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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 03-08-21, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
We definitely agree that "solo" is one, and only one. What do we call two "solo" riders riding next to each other?
That'd be a duo... a group of two.

Originally Posted by Eric F
Yes, I'm new(ish) here, but I've spent way too much time over way too many years burning through my work days on other discussion forum sites. Every site has that pedantic guy.
And I'm typically not fond of that guy, but pointing out that a group consists of two or more isn't pedantry - it's a basic definition.
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Old 03-08-21, 05:31 PM
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Do you prefer solo rides to group rides

Yes.

and why?

Fewer people.
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Old 03-08-21, 07:04 PM
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I prefer group rides. When I opened this tread I was not prepared for how unusual an opinion that would be on this forum.

I got into cycling because there was a cycling club in my school and we would go on day-long rides, and week-long summer trips.
I fell away from cycling in my 20s because it was easier to find a rugby club than a group ride; I still cycled to training and games (and work) as much as possible, and would go on solo rides from time to time, but most of my sporting effort in that time was put into the rugby club.
In my 30s, I got into a work group ride, and a local Saturday group ride, and I still from time to time meet up with people from those groups.

I've always been happy to do solo rides, but the social aspect of cycling has always been an important part of the sport to me. Part of that must surely be that I enjoy talking about the technical side of the sport, and where better to talk about that than on a group bike ride? If you can't talk about bikes on a bike ride, your only other outlet for that is to argue about disc brakes and tire widths with strangers on the internet.

Like with every other athletic endeavour, I've been on group rides where I wasn't strong enough to keep up. On other (much fewer) occasions, I've been on group rides where I had to wait for the rest of the group. I don't mind either of these situations; the former makes me stronger, the latter makes those I'm with stronger and ultimately all of us will be better prepared to ride together next time, and the only question when I decide whether I want to ride with that group again is did I enjoy their company?

The most important part of group rides is remembering that the group ride is not all about you riding along at the exact pace you want to go.
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Old 03-08-21, 07:52 PM
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Do you prefer solo rides to group rides

No.

and why?

More people.
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Old 03-08-21, 08:05 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by kirbyx
Does anyone out there prefer solo rides, and avoids group rides. Why do you have that preference?
i love riding solo. It’s my alone time, kinda like meditation for me. Plus I don’t like talking and riding as I use this time to push my body to get a really good cardio workout.

Last edited by jay4usc; 03-08-21 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 03-08-21, 08:29 PM
  #181  
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So low

I ride solo

dont get me wrong, I love how a group ride can push me to go faster and harder than I might on some solos.

I personally just prefer solo.
I like the solitude and freedom and adventure of being way out there with no lifeline.
I like getting lost
i like having a mechanical and being forced to walk 10 miles home or if itís too far back home trying to find another way out of the mess Iíd gotten myself into
i like alone

And...nothing personal....But I donít want to belong to a ďclubĒ
I may be alone in this opinion, but I donít choose my friends based on cycling
id rather choose them based on a deeper and more meaningful connection.
(and yet, here I am on a bike forum, yes I understand the implications)
ive had some great friends who ride....but Iíve also met a lot of not so great people who ride
and I donít want to risk being stuck in a group with the latter.

