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1st club runs

edited December 2007 in Road beginners
Hi,

i go out with a guy from up the road who has been a cyclist for many many years and he reckons if i go out with my local club i'll get dropped really quickly. i'm 27 fairly fit and trim. i just got into cycling this year is it normal that it takes a couple of years to get the legs up to "club" speed???


hmmmm....
felix's bike

pedal like you stole something!!!

Posts

  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Hiya,
    I couldn't live with the pace of the club last weekend but someone stayed behind with me and we had a good 50 mile run. (I've since been put on antibiotics so still not really sure if I could have done better if it hadn't been for chest problems).
    One man at the club said that the first two weeks are awful when you're new and then by week three, you find that you can hang on.
    I didn't find the speed off-putting. It just makes me want to go back for more until I can keep up.
    Give it a try
  • Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
    I'm still relatively new to this cycling lark, but have been on a few club runs now. Before i went on a club run, a club member agreed to meet me for a 30 mile ride (which was as far as i'd been at the time!). We had a pleasent ride at 16-17 mph- he said that i should be fine as that was about their club run pace. Went out with the club the following week and was amazed how quickly 55 miles went by! I think you'd be best to speak to someone at a club and find out the speeds and distances they do. Some clubs seem to have different paced runs and even do a beginners run that's a bit slower and shorter. You'll surprise yourself how quickly you get used to the extra distance - it certainly shouldn't take 2 years! :D
    Good luck
    Rich
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    its a bit of a shock to the system at first . I'll never forget my first ride out with Chard 1st . 23-25mph av :shock: :shock: but there are a few things you can do to make it a bit easier.

    Try and warm up first. Many of the members will have already cycled to the meeting point and will be thoroughly warmed up.

    Starting from scratch in a car park or wherever the club meets is going to be tough on the body and lungs. I used to find I needed to pull up after the first 3-5 miles and recover my second wind then I would be fine all day. Some folk can cycle right through the stitch stage :roll:


    Either cycle a few miles to the meet or see if you can find out where the route is to be and cycle out and meet them somewhere in the first few miles where the speed is going to be slow. ie top of a hill or bend /trafic lights etc. Jump on when they are travelling slower and it won't be dificult to get up to speed quickly and you will already be warmed up. :roll:

    Make sure your tyres are really well pumped up, especially if you are carrying a bit of excess weight. 100-110 lbs it will feel hard if you are not used to such high pressures but it could give you an extra 1-3mph above 20mph
    Also make sure you keep well tucked in behind the bunch and keep out of the wind. The bunch will suck you along nicely so be concious all the time of where the wind is coming from and ty to position yourself to keep behind someone else.

    Keep your head down ! you need to minimise your frontal area so think about your position on the bike and try to get your back flatter.When speeds start to get above 17mph or so then the energy required to maintain that speed increases dramatically due to wind resistance

    Think about your gear ratio . make sure that you are always spinning at a comfortable rate. Its differant for each individual and will depend on many factors including your muscle make up ie % of fast/slow twitch muscle. spin at a rate that is comfortable to you and use your gears fully. You have probably got 20 gears so make the most of them all the time so that you are always in the most energy efficient gear.

    Lastly conserve energy where you can. Don't try take a turn on the front you'll suffer later believe me. Coast where you can.

    If any of this helps anyone gain even 1-2mph extra it could make the difference between being dropped (or hanging on in agony ) or having a comfortable enjoyable training ride
  • Same as Richie G. I've just started with a club after a year riding on my own, and I was worried about keeping up (or holding them back). But they put me in the middle of the pack, and once I'd got used to being surrounded by wheels, it was remarkable how comfortable it was averaging 16-17 mph. My HR was about 20 beats lower than if I'd been on my own (and going slower), which means that when it comes to the odd sharp incline, I'm in good shape to put some extra effort up to keep with the group. It works for me so far for up to 60 miles of flattish riding, which seems to be the standard for this time of year.

    Of course reality checks in when we get to a longer hill, and maybe more so when the pace hots up in the New Year. And I regretted it when I tried to take a turn at the front ...
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    Richie G wrote:
    We had a pleasent ride at 16-17 mph- he said that i should be fine as that was about their club run pace.

    I think that's pretty standard, if you can manage 30 miles at 15-16mph solo you should be fine with a clubs steady run.
  • willbevanwillbevan Posts: 1,241
    I was lucky, my local club does 'social' rides tuesday and thursday evenings during the winter, i.e. pace of the slowest of 12-20 miles

    Which was good for me as i am definetly the slowest only having a month cycling before.

    Now i can do the distance, did 40miles sunday, but im slow, its the hills that kill me.

    I have no intention of going out with them yet on sunday as they will cover 60 miles and will average near 20miles even with bloddy loads of hills!

    Now in time ;) but still i am very glad i found a club thats like that
    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
    TT - Echelon

    http://www.rossonwye.cyclists.co.uk/
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I agree with Ste_s. If you can manage 15mph alone you wil be fine in club run.
    You dont have to cycle for years.
    Some clubs run 2 or three runs for differing standards and if they do the slowest one would be ok for beginners.
    The only thing I would say to beginners is to ensure they are capable of riding 30 to 40 miles before joining a run.

