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Old 09-06-11, 02:03 PM   #1
bruce19
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A "revelation" ride...

My gf has not been riding a lot this season and I've been riding more than last year. So, while I've been getting more fit, losing weight and getting faster she has been lagging on our rides. But, I want her to be encouraged to ride and enjoy our time together. Up to now I've been leading and stopping whenever she got too far behind. Yesterday I took another approach. I told her to lead and ride at a pace that she finds comfortable. I then rode in my small chain wheel only and concentrated on higher rpms instead of mph. As a result we actually rode together and my spinning got much better. At one point I found myself at 125 rpm on a slight downgrade and not bouncing off the seat! This from a guy who last year thought "spinning" was anything above 85 rpms. This new approach has allowed us to ride together and me to become more versatile in powering the bike. It's all good. No, it's great. I really enjoyed the ride, learned a lot and broadened the scope of my riding.
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Old 09-06-11, 02:42 PM   #2
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One of the tricks we have for encouraging new riders into our group is that we make the New rider lead at some point on a ride. Can give them a hard timeas they feel they have to pull at a level above what their fitness will allow so they can tire quickly. We put a rider behind them and tell him to slow down whenever a slope comes up or they get to our comfort level. It is not long before we can judge what they can do and where they need a bit of coaching. It also gives the new rider confidence as he realises that we are not going to kill him on the first ride----We leave that till the 3rd one.

While this is going on- the "Fitter" riders have a complete rest or start playing games such as a 5% hill for about 400 yards and they all get into a low gear that is comparable between the bikes and race up the hill. Ever tried full bore for 400 yards up a slight incline in 22/32. That will put your cadence up and give a Cardio work out.

Recently I have been taking a new rider out with just the two of us. He is getting fit and now has to use that fitness in the right place. We are now onto hills so I pace him up most of them. Albeit slower than the hill could be done but he is now up to 2,500 ft of climbing in 10 miles of 10 to 12% slopes. Next trip is a long 2 mile incline but into a headwind. That will make him realise that Hills are nothing- wind is the enemy.

I have had this from a couple of riders that have been with other groups. When they go with some other riders- they finish up doing a solo ride at a pace they do not enjoy because they are always chasing the other riders. When they come out for a ride with us- They ride with us. They don't feel that they do not have the fitness to ride with us and so they enjoy the ride. The fitter riders can get to the cafe first- they can take a slightly longer route or they can get some Fun traing in while we all ride as a group. Works for me.
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Old 09-06-11, 05:48 PM   #3
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My gf has not been riding a lot this season and I've been riding more than last year. So, while I've been getting more fit, losing weight and getting faster she has been lagging on our rides. But, I want her to be encouraged to ride and enjoy our time together. Up to now I've been leading and stopping whenever she got too far behind. Yesterday I took another approach. I told her to lead and ride at a pace that she finds comfortable. I then rode in my small chain wheel only and concentrated on higher rpms instead of mph. As a result we actually rode together and my spinning got much better. At one point I found myself at 125 rpm on a slight downgrade and not bouncing off the seat! This from a guy who last year thought "spinning" was anything above 85 rpms. This new approach has allowed us to ride together and me to become more versatile in powering the bike. It's all good. No, it's great. I really enjoyed the ride, learned a lot and broadened the scope of my riding.
This is actually the way I ride with my wife at the wilderness park. I did 31 miles with her yesterday morning following behind her at 10-12 mph while spinning most of the time. Wasn't too bad for me as I have a triple and normally ride on the middle chainring, so I just kicked it down all the way and did the same speed as her but doing it between 80-100 rpm.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:24 PM   #4
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+1 - My wife always leads and sets the pace. I have lots of times to ride alone and go my pace. Our bicycle times together are more rare, and I try and make them special.
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Old 09-06-11, 09:03 PM   #5
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I always find it easier to let a slower rider lead than to try to guess what speed they are comfortable riding.

A similar situation comes up on some of the no-drop social and beginner friendly rides our club does. Most beginners want to stay at the very back in case they can't keep up. Sometimes it can be frustratingly difficult to convince them to move closer to the front of the group so that we can adjust our speed to theirs. If they ride in the rear, it can easily happen that we don't know they are having trouble until they have fallen off the back.

