just joined cycling club,nervous

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by feelthebyrne, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. feelthebyrne

    feelthebyrne New Member

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    I have just joined my local cycling club and I am a bit nervous about ridind in a group for the first time ,will they leave me behind etc. I have been out on my own and I have been suffering from cramp in my 2 calf muscle what can I do or take on board to stop this look forward to getting some of my many questions answered .Thanks cycling friends
     
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  2. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    if it's an understanding group (usually put together by a bicycle shop), there will be different speed groups, so, should you get shelled out the back of one, there will be another to pick you up. if it's like some of the groups around here, they will purposely try to drop you. take it for what you will, but it is meant to be incentive for you to improve your skills to keep up.

    as for the cramping, could be several deficiencies. for me, i had removed so much salt from my diet that i cramped no matter what. added some salt back to the diet and some calcium and have suffered cramping only when i've gone out on the suicide rides.

    also, pay attention to the stuff getting posted in the thread started by j huskey for newer riders. very good advice to be found there.
     
  3. feelthebyrne

    feelthebyrne New Member

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    thanks for that I ll keep an eye on that and I heard that this club will drop me out the back door but I wont take it to heart
     
  4. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Just remember that those folks in the club you joined were newbies too at one time.

    If it's a large enough club you should be able to find some people that you like, that won't mind that you are new to riding, etc.

    If you wanna ride with groups of people, just take your time and find the right group to hang with, and who you want to hang with may change as your riding skills change.

    Have fun! :)
     
  5. Denny418

    Denny418 New Member

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    I'm sure you won't take my advice, but I would advise you not to ride in pace lines when out with a group. Based on experience, I think the average amateur should avoid it completely. It raises your risk of injury manyfold, and unless you have aspirations of being a top-level cyclist, it's not at all worth the risk. I can't tell you how many average cyclists I know who have been hurt, some very badly, riding in pace lines. And that's just in my area. Now multiply that across the nation (and world), and you have a great deal of unnecessary carnage.

    Drafting behind others won't make you a faster cyclist (though you'll go faster while you're drafting). So don't listen to those who tell you that you have to draft in order to get good. It's BS.
     
  6. dougadam

    dougadam Member

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    Just do your best :)
     
  7. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    I agree with some of what you mentioned here. However, if a person has aspirations of racing (regardless of level) they must learn to ride within the confines of a fast moving peloton, and the best place to acquire and hone this skill is in a club group setting where the competitive level is a little lower than in an actual race.

    There is much truth to your statement about the crashes when in groups. Case in point, just this past Sunday there were a bunch of newbies riding in the 'Ace Ride', the weekly fast group ride in Vancouver, and low and behold there was big wreck involving a number of them on a straight, flat stretch of road. I know, I know, even the pros crash on flat, straight roads but it was relatively clear to me beforehand that many of these guys were not racers, not affliated with any of the local clubs, and were new to fast group riding. Crashing is never enjoyable, especially when you're travelling almost 50kph...

    OP, I suggest on your first ride that you stay in the back about 10' from the group so you can watch the hand signals and overall dynamics of group riding. Always keep your head up 'see through' the rider ahead of you, ears open, and try to anticipate issues (stoplights, animals, cars, etc...) before they're 2' in front of you.

    Group riding is just as exhilirating as it is dangerous...you can never get complacement otherwise you'll be scraping yourself off the pavement...
     
  8. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    and as you are in ireland, feelthebyrne, you might want to avail yourself of one of this site's greatest assets--limerickman. a well of cycling history, training, and the scene in ireland. that's if he's not too busy hobnobbing with mcquaid et. al.
     
  9. roadhouse

    roadhouse New Member

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    here, here. ride out front, never behind anyone if you can help it.
     
  10. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    So you've never heard of 'motorpacing'? I wonder why pros draft behind motorbikes and such? Not to get faster, I suppose...

    Depending on how slow or fast a cyclist already is, going 'overspeed' by drafting behind faster cyclists will indeed cause some adaptation processes to kick in...

    I get the true intent of your comment, but it's not entirely "B/S" to draft behind others, provided they're already faster than you...
     
  11. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I understand what he is saying too.

    And I also agree that riding with faster cyclists will help you improve, if nothing more that you will expend a greater effort to keep up with them. That's where our ego can actually be a benefit to training. :D

    Drafting behind motorcycles also makes a lot of sense when you are trying to improve your drafting skills, once you reach a certain level of riding ability.

    A motorcycle can easily maintain a certain pace without the rider themselves being a top level athlete, which they would certainly need to be if they were going to be an appropriate lead drafting partner for a pro cyclist working on their drafting skills.

    Anyway, I think the caution to the OP about being very careful when you're riding in groups of cyclists is very appropriate. Bad things can happen very quickly when riders get bunched up, even they are very experienced riders.

    That risk multiplies when you get a group of people riding together that are mainly interested in the social aspect. These are the groups riding at slower speeds, riding 3 or four wide while they converse, and who probably aren't paying much attention to what is going on around them. It's just about assured that they don't know what is happening behind them.

    It's the herd mentality, the safety in numbers thing. And if one of them zigs when they should have zagged, you'll get to see a bunch of them bouncing off each other.

    I'd try to avoid what I call "social riding groups", IMHO they just accidents waiting to happen.
     
  12. Denny418

    Denny418 New Member

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    Meet me outside, Tony.
     
  13. feelthebyrne

    feelthebyrne New Member

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    Thanks for that lads,its nice to know that you are here for some good advice,I'll let you know how I got on on my first outing .I know that there is a lot of things I'm going to have to learn eating on the bike excercise of the bike etc but I'll get back to you ,but for now ,you guys take it easy and I will talk to you all later,FTB:)
     
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