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Do you go harder when riding in a group .......(35 posts)

Do you go harder when riding in a group .......Live Steam
Oct 4, 2001 4:13 AM
or do you have the fortitude to push yourself just as hard when riding solo? I know for myself, I am lazy and don't like pain unless there is an immediate payoff such as dropping the group for a while or sucking the power out of their legs during a hard pull. I wish I had it in me to train solo and go as hard as I do when riding with the group. I know it would pay off in the long run. I am just not as motivated to do so alone. It's just too easy to go easier or to stop and rest at times, using some disttaction as an excuse, when out there alone.
re: Do you go harder when riding in a group .......Jack S
Oct 4, 2001 4:32 AM
"Dropping the group" is a real chump move... personally, I find riding solo is harder- no wheels to suck.
Hmm, I find myself doing the opposite.Jay
Oct 4, 2001 4:33 AM
I tend to ride faster when solo cause I'll zone out everything (sans traffic and stuff) and concentrate more on spinning higher gears and sort of like pretending it's a time trial. especially commuting. I have a 10mile flat commute that I most of the time treat as a time trial.

When I find myself riding in a group, it becomes more social and I have to be aware of the other riders around me, therefore I concentrate less on myself and more on the riders around me. Of course, if the group is hammering, then I'm hammering, but most of my friends that I ride with aren't as strong as me (they don't commute or ride as much) so it becomes more social. I guess it would depend on who you ride with too. I usually know everybody that I ride with and so it's kind of a "catch up on current events" kind of rides...

Hmm, I find myself doing the opposite.Live Steam
Oct 4, 2001 4:42 AM
The rides usually start off as a coffee clotch, but end up riding 2/3s of the ride at a high pace. And JackS, As for dropping the group, we treat some of the rides as a mock race. We stop for mechanicals and flats. We don't leave anyone out there on the course. Such hostility in your words. I hope your screen name isn't an acronym :-)
NEWSFLASH: group ride ≠ racenm
Oct 4, 2001 4:50 AM
leave your ego at home
Oct 4, 2001 7:43 AM
Jumping on Live Steam makes you look like yet another “Troll”. Know the facts before you put another foot in your mouth.

Not all group rides are social cruises. My club's Tuesday and Thursday night sprint rides, as well as the Saturday morning fitness rides are full on racing rides with a team feel (we're all friends). I should say this applies to the "fast" group and not the slower ones. Yes, they are still group rides full of friends of up to 60 people. If someone flats, the whole group won't stop, but a few people will stay back to help. Everyone takes turns pulling in pace lines when the group is large.

The speed picks up and weaker riders dare to hang on. The super strong riders like one of our juniors (top national rider) like to torture everyone with attacks to bring the pace to a painful 30 MPH. Sure, there's plenty of ego going on, but the camaraderie is strong and the whole ride is about having fun while you are pushing your limits up a notch. I personally think it's foolish to have so many hammer fests in a week and opt for slower rides when the old body feels too tired.
NEWSFLASH: group ride ≠ training ride or racetry again
Oct 4, 2001 8:57 AM
time to ignore this coward who won't use his name -NMTig
Oct 4, 2001 9:04 AM
In general, yesMick
Oct 4, 2001 4:45 AM
Riding with a skilled group always challenges me to match the group's performance. There have been countless times where I've attacked when tired, or pulled back a break when tired, or just hung on the back when I'd have preferred to drop off but I just can't bring myself to do it. Most of the time this insanity pays off and I've become a better rider for it.

There are exceptions. I do some specific training drills when alone: intervals, hill sprints, etc. that I'd never do in a group. But mostly when I ride alone I tend to relax (or be undermotivated?)and ride with poorer form than I do when I'm with a group.
I guess I should do the sameLive Steam
Oct 4, 2001 4:52 AM
I am not one for a regimented schedule, but setting up a training scheme is probably the best way to get stronger. For me, it's just not as fun riding alone. However, I do like the peacefulness that comes with the solitude of a solo ride on a back country road. I think that I am going to set up that training schedule - NEXT SEASON!
Depends on the group...........Len J
Oct 4, 2001 4:47 AM
If I am the strongest rider in the group, the group ride tends to be easier for me than a solo. In order to keep the group together, you ride at what the average person can ride. Plus you get to rest between pulls. In this case I will take longer pulls than others.

If I am riding in a group where I am the weakest rider, a group ride can be excruciatingly hard. Every pull is a killer interval and the rest of the time I'm hanging on for dear life. My pulls tend to get shorter & shorter.

Just my experience.