As they get a little stronger, I do encourage them to follow someone so they can benefit from the draft, but still not at the very back.
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Old 09-07-11, 08:03 AM   #6
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We accomplished our ride at about 14 mph over a fairly hilly route. My gf has the potential to be a very strong rider but since she retired last year she has had to take a variety of clients in her work as a Behaviorist working with autistic children. What that means is she is working all over the state at odd dates and times. No set schedule results in her being unable to have a consistent riding schedule. This has caused her to ride less and me to ride more solo and, thus, harder. Hopefully our new way of riding together will give us both what we need on the bike and with each other. I enjoyed it tremendously.
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Old 09-07-11, 09:22 AM   #7
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I almost always let my wife lead. I take photos:

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Old 09-07-11, 10:28 AM   #8
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I too, always let the wife lead when were riding together on single bikes, still I think she likes the new "tandem" better! She says she doesn't feel like she's, "holding me up", when were on the tandem. Like many have said, it's "special" when we ride together, I'll save the "training" for when I'm solo, jmho, ymmv.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:05 AM   #9
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She says she doesn't feel like she's, "holding me up", when were on the tandem.
My gf started getting into the "I don't want to hold you up" thing too. I just say...."You know how I will tell you exactly what I'm thinking even if you don't want to hear it? Well, now I'm telling you that what is important to me is to ride with you. I like riding with you. If I want to ride a TT I'll do it when you're working. Are we done with that now?" Seems to be working OK.
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Old 09-07-11, 12:07 PM   #10
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I used a different approach. I take the lead, let her ride my wheel while pretty much keeping her right at her limit, slightly above at times. Not so much that it's punishing, just a challenge, sometimes without her even knowing it. We started out doing 12 MPH averages on a 42 mile rides and plenty of times physically pushing her back with one arm.. She's worked her way up to an 18.4 average over the same 42 mile ride.

This is her recently, hitting 20-22 with a friend of ours then into some riding with some SoCal forum members.

I love this video. Boyd with the white beard is 65, ex drinker and smoker and has one eye (glass eye). Open heart surgery then started "living" by way of bike. I admire this guy, goes against all the "I'm too old" whining that my parents have done since age 30. Here, Boyd and Gina crank it up for a ten mile stretch.


Hanging with the boys! Local BF'ers I refer to as The Leaky Fountain Boyz".


102409A by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

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Old 09-07-11, 01:51 PM   #11
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Stronger riders spinning faster while drafting less fit riders is a proven technique for equalizing fitness while allowing the stronger riders to work on an aspect of their cycling.

Climbing is another area where different fitness levels are a problem. Many think that a stronger rider should lead and the weaker rider will get a benefit of a draft. That may work in some cases but a better way is for the stronger rider to ride along side the weaker rider (assuming road conditions allow). This creates team work and the stronger rider rides at the other rider's pace and can offer encouragement, if required. The slower rider does not feel the pressure of having a stronger rider behind with the concern of the speed being high enough.
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Old 09-07-11, 02:25 PM   #12
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I also just use a low gear and work on my spinning. I enjoy the rides, but somehow have a tough time convincing my wife of that. I ride beside her when I can, and let her lead if we are single file, unless it is a touchy area, and then I can't help but exercise my chivalrous side by making sure it is safe before she hits it. My wife is an athlete. If she really got into cycling, I'd likely be working hard to keep up with her.
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Old 10-09-11, 05:37 PM   #13
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I used a different approach. I take the lead, let her ride my wheel while pretty much keeping her right at her limit, slightly above at times. Not so much that it's punishing, just a challenge, sometimes without her even knowing it. We started out doing 12 MPH averages on a 42 mile rides and plenty of times physically pushing her back with one arm.. She's worked her way up to an 18.4 average over the same 42 mile ride.
How long did it take her to work up to that kind of speed? (In miles and/or time riding).
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Old 10-09-11, 05:52 PM   #14
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My wife and I decided to take the tandem route to cycling equalization 11 years ago. Works well for us - most of our riding-together miles (600 so far this year) are with her sitting right behind me. We like it so much we moved on up from our starter tandem (KHS) to a recumbent tandem (RANS) this year.
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Old 10-10-11, 10:37 AM   #15
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For us, long upgrades have become a frequent exception to the excellent weaker-rider-leads rule. I take off, do my best up the hill, turn around, and rejoin the parade. Turning around eliminates any pressure on my wife to catch up while I wait at the top or soft pedal.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:12 PM   #16
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Was going to ride a Century last Saturday, but fortunately a few weeks ago realized my wife would rather me ride with her on the 45 miler. It was her longest ride ever, and first organized one. I find using my small ring and spinning, or changing up and mashing up a hill to burn, are great ways to have us ride together and me get some calories burnt. SHE progresses because I let her ride her pace, and SHE does the pushing at a rate she can stand. Since June, her speed on the flats has gone from barely 12 to over 15, and often can sustain some 17-18 cruising for a bit. We both also ride separately for our training times (and I try to commute regularly), but allowing her to ride at HER pace is the key. She asks to be pushed when its appropriate, which is way more safe than me pushing her.
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