I like alone
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Old 03-08-21, 08:30 PM
  #182  
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Most of my rides are solo. I do a Monday group ride (pre-Covid) during the late spring to early Fall. I enjoy both riding in a group and solo.
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Old 03-08-21, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by kirbyx
Does anyone out there prefer solo rides, and avoids group rides. Why do you have that preference?
I prefer solo rides as I now ride to see, stop, and admire my surroundings. Like I don't hike anymore, I saunter. Take it all in. But nothing wrong with riding with friends. As long as you are riding!
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Old 03-08-21, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kirbyx
Does anyone out there prefer solo rides, and avoids group rides. Why do you have that preference?
SOLO: always and forever.
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Old 03-09-21, 07:28 AM
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I prefer group rides if someone else is organizing it. I've organized my share of group rides, but sometimes I just feel like showing up without thinking about it.
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Old 03-09-21, 11:44 AM
  #186  
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Too often group rides that say they are a no drop ride turns out dropping one or two slower riders. I always drop back and ride with them. BTW it is a good way to make new friends.
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Old 03-09-21, 11:57 AM
  #187  
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I appreciate the rides where the unspoken rules are to be self-sufficient (food, water, flats and mechanicals) and to know your way home. Obviously if there's a crash, the group will stop, but if it's just people getting dropped.... well, thanks for coming out, we'll see you next week. No hard feelings.
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Old 03-09-21, 12:53 PM
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The worst rides out there are with bicycle clubs which are corporations. Namely one in Seattle Washington . You start out by standing there while the leader talks for 10 to 15 minutes. Nobody listens or cares but you have to take it because it's part of the regime. Then you must listen to him spout off instructions from the front during the whole ride. Nobody can hear him and there will be a loud mouthed person in the rear of the group for the whole ride yelling out instructions for the whole ride too. Nobody says anything because it is how it is done. They are controlling the group and they are getting off on it. It is the high point of their life. They call out every car back and slight irregularity in the road for hours. It is non stop verbal diarrhea. I would rather bang my head against a tree.
What I do is ride with a small group of friends. We can talk and just an occasional "car back" and no instructing us how to ride.
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Old 03-09-21, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by siclmn
The worst rides out there are with bicycle clubs which are corporations. Namely one in Seattle Washington . You start out by standing there while the leader talks for 10 to 15 minutes. Nobody listens or cares but you have to take it because it's part of the regime. Then you must listen to him spout off instructions from the front during the whole ride. Nobody can hear him and there will be a loud mouthed person in the rear of the group for the whole ride yelling out instructions for the whole ride too. Nobody says anything because it is how it is done. They are controlling the group and they are getting off on it. It is the high point of their life. They call out every car back and slight irregularity in the road for hours. It is non stop verbal diarrhea. I would rather bang my head against a tree.
What I do is ride with a small group of friends. We can talk and just an occasional "car back" and no instructing us how to ride.
I think that there is a very strong possibility that I may have rode with this group at times although I am a member of no bicycle clubs in Washington state. Yes, I have experienced this type of group dynamics but each group ride is different depending on the people present. The general ride leader instructions at the beginning are pretty much as stated. After that, on the ride, is where it differs depending on the group. The yelling of "car back" starts off but after awhile into the ride people are tired and there is less "car back" being spouted. I have noticed that if it is a small group and most of them are "regulars" they whip through the opening comments pretty d@mn fast and then go ride.
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Old 03-09-21, 06:58 PM
  #190  
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Like W.C. Fields and alcohol, I only ride when I'm alone or with someone.
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Old 03-09-21, 08:15 PM
  #191  
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mostly solo. Main reason is that I'm too slow for most "serious" groups and too fast for most "recreational" groups.
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Old 03-10-21, 09:55 AM
  #192  
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Solo outside - I predominately do two hour rides where I leave from my house with timing driven by weather, traffic and how I feel. I like to set my own pace and effort and also feel riding in groups requires keeping track of more variables than solo. I'm also more of an introvert.

Solo, group and racing inside when the weather and timing drive the decision - if Zwift counts
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Old 03-10-21, 10:09 AM
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I like company on a ride but 99% of the time I'm solo. I wouldn't like a group ride where everyone is drafting the person in front, I wouldn't be comfortable riding so close or having someone so close behind me.
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Old 03-10-21, 10:27 AM
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Group riding is tricky. I only ride in road groups that I know well. I only ride with people with similar experience levels, similar fitness and similar respect for the rules when compared to me. I'm very picky about who I like to ride with as I've learned some hard lessons. I generally like well organized groups of experienced cyclists (usually masters racers or ex-racers) who ride fast and like to attack each other. I only ride with people who know how to ride a tight paceline, know not to let gaps open and work hard to not get dropped. I like rides that challenge me and I like fellow riders that challenge me. I don't like to ride with groups that are too "recreational" as I get itchy and bored. I have nothing against those groups at all, it's just not for me. I generally like to stick to well-known routes on the road in groups where I know everyone knows where to go, where the potholes are and when to be cautious.

