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First Club Ride

Old 03-08-08, 10:31 AM
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First Club Ride

OK. Got me a new road bike. Time to take my first step into Club Rideville. There's an "A" ride of 32.5 miles that starts at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. Printed out the ride slip.

Tips about etiquette, what to bring, etc. for that first club ride? Silly things that newbies tend to do that I could avoid with your fine coaching skills? What do I do if I can't keep up?

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-08, 12:13 PM
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Free advice is worth every cent:

Stay in the back, mostly. Ride a straight line and a steady pace. No sudden moves. And if you get dropped, enjoy the nice day biking by yourself!
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Old 03-08-08, 12:14 PM
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Start and stay near the rear of the pack until you get calibrated. Leave yourself a safety bubble, particularly on fast descents. In my experience, "A" riders are pretty hard-core, and there is no way I can keep up their pace. If there are "B" and "C" rides in your area, try one of them first to see where you fit. (In San Diego, we have A, B, C++, C, C-, and D -- C works extremely well for me.) Above all else, inspect your equipment before starting each ride. Bring a spare innertube, a pump, and tire levers; I like to bring a bicycle-oriented multitool and a spoke wrench, as well.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:20 PM
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If you were to join one of our club rides, I think it would be OK to ask about the pace and terrain (you may already know the terrain from the route slip). Does the club have a website whereon they talk about their course and pace rating system? Of course, I'm sure they will tell you "it's not too fast" or "it's very doable". Make note now of places you can bail out and return, if the pace is too fast. Be sure to let someone know you are turning around. I like to know if there is a planned stop for food, or do they eat what they brung.

I'm guessing you'll do fine. If it's a good group of folk, they will work to make you feel at ease. Since you know the route, you could drive it today to look for tough hills or other pitfalls.

As far as etiquette, drop to back of the pack before you launch a snot rocket. Don't badmouth anyone's bike. And if it turns out you are the stongest rider in the group --- let them know it without being obnoxious.

Above all, have fun.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:29 PM
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Thanks for the advice, everyone! According to the club newsletter, the "A" rides are "relaxed pace; frequent regroups; waits for all riders." This ride has "rolling, easy grades." I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old 03-08-08, 12:34 PM
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Question: Do women ever launch "snot rockets?" Or is that a skill set that is comparable to "hawking a loogie?" I've never been able to do either, haven't seen any women doing it, but neither have I felt that anyone really wants the gentler sex to master those techniques. My husband does both well, and they seem to be rather useful skills.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:37 PM
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Its something little boys practice out behind the barn untill they get goo at it. Don't worry about it, no one (at least me) will hold it against you if you can't do this.

Have a fun ride on the new bike.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:40 PM
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The problem with an A group ride that says they'll regroup is that if you can't keep up and they have to wait for you at alot of stop signs, etc. after a while if you're like me you start to feel guilty that you're making everyone wait. I tried to find a B or C ride for your first one if I was you.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
Question: Do women ever launch "snot rockets?" Or is that a skill set that is comparable to "hawking a loogie?" I've never been able to do either, haven't seen any women doing it, but neither have I felt that anyone really wants the gentler sex to master those techniques. My husband does both well, and they seem to be rather useful skills.
My sister is a pro: I taught her everything she knows about snot-launching on bikes.
She's a rare exception, I'm afraid....

Most women don't need to acquire this skill, as they're naturally blessed with with
actual manners.
Manners and a lack of facial hair:
it helps to be able to hawk those loogies out far enough where they won't hang up in
your beard.

Important disclaimer:
My sister does not have and never has had any facial hair.
My sister has way more manners than I will ever have.

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Old 03-08-08, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by monk View Post
The problem with an A group ride that says they'll regroup is that if you can't keep up and they have to wait for you at alot of stop signs, etc. after a while if you're like me you start to feel guilty that you're making everyone wait. I tried to find a B or C ride for your first one if I was you.
Hmmm. Here is what the descriptions are for the various levels:

A: relaxed pace; frequent regroups; waits for
all riders. Over 26 minutes*
B: touring pace; regroups every 30-45 minutes;
waits for all riders. 23-26 minutes*
C: brisk pace; pacelines likely; regroups every
30-60 minutes. 19-22 minutes*
D: aggressive pace; pacelines; slower riders
may miss regroups. Under 19 minutes*

*Times are for official SRCC speed trap: 4.4 mostly
uphill miles on Graton Road from Ross Road in
Graton to summit at Tanuda/Facendini junction. If
you want to know where you fit in on club rides,
time yourself on this section (at your normal riding
tempo) and compare your time to the list above.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying a more challenging pace with fewer regroups may be better because no one will feel obligated to wait for me? How about if I tell the riders not to worry about me, but still start with the easier ride so I don't feel totally discouraged by not being able to keep up with the faster pace?

And I just noticed that tomorrow's ride is rated A/B.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
Question: Do women ever launch "snot rockets?" Or is that a skill set that is comparable to "hawking a loogie?" I've never been able to do either, haven't seen any women doing it, but neither have I felt that anyone really wants the gentler sex to master those techniques. My husband does both well, and they seem to be rather useful skills.
I think this is like belching contests. Mostly a male activity. Women, when they choose to participate, invariably win -- on style points, if nothing else.

