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Shelled.

Old 05-27-07, 07:55 PM
  #1  
bdcheung
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Shelled.

This is a bit late but, last Thursday I partook in the Reston Bike Club's infamous (and historic) Tuesday/Thursday ride. I had planned to ride with the "3" group (on a scale of 6, with 1 being the "toughest" group). After arriving and meeting some people, they told me I should ride with the 1's, especially if I had been racing. I told them I was a Cat5, and they said "oh then you should definitely ride with the 1s!" Closer to roll-out time, I decide to shelve my pride and ride with the 2's. Problem was, there were no 2s. Nobody signed up for the 2 group. So I had a choice: Ride with the 3s, which everyone told me was a very social ride and not a good training ride, or push myself and go with the 1s. I foolishly chose the latter.

By the time I had made my decision the pack of 30 riders was already well up the road and I had to haul ass to bridge. Luckily they had to slow down turning on to the W&OD and I managed to catch up. Pace on the W&OD was light, as the rail-to-trail served as an intermediary out to Ashburn where the real pain would start. Turning off the W&OD, the group went single-file as the pace quickened to the mid-20's. I was holding the wheel just fine and feeling good. The usual accordion-effect happened in the corners and I was comfortable with the high intensity efforts it took to catch back on to the wheel ahead. I thought to myself "Hey, this isn't so bad. Maybe I can hang with these guys!"

Mile 15 and the pace has been upped to 27mph. On a long gradual bend in the road, I can see there are three or four guys on full TT bikes pulling the pack. I also see a steady climb coming up, probably in the 3-5% gradient range. I try my best to prepare myself (sip some water, shift down a gear) and as the road turns up, I'm starting to lose the wheel in front of me. The pack is blowing apart and I find myself determined to bridge up to the "lead" group. I grit my teeth and tick the pedals over one painful revolution at a time and finally bridge up. Then my legs blow. They just don't want to pedal anymore, no matter how much I will them. I got dropped.

What did I learn? That it feels damned good to be able to hang with those guys for as long as I did. Sure I got dropped half-way into the ride on the first climb, but so what? I challenged myself and I found my limit. Yeah, from now on I'll ride with the 2s (if there is a 2 group) or the 3s, until I am strong enough to master those groups. But had I never tried hanging with the big boys, I never would have known my limits.
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Old 05-27-07, 07:59 PM
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id just go back and keep going with the 1s
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Old 05-27-07, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by riskus
id just go back and keep going with the 1s
Those guys are way out of my league, a lot of guys on TT bikes and many Cat1/2/3 riders. I've been riding since October.
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Old 05-27-07, 08:02 PM
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yeah so? each time you hang a little longer. next thing you know you are finishing the ride.
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Old 05-27-07, 08:11 PM
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I don’t doubt that you have the fitness to finish with the group; the early ride effort combined with the pre-ride stress weakened you.
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Old 05-27-07, 10:11 PM
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+1, sounds like you did awesome. Being out of their league is fine. In the draft, you only need about 80% of the power they need. You certainly lost some hit points in the opening chase. With fresh legs and some course kowledge, you'll get further with them every time.

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Old 05-27-07, 10:28 PM
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every post so far has been dead on (botto would be in heaven). next week you'll be in just a tiny bit better shape from working as hard as you did. next week take an easier day the day before, stay in the draft, conserve as much energy as you can, and you'll do better if not stay with them.

training is basically overload then recovery. if you ride with a group you can hang with, thats not an overload so 1 you won't be motivated as much to keep up as the faster group and 2 you won't get as much of a gain from it
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Old 05-28-07, 06:12 AM
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Keep going 1's. You'll get it.

+1 to what everyone said.
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Old 05-28-07, 11:52 AM
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Stay with the 1's. Ride in the drops whenever possible and stay in the draft.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:13 PM
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IMHO, I would only ride with the 1-group on either Tuesday or Thursday. Two times a week may be too much, depending on the rest of your week.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:25 PM
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I did my first ride with the "big kids" last Thursday as well. I'll be back next week.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by runtimmyc
IMHO, I would only ride with the 1-group on either Tuesday or Thursday. Two times a week may be too much, depending on the rest of your week.
Two times a week would be way too much, not to mention the Tuesday ride is done at a much higher intensity level. I'll stick with the 2s or 3s on Tuesday and the 1s on Thursday.
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Old 05-28-07, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
Two times a week would be way too much, not to mention the Tuesday ride is done at a much higher intensity level. I'll stick with the 2s or 3s on Tuesday and the 1s on Thursday.
if you're going to race, you need to ride with racers and get your azz kicked until you start riding with racers and not getting your azz kicked.
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Old 05-28-07, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV
if you're going to race, you need to ride with racers and get your azz kicked until you start riding with racers and not getting your azz kicked.
There is much truth to this. For me it's the 10AM ride on the weekends--I just try to hang on longer and longer each time.

