Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

First organized bike ride on Saturday! What should I expect?

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

First organized bike ride on Saturday! What should I expect?

Old 02-02-17, 12:33 PM
  #1  
LawLeet
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Cypress, TX
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First organized bike ride on Saturday! What should I expect?

I will be doing the 45 mile route at Pedaling the Prairie in Hempstead, TX this weekend. I've been training myself to ride 32-35 miles comfortably. What are some tips for a relatively beginner rider like me doing this ride? It's a non-competitive ride but I have no idea how competitive a bunch of the other riders are there so I am hoping I don't look like an idiot who is way behind the pack, as I can only average about 15 mph, and that's on relatively flat terrain. Also, what important tips do you recommend for my very first organized bike ride and common mistakes to avoid?

Thanks!
LawLeet is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 12:36 PM
  #2  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 22,217
Mentioned: 162 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8443 Post(s)
Liked 231 Times in 149 Posts
If the ride is big, assume someone around you is going to do something stupid and, in response, ride defensively.


And if you are worried about looking like an idiot for being way behind the pack you need a change of mindset.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 12:39 PM
  #3  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,995

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Have fun with it. It is not a race.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 12:44 PM
  #4  
shafter
Senior Member
 
shafter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 646
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You will be surprised at the number of people slower than you. Be friendly! Enjoy yourself and have fun.
shafter is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 12:51 PM
  #5  
Red90
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you can ride 32-35 miles comfortably, 45 miles will not be an issue for you to finish. What will likely happen is you will ride faster than you would normally ride. This is just what happens when your excited with adrenaline rushing. The latter half might be a bit tougher as you will likely burn out your legs on the first half.

The problem I find with large organized rides is that you have such a varying level skill as well as experience that accidents can easily happen. You will have riders darting in and out, braking unexpectedly, not calling out... all of which can easily cause accidents. Key is to be able to spot these people out and avoid them. Be as predictable as you can when you ride in a group. Signal when you move, shoulder check before you make a move and call out hazards and if your coming up on someone.

Oh and most of all, enjoy the ride. It's not a competition, so don't treat it as one. These organized rides are about enjoying cycling with other people that love to do the same.
Red90 is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 12:54 PM
  #6  
eja_ bottecchia
Senior Member
 
eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5,159
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If the ride is big, assume someone around you is going to do something stupid and, in response, ride defensively.


And if you are worried about looking like an idiot for being way behind the pack you need a change of mindset.


Great advice.


And, as someone else already pointed out, is not a race. Enjoy it.
eja_ bottecchia is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:01 PM
  #7  
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 37,961

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1790 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 58 Posts
If the ride is on Saturday morning, then tonight (Thursday) take a good look at your bike and make sure everything is in good working order. That way, if you have to take it into the shop, you can do it tomorrow. Otherwise, don't fiddle with it. Just make sure the tires are pumped and the chain is lubed.

Eat a normal dinner the night before and a normal breakfast the morning of. Don't wear anything new that you've never worn before, especially if it's a contact point. Try to get there early enough so that you can reg and hit the portapotties without stress.

Ride your ride. Have fun.
caloso is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:02 PM
  #8  
dcwldct
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Charlotte
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Have fun and don't worry about looking "pro." 15mph is no problem at all in these kind of rides. There will in all likelihood be people both faster and slower than you.
A few tips for riding safely in a group:
- HOLD YOUR LINE! and otherwise ride predictably
- Don't overlap tires
- communicate slowing, stopping, hazards, etc
dcwldct is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:04 PM
  #9  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,995

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Please carry a spare tube and a method to air it up.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:04 PM
  #10  
ClydeTim
Banned.
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 747

Bikes: Trek

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 264 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Worried about looking like an idiot? I will tell you this. At the start of organized rides, you have your riders that will shoot out of the gate and burn themselves out in the first 25% of the ride.

I have done a few local centuries and did well. 5:45 - 6:00 riding solo, I hate packs with people I don't know. And every single ride, at the start I watch people around me take off like bats out of H-E-double hockey sticks and think to myself, wow these people must be fast.

