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Old 07-17-11, 04:29 AM   #1
willb1046
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Dropped on a group ride.

My riding partner and I went out on a group ride from West Chester Pa. with the West Chester Cycling Club yesterday. The group we were riding with was supposed to be a C class ride. They were a small group, including us there were seven riders. It was very hilly terrain, which we are not used to, plus we were in an area we did not know (riding partner and I are rather adventurous). About 20 miles out of West Chester we were dropped, the group must have made a turn some where and did not wait for us.

The ride was FUBARed to begin with, the website had outdated information, and there was no cue sheets for the ride we went on (none was handed out to us).

I know "dropped" happens but this is the first time I was dropped by a riding club. The club we ride with mostly Team Evesham out of Marltin New Jersey never drops anyone.

Sorry for the long post - just wanted to rant!

The area was absolutely beautiful, country, farms along the rolling hills. Thankfully we meet up with some other riders from the area that gave us directions back to the car.
We did just over 35 miles (5 miles short of our projected ride).
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Old 07-17-11, 05:10 AM   #2
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Oh well, you learned a little about those guys I guess huh? Glad it turned out to be a nice ride anyway. (And you were not dropped by your self... still rode with a buddy it sounds like! 35mi, nice. I saw on FB that there is an MS ride in Mo. the middle of Sept. I'd like to get into shape and ride the two days. They have 40, 75 and 100 mile legs. (OBVIOUSLY I'd shoot for the 40! LOL) I am a beginner rider, my first ride was yesterday on my Specialized.
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Old 07-17-11, 05:20 AM   #3
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So your ride turned into how and what many of us purposely ride. A couple of friends exploring new territory, and having a great time (or you should have been having a great time). Why rant about that? You know - lemons to lemonade and all that.

Sometimes it helps to just step back, relax, find the best in what you are doing and proceed with a smile
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Old 07-17-11, 05:45 AM   #4
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Not a great way to treat new riders to a group. You didn't tell us how much conversation happened before the ride. Did they know you were new to the ride and to the area? Was there a mutual understanding of whether it was to be a no-drop ride? I would expect that with a C group ride, but it pays to make sure everyone has the same expectation.
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Old 07-17-11, 06:17 AM   #5
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The club I belong to has ride leaders for the B and C rides. One leads and the other makes sure there are no drops. There are inconsiderate people everywhere but finding them in a C ride is surprising.
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Old 07-17-11, 06:22 AM   #6
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Them dang jerks!
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Old 07-17-11, 06:50 AM   #7
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@JimTjr: Thanks for your comment, go for the MS ride. I'm training for one they have in New Jersey this September.

@DnvrFox: You re right, it was a really nice ride. This is my first year doing something like this, I simply didn't expect to be dropped is all.

@
BluesDawg: There was not too much conversation prior the the ride, we didn't find the meeting place as soon as we should have. The directions to the ride I thought we were going on had a meeting place that was no longer in business, we got lucky when someone told us where the club meets. Yes, I thought it was understood that it was a no drop C ride. There is no contact numbers or email addresses on the clubs website. We mentioned that to the ride leader who said she will bring that up at the next meeting they have.

@Bruce19: Like I mentioned in my OP the team (club) I belong to has a "no drop" policy. This is what I had expected.

@Kenji666: Just inconsiderate people I guess.

Bottom line, we need to take the responsibility, cut the time too close and did not make sure it was a "no drop ride". You live and learn!
I really want to go back out in that area again, the ride was one of the most beautiful rides I've ever been on.




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Old 07-17-11, 07:12 AM   #8
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I really want to go back out in that area again, the ride was one of the most
beautiful rides I've ever been on.


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Old 07-17-11, 07:16 AM   #9
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My riding partner and I went out on a group ride from West Chester Pa. with the West Chester Cycling Club yesterday. The group we were riding with was supposed to be a C class ride. They were a small group, including us there were seven riders. It was very hilly terrain, which we are not used to, plus we were in an area we did not know (riding partner and I are rather adventurous). About 20 miles out of West Chester we were dropped, the group must have made a turn some where and did not wait for us.

The ride was FUBARed to begin with, the website had outdated information, and there was no cue sheets for the ride we went on (none was handed out to us).

I know "dropped" happens but this is the first time I was dropped by a riding club. The club we ride with mostly Team Evesham out of Marltin New Jersey never drops anyone.

Sorry for the long post - just wanted to rant!

The area was absolutely beautiful, country, farms along the rolling hills. Thankfully we meet up with some other riders from the area that gave us directions back to the car.
We did just over 35 miles (5 miles short of our projected ride).
Different groups seem to define the same class of ride differently. I think a lot of the time in 2001 a group of guys got together for a no drop, beginner ride of 10 flat miles at 10 miles per hour, then as a group as they got better the rides got harder, eventually they dropped the no-drop rule, but it never got promoted as an advanced, drop ride.

