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1st larger group ride today

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1st larger group ride today

Old 07-02-08, 12:03 PM
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zkgiant
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1st larger group ride today

I will be participating in my first group ride today. I have ridden in groups of 2-7 but this ride promises somewhere between 20 and 40 riders. It will be roughly 28 miles with moderate climbing. I would appreciate any advice you can offer in terms of etiquette. Also, any other thoughts about what other riders generally expect of a newbie and what I can expect from them would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-02-08, 12:06 PM
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Call out/point to all road hazards.
Call out slowing or stopping.
Don't spit or snot rocket anyone
Take your turn at the front... unless you simply can't keep the pace... some people would rather you drop off.
Be prepared with spare tubes/patches, levers, pumps
Bring enough water... incase you normally stop after each bottle... they may stop after two.
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Old 07-02-08, 12:11 PM
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PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Chit chat AFTER the ride!
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Old 07-02-08, 12:14 PM
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If this is your first time with a large group sit at the back and enjoy the draft and just observe what others are doing. Have fun.
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Old 07-02-08, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd
PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Chit chat AFTER the ride!
+1.

If people are chatting, they are not riding hard enough. Or they are pros.


And hold your line. No sudden lurches left or right.
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Old 07-02-08, 12:18 PM
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Engage the guads, crank it up to 400W and drope them all!!!
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Old 07-02-08, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by chevy42083
Call out/point to all road hazards.
correct.

Originally Posted by chevy42083
Call out slowing or stopping.
incorrect.

unless this is a Fred ride.

Originally Posted by chevy42083
Don't spit or snot rocket anyone
correct.

Originally Posted by chevy42083
Take your turn at the front...
incorrect.

it's the OP's first time on this ride. s/he should get a feel for the group and course first.

Originally Posted by chevy42083
unless you simply can't keep the pace... some people would rather you drop off.
incorrect.

just stay at the back.

Originally Posted by chevy42083
Be prepared with spare tubes/patches, levers, pumps
correct.

Originally Posted by chevy42083
Bring enough water... incase you normally stop after each bottle... they may stop after two.
unless they're ascending the Stelvio, i doubt they'll stop for water on a 28 mile ride.
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Old 07-02-08, 12:35 PM
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Great! This sounds like good advice from knowledgable folks.
Not sure if it matters, but I forgot to mention that this ride is sponsored by a local bike shop. I have been a patron of the shop for a while and the guys/gals working there have been encouraging me to try out the ride. I am very excited and nervous!

Last edited by zkgiant; 07-02-08 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-02-08, 01:10 PM
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Hang around at the back, get the feel of being in a big group, enjoy the draft. Oh, and although you probably know this, it bears repeating: Do not stare at the wheel in front of you!

And enjoy the ride!
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Old 07-02-08, 01:15 PM
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Read this first:

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/200479-we-re-going-yell-you.html

and have fun!
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Old 07-02-08, 01:32 PM
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No need to be nervous, just be observant and courteous. If someone tries to instruct you, give it a try.


Oh, and give random hand signals once in a while, just to look cool
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Old 07-02-08, 02:03 PM
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I believe they travel in a paceline for the final 5 miles or so. How should I handle this without taking a turn in front? Should I declerate a little to create a gap between me (back) and the rider in front of me (giving the person who is falling back from the front of the line a place to fall in)?
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Old 07-02-08, 02:20 PM
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My guess is that the last 5 miles back to the shop is going to be pretty mellow so you might find yourself doing a turn without too much trouble. But if you're nervous about it, ask the ride leaders about it. Sounds like a supportive bunch and I bet they'd be glad to let you know what the deal is.
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Old 07-02-08, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by zkgiant
I believe they travel in a paceline for the final 5 miles or so. How should I handle this without taking a turn in front? Should I declerate a little to create a gap between me (back) and the rider in front of me (giving the person who is falling back from the front of the line a place to fall in)?
take the pull. count to 20 or 30 then be done with it. enjoy. later.
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Old 07-02-08, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
My guess is that the last 5 miles back to the shop is going to be pretty mellow so you might find yourself doing a turn without too much trouble. But if you're nervous about it, ask the ride leaders about it. Sounds like a supportive bunch and I bet they'd be glad to let you know what the deal is.
They are indeed supportive. The ride leaders are the owner/employees of the shop, so they have a vested interest in me staying on my bike. More business for them. Plus they are pretty cool guys anyway. Good point about the last 5 being more mellow.
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Old 07-02-08, 02:33 PM
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You're going to get yelled at.
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Old 07-02-08, 02:51 PM
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If you're unfamiliar with pacelines, ask someone. They'll most likely be willing to help. If they don't, ask someone else.
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Old 07-02-08, 08:13 PM
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+1 to stay at the back.

But if you find yourself in the middle of the group, or near the front, hold your line, and keep the pace (no sudden accelerations/decelerations).
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Old 07-03-08, 07:33 AM
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Thanks to all of those with meaningful advice.
The ride went pretty well. I did not realize it until I showed up but the route had a predetermined point at which the beginner/less comfortable riders split from the group. This alternate route cut out the paceline and about 3 miles, but added a little climbing. At the start, the group was 28 riders strong. 10 of us split off and took the alternate route. True to the cycling culture in my area, everyone was extremely nice and willing to help out. I basically did as was suggested here (stayed toward the back, asked questions, held my line, limited chatting, etc.). All turned out to be good advice.
Thanks again!
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