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Going on my first group ride tomorrow.. any tips?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Going on my first group ride tomorrow.. any tips?

Old 05-22-04, 08:22 PM
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Well, tomorrow, I am going on my first big group ride. I have gone riding with up to 5 other people, mostly in a single or double-file line, but even that, has only been a few times. Looking at my average speed, I fit in with the B+ group, but I think tomorrow, I'll go with the B group, so that I can easily concentrate on riding with the group.

So, any tips? Anything I shouldn't do on the ride?? Anything I should do? Is there rany proper group ride etiquite?
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Old 05-22-04, 09:04 PM
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Look ahead of the rider you're following, not just his/her rear wheel, a just a bit off to one side. Carry tools and tubes to fix your bike. Don't drop your water bottle. Don't be obnoxious.
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Old 05-22-04, 09:12 PM
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and stay the hell out of the way
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Old 05-22-04, 09:46 PM
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Watch the jersey pockets of the person you're drafting: they can't go anywhere without their butt and you can easily scan the road ahead.

Do not watch the wheel: you can hypnotize yourself.

Take your pulls and above all, be smooth.
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Old 05-22-04, 10:32 PM
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Watch out for the "slinky effect" when you're not riding near the front of the pack. They keep speeding up and slowing down. If you're in front, KEEP PEDALING!!! Hold the same speed so others behind you can keep going. I hate it when the lead rider decides to coast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-22-04, 10:42 PM
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If you're not confident, stay at the back. This could make keeping up a little bit harder but it's better than causing a crash.
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Old 05-22-04, 11:13 PM
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If its more than single file don’t look over your shoulder because you will turn without realizing it.
The safest place to be is right on someone’s wheel, do not over lap your front wheel with their rear wheel.

If its just a casual group there shouldn’t be any crashes.
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Old 05-22-04, 11:27 PM
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Hold your line, avoid swerving around in the pack. Unsteady riders soon find themselves riding alone, even on group rides. Don't be a "squirrel" and you will gain respect of other riders as they feel safe riding close to you.
Enjoy.
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Old 05-22-04, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ewitz
and stay the hell out of the way

As soon as I saw the title of this thread, I was going to post this!!!!


Well done!
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Old 05-23-04, 12:23 AM
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Old 05-23-04, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
Watch out for the "slinky effect" when you're not riding near the front of the pack. They keep speeding up and slowing down. If you're in front, KEEP PEDALING!!! Hold the same speed so others behind you can keep going. I hate it when the lead rider decides to coast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree. Also do not pass on a turn.
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Old 05-23-04, 08:37 AM
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Don't be shy/scared to use the hand signals and voice commands (walker up, car back, etc.)...if you're pulling, let everyone else know what you're doing before you do it
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Old 05-23-04, 09:42 AM
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To each his/her own...My group is considerably more casual..We don't draft.At least most of us don't ...On trails, we ride side by side and talk.( sometimes at 20 mph).Yes, we do get a good work out on some of our climbs.
I am not against drafting..Just, if not used to it, or not comfortable with it ; maybe one should find the group and do what it is you like. Draft only if you want and don't draft if you are not comfortable with it and you do it- just to fit in..
I know drafting cuts down on drag and all that..But our rides are more fun rides..Guess, I am just conscious about drafting.. Cause, couple weeks ago when, someone 'cut'? to take the lead, someone was in the other lane, that the cyclist passing did not see..
There was a mega crash...Now, that person is paralized.
I suggest finding the cycling group doing your thing and not beginning in more advanced situations in which you might not yet be comfortable.
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Old 05-23-04, 11:22 AM
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Yeah, I kind of agree with Cyclezealot - I prefer not having to worry about the pace line and looking at someone's back for hours at a time. I like to see the open road in front of me and relax. It's all exericise anyways - so what if my ride averages a few MPH slower? And if I get a flat, I don't have to stress about getting it fixed in < 5 mins.
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Old 05-24-04, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Markedoc
Yeah, I kind of agree with Cyclezealot - I prefer not having to worry about the pace line and looking at someone's back for hours at a time. I like to see the open road in front of me and relax. It's all exericise anyways - so what if my ride averages a few MPH slower? And if I get a flat, I don't have to stress about getting it fixed in < 5 mins.
You mean they would actually stop and wait? Most of the groups I've seen, if you flat, you get left.

Tell the riders that its your first ride, and ask them to help you out on customs etc. when riding.
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Old 05-24-04, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DogBoy
You mean they would actually stop and wait? Most of the groups I've seen, if you flat, you get left.
That's how it is on my Saturday ride. Which brings up another point: make sure you have a spare or patch kit and a pump.
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