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Climbs like a sprinter...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here’s the deal. The shop that I ride out of has two organized rides a week. A Monday night “no drop” ride and a Wednesday night hammerfest. Sometimes on the Monday night rides the pace is excruciatingly slow. So slow that some of us will go off the front but there is always somebody that hangs back with the slow people. However, there are always comments made back at the shop about how the “instigators” are making it so the noobs will never come back.

Before I share my thoughts let me say that I’m not a jerk about it. If only one other person shows up besides me (which happens a lot at the beginning and end of the season) I’ll put it in the small ring and drag ‘em around at 15 mph. I’ll even explain the nuances of pacelining to them and tell them where they should be and why. If somebody falls off the back I’m one of the ones that will go back and drag them back up to the group.

Anyway, here is how I look at it:

I’m not responsible for babysitting for the shop that I drop MY money in. It is our core group of riders that show up all the time that drop the big money on all the top of the line bikes, components, accessories, and what not.

The argument is that we are turning people off to road bikes. I maintain that they showed up on a road bike so obviously they are “into” road bikes. Just because they aren’t coming to the shop rides doesn’t mean that they aren’t riding at all. Besides, I was one of those noobs a couple of years ago and I kept coming back. I would get dropped every ride and I came back every ride until I got strong enough to not get dropped. Another aspect it that because of my personality I am happiest when I am in a fast group working my ass off yet I am not driven enough to ride by myself much so why isn’t the shop as concerned with what keeps me (the guy that took his own time to design/order kits for them yet still had to pay for his own, the guy that will throw a bike in the work stand and fix a flat or install a kickstand when they are getting hammered out front.) cycling as they are with a nameless noob that shows up out of the blue.

I feel that it is the shop’s responsibility to communicate what is going to pan out on the rides because it always happens the same way. They need to step up before the ride and say “this is what is going to happen” and let people know that there will be a faster group and that the slow ones won’t be left behind and they don’t need to keep up.

I also don’t feel like I am an “instigator” if I chase down a group that is off the front but it seems that comments are directed at me. Or maybe I just feel that they are because I am not a jerk and I take things to heart.

What say the Lounge?
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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19,723 Posts
Way I look at it, if the people organizing the ride want everyone to stay together that's how the ride goes. It sounds like there are enough of you fast boys to make a fast ride for yourselves. Start a separate ride without a no-drop policy. People can decide which ride they want to attend and everyone's happy.
 

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Captain Obvious
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11,876 Posts
nothing wrong with multiple groups. if it's a small group, you should just stick together, but if it is larger, nothing wrong with having a couple groups. maybe even regroup mid ride to make sure all is well with both groups.

if the shop has organiszed these rides, it's their responsibility.
 

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Stumpcake!
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5,950 Posts
My take on it is that members (employees) of the shop should be leading the ride and it's not your problem. I skew towards the faster group but if it's a no drop ride we'll either designate someone to stay back with the slower folks or if everyone knows the route, will wait for them to catch up at intersections, the top of hills and the like. I am notorious for hanging back and then really attacking the hills but will wait back up for them at the top. I'l ride slow with them until the next hill.

The ride is not all about the slower guys. I've got to get something out of it as well.
 

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Climbs like a sprinter...
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6,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
tomk96 said:
nothing wrong with multiple groups. if it's a small group, you should just stick together, but if it is larger, nothing wrong with having a couple groups. maybe even regroup mid ride to make sure all is well with both groups.
That's basically what happens.
 

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still shedding season
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tconrady said:
My take on it is that members (employees) of the shop should be leading the ride and it's not your problem.
Sounds like that to me too - it's their ride. Talk to them about it?
 

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Review RoadBike Member
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1,561 Posts
I wouldn't sweat it. My team has organized community rides and we keep a person or two with the slower riders to help them out and the faster guys go on and will wait for them later at an intersection or what not. If the people don't come back, it isn't because they weren't fast enough, it's because they realize that bicycling is work and they don't want to put forth the effort.
 

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Captain Obvious
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bmxhacksaw said:
That's basically what happens.
the complainers are d-bags then.
 