I ride solo most of the time, but in examining a group ride, I want to know where they go, how long is the ride, and how long it roughly takes, in advance. Generally if you go to a group ride, and everybody is in team kit on $10K carbon road bikes, with lots of saddle to bar drop and clipless pedals, it's not a beginner ride. If there is a lot of plain clothes, and lots of Aluminum Hybrids and Steel Road bikes, that's a beginner ride. Although if your used to 30+ mile rides, your not a beginner either. You should probably carry a decent regional or state map and a compass, if you get lost, you can take a baring, then determine the direction of the road your on, consult your map and decide your best game plan.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:32 AM   #10
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Hi,
food for thought, I prefer to ride mostly alone, I know thats not normal, but I really like to enjoy
the ride feel my cadance . Group rides are very Jerky at times and they never seem to maintain a
consatance speed. I like to start a little slower and gradually increase my pace till I reach my comfort zone, and then push the Limit till I am breathing hard. I have actually seen big improvment in my ability in only a couple
years. Try to enjoy your ride, follow a good training pace for your level and you may find you really enjoy solitude and better training alone.
I chat a llttle before the ride and after but on the open road its a blast to do intervals .
doug
become familar with your local bike routes many shops have maps posted take a copy, Google your aera for cycling maps. Take spare tubes, tire pump or co2
be sure you can change a tire (I hate wire bead tires) for me they are difficult to
install without tube pinch..I carry a cell phone in a baggy just in case..
drive the route try to remember turns and location

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Old 07-17-11, 07:41 AM   #11
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@Bruce19: Like I mentioned in my OP the team (club) I belong to has a "no drop" policy. This is what I had expected.


Bottom line, we need to take the responsibility, cut the time too close and did not make sure it was a "no drop ride". You live and learn!
I really want to go back out in that area again, the ride was one of the most beautiful rides I've ever been on.
I generally agree with your perspective. I've just never heard of any C ride that dropped riders. Therefore, I would not have even thought to ask if it was a "no drop" ride. As you say....a lesson learned.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:55 AM   #12
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The weekend club rides that I participate in are very organized, with Dan Henry's, maps and/or cue sheets and ride leader contact cell # on the map/cue sheet. No discussion of A, B or C but a variety of folks show up and the expectation is that the fast group will go first and will go fast. Ride leader usually asks if any newcomers are present and arranges for someone to be their mentor on the ride. There are usually 3 or 4 length options.

The ride I rode yesterday, on the other hand, was a club-associated 'Grand Touring' ride, smaller turnout as it was outside the metro area, and everybody rode together. No Dan Henry's but a map in case of someone straying off. Ride leader kept track of everybody, called out turns and provided invaluable info about road conditions and sketchy bits to expect. The group stopped for lunch and another break. Not a go-fast ride but we had a good pace.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:55 AM   #13
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I've ridden with the club... once. They're mostly racer wanna be types. Waiting for someone is not something I would expect of them. BTW, both of my sons live in that area and it is beautiful. But, then again when you've got an area with lots and lots of seven figure houses, the area does tend to be nice. My only dislike of the area is that many of the roads are very narrow, especially along the Brandywine River. On the plus side if you ride into West Chester proper there's a great brew pub (Iron Hill - part of a small chain of brew pubs). The brew master at this particular one is especially good. Never had a beer there that wasn't true to style and very, very good.
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Old 07-17-11, 09:51 AM   #14
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Anytime you're welcoming new riders to your group ride there should be someone who keeps a pace to maintain all riders. They screwed up, I'm sure they hate it. I'm glad you had a good time.
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Old 07-17-11, 12:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
the ride was one of the most
beautiful rides I've ever been on.
This is all that really matters. Great scenery, great weather, great ride. Can't ask for more than that.
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Old 07-17-11, 03:13 PM   #16
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The Missouri MS ride is the weekend after Labor Day. I just signed up (was drafted?) yesterday and will be doing my first such ride. I believe the official title is the Gateway MS 150, or something close to that. In the past, the routes have been loops beginning and ending in Columbia.


