speed, pace and dropping

Hi Roadies,

 Maybe we can use this forum to discuss some opinions about our riding speed and dropping of riders who don’t keep up the pace.  I know we all feel bad when someone drops from the group.  But the temptation to push just a little faster, if you’re feeling strong, is really hard to resist for some.  We are all out for friendship and exercise.  But we’re at many different levels in our ability to ride so it’s not always easy to hang together in a total group peleton.  I’ve noticed that some clubs post their weekly rides with a “no drops” disclaimer.  Is that a hard and fast principal that we should establish?  Or, as some of us discussed today over breakfast, should we always have a slower “no drops” group and a faster “all out” group?  Chances are that we’d all re-join within 15 minutes of the destination point anyways.  Perhaps the decision could be based on the number of riders that show up.  For example, maybe a minumum of 3 riders per group could be the rule?  If there are less than 6 riders in total it’s a given that it’s one group and no drops?

Anyways, it’s always fun for me, whether I’m up front or 10 minutes behind.  I do want to be conscious of being open to new members though and I think it would be too bad if we got the reputation that either you have to pull at 32 KMPH or you can’t ride with MIT.  What are your thoughts?

5 thoughts on “speed, pace and dropping

  1. This is one discussion we need to have. Thanks for putting it up RJ. One of the “rules” I have lived by with MIT is the basis that it is for all riders. I have always thought that the all out rides can be for the days when not riding as a group.
    When this MIT thing started we were all about riding for exercise, fun and food at the midway point. Our speed has increased, we all have better bikes and we are disjointed in how we ride. Yup, yesterday was a prime example of that.
    I was thinking this morning of some of the same things you mentioned. A second group that would meet up at the same time, just a slower pace. Like some ride the long way to Richer and others the short way etc. Not all ride destinations can be thought thru in that way.
    The largest disappointment for me has been the dropping of riders who want to start riding or those that have been a part of MIT but just can’t hold a 30 km plus speed for the longer rides we have been riding this year.
    So now what?

  2. I like the option of going fast or slow on rides. I also agree that we should stick together if there is 6 or less riders. Even if there are more than 6 riders we should still have a 10 km warm-up where we all ride together and say our “good mornings” to each other at a slower pace. At 10 kms we can stop and split up while making sure there are enough riders in each group. That way we can choose to go fast or slow that day.

  3. I’m in agreement with Pat on this one. The risk we run into on keeping the rides always 1 speed is that as riders get more fit and able, the desire is there to continue to improve, push and achieve. We then also run the risk of losing riders who want to use the group rides to challenge themselves and gain more speed and strength. I realize for myself, that the group rides are a great time to share a common interest with a diverse group of people and enjoy the feeling of the “peleton”, as well as a training tool for me to push harder and faster on a long ride to improve my racing ability. Granted we only have a handful of “racers” in our group and yet as Triathlon/Duathlon and Road racing continues to grow in popularity, MIT is a great vehicle to foster that. The group is growing and needs to be open to some individuality based on the abilities of the riders. Truth is that by the breakfast stop or the home stop if the group splits, the difference in times are not huge and yet all riders were able to go at the pace suited to their abilities and desires. I have found that when the rides are 6-8, the group stays together very well even at a faster pace probably due to a tighter peleton. Let’s do what Pat says and take that warmup time and discuss at that point how the next stage will go.

  4. I think the idea of having a couple of groups when there are 6 riders or more is great depending on who is there (if everyone there is pretty much at the same level and we know that from weeks of riding, then no need for two groups). What we have done in Bike for Bibles rides is to have a slower group that would leave first and the faster group would give them about a 15 to 20 minute head start depending on the distance to be covered. Then, the fast and slow group usually ended up arriving at the destination at about the same time or at least not that far behind. If we did something like that (we could still do the 10 minute warm up ride all together as Pat has suggested and then people can see how they feel), I think we’ll still be able to enhance our skills and not turn away those that aren’t yet at the level of some of the faster riders but might get there with time. And, if you’re having a bad day as I sometimes find myself having (darn that piano hitched to my butt!) then you know you have the option to ride at a bit slower of a pace and still get out with everybody and have fun!

  5. Good day all
    As one who dropped last week, I’ll offer the following comment. First I appreciate the concern that several people expressed – I got home with no problems and I appologize for raising a level of concern. Second, I achieved my goals on the ride – new bike, figured out handle bar position, seat position, gearing (for the most part) and what I needed to do for greater endurance on a long ride. I enjoyed both the fast pace out and the slow pace I took back. Third, I would remind all of you that many of us not only enjoy group rides but also the long solo rides – best meditation I have ever found – and therefore have a good idea how to do so safely. I beleive (or hope) that I had reached the point on the ride where I knew that I could return home safely without a mistake or a great deal of hurt. However, in retrospect, I would turn around on stop points, that way the group would know (for safety reasons) that a rider or riders left, those who wish to turn around can and / or a slower group can be deciced on. Fourth, I enjoy riding (or swiming or running or…..etc) with those slower than, equal to and better than myself – A chance to help, a chance to share and a chance to learn. Overall, for me not keeping up is just challenge, not a detriment. I am more concerned about slowing others down. I would like to continue to come out and I am open to any ride design as long as all riders can be challanged and enjoy their ride. Hope to see you Saturday (weather depending)
    Cheers, Glen

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