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Do You Miss Your Bike Club During the Pandemic?

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Do You Miss Your Bike Club During the Pandemic?

Old 08-24-20, 09:03 AM
  #1  
Equinox
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Do You Miss Your Bike Club During the Pandemic?

Honestly, I have not. My is not known for friendly road manners or group dynamics. I often warn newcomers that these are club rides, not group rides. The individual persons who make up the club are nice, and the social aspect is OK. But riding with them is not a joy. I used to joke with my wife that the best part of riding with the club was the solitude. I hooked up with them yesterday for the first time this season, and in typical fashion, got dropped at a red light. I've always felt that was their worst behavior. If the group separates at a traffic light, they don't wait. It's both frustrating and dangerous. I also don't miss having to drive somewhere to the start of a ride. It's nice to just hit the road and go. I miss the social aspect, but not the riding aspect so much.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:22 AM
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I miss the after-work rides. In the last couple of weeks, I've almost hooked up with other cyclists a couple times. Then I think, drafting in their slipstream is the very opposite of distancing. Since I'm old and have comorbidities, I sat up and let them go. Them and their free speed.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:36 AM
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Equinox : You should look for another group ride, since yours is not suiting you. I don't think I'd like it, either, but some people want that competitive experience.

As for me, well, I live in a small city (5k people) in a rural area, so I am fully accustomed to riding alone. And as an introvert who prefers working from home, the whole pandemic has not been a problem for me. 'Course, if I get sick, that tune will change.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:37 AM
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I had a non competitive club, I liked riding with, in the 80's .. I miss not being 40 yet, too..
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Old 08-24-20, 09:48 AM
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Yes and no. I miss the social part of it, but I don't miss trying to keep up with faster group or trying to push people along on the slower group. I'm sort of between and like to ride at my own pace which is a B+.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:49 AM
  #6  
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It would drive me crazy riding with a club whose members were so inconsiderate as to drop people who fail to get through traffic lights with the rest. The club I ride with never does that, but then we are limited by Quebec law to groups of 15 or less and prefer to stay with groups of 8-10. The good groups ride as a team showing consideration for each other. While I do miss the group rides, I have no problem with riding alone or with a friend or two. The nice thing about belonging to a 400 member club is that I almost always see someone I know when out on a ride by myself
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Old 08-24-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Equinox : You should look for another group ride, since yours is not suiting you. I don't think I'd like it, either, but some people want that competitive experience.

As for me, well, I live in a small city (5k people) in a rural area, so I am fully accustomed to riding alone. And as an introvert who prefers working from home, the whole pandemic has not been a problem for me. 'Course, if I get sick, that tune will change.
Of course, but that's easier said than done as options are limited. Ironically, several times a year, the racing club in my area has a true group ride as a way of attracting new members. That's usually the most fun I have because the emphasis is on sticking together. The pace is usually pretty good, and easier to maintain in the draft. It's nice for me to get a chance to interact with the local racers, who also seem to enjoy the group ride. There are some segments where the group will break up for an interval, but they always re-group. It's nice and I don't know why my supposedly recreational group turns every ride into a race.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Yes and no. I miss the social part of it, but I don't miss trying to keep up with faster group or trying to push people along on the slower group. I'm sort of between and like to ride at my own pace which is a B+.
I understand. I joke that I'm in no-man's land. Too slo for the fast group/toofast for the slow group. LOL
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Old 08-24-20, 09:54 AM
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Don't miss it.
I rode with a casual group no drop of about 10-30 people an average of twice a month. Great people on a 22 mile route that got as competitive as you wanted it to in sections with dedicated sweeper and specific regroup areas a few miles apart. It was fun to be with a group but it was my only time riding not solo. I believe they started doing them again but I'm not.

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Old 08-24-20, 09:55 AM
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Remember some clubs have both no drop and drop rides. If it is a drop ride stay with them or get (wait for it) dropped. If it is a no drop ride then they should either stop or soft pedal till everyone has regrouped.
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Old 08-24-20, 10:06 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
Remember some clubs have both no drop and drop rides. If it is a drop ride stay with them or get (wait for it) dropped. If it is a no drop ride then they should either stop or soft pedal till everyone has regrouped.
That's my issue. The A is a drop and usually 45+ miles with a lot of hills. I can hang but the last 15 i'm barely hanging and stressing myself. I have no problem dropping off since 90% of my rides are solo and I know where I am. The B rides are no drop and while it should be a 15+mph we get a number of slower people and constantly waiting on them.

I'm a 16.5mph and like i said, too fast for the B and too slow for the A.

But then i'm happy by myself.
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Old 08-24-20, 10:19 AM
  #12  
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So my local group has always been way more friendly than you guys are describing.

I haven't ridden with more than myself since February. Around the middle of the summer, they started a midweek race pace full drop ride. I certainly could have joined them and their pace is bearable but I figured that wheel to wheel and breathing extra hard was dumb right now.