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Oh well, you learned a little about those guys I guess huh? Glad it turned out to be a nice ride anyway. (And you were not dropped by your self... still rode with a buddy it sounds like! 35mi, nice. I saw on FB that there is an MS ride in Mo. the middle of Sept. I'd like to get into shape and ride the two days. They have 40, 75 and 100 mile legs. (OBVIOUSLY I'd shoot for the 40! LOL) I am a beginner rider, my first ride was yesterday on my Specialized.
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Old 07-17-11, 08:40 PM   #17
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Did the website mention A and B groups as well? It is possible they have all 3, with only the C ride being no drop, and all A riders showed up. Since the website had old information for the meet point, the other information might be out of date as well.
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Old 07-17-11, 10:20 PM   #18
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I've been riding with a local club that is similar. The group is usually larger. But there doesn't seem to be a group leader (if there is, I have no clue who it is), there's not an offical "sweep", there's no cue sheet or map. Usually, they start off and ride the first two or three miles at about 14 mph, then when they hit the first hill (mainly downhills), they're off at 20 mph for the rest of the way. On the one hand, it's great training for me. I know the area they ride in, so getting dropped isn't a problem, and it gets me riding faster than I would on my own. On the other hand, it's terrible for getting any new people in. I'm the "newbie" in a sense, yet there's been several times when I got dropped, then ran across other people that also got dropped that did NOT know the area and got to show them the way back in. (And I notice you only see these people once when that happens, go figure.) Having a "drop" ride is okay, but they should give out cue sheets or have an official sweep or both.
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Old 07-17-11, 10:52 PM   #19
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Did the website mention A and B groups as well? It is possible they have all 3, with only the C ride being no drop, and all A riders showed up. Since the website had old information for the meet point, the other information might be out of date as well.
Here's what they say about their ride levels:

http://www.westchestercycling.com/?id=40

KeS
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Old 07-18-11, 01:04 AM   #20
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So your ride turned into how and what many of us purposely ride. A couple of friends exploring new territory, and having a great time (or you should have been having a great time). Why rant about that? You know - lemons to lemonade and all that.

Sometimes it helps to just step back, relax, find the best in what you are doing and proceed with a smile
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Old 07-18-11, 09:09 AM   #21
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What is the purpose of riding with other if they will be dropped? The concept of "dropping" is a racing term. When people ride together I assume that they desire each others company. But as you know, there are a lot of pro wannabes out there who get some sort of satisfaction from "dropping" slower riders. Best to cycle with friends or alone. Cycling is not a competitive pastime unless one is a racer.
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Old 07-18-11, 09:44 AM   #22
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What is the purpose of riding with other if they will be dropped? The concept of "dropping" is a racing term. When people ride together I assume that they desire each others company. But as you know, there are a lot of pro wannabes out there who get some sort of satisfaction from "dropping" slower riders. Best to cycle with friends or alone. Cycling is not a competitive pastime unless one is a racer.
Yep, I agree. I think some riders simply have to prove something while on the road, in my area cyclists on average all seem to be really unsocialable, rarely if ever acknowledging other riders. The thing that really burns me up are the riders that pass without a word.
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Old 07-18-11, 10:00 AM   #23
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The weekend club rides that I participate in are very organized, with Dan Henry's, maps and/or cue sheets and ride leader contact cell # on the map/cue sheet. No discussion of A, B or C but a variety of folks show up and the expectation is that the fast group will go first and will go fast. Ride leader usually asks if any newcomers are present and arranges for someone to be their mentor on the ride. There are usually 3 or 4 length options.
The group I ride with is the same way. Routes and cue sheets are posted online in advance, and also handed out before the ride. The leader introduces himself and asks if there are any new riders.

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What is the purpose of riding with other if they will be dropped? The concept of "dropping" is a racing term. When people ride together I assume that they desire each others company. But as you know, there are a lot of pro wannabes out there who get some sort of satisfaction from "dropping" slower riders. Best to cycle with friends or alone. Cycling is not a competitive pastime unless one is a racer.
In the group I ride with there are faster riders and slower riders. The faster ones just naturally move ahead, there is no intentional dropping. The slower riders pulling up the rear stick together and regroup as necessary so that no one ends up riding alone.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:30 AM   #24
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Always bring a map when riding in a new area or with new people. Never a need to get upset.
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Old 07-18-11, 12:11 PM   #25
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. . . The thing that really burns me up are the riders that pass without a word.
Why? Or, more properly, why is it important to you that other riders conform to your conversational standard. I tend to greet other riders but imposing that as a reciprocal burden would, for me, be rude and foolish. When a rider is silent he or she has done me no harm unless I begin stewing about it.


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What is the purpose of riding with other if they will be dropped? The concept of "dropping" is a racing term. When people ride together I assume that they desire each others company. But as you know, there are a lot of pro wannabes out there who get some sort of satisfaction from "dropping" slower riders. Best to cycle with friends or alone. Cycling is not a competitive pastime unless one is a racer.
Take it from a guy who has put in his time riding sweep and also fallen off the end of groups riding beyond my capacity, that's way too harsh. An established group settles into a familiar pace. Unless there's a sweep rider or established regrouping points it's up to everyone to keep up or be dropped. Otherwise the group is always defined by the slowest person who happens to show up that day.

As mentioned, you will often find large groups sorting themselves out into three segments. The relative hammerheads (and to me that's not at all a derisive term) push out ahead, a slightly slower group forms after them and the sweep rider assembles another group of those who want or need a slower pace yet.
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