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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I am new to road riding. I have been riding MTB as a weekend warrior for a few years (SS 29er) in the Phoenix area. Over the last few months I have been trying to get out in the morning to ride my local trail and have been pretty consistent in getting out for a quick little morning ride about 3 weekdays plus a long Saturday ride. I am trying to get fit and drop some weight and become a faster more efficient rider. I like riding.

I picked up a road bike last week and have ridden everyday since. I wanted to have a way I could just ride out of the house on the weekdays without gearing up and having to haul my ass to a trail. That all takes valuable time when you have to get to work!

I installed my computer for todays ride. I was very curious to see how I was performing on the road. Today would have been my 5th road ride (all in a row) I have pretty much done the same loop all the days so I imagine my numbers for each day would have been similar today.

I rode just shy of 33 miles at a 15.7 mile an hour average with a top speed of 32.8. I currently weigh 275lbs.

I could absolutely do a longer loop if I had the time. I believe based on the way I feel I could comfortably do 50-60 miles at the present time.

I am interested in doing some group rides but I lack experience. My questions are pretty straight forward.

1. If there are groups that classify themselves (ie 14-16 or 16-19mph) am I better suited at this point to jump in with the faster group? My limited knowledge has indicated you can gain some speed when riding in a group. Is that accurate?

2. My loop is not flat but it is not excessively hilly. Based on the info I posted how am I doing.

3. Are there good resources or some basic group ride etiquete info I need (I have to assume there is)

Any other advice and opinions are welcome.

Thanks in advance,

337 Posts
1. I'll give you the same advice I gave to someone earlier today in another thread:

The A group is generally the fastest group. B refers to a slower group, and so on and so forth.

oroy38 said:
I would recommend sticking with the B group until you're confident with your ability to ride in a pack before you start checking out the A group now and then. Riding in a slower group at a bit of an easier pace is a pretty different dynamic from riding at almost full on race pace in a group.

One thing to note is that the space between riders in faster more experienced groups is even smaller, so if you're not completely smooth, controlled, and predictable, bad things can happen. I don't mean to downplay your riding ability, for all I know, you could be a superb bike handler. However, you've only completed your first group ride. Nothing is worse than having someone in an experienced group who has more speed than skill, because that poses a danger to yourself and the other riders.

So, to summarize:
Ride with B group until you're confident of pack riding skills.

After group riding skills are built up, check out the A group every few rides, or ride with them until you blow up, then get caught by the B group and finish.
2. Based on your weight and your average mph, you're doing very well.

3. Basic group ride etiquette boils down to one simple rule: Don't be an idiot.

Anything you think might be questionable to do during a group ride probably is.

Examples: Slamming your brakes, not holding your line, letting gaps open up, overlapping wheels, passing on the right, etc.

106 Posts
I`d think ride with group b a few times to get used to group riding since your in that ballpark right now.. then make the switch once your used to the experience to get fitter.. just how I see your situ..maybe others can reflect more on this approach
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