Author Topic: group riding technique  (Read 1621 times)

Euan Uzami

group riding technique
« on: June 14, 2009, 08:24:59 pm »
i'm quite a fast rider but have very little experience of group riding. On the recent northern rock cyclone i found i was making two main mistakes with group riding:

one was 'making a break', either purposefully or accidentally: a couple of times i thought i might just find another peleton further ahead and latch onto that one, so i deliberately did it, but that never happens - what happened instead is that the one i'd got in front of caught up again and as i'd unwittingly used more energy in staying ahead I had to work a bit harder to keep up with the one that had just overtook again (or was TRYING to overtake - see next paragraph...)
But on the climbs my natural pace seemed to be faster than the peleton so i naturally moved to the front of it - so what's some good tips for then adopting a position at about number 2, 3, or 4 in that peleton, i.e. at the front bit of it but not right at the front?

also possibly linked to the above, but i often found myself in the following position: (me being the blue)


where a peleton is trying to overtake, but it's not actually going any faster than I am - I'm effectively "boxed in"!
this situation possibly arose when i'd got a bit too far in front of a peleton on a plateau section at the top of a hill, it had caught up and was trying to overtake, but was only going faster previously due to it being a group...
so when a peleton starts to overtake, what's the best way of being effectively enveloped by it and not getting boxed in by it...
I didn't like getting boxed in by it partly because if half of it tires and half of it doesn't, i want to be able to stay with the front half, but mainly because i need space on the road to be able to negotiate hazards, bends etc. safely.

Re: group riding technique
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 08:53:10 pm »
The answer is mostly in communication - talk to people, indicate that you wish to pull into the line. But also riding with the group, at their pace, rather than making what you say are futile breaks. You obviously won't lose any time by going uphill at their pace, in fact you'll probably gain in the long term.

Big T

Re: group riding technique
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2009, 01:03:01 pm »
Was the group that passed you going "through and off" or just following the leader?

When they pass you, just ease off and join on the back. If they're going through and off, then do your bit. If you're feeling strong, you can do a longer turn on the front. If they're not sharing the lead, ride up to the leader and suggest that they should, then offer to do your share, or even to drag them along for awhile

It may be that only the front few are going through  and off, so observe the group for a bit and join in with those who are working at the front.

A group that is properly sharing the pace can go much faster than you can on your own.

gonzo

Re: group riding technique
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 03:30:13 pm »
Bridging gaps:
Sprint from 5 or 6 places off the front so you're doing about 5mph more than the lead rider when you pass them. Assume the TT position and go for it. Any riders who are strong enough to make your wheel will be a help to get you up the road. Weak riders will go off the back. After a minute or two, see how far behind the chasers are. If you're not putting any time into them, fall back into their bunch.

Avoid the mistake of repeatedly going off the front for half arsed efforts. All that achieves is to exhaust you.

If you're strong on the hills, that might be the place to go.

If you're trying to slip into the bunch and want to stay near the front, watch for gaps between riders to your side. As soon as you spot a gap (about 1/2 a bike length) point at the gap, to let the bloke behind know it's 'yours' and slowly move into it.

Re: group riding technique
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 04:56:38 pm »
Bridging gaps:
Sprint from 5 or 6 places off the front so you're doing about 5mph more than the lead rider when you pass them. Assume the TT position and go for it.

That'll make you friends on the Sunday club-run.  ;)

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: group riding technique
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 08:22:07 pm »
where a peleton is trying to overtake, but it's not actually going any faster than I am - I'm effectively "boxed in"!

I had this on the Brian Chapman. Having blown straight through a grupetto* they chased me down and then slowed down in front of me, boxing me in. "Oi!" I said, "whats going on 'ere", before leaving them grovelling in the gutter with another show of fixed strength.

*not naming any names but it was that faccombe mob...