Club Levels

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bikeboy1tr
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

I belong to a club in my area and my wife is the President of that club. Its strickly a Touring club with several different levels of riding with the exception of racing. The levels go as follows from easy to more challenging, 1)Recreational,2) Casual, and 3)Touring. In the past we had a Elite level as well but as we get older less and less people want to ride that group.
The biggest problem we have is people who decide that they dont want to ride at the level they should and drop down to the next level and then hijack the ride at their pace which is harder then most of the people in that group can handle or even want to ride at. I know this might seem like ranting but I am wondering if this is a unique problem of our own or is it something that every club experiences. We have looked at other clubs in the area and how they arrange assorted rides and have implemented the same type of structure.
Our Touring rides typically average between 28-30 km/h which seems reasonable to me as we have little in the way of hills. I lead one of the touring rides and I am good at pacing but we rarely do any kind of rotations which leaves myself and whoever volunteers to come to the front to join me. My rides never get hijacked but we do have a couple of half wheelers that I let go up the road until they figure out they are on their own. I refuse to chase them as I know it will blow up the ride so I instruct people not to chase that wheel just let them go.
My only thought is to force everyone to do a rotation so as to keep some order in the pace.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=154188
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TonyM
Posts: 3270
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

Where I live now (Greater Vancouver) we have more the problem that many riders want to join the A-group (fastest) but get dropped at one point....But they still refuse to go in the B-group because of their ego...So each club/ community etc.... has its own specific problems I suppose....

Coming from Europe to now North America I often see that you guys have problems with your so called "half wheeler"....
I never experienced that problem in Europe (at least in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland). Whenever someone want to "push" the pace of the group in a easy training ride, either the group increases its pace accordingly or not. And if not then this rider is at one point just alone in the front ahead of the group and at one time he will just wait and stay then with the group. Of course in hard training rides this is different as pushing is the rule but you don't have "half wheeler" as you have a single line...LOL...

Rotation will not elimate your hijackers and half wheelers. When their turns come they will just increase the speed dramatically.
But keeping the ride as it is intended in terms of speed and letting your "hijackers/ half wheelers" ride alone ahead of the group (and the group not increasing their speed accordingly) should solve your problem IMHO. And maybe also have some nice words with them about the speed of the group etc.....

And remember that you only have problems with half wheelers if the other riders responds to their increase of speed....

by Weenie


bikeboy1tr
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

Thanks for the input TonyM, I would have to agree with your thoughts on half wheelers to just ignore them until they either come back to the group or just keep going up the road. I have done my share of race training in the past with other clubs and its either hang in there or go on the attack and as long as race edicate is being adhered to then all is well.
I am always surprised by people with ego when it comes to which group they belong too. If you have the cardio and the fitness to ride with the fast group then by all means do that. If you are lacking in either of those then ride the group down until you get the fitness to ride up to the next group. I try to keep the ego in check because I have had my ass Royally kicked by many women in the past on the flats and on the hills so to have an ego is to have it squashed at any of your next rides.
AT the moment in our club we have some individuals that would like to ride up to the next level but one is struggling with the group he presently rides in and I know as he uses the HRM and his avg. hr is high for the level he currently rides at and typically the avg. speed is around 24-26km/h. I think his fitness and cardio are as good as he can hope for at this time. The other individual just started riding and has very little for base and wants to do some of the bigger rides that he is not ready for if the group keeps a 28 km/h avg.
We also have people that do no riding in the offseason and they seem to think they can ride with the touring group for their first ride of the season with the club. This is why I favor the assortment of ride levels to choose from so people who dont have the fitness or cardio can start with slower rides until they are capable of moving to the next level. I try to encourage people to move up if I think they are capable but If those that want to ride up a level and are not ready I would warn them of what to expect and be prepared for.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=154188
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AJS914
Posts: 3587
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I'm in a racer oriented club. We have a no drop Saturday right with regroup points. Everybody goes fast in between or if you aren't feeling fast then you can just cruise knowing that they will be waiting. Since we have no speed limit, it all sorts itself out. Most riders suck the wheels of the fast guys.

