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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting to ride with a new pack every weekend. Problem is, I'm way too slow to keep up with them. I don't have a problem working up my speed and endurance to get up to at least where they are now, but the moment I think I can at least go as far and almost as fast as them, they up their distance and speed and once again I can't keep up or finish the ride. This is a no-drop group which is nice, but I feel sorry for the people who are nice enough to stay back with me. I worry they aren't getting the workout they want and to be quite honest it kinda bums me out to be so far behind all the time. Should I just go it alone for awhile and see if I get better and then go back to the group (I'm sure they will be waaaay ahead by then) or just keep trying to hang with them even if it just means only seeing people at the beginning and end of a ride and imposing on riders to stay back with me?

What is polite and acceptable to all in this case?
 

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Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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I very rarely ride in a group situation unless it is folks I know and trust. Do I think you could make gains on speed and endurance by yourself? Absolutely. You will be out there by yourself doing all the effort. The problem I see is motivation. A lot of folks I know like the group rides secondary to motivation, friends riding together, people pushing each other a little harder. If you have the motivation to get on a plan and build strength, endurance, and speed then you can definitely get the gains you need to join back into the group ride. Don't think that just because they are riding in a group they will have mega gains, sometimes they plateau. Just my 2cents.
 

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stick with it

gobike1 said:
I'm starting to ride with a new pack every weekend. Problem is, I'm way too slow to keep up with them. I don't have a problem working up my speed and endurance to get up to at least where they are now, but the moment I think I can at least go as far and almost as fast as them, they up their distance and speed and once again I can't keep up or finish the ride. This is a no-drop group which is nice, but I feel sorry for the people who are nice enough to stay back with me. I worry they aren't getting the workout they want and to be quite honest it kinda bums me out to be so far behind all the time. Should I just go it alone for awhile and see if I get better and then go back to the group (I'm sure they will be waaaay ahead by then) or just keep trying to hang with them even if it just means only seeing people at the beginning and end of a ride and imposing on riders to stay back with me?

What is polite and acceptable to all in this case?
In so many ways, bike riding is all based on sticking with it. From weekend riders whose goal is to be able to hang with the group for the duration, to pro's who ride 12 years without ever winning a race, it's all about sticking with. Stick with it on an individual ride, stick with it for a season of ups and down, and stick with it through years of setbacks and progress. Bike riding is the best sports metaphor for life as a whole.
Stick with the group. Week by week, you'll get stronger both physically and mentally. It's not like one week you'll go from being dropped early on and then the next week you'll magically be able to hang with them. It's a very gradual process. One week, you'll back off mentally at a certain point, a few weeks later, you'll get to that same point, be just as tired, but mentally, you'll be willing to turn the cranks just as hard for a few more strokes.
In the meantime, stick with them, take advantage of the chance to talk with them and let them get to know you.
As far as feeling guilty, chances are every week there's a few riders who just aren't feeling 100% or they aren't in the mood for a hard workout. They probably welcome the chance to take it easy while at the same time, their doing their part by riding with you.
Eventually, a newer, less experienced rider will join the group, giving you a chance to move up on the food chain.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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gobike1 said:
I'm starting to ride with a new pack every weekend. Problem is, I'm way too slow to keep up with them. I don't have a problem working up my speed and endurance to get up to at least where they are now, but the moment I think I can at least go as far and almost as fast as them, they up their distance and speed and once again I can't keep up or finish the ride. This is a no-drop group which is nice, but I feel sorry for the people who are nice enough to stay back with me. I worry they aren't getting the workout they want and to be quite honest it kinda bums me out to be so far behind all the time. Should I just go it alone for awhile and see if I get better and then go back to the group (I'm sure they will be waaaay ahead by then) or just keep trying to hang with them even if it just means only seeing people at the beginning and end of a ride and imposing on riders to stay back with me?

What is polite and acceptable to all in this case?
- Structured solo training will most likely make you fast faster.

- The group probably does not consider it a burden to help you along. Many enjoy helping others and take pride in watching their success.

- If you want to continue with the group and not worry about being a 'pain', ride with the group and ride hard. Pull, have fun, attack if it's that type of ride. When you’re cooked, simply say loud and clear, "I'm off. Thanks for the ride." and take a turn off route like your going a different way. Once they are out of site, you can make your way back by the original route or whatever you want to do.

TF
 

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I have the same problem. I've been riding for a little while now, but I'm still very slow compared to most other riders. A 17 mph average is a very good ride for me, but I can't do that every day. Most of the groups around here ride much, much faster than that... probably anywhere between 20-30 mph average. I've kind of been discouraged from riding with groups because there's no way I'd keep up and it's just embarrassing. For whatever reason, I've had a very difficult time increasing my speed. I don't know if it's because I'm a girl or if I'm just not a very good rider or what. Either way, I kind of feel like I really have no business riding with those groups right now. :( I try to ride faster, but it just doesn't seem to be working as well as I'd like.
 

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#1 tip, roll up next to another rider that you know is pretty good and ask him how to keep up. Just like we post tips here, riders love to share the tricks of the trade.

The best advice I could offer is to think of yourself as a pavement sailor. Always be aware of where the wind is blowing from and always try to shelter yourself from it. It's not enough to ride the wheel in front of you. Be aware of whether it's coming from the left or the right and position yourself to the oposite side of the rider you plan to follow. Also, start hills at the front of the group. You know what your max pace is and that the group can go faster. If you begin up front you have the length of the group to lose and hopefully you can still be tagged on the back as you crest the hill.

I always use those techniques because I come out of winter with decent base fitness but ZERO speed. Keep your mind busy with saving energy and you may also find that your body will respond to your ambitions and next thing you know, you've had a breakthrough ride.
 

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davidka said:
#1 tip, roll up next to another rider that you know is pretty good and ask him how to keep up. Just like we post tips here, riders love to share the tricks of the trade.

The best advice I could offer is to think of yourself as a pavement sailor. Always be aware of where the wind is blowing from and always try to shelter yourself from it. It's not enough to ride the wheel in front of you. Be aware of whether it's coming from the left or the right and position yourself to the oposite side of the rider you plan to follow. Also, start hills at the front of the group. You know what your max pace is and that the group can go faster. If you begin up front you have the length of the group to lose and hopefully you can still be tagged on the back as you crest the hill.

I always use those techniques because I come out of winter with decent base fitness but ZERO speed. Keep your mind busy with saving energy and you may also find that your body will respond to your ambitions and next thing you know, you've had a breakthrough ride.
"Always be aware of where the wind is blowing from.... Be aware of whether it's coming from the left or the right and position yourself to the oposite side of the rider you plan to follow." And be aware where it will be coming from after the next corner. Be in position before it hits you. - TF
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All great advice folks. I guess the things I am concerned with still is that it's always the SAME people who are willing to stay back with me and if for some reason they can't stay back with me, I'm not familiar enough with the area enough to just take off on my own and go home. The second things is less of a big deal cuz I could print up a map or ask directions if I get lost. :idea:
 
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