Group ride rules...when do they not apply?
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  1. #1
    scruffy nerf herder
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    Group ride rules...when do they not apply?

    Pack etiquette threads pop up from time to time here, and I rode a group ride last night and got a long email this morning from a fellow rider... commenting on my group ettiqute... or lack thereof, and I was wondering if I was out of line, or if this guy is just being a know-it-all prick.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I was just not really thinking... and some of what he was saying makes sense but let me put this situation in perspective.

    Group ride, starts out with 30+ riders, but gets whittled down to 3 relatively quickly, which is not uncommon on this ride. I was not out to do much work, as my wednesdays are more recovery base mileage than any type of speed or intensity workout. Nonetheless, when speeds picked up, some schmuck was just clogging up the front, wavering about, so I pulled through, gutter side... thinking he would pull off. He freaked out and squeezed in on me, then mouthed me saying I should have gone around on outside... whatever. I got through with no real issue. I got chastized for that, even though we really didnt have any type of paceline going or anything. I had never ridden with the guy before and it became clear he had no real idea of how to flick off or move out for the next pull.

    Second thing was that we were going up a slight incline. For whatever reason the guy in front of me started to pick things up. I wasnt really interested in sitting on, so I pulled out, and motioned for the other guys to go on up, Im just "sitting in" today. I got chastized for that... for "pulling out of the rotation" on a hill. They weren't going that fast... but whatever.

    Third thing. Three of us got way off in front on a very pitted farm road. Wind was coming from opposite side of the road at a decent clip. We werent going that fast, and the smoothest spot was a little ridge right along the edge of the road. I wasnt really trying to work (as I mentioned before, its more of a recovery night), and the guys in front pull off... leaving me... riding in the gutter... to pull. Fine, so I just pulled along in the gutter. I got chastized for that, saying that I should have been riding eschelon so they could get a better draft. WTF?

    Im not saying that everything that he said is incorrect, in specific context I suppose. But when does "pack etiquette" go out the window? Or does it? I definitely mind my p's and q's in serious group rides or race-like situations... but when it is an informal group rides or only two or three of you.... can't you relax some of these rules?

    If not... please let me know... but to me, if its just me and one or two other guys... I just feel that you go with what works. If there is specific stragegy, like gapping the chase group, bridging a gap, going for a city limit sprint, or whatever, I can see the need for such structure, but in a silly little ride is it that necessary?


    Thanks in advance, all in all, I'm just trying to rationalize whether or not I should be apologetic and how I "should" take this otherwise unsolicited email advice....
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

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  2. #2
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    Every ride has different rules. Some have very strict rules. Others have none.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  3. #3
    Diesel Engine
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    I'd side with you...

    Sounds like there are 3 issues. The first, pulling through on the right, was probably not the best thing to do but as you said, it wasn't a big deal, especially if there was no real formation to the ride yet. Maybe if you had let the guy know you were on his right it would have been a non-issue. Sounds like he got a bit nervous and over-reacted though.

    The other 2 things are weird in my eyes. You did the right thing pulling off on the hill as otherwise you would hold up all of the folks who were so intent on drafting uphill. What would they have done if you were a rider who wasn't strong enough to stay on the leader's wheel (although it sounds like you could have if you wanted to). The eschelon thing is a bit strange in my eyes, especially on a non-competitive group ride. After that one I probably would have dropped off and ridden between the 2 lead guys and the pack - sounds like the guys in the 'break' were taking things a bit too seriously.

    One question though - did you tell anyone of your intention for a recovery ride? If not, I could see some misunderstanding creating the third scenario as the other guys thought you were wanting to go harder and open up a gap on the rest of the group.
    Sounds like you ride regularly with this group, so unfamiliarity with you doesn't sound like an issue. Do you ride with the group every Wednesday as a recovery ride? If so it sounds like some folks (not you) had a bad day and decided to vent a bit on you. If not, then they may be used to your non-recovery pace and expected you to ride as normal. In any case, next time, I'd broadcast my intentions of recovery and stay in the pack if you ride with the group.

    But sending you an email chastising you. Wow. I guess sometimes it's better to just ride by yourself and stick to your goals.

  4. #4
    Squirrel Hunter
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    Sitting In the Wrong Group

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    ...when speeds picked up, some schmuck was just clogging up the front, wavering about, so I pulled through, gutter side...
    "I was not out to do much work" BUT found myself in the second position in the paceline anxious to keep the speed up

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    For whatever reason the guy in front of me started to pick things up. Im just "sitting in" today.
    "Im just "sitting in" today" BUT found myself far enough forward in the pack that the guy in front of me had room to pick things up.

