Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

First Group Ride Ever... Got Shelled

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

First Group Ride Ever... Got Shelled

Old 03-10-15, 08:19 PM
  #1  
sjuguy
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First Group Ride Ever... Got Shelled

Today was my first group ride ever. I joined a local club and went on their "Tuesday Night Fast Ride", which is a drop ride geared toward the racers. Needless to say I was dropped after about 7 miles of the 30 mile route. I'm attributing it somewhat to mediocre fitness, but mostly to bad tactics (i.e. not drafting efficiently, not timing some rollers well, etc). Needless to say, my goal now is to finish the entire ride without getting dropped.

Anybody else have similar experiences? How many rides did it take before you were able to stick with that group? How many until you could do some decent pulls?

Update: Entered my first 4/5 crit. Absolutely got smoked! Fun experience, but apparently at my current fitness level I really need to learn how to be more comfortable in close quarters. Again, it's those quick accelerations in the 27-31 mph range that kill me right now. If I only have a 2-3 days a week I can dedicate to all things cycling (training/racing/group rides/fondos etc), what can I add to my training regimen to help with those quick bursts and quick recovery? Intervals of some kind?

Last edited by sjuguy; 05-06-15 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Updated information
sjuguy is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 08:31 PM
  #2  
FLvector
Stand and Deliver
 
FLvector's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 3,340

Bikes: Cannondale R1000, Giant TCR Advanced, Giant TCR Advanced SL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If this was your first ever group ride, I wouldn't suggest riding with the A group until you've developed some better pace line skills. Try to find a more moderate paced group that you feel comfortable with, share some pulls and get comfortable drafting on someone's wheel.

Getting dropped at mile 7 means they were just getting warmed up. Mixing in inexperienced riders with these fast groups can be dangerous for all involved. And you will get yelled at.
FLvector is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 08:34 PM
  #3  
SevenTwentyNine
Senior Member
 
SevenTwentyNine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 415

Bikes: Wheelbarrow

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sjuguy View Post
\

Anybody else have similar experiences? How many rides did it take before you were able to stick with that group? How many until you could do some decent pulls?
Yes, we all have and we all still continue to get dropped every now and then - everyone gets dropped at some point or another it's normal. How long it takes depends on your dedication to improving your fitness and cycling techniques and overall bike smarts. The key is learning to recover at speed.
I ride with different clubs and when I'm riding with racers I usually get dropped at the 28+ mph speed on flats after a couple pulls max as I still can't recover fast enough.
SevenTwentyNine is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 08:34 PM
  #4  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,336

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1026 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That sh*t is fun, though, right?!?

Learning to ride strategically/tactically is definitely a thing, but so is knowing the culture, and knowing where, when, and how long the strong folks are going to go after it. Excellent fitness can cover for a lot of that, but still, you've gotta keep riding with them and learn their ways.
chaadster is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 08:35 PM
  #5  
GlennR
Formerly oldnslow2
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 5,403

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1104 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 48 Posts
I agree... find a B group and work on your skills.
GlennR is online now  
Old 03-10-15, 08:36 PM
  #6  
SevenTwentyNine
Senior Member
 
SevenTwentyNine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 415

Bikes: Wheelbarrow

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FLvector View Post
If this was your first ever group ride, I wouldn't suggest riding with the A group until you've developed some better pace line skills. Try to find a more moderate paced group that you feel comfortable with, share some pulls and get comfortable drafting on someone's wheel.

Getting dropped at mile 7 means they were just getting warmed up. Mixing in inexperienced riders with these fast groups can be dangerous for all involved. And you will get yelled at.
Yeah, he's right, stay away from the A group for a good while to be honest - if that's your first group ride then you've actually got a lot of learning to still do.
SevenTwentyNine is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 08:56 PM
  #7  
Jiggle
Senior Member
 
Jiggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Somewhere in TX
Posts: 2,269

Bikes: BH, Cervelo, Cube, Canyon

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 211 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
That sh*t is fun, though, right?!?

