Why is it that nobody knows how to ride a bike except me!

rolf_f Posts: 16,015
edited April 2010 in Road beginners
Slightly provocative thread title of the week :lol:

Anyway, it's like this! A couple of weeks ago I turned up at the Evans Ride it Sportive at Harewood near Leeds. I've not really ridden in company before so it was nice to spend the early part of the run moving from group to group. It was also fun to be running with them whilst riding a heavy old tourer that probably weighed twice as much as the lovely carbon bikes everyone else seemed to have.

But what I noticed was that a lot of people didn't seem to be making that much of their machines. In particular, at one point I was in the back of a spread out group, descending a long straight hill. Looking at the speedometer, I noticed we weren't really going that fast (maybe 30ish) so I started overtaking (which I appreciate might have been aided by draft but I still think I was going no faster than I'd have normally been descending a hill like that).

Now I thought that odd enough - I know you want to conserve energy but you might as well enjoy the downgradients - but what really suprised me was at the bottom of the hill. This was followed by a shorter climb and as I hit the climb, I passed a good half dozen bikes as though they were standing still.

Now if I have a straight downslope, followed by a short straight upslope, I will tend to get as much speed as possible on the downslope to get the following climb for free but it seemed to me that the other riders were getting to the bottom and immediately going into climb grind mode.

Surely fast down, fast up is going to be less energy expending on a long ride than slow down, slow up? Or am I getting it wrong? I wouldn't say I'm a particularly strong rider (I finished mid field time wise on the long route).
Faster than a tent.......


  • My experience is that if it is a club or a group of friends they will ride at the pace of the slowest rider. When you are on your own & going from group to group, you set your own pace which will be faster than that of the slowest rider.

    re: the climbing, Again if I'm with friends I'd rather ride slowly up the hill together than blast up the hill & then have to wait for everyone else to catch up.
  • Percy Vera
    Percy Vera Posts: 1,103
    you only went faster on the downhill cos your bike was heavier! :D
  • Tom Butcher
    Tom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    Maybe in a group descending where not everyone knew each other they were just riding conservatively - maybe the guy at the front was a bit cautious so the rest just followed his pace. There are times when riding more slowly to keep a group together will pay off getting you back faster because you can share the work on the flat.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.