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Old 10-05-10, 09:27 AM   #1
Retro Grouch
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What would you have done?

I headed out for a group ride this morning. This particular group is one that I hadn't ridden with before but they were all men about my age. I vaguely knew a few of them. At the start I posed the "speed" question with several riders, but nobody would give me a straight answer. As soon as we left the lot I fell off the back. By the 3 mile mark, the rest of the riders were out of sight. This ride was advertised as "self-supporting riders only" so I'm not complaining about being dropped other than being disappointed with myself. I've essentially taken a full year off the bike, however, so I'm not even going to beat myself up over that. So what would you have done?

1. I had a cue sheet so I could have ridden the route by myself. I'm not confident enough on the recumbent to read the cue sheet while I'm riding so I would have had to make a lot of stops and I didn't want to do that.

2. There is a chance the group would have designated a "baby sitter" to ride with me. That doesn't appeal to me at all.

3. Go home and do a solo ride later in the day.
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Old 10-05-10, 09:57 AM   #2
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I'd have just packed away the cue sheet and done some exploring. The only group ride my wife and I ever tried to join started a bit like this but we lost them before leaving the parking lot. Ride was scheduled to leave at 8:30 and at 8:20, after we'd said hi to all and were getting our bikes ready, the pack left. We tried to catch them but never did. We took a great ride up the coast, explored areas we'd never ridden and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
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Old 10-05-10, 10:08 AM   #3
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I'd have just packed away the cue sheet and done some exploring. The only group ride my wife and I ever tried to join started a bit like this but we lost them before leaving the parking lot. Ride was scheduled to leave at 8:30 and at 8:20, after we'd said hi to all and were getting our bikes ready, the pack left. We tried to catch them but never did. We took a great ride up the coast, explored areas we'd never ridden and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
+1. Just get out and ride.
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Old 10-05-10, 10:20 AM   #4
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Well, I usually go to local rides. Here in Central FL the road net is spotty. A given location has a limited number of suitable routes. I already know most of the routes for the local locations so i don't need a map or a cue sheet. I would have just done the ride. But in your case, I can not fault you for your choice. It makes sense to me.
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Old 10-05-10, 10:33 AM   #5
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This really raises the question of what you and the others want out of a group ride in the first place. If you are looking for riders you can draft with then you lose when you can't keep up. However the training value is the same if you push just as hard without them. Admittedly some people aren't good at self-pacing and benefit from the group to maintain the pace.

If you were looking for a social gathering and they weren't, then you were given false expectations. It appears that wasn't their priority. On the other hand, biking can be a very ephemeral and personal, even introspective experience. When the group splits it is an opportunity to become introspective, to examine the surroundings as you ride more slowly.

But the question you actually asked is what do you do. If you needed the group for directions and you don't know the area you must either go home or explore and remember the route as you go.
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Old 10-05-10, 10:46 AM   #6
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If it was a route that looked good to me I would have kept riding it.

Everybody's different as far as riding with a group goes, I guess. I ride so much by myself and am so used to following my own agenda I can take or leave company. When I do share some of the road with another rider it can be interesting and for me it's always a casual meeting on the road. My problem is this: If I see a rider up the road and am able to chase them down, well they aren't gonna be a lot of fun to ride with. They can be a lot of fun to chase down.

I have met riders at intersections and formed a successful ride partnership. Or have had riders sit up and wait and vice versa and had good shared rides. I do enjoy meeting a young strong rider(s) (this sounds so masochistic) and having them make me suffer.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:16 AM   #7
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I'm with CAcycling: Just go ride the damn bike. You joined a group ride and couldn't keep up. I've probably done that a hundred times. The group isn't under any obligation to slow down for you, or wait for you, or be sure you're OK (I'll relax that last statement if you suddenly clutch your chest and fall off the bike, but not if you're upright and riding). I would have tagged along behind, or taken a cutoff, or gone off on my own exploring, or turned around and gone back to the start. I might have wished I were in better shape so I could have ridden with the pack, but I can't think of a circumstance where I would have been offended or blamed the group or worried for one second about it.

