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Old 05-17-08, 02:34 PM   #1
The Weak Link
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Alone again (naturally)

Bottom line: group rides make you stronger if they don't kill you.

Today I joined a group ride, most of the members being B+ level roadies. Everytime I join a group ride I have trouble hanging. Last time I went I got dropped after about 5 miles and had to suck the wheel of a straggler to finish the route.

This time I sought out the Venerable Fred, a 60+er classic white cotton sock Cambelbak wearing beater-bike riding Fred who can fly like the wind. I tell him my plan is to "stick with you until I puke, then aim the other direction". He seemed to understand.

I hung tough until we hit a series of hills. When I ride at LSD speeds I have no trouble going up these things, but at speed I felt like I was being fired out the back like a retrorocket. For ten miles I settled into a pattern: get dropped on the hills, then work like crazy to close the gap, taking advantage of my affinity for the Earth (meaning I'm overweight) and that I have a great bike that rolls well.

This time I hung for 16 miles until I pulled over to check my cue sheet. My heart rate had been pegged out at 160 so I just didn't have enough to try to close any gaps at that point. I rode the rest of the route forlorn and forgotten.

Depressed over my adverse power to weight ratio, I scarfed down a Starbuck apple fritter and some coffee. Life seemed to make more sense at that point.

And that is how I spent my day.

The End.

Last edited by The Weak Link; 05-17-08 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 05-17-08, 03:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Bottom line: group rides make you stronger if they don't kill you.

Today I joined a group ride, most of the members being B+ level roadies. Everytime I join a group ride I have trouble hanging. Last time I went I got dropped after about 5 miles and had to suck the wheel of a straggler to finish the route.

This time I sought out the Venerable Fred, a 60+er classic white cotton sock Cambelbak wearing beater-bike riding Fred who can fly like the wind. I tell him my plan is to "stick with you until I puke, then aim the other direction". He seemed to understand.

I hung tough until we hit a series of hills. When I ride at LSD speeds I have no trouble going up these things, but at speed I felt like I was being fired out the back like a retrorocket. For ten miles I settled into a pattern: get dropped on the hills, then work like crazy to close the gap, taking advantage of my affinity for the Earth (meaning I'm overweight) and that I have a great bike that rolls well.

This time I hung for 16 miles until I pulled over to check my cue sheet. My heart rate had been pegged out at 160 so I just didn't have enough to try to close any gaps at that point. I rode the rest of the route forlorn and forgotten.

Depressed over my adverse power to weight ratio, I scarfed down a Starbuck apple fritter and some coffee. Life seemed to make more sense at that point.

And that is how I spent my day.

The End.
You can always ride with me WL................I like Starbucks.

I suspect that we could add Tom and a few others for a more laid back "tour de escargot"
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Old 05-17-08, 03:21 PM   #3
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Hey-you made progress!! Hang in there. You'll get to the level you prefer. "If it doesn't kill you it's supposed to be good for you."
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Old 05-17-08, 03:24 PM   #4
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Man, you ride just like I do.
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Old 05-17-08, 05:43 PM   #5
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I couldn't hang with TWL, he would bury me.
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Old 05-17-08, 05:53 PM   #6
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ALONE AGAIN (NATURALLY)

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Old 05-17-08, 06:26 PM   #7
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I enjoy an aggressive pace line up to a point. But I usually look for the weaker riders and let them know I'm ready to drop back with them whenever they've had enough. I'd much rather enjoy the scenery and chat a little bit than suck wind and stare at somebody's wheel all day. And you burn the same calories going the same distance anyway. It's just a more enjoyable burn.
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Old 05-18-08, 02:30 AM   #8
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One of the reasons I ride on my own is that I cannot keep to the same pace as any group I ride with. I used to ride with a few very good friends and it was social riding. If one of us was struggling- you only had to ask to take 1 mph out and the group did stay together. If someone struggled up a hill- then another rider would shield him for a while.

So we probably had 5 riders- all with varying speeds at some point on the ride- but we all used to finish a 50 miler at the same time- and all in comfort.

I tried riding with a local group of older riders and did not enjoy it. Started out at 12mph on the flat. Came the slopes and it was 12 mph- Came to the hills and it was 12mph. And come to the downhills and it was 12mph. On the flat they were too slow- On the hills and I wanted a bit less heavy breathing and downhill I wanted to enjoy myself.

Future rides are planned for me and in a group that I enjoy. Only one person to worry about- only one person to keep up with and only one person to slow down for. Unless Staus Quo come on the I Pod up the steeper hills.
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Old 05-18-08, 08:45 AM   #9
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I always get dropped from the fast group here. Still fun to start with them, and finish when I finish. I've also begun a 'comfortable riding group', and that's growing every weekend. And beginners are now getting faster and further, and some of the faster group are coming to ride with us for a more sociable outing.

