Went out with a Club Yesterday

Flasheart
Flasheart Posts: 1,278
edited October 2009 in Road beginners
I went out with Sotonia CC yesterday morning.
I've not done group riding before but I thought I'd give it a shot. It was a 50 miler so I thought I've done further so I'll cope. Not clever it seems as it was the first ride since this chest cold had subsided a few days ago.
I was sat in the middle of the pack and relaying info up and down the line like everyone else.
I was managing to keep up okay even though they were keeping it up around 20mph and only dropping maginally for the hills.
At around the 24 mile mark after a hill that took a lot out of me (my lungs were burning) I had dropped back to the rear we started to climb again. That's when I saw the road sign that said 8% incline. I groaned and kept on slogging on. It had a hairpin turn ...and that's when I saw the last of them. I didn't see anyone from the group the rest of the ride
I was had no idea where I was as Ihad to drive 25 miles to get to their starting point in Chilworth. I had to use the satnav to find the place initially as I'd never been in that area before.
So I had to find my own way back along the route that was typed on the piece of paper given to me at the start , (a soggy mess of paper pulp by that stage) After about 20 miles stopping to check directions at every junction, I saw a group ahead and thought "yay I caught up finally" Nope it was another group from the club. One of the older giys in the group told me that I had been on the "Relability" ride and those guys treat it as a race.
This wasn't told to me before I started and certainly wasn't what was advertised on their website calendar. I t was supposed to be a a social "slowish" club ride that beginners are welcome to join in.
56 miles in total (yes I took wrong turns) and it was enough to put me off doing it again tbh :x
The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
FCN3
http://img87.yfrog.com/img87/336/mycubeb.jpg
http://lonelymiddlesomethingguy.blogspot.com/

Comments

  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Hard luck Flasheart

    Did you tell them at the start of the ride that you were new to club riding?

    If so it was pretty bad form to drop you. If it were as the other guy said a "reliabilty ride" they should have made this clear at the beginning that if anyone gets dropped they have to find their own way back.

    Personally i would just out it down to exprience and find another club.

    I finally found a good-un so they do exist out there. Just a shame i've been i'll for the past 6 weeks :evil: so only had one ride with them :shock: :?
  • Flasheart
    Flasheart Posts: 1,278
    Yep I made it very clear that was my first ever "club" ride. Even if anyone had mentioned that it was a relaibility ride (not that anyone ever mentioned that phrase) I wouldn't have known what that meant. :roll:
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
    FCN3
    http://img87.yfrog.com/img87/336/mycubeb.jpg
    http://lonelymiddlesomethingguy.blogspot.com/
  • Infamous
    Infamous Posts: 1,130
    Keep going back, riding with faster people will make you faster!

    Going to a slower club is the easy way out.
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Just read their website and it does seem pretty poor that you were dropped. It it was the "fast group" they should have made it clear at the beginning, especially as you pointed out that it was your first club ride.
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    clearly a fast bunch of guys, but they are tools clearly.

    You never leave a new rider behind, ever.
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Infamous wrote:
    Keep going back, riding with faster people will make you faster!

    Going to a slower club is the easy way out.

    Agreed to a certain extent but if they are just going to p*ss off into the distance and leave him for dead for 25 miles + then whats the point?

    May as well just do a solo TT ride instead.

    Remember cycling is also a mental sport and leaving someone for dead, especially anewbie to club riding will/could kill his motivation.


    Look for a meduim/fast pace group but one that WILL re-group at the top of hills if anyone gets dropped. That will encourage you to ride faster and improve your hill climbing as you will NOT want to keep them waiting too long after every hill.
  • dilemna
    dilemna Posts: 2,187
    You need to ride with a group that rides at a slower pace. Otherwise it's like saying that the top F1 cars have to drive slowly so a Nissan Micra can keep up :lol: .
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • Infamous
    Infamous Posts: 1,130
    NWLondoner wrote:
    Agreed to a certain extent but if they are just going to p*ss off into the distance and leave him for dead for 25 miles + then whats the point?
    There'll be a sense of acheivement when he finally manages to stay with the group. Like he's earned it, rather than just turn up to a group that he's comfortable in from the start.

    Depends what he wants out of a club, obviously.
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    sorry to hear this - this is why I won't join a club - you hear so many stories of stuff like this.
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    I assume you are keeping looking for a more appropriate club then?
    Some clubs are hugely well organised .. some are blatantly 'not'
    The website is usually a good indicator.
    Having to ride a distance to actually get to a club ride would put me off tho' from the start.
    No way I would use a car to turn up.. no issue here.. I just don't have 1 :wink:
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,410
    Never seen an individual left to fend for themselves on our club runs unless they've specifically told everyone to go on without them. We would regularly wait for 5 or 10 minutes at the top of a hill for slower members to catch up and I was even pushed 20 miles on and off to a cafe stop when I blew up once. If we had a fast group we would either split the ride from the start or they would put in a fast extra distance towards the end rather than making everyone ride at their pace. It seems an unusual time for a reliability trial though, they are usually done at the end of winter just before the season starts and a well organised one will have different grades for different average speeds much like a Sportive.

