Author Topic: Group riding again, OMG!  (Read 2249 times)

Socks

  • Clennel Street on my touring bike
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #50 on: April 03, 2021, 08:50:39 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.

As someone in my family said, it's all relative

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #51 on: April 03, 2021, 09:33:44 pm »
In answer to the question quoted, no, 14mph and 16mph are not relaxed paces. 10mph is fast these days.
I feel better now (23 kph avg over flat 210km, with some unpaved)

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #52 on: April 04, 2021, 08:42:00 am »
I have to ask (as someone living in the Netherlands). Isn't both 14mph and 16mph a rather relaxed pace?
So what!?

It doesn't matter, just needed context. I fully understand that what is fast pace depends on the terrain and the rider.

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.

Average, but we don't have many junctions here, or even tight corners (current position 53.23N, 6.52E). And the nearest natural hill worth mentioning is 130km away.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #53 on: April 04, 2021, 09:03:33 am »
I’d suggest that the fact that km/h are being monitored and discussed are evidence that the relaxed attitude of the traditional “ pace of slowest ride” is a thing of the past.
On the old, relaxed, rides I would often be in the company of international, successful, riders. They were content to be social, and reserve training efforts for more appropriate times. Often they might do an hour or two before the club run, or return from the cafe in a smaller group, but whilst with the club run they’d concentrate on keeping it together and at a sensible pace.

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #54 on: April 04, 2021, 09:22:56 am »
That certainly isn't the case for the club I ride with occasionally.  There are speed groups, 12-14mph, 15-18mph, and 18+mph.  It is a 'no drop' policy so effectively it is the pace of the slowest rider, although hills are fair game for everyone (wait at the top).  Equally, we have no internationally succesful rider, nor do most clubs, and you wouldn't expect a semi/professional/ 1sr cat  rider to use a town club ride as training (other than recovery)

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2021, 10:07:06 am »
The club I belong to has instigated a new policy when advertising rides.  The leader is expected to state the expected speed (on the flat), and the attitude (social, developmental, screamer). Only having 6 on a ride means that one person ending up in the wrong group has an impact on everyone. I don't think we have any men who are >3rd cat (they tend to move on to more racing focused teams), but there are a couple of very competitive women at the moment.
I've not actually ridden in a group on the road since early 2019 I think (though I rode some CX races in late 2019), down to injuries and ride clashes with family stuff mainly.

fd3

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2021, 02:10:39 pm »
The group I would ride with ... that was over a decade ago.  Only had a slow/social group.  I have been out with a small group of local cyclists, but I am not good with pace groups as I either ride fixed or laidback, which doesn’t play well with riding in groups.  Laidback is also a bit tricky on a social ride, due to head level mismatch.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2021, 02:11:49 pm »
Oh I don't know. Perfect for receiving one of my snot rockets.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #58 on: April 04, 2021, 02:25:52 pm »
My club has numeric speeds attached to its ride categories, but they're completely notional and it all depends who turns up and what mood they're in.

The only way to find out which group you belong in is to start at the bottom and work up, or to only ride with people you know.

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2021, 02:40:10 pm »
Our speeds are attached to the groups rather than the actual ride/route.  It generally works although if it isn't a hilly route things can get quite frisky. Most people are cool with that, apart from one guy who doesn't ride for ages, then turns up (fat and unfit) in a group with a set speed he can't keep up with, but his ego demands that he join. We have to wait ages for him at the top of hills, then he gets irate if the speeds on the flat exceed his capabilities. He once directed his invective at me.   Just the once, mind.

Geriatricdolan

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2021, 04:26:02 pm »
Speeds have gone up, probably a result of Zwift and more widespread aero equipment...

In miles, 10 years ago, club rides were 12-13 for the slow group, 14-16 for the medium and 17-19 for the fast. Now it's more like 14-16 for the slow, 17-19 for the medium and 20+ for the fast.

I have seen club rides averaging 23-24 mph on Strava... and not even short rides

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2021, 04:28:06 pm »
Don't forget that Strava is moving average which is way faster than actual average. None of the waiting around on hilltops affects the averages.

Geriatricdolan

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #62 on: April 04, 2021, 04:36:11 pm »
Don't forget that Strava is moving average which is way faster than actual average. None of the waiting around on hilltops affects the averages.

We were measuring moving averages even before. It's not that the good old Cateye computers didn't have the auto-pause function. Nothing has changed in that respect, just people are a lot fitter, because they train like maniacs on Zwift all year round, whereas 10 years ago, some had primitive dumb trainers in the garage to use when it rained

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #63 on: April 04, 2021, 05:19:55 pm »
Laidback is also a bit tricky on a social ride, due to head level mismatch.

Which is really useful when you end up next to the boring engineer. What’s that, sorry can’t hear you, I’ll just move forward in the group. 

