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Taking advantage of someoneís graciousness ?

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Taking advantage of someoneís graciousness ?

Old 07-31-20, 08:16 PM
  #1  
Tomm Willians
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Taking advantage of someoneís graciousness ?

I consider myself a pretty determined cyclist and try to ride at least 3 times a week or more if time allows. I donít ride at a slow pace, I try to push myself, get in some hills, make a good ride of it. 40 miles is easy for me.
Occasionally I ride with a group of wonderful people whoíve been riding a bit (or considerably) longer than me and they flat kick my butt on rides exceeding 40 miles. Itís not the distance that beats me, itís the speed and non stop cycling I canít do. Iím accustomed to riding close to the same speed but stopping more and they just move out.
Ive contemplated leaving the group as it has to be annoying to see me coming in sooo far behind after these longer rides. They insist itís ok and tell me to stay but Iím not certain itís a good fit. I am getting stronger due to them driving me but I canít believe most groups would be content with this ?
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Old 07-31-20, 08:37 PM
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They were once where you are at and empathize with you. They also see your potential and realize you are not that far off their pace. Stick with it. Without new members joining, group slowly die. Sounds like you have a winner there. Your conditioning will continue to improve.
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Old 07-31-20, 10:56 PM
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Yeah, I dropped out of a semi-fast group because they were getting younger and faster and I was... not.

Over the years I've dropped from averaging 20 mph to 18 to 17 ... etc. Some days I struggle to average 16 mph over a 20-50 mile solo ride, with few or no stops.

I don't want people waiting for me, so I'd hang on as long as I could, then drop off and go my own way. TBH, I didn't care for the direction that club was heading anyway, in more ways than one. Over the years it seemed to devolve more than evolve. Besides choosing routes I didn't care for there was a lot more blasting through intersections without looking, nobody calling out hazards, guys who were strong but reckless with poor bike handling skills, a lot of surging rather than trying to keep a paceline together. Few of them were actually strong enough to be in a real A group in most cities, but treated no-drop group rides like impromptu crits. So I didn't really need much more incentive to drop out.

I thought about finding a semi-fast group closer to my age but the pandemic nixed that plan so I'm riding solo for now.
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Old 07-31-20, 11:14 PM
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I’m not sure if could ride in a group because after 25 years of cycling I have always been a solo rider. I guess I ride to get away from people. Zoning out at my own pace and losing sense of time and distance. I’m already there and I have no recollection of the last 10 miles. The group sounds like they want you to stick around.
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Old 07-31-20, 11:22 PM
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Probably half that group is grateful for the break and a chance to recover while you regroup. But most of them would never admit it.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:56 AM
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I've been a member of a road club for 31 years and have done the "A" rides with the many different groups who have come and gone over the years. I've always been one of the slowest in these groups and I can tell when they care and I have made some good friends with some of them.
If they are encouraging you to stay they probably like you and if you are having fun then what's wrong with that?
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Old 08-01-20, 06:04 AM
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Stay. If they are waiting for you to finish the ride, you are part of the group. You'll know its time to quit when you get to the end and they have already gone home.
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Old 08-01-20, 06:34 AM
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This year I've found myself in a similar position. I hate having people wait for me. Anyone can have a bad day but if we are, every ride, far enough behind that the group is inconvenienced, time to move on. Covid has made it easier this year to choose riding solo. I've also seen my group change to less interesting routes, obsession with earlier start and finish times, more wrecks caused by enthusiastic but less attentive new riders. Long time cycling friends aging out is also sad. Recently I've been limiting myself to 30-40 miles because it's what I can do with 2 water bottles and I want to avoid the country stores where they are unmasked, etc. It hardly seems worth getting togged out but I still enjoy it. Downsides of getting old but still better than having to go to work every day.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:07 AM
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I am a solo rider almost entirely. I like to ride when I want, at the pace I want to go, and in the direction I lead myself. For me I have to keep it simple. I am a runner too which is even more simple. My general rule 99% of the time is a ride starts and stops an my house. That makes the most efficient use of time and I live at the edge of town easy to be on country roads almost out the door. I like to sometimes go downhill as fast as I can then take it easy and spin up. I don't like the rigorous requirements of paceline riding. Also I note that at my age 59 cycling is great but I am not into the LBS rides and for me at times seems like attitudes. They seem to go out with a bit of arrogance and not that they are way faster just the approach. In fact in one case the LBS as a whole displays they same attitude then you go in, which I never do anymore.

