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Riders who avoid pulling

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

Riders who avoid pulling

Old 03-15-15, 07:57 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It's bizarre to whine about something after the fact. A ride like this is either competitive and important or it's an enjoyable social event. Let's face it the OP might have been riding for 500th out of a 1000 riders, he certainly wasn't in the front group. If it's important to you then the time to deal with a sprinter who isn't working is during the ride not after.
Competitive and important?
We're talking bicycle riding here, it's all fluff.
Now keeping kids from starting smoking, educating the youth, protecting the vulnerable and infirm, helping to solve the increasingly frightening income gap ..... now that's important.
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Old 03-15-15, 08:18 AM
  #127  
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In our group, the strongest guy tends to take very long pulls and the weakest guy takes very short pulls. But we all slide through the rotation.
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Old 03-15-15, 08:26 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Competitive and important?
We're talking bicycle riding here, it's all fluff.
I meant to the individuals doing the ride, not society as a whole.
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Old 03-15-15, 08:38 AM
  #129  
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I love watching that video ! Watching the watts rise and fall tells a lot!

Just curious, what is a good number of riders for a fast paceline like this?
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Old 03-15-15, 09:30 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by intransit1217 View Post
I love watching that video ! Watching the watts rise and fall tells a lot!

Just curious, what is a good number of riders for a fast paceline like this?
in a rotating pace line like that, it's mostly about having a group of guys/gals that are reasonably close in ability. It's possible to do it with a big group when the pace is moderate, but they will typically shred the group when the pace is really high. When a rotating pace line is really motivated, the pace will be high enough that it still hurts bad when in the draft and weaker riders won't be recovering at that pace.

A fast rotating paceline is awesome with the right people. It walks the balance between unsustainable efforts on the front and trying to recover at the edge of your aerobic threshold. The first successful break away I was in during a race started as ~10 guys just 2 miles into the race. We quickly got the rotation going and within 45 minutes we had a couple minutes into the field and cut the break down to a managable number. That is still the hardest 45 minutes I've ever done on a bike. The field gave up at that point and we stayed away to the finish.
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Old 03-15-15, 10:40 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by intransit1217 View Post
Just curious, what is a good number of riders for a fast paceline like this?
Ideally, around 10 or so, but you can do it with more or less. I don't think I've done this type of rotation with fewer than 6, or more than 20. I does take some time to adjust to this style since it is so different. There's a tendency to put down too much power as you're taking over the front and end up separating from the person behind you as you shift over. Once you get the hang of it you realize you need to put down just enough to clear the bike that you'll be pulling in front of. It is a very fluid way to ride and the pace can be adjusted to keep everyone comfortable. It doesn't have to be race pace, but can be if you want it. I'd suggest if your group has never done it, keep it moderate until everyone feels comfortable with ramping it up.
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Old 03-15-15, 01:15 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by happyscientist View Post
I don't have my name on my road bike, but the top tube is covered with stickers from the cool places that I have ridden like Death Valley and Independence pass. If people can put stickers on their cars for driving over 12,000' mountains, I can put one on my bike for riding over them.
That's very cool. I feel that personalizing your bike is taking the clone out of your reason to ride and helps in anti theft. I have been on lots of rides and haven't heard of a bike being jacked yet amongst the hundreds lying on the ground at stops. But it may be a matter of time with the value of bikes going up.
V
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Old 03-15-15, 01:22 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by velocity View Post
That's very cool. I feel that personalizing your bike is taking the clone out of your reason to ride and helps in anti theft. I have been on lots of rides and haven't heard of a bike being jacked yet amongst the hundreds lying on the ground at stops. But it may be a matter of time with the value of bikes going up.
V
1972, summer, touring through the North East, stopped for a quick bite in Kennebunk Port Maine, placed my bike against the font window of a small local pharmacy and went in to get some sugarless gum, 3 minutes later walked out and......no bike.
I have never left it out of my sight on a ride since.
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Old 03-15-15, 01:26 PM
  #134  
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I'm old so I don't pull a lot any more but my response to those who contest my lack of pulling is for them to just drop me which they can't do. With age comes wisdom.
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Old 03-15-15, 01:40 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
I'm old so I don't pull a lot any more but my response to those who contest my lack of pulling is for them to just drop me which they can't do. With age comes wisdom.
But that comes to the heart of it a little bit. If you can hang with the group, they can't go hard enough to drop you, then why won't you contribute to the work?
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Old 03-15-15, 01:43 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
I'm old so I don't pull a lot any more but my response to those who contest my lack of pulling is for them to just drop me which they can't do. With age comes wisdom.
I would rather get dropped trying to do my fair share of work then just suck wheels for an entire ride and know what everyone else is thinking about me, and I'm no spring chicken myself. I would be embarrassed but everyone is raised different I suppose. I would think if you could hang with a group then trying to lead for a mile or two wouldn't be too much to ask. Reach down and grab a pair.
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Old 03-15-15, 01:48 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by FLvector View Post
Ha. Good point. Wearing a dress and know one wants to draft her? Somethings wrong there. Unless its a he.
Unfortunatly i am a dude. A very tiny dude. If i was a chick the dress size joke wouldn't be funny... It'd just be taunting.