Now they're saying that the big A and B no drop Sunday strolls are back on. I really want to go, but I won't. The smaller midweek rides would have been less risky than these, so I can't really justify it. Even though I really want to.
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Old 08-24-20, 10:22 AM
  #13  
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I missed my group a lot. Its a youth mentorship team that meets a few times a week from March thru July where teens and adults ride together, team build, and work on helping the kids thru issues big and small in their chaotic lives. The kids ride over 1000mi leading up to RAGBRAI and the season culminates with the week long ride across Iowa so many kids end up with over 1500mi in the 4 months of riding(March is indoor training). I missed the 3 weekend campouts the most- we ride 140 or so miles round trip and the kids practice riding long miles back to back, setting up and breaking down their tents, and spend 2 full days together which really starts the friendships.
Riding with some of the experienced teens is a blast because they are confident and fast after a few years of riding plus growth. I dont miss riding sweep on long training ride days where its hot and one of the kids isnt into riding that day. Ugh...those are rough.
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Old 08-24-20, 10:32 AM
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I also thought I'd add this.

I'm the only person to have been dropped on the no drop rides. I asked them to ride away.

Mid February, I was feeling a little under the weather, so was my wife and so we're the kids. They were recently exposed to croup so I wasn't too worried. 34 flat miles with only 3-4 riders who were actually faster than me, no worries. By 20 miles, I was going like 10 miles an hour. I told them to go ahead and not worry. By the time I got near my house I could barely stay on my bike. I collapsed as soon as I got home.

I felt like crap for a few days and got better. Then we started hearing about all the foreign skiers in Colorado testing positive. And my FIL is a ski instructor. And he'd been under the weather the whole time too, and we'd definitely been in contact.

I've never gotten an antibody test but it sure makes me wonder.
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Old 08-24-20, 11:17 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
Of course, but that's easier said than done as options are limited. Ironically, several times a year, the racing club in my area has a true group ride as a way of attracting new members. That's usually the most fun I have because the emphasis is on sticking together. The pace is usually pretty good, and easier to maintain in the draft. It's nice for me to get a chance to interact with the local racers, who also seem to enjoy the group ride. There are some segments where the group will break up for an interval, but they always re-group. It's nice and I don't know why my supposedly recreational group turns every ride into a race.
I'm all for spirited group rides, and even dropping some riders (but not at stoplights - good grief), and then re-grouping at predetermined spots along the route. But even on such rides, I've occasionally been surprised by the competitiveness of some non-racers -- I mean, people who've never raced in their lives, and yet get very competitive on "no drop" group rides. One guy would even dissect the rides afterwards, using terms like "attacked" and "leadout" and such. Group rides are lousy places to pretend to be racing.
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Old 08-24-20, 11:46 AM
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I'm not much of a joiner but I do miss my team. I do most of my training solo as it is, so getting together with teammates even once a month was really a treat. But I don't understand why you'd stay with a group that you obviously don't like.
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Old 08-24-20, 11:49 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I'm all for spirited group rides, and even dropping some riders (but not at stoplights - good grief), and then re-grouping at predetermined spots along the route. But even on such rides, I've occasionally been surprised by the competitiveness of some non-racers -- I mean, people who've never raced in their lives, and yet get very competitive on "no drop" group rides. One guy would even dissect the rides afterwards, using terms like "attacked" and "leadout" and such. Group rides are lousy places to pretend to be racing.
I hate that crap. If it's a no-drop ride, then nobody should be dropped. There are plenty of rides that are basically unsanctioned races. They're unsanctioned but everyone knows the rules: come prepared and know your way home, because if you get dropped no one is going to wait for you.
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Old 08-24-20, 11:56 AM
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Until a few years ago I used to lead a lot of "adventure rides" for my club. Rides that started far outside the city and traversed areas many people were not familiar with. They were usually long, hilly and thus time consuming. I got tired of all the goofiness that it entailed. People showing up just before a ride is supposed to start. People showing up with plenty of time then farting around in the parking lot and not being ready to start on time. People not following directions and getting lost. Even when you'd say "Make a right at the t intersection" some people would forget in less than a half a mile and stop and ask "Which way do we turn?" People not re-grouping as instructed. People riding at whatever pace they felt like riding, causing the group to fracture. And the one that always pissed me off: We'd stop for a stated "quick" water and bathroom break and at least one person would stand around socializing until it was time to leave and they say "Wait. I need to use the bathroom."

