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Just leave me alone group ride

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Just leave me alone group ride

Old 09-21-17, 12:31 AM
  #1  
BikeArkansas
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Just leave me alone group ride

Group rides are often labeled as "no drop", which means the group sticks together to help out anyone in need. Some rides do drop or leave behind someone that simply cannot keep up. We modify both these rides with a "leave me alone on a bad day" ride. This group I like to ride with goes out twice a week. Most of the cyclist are late sixties or early seventies with a younger rider or two on most days. Our normal average is 18+ MPH overall on a 35 to 40 mile ride. Much of the pedaling is at 20 MPH. At our ages there are good days and bad days. Never really know what it will be until we get rolling.

We will "soft pedal" if a rider falls back, but we respect his/her wishes if they catch up and inform us they know the way home and "leave me alone". I know when I am having a bad day, and I certainly do not want to drag the group down when it happens. Sometimes two or more will have a bad day, so they start their own "get home" group.

Getting older has its quirks.
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Old 09-21-17, 03:58 AM
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My club(s) ... randonneuring/audax ... have an every-person-for-themselves policy.
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Old 09-21-17, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
My club(s) ... randonneuring/audax ... have an every-person-for-themselves policy.
What makes it a "group" ride then? Why organize rides at all? Just let people ride when, where and how on their own.
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Old 09-21-17, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by practical View Post
What makes it a "group" ride then? Why organize rides at all? Just let people ride when, where and how on their own.
Some of the randonneuring/audax rides are like that. We call them permanents.

But randonneuring/audax is more about the challenge (and adventure) in covering a certain organised distance than it is about being social. Mind you, if there happens to be other riders who are riding your pace, it can be social.

Last edited by Machka; 09-21-17 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 09-21-17, 05:07 AM
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I've done this more than once. Just too tired for the pace, even holding a wheel. Let me pedal in at my own speed, I know the roads. Never has been an issue.
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Old 09-21-17, 07:45 AM
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The dynamics of a group ride can be complicated but if everyone knows the "rules" at least there are no bad feelings and hopefully no crashes caused by incompetence or misunderstanding of what a rider is doing, or about to do.

The challenge for us, on our evening group rides, is when someone new joins. It takes them a few rides to get the understanding of what we do and why we do it. I usually am the one that rides with the slowest rider and usually the others stop to regroup at the top of a climb (for example).

So . . . to reference the OP's example, a rider who wants to "just ride home" is no problem so long as they're familiar with the area. If they're not, I ride with them to an area they know and can easily find their way home.

We have route sheets every time but as several of our riders are "route creative" they often add bonus climbs, bonus miles, or just different ways of getting around. As we often say, "The route sheet is just a suggestion." On one hand this is a recipe for confusion but on the other hand it keeps the rides "new" and consequently more interesting.

Still, something difficult for new riders to adjust to!

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Old 09-21-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
The dynamics of a group ride can be complicated but if everyone knows the "rules" at least there are no bad feelings and hopefully no crashes caused by incompetence or misunderstanding of what a rider is doing, or about to do.

The challenge for us, on our evening group rides, is when someone new joins.

Still, something difficult for new riders to adjust to!

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This is why I ride solo.
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Old 09-21-17, 08:05 AM
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I ride with a group that tends to regroup after long hills. We are reluctant to leave people behind who are suffering excessively, even if they ask to be dropped. Tired riders are not always making the best decisions. I've accompanied a riding who needs to soft-pedal back to the destination, allowing the rest of the group to resume a fast pace. I've also needed some help reaching the end of the ride, so I've been in the position of a rider who is not performing well.

Leaving a rider behind needs to be a carefully considered decision made by the group.

If I'm not feeling strong prior to our usual group ride, I'll take in a solo ride on a known route with a bail out contingency.
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Old 09-21-17, 08:59 AM
  #9  
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I have happily done both Velo Club La Grange (west Los Angeles) "every man for himself" rides and more social local YMCA "pause to regroup" rides. As long as you know the expectation, there is never a problem.
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Old 09-21-17, 09:11 AM
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So far I haven't been able to hang on for a complete ride with the local fast club's B group. Their claimed 15-17 mph pace is usually closer to 18. I can hang on the flats, and actually wish they'd go faster downhill (I've had to pull out of the draft and into the wind to slow without riding the brakes).

But the main challenge for me is hill climbing. They're much stronger than I am on climbs. After a few hills with me playing the accordion I decided I didn't want the group slowing or waiting for me. Sometimes it's just as tiring to slow our own preferred pace, at least on climbs, as to force ourselves to exhaustion to match a faster rider's hill climbing pace.

Last planned 50 mile ride I dropped out after 10 and went pretty much the same route at my own 16 mph pace. Finished 64 miles that day on my own. It's all good.
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Old 09-21-17, 09:20 AM
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this why I don't go on group rides, I'd need to find riders in their seventies or early eighties
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Old 09-21-17, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
this why I don't go on group rides, I'd need to find riders in their seventies or early eighties
Me too, and I'm only 56.
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Old 09-21-17, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
this why I don't go on group rides, I'd need to find riders in their seventies or early eighties
We have one man in our club who is in his mid to upper 70s and he is fast. He is English, living in the states for some time but raced as a teenager. He can't quite hang with the fastest in the club but he does move along at 18 to 20 MPH.
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Old 09-21-17, 10:17 AM
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Group rides which don't make it clear whether they are structured (no drop) or unstructured (drop), or rides which go faster than the advertised speed are examples of poorly run rides and bad ride leadership.

