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Find out out Etiquette in groups?

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Find out out Etiquette in groups?

Old 03-08-10, 05:05 PM
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Find out out Etiquette in groups?

I am basically a long distance runner but the last 2years have gotten into road biking more. I still run but now like to go on longer rides. The trouble is I always ride alone except a couple of times a friend and I road together. I would love to go ride in a group but this idea of etiquette has me a little worried.

Normally we runners just run and anyone who happens along can run with group no real questions it is great to have company. Now with biking it involves being careful and safe, where can I find out about these things? I also see various post about packs and keeping up, getting dropped, ect.... With running at least for the 30 years I have done this in all kinds of groups you just stay with those of similar ability and if you go with someone faster then you have to make some allowances. I run with fellows that were much quicker than myself but for some training runs they don't mind going slower. My own motto was you can always run with me and our group we can always slow down but we may not be able to speed up.

Riding with someone else when I went out was fun and this person was not in as good shape and I simply went a little slower on the bike. It was still a good pace we ave about 16mph and I usuallly go between 17-21 so no issue. I also spent most of the time breaking the wind to help.

Now what would I do in a group and is it ok so simply join a group if I see them on the roads and at nearly the same pace? The local bike shop has a group that goes out and the list the pace and I would like to go with them but I don't want to go anything weird. Since I ride alone I usually always love to go as fast as I can down any hill. I just like to do this and on open roads with no traffic it is safer. Do they do this in pace lines? I can guess I am a decent rec rider I have plenty of stamina and wind but I don't sprint as such. I also never stand to pedal unless I need to get off my butt for a little relief. On a hill up I just keep going to lower gears and sit.

I usually like to ride 25-60 miles depending on the time but do groups agree to go a certain distance? I guess you can just keep going if they go less than you need or drop out. I suppose the marathoner in my has distance as my thing and it carries to the bike. Long post sorry but I really enjoy the bike and would like to ride in group just to have some other riders around. It would help when I go longer just as in running.
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Old 03-08-10, 05:18 PM
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There is no way to know until you try.

See people you want to ride with on the road? Ask if you can tag along for a bit. Enjoy it? Ask them for their number/contact. Seriously, talking to girls can be hard, but talking to people on bike shouldn't be. If they are jerks, **** them, you were riding your ride anyway.

Most shop rides seem to have regroups along the way, so if you fall off to give people space on a descent, you'll regroup eventually. I've never had anyone complain when I want to give them room because -I'm- a weak descender and want the margin for error.
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Old 03-08-10, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark
Now what would I do in a group and is it ok so simply join a group if I see them on the roads and at nearly the same pace?
No. Do not join random people on group rides. This was discussed in another thread and many people found it annoying to have someone they've never met tag along on their ride. If the shop is doing a ride that's good, join them. But I wouldn't find a group of people randomly out on the road and start riding with them.
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Old 03-08-10, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf
There is no way to know until you try.

See people you want to ride with on the road? Ask if you can tag along for a bit. Enjoy it? Ask them for their number/contact. Seriously, talking to girls can be hard, but talking to people on bike shouldn't be. If they are jerks, **** them, you were riding your ride anyway.

Most shop rides seem to have regroups along the way, so if you fall off to give people space on a descent, you'll regroup eventually. I've never had anyone complain when I want to give them room because -I'm- a weak descender and want the margin for error.
True and funny.

The point about shops is good also. Obviously, the LBS would love to sell you a bike but they should welcome all interested riders; they become customers. My LBS even put together a ride for the casual cyclists on cruisers.

I don't think catching on with a group is verboten but you should announce your presence and ask if it's OK to join in.
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Old 03-08-10, 08:15 PM
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As the others said, if you see somebody out there riding, ask if you can join their group. Worst they can do is say "No".

Also, I wrote a series on group rides for people who don't know too much about them. You may find something in there useful.
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Old 03-08-10, 09:20 PM
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Where are you? There may be a club near you and clubs usually welcome new riders. Our club even has an orientation ride.
You could try to ride with people you meet on the road, just talk to them and explain yourself. If they're jerks, keep looking. I would stay out of pacelines until you are confident in your abilities and the abilities of those around you. I won't get into a line with strangers on a charity ride, etc.
Eventually you can find people who enjoy the same types of rides you do and you might make some good friends, too. Riding alone is o.k. but riding with friends is so much better.

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Old 03-08-10, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68
Also, I wrote a series on group rides for people who don't know too much about them. You may find something in there useful.

The OP should read that. It's got everything he needs to know.
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Old 03-08-10, 09:52 PM
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Safety is the main issue here. If you come up on a group, stay in the back after acknowledging the rear rider. Hold your line and say "mind if I just hang here for a while?" Then at a stoplight inch up and say "hi, saw you guys. Where are you headed? Mind if I hang on a wheel for a while?" If you can prove you can ride smoothly you can begin to take a pull and people will trust you.

After a few miles - provided you can hold your line well, you will be trusted and welcomed.

Communication is the key. Chat at stops.
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Old 03-08-10, 10:03 PM
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If you see a group on the road you can always ask where they start the ride from. They'll let you know if can hang or just meet up with them at the start, then just peel off and show up the next time they head out. You might want to read this thread.

Last edited by geist; 03-08-10 at 10:05 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 03-08-10, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Caad 8
No. Do not join random people on group rides. This was discussed in another thread and many people found it annoying to have someone they've never met tag along on their ride. If the shop is doing a ride that's good, join them. But I wouldn't find a group of people randomly out on the road and start riding with them.
Nobody is saying to just silently follow a group around. Everyone is saying to, if you see a group you'd like to ride with, ask if they mind.
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