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Old 11-10-12, 11:17 AM   #1
freighttraininguphill
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Is this typical for cycling club ride scheduling?

I am a member of two cycling clubs. One is women-only, the other is mixed. The mixed one is the much bigger club.

The women's club has posted some rides that look appealing to me. The last ride I did with them was a climb up Mt. Diablo in October. When I RSVPed for that ride, it was originally supposed to be just the climb and descent of Mt. Diablo, which was just fine with me at 30 miles and 3,783' of climbing.

After I signed up, they tried to change it to a 67 mile ride with 7,000' of climbing, which I was not the least bit interested in. The last time I did a ride that hard, it was a miserable sufferfest. What complicated matters even further is that I had made arrangements to carpool with another rider, so if they stuck to that 67 mile ride I would either have to find something else to do while they were doing the rest of the ride (after I finished climbing Mt. Diablo), or drive down there myself, climb Mt. Diablo, and drive home.

They also changed the start time of the ride at least once. This was after I had PMed a couple BF members to let them know I would be down there.

I posted in the comments section for the ride that I would probably climb the other side of Mt. Diablo if they stuck to the 67 mile ride. On the day of the ride, my father was in town so I asked them if we could please stick to the original 30 mile route. I wanted to be able to visit with him later. They agreed.

That was the last time I rode with that club. I posted a ride I did on their Facebook page, saying that it would be a good ride for them. They asked for the mapmyride info, which I provided. Once again, they did the old "bait-and-switch", only this time I didn't sign up for their ride first. The original route was supposed to be about 50 miles and 5,000' of climbing. What did they do? Change it to the exact same sufferfest route I did on 8/26 (66 miles, 6,837' of climbing), using the mapmyride data posted by the ride leader of that same ride. No thanks!

After all that, I decided not to give this club any more routes. It just isn't worth it when they pull that "bait-and-switch" crap. I am still stuck at 150 lbs, and rides geared towards hammerheads are just plain miserable! The other cycling club I'm a member of sticks to the original route for any ride you sign up for. They also make it perfectly clear exactly how difficult the ride will be and what level of rider should attempt the ride. That's how it should be, IMHO.

Is anyone else a member of a club that does stuff like this? It's very frustrating, because the women's club posts some good climbing rides, and I don't get dropped by everyone within a mile or two. I just need the rides to be as they were originally advertised.
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Old 11-10-12, 01:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like you need to go to the meetings. Everyone wants to ride but no one wants to go to the meetings and help plan the rides
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Old 11-10-12, 01:41 PM   #3
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We (Western Wheelers) certainly don't, and while have had problems with deceptive advertising before, I (as ride chair) try my best to ensure that a ride is what it says it is. Now, if the riders at the ride start want to change it, nothing I can do about that, but the ride should never change before that point.
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Old 11-10-12, 01:43 PM   #4
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Sounds like you need to go to the meetings. Everyone wants to ride but no one wants to go to the meetings and help plan the rides
What meetings? Never seen any posted.
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Old 11-10-12, 02:29 PM   #5
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All this depends on the club. In my experience, rides aren't really planned at meetings, but are scheduled with various notice periods, depending on the club's ability to notify members of "ad-hoc" rides. Sounds like you just need to find a club that works better for you. A lot of things related to clubs and rides -- even the scale that's used to signify difficulty, is subjective. What some clubs call a "B" ride would be an "A-" in another, etc. A ride with almost 7000' of climbing says a lot about the club and its goals, IMO. That ride would easily qualify as a Gran Fondo anywhere in the country. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it just tells you what they're looking to do. I think another club would be a better fit for you.
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Old 11-10-12, 02:30 PM   #6
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No it's not normal. Our club offers various rides and if there is a set route, that is the route. Saying that most of our rides are not a set route, we have a set start time and place and kinda decide on the fly which suits me, I prefer to just ride by the fly and just explore. It helps that I have no qualms on road surface.
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Old 11-10-12, 06:54 PM   #7
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I wish we could find a suitable club. Most of the clubs here are either racing or serious performance type clubs. My better half, who is about the same speed as me, got dropped on his first ride with the lbs club first time out, the first year we lived here. He phoned me on his cell, told me what intersection he was at and asked me to find it on a map and pick him up.