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Stumpcake!
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weltyed said:
solution for the no-drop ride?

a, b, (and possibly ) c groups.
I agree although when I'm out of town and going to another shop's ride that designate rides like this I'm never really sure which group I'm in.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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You sonund, from your post, that you are feeling guilty and a little over-sensitive to the comments....what's up with that?

Me, I'd just explain to the group what might happen & why and that they won't be abandoned.

Len
 

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midnight melon mounter
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6,621 Posts
Perfection is unattainable. Even the most friendly no-drop ride must sometimes drop. Be clear with your intended speed and try to accommodate the newbs, but expect a little accommodation from them as well.

If they simply cannot keep up, make sure they know the way home, congratulate them on having tried, and suggest that they come back next week with the expectation of hanging on a little further. Eventually they'll make the whole loop and become part of the gang.
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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3,806 Posts
Off the back

bmxhacksaw said:
So slow that some of us will go off the front but there is always somebody that hangs back with the slow people.
Well let's face it, the same ones go off the front on a regular basis. You know who has the legs. Instead of going off the front choose a spot a few miles into the ride and rather than going off the front take your "elite" group and drift off the back, make a turn onto another road that will add a couple of extra miles to your route and then hammer away. When you go off the back do it discretely and quickly so the noobs wont even notice. That way the noobs are not quite as humiliated by being left in the dust. Anyone missing out on the fast group will figure out who to ask when the A group is going off the back that week. If you time it right you might even hook up with the No Drop group for the last few miles to cool down. Just make sure someone is committed to being ride leader for Group B.
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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Keeping up with Junior said:
Well let's face it, the same ones go off the front on a regular basis. You know who has the legs. Instead of going off the front choose a spot a few miles into the ride and rather than going off the front take your "elite" group and drift off the back, make a turn onto another road that will add a couple of extra miles to your route and then hammer away. When you go off the back do it discretely and quickly so the noobs wont even notice. That way the noobs are not quite as humiliated by being left in the dust. Anyone missing out on the fast group will figure out who to ask when the A group is going off the back that week. If you time it right you might even hook up with the No Drop group for the last few miles to cool down. Just make sure someone is committed to being ride leader for Group B.
Yep. One local club staggers starts so everyone arrives at the Pizza Hut about the same time. No-drops go off first, 2-collects second, and the hammerheads either yak around for before rollout or head off in another direction for a while, then ride sweep the last few miles in.

The right answer is somewhere between 'their ride - their rules' and 'their ride - their problem.'
 

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Registered
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Why not ask them to have them or you inform the group about what is going to happen. Or ask for a separate group? The only other options I see are sit in the group or don't attend that ride.

It sounds like you are embedded in the group / shop so this really shouldn't be a problem... I would expect them to understand that you have needs just like the noobs.

Perhaps also suggest a rotation for who doesn't get to go in the fast group so that it isn't one or two or however many people staying back with the noobs.
 

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Banned
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I always just kick the slow people in the nads. That way they don't come back and we don't have to worry about them.
 

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Ethical Nihilist
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I think no-drop rides don't really work. The group tends to fragment, unless its a core bunch who ride together week after week and are unusually compatible, which this does not sound like this is. The best you can do is be honest about the pace and maybe have a designated sweeper to see that no one gets lost. Another case of not being able to please everyone.
 

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This summer I become the 'noob', the one that will be dropped on what I imagine will be a fairly regular basis. I have avoided group rides because I DON'T want someone to ride with me at the back of the pack (I'll be so embarassed) and yet on a no-drop ride someone feels like they will have to. If I can't keep up, I don't feel it is the responsibility of anyone in the group to putter along with me. I ride by myself now as it is, so watching the pack disappear and riding on my own will be nothing new. I will continue to show up, and keep trying to hang until the day comes that I am able to...

In response to the OP, as much as I fear the no-drop rule, if the shop adheres to it, then it is one of their employees who should take care of the slow pokes
 

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Just ride a wheelie the whole ride. Even on the "slow" rides I have trouble up the hills, etc when I ride a wheelie.

Wheelies are not only good at keeping your pace down, but really help with bike handling skills.
 
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