Learning to ride strategically/tactically is definitely a thing, but so is knowing the culture, and knowing where, when, and how long the strong folks are going to go after it. Excellent fitness can cover for a lot of that, but still, you've gotta keep riding with them and learn their ways.
Riding "strategically" to not get dropped: The slow people crowding the front during warm-up so they can drop back as they lose wheels. It makes the group fragment as the pace heats up and the faster guys are sometimes faced with the risk of vehicular traffic as the go around groups of freds.
Jiggle is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 09:01 PM
  #8  
sjuguy
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I will probably do a few B rides to get more comfortable with decreasing my radius. Honestly, some of the guys in the group talked me into doing the A ride, which is the main reason I did it. Talk at the end was that they went out fast... I think it was all that pent up winter energy. It's in the 60's here in Minneapolis this week. Last week it was below zero, and I'm not exaggerating.
sjuguy is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 09:51 PM
  #9  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,092

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by sjuguy View Post
Today was my first group ride ever. I joined a local club and went on their "Tuesday Night Fast Ride", which is a drop ride geared toward the racers. Needless to say I was dropped after about 7 miles of the 30 mile route. I'm attributing it somewhat to mediocre fitness, but mostly to bad tactics (i.e. not drafting efficiently, not timing some rollers well, etc). Needless to say, my goal now is to finish the entire ride without getting dropped.

Anybody else have similar experiences? How many rides did it take before you were able to stick with that group? How many until you could do some decent pulls?
I think virtually all of us were in the same situation at the beginning. I know I was, and to some extent I still am.

As far as the experience thing goes, there's a balance between learning (we all had to learn) and not endangering others. If you stay out of the way you'll typically be in more shelter/draft and you'll also, by definition, be out of the way of the others. That's my normal default mode when I ride with a group that I don't know.

For time to hanging with the ride or being able to "participate" (take pulls, attack, chase), I'd give it 3 months to get relatively good in your first year. What that means relative to the others depends on your base fitness, your training, and your genetics. It seems like that is a pretty good guess for riders who come into the sport reasonably healthy (not hugely overweight etc) but not cycling fit.

My approach to group rides was to experience the route and try to overcome each drop zone as I learned about it (by getting shelled). For me it was usually a hill or a false flat, so I'd save and save and try to have all my reserves full for the whatever hill/false-flat/etc.

If you got dropped 7 miles into a 30 mile ride, and they didn't go 30 mph out of the parking lot, I'm guessing the group warmed up for a few miles, got to the "fast" part, and dropped the hammer. With the weather like it was (today it was mid 50s here, it was 0-20 degrees mostly for a long while, and the mid 50s was so warm that I was content letting our 3 year old son play outside for a bit in a t-shirt and jeans) I'm guessing the hammer went down hard.

If you enjoy this I'd suggest giving racing a try. It's a bit more under control - no cars/traffic (for closed courses anyway), a bit more tactics, and a steeper learning curve.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 09:55 PM
  #10  
basqueonacaad
Senior Member
 
basqueonacaad's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: The Continental Divide
Posts: 113

Bikes: CDALE CAAD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Atta boy. Stick with it.
basqueonacaad is offline  
Old 03-10-15, 10:23 PM
  #11  
bt
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
were you the guy in Levi's?
bt is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 06:01 AM
  #12  
sjuguy
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I think virtually all of us were in the same situation at the beginning. I know I was, and to some extent I still am.

As far as the experience thing goes, there's a balance between learning (we all had to learn) and not endangering others. If you stay out of the way you'll typically be in more shelter/draft and you'll also, by definition, be out of the way of the others. That's my normal default mode when I ride with a group that I don't know.

For time to hanging with the ride or being able to "participate" (take pulls, attack, chase), I'd give it 3 months to get relatively good in your first year. What that means relative to the others depends on your base fitness, your training, and your genetics. It seems like that is a pretty good guess for riders who come into the sport reasonably healthy (not hugely overweight etc) but not cycling fit.

My approach to group rides was to experience the route and try to overcome each drop zone as I learned about it (by getting shelled). For me it was usually a hill or a false flat, so I'd save and save and try to have all my reserves full for the whatever hill/false-flat/etc.

If you got dropped 7 miles into a 30 mile ride, and they didn't go 30 mph out of the parking lot, I'm guessing the group warmed up for a few miles, got to the "fast" part, and dropped the hammer. With the weather like it was (today it was mid 50s here, it was 0-20 degrees mostly for a long while, and the mid 50s was so warm that I was content letting our 3 year old son play outside for a bit in a t-shirt and jeans) I'm guessing the hammer went down hard.

