Author Topic: Group riding again, OMG!  (Read 2309 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2021, 03:40:48 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.
That's true even if you're riding as a looser group, as opposed to an in-formation chaingang. Perhaps not 30% but certainly an appreciable amount.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2021, 03:42:02 pm »
Back when I used to ride with the club regularly, there was one particular pillock who was absolutely the worst kind of group rider - always turned up in full Sky kit, which was reason enough to hate him anyway, but he would sit doggedly at the back of the group, never doing his turn, until we got to any hill when he would put the hammer down and sprint off the front to get his precious fictional KOM points.

That aside, the groups on club rides were mostly pretty good - largely because we had some old boys who enforced discipline. And they were also good at teaching newbies. I think one of them must have had a word with FKW boy because he abruptly stopped turning up.

The club seems to have fragmented a bit lately though - even pre-pandemic. For the Sunday ride, we would all meet up in one big bunch and set off together before the different groups split off (on my very first ride with the club, I made the mistake of being near the front when the fast group split off and got swept along with them... managed to hold on for a couple of miles but then blew up spectacularly). In the last few years (pre-pandemic), it seems to be lots of different small groups meeting up at different times, and most of the focus is on the racing team, time trials and Go Ride. Don't know what is going to happen now that group riding is allowed again.

There's another local club that I used to ride with years ago until it kind of fizzled out, but then it seemed to have a bit of a revival and a big influx of new members. They're more of a sociable group than pretend racers. I'm tempted to go back to them, except their group rides are now on Saturdays so clash with parkrun. No idea what the riding standard is like but the ones I used to ride with were pretty good - a couple of them had been racers to a pretty high standard back in the 60s/70s (one raced at national level for the RAF team).
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2021, 03:45:08 pm »
16mph and 14mph are MUCH MUCH easier in a group than alone.

Absolutely.

Group riding is probably also the best way to get faster - when I started riding regularly with the club, the 16mph group was a bit beyond my comfort zone, but riding with them regularly meant I was soon a lot more comfortable at that pace.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2021, 05:24:19 pm »
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 sometimes go with a group that are like this. Constant hand signals for parked cars, lots of shouting. "Car back!"

Guys... we're in Bromley.

I've been cycling by myself though since last lockdown, and tbh I find it much less stressful.

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2021, 05:28:40 pm »
Out here in the wolds it's often the unbelievable road surfaces that are the danger. Gloucestershire must have the shittest roads in the UK. At one point for several years even driving down the A46 in a car involved slaloming round holes that would break your car instantly.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2021, 05:39:03 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.

Having wheel-sucked (and occasionally gravitationally slingshotted) my way to the middle of the BHPC's fast group, I'm acutely aware of this.  But I still don't really have a good idea for how the average speed of a group compares to riding solo in real-world conditions.

Doing it amongst broadly similar machines on the track is one thing, on the road where Potholeman fears to tread is quite another.


Quote
Common sense is not as common as you'd think from its name.

So true.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2021, 06:05:22 pm »
Out here in the wolds it's often the unbelievable road surfaces that are the danger. Gloucestershire must have the shittest roads in the UK. At one point for several years even driving down the A46 in a car involved slaloming round holes that would break your car instantly.
They've held the title for four decades at least. Back in the 1980s they once chip-and-sealed the M5.  ::-)
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2021, 06:13:11 pm »
I think it’s two factors at play, in particular.
- the number of “ new” for want of a better term, is a high percentage of many rides. Going back, there would just be one or two newer riders, who would learn from the rest. At the same time, the newer people may have been reading the magazines, watching GCN etc. It’s also the case that many aren’t the fresh faced youngsters we were , and may take les well to advice.
- the March of data! Many are obsessed with data, average speed, segments etc etc. That doesn’t mix well in a group. I recall a club ride a while back, cold and damp, and most of the more experienced were on winter bikes with guards.
One chap, close to me, on a new looking £8,000 odd bike with full carbon everything, was clearly agitated. I asked if he was ok - no he wasn’t apparently, the ride was 2mph slower than last time and his Strava was going to look bad.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2021, 06:19:23 pm »
I’m definitely in for the social when group riding. Especially as 90% of my riding is recumbent these days.  Can’t wait for when the pub or café stop returns on a ride. Fastest group socials are around 15 mph, slowest around 12 mph.  But that can disguise how uphills, flat, and downhills are tackled. Some ride leaders are better at pacing than others.

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2021, 06:25:35 pm »
I too soon get fed up with the 'noise'. My local CTC group has more than its fair share of 'sheep'.  Riding along a country lane, in the dark, and an oncoming car  (in the distance) is greeted with a call, from the most observant of the flock, to call out  ''oil down!!!!!'', followed by 3 or more members of the flock, in rapid succession, (ALWAYS the same 3) .....''oil down!..oil down!! oil down!!!, who are often not even looking where the are going anyway. Dazzled by headlights, my normal vocal reaction is ...'' No shit, Sherlock'' Really pisses me off!            STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dimwits!


I may be sad, but I have a MANTRA......''words are precious, use them wisely'

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2021, 06:29:25 pm »
Indeed, meanwhile they forget to call out the large pothole you ride straight into.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2021, 06:54:16 pm »
It's been ages since I've done a proper ride in a group. I used to ride in either the fast group (normally four or five - a good number - and skilled riders) or the slow group as I'd be out with one of my kids too. I stopped riding with the club (and ultimately left) when they made plastic headgear mandatory. There had been an influx of racer wanabees, which changed the whole feel of the club.

