Both. I ride alone a lot on my daily commute to work, but I enjoy the solitude to think and reflect. My riding buddies are all guys and they ride faster than I would alone, so when I want to push myself, I ride with them.
Except for the occasional rally I do only solo rides now. I used to do almost all group rides long ago but now my schedule isn't conducive.
If you want to get fast the best way is to ride with a group that is faster than you are and struggle to keep up. Most people get to a plateau where they just can't get faster on their own. Riding with a fast group teaches you to dig deeper and go beyond your comfort zone.
Of course not all group rides are big ring hammerfests. Some are social rides for taking and horsing around.
I prefer group rides; especially ones that end at a pizzaria for pizza, beer, and lies.
I like both. There are times the SOLO ride gives me a chance just to enjoy the freedom, the outdoors and the thrill of the ride: accomplishing a personal best or two.
Then they are times, I like riding with a group, especially on the 50, 60 and 70 mile rides.
Last year I learned to slow down in my rides. I ride from time to time with my nephew who is handicapped and rides a 3-wheeler. It's a slow ride but means the world to him to go 10 miles. We enjoy the visits, the scenery and I learn much as I ride with him.
I don't ride the bike to lose weight, but I lose weight to ride the bike!
I like both aspects. Now that I'm in my third year of riding and a training plan for teh first time my solo riding will have a purpose.
My group riding will sharpen my pack riding, holding a wheel (or should I say sucking a wheel;-) ); drafting, echelon, etc. This has really helped me in the races i did last year.
I must say the Wed. night group ride is funny. The warm up you have everyone chatting and getting caught up ..... when it gets really quiet you had better be in the right gear because the dogs were unleashed and the hammer dropped. There is no talking except for commands until the very last mile or two.
The day i can hold a conversation in that group is the day you should see me on tv for the Olympics or the Tours;-) LOL
current weight: 229.0
Fitness Minutes: (68,652) Posts: 9,886 3/18/10 10:56 P
I prefer to have someone with me for safety sake. Drivers around here can be "unkind" with cyclists. When it is just DH and me, we usually ride the tandem. If we have friends join us we ride the singles. Gotta love the tandem for those downhills!
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For me just finding the time and getting out for a ride is the tough part. Due to my schedule I will often ride later at night or just late at night in the dark. Iím really lucky to have a great bike trail that is paved for up to 35 miles and some really powerful lights that will last about 2 hours each. Often there are packs of 20 or 30 guys flying down that trail at night. Itís really fun in the heat of summer.
Group rides build skills and can push you to new limits. There are fast ones on Wednesday-28 miles and Saturday-40 miles that will push the limits. Sometimes they start with 100 or more riders often ending up with several packs by the end. You do risk getting dropped, in a crash, and if you get a flat too or a mechanical problem too bad. Wednesdayís ride takes about 57 to 61 minutes so they are moving. Chat rides on Tuesday with a 16 to 17 average, very controlled and safe. Thursdayís chat ride has an 18 mph average with a strict leader and safety. No one gets left behind on Tuesday and Thursday.
When time works out Iíll try to make Wednesday or Thursday. I do a lot of specific work on my own and try to keep my junk miles down. Every ride has some kind of goal. Right now when the weather is poor I use the Compu-Trainer either alone or in groups. I like to ride rollers in the winter; and have wooden ones that Iíve been using since the late 60ís.
As I get older I spend less time in the saddle and more prep time in the gym, doing flexibility work, stretching, and specific training for my weaknesses. I donít compete but will often Ride Marshall Events and Draft Marshall Triathlons, TTís, and Biathlons on the bike.
I always prefer to ride solo. Generally people like to yammer and shoot the bull when they ride in a group and don't focus on the ride - I don't like that. I like to get on the saddle and mash. Talking's for rest stops.
If I'm doing stuff that requires a solo effort (e.g. long, sustained intervals) then I'll go solo. If it's a more "freeform" workout, then group. Likewise when I race, I'm at home solo (so TTs and the like) or in a mass-start race.
Which one do I like? I personally think you should do both. Riding in a group has so many side benefits that a solo ride just won't provide, but for me sometimes there's nothing better than a long or hard ride by myself.
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
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