If you enjoy this I'd suggest giving racing a try. It's a bit more under control - no cars/traffic (for closed courses anyway), a bit more tactics, and a steeper learning curve.
CDR, thanks for the post. I'm definitely staying out of the way for now... I am interested in doing some races this year, which is why I wanted to do some fast group rides. Most guys in the group agreed that if you can hang, cat 5 crits should be do-able. If you get to the point of "participating" winning cat 5 crits is possible given your sprinting ability is not terrible. I guess I'll have to find out by experience.
sjuguy is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 06:37 AM
  #13  
intransit1217
Senior Member
 
intransit1217's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Kenosha , Wi
Posts: 1,213

Bikes: 2013 specializes secure sport, Salsa vaya, Masi giramondo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
fwiw, I got shelled first time out with the B group. There was a set of hills with two false flats that flicked me off like I was dead. Thankfully they are not brutes who leave you for dead and someone helped ferry me to the end.

The next day I ran the course to get to know it better. Next ride I wasn't the fastest, but not the slowest either.
In between fast rides there's a slow ride during the week. No sprinting, no half wheeling, she runs a tight ship. This helped me get better at riding in the pack. Everyone gets a short pull, we rotate often. Sub 17mph stroll.
intransit1217 is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 07:01 AM
  #14  
dave1442397
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Posts: 367

Bikes: 2014 Boardman SLS 9.4 Di2, 2011 CAAD 10 4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I started with B rides, and then moved on to the A group after a couple of months. I sat at the back of the A ride for a few weeks, wondering if I'd ever be able to pull at those speeds, but after a month or two, it was no problem.

As for getting dropped, it just happened to me last Sunday. I've been riding all winter, but mostly steady pace rides with a couple of sprints here and there. On Sunday, i went out to a ride with a bunch of Cat3/4 racers, including the over-35 NJ state champion. It's one of those rides where people attack and try to get away, so there's a lot of interval training going on. They did four laps, 29 miles total, and I got dropped at the end of lap 2. I don't know why, as it was a part of the course I'm usually good on, but hey, ***t happens.
dave1442397 is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 07:06 AM
  #15  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,092

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by sjuguy View Post
CDR, thanks for the post. I'm definitely staying out of the way for now... I am interested in doing some races this year, which is why I wanted to do some fast group rides. Most guys in the group agreed that if you can hang, cat 5 crits should be do-able. If you get to the point of "participating" winning cat 5 crits is possible given your sprinting ability is not terrible. I guess I'll have to find out by experience.
Cat 5 races typically end in sprints. There will be the inevitable inadvertent ringers, like 4 minute milers that started to ride for knee rehab or something, or pro mountain bikers who were forced to do the Cat 5 race because they don't have a road license. In those races it's usually a bit more difficult.

There's a forum below on road racing: "The 33"-Road Bike Racing. There are all sorts of riders that post there, from new not-yet-racing ons to multi-time national champs. Most of us are Cat 2-5 (I'm a 3, was a 2 for a year).
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 07:16 AM
  #16  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,092

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I get shelled all the time on group rides, even when I am fit. Aerobically I'm pretty untalented (w/kg is typically 2.6-3.0 w/kg - right now, at a light weight and with good fitness, it's 2.8 w/kg, and I got close to 3.0 the year I upgraded to 2) so I struggle to hold wheels of even non-racers while on group rides. I can race well but I really can't climb. This is one reason I like racing - with a closed course there's a limited amount of climbing and an immense amount of tactics/thinking.

I put up YouTube clips under sprinterdellacasa. In 2014 I did a set of clips (look for "CCAP Tuesday Night") where I did the B race (Cat 3-4-5) and helped my Cat 4 teammates. Although the first race we did got rained out (we started but the race got called). The clip below is of one of the good races we did after we decided to work on our racing. There are two more, one in July, one in August.

Blog posts related to that clip above:
Sprinter della Casa: Racing - CCAP Tuesday Night Race, May 27, 2014

There's a lot of advice in that post for a new racer.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 07:50 AM
  #17  
rpenmanparker 
Senior Member
 
rpenmanparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,409

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6344 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
If the group doesn't want to "stick" with me, I see no reason why I should "stick" with them. Screw 'em.
__________________
Robert

Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 07:50 AM
  #18  
BoJaffa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: N.J.
Posts: 214

