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Group Ride Etiquette?

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Group Ride Etiquette?

Old 12-30-17, 08:32 AM
  #51  
Samuel D
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Group rides are all about drafting, and staying in that vital draft requires large surges in power.

The farther back you are, the greater the draft benefit but the greater the surges too. So aerobically weak riders will need to compensate with good short-duration power. Fortunately, many can do that naturally and the rest can learn, although probably not on Zwift; see below.

Like anyone who rides near their limit, I sometimes get dropped, but not as Cykilist2’s described. Usually I’m there until one surge is beyond me and then I’m dropped hard. There’s no hanging on in open country and wondering about pacing. I’m done!

It sounds to me like Cykilist2 is strong but doesn’t draft efficiently. That can be corrected.

Zwift is unlike real riding for a load of reasons. I think it encourages bad habits such as wrongly favouring power over aero, not realising the critical importance of drafting, not drafting properly, and not training for the surges of riding in the real world of traffic, hills, and fun even on solo rides.

Not to mention that half the point and pleasure of cycling is balancing on two wheels in a range of conditions, none of which are encountered on Zwift.
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Old 12-30-17, 10:24 AM
  #52  
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Group ride procedure:

1. Endure the first few scary warm up miles with the noobs who can't ride straight or level weaving all over the road white knuckling their handlebars.
2. Breath a sigh of relief as the hilly road comes in sight. Move to front of group and drop all the dentists and women.
3. Enjoy the rest of the day with the dozen guys who know how to handle a bike.

e-bikes are going to screw this up though, I just know it!
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Old 12-30-17, 11:51 AM
  #53  
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Not too long ago, a group passed me and I pushed it to hang on and keep up after asking if they minded. It was an incredible experience. I think everyone but the strong leader was at the same threshold I was.
The speed was consistent and way faster than my solo rides, and it kept me honest.

I wish I was more direct and outgoing, I would have asked them if they were interested in adding to their crew. Maybe next time.
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Old 12-30-17, 02:14 PM
  #54  
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My comment to new group riders was, "On the short hills, hang on until the blood starts from your eyeballs. It'll be worth it."
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Old 12-30-17, 04:36 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
Group ride procedure:

1. Endure the first few scary warm up miles with the noobs who can't ride straight or level weaving all over the road white knuckling their handlebars.
2. Breath a sigh of relief as the hilly road comes in sight. Move to front of group and drop all the dentists and women.
3. Enjoy the rest of the day with the dozen guys who know how to handle a bike.

e-bikes are going to screw this up though, I just know it!
Ahem... I'm pretty sure the highlighted part of the quote was not meant literally, and probably a bit of a joke. It's fine, I get it.

To relate my experience, I ride with a few women who can ride me off of their individual or collective wheels any time they want to. And I'm no slouch. I'm among the strongest locals in my age group (55+). And in my age group there is a local judge, and also a prosecutor who can best me at every aspect of the game. We all regularly ride with guys (& gals) in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and early 50s, some of whom have state titles, and there are dozens of podiums among them. If it's an endurance ride I can hang. If it's tempo ride with a lot of climbing, I'm probably getting dropped. And that's ok.

Now, back to your regular programming. I'm enjoying the thread!
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Old 12-30-17, 04:42 PM
  #56  
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In every group ride I’ve been on there are a handful of riders who may be a bit older or don’t look to be as fit as the young studs, but they never get dropped. They know when and where to hide and when and where to burn a match. They know how to read the wind, the road, and the rest of the group.

Figure out who those riders are and stay on their wheels.
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Old 12-30-17, 05:55 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by on the path View Post
Ahem... I'm pretty sure the highlighted part of the quote was not meant literally, and probably a bit of a joke. It's fine, I get it.

To relate my experience, I ride with a few women who can ride me off of their individual or collective wheels any time they want to. And I'm no slouch. I'm among the strongest locals in my age group (55+). And in my age group there is a local judge, and also a prosecutor who can best me at every aspect of the game. We all regularly ride with guys (& gals) in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and early 50s, some of whom have state titles, and there are dozens of podiums among them. If it's an endurance ride I can hang. If it's tempo ride with a lot of climbing, I'm probably getting dropped. And that's ok.