There are many like this around Atlanta and I don't attend.


-Tim-
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Old 09-21-17, 11:10 AM
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Some group rides exist by tradition. There's no leader, but the oldest/strongest riders might announce it's time to go. They leave from the same place at the same time every week and go on the same route. It might be on social media somewhere, but before that you would just ask at the LBS.

There's a neutral roll until the group reaches the spot where "it's on." There are sprints, which may be marked on the road, but just is likely is to a sign or a tree or even where the pavement changes slightly. Unless there's a crash and there are broken bikes or bodies, no one is waiting if you get dropped. There may be a regroup after a hill or a sprint but the group isn't going wait forever, so if you get dropped and you want to get back on, best not dilly-dally.

You will get yelled at if you can't hold a line or do something stupid and unsafe. No one minds if you just sit in. But don't contest the sprint if you haven't worked. And if you do get in the rotation, pull through and take your turn.

After the last sprint, there will be a neutral roll back into town with lots of BS'ing. Some will ride back to the shop and some will peel off and ride home.

Last edited by caloso; 09-21-17 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 09-21-17, 12:46 PM
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If you want to be left alone, why do you join a group ride?
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Old 09-21-17, 01:21 PM
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I ride alone, yeah all by myself”
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Old 09-21-17, 03:56 PM
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I only ride solo and there is a lot of first areas for me and exploration, in my "home" area and multiday trips far away on and off road. How often is someone group riding that they get so disoriented they don't know where they are, how to get somewhere or totally lost and out of it they need an escort to get them to "safety"? It's not like the escort is physically pulling them. In theory if they are participating in a group ride of 20-50 miles, this isn't anywhere near their first time on a bike out riding and they know the basics of riding. I'm not suggesting leaving someone behind, just wondering.

If it's a group ride thing and I wouldn't understand it unless I was there... I'll accept that answer.

Last edited by u235; 09-21-17 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 09-21-17, 04:52 PM
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Group rides. I am reminded of the Groucho Marx line, "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member". I primarily ride for transportation and to haul what I need to haul (like a 4 drawer file cabinet today). Even when I do occasionally and casually ride for recreation the last thing I want is for anybody to ride with me.
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Old 09-21-17, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I only ride solo and there is a lot of first areas for me and exploration, in my "home" area and multiday trips far away on and off road. How often is someone group riding that they get so disoriented they don't know where they are, how to get somewhere or totally lost and out of it they need an escort to get them to "safety"? It's not like the escort is physically pulling them. In theory if they are participating in a group ride of 20-50 miles, this isn't anywhere near their first time on a bike out riding and they know the basics of riding. I'm not suggesting leaving someone behind, just wondering.

If it's a group ride thing and I wouldn't understand it unless I was there... I'll accept that answer.
People do bite off more than they can chew and get in over their head, to mix a few metaphors.
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Old 09-21-17, 05:17 PM
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The group I ride with on Saturdays has a no drop policy, but is advertised as an 18-21 pace, typically for 40 plus miles. Recently we had some folks join who are a bit slower, and the leader honored the no drop, but several riders were threatening to boycott. So now the first 30 miles are slightly slower, and those of us that want to do more ride an additional 20+ miles as fast as we want. And we really do unwind. Now everyone is happy. By the way, our faster riders are in their 70's, with me the baby at 59.
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Old 09-21-17, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I ride alone, yeah all by myself”
You know when I ride alone, I prefer to be by myself 😀.......
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Old 09-21-17, 06:15 PM
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This discussion makes me nervous.

I started cycling in my 20s as therapy after some major knee surgery. Did a lot of long distance touring, and even some amateur racing. I stopped when I was knocked off the bike, which was promptly run over by the offending vehicle. I was back on crutches for over a month.

Fast forward to 65. The knee still bothers me occasionally (it's still my most accurate bad weather predictor) and a heart attack at 42 slowed me down a bit, but I picked up a lightly used Trek road bike for some exercise. I've put on a few miles, gradually increasing my distance at a pace my cardiologist approves of.

Brought the bike to the LBS for a tune up, and was invited to join the local Tuesday night group rides nearby. I know my speed isn't anywhere near what would be expected, and since I'm new to the area and unfamiliar with a lot of the roads, I'd hate to (a) be dropped and lost, (b) slow the group up dramatically, or (c) drop dead trying to keep up.

Maybe they have an "old and decrepit" group?
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Old 09-21-17, 07:41 PM
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There may well be an "old and decrepit" group in your area, or at least one or the other. Don't show up for a group ride if you know you will be off the pace. If you are unsure, no harm in checking it out.
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Old 09-21-17, 08:18 PM
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As the OP for this thread, maybe I was not clear on one point. It seems that as we age there are days when a rider can ride the group pace with ease. Then there are days when that same rider just does not have it. Normally not that often, but it happens. On these bad days I, and other guys in our group would rather be left alone than have someone escort them back to the home base. We are all veteran riders and know how to get home. If someone appears to be seriously in trouble that is, of course, a different matter.

It does take a few rides for new guys to catch on, but normally it is not a problem.

There are many No Drop rides in this area and a few "on your own" rides. Something for everyone, but is best to know your limits before joining an all out "on your own ride" for your sake and theirs.
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