Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track
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Yes, group rides are good for you! I have been doing more group riding while on temporary assignment here in Victoria, BC. All the group rides are with racing clubs sponsored by bike shops to which everyone is invited to ride, so they tend to be mostly young guys on carbon fiber bikes, some even ride with their cf racing wheels, go figure. So I'm doing group rides three or four times a week. Last evening's ride was with a small group out of a shop in Langford, where most of Victoria's big box stores are located. We did one of the hillier rides, and by hilly I mean some of the hills are 10% or more grades. Fortunately they are not too long, so I can usually catch the group when they stop at the next intersection, since I'm on the 44x16 fixie. They don't like to wait too long, so if you're too far behind they leave you to die...
Although I'm no longer racing, all this group riding - especially with just the fixie - has definitely made me a much stronger rider this year. The hills I struggle up slowly on my own, I'm flying up with the group. Must be more adrenalin when you're with other guys.
I must say, though, that my favorite group ride is the easy Sunday ride with guys my own age. They're not constantly attacking!