Now, back to your regular programming. I'm enjoying the thread!
You should contact the UCI and complain about the sex segregation (basically institutionalized sexism) since women are competitive with strong male athletes.
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Old 12-30-17, 06:26 PM
  #58  
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Higher ranked female racers can race down. I’ve been in a few Cat 3 races with P12 women.
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Old 12-30-17, 10:39 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by tmh657 View Post
This is pretty simple and works for me. I'm old but ride fast for old so I used to be in the middle group. Now I lead the faster group until I forget where we are going. The route slip has small writing and it's hard to read for old people.
I could have written that.

For reading the cue sheet ... I wear bifocal cycling glasses. Helps me read the cue sheet, the Garmin, and the menu at the coffee shop after the ride
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Old 12-31-17, 09:21 AM
  #60  
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A few pointers. On easy rises in the road where you start to feel the burn reach over to the guy next to you, slightly in front. Grab his seat rail and ease off on your pedals. It will get you a few pedal strokes before he turns to see what the heck is wrong with his bike. Of course release from the saddle before he turns.

If your falling off the back of the pack make note of the last rider. When he rides by reach out to him and ask, "hand sling bra"? If he is a bit stronger rider than you he may pull you back into the group.

Learn to track stand at traffic lights by reaching down to your front wheel and rocking it back and forth to balance. This will get the group talking, and a slower start up when the light changes giving you a few minutes of needed recovery time.

Find the biggest dude in the group. Make your self as small as possible and get as close to his wheel as possible. Stay there.
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Old 12-31-17, 10:22 AM
  #61  
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Group rides

Seek out “no drop rides”. That doesn’t mean you won’t get dropped but there will be regroups and the group will wait. They’ll also wait if you flat.
Group rides will help you build speed and stamina because you don’t choose when to go at what speed. The group will surge and relax and you will need to respond. It will take a few group rides before you acclimate but it will round you out as a rider and you will get stronger. 6Fifteen I’m Danville has Sunday no drop rides with groups from A-C that vary in both speed and miles. Find the right group and it will be more fun.


Originally Posted by Cykilist2 View Post
I'm curious... I don't ride in many of them... Either, they're too slow or too fast, so I do mostly solo efforts.

I like to have good efforts in every ride that I do. Just pedaling at a leisurely pace doesn't do a lot for me as I want some true exercise, whenever I get on the saddle.

I did show up for an LBS group ride today.. Intermediate/Advanced. It didn't take long for the pace to reach 20+ I kept with them for about 5 miles, before their peloton took off, leaving me in the dust. I was a bit perturbed. After that take off, I didn't really give up.... I kept my pace of 22 or so (on the flats... put the HR up there, that's for sure, because I'm not used to that kind of pace), but their pace was even faster than that. I thought to myself, "if I try to hang with this crazy pace, I'll blow up very fast", so I let it go. As I let it go, I just decided to make it a solo ride, deciding not to trace their route, or wait at their regroups, as I blew by one of their "regroups".


I did notice a few things, riding with riders that are completely out of my league:
1) I rode faster, though, I couldn't keep that pace. I stopped chasing after a while.
2) My cadence ticked up... so did my heart rate
3) Had a bunch of PR's on that route, even though, I was doing much of it solo.
4) I need to work on my speed... It's lacking. I love hill climbing, but my "flat work" has a lot to be desired.

I'm sure that I would've been even faster if I would've been able to get access to some of that draft....

I read a few posts elsewhere that said, "go back and keep riding with them". That seemed to be the general consensus, though, during the ride, I thought, "why bother, I may as well ride solo, since that's what I'm doing anyway"

What has been your experience with group rides, and what goes through your mind if you're dropped, or see someone else get dropped? How do you pace yourself if you start to see the rear wheel of the peloton/paceline, gap longer and longer from you as the ride goes on?