Ps. I seem to get stronger the more solo riding I do. I think for me this is because most solo rides are aimed at a specific training goal & therefor I am working to get stronger.
I agree (nm)Starliner
Oct 4, 2001 5:03 AM
depends on the group ...bianchi
Oct 4, 2001 4:55 AM
Usually my fastest times are on group rides, but I'm not necessarily riding any harder. It's just you can go much faster drafting in a paceline. Some group rides are real laid back, or go slower because everyone wants to take it easy or we're waiting on slower riders. Other times, everyone is kicking butt. In general, I think I work harder on solo rides because I can't draft, so it's like I'm pulling the whole time. This is particularly true on windy days.
If Miss M is there we do! I don't know if it is guys having toMB1
Oct 4, 2001 5:02 AM
show off or it is Miss M wanting to hurt people (she would never confess to that!) but when we are in a group the pace always picks up.

Even more so when we are on the tandem. If you catch a group there is no way they are going to let a tandem go unless you just fly by them. We can usually drop all but the very best on rollers. The other thing that happens is we don't stop much so people end up just letting us go.

If it is just me in a group I'll just go along with the program-at least untill we hit the hills. Then all bets are off.
re: Do you go harder when riding in a group .......cyclequip
Oct 4, 2001 5:10 AM
You represent that great mass of riders who find it necessary to 'measure your member' every time you get on your bicycle. As Michele Ferrari said, " most recreational riders tend to ride the same all the time: too hard on their easy days and too easy on their hard days". Nett result - they never perform anywhere near their potential. Every single bit of training evidence points to good riding being premised on lots of slow riding (base). As for intensity: why do you need company to go hard? You seem to need the payoff of dropping a bunch before feeling better about yourself - motivation solely from riding with slower riders? Ever tried riding with the fast boys?
Faster average speed in a group of course, but...Alex-in-Evanston
Oct 4, 2001 5:44 AM
I think I work harder overall when I'm by myself.

This reminds me of the first time I rode with an "A" group.Spinchick
Oct 4, 2001 6:14 AM
I called the ride leader the night before to assure him I knew the roads well in the event that I got dropped (I had no doubt that I would). When I showed up in the morning, I introduced myself to a couple people and immediately announced (not altogether) jokingly, "I will be sucking somebody's wheel today. I hope you all don't mind." They took one look at my bike, smiled, and answered, "no problem." Feeling mildly oversensitive anyway, this irked me a bit. To make a long story short, I did not get dropped. I even pulled for a total of 5 minutes. When we returned to the start point, I gingerly made my way across the parking lot, walked into the woods and hurled behind the closest pine tree.

Moral of my story: My ego has diminished in size this season. But I'm still riding.
Ohhhh. I do like you afterall! nmMB1
Oct 4, 2001 6:30 AM
What? You had doubts? nmSpinchick
Oct 4, 2001 6:35 AM
Gotta admire someone who will ride 'till she pukes :-) nmDog
Oct 4, 2001 6:43 AM
I would have admired myself if I hadn't.Spinchick
Oct 4, 2001 6:50 AM
I hate puking. Spent WAY too much time doing that while I was pregnant.
Just in case anyone thinks I mean to flame LiveSteam...Spinchick
Oct 4, 2001 7:47 AM
I definetely am NOT. Just seemed like an appropriate thread to add my little war story.
Hey, I hope there won't be any puking on Sunday!Live Steam
Oct 4, 2001 10:56 AM
Just kidding and no, I didn't think you flamed me:-) Sunday's ride will probably not imitate our local Saturday rides. This is definitely more of a social event, but feel free to work hard and take your pulls. Or, just sit in the back and enjoy the scenery.

I have to agree with MB1, you just have to love a woman that will ride hard until she hurls and then isn't afraid to tell us all about it!LOL

PS We will have at least one other girl with us - Ann - she is a killer when it comes time for her to take her pulls.
I'll ride with you anytime! nmmr_spin
Oct 4, 2001 8:07 AM
yes and noDog
Oct 4, 2001 6:41 AM
Some groups absolutely kill me in the mountains, but are a breeze on the flats. Some groups linger at rest stops for 30 minutes and drive me nuts waiting around and getting all stiff and cold.

The more I ride, the less I ride with others. It's so hard to get just the right workout.

On the Tuesday and Thursday night races here in the summer, where we meet and race about 12 miles out, regroup, and race 12 miles back, it tends to amount to a 10 mile group cluster at a 95 heartrate, a big push, and a sprint. I got tired of that, so then I started taking off from the start and seeing how far I could be before getting caught. (This is a bunch of Cat 1's - 4's, too.) Much more rewarding, and exhausting.

When I use a heartrate monitor with an alarm, and set the low alarm really high, that simulates racing or someone else pushing you about as good as it gets. Sort of the same thing as a group ride without the hassle.

