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Do you prefer solo rides to group rides, and why?

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Do you prefer solo rides to group rides, and why?

Old 03-04-21, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
No, no, no - the myopia is kicking in again. Hero pullers are heroes only in their own minds. People that pull for 10 miles "for the good of the group," are doing no such favors for the group. It's usually quite the opposite.
Oh yes, there would definitely be yelling.
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Old 03-04-21, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis
So you're assuming again.
No, I'm not making any assumptions, whatsoever.

I'll try to explain this succinctly and then I'll be done with you.

The point of rotating is to ride faster than any of the individuals could sustain on their own. Planting yourself in front for 10 miles is only "helpful" if you assume that your FTP is greater than, oh, let's say the five minute or so power of everybody else. That kind of assumption is probably both pretty arrogant and counterproductive.

If you truly are that much stronger than everyone else, you're a) in the wrong group and b) robbing them of the opportunity to work together and get better.

If it's a false assumption, then you're not only a) robbing them of the opportunity to work together, but you're also b) actually slowing them down by not pulling off the front.

And with that, buh bye.
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Old 03-04-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep
We've got guys around here (maybe gals too) that'll take the "hero pull" not to be a hero, but to control the pace. They get on front then ease up anytime there's an uphill. If you ease up on front in the flat or downhill, that won't work. But uphill folks might notice less. Since your draft advantage goes away a lot uphill, they might save more by controlling the front than suffering hanging on as some high w/kg skinny dude rolls over the hill.

I would say do equal rotation on the flats or downhill. If you know a hill is coming up, the bigger boys skip a pull and rest a bit more. Then at the base, bigger boys control pace over the hill. Smaller boys then rest a hair from the extra pulls the bigger boys put them through, bigger boys work a bit up the hill without worry of a drop.

I've started to like rotations better for a workout, I feel about 8 people is perfect. I get bored and almost sleepy sitting in a larger group waiting up to 10min to do a 30 second pull. A rotation actually isn't as efficient, but in a race or workout it forces equal distribution of time. Notice that team time trials they don't rotate constantly, they take pulls based on who the rider is (GC, time triallist, sprinter, etc....).
Oh, I'm not saying that time up front needs to be perfectly divided and I'm not saying that individuals shouldn't play to their strengths for the good of the group - by all means, take a little longer of a pull, if you're feeling your Wheaties, or chip in a short pull, if you're not... but then peel off. 10 miles? That's an order of magnitude outside the bounds of rationality and it isn't helping anyone.

Last edited by WhyFi; 03-04-21 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 03-04-21, 01:23 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
No, no, no - the myopia is kicking in again. Hero pullers are heroes only in their own minds. People that pull for 10 miles "for the good of the group," are doing no such favors for the group. It's usually quite the opposite.
In my observations, it's completely dependent on the group. On one of the rides I often do, there are usually just a few people that ride at the front, and it's really just to maintain the steady easy tempo that the ride is designed to be (a social and/or recovery ride). A large majority of the group are happy just to sit in and roll along in a orderly 2-wide train. It's not uncommon for one pair to sit on the front for many miles, and no one looks down on it. If one pair wanted to ride at the front from the start to the "spicy" segments near the end, that would be just fine with the group.
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Last edited by Eric F; 03-04-21 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-04-21, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
In my observations, it's completely dependent on the group. On one of the rides I often do, there are usually just a few people that ride at the front, and it's really just to maintain the steady easy tempo that the ride is designed to be (a social and/or recovery ride). A large majority of the group are happy just to sit in and roll along in a orderly 2-wide train. It's not uncommon for one pair to sit on the front for many miles, and no one looks down on it.
Sure, but I'm pretty certain that we're not talking about recovery/social/cafe rides in this context.
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Old 03-04-21, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis
I do not ride with groups often....
Sounds as if this is for the best
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Old 03-04-21, 06:45 PM
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This topic needs videos now.

Rotation: was tough to not find a bunch of Fred looking crap with people all strung out

Team time trial (short pulls, but play to strengths and protect either the GC rider OR the sprinter or both):
Scroll to 2:13:00

A nasty little variation for a workout if you've got a decent group is sprint to front from the rear. In soccer practice back in the day we'd call that a "stone run". Did the same thing running. Guy gets to the front from his sprint, you go. On a run track you can do it in two groups. One group is A and one is B. A and B job. You yell "A". A digs for the whole lap and catches B that is jogging. Then B goes. Repeat ad nauseum or until you puke. No incentive to try to hurt the other group with a faster jog as you're about to have to run around.

