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Don't you just love group rides???

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Don't you just love group rides???

Old 06-18-07, 04:11 PM
  #1  
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Don't you just love group rides???

I did a 75 miler this Saturday where they paid money at around 60 miles for the KOM's in age groups on a really steep hill. My Garmin said the steepest part peaked at 21%. There were several Cat 2/3's that were riding 53/39's and literally got off and pushed their bikes up that part of the hill.

It was just long enough and steep enough that they couldn't even snake back and forth across the road and get up to the top. They must have been running 23's as their easiest gear??? I just know I was out of the saddle hunched over my handlebars stomping on my pedals and I had a 34/27!! I think I'll call this one "Uh Oh" Hill. That is exactly what I shouted when I crested the hill prior to it and saw it ahead.

Anyway to the story, because of the money, the ride started really fast and just got faster. For the first hour I don't think I have ridden that hard for that distance before. It's probably the closest to a race environment that I've been in. And this was on some legs that didn't feel 100% recovered from Monday's 100 miler.....not even 80%!!!

At one point another fellow and I tried to occupy the same spot in the group at the same time........we wound up literally shoulder to shoulder, arm to arm pushing against each other holding each other up......going about 25-26 mph........with folks on both sides and front and rear. A few years ago I probably would have panicked but it really didn't bother me this time. Maybe both of us were experienced enough just to ride through it. At least neither one of us really shoved the other one out of the way too hard. I know, I know, not everyone enjoys riding in groups..........I wasn't crazy about sharing someone else's sweat either.

After about 90 mins of that pace, the group broke up when the route split on a turn and some folks got confused and didn't make the turn. A gap formed and it was just too much work to chase and stay with the few up front that had made the correct turn. My knee was hurting and I was feeling tired so I just sat up and rode alone for 10-15 miles.....maybe a little longer.

I went by a rest stop and a young girl about 4-5 yrs old was handing up water bottles. Her Dad said noone had taken anything from them yet so I really slowed down, leaned way over and made sure she could hand me the bottle. Her Dad said I was the first person she done that with and she was so excited.............I kind of got a kick out it myself seeing her eyes light up. Maybe it's because I could see my daughters in her doing something like that.

I continued on feeling sort of puny and taking my time when a "slow/moderate paceline" came along and they asked me to jump in. Heck, they had caught up with me so they had to be going faster than me so why not!!! I'll take wheels anytime I can grab them.

Amazing things happen when I jump back into groups. I forget that I'm tired and just focus on the riding. Within a few miles my energy was restored and I felt great. We went along at a nice steady pace for probably 45 minutes until all but two of us stopped at a rest stop. The other fellow and I then worked together for about 15 miles until we hit "Uh Oh" hill. I hope he managed to get up it okay but I didn't see him again.

It always amazes me how your perspective can change instantly on a ride like this one. Being with the right group at the right time can make a world of difference. Then again riding solo ain't so bad at times either.
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Old 06-18-07, 05:13 PM
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So, how much money did you collect?
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Old 06-18-07, 05:42 PM
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Was that one of those infamous Gaston County rides? I understand there are at least two "Uh-oh" type of hills in different parts of the county. I just need to know so I can stay away.

My eyes teared up at the image of the little girl handing up a bottle of water to the magnificent lean man with the big smile on the bike. She will never forget that.
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Old 06-18-07, 06:09 PM
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Yes, amazing things can and do happen when riding with a group. I have had times riding alone when I thought I was literally dying punching into a headwind or working up a long rise. Then a group comes rolling by and you hook up and it is just a different world and mindset. True, the draft is a significant part of the euphoria but there are other intangibles which just make it a joy to ride in a group on long distance rides.
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Old 06-18-07, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bobby c
So, how much money did you collect?
Forget the money...did you get a white jersey with big red dots?????
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Old 06-18-07, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe
I went by a rest stop and a young girl about 4-5 yrs old was handing up water bottles. Her Dad said noone had taken anything from them yet so I really slowed down, leaned way over and made sure she could hand me the bottle. Her Dad said I was the first person she done that with and she was so excited.............I kind of got a kick out it myself seeing her eyes light up. Maybe it's because I could see my daughters in her doing something like that.
Ya done Good jppe, I always try to wave back at a kid who waves. Makes my soul feel good.
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Old 06-18-07, 07:09 PM
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very cool
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Old 06-18-07, 08:36 PM
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The little girl was your paycheck...too bad no one else was wise enough to cash in like you did!
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Old 06-18-07, 09:53 PM
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Classy JPPE, very classy.
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Old 06-18-07, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by roccobike
Classy JPPE, very classy.
+1

In my neighborhood, a couple of younger kids have figured out my evening ride schedule and the last couple of times they've been milling around in the street waiting for me. Their mom lets them ride with me the two blocks to end of our subdivision, where they turn around and pedal home and I head out for an hour or two. Sunday evening I laughed out loud when the same two kids were milling around at the entrance to our subdivision, wanting to race back home . . . it was a race I'll will never finish first, but I'm definitely the winner!

