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Bad group ride

Old 10-06-22, 11:31 AM
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Bad group ride

Have been doing the Zwift Academy. For those that are not familiar it is a six workout program preceded and followed by a base test with three different length intervals. Have one workout left and the post test by the 9th. Well last night my plan was to do the last workout so to be well rested for the post test. Thanks to my ride on 10-4 which was a group ride with the LBS that turned out to be to hard of an effort I was not able to complete the workout. I am so annoyed by this. The LBS group ride was to be a moderate ride. The ride leader cancelled at the last minute. I formerly lead these rides so I jumped in as leader. Another rider, jumped on the lead next to me, then passed me and then at a stop sign failed to understand the route turning left and almost causing a pileup when he should have just gone straight. I continued the lead until about 40% mark to a short regroup. I turned them loose for a stretch of false flat with a re-group at the end where the next turn would be. After the regroup a rider whom I did not know took the lead. And proceeded to up the pace. We regrouped again. I described the route, thinking everyone was on the same page. The same guy did the same thing and then less than a block later missed the turn almost causing another accident. After getting them all sorted out we proceeded. However he continued to lead at a much higher pace than expected. (a benefit of having a power meter is being able to confirm effort vs expectation of pace). Fast forward to last night. I was not able to do my workout as planned and started looking at my ride data to try to understand why. I went on Strava and found that the "new guy" also uploaded his ride. Turns out he is visiting from out of town. In hindsight I have become angry about this. What a jerk. He didn't understand the pace or the route. Bottom line is now I doubt I will be taking part in group rides. The ride has interrupted my training plan. Do to other circumstances I may not have a chance to get back on track by the 9th.
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Old 10-06-22, 04:39 PM
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Never done a group ride, probably never will.
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Old 10-07-22, 07:51 AM
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OP, I think you've got a few issues that might be separable.

First, you blew your taper before your test. You could treat that as a learning opportunity -- don't do that again!

Second, sounds like you didn't set expectations for the newbie out-of-towner before the ride, or he didn't listen. If the former, assuming you'll ever try again, make sure to make clear that this is not a race, etc., or if someone wants to take off, set up regroup points. Maybe someone else has a good suggestion for the "didn't listen" case.

Third, the rabbit got lost. When there's only one leader, you have to pick sweep or lead. Lead might have been better in this case, with the understanding (pre-ride expectation) that anyone can pass you, and they're responsible for their own ride at that point. Stop at regroup points and count noses, and then don't worry about anyone who's riding on their own.
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Old 10-07-22, 09:08 AM
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In a group ride, if you're the leader, and someone else who doesn't ride with the group regularly tries to up the pace, just let him go and he'll drop off the front. If he doesn't know the route, he'll get lost or fall back. You being he de-facto leader have the responsibility to not let someone like this disrupt the group.

Regarding group rides vs. Zwift, I find group rides are like interval rides, with my average pace being relatively low, but with very high peaks followed by lulls. You can't ride an Academy (very hard) ride after doing a hard interval ride without a rest day in between.
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Old 10-07-22, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. This was more of a rant than a request for advice.
Inusuit group rides when well planned and organized can be a great thing.

pdlamb Taper.... no taper with such a short program. Just part of the game of Zwift but yeah it's not going to turn out as good as I hoped. Have been to CX weekend races in the past when i have had races on back to back days so it's not unheard of. You are right about the expectations part. jumping in at the last minute was a bad idea but I am helpful that way. Formerly i was a ride group leader for this LBS several days a week plus some on weekends. Was also a ride leader for a rather large well organized club. This experience cemented how important all the rigid details of leading a successful group ride are.

hayden52 ^^^^ comments above. this would have been three hard days in a row... As far as workout intensity Zwift is not nearly as hard as Sufferfest. The efforts and total impact are IMHO much lower. That said I am not exactly where I want to be fitness wise, and three hard days in row are too much right now.
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Old 10-09-22, 01:30 PM
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honestly IMO going on a group ride when youre trying to do structured training, especially on an "easy day" is counterproductive if you are trying to stick to the plan. The ride I do is easy M/W/F but sometimes people are unable to ride on T/Th or for whatever reason come out on an easy day with a vengeance. Its on the group to maintain discipline and not chase, and if they do chase and the pace starts climbing and people start blowing up, well thats part of the deal.
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Old 04-05-23, 11:24 PM
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It is always best to remember that there is only one person on earth that you have any say over and that person is filled with him/her self and not listening. OP good luck on getting to your performance goal.
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Old 04-06-23, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut
Thanks for the feedback. This was more of a rant than a request for advice.
Obviously. Hopefully, the advice from those who did try to give you constructive criticism won't go completely to waste. I am glad I did not waste my time.
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Old 04-06-23, 05:42 AM
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Don't expect to do a "training ride" during a group ride.
Sometimes you have to be harsh when a rider's behavior is potentially hazardous to others during a group ride and disinvite him/her from riding with the group.
Understand generally trying to control a group ride is like herding cats.
Group rides are usually always 'mini races'.
It this stresses you, you may want to ride alone or with select people you can trust.
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Old 04-06-23, 05:53 AM
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Live and learn, do better next time!
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Old 04-06-23, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Live and learn, do better next time!
shelbyfv Thanks, cheers. Best lesson here is the reminder that poorly planned group rides can and do turn out poorly.
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Old 04-06-23, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters
Don't expect to do a "training ride" during a group ride.
Sometimes you have to be harsh when a rider's behavior is potentially hazardous to others during a group ride and disinvite him/her from riding with the group.
Understand generally trying to control a group ride is like herding cats.
Group rides are usually always 'mini races'.
It this stresses you, you may want to ride alone or with select people you can trust.
Having led a weekly group ride for 32 years, I'll agree with most of this. Especially the cat-wrangling comment.

Having clear expectations set out for riders helps. Riders in my group understand they're going to get a relaxed and fun riding experience. If a rider wants to push the pace, I remind them (at first in a friendly manner) that getting ahead of the leader is in effect leaving the ride, as the leader cannot effectively guide someone who is ahead of them. Fortunately, we have a faster group that accommodates those looking for swifter travel.

I've only had to only ask one rider not to ride with us due to unsafe behavior. It did not help that the selfsame rider considered himself a paragon of correct practice, and all the conflicts and near-misses he experienced were due to "other idiots" in the group.

Hope to keep leading for decades to come.
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