Did my first fast group ride in almost a decade.
Last Post 08/21/2014 07:18 PM by SideBy Side. 36 Replies.
Author Messages
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/11/2014 11:10 AM
One of my old riding buddies had been needling me to come out on a group ride with this crew he has been riding with the past couple of years. While I have been commuting and riding on the weekend occasionally (along with a touch of sprint work at Haines Point, for those who know the DC area), I just have not cared enough about riding hard to get up early on the weekends to engage in...the game.

But Last Friday after a heated exchange where I told him why I though he was always kinda slow and he said I hadn't been on a group ride in 10 years, what the hell do I know...I agreed to do this group ride on Saturday. 50 miles.



Don't poke the bear...lol.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
zootracer

Posts:306

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08/11/2014 11:13 AM
Smoke him
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/11/2014 11:14 AM
Oh....it was this past Saturday zootracer. No quarter was given nor asked by yours truly.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
ChinookPass

Posts:465

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08/11/2014 11:40 AM
I think sometimes the dudes who only do group rides forget what it is like to take the wind for an entire ride. They are used to sitting on a wheel all of the time and lose the knack for making their bikes go fast.
Orange Crush

Posts:1211

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08/11/2014 11:42 AM
There's a lot an old bear can do in absence of targeted training on any single day.

Ask that bear to repeat same trick couple times in a row it will get harder.

That at least is my experience.
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/11/2014 12:48 PM
Posted By Orange Crush on 08/11/2014 11:42 AM
There's a lot an old bear can do in absence of targeted training on any single day.

Ask that bear to repeat same trick couple times in a row it will get harder.

That at least is my experience.


OC, I am ALWAYS working on what I call "the rudiments of bike racing" when commuting and riding, even when not with a group. It is instinctive at this point. So when my riding buddy, whose form and limitations I am totally familiar with, was telling me he was hanging at the front of the ride except on the longer climbs, I knew with my usual level at this time of the year...I had the ability to pretty much do what I wanted, when I wanted. There are much faster group rides in my area, but this was not one of them.

Posted By ChinookPass . on 08/11/2014 11:40 AM
I think sometimes the dudes who only do group rides forget what it is like to take the wind for an entire ride. They are used to sitting on a wheel all of the time and lose the knack for making their bikes go fast.


Exactly man, dudes didn't want to make it go when it was time to make it go...I have no issues with taking my pulls and making the pace. The biggest problem was guys not knowing how to get a decent paceline going.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1137

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08/11/2014 01:07 PM
Yeah, there are a bunch of guys who do the weekly Tuesday night ride that you just never see anywhere near the front. They basically ride wheels and then I'm sure talk about how "fast" the ride was.

If you are gonna get the most benefit from a group ride, you gotta get your nose in the wind.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Dale

Posts:495

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08/11/2014 01:09 PM
Posted By Keith Jackson on 08/11/2014 12:48 PM
The biggest problem was guys not knowing how to get a decent paceline going.


This.

Something as simple as a pace line eludes most that started riding in the last 20 years.

Saturday I did a group ride and linked up with a couple of old geezers like me (50+) and we had a nice pace line going and eventually had one more join in who didn't have a clue-- stayed at the front way too long, pulled off and didn't drop back and stayed even with the front. After he was gassed from sitting out there so long we bid him adieu.

Even in road races it seems most cannot fathom the concept of a pace line let alone an echelon.

My problem is I have Cat 4 legs and Cat 1 race savvy… it's damn frustration
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/11/2014 02:59 PM
Dale, This was me the whole ride, "PULL OFF! I got it man, you can rotate out now. You got help behind you, no need to do all the work." Pick whichever one suits my annoyance level.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
79pmooney

Posts:1163

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08/11/2014 03:28 PM
In general, I stay out of pacelines. A touch of wheels, yet another concussion. There are lots to choose from at Cycle Oregon, almost always with riders I do not know, so I pass up most. But 2nd day of my fist CO, I had just ridden up the Rattlesnake climb into far southwestern Washington and was still motoring (at a much lower relative pace) into the wind after the top. Passed three young women who jumped on my wheel. I kept pulling for another 5 miles until I was pretty well cooked. (It was another 10 miles of this, then a screaming downhill into Clarkston and our camp. Nothing to save myself for.)

I pulled off, two of the women thanked me, so I got on their wheel. They worked a beautiful, smooth paceline. I let them come in front of me because I knew I had no business taking another pull at this point. I would just slow them down. Well, a couple joined us. The woman wasn't strong, didn't do anything and wasn't much of an issue. The guy was strong but had not a clue. The women quickly learned to cut in front him. But after a while they needed longer rests and started coming in behind me. Well, newcomer was so erratic I was unable to keep the tired women attached and would periodically have to go and pull them back. Eventually, the couple dropped off and it was back to a nice rotation. Then it was the fun descent for miles, dropping right in to downtown Clarkston.