There is no rule that says i have to use the aero bars on the tt bike. I can use the bull horns and cover the brakes when safety calls for it.

Also our B group pace line isn't picky. If you are safe, predictable and competent you are welcome in our draft. Aero bars, fixies with no brakes, that crazy ex division 1 college foot ball player on the creaky Wal-Mart mountain bike. All are welcome.. In fact the only 2 sketchy guys i won't draft with are both on road bikes.

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Old 03-15-15, 01:58 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by Jakedatc View Post
But that comes to the heart of it a little bit. If you can hang with the group, they can't go hard enough to drop you, then why won't you contribute to the work?
It sounds like he does, just not as much as he used to.
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Old 03-15-15, 02:37 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
Unfortunatly i am a dude. A very tiny dude. If i was a chick the dress size joke wouldn't be funny... It'd just be taunting.

There is no rule that says i have to use the aero bars on the tt bike. I can use the bull horns and cover the brakes when safety calls for it.

Also our B group pace line isn't picky. If you are safe, predictable and competent you are welcome in our draft. Aero bars, fixies with no brakes, that crazy ex division 1 college foot ball player on the creaky Wal-Mart mountain bike. All are welcome.. In fact the only 2 sketchy guys i won't draft with are both on road bikes.
Taunting on BF? Yeah, never happens.

Didn't say you were required to use your bars, just that the only times its typically safe and accepted is when you're pulling.

You can only determine if someone is safe, predictable and competent after you ride with them, so of course they are all welcome to your group. The problem is how do you un-welcome them from your group. Or do you just make sure your not the one drafting them, which means you're putting someone else in harms way. Not the best approach. The leader or someone from your group needs to speak up if these guys are really that sketchy. Someone should guide them to correct their bad habits or un-invite them from your group if it's really that bad.
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Old 03-15-15, 03:00 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I would rather get dropped trying to do my fair share of work then just suck wheels for an entire ride and know what everyone else is thinking about me, and I'm no spring chicken myself. I would be embarrassed but everyone is raised different I suppose. I would think if you could hang with a group then trying to lead for a mile or two wouldn't be too much to ask. Reach down and grab a pair.
I have some questions along these lines. I'm a newbie road cyclist (I'd rode for years on my hybrid but I've quickly found out that road cycling is a different animal) but was in a relatively decent shape and felt that I needed to push myself beyond the 18-20mph rides I was normally doing, so I bought a trainer, have been training and also started seeking faster rides. I figure if I don't find more challenging rides I'd be stuck @ 18-20mph forever.

I found a cycling club with very strong riders. They have weekend rides of 21-23 (B) and 23-25 (A); the groups starts together and then they split down the road according to pace/ability. I expected them to blow me off the first time I rode with them, but they were very gracious and helped me along and made me feel completely welcome (and it seemed to be a recovery ride for many of them so they took it easy on me). I try to hang with the B group. Today was my 2nd ride with them. 57+ miles mostly flat, avg of 20.6, some stretches @ 25mph, my recorded max on the paceline was 27.6.

I've been thinking about this topic since I don't want to be flagged as "that guy" who won't pull, so when it's my turn I try to at least do 1 mile at pace (20-22). I did several pulls for about 30+ miles, then the group stopped at a gas station. While I went inside to the restroom, get some water to refill one of my bottles and pour some recovery mix into it, a large group took off. There were about 5-6 of us left, and the leading group had already gone about 1 mile down the road. We decided to catch up to the main group, and in doing so, I burned myself out after about 3 pulls. I'm just not ready yet and I accept it. What I did was to stay at the end of the paceline and let other riders come in in front of me and just hang on for dear life. We caught up with the leading group, but then the group split again with the fastest/strongest riders riding away, but I'm happy that I was able to hang with the second group all the way to the end. When there were about 5-7 miles left our group started to split again. I felt recovered enough and I thought about breaking away with the leading riders from our group, but I didn't think it proper after I had sort of "taken a free ride" at the end of our paceline for several miles, so I hung back and decided to stay with the rest of the riders which seemed to just be cooling down. In reality I think it was a good decision as I had never rode this long/fast and who knows if I may have blown up a few miles only to fall back to the trailing group again.