Only to have them fade during the ride. SO you may get that idiot feeling at the start of the ride but don't think too much of it as most riders have no idea how to pace themselves and you will more than likely pass half of them during the ride if you just do your own steady pace.
ClydeTim is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:18 PM
  #11  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,471

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5407 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 49 Posts
They Will Yell at You.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:41 PM
  #12  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
TimothyH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 13,815

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 213 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6228 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 150 Posts
Hold your line.
TimothyH is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:43 PM
  #13  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,247

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1139 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
If you can ride 32 to 35 miles at 15 MPH or so, you'll be fine. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:57 PM
  #14  
LawLeet
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Cypress, TX
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I really appreciate all the quick responses on here! Thanks for all the great advice and encouragement. I'll let y'all know how it goes, I'm excited!
LawLeet is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 01:58 PM
  #15  
memebag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,603

Bikes: 2017 Cannondale CAAD12 105, 2014 Giant Escape City

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 820 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by LawLeet View Post
I will be doing the 45 mile route at Pedaling the Prairie in Hempstead, TX this weekend. I've been training myself to ride 32-35 miles comfortably. What are some tips for a relatively beginner rider like me doing this ride? It's a non-competitive ride but I have no idea how competitive a bunch of the other riders are there so I am hoping I don't look like an idiot who is way behind the pack, as I can only average about 15 mph, and that's on relatively flat terrain. Also, what important tips do you recommend for my very first organized bike ride and common mistakes to avoid?

Thanks!
There will be some fast people on that ride. You won't see them after the start, so don't worry about them.

There will be a bunch of people getting ready for MS150 after a long break. They will be slow. You will not be alone. You will be faster than some of them.

Tips:

1. Take it easy. Don't wear yourself out.
2. Drink plenty of liquids.
3. Consume some simple sugars to keep glucose available to your muscles.
4. Don't overlap wheels with the person in front of you. If they suddenly move left or right (and they will) you will suffer.
5. Enjoy your first organized ride.
memebag is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 02:01 PM
  #16  
Flip Flop Rider
Senior Member
 
Flip Flop Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: South Carolina Upstate
Posts: 1,062

Bikes: 2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0 1994 Trek 850

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 390 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 10 Posts
good chance to practice "on your left"!..kidding
Flip Flop Rider is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 02:57 PM
  #17  
Elvo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 4,059
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 336 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Expect chaos at the choke points
Elvo is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 03:02 PM
  #18  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,447

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 461 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
Some club rides ask at the start if there are any new riders so that an experienced cyclist can ride with them, if desired, as a mentor.

Oh, yeah.........have fun!
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 03:29 PM
  #19  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 4,969

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 644 Post(s)
Liked 37 Times in 30 Posts
Interact with other riders at rest stops. You can meet some really nice people that way.
dedhed is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 03:35 PM
  #20  
faulker479
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 112
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by memebag View Post
There will be some fast people on that ride. You won't see them after the start, so don't worry about them.

There will be a bunch of people getting ready for MS150 after a long break. They will be slow. You will not be alone. You will be faster than some of them.

Tips:

1. Take it easy. Don't wear yourself out.
2. Drink plenty of liquids.
3. Consume some simple sugars to keep glucose available to your muscles.
4. Don't overlap wheels with the person in front of you. If they suddenly move left or right (and they will) you will suffer.
5. Enjoy your first organized ride.

Everything above is correct. This ride will start out in waves. The first waves are supposed to be for faster riders that are going longer distances.


Act like the other riders around you don't know what they are doing. Don't get too close to their back tire. you may be able to find a group that goes about the same pace as you, but the 45 mile route is relatively flat so if you have to solo through a lot of it, don't worry about it. You should never really be alone out there. It's going to be a beautiful day.


If you ride YOUR ride, you will have a great time.
faulker479 is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 03:39 PM
  #21  
wphamilton
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,443

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2461 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
You're going to have fun, and there are plenty of people who ride slower than 15 average.

My tip is remember that it's just a bike ride. I've seen people lose sight of that, get upset and flustered, and for no reason. Make a wrong turn, or if you get lost, going slower than you'd hoped, who cares? It's still a bike ride.
wphamilton is online now  
Old 02-02-17, 03:43 PM
  #22  
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 37,961

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1790 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 58 Posts
I would also add that if you're not comfortable drafting, your first big organized ride is not a good place to try it out.
caloso is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 04:15 PM
  #23  
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,247

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3586 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by LawLeet View Post
It's a non-competitive ride but I have no idea how competitive a bunch of the other riders are there so I am hoping I don't look like an idiot who is way behind the pack, as I can only average about 15 mph, and that's on relatively flat terrain.
You likely won't be at the back of the pack, and you won't look like an idiot. I generally push around that pace on such rides, and I'm solidly middle of the pack finish on such rides. Some people will take off kitted up as a group and be gone before you can see them, some people will likely be straggling along on bikes that hasn't seen a servicing in years pulling a kid trailer. You'll pass folks on much nicer bikes than you have, wondering why they have them, and Fred will overtake you at some point.