We also have a weekday race ride. Departs at 6pm sharp, not a second of waiting. No stopping for mechanicals. you are on your own!

Bikeboy1tr, as a leader of the group you might simply need to have some conversations with members. They may need to be told that they are riding with a slower group and if they keep pushing the pace they will not be welcome. I think forcing people to rotate will be good for them.

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Hellgate
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:49 pm

by Hellgate

Gotta love a "sand bagger" on a club ride.

Sometimes I'll quietly bridge up and grab a pocket, then soft pedal.

They notice either from the increased effort or the laughter from the rest of the group.

Then I'll have a chat with them and explain the etiquette for the particular ride. Most people get it.

Typically it's a younger, newer rider who is excited to ride in a group.

bikeboy1tr
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

AJS914 we have had some conversations with the culprits but for some reason they just know one speed and as soon as they are 5 min down the road they are at it again. I suggested to the prez that we should split the Touring group in half and put all the culprits in one group and allow the other group to ride at their respective pace. If this doesnt work then we will have to force people into pace lines I think. Should be fun to see one group trying to half wheel each other until they all blow up. I know this will happen because the odd time I will just match their speed until they cannot half wheel any longer and then they slow down and wait for the group to catch up and they drop to the very back until recovered. I get great joy out of that one.

Haha thats a good one as well Hellgate I should give that one a go.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=154188
2018 Colnago V2R Rim Brake
2014 Norco Threshold Disc Brake
2012 Time RXRS Ulteam Rim Brake
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Lelandjt
Posts: 526
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am

by Lelandjt

This is maybe a little off topic but since everyone is discussing the problems of group rides let me ask, why do people do group rides? Couldn't you ride the same route at your ideal pace by yourself? The only times I ride in a group are during races. Very rarely I'll go for a ride with one other person. The company is nice but I have to ride at their pace.

NickJHP
Posts: 295
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:22 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

by NickJHP

In our local racing club, someone said on one of our training rides of a particular rider who was notorious for half-wheeling: "If the Tour de France was a training ride he'd win every stage".

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TonyM
Posts: 3270
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

Lelandjt wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:56 am
This is maybe a little off topic but since everyone is discussing the problems of group rides let me ask, why do people do group rides? Couldn't you ride the same route at your ideal pace by yourself? The only times I ride in a group are during races. Very rarely I'll go for a ride with one other person. The company is nice but I have to ride at their pace.
Many people just enjoy the company of other people. And road cycling is anyway a social sport where people chat a lot together.
BTW many people don't race. Or stopped to race.

But with Zwift etc...maybe one day nobody will ride with other people outside.... :noidea:

AJS914
Posts: 3587
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

My group ride is fun and social. We have some super fast people that push me hard, much harder than I would ride by myself.

bikeboy1tr
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

Most of my riding is solo training rides as I do work many afternoon shifts so club rides for me are maybe 1 or 2 per week. I do enjoy riding with others especially when they are at my riding level. My club riding is mainly base miles as it is a touring club and my level is a bit above most in our club. Although our club has a few that came through with big cardio and fitness and I would normally encourage them to train with some of the surrouding area race clubs because I know they will not progress in our club with that kind of fitness/cardio level.
One point of Zwift is there are a few riders I know of in the middle of big cities who cannot get outside for regular weekly rides unless they drive by car or plan on at least 150km to out into the countryside for a good loop. I am glad I am not one of those people and I can be in the countryside within 5 minutes of my home.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=154188
2018 Colnago V2R Rim Brake
2014 Norco Threshold Disc Brake
2012 Time RXRS Ulteam Rim Brake
2008 Time VXR Rim Brake
2006 Ridley Crosswind Rim Brake

by Weenie


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