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Old 03-05-21, 04:51 AM
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Solo. I have my own speed and break pattern. And I often cycle to get to geocaches, thus there are many stops involved.
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Old 03-05-21, 05:33 AM
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I have yet to participate in a group ride. This is for a couple reasons. I only know of one bike shop that does group rides. The problem is, I don't consider myself a strong enough rider yet to join them based on their listed speeds in their web site. Plus, I just moved from second to third shift and work most weekends, conflicting directly with their ride times.

Their slowest ride is advertised at 18 mph, and I only average 15 to 16, and don't own any kit yet. Might change that this year.
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Old 03-05-21, 07:28 AM
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The original question could be broken down into some smaller subcategories that could change some answers. While I reap the exercise benefits of cycling, I only do "work out routines" on a stationary bike at the gym.(pre RONA) That included individual workouts and group classes. It worked/works out more efficiently with my overall fitness program. The actual real bike riding is just that. Riding outdoors, looking at scenery and listening to the sounds of nature/the world around me. Nothing more.
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Old 03-05-21, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Melvang
I have yet to participate in a group ride. This is for a couple reasons. I only know of one bike shop that does group rides. The problem is, I don't consider myself a strong enough rider yet to join them based on their listed speeds in their web site. Plus, I just moved from second to third shift and work most weekends, conflicting directly with their ride times.

Their slowest ride is advertised at 18 mph, and I only average 15 to 16, and don't own any kit yet. Might change that this year.
If you can do 16 on your own, you can do 18 with a group. Once you're vaccinated, I'd encourage you to give it a try. Let people know that you're new to group riding and hang at the back till you're comfortable to take a turn in the rotation. May take a few rides. Be smooth, keep your head up, don't overlap wheels. You'll be fine.
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Old 03-05-21, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Melvang
I have yet to participate in a group ride. This is for a couple reasons. I only know of one bike shop that does group rides. The problem is, I don't consider myself a strong enough rider yet to join them based on their listed speeds in their web site. Plus, I just moved from second to third shift and work most weekends, conflicting directly with their ride times.

Their slowest ride is advertised at 18 mph, and I only average 15 to 16, and don't own any kit yet. Might change that this year.


As caloso said, if you average 15mph solo, you'll probably be fine in an group doing 18mph. Even if you're not, pushing your limits to ride with a group that is a bit above your level is a really effective way to boost your fitness. The first few times, you might hang for a little while, but get dropped. You'll be stronger the next time...and the next...

I will also echo caloso's advice...protect your front wheel. Don't let it overlap the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. Also, be smooth with your braking and accelerations. Learning how to ride smoothly in a group is a skill that takes practice.
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Old 03-05-21, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
If you can do 16 on your own, you can do 18 with a group. Once you're vaccinated, I'd encourage you to give it a try. Let people know that you're new to group riding and hang at the back till you're comfortable to take a turn in the rotation. May take a few rides. Be smooth, keep your head up, don't overlap wheels. You'll be fine.
Originally Posted by Eric F
As caloso said, if you average 15mph solo, you'll probably be fine in an group doing 18mph. Even if you're not, pushing your limits to ride with a group that is a bit above your level is a really effective way to boost your fitness. The first few times, you might hang for a little while, but get dropped. You'll be stronger the next time...and the next...

I will also echo caloso's advice...protect your front wheel. Don't let it overlap the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. Also, be smooth with your braking and accelerations. Learning how to ride smoothly in a group is a skill that takes practice.
Thanks guys. I don't have any idea when I will be able to get a vaccine. My employeer is trying to get us on a list for first round vaccines. I work for John Deere in their Foundry. No cast iron poured, no tractors, combines, planters, harvesters, etc. But even with that, it is still very much a crap shoot in my area due to Iowa seeming to be going backwards in COVID and other stuff politically right now. I do want to, mostly just haven't had the opportunity to yet.

But I have been paying attention to ettiquete queues and such while browsing around here and there.
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Old 03-06-21, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
...I will also echo caloso's advice...protect your front wheel. Don't let it overlap the rear wheel of the rider in front of you...
For the benefit of new to paceline folks just want to emphasize this great advice. It's the rider whose front wheel hits that will crash, much less likely the person in front whose rear wheel was hit. It only takes a glancing touch that might be barely noticed by the rider in front.
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Old 03-07-21, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo
For the benefit of new to paceline folks just want to emphasize this great advice. It's the rider whose front wheel hits that will crash, much less likely the person in front whose rear wheel was hit. It only takes a glancing touch that might be barely noticed by the rider in front.
Some of us figured this out the hard way. Thankfully - at least ink my case - the lesson was learned quickly.
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Old 03-07-21, 11:46 AM
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There's all kinds of group rides in larger urban areas, from race pace to very casual. Perhaps not as much in more rural areas.

I notice that the local cycle club rides can be faster than the advertised pace later in the summer. These rides often have a core group of regulars that get faster during the riding seasons. So if everyone seems to be doing okay, they may pick up the pace. It's probably good to find a ride that sounds a bit too easy, just to get started. Being new to groups and having to do an all-out effort isn't as safe.

But yeah, a couple of mph faster than your usual average is often typical. It's the draft, but also the motivation to not slack off briefly!
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Old 03-07-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970
Based on my knowledge of it, Audax and Randonnuering can be two different styles of rides. It's beem explained to me that Audax events are where riders ride as a group. Randonnuering is group or self paced, just as long as you hit control points in the given times. Wikipedia has more:

"Euraudax (original form of audax)
Participants in the original form of audax ride in a group, at a steady pace set by a road captain. The group aims to cycle at 22.5 km/h between stops. The route is planned with designated stopping points. In longer audax events the group may ride between 16 and 20 hours in a day before stopping at a designated sleeping location. The goal of the audax is for all group members to finish within the time limit. A support vehicle is allowed to follow each group of riders.

Randonneuring
Randonneuring is similar to the original Audax style in that riders attempt to complete long-distance cycling events. However, instead of riding together in a group, participants are free to cycle at their own pace (French: allure libre), stop or sleep wherever they want and form groups randomly, provided they stay within the time limit.

In some countries (e.g. USA), a clear distinction is drawn between 'Audax' and 'Randonneuring'. In others, such as Australia and Great Britain, the original Audax style is relatively unknown, and 'Audax' and 'Randonneuring' are used interchangeably"

I'm looking forward to our Randonnuering season this year. I truly enjoy our 200k rides, be it alone or with a group. But when alone, I appreciate the beauty and solitude of it.
The history of the ACP, with the passionate contention argument of audax vs Allure Libre, definitely comes to mind with threads like these. They inevitability become arguments about the right way to ride.
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Old 03-07-21, 07:21 PM
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Bit late to the party...for long rides, definitely more enjoyable in a group. Short rides, solo is preferable, but a small group, or just one other is perfect.

Last year I did a few 200 km+ rides, and one 300 km+, with great groups, and that made the experience so much more enjoyable. I can't imagine spending 10+ hours on the saddle solo.
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Old 03-07-21, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
Bit late to the party...for long rides, definitely more enjoyable in a group. Short rides, solo is preferable, but a small group, or just one other is perfect.

Last year I did a few 200 km+ rides, and one 300 km+, with great groups, and that made the experience so much more enjoyable. I can't imagine spending 10+ hours on the saddle solo.
The difference between a fleche and a solo 24 hour race is huge. Both are 24 hours on a bike, but a fleche is fun while it takes significant mental drive just to not quit, when solo.
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Old 03-07-21, 09:00 PM
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Vintage group rides in the big chainring.
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Old 03-07-21, 10:15 PM
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Have to agree that on short rides, less than a couple of hours, solo is preferable because those a more training rides where I like to do sprints, attack certain climbs and cruise on others. I applaud pleasure riders who don’t ‘train’.

For longer rides, I enjoy the company and most importantly how time and the miles fly by. Sitting down for lunch or an after ride beer with friends is the best.
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Old 03-08-21, 12:02 AM
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most cyclists hit and killed are soloists. I always try to ride with a few people. Survival is pretty important.
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Old 03-08-21, 09:07 AM
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Solo, because I'm an introvert and so I can ride at my own pace. When it gets lonely, I sing or talk to myself.
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Old 03-08-21, 09:39 AM
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[QUOTE=vane171;21946831]On one rare occasion I got passed by a solo rider and I hooked on and we rode like that until we came to town and only reason I didn't go to the front was that the guy wouldn't let up (he knew all along I was on his tail and it turned out he was OK with it). If you expect somebody to take their turn up front, you have to 'step out'.

Those chance encounters and conversations on the road with other solo riders are ace and may be worthy of its own thread on BF: someone comes alongside you, you roll along for x kilometers and do small talk, and then you head your own separate ways, each one feeling a little bit better about the world.
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Old 03-08-21, 09:43 AM
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Yep. There are very things for me that can beat a ride with family and an ice cream afterwards.
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