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Going On My First Group Ride, Opinions Please

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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, Opinions Please

Old 06-25-10, 12:03 PM
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Going On My First Group Ride, Opinions Please

So this coming Monday I'm headed over to one of my LBS to go out on their weekly group ride. I'm confident that I can go the distance and keep pace. My concern is in regards to the chart they use to categorize their groups and where I fit in.

All averages are WITH hills
Group
A- 20+mph
B- 15-19mph
C- 13-15mph
D- 10-13mph

Their typical routes are all about 20-30mi.

My typical rides include flats, ascents, descents, etc... a good mix of all.
Some of my last few ride logs are as follows:
21.2mi - 15.3mph - 1hr23min
19mi - 13.6mph - 1hr20min
14.2mi - 16.6mph - 51min
12.2mi - 18.8mph - 38min

So, I'm thinking I should go with the C group. I could possibly hang with the B Group but this would be my first group ride and feel maybe I should start with the C group to gain some experience.

You're opinions please.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:06 PM
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C first.

You can always slow down, but you may not be able to speed up.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:11 PM
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First group ride go with the slowest. They don't always ride at advertised speeds. If it's too slow it will give you the opportunity to chat and learn something.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:18 PM
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Go B, draft as much as possible and save it for the hills
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Old 06-25-10, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bloomieracer
Go B, draft as much as possible and save it for the hills
Then I'm changing my answer to "A"
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Old 06-25-10, 12:35 PM
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C or B group, depending on how much you want to suffer and how large the hills are in your area.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:36 PM
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Even if you could solo at 20+ MPH, I'd say stick with the D group until you get comfortable riding in a paceline.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jefferee
Even if you could solo at 20+ MPH, I'd say stick with the D group until you get comfortable riding in a paceline.
I'd be willing to bet good money that C and D group aren't riding in anything that an experienced rider would call a paceline
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Old 06-25-10, 12:40 PM
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Find out if they follow the same route.
If you get dropped off B, C will catch up with you and jump back in.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:42 PM
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ride A group and sprint off the front at the start of the ride after giving the look back.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Menel
Find out if they follow the same route.
If you get dropped off B, C will catch up with you and jump back in.
++
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Old 06-25-10, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jefferee
Even if you could solo at 20+ MPH, I'd say stick with the D group until you get comfortable riding in a paceline.
Go with D.

Who knows what riders will show up for the group ride.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:49 PM
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Note To Self:

Self, don't EVER ask BF an opinion on ANYTHING!
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Old 06-25-10, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Macster


Note To Self:

Self, don't EVER ask BF an opinion on ANYTHING unless I want 35 different answers!
fixed
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Old 06-25-10, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Go with D.

Who knows what riders will show up for the group ride.
incorrect
Originally Posted by Macster


Note To Self:

Self, don't EVER ask BF an opinion on ANYTHING!
correct
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Old 06-25-10, 12:58 PM
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I was going to recommend going with B, but since this is your first group ride go with C. That way you can be an easy or comfortable pace and learn group riding etiquettes. Also it's late in the road biking season, and people are faster now. One LBS' B ride is 18-20mph, but they generally average at least 20mph.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:58 PM
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I'd go with the fastest group you can hang with. Average pace listed for those type of rides probably ends up being about 5mph slower than the pace on the flats. That is, the 20+ mph group is going 25+mph on the flats. With the draft, that might be about as hard as pushing 20-22mph on your own.

Probably B or C. Leech on the back to get used to wheel distances. At least that way if you screw up, it's your front wheel getting taken out and no one behind you to fall on you.
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Old 06-25-10, 12:58 PM
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You can always go E.

You pull up and all the riders are on Cervelos.

Turn around and go back home.
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Old 06-25-10, 01:02 PM
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If the calves of the guy in front of you are the same size around as your thigh, move to a slower group. Otherwise HTFU and try to hang on as long as you can.
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Old 06-25-10, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 wheels
you can always go e.

You pull up and all the riders are on cervelos.

Turn around and go back home.
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Old 06-25-10, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
You can always go E.

You pull up and all the riders are on CAAD9's.

Turn around and go back home.
Fixed
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Old 06-25-10, 01:13 PM
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I would recommend riding in the C group. Although you have some times that fall into the B group, your distances are shorter than their possible 30, so you could fade in those last miles. I'd rather be a little too fast for a ride than get dropped, but that's me.
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Old 06-25-10, 01:15 PM
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You guys are a riot.

Start slow OP, you get opportunity to measure yourself against others. You can always jump up to the next group whenever you feel ready.
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Old 06-25-10, 01:42 PM
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whatever you do just don't cross wheels
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Old 06-25-10, 01:58 PM
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Which group has the most women?
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