    Don't let it put you off just find another club. I'm sure there are others on here who ride for clubs in your area. If you don't go out with a club you are missing out on what can be a friendly and enjoyable ride.
  • autobahn
    autobahn Posts: 114
    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I sounds like mistake in joining a wrong group
    Dont give up just yet, try one or two more times more with the appropriate group and then decide
    I just started going out with a club and yesterday was my 4th outing, I've learnt more in past 4 weeks than 4 months. My fitness has improved dramatically
    It has been really tough, but enjoyable which is the key, the minute you dont enjoy it whats the point.
    I find a group motivates you to keep going when perhaps you would of turned back, there is safety in numbers and you cant expect everyone to be your mate on a first outing. Nobody gets dropped in my group and if someone is not feeling strong they say to the group to go on and they will return at their pace which I have done, no shame in that.
    Everyone will not be strong at every outing,colds, hard week at work, lack of sleep, not eating well, socialising will takes it toll . Also sounds like just getting over a cold and then joining a fast group would wipe anyone out. New members are the lifeblood of any new club.
    Keep at it.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Very unusual Reliability Ride, normally people are sent off in groups according to ability.
    Our 'Club Ride' would never leave a newbie on their own, we always leave a stronger/experienced rider at the back to keep an eye out for them. Towards the end of the ride the faster riders who want a 'burn up' are free to go but someone will stay with the slower group. It seems to me they aren't very beginner friendly, I would give them one more chance and if its no better then find another. If you do find a good club the benifits are immense to your riding.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Did you make it clear at the outset this was your first ride and didn't know where you were going? Likewise, had you perhaps over-estimated your capabilities as many beginnners have no real experience to relate too? I take out a group regularly, but sometimes we have to strongly discourage people from coming along - they think that they can just hang-in-there with no real understanding of how tough it will be - being able to bimble for 3-4 hours isn't quite the same as riding at 20mph for 5 hours. In fact one fast group I ride with has a no-stopping policy - if you're dropped, you're on your own. From the group's perspective, this might be their one chance for a quality group ride each week. I know some clubs are better at this than others, but you have to look at it from all perspectives.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    FWIW, at least in my experience, most club rides turn into impromptu races rather quickly.
    Do people get left behind?? One would hope not but this is, sadly, at times, the case no matter what the CLUB blurb says. Even some of the clubs, in which the members don't
    race, get in their fair share of "RACING". I've always been a safety advocate and never
    wanted to ride with any group who turned the ride into a race. I believe in racing at the races and nowhere else. At least at the races someone or some group has, at the very least, tried to get a handle on traffic and some sort of safety precautions. Anything less and I don't race. I ride with a friend of mine lots and even that tends to turn into a race, at
    least for him. A lot of people out there need to prove things that should be proved at THE RACES and not on some RIDE.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,410
    I've got no experience of club runs turning into races other than the customary sprint for the 30 signs or that some people like to go harder up hills but even in those situations they would then wait until everyone got back together. The ethos of our Sunday club run was more on the social side with a cafe stop. Those who wanted to train more seriously (and we had several international riders in the club at the time) would do their main training separately or, in the summer, on a flat out chaingang. Sounds like some clubs just have too many riders trying to prove themselves on a club run rather than in races where it actually counts!
  • Stone Glider
    Stone Glider Posts: 1,227
    Ouch! That sounds a bad experience, the very opposite of what a club ride should/can be. Sotonia members do contribute to this forum occassionaly, perhaps they may be able to explain how it happened.

    The club enjoys a good rep AFAIK, perhaps the person in charge of that particular ride (there has to be someone) failed to notice the presence of a "new face", otherwise they would have had a quick word with you to establish what you could do and explain what they intended to do. But no, dropping a newcomer is poor, rank bad manners and a terrible blow to the reputation of the club.

    As others have said, persevere, either with Sotonia or another club, it will improve your riding and the pleasure you get from it.

    PS You don't think it could have been Sotonia's evil twin brother club?
    The older I get the faster I was
  • LardLover
    LardLover Posts: 676
    I did my first club ride a couple of weeks back and to be honest I nearly didn't turn up for fear of just such an incident. However, I was quickly made welcome, most of the riders were more than helpful to explain the group riding etiquette and I never once felt that if I was struggling I would be left on my own. I did manage to keep up though, only getting dropped on the climbs. Thoroughly enjoyed it, unfortunately I haven't been able to go back as (a) it was my son's birthday the week after (b) I was on call the weekend after that (c) my wife told me we were going shopping :oops: :oops: :oops:

    Sorry to hear you had such a crap time, seems to be the complete opposite of my experience.
  • gandhi
    gandhi Posts: 187
    I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. In defence of Sotonia, the reliability and the club run left from different locations about a km apart, so if you turned up at Chilworth Church, people probably assumed you knew what you were getting yourself into - the reliability rides get people a few different clubs and a few people who don't ride with a club at all, so you might not have come across as unusual.