Appreciate all feedback.
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Old 12-31-17, 10:52 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
[*]I've tried riding with people my age, but that was no fun at all, just a bunch of old farts complaining about their meds[/LIST].
Haha. I ride with guys and gals in their 60s, 70s and 80s who do talk about their aches and pains, but can still average 15 -19 mph over 25 miles and they are great fun to be with. I'm a 77 year-old old fart with a few aches and pains, and asthma, who can still manage close to 17 mph av. on a 23 mile flat course. Perhaps you should choose subjects to discuss and see if it weans them away from meds! Happy New Year or is it Year's? Always wondered why "Year's," Year's what?
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Old 12-31-17, 11:55 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Knowing when to go hard is important. It takes a few rides with the group to find the rhythm and learn where the hard and easy parts are.
This is really important. I'm not sure what type of ride you're looking to join, but all rides have a tempo, and the first time you join a group, you have no idea if the hell-for-leather pace that feels completely unsustainable will last for 20 seconds, 2mins, 10mins or the whole ride. Riding with the group forces you to question your internal monologue that you can't go harder or maintain the pace for longer. All group rides have fast and slow patches and that brief burst of effort required to stay through the sprint or the local hill climb will have been worth it and seem not half as hard when you know it's coming next time around, especially when you learn more about when to push hard and when to conserve, when it's worth going into the red to close the gap/hang on to a wheel. Put me in the "keep going back" camp.
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Old 12-31-17, 04:28 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
Happy New Year or is it Year's? Always wondered why "Year's," Year's what?
Eve
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Old 12-31-17, 05:06 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by RShantz View Post
Completely disagree with the highlighted bit. In theory, your comment may be accurate, but in practice the crazy hard group ride does the most for me. Maybe I'm just mentally weak when riding solo or ultra competitive in a group, but riding in the fastest group in town certainly has made me a better rider - much more so than individual structured workouts ever did.


On our local fast rides, almost all of the current folks (myself included) who ride with us now got dropped the first several times they came out. They just kept coming out and hanging on longer and longer. I've never seen someone get dropped, hit the trainer or structured solo rides & come back in two months and hang on - I've only seen a couple try this approach.


I think the surges in a hard/competitive group ride are just really, really hard to train for without actually experiencing it over and over again.


From a common sense perspective: If you want to be able to hang on in fast group rides - do fast group rides. If you want to put out really high watts for a specific duration do intervals. I know this completely over-simplifies things, but the general thought makes sense to me.
^ This.

Mostly because the super hard efforts required to not get dropped are the efforts that you will never do under any other circumstances.

Even the long Z2 rides tend to have benefits when done with the team... as long as the team isn't hammering every ride in January / February.
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Old 12-31-17, 05:08 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I say keep going back. Next week your goal is to hang on a little longer. Then the next week a little longer than that. Eventually you’ll finish the whole ride with the main group.

Riding with faster riders is a proven and time honored way to get faster. No powermeter required. Just a bike and a dose of HTFU.
An it's about 60/40 fitness/smarts.

You have to get stronger. You have to build the endurance base. But you also have to learn to ride smart.

First rule of bike racing (or fast group riding)... you only ever do two things: save your energy, or work for a reason.

If you aren't actively saving your energy, and you can't explain exactly why, strategically, you are working, then you are doing it wrong.
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Old 12-31-17, 05:13 PM
  #67  
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Eve of a new year? Nah ... that makes sense. Cannot be.

My limited group ride experience is that fast groups and my swollen ego/fear of shame have made me find levels of performance WAY beyond anything I had ever imagined based on solo efforts. I means Way beyond----output and sustained output that was actually shocking after the ride---and Thoroughly Sucked during the ride.

The whole ride is "This Hurts! I cannot do this! I have to quit Now!" while my pride says "They will see how weak you are and eat you. Prop up your fake image of potency. Work!"

Miserable experiences.

However, I gained fitness at a pace I cannot duplicate in any other way. After a couple months of that I could at least hang with the fast group--- and that sucked even worse.

I have lost all that, and don't really want to do what it would take to get it back ... but if you want to be able to ride really fast, you need to show up every time those guys ride and turn yourself inside out (I didn't realize how apt that phrase was until I tried to do it) and hang for as long as you can.

Eventually you will find that you can match the riders you couldn't catch, and won't get dropped by the whole ride, just the fastest groups ... and if you have sufficient pain tolerance, eventually you will be in the fast group. It will suck, and every ride will be an exercise in tolerating unpleasant feelings, but you can do it.

The question is, how fast do you want to go? I would be okay being fast enough to hang with the slow or middle guys without dying every ride. Some folks have the competitive drive to endure more pain than everyone else just to be first, or among the first. My goal would be to be able to hang in the middle with only moderate pain.

On today's ride (the club recovery ride .... I can barely hang onto the back when these guys are sitting up, talking on their phones, and chatting about their jobs and such---not exaggerated for comic effect, these men and women are faster than I when I am pushing and they aren't even pedaling) I spent some energy at one point and really worked to catch the front group. I didn't kill myself, but i worked hard enough that afterwards my whole torso hurt from the effort I made to inhale enough air to not die ..... but I caught them---much to their amusement, as I came wobbling up dying and they were swapping jokes and coasting ....

That was enough for me. I spent the rest of the ride just keeping up with the back group. Great day to ride, great ride.

Are you like that? Or are you the guy who wants to contest the stop-sign sprints at the front of the A ride? Decide where on that spectrum you fall and go for it.

Go back every week, watch what others do, eat and hydrate well before hand and keep your energy up ... and when they drop you enjoy the rest of the ride. One day they won't be able to drop you.

Last edited by Maelochs; 12-31-17 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 12-31-17, 05:44 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
First rule of bike racing (or fast group riding)... you only ever do two things: save your energy, or work for a reason.

If you aren't actively saving your energy, and you can't explain exactly why, strategically, you are working, then you are doing it wrong.

I love you man.
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Old 12-31-17, 08:20 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by esskay1000 View Post
So whether or not you go back and ride with them depends on what your goals are. If you have a goal to get faster, I would suggest that you do go back and ride with them. It's easier to get faster if you have fast guys and gals to chase sometimes, instead of always trying to do that on your own. If you really don't have a goal of getting faster, then maybe you should just keep riding on your own cuz it sounds like you are not too jazzed about group rides.

Actually, when I came home that night, I was a bit put-off by it, but after doing a little reading (and asking questions in above forum, as I have joined in on few group rides, previously) about these type of rides where one gets dropped, it builds character. So, yes, I do have an interest in getting faster, using my "matches" more efficiently, etc. So, I will return, eventually, though not this coming week (out of town)
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Old 12-31-17, 08:27 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Those are two very different scenarios.

My response to either also depends on my "relationship" to the ride: Am I the leader? Am I one of the regulars, intimately familiar with the leader(s)? Have I ever met any of these people before in my life?

If I'm riding with friends or semi-familiar associates, I tend to be far more altruistic than if I'm riding with strangers. I will usually show an apparently all-too-rare blend of mercy and common sense to help a struggling rider or someone who's having a bad enough day that they're getting shelled when they shouldn't be. I tend to prefer group rides that emphasize cooperation over competition, so if I, through my riding, can offset some of the unnecessary surging and inconsistencies, I will do so, because I know that will help everyone in the group regardless of whether they're getting dropped, or just might be eventually.

If it's me who's getting dropped, I'll suck wheels like a remora until it's clear I'm having a bad day or totally out of my league, and then I'll let them go, chalk it up to experience, and give it another shot after the re-group...or after a week's rest/recovery.
This was my first time with this group. It turns out that, after riding with a person who's coach rides in this group, that they had hammered, from start to finish, even some of them getting PR's during the ride. So, when 1%ers are hammering, you know newcomers who have no clue on what they are getting into, are going to get dropped. But, as in your example, when you shot for the regroup, I just kept going, not looking back.
I think in that case, I'd probably help the struggler, if I know they are, as one could get caught up in the logistics of the group hammer.
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Old 12-31-17, 08:30 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Go back and keep riding with them.
I plan to.
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Old 12-31-17, 08:35 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Add to your list, that even in the situation you were in, a solo rider will often finish before a group ride over the same course, even when moving a slightly slower average mph. Regroups after hills, and separation due to traffic lights, snack/bathroom breaks, etc. So take heart that your overall average mph (total elapsed time) may have been better than the group that originally left you.
Actually, after I became solo, I kept up the pace, and decided to make some stops, to take some pictures along the way. The averages of the ride was 18.5 to 20. Mine was 18. I was happy that I didn't completely give up and go back to my "usual solo speed" A few others eventually got dropped as well.
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Old 12-31-17, 08:40 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
I'd keep going back if I were you.


Unless you're exceedingly disciplined in including various high-heartrate sprints and other things while riding solo, it will be difficult for you to match the training result of doing whatever it takes to ride and hang with a fast group.
Seth, there's no way in heck that I would've ridden this level, solo. I know myself. I get a rise of trying to match faster riders. In one group (I wasn't part of it), They whizzed by me, and I caught a few of them on the hills.
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Old 12-31-17, 08:49 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Eve
Eh?
And who says “Happy New Year’s Eve?”
Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-18, 12:06 PM
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kbarch
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Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
Eh?
And who says “Happy New Year’s Eve?”
The driver who picked me up from the airport Friday morning, actually.
Sorry - we were talking about group ride etiquette, weren't we? OK: limit your chitchat.
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