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Why we drop other riders?(30 posts)

Why we drop other riders?bikenraider99
Apr 5, 2002 7:15 AM
This is in regards to a question a friend of mine had. He did a corporate ride with his company the other day and got dealt with. He's mostly a mountain biker but does spend some time on the road. Frankly, I didn't know any other reason we do this other than "we can". Any other thoughts/reasons?
under what circumstances?RideLots
Apr 5, 2002 7:35 AM
In racing, well, that's racing. Drop'em if you got 'em. (they can't suck wheel).

Otherwise, could be several things:

*you want to get a good workout, and they can't keep up

*you don't like them talking so much

*they are dangerous, or at least an unknown quantity (quality?)

*pure, simple, competition

*we emulate racers
Apr 5, 2002 7:39 AM
We want to ride faster, eat better, have a bigger SUV, and shinier diamonds than our neighbours. It increases our chances in the reproductive arena if we are macho bread winners. Chicks dig fit guys.
re: I'd rather be dropped!dzrider
Apr 5, 2002 7:44 AM
I'm not everybody and everybody isn't me, but I would rather be dropped than feel that I'm imposing a slower pace on my fellow riders. I have no fear about getting lost and ride by myself most of the time anyway. I keep up as long as I can and then go off the back cheerfully offering to help all who want to go a little slower find their way home.

I spent many years playing competitive tennis, a very stratified sport, and much prefer going comfortably at my own pace. I like group rides because they push me to work a little harder to keep up with younger and fitter riders before spinning home at my brisk but leisurely pace.
re: I'd rather be dropped!vitusdude
Apr 5, 2002 8:13 AM
Good attitude. The main thing is to just ride your ride. I've definitely seen two attitudes on group rides where riders get dropped (which is most group rides). One is the 'we're just gonna ride our pace, those who can keep up can, and those who cannot, cannot. The other is 'we are turning this ride into an unofficial race with the unstated but de facto purpose of dropping the less fit in order to win the non-race.' Without being judgmental, you need to find a group that fits your riding ethos and ability, and stay away from the ones that don't, unless you have the rare and admirable quality of dzrider to accept what is graciously.
be unselfishmr_spin
Apr 5, 2002 9:18 AM
That's always been the rule I play by. If I can't keep up and I know the way back, I wish everyone well and fall off the back.

There are touchy-feely types who will say no one should EVER be dropped, but except for some obvious circumstances, I say that is absolutely wrong. If riders don't know the way back, you don't drop them. If riders include your spouse or significant other, it is wise not to drop them. Anyone who has a medical problem doesn't get dropped. You can come up with a bunch more reasons that all derive from common sense. Not dropping someone because it might bruise their ego is not a valid reason!

I'd also like to turn the question around. Instead of asking why do we drop people, ask "Why do YOU get dropped?"

If you get in over your head on a fast ride, you should not expect everyone to slow down for you. Do the unselfish thing and drop out. Come back next week and try to go further. Keep coming back until you can keep up the whole way. But don't try to slow the group down to your speed.

The group I usually ride with is made up mostly of good friends. We all basically ride at the same level, so dropping anyone isn't normally an issue. If someone does get dropped, there is an informal agreement that we will wait up at the next waypoint. Sometimes, one of us will drop back and pull them back. No one talks about it, that's just the way it's done. As friends and longtime riding companions, we've all earned each other's respect as riders. We will often slow down the pace if one of us is lagging, because we've all had our off days. But if strangers hook on, they are on their own.
Being a newbie......IAM
Apr 5, 2002 3:59 PM
with mostly MTB experience and very little group ride experience , I hope to some day be in a group like yours. I have made friends at my LBS, and have been invited on their group rides with the assurance that they are easy rides. I only know two other people that road ride and geography keeps us from riding together, so I hope to find a group like yours some day.
My wife just got her first road bike, and although she thinks that she holds me up, I love riding with her at her pace, so for now it's a group of two.
re: Why we drop other riders?Dave Hickey
Apr 5, 2002 8:02 AM
If you invite someone, they should not be dropped.