Did I do the right thing? I did my work for more than 1/2 the ride and I felt I could have done more, but I was not ready to be in a group trying to bridge a gap to another group for a few miles. Only at the end I accepted that I just didn't have it in me to take another turn at the front.

What to do? If I try to pull and can't keep the speed, that's bad. If I try to pull and then blow up and get dropped, that's bad too. If I never go for it and seek out stronger riders, I'll never grow as a cyclist. I don't think the group I'm riding with is far beyond my abilities; it is quite challenging, but I'm not trying to hang with the A/A++ guys @ 25+ mph. There were a couple of riders that I noticed were behaving the way that is being discussed on this thread, but I'm not concerned about that, all I want to do is get stronger, be accepted into the group as a regular, don't break any rules (written or unwritten) to get people pissed off at me, and perhaps someday get to the point where I can go with the faster guys.

Sorry about the long post. Your advice is most welcomed.

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Old 03-15-15, 03:18 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by GreenAnvil View Post

What to do? If I try to pull and can't keep the speed, that's bad. If I try to pull and then blow up and get dropped, that's bad too. If I never go for it and seek out stronger riders, I'll never grow as a cyclist. I don't think the group I'm riding with is far beyond my abilities; it is quite challenging, but I'm not trying to hang with the A/A++ guys @ 25+ mph. There were a couple of riders that I noticed were behaving the way that is being discussed on this thread, but I'm not concerned about that, all I want to do is get stronger, be accepted into the group as a regular, don't break any rules (written or unwritten) to get people pissed off at me, and perhaps someday get to the point where I can go with the faster guys.

Sorry about the long post. Your advice is most welcomed.
Everyone starts somewhere. Most of us B group lifers can see what you are trying to do. Pull as long as you can than by all means drop in and take a break. As long as you make an attempt the group will take notice. If you never even try to pull we Will also notice.

I use to try and do a lot of pulling but the guys behind me didn't appreciate my tiny slip stream. Now i chill in the back so as not to cause problems with the draft line full of bigger guys. I pull out and Parallel the line or sprint out rabbit style to give them something to chase.

No one complains about my antics because we are all friends and no one wants to be the guy stuck behind me.
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Old 03-15-15, 03:25 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
Everyone starts somewhere. Most of us B group lifers can see what you are trying to do. Pull as long as you can than by all means drop in and take a break. As long as you make an attempt the group will take notice. If you never even try to pull we Will also notice.
Yes, I did take my turn at the front several times during the ride so hopefully the group noticed that. Only after close to the 3/4 route mark I just couldn't do it anymore.
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Old 03-15-15, 03:27 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by GreenAnvil View Post
Did I do the right thing? I did my work for more than 1/2 the ride and I felt I could have done more, but I was not ready to be in a group trying to bridge a gap to another group for a few miles. Only at the end I accepted that I just didn't have it in me to take another turn at the front.

What to do? If I try to pull and can't keep the speed, that's bad. If I try to pull and then blow up and get dropped, that's bad too. If I never go for it and seek out stronger riders, I'll never grow as a cyclist. I don't think the group I'm riding with is far beyond my abilities; it is quite challenging, but I'm not trying to hang with the A/A++ guys @ 25+ mph. There were a couple of riders that I noticed were behaving the way that is being discussed on this thread, but I'm not concerned about that, all I want to do is get stronger, be accepted into the group as a regular, don't break any rules (written or unwritten) to get people pissed off at me, and perhaps someday get to the point where I can go with the faster guys.
.
It sounds like you've found a good group to ride with, so I'd continue to keep riding with them and you'll get stronger. Some people like a very short break, so be aware of the culture of the group and be ready to roll when they are. You burned a few matches trying to bridge up to the front group, so no surprise you didn't have much left after that. Kudos for even catching them.