Bikes: 2001 Trek 5900, Trek Madone 3.1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The A guys always hammer away. Especially on a ride dedicated as such. Tactics are part of the game for sure but you gotta have the motor too. You can always join them and try to hang as long as you can, it will be one way to push your limits. Just be aware of what's going on and keep yourself and others safe from harm. I might also suggest when some of the racer type guys in the club do recovery or slower pace rides join them there too. You can learn a lot. Being able to keep up with the A group is certainly a great source of motivation. Keep at it.
BoJaffa is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 07:54 AM
  #19  
happyscientist
Senior Member
 
happyscientist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 255

Bikes: C'Dale Synapse, Surly Disc Trucker, Giant Trance, Orbea Avant

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had done countless casual group rides and got talked into racing, so I joined my area's hammer ride. It is an out-and-back route, and everyone warned me that I would get dropped, but to just try to jump back on when they came back. It took me three rides before I wasn't simply the slowest rider in the group. I remember getting dropped because I felt my wheel slip while cornering and I pulled up. I looked at the computer when they pulled away, and I was doing 24 mph coming out of that corner. You have to not only be fit, but you have to be really good at riding in tight formation with people you don't know and you have to be able to read the other riders to hang with that type of ride.
I didn't stick with it because I didn't like racing, but I never did make it all the way to the turn around point on the route.
happyscientist is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 08:06 AM
  #20  
dave1442397
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Posts: 367

Bikes: 2014 Boardman SLS 9.4 Di2, 2011 CAAD 10 4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I get shelled all the time on group rides, even when I am fit. Aerobically I'm pretty untalented (w/kg is typically 2.6-3.0 w/kg - right now, at a light weight and with good fitness, it's 2.8 w/kg, and I got close to 3.0 the year I upgraded to 2) so I struggle to hold wheels of even non-racers while on group rides. I can race well but I really can't climb. This is one reason I like racing - with a closed course there's a limited amount of climbing and an immense amount of tactics/thinking.

I put up YouTube clips under sprinterdellacasa. In 2014 I did a set of clips (look for "CCAP Tuesday Night") where I did the B race (Cat 3-4-5) and helped my Cat 4 teammates.
Those videos are great! I watched a couple of them yesterday, and found the commentary very informative. I've been cycling for four years now, and decided to race this year. We have a team of more than ten Cat 4/5 riders, so I'm looking forward to it.

I was amazed when you said your average watts for a race was around 200 (if I remember correctly). I thought I'd have to be a lot stronger than I am to even bother racing. I just did my first FTP test on a trainer hooked up to a pc last week, and it came up with an FTP of 239W at 3.38W/Kg. Seeing as I need to lose a good 25lbs, I was quite happy with that.
dave1442397 is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 08:20 AM
  #21  
BoJaffa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: N.J.
Posts: 214

Bikes: 2001 Trek 5900, Trek Madone 3.1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The videos are very cool and you can see exactly how a race goes thru it's various stages and how the tactics change as well. Good stuff there CDR. Thanks for sharing.
BoJaffa is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 08:20 AM
  #22  
RJM
I'm doing it wrong.
 
RJM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,854

Bikes: Trek Remedy 9.8, Rivendell Appaloosa, Kona Jake the Snake CR, Trek Fuel Ex, Riv Atlantis, Niner Sir9, Trek Crockett

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6145 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
If the group doesn't want to "stick" with me, I see no reason why I should "stick" with them. Screw 'em.
Agreed. That's probably why I don't even show up to those rides; it's just not what I want out of riding.
RJM is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 08:21 AM
  #23  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,336

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1026 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
Riding "strategically" to not get dropped: The slow people crowding the front during warm-up so they can drop back as they lose wheels. It makes the group fragment as the pace heats up and the faster guys are sometimes faced with the risk of vehicular traffic as the go around groups of freds.
That's definitely not what I had in mind by "strategic." I was talking about the things the OP was talking about: knowing how to draft, when to put down power, when to recover, etc., and like I said, knowing the route, where the sprint zones are, what the riders' strengths are...that's the stuff one wants to know to have a ride strategy.
chaadster is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 08:27 AM
  #24  
cafzali
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 1,289

Bikes: Giant TCR SL3 and Trek 1.5

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sjuguy View Post
Today was my first group ride ever. I joined a local club and went on their "Tuesday Night Fast Ride", which is a drop ride geared toward the racers. Needless to say I was dropped after about 7 miles of the 30 mile route.

Anybody else have similar experiences? How many rides did it take before you were able to stick with that group? How many until you could do some decent pulls?
Everyone's had similar experiences, largely when they first started riding until they figured out their appropriate category. Generally speaking, anything with that kind of label is going to be a bit of a hammer fest and is a way for racers to stay fit and sharp.

