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  1. #1
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    What's your definition of "Casual"

    Sorry, but this has been bugging me for a while now. I had posted a ride on a MeetUp website for a group ride I wanted to put together. I put down that it would be a 25 mile ride at a casual pace, saying we would be stopping at various points. In one portion of the post, I put down that people should come who like a very casual ride around this certain town.

    One of the people who signed up for it, put in her Introduction, that she was a beginner rider and wants to meet people that won't leave her in the dust.

    After the ride was over, the people who attend the ride give comments on how they liked the ride. Well she put down "the pace and the stops made the ride twice as long as it should have been. I was hoping to learn group riding and to be a stronger rider. This was not the ride to accomplish that."

    That comment really got to me. The ride took approximate 1 3/4 hrs. I sent her a PM giving her the name of several other riding clubs that would be maybe better suited for her, racing clubs mainly.

    My definition of "casual" is for recreational riders. When I first met her she wanted to know if we would be doing pace lines -- I told her no, that's not what we do. What is your definition of "casual"? Okay, now that I have said my peace, I can forget it.
    Cats are people too.

  2. #2
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    Attempting to keep everyone happy is a loser's game.

    Casual seems rather broad. I wouldn't show up for a "casual" ride, for example. I'd expect sightseeing and all that. Stops for ice cream.

  3. #3
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    Not sure you would want to go to this much trouble, but in Seattle the Cascade Club (which sponsors hundreds of rides) has very detailed definitions on their website for ride rankings.

    There are 7 classifications of "pace"; 7 different definitions of "hilly", and warning that on "hilly" rides participants should choose one class lower than they normally do.

    Further, ride leaders also specify whether they regroup or not to wait for stragglers, and also whether the ride will be canceled on account of weather.

    http://www.cascade.org/EandR/Ride_Classifications.cfm

    My assumption is that they have gone to this level of effort because no one can agree on terms like "casual" or "serious", so they spell it out for ride leaders and participants alike.

    But, for what's it worth, I don't think anyone who goes on "casual" ride ought to complaint that it's too slow!
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 05-09-08 at 07:57 PM.

  4. #4
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    casual = no drop, social ride

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    No matter what you do and how you do it, if it involves other people, occasionally one or more of them is going to be one of those people that you can't please. It's just one of those things that can't be helped. Focus on doing the best you can and on satisfying the satisfiable people.
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  6. #6
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    I think you handled it perfectly. You did your ride and gave her the information she needs to find hers. She also did the right thing in going to a ride that she was quite sure she could handle and then getting info on others. Her comment may have been unnecessary, but maybe she was just telling you why she wasn't coming back - not her kind of ride. - TF

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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Hard to imagine going on a 25 mile ride advertised as "casual", and then complaining that it was too slow.
    If she wants a hammerfest, I'm sure she can find one.

  8. #8
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I assume you did not stop her from doing a casual paceline of one; so why worry about the one clueless person that shows up for every ride?

  9. #9
    Senior Member PirateJim's Avatar
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    I don't really do group rides, but if I were to start I would be looking for "casual" rides and as such I would be surprised if a 25 mile casual ride took less than an hour and a half. Given that the idea is to meet people that won't leave you in the dust I would expect to be riding along chit-chatting with folks and sight seeing, not hammering a pace line. You're not the one that was wrong.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed View Post
    After the ride was over, the people who attend the ride give comments on how they liked the ride. Well she put down "the pace and the stops made the ride twice as long as it should have been. I was hoping to learn group riding and to be a stronger rider. This was not the ride to accomplish that."
    If you ask for opinions you shouldn't feel bad when people give you one.

    The ride wasn't what she was expecting. Maybe she was previously intimidated about trying a group ride with a faster pace. Now that she's had the experience of your ride she isn't as intimidated anymore and she just wanted to let you know why she won't be back. I think that's fair.

    Frankly, while I totally agree with your definition of casual, you might be able to use her information to fine tune your description for future rides.

  11. #11
    Yen
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    Let's do the math....

    She said the ride was "twice as long as it should have been". Half of approx. 1.75 hours is approx. 52.5 minutes. To make the math easier, let's just say 50 minutes. So, she thinks you should finish a 25 mile ride in approx. 50 minutes. Unless I've grossly miscalculated, that's 30 mph !!!

    I think her math is a bit off and her expectations were a little unreasonable.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Even if riding time only was the 1 3/4 hours, that's definitely a casual pace. If I was on a "casual" ride, and we actually went past a coffee shop without stopping, I'd think we were on a hammerfest.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    We conduct computer training classes at my workplace. You should see the range of expectations from the attendees when a class is listed as "intermediate level."

    For me, a "casual" ride of 25 miles in 1 3/4 hours, including stops, would feel like a breakneck pace. No way I could even hope to stay at that pace. Even if that didn't include the stops and it was 1:45 of riding time, I couldn't cover 25 miles (average speed of 14.3 mph). Even with a "no drop" intention, you would have had to have dropped me.

    Getting back to your question, no way would I expect a "casual" ride to maintain a brisk pace.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Catweazle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Not sure you would want to go to this much trouble, but in Seattle the Cascade Club (which sponsors hundreds of rides) has very detailed definitions on their website for ride rankings.

