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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Staying with a faster group (it was great)!

    Most of my riding is for fun and fitness. I'm not going to become a competitive level cyclist in this lifetime, But I will work hard and ride with a purpose. I also find cycling to be a great alternative to other forms of transportation and I would like to begin touring. I'm a motivated cyclist, but not a "A" type.

    Group rides are very popular in Chicago and dozens of groups are riding every weekend. However, most groups are either too slow for me to improve my fitness, or way too fast. I can hang with the fast riders in a pace line up to about 24 mph, but above that it's almost impossible. Being a six foot tall Clydesdale who likes a more upright bike-fit does not allow me to draft as easily as the typical 160 lbs cyclist. It's like drafting at a NASCAR race while driving a SUV, I'm not as aero as these smaller riders. They sure love the draft I create, I can tell you.

    Yesterday was the exception. I participated in the Waterford Factory Ride yesterday. The 63 mile route traveled from the Waterford Factory out to the Kettle Moraine State Park: http://waterfordbikes.com/now/news.php?newsid=234

    After about 5 miles of warm up, I found myself with the fastest group. Most were avid cyclists, but not racers, from the Kenosha Bike Club. They ride these hills often. Not only does this part of Wisconsin have plenty of short-but-steep hills, but a brisk 15 to 20 mph headwind the first half of the route was a real factor. This group of about 15 had a 20 minute lead on the next group by the 10th mile.

    Somehow I managed to (more or less) stay with this group the entire event. Most of the paceline travel was 21 to 26 mph. I had to work hard to stay in the group, but it was doable. The hills were another matter, I would drop from the middle of the group to the back on every hill. I could stay with the group for the first half of the climb, but the second half was murder. But I descended as fast as the fastest riders and I could close the gap and regroup. I did this about every 5 miles. It was demanding .

    We stopped at the 30th mile for water and again at the 40th mile for food. I was about 75% spent by the second stop. The group pulled ahead at about the 46 mile and I lost visual contact with them. It became hilly, I hit 40 mph on one downhill without really trying. Just when I was about to stop and check the map, I came across the group. They had stopped to help a rider who went down after touching a wheel.

    We were now within 5 miles of the start/stop, a group of 3 of us slacked off and rolled into the finish.

    My computer data provided the following data: 62 miles in 3 hours, 21 minutes of riding time. Not my fastest ride this year, but the most demanding and the most fun.

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-19-09 at 08:19 AM.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  2. #2
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Most of my riding is for fun and fitness. I'm not going to become a competitive level cyclist in this lifetime, But I will work hard and ride with a purpose. I also find cycling to be a great alternative to other forms of transportation and I would like to begin touring. I'm a motivated cyclist, but not a "A" type.

    Group rides are very popular in Chicago and dozens of groups are riding every weekend. However, most groups are either too slow for me to improve my fitness, or way too fast. I can hang with the fast riders in a pace line up to about 24 mph, but above that it's almost impossible. Being a six foot tall Clydesdale who likes a more upright bike-fit does not allow me to draft as easily as the typical 160 lbs cyclist. It's like drafting at a NASCAR race while driving a SUV, I'm not as aero as these smaller riders. They sure love the draft I create, I can tell you.

    Yesterday was the exception. I participated in the Waterford Factory Ride yesterday. The 63 mile route traveled from the Waterford Factory out to the Kettle Moraine State Park: http://waterfordbikes.com/now/news.php?newsid=234

    After about 5 miles of warm up, I found myself with the fastest group. Most were avid cyclists, but not racers, from the Kenosha Bike Club. They ride these hills often. Not only does this part of Wisconsin have plenty of short-but-steep hills, but a brisk 15 to 20 mph headwind the first half of the route was a real factor. This group of about 15 had a 20 minute lead on the next group by the 10th mile.

    Somehow I managed to (more or less) stay with this group the entire event. Most of the paceline travel was 21 to 26 mph. I had to work hard to stay in the group, but it was doable. The hills were another matter, I would drop from the middle of the group to the back on every hill. I could stay with the group for the first half of the climb, but the second half was murder. But I descended as fast as the fastest riders and I could close the gap and regroup. I did this about every 5 miles. It was demanding .

    We stopped at the 30th mile for water and again at the 40th mile for food. I was about 75% spent by the second stop. The group pulled ahead at about the 46 mile and I lost visual contact with them. It became hilly, I hit 40 mph on one downhill without really trying. Just when I was about to stop and check the map, I came across the group. They had stopped to help a rider who went down after touching a wheel.

    We were now within 5 miles of the start/stop, a group of 3 of us slacked off and rolled into the finish.

    My computer data provided the following data: 62 miles in 3 hours, 21 minutes of riding time. Not my fastest ride this year, but the most demanding and the most fun.

    Michael
    Very nice. It's satisfying to hang with one's alleged "betters", isn't it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Good job.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  4. #4
    Senior Member timmythology's Avatar
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    That is one nice ride

  5. #5
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    I might do a faster group ride tonight.

    Michael
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Try the faster group. If you get dropped it will give you a measuring stick of what kind of progress you make as you improve.

    I have ridden with a moderately fast group 20+mph and ridden for short periods of time with the 25+mph group. I can keep up with the moderate group and get dropped by the fast, but as time progresses I can keep up for a little further each time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    <SNIP>
    Group rides are very popular in Chicago and dozens of groups are riding every weekend. However, most groups are either too slow for me to improve my fitness, or way too fast. I can hang with the fast riders in a pace line up to about 24 mph, but above that it's almost impossible. Being a six foot tall Clydesdale who likes a more upright bike-fit does not allow me to draft as easily as the typical 160 lbs cyclist. It's like drafting at a NASCAR race while driving a SUV, I'm not as aero as these smaller riders. They sure love the draft I create, I can tell you.
    <SNIP>
    Michael
    I have the same issues as you (6' 2.5") and ride with my bars level with my seat. I am like an Abatros compared to some of the riders out there. Last week I started out again with the fast group and they again were cruising right around 24 MPH. That is right up to my absolute limmit. There was a woman riding behind me that also can only just barely hang with the fast group. She mentioned that it was nice and easy riding behind me. I was already in the back of the pack, but still I make a great wind blocker. After 11 miles I had to pull away from the group and I just could not maintain the speed. Either way, it was a great intense ride. The road it pretty flat around here, but on the slight down hills I have to realy watch my speed in the pack as I tend to pick up much more speed than the others.

    Keep up the good riding and most imporantly, continue to have FUN!
    André

  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Thanks. Andre
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

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