As to speed, laid back shouldn’t be a problem unless you are on the limit of your fitness. If you’re in your comfort zone you’re unlikely to be the last one up the hill.    Besides if CTC, you may be the first one up any hill, regardless of your bike type.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2021, 09:23:40 am »
Rides don't get much more relaxed than Bristol CTC. At times it's more like a pub stop on wheels. But a guideline speed is always stated along with distance and sometimes a note such as "hilly" or "ride will not happen if icy". Stating a guideline speed helps it stay relaxed for everyone, by allowing people to pick a suitable ride. Slow people don't get their legs torn off, faster people don't get frustrated hanging round at every junction.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #65 on: April 05, 2021, 01:03:52 pm »
That certainly isn't the case for the club I ride with occasionally.  There are speed groups, 12-14mph, 15-18mph, and 18+mph.  It is a 'no drop' policy so effectively it is the pace of the slowest rider, although hills are fair game for everyone (wait at the top).  Equally, we have no internationally succesful rider, nor do most clubs, and you wouldn't expect a semi/professional/ 1sr cat  rider to use a town club ride as training (other than recovery)

That’s one of my points really. These days talented riders tend to move into sponsored teams, and have little to do with club life.
In the past, the presence of “ big hitters” kept things under control, but importantly inspired and advised. Club runs and club nights, we benefited from their advice and encouragement. On a club run, they always had the legs and gravitas to keep things steady.

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #66 on: April 05, 2021, 01:47:09 pm »
Sure, not disputing what you are saying, just underlining that with a 'no drop' policy we are at the speed of the slowest rider.

From my perspective, everyone rolling along at a steady speed isn't that fun. It might be efficient but it's not fun, hence the odd blast and then wait for anyone who wasn't up for it on that day. (most are, it transpires)  Nobody really shits their pants over it apart from that one guy I mentioned.

The club once employed a local coach to give advice on a group ride. Proper old school.  Runs a local amateur team. Highly opinionated.  He rode 3 miles with mid group and then rode up to us. We dropped him on the big hill and then waited, at the top for him, at which point he arrived and berated us in between trying not to die.

So we dropped him again and had a great ride.

Geriatricdolan

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #67 on: April 05, 2021, 02:28:39 pm »
Sure, not disputing what you are saying, just underlining that with a 'no drop' policy we are at the speed of the slowest rider.

From my perspective, everyone rolling along at a steady speed isn't that fun. It might be efficient but it's not fun, hence the odd blast and then wait for anyone who wasn't up for it on that day. (most are, it transpires)  Nobody really shits their pants over it apart from that one guy I mentioned.

The club once employed a local coach to give advice on a group ride. Proper old school.  Runs a local amateur team. Highly opinionated.  He rode 3 miles with mid group and then rode up to us. We dropped him on the big hill and then waited, at the top for him, at which point he arrived and berated us in between trying not to die.

So we dropped him again and had a great ride.

I have a club membership... I went out with them once, as you say the very steady nature of the ride made it quite regimented... that level of "do" and "don't" doesn't appeal to me.
In the past clubs were smaller and rides were less structured, often deciding where to go on the day, depending on wind and weather and who was there on the day. Nowadays there is a calendar of fixed rides which is posted in January and runs until December and they are always the same routes, which are "risk assessed" so to speak.

Bit too much, really

Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #68 on: April 05, 2021, 02:35:48 pm »
"Race up the hills" works great as long as you do it on the known big hills and don't get people doing it on anything that resembles an incline.

(This is the big difference between "no drop" and "pace of the slowest rider". If the slowest rider is always fighting to chase back on and/or - hopefully - being waited for then you're doing the former, not the latter)

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Group riding again, OMG!
« Reply #69 on: April 06, 2021, 07:56:41 am »
Never really happens in any group that I am in.  Larger groups tend to roll around and actual speeds go up and down with the terrain. I have noticed that a few people seem to fall off when speeds go up without any real increase in effort (because slight decline or tailwind) which is weird. Equally you get the people who sit on the front and then stop pedalling downhill...actually quite annoying.  I rarely see anybody trying to deliberately drop anyone (except on the big climbs, which is fair enough). Also there are always a few shepherds (me included) who keep an eye out and drop back and pace people back or stop the group. But, there are riders who are utterly oblivious to anyone else and smash on, never looking back at all. One of the things I really like about the club is that there isn't an annoying patriarchal figure barking orders, and there are enough experienced and strong riders to silently determine pace and do the little jobs to keep things cohesive without making a show of it.  There was a self-appointed patrician, Gerald, late 60s, who would stake out his authoratitive position by telling you at every opportunity that he used to race, as if that was somehow relevant,  but he left after he mansplained once too often to a couple of women and got his comeuppance.

The small groups of faster riders is where the real naughty fun is, and people will launch an attack, often  with a huge grin, and then get dragged back by a paceline with counter-attack. We all know each other very well and none of it is about ego. It's just pissing around having a blast. It all works quite well really.