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Humbling experience @ last night's club ride
Last Post 04/27/2016 08:52 PM by Stefan Eckardt. 11 Replies.
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Red Tornado

Posts:148

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04/27/2016 09:51 AM
Short intro: Our Tues eve club ride is typically the best attended ride of the week. During the prime cycling season 40-60 riders is not uncommon. We have A, B & C groups. Usually A shells a handful of riders and B sweeps them up. C brings up the rear, but there is pretty sizeable gap between B & C groups. Anyhoo..... Not to brag, but I am one of the stronger B riders. Always take my fair share of pulls, pick up the slack for some that like to ride but not pull, lead out for the sprint at the end. Also on occasion when a rider gets dropped due to flat/mech, having a bad day or maybe new person to the group I am one of the few guys that goes back to help fix it, pull them back to the group or ride in with them if they've hit the wall. Been told by several that I'm considered one of the better guys (strength & attitude) by the rest of the group. Last night was my first ride back after being off the bike for 2+ weeks due to bad weather, head cold & a gall bladder attack late last week. Wind's blowing 15mph steady w/gusts 20-25. Figured I would struggle but long as I kept my nose out of the wind and wheel sucked as much as possible it would be manageable. That's how it usually goes in these situations in the past. First half of the ride is all good. 2nd half I notice I'm working harder than I would normally but still hanging on. With about 10-12 miles to go guys at the front drills it and pulls the rest of the group up to 22 mph straight into the wind - on a section of road that is typically used for recovery, as we just finished a very hard/fast stretch. They finally rode me of their wheels. B group is re-group and typically re-groups in this exact vicinity. So I wave bye-bye to them and slog it out on my own. Not a good feeling to be at the mercy of the group and unable to do anything about it. But it gave me a renewed sense of empathy for those that have a bad night, or maybe a new rider to our group (jumping up from C group) and struggling to hold the pace. Gotta admit I was a little disappointed tho that NO ONE even bothered to check on me, knowing that I was clearly struggling and below my normal form. I was hoping one person would drop back to ride w/me but that never happened. When I got to an intersection where I could either turn right and head back to the start/finish area or turn left and head home, I turned left. Couldn't even see any riders ahead of me by then, they were so far up the road. Hindsight told me I prob should have went with the C group. Sorry about the long post........
stronz

Posts:447

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04/27/2016 11:33 AM
I cant stand the testosterone laden vibe of these enormous group rides. Especially when youre the good guy and no one returns the favor. Tells you a lot about your cycling "buddies." Time to find a new group
Red Tornado

Posts:148

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04/27/2016 01:29 PM
Ya. Trying to decide between continuing to be one of the "good guys" or just letting someone else worry about the occasional dropped rider. Found out via Facebook that another decent B rider got dropped after the group split. Again, guy just having an off night and they rode away from him. The B group is described as a re-group, NOT a no-drop, so you have to take that into consideration. But still I don't think it's too much to ask for 1 or 2 to drop back. I'll prob keep on looking after dropped riders, just how I roll, because I treat people how I would like to be treated.
SideBySide

Posts:427

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04/27/2016 01:43 PM
Could it be because the people on the back of the group were barely hanging on, and the people strong enough to drop back were at the front?

I am glad you are one of those that are willing to drop back and help.
79pmooney

Posts:1735

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04/27/2016 02:01 PM
Sounds to me if those driving the B group s hard ought to be riding with the As. Guessing some of them get the ego boost of being a big man in a small pool.

Ben
Spud

Posts:474

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04/27/2016 02:09 PM
I can't remember the last time I was out in a group ride. Back in the day when I did work at the LBS, I too was always the one to make sure there was no one left behind. As much as I liked to mix it up with the stronger riders, and attempt a town line sprint or two, I made sure that new riders we invited, were not made to feel like they were there for the slaughter.
Orange Crush

Posts:1996

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04/27/2016 02:18 PM
Haha that mimics my experience last night although the group is a little more pleasant.

Long story short...our town has its first ever cycling group Fraser River Fugitivi (Italian for escapees) and we had our first AGM for incorporation this Monday (lots of beer and tapas). Yesterday evening was first Burnaby Mountain sufferfest.

Figured I'd be in reasonably good shape having completed Haleakala and Flanders cyclo over last month with a number of rides around 200km mark. But turns out one type of good form (endurance) is not like the other (speed, redlining). I knew this all along but the mind is in a state of denial when it comes to this until faced with the facts. So when the young guns lit it up (there's about 6 of them) I was left in the dust gasping for air. But they wait at key points and with every passing hill I managed to keep it closer and closer. So I have my hopes up (probably in vain) for longer rides.

Anyways, the group's got some swell sponsors: Steel & Oak brewery (we have an open account for post-ride beers), the LBS (10% of bikes and maintenance), and the local Mexican restaurant. Oh and Trailside physio, maybe I need to go see them, LOL. Next up team kit and photos.

(and yes, what Ben said).
Red Tornado

Posts:148

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04/27/2016 03:27 PM
Posted By SideBy Side on 04/27/2016 01:43 PM
Could it be because the people on the back of the group were barely hanging on, and the people strong enough to drop back were at the front?

I am glad you are one of those that are willing to drop back and help.


We were running a paceline most of the ride. Everyone eased up a bit at the regroup road then picked it up again (or the leaders picked it up) earlier than I was expecting. But we were still in the regroup stretch of road, so wasn't expecting a sudden jump. Paceline reformed pretty fast & at that point I knew it was over. There were different levels of "tired" in the group, but several people knew I was struggling, and a handful saw that I had fallen off when they turned a corner & looked back. What bothers me is there was an acceleration in the re-group area & the other "leaders" didn't shut it down. Not cool.
Red Tornado

Posts:148

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04/27/2016 03:35 PM
Posted By 79 pmooney on 04/27/2016 02:01 PM
Sounds to me if those driving the B group s hard ought to be riding with the As. Guessing some of them get the ego boost of being a big man in a small pool.

Ben


Ya we do have some of that going on. Two or three could be mid-pack A groupers. Really don't want to make a mountain out of an anthill here. People get dropped all the time. Just thought that since I am a good samaritan at least one person would reciprocate. Since several knew I was having a bad night. But thankfully, they all got their workout in. Not the 1st time I've been dropped probably won't be the last.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2146

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04/27/2016 04:57 PM
If you are normally one of the stronger guys, the group may just have figured "he's ok, no need to worry" when you dropped off.

take it as a sign of respect.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:1474

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04/27/2016 07:06 PM
I like CK's spin on your tale, too.
Your humbleness reflects well on you.
And sandbagging on club rides has a long and ignoble history.
Red Tornado

Posts:148

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04/27/2016 08:52 PM
CK & LSD, agree with both you guys.
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