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  1. #1
    Member syciprider's Avatar
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    Do you do group road rides for fitness too?

    And if you do, do you set aside your rules of the road/traffic laws discipline for the sake of the paceline?

    I did my first group road ride today (been an MTBer and commuter all this time) and I feel dirty all over. Sure my ave speed was faster and I got a good workout but running all those lights and stop signs just felt so wrong to me. I can definitely see that such behavior affects the public's perception of all cyclists.

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    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I ride with a group once or twice a week, but we never run red lights and stop signs -- that's childish and dangerous.
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    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    I've done a couple of charity rides (and kept up with the 'roadies' while riding a 3-speed) and the only time I've run a red light is when the road is otherwise completely empty- we're talking 2AM- and the other street is clearly (visibly) vacant. Otherwise, rules of the road apply fully.
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  4. #4
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I ride with a relaxed club, no paceline, we're slow and ride for fun, not fitness.

  5. #5
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    it's a judgement call - if the intersection is clear and the road is empty, I go for it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    I don't ride in groups. I would have to haul my bike a ways to go for the ride. Seems silly for me.
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    blah blah blah milkbaby's Avatar
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    The first rule of group riding is... Don't... ride with groups you are uncomfortable with.

    Different groups ride in different ways, so best to ride with one that meshes with your riding style. When you find a simpatico group, it can be a lot of fun.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    The groups I ride with ride for fun and fitness, but stress that we are not racing. This is pretty typical. Some groups are made up of hyper competitive types, and this sounds like the group you got in with. I think median age of the members may be a good indicator of which type the group will be. The older the riders, the less likely they are to take themselves too seriously. In my case it is the "been there, done that" syndrome.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

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    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    I ride with a relaxed club, no paceline, we're slow and ride for fun, not fitness.
    No such thing exists in this town. I wish like heck there were.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igo View Post
    No such thing exists in this town. I wish like heck there were.
    Well Start one... Go to the meeting and find out if anyone else feels like you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by syciprider View Post
    And if you do, do you set aside your rules of the road/traffic laws discipline for the sake of the paceline?

    I did my first group road ride today (been an MTBer and commuter all this time) and I feel dirty all over. Sure my ave speed was faster and I got a good workout but running all those lights and stop signs just felt so wrong to me. I can definitely see that such behavior affects the public's perception of all cyclists.
    I live near a very popular group ride route. Often I see the riders run a red light near a hill that crests from both directions. Just last week I thought this one cyclist was really going to get hit. I saw the car but the cyclist was too far back to see it and because it was early 6:00am I guess the cyclist thought he was the only one on the road and didn't even slow down through the red light. Luckily the driver had really good brakes. At this same intersection because the apex of the hill is so steep they have no left turn for the cars but plenty of times I see the cyclists use this lane to turn left.

    Being a new cyclist I really find it distressing that some cyclists expect to share the road with cars but don't feel like they have to follow the same rules. Those types of incidents even when they don't result in accidents give the cyclists a bad reputation.

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    I find it very difficult to ride without a utilitarian purpose. so group rides are out unless there's a grocery store at the end of the ride or a restaurant.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I was riding recreationally for years before I started commuting and I still ride with friends on weekends. Our group generally obeys traffic laws, but we will occasionally run a red light -- after stopping -- if the coast is clear and the sensor is not working. I do the same thing on my commute because there are several lights on my route that will not change unless a car trips the sensor.

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    Senior Member terrapin44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benda18 View Post
    I find it very difficult to ride without a utilitarian purpose. so group rides are out unless there's a grocery store at the end of the ride or a restaurant.
    This sounds like me as well (even though I am pretty new at bike commuting). Even if I have to make something up like "I need to go to the book store to look at magazines or I need to drive my bike 5 miles to get a cup of coffee." I just find it hard to get on the bike without a task at hand. Luckily, I am good at making tasks up for myself.

  15. #15
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    I've been on a few "community" bike rides that are really just for fun and pretty relaxed. I'd say it's mostly hipster, young folks riding, but pretty slow like 8-10 mph.

    Website: www.cyclememphis.com

    The other night we probably had 30-40 riders. Sometimes when approaching an intersection that is about to change or has been green for awhile, a couple of guys will stop traffic for a bit so we can all get through. Everyone waves and thanks the drivers. But yeah some people do run some reds in an effort to keep up, as long as the coast is clear. Haven't really had anyone honk in protest or anything like that.
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  16. #16
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    I ride with friends on weekends or do centuries, organized rides, etc. maybe once a month on average. Occasionally after a workday too.

  17. #17
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    Stop at the stop signs and then crank like mad to catch back up. Then you'll really get a good workout.

    An unwillingness to let other people have a say in which road rules I follow is one of the things that keeps me from doing group rides. That and I just don't like most roadies.

  18. #18
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    I hate group ride, tried it once and it's definetly not for me. Bunch of show off, at least the group I went with that one time. They trial every newcomer and you had to buy the same outfit, shirt and pants, than the rest of the group if you want to join them. The best part is that I can keep up with them on my commuter bike with the 45 pound load on it. I still see them once or twice a week in summer time on my ride back home from work, They're really cute in their outfit!
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  19. #19
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    The more competitive the ride, the more likely that traffic rules won't be followed as strictly. A less competitive "No-Drop" ride with a good ride leader is a better bet if you prefer to actually stop or at least slow down at stop signs. A good "No Drop" ride should also have a "Sweeper". A "Sweeper" is an experienced rider who will hang around the back of the pack to make sure no one is left behind.

    If it's not a no-drop ride then expect people to go pretty quickly through the stops and sometimes run red lights. No one wants to get dropped 30 miles from where they started and if you're tired, you do not want to fall off the back of the pack because you will soon be on your own.

    I've been disappointed by my regular group ride this year. In the past the leader was very good about laying out the ground rules of the ride, including telling people to obey traffic laws. It was also a beginner friendly ride, though the pace has always been fairly quick. Not anymore. I can't think of a single beginner this year that has come back. It's been infiltrated by Cross racers and MTB racers that are looking to get in some longer training rides. It's not that they're bad guys but they set a pace that a beginner can't maintain and well above what's advertised.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  20. #20
    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramiscram View Post
    I hate group ride, tried it once and it's definetly not for me. Bunch of show off, at least the group I went with that one time. They trial every newcomer and you had to buy the same outfit, shirt and pants, than the rest of the group if you want to join them. The best part is that I can keep up with them on my commuter bike with the 45 pound load on it. I still see them once or twice a week in summer time on my ride back home from work, They're really cute in their outfit!
    HAhhhhahaa. I'm the ONLY bike I see around here in the middle of the summer.
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  21. #21
    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    The more competitive the ride, the more likely that traffic rules won't be followed as strictly. A less competitive "No-Drop" ride with a good ride leader is a better bet if you prefer to actually stop or at least slow down at stop signs. A good "No Drop" ride should also have a "Sweeper". A "Sweeper" is an experienced rider who will hang around the back of the pack to make sure no one is left behind.

    If it's not a no-drop ride then expect people to go pretty quickly through the stops and sometimes run red lights. No one wants to get dropped 30 miles from where they started and if you're tired, you do not want to fall off the back of the pack because you will soon be on your own.

    I've been disappointed by my regular group ride this year. In the past the leader was very good about laying out the ground rules of the ride, including telling people to obey traffic laws. It was also a beginner friendly ride, though the pace has always been fairly quick. Not anymore. I can't think of a single beginner this year that has come back. It's been infiltrated by Cross racers and MTB racers that are looking to get in some longer training rides. It's not that they're bad guys but they set a pace that a beginner can't maintain and well above what's advertised.
    People just don't have a clue what a beginner is. The local bike club has discriptions on a beginners rides. It states that the average speed is 15 mph. True biggeners don't even have road bikes. 15 mph average for a pack of "beginners"? Horse****z!
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  22. #22
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igo View Post
    People just don't have a clue what a beginner is. The local bike club has discriptions on a beginners rides. It states that the average speed is 15 mph. True biggeners don't even have road bikes. 15 mph average for a pack of "beginners"? Horse****z!
    When I first started with my group the description stated that a road bike was required. I called the ride leader and asked about the pace to see if the ride would be a good fit for me or not. It turned out to be pretty challenging but that was exactly what I was looking for at the time since I was trying to improve on my triathlon performance.

    I don't really have a problem with a 15 mph description as a beginner's pace for a road ride but I agree it depends on what you mean by "beginner". In my case I was a beginner as far as group rides go but I was in pretty good shape from my triathlon training. 15 mph would have seemed slow but that all depends on the terrain.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  23. #23
    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    When I first started with my group the description stated that a road bike was required. I called the ride leader and asked about the pace to see if the ride would be a good fit for me or not. It turned out to be pretty challenging but that was exactly what I was looking for at the time since I was trying to improve on my triathlon performance.

    I don't really have a problem with a 15 mph description as a beginner's pace for a road ride but I agree it depends on what you mean by "beginner". In my case I was a beginner as far as group rides go but I was in pretty good shape from my triathlon training. 15 mph would have seemed slow but that all depends on the terrain.
    I guess if I really had to be literal I'd be talking 6 years old on training wheels. But when I talk cycling I'm thinking more like PatrickGSR94 above and that Memphis group. A guy who is starting to train for Triathalon is probably well past the beginners mind set.
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