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    Three of us got way off in front
    "its more of a recovery night" BUT I found myself off the front with the strongest riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    Im not saying that everything that he said is incorrect, in specific context I suppose. But when does "pack etiquette" go out the window? Or does it? I definitely mind my p's and q's in serious group rides or race-like situations... but when it is an informal group rides or only two or three of you.... can't you relax some of these rules?

    Thanks in advance, all in all, I'm just trying to rationalize whether or not I should be apologetic and how I "should" take this otherwise unsolicited email advice....
    It sounds to me like you were riding with the wrong group. This ride may have been their weekly world championships and you were there treating it like a recovery ride to the coffee shop with the boys. Right or wrong the perception may have been here is this new guy hanging with the strongest boys in our group bragging about how he is just taking it easy. This perceived attitude will not exactly make you popular.

    When I travel I find myself riding with a lot of different groups and each pack has its own etiquitte. Typically I spend the first several miles sitting toward the back, evaluating riders and determining what rules apply for this particular group.

    If you ride with that group again thank the guy for his e-mail and tone your riding down a bit. After a few more rides with them you will find out from the group if you were out of line or the e-mail guy is a know it all prick. Remember my comments are based on the facts you shared. You will know better if I missed the mark.

  5. #5
    scruffy nerf herder
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    Interesting perspective...

    yeah, I can see how that could have been taken, but the guys in front and I are very familiar with each other, so Im not quite sure what caused this sudden email to me. I think the stronger guy (that sent the email) thinks I need some kind of coaching or something. I dunno.

    But basically, you are right, I can see how that could have been the interpretation. What happened was that there was a big hill. I spun up right in the mix, out of the wind, and just sitting on, that split the group. Then there was a big acceleration on the downhill, which I let go, but on the flats basically rolled up to the back and latched on. People pulled off here and there and through no effort of my own was in 2nd position. This dude in front, obviously struggling was wavering all over the road. I figured I could do one or two things... 1. wait until he blows up and then screams at us for not pulling, or 2. pull through and help him out of his misery. I decided on 2. and went gutter only because the rest of the group was still together sitting on my left side, but not going around.

    So, about one or two minutes after that, the uphill started where the guy in front took off. I wasnt interested in following, so I just pulled out. They all picked it up and I just sat on the back. The group blew apart, leaving the two guys way off the front and me in lala land as the rest of the pack fell off. So... I could just wait for the group behind or ride tempo for a minute and just catch onto the faster guys. I chose the later, which included the guy that sent me the email.

    I do appreciate the devil's advocate position though. But the group of three are all area racers and ride together often.
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Prince
    Wow. I guess sometimes it's better to just ride by yourself and stick to your goals.

    That's why when I'm out for an easy ride, I stay as far away from group rides as I can... There's always the temptation to "...tempo for a min. to get to the 2 leaders..." which usually means it ain't an easy, recovery ride any more.

    Hey Funk,

    It sounds like you were riding erratically, screwing up the smooth functioning of the group, and you need your wrist slapped... Bad Funk!

    Seriously now. It sounds like some of what you were doing was basically looking out for #1, which happened to not be what the group thing is about.

    Specifically what caught my attention is that you continued to pull in the gutter when you knew that you should be pulling over to let the echelon form up behind you. The best bet would've been pull thru once, and let them know that you're gonna sh!thook 'cause you're not out for the hard work. That would've solved that problem without letting them get their panties in a bunch.

    The best bet if you're gonna do this ride again is to make sure that you stay the heck away from the front. Surf the back of the pack and chat up the cutest female there. Failing that, help one of the slower guys to get better at drafting, etc. That way, you pass on some of your hard-earned knowledge and stay away from the uptight SOBs at the front...

    HTH,

    M
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  7. #7
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    Group rides Love em/Hate em...

    I've done enough group rides to be familiar with this type of behavior. It helps me to appreciate solo rides more. ;) Everyone's perspective is different. Everyone's intentions are different. It's often difficult to blend all this together in a group ride.

    To be conservative, I'd suspect that the e-mail was sent as constructive criticizm rather than chastising. E-mail is funny like that. What is implied is not often how it is interpreted by the recipient. Who knows.

    While I may have considered each of the things you did a small nucience, a group ride is chock full of stuff like that.

