Group ride questions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tom, Jul 23, 2003.

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  1. Tom

    Tom Guest

    I've avoided group rides in the past, but I'm tired of getting brushed off the road by cars and I
    figure a group should be safer. I've found some local rides for novice group riders, and I have some
    questions about terminology:

    1. What's a recovery ride with tempo pace?

    2. Some rides are listed as "A", "B", or "C" road. What does this mean?

    3. What's a pick-up ride?

    4. When riding alone, I average 16-17 mph. What pace should I be able to maintain in a group?

    Thanks,

    Tom
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    [email protected] (Tom) wrote in news:ae755ef4.0307222029.9811146 @posting.google.com:
    > 1. What's a recovery ride with tempo pace?
    > 2. Some rides are listed as "A", "B", or "C" road. What does this mean?

    Those terms vary depending on the club. Call the ride leader and ask what the pace will be like and
    about regroups, etc. In some clubs, "A" is the fastest speed and in others, "A" is the slowest.

    > 4. When riding alone, I average 16-17 mph. What pace should I be able to maintain in a group?

    Your pace will be about the same. Don't try drafting on your first group ride. Most groups riding at
    that speed don't draft much anyway.
     
  3. helen

    helen Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Tom <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I've avoided group rides in the past, but I'm tired of getting brushed off the road by cars and I
    > figure a group should be safer. I've found some local rides for novice group riders, and I have
    > some questions about terminology:

    If you're getting brushed off the road you're not riding right. The way riding in a group will
    help is that people there can tell you how better to ride on the road. Group riding has it's own
    set of skills.

    >
    > 1. What's a recovery ride with tempo pace?

    A steady ride at an easier than race pace.

    >
    > 2. Some rides are listed as "A", "B", or "C" road. What does this mean?

    Levels of difficulty/speed/distance/hills

    >
    > 3. What's a pick-up ride?

    Usually it's an informal semi-scheduled ride where the participants decide where to go just before
    leaving. My old club called them show and go rides.
    >
    > 4. When riding alone, I average 16-17 mph. What pace should I be able to maintain in a group?

    Um, 16-17 mph? if you truly average 16-17 on the computer including hills, then with most clubs you
    would ride at a B level with little problem. If you cruise on the flat at 16-17 but don't usually go
    far (over 30 miles) or don't usually head for the hills you would most likely start as a C level
    rider. Most riders find they go a little faster and a little farther more easily with a group.

    When evaluating a group make sure you talk to someone on the phone and discuss how they handle
    dropped riders. Some groups like to hammer and it's every man for his'self. Others have strict no
    drop policies. Better yet, since you're a little nervous about being out by yourself, after talking
    to a club officer on the phone, head out to a start and talk to rank and file riders to see if
    actions match words with regards to dropped riders.

    Most riders ride with more than one group and most groups are ridiculously cheap on a per year
    basis. Once you're signed up you'll get their ride schedules and you can pick and choose what you
    want to do on any given day. Most clubs are very friendly to newcomers and guests so get out there
    and try a couple.
     
  4. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Tom asks: ...
    > 1. What's a recovery ride with tempo pace?
    Something easy-going, unlike the training ride that necessitates the recovery. (Can't help on
    "tempo pace.)

    > 2. Some rides are listed as "A", "B", or "C" road. What does this mean?
    MPH classification. A is domestique-bringing-the-drinks pace (17-20). B is we're almost to
    the restaurant pace (15-18). C is riding to work when you don't want to go (10-12--15). Your
    pace may vary.

    > 3. What's a pick-up ride?
    One that's unscheduled or unorganized. Oh, wait, we're talking about a bike club; of course it's
    unorganized. No cue sheet, no sag, sometimes it means whoever shows up decides on the pace and
    route/destination.

    > 4. When riding alone, I average 16-17 mph. What pace should I be able to maintain in a group?
    Depends on the group. Locally we have a "club" of wannabees who typically ignore traffic signals
    and ride in a fairly tight pack. They go about 18-25, depending. And there's another club that
    ignores traffic signals (hey, is there a pattern here??) that gets strung out and might top at
    18. If you're drafting or riding with folks who are nice enough to keep the group together, you
    should be OK doing 18-20 most of the time.

    --Karen M. no club
     
  5. Baltobernie

    Baltobernie Guest

    Does the group have a Web site? Many do, and they answer many of your questions, e.g.
    http://www.bikepptc.org/classification.html As you can see, the higher speed rides often include
    riding in a paceline. If you don't have experience in these, let the other riders know, and they
    won't give you a rash about avoiding a pull at the front.

    I second Helen's comments about different club's policy on dropped riders. Theoretically, at least
    the ride leader should ride the advertised pace. Around here, it's common for group rides to go much
    quicker than advertised. So you might want to be a big fish in a little pond until you get a feel
    for the club.

    Another caveat is the quality of the "cue sheet" for the ride. These are often 8½ x 11 sheets folded
    into fourths with names of roads, cumulative miles, and miles between points. Some are abysmal, with
    obsolete landmarks, etc. Another good idea for riding in a "slower" group; minimizing the chance of
    getting dropped <and>lost.

    I hope none of this discourages you from trying a group ride or two. They offer a change of scenery
    as well as fellowship. Be ready to go at the advertised time, and be honest about your abilities and
    experience. You'll have a ball.

    baltobernie

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:230720030847238786%[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Tom <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > I've avoided group rides in the past, but I'm tired of getting brushed off the road by cars and
    > > I figure a group should be safer. I've found some local rides for novice group riders, and I
    > > have some questions about terminology:
    >
    > If you're getting brushed off the road you're not riding right. The way riding in a group will
    > help is that people there can tell you how better to ride on the road. Group riding has it's own
    > set of skills.
    >
    > >
    > > 1. What's a recovery ride with tempo pace?
    >
    > A steady ride at an easier than race pace.
    >
    >
    > >
    > > 2. Some rides are listed as "A", "B", or "C" road. What does this mean?
    >
    > Levels of difficulty/speed/distance/hills
    >
    > >
    > > 3. What's a pick-up ride?
    >
    > Usually it's an informal semi-scheduled ride where the participants decide where to go just before
    > leaving. My old club called them show and go rides.
    > >
    > > 4. When riding alone, I average 16-17 mph. What pace should I be able to maintain in a group?
    >
    > Um, 16-17 mph? if you truly average 16-17 on the computer including hills, then with most clubs
    > you would ride at a B level with little problem. If you cruise on the flat at 16-17 but don't
    > usually go far (over 30 miles) or don't usually head for the hills you would most likely start
    > as a C level rider. Most riders find they go a little faster and a little farther more easily
    > with a group.
    >
    > When evaluating a group make sure you talk to someone on the phone and discuss how they handle
    > dropped riders. Some groups like to hammer and it's every man for his'self. Others have strict no
    > drop policies. Better yet, since you're a little nervous about being out by yourself, after
    > talking to a club officer on the phone, head out to a start and talk to rank and file riders to
    > see if actions match words with regards to dropped riders.
    >
    > Most riders ride with more than one group and most groups are ridiculously cheap on a per year
    > basis. Once you're signed up you'll get their ride schedules and you can pick and choose what you
    > want to do on any given day. Most clubs are very friendly to newcomers and guests so get out there
    > and try a couple.
     
  6. Roy Zipris

    Roy Zipris Guest

    When you are deciding what ride to do--A, B, C, etc.--based on the group's definition (average
    speed, miles, terrain) of those categories, be aware that rides often come in faster, longer, and
    hillier than advertised. This is unfair to newcomers, who may be dropped, but it's quite typical in
    the clubs I ride with.

    But, in turn, be fair about your abilities. Clubs around here suggest that newcomers ride a level
    below what they think they can handle for the first ride or two. It's not fun to hold a group of
    faster, stronger riders up, making them wait at the top of every hill or turn.

    It helps to know the ride leader's predilections, which you won't. Some are good about keeping the
    pace, others not; some are good about keeping an eye on the back of the group, others oblivious.
    With less-experienced riders, these traits can significantly influence whether you enjoy your
    experience with that club. But always enjoy the ride. --Roy Zipris
     
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