Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

good enough to join a club

crobinson78crobinson78 Posts: 12
edited July 2013 in Road beginners
Hello,

I bought my first road bike through the "cycle to work scheme" in Sept 2012. since then I have became a bit addicted to the sport and cycle an average of 70 miles per week. My question is "when are you good enough to hold your own in an amateur cycling team?
I consistently hit an average of 17 mph depending on head winds and a cadence of around 77 - 80 rpm. the local roads are very hilly. up and down all the way. my biggest cycle to date was a 42 mile which I averaged 16.8 mph.
If some one could give me a bit of insight into amateur team cyclist and what is a good starting point. thanks

Posts

  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 842
    Do you mean racing or just riding with a club? You'd be fine with the latter.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    You are good enough to join any club. If they are too snobby about your pace or bike, clothing or anything else. Best find a club thats not run by [email protected] with their tongues up each others arses. Clubs are meant to help develop your riding in a relaxed group. If you want to go faster, they should have faster groups. Seems to be a spate of clubs that want to be big boys only. Why would anyone want to be a part of that mentality?
  • You are good enough to join any club. If they are too snobby about your pace or bike, clothing or anything else. Best find a club thats not run by [email protected] with their tongues up each others arses. Clubs are meant to help develop your riding in a relaxed group. If you want to go faster, they should have faster groups. Seems to be a spate of clubs that want to be big boys only. Why would anyone want to be a part of that mentality?

    Thanks for the reply. What would be the average pace for a group club ride be over, say 40 miles?? I don't want to join a club and find I am bein left behind. If I was to join a local club I would like to start with a good "hold my own pace".
  • bondurant wrote:
    Do you mean racing or just riding with a club? You'd be fine with the latter.

    Good point. Suppose if you where to join a club the ultimate goal would be to eventually start racing if you got good enough. I was looking some insight into typical stats for both amateur racing pace and club rides. I am assuming starting off at a low category cyclist.
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 842
    edited July 2013
    It depends on the club. Have you had a look at which ones are close to you? Often their websites will tell you, or at least give you a contact to ask. Or list the options here and maybe someone will be a member and can tell you.

    Edit: this reply was to your previous question. I guess the suggestion still stands though.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    I would like to think any good club would have a group that sits at around 20-25kph for beginners. Over a 40 mile route thats not a bad pace to begin with depending on the relief.

    Best inquiring with a club about the speeds and distances they cater for. Not everyone is a speed freak so if they want more members they need to have a range of abilities.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    Suppose if you where to join a club the ultimate goal would be to eventually start racing if you got good enough

    Not necessarily. Some join a club for the companionship or the safety of the crowd instead of riding alone. It can get pretty lonely out on a ride if the weather is bad.
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 842
    +1. I have no intention of racing. I joined a club primarily to ride with others.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    To the OP my Sunday club ride now sees 50+ riders on a good weather day. Offers 3 groups - group C approx 15-16mph over 40 miles, group B approx 17-18 mph and quickest group will be 20mph+ over 60 miles+.

    For 4th Cat racing you can expect to average close to 25mph for just over an hour on our local circuits. Not constant soeed though - plenty of interval work.

    Your speeds should enable you to link up with a club & find an appropriate group.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    If your target is amateur racing. The lowest cat 4 races can still be pretty fast. Generally they end up being big bunches with people tailing off from time to time as no one really gets a break away on the lower categories. If you can stick with the pace of the peloton in a cat 4 race then you should be fine. Saying that, last race I did on a closed circuit was averaging 35kph. Last cat 3 I did was closer to 45kph ave.

    Best thing to do for club racing is 10 mile Time Trials. They are a better judge of your pace for beginners.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    nochekmate wrote:
    For 4th Cat racing you can expect to average close to 25mph for just over an hour on our local circuits.

