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First Group Ride

Old 08-22-20, 02:48 AM
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Sorg67
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First Group Ride

Headed out to my first group ride this morning. It is a slow D group ride. Leader and sweeper.

I usually stick to sidewalks and less busy streets. This will be on busier streets. New experience for me.

I will ride my bike to the start point (about 7 miles). It will be dark. I have lots of lights on my bike. Two rear, three front and front and rear on my helmet.

Any last minute tips?
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Old 08-22-20, 05:12 AM
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report back on the hot biker babes.
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Old 08-22-20, 05:21 AM
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Univega
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Just be careful of people drafting you. I had my worst accident that way. I was second in line. The guy in front of me slams on his brakes because someone in the street asked for directions. I hit mine, just missed him and the guy behind me slams into me sending me over my handle bars. Plus they usually don't point to objects in the road. Experienced riders are so much easier to follow and understand.

People in the D group are less experienced. So just be aware. I may join a bike club again and with my wife it would be a D group. I would see if my wife could be second to last and myself last.
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Old 08-22-20, 06:22 AM
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In any less experienced group you will probably be going slower and the benefit of a draft will be much less. Therefore it is better to leave a larger gap between you and the rider in front to allow more reaction time if something happens. Keep your head up and try to see what is going on farther down the road, don't focus on the rider directly in front of you. Of course if that rider is unusually tall and wide this may not be possible and in that case, allow additional space. First group rides are always sketchy, you don't yet know how the others ride. Be predictable, try to ride in as straight a line as possible, a wobbly rider ahead will make the following rider nervous. Watch how the others ride and try to latch onto the smoothest wheel in the group. Communicate. If it is a no drop ride it is important to tell others if you are having trouble keeping up

Last edited by alcjphil; 08-31-20 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 08-22-20, 06:34 AM
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Just be careful, watch where you are going, and pay attention to those around you. Last summer we were riding in a group. A rider, inexperienced in group rides, went down and broke some ribs and a bone in the wrist. I was ahead so didn't see what happened, and noone along seemed to know why she went down either. After we got her into a store and called her husband, I looked over the bike and it didn't appear mechanically related. Assuming rider error. She is fine and has recuperated now. I like riding with a group, and you will learn what you need to know-don't hesitate to ask for tips from those with group experience. Stay aware and have fun!
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Old 08-22-20, 07:21 AM
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Don’t run blinking lights in group rides. So very annoying.
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Old 08-22-20, 08:13 AM
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Thomas15
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1. Ride with traffic.

2. Look at where you are going but be aware of what is behind you.

3. Change your name to Forrest and "ride like the wind!"
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Old 08-22-20, 09:19 AM
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tomato coupe
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
Any last minute tips?
Tip: Don't ask a question in the middle of the night about a ride that is going to start before the sun comes up.
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Old 08-22-20, 10:15 AM
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Sorg67
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Tip: Don't ask a question in the middle of the night about a ride that is going to start before the sun comes up.
Good tip. But it was not the middle of the night for all forum contributors.

Anyway, ride went great. Really nice guys. Comfortable pace.

May try a “C” ride next week.

Last edited by Sorg67; 08-22-20 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 08-22-20, 10:32 AM
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The bike club here usually has about 100 or more riders that eventually get well spread out. Early in the ride though riders are closer together than I like making it more difficult to see the road surface well ahead. For this reason I hang back until the group is more spread out. I've seen a crash where one rider went down breaking a hip. The cause was poor visibility ahead during close quarters riding where the front wheel dropped into some sort of expansion joint in the road surface.
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Old 08-22-20, 10:40 AM
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Sorg67
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Lots of great tips. Very helpful. Thanks to all for the suggestions.
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Old 08-22-20, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
Lots of great tips. Very helpful. Thanks to all for the suggestions.
Left the tips to others but will mention that I am pleased that you had a great time and will be moving up. Well Done
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Old 08-31-20, 02:33 PM
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Unless you were literally bored with the pace or it was slower than your average solo ride, consider taking a few more D rides before moving up. As you advance not only does the pace get faster but the expectations of the riders get higher too, drafting, signaling, establishing a paceline and taking a turn on the front. I don't want those expectations to rub you the wrong way. If C and D groups leave at the same place/time get there early and see if you can chat with the ride leader.

Good luck!


Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
Good tip. But it was not the middle of the night for all forum contributors.

Anyway, ride went great. Really nice guys. Comfortable pace.

May try a C ride next week.
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Old 08-31-20, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by taco2ewsday View Post
Unless you were literally bored with the pace or it was slower than your average solo ride, consider taking a few more D rides before moving up. As you advance not only does the pace get faster but the expectations of the riders get higher too, drafting, signaling, establishing a paceline and taking a turn on the front. I don't want those expectations to rub you the wrong way. If C and D groups leave at the same place/time get there early and see if you can chat with the ride leader.

Good luck!
Good suggestions. The pace is slow. But it is nice getting comfortable with the group dynamic when keeping up with the pace is not an issue.

Last Saturday was my second ride with the D group. It was a 25 mile ride. The start was about 8 miles from my home so I rode 8 miles there and 12 miles home for a 45 mile total.