I'm a member of two large local groups that are both very active, I've been riding with most guys in those groups for a decade or so. We generally don't let new riders join these groups unless someone we trust vouches for the new person. Some local groups I actively avoid as I've ridden with them and not liked the rides. I like riding on the road alone, but I definitely feel a little exposed when I do so. I ride on the excellent gravel path networks here in northern Illinois alone all the time and I ride singletrack alone all the time.
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Old 03-10-21, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RodJB
I like company on a ride but 99% of the time I'm solo. I wouldn't like a group ride where everyone is drafting the person in front, I wouldn't be comfortable riding so close or having someone so close behind me.
To me, being in a tight pack where you are moving down the road faster, with less effort, than you can by yourself is one of the magical experiences of cycling.
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Old 03-10-21, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
To me, being in a tight pack where you are moving down the road faster, with less effort, than you can by yourself is on of the magical experiences of cycling.
To be honest, I've never rode in a tight pack as I've never felt comfortable in that situation. However, I do like company on a ride & prefer someone with similar abilities so they're not holding me back. I like to try to hold as good a pace as I can maintain & don't like to feel I'm holding anyone else back.
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Old 03-10-21, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by RodJB
To be honest, I've never rode in a tight pack as I've never felt comfortable in that situation. However, I do like company on a ride & prefer someone with similar abilities so they're not holding me back. I like to try to hold as good a pace as I can maintain & don't like to feel I'm holding anyone else back.
That's another nice thing about a tight pack: the draft allows people in the same neighborhood of fitness to work together - you don't need to be perfectly matched. If you're not quite as strong as some of the others, you take a shorter pull up front, but you still contribute and you still benefit.
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Old 03-10-21, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
That's another nice thing about a tight pack: the draft allows people in the same neighborhood of fitness to work together - you don't need to be perfectly matched. If you're not quite as strong as some of the others, you take a shorter pull up front, but you still contribute and you still benefit.
A friend I used to ride with a lot has progressed to group rides and loves it. We haven't been on a ride for a long time... Maybe once I get my bike tuned up and get back in better form, I'll maybe try it...
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Old 03-10-21, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RodJB
To be honest, I've never rode in a tight pack as I've never felt comfortable in that situation. However, I do like company on a ride & prefer someone with similar abilities so they're not holding me back. I like to try to hold as good a pace as I can maintain & don't like to feel I'm holding anyone else back.
There is a skillset to pack riding, and some basic rules/guidelines for the safety of yourself and others, but these are all things that can be learned and developed with experience.

If I'm riding with a friend or three, I agree that everyone being of fairly similar level is preferred. We might ride fairly hard at times, but it's mostly social, and good for endurance base miles. However, nothing boosts my fitness like fast group rides that stretch my limits and push me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes that means I'm suffering like crazy just to find a place to hide out of the wind. These are rides that demand that you have competent pack skills, and don't stop to wait when some gets mercilessly ejected from the rear of the group.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedway2
My favourite rides are on my Single Speeds and Solo. I ride where I want and at whatever pace that allows me to enjoy the "scenery".....
Single speed is pretty much my favorite kind of ride, and I do like to ride as alone as well. Talking mountain bike as here (although I commute on a single speed).

My usual riding partner is my wife, who also single speeds. I got into it first and after a few years I built her a nice one. Eventually she became a real single speeder. She's a monster now. Amazes me.

We did a 30 mile 3800' ride today on single speed and single track.

I do prefer riding alone, but it doesn't happen as frequently as I would expect.

One thing I don't like about groups is all the dust that gets kicked up and inhaled. If you night ride you can really see it. Maybe it's just me, but even before the pandemic I didn't like getting in the slipstream of others, but I tolerate it. For example, a sweaty person expectorating and blowing their nose out front.

In high school I hated wrestling, even though I was good at it, because I don't like grappling with strange sweaty dudes.

But yeah, the solitude is precious on a solo ride. It doesn't have epiphanies or PRs usually, but it can happen.

It's just nice to sort of not think about anything and take time off. There's so much stuff going in life and working and cohabitation that a solo ride is what I crave sometimes.
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