    -The passing on the right situation could have been handled with a simple "on your right" and would have been fine. I think you just spooked the guy.

    -Pulling off during a climb forces the person/people behind to close the gap. I'd rather have you pull off than just slow down but it still disrupts the paceline.

    -If I'm pulling, I'll move towards the direction of the wind to allow others to echelon behind me. I won't go out into the middle of the road (if wind was from the left side) but I will move over a couple of feet so more riders can benefit from the draft. With a large enough group, someone is going to get "guttered" and that's just the way it goes. If I we're behind you in the situation that you described I would have wished you would move over. At the same time, I would NOT have bothered to say anything.
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  8. #8
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    Boy, makes group rides sound like a blast!

  9. #9
    Power Napper
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    pack surfing

    "Surf the back of the pack and chat up the cutest female there."

    Now what makes you think the cutest female might be at the back of the pack?
    ;)

  10. #10
    "El Bwana"
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    I think the e-mail the day after is over the top.

    If there were issues, then he should address them during/immediately after the ride.
    "Pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"

  11. #11
    chica cyclista
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    thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by theBreeze
    Now what makes you think the cutest female might be at the back of the pack?
    ;)
    Glad it wasn't me. I just have to mention here that one of my greatest cheap thrills in racing is on the (admittedly quite rare) days I can make the Cat 4 boys cry for their mommas at local training races. Hey kimosabe, you just got your Fassa-Bortolo-jersey-wearing wannabee ass kicked by a chick. And not just any chick but an OLD CHICK , tee hee!

    Funk, on a more serious note, it sounds like you guys are all suffering from lack of communication. First, if I were you, I'd be certain to mention to the group ride leader (or whoever the top dog is) what your goals for the ride are, then stick to them. Second, the group / team ride itself sounds as if their intentions are pretty vague. This goes along with the "mob mentality" I mentioned in my group rides rant from awhile back. Most of the characters on public group / club rides are firmly convinced they know what the hell they are doing, when in reality the vast majority of them wouldn't know correct teamwork, paceline or eschelon etiquette if it hit them in the eye. A working paceline is supposed to pull off into the wind, not necessarily to the left. If someone's dying on the front, you move up on them whichever way is safest. A gentle tap on the hip is an acceptable signal to get them to pull off to the side opposite your approach, where it won't hinder your progress.

    They could have better communicated the intent of the ride, such as laying down ground rules in the parking lot before you left, or immediately, quietly and (here's the tough part) constructively mentioning it when you made what they perceive as a gaffe, rather than resorting to email, which I agree makes it seem more personal and difficult to interpret tone. I always ask someone before I give them a tip if they want advice, unless they've just pulled something really dangerous and/or stupid, at which point I'll calmly and politely mention it to them somewhere out of sight / earshot of the rest. Talking down and barking at people IMO does nothing but perpetuate the attitudes and testosterone-fest mentality on group rides.

    The pulling through on the right criticism seems silly to me, but that's just me. Sounds more like you spooked the guy, and he needs to learn better how to ride in close quarters. Over a decade ago when I was doing team training rides with the Dayton Cycling Club, the coaches ran the rides with the intent of teaching racing skills. It was generally understood that if you opened a gap on the curb, someone was bound to come through it. One coach had a habit of sprinting up the right side through the grass and gravel if he needed to go chase someone down and/or talk to them. We were all expected to be able to rub shoulders without getting nervous, and to pull out of the paceline rotation early and drop back rather than pull through and "dog the line" (die / sandbag on the front). A primary goal of many rides was to get back to the bike shop with as many teammates as possible, while everyone got a good workout in. Therefore, the strong guys would push weaker riders up the climbs, and do jump after jump whilst ferrying back and forth to bridge up dropped riders, lead out the sprints (various green "hotspot" signs), then herd everyone back together after the surges. Apart from blatantly crashing someone, the two biggest sins you could commit were coasting down a descent at the front, or taking a heroic pull only to blow your wad and get dropped.

    Agree with the others who recommended surfing the back, or better yet, going back to pick up dropped guys and riding with them. Actually, some of the finest and friendliest group riding I've done has been either noodling along with the dropped, or (alternatively if I needed the interval work) working to bridge them back on.