I introduced the idea of 'Rotating Pace Line' (RPL) riding, to keep everyone together - seems to work well. So much so that these rides are attracting more members. The riders of the alternate gender now talk about the "VPL" rides.

I guess they mean 'Virtual Pace Line", but what do I know?
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Old 05-18-08, 08:54 AM   #10
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Bottom line: group rides make you stronger if they don't kill you.
You need to find a slower group! It was fun though, no?

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Old 05-18-08, 09:17 AM   #11
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Bottom line: group rides make you stronger if they don't kill you.
That is a popular BFism and promoted by bike club members and some racers who participate in group rides with the objective of getting "better". I have yet to meet a coach who agrees. Many coaches ban group rides. Coaches and athletes agree on one thing...group rides make you tired.
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Old 05-18-08, 09:33 AM   #12
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I'm open to input.

There seem to be times in cycling when you a) become a cyclist b) become an avid cyclist c) become a competitive cyclist d) become totally addicted and get weird about the whole thing. I may have the order confused.

I like to ride in groups because of the social thing. However, I don't like thinking I slow the group down, and there is some satisfaction in being able to hang for longer and longer periods of time.

And I wonder if somewhere deep inside me lurks a Hermes/Velodiva/jppe/Will Dehne type that can push the body to extremes that I hadn't imagined a few years ago.

And then I worry about being found dead in my sleep from possibly not respecting my limitations.

Anyone else out there struggle with this?
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Old 05-18-08, 09:36 AM   #13
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I have yet to meet a coach who agrees. Many coaches ban group rides.
Huh? Really? Nah.

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Old 05-18-08, 10:35 AM   #14
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One of the reasons I ride on my own is that I cannot keep to the same pace as any group I ride with.
I wouldn't ride with any group that I can keep up with.
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Old 05-18-08, 10:46 AM   #15
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The End.
The end? Did you say "the end'? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! I want you to scarf down an apple fritter and hit the road. Now.
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Old 05-18-08, 01:10 PM   #16
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The end? Did you say "the end'? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! I want you to scarf down an apple fritter and hit the road. Now.
The End- There is never an end to a thread like this- It may go off kilter- Just like the Germans Bombing Pearl Harbour - But end NEVER.
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Old 05-18-08, 01:17 PM   #17
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And then I worry about being found dead in my sleep from possibly not respecting my limitations.

Anyone else out there struggle with this?
Not since my trip to the cardio last week, no.
But before that? Yeah, a little. Sometimes.
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Old 05-18-08, 03:27 PM   #18
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The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
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Old 05-18-08, 03:33 PM   #19
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Old 05-18-08, 03:38 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=The Weak Link;6712510. . . I rode the rest of the route forlorn and forgotten . . .[/QUOTE]

It sounds like a fine ride except for this perverse bit at the end.

Maybe next time it could end something like, "I rode the rest of the route solo, finished before sundown, and look forward to next time."
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Old 05-18-08, 09:34 PM   #21
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I'm open to input.

There seem to be times in cycling when you a) become a cyclist b) become an avid cyclist c) become a competitive cyclist d) become totally addicted and get weird about the whole thing. I may have the order confused.

I like to ride in groups because of the social thing. However, I don't like thinking I slow the group down, and there is some satisfaction in being able to hang for longer and longer periods of time.

And I wonder if somewhere deep inside me lurks a Hermes/Velodiva/jppe/Will Dehne type that can push the body to extremes that I hadn't imagined a few years ago.

And then I worry about being found dead in my sleep from possibly not respecting my limitations.

Anyone else out there struggle with this?
All the time. I live in Boulder, CO which is a bit of a haven for pro-level athletes and those folks go FAST. I thought about signing up for a 50+ cyclecross race but then watched one and realized it's just those same fast guys who are now 50...

I think I could eat more pie than any of them though, so I still have that going for me.
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Old 05-19-08, 07:25 AM   #22
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I like to ride with my wife, I make sure she stays within sight of me, and I wait for her at lights, or else.
We have many pleasant rides.
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Old 05-19-08, 08:32 AM   #23
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I like to ride with my wife, I make sure she stays within sight of me, and I wait for her at lights, or else.
We have many pleasant rides.
I never get dropped when I ride the tandem with my wife. I can't drop her, either - look back over my shoulder and she's still right there!
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Old 05-19-08, 06:10 PM   #24
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Why ?
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Old 05-19-08, 06:15 PM   #25
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Why not? I'm confused by your skepticism.
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