    As for Peanuts post above, where the hell do your club runs go? :D 60 miles downhill?
    I have never been on a "club run" that averaged 25mph, that is race pace.
    Maybe on a training night on a chain gang but not a club run.
    We do a saturday hard ride, but even that goes steady with av 17 to 19mph for most of it, with some hard fast bits just before our cafe stop.
    23 to 25mph, they must all be first cats !!! I would say pros, but they would not go that fast on a club run :D
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Just read the rest of Peanut's post.
    I think I may have misunderstood it originally as I though the advice was about a club run but its obviously advice about racing :D
    Warm up for a few miles, ride with a flat back, jump on the "bunch" when they are gooing slow on a hill, tuck in behind the bunch :D All good advice for a race.
    The "normal" club runs meet at a pre defined time and you generally turn up and have a chat for a few minutes before setting off.
    At the start of the ride it is normally slowish to get the legs warmed up, and most rides set off riding 2 abreast in pairs, not really a "bunch".
    I do agree for beginners not to go on the fron until they have ben a few times so they know they can do a turn without suffering too much.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    If you can manage 15mph alone you wil be fine in club run.
    You dont have to cycle for years.

    Very much so. I first started going out properly with my local club after eleven months of cycling - I started from zero fitness.

    I did try going out with them after four months, but my large bulk + hills put paid to that. On my second run I crashed going down a hill and then bonked - great fun :wink:
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Ste_S wrote:

    I did try going out with them after four months, but my large bulk + hills put paid to that. On my second run I crashed going down a hill and then bonked - great fun :wink:

    Awwww, it's not funny but I can't help but laugh :D . When I told the club that I was nearly sick by Ashley (small village, 4 miles into the run), there was much amusement and I may even get an award of some sort. On the way back, I had black spots in front of my eyes!

    I can manage 16-17 mph avg speed without much problem but they seemed to be going 18/19mph avg or even higher. One thing I've realised I really need to improve on is my loss of speed on corners and junctions. I always lose ground and then have to sprint to catch up again, which is obviously going to tire me out quickly.

    I think I'm going to have to give it a miss this weekend as I'm still on antibiotics following my breathing difficulties on the last club run (sounds like I had an awful time but I really did enjoy it). My knee is killing as well following some too vigorous turbo trainer action.
  • i go out on my own and av about 16-18 mph but i often find my speed is around 19-20 on the flat and i have never really travelled in a club peleton.

    i have another problem. i dont cycle to work its only 3 miles away, i wear working boots etc so not ideal for cycling in and when i get home i'm tired so dont really fancy the turbo so i feel as if i;m losing out on a lot of precios cycling. any ideas that could help me??
    felix's bike

    pedal like you stole something!!!
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    i go out on my own and av about 16-18 mph but i often find my speed is around 19-20 on the flat and i have never really travelled in a club peleton.

    i have another problem. i dont cycle to work its only 3 miles away, i wear working boots etc so not ideal for cycling in and when i get home i'm tired so dont really fancy the turbo so i feel as if i;m losing out on a lot of precios cycling. any ideas that could help me??

    this could be the blind leading the blind here as I'm no more experienced than you but I have got a route that I do in the evening if I don't fancy the turbo - it's all on lit roads and I wear lots of lights and high vis. I do just over an hour, try to put in as many hills and hard effort as possible so that I'm getting a good work out. My husband sometimes cycles to work - he leaves his laptop/safety shoes there and then just cycles with bare minimum in a rucksack. His route in is 6 miles but then he takes a longer route home.
    There's a thread on spinning in the training section - many people seem to find that to be good. I've not yet tried as I'm still getting enough variety on the turbo/evening rides.
    HTH - I'm sure that others far more experienced than me will be able to answer your request.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    There's club runs and club runs. It sounds like the runs the OP was warned off were more like a racing club's training rides rather than social runs.
    16-18 average (as in that's how far you'd get in an hour, rather than as in that's what your computer usually reads when you look at it) would be fine for social club rides with most clubs, and they would wait for you if necessary too.
    Training type rides are a completely different kettle of fish. No one will wait, and by hearsay those for the local club almost seem like a competition to drop as many people as possible.
  • yeah i would say that was a sprint night u were on. no i do avg 16-18 mph on the comp.
    felix's bike

    pedal like you stole something!!!
  • yeah i would say that was a sprint night u were on. no i do avg 16-18 mph on the comp.
    felix's bike

    pedal like you stole something!!!
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    For today's solo ride I manged a 14.1 mph avg over 39.6 miles - however, the first 14-15 miles ish accumulated a comfortable 18.2 mph avg - considerable knee pain, strong wind and rain knocked me back down to a limp 14.1 overall - happy enough given Solo, knee injury and December whether though......... 8)
  • ricadusricadus Posts: 2,379
    If you find you are getting dropped you've just got to see it as a challenge and work towards overcoming it. I think it was about a month before I managed to stick with the mid-week chaingang here, but it was worth the struggle.
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    Just read the rest of Peanut's post.
    I think I may have misunderstood it originally as I though the advice was about a club run but its obviously advice about racing :D
    .

    yes the local club is primarily a race club and they always ride very hard. First time out the speed was always well above 20mph on the flat for 60+ miles on a Sunday. Depends on the terrain obviously.
    The other club I used to ride with had a much more social orientation and the general speed was about 15-18mph and no one was dropped.
    Can't say the saem for the race club though.! :cry: it was every man for himself :shock:

    My other advice is perfectly valid though unless you wish to take issue with that also ? :wink:
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