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Group Rides with the Big Boys

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Group Rides with the Big Boys

Old 09-11-18, 10:26 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Dumb and misses the point of a group ride.
Or, maybe you are dumb and miss the point of their group ride? (which may be different than the point of your group ride)
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Old 09-11-18, 10:29 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post

Sorry, I guess I read it differently. The first sentence in the OP stated ‘this is a thread about athletic performance’
Also went on to reference measuring one’s self.
Sounds like competition and to me the truest form of competition is racing.
("A-Group" aggressive fast) group rides are to racing as track days are to races.

Would you really show up at a race having never done any track days to familiarize yourself with the dynamic of the track and other driver/riders?

Last edited by nycphotography; 09-11-18 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:00 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
(A group aggressive fast) group rides are to racing as track days are to races.

Would you really show up at a race having never done any track days to familiarize yourself with the dynamic of the track and other driver/riders?
Good point and I would not. But I am merely commenting on OP which to me clearly reads as if the group ride(big boys)is the hardcore test.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:01 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
Not necessarily dumb - just depends on the type of group ride, e.g. club ride, open ride, hang-or-drop, no-drop, etc. There are a few large, open, hang-or-drop rides in Atlanta that I do occassionaly - (Tucker, Northlake, Pizza). These are 24++ rides with no regroup points. But, that's the sort of the point. They're not supposed to be easy. They are closer to a race format - no regroup points, no stops for mechanicals, no stops for crashes - unless it's really bad (and close enough to the front to be noticed). But, our club rides are the exact opposite - regroup points, all-stop for mechanicals, crashes, etc.

Group rides come in many flavors.
Nah, I disagree.

It's a group RIDE. It's not a race. Races drop people and leave them for dead. That's the fun/point of a race. Rides can have lots of race-like attributes, but leaving people for dead (especially mechanicals or crashes? WTF?) is absurd.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:04 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
Or, maybe you are dumb and miss the point of their group ride? (which may be different than the point of your group ride)
No. I'm pretty much a genius. And the fastest.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:09 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post

Good point and I would not. But I am merely commenting on OP which to me clearly reads as if the group ride(big boys)is the hardcore test.
It is not "the" hardcode test. It may however be "a" hardcore test.... one of many.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:11 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Nah, I disagree.

It's a group RIDE. It's not a race. Races drop people and leave them for dead. That's the fun/point of a race.
And, on some rides - that's exactly how it works. Today for example, our daily club ride - 12 guys out, one guy flatted, we all stopped, he swapped tubes and we rolled. But, that doesn't work with 75 riders. It's impossible. I mean, I guess with support vehicles, radios, etc., the front group could be informed of a flat 50 riders back and bring the group to a stop. Not sure how the safe that'd be.

Crashes are different. If there's a crash near the middle or front, the group will stop. If it's toward the back, the front may not know. And really, what does it matter? If a handful of guys stop, that's all that's needed - it doesn't take 74 riders to call 911 or call for a ride.

A hang-or-drop ride isn't some Thunderdome event. If someone is hurt, they're not getting left. I've NEVER heard of that happening at any of these big, open rides. In every one of these fast rides, there are several groups off the back. Riders who pop or have a mechanical regroup and ride in together. These little groups DO stop to help those with mechanicals.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:12 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
("A-Group" aggressive fast) group rides are to racing as track days are to races.

Would you really show up at a race having never done any track days to familiarize yourself with the dynamic of the track and other driver/riders?
Track days are learning experiences.

The only thing you'll learn showing up at an aggressive race ride without any experience is how quickly you can get dropped. Not particularly useful for most. Getting used to some group rides you can actually hang with and developing the fitness and skill you need to hang in a faster ride would be of help.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:14 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
And, on some rides - that's exactly how it works. Today for example, our daily club ride - 12 guys out, one guy flatted, we all stopped, he swapped tubes and we rolled. But, that doesn't work with 75 riders. It's impossible.
Agreed. I wouldn't do a group ride that large. That's an entirely different beast altogether and one I don't particularly think should occur on open roads.
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Old 09-11-18, 11:48 AM
  #35  
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Elsewhere, someone was preaching about how important it is to train solo if one is serious about racing, since we each have our "specialties" to develop, and group rides aren't geared for that.
I get that, but at the same time, I do find that when riding with spirited friends, there is a lot of mutual encouragement, both explicit and implicit. I tend to be lazy when I ride by myself. If some don't think that's serious enough to be called training or athletic, fine. But my friends and I, though we may not wind up on the podium, don't finish last either, and some do quite well in bona fide races and sportives. Someone has to be pack fodder.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:31 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
The only thing you'll learn showing up at an aggressive race ride without any experience is how quickly you can get dropped. Not particularly useful for most. Getting used to some group rides you can actually hang with and developing the fitness and skill you need to hang in a faster ride would be of help.
wut? What kind of idiotic straw man are you creating to validate yourself here? "aggressive race ride" "without any experience"?