These days I like to ride extremely early sometimes start and hour before sunrise. These is way less traffic and the wind is down. Frankly if you want to ride and get miles in I just go solo.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:30 AM
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OP stick with the group! You should find yourself getting stronger riding with them. It’s all about being able to hang on with surges. One day you’ll be saying to yourself “how’d I do that?” after finishing a ride with the group.

I do a lot of both solo and group riding and both have their places for me.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:44 AM
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Your group sounds like caring riders who enjoy your company. Group I used to ride with = the same. I was doing SOLO riding even before C-19 and found that Midnight Madness Rides (left house at 12:01AM) were enjoyable although not as fast as when group riding but that's the price I paid for my change. When I did show up for a group ride I would often be asked.... "How many miles you got in, 50?"


Strength and endurance are results of effort made and you should hang on so that some day you can be the one pulling the pack.
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Old 08-01-20, 04:36 PM
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Good point about sticking with the group if they don't mind waiting for you at the tops of climbs, regroup points, etc.

That's how the group I used to ride with were under the original group organizer. But as his work schedule and family life curtailed his participation, others took over and gradually the "no drop" ride became a free for all. At first they'd wait, impatiently, then they'd just drop slower riders. I kinda got the impression they started blowing through red lights and stop signs without slowing in order to split the group and pare it down to a clique of the same half dozen guys who were friends outside of the group.

Our local Mellow Johnny's sponsored spirited group rides weekly or more often, and the ride leader really did ensure nobody was left behind unless the straggler voluntarily dropped out and waved the group ahead. Those rides were a pace I could hang with. And while the group did get strung out on some Strava sprint zones and climbs, they always stopped to regroup. And you could tell that some of the folks who finished segments fastest needed those short rest breaks. It wasn't a pace most of them could sustain continuously.

But with the pandemic MJ's has curtailed all official group rides. Some of the same folks may still be riding together, but they aren't officially organizing rides, aren't announcing them on FB, and aren't publicly logging them to Strava.

Another problem with some group rides that surge a lot is that kind of tempo workout can interfere with other training programs. I did mostly tempo rides last year and after awhile I was stale. So this year I've been varying my training approach, doing shorter, high intensity workouts -- not quite HIIT, but close -- and real zone 1/2 longer rides. With summer heat my heart rate tends to spike easily, so to maintain a zone 1/2 effort according to heart rate, I'm piddling along at only 12-13 mph. In cooler weather my zone 2 HR is closer to 14-15 mph along the same routes. Surge-y group rides with lots of sprints and coasting don't cooperate with the kind of training I'm trying this year.
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Old 08-01-20, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
Ive contemplated leaving the group as it has to be annoying to see me coming in sooo far behind after these longer rides. They insist itís ok and tell me to stay but Iím not certain itís a good fit. I am getting stronger due to them driving me but I canít believe most groups would be content with this ?
Sometimes people tell the truth. If they say they're okay with hanging around for awhile waiting for you to finish, I'd believe them.
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Old 08-02-20, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
Iím accustomed to riding close to the same speed but stopping more and they just move out.
I'm not a fan of group rides that drop people.
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Old 08-02-20, 11:59 AM
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I've been a member of a group for ~20 years. When I started with them, I was by far the weakest rider. No, they never waited for me. Why would they do that? Some misplaced sense of guilt? I was off the back on every ride. There was always a coffee stop at about halfway on rides of over 35 miles, so I could catch up there if I kept it short - the 3/4 full abandoned coffee cup syndrome. I often rode the last 20 miles solo. My technique for trying to stay with them was to become unstoppable. They'd drop me on a hill, and like most riders, they'd drop the power way off after the crest. I'd keep hammering until I got back on. After a while, I usually did get back on. Then after a while I didn't get dropped anymore, "a while" being years. After another while, I was at the front. These people taught me how to ride. It is said that it takes 7 years to fully develop aerobic ability.

That was one ride/week. During the week, I rode an hour of zone 2 almost every day, one day off before the group ride. If I felt strong, I'd do Z5 intervals mid-week. Two days a week, I did an hour in the gym, usually after an hour on the rollers, 3 sets of 30 circuit style. I rode 100-150+ miles/week year 'round, plus a long day hike once a week in summer.