I like to ride at lunch and this week a guy at work brought his Specialized MTB and asked if he could ride with me. Knowing he was a lot slower, I just rode the whole ride in the 39/23 combination. There was no need to drop him. It's possible to get a workout at 13mph.

I'm not much of a runner, but I'm training for a triathlon.
About a month ago, I went running at lunch. A woman in my office is a very good runner. She told me she's like to run with me. I explained that I'm not very fast and she said that was alright, she just wanted to stretch her legs. After about 5 minutes into the run, she just took off and left me. I didn't like the feeling of being dropped. needless to say, we don't run together at lunch anymore.
how does this apply to group rides? for instance, you...JS Haiku Shop
Apr 5, 2002 8:11 AM
you invite someone to a group ride, but drop 'em with the rest of the group and ride on with the faster few. still passe?
how does this apply to group rides? for instance, you...Dave Hickey
Apr 5, 2002 8:23 AM
IMHO, If the group splits up into two groups that's fine. I just don't think anyone should be left alone in a group ride. The only possible exception would be if the rider over commited his talent. Example: He told the group he's a 22mph rider, but was actually a 15mph rider.
Lunch ride, off topic ?elviento
Apr 5, 2002 8:45 AM
Man, you are lucky. I can't even think of riding during lunch. First I need to have my lunch, second, I need to wear suit and tie and there is no place for shower at work or to store my bike. My colleagues and clients are fairly serious people and I am a junior guy (imagine my boss coming out of a meeting seeing me in lycra in the elevator). Decent roads are a couple miles away from my office, so need to navigate through traffic to get there. I might be able to pull it off if I had 2.5+hour lunch breaks, but unfortunately I only have 45 minutes.

I always feel amuzed to see those lunch ride planners in magazines. 5 minute change, 5 minute warm up, 40 minute hard workout, 5 minute cooling down, 5 minute change, maybe even 5 minute shower, then you are done in an hour in total. I just don't know how guys can do that.
Lunch ride, off topic ?Dave Hickey
Apr 5, 2002 8:51 AM
I'm lucky enough to have flexible hours. I can ride for an hour and then eat at my desk. I use baby wipes to clean up and I'm good as new. I also commute a couple of days a week. I rode this morning. My commute is 16 miles each way. It's a great way to get mileage in during the week.
Lunch ride-rideslikeagirl
Apr 5, 2002 9:31 AM
Could not possibly live without my lunch rides!!

It's the only way to stay sane M-F during the dark season.

Counting the minutes til the time change Sunday!!
Lunch ride, off topic ?SnowBlind
Apr 5, 2002 9:56 AM
How can you not do one if your department's director asks you to go along. Nice to have a cyclist at high levels.

Needless to say, I did not drop him.
Damn, I thought you were going to say...UncleMoe
Apr 5, 2002 1:41 PM
instead of running, she actually wanted some action. Oh well. Fantasies are healthy.
re: Why we drop other riders?SnowBlind
Apr 5, 2002 8:26 AM
Only guy I dropped was the wise ass in the office who suggested I "tag along" on a ride.
Got him good.
re: Why we drop other riders?bikenraider99
Apr 5, 2002 9:22 AM
Okay, I think I got an idea. The ride in question was not a race, but a company get together. Some of the "stronger" riders were leading and then just took off and left people kinda disoriented about the return trip back to the starting point. For me, personally, if I plan a ride with a newbie or someone just easing back into the sport, I'll ride at their pace. Especially if I invited them or they invited me and let me know up front their conditioning. Now, if I hook up with a group or a group catches me, I definately try to lay the wood to them if they try it to me, just because that's the nature of the beast.
re: Why we drop other riders?SnowBlind
Apr 5, 2002 9:53 AM
You are weird. You wrung a thunderstorm out of a damp rag.
The details are that this guy is a mtn biker who moved to road, and thinks he is a bad ass.
To suggest that I should "tag along" on a commute ride home is silly, mine is 15 miles and his is about 3.5. When we do shorter rides he comes along and we (3 of us that ride every weekend) hold up for him, and don't drop him. We even give him friendly advice like "53/17 is a bit big for a 5% climb" and "don't crank up the pace when you get to the front of the line, just do what you can".