Until you have the confidence of knowing you'll finish strong, it's not a bad idea to conserve your energy the first 1/2 to 3/4 of the ride. You can shorten your earlier pulls a bit, make sure you stay well protected in the draft, drink often, etc. Nobody really cares whether you do a 1 mile or a 1/2 mile pull. And pick a huge guy to draft behind (ha!). Learning to conserve your energy and riding smart will help you to finish strong with the group. Also, sometimes riders take a while to warm up to the "new guy", and they may be the nicest in the group. Keep going with these guys and you'll get stronger. Also, do some solo rides and intervals so you aren't only relying on a group to make you faster.
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Old 03-15-15, 03:40 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by GreenAnvil View Post
What to do? If I try to pull and can't keep the speed, that's bad. If I try to pull and then blow up and get dropped, that's bad too. If I never go for it and seek out stronger riders, I'll never grow as a cyclist.
You answered your question with the last sentence. If you can pull for only a couple of minutes and have to rotate out everyone will understand because they've been there. Chances are you aren't the only one hurting. If you get dropped, well, everyone has been there as well, you'll get stronger the more you ride. It's better than getting a rep as "that guy".
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Old 03-15-15, 04:40 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I would rather get dropped trying to do my fair share of work then just suck wheels for an entire ride and know what everyone else is thinking about me, and I'm no spring chicken myself. I would be embarrassed but everyone is raised different I suppose. I would think if you could hang with a group then trying to lead for a mile or two wouldn't be too much to ask. Reach down and grab a pair.
I'm 68. I've flown all my missions. I hang with the gang and let the kids do the pulling unless I'm in a group that is very slow.
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Old 03-15-15, 04:50 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I would rather get dropped trying to do my fair share of work then just suck wheels for an entire ride and know what everyone else is thinking about me, and I'm no spring chicken myself. I would be embarrassed but everyone is raised different I suppose. I would think if you could hang with a group then trying to lead for a mile or two wouldn't be too much to ask. Reach down and grab a pair.
A mile or two? How about just 30 or 45 seconds?
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Old 03-15-15, 05:16 PM
  #147  
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Thank you weasel, vector and lazy for your advice.
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Old 03-15-15, 08:33 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by GreenAnvil View Post
I've been thinking about this topic since I don't want to be flagged as "that guy" who won't pull, so when it's my turn I try to at least do 1 mile at pace (20-22).
.......

What to do? If I try to pull and can't keep the speed, that's bad. If I try to pull and then blow up and get dropped, that's bad too.
It's great that you've found a group that is challenging you. Don't hesitate to reach out to some of the more experienced riders and ask for their guidance. Our team rides are open to outsiders and we're very welcoming to riders that are eager to learn how to ride in a group. We're not as welcoming to new riders that think they know it all (or are just perceived that way because they don't ask).

"Doing your share at the front" should be the last thing to worry about in a situation like this. Learn how to anticipate surges, ride smooth, and keep tight gaps when you are holding on for dear life. Nobody should get upset if you aren't pulling at the front, especially if you are working hard to stay attached. On the other hand, people are likely to get ticked off if you continuously let gaps open and you force others to come around you to close them. My advice would be to sit near the back and learn for a while. When someone comes off the front, let them slide back in line in front of you. Sitting at the back is great practice. Watch up the road (not the wheel in front of you) and you will learn how anticipate surges and avoid gaps before they happen. Learn how to hide from the wind and stay low. You'll be amazed how easy it can be to sit in a fast group (until it gets hilly).

Once you are comfortable, start taking some short pulls. Be smart about where you take them at first. For example, don't take a pull as you are approaching a hill or other attack points where you need to be fresh.
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Old 03-15-15, 08:37 PM
  #149  
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Old 03-15-15, 09:17 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by GreenAnvil View Post
Did I do the right thing? I did my work for more than 1/2 the ride and I felt I could have done more, but I was not ready to be in a group trying to bridge a gap to another group for a few miles. Only at the end I accepted that I just didn't have it in me to take another turn at the front.
Probably best to ask the people you're riding with. I think you'll find the faster groups won't care whether you pull or not on a group ride. If you do get in the mix and you're feeling stressed just keep your pulls short. On a fast ride no one is going to be on the front for more than 30 Seconds or so. If people are taking long pulls there is either a big discrepancy in fitness or it's a slower ride.

Everyone has different objectives on a group ride. If someone is racing the next day they are naturally going to take it easier than they might if they're looking for a harder workout. Some guys may have already ridden for 15 hrs that week and have tire legs, others may be fresh and looking for a workout. Don't get caught up worrying about what others are thinking. Do what's appropriate for you and don't be afraid to push yourself and get dropped once in a while.
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