    Think that is a bit faster than the average Cat 4 race. Not saying its too fast but closer to 20mph would be more realistic across the board at other events. Good if you can keep that going in a cat 4 for a hour or so. Best to sit in the bunch and be pulled along at that speed I guess.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    nochekmate wrote:
    For 4th Cat racing you can expect to average close to 25mph for just over an hour on our local circuits.

    Think that is a bit faster than the average Cat 4 race. Not saying its too fast but closer to 20mph would be more realistic across the board at other events. Good if you can keep that going in a cat 4 for a hour or so. Best to sit in the bunch and be pulled along at that speed I guess.


    Seriously 20mph average will only see you tailed off at both Darley Moor and Mallory in my area. 20mph on circuits in group riding is too easy for 4th Cat and would be more like a quickish club run than an actual race.

    Think we'd better agree on the following:

    20mph < 4th Cat Race < 25mph :lol:
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Decent clubs will have a range of rides of varying distances - typically the one that goes at the pace of the slowest and leves no one behind is the one you're looking for.

    As for racing, it's rarely the average speed that makes you suffer, but the high intensity accelerations where you feel you're turning yourself inside-out to hang on.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • thanks for all the replies. some great insight and just what I was looking for. I am going to take the next step and call a local club. Cheers
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    nochekmate wrote:
    nochekmate wrote:
    For 4th Cat racing you can expect to average close to 25mph for just over an hour on our local circuits.

    Think that is a bit faster than the average Cat 4 race. Not saying its too fast but closer to 20mph would be more realistic across the board at other events. Good if you can keep that going in a cat 4 for a hour or so. Best to sit in the bunch and be pulled along at that speed I guess.


    Seriously 20mph average will only see you tailed off at both Darley Moor and Mallory in my area. 20mph on circuits in group riding is too easy for 4th Cat and would be more like a quickish club run than an actual race.

    Think we'd better agree on the following:

    20mph < 4th Cat Race < 25mph :lol:

    Ive raced cat 3 that are not much faster than 25mph - All depends on the competition I guess. Still, also raced in cat 3 over 35mph ave. which was knackering.
  • HiCadenceHiCadence Posts: 40
    How hilly are the routes that you do? Have you got the routes recorded on Strava? usually 100ft of climbing per mile is regarded as hilly.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    nochekmate wrote:
    nochekmate wrote:
    For 4th Cat racing you can expect to average close to 25mph for just over an hour on our local circuits.

    Think that is a bit faster than the average Cat 4 race. Not saying its too fast but closer to 20mph would be more realistic across the board at other events. Good if you can keep that going in a cat 4 for a hour or so. Best to sit in the bunch and be pulled along at that speed I guess.


    Seriously 20mph average will only see you tailed off at both Darley Moor and Mallory in my area. 20mph on circuits in group riding is too easy for 4th Cat and would be more like a quickish club run than an actual race.

    Think we'd better agree on the following:

    20mph < 4th Cat Race < 25mph :lol:

    Ive raced cat 3 that are not much faster than 25mph - All depends on the competition I guess. Still, also raced in cat 3 over 35mph ave. which was knackering.

    You may well have reached speeds of 35mph in parts of a race in Cat 3 but 35mph ave???? For how long was this an average exactly? Come on get realistic now! I'm not wanting a running battle on the thread but that's a ridiculous statement.
  • I am in the same position as you. After making contact with Newport Shropshire CC one guy suggested I build up to 20 miles rides by myself and then I would know myself that I could manage at least the run to the cake stop.
    Good advice I believe, on Thursday I fid s midweek ride with a club member and this morning I will be joining them for a B ride of about 40 miles.

    In short I have no idea but it sounds to me that you are ready to join a good social club.
    I'll let you know how I get on today ;-)
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    nochekmate wrote:
    nochekmate wrote:
    nochekmate wrote:
    For 4th Cat racing you can expect to average close to 25mph for just over an hour on our local circuits.

    Think that is a bit faster than the average Cat 4 race. Not saying its too fast but closer to 20mph would be more realistic across the board at other events. Good if you can keep that going in a cat 4 for a hour or so. Best to sit in the bunch and be pulled along at that speed I guess.


