Group rides and power

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Wingless, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. ToffoIsMe

    ToffoIsMe New Member

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    It sounds like some of you have some dangerously large group rides! 30+ people in one group is insane when there are still motor vehicles whizzing aroun you. The way that "large" group rides are done in my area is that everyone meets in one place and then split apart based on strength and goals. There may be 30-50 cyclists gathered in one place but everyone leaves in different groups rated on an "A" through "D" scale with 5-10 minutes between departures (faster groups leaving first). "A" generally meaning that the group is going to maintain a minimum of 21-22 mph average with no upper limit to the pace (been on a few "A" rides that have averaged close to 27mph when the local cat 1s and 2s feel like hammering! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif), generally experienced cyclists and racers. Then each letter goes down to lower and lower paces with a typical "D" ride being around 12-14 mph average. This grading of pace generally means that each group is between 8 and 15 people, depending on how many people meet up before the beginning of the ride.

    Structuring group rides this way also seems to help people progress fairly quickly in this area. For instance, a "C" paced rider who thinks he is getting too strong for his group can go out with the "B" group and, if it gets too hard for him, he can drop off the back and easy pedal until he is reunited with his old "C" friends. In this way it is not as intimidating for people to try to push themselves to progress and get faster since they know they won't be left for dead if they are dropped by one of the faster groups. Its just a matter of waiting for the next group to roll through. This structure also means that the faster groups don't need to worry about waiting for any dropped riders.
     


  2. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    In theory our club is set up the same way and is supposed to operate that way, but as soon as we roll out it goes in the crapper. :)
     
  3. smaryka

    smaryka Member

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    Indeed, the different definitions of "group ride" meant for some confusion on this thread! I can't imagine riding in a group of 60 however I can understand how on big North American (or Australian?) roads you could have a number like that. There's no way the narrow roads of the UK could handle more than a twenty without causing serious problems for other road users. And given that we get enough grief as it is for riding bikes here, we tend to want to stay sensible and not draw more attention than necessary to our group rides.

    That doesn't stop a local shop from trying to appeal to the "more money than brains" crowd from offering big weekend group rides for £25 a pop, complete with neutral service car following along... lol.
     
  4. Nate Pearson

    Nate Pearson New Member

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    You guys need to come to Reno and do the Saturday Walden's coffee drop ride. P/1/2 guys putting the hurt on everyone else. The point is to drop people. It's on a looped course though so people can jump back on and try to stay on. In the summer I've seen as many as 30 guys show up, maybe more.
     
  5. ToffoIsMe

    ToffoIsMe New Member

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    Sounds like the "week-night championships" that a lot of places have. There is a ride like that on Thursday evenings from spring to fall here where it is an hour plus 5 laps on a 1.1 mile course. Usually large numbers of riders (30-50 on average), but always fairly safe and extremely fast with the P/1/2 guys keeping the speed in the 30s a majority of the time. I wouldn't really consider rides like this to be group rides per se, but more of a weekly training race. I'm not sure how the ride is that you do, but a ride like that here is mainly filled with racers and experienced cyclists with very few or even no beginners or rec riders attending.
     
  6. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    My 3 1/2 hour group ride today was a lot like a solo ride a lot of the time. The second half of the ride I got out in front of the group and did not see them again until the parking lot, but we all had a good time. No pace line formations or really any sort of organization, but everyone seemed content. Unpredictable. Sometimes we look like an official group ride and sometimes we don't.

    It was a group ride that was not really like a group ride. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif I don't think I said 3 words during the entire ride. I just did my pace for my training and there happened to be 12 friends near by doing their pace. Very loose definition of a "group ride" but that is what we called it.

    Here is how 6 minutes today's ride looked.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OtDKumxQes
     
  7. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    First of all, BEAUTIFUL scenery and great roads! I have to admit that I am a little bit jealous. Especially considering that my "ride" today was in the basement of the LBS.

    But, wow, that is a lose formation you guys had going on today!!!!! I agree that it didn't look much like a typical group ride. You guys could go soooo much faster if you tightened it up a bit allowing for places to hide from the wind, but that's coming from me, an efficiency freak.
     
  8. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif I wanted just show visually what some here said about the unpredictable nature of "group" rides. However, I must say that the ride yesterday was unique and rare to how we normally ride together. Most of the time when the group breaks apart there are typically small clusters of riders together, but yesterday I was solo a number of times and for about 20 miles on the return was completely solo as I wanted to keep my effort higher.

    This relevant to this thread because when I put out the email to see if anyone wanted to ride with me I had training in mind, a couple of other guys had training in mind and a number of them had winter pace group ride in mind. Different agendas creating mixed pace. However, the were some benefits because I got word that one of the riders flatted (his 2nd) so I went back a couple miles with another friend to see if he was okay and he had 3 riders with him. It was amazing that even though we were stretched out a lot we were still able to make sure everyone returned safely.

    Unfortunately my hub batteries died just as we rolled out so I had to go "old school" with RPE. I suppose they were already weak and the bitter cold temps went ahead and killed them. The cold temps also shortened the battery life of my video camera about halfway through the ride.

    I do want to say that even though the video is a bad example of a group effort and we had our own training goals in mind that we can hold a tight and efficient pace line, but this was not one of those days. I was probably the worst culprit yesterday. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  9. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I suppose relative to the thread topic I get my L4 moments by going back to check on riders and then putting on a solid pace going back up to the front group many times over. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  10. slowfoot

    slowfoot New Member

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    wish i had roads like that at this time of year...
    this morning:
    [​IMG]
    my ride today:
    [​IMG]
    i feel 4x 5's in my future :)
    dave
     
  11. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Slowfoot, right after you posted your pictures our area ( north Georgia) got slammed with a winter storm. The greater Atlanta area is now paralyzed. At least you folk up in NY deal with this much better than we do.

    Missing work and losing vacation days but yet plenty of time for intervals. I am not sure if I use a smiley or a frown so here are both. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif
     
  12. slowfoot

    slowfoot New Member

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    i, and the entire eastern seaboard share your pain.

    although yours will end much sooner than mine !!

    i hear cross country skiing is good for your ftp :) i'm going to try.

    now back to your program..................
     
  13. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    I actually did the cross-country ski thing here in AL today. Got about 90 minutes in, after breaking a little loop in the park through the crusty snow (about 6" depth). Hadn't been on the skis for 10 years; forgot what a great aerobic workout it can be. With temps below freezing all day and not much sun today, my XC trail should be good again tomorrow.
     
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