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Group ride pacing

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Group ride pacing

Old 08-06-20, 08:12 PM
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mcours2006
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Group ride pacing

Just wanted to get some opinions here about organizing group rides.

So I'm part of a large group of riders, but we're not an official club. We organize rides on FB and group chat. The usual protocol is that someone will post a ride a day or two before. It's not necessarily the same person. So, let's say that someone posts a ride for an easy-paced recovery ride. During the ride the speed creeps up to where it's no longer easy. What do you do? Do you start yelling at folks? Do you, as the person who organized it, get to the front and slow things right down? We usually say, for example, easy pace xx kph average.

Some in the group are perfectly happy going at the higher pace. Others who signed up expecting an easy-paced ride are not so happy.

What say you?
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Old 08-06-20, 08:15 PM
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Bmach
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The leader should slow things down it is their ride. If others want to go faster they should not have joined the ride.
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Old 08-06-20, 08:55 PM
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Maintain the stated pace. If there are guys who want to go faster, let them go. I could never understand why riders chase guys who role off the front on an organized ride with a slower pace. As long as you, the ride leader maintain the posted pace, those who were there for that will stay with you.
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Old 08-06-20, 09:02 PM
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Split the group.
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Old 08-06-20, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Maintain the stated pace. If there are guys who want to go faster, let them go. I could never understand why riders chase guys who role off the front on an organized ride with a slower pace. As long as you, the ride leader maintain the posted pace, those who were there for that will stay with you.
Yeah, it really is this simple.
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Old 08-07-20, 05:07 AM
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Exactly that. Poor form for someone to show up to an easy ride and accelerate because they wanted a harder ride, but no reason to let them ruin it for everyone.
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Old 08-07-20, 05:14 AM
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It’s called pirating a ride and it happens.

Best strategy is let him/them go.
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Old 08-07-20, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Maintain the stated pace. If there are guys who want to go faster, let them go. I could never understand why riders chase guys who role off the front on an organized ride with a slower pace. As long as you, the ride leader maintain the posted pace, those who were there for that will stay with you.
And then smirk and wave when you ride by someone who went off the front and then developed a mechanical.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:27 AM
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My biggest worry is that I'd eventually be the last guy left in the slower group.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
My biggest worry is that I'd eventually be the last guy left in the slower group.
"Never Apologize or Make Excuses" is my motto, I am an older rider who is not naturally athletic or competitive , with bad knees and ankles to boot. If someone rides with me that is great, if they all vanish in the distance, that is okay too, I can set my own pace and enjoy the ride. I get there when I get there . Ironically on the few occasions when I am out in front, I either slow my pace or loop around and go back to the stragglers Just think about what you are doing versus the person watching television while eating Doritos.
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Old 08-07-20, 08:13 AM
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Also posing a question.

Is pacing an issue in other group "travelling" activities such as running, canoeing, kayaking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing etc.? Is it human nature for the fast people to break out ahead and for the slow ones to be left behind? just wondering
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Old 08-07-20, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by John Foster View Post
Also posing a question.

Is pacing an issue in other group "travelling" activities such as running, canoeing, kayaking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing etc.? Is it human nature for the fast people to break out ahead and for the slow ones to be left behind? just wondering
I dunno. I do know that back in the 70s my brother and I were both runners, and every time we'd try to run together, we had to consciously remember to slow down, because entirely without meaning to we both kept upping the pace.
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Old 08-07-20, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
............................... The usual protocol is that someone will post a ride a day or two before.......................What say you?
The person who "posted" the ride leads the ride. If the leader wants to give others a chance to "pull" just let it be known what the pace is to be held at and how long on the front. If others wish to dart out, let them go. If someone is on the front too long or slows down or speeds up, YELL at them to correct the situation.

p.s. -- we have a Tuesday AM "A" ride. It was announced before we headed out that it was an "A" ride at 20mph average for a 40+ no stop ride. As the season progressed and EVERYBODY got stronger the average pace increased to where we would finish at 22mph to 24mph average. Had new people join in and we would tell them that the ride should be faster than the announced 20mph average. They all typically figured that it's SW FL, so flat and no hills, soooo easy to stay with the group and such it will be NO PROBLEM. After some complaints the announcement became Fast group A+ head out now.