Personally, I decided to marry the woman who is now my wife because of the delicacy she employed when vomiting on a plane ride over the mountains in Southern Mexico. The route was so bumpy that the ceiling of the plane was coated with vomit stains from prior trips (I am not kidding). We were all wretching violently during the flight -- except for her...she was gently "coughing" into a little baggy. I decided right then that one day I would marry her.

Same w/snot rockets -- launch one with grace and distinction; make all the other men in the peloton jealous of your husband.
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Old 03-08-08, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
Hmmm. Here is what the descriptions are for the various levels:

A: relaxed pace; frequent regroups; waits for
all riders. Over 26 minutes*
B: touring pace; regroups every 30-45 minutes;
waits for all riders. 23-26 minutes*
C: brisk pace; pacelines likely; regroups every
30-60 minutes. 19-22 minutes*
D: aggressive pace; pacelines; slower riders
may miss regroups. Under 19 minutes*

.

I think the confusion came because this club's categories are backward from most clubs. The clubs in our area rank the class A as fastest rides and the D as the slowest.
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Old 03-08-08, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
I think the confusion came because this club's categories are backward from most clubs. The clubs in our area rank the class A as fastest rides and the D as the slowest.
Ahh! Now I better understand the comments about starting with a C or D ride! So it looks like I'm in the right ride for my level.

OK, Bev: What's your weigh-in about snot rockets?
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Old 03-08-08, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I think this is like belching contests. Mostly a male activity. Women, when they choose to participate, invariably win -- on style points, if nothing else.

Personally, I decided to marry the woman who is now my wife because of the delicacy she employed when vomiting on a plane ride over the mountains in Southern Mexico. The route was so bumpy that the ceiling of the plane was coated with vomit stains from prior trips (I am not kidding). We were all wretching violently during the flight -- except for her...she was gently "coughing" into a little baggy. I decided right then that one day I would marry her.

Same w/snot rockets -- launch one with grace and distinction; make all the other men in the peloton jealous of your husband.


In high school I knew a gorgeous young woman who participated in another type of contest similar to belching but with the wind coming from the other end. None of us other girls would ever dream of doing that in front of boys, and we were rather shocked by her behavior. But the boys all seemed rather taken with her. Now I understand why!
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Old 03-08-08, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
Ahh! Now I better understand the comments about starting with a C or D ride! So it looks like I'm in the right ride for my level.

OK, Bev: What's your weigh-in about snot rockets?
I never mastered them A few of the women in our club pin a hanky inside their jersey near the zipper and whip it out when needed

I should practice this skill if I continue to ride with the men. I am able to belch and fart just like them
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Old 03-08-08, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
I never mastered them A few of the women in our club pin a hanky inside their jersey near the zipper and whip it out when needed

I should practice this skill if I continue to ride with the men. I am able to belch and fart just like them
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Old 03-08-08, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
I never mastered them A few of the women in our club pin a hanky inside their jersey near the zipper and whip it out when needed

I should practice this skill if I continue to ride with the men. I am able to belch and fart just like them
Thats it- We English are too "gentile" for our american cousins. You are on the back of the Tandem if you come over here.
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Old 03-08-08, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Thats it- We English are too "gentile" for our american cousins. You are on the back of the Tandem if you come over here.
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Old 03-08-08, 01:41 PM
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You club riders seem so uncivilized. When I'm out riding trails, the need to blow my nose or clear my throat is simply one more opportunity to stop, stretch a bit, and enjoy the scenery.

I don't think I even want to ask about "bathroom technique" during a ride.
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Old 03-08-08, 01:44 PM
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This is all my fault. One mention of snot rockets, and I was off and running.
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Old 03-08-08, 02:14 PM
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Looks like you have gotten plenty of advice for the ride. I'll look forward to reading your ride report.
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Old 03-08-08, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud Bent View Post
Looks like you have gotten plenty of advice for the ride. I'll look forward to reading your ride report.
One bit of advise not mentioned here. Group riding can be daunting. If you start feeling uncomfortable with the closeness of the other riders- Start wobbling a bit-ride with your knees out and ride one handed at times. Before you know it- There will no-one within 10ft of you.
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Old 03-08-08, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Thats it- We English are too "gentile" for our american cousins. You are on the back of the Tandem if you come over here.
I was planning on bringing my touring bike but the back of the tandem will be okay

I'm already checking into the CTC Cycling Holidaysfor next summer. Do you know anything about their tours?
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Old 03-08-08, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
I was planning on bringing my touring bike but the back of the tandem will be okay

I'm already checking into the CTC Cycling Holidaysfor next summer. Do you know anything about their tours?
No- but then I do not tour. Give me more details about dates and possible tours and I'll try to find out for you.
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Old 03-08-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
Question: Do women ever launch "snot rockets?" Or is that a skill set that is comparable to "hawking a loogie?" I've never been able to do either, haven't seen any women doing it, but neither have I felt that anyone really wants the gentler sex to master those techniques. My husband does both well, and they seem to be rather useful skills.
Before I moved I rode with a friend of mine, a female and a Superior Court Judge. She launched 'em often.
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