This time, however, I just kept adding gears until he fell of the back end, then I waited for him at his turn off. I was even nice about it when he whined about the 10 mph "headwinds". Jeez, wait 'till the 30mph "Delta breeze" comes howling up the river this summer.
methinks it's somewhat relativeSlipstream
Apr 5, 2002 9:55 AM
There are clearly categories of riders: strong riders usually have an implicit understanding that being dropped is no big deal; lessor riders tend to want the support, which is ok to.

I think problems occur when the two groups are mixed together. Maybe its an oil & water thing--try not to mix them. But if you do have a mixed ride and if the person is capable, then drop them; if not, then maybe someone needs to stay with them. Generally, large mixed rides will sort themselves into several packs anyway.

These issues tend to arise with riders who are unfamiliar with one another; maybe setting expectations and clarifying some rules at the beginning of the ride would be useful.
re: relativityElefantino
Apr 5, 2002 10:49 AM
I think a lot depends on how the rides are structured. We have rides here, both weekday night (beginning next Tuesday) and weekend, for A+ through C rider levels. Before the ride begins, we gather as a group and discuss the course (providing maps, if needed) and what we estimate to be the average speed. In some cases where the groups are mixed, it's discussed beforehand.

If someone wants to start with the fast group and get dropped back and wait for the slow group, that's OK. And vice versa.

The last ride before my accident (it was Sunday, July 1), we were on a 60-mile club ride and the group split about 15 miles out. As we approached a hill (a Florida hill) that was about a mile and a half long, I just took off. Must have been the Wheaties or something because I had gapped to the fast group by the crest and stayed with them.

I heard a lot of good-natured whistling and "showoff!" shouting as I dropped my regular buddies, but we've all done it to each other at one time.

There are times, too, when I've ridden sag and swept up the newcomers, willingly, because I remember how terrified I was for my first group ride.

I hope you are soon able to again "gap to the fast group"Slipstream
Apr 5, 2002 11:35 AM
And I want to hear all the details when that occurs. :?)
Top Doggrzy
Apr 5, 2002 9:52 AM
It's all about testosterone poisoning, demanding respect and man's need to know who is the top dog. When we were little boys we had pissing contests, now that we're older we need more socially acceptable means of demonstrating our superiority and keeping our insecurities at bay.

Realize that some rides people make a point of being friendly and not dropping people and other rides it's all about putting out maximum effort. While some may have the need to drop others there are some who want to ride at AT for training goals. You just need to know what kind of a ride you're on. Once someone starts to surge the race is on.

It's not unusual for a MTB rider to get dropped when new to road biking and he probably didn't fullyrealize what he was getting himself into. The road game is inherently different - it's all about conserving energy, staying in contact, and still having something left at the end for the sprint. MTB riding is to enjoy each moment to it's fullest, rail technical sections, clean the climbs, regroup, then head off again. The range of skills required and equipment in MTBing are much wider and various riders can excell at some aspects and not others (i.e. downhill vs. climbing). The truly gifted excel at all aspects and are typically XC racers. A downhiller may be faster on the descents, but they usually suck at climbing on their 45# rigs.

Just my thoughts and observations.
re: Why we drop other riders?RayBan
Apr 5, 2002 10:38 AM
Sometimes being on the bike and having control of the situation, supremacy, POWER, etc is the only time we actually have it in life, and dropping the fellow riders lets you exhibit that (at least to yourself)
re: Why we drop other riders?ALBikeGuy
Apr 5, 2002 12:26 PM
I always try to stay within the pace, the ride was advertised at. If someone shows up and can't handle the (advertised)pace, then I have no problem dropping them.

On the other hand, a problem in our group is that everyone starts out way above the advertised pace, then some folks tire and drop off. They could have held the pace if it stayed as it should have, but burned out.

If I can't hold the pace, I tell the group to go on. I would never want to slow a group down. I enjoy riding with a group, but sometimes I desire to ride alone.

