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Getting into shop/club rides (UPDATE bottom of pg 2)

italianstallionitalianstallion Posts: 17
edited January 2015 in Road beginners
So I've been cycling for a couple of months now. My typical dedicated 'training' rides are in the 50-55 mile range with an average speed of around 18mph +/- 1mph. When I go on these rides I stop once around that 25 mile mark to refuel and then I get right back to it. I can do a pretty good job of pushing myself even towards the end; I usually take the last 5 miles sprinting as hard as I can, maintaining around 22 mph on the flats during this stretch of time.

So when I'm out driving on the weekends I see alot of group rides. I don't know anybody in my cycling community but a group ride looks like a fun idea to train with other people and make new friends. But I'm a little nervous about the etiquette and what group pace I should join up with.

This Saturday there's a 40 mile group ride with 4 groups: 25+ mph, 23+ mph, 20+ mph, and 18+ mph. The 18mph group is a no-drop group with one stop halfway through. I've been doing some reading up on group rides and etiquette and I'm thinking of starting with the 18mph ride and seeing how it goes before moving up. I don't want to get in anybody's way or bite off more than I can chew. Any advice?
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  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 847
    Is that a pro team group ride? Those speeds are remarkably fast.
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 847
    More usefully, you sound like you'd be more than quick enough for normal club or shop rides, so then it becomes a matter of finding one that suits and, as you say, seeing how it goes.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I think starting off with the slowest run makes a lot of sense. You want to be doing some chatting - and whilst it sounds like your speed would take you up to the 23mph run - but you'd probably be pushing it a lot.

    If the easier one is too easy - then just try the next one up etc etc.

    Be predictable. Shout out hazards. Don't overlap wheels. Don't half wheel people and have full guards if its a wet ride.

    Enjoy !
  • SouthgateSouthgate Posts: 246
    The 25+ mph ride is higher the average speed of a 50 minute 4th category crit race on a closed flat circuit like Hillingdon, or a 10 mile TT pace for a reasonably fit club rider. It would be very difficult for a 40 mile club ride to achieve that on the open road outside of a race situation - not impossible I guess, but you would need a near 'perfect' route, very strong riders and no traffic lights, junctions or street furniture in the way. It sounds almost pro standard!
    Superstition begins with pinning race number 13 upside down and it ends with the brutal slaughter of Mamils at the cake stop.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    Im convinced some clubs publish high average run speeds,just to scare potential "newbies" off from joining them
  • NeXXusNeXXus Posts: 854
    awavey wrote:
    Im convinced some clubs publish high average run speeds,just to scare potential "newbies" off from joining them
    In some clubs with rides above 16/17 avg that's a good thing.

    Nothing worse than a newbie overstating their ability
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,022
    Any advice?

    Turn pro..
  • '25+ mph, 23+ mph, 20+ mph, and 18+ mph'

    I would suggest this club are talking out their ar$es.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    '25+ mph, 23+ mph, 20+ mph, and 18+ mph'

    I would suggest this club are talking out their ar$es.

    +1 (unless they spend their time on club runs riding up and down very flat A roads)

    Unlikely that the weakest group would be 18+mph and highly unlikely that the strongest group would be 25+mph. 20-22mph for a 40-50 mile is more my experience with a top group from the clubs that I go out with in S. Derbys area and such speeds are rarely achieved at this time of the year on club runs and that's eaxctly how it should be!

    Given your figures, you sound more than good enough to join in and find your own level.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Are you sure that's not Team Sky looking for some extra riders?? :wink:
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    What's the name of the club?
  • Thanks for the replies. Note that this is in Central Florida where there isn't much climbing to be had. Maybe that's the reason for the speed groups they're listing.

    As for whether I go tomorrow depends on if I wake up or not. It's supposed to be mid-40s at ride time, and while I have a long sleeve cycle jersey, I've only got bib shorts. So I may go riding later when it warms up. I did stop into a local bike shop today where a really nice sales guy about my age invited me out to ride with him and a couple of his friends on Sunday morning. I'll report back regardless of what I do, but thanks for the comments.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    Going for a ride with the guy from the shop sounds like a good idea. He'll probably have an informed opinion on local clubs etc.
  • ZingzangZingzang Posts: 196
    This Saturday there's a 40 mile group ride with 4 groups: 25+ mph, 23+ mph, 20+ mph, and 18+ mph.
    It's pointless drawing conclusions from this before you know what those figures actually mean. I suspect if you asked different members of the club you would find a lack of consensus.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Thanks for the replies. Note that this is in Central Florida where there isn't much climbing to be had. Maybe that's the reason for the speed groups they're listing.

