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I have been riding solo on a 4.5 mile loop with some mild hills thus far this
year while sorting out equipment\injury issues. I would subjectively state
that my RPE is farily high during the loop ride. Yesterday I participated in my first group ride, advertised as a B. I could absolutely swear I was riding at a more modest pace than my solos for the 25 miles,but when we got back to the park I hammered out one loop on the 4.5 course and the lactic burn was so much easier to get at and sustain. Could the
sustained 25 mi modest pace have 'pre-loaded' my legs? It's discouraging that I can
do these hard solo rides with less to show for it than the group rides.
 

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I don't think you should conclude that you have less to show than on your solo rides.
on the group ride days, you're well-warmed up, you're motivated, and you've not been working very hard when you're in a group.
I don't think it's that hard to reason why you perceive the effort differently.
 
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