Hi i am down to 186 from 221, 5'9, in my 40's, since 5/2011. When i started i tried a slow recreational group ride and had to pull over after 1/3 a mile uphill.
This past Sun i did a group ride that was 54 miles and was quite hilly by my standards. Probably about 2000' elevation over the course of the ride. The leader didnt even consider this hilly and said on these rides they usually maintain an AVERAGE pace of 14mph (including the hills.) My average pace up to the hills was 12.5 then halfway over the hills it was 10.5 then at the end it was 9.0 (all #'s from my bike computer.) So i got dropped at the halfway point. Numerous people got dropped it was not 'no one left behind'. I didnt mind since i expected it and know the area.
I told a more experenced rider i know who i see on local rides and his thoughts was I am pessimistic and controlling when i tell him if we plan to do the same route we have to plan that MY pace will be 10mph and we should also budget 1.5 hours for lunch and rest breaks, making the total ride time about 7.2 hours. He says from seeing me ride he knows i can ride a lot faster than that and he wants to get me out of my comfort zone. I told him yes he has seen me ride faster (ie 14-20mph, 20mph for 1 second to see if i could hit it) but that is only on flats and for brief periods not a long ride over hills like this. I find the cumulative nature of these hills to be really tough.
My question here is how do you deal with going on group rides where you are clearly outpaced and get dropped and people give you comments like i say above.
What i mind is not getting dropped (if i know their anticipated average mph in advance and know it is a lot more than mine, I expect it) but that when i try to plan a ride with other people and discuss what i want to plan as MY average pace and need for rest breaks that they think I am too pessimistic and controlling. I say I am only being realistic based on my recent rides and i have to be realistic so i leave enough time and dont get stuck out riding in an unsafe situation like top of a mountainous area after dark or on a bike path that has history of muggings after dark, etc.
It seems to me that some of my biker acquaintances either dont want to plan the pace or timing so much in advance, or think my estimated pace /need for breaks is pessimistic and if i ride with them they will push me to be faster like them.
There are many rides i wont do when i ask and am told the average mph up front. For instance one local group ride was organized by someone who said they will lead up the fast group at 19-21 mph, then the people will divide up in medium groups of 17-18 mph and a slow group of 14-16 mph. (On a flat route.) I said that is not realistic for me, my average pace will be 10-12 mph and I will get dropped and if i try to do the whole route it will take me a lot longer than he has scheduled. He said i am unduly negative. I didnt do the ride. What happened i found out later was he and his small group too off at 18+mph and everyone else was dropped and left on their own.
(Bike is not a factor, I am on 1980's road bikes with triple cranks.)