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First group ride tomorrow, question about wheel sucking

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First group ride tomorrow, question about wheel sucking

Old 06-26-13, 09:03 PM
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Flechensabre
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First group ride tomorrow, question about wheel sucking

Weather pending I'll be in my first group ride tomorrow. Aside from my worry that I'll be dropped from a no drop ride my main worry is staying in the back. When the lead rider comes off of the front what am I supposed to do? Maintain my speed and then move to the right of the line for him? Make a gap for him before he reaches the back? Is there a signal I'm supposed to give?

Lastly, seeing as this will be my longest ride (25miles, my best so far is 16) is it ok for me to pull if I feel in shape for it?
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Old 06-26-13, 09:14 PM
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don't worry as your first group ride and that it's a no-drop ride there will be a lot less pacelining/pulling/drafting than you imagine. it will be more loose and less organized than that, i'm guessing.
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Old 06-26-13, 09:15 PM
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Our local group ride majordomo sent this out to the group today. May answer some questions.

https://www.bicycling.com/beginners/s...group-dynamics
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Old 06-26-13, 09:16 PM
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Just observe for now and forget about pulling. 10/10 times they'll let you stay at the back if you're new and they'd rather you stay there believe me.

If you're worried about them dropping you from a "no drop ride" then maybe you can study the route.
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Old 06-26-13, 09:19 PM
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Just sit back at first and feel your way through it. If it's a regular training group, you'll be doing all you can just to avoid being dropped. But if it's more of a recreational ride and you feel strong enough, by all means take some turns in the front. In any case, there's no shame in staying back in the pack for any newer rider, at least for your first few rides.
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Old 06-26-13, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by KantoBoy View Post

If you're worried about them dropping you from a "no drop ride" then maybe you can study the route.
It was more of a nervous joke about my newbie fitness level. But yeah, I do plan on bringing a map - just in case.
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Old 06-26-13, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz View Post
don't worry as your first group ride and that it's a no-drop ride there will be a lot less pacelining/pulling/drafting than you imagine. it will be more loose and less organized than that, i'm guessing.
Slower paced rides almost never rotate through as a pace line. They tend to stay farther apart, too. I'm assuming that your ride is one of these, since it's "just" 25 miles. Let the ride leader know you are new to group riding, but don't worry about it. It'll be fun.

The main thing to know: assume there's someone right behind you, so don't swerve or brake suddenly. You'll find out about hand signals or verbal signals by example during the ride.

Typical rides in my area. These are flat road speeds. Average speeds for the ride will be lower, due to hills and slowing for stop lights.

12-13 mph. A "smell the roses" type of ride. very casual pace.
14-15 mph. An easy pace, no drafting. Riders often are able to hold these speeds for a couple of hours, surprising very new riders that aren't quite ready.
15-17 mph starting to pick up the pace. Mostly experienced riders, but new ones fit in easily. Few stops and longer distances. Still not much drafting.
18-19 mph OK, now the drafting is starting to be critical for riders that aren't quite as strong as the ones in front. Often no formal rotation--strong riders at the front, others in the draft.
20-22 mph Rotating through, pushing hard on the hills too.
22+ (and more!) mph the fast ride.

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-26-13 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 06-26-13, 09:59 PM
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No matter how good you feel at the beginning, you probably shouldn't do a pull longer than 15-30 seconds. If you feel good towards the last third of the ride, then you can start pulling evenly with everyone else.

Other things to remember:

Be smooth. Especially as you get towards the front of the ride, find a comfortable cadence and keep that going steady, so you don't have to worry about accelerating or slowing down on the front.

Ask questions. Especially if it's a group for newer riders, they are there to help you learn. Ask about equipment choice, route, etiquette, everything. There will be the guy who takes it too seriously, but especially if there are more experienced riders are recovering or riding down intentionally, ask them questions.

Don't be afraid to sit in. We've all been there. There has been a day where you just don't feel up to pulling, and that's totally fine. If you're dying, there is no shame in letting a gap open and telling the person moving to the back to get in.