You may be idiotic to enough to do that, but everyone else "without any experience" is going to start with the C or B group.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:44 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
wut? What kind of idiotic straw man are you creating to validate yourself here? "aggressive race ride" "without any experience"?

You may be idiotic to enough to do that, but everyone else "without any experience" is going to start with the C or B group.
Pretty sure he was not advocating one do that... seemed he was suggesting it was a bad idea.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:48 PM
  #38  
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IME, fast group rides are generally 'drop'-

There may be a regroup or three, but you either keep up or you don't

& there's no expectation that the group will wait, except maybe someone will hang back for a mechanical.

The routes are generally well known (possibly to the point of boredom as pointed out),

at least on one's home turf.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:55 PM
  #39  
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A balance of both group and solo work is needed to develop into a good rider. Solo work allows you to work on aspects of cycling that need improvements in a very focused manner. Group rides help develop those apspects of riding that can only be developed around other riders. Most the time, if a rider shows up to a ride way over their head, the group lets them know in very short order.
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Old 09-11-18, 01:09 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
wut? What kind of idiotic straw man are you creating to validate yourself here? "aggressive race ride" "without any experience"?

You may be idiotic to enough to do that, but everyone else "without any experience" is going to start with the C or B group.
*raises hand*

When I first got a "real" road bike I had been going on the Saturday River Ride for a couple months, pretty much getting dropped every week. But hanging on a little longer each week, so I was definitely getting stronger and fitter. And then one Saturday I made it the whole ride with the main group and I felt like I'd won a stage of the TdF.

Later that summer I was talking with a guy at my office who used to race and we were talking about local rides. I mentioned that I did the River Ride most Saturdays and he said "Oh, do you do the A ride or the B ride?"

"What? There's just the River Ride, I thought. It leaves from City Bike Works at 10."

He said, "Yeah, that's the A ride. The B ride leaves at 9:45, goes on a different route. Mostly older guys, some women, juniors. It's a bit easier than the 10 o'clock ride."

D'oh!
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Old 09-11-18, 01:20 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
This is a chase the motor drill. The rider is a women. I have done this drill many times. No matter how hard I pedal, the motor is always just ahead. It produces peak wattages / effort over the number of efforts done in a session. Definitely a big dog drill.
Love those videos, thanks. That's some very cool riding. I've had the chase-the-motor experiences on group rides, where the peloton purposely would hang about 100' off my front wheel, just to see what I could do about it if anything. Or in strung-out groups, a rider will just not let themselves get caught and thus acquire a competitive disadvantage in the form of a draftee. Great fun., sort of, but also painful 80 miles into a century. Another group peloton tactic to reorient those who think they are hot stuff and go off the front solo is to simply hang 100' behind them and never close until the off-the-front rider intentionally slows way down. That's mean but also a bit funny.

I have been on and led fast group rides where the objective was to see how small one could make the returning group. We had one ride where only the ride leader (not me) came in. We always hoped that their eaten-out torsos would be found in the spring. That's the true end point of drop rides. Riders would show up for more of that again the next Sunday. High point of the week. Not much to do on a rainy Sunday in Redmond. Gotta have a sense of humor and beer after. We have invariably ridden out of brew-pub parking lots. Must haves: free parking and beer in close walking distance. Pain solvent.
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Old 09-11-18, 01:23 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
A balance of both group and solo work is needed to develop into a good rider. Solo work allows you to work on aspects of cycling that need improvements in a very focused manner. Group rides help develop those apspects of riding that can only be developed around other riders. Most the time, if a rider shows up to a ride way over their head, the group lets them know in very short order.
Exactly. The real purpose of solo riding to to get fit for the group one wants to ride with. A group ride will show one very quickly what one needs to work on.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
wut? What kind of idiotic straw man are you creating to validate yourself here? "aggressive race ride" "without any experience"?

You may be idiotic to enough to do that, but everyone else "without any experience" is going to start with the C or B group.
You might want to channel some of that aggression into your reading comprehension, ace.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:09 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
Elsewhere, someone was preaching about how important it is to train solo if one is serious about racing, since we each have our "specialties" to develop, and group rides aren't geared for that.
I get that, but at the same time, I do find that when riding with spirited friends, there is a lot of mutual encouragement, both explicit and implicit. I tend to be lazy when I ride by myself. If some don't think that's serious enough to be called training or athletic, fine. But my friends and I, though we may not wind up on the podium, don't finish last either, and some do quite well in bona fide races and sportives. Someone has to be pack fodder.
I've said that.

