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First Group Ride On Sunday... Any Suggestions?(5 posts)

First Group Ride On Sunday... Any Suggestions?Mr Nick
Aug 22, 2003 11:39 AM
I am going on my first group ride this weekend and I am a little nervous. Supposedly the group is pretty easy going so that is good. But I don't know the rules or etiquette. Could you guys give me some pointers?
Plenty of advice online... google it.orange_julius
Aug 22, 2003 11:46 AM
For example,
Have fun on your first ride, and don't worry too much!
Enjoy yourself!
is that THE John Tesh? I myself find it hard to take seriouslybill
Aug 22, 2003 12:30 PM
any article that begins with a quote from John Tesh. My apologies to John Tesh.
But not a bad article on some basics of how a paceline works.
As more advice for our hero, you should acknowledge your inexperience and let the group teach you. There will be one or a few folks who are more or less the leaders of the group. Every ride has them. Try to let them know that it's your first group ride and you just want to be sure that you're paying attention to the right things and learning as much as possible. If you make clear that you want help and are willing to take their advice, you will get it. If not, get a different group.
Every group has slightly different rules and etiquette. Some groups signal when they are coming off the front. Some don't. Some are more respectful of traffic signals than others. Some ride double pacelines, some don't.
Universally, pointing out road hazards and calling out a slow or a stop is expected.
Don't take pulls your first time out. Tell your leader that you don't want to get to the front until you're comfortable. Don't worry, no one will think less of you. They will be grateful. This time. Next time may be a different story. Just stay in the back, and let the riders coming off the front cut in. Let a gap form and wave riders in front of you. Much better to do that than to be nervous and squirelly at the front. Until you're comfortable, it's difficult to keep the speed/effort consistency necessary for a paceline. It's not rocket science, but it takes a little experience. Plus, you don't know the route.
Relax, and open yourself up to the experience. Don't pretend more experience than you have, and people will help you. It's great fun.
re: First Group Ride On Sunday... Any Suggestions?cmgauch
Aug 22, 2003 1:11 PM
Call me crazy but I don't think you'll be doing a lot of paceline work on your 1st group ride. A lot of times people are a bit wary of "new" people (people they haven't ridden with) on group rides & give you a wide berth. Don't be offended; it is a self-preservation tactic that you'd be wise to adopt yourself.

I ride w/a group of guys (rd & mtn) that are VERY comfortable together and are rock-steady when others are proximate. It's all very Zen-like. Still, we rarely form up in a paceline, which could have something to do with the nature of the North Jersey roads we ride but I suspect it's because there is no need for it when you are just out to train & get your ya yas out. We use the paceline & suck each other's wheels when we are dying, and on a recent 1-day, 200+ mile ride we were in a paceline for much of the 12+ hours, but on any given road ride, not much of that goes on.

Here is my .02:
- Show up early, w/2 full bottles & your gear in good order (xtra tube or 2, pump, etc).
- Be mellow, steady & predictable on the bike, preserve your muscle glucose as much as is practical.
- Don't spit on anyone. Spit down & to the right, like you are trying to spit on your shoe. Eject boogers (if you must) the same way.
- Point out obstacles, if you are the last rider, say "car back" when one is coming up.
- Smile a lot & do you best to keep up. You'll get more respect by "putting out" & blowing up than by surviving the ride but slowing everyone's pace.

Enjoy it, and let us know how you made out.
re: First Group Ride On Sunday... Any Suggestions?pedalruns
Aug 22, 2003 3:54 PM
Have fun, group rides are great! The group should let you know if there are any special rules. Just don't cross the yellow line.

My first group ride (years ago).. was a racers ride (I had NO clue).. I showed up in t-shirt, regular shorts, tennis shoes, you get the picture... But one guy stayed with me showed me about a 35 mile route in the area. I started riding that route every weekend, found another group, and that was the beginning... until I found my my own race group!

Good luck!