Our rides ranged from 35 miles in winter rain, to 100 miles on nice summer days, with one or two double metrics, and a few days of climbing in the mountains. So that's how I got strong. I highly recommend the method. Those folk have become friends for life, though the composition of the group has changed over time as people aged out and new ones came in. I'm now the oldest rider. Don't know how much longer I'll be able to do it.

I'll never forget my first mountain ride with this group of seasoned folk. Driving to the start, I was so worried. How am I ever going to be able to do these climbs? At the uphill start, everyone rode away from me, but 63 miles and 7400' later, I was with them again. There was a long summit break where the group waited until everyone had made it, and I had become a good descender out of necessity. The next year, I wasn't the last one up those climbs, though I was never the first.

So that's how one does it. One has to want it. OP: keep at it. Never give up.
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Old 08-02-20, 01:17 PM
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If you've been riding with the group for quite a while, say a couple years, and still can't stay with them, then you need to make a decision. Whether that is keep things as they are now, quit the group and find another or increase your riding and training when not with the group to make you more equal, that's for you to decide.

If you've only been with the group for a season, then I'd stay. You'll get better if you keep trying.

Even when riding with my son, there are times I get quite a few minutes ahead of him. I know it bothers him, but I explain to him there are just sections of our ride where I want and need to go at a high effort so I don't lose my ability to ride comfortably at the normal speeds we do. He can deliver and sustain more power than me for short periods, so I have to make up for that by being able to deliver more sustained power over the entire ride. If that can ever make any sense. I know I probably didn't use the right terms in the correct way for what I'm trying to say.<grin>
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Old 08-02-20, 03:34 PM
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I usually ride with solo or with a friend or two. But Iíve started to ride with a local Casual Bike Group (NoVA CBG) that usually has no drop rides, meaningno rider left behind. I use a lite assist ebike, so donít have a problem keeping up. I can easily go 20+ miles at 15-18 mph which is the pace for all but the most advanced rides.

I enjoy the group and prefer it to the other local ones where members compete for best times and so forth. I like going fast, but am mature enough to not need the ego boost of being fastest.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I'm not a fan of group rides that drop people.
Can't really call it a group ride if you're separated from the main group by a fair bit of distance and are therefore effectively riding alone.

Cheers
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Old 08-02-20, 05:23 PM
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If the group didn't want you to stick around, they would ignore the regroup points and just go on their way.
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Old 08-03-20, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Can't really call it a group ride if you're separated from the main group by a fair bit of distance and are therefore effectively riding alone.

Cheers
IMO it's a group ride if you started out as a group. If you find yourself off the back and fading it's called "getting dropped." My club's rides are "no drop" rides. If someone is getting dropped we send someone back to ride with them at their pace or to let them ride on a wheel. It's no fun being alone and having a mechanical or some other issue.
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Old 08-03-20, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
They were once where you are at and empathize with you. They also see your potential and realize you are not that far off their pace. Stick with it. Without new members joining, group slowly die. Sounds like you have a winner there. Your conditioning will continue to improve.
Good post.
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Old 08-03-20, 05:35 AM
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In the day when I had good legs I had a weekly no rider left behind ride from the shop on Saturdays. There was a fella that showed up every week for many years that was always the last to finish, but he never finished alone. As the leader of the ride I dropped back with him and rode to the end at his pace. I got to know a bit about him during those years and honestly enjoyed the lower pace and conversation. We became riding pals every Saturday and enjoyed ourselves. He has passed away and although the ride carries on I am no longer involved with it. Continue on with your riding pals and drop out when they show signs of tiring of you.
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Old 08-03-20, 12:13 PM
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I enjoyed the graciousness of people letting me camp in their yard when on a bike tour .

Probably why I liked touring out of the US .. Ireland UK , EU .
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Old 08-13-20, 07:22 AM
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You're not taking advantage at all if the group insist you stay. I think you need to accept their version of events and be grateful, rather than being hard on yourself, or quitting because it's making YOU feel bad. You'll soon catch up - and they know it... so just relax and accept that, having presumably been there themselves, they probably know better than you. One day you'll be part of the main group, waiting for the next new member to catch up.
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