But really, this just gives another opportunity to post the words of the Great One:

Originally Posted by R600DuraAce
I seriously doubt that you will make it to cat4 alive.
(note: I don't really think this, but the quote is funny as hell)
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Old 05-28-07, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by snoboard2
every post so far has been dead on (botto would be in heaven). next week you'll be in just a tiny bit better shape from working as hard as you did. next week take an easier day the day before, stay in the draft, conserve as much energy as you can, and you'll do better if not stay with them.

training is basically overload then recovery. if you ride with a group you can hang with, thats not an overload so 1 you won't be motivated as much to keep up as the faster group and 2 you won't get as much of a gain from it
almost.

bdc

go back and get your ass kicked until you're the one kicking ass.

it's the only way.

btw - are you married yet?
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Old 05-28-07, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
Two times a week would be way too much, not to mention the Tuesday ride is done at a much higher intensity level. I'll stick with the 2s or 3s on Tuesday and the 1s on Thursday.
Riding with groups that drop you is perfect; makes you do high-intensity intervals harder than you would do by yourself. However, I'd recommend doing the more intense stuff earlier in the week.
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Old 05-28-07, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
almost.

bdc

go back and get your ass kicked until you're the one kicking ass.

it's the only way.

btw - are you married yet?
August 24
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Old 05-28-07, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
almost.

bdc

go back and get your ass kicked until you're the one kicking ass.

it's the only way.

btw - are you married yet?

Utterly, profoundly, irrefutably, indisputably and generally...

Correct.

All those who have been through this particular mill raise their hand. I'll start.



Who knows more about getting shelled than Pcad?
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Old 05-28-07, 03:32 PM
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"three or four guys on full TT bikes"

Is that normal on fast group rides?
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Old 05-28-07, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by velocycling
"three or four guys on full TT bikes"

Is that normal on fast group rides?
I've never encountered it before, but it sure does explain the "fast" part of "fast group ride".
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Old 05-28-07, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Riding with groups that drop you is perfect; makes you do high-intensity intervals harder than you would do by yourself. However, I'd recommend doing the more intense stuff earlier in the week.
i was thinking about this today and I agree. Id imagine if you are constantly riding in groups where you are in no danger of getting dropped it might be wiser to find harder rides.
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Old 05-28-07, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by velocycling
"three or four guys on full TT bikes"

Is that normal on fast group rides?
The Tuesday Nighter B group has about 3 or 4 of them. They are really really strong riders. I had a report a couple weeks ago where I initiated a break, a tri guy bridged up to us, then towed me at 32mph for 10 minutes. I could barely hang on -- thank goodness he was as tall as me (rare). That bit had me MHR-8 beats for 8 minutes
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Old 05-28-07, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by velocycling
"three or four guys on full TT bikes"

Is that normal on fast group rides?
If the ride ended without a massive pile-up sacrifice a small animal to the Cycling Gods (you can start with my cat Chester) and consider it a miracle.
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Old 05-28-07, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by riskus
i was thinking about this today and I agree. Id imagine if you are constantly riding in groups where you are in no danger of getting dropped it might be wiser to find harder rides.
I have a teammate who has struggled at times with the Wednesday night team ride. He doesn't get shelled but he's arguably a bit over-active at the beginning of the ride and then tends to find himself in between the peleton and the gruppetto toward the end.

Recently he has stopped coming to the ride and has been riding with a slower group on that night instead. He said, "I guess it's just more fun to be a big fish in a small pond." I can understand the sentiment but it won't help him be a better racer.

At the same time, I'm not one who believes that you necessarily have to do a lot of group riding in order to be a good racer. You should feel comfortable in a pack and should be familiar with the surges and such, but one spirited group ride a month would be plenty. That said, if you really like group rides and feel like you get pushed hard then go for it as often as your schedule will allow.

--Steve
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Old 05-28-07, 08:25 PM
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I raced for many years and always found that nothing made me as fast as regular racing. I'm still doing occasional races and fast group rides with the racing boys, and what do I find? That I can hang with them and even have a good day (Sunday I finished 6th or 7th out of about 50 guys on a fast group ride, all racers, hill top finish after 45 miles or so), but I find myself saying 'DAMN this is FAST' because I hadn't done a ride that fast in about 3 weeks. When I raced 1-2x weekly I was much more accustomed to it.

I started out like BD - getting shelled, not being able to finish races, etc. I kept doing intervals and kept riding with faster guys - and the day did come when not only were they not faster than me anymore, but I was one of the guys driving the train on Sundays and even @ the races. That's how you get fast. I agree, if you're in no danger of getting dropped and you want to get faster, you're on the wrong ride.

If you have a lot of natural talent, it comes easy. If you don't (like me) you CAN race. But you will get shelled. That's part of the process, and it can take a couple of years to get your speed chops up. That's how it went for me in my early 30's. Now I'm pushing 50 and it's sort of like starting over - but there are plenty of guys older than me doing it. It can be done, you have to want to go fast and have a high tolerance for pain, suffering and getting dropped.

Getting shelled is not a bad day. It just IS. Keep on hammering. You will get there. But not if you give up, and not if you don't ride with the Big Boys. Everybody gets shelled BD. Lance, Lemond, every friggin cycling legend you can name can tell you their 'I got shelled that day' stories. Absolutely.
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