Last edited by OldTryGuy; 08-07-20 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:11 AM
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Thanks for all the response.

The group does have a few fast guys. Their ride is not as popular as it was the beginning of the season. Guys who are consistent and diligent about training continued to get stronger, so this particularly semi-weekly ride was initially advertised as a "no-drop steady pace" ride became just "steady pace". Guys who weren't so diligent in their training would get dropped, and then fewer and fewer guys were showing up for it. But if that's what is advertised, then that's fine. You'd expect that if you couldn't keep the pace you'd be dropped.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Split the group.
We've done this as well. Last weekend's ride we had 15 riders come out, but the pace wasn't advertised, and there was a substantial disparity in the fitness level of the riders. It was darn impossible to keep the group together. Splitting up was the only logical thing to do. Trying to keep a single pace for the whole group would have pleased no one.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
It’s called pirating a ride and it happens.

Best strategy is let him/them go.
Pirating does happen, but letting him/them go is not as easy as it sounds, especially if I'm at the middle of the back, and whoever is behind the guy surging follows, and so on. You could have several riders just following the lead of the guy at the front. I think I need to just yell more.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by John Foster View Post
Also posing a question.

Is pacing an issue in other group "travelling" activities such as running, canoeing, kayaking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing etc.? Is it human nature for the fast people to break out ahead and for the slow ones to be left behind? just wondering
I don't know about "human nature", but it's definitely jackass nature. A good group run has the fastest people juuuuust barely dragging the others faster than they would otherwise. There are guys I gave up on running with because they'd drop me in the first two miles and leave me on my own, and if I'm running alone I might as well plan for it from the start. When I agree to run with someone, I do not drop them.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Split the group.
This. Do a faster group and a slower group.

This isn't rocket science folks.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
My biggest worry is that I'd eventually be the last guy left in the slower group.
This is actually a worry?
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Old 08-07-20, 09:36 AM
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I try to be the rider behind them in a paceline, and when they up the pace, I don't, and have no issue dropping them from the front.
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Old 08-07-20, 10:02 AM
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It works best if there are clear expectations before the ride. Example: A group: 21+; B group: 18-20; C and so on. This worked really well in my last locale as the leaders were held to account (and, more importantly, took responsibility) for enforcing it.
The group I used to ride with in my current locale are a mess because they never did this, so now I mostly ride solo.

Last edited by fried bake; 08-07-20 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 08-07-20, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
We've done this as well. Last weekend's ride we had 15 riders come out, but the pace wasn't advertised, and there was a substantial disparity in the fitness level of the riders. It was darn impossible to keep the group together. Splitting up was the only logical thing to do. Trying to keep a single pace for the whole group would have pleased no one.
The club I used to ride with had two big group rides, Saturday and Sunday. We'd roll together for the first 8 miles or so, but when we reached one stretch it was understood that the racers would take off and the recreational/century folks would not. And if you got dropped by the fast group, you could let the slower group catch up and you could join them. But we're talking a big group of about 30 or more riders total. The slower group was generally about 10 or so folks.
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Old 08-07-20, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This is actually a worry?
Nope, just some self-deprecating humor. A moot point since I'm usually riding solo.
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Old 08-07-20, 10:44 AM
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Ride the stated pace. If people want to ride off the front, let them go.
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Old 08-07-20, 11:04 AM
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A stated pace is fine as far as it goes. However, my experience is that this falls apart if the routes are hilly, and combined with whether or not the leader of the ride is a rotated role. You can for example say that it's a 20mph ride, but is that on flat ground? Relative differing abilities in rolling terrain and various climbs. What's the agreed upon pace for 2%, 5% or 8% gradients? How often will you want to stop or slow to regroup, etc? Hard to get away from these issues with groups made up of individuals who don't know each other at all.
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