    There are 7 classifications of "pace"; 7 different definitions of "hilly", and warning that on "hilly" rides participants should choose one class lower than they normally do.

    Further, ride leaders also specify whether they regroup or not to wait for stragglers, and also whether the ride will be canceled on account of weather.

    http://www.cascade.org/EandR/Ride_Classifications.cfm

    My assumption is that they have gone to this level of effort because no one can agree on terms like "casual" or "serious", so they spell it out for ride leaders and participants alike.

    But, for what's it worth, I don't think anyone who goes on "casual" ride ought to complaint that it's too slow!
    Thoroughly agree with that. The level of detail and breadth of 'ratings' isn't so important as the fact of some degree of indication about what is required. But you DO need some degree of indication. And whilst people shouldn't be going and then complaining about it being too slow, people also should be aware that they have to be up to the ride.

    My Sunday Afternoon group, for example, is wholly and solely 'casual' social ride. But the numbers are still provided, for the benefit of all potential participants:

    • A ride speed not exceeding 20-23kph, as far as is possible.
    • Rest stops every 10 km (or sooner if windy/hilly conditions demand) for regrouping.
    • Designated lead rider for the duration of outing, whom nobody is permitted to pass except by arrangement and agreement.
    • SAG wagon to remain behind slowest rider at all times.


    The quantification there isn't excessive, and isn't treated/considered as rigid absolutes. It simply provides a guide, by removing a good degree of potential confusion.

    Retro Grouch nailed it methinks. Feedback was sought, feedback was given, and now that feedback needs to be put to good use

  15. #15
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catweazle View Post
    • A ride speed not exceeding 20-23kph, as far as is possible.
    • Rest stops every 10 km (or sooner if windy/hilly conditions demand) for regrouping.
    • Designated lead rider for the duration of outing, whom nobody is permitted to pass except by arrangement and agreement.
    • SAG wagon to remain behind slowest rider at all times.


    Now this is a ride that I might have a shot at completing. I can ride at an average speed of 12.5 mph, stop every 6 miles or so, and draw upon a SAG wagon as needed. Heck, I've already completed rides of this type, except for substituting trail facilities for the SAG.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    casual = no drop, social ride
    To me -Casual is going at a pace below what you would normally do. We sometimes have new riders come out with us on the hills and we have a rule in that someone will always ride with the new rider. This normally involves taking it in turns to drop back on the hills and taking the pace out on the flats. I say normally- because there is occasionally the odd rider that will be so fit he is up the front all the time.

    Someone has said it in that you cannot cater for all riders. So if the new rider is too fast for you- Let them find another group. Or take them for a 100 miler at a respectable pace and see if they can last.
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  17. #17
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like she might have been intimidated by fast riders and getting dropped. The club rides I go on are typically listed as a tour ride (speeds of 15-17 on the flats) but doing this enough I know they are going to be more like 18 -20 and if you can't keep up your dropped. She may have experienced this and then selected your ride as a better match. She was probably telling you in a rather self serving way that she was ready to move up. So whe just hasn't found her match yet.

    Don't feel put off - it isn't worth it. Take pride in the other riders that had a great time.
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  18. #18
    tsl
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    Our club has had to put expected speeds with our Slow and Easy rides. We had people showing up for the S&E rides who thought 4-5 mph with stops every mile or two was a blistering pace. On the very same ride, there were people who thought 14-15 was a poking along, smell the roses speed.

    We now advise that the S&E rides are a 10-12 pace. Words won't do what numbers will.
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  19. #19
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I lead "casual" rides every week.

    I will change the pace a bit depending upon who comes. The last ride was only 4 of us, as a couple of folks couldn't come at the last minute.

    I had my wife (the slowest) set the pace by leading the pack. Surprisingly to me, she set a pace of about 12.5 mph, which is faster than I would have led the ride.

    We went 10 miles, stopped for coffee and treats, and returned 10 miles. We took a "drink stop" about every 5 miles.

    I think "Casual" has many definitions, and would need to be further described. I think a "casual" ride to someone in the Road Cycling section of BFN would be far different than a "casual" ride to someone who participates in the Recreational Rider section.

    I think that the lady's expectations of the ride were much more than "casual."

    BTW, I do not like leading rides of more than 6 people. The logistics, etc., just get geometrically more complex with each additional rider.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member buddyp's Avatar
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    This ride classification thing has been a sore point as long as I've been involved in bike clubs (30 years). My club has a very detailed system a la the one BengeBoy mentioned and people still complain about it. Right now there is a 35+ post thread on our listserv discussing this very issue.

    I wish I knew what the answer is but I don't. Clearly (at least to me! ) its not an easy problem to solve

  21. #21
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time.

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  22. #22
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibi View Post
    You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time.

    george
    But you can NEVER please all the people all the time.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  23. #23
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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  24. #24
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    The funny part is, she stayed up with all the other riders while I stayed back with the slowest riders. It was a BIG group, around 30 people that showed up for the ride. Of course we had to stop at stop lights, we regrouped at two different points so myself and the slowest riders could join the group again. I certainly hope she can find a group that suits her. Most of the time when a rider says they are a beginner--they are really a beginner and I'm afraid they won't even be able to do 25 miles or 10 mph and don't even know the basics of riding.
    Cats are people too.

  25. #25
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    Loafer, no socks
    I resemble that remark
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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