Fitness wise, training solo is vital for most people to maximize their abilities (some people have the talent to be brilliant by simply rolling their bike out the front door, 99.9% do not).

Racing, thankfully, is not solely about fitness.

Being able to ride efficiently and effectively in a group is probably THE most important aspect of racing. Once you're able to do that, however, you've got to work on the engine.

Like I said before, one of the first things that get the axe when people start structured training is excessive group rides (note the excessive part, especially for newer riders/racers). That's because you're at the whim of the group and can waste inordinate amounts of time coasting and the like when structured time may reap more rewards.

Someone has to be pack fodder, and everyone typically is at some point or another. Many people would rather not always be pack fodder, however.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:16 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
^ Some people are just antisocial and/or inept and just hate everyone. As long as they aren't fermenting bottles of explosive rage, the world is better off for everyone when they just keep to themselves.
So you put an arrow pointing to my post in which I advocate for group rides to stay together, and then make a comment about being antisocial and hating everyone?

Are you just confused about what you're reading, or are you just really craving my attention?

If you want some tips on how to be a better rider or how to race or something, you can just ask. As of now, your name-calling and trolling is reminiscent of a prepubescent boy trying to get his crush's attention by pulling hair and throwing dirt. I'm flattered and all, but it's not super effective.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:28 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
It's a group RIDE. It's not a race. Races drop people and leave them for dead. That's the fun/point of a race. Rides can have lots of race-like attributes, but leaving people for dead (especially mechanicals or crashes? WTF?) is absurd.
Not having a regroup point isn't the same as ignoring a crash. Fast rides stay fast by dropping slow people. Riders in those groups build stamina by skipping rest stops.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Not having a regroup point isn't the same as ignoring a crash. Fast rides stay fast by dropping slow people. Riders in those groups build stamina by skipping rest stops.
That's true.

Fast rides can still be fast and regroup. I've done plenty

But building stamina? Is that like something people did in the 90s or something?
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Old 09-11-18, 03:07 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
That's true.

Fast rides can still be fast and regroup. I've done plenty

But building stamina? Is that like something people did in the 90s or something?
Is that supposed to be a joke? People who ride long distances build stamina. They do that by not stopping to rest (or regroup).
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Old 09-11-18, 03:12 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I've said that.

Fitness wise, training solo is vital for most people to maximize their abilities (some people have the talent to be brilliant by simply rolling their bike out the front door, 99.9% do not).

Racing, thankfully, is not solely about fitness.

Being able to ride efficiently and effectively in a group is probably THE most important aspect of racing. Once you're able to do that, however, you've got to work on the engine.

Like I said before, one of the first things that get the axe when people start structured training is excessive group rides (note the excessive part, especially for newer riders/racers). That's because you're at the whim of the group and can waste inordinate amounts of time coasting and the like when structured time may reap more rewards.

Someone has to be pack fodder, and everyone typically is at some point or another. Many people would rather not always be pack fodder, however.
The time wasting thing depends on the ride leader. Some are really control freaks and won't let anyone ride in front of them, etc., or for some it's just the club rules to do that. Good group rides allow group play, so if the ride isn't shaping up the way you wish it would, just go off the front. With any luck at all, you'll take some folks with you and then things get a lot more interesting. But I agree about the excessive part. One/week is plenty. I've also done 1 Saturday endurance pace and then a full pace ride on Sunday. That's a more fun Saturday than just soaking up the miles solo IMO. Hard to find just the right conbo for that, though, so I usually take Saturday off and then cremate myself on Sunday, then mix of endurance, intervals, drills, until next weekend. The problem with group rides, like everyone's saying, is that I can't do very much of the stuff I need to get done midweek in a group ride environment. Not to say one can't be inventive. I've done one-legged pedaling drills on hills with slower riders, which is good. Or put it in the big ring and just pedal 50 until your legs give out. That works.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:41 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Is that supposed to be a joke? People who ride long distances build stamina. They do that by not stopping to rest (or regroup).
It's a joke on a silly statement.

Regrouping for 2-3 minutes at an intersection has zero effect on "stamina".

You realize that any time you're coasting you're "resting", right? 5 x 3 minute stops is a helluva lot less rest than 45 minutes of z1/coasting.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 09-11-18 at 03:45 PM.
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