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Old 10-05-10, 11:21 AM   #8
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I started riding with a group on Saturdays. They mostly take one route, but it's a route I wouldn't have thought of, and now I use that as my daily route. So in your case, I would just follow the cue sheet even if it took a few stops. After you do the route two or three times, you'll likely have it memorized for the future. If the route's worthwhile, I wouldn't worry so much about the group; just ride when you want to. Or find a slower group.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:23 AM   #9
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I basically agree with ahsposo,

Since the OP asked what I would have done . . . I would have followed the route sheet and kept on trying to catch them; you just never know.

Sometimes a flat tire stops/delays them, sometimes a train, sometimes a dog attack. And sometimes the speed out of the start drops as the ride goes on. Worse case, you never catch them, but you still have a good ride on your own.

Regarding your comment about not being able to read the route sheet while riding, you should really work on this helpful skill. You say "on the recumbent" as a qualifier, still I'm not sure if you're okay with this on a DF, but not on a recumbent . . . or what?

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Old 10-05-10, 11:25 AM   #10
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R G, No sense to blow yourself up trying to keep up with a group. Shortly after I started riding again after my knee injury I dropped off the back of a group on a shortish ride to just ride at my own pace. A little later I caught up with another rider who'd dropped and he was a mess physically because he severely overexerted himself trying to keep up. We hadn't reached mid point so I rode with him back to the cars.

Bottom line is I'd just continue riding and not worry about the group. Exploring is a lot of fun though it might lead to you becoming an expert at U-turns . Remember that first and foremost cycling is fun. Yes there are training rides where fun isn't a factor, but an improved cyclist is the goal and at the end of the training ride you should still feel good about having been riding.

Maybe it's just me, but until I get the first thirty minutes or so on the bike, I'm not going to try and gun down anyone or play catch up. I like the idea of getting everything 'up to temp', whether it makes a difference or not, I really don't know.

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Old 10-05-10, 11:26 AM   #11
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I started riding with a group on Saturdays. They mostly take one route, but it's a route I wouldn't have thought of, and now I use that as my daily route. So in your case, I would just follow the cue sheet even if it took a few stops. After you do the route two or three times, you'll likely have it memorized for the future. If the route's worthwhile, I wouldn't worry so much about the group; just ride when you want to. Or find a slower group.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:28 AM   #12
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They wouldn't answer your question and then left you behind without someone dropping back to check on you. Sounds like they don't want anyone else joining the group, screw em.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:43 AM   #13
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I would have waved goodbye then went for a ride anyways,maybe hunt for pizza and beer!
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Old 10-05-10, 12:01 PM   #14
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I'd have just packed away the cue sheet and done some exploring.
+1 this. And then cross that group off the list I will ride with in the future.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:01 PM   #15
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I would have followed the cue sheet unless/until it became too much of a pita. It's what I've been doing as I try to get to where I can keep up with the group I ride with on Sat mornings. This past weekend I was dropped on a long low grade hill up to a town. The ride included going up into the highlands above the town, with lots of turns on a route I didn't know. I didn't do that part, because I would have had to check the cue sheet way too many times and I'd never catch up. I figured I'd meet them when that loop rejoined the main road, and enjoy the fast flats as a group on the way back. I waited there a bit, then decided maybe they were ahead of me and rode back alone. Turns out I left before they got there. So far, I ride 50-75% of each group ride alone, after being dropped. Sometime I catch up at the refuel stop, but generally end up dropped again. I'm okay with it, knowing eventually I'll be able to hang with them.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:23 PM   #16
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I would've short cut the course to a place they hadn't gotten to yet and sprinkled some tacks on the road.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:28 PM   #17
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Ride for the love of riding. Its fun "sometimes" to have a group. But I take the Star Trek mentality and in my own mind "Boldly Go Where NO Man has Gone Before-to explore....."

