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First group ride

Old 08-07-16, 11:07 PM
  #1  
dabigboy
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First group ride

My wife and I did our first group ride this weekend, the weekly Oklahoma City Donut Run. We enjoyed the scenic ride through some of OKC's old historic neighborhoods, and the bakery was awesome. Took our kids in their trailers....my wife got a bit tired, but she still had a good time and wants to go back again. I'm so glad she's having fun with biking! We had a good chat with Jim (one of the ride leaders) and a couple of other riders. Was nice to bike with a group for a change.

Jim said we did about 11.5 miles. Tonight we also biked to church and a local burger joint, about 6 miles total. Nice easy city riding, fortunately there are plenty of sidewalks around here. I'm very blessed to have an adventuresome wife who is happily jumping into the bike thing, and two kids who are content to sit quietly in their trailers and watch the world go by.

Matt
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Old 08-08-16, 05:50 AM
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Around where I live, an adult riding his bike on the sidewalk would get a ticket....
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Old 08-08-16, 06:12 AM
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Glad you had a good time. But remember sidewalks are for pedestrians. If you're riding where the motorist's view is partially blocked by trees or bushes, take great care. Motorists may not see you when leaving driveways and pulling onto the street or turning off the street into a driveway.

And Alex was correct. Many towns and cities only allow riders under a certain age (usually around 13) to ride on the sidewalk. Check with your LBS or community bicycle advocacy organization to learn the cycling traffic laws.
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Old 08-08-16, 06:26 AM
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Keep your rides fun and enjoy the miles.

Sometimes the sidewalk is the Safe Way to ride.
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Old 08-08-16, 06:30 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Around where I live, an adult riding his bike on the sidewalk would get a ticket....
While riding a bike in the down town area might not be a good idea, riding a bike in the suburbs is of no problem at all. Your city b'crats should change the law.

BTW if it is against the law, do cops there pull over 5 year old Susie on her sidewalk bike and give her a ticket?
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Old 08-08-16, 06:39 AM
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Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not vehicles. An adult-size bike is a vehicle (especially if it's pulling a trailer). Ride in the road.
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Old 08-08-16, 06:44 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by dabigboy View Post
My wife and I did our first group ride this weekend, the weekly Oklahoma City Donut Run. We enjoyed the scenic ride through some of OKC's old historic neighborhoods, and the bakery was awesome. Took our kids in their trailers....my wife got a bit tired, but she still had a good time and wants to go back again. I'm so glad she's having fun with biking! We had a good chat with Jim (one of the ride leaders) and a couple of other riders. Was nice to bike with a group for a change.

Jim said we did about 11.5 miles. Tonight we also biked to church and a local burger joint, about 6 miles total. Nice easy city riding, fortunately there are plenty of sidewalks around here. I'm very blessed to have an adventuresome wife who is happily jumping into the bike thing, and two kids who are content to sit quietly in their trailers and watch the world go by.

Matt
You are blessed.
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Old 08-08-16, 06:55 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not vehicles. An adult-size bike is a vehicle (especially if it's pulling a trailer). Ride in the road.
I've never seen a law that differentiated adult and child's sized bikes, and the sidewalk laws vary by locale. In Michigan, it is allowed unless expressly prohibited by a municipality, and just plain a good idea on some roads.
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Old 08-08-16, 07:41 AM
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Oklahoma Bicycle Manual: Additional Safety Tips | Oklahoma Bicycle Society
"
While riding on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk you must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. You should give an audible warning before passing a pedestrian. Riding on sidewalks and in crosswalks may be prohibited by local ordinances. Check with your local law enforcement officials.
If you are riding on a crosswalk or sidewalk, you have the rights and responsibilities of a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
"
Probably Sgt Lewis would know.
https://www.cityofmoore.com/sites/def...ion%20Form.pdf

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Old 08-08-16, 11:54 AM
  #10  
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Glad you had a good time, group rides are always much more enjoyable, you meet new people and sometimes find new places to visit.

It's legal here to ride on the sidewalk, and yes, pedestrians have the right of way. I ride in the road as much as I can, but sometimes it's much safer to ride in the sidewalk, than to ride on a road with no shoulder when cars are speeding passed you. Yes you have to be more careful with cars leaving driveways, but anyone that says to "never" ride on the sidewalk has probably never been hit by a car or clipped by a mirror on a very narrow road with no shoulder. I would rather take my chances on a sidewalk then have no chance at all to move out of the way on a narrow road.
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Old 08-08-16, 12:12 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by dabigboy View Post
My wife and I did our first group ride this weekend, the weekly Oklahoma City Donut Run. We enjoyed the scenic ride through some of OKC's old historic neighborhoods, and the bakery was awesome. Took our kids in their trailers....my wife got a bit tired, but she still had a good time and wants to go back again. I'm so glad she's having fun with biking! We had a good chat with Jim (one of the ride leaders) and a couple of other riders. Was nice to bike with a group for a change.

