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Group rides: How the heck do they work?

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Group rides: How the heck do they work?

Old 07-03-04, 07:16 PM
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javagrrl
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Group rides: How the heck do they work?

My apologies if this has been covered, or if it's in the wrong forum--

I'm a new cycling addict, and I checked out one of the local group rides-- the Rose Bowl Ride-- the other night. I was late for the start, and don't know the route, so I waited for the pack to come 'round on whichever number of the ten laps they were on. Well, when they did whizz by at some staggeringly high mph, I just watched, intimidated by the numbers, the speed, and the line. What's the proper way for me to join the pack at the back? Just tuck in? Is it okay that I'm late? Do I say something? Is there basic and not-so-basic group ride etiquette that I need to know? What are the most common mistakes that I as a newbie should attempt to avoid? In short, how can I be the most responsible/courteous rider I can be at my current riding ability? I don't want to be a danger to others or myself, and I also don't want to keep riding by myself all the time; I'd like to make some friends in my area who also ride, and I figure group rides might be one of the better ways to do that. I do mostly commuting, but I might be interested in racing, especially cyclo-cross, once I have the skills and some speed. Thanks in advance, gang!
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Old 07-03-04, 07:23 PM
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its really hard to chase the group, especially from stop if they already passed. So when you see the at a distance behind you, ride off at a moderate pace.. When they finally catch up to you signal for the leaders to pass you... make sure your at the leftmost or right-most side so it will be easier for those in the middle ot avoid you.
As they pass, get off the saddle and peddle hard until your speed matches the groups, well at least this is what i would do. At this point you can slowly move to the center or up front.
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Old 07-03-04, 07:39 PM
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You might start out on some of the slower, more "user friendly" rides, until you get the hang of it. For example, the club I ride with has A, B, C, and D groups. D being absolute beginners on hybrids and Kmart specials and A being fast pacelines and a high level of testosterone. (Personally, I ride at the B or C level).

Paul
 
Old 07-03-04, 09:05 PM
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Stay the hell away until you are ready. Go get some group riding skills where you will not be intimidated and you wont be putting other riders at risk.
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Old 07-03-04, 09:08 PM
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Start with a few people till you get used to it. You think it's fast and it is but the effort's not as much as you think cause you're drafting for most of the way. Just make sure you know the correct hand signals and that the person up front pushing will get tired, move to the side, and drop to the back of the pack and the person behind them will then push. Then you can take your turn and push for a little bit, even if it's for a minute or two, and when you get tired, move to the side and slow a little and start shuffling back.
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Old 07-06-04, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ewitz
Stay the hell away until you are ready. Go get some group riding skills where you will not be intimidated and you wont be putting other riders at risk.

Duh. Why do you think I even asked the question? How am I supposed to GET group riding skills if I 1) know noone else who rides, and 2) don't know where to find beginner group rides in the first place?

Come on, gang, a little help here.
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Old 07-06-04, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by javagrrl
Come on, gang, a little help here.
I think you should start out by visiting your local bike shop. See if they sponsor any group rides. Also, most bike shops have a little stand that has bike club brochures, and flyers advertising local cycling events.

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Old 07-06-04, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by javagrrl
Come on, gang, a little help here.
Did you even read what I typed?
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Old 07-06-04, 02:26 PM
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I probably should have begun my original post "Newbie rider who wishes to be social but is woefully ignorant of group ride etiquitte or where to learn said etiquitte seeks information relating to the aforementioned..."

Belated thanks to the helpful people who answered.
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Old 07-06-04, 03:00 PM
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Unless this attitude - "Stay the hell away until you are ready. Go get some group riding skills where you will not be intimidated and you wont be putting other riders at risk" - appeals to you , my advice is to avoid the Lance-loving Lycra-clad club racing clique like the plague and find someone fun to ride with, like these folks:
https://www.choppercabras.org/
https://www.deadbabybikes.org/
https://www.dclxvi.org/chunk/

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-04, 03:21 PM
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or the TBN, the TORONTO BICYCLING NETWORK, if your not ready to ride in close quarter, as they say stay clear of this group ride, you can place a lot of people in danger, including yourself
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Old 07-06-04, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ewitz
Stay the hell away until you are ready. Go get some group riding skills where you will not be intimidated and you wont be putting other riders at risk.
I'm very comfortable riding paceline, but I think I'll stay away from groups like this just to avoid getting testosterone stains on my bike.

To the orginal poster, look for clubs that offer graded rides and that seem -friendly-. Unless you cycle for a living, is there any real point in making this some sort of macho, death match? And people wonder why it's hard to get new riders in clubs.


Paul
 
Old 07-06-04, 03:43 PM
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Aside from all the other inputs in regard to ensuring you have the experience, etc. Doesn't it just make sense to show up early and meet some of the folks and ask them? At least then they can give you feedback on their level and their expectations of newcomers.

Al
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Old 07-07-04, 08:04 AM
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Well if I lived in LA you could ride with me-I know I'm no help either. Should be a bunch of like minded cyclists in LA not hard to find I would think, LBS could be of help with contacts.
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Old 07-07-04, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by OregonBound
I'm very comfortable riding paceline, but I think I'll stay away from groups like this just to avoid getting testosterone stains on my bike.

To the orginal poster, look for clubs that offer graded rides and that seem -friendly-. Unless you cycle for a living, is there any real point in making this some sort of macho, death match? And people wonder why it's hard to get new riders in clubs.


Paul
All club rides shall end the sprint of death, reaching speeds up to 60 mph. At the finish line, the top 3 racers will then get off their bikes and battle it out in the ring of fire until only two remain at which point the 1 on 1 no holds barred death match shall proceed with the winner being the first one to successfully perform the KimJong Death Grip on his or her opponent.
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Old 07-07-04, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by "slvoid"
All club rides shall end the sprint of death, reaching speeds up to 60 mph. At the finish line, the top 3 racers will then get off their bikes and battle it out in the ring of fire until only two remain at which point the 1 on 1 no holds barred death match shall proceed with the winner being the first one to successfully perform the KimJong Death Grip on his or her opponent.


...um... can I get trackside tickets for that?

(thanks for the morning pick-me-up laugh, slvoid!)
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