I'm quite worried about BC racing starting up again; there's going to be a lot of riders who are Zwift fit and powerful, but lost the peloton riding skills. I suspect the medics may see a bit of action on the first few events.


Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2021, 07:51:38 pm »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace? My local club has a 28, 32 and 36 km/h groups (roughly 17, 20 and 22mph). The 28 and 32 groups are the social ones and no one is left behind. The 36 group doesn't wait (Flat tyre or too fast? Tough luck).

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2021, 07:54:14 pm »
Standard lumpiness in most of the UK is 1000m climbing/ 100km. That qualifies as very hilly in the Netherlands. A group’s comfortable average speed reflects both the riders and the conditions.

When I’ve ridden brevets in the Netherlands, my pace has generally been somewhat higher than my UK average.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2021, 08:13:19 pm »
Thanks, I did not consider hills. I need to get some cycling done outside of the Netherlands soon, hopefully...

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2021, 08:15:06 pm »
What do mean there are no hills in the Netherlands???  There are all those little bridges over the canals!

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2021, 08:22:48 pm »
I'm quite worried about BC racing starting up again; there's going to be a lot of riders who are Zwift fit and powerful, but lost the peloton riding skills. I suspect the medics may see a bit of action on the first few events.

There was an article last year but guess was talking about yesr before in Ireland saying the amount of crashes in local racing has gone mad as you say everyone is basically doing weights on their legs so putting out huge power with no road sense. A friend of mine who I ride with is worried as the people from work who have all bought peleton or similar bikes want to go for a ride and they're all in theory much much faster then him but no idea if they can actually transfer to the road where you have to pay attention

Group wise I ride with around 6 people normally of mixed abilities but largely and this probably applies when I'm with bigger groups roll in pairs or threea not as a big mass

I did once go out with a bunch who a more regular cycling buddy was going with. Advertised as around 30 to 35 miles at around 16mph. Ended up being over 40 at nearer 20 but managed to hang on, i didn't contribute anything on the front as was hanging on the back the whole time. I got a puncture about 5 miles from home and happy to let them go. The guy i sometimes rode with was happy to wait with me as was pretty knackered as well.


TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2021, 08:32:38 pm »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace? My local club has a 28, 32 and 36 km/h groups (roughly 17, 20 and 22mph). The 28 and 32 groups are the social ones and no one is left behind. The 36 group doesn't wait (Flat tyre or too fast? Tough luck).

We're not overburdened with hills where I live (south Suffolk), though what there are are tend to be vicious little things. My current club has a 32kph group, whose ranks I've never bothered, and a 26kph/16mph group who only pay lip service to the intended speed. It's a no-drop group, so they do wait every so often when they realise there's only two riders left, but it does get a bit over-enthusiastic at times. But we don't have any racers. My previous club had similar groups to yours, and the 36-38 group waits for no-one. Indeed, if possible they'll get the speeds up as fast as they can! There was a time when I'd occasionally play with them, but not now. I can still average 28 or so on my own so I could probably hang with the evens crowd on the flat, but I am most definitely gravitationally challenged on anything remotely uphill. Solo works best!

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2021, 11:44:13 pm »
Thanks, I did not consider hills.

Thats okay, I don't think we fully understand headwinds, I mean I know they exist, but not how they could be so bad that you might need aerobars on an omafiets.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2021, 02:44:37 pm »
Solo'd my way to a local outdoor cycling caff this morning for a latte and a bacon butty. A club from a big town nearish-by arrived in force - about 40-50 peeps in groups varying from 4 to 20 over about 10 minutes, suggesting they'd all left together (or coordinated their arrival extremely efficiently). No attempt to keep to the mandated 15, and even less to keep to legal groups of 6 once off the bike. The weather was very cold and windy. The forecast for tomorrow is a tad more ride-friendly; if you want to see the law being broken I suspect this'll be the day to do it!

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2021, 03:40:28 pm »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace? My local club has a 28, 32 and 36 km/h groups (roughly 17, 20 and 22mph). The 28 and 32 groups are the social ones and no one is left behind. The 36 group doesn't wait (Flat tyre or too fast? Tough luck).

Blimey you must get round Dutch audax 200s in around 6 hours.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2021, 04:28:17 pm »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace? My local club has a 28, 32 and 36 km/h groups (roughly 17, 20 and 22mph). The 28 and 32 groups are the social ones and no one is left behind. The 36 group doesn't wait (Flat tyre or too fast? Tough luck).

Blimey you must get round Dutch audax 200s in around 6 hours.

Alas, over 200km I don't go much faster 28km/h. Add a coffee stop and it takes me roughly 8 hours.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2021, 04:48:49 pm »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace?
So what!?

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2021, 08:40:50 pm »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace? My local club has a 28, 32 and 36 km/h groups (roughly 17, 20 and 22mph). The 28 and 32 groups are the social ones and no one is left behind. The 36 group doesn't wait (Flat tyre or too fast? Tough luck).
Is that a cruising speed or an average?  We'd normally do 18-19mph on the flat, but the average, including junctions and hills, usually comes out at about 15.5mph.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2021, 08:48:47 pm »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace?
So what!?

In answer to the question quoted, no, 14mph and 16mph are not relaxed paces. 10mph is fast these days.
Bach without a doubt.