Jim said we did about 11.5 miles. Tonight we also biked to church and a local burger joint, about 6 miles total. Nice easy city riding, fortunately there are plenty of sidewalks around here. I'm very blessed to have an adventuresome wife who is happily jumping into the bike thing, and two kids who are content to sit quietly in their trailers and watch the world go by.

Matt
Awesome to hear that you guys were all able to get out together, i have yet to find a group ride for me and my wife . My biggest fear is that we will get dropped, i have met up with a few folks at stop lights and have been able to keep up for a mile or so but die out after that.

Do you know the average speed of the group? i clock in at about 13 according to strava and my wife hits about 10 on her own or 11 if i push her.

I'd also watch out about riding on the sidewalk, one of the only times i have almost been hit was when i rode on there. drivers just aren't careful enough and i don't think they look for us on the sidewalks. But what do i know i'm still new...
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Old 08-08-16, 12:49 PM
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Look for no drop rides online or your LBS. I can keep up with the mid group but ride with the slower group if my wife is along. I have never heard any complaints about keeping up and if something does happen someone always circles back.
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Old 08-08-16, 02:26 PM
  #13  
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Local bike group here does something similar once in a while. It's a 14 mile round trip ride down a bike/pedestrian trail to Dairy Queen for ice cream and back. Here in a few Saturdays I'm going to be participating in a ride along that trail riding about 25 miles one way to a BBQ place for dinner and then back again. It will likely be my first half century.
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Old 08-09-16, 04:30 PM
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I ride 3000 miles a year. About a third of that is just around town on short errands such as shopping, post office or grocery runs. Another third is with a bike club where I'm the oldest one there as well as the slowest. It is all enjoyable.
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Old 08-10-16, 01:47 AM
  #15  
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You know, it hadn't even occurred to me that riding on the sidewalk might be illegal, in fact I have always been more concerned that we might have traffic violation issues on the street. Evidently it's fine in my smallish town (we're near OKC, but not in OKC). The local police regularly cruise by us and have never said a word. Will definitely keep this in mind as we take our bikes to other locales, however.

I'm a small town boy....after 7+ years of living in or near OKC, and a couple years in Tucson, I'm *still* blindsided now and then by some of the petty, draconian regulations and restrictions that city-dwellers are subject to (garage sale "permits", anyone?).

We do keep a sharp eye out for driveways, usually just stop and wait if we see someone in a car (regardless of whether or not they're moving). Fortunately our local area seems to be very bike-friendly (people-wise, as well as infrastructure). Even had a lady stop her lane of traffic so we could cross the street the other day...not sure I'm crazy about that idea from a safety standpoint, but it was a nice gesture, and that time there was very little traffic.

Originally Posted by morfeeis View Post
Awesome to hear that you guys were all able to get out together, i have yet to find a group ride for me and my wife . My biggest fear is that we will get dropped, i have met up with a few folks at stop lights and have been able to keep up for a mile or so but die out after that.

Do you know the average speed of the group? i clock in at about 13 according to strava and my wife hits about 10 on her own or 11 if i push her.

I'd also watch out about riding on the sidewalk, one of the only times i have almost been hit was when i rode on there. drivers just aren't careful enough and i don't think they look for us on the sidewalks. But what do i know i'm still new...
This was a no-drop ride, so slowest rider sets the pace. Actually we went a bit slow, even for me. A friend of ours (who invited us, actually) said her bike computer was showing an average speed of 6.6mph, but that included the 30 mins or so we were stopped for donuts (she had not reset it). One of the leaders said they usually average around 8 to 10mph. The leader did say there had been folks in the past who just got too tired and gave up in the middle of the ride, but that would have to be a poorly-conditioned rider indeed.

If you two are averaging 10 to 13 then I can't imagine any "family-friendly" ride would be out of your league. I would find a no-drop ride in your area, and just ask how fast they go. If riders in your area are anything like the riders I've encountered in my area, they will be happy to have a new rider around, and will do their best to accommodate you.

Now I'm itching to go ride again...picked up a second/better bike today.

Matt
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Old 08-10-16, 05:47 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by morfeeis View Post
Awesome to hear that you guys were all able to get out together, i have yet to find a group ride for me and my wife . My biggest fear is that we will get dropped, i have met up with a few folks at stop lights and have been able to keep up for a mile or so but die out after that.

Do you know the average speed of the group? i clock in at about 13 according to strava and my wife hits about 10 on her own or 11 if i push her.

I'd also watch out about riding on the sidewalk, one of the only times i have almost been hit was when i rode on there. drivers just aren't careful enough and i don't think they look for us on the sidewalks. But what do i know i'm still new...
Most of my local club rides are considerably faster than your pace, but they also have more casual paced rides that you would handle with no problems. However, even those rides are probably longer distances than you are riding.

For example, from the ride calendar, a ride's description: "The ride is 20 miles and goes at the pace of the slowest rider. No set speed. No one left behind." Some other casual paced rides are 15 or 17 miles. The ride leader is usually committed to staying with the slowest riders on these types of rides.

