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  1. #1
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    positive encounter with a group ride

    yesterday i was riding home on my usual route- part way thru a large group of cyclists pulls up behind me.
    i have to say i felt pretty intimidated by the size of the group and what they were riding

    while waiting for the light to turn green i started up a conversation with the leader. he was a pleasant person and said he didn't have problem if i hung with them for a while since we were both going the same direction. having never ridden in a group i figured why not, if i couldn't hang or was messing up their mojo i'd just drop back and let them go ahead.

    so here i am riding my 7.5fx complete with loaded panniers looking my absolute fred best. we get up to speed and i'm keeping up fine. i look down and my cyclometer says 21mph. i'm thinking to myself "you've got to be kidding me, this thing must be broken" my usual speed going home is between 15-16mph? what gives?

    i continue at this speed for a few miles until i get to the point where i'm going in a different direction than the group. i wave as i break away and spend the next few miles until i get home thinking what just happened and how this was by far the best ride home this year
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  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You had fun commuting.
    Tail wind, draft, energy from the group is always a positive thing.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Group rides are great when a cyclist find the right group.

  4. #4
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    some times I go out of my way to hitch rides home from scheduled group rides. Or you hop on a roadie and follow them.

  5. #5
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    21 mph is a pretty good pace. You should be able to hang with any group at that speed, unless they're professionals. I had a similar experience recently, only mine didn't go as well as yours did. I must've maxed out at 15 mph on my beach cruiser and they were all passing me almost effortlessly. I ended up riding on the sidewalk because I felt like I was getting in their way and also because I looked out of place riding next to them.

  6. #6
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvincent View Post
    21 mph is a pretty good pace. You should be able to hang with any group at that speed, unless they're professionals. I had a similar experience recently, only mine didn't go as well as yours did. I must've maxed out at 15 mph on my beach cruiser and they were all passing me almost effortlessly. I ended up riding on the sidewalk because I felt like I was getting in their way and also because they looked out of place riding next to me.
    Fixed it for you!

    Heck, I had to share the MUP with a high school girls track team yesterday. That was tough I tell ya! Why didn't they look like that when I was in school?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Fixed it for you!

    Heck, I had to share the MUP with a high school girls track team yesterday. That was tough I tell ya! Why didn't they look like that when I was in school?
    They did, but you were more picky, then.

    As for group rides, I always go faster and farther in a group setting, even if I'm not drafting. Drafting makes it even better. Did a "formal event" type of 60 mile day tour here about a month ago. At about mile 43 the route turned directly into a stiff Kansas headwind. I was demoralized. Went about 3 miles this way at a very slow pace until another rider caught up with me. He wasn't going a lot faster than me so I pushed it up a bit and stayed on his tail. That was all I needed. After a little time I took the lead and pulled a bit, and then we started taking turns. We figured out that each of us had a "specialty." He was faster in flat sections, and I was the better climber. We worked out our turns to take advantage of it. We stuck together after turning out of the headwind and every time I looked at my computer we were in at least the mid 20's. When I'm alone I average more like 16 mph.

    As for panniers, along about mile 55 or so we came across the "lead group" stopped and talking to a guy who, we learned, was riding across country to raise money for a special cause (I forget which). He was pulling a trailer. "Can I ride with you guys for a while?" To which we all said "sure!" at which point he took off with the lead group.
    "The automobile became a hypnosis, the opium of the American people..." -James Agee, Fortune, September 1934

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    You've discovered the magic of drafting. Fun, ain't it? 21 feels like 16.

    Just wait until you discover that 27 feels like 21.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    You've discovered the magic of drafting. Fun, ain't it? 21 feels like 16.

    Just wait until you discover that 27 feels like 21.
    You're right- while going 21 i didn't feel as if i was working any harder than if was going 16 by myself.
    having never experienced drafting i was amazed.
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  10. #10
    steel lover
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    You had fun commuting.
    Tail wind, draft, energy from the group is always a positive thing.
    osmosis energy is the best

    Yeah, drafting and having a "rabbit" to chase can make a world of difference. (talking about the roadies to pace, not the highschool girls.)
    No lugs, no care.

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