Great ride, JPPE!
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Old 06-19-07, 12:54 AM
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Very cool.
On one of my earliest pace line experiences I had joined in late after 10 miles of a 35 mile push into a nasty headwind (I was picking up some young riders and turning over the sag van when I saw them coming. I rushed my bike down and jumped onto the back). They didn't know me but considered me "fresh legs" and rushed me up to the front ("get those fresh legs up here" was the holler from the front). I was just tickled and really worked hard to help out. But after an hour I was gassed, fell off the back, and couldn't seem to catch them again. I was in tears (part exhaustion, part amazement) when I saw they were sending back two riders to get me. I'll probably remember that moment till the day I die.
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Old 06-19-07, 05:10 AM
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It is exhilarating, we have a couple of large fast clubs that ride through my town on weekends that I would classify as a peleton rather than a paceline. Riding paceline in a group is fun but a wide open peleton where riders are moving up to front from both sides and everyone is moving at 25+mph is just screaming fun like a roller coaster. You have to watch your front wheel like a maniac and as you say be prepared for being bumped and getting pushed in the back from behind. I jump into these types of groups every few weeks for the rush.
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Old 06-19-07, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe
I went by a rest stop and a young girl about 4-5 yrs old was handing up water bottles. Her Dad said noone had taken anything from them yet so I really slowed down, leaned way over and made sure she could hand me the bottle. Her Dad said I was the first person she done that with and she was so excited.............I kind of got a kick out it myself seeing her eyes light up. Maybe it's because I could see my daughters in her doing something like that.
That little girl is probably still talking about the nice man on the bike

I often encounter young children on the trails and love to slow down and ride along side of them for a couple minutes. They love to talk about their new bikes. I sometimes tell them what they should do when someone says "On your left" and how they should say it when they want to pass. Earlier this year I stopped to talk to a couple with one child in a stroller and the other on a small bike. Later I saw them in the parking area and they said their son had the "On your left" down pat. His dad said he passed the stroller several times just for practice
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Old 06-19-07, 06:28 AM
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I have a couple of little girls in the neighborhood about 8 yo who ride bikes and roller blades. They always stop by if they see me on the bike to say hi to the man on the cool bike. The one little girl asked me 'Mr where do you get those neat riding clothes' I told her that the bike store had them but she may need to grow up a bit to find some in her size. About a week later she stopped by and said he dad had taken her to the LBS but they did not have anything in her size.

These two girls seem inseparable and have recently started their own pet washing business, very cute.
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Old 06-19-07, 08:29 AM
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A few night ago as I turned out of my subdivision onto a long twisty downhill, I happened to fall in line with a kid on a BMX bike. He pedaled his butt off down that hill and I stayed on the brakes just enough to let him stay ahead. At the bottom I had to go right so I slowed, gave him a thumbs up and yelled "24 MPH". He had a smile from ear-to-ear. I can just hear him telling all his friends about beating the guy on the racing bike at 24 miles an hour.
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Old 06-19-07, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by VegaVixen
Was that one of those infamous Gaston County rides? I understand there are at least two "Uh-oh" type of hills in different parts of the county. I just need to know so I can stay away.
You will not find these hills in Gaston County. The only one I know if over that way that really makes you work is Pinnacle-and then another really short but super steep hill in Bessemer City of all places.

There are some killer hills around Albemarle in Stanley County-those are ones to avoid around here!!!
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Old 06-20-07, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe
I did a 75 miler this Saturday where they paid money at around 60 miles for the KOM's in age groups on a really steep hill. My Garmin said the steepest part peaked at 21%. There were several Cat 2/3's that were riding 53/39's and literally got off and pushed their bikes up that part of the hill.

It was just long enough and steep enough that they couldn't even snake back and forth across the road and get up to the top. They must have been running 23's as their easiest gear???
That doesn't make sense...I'm 54 years old, and a Cat Nothing, and rode a century two weekends ago with several sections of 17-19% that I rode in my 39/25 low gear without having to get off and push.

Cat 2/3 riders are incredibly strong...so, either they weren't that, or the grade was much steeper than 21%, or??
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Old 06-20-07, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SSP
That doesn't make sense...I'm 54 years old, and a Cat Nothing, and rode a century two weekends ago with several sections of 17-19% that I rode in my 39/25 low gear without having to get off and push.

Cat 2/3 riders are incredibly strong...so, either they weren't that, or the grade was much steeper than 21%, or??
maybe their cassettes were 12-21?
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Old 06-20-07, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
A few night ago as I turned out of my subdivision onto a long twisty downhill, I happened to fall in line with a kid on a BMX bike. He pedaled his butt off down that hill and I stayed on the brakes just enough to let him stay ahead. At the bottom I had to go right so I slowed, gave him a thumbs up and yelled "24 MPH". He had a smile from ear-to-ear. I can just hear him telling all his friends about beating the guy on the racing bike at 24 miles an hour.
Love it.
Late one morning during a long tour there were some early teenagers riding with our fast-ish lead group. We had been talking about the TDF all morning. As we approached our destination lunch town we waved up the two youngsters and asked them to leads us on in. They were also grinning ear-to-ear.
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