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  1. #1
    Senior Member Fantasminha's Avatar
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    An unbelievable question: Do you drop your friends?

    I can't believe that I'm actually asking the question. I don't recall ever actually dropping anyone...

    Here's the situation: I commute daily but am what I consider to be uber-slow at an average of about 13 mph. My husband is far faster than I, but diabetic thus needs the exercise, but can only ride on the weekends. We have a friend, husband of friend to be exact, that likes to ride with us. The trouble is, the slower we go so that he can keep up, the slower he goes. If we let him set the pace, we'll go about 7mph.

    My frustration with this is... when I'm riding with someone faster than me, I keep "pedal to the metal" at all times. I push myself harder so that I don't slow down the other riders. This friend of ours doesn't do that--he does, in fact, the opposite!

    After repeated discussions with them about the importance of exercise for type two diabetics, we gave up and dropped them on the last ride (new years day). Now we haven't heard from them since and they stopped showing up for the LBS ride on Saturdays too.

    I keep telling myself that we did the right thing. My question for input of more experienced riders: what do y'all do? Do you drop your friends?
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  2. #2
    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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    no, i don't. If my pace is too fast for them, I just slow down a bit.
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  3. #3
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    I think I would not have dropped him. However, I would also have made it clear that it was the last ride he'd be invited on if he didn't step it up just a little. Heck, my 7yo rides faster than 7mph!
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  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You did the right thing.
    7 mph is way to slow for a regular rider.
    I have 7 y/os that race me on my street.
    They hit 17 mph.
    I have a guy who I gave 4 bikes to.
    He won't ever go faster then 7 mph.
    But he is happy and that is his speed.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Yeah...tough situation. There is a bit of responsibility on both sides. You should ride a bit slower, and your friend should try harder to not slow you down. (For those that don't actually know, going too slow can hurt when you're accustomed to a different speed.) I tried to impress this upon my 12-yr old when he started riding, how it is rude to force the group to wait for him, especially if he's not giving it his all. In your case, your friend appears to not be upholding their end of this "unspoken" agreement.

    A couple ideas:
    1. You set the pace where they can still keep up.
    2. You "drop" him (them?) when going up a hill, and then wait for them at the top.
    3. You ask somebody else (who is even slower than your friend) to accompany you and your friend. Use this opportunity to encourage your friend that in some cycling circles, it is polite to slow down. Unfortunately, if it's too slow, the ride becomes unenjoyable for you. Maybe he'll get the hint.
    4. You talk to him and try "coaching" them on other riding skills and cycling etiquette, eventually getting around to this topic.
    5. If none of these seem to work, you should just be frank. Let him know that you're really not getting much exercise at the slower pace and you enjoy going a bit faster. Make sure you don't say anything like, "You don't go fast enough" or similar where your blaming him. You want to try and still encourage him to continue riding and get better/more fit. In the end, you might need to decrease the frequency of your rides with him.


    I'm sure there are others.

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  6. #6
    A shrinking member </intolerance>'s Avatar
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    I have a non-clyde friend who got me started in cycling and he went really slow with me for a while, but he was training for a 109-mile event and he needed to step it up more than I could.

    He started dropping me more and more, but it was fine with me because we had talked about and I understood he needed to train for himself. He would always wait for me to catch up here and there. I would also meet him 60-miles into his ride. He would work hard and then relax with me.

    I think communication is the key. Tell him what you need him to do and try to come to an agreement.

    The other issue is, does he even know what it means to be dropped? maybe he just thinks you ditched him because you didn't want to be with him and not that you wanted to ride faster.

    Again.... just call and talk to him.

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    It seems to me this is a problem of friendship rather than cycling. You either want to spend time with folks riding or you don't. If you do, you do what it takes to make it happen. That either means discussing ahead of time 'dropping' someone or simply not riding with them.

    One, and perhaps the only, reason I've been able to remain friends and occasionally ride with Bike Forums posters far faster than me - Uncadan, Bautieri, vXhanz, Spinnaker, to name a few - is that we knew ahead of time what pace I could keep, and what that meant for us. In the case of my rides with Uncadan, we only rode on days he was riding recovery. With Spinnaker, we 'leapfrogged' each other on the Montour Trail, he pulling ahead with a friend and waiting for me, or waiting behind and then catching up. In the case of Bau and vXhanz, they simply dropped me, but we both knew it would happen - they had a century to ride, and we had a nice victory dinner afterward.

    But this view could be exclusively my own. If I had to choose between friendship and cycling, I know which one I would pick. I'd rather be a real friend and a wantabee cyclist.

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    After a couple of 2 hour 5 mile rides, I won't ride with riders that aren't somewhat close to our level. Just not enjoyable and I ride for the enjoyment. This way none of the others are dropped and we don't have to worry about a dragging ride. If it's Gina that's lagging on a mtn climb, I'll hang back with her. But I will take it upon myself to inform the others she's having a bad day and to ride on ahead! Even if she isn't having a bad day, she's not a climber!

