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Thread: solo vs. group

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    solo vs. group

    Are most of your LD rides solo or in a group? I feel kinda weird going out in the middle of nowhere by myself.

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    Senior Member icelemmings's Avatar
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    Solo, without question. I hate having to worry about other people. Short-distance rides are one thing but long-distance is another matter entirely. I like knowing that I can ride at my own pace as I choose. No the safest method, but, still my preference.

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    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    It just depends. Solo is cool, you can set your pace, and stop when you want. But it you go riding with a few people (who have the same general pace as you) it's pretty fun. It especially helps for when you need to duck in to get a water or use the bathroom, and a buddy can stay with the bikes.

    Like ice said, it helps that your riding-friends a) know what they are doing b) have the proper equipment to manage their own issues c) are the same fitness level and endurance.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Most of mine have been solo. Solo centuries, solo 300Ks, solo 400Ks, solo 600Ks. However, quite often there has been someone with me on at least part of my 200Ks.

    I like riding with someone now and then ... and preferably someone I know well. On some of my longer rides in Alberta, I was accompanied by my father for all or part of the ride. And now that I'm in Australia, Rowan will accompany me on longer rides.

    As for riding in a group ... it's OK occasionally, although I do tend to be more nervous about the ride if there is a group of people involved. I relax a lot more if it's just me, or just me and someone I know well.

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    Mostly solo, although sometimes I'll find someone who rides at a similar pace as me. When I'm riding in a group though, it's more like a group of solo riders -- together but not drafting.
    Dave

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    Roadie brian416's Avatar
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    mostly solo, but you can ride with groups, do a big loop before heading to a group ride, do the ride and then ride home again has worked for me.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian416 View Post
    mostly solo, but you can ride with groups, do a big loop before heading to a group ride, do the ride and then ride home again has worked for me.
    When I lived in Winnipeg, I joined the local cycletouring club, and did exactly that a few times. They'd meet at a certain location about 50 km from where I lived, so I'd ride out there ... ride with them ... and then ride home. I could get some decent centuries and slightly longer rides in that way.

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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    As a lazy person at heart, I like the challenge of pushing myself both in distance and pace. I prefer that to being part of a group for rides over 100 miles. Anything less, I do enjoy having the company of riders with like ability and fitness.

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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Riding Solo is the best way to build a base and improve fitness. It's almost impossible to ride several days a week with a group or partner that is at your fitness level.

    However, riding alone gets dull. Riding with others is more fun especially if the individuals are a good match.
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    Solo. Hard to find folks that want to ride 100 miles unless they get a t-shirt or goodies or something. Even harder today when it's supposed to get to 100 with wind gusts to 40. Off I go. :-)

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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I've done everything from 200k's to 1200k's solo and it's ok (as long as you get along with yourself ) but my funnest and most memorable rides are always in groups. Sure there are sacrifices you have to make regarding speed, whatever but with the right group the companionship and encouragement that you get in a group can be the difference between a finish and a DNF if things are not going well. If I have my choice it's group every time, even if I have to ride slow!
    I should add that groups are very nebulous, especially longer rides like a 1200k. I often flit from group to group depending on how I'm feeling. Guess I'm just a social butterfly.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Solo 99.9% of the time. The .01% is when I catch up to another roadie on the road, strike up a conversation, and click of a few miles with 'em before continuing on.

    ~kn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Riding Solo is the best way to build a base and improve fitness. It's almost impossible to ride several days a week with a group or partner that is at your fitness level.

    However, riding alone gets dull. Riding with others is more fun especially if the individuals are a good match.

    I will say the opposite, riding with a group that is slightly faster than you is a great way to rapidly improve speed. It pushes you beyond what you would push yourself.

    Of course, this is only true if you are the slow rider. When you one of the faster riders, the group only slows you down.

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    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    My training rides are all solo, brevets are a mix of solo & group riding - the big brevets start in packs of 60-100 riders, but of course the hills split things up.

    Over time even if I'm riding with friends we'll inevitably end up with different paces, schedules, or senses of urgency. I like to stop and take pictures along the way, whereas some people only want to stop at the controles, and then for 5 minutes max.

    SiR brevets are so big that if you're in the middle of the pack (where I'm usually found), you're bound to see other riders along the way no matter what. Most riders I encounter are willing to chat, and sometimes even happy to find someone else out there on the road at 2 in the morning. It's nice to know that people are behind me and if I had some huge mechanical, perhaps they could help me out. I've been at the back of a 600k, and it wasn't a good feeling!

    I think the most efficient way to cover ground is in a pack of 6-10 people, sort of a double paceline but not always rotating.. but efficient doesn't always equal fun. I can watch a wheel for an hour or two, but not for 10+ hours.
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    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by govolsducks View Post
    Are most of your LD rides solo or in a group? I feel kinda weird going out in the middle of nowhere by myself.
    It would depend in part as to what one considers a LD ride to be. For some a LD ride is 20 miles for others it's a century. But generally I prefer riding alone, because I can ride at whatever pace I'm comfortable with and not have to worry about leaving someone behind.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    It would depend in part as to what one considers a LD ride to be. For some a LD ride is 20 miles for others it's a century.
    In this forum, the Long Distance forum, a long distance might start at 100 km or 100 miles, and then go up from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by govolsducks View Post
    Are most of your LD rides solo or in a group? I feel kinda weird going out in the middle of nowhere by myself.
    I've done enough long solo rides where I kinda feel the "middle of nowhere" is my private playground.

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    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheval View Post
    I've done enough long solo rides where I kinda feel the "middle of nowhere" is my private playground.
    OK, but you still have to keep your shorts on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
    OK, but you still have to keep your shorts on.
    so many restrictions

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    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    About 99% of my training rides are solo. On Brevets and other group rides, it just depends on how things shake out. I really enjoy riding alone, but I also really like the speed and security you get riding with a pack. Generally, if I get with a good group early in a ride, I'll stick with them until the end. But it has to be a group that rides a pace I like. I'm willing to ride a little faster than my usual pace to stay with my group, but I'm not so willing to ride slower. I guess I'm a snob that way.

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    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    My training rides are 100% solo. Nobody else around here is crazy enuf to want to ride 100+ miles in March. I'm one of two active randos in this town of 80,000 and the other guy trains with the racer-boys, so my choices are ride solo or don't ride. Once brevet season comes around it's nice to go across the mountains and ride with other people for a change...

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    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    In this forum, the Long Distance forum, a long distance might start at 100 km or 100 miles, and then go up from there.
    Thank you for the clarification.
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    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    I've ridden solo, with one other rider, or very rarely with what could be called a "pack" but I have no idea the % spent at each. For the past couple of years, in the CA Triple Crown double century series, I've found a woman who is just about exactly my speed, so I've ridden with her a lot.

    We get along well, have hours of interesting conversations, and can laugh at ourselves or each other as the circumstances indicate at the time, so yes, a lot of fun and I prefer that to hours and hours of solo riding.

    Rick / OCRR

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    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Almost 100% of my long rides are with others. On brevets and on the few organized long rides I do these days, I adjust my pace to ride with other folks. I enjoy having company more than riding alone. The few LD races I do each year it's the same deal. They're drafting-legal so I try to stay with others as much as possible. Not only is the companionship nice, but so is the help.

    100% of my training is done with others. I rarely ride alone these days. 'Bout the only rides I do solo these days are commutes.

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    if any of my buddies got into cycling the way i am i would def rather do a group. but since its mostly strangers i see out on the roads it tends to be solo

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