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6/12/09 11:10 A

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With all the clubs I rode with the slowest ride stayed together as a group; nobody was dropped; and everyone stopped if someone had a flat or mechanical problem.

It sounds to me like the problem with the 'D' group is lack of discipline. Stronger riders taking off and stringing everyone out over the countryside is not a good way to introduce new riders to cycling. It is good that some of the more experienced riders came back to encourage and check on you but the problem as I see it is how the ride is done.

Do keep riding with groups. You will advance must faster this way. It just sounds to me like the rides could be better run.

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
6/11/09 1:52 P

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The bike club I belong to has 4 different group rides for Mon-Thurs. and we have Sat and Sun rides as well. Depending on your ride level will determine the group night you will ride and which group to ride with.

Getting base mileage in and a lot of riding time outside of the group rides will help immensely.

I get dropped frequently and probably always will. I'm in the upper 40's trying to keep up with the 20+ young bucks and does. The problem is that the better i get so do they. It is like a dog chasing its own tail.

Last year I was able to keep up with the fast group the last 3 rides. This year I'm waiting for the day to arrive to do the same. I'm in a training group Tues. ride where thet focus on riding smart. They work on pace line where to be in the pace line, cadence, speed work, climbing etc. I have only been dropped once out of 4 rides. I was dropped because the night before I had 4 hours of sleep, did not hydrate properly during the day and was not properly nutritionally ready as well. I got what I deserved.

I am wanting to ride in the Wed. night ride which is a race pace type of group to see where I'm at as compared to last year. This will not occur until soccer season is done.

However, keep at it and keep pushing yourself. Ge more mileage in during the week and find out how much water, energy drinks, and bars you need on a ride. Figure when they need to be consumed and what really works for you.

It will come. I started riding last year in April and toward the end of Sept. is when I saw my biggest gains.

The book "Cyclist Training Bible" by Joe Freil is excellent. He indicates if you have less than 3 yrs of cycling you are still a rookie in the sport. His book will walk you through setting up goals, training schedules and off season training as well. I can hardly wait to put the plan in action during the off season.


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6/11/09 11:12 A

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I am fairly new to this too, my first ride was March 27. When I ride with more experienced people I am always in the back. So far I have not encountered anyone who had a problem waiting for me to catch up once in a while. It's a good idea to ride with different groups to see which one is the best fit for you. Pace is a big consideration, but also goals and personalities. Some people are seriously training, and others are just out to have fun.

Be as you wish to seem.

6/11/09 6:08 A

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Hi Newspirit1
It's great that you are riding!

The idea of trying to ride with other groups is a good one. Do you live in an area that has several bike clubs? Usually there are a few people that will give you pointers, if you let them know you are new to cycling. Get there a few minutes early and ask some questions. It's pretty easy to ride a bike, however it's difficult to ride well and requires many skills.

Don't forget that cycling is fun. Try to have some fun on the days that you ride without a group.

It's not politically correct but women are at a disadvantage. We are smaller, have less muscle, carry more fat percentage wise, and have smaller lungs and heart.So keeping up with young 20 something bucks was never possible for me in my 20's. I could ride with the men's masters. However, I see really excellent women out there that can hang with the men. Things have really changed in the past 25 years.

There are some good books out there, Lance Armstrong has one that is easy to understand.

Do you have a goal in mind with what you want to be able to do? Do you want to enter a triathalon, ride a century, or race?

If you have some discretionary spending money, you could hire a coach. Some people on this site have done that and reported good results. It might be the quickest way, if you are in a hurry and have a specific goal to achieve.

Cycling is a sport that does cost money. Do you have a decent racing style bicycle? Unfortunately, you cannot buy speed.

It does take time to build up your lungs and legs and rest of the body. My first ride I did about four miles and boy was my butt sore!

A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent. In a few months it will be easy to do a 50 or so mile ride. Try to work on distance build a foundation before you try to work in speed. Be sure to bring snacks for rides longer than two hours and drink before you get thirsty. Know how to change a tire and fix a flat.

Every day is a blast, bike commuting, running errands, and in the summer bike touring. Mostly I ride alone, but lately have been riding with a triathalon club on Saturdays.

Be patient with yourself. Hopefully you have found a new sport that will last your entire life and an new lifestyle. Have fun!