  9. #9
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Do the majority of your ride first, then meet the slow person for that portion of the ride. That way you have your work out in, then you can ride with your friends.

    I would not "drop" a friend, or anyone I had met to ride with. I would talk it over with them and come to a mutual understanding about excercise needs and goals though. This is assuming it was a regular rode that happened often. If it was just an every now and then thing, I would just ride as slow as need be.

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    After a couple of 2 hour 5 mile rides, I won't ride with riders that aren't somewhat close to our level. Just not enjoyable and I ride for the enjoyment. This way none of the others are dropped and we don't have to worry about a dragging ride. If it's Gina that's lagging on a mtn climb, I'll hang back with her. But I will take it upon myself to inform the others she's having a bad day and to ride on ahead! Even if she isn't having a bad day, she's not a climber!
    Not a bad solution, and I respect you for saying you won't ride with riders who are not close to your strength. It reminds me of some good chess advice I got back in my playing days: don't play with folks weaker/lower rated than yourself. All the stronger player does is get used to winning against poor play.

  11. #11
    I'm Rad. vXhanz's Avatar
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    I think you just need to communicate more with the individual who was dropped. As already mentioned they may not know about "dropping" and may feel slighted. Before I got into this, had someone "dropped" me I would have been ticked off because I didn't know the rules of the road per se.

    Just like The Historian mentioned already, Bau and I went on ahead, but we did meet up at the end as was part of our pre-planning. Even on shorter rides Bau and I would drop each other, but we would wait up ahead. Bau's a much better climber than I am, always dropped me on the hills, other times I would drop him, and others we would just coast along. Rather than have him lag back with me on hills I tell him it's ok with head up without me, same with him when we're on a descent. No point in holding each other back due to an off day, though mechanical failure or illness is a whole different matter... then we stick together.


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  12. #12
    Double Naught Spy TrekDen's Avatar
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    Cycling is probably the toughest sport to keep riding regularly with a friend. Everybody's fitness level is a personal thing. Some progress rapidly, while others do not. I've never really dropped a friend I met for a ride, but I have put a hurting on them occasionally. Oh, and it has happened to me in reverse as well. No hard feelings, we'll see each other back at the cars when it's over.

  13. #13
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    If the differences in ability are small I would think that one should avoid dropping a friend if at all possible. You have a very big difference there and need to come to an agreement or quit riding together.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Redskin8006's Avatar
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    I can't comment on cycling because I normally ride solo, but I like txvintage's suggestion to do the majority of your ride beforehand. Or afterwards. I used to run with a guy who hung with me (and pushed me) for 4 or 5 miles until I was finished, then he'd take off at his own pace. Other times I would start a few minutes ahead and he'd try to catch me (which he always did). We finished together on those runs.

  15. #15
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    By no means am I an experienced rider, but I will take it upon myself to interject some thoughts anyway.

    I am a beginner, raw and unskilled. I just bought a used bike in September. I have less total mileage than some of you do in a given week. But I refuse to ride in an organized group ride, even a no drop ride, until I can sustain at least a 12mph average over 20 or more miles. And I refuse to do so until I can ride it without putting someone in a ditch or into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

    There are many group rides in my area, some are leisurely "no drop" rides, others are fast paced push and go rides. But I have enough pride not to want to drag the group down and make the experience painful and unenjoyable for others. I recognize that for me this is going to be a fun hobby as well as exercise. And just like all my hobbies I intend to try and be the best. And I recognize that others feel the same, but they are far more advanced than I.

    It sounds to me that your friend is more interested in beach cruising and park riding than he is exercising and pushing the limits. You shouldn't have dropped him. But you should have made it clear that since you need a faster pace to enjoy it you would have to schedule a different time and different ride to spend with him.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Herbie53's Avatar
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    I do weekend rides with a group of 4 or 5 guys. On any given weekend some are inevitably faster and ride up front or get away altogether. The good thing about having more than just 2 is usually we end up paired up and are able to ride with someone the whole time and we generally always wait for each other at a few pre-agreed / known spots to keep the separation from getting too big.

    No one is super killer, but we do push each other -- that's kind of the point I suppose.

    On a more personal note -- no one has had to wait for me in the last couple months!!!!
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  17. #17
    Opus PATH's Avatar
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    Well I lead most of my clubs All Levels Ride. I post that we move at a D to C pace and that no one and I mean NO ONE ever gets dropped. What does that mean? That means that on my club rides I am the Lanterne Rouge....the sweep! I have found myself walking with people who were just wiped out with the slightest exertion.

    I guess the best thing is to talk to folks up front about what kind of riding they want or expect to do. My rides are on a fixed circuit which repeats. We essentially do laps. We have small rollers you can do as peoples skills progress. The folks you are with may take a long time to progress but if your expectation or need in a ride is different from theirs then maybe it is best not to ride together.