Your first few miles are likely going to be a gaggle of people. Keep on the lookout, pick your way safely through traffic, do your best to accommodate folks picking their way through from behind you. Don't try to follow anyone too closely (inevitably, for the first bit you will be in close proximity). If you ride clipless, you may find that you need to leave one foot unclipped, there may be a lot of stopping and going for the first few hundred yards. Don't get mad when three people are riding alongside one another, blocking the lane, and putzing about, it happens. I generally find it takes three to five miles before riding becomes comfortably spaced out. Generally, after the first rest stop it becomes pleasant, with people strung out enough to stop worrying.

Don't try to keep up early and find yourself gassed. People may or may not try to talk to you. I generally end up riding along side whomever else has a vintage bike for a minute or three, chatting it up about whatever we are on. Perfectly fine to do so long as you feel comfortable, perfectly fine to politely acknowledge them and move on too. Having spares and tools to fix your own tire saves you a LOT of time, even if it is SAG supported.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 04:18 PM
  #24  
scott967
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Oahu, HI
Posts: 1,114

Bikes: 89 Paramount OS 84 Fuji Touring Series III New! 2013 Focus Izalco Ergoride

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Looks like this ride has route options of 24-71 miles. That suggests a wide range of riders/goals. For first time maybe start somewhat back so you don't have a bunch of rabbits blasting past. After the first mile or so riders will have sorted themselves out, so those around you will be more matched in general speed. Any corners near the start, plan ahead so you don't get pinned on the inside as some riders will naturally drift towards the inside of the turn. Once the pace gets set around you, keep alert for traffic while passing or adjust your speed to keep more or less in the same position. I don't like hanging out at the aid stations, but that may just be me. Some folks will point out road hazards, but on this kind of ride I don't expect it nor do I generally provide this "service", unless something catches me by surprise.

scott s.
.
scott967 is offline  
Old 02-02-17, 04:36 PM
  #25  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,048
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 611 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
These event rides can be 100 riders, or 10,000 riders. From the video on the 2016 page, it looks like a few hundred riders. They launch groups of 30-50 riders at a time, instead of a mass start. That helps ease any congestion, and many event rides don't do this.

This looks perfect for a rider new to group rides. It'll be great. I still remember the sound of 40 riders clipping in their pedals and the sound of the tires on the road at the start of my first club ride.

You'll probably be surprised how fast the 45 miles goes by. A solo ride often seems way longer to me. I suppose it's partly just the amount of stuff happening to distract me, and a little internal push to go faster. With your 15 mph average speeds, and 30-35 mile rides, you'll be fine.

Just be predictable, avoid sudden stops, and don't swerve. Assume someone is inches from your back wheel and ride accordingly.

We need a ride report after your ride!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Going faster
My local Bike Cincinnati ride is on flat roads, and I did it last year. I got in a group of about 30 riders doing 20-23 mph and the draft behind all those riders, riding three wide, was amazing. That's a lot faster than my solo pace.

But that can be sketchy, it only takes one mistake to cause a crash. I was watching the riders to see if they were smooth and predictable.

These big, fast packs can be fun after you get some group riding experience. On your ride, you'll likely be riding with just a handful of riders at a time -- easy.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bike club rides
Bike club rides can be a blast. The weekly bike club group rides can be anything from casual, conversational pace with a small group, to larger rides broken into speed groups, to full blast, hard effort rides.

My local club has 25 mile, 12 mph average rides, with stops along the way, and fast 60 mile steep hill rides. But most rides are in the middle of that range.

Contact a local club and email or talk to a ride leader for a ride that interests you. They can fill you in on average speeds (which is affected by hills and stoplights), and also on typical flat road speeds for the ride.

Most club riders can hold the group's pace for the whole ride. Solo riders can get in the habit of pushing hard, then coasting or slowing, which isn't so good in a group. Groups tend to hold a pace. The easier rides often have a water stop along the way.

...

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
They Will Yell at You.
This is a BikeForums inside joke. (Along with "dial it up to 400 watts" and many more.)

No yelling on your ride.

Last edited by rm -rf; 02-02-17 at 05:16 PM.
rm -rf is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.