It wasn't always like that. When I first started riding with the club in 1995 a group ride was just that--a group ride. Sure. Some people would fall behind on the harder climbs, but things would re-group. And even if you were a stronger rider you didn't show up and then bust the pace.
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Old 08-24-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
Honestly, I have not. My is not known for friendly road manners or group dynamics. I often warn newcomers that these are club rides, not group rides. The individual persons who make up the club are nice, and the social aspect is OK. But riding with them is not a joy. I used to joke with my wife that the best part of riding with the club was the solitude. I hooked up with them yesterday for the first time this season, and in typical fashion, got dropped at a red light. I've always felt that was their worst behavior. If the group separates at a traffic light, they don't wait. It's both frustrating and dangerous. I also don't miss having to drive somewhere to the start of a ride. It's nice to just hit the road and go. I miss the social aspect, but not the riding aspect so much.
I miss the mid-ride coffee gab - talking to myself over coffee just gets me funny looks 😟. My group (B19) is pretty good about not dropping people (if someone’s having a really bad day, they might drop off by mutual consent). If we lose someone at a light, we soft-pedal until they’re back in. Our various groups are pretty well matched by strength and inclination, so we seldom get hot-dogs or laggards. Habitually-mismatched riders are gently directed toward another group - we run B19 and B18 groups, but there are a couple of A and C groups also, so it’s pretty easy to find your level

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Old 08-24-20, 02:34 PM
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What is a B19 group?
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Old 08-24-20, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
What is a B19 group?
B group where we aim for an av speed of 19 mph. Sometimes we exceed it, or achieve it, sometimes not, but the number signifies that we push a little harder than the other B group (B18) I think of the B18 as my “hangover option” &#128512. On any given Saturday AM (speaking the present tense, although this hasn’t happened for months), both groups ride the same 40-60 mile route, the 19s leaving a few minutes ahead.
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Old 08-24-20, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post

And as an introvert who prefers working from home, the whole pandemic has not been a problem for me.
Same here, though I do miss drafting!

I'm perfectly fine riding alone, but I'm worried that when things go back to normal, I'll have no group skills left and will cause a huge crash.
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Old 08-24-20, 05:16 PM
  #23  
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Wow most groups are riding around me, one big club is just letting people organize themselves but you wouldn’t know there was a pandemic here as far as far as group rides I see them everywhere. Might be why our state is one of the worst for covid right now .

I’ve been riding with my group in small numbers since April but I’ve been doing all the pulling and not drafting but a good chunk of the ride there is no drafting through the hills. Socially distanced chairs in parking lot afterwards. Has made me stronger not getting on wheels starting to like it
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Old 08-24-20, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I hate that crap. If it's a no-drop ride, then nobody should be dropped. There are plenty of rides that are basically unsanctioned races. They're unsanctioned but everyone knows the rules: come prepared and know your way home, because if you get dropped no one is going to wait for you.
I agree.

What we had happen at the in-town ride was people kept complaining about "overall pace" or how long we would wait after a little KOM area for people to drag in.

If it's an A-ride and it's 60ft per mile or less, the group better damn break 20mph. We'd regroup at the lights and a known hilltop or two. That started not being enough and the group was routinely not hitting 20 except for the 1/3 of us up front.

I think what happened is that it used to be a group that had an A and a B. Over time the B got slower and the A was never really an A ride. It probably always should have been a B17 and a B18. Yeah, B17 for 17mph. That's about what the B-group does. On a feisty night maybe 1 in 5 of the A's break 20. The rest are from 19 to 19.5.

I like our team ride out of town, but it's a long drive. That one the A-ride averages about 22 to 23 on normal nights. If the strong boys from further away come (the 1/2/3's), then they bang it out to 24, 25, or even 26. I've hung on once at the 25+ish pace in that group but only pulling once. They're for real. You'll get yelled at.
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Old 08-25-20, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I agree.

What we had happen at the in-town ride was people kept complaining about "overall pace" or how long we would wait after a little KOM area for people to drag in.

If it's an A-ride and it's 60ft per mile or less, the group better damn break 20mph. We'd regroup at the lights and a known hilltop or two. That started not being enough and the group was routinely not hitting 20 except for the 1/3 of us up front.

I think what happened is that it used to be a group that had an A and a B. Over time the B got slower and the A was never really an A ride. It probably always should have been a B17 and a B18. Yeah, B17 for 17mph. That's about what the B-group does. On a feisty night maybe 1 in 5 of the A's break 20. The rest are from 19 to 19.5.

I like our team ride out of town, but it's a long drive. That one the A-ride averages about 22 to 23 on normal nights. If the strong boys from further away come (the 1/2/3's), then they bang it out to 24, 25, or even 26. I've hung on once at the 25+ish pace in that group but only pulling once. They're for real. You'll get yelled at.
We sort of had the opposite issue here. Some riders who should have been on the A ride started turning out to the B ride and started shredding it up. In my mind there shouldn't be an issue with Cat 3s and above showing up to the B ride as long as you don't disrupt it. You could go to the front and take long steady turns, you could go to the back and help riders in danger of falling off, you could mentor a junior rider, you could ride your CX bike or your FG and give yourself a handicap. What you shouldn't be doing is attacking or guttering the group in a crosswind. It got so bad that I started taking my 15 year old on the A ride. It was a lot faster but so much smoother in the group for him to learn good paceline skills and how to find good wheels when it got difficult.

EDIT:

I should have made clear that these rides were not club rides: They're the weekly all-comers race rides, so it's a bit of a different dynamic.

Last edited by caloso; 08-26-20 at 01:42 PM.
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