They stopped and I joined them to exchange names, then we proceeded along the river for 6 miles to camp along a bikepath. I was riding with the 3rd when my seat fell off. Busted seatclamp. She asked what she could do. I told the I would have to stand. And she got that her job now was to be my domestique. She lead and served as my eyes. (Ever try to look around when you are riding no-hands and can't lean against the saddle to steady the bike? Going slow?) We passed through several parking lots. At each, the trail entrances and exits did not line up and there was some traffic. A real godsend to have this woman calling out traffic (and bikes about to pass on the trail) and navigating the parking lots. All I had to do was follow her wheel.

So, a long story with a really simple moral. Be a gentleman in the paceline. There might be karma.

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1137

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08/11/2014 03:43 PM
What kills me is how regularly people can't even get the right rotation direction, let alone timing, etc.

How fookin' hard is it to remember "pull off INTO the wind"?!?!!? But inevitably, everyone starts pulling off WITH the wind, which of course jams up the middle and back of the pack because there is no room for anyone. When that schitt starts happening, I just head to the back.....fook if I am going down because some knuckleheads don't know which way to pull off.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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08/11/2014 04:18 PM
so if i'm riding a group ride but i'm between groups by myself and a rider pulls up behind, am i obligated to start rotating?
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Dale

Posts:495

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08/11/2014 05:29 PM
Posted By carl x on 08/11/2014 04:18 PM
so if i'm riding a group ride but i'm between groups by myself and a rider pulls up behind, am i obligated to start rotating?


I always ask, "You wanna work together?" If they answer anything but "Yes" I figure they don't have a clue and try to ditch them
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/12/2014 04:01 PM
Yup, working the paceline and things like that are why I equate fast group rides with going to open court gym to play basketball.

Playing basketball with your friends on a half court, playing 21 or whatever is fun. Running a full court 5 on 5 takes a deeper skill set tho.

Same thing with fast group riding. It requires a deeper skill set than just simply "going out road riding with your buddies."

Oh yeah, only guy on steel. Only guy with no bike computer, GPS or power meter. I have become the stereotypical "old guy on the steel bike"...lol.

And now that the bear is awake....there is a 35mi hill ride tomorrow. The legs have responded nicely to the hard ride on Sunday and I should be ready to hand out pain in large quantities!
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Orange Crush

Posts:1211

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08/12/2014 05:50 PM
Hill group rides are recovery rides. Cheater.
Nick A

Posts:119

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08/13/2014 10:10 AM
I went to GW (1984-1988). Used to ride around Haines Point. Being in school, riding times were sporadic and erratic. Was riding around one Friday or Saturday night, when all of the evening "cruising" started. Being 20 and invincible, I started doing my imitation of riding through the cars "for fun". LOL. Cycling was not so universal back then. So, I looked kinda funny rolling up through all of the cruisers.

Nick
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/13/2014 10:27 AM
Posted By Orange Crush on 08/12/2014 05:50 PM
Hill group rides are recovery rides. Cheater.


Hush you! Don't give it away...lol.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
CERV

Posts:151

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08/13/2014 02:13 PM
I'm curious when you say 'paceline' how guys can be staying in the front too long. If a paceline is being rolled properly, you don't really have a choice how long you're in the front (unless you really surge) as the next guy from the 'rotating up' line should be coming around in front of you as soon as you have taken the front of the 'rotating back' line.
79pmooney

Posts:1163

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08/13/2014 02:26 PM
CERV, that's a rotating or double paceline. Most people think of a paceline as a line where you pull as long as you like, then rotate off and drift back. That's fine as long as everyone knows his or her abilities and pulls off in good time.

Ben
CERV

Posts:151

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08/13/2014 03:44 PM
hmm. learn something new every day.
like this, huh?
http://www.ifp.illinois.edu/~smallik/cycling/Paceline.gif

Around here it's generally callled out during rides as 'single-up', 'two-up', 'paceline' (or 'rotate') and 'echelon' (which of course rarely happens outside races, although we have a fast early morning ride that ends along the ocean where a spontaneous echelon will often form out of our rotating paceline).
So in my brain, 'paceline' always implies you are rotating.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1137

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08/13/2014 04:02 PM
Image from CERV's post....

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Nick A

Posts:119

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08/13/2014 04:20 PM
I "learned" in NY. Rotating was for team time trials. For a big group ride, the stronger guys took longer pulls. Here in NM, it seems rotating is the thing (Don't really do group rides anymore, but have done maybe a dozen out here over the years). Personally, I don't like it as much. With "taking pulls", it allows more disparate riders to stay together.

Actually, learned on the Gimbels Ride, where it was free for all, with attacks and everything. Everything else is boring after that.

N
CERV

Posts:151

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08/13/2014 09:04 PM
We have a fast but friendly ride that goes out on the weekend. The stated goal of the ride is to get the group around the loop as fast as possible (and of course, there is a strava segment for the route). No racing.
There's a rotating paceline on the front for those strong enough to keep pulling through, a gatekeeper (first guy not rotating) who continually calls out to the rotating guys ahead that they are next up, and a single file line after that to sit in and rest.

You get to choose your own adventure to get in as much of a workout as you want to in the rotating paceline or you can sit in and try to hang on as long as possible. If you want out of the paceline, you wait until you reach the back of the 'rotating back' line then call to the person in front of you they are next up to rotate up, and you become the new gatekeeper. If you want into the paceline, you signal out of the single file line, ride up next to the gatekeeper behind the 'rotating up' line, and the gatekeeper calls you in.