    Anytime I get guttered on a group ride, I ask (politely, don't bark at them) if the person in front minds sliding over a bit. 6" is usually all I need. Failing that, it's time for me to either move my sorry bum up in the eschelon or drop off and ride with whoever wants to ride at a pace I'm prepared to handle. There's typically always someone else who's not about to admit they're dying, but will be more than happy to ease off.

    My coach recently hollered this bit of wisdom at me on a recovery ride, after he shut me down for something like the fourth time I took off to chase down some squirrelly Fredlet: "You're like a #$*&^%# dog that won't stop chasing cars!!". He's right, as usual. I see someone ahead of me, and discipline goes out the window. Group rides only serve to amplify the urge to chase. This is all well and fine on a day I need to get that sort of workout in. However, if you can't do a focussed workout in a group, it's time to consider doing a solo day when you need to take it easy. And leave squirrelly Fredlets alone, cos depending on the day and the destination, we are all squirrelly Fredlets to someone's POV.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

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  12. #12

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    Since you asked for opinons, here's mine...

    There are a few things wrong with the situation based on how I see it as you wrote about it.

    First, if you are just sitting in... that needs to be addressed from the moment the ride starts. And if you are sitting on, sit on, but do so at the back. It does cause me slight annoyance whenever someone doesn't take their pull only to tell me after they just caused a gap to say they are just sitting on. If you are sitting on, the respectful way to do so is to sit at the back. As the other riders rotate thru and you are the last in line, you should slightly slow up to allow them into the line just in front of you. That way you don't have to cause a gap when your pull comes up. But it gets old fast when someone skips a pull and says they are only sitting on. Don't put yourself in the position of ever having someone behind you if you are sitting in. You only cause them to work that much harder to have to go around you when you sit up. Make sense?

    Next, on the hill, you did it again... you pulled out of the middle of the line (seemingly without warning) so you gapped the guy behind you and in front of you. If like you say, they weren't going fast, you should have stayed where you were. But to use that as your excuse to pull off really implies he was picking up the pace... and by pulling out, you screwed the guy behind you. The way to avoid that would have been at the start of the ride... announce your intentions to sit on and stay at the back. If someone else decides to sit on as well, then I can understand them getting in behind you, but if you were sitting on, how did you let riders get behind you? Either you weren't really sitting on, or you weren't communicating to the others that you were.

    The last one about the eschelon has me stumped. If I want to be shielded from the wind, I will actively seek out the shelter. Again, the only thing I can think of with this one is not communicating with the others that you were along for a ride in tow and had no intention of pulling. Therefore they should act as if you are not a part of the ride and if that means squeezing you out of an eschelon so they can be protected after taking their pull (and pulling you in the process) then they should be able to take up refuge behind the last rider other than you.... your only responsibility would be to ease up to let that guy in if you were taking up the spot he needed.

    That's the unsaid rules for the guy who is sitting on if you ask me. But to be chastised for your riding... that's a bit odd. If it were me, I would have told you to either pull or stay out of the way....else you would be causing chaos when you shouldn't be. If you sit on, do so respectfully and don't make those that are kind enough to allow you to do so have to work any harder to drag you around your ride. Do all you can to smoothly sit on. That generally means yielding to those that are working for places in the pace line while you sit at the back.

    All the above is my opinion and only meant to be constructive...

    Russ

  13. #13
    Non non normal
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    I hope his delivery was tactful on the phone, but kind of to repeat some of what has been said.

    If you are doing a recovery ride you don't

    Fly through on the gutter side because the guy doesn't keep the pace real high.
    You are not near the front of an active paceline.
    You are definately not off the front with a couple of other riders.

    If you are just sitting on, just sit on in the back.

    It is kind of like going to Golden Corral and standing in the middle of the good part of the buffet line holding up the line, staring at the food, and telling the people behind you, your'e on a diet. It just don't make sense.

    (I am attempting humor and trying to convey a point too. I hope it works)
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

  14. #14
    mad scientist
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider
    It is kind of like going to Golden Corral and standing in the middle of the good part of the buffet line holding up the line, staring at the food, and telling the people behind you, your'e on a diet.
    Good part?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider
    It just don't make sense.
    That's what I was thinking!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    Pack etiquette threads pop up from time to time here, and I rode a group ride last night and got a long email this morning from a fellow rider... commenting on my group ettiqute... or lack thereof, and I was wondering if I was out of line, or if this guy is just being a know-it-all prick.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I was just not really thinking... and some of what he was saying makes sense but let me put this situation in perspective.

