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How fast are most club rides?(9 posts)

How fast are most club rides?t-moore
Mar 12, 2003 5:39 PM
I know the ques? is somewhat broad, and a bit vague. So take it easy on me.

How fast do I have to me able to ride, to hang with the avg club ride and not embarass myself. This would be a ride that is on relatively flat roads, but maybe with some rolling hills.

On a relatively flat ride I can sustain a pace of 17mph for 2 hours. Would I need to get to around 20mph for most rides. Or would I be able to hang with the straglers.

Because I train alone, I am nervious about riding with a group....
re: How fast are most club rides?The Human G-Nome
Mar 12, 2003 5:44 PM
the ? is impossible to answer. there is no "typical" club ride. they vary from club to club, city to city and day to day. but what's the worst that could happen? you could get dropped. big deal. no one cares or knows who you are or that you were dropped. no one makes a mental note: "I just dropped that guy." the only way they'd care is if they thought you were better then they were. otherwise, for the most part, everyone will be helpful and unassuming. don't pay attention to all of the horror stories that you hear. it's also true that some riders will be out there spinning and not trying to drop anyone to begin with. just go for and realize there's not really going to be any consequences. (just don't wear your USPS garb! kidding, of course... sorta)
re: How fast are most club rides?Picshooter
Mar 12, 2003 6:08 PM
The HG-N pretty much nailed it. Around here it depends on who shows up and why. Last saturday I ended up closing gaps at 28+ only to get spit out a short time later, along with half the pack which regrouped, recovered and rejoined the leaders for some cool down miles. The next day 10 of us took turns pulling at around 20-22 for 45 miles.
Some rides are no one gets dropped rides and others are everyman for him or herself.There is no shame in getting dropped, don't worry, go for it.
i remember my first...YoungRcR
Mar 12, 2003 6:10 PM
club ride. Boy i got the snot kicked out of me. Before the ride I introduced myself and asked some general rules for riding with a group and i was received with smiles and welcomes mostly.

Most cyclist are just friendly people and love having new riders, the ones who dont, who cares. I remember my 2nd club ride, same club, but there was a few guys i didnt know all wearin the same get-up. One of them yelled at me for pulling off and not taking my turn (i was dying!) and got dropped anyway. But after riding some more i can drop those guys so who cares.

Generally just hold your line, dont spit/blow snot on everyone, be friendly, and try to point out major road hazards. Dont point out every pebble, 2 in. pothole in the road, that can just get annoying because generally when someone points of yells somethin its expected to be a real hazard so the paceline may shift.

Most of all just have fun, that's why you are there anyway. You might think of asking when you get to the meetin spot general questions like pace, milage etc. and introduce yourself and tell them your new to the whole group ride.

If its a club ride, %90 of the time club rides are older men with tons of miles in there legs who are really friendly and enjoy showin new guys the basics.

enjoy :-)
Lots of variation in club rides.High Gear
Mar 12, 2003 6:00 PM
Best bet is to ask. Some club/shop rides are faster than the hard training rides with cat.2 friends. Lots of club rides turn out to be hammer fests with no intent on real training. On the other hand, club rides will often split up into groups of the same fitness or intention and this is something you want to look for. If you can ride a 17mph avg. for two hours than you should be able to stay above water in a 18-19 avg. group. Drafting really is a gift! I don't think there is one person that wasn't nervous on their first bunch ride. I ride with a club once in a while that meets allover the state for cool slower rides. Ask around and you'll find something that fits you. Good luck
There are only two things to worry about ...Humma Hah
Mar 12, 2003 6:17 PM
... don't lap wheels and don't run into anyone.

Riding in a paceline is not all that difficult but it does take fairly constant attention. The lead rider may or may not be watching for obstacles and giving some sort of signal to those behind. The signals, if used at all, are so variable that you just have to learn for the specific group. Those behind must remain alert to what the bike ahead is doing and try to maintain close but safe spacing. Attempt to make speed changes smooth and predictable.

Never bring your front wheel close alongside the rear wheel of the bike ahead.

Learn how the group rotates the paceline. If they expect you to take your turn at the front, watch the process, and ask questions if necessary. A lot of informal groups are really sloppy at this, and many will just have the stronger riders lead the whole time. Some, however, may run a strict rotation and have the lead bike peel off (usually to the left for road, to the right for track) and drop back. Its easy to learn, but you want to do it the way the group expects.
re: How fast are most club rides?Struggle
Mar 12, 2003 6:40 PM
I would say just use common sense once you are in a new group. My first club/group ride was a great experience as the guys knew that this was my first group ride. They were great and seemed to protect me during the ride in the sense I was not expected to pull up front. I believe I tried the front line for a short while and then spoke up to have someone pull up as I dropped off to the side. Be very sure to verbalize any changes you are going to make when in the group. I would also watch out for someone who stands up fast as they can pull there rear wheel back into you. I try to call out standing to the person behind me before getting out of the saddle. I would suggest riding in the back for a while. As for speed it would seem like others have said 18-19 avg. but probably higher at times and more tense. I like to look ahead even while back in the group to see road changes. To get fixated on the wheel in front of you as that can lead to a crash if something happens one rider ahead of you. Also I had a bad experience after riding my second year with a new different club as the riders seemed rude and switched positions constantly during the first part of the ride making for a dangerous ride as no one seemed content with where they were in the group. This lead me to believe this is a group to not be with. I would rather ride a little slower on my own then have to pick rocks out of my skin and someones pedal out of my eye from riding with a group like that when they all might go down from unsafe riding and switching. As for that ride I sprinted away from the group only to end up being passed by them 10-15 minutes later when they got themselves organized. Hope this helps. Group rides are a lot of fun but always come with a greater risk for accidents.
Struggling on
P.S. 35 out today with a 62 degrees F. called for tomorrow
re: How fast are most club rides?Live Steam
Mar 12, 2003 8:31 PM
Most clubs have groups that are classified with a letter and most of them further define them with a (+) or a (*). A and A+ for their fastest pace riders usually averaging +22mph and up. B classification and C classification and the variations thereof B* or B+ etc. riding at progressively slower paces.

You should contact clubs near you to see how they expect a group ride member to handle themselves and what minimum skills you should have for each ride group represented ie. pace line skills or not, etc. Our club posts these in our monthly newsletter on the back of the ride calendar. There is even a recommendation to do a self tests of sorts by time trialing a specific local route within a time frame, before coming out with the club. It is obviously not mandatory, but it helps alleviate some of the anxiety that a new rider may have when deciding to join a club. The test is fairly easy and thus lets that new rider know that cycling is for fun at all levels of skill and conditioning. The club is here to help you get better and stronger if that is your desire.

You will not embarrass yourself at all. Clubs are generally more than happy to have new prospective members come out to ride with the club. After all that is what the club is for - to do group rides, club races and/or time trials (if they offer this), social rides and other social events. You need a strong membership base for it to be successful and for it to be sustained. Good luck and have fun.
Thanks for all of the insightt-moore
Mar 12, 2003 10:11 PM
I'll report back after my first group ride....Thanks