Now, I only do group rides for my easy rides. Good for a little conversation and maybe seeing some areas I have not seen before.

re: 30 minute rest stopsJs Haiku Shop
Oct 4, 2001 10:40 AM

like fingernails on a chalkboard (which actually never bothered me--i rather feel the chalkboard/fingernail way about squeaky clean towels washed without fabric softener on fingernails). fifteen miles does not merit a 30 minute break.

for events here recently, i've started either skipping rest stops or stopping for only long enough to disperse and take on fluids, and quickly stretch. i figure if the paceline/group i was with was fast enough for my fancy, they'll easily catch me within a few minutes and i'll fall in. otherwise, away i go.
I'm with you there. Once every 50 miles or seems about right.nmMB1
Oct 4, 2001 10:45 AM
every 2 water bottles, more or lessDog
Oct 4, 2001 11:13 AM
I stop for the minimum time it takes to get water, maybe pee real quick, and get going again. On my long, flat rides this summer, even in 100 plus heat, I stopped only every 60 miles (carried 4 bottles and a Camelbak).

If it truly is a "social" ride, that might be different.

Depends on the groupChris Zeller
Oct 4, 2001 7:36 AM
It really depends on the group. I often ride with some guys who race and then, man do I get hammered. I end up going all out just to keep up and come back beat.

I also ride with an older guy and end up going easier that I do alone. When I'm alone I just try to keep my cadence between 80-90 and go as hard as I think I can. When I'm with a group I just match the group pace, if that's harder than I can, then I try harder to keep up.
Depends on the groupJon
Oct 4, 2001 8:53 AM
As a rule I ride harder on group rides than when alone. Riding solo,I'm usually either in recovery or
doing structured workouts with recoveries. One of our group rides always starts out moderately and then
about halfway through turns into a road race. Being a middle-of-the-pack type I hang in about three
quarters of the way home, inevitably getting shelled when the pace goes 45kph +. Then those of
us getting dropped usually form up an echelon and chase the rest of the way in. The net effect
is a super hard workout with no rest for the wicked. The other club ride is largely a social ride with a
little hammerfest and group sprint at the end. The combo works well for me. The thing about
groups is the competition! It makes you push yourself way harder than you would when by
yourself. Unless, of course, you're some solitary ultra-endurance type!
For me....Wannabe
Oct 4, 2001 8:25 AM
as a recreational rider, when I meet up with the local racing club for the weekly ride, I go all out, but I'm just trying to hold the back end of the group. My heart rate is through the roof the whole time. I treat this weekly ride as my one super hard day of the week. The rest of the week (when I am riding alone) is spent on either recovery days or days at a mid-intensity level. Perhaps as I get stronger the group ride will change? I doubt it, for these guys this weekly ride they treat as race simulation (esp when they aren't racing the coming weekend). I expect that as I get stronger I'll just participate more in the ride, such as attacking, sprinting, or making pulls or whatever. Also, riding hard in a group makes you work harder on your group-riding skills too.

So in a nutshell, yes, I ride harder when riding in a group. But for me (and the riders I ride with), that's the point.

Andy - Wannabe
Wannabe, time for a name change?Tig
Oct 4, 2001 9:15 AM
I doubt there's any wannabe left in you! You ride your best. You learn more and more about cycling fitness and bikes, etc. It sounds like you are just like all the others in here who love to ride and talk about it when you are stuck at work. So, maybe you can think up a new name that reflects you more accurately? It's up to you. Just a friendly suggestion. Keep on pedelin' and inputin'!
How about "Am"? nmMB1
Oct 4, 2001 9:25 AM
Thanks for the thought...Wannabe
Oct 4, 2001 11:28 AM
...but I am definitely a Wannabe! But at the same time, I have thought about changing my screen name. Maybe I'll change to MB1's suggestion, or I'll have to watch for other "ideas."

Thanks though, nice to to know that I can contribute to this forum beneficially from time to time.

Andy - Wannabe (for now)
yes and no, depends on group, and club ride versus event...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 4, 2001 10:32 AM
also depends alot on your position in the weekly/monthly training routine, if you're building miles or tapering for an event upcoming, etc.

group rides: saturday AM is slow and easy 'til the halfway point, then a small climb after the first "rest stop" splits the group into at least two smaller cliques. from then on, it's pull hard and work hard unless you have what it takes to drop the pseudo-paceline. most of the rest of that ride covers flat and windy roads. OTOH, the weeknight club ride is a relatively hilly route 'round these parts (that doesn't say much, however) and finds early attacks and alot of friskiness along the way. so, on club rides, guess it depends on the underlying feel. everybody gets what they came for--hard effort, to drop or get dropped, to ride slow and socialize, or to hang with the faster than slow group and keep heartrate up for a couple hours.

now, for events--at first, i tried not to hang with any of the field/pacelines/small groups, as i'd tend to overexert myself and blow up. more recently, and on longer rides (100+), i'll work with a group up until the halfway mark, then i'd rather suffer solo in the wind than waste mental and/or physical energy taking turns in front and calling out road hazards. on top of that, i'm still slow yet (~18mph centuries and ~16 mph dbl metrics), and the folks i end up riding with are often times pretty squirrely in groups and somewhat unpredictable, if not, i tend to (unconsciously) work harder with a group than solo, and i'd like to stick with the plan and finish according to the idea in my head, not somebody else's.