    Group ride, starts out with 30+ riders, but gets whittled down to 3 relatively quickly, which is not uncommon on this ride. I was not out to do much work, as my wednesdays are more recovery base mileage than any type of speed or intensity workout. Nonetheless, when speeds picked up, some schmuck was just clogging up the front, wavering about, so I pulled through, gutter side... thinking he would pull off. He freaked out and squeezed in on me, then mouthed me saying I should have gone around on outside... whatever. I got through with no real issue. I got chastized for that, even though we really didnt have any type of paceline going or anything. I had never ridden with the guy before and it became clear he had no real idea of how to flick off or move out for the next pull.

    Second thing was that we were going up a slight incline. For whatever reason the guy in front of me started to pick things up. I wasnt really interested in sitting on, so I pulled out, and motioned for the other guys to go on up, Im just "sitting in" today. I got chastized for that... for "pulling out of the rotation" on a hill. They weren't going that fast... but whatever.

    Third thing. Three of us got way off in front on a very pitted farm road. Wind was coming from opposite side of the road at a decent clip. We werent going that fast, and the smoothest spot was a little ridge right along the edge of the road. I wasnt really trying to work (as I mentioned before, its more of a recovery night), and the guys in front pull off... leaving me... riding in the gutter... to pull. Fine, so I just pulled along in the gutter. I got chastized for that, saying that I should have been riding eschelon so they could get a better draft. WTF?

    Im not saying that everything that he said is incorrect, in specific context I suppose. But when does "pack etiquette" go out the window? Or does it? I definitely mind my p's and q's in serious group rides or race-like situations... but when it is an informal group rides or only two or three of you.... can't you relax some of these rules?

    If not... please let me know... but to me, if its just me and one or two other guys... I just feel that you go with what works. If there is specific stragegy, like gapping the chase group, bridging a gap, going for a city limit sprint, or whatever, I can see the need for such structure, but in a silly little ride is it that necessary?


    Thanks in advance, all in all, I'm just trying to rationalize whether or not I should be apologetic and how I "should" take this otherwise unsolicited email advice....
    Well, here's my opinion and it's different then most of the responses. First, there is no such thing as a serious/public group ride. Either it's a a club/team ride and it's closed to the public or it's open to the public which means it's not serious. Secondly, the "rules" are only what other riders have experienced themselves in other group ride situations. As long as no one has told you the "rules" before you begin the ride and as long as you are not a dangerous rider and a hazard to those around you, there are no rules. It's as if they're playing their own little game of Harry Potter and you didn't see the movie or read the books so you don't know how to play wizard with due coloquilisim. In short, they're acting silly and close to snobby.

    IMO, the only questionable maneuveer was passing on the inside with no notice because it could count as a dangerous manuveur (which I already mentioned). As far as pulling off... geesh. Pull off whenever you damn well please. It's not your job to make sure these guys stay away from the rest of the group in your imaginary little race for training glory. That part is just laughable. Ditto their eschelon request. If they're concerned about an eschelon then they should be riding with their teams. Otherwise, it's ridiculous and if it were me I would have called them on it.

    A lot of folks who race and especially those who don't seem to put undue importance on competing against each other in public group ride situations. Sometimes, if people would just slow down and stop to look at the situation they might realize how utterly absurd they are acting. That's my 2 cents anyway.

    p.s. I lead organized but public group rides with upwards of 70 riders on weekends and any rules we have are disclosed before the ride ever takes off. If i'm concerned about a specific style of training I will certainly shun these rides in favor of my team's rides.

  16. #16
    Domestic Drivin' E-Thug
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    << Russ>>>

    I don't understand everyone's hysteria with pacelining in group rides. Is there a race going on with prizes being given out that no one was told about? Who cares if the guy behind you gets gapped. People get gapped all the time. Suck it up and do a little work to catch back on to the back if that's your aim - it will be good practice for an actual race.

    During my last race we were on a circuit course and the pace was relatively slow. We had dropped no one and the entire 50 person peloton was still together. All of a sudden some guy starts barking out directions to everyone in order to form the paceline. Huh? WTF for? If you're in a paceline you're either trying to drop someone or trying to catch someone. We were doing neither, but obviously this guy had been so conditioned by his group riding antics that if we weren't all humming along in an orderly paceline then we must be doing it all wrong right? Sometimes it pays to open the eyes a little and look at a bigger picture here. ie, "What is the point of this paceline?"

