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CarbonFrame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have pretty much always ridden alone. I am pondering the idea of joining a club, but my schedule is so sporadic it seems like it would be tuff making scheduled rides. Right now I pretty much ride where/when I can squeeze it in. Sometimes midday some times early in the morning. Just wondering what others do and if it would be worth the extra effort to make the club rides. What do you think??
 

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Racial Profiler
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CarbonFrame said:
What do you think??
Group rides can be a lot of fun.

I started out fitting in a group ride as my schedule allowed.

Now I arrange my schedule to fit around group rides.

Give it a shot - you should be able to find a group that fits your riding style.
 

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Mostly solo

I used to ride with a group but the dynamics slowly changed. I watched as 3 collarbones and two hips were broken in a little over a year. All in the name of fun. All caused by inexperienced or riders new to the ride. Group rides can be great with the right makeup of riders.
These days I ride mostly solo, and commute to work.
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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The answer is YES.

I have to have both. I need alone time on the bike to do my pace and not worry about dropping someone or being dropped by the group. I like to take at least one or two solo rides a week if possible. These are my normal lunchtime cooldown stress releivers.

But I also love the group rides. I do a group hammer fest on Thursdays and a shop ride on Saturdays. Our club does a lot of impromptu rides and we usually try to stick togehter no matter what the abilities of the ridres. I love helping the noobies and hammering with the oldies.

I also like a nice me and the missus ride when possible. It forces me to slow down and smell the roses..
 

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Still On Steel
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I recently joined our little local club. So far I've only ridden twice with other members (once in a sponsored ride, once in a small, casual group), but both were great experiences. I've always been content with my own company so I don't mind riding alone, but riding with others can be a nice change of pace. One thing I'm hoping for is to stay more motivated when the weather turns cool, then cold. Left to my own devices, I have a bad tendency to head for the couch when the mercury starts its downward slide.

And then I've participated in many sponsored rides over the years, and never fail to strike up an interesting conversation with one or two folks I've never met before. That's fun; it's social; it makes life more interesting. So, like VaughanA, I like both kinds of riding.

One thing to be aware of, that may or may not make a difference depending on your current practices: group rides will usually start/end at some mutually-convenient location, which means you will either have to ride or haul your bike to and from that point. When I ride alone, I just roll out of my own driveway, sometimes on short notice. I get the maximum amount of miles in the least amount of time. Participating in group rides can involve more time and advance planning, unless you're already transporting your bike to a distant riding area.
 

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I started riding solo and found a group that was local and it was fun for about a year. Then I realized that there were a bunch of guys that said it was a group ride but it was more of a group race. Crashes and people getting dropped and left for dead was the norm. I ultimately ended up riding in small groups with individuals that I met in the group ride (outside of the organized rides).

Just make sure you sit on the back and watch how the group dynamics are. Some groups are loose and free and others are tight and fast. The riding expierience is completely different.
 

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mercierfils
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Why do you ride?

I have ridden in groups, but I keep coming back to solo because I like the rhythmic, meditative silence of the bicycle. That zen contemplation is why I ride.

My wife says that she gains energy from social interaction, and that I expend it. I figured out that she was the one while riding 1500 solo miles in the summer of 1990. I think I might have missed that thread if I'd been doing telephone pole sprints with the guys.
 

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mercierfils said:
I have ridden in groups, but I keep coming back to solo because I like the rhythmic, meditative silence of the bicycle. That zen contemplation is why I ride.

My wife says that she gains energy from social interaction, and that I expend it. I figured out that she was the one while riding 1500 solo miles in the summer of 1990. I think I might have missed that thread if I'd been doing telephone pole sprints with the guys.
Well put. Solo rides with nods to other cyclists and an occasional unspoken challenge with another solo rider.
 

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Even if I wanted to ride in a group, there just don't seem to be people out there who can stand riding with me. I'm too fast for some, too slow for others (O.K., this is the usual complaint) and I'm too inclined to stop to look at things, take pictures, etc. Everyone seems to be happier when I'm doing my own thing.

My bro-in-law started getting serious about road riding last year and began going along on a couple of club rides a week when he can fit them in. He really improved his handling, speed and endurance by getting into the groups, although it'll still be a long time before he takes any pulls at the front.
 

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Groups within Groups

CarbonFrame said:
I have pretty much always ridden alone. I am pondering the idea of joining a club, but my schedule is so sporadic it seems like it would be tuff making scheduled rides. Right now I pretty much ride where/when I can squeeze it in. Sometimes midday some times early in the morning. Just wondering what others do and if it would be worth the extra effort to make the club rides. What do you think??
We've tried to ride in club "structured" groups in the past; you have to be malleable to enjoy these group rides. Too often, their rides start at 7 or 8:30am; we find it best to be on the road about 30 minutes before sunrise; so, during the summer months, half of our miles are in before these previous night partiers are heading out; often we pass them as we are heading back in. Then, there are the animals who profess to a group ride; but it is a few in a group race...leaving wives and girlfriends in their wake turbulance. I can name more than a hand full of these riders who are no longer "husbands and wives" (with apologies to Roger Miller). Often the spouse is not as "competitive" as his soulmate. And, she will only be a good sport for so long. Then, there are the monthly club dinner meetings which are also dominated by the "let's race for the county line" animals.
Everyone has her own comfort zone. Others pass through it; but few stay within it.
So, us girls just have one rule: sometime during our rides, we have to either ride on
Route 66 or over and under it or have thought about doing so.
 

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I like both. And keep in mind that it's not just solo or group but many variations under each heading. It just depends on what you feel like doing, hammerfest with the animals or social ride to the local swimming hole or exploring a great back road solo. I love it all.
 
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