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Riding alone versus with a group?(12 posts)

Riding alone versus with a group?cam3
Sep 9, 2002 1:46 PM
I am curious how many people out there prefer to ride with a group? I for one would much rather ride with someone else than by myself even if it is a recovery ride. Something about safety in numbers.
Sep 9, 2002 2:04 PM
I think you are probably safer if alone, unless you are a woman in a bad neighborhood.

For intensity, I ride with groups. I'll hit at least 10 beats higher riding with other racers than I will pushing myself alone. Something about competition and pride, I guess.

I ride alone when I want to go more controlled or slowly. That's hard to do in a group, especially if not everyone is in agreement about what to do.

Over all, I'd bet you are less likely to crash when alone. Just a hunch, though.

Sep 9, 2002 2:17 PM
I think the safety factor has little to do with crashing than being crashed into by a car. Or getting harassedm, which could lead to worse, by car occupants.

I hate to ride by myeself for fear of cars.
I feel safer riding by myself..DINOSAUR
Sep 9, 2002 2:43 PM
Club rides get kind of crazy. Too much competition on a open public road can be dangerous. You are at another riders mercy, some are not too experienced. All the crashes with my cycling club were on club rides. The biggest one this year was a fatal. He was the lead rider and got hit from behind. The driver of the car said he never saw him.
Prefer small groupsBipedZed
Sep 9, 2002 2:53 PM
3 to 6 riders of similar ability tend to be the sweet spot for group riding. More than 6 and a "race pack" tendency emerges and/or different paces and goals make for a frustrating ride.

Heading out for 4-6hr rides in the foothills of Denver I definitely prefer to go with other people. A lot can happen when you are way out in the sticks by yourself.
more solo rides than groupDaveG
Sep 9, 2002 5:31 PM
I tend to do a lot more solo rides than group rides these days. The advantages of solo rides are you get to pick the route, the pace, the start time, and the stops. I find solo rides more relaxing in that I can spend some time watching the scenery or reflect on the day without having to worry about overlapping wheels, erratic riders, and pace yoyo-ing. That said I agree with the prior poster that said that 3-6 folks in a group is a great size. This is especially true if you know the other riders are know their abilities and handling skills. I'm not sure about the safety part of riding in groups unless you are concerned about a attack.
re: Riding alone versus with a group?bianchi boy
Sep 9, 2002 6:51 PM
I prefer riding with a group on longer rides, for the comraderie, drafting, and help in case of a mechanical. On shorter rides, I usually ride solo. It's much easier keeping my own pace that way. I also agree with the others that it's probably safer riding solo, assuming you are taking precautions -- eg, wearing a helmet, brightly colored jersey, using a mirror. I don't have the statistics to prove it, but I would be willing to bet that more cyclists are hurt by accidents in pacelines or hitting obstacles (rocks, potholes, sticks, etc.) than by collisions with cars or trucks. I get very nervous riding in pacelines with cyclists I don't know, particularly when they start doing crazy stuff -- blocking traffic, running traffic signals, moving erratically. Also, any more than 6-8 cyclists in a paceline, and it starts getting hard to control.
re: Riding alone versus with a group?MasterBlaster
Sep 9, 2002 8:41 PM
I personally like to ride alone and pass group riders.
re: Riding alone versus with a group?DERICK
Sep 9, 2002 9:01 PM
Safety from what? Is there much to be afraid of?Silverback
Sep 10, 2002 7:51 AM
From a traffic standpoint, it's safest to ride in a group because you're a bigger presence--the sardine theory. Socially, like another poster, I like groups of 3 or so--more than that and the macho factor seems to take over.
There's an undercurrent of fear in some of these posts that seems unjustified to me, though. The notion that if you ride solo (which I do at least 75 percent of the time), you're leaving yourself vulnerable to some unspecified attacks just isn't born out by statistics. It probably helps that I'm a 6'4" guy, but I have a number of women friends who ride solo nearly every day, and only one or two has ever even been mildly harrassed. I don't think you should let fear of some largely imaginary threat dictate your life.
macho factor --bill
Sep 10, 2002 10:01 AM
I went out with a group of eight on Saturday. They have a nice little racing club, they were very welcoming, and we all had a good time. Some hillwork had kicked everyone's butts pretty good, and we were just cruising through a pretty, woodsy area.
Then, this woman on a tri-bike passed the group. No one said anything. No one did anything immediately. The pace, however, crept up, and in no time we had surrounded this poor woman.
She ended up next to me, and I looked over and said, "you see what you did? You caused a testosterone spill all over the road."
She shook her head and said, "It happens every time."
I noticed, though, that she didn't let us pass her, either.
re: Riding alone versus with a group?Gary M
Sep 10, 2002 12:47 PM
I have seen some pretty scary behavior on my group rides ie. riders who want to talk and ride two or three abreast without regard for traffic conditions. Left turns with a group on a busy road can be nerve racking. The more riders in the group, the more oblivious everyone seems to be to hte actual riding conditions. I personally get tired of having to be so social on a ride and it could be this compulsion for everyone to chat that creates inattentiveness. That said, I haven't been on a group ride where anyone crashed... yet.

On the other hand, as someone else pointed out, you normally get a faster ride in a group.