    Seriously 20mph average will only see you tailed off at both Darley Moor and Mallory in my area. 20mph on circuits in group riding is too easy for 4th Cat and would be more like a quickish club run than an actual race.

    Think we'd better agree on the following:

    20mph < 4th Cat Race < 25mph :lol:

    Ive raced cat 3 that are not much faster than 25mph - All depends on the competition I guess. Still, also raced in cat 3 over 35mph ave. which was knackering.

    You may well have reached speeds of 35mph in parts of a race in Cat 3 but 35mph ave???? For how long was this an average exactly? Come on get realistic now! I'm not wanting a running battle on the thread but that's a ridiculous statement.

    A race is only as fast or slow as the riders in it decide to make it. If its wet and windy then you are not going to get a very fast pace on a closed circuit with tight cornering. Then again, you may get a race with a few speed freaks who puch the pace up and try to escape. The peloton then ups the pace to catch them. It could stay fast it could slow down. On this particular day, everyone was going hell for leather. IT was not comfortable to ride in and I was knackered at the end, finishing just behind the main group. The next race I did was almost a snail pace as it became chess like. The Cat is not a speed limit so to suggest that certain average speeds cannot be reached in certain cats is foolish.
  • Had a great runout with Newport Shropshire cc. 33 miles at a good 12 mph over the route. Lovely stop off for s cake in Brewood too.
    In essence I would say go for it club rides are excellent!
  • HiCadence wrote:
    How hilly are the routes that you do? Have you got the routes recorded on Strava? usually 100ft of climbing per mile is regarded as hilly.

    my ride yesterday was 32 miles. starting at an elevation of 230ft. my total gain was 523 ft. I did not go that hard and completed it in 1hr 54 mins.
  • IanRCarterIanRCarter Posts: 217
    OP should be fine with a club ride judging by the distances he can do and speed. I think a lot of clubs Sunday runs tend to have multiple groups, with some doing a fast ride and others doing a more leisurely ride. Not everybody what's to go hell-for-leather on every ride, some people might use the sunday ride as a relaxing recovery ride and to socialise at the end of a week's hard, lonely training. Just as an example, I rode with the slower group this morning and averaged ~14mph whereas I might average between 15-17mph when training. It doesn't sound like much but it's a huge difference, lots of free-wheeling and steady pedalling.

    When you do go with a club make sure you take at least one spare tube, multi-tool etc. and have a well serviced bike. I don't think the club members would be too happy having to stop to lend you a spare tube to fix the puncture you got from worn out tyres. Also have a look online at group riding tips so you at least understand any calls that are made and hand signals. Don't forget your cake money :)
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    nochekmate wrote:

    Ive raced cat 3 that are not much faster than 25mph - All depends on the competition I guess. Still, also raced in cat 3 over 35mph ave. which was knackering.

    You may well have reached speeds of 35mph in parts of a race in Cat 3 but 35mph ave???? For how long was this an average exactly? Come on get realistic now! I'm not wanting a running battle on the thread but that's a ridiculous statement.

    A race is only as fast or slow as the riders in it decide to make it. If its wet and windy then you are not going to get a very fast pace on a closed circuit with tight cornering. Then again, you may get a race with a few speed freaks who puch the pace up and try to escape. The peloton then ups the pace to catch them. It could stay fast it could slow down. On this particular day, everyone was going hell for leather. IT was not comfortable to ride in and I was knackered at the end, finishing just behind the main group. The next race I did was almost a snail pace as it became chess like. The Cat is not a speed limit so to suggest that certain average speeds cannot be reached in certain cats is foolish.
    I've not heard of even elite races averaging much more than 30mph. I demand to see the evidence.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • ducksonduckson Posts: 961
    Even in the Tour they didnt do over 30mph ave on a flat stage;

    http://app.strava.com/activities/66583736
    Cheers, Stu
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