6/10/09 10:49 P

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Hi New,
You mention that you have been riding for two months. How many days do you ride during the week? How about the weekend? Most of the people, including myself, that are in the club I ride with commute to work several days of the week. So we put in tons of base miles.
When I first got back into cycling, I could barely make it 10 miles without having to stop and rest. Now, I look forward to our 40+ mile club rides. My 1 way commute time (16 miles) used to be 1 hour and 30 minutes. I have it down to 49 minutes now. That came from riding, riding, riding and more riding. I ride to work 2-3 times a week (32 miles round trip) and then I ride 25-40 miles with friends on saturday, then my club ride which is usually 40+ miles.
Keep at it, put in lots of riding time/miles before the weekend club ride.
It is important to have your bike fitted to your body too. Having your bike fitted can make all the difference in the world.
Are you eating right? If you are not, you will surely burn out during your riding.
So, keep riding and you will see a difference... we've all been there, it just takes time.

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6/10/09 4:58 P

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I read somewhere that it takes 2 seasons of riding to really begin to hit your groove. Stick with it. Keep looking for groups that have a more relaxed ride.

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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
6/10/09 4:37 P

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Stick with it. Being booted out the back of a group is a common process - happens to everyone. Happens to me on a regular basis too.

But it really forces you to dig hard when you see that last wheel rolling away from you. That hard intensity is something that you need to become a better cyclist (along with other things, like bike fit and base miles).

And you've only been riding for 2 months - just getting in more saddle time will help. Make sure you're getting out more than just the group ride - go out and do some long rides by yourself or some rides where you freeform sprint, etc.

It's nice that the skilled riders drop back to stay with you. During my recovery weeks I ride with the beginners group and do that too and it's a lot of fun! Don't worry about them, they'll do their fast stuff another time, but make sure you pick their brains for any sort of training or technique tips that may help you. When I get dropped from the main group in our crits, I hook up with a slightly slower group containing an expert rider and we work on high speed group techniques. I've learnt a whole bunch this year.

Stick at it - regular application of group riding will get you faster.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis

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6/10/09 2:16 P

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Thanks guys! I will schedule an appt. with the bike shop to check my fitting. I will also present my concerns to one of the members. There is a member in my neighborhood who is willing to mentor me on neighborhood rides. I guess it is time for me to ask for that help.

"If you want something different, you must do something different. The same actions yield the same results"

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CYCLEQUEEN420's Photo CYCLEQUEEN420 Posts: 203
6/10/09 12:08 P

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My experience with riding groups is you first need to make sure that you are with the right type of group that fits your level. Don't be afraid to ride with different groups. Also if you can get an expert fit for your bike. Find out what local bike shops offer free clinics.

Just remember speed and good climbing technequie come with time and experience. You have practice, practice, practice.

Don't give up you will in improve. :)

We only have one life....Enjoy with no regrets.

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BEVPRESLEY's Photo BEVPRESLEY SparkPoints: (262,325)
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6/10/09 11:49 A
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Hang in there, it does get better. Make sure your bike is fit right and ask for tips on climbing hills, when to shift for maximum speed/minimum input etc. There are lots of things to help you go faster/farther.


One Day at a Time:
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2) organize something in my home
3) fruit or veggie with each meal
4) sew 1 bobbin full
5) make someone smile

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3) finish repair on great grand mother's quilt
4) get hubby's quilt in the frame

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6/10/09 11:10 A

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Sorry I can't help I just made it out to and about a mile down the highway today and am no where near ready to join a group let alone one that works for speed.

My gears weren't changing right today. I would shift gears and they weren't engaging. They kept slipping. I need a lot more practice.


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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,690
6/10/09 10:30 A

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I'm kind of in the same boat. I ride with a coached group on Thursdays doing speed work. While I sometimes get discouraged being way back all alone, it motivates me to work harder to keep up with the rest of the group.

Ask the more experienced folks what you can do to get faster. I find most people are happy to help, but don't usually offer it. Ask for feedback on your form, how to pedal most efficiently, or anything else that they see that might help.


"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
6/10/09 9:45 A

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Hi All,
I have only been riding for 2 months now and I joined a local cycling group. The group trains for distance and speed. I usually participate in rides which encourage all skill levels...of course I am D. Initially, I was able to keep up with the pace of the smaller groups. However, my last two rides were awful. I was always in the back..far behind other D riders! The rest of the group was always ahead waiting for me. It was helpful that the more skilled riders would rotate to the back to stay with me. Do you think I jumped the gun by joining a group so soon? emoticon

"If you want something different, you must do something different. The same actions yield the same results"

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