Sounds complicated when you write it out, but it works really well for groups of varying ability. It becomes quickly apparent which guys who are not strong enough to roll the paceline, as they start to let gaps open, can't pull through, etc, and get told to drop back. Normally it's self regulating, as the guys not strong enough to be in the rotation drop back from starting to hate their lives too much. Everybody gets a good workout on that ride.
longslowdistance

Posts:696

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08/13/2014 09:36 PM
Nick, rotating pacelines also can be good for breakaways too because it forced everyone to do a similar amount of work. But it's easier for the snappier fast twitch guys than the rouleurs.
eurochien

Posts:44

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08/13/2014 09:48 PM
In Coloroado a paceline is riding single file in the gutter, no idea where the wind's coming from, it's the gutter or nothing. When the proverbial elastic breaks because a dude pops, people still ride the gutter with no idea that they can actually echelon.
I always remember those pictures of the Vuelta with 5 or 6 echelons, separated by maybe 6-10 seconds, so if you're in one of the tailing groups you lose time, but not that much compared to killing yourself by yourself in the gutter and losing 20 minutes at the end of the race. Idiots.
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/14/2014 01:21 PM
Posted By Nicholas Arenella on 08/13/2014 04:20 PM
I "learned" in NY...Actually, learned on the Gimbels Ride, where it was free for all, with attacks and everything. Everything else is boring after that.

N


I hear you. I learned the ropes on the 10am DC Velo Group ride. And as with you, everything seems tame after that. A free for all is a great description.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/14/2014 05:47 PM
So...did the group ride yesterday. Got dropped with like 6-8 miles to go after the group split when there was a disagreement over re-grouping. My hip flexor issues (for those who have known me here forever, you know all about them) and I had to sit up and let the front group go after bringing a group of five up.

Which brings me to...the chasing group I got together. It contained what was easily the fastest woman I have EVER been on a group ride with and I have ridden with female pros who had done Core States the previous week. On a steel Conlago with a precisa fork, Campy, spoked wheels and leather handle bar tape. How good was she? She rode at the front of the group the whole ride. When she got left she bombed the descent and opened a gap on the chasing group and attempted to close the gap to the front...herself! Into a headwind at 25mph+. I came up behind her and told her to grab my wheel. Despite the cramping and pain of my hip, I just could not leave her in the gap like that. She was too good. So we worked together for 5 minutes on the rivet to nail the front group back. When I got her on the back of the group after all that work (and dropping TWO of the guys in the 5 man) she still had the fitness to ride one handed at 25mph+ and pat me on the shoulder, "thanks for saving my ass, I was in no man's land," and comfortably slid into the pack. At this point I said to her my hip flexor was cramping up and I am going to have to let the group go and sat up.

Ashley...I bow to you dear. You are STUPID fast baby.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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08/15/2014 08:39 AM
no man's land...good one.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/15/2014 11:38 AM
Yeah, the irony of her making that statement.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Nick A

Posts:119

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08/16/2014 08:36 AM
Breaks, gaps. Sounds like DC riding is/was like NY riding. I quit FB, but before I did, one of my old riding buddies from way back when, posted video of a group ride in Atlanta. Also pretty crazy. I wonder if it's an east coast thing.

Nick
Hoshie

Posts:114

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08/16/2014 01:32 PM
Not a strictly east coast disease- crazy fast and furious rides exist here in SoCal. Simi rise anyone?

I won't do our Tuesday night ride even when fit and I am a plenty descent sprinter. Bad roads mixed with dubious riding is not a thrill for me now that I am in the over 40 club
Nick A

Posts:119

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08/18/2014 09:43 AM
Yeah, I'm indulging in nostalgia. I'm too old (and considerate) to ride like that anymore. LOL.

N
roadbuzz

Posts:21

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08/20/2014 09:28 PM
Couple more group rides, someone will make a pinhead move, and you'll be "F* this" and done with it for another year or so 'til the memory fades.
Nick A

Posts:119

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08/21/2014 09:10 AM
@roadbuzz True dat! LOL. I go to Walmart about once a year. Same thing. Except it's not a pinhead move, but just the overwhelming combination of humanity and rank consumerism.
THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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08/21/2014 09:31 AM
Posted By Nicholas Arenella on 08/21/2014 09:10 AM
just the overwhelming combination of humanity and rank consumerism.


the same thing could be said about a group ride.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Keith Richards

Posts:740

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08/21/2014 12:34 PM
Posted By roadbuzz on 08/20/2014 09:28 PM
Couple more group rides, someone will make a pinhead move, and you'll be "F* this" and done with it for another year or so 'til the memory fades.
No Doubt! I was bitching about the route the next day with the guy who invited me. Riding through neighborhoods with parked cars on both sides of the street, 4 way stop signs all over the place with bad sight lines...I was thinking the whole time, "he invited me out for THIS???"
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
SideBySide

Posts:180

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08/21/2014 07:18 PM
Perhaps find a different ride?

I go on roads marked as "bike friendly" and say Nope, Nope, Nope!


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