MIT Group Ride Dynamics

Hey everyone, the 2008 season is coming faster than we think. The website prediction of March 15th could be pie in the sky thinking although as it has been said before, anything can happen. Regarding the group rides, it’s important that we develop some new guidelines before the season starts and to do that, I’d suggest we plan a coffee or breakfast sometime within the next 3-4 weeks to “chat”. I can definitely see the need to have 2 speed groups on the larger group rides. Two main reasons are safety and group dynamics. The larger rides of 16-20 riders definitely increase the visibility on the road although also increase the passing time commitment for the cars on the 2 lane highways and increase the risks of tight pace-line riding. The group dynamics is something we shouldn’t ignore either as different fitness levels will always create the pressures on the pace. Compare this to hockey where you often have the need for different levels of the players/divisions based on their abilities and goals and number of participants. In reality, the Saturday am rides do mean something different to each one taking part. For some, this is the main ride of the week, for others, this is almost wind down time based on other rides and training during the week. Speaking for myself, the group rides have always been a dual benefit (camaraderie with the group and endurance training/riding for my sport and competitions).As the past few years of riding has gone, the distances of the rides and the pace have increased however this is due in part because of the nature of the sport … Better fitness and equipment, more experience, higher goals, type A personalities. New riders also get that feel of satisfaction from improving their technique, achieving longer distances, increasing their speeds, and upping their fitness level. 2 speed/distance groups helps to foster both causes and in reality, the end result (i.e. Time to get to a destination) is not that dramatically different with 2 groups travelling 5 km per hour different and yet both can arrive fulfilling their desires, goals and FUN factor.

The “founders” of the group probably never imagined the interest that would bloom from the start and I’m thankful for the welcomeness of the group that allowed me to take part when I decided to put the “helmet” on.

Thinking of the evolution of MIT, I think this is a great place to be where we have more riders coming each year deciding to take part in this great sport. We have a diverse group of people who have a common bond. **RIDING** Let’s keep the momentum going and continue to adapt to always make it enjoyable and safe.

Hans aka R-man

2 thoughts on “MIT Group Ride Dynamics

  1. I vote we start a new “puppet club”.
    We shall call it “RFMIT” ( Really Fast Mennonites in Tights).
    No wait, maybe “RSMIT” ( Really Slow Mennonites in Tights).
    Or how about ” WWTPEATTMIT” (We Want To Please Everyone All The Time Mennonites in Tights).
    BTW (By The Way) ED PAVELKA is a GOD!!!

  2. Here’s my input for what it’s worth:
    2 ways I see to do what R-man suggest
    1. Split rides on the same route, where either the slow group leaves 5 minutes ahead of the fast group from both the start and the mid point (breakfast) or both leave at the same time and the fast group waits for the slow group.
    2. Split routes where the slow group takes a different (shorter)route than the fast group with the intent of arriving back at the start at roughly the same time. Breakfast would then become brunch at the end. 2 routes would have to be posted each week with the recognition that the routes that actually get taken depend on the number and types of riders that arrive.
    Both ways give riders a choice and maintain the camaraderie that I have enjoyed in my short time riding with MIT.

    For those concerned about making a change to the rides I offer the following quote: Natural selection demonstrates that change is not necessary because survival is not mandatory.
    Cheers, Glen

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