For pulling off: Let's call the guy ahead of you Steve. Steve is a nice guy, and so he's going to do a pull, and then assuming you are on the left of the paceline, he's going to shoulder-check to his left, make sure it's clear, and then move over, and either wiggle his elbow, or wave you through as he moves to the back. From there, here is what you should do:

1) Communicate with the rider you're partnered with. If you're in a double paceline, let him know this is your first ride with the group, and you're going to take a short pull.

2) Shoulder-check to the left. Make sure that there are no cars or anything that will make you have a bad day.

3) Maintaining your speed, move to the left, while you either wiggle your right elbow or wave the next rider through.

4) Keep soft-pedalling, and allow your speed to drop a little bit, and let the group move past you.

5) As you reach the back, begin to accelerate up to the same speed as the group.

6) Shoulder-check to the right, and then move over into the back of the line.
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Old 06-26-13, 10:12 PM
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You should also make sure you check your machine to make sure there are no issues. Tires pumped, wheels true, brakes work, etc. Also, that you have a spare tube, CO2, valve extenders, etc. Eat a little before the ride, drink some water before the ride.

You'll be fine. Don't worry about leading the group. Ask questions.
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Old 06-26-13, 11:26 PM
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If this is your first group ride I would suggest that you do NOT draft. The last thing you'd want to do is take out somebody or worse a bunch of people in the group. Also if the longest you have ever ridden is 16 miles, don't worry about doing any pulls. No drop rides are usually fairly tame so my best advice for you is to just pace yourself and don't be afraid to ask questions. I've seen plenty of new riders get all cocky riding up in the front just to get gassed out within the first few miles.
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Old 06-26-13, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
If this is your first group ride I would suggest that you do NOT draft. The last thing you'd want to do is take out somebody or worse a bunch of people in the group. Also if the longest you have ever ridden is 16 miles, don't worry about doing any pulls. No drop rides are usually fairly tame so my best advice for you is to just pace yourself and don't be afraid to ask questions. I've seen plenty of new riders get all cocky riding up in the front just to get gassed out within the first few miles.
What's the point of riding with other people if you can't draft?

but yeah if it's a no drop deal I bet it will pretty mellow. Just don't ride sketchy and don't burn yourself out in the first 5 miles. Assume there is always someone behind you and introduce yourself/don't be a dick.

All the advice about elbow flicks, pulling in/out of the paceline won't be needed, and if it is, you will probably get spit off the back pretty fast.
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Old 06-27-13, 01:05 AM
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How exactly do you stay in the back? When somebody tries to move to the back do you point them to the spot in front of you?
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Old 06-27-13, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
How exactly do you stay in the back? When somebody tries to move to the back do you point them to the spot in front of you?
As you see them drifting back simply open up a two bike length gap between you and the rider ahead. Usually they'll simply slot in. If they happen to glance back at you, give them a nod or simply a finger in the direction of the gap.

However, once one is comfortable riding in the presence of other riders, the back is the second to last place I would recommend that riders new to group riding hang out. Ideally one would be somewhere in the middle third. Positioning there typically provides good shelter while avoiding the increased elastic recoveries that occur at the back. Any changes in pace closer to the front get magnified by the time they reach the back. With the result that both braking and accellerations are more extreme and more challenging to deal with.
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Old 06-27-13, 02:31 AM
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I have more of the suck it up mentality. If you go to slow an the group doesn't like it, you'll be shamed to the back where you will be ridiculed until the next ride.
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Old 06-27-13, 06:34 AM
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I'm going to echo some points that have already been made.

At the outset, let everyone know this is your first group ride. Then, stay in the back. As others rotate off, give them room to slide in to the pace line in front of you.

As you have no group riding experience, I don't think anyone will really have an issue with you hanging on and learning how a group works. In me experience, most people would prefer new group riders to spend time at the back watching and learning before getting involved.

