It would depend on the ride.
It would depend on the ride.
I've been one of those once and it leads me to point out one thing people might not think of.
I was manning the last full rest stop on "The Grand Tour" back in the 90s. At that time the ride had 6 options, Highland and Lowland 200, 300 and 400 miles.
That rest stop was mainly for the 300 and 400 mile riders. At about the 150 mile mark the 200 miles rides hit Rincon and turned South for home. But the 300 and 400 mile riders turned North and ride 50 miles to Santa Barbara. The 400 mile riders made it back to the start and then did a 'small' 100 mile loop that also hit the same stop.
While the stop was open mainly for the 300 and 400 mile riders it was still there for the 200 mile riders.
That is organization and similar organization often occurs on shorter rides where there is an associated longer ride. A stop that is 75 miles into a Century is often the midway stop of a half century.
Unless you stop and think about it this works out to be counter intuitive. One is prone to think that if you are doing 35 miles an event that is only that length is where you get the best service. That can be flat out wrong if you are a slower rider.
EDIT: If one only counts rides one pays for as organized rides I've only done 4 every. Rosario - Enseneda when I was just starting. The Grant tour the first time I rode it. (second time was the time I volunteered and I did the volunteer ride the week after and scored big, it was 10 degrees cooler), The Land Rush (San Francisco to Los Angels in 2 days) and The Lighthouse century (Which was really strange, it had highland and lowland options. I was blowing people away until the routes split, then climbing like a rock left me alone until they rejoined).
For some rides they specify a dazzling 14 MPH.
If you're slow, just start early. I chug along at 12 MPH average (hills really slow me down, on the flats I scoot along quite a bit faster). On "cookie rides" I do fine. I either don't stop at SAGs or I stop just long enough to water up and use the Porta Potty. Otherwise I really stiffen up. But I finish before the broom wagon sweeps me up.
What organizers do, sometimes, is route the shorter courses so they use the same stops that are used as the last stop or two for the long course (allowing short-course riders to go very slowly).
Sometimes, they have shortcuts available for slow riders.
If the ride starts and ends at the same place, there's a good chance the time you can spend on the short course will be the same as for the longest course. Maybe, not quite as long because that would be really slow.
The general rule of thumb is an overall average of 10 mph (including stops) for any organized ride.
Keep in mind that your average speed will generally be lower for longer or hillier rides. You probably don't want to be struggling at a 10 mph pace.
You know this but others might not.
You don't have to stop at every stop and you don't have t stay the same amount of time. Often, there are stops that are worth staying longer at. Being aware of your pace/progress during the ride will let you manage it better.
That was rude. You should feel free to join in, but you shouldn't expect the tents and support to remain. In races I've done where the speed of some folks is a possible issue, there has been a sweeper van to pick up those who were straggling and at the very least, to give them a chance to bail. I can see how that might not be possible in all races but it's a nice thing to be able to do. I think if you're going to sign up for a race you should only expect the organizers to stay "open" for most of the folks; not each and every entrant no matter how slow (and yeah....4 hours for 40mi is too slow).
Don't be discouraged. Join in or not. Don't take their wrap-up personally.
I've done some organized tours in which the opposite issue has come up. The tour organizer set up a rest stop at around the 18 or 20 mile mark. The problem was folks who'd both leave early and ride fast. They'd get to the rest stop before the ride helpers.
A group of racers or experienced century riders can easily do 22mph on a flat, no wind ride. That's barely above social pace.
The Tulsa Route 66 Marathon that I'm training for...using the Galloway run/walk approach....has a nice, clear summation of the time limits for that event. Something like this is really helpful in deciding to take part in something for those that are slow and OK with that.
Course Time Limit
- The marathon course will remain closed to traffic for 6 1/2 hours.
- The half marathon course will remain closed to traffic for 3 1/4 hours.
- Participants taking over 15 minutes per mile may be asked to move to the sidewalk.
- The electronic timing system will remain open for 7 1/2 hours.
- Everyone finishing in 7 1/2 hours will receive an official finishing time.
- We do not guarantee that the Gatorade or Medical Aid Stations will be open longer than the 15 minute per mile pace.
Pretty-much, all this is doing is talking about one thing: minimum pace. (All if the other stuff really doesn't need to be said since it all follows from the required minimum pace.)
Organized rides typically indicate when the facilities at the end terminate. They often indicate a start time. If you have these two pieces of information, you can easily determine the minimum overall pace required. Almost certainly, the intermedate stops will be open for a rider doing that pace.
They should make the start and end times clear.
If you can't compute the required minimum pace, assuming 10 mph will often work.
Anything more than that really isn't necessary. If somebody really thinks they need more detail, it is a good indication that the ride isn't appropriate for them.