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human G-Nome
    << Russ>>>

    I don't understand everyone's hysteria with pacelining in group rides. Is there a race going on with prizes being given out that no one was told about? Who cares if the guy behind you gets gapped. People get gapped all the time. Suck it up and do a little work to catch back on to the back if that's your aim - it will be good practice for an actual race. "

    I can see that point. And if I was racing, I couldn't give two craps about breaking up a paceline if it was either to my benefit or my teams, but to do so on a group ride... if you aren't going to be a part of the paceline, don't be a part of it. But if you are in it and don't take your pull you are causing chaos where there should be none. If you were out training with a friend and some guy (sorry Chris, this isn't directed at you, just me making my point) was all over the road in between you and your buddy and just all around screwing up your rhythm, wouldn't you be annoyed too? My point is that if you aren't going to pull, stay the hell out of the way of the guys who are going to. If you want to sit in on a ride, do so in the back and stay out of the action or else you are just blocking. Let the guys who want to work work together... it would be to the benefit of anyone sitting on at the back as they are getting pulled around the ride without doing any work. But if you aren't going to work for a ride, you certainly shouldn't be working against it. Unless of course you are in a race and actively blocking for someone.
    Russ

  18. #18
    Just one more switchback
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    I don't see a problem

    I don't see anything wrong with the things you did. As far as the echelon goes, how busy are these roads? The people I ride with only ride echelon on our Tuesday night race practice where we have a police escort. On our other group rides, we stick to two abreat or single file unless we are sprinting. Even on lonely country roads, there are too many cars to take up the whole lane with an echelon.

  19. #19
    chica cyclista
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    damn, good answer

    Quote Originally Posted by The Human G-Nome
    A lot of folks who race and especially those who don't seem to put undue importance on competing against each other in public group ride situations. Sometimes, if people would just slow down and stop to look at the situation they might realize how utterly absurd they are acting. That's my 2 cents anyway.
    That $.02 right there is priceless advice.

    Most folks' intent on public / club group rides is to do a "race" with no rules, no officials and no entry fees. The ensuing chaos, dangerous riding and general lawless behaviour is why I now tend to avoid public group rides, or else lead them and be very forthright about The Rules (as I expect them) before we leave the parking lot.

    Funk, as I've said before, it sounds like you might consider skipping the group ride thing entirely. Ride with your team on private team rides, or else choose a handful of teammates willing to do focussed training with you. My opinion, worth exactly what you just paid for it.
    Grandpa LFR: "Kid, don't wrestle with pigs; you'll just get covered in crap, and the pig enjoys it."

    /Grandpa LFR

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Dctrofspin's Avatar
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    Every ride has someone or a couple of people who know **exactly** how you should ride. Problem is, nobody else has a freakin' clue what they're thinking. I agree that passing curb side was not the best decision, but the rest of the stuff, especially the uphill drafting comment, sound like a bunch of crap. I'd just look for other people to ride with or simply go solo on those days you're not looking to push hard.

  21. #21
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    My thoughts

    Group ride, starts out with 30+ riders, but gets whittled down to 3 relatively quickly, which is not uncommon on this ride. I was not out to do much work, as my wednesdays are more recovery base mileage than any type of speed or intensity workout. Nonetheless, when speeds picked up, some schmuck was just clogging up the front, wavering about, so I pulled through, gutter side... thinking he would pull off. He freaked out and squeezed in on me, then mouthed me saying I should have gone around on outside... whatever. I got through with no real issue. I got chastized for that, even though we really didnt have any type of paceline going or anything. I had never ridden with the guy before and it became clear he had no real idea of how to flick off or move out for the next pull.

    You were wrong here, especially with a nervous rider. Go around to the outside. Or tell the guy "pull off, and take a breather"

    Second thing was that we were going up a slight incline. For whatever reason the guy in front of me started to pick things up. I wasnt really interested in sitting on, so I pulled out, and motioned for the other guys to go on up, Im just "sitting in" today. I got chastized for that... for "pulling out of the rotation" on a hill. They weren't going that fast... but whatever.

    You did the right thing, rather then blow and open a gap. The guy is smoking crack. Still if they weren't going "that" fast why not work a bit.

    Third thing. Three of us got way off in front on a very pitted farm road. Wind was coming from opposite side of the road at a decent clip. We werent going that fast, and the smoothest spot was a little ridge right along the edge of the road. I wasnt really trying to work (as I mentioned before, its more of a recovery night), and the guys in front pull off... leaving me... riding in the gutter... to pull. Fine, so I just pulled along in the gutter. I got chastized for that, saying that I should have been riding eschelon so they could get a better draft. WTF?