Also, read this: https://www.bikelaw.com/blog/lost-art-of-the-group-ride/
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Old 06-27-13, 07:27 AM
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As a first ride there is no way you should be attempting to join a ride where pacelining or "pulling" is involved. Start out in a lower class ride and move up on the next ride, if you find that you are one of the faster riders in the group. When you get to a fast enough ride class they will start forming groups and short pacelines. The exception to this is if it's very windy, pacelines are useful even at lower speeds.
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Old 06-27-13, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
qft.
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Old 06-27-13, 10:12 AM
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Thanks all for the advice. As of right now it looks like the weather isn't going to cooperate :/. But I'll be sure to give a ride report after my first ride!
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Old 06-27-13, 07:47 PM
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I've just finished wiping the blood off of me from my first ride. It was seriously awesome. There was only four of us but the other three drove the pace up to 17mph frequently and I stayed on their wheel! Somehow. I have no idea. On the way back my back wheel caught a crack and dumped me into a curb at 19mph but I made it away with just road rash and some destroyed bar tape. I'm totally doing this next week, honestly I wish I had been doing this years ago!
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Old 06-27-13, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by blarnie View Post
You should also make sure you check your machine to make sure there are no issues. Tires pumped, wheels true, brakes work, etc. Also, that you have a spare tube, CO2, valve extenders, etc. Eat a little before the ride, drink some water before the ride.

You'll be fine. Don't worry about leading the group. Ask questions.
But you really don't need to worry about such stuff, because any decent group will make sure you have valve extenders before you head out.
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Old 06-27-13, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Flechensabre View Post
I've just finished wiping the blood off of me from my first ride. It was seriously awesome. There was only four of us but the other three drove the pace up to 17mph frequently and I stayed on their wheel! Somehow. I have no idea. On the way back my back wheel caught a crack and dumped me into a curb at 19mph but I made it away with just road rash and some destroyed bar tape. I'm totally doing this next week, honestly I wish I had been doing this years ago!
It is a rush, glad you enjoyed it. It's not as intimidating as we make it to be in our heads before the first group ride. Next time just keep the rubber side down.
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Old 06-27-13, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
But you really don't need to worry about such stuff, because any decent group will make sure you have valve extenders before you head out.
Now you're learning. Good boy.

In my younger days when I'd frequent the strips, I would bring the girls treats. Something I learned from my friend Tom. This led to free door, table and drinks. Also, I would have all the beautiful ladies sitting around me in the lounge. All from talking to them, learning what they liked and bringing them what they may not have brought to work from home. Simple, little things no one else thought to bring. All the nice folks that worked at the club became my friends and we would have a great time. The manager of the club liked having me around making his people happy at their job. Those were truly good times.

Man, I've been around and seen so much fine a$$ in my life. Without having to give away the ranch. It's unbelievable what a smile and a bauble will get you. Ever been to Mardi Gras? Think that, but every day of the week.

That's for reminding me of how my life has been blessed.

I'm going to give everybody valve extenders on the next club ride.
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Old 06-27-13, 09:17 PM
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Oh God, if only valve entenders could actually supply such a life.

However, I have learned that on club rides, if the fast group is passing one of the social or slower groups realatively close to the club house and I see Mrs. Fred in the group, it behooves me to ease up and provide a rock steady wheel for them to draft the remaining few km. The girls really seem to appreciate it
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Old 06-27-13, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Flechensabre View Post
I've just finished wiping the blood off of me from my first ride. It was seriously awesome. There was only four of us but the other three drove the pace up to 17mph frequently and I stayed on their wheel! Somehow. I have no idea. On the way back my back wheel caught a crack and dumped me into a curb at 19mph but I made it away with just road rash and some destroyed bar tape. I'm totally doing this next week, honestly I wish I had been doing this years ago!
Wait a minute.....your first group ride and you crashed?! And now you're totally psyched for the next one?!!

Sounds like you're made of the right stuff!
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Old 06-27-13, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by stilltooslow View Post
Wait a minute.....your first group ride and you crashed?! And now you're totally psyched for the next one?!!

Sounds like you're made of the right stuff!

The Force is strong in this one.
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