar
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    That is quite a funny story! And it actually sounds like a cool group to ride with. Strangers just show up and no one has a problem with them riding along or even asks any questions about it. "He's got wheels and they turn...must be part of our group." lol

  8. #8
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    I too went on my first group ride today. Joined the local bike club and was encouraged to come even though my Trek navigator isn't near as fast as what most of them ride. Mostly road bikes with a couple of bents. Basically they split up into three groups and we had a great time. I couldn't believe how patient and gracious they were with me. One of the guys suggested my running shoes and plain peddles were causing me to work harder than necessary. Any suggestions for addressing that issue?
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

    Lemond Buenos Aires(Broke) Madone 5.9 for sale,Navigator 2, S-Works Roubaix

  9. #9
    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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    Yep, clipless and mountain bike shoes. Crank Brothers egg beaters and Specialized Body Geometry shoes, in particular.
    Quote Originally Posted by RedC View Post
    I too went on my first group ride today. Joined the local bike club and was encouraged to come even though my Trek navigator isn't near as fast as what most of them ride. Mostly road bikes with a couple of bents. Basically they split up into three groups and we had a great time. I couldn't believe how patient and gracious they were with me. One of the guys suggested my running shoes and plain peddles were causing me to work harder than necessary. Any suggestions for addressing that issue?
    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.


    . ďHe who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.Ē- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedC View Post
    I too went on my first group ride today. Joined the local bike club and was encouraged to come even though my Trek navigator isn't near as fast as what most of them ride. Mostly road bikes with a couple of bents. Basically they split up into three groups and we had a great time. I couldn't believe how patient and gracious they were with me. One of the guys suggested my running shoes and plain peddles were causing me to work harder than necessary. Any suggestions for addressing that issue?
    Try toe clips with or without straps. Increases your speed.
    I now ride with toe clips with No Straps.
    Can find a problem.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  11. #11
    invisible friend seenoweevil's Avatar
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    That's a great story, and now I'll be expecting something equally cool when i break down and join the closest bike club! I've been checking out one that's in a neighboring town (about 25 miles away), and I'm hopeful about joining. Hope I get as lucky as you've been in finding a group!
    Faster than a sundial.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
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    I've not yet done a group ride and have a question: on group rides of, say 20 miles, does the group ride the entire distance non-stop or does the group stop a couple of times for water, biological break, quick rest, whatever?

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Recommed you have at lease two bottles for water, Gatorade.
    Every ride is different.
    Talk with the group before starting out.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  14. #14
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Depends. You need to ask the group before going. Try the phone.

    20-miles is kinda short. I wouldn't normally think of stopping on such a short ride. However, on Sunday AM rides, my local club does a "social", 25-mile ride. We hammer for the first half, (averaging about 20+mph) stop at a rest-point and socialize/eat/drink. Then we hammer the second half.

    But I've also been on some rides (with this group as well as others) where we don't do our first stop until 40-miles into the ride.

    Just ask the group.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

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