Do you have a local bike store? They should know what rides are in your area. Contact the ride leader to find out what flat road speeds are typical on their ride, distances, and how often they stop.

If you can comfortably ride maybe 2/3 the distance of the group ride, you should be able handle the group ride distance.

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-10-16 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 08-11-16, 05:05 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Most of my local club rides are considerably faster than your pace, but they also have more casual paced rides that you would handle with no problems. However, even those rides are probably longer distances than you are riding.

For example, from the ride calendar, a ride's description: "The ride is 20 miles and goes at the pace of the slowest rider. No set speed. No one left behind." Some other casual paced rides are 15 or 17 miles. The ride leader is usually committed to staying with the slowest riders on these types of rides.

Do you have a local bike store? They should know what rides are in your area. Contact the ride leader to find out what flat road speeds are typical on their ride, distances, and how often they stop.

If you can comfortably ride maybe 2/3 the distance of the group ride, you should be able handle the group ride distance.
I've been trying to find a few in my area, the distance is fine i can do a 30 no problem and a 40 while tough is still very doable. i'm just slow...
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Old 08-11-16, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Local bike group here does something similar once in a while. It's a 14 mile round trip ride down a bike/pedestrian trail to Dairy Queen for ice cream and back. Here in a few Saturdays I'm going to be participating in a ride along that trail riding about 25 miles one way to a BBQ place for dinner and then back again. It will likely be my first half century.
Find about 10 extra miles and do your first metric century!
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Old 08-11-16, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not vehicles. An adult-size bike is a vehicle (especially if it's pulling a trailer). Ride in the road.
I generally ride in the road. But some roads suck. For example for the 2 blocks home for me, it is a straight away, uphill, speed limit is 35 and some cars go faster. The part leading up to this has a lower speed limit and closely spaced traffic lights to cars go slow. Additionally the left turn signal, on the turn I need to make, doesn't recognize bikes. So I just hop on the sidewalk for one of the blocks. I ride really really slow. If I see a pedestrian, I might take the adjacent street (bigger hill, no street lights, horrible pavement quality: not ideal).

It feels a lot safer to just take the sidewalk.

But when taking the sidewalk I believe in a couple of rules:
  • think of yourself as a guest in pedestrian space and go walking speed
  • driveways and intersections are not your friend, stay slow and proceed with caution
  • use a bell and your voice to warn pedestrians of your approach
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Old 08-11-16, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by tajar66 View Post
Look for no drop rides online or your LBS. I can keep up with the mid group but ride with the slower group if my wife is along. I have never heard any complaints about keeping up and if something does happen someone always circles back.
Another idea is to look for bike tours in your city. One of my local museums runs monthly bike tours of different neighborhoods or destinations organized around a theme in the city. These last for 7-10 miles at a leisurely pace.

Another thing to look into is Bike Party and there is another similar thing that is a family bike ride for people with kids. There is a named one but I am not too hip on all the family events. Child free.

Another thing to look into, see if your local bike coalition does rides and events. Mine does different neighborhoods or themes with 10-20 mile rides touring new bike infrastructure or bike friendly destinations.

Also, you may find something unexpected! We have an urban wine tour by bike. I have also heard about foord tours by bike.

Last idea? Make your own themed bike ride. Chocolate tasting. Wine tasting. Beer tasting. Farmers markets. Architecture....whatever you are into. A friend and I do regular bike to brunch dates. We pick a place near or far and bike there! We usually pick a nice little main street type area so we can walk around after. Or we do bike to coffee dates and check out a new coffee shop.
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Old 08-12-16, 10:35 AM
  #21  
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I use meetup.com. There's several bicycle groups for Pittsburgh and western PA that I am in.

I'd been looking at the meetup site for some time hesitant to join. A coworker put a ride we were going to get together and do up on meetup.com. I had always thought that everyone would know each other and I'd feel like the outsider. We had 16 people sign up. In the parking lot, everyone came up to the group, "Is this the meetup group?" No one knew each other except for a handful that had ridden previously with the coworker that organized it. It was a great experience and met some great people.

I've since done a meetup on the kayak to paddle up the Ohio River to watch the Pittsburgh 4th of July fireworks. None of us knew each other and there were a few new folks who stated they thought the same as I previously did. Just did another meetup ride last weekend with more people I didn't know, except for John that rode my first time with meetup. My word that guy is a riot and hope he signs up for everything I sign up for. He's absolutely hysterical and makes the rides a blast.

So, I recommend meetup.com if you have cycling groups in your area. There's a comment section on the rides posted where you can ask about how the ride is. Thus far, I've only met with others who ride like me, casual, conversational, and no drop. You can ask this in the comments. Some rides would be your typical "group ride" that is posted here, the ultra elite 20 mph tour de france pace line serious ride, but most I see are folks out enjoying cycling and the company.

When I've ridden in these groups thus far, the group may get split up a little as some ride a little faster and some a little slower, we always stop every now and then to regroup at intersections and what-not.
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