Saturday is my long ride day. I have been increasing my Saturday mileage a little each week. Will go for 46 or 47 next week.
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Old 08-31-20, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
report back on the hot biker babes.
Some of the "Hot Biker Babes" look like they could beat me up.
Besides..... we cannot say "Hot Biker Babes" in California anymore......Everyone is too sensitive here.....
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Old 08-31-20, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
The bike club here usually has about 100 or more riders that eventually get well spread out. Early in the ride though riders are closer together than I like making it more difficult to see the road surface well ahead. For this reason I hang back until the group is more spread out. I've seen a crash where one rider went down breaking a hip. The cause was poor visibility ahead during close quarters riding where the front wheel dropped into some sort of expansion joint in the road surface.
What group is that? I joined NBW at the beginning of the year for group rides only to be denied the opportunity to ride in a group due to Covid. Is there another group out there doing rides? I'm in Cranston and usually ride solo but would like to get involve with a group.
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Old 09-01-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Keep your head up and try to see what is going on farther down the road, don't focus on the rider directly in front of you. Of course if that rider is unusually tall and wide this may not be possible and in that case, allow additional space.
I never ride groups yet. But I always ride alongside motorcycles at around 20 mph at close quarters in my route, often just a few feet apart. What you said there is true.

I've rear-ended motorcycles when I wasn't paying attention on the road and they stopped all of a sudden. Fortunately, not one of these resulted to any injury nor damage to equipment.
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Old 09-01-20, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
Headed out to my first group ride this morning. It is a slow D group ride. Leader and sweeper.

I usually stick to sidewalks and less busy streets. This will be on busier streets. New experience for me.

I will ride my bike to the start point (about 7 miles). It will be dark. I have lots of lights on my bike. Two rear, three front and front and rear on my helmet.

Any last minute tips?
I recommend a bright flashing white light aimed upward toward the face of the rider behind you. You can never be too careful with tailgaters!
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Old 09-01-20, 08:38 AM
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berner
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Originally Posted by ririder View Post
What group is that? I joined NBW at the beginning of the year for group rides only to be denied the opportunity to ride in a group due to Covid. Is there another group out there doing rides? I'm in Cranston and usually ride solo but would like to get involve with a group.
The ride I referred to was several years ago. The club may have temporarily stopped group rides but the club is over 100 years old. Rest assured the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen (and women) will ride again. This is a fine and well organized club. Among the things I like is a "hospitality tent" at the end of the ride. A club member will host some snacks, cold drinks and what have you for an hour or so. This provides the opportunity for members, from all over the state and southern Mass. to get to know each other. I also like the club's cycling advocacy work and charitable work.
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Old 09-02-20, 08:22 AM
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I am habitually a solo rider, so this is based on only half a dozen group rides over many years.
  • Think of it as just another bike ride, don't get too invested in it. Emotionally I mean; just ride.
  • They're likely to be squirrelly by solo rider standards. Not watching ahead for hazards and suddenly veering. Likely paying less attention to traffic patterns up ahead. Talking and weaving. I just give them space.
  • If you happen to get caught up in a pace line, not likely in a D ride but could happen, you may be easily strong enough but inexperienced. The same could be true for others in the pace line. Personally I might draft at the back until I can safely drop off without anyone behind me. They don't like it if you make a gap that they have to catch up after going around you.
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Old 09-02-20, 08:39 AM
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I have fun on my local group rides, it sometimes gives you the motivation to get out and ride when your feeling down.
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Old 09-02-20, 11:10 AM
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I do go on some group rides with my local informal "club," but they're always casual, no-drop rides. No pace lines, just a bunch of people sharing the enjoyment of riding bikes together. The weekly rides on Thursday nights are just tooling around town, usually around 13-14 miles or so, but then sometimes on weekends we'll meet up for a nice long ride to interesting places. Most of the time I ride solo, but it's always fun to join a group.
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Old 09-03-20, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Sorg67 View Post
Headed out to my first group ride this morning. It is a slow D group ride. Leader and sweeper.

I usually stick to sidewalks and less busy streets. This will be on busier streets. New experience for me.

I will ride my bike to the start point (about 7 miles). It will be dark. I have lots of lights on my bike. Two rear, three front and front and rear on my helmet.

Any last minute tips?
With that many lights, it sounds like you're a little timid about riding, which is okay. You should have a good time and try to follow what the person in front of you is doing. Trying to pedal at a constant pace so that you don't create an oscillation in the riding line. Also, don't slam on your brakes, this will create havoc for the people behind you. Groups are great to ride with, that's how you can make quick friends and increase your cycling passion!
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Old 09-03-20, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
The ride I referred to was several years ago. The club may have temporarily stopped group rides but the club is over 100 years old. Rest assured the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen (and women) will ride again. This is a fine and well organized club. Among the things I like is a "hospitality tent" at the end of the ride. A club member will host some snacks, cold drinks and what have you for an hour or so. This provides the opportunity for members, from all over the state and southern Mass. to get to know each other. I also like the club's cycling advocacy work and charitable work.
Sounds interesting. I woulf love to join group, but I cna't keep up now even at the slowest pace. I've had a lot of medicl issues this year and can barely get on my bike. I'm in southeast mass, so I could do
RI. Now I would have to quarantine when I get home. RI is no longer on the safe list.
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Old 09-03-20, 04:21 PM
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Rhode Island is a place that people vacation to, a destination. It is not too surprising that infection rates have trended up in the past few weeks or so. I do think though that infection rates are mostly under control judging by the Providence Journal. There is a high school just across the street from my apartment and they are going through the motions for some sort of reopening.

The club riders are sent out in three waves with the fastest riders (over 20 MPH) going first, followed by a second wave a few minutes later and finally, the slowest group (me and others), at 14 to 16 MPH. I'm always at the back of the slow group. With such a large group of riders, there is always someone who rides at your speed. Furthermore, there are usually three distances to choose from, say 75 miles for speedsters, 45-50 miles for the middle group and 25 miles for the slowpokes. I always works out that most riders finish up within 30 minutes of each other.

Maps of the rides are available to down load via the web so you would have an idea of the route in advance. The club welcomes guests so you could easily just try a ride. There are many rides in your area of southern Mass and I especially like the ones that go by a beach.
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