This year, he decided to try out the touring club, thinking it might be more suited to a 74 year old's pace. (I was working that weekend and couldn't come.) They were fine to ride with until the first stop, then took off like bats out of hell and pedalled furiously down the highway without even looking back, and didn't tell him where they would be meeting for lunch. So he got stuck at an intersection waiting for a piece of farm equipment to pass and then found himself outside the gate of the Provincial park that was the destination with no clue about where they actually were in this park. He ate his energy bar at the park gates and turned around to go back.
Later he met one of the riders and was told, "We just assumed you'd turned around." Just assumed? Didn't even glance back? I could understand if it was a high-performance club, but it's supposed to be a touring club for pete's sake.
It seems to be a common theme with clubs here, that they assume you've lived here forever and of course know where the route is and what's available when you get there. It doesn't even seem to occur to them that people might be newcomers to the city.
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Old 11-10-12, 07:24 PM   #8
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my club has 3 50ish mile routes setup for saturdays on rotation but some of the members put up a sunday ride that is on the fly. Those are usually a set amount of time to be back rather then mile number. Pace is usually fast on some sections of the ride w/ regroup points along the route.
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Old 11-10-12, 08:53 PM   #9
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If the route is not plan until people arrive at the starting point, why can't several different (atleast 2) courses be agreed upon, one more challenging than the other.
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Old 11-11-12, 03:13 AM   #10
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Just some advice: Get the cue sheets from them before hand and do the ride yourself. If they want to bait and switch at the last minute, they can do whatever they want and you can still ride the original route. If you are riding an in area you do not know, I would take your phone with GPS on it or invest in a Garmin GPS unit. The point is: You want to avoid situations like that and be equipped to ride your own ride.
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Old 11-11-12, 07:28 AM   #11
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Just some advice: Get the cue sheets from them before hand and do the ride yourself. If they want to bait and switch at the last minute, they can do whatever they want and you can still ride the original route. If you are riding an in area you do not know, I would take your phone with GPS on it or invest in a Garmin GPS unit. The point is: You want to avoid situations like that and be equipped to ride your own ride.
This ...
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Old 11-11-12, 11:14 AM   #12
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I belong to two riding groups (used loosely).

One is a club that posts their riding program on their website a month in advance. The only reason for which I've seen them change a ride is heavy road construction. Which I feel is probably justified. They usually have three rides for any given Sunday: a short'ish(30-45km) easy ride at a slow pace, a medium distance ride (40-70km) at a medium pace and a long ride (65-130km) with several starts for varying group speeds. Each group has a leader and/or tail end charlie. You're expected to ride together and finish together.

The other is a bunch of guys that show up at a parking lot on Saturday mornings and figure out where we want to go. This usually results in at least three different groups and sometimes as many as 5 or 6.

Clubs or groups exist that represent just about every possible combination in between. I would suggest you informally pole the other participants of your club about whether they are happy with how it operates. If not, don't hesitate to be the one who organizes the rides, publishes the course, etc. However, it's always easiest to keep people on course if you're at the front. If the other participants aren't unhappy with the flexibility that they enjoy, go looking for a group that does a better job of delivering what you're looking for and would enjoy.
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Old 11-23-12, 11:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies, everyone . I do have a Garmin Edge 500 and I used the courses feature with its turn-by-turn directions on every ride I've been on with the women's club. The bait-and-switch doesn't happen on the day of the ride, it happens right after I've signed up, which is why I mentioned in my OP that I quit riding with the women's club.

I still look at their site from time to time, and I noticed that they had a ride scheduled that mysteriously disappeared. No notice was given anywhere, the ride just went poof!

I've been enjoying solo road rides and mountain biking, especially now that the temperatures are cooler and I have no interest in starting my rides during the chilly morning hours like most clubs like to do.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:23 AM   #14
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I belong to three clubs in the San Francisco Bay area (ACTC, WW, GPC). None support the practice you describe. One club has a "show and go" ride (haven't been on this one) where there are, I believe, 2-3 choices and the group splits up accordingly. If the club you describe is organized enough to publish by whatever means a route, time and starting location they need to stick to it. And you can't change the route by agreement at the start because you'll but some folks who may be stretching just to do the published ride in a very uncomfortable position. Find another group.
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