Different folks have different philosophies in regard to riding with groups. Some like to go with a group that's slightly faster than their abilities and attempt to "grow" into the group. Generally, fast groups operate with a "drop" policy, meaning they won't wait for you if you can't keep up. Given that, most of those groups don't care if you try to hang with them because they're not going to disrupt their workout by riding with you.

As others have said, you might want to mix up your group rides, going on a few B rides to get a better feel with riding in a group, leading/rotating through a paceline, etc. That will give you a way to practice these skills without as much pressure.
cafzali is offline  
Old 03-11-15, 08:40 AM
  #25  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,092

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by dave1442397 View Post
Those videos are great! I watched a couple of them yesterday, and found the commentary very informative. I've been cycling for four years now, and decided to race this year. We have a team of more than ten Cat 4/5 riders, so I'm looking forward to it.

I was amazed when you said your average watts for a race was around 200 (if I remember correctly). I thought I'd have to be a lot stronger than I am to even bother racing. I just did my first FTP test on a trainer hooked up to a pc last week, and it came up with an FTP of 239W at 3.38W/Kg. Seeing as I need to lose a good 25lbs, I was quite happy with that.
I should point out that I've very short on the bike so I need less power to push through the wind. Having said that I've heard similarly low numbers for better racers in much harder events. A local Cat 1 that's skinnier but taller than me told a friend that it takes him 200w to sit in the P123 fields at a particular course. I normally don't finish those races because when it's strung out I'm doing 300w for a while. The Cat 1 is obviously more fit so he can withstand those 300-400w prolonged efforts.

To help illustrate what you need (or don't need) I've post all my rides on Strava, I think I started doing it consistently in April 2012.
https://app.strava.com/athletes/143064

I put up the avg power, any interesting numbers (peak, if a big 20 min effort then that, etc), and some thoughts on the ride situation. Last year I didn't have a lot of time to train - there were a couple 6 hour months, a few 8 hour months, yet it took until August for my fitness to fall behind the curve of "what's possible". I won a number of field sprints in 2014, I think more than in any recent year, including one that actually counted for something.

Most of my races I don't avg 200w, and in races where I do 200-205w I typically have a hard time sprinting. I don't remember my highest avg power but it's in the 205w range. Most of my races I'm in the 170-190w range avg. That's not to say that I'm going slow, it's just I'm sitting in shelter because I'm not strong enough to be in the wind too much. For many years (15?) my goal was to see less than 60 seconds of wind before the last lap of an hour race. It still is but nowadays I'll go into the wind even if I feel it's a bit reckless tactically speaking, and I've paid for my generosity.

The best race I've caught on the helmet cam is one where it was the end of a 6 week Series in 2010. Overall in the Series I was one point behind another guy (a good friend, actually), and there were 10, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points up for grabs for the top 7 of the last race. Therefore I had to get top 7 and beat my friend Bryan to win the Series. He had a much more experienced team, much stronger - I think there were 3 or 4 ex-Cat 2s, including Bryan himself (he won the overall New England Crit Championships one year, a Cat 123 race, and he started racing at age 15 like me). I had a strong but raw team - Lance, who did most of the work, had just upgraded from Cat 5 to 4 solely so that he could help me in the 3-4 race. Cliff, who came to the course for the first time, was an ex-mtb pro which I didn't realize at the time (and he'd later get 3rd? in a M35 Cross Nationals). It was a great battle, I was super nervous the whole time. Avg power for me, 187w. Cliff, 287w. In the finale my heart rate drops 5 bpm while Cliff drills it - we're holding 35 mph before the sprint. Tactics.


Reverse angle of the finish:

One thing that is interesting is that one of the first guys I pass in the sprint crosses the line about 30 seconds into the second clip. In other words he was in the break with about 150m to go, and he finished 20-odd seconds behind the front. It's an illustration of how unimportant it is to go for a "higher" placing in a race. After the first 10 or so spots it's really irrelevant. That guy, btw, has a slew of national titles to his name, raced in the Olympics, etc. He's a much more accomplished racer than me. On that day it wasn't important for him, it was super important for me.

The other thing that becomes more apparent is the field size. I think there were 120-125 starters that day. From my point of view I never dropped back too far (I did but it was irrelevant to the race so it's not in the clip). I watch my own clip and think that there might be 50 riders in the race. Then I watch my friend's clip and realize, oh, right, we had a full field 125 riders but with a couple no-starts.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.