Query about Etiquette

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Roy Zipris, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Roy Zipris

    Roy Zipris Guest

    What do you do when. . . ? Here are the basic facts.

    I ride with a recreational bike club--that is, serious but not
    necessarily racers. Although I got out as much as this past SE
    Pennsylvania winter allowed, the rides weren't very challenging for
    conditioning, and I have been looking forward to getting in some real
    mileage to push myself a bit. Besides my longer weekend rides, I also
    enjoy the club's twice-weekly rides that just began earlier this
    month, with Daylight Saving Time.

    Tuesday night at 6pm, a group of 17 went out at a projected 14-16 mph
    pace, expecting to do about 25 miles before darkness reined us in.
    Because of the size of the group, the leader asked for someone to ride
    in the back and let him know if everyone makes it through lights, and
    I volunteered. About 6 miles into the ride, someone flatted. Another
    rider and I helped to change the flat but we had a terrible time
    getting the wheel back on the bike and as a result of the long delay,
    we had to head back prematurely. Instead of the hard 25 miles I had
    hoped for, we did 12.5.

    My query: how do other people here see the etiquette involved? On a
    large group ride, must someone stop and help? If you offer to help,
    are you obligated to stay even when the problem gets out-of-hand? If
    there's another person also helping, can you then take off?

    Frankly, I'm a bit conflicted, as they say. On one hand, I somewhat
    selfishly feel deprived (although, I admit, it was at my own
    instigation--I neither had to volunteer to ride sweep nor to stop to
    help the flatted rider). But on the other hand, I believe that riders
    in a group have some basic obligations to each other and to the group;
    it also would not have been safe (considering traffic conditions and
    waning daylight) or courteous to have left the rider on her own. Even
    considering that another rider came to help, I didn't feel that,
    having stopped to help, I could then leave the two of them to the
    task.

    Most cyclists I come across around here make it a point to stop and
    offer help, and that's one of the aspects of cycling--that sense of
    shared community--that I value. What do you folks think? --Roy Zipris
     
    Tags:


  2. Doug Huffman

    Doug Huffman Guest

    It is etiquette, not mandatory ethically or morally.


    "Roy Zipris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    | What do you do when. . . ? Here are the basic facts.
    |
    ||
    | Most cyclists I come across around here make it a point to stop and
    | offer help, and that's one of the aspects of cycling--that sense of
    | shared community--that I value. What do you folks think? --Roy Zipris
     
  3. BanditManDan

    BanditManDan Guest

    Roy Zipris wrote:
    > What do you do when. . . ? Here are the basic facts.
    > My query: how do other people here see the etiquette involved? On a
    > large group ride, must someone stop and help? If you offer to help, are
    > you obligated to stay even when the problem gets out-of-hand? If there's
    > another person also helping, can you then take off?
    > Frankly, I'm a bit conflicted, as they say. On one hand, I somewhat
    > selfishly feel deprived (although, I admit, it was at my own instigation--
    > I neither had to volunteer to ride sweep nor to stop to help the flatted
    > rider). But on the other hand, I believe that riders in a group have
    > some basic obligations to each other and to the group; it also would not
    > have been safe (considering traffic conditions and waning daylight) or
    > courteous to have left the rider on her own. Even considering that
    > another rider came to help, I didn't feel that, having stopped to help,
    > I could then leave the two of them to the task.
    > Most cyclists I come across around here make it a point to stop and
    > offer help, and that's one of the aspects of cycling-- that sense of
    > shared community--that I value. What do you folks think? --Roy Zipris




    Proper etiquette would have been to stay with the broken down rider as
    long as they needed or wanted help. In my personal experience I would
    have told you to continue without me so I didn't ruin your ride but for
    a newbe they may have felt much better if someone stayed to assist. Many
    people like riding on club rides for the safety in numbers thing and
    they rely on the group for directions and help in break downs. Thats why
    I think you should have stayed, since you volunteered.

    In the club rides in my area the rides are rated (A,B,C,D), the more
    aggresive rides (A,B) dictate that you must be able to fix your own
    flats and follow a map while the easier rides (C,D) always ensure that
    nobody gets left behind.

    Dan Ballagh



    --
     
  4. On 21 Apr 2004 05:12:30 -0700, [email protected] (Roy Zipris) wrote:

    <What do you do when. . . ? Here are the basic facts.
    snip
    <we had to head back prematurely. Instead of the hard 25 miles I had
    <hoped for, we did 12.5.
    <
    <My query: how do other people here see the etiquette involved? On a
    <large group ride, must someone stop and help? If you offer to help,
    <are you obligated to stay even when the problem gets out-of-hand? If
    <there's another person also helping, can you then take off?

    <Frankly, I'm a bit conflicted, as they say. On one hand, I somewhat

    You lost 12 miles of your ride, around 45 minutes. If you could have done the
    tube change in 15-20m, then the three of you would have had a challenge not a
    short ride.

    <selfishly feel deprived (although, I admit, it was at my own
    <instigation--I neither had to volunteer to ride sweep nor to stop to
    <help the flatted rider). But on the other hand, I believe that riders
    <in a group have some basic obligations to each other and to the group;
    <it also would not have been safe (considering traffic conditions and
    <waning daylight) or courteous to have left the rider on her own. Even
    <considering that another rider came to help, I didn't feel that,
    <having stopped to help, I could then leave the two of them to the
    <task.
    <
    <Most cyclists I come across around here make it a point to stop and
    <offer help, and that's one of the aspects of cycling--that sense of
    <shared community--that I value. What do you folks think? --Roy Zipris

    When I go on a group ride, I expect to ride with a group but it only partially
    works out that way. In the early season, some riders drop off the back. As the
    season progresses, many shoot off the front. Some leave with others, it's a hoot
    to watch the interactoins. Some folks don't know how to change a tire but they
    have a cell phone with them and are prepared to use it.

    If I'm the rider with the flat, I don't need your help, but by you stopping, we
    get to ride in together. And if there are three of us, it's even better. I'd
    feel bad if the whole group stopped but dissapointed if no one did. When I ride
    group, I actually expect to stop and to be "waited on"... why else would I go on
    a group ride? ...and I like riding with like-thinking folks. The twelve miles
    you "lost" can easily be made up at a later date, if you expand your time
    horizon.
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Roy Zipris wrote:

    > What do you do when. . . ? Here are the basic facts.
    >
    > I ride with a recreational bike club--that is, serious but not
    > necessarily racers. Although I got out as much as this past SE
    > Pennsylvania winter allowed, the rides weren't very challenging for
    > conditioning, and I have been looking forward to getting in some real
    > mileage to push myself a bit. Besides my longer weekend rides, I also
    > enjoy the club's twice-weekly rides that just began earlier this
    > month, with Daylight Saving Time.
    >
    > Tuesday night at 6pm, a group of 17 went out at a projected 14-16 mph
    > pace, expecting to do about 25 miles before darkness reined us in.
    > Because of the size of the group, the leader asked for someone to ride
    > in the back and let him know if everyone makes it through lights, and
    > I volunteered. About 6 miles into the ride, someone flatted. Another
    > rider and I helped to change the flat but we had a terrible time
    > getting the wheel back on the bike and as a result of the long delay,
    > we had to head back prematurely. Instead of the hard 25 miles I had
    > hoped for, we did 12.5.
    >
    > My query: how do other people here see the etiquette involved? On a
    > large group ride, must someone stop and help? If you offer to help,
    > are you obligated to stay even when the problem gets out-of-hand? If
    > there's another person also helping, can you then take off?
    >
    > Frankly, I'm a bit conflicted, as they say. On one hand, I somewhat
    > selfishly feel deprived (although, I admit, it was at my own
    > instigation--I neither had to volunteer to ride sweep nor to stop to
    > help the flatted rider). But on the other hand, I believe that riders
    > in a group have some basic obligations to each other and to the group;
    > it also would not have been safe (considering traffic conditions and
    > waning daylight) or courteous to have left the rider on her own. Even
    > considering that another rider came to help, I didn't feel that,
    > having stopped to help, I could then leave the two of them to the
    > task.
    >
    > Most cyclists I come across around here make it a point to stop and
    > offer help, and that's one of the aspects of cycling--that sense of
    > shared community--that I value. What do you folks think? --Roy Zipris


    Ditto.

    In most groups I've ridden with, the *stronger* riders volunteer to ride "sweep"
    or whatever. The strongest riders in a group are usually not being deprived of
    anything anyway -- they're stronger because they've been doing more riding
    elsewhere, and get their workouts on slower group rides by moving up and back.
    They shouldn't deprive folks like you of a relatively (for you) more productive
    ride. But that's life. Some groups are very magnanimous, others are full of
    selfish pinheads.

    In our local club, no one would be left behind, and certainly not like that. I
    got lost/dropped one day, and my phone was ringing within 20 minutes (most of us
    carry phones). In the MTB group I used to ride with, the strongest couple of
    riders would be first to the tops of the hills, then descend to check on
    everyone, and offer encouragement to those struggling at the rear.

    However, what goes around, comes around. Your karma is higher for doing what
    you did, and you'll be repaid one way or another.

    Matt O.
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Roy Zipris) wrote:

    > What do you do when. . . ? Here are the basic facts.
    >
    > I ride with a recreational bike club--that is, serious but not
    > necessarily racers.


    > Tuesday night at 6pm, a group of 17 went out at a projected 14-16 mph
    > pace, expecting to do about 25 miles before darkness reined us in.
    > Because of the size of the group, the leader asked for someone to ride
    > in the back and let him know if everyone makes it through lights, and
    > I volunteered. About 6 miles into the ride, someone flatted. Another
    > rider and I helped to change the flat but we had a terrible time
    > getting the wheel back on the bike and as a result of the long delay,
    > we had to head back prematurely. Instead of the hard 25 miles I had
    > hoped for, we did 12.5.
    >
    > My query: how do other people here see the etiquette involved? On a
    > large group ride, must someone stop and help?


    This is the sort of thing that should be figured out before the ride
    goes, and probably varies from ride to ride. The fact that your ride had
    a sweep indicates that it was meant as a "nobody gets dropped" kind of
    ride. In my opinion, that means that everybody (and 17 is not a big
    group) stops when there is a flat or minor mechanical. My club has an 80
    km "easy spin" ride (pace around 30 km/h) and the rule of thumb is that
    we wait for these things.

    In practice, I had a flat one time and then looked down to discover a
    broken spoke after I fixed the flat. I told the group (which was
    waiting) to go on and I abandoned (this was about 10 km in, so I just
    turned back and rode slowly to the start point).

    The bonus to this is that if you have 17 cyclists waiting for one flat
    to be fixed, one takes the new tube and inflates it, one checks the tire
    for the cut point, and if you're having problems getting the new tire
    on, there are always more experienced or stronger hands with extra tire
    levers (and motivation to get the job done: otherwise the group doesn't
    go).

    > Frankly, I'm a bit conflicted, as they say. On one hand, I somewhat
    > selfishly feel deprived (although, I admit, it was at my own
    > instigation--I neither had to volunteer to ride sweep nor to stop to
    > help the flatted rider). But on the other hand, I believe that riders
    > in a group have some basic obligations to each other and to the group;
    > it also would not have been safe (considering traffic conditions and
    > waning daylight) or courteous to have left the rider on her own. Even
    > considering that another rider came to help, I didn't feel that,
    > having stopped to help, I could then leave the two of them to the
    > task.


    Again, the attitude is ride-specific. If you're on a "no wimps, no
    waiting" race-training kind of ride, it's simply expected that the group
    will break up as things go on. I rode the Pacific Populaire, a local and
    popular 100 km ride. Everybody sets their own pace and groupings, so I
    just held on to the lead group as long as I could until they dropped me,
    96 km in. A co-worker and club-mate on that ride had two flats, and was
    dropped rather sooner.

    I would say that a ride with a sweep, and especially one with only 17
    people in the group, should probably have a wait-and-fix policy for
    minor mechanicals. I also think that in most cases, if you are the one
    with the mechanical and it becomes clear that it's going to be a mess
    and you will either be a long time fixing, the bike will be only
    marginally rideable when fixed, or it is unrideable, the victim should
    declare that they are abandoning. The only exception might be if the
    bike was unrideable and easy transportation unfeasible, in which case
    the group has to figure out a solution, even if it just means riding to
    the nearest town and summoning a taxi.

    All bets are off for medical situations of course, but then it's hardly
    a matter of etiquette, then it's a moral issue (and presumably not the
    morality of "devil take the hindmost" :).

    In another case, I was riding with a friend, helping her catch up to
    that same Saturday ride (I knew they would wait at the next muster
    point, not far off), when a mishap befell and we ran into each other.
    She was scraped and hurt in the accident. We asked the next cyclists by
    to report to the group, and declare our intention to abandon. We made
    sure she was okay, and found that the bike was still rideable, so after
    some first aid, we made our way back to the start very slowly. As it
    was, a small group of the riders came back to double-check on us, but we
    assured them all was okay at that point.

    Like I say, I think "friendly" rides have an obligation to be friendly
    and wait for flats, but when a repair becomes major, the victim should
    have the good grace to let everyone else ride on. Most importantly, this
    is a great thing to know _before_ the ride starts. Our goofy little
    Saturday ride, as casual as anything going, has a page of rules,
    starting with rule 1: Nobody gets dropped. It's a really friendly ride,
    so we also have rules that say that veterans of the ride should carry
    extra food, extra water, extra tubes, etc. and be prepared to share them
    with unprepared newbies. We even have an example of why in that rule
    sheet: one day a young rider showed up for the easy spin, and he wasn't
    really prepared for it. If the group hadn't made sure he had help up the
    hills, made sure they gave him food and kept his hydration level up, he
    would have bonked, been dropped, dehydrated, or all three. As it was, he
    stayed with the group.

    Today that same rider is a Cat 1 member of the fastest team in the
    province. So it was worth making his intro to road cycling friendly.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine/wiredcola/
    President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  7. B a r r y

    B a r r y Guest

    On 21 Apr 2004 05:12:30 -0700, [email protected] (Roy Zipris) wrote:


    >My query: how do other people here see the etiquette involved? On a
    >large group ride, must someone stop and help? If you offer to help,
    >are you obligated to stay even when the problem gets out-of-hand?


    I stop and help even if it's not a group ride. <G> That means if I
    encounter a broken down cyclist, I offer to help. I may ride a bit
    less that night, but I've made friends and helped others to actually
    finish their ride.

    Barry
     
  8. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Wed, 21 Apr 2004 22:09:21 GMT,
    <[email protected]>, B a r r y
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >That means if I
    >encounter a broken down cyclist, I offer to help. I may ride a bit
    >less that night, but I've made friends and helped others to actually
    >finish their ride.
    >

    My new frame pump, after a fiddlyfuk head conversion, can be made to
    fit those *other* kind of valves.

    The majority of persons I've encountered needing that kind of
    assistance are generally using those *other* kind of valves.
    --
    zk
     
  9. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >[email protected] (Roy Zipris)

    wrote in part:

    ---details snipped for brevity---



    >On one hand, I somewhat
    >selfishly feel deprived (although, I admit, it was at my own
    >instigation--I neither had to volunteer to ride sweep nor to stop to
    >help the flatted rider). But on the other hand, I believe that riders
    >in a group have some basic obligations to each other and to the group;
    >it also would not have been safe (considering traffic conditions and
    >waning daylight) or courteous to have left the rider on her own. Even
    >considering that another rider came to help, I didn't feel that,
    >having stopped to help, I could then leave the two of them to the
    >task.

    ---more snipped--
    > What do you folks think? --Roy Zipris


    I think what you did was exactly the right thing even if you hadn't volunteered
    to sweep. That you volunteered obligated you further. Had you ridden off when
    the second rider stopped to help, care to guess what their conversation would
    be about after you'd left? <g>
    You'll make up the lost miles later.

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
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