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Tree Trunk 09-20-04 01:05 PM

Need suggestions for starting up a club
 
My church (~3000 people) has just issued a special interest guide called "IN2IT" and I am listed as the contact for road cycling. There is a lot of interest and I am hoping this opportunity will develop into a club. I have had two group road rides already with 12 people for the first ride and 4 for the second. Both rides we did a 25 mile loop at a moderate pace (16-17 mph), then finished with another 40+ miles at a fast pace (total avg 19.8 mph after a 16.5 mph pace for the first 25 miles for the first week's ride).

I am fairly new to group riding (~two years) although I have been riding for eleven years. As "leader" of the group and "club" I am feeling a little intimidated. It's not difficult for me to come up with routes, ride at the front, make sure people are being left behind, or to let people know about rides. I'm a little afraid the rides we have had so far are not meeting the needs of the faster riders. Any suggestions or advice about starting up a club, group ride(s), etc...? Any words of encouragement are welcome!

Dusk 09-20-04 02:03 PM


Originally Posted by Tree Trunk
I have had two group road rides already with 12 people for the first ride and 4 for the second. Both rides we did a 25 mile loop at a moderate pace (16-17 mph), then finished with another 40+ miles at a fast pace (total avg 19.8 mph after a 16.5 mph pace for the first 25 miles for the first
week's ride)

Might just be me but an avg. of 19.8 for a church group seems too high. Going from 12 to 4 people might be a good measure. I ride at 18-22 mph but my average is about 16 mph due to traffic.

To build club or any group you need get the number of members up. You might think about having a few ride leaders and having a Slow, Moderate and Higher speed leaders.

Cheers

Chris L 09-20-04 09:34 PM

As Dusk said, you probably need a few ride leaders, and perhaps also a variety of rides. It's nigh on impossible for one person on one ride to fulfill the needs of just about every class of rider there is. Not to mention the preferences of other riders in regard to hills and the like. Maybe the best idea could be to sound out some of the riders you've had so far, and ask them if they'd like to assist by leading some rides themselves?

Tree Trunk 09-22-04 11:35 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, I have already seen that I am not going to be able to meet all riders' needs. My goal is to build the group right now, then find people to serve as group leaders for skill/speed specific rides. One woman has already volunteered to lead a group for slow to moderate speed.

It has been enjoyable to hear people talk about the rides we have already had. That's a good thing but may also serve to intimidate some people. The first ride we had was a bit fast, but only after we had done a slow warm up. A lot of the riders were talking about that. We'll see what happens from here.

Any advice about what to do during the winter months with the group? That's another one of my challenges -- we're starting this group at the back end of the Chicago riding season.

collegeskier 09-22-04 01:04 PM

Winter is tough. To keep the leaders and die-hards together you can keep riding, but you can also get some cycling movies (either races or mountain biking) and watch them as a group and just sort of have a time to dream of spring riding.

Flaneur 09-23-04 06:11 PM

Run a different ride for the fittest riders.

.....try riding at the back- and in the middle- with the main group. Being a leader is nothing to do with route finding or being faster than the rest of the group. You gotta nurture 'em if you want to keep 'em riding......... they also need skills advice, which you can't give them from the front.


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