Good weekend or not?
Yesterday (in the Northeast heat and humidity) I did a ride with 3 friends who are faster riders than I. The first 10 miles were flat and we pace lined it cruising at around 20-24 mph, each taking our turns to pull. You need to know that I usually cruise solo at about 17 mph. We stopped in a town center to decide where to head next and the consensus was to head out for rolling terrain. As I predicted, I was dropped quickly. Luckily, they waited for a me a few miles up the road at the next turn. The next road was flat and the pace went quick again, and I kept up. At a certain point, I needed to turn back as I had to get to work. The route back for the next 7 miles was hilly. I had to stop once to let my heart rate drop a little, but made it back to our starting point. Average speed was much faster than I would have expected on this route.
Today, I did a ride with a very good friend and something similar happened. While on the flats, I was able to keep the speed up, but we did much more climbing. I ended the ride (38 miles) with the fastest average speed I've ever done on this particular route.
Reading what I just wrote, it all looks pretty good. However, it's so frustrating to be dropped as soon as we head up any kind of hill! So much so that despite the numbers showing that I should be proud of myself, I end up feeling that I'm out of my element. I think what I should do is some group riding with a group that is slightly faster than I'm comfortable with and keep at it for a several weeks until I can avoid being dropped. Has anyone else had a similar experience?
I think for most clydes getting dropped the split second the road turns vertical is part of life. Power generated, weight of rider + bike and incline of the road. Obviously riding more will make you a stronger rider but it's unlikely you'll add a ton of power to your legs without dedicating the kind of time that pros do. Your bike weight isn't really large compared to yourself. A pro heading up a 8% incline is like you or me heading up a 4% grade. That's a huge difference.
As for riding with faster friends - absolutely! They will push you (inadvertantly) harder than you would likely push yourself on a solo ride and you will get faster. Plus, they sound like good ride buddies since they waited for you.
There will always be somebody younger than you, skinnier than you, faster than you - don't get too worked up about it and do the best you can do. Be happy on your bike. :)
Everyone I ride with is faster than me. One is a marathon runner, the other is a triathlete and my brother in law rides 25 miles to do a 25 mile ride with me and then he rides home.
On a positive note, just a few weeks ago I did a B ride with a local club. It was mostly rolling hills. I stayed with the group when we were on the flats. Then the hills came, I went form the middle to the back. Then on the down hills I would catch up. This went on for 35 miles. At one point I commented, while being passed ....again....I suck at hills. The guy responded "only on the way up, you fly down them". He smiled and passed me, again. His response made my ride.
Just keep going.
If you want a good workout, find some people faster than you, and do everything you can to avoid being dropped until you get dropped. If you want to have fun on a bike, find some friendly people to ride around with and talk while you ride.
All really good answers. Stephen, I think you hit the nail on the head.
I had a ride today where I tackled three signature hills in this area. I took them slow, but I did them. I also rode the 62 miles in what I felt was my strongest ride yet.
It's all good. Attack!
Good job on Solidad, that is a burner!!!
Don't worry too much about getting dropped, but DO try and limit the gap lost so you can catch back up when the road turns in your favor. When it does and IF you are fit enough, get to the front and pound on the group for a bit, fold back in and recover, and do it again. The key is active recovery and limiting your loss. Don't do a pull before a hill, it will get ugly QUICK if someone attacks a few mph faster. Riding w/ faster guys is a GOOD thing, use that inner competitive spirit to fight n stay in there.
Originally Posted by professorbob
I am all too familiar with the ''getting dropped'' on the hills...
I've recently ''upgraded'' to riding with the faster group 16-18mph avg, from the 14-16avg.
All is fine and dandy during the flats, but the hills are a killer.
I have the hope that someday i'll be 170 (my goal is 180 for this year- started at 205) and i'll have superlegs and keep up with them.
The advice given to me from an experienced rider- keep your nose out of the wind as much as possible, make someone else do the work.
It really stinks when there's a small hill that you power up, only to find there's much more hill you didn't know what around that bend :injured: