Author Topic: Group riding again, OMG!  (Read 2250 times)

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Group riding again, OMG!
« on: April 01, 2021, 07:51:43 pm »
Well 12 of us met up today  for a 73km from Tonbridge, to Edenbridge, to Forest Row, To Tunbridge  Wells, back to Tonbridge. I know it was April 1st, and joking aside, and all Covid matters aside, I was genuinely shocked at the level of competence of some individuals, I mean riding 3 a breast , up a hill, on a narrow lane, with cars trying to pass, and general, 'wandering all over the road' type thing.  I don't know if its.....
a) because I've ridden on my own too long, and am intolerant
b) because these individuals haven't ridden in a group for a long time, and have forgotten
c) a+b
d) they just don't care.

If I said I was one of the youngest, you might get where I'm coming from.  Made car drivers raise their hands in despair, and made i cringe.

Any one else been out with a group and had a shock?

guidon

  • formerly known as cyclone
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2021, 08:35:04 pm »
Same over here in la Belle France after lockdown last year (we're right in it again after saturday....) the amount of "racers" crashing out in races was very shocking and road manners ..... well....how some chose to argue with 44 tonne lorries ???

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2021, 09:42:56 am »
My understanding is that we are limited to groups if six rather than solo or pairs.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 10:32:07 am »
My understanding is that we are limited to groups if six rather than solo or pairs.
Depends who the "we" is.
In England, informal groups are limited to six, club rides, that meet the criteria, can run rides  for groups up to fifteen.
https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/about/article/20200512-about-bc-news-British-Cycling-Updated-Coronavirus-Guidance-0

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 10:34:54 am »
My club is asking people to social distance at the start and then set off in groups of six. Also noting down groups for track&trace

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 10:50:04 am »
Ours is asking us to pre-register.

Awful group riding has become a feature of almost every event I've done since about 2012. Can I blame the Olympic effect? There's an assumption that because you (one/I) can ride a bike you can ride in a group. No one thinks they have anything to learn, yet the advantage of being a champion wheel sucker is much greater than that of riding with tri-bars. I guess you can't order those skills off the internet and so people don't bother with them.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 11:01:12 am »
In my club it seems to be a feature of the mid-ability groups. I ride in all the speed groups depending on what I want out of the ride. The A group is well-drilled, people on the front do their job, nobody brakes suddenly, undertakes or does anything dangerous, the slowest group just pootles about nicely, but the intermediate group, oh my god. They are all nice people, but it's a stressful group to ride with. I see supertucks on the slightest decline, imaginary-tribars elbows on tops riding, crossed wheels., four abreast round corners, nobody keeping an eye out for cars approaching behind.  It's a bit of a nightmare and the only safe place to be is on the front. I do get the impression that they are mimicking what they see from pro racing.


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2021, 11:04:44 am »
I noticed a while ago that HK's and my group riding skills have deteriorated somewhat over the past year. I have been working on being smoother and more predictable over the past few weeks but no doubt I will surprise my companions a couple of times when we can ride in groups again, despite my best efforts. Hopefully others will make the same efforts and problems will be limited to surprises, rather than scabs.

I am self-assured enough to tell people to ride straight and don't jam on the brakes unexpectedly as required (and generally self-aware enough to accept it from others and apologise) but some folk aren't that direct and quite a few think that being told to ride better is a direct assault upon their manhood (term deliberately chosen).
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2021, 11:08:34 am »
I've spent so much time on Zwift I can't descend for toffee and brake for the slightest corner.
Thank goodness I have faith in my tandem pilots.  ;D
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2021, 11:48:18 am »

,, a few think that being told to ride better is a direct assault upon their manhood (term deliberately chosen).
A few years ago, whilst leading the 16mph group to Farm Park Cafe, one bloke sprinted for the cafe with head down. He came past a rider and straight into my right side, sending me to the ground. He, on the other hand, stayed upright. I sustained a bruised side, hip and torn shorts. Guess what? He didn't even apologise.

That 16 mph group (now expanded into two, sometimes three) has blokes who'll turn up, obviously riding fit, but no appreciation of group etiquette. For various reasons I eventually
moved down a group (to the 14s, now called the Social Group). The riders in this group are generally like myself with years of riding experience, or new to cycling and are eager to learn.

I've been asked to lead this group and even devise my own routes (rather than relying on the
ones on the club spreadsheet). I will do my best to uphold good road skills in the group.




Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2021, 11:55:06 am »
I'm crap at group riding but it's nothing to do with lockdown. It's not so much etiquette (though of course there's the perennial "who goes in front when singling out" debate) but I just don't trust my reactions enough to ride in close formation. Or perhaps I should say I know they're not fast enough to allow it.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2021, 11:56:53 am »

,, a few think that being told to ride better is a direct assault upon their manhood (term deliberately chosen).
A few years ago, whilst leading the 16mph group to Farm Park Cafe, one bloke sprinted for the cafe with head down. He came past a rider and straight into my right side, sending me to the ground. He, on the other hand, stayed upright. I sustained a bruised side, hip and torn shorts. Guess what? He didn't even apologise.
It sounds like it's not just group riding etiquette he was lacking, but basic decency.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2021, 12:27:09 pm »
I'm crap at group riding but it's nothing to do with lockdown. It's not so much etiquette (though of course there's the perennial "who goes in front when singling out" debate) but I just don't trust my reactions enough to ride in close formation. Or perhaps I should say I know they're not fast enough to allow it.

Pretty much this, especially when I'm riding a recumbent around solo uprights, where the problem is compounded by different dynamics that you can't expect the other riders to appreciate.

I wonder how much of this problem is down to people who enjoy, and even become quite good at, cycling but are put off by traditional cycling clubs?  I'm far too slow for a "16mph group", or even a "14mph group" (assuming standard 1% average rolling hills), so there don't seem to be many opportunities for learning group riding etiquette, beyond the common-sense hold your line, point out hazards and only pass on the right stuff of social rides.

What close-formation riding skills I have developed have been from things like hill climbing at wow-factor-1, trying to stay within audio range of barakta and indeed silly bike racing.  That's mostly a case of anticipation and trying to be predictable, rather than any formal etiquette, though.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2021, 12:44:36 pm »
the common-sense hold your line, point out hazards and only pass on the right stuff of social rides.
I think it's only common sense once you've experienced it a bit. And, again, there's always a certain room for disagreement on what should and shouldn't be called. Example: Descending the north side of Alfred's Tower in Wiltshire with a friend. This is a steep, narrow, very badly surfaced lane. I was just in front and calling out "Hole! Hole! Stick! Hole! Stone! Hole! Hole! Hole!" while trying to avoid said hazards and indicate which side they were without swerving in front of him. When we got to the bottom, he said "You didn't call that drain" to which I replied "Because it went the whole width of the road and there was no way to avoid it." There probably isn't any point calling a hazard you can't avoid. But in fact he has a point; as second, your view is slightly limited and knowing what is there, even if you can't avoid it, helps you prepare.

But the one that annoys me is when you're riding on a main road or in town and someone insists on calling out every approaching car.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2021, 12:52:42 pm »
There probably isn't any point calling a hazard you can't avoid. But in fact he has a point; as second, your view is slightly limited and knowing what is there, even if you can't avoid it, helps you prepare.

Every stoker knows this, and the stoker is always right.


Quote
But the one that annoys me is when you're riding on a main road or in town and someone insists on calling out every approaching car.

I recall a Cyclebirminghm ride a few years ago that featured one of those.  We were hacking our way through the badlands of Solihull and he was yelling about every approaching car with life-or-death urgency.  Yes, we know.  We're already singled-out.  We're riding through I-can't-believe-it's-not-Birmingham.  Of course there's a CAR!
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2021, 01:02:19 pm »
Once the density of defects gets too great, I just call ‘crap all over’ and leave the other rider to sort out the details since I will have got too occupied doing just that.

Incessant car callers sometimes respond appropriately to a sarcastic “Tell me something I don’t know!” Otherwise, I just ride somewhere quieter.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2021, 01:07:38 pm »
Once the density of defects gets too great, I just call ‘crap all over’ and leave the other rider to sort out the details since I will have got too occupied doing just that.

There's a point[1] where becomes easier to point out the patches of good tarmac.


[1] Somewhere around level 8 of Potholeman 3000
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2021, 01:14:23 pm »
Our CTC group riding skills leave something to be desired.  Particularly the ride leader who suddenly stops or makes a turn without announcing it in advance. The smaller groups of six, at the moment, are far better.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2021, 01:21:05 pm »
Once the density of defects gets too great, I just call ‘crap all over’ and leave the other rider to sort out the details since I will have got too occupied doing just that.

Incessant car callers sometimes respond appropriately to a sarcastic “Tell me something I don’t know!” Otherwise, I just ride somewhere quieter.
Both sensible.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2021, 01:38:50 pm »
I have stopped riding with the intermediate group not only because it is stressful and I prefer to chill, but also because it puts me in another position that I don't want to be in. I don't want to be the guy who barks instructions or gives advice...but there have been a few occasions where with this group we have narrowly avoided serious collisions with vehicles because of riding skills just not being there.

The last time this happened was in a large group on a main road, approaching a right turn. I was somewhere near the front. We were signalling well ahead of the turn, and I noticed people moving over the white line. An impatient driver appeared behind and started overtaking the group at speed (est 50mph), by which time one person had moved right over without checking behind. I screamed "watch out" and he shifted over to the left but the car was inches away and would have hit him full on. It was nearest miss I have ever seen.

After the incident I said to the few who had moved without looking "You really should look before moving right". They accepted it, but as I said I don't want to be that guy so solution is to not ride with them.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2021, 02:57:14 pm »
I wonder how much of this problem is down to people who enjoy, and even become quite good at, cycling but are put off by traditional cycling clubs?  I'm far too slow for a "16mph group", or even a "14mph group" (assuming standard 1% average rolling hills), so there don't seem to be many opportunities for learning group riding etiquette, beyond the common-sense hold your line, point out hazards and only pass on the right stuff of social rides.
16mph and 14mph are MUCH MUCH easier in a group than alone. 30% less effort easier. It is worth learning group riding skills to take advantage of this.
Common sense is not as common as you'd think from its name.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2021, 03:18:52 pm »
Even though I'm a club committee member, I won't do group rides for all the reasons given above. I'm not interested in pretending to be a competitive rider, and I get thoroughly fed up with all the shouting. I'm very happy that some enjoy it, and I do try to get people to think about coming up with a consistent, simple and repeatable set of group riding rules, but I don't think I've succeeded.

I suspect this weekend will see some very dodgy group rides. I'm staying on Zwift.

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2021, 03:25:57 pm »
As I hinted it seems to be the intermediates that pretend to be competitive in my club. The slowest group are great for a social ride, bumbling about. People tend to move around to chat with everyone else, almost like a load of small groups. The fastest group is good because everyone is super disciplined but also relaxed because of it. There are times when nobody is bothering, but equally it can turn into a really well oiled, confident chaingang which is quite easy to be a part of especially if you want some fast miles and a bit of a workout. I'd never maintain that intensity on my own.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2021, 03:34:50 pm »
It's probably fair to say that what I really mean is I'm nowhere near fast enough to do group rides these days. The days of keeping up with a 35-38kph group are long gone!

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2021, 03:40:13 pm »
Our slowest group is 12-14 mph. Fastest is usually 20+mph, so for me it is all or nothing. Oddly though, I usually feel more tired after the slow rides than the fast ones.

I haven't ridden with them for ages, so I might be being presumptuous about riding in the fast group.  :facepalm: