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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-16-09, 01:41 PM   #1
lshaped
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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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Old 09-16-09, 01:46 PM   #2
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You had fun commuting.
Tail wind, draft, energy from the group is always a positive thing.
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Old 09-16-09, 01:48 PM   #3
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Group rides are great when a cyclist find the right group.
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Old 09-16-09, 02:31 PM   #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.
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Old 09-16-09, 04:25 PM   #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.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:10 AM   #6
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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 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?
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Old 09-17-09, 10:33 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 09-17-09, 10:41 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:45 AM   #9
lshaped
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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.
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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Old 09-17-09, 12:50 PM   #10
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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.)
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