    I remember getting dropped on some of my club rides and it is humiliating and depressing. They all had cool bikes and I had my Miyata "tank" with platforms. It was not long after that that I started doing the D/C no drops with the club. I generally do two a week in the warm weather and a Sunday Morning Polar Bear Ride in the Winter.

    I am very specific about what kind of ride I will be holding. The faster riders go ahead and I stay with the slower ones. Granted it is not a rocket ride but the people on my rides come for fun as well as exercise and I just want to encourage the heck out of them to continue in the sport.

    I make no judgments of the OP as I am not familiar with all the ins and outs but I drop no one, ever! If I were a diabetic I would do multiple slow miles and spend hours in the saddle for slow fat burn. Aerobic for them may be very slow paced. Just something to think about!
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  18. #18
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    By no means am I an experienced rider, but I will take it upon myself to interject some thoughts anyway.

    I am a beginner, raw and unskilled. I just bought a used bike in September. I have less total mileage than some of you do in a given week. But I refuse to ride in an organized group ride, even a no drop ride, until I can sustain at least a 12mph average over 20 or more miles. And I refuse to do so until I can ride it without putting someone in a ditch or into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

    There are many group rides in my area, some are leisurely "no drop" rides, others are fast paced push and go rides. But I have enough pride not to want to drag the group down and make the experience painful and unenjoyable for others. I recognize that for me this is going to be a fun hobby as well as exercise. And just like all my hobbies I intend to try and be the best. And I recognize that others feel the same, but they are far more advanced than I.

    It sounds to me that your friend is more interested in beach cruising and park riding than he is exercising and pushing the limits. You shouldn't have dropped him. But you should have made it clear that since you need a faster pace to enjoy it you would have to schedule a different time and different ride to spend with him.
    Brilliant. +1000!

  19. #19
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Much has been said, but I'll echo, you need to set expectations before the ride or else someone will leave with hurt feelings. Either you go into it expecting and accepting a slower pace (believe me, I know it can be tough), or you don't. I'll also echo that you should have communicated, instead of dropping.

    At the same time, your friend should communicate that they accept/expect dropping to occur. I will say if I'm on a group ride, and know I'm not up for a pace - go ahead, I'll catch up. Or I'll communicate with someone slower.

    Communication - it's the key. I think there was just a tad breakdown of such a thing in this situation.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I don't like to drop anyone so I'll just adjust my gearing and spin a higher cadance when riding with a slower group. One gruop I ride with maintains a speed around 23km/h which is a little slow for me but it's my favorite group to ride with. A lot of the time I'll take off on the hills for some climbing training and just wait for them on th eother side. I will however sometimes just split off and meet the group at designated stop.
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  21. #21
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    Was this a no drop weekday/weekend social ride with the LBS or other group or just the three of you?

    If my wife and I invited/met someone for a ride or a couple for a ride I think I'd complete the ride with them and only do short rides with them or ride first then meet with them for a cool down or recovery ride as others have mentioned.

    Hopefully they knew how to get home from where you dropped them!

  22. #22
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    I could not be friends with anybody so pathetically slow that *I* could drop them. Seriously, if I can drop you, you suck. The only people I ever drop are riding in the opposite direction.

  23. #23
    Senior Member lubers's Avatar
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    We had a no drop rule with the group I used to ride with, over the last couple of years younger riders have been joining us, one day coming back against a heavy wind we started to drop an older rider in his late sixties no one seemed to look back or care. I dropped back and rode the rest of the way in with him breaking the wind for him. Last time him or I rode with that group I now ride with one or two other riders who feel the same as me drop no one.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I find it difficult to adjust to someone else's pace. I consider this my failing, this is why I tend to ride solo.

    My wife has been more enthusiastic about riding lately, and I have little choice but to adjust to her pace. I'm considering picking up a townie or a cruiser, so I'll ride in a more upright, relaxed position in the hopes that this will remind me to slow down.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    Dropping friends

    Oh Boy..This has a deja vu ring to it.
    After pretty much being the B group leader on morning club rides for several years, I underwent bypass surgery and came out a lot stronger.
    What I didn't take into consideration was " the main body of the B group was older than I and was slowing down year by year"
    About july of last season it became apparent I was unintentionally dropping the group. I'd ease into a cadence I felt comfortable with and all of a sudden I was at 15 and the rest were struggling at 13.
    The situation got heated. I caught more than a bit of the heat.(and no one else really wanted to lead the slow group)
    This year the club is switching over to dedicated morning rides. Monday will be one of 4 routes
    Tuesday one of four,etc. etc.
    That way everyone (A riders, the riders between the A and B and the B riders) will now all know where everyone is going on a regular basis.

    As for dropping folks. I built up a 81 Schwinn LeTour Tourist with single front chainring and 14-28 oem rear freewheel. This IS a casual ride bike,and as of late last season,it was working perfectly as a 13mph ride.

    That said: There ARE folks who-the slower you go the slower they go- and at some point you have to take the lead and set a pace they can do and must do if they want to ride with the group. No pain no gain.

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