    There are normally a couple of the more "senior" members who'll help you out and put you into an appropriate group, they may have been at the normal club run meeting point (North Baddesley). A problem that you might have noticed is that the online part of the club is also run by those same senior members, who aren't really from the internet generation - there is a lot of room for improvement there, if you don't have the club handbook, you have to know people or join the forum to find out exactly what's going on. The website is still better than most clubs, particularly once you're a member of the forum.

    I would give Sotonia another crack - the club runs are always "no one left behind", so you'll be fine - they're very sociable, with a cake stop a bit more than half way round. There are normally at least 4 groups from very slow to fairly fast (still not ridiculous).

    If you want information before going for a ride, feel free to pm me and I'll point you in the right direction.
  • Flasheart
    Flasheart Posts: 1,278
    Thanks Gandhi
    The group I eventually caught up with had just finished their cakestop at the Aircraft Museum had a few of the older guys in it. One gent in particular who rode alongside of me was very knowledgable and friendly and was the one that explained that I was in the wrong group from what he gathered. One of the group got a p&^^%re and he dropped off the group to stay with the guy. Further on another stopped at a major junction to make sure the stragglers (including me) turned the right way. So this DID make me think that the club was looking after the riders.
    Through no fault of nobody but mine, by the time I caught up with the other group I was close to bonking. Seeing the group 1/2 mile ahead (very long straight road) I put everything I had into catching them up. I now know what "the bonk" feels like. I recall commenting to one of the Sotania guys that I felt "like an ad for death" :cry:
    As you said gandhi, the directions on the website said that the ride started at Chilworth Church so I assumed that this was where I was to be. It was a shame that nobody told me that I should have been somewhere else or in fact that there was somewhere else.

    Maybe I'll get more info and have another crack in a few weeks as it was great until I got dropped.
    edit: I did have enough gels etc. so I shouldn't have bonked but I wasn't concentrating on that as I was pretty much lost and not thinking straight :oops:
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
    FCN3
    http://img87.yfrog.com/img87/336/mycubeb.jpg
    http://lonelymiddlesomethingguy.blogspot.com/
  • Aggieboy
    Aggieboy Posts: 3,996
    NWLondoner wrote:
    Infamous wrote:
    Keep going back, riding with faster people will make you faster!

    Going to a slower club is the easy way out.

    Agreed to a certain extent but if they are just going to p*ss off into the distance and leave him for dead for 25 miles + then whats the point?

    May as well just do a solo TT ride instead.

    Remember cycling is also a mental sport and leaving someone for dead, especially anewbie to club riding will/could kill his motivation.


    Look for a meduim/fast pace group but one that WILL re-group at the top of hills if anyone gets dropped. That will encourage you to ride faster and improve your hill climbing as you will NOT want to keep them waiting too long after every hill.


    Unless you turn up, kitted out head to toe, in your new Assos bling. :lol::lol::wink:
    "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world, t'would be a pity to damage yours."
  • It's a club like this you want

    http://www.northcheshireclarion.co.uk/


    ...shame its one hell of a pre- ride journey for you to join in ! :D


    shamless plug for new Warrington club :lol:
    http://www.northcheshireclarion.co.uk/

    Great club in and around the Warrington area.
  • Flasheart
    Flasheart Posts: 1,278
    I'll say...210 miles :shock:
    Sounds like a nice group of cyclists though :wink:
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
    FCN3
    http://img87.yfrog.com/img87/336/mycubeb.jpg
    http://lonelymiddlesomethingguy.blogspot.com/
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    NWLondoner wrote:
    Infamous wrote:
    Keep going back, riding with faster people will make you faster!

    Going to a slower club is the easy way out.

    Agreed to a certain extent but if they are just going to p*ss off into the distance and leave him for dead for 25 miles + then whats the point?

    May as well just do a solo TT ride instead.

    Remember cycling is also a mental sport and leaving someone for dead, especially anewbie to club riding will/could kill his motivation.


    Look for a meduim/fast pace group but one that WILL re-group at the top of hills if anyone gets dropped. That will encourage you to ride faster and improve your hill climbing as you will NOT want to keep them waiting too long after every hill.

    Well if this was a reliability ride with guys from different clubs and not a club ride they may just ride on as that is expected in a eliability ride.

    You will also get faster riding with fast guys.
    When I restarted cycling I did not want to go on club runs where everyone waited on hills as those rides are generally too slow to be of benefit, they are more social rides, which are ok if thats what you want.
    I just wanted to get fit as fast as possible so rode alone for 4 weeks, then went along with a group of guys expecting to be dropped as it is not a club run as such. I did get dropped for first 2 rides then I was ok for the rest and been racing ever since :D
    There are times other get dropped on these rides but we all know the routes, and riders generally get dropped on the run up to the cafe and regroup there before heading home at a more sedate pace :)