Good thread.Nereth wrote: ↑Thu Jun 15, 2023 2:27 amSo honestly all of the points I'm reading seem pretty well-rounded and I'm forced to agree. I can't even reasonably play devil's advocate to push for deeper conversation, since no one is swinging too extreme the other way either.
In retrospect, most of the issues raised with the groupie are absolutely in-line with my own experience (people take more risks then don't get punished, different people having different ideas of the goal, sitting in being shameful instead of smart, etc).
Maybe a more productive question would be, what concrete things have you been able to learn from racing that you would never learn from an aggressive group ride, or group riders would never realise they were missing? For example, not :
"Oh you get an intuition for how the pack moves and surges and responds to attacks" (true but wishy-washy) or ,
"you learn how to control your bike in a tight pack" (can totally learn that on a groupie)
"you learn how to deploy XYZ method to get other guys to work",
For example in my case, the races I have done;
1) You certainly take more bike handling risks, e.g. corner harder, and therefore learn the limits of traction etc faster (or just crash). You can learn this in a groupie but I don't think most people ever push as hard, as consistently, because unswept surprise sand is a thing.
2) I learned how easy the back of the pack was far more in a real race than in groupies as the packs were larger and my ego didn't demand me to stay near the front and pull turns. And then the amount of rubber banding is also lower as I think people's cornering speed is closer together on a race than a group ride where one guy is risk averse and slows the whole peloton up at the back.
Group rides: go hard and be a team player. Use it as a training tool for fitness, and to get used to the mental space of going beyond. No real consequences for making mistakes. Be a gentleman and take longer turns at the front, it will help with your fitness.
Racing: be selfish. Sit in with a plan to position yourself for the final sprint. But... scope out the fast peeps, watch for team tactics and be ready to chase down THE (not just any) break away.