As least in my own mind, no one else has ever seen exactly what I have seen.

ON the other hand, use the frustration as energy to train for the day that you rejoin this group and drop them like hot coffee. But that is just me.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:33 PM   #18
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I started riding with a group on Saturdays. They mostly take one route, but it's a route I wouldn't have thought of, and now I use that as my daily route. So in your case, I would just follow the cue sheet even if it took a few stops. After you do the route two or three times, you'll likely have it memorized for the future. If the route's worthwhile, I wouldn't worry so much about the group; just ride when you want to. Or find a slower group.
That can be a VERY iffy thing to find, the local BC's Social Ride, is about 14+ mph. while my wife is more like 8-9, we are always in the back and the rest of the group disappears. Now these are "No-Drop" rides, so they do leave a "rider" at the corner or route change but you can tell, the group is "getting" grumpy, after a season of riding with them and the Mrs. isn't any faster My wife commutes almost every day, 5 miles RT and does weekend rides and even did several 50 mile days on our first "mini-tour" this summer but she is "SLOW" and don't think she will get any faster. If you can find a group ride of SLOW riders, then join them but I got a feeling, it ain't gona be easy to find at "CLUB LEVEL", jmho, ymmv.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:39 PM   #19
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Rides with Dan Henry markings on the route make getting dropped much less of an adventure. I've done my share of solo riding on group rides this year and appreciate a well-marked route and that on weekend club rides there is a cell number for a ride leader - if something bad happens.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:40 PM   #20
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I always bring a small paper bag to these kind of rides. I use it to carry my soul home in.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:32 PM   #21
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Hey, at least they didn't yell at you.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...to-yell-at-you.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:42 PM   #22
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Been there and done it and that was with a few of the riding group I used to ride with. For some reason- I decided to go offroad with the "Young" fit bu**ers one sunday. Before we even got to the hills and offroad they had left me but I was up for a ride. Did a ride out along the South downs Way and meant to have done about 30 miles altogether. 15 miles later and it was a nice morning and the sun was out and the wife was visiting so I kept going. Had lunch at a pub of pasta and a dessert then turned round and finally did about 50 miles.

Got home and the others didn't even ask where I had got to. It was about that time I started riding solo as I found it a lot less hassle and more enjoyable.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:43 PM   #23
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I carried my soul home, dusted it off, and went out for a 2 hour ride on my own. It was great - just not very social.

I'm not going to say anything negative about the other riders. In fact, I know several of them and they are OK folks. They just had different objectives for today's ride than I did. I averaged over 15 MPH for the portion that I rode, but they dropped me like a stone so I'm thinking they were riding 18 - 20+. Another rider suggested this was a group that I should try riding with but I'm not up to that pace.

Incidentally, there is a group in St Louis for slowish riders. It's called the "Turtles." They don't ride big hills and they never drop anybody. I've ridden with them, but they are too slow for me. There's also a "Turbo Turtles."
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Old 10-05-10, 02:44 PM   #24
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Dairy Queen. I would have gone to the nearest Dairy Queen.

Banana splits are the ultimate nutrition. The bananas have potassium. The ice cream has calcium. The strawberries have phytochemicals which do you all sorts of good. The chocolate syrup is a natural relaxant, eases migraine headaches, and also has antioxidant properties.

That's why I carry an IPhone with me. I enter DQ into "AroundMe" and it takes care of the rest.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:50 PM   #25
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Dairy Queen. I would have gone to the nearest Dairy Queen.
Nearest Dairy Queen. That would be just across the street from my condo.

Hot fudge sundays have no net calories. The cold calories from the ice cream are cancelled out by the warm calories from the fudge. Likewise the light colored and dark colored calories cancel each other out. Whatever calories are in the cherry, that's all you get.
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