    Again they are smoking crack. You are not their domestique. Still maybe you are better off riding solo on your recovery nights.

    If not... please let me know... but to me, if its just me and one or two other guys... I just feel that you go with what works. If there is specific stragegy, like gapping the chase group, bridging a gap, going for a city limit sprint, or whatever, I can see the need for such structure, but in a silly little ride is it that necessary?

    I like predictibility in any group rides, same rules or behaviour regardless of rides. But these guys have some wacky ideas. Sounds like you need to go back and put the race paced beatdown on them.

  22. #22
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    It's your problem Funk

    Didn't you read the responses to my thread about pour group etiquette? Although none of us have ever met or ridden with you, it is quite obvious that you don't like getting passed, you have a big ego, you ruined the ride for others, you should never ride with a group, your bike has too many spacers under the stem, and if you were wearing a team jersey, you're simply a poser. ;-)

    Seriously, any group ride that has that many rules better come with team kit and a salary.

  23. #23
    scruffy nerf herder
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    Lessons learned... this was a good exercise.

    It turns out, that his "constructive criticism" was more based upon exactly what Coolhand said regarding his liking predictability with riders that he rides with. That seems to be a common thread to what everyone has said as well as communicating with others your ride intention.

    After reading what everyone has said, while there doesn't seem to be anything technical that I did wrong, it appears that how I was riding was not courteous of the other riders, and I respect that. Regardless of my ride intentions and relative skill, they should not negatively impact the rides of others, which obviously I did.

    There are all types of squirrely riders out there, and it appears as if there are different types. Its always easy to point out those sketchy riders who cannot control their bikes from a handling perspective... but it appears as if there is another type of squirrel... the riders that are just plain unpredictable. That is definitely not what I want to be considered, and I guess my fitness and experience bring about certain expectations with other similar riders when riding together regardless of the size, speed, or intentions of the group. So, despite the fact that I did not consider this to be a serious ride, does not mean that everyone else didn't.

    As much as I'd like to side with only those that said I was right, after reading the good and the bad, I think there was more bad than good in my particular actions. This guy might have been a tad overzealous in his etiquette doctrine that he sent me, but that doesn't make my actions any less unpredictable... I guess I should liken it to driving cars... predictability of other drivers to follow rules is paramount to safety. Drivers still pass wildly on the wrong side and swerve in front of us without signaling, etc...

    I will be certain to pay more attention and follow standard rules when riding group rides regardless of situation from hence forth.*

    *Note: Regardless of situation, Im still gonna ride gutter on that freaking pitted farm road even if it is windy. That thing is like Paris-Roubaix, but with deeper holes and cracks... The only remotely nice line is where cars and tractors don't drive, on the white line.

    Thanks to all for taking your time to reply.
    Last edited by funknuggets; 05-21-2004 at 08:00 AM. Reason: grammar and spelling are terrible....
    so sayeth the funk....

    Chris

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  24. #24
    Strained coccyx etc etc
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    Talking late reply

    sounds like (1) they were on the rivet, and (2) you weren't using your psychic powers correctly. no worries as far as i've read.

    now, for the day-after email, that's waaay over the top. find another group to ride with, or better yet, go back to the same group on a "non-recovery-day". seems to be any change in pace or break from the norm might send a few of the "strongest" riders straight out the back.

    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  25. #25

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    Applauds Chris' maturity!

    Quote Originally Posted by funknuggets
    It turns out, that his "constructive criticism" was more based upon exactly what Coolhand said regarding his liking predictability with riders that he rides with. That seems to be a common thread to what everyone has said as well as communicating with others your ride intention.

    After reading what everyone has said, while there doesn't seem to be anything technical that I did wrong, it appears that how I was riding was not courteous of the other riders, and I respect that. Regardless of my ride intentions and relative skill, they should not negatively impact the rides of others, which obviously I did.



    As much as I'd like to side with only those that said I was right, after reading the good and the bad, I think there was more bad than good in my particular actions. This guy might have been a tad overzealous in his etiquette doctrine that he sent me, but that doesn't make my actions any less unpredictable... Thanks to all for taking your time to reply.

    WOW! *stands up and applauds* that post speaks volumes of maturity on your part Chris! I would welcome you to ride with me anytime you ever find yourself in Gainesville, Florida.

    Russ

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