But, I hate it when folks take advantage of a situation and drop folks. What I mean is when part of the group gets slowed by a red-light or turning car. I prefer that everyone re-group when something like this happens.
re: Why we drop other riders?bikenraider99
Apr 5, 2002 2:37 PM
Well folks, you've definately given me some answers. Much appreciate it. Have a safe and fun weekend of riding/racing. Laters!
Cuz they SUCK or ...liu02bhs
Apr 5, 2002 8:05 PM
I don't try to drop people. I don't mind people drafting, because frankly drafting increase my speed too. But I'm not gonna wait up on them if they can't even suck my wheel. Of course a lot of people disagree on this. Like when I draft on my easy days, some bikers think they are hot shot and try to lose me, but can't. And they have the guts to get mad at me for drafting. If I'm riding w/ my friend than that's a different story.
I'm glad to see all the considerate types here.Leisure
Apr 6, 2002 3:12 AM
For me, the point of group rides is to ride with a group. If a couple of people want to have at it, whatever, but I myself pretty much never engage in little competitions. If I'm motivated to ride hard I ride alone.
I became really anti-racing when I started riding with this one mountainbike-racer chick. Every time we went I jumped in thinking we were just going out for a good time, but she always made a competition of it, taking any opportunity to pass or drop me, even when I would fall, go the wrong way, or whatever. I refused to engage in that sort of competition, told her so on numerous occasions, and rode my own pace, yet any time she happened to finish ahead of me she'd get that "recognize I'm a racer-girl" stancing as if to "rub it in". It was the part about her using my falls as an opportunity to get ahead that really bugged me, though. I had learned that when you're out riding in the middle of nowhere, you watch out for each other. I told her this. And I always set an example, waiting up for her after going any reasonable distance. She just didn't get it.
It's been a long time since I stopped riding with her, and I learned exactly what kind of rider I did not want to be. So when I go on group rides, I make a point to stay somewhere near the other riders. I stop and make sure people regroup and don't get lost or hurt and left alone. I still don't get into pissing contests. Sometimes I do pull ahead of my group, usually because my mind wanders and I forget where everyone else is, or I just feel like flying. Other times I get dropped, when my cardio isn't there or I don't feel like pedaling downhill. I don't take it personally, and I try not to hold anyone up. Thing is, dropping doesn't always happen in the context of competition, it often (perhaps usually) happens because riders are just doing what they're doing and there's nothing wrong with that. As long as people remember every so often some common group-ride courtesy then it's all good.
re: Why we drop other riders?jim hubbard
Apr 7, 2002 11:40 AM
I think if you turn up to a group ride you should know what to expect. If you know that the ride turns in the local "world champs" then be prepared to be droppped. As for my own opinion on the rest of the time well you shouldn't be getting dropped on the flats if you sit in and don't pull on the front, unless it's LSD and you bonk. In which case someone should ride with them to make sure they make it back OK. As for hills I think that it is good group behaviour to wait at the top of long climbs for everyone to catch up. I normally roll back down and ride back up with the last person. This is one of the advantages of being fit, and it give me extra training. Smaller hills go hard to the crest then just roll down the otherside to let everyone catch up.
safetyDuane Gran
Apr 8, 2002 4:43 AM
The only time I have ever intentionally dropped someone on a social ride was when someone unsafe was riding around me. Actually in this case, he joined a small group that had formed and everyone was disturbed at his lack of handling skills and courtesy. After a polite suggestion or two didn't work, we dropped him like lead.
Because sometimes we train seriously, stick to the plan...tempeteKerouak
Apr 8, 2002 8:50 AM
What can I say. Sometimes I ride by myself, sometimes in a small group.
Formal or not,

but sometimes we train. And if the goal is to pack 40 km's under an hour, well it might mean dropping the odd rider we came across. We take serious turns in a line, time-trial wise. We'll let anybody who wants to join the line take a turn or two, but the pace rules...

Aslo it means other cyclists join in on days when I am out to pack on some Long Slow Distance. They find me boring and slow, and move on!