    As for whether I go tomorrow depends on if I wake up or not. It's supposed to be mid-40s at ride time, and while I have a long sleeve cycle jersey, I've only got bib shorts. So I may go riding later when it warms up. I did stop into a local bike shop today where a really nice sales guy about my age invited me out to ride with him and a couple of his friends on Sunday morning. I'll report back regardless of what I do, but thanks for the comments.
    It must be nice out there in Florida. Here in UK it's very cold and windy, so been on the turbo this week. I've just googled Central Florida Cycling and found the page below, which lists lots of group rides, some with surprisingly high average speeds quoted.
    http://www.dailygrouprides.com/florida/
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Thanks for the replies. Note that this is in Central Florida where there isn't much climbing to be had. Maybe that's the reason for the speed groups they're listing.

    The speeds are then quite possible, I'd say, the weather, the type of roads are completely different, when I've ridden in similar lands (north American straight roads, hot, completely flat) it adds 1-2mph solo, and have ridden group rides at 21mph that have been so mind numbingly dull through lack of effort that I have to start hanging off the back to simply avoid falling asleep. Road surface, straight roads, no traffic and hot temperatures add a lot.

    Just go along to the slowest, if it's too slow, get bored, suck it up, try the next one up next time. You'll soon find the right group.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • Thanks for the replies. Note that this is in Central Florida where there isn't much climbing to be had. Maybe that's the reason for the speed groups they're listing.

    As for whether I go tomorrow depends on if I wake up or not. It's supposed to be mid-40s at ride time, and while I have a long sleeve cycle jersey, I've only got bib shorts. So I may go riding later when it warms up. I did stop into a local bike shop today where a really nice sales guy about my age invited me out to ride with him and a couple of his friends on Sunday morning. I'll report back regardless of what I do, but thanks for the comments.
    It must be nice out there in Florida. Here in UK it's very cold and windy, so been on the turbo this week. I've just googled Central Florida Cycling and found the page below, which lists lots of group rides, some with surprisingly high average speeds quoted.
    http://www.dailygrouprides.com/florida/


    That's the website I pulled the ride off actually!

    I got up this morning, stepped outside and decided I was not properly equipped for the low 40s temperatures that ended up sticking around until 10:00am. I went back to sleep, got up a little while later then did my own solo ride, which ended up working out because I'm still practicing with the clipless pedals I installed this week. I haven't gotten an email back from the shop guy from the other day, so not sure what tomorrow holds, but at the very least I'll go somewhere and do a good 50 mile run.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Get the hang of clip less pedals before you join a club ride.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    25mph+ club ride? You Only get about 26-27 MPH in NAT B's (In spring) ! I wouldn't go on a ride like that very often as that's race pace and I'd say it's not even possible in winter. Myself and a local elite did a local 50 mile ride @ 23.5MPH in July 2013 (3,000 ft climbing) so it's possible but I'd avoid like the plague unless you're cat 2 plus and want some terrible training.
  • If you're already averaging 18mph then you'll have no problem with the majority of club rides with "ordinary" people in them. They are mostly at 16-18mph average in my experience.

    You can find local clubs on Strava and facebook usually.
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    There slowest recovery rides are listed 18-20 mph average so seems thoose speeds are correct as seems they don't have many hills in florida & maybe not the same headwinds etc either as UK. 8)

    http://www.dailygrouprides.com/event/su ... e_id=43509

    http://www.strava.com/activities/87299712

    As for it being too cold in florida lame excuse :roll:
  • Moonbiker wrote:
    There slowest recovery rides are listed 18-20 mph average so seems thoose speeds are correct as seems they don't have many hills in florida & maybe not the same headwinds etc either as UK. 8)

    http://www.dailygrouprides.com/event/su ... e_id=43509

    http://www.strava.com/activities/87299712

    As for it being too cold in florida lame excuse :roll:

    Flat, windless....whatever. 18mph is not recovery pace in anyone's book.
  • On a relatively flat course (ok more like rolling) and turning myself inside out I managed 17mph average over 60 miles once. That's the best I have ever done. Certainly not recovering.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Moonbiker wrote:
    There slowest recovery rides are listed 18-20 mph average so seems thoose speeds are correct as seems they don't have many hills in florida & maybe not the same headwinds etc either as UK. 8)

    http://www.dailygrouprides.com/event/su ... e_id=43509

    http://www.strava.com/activities/87299712

    As for it being too cold in florida lame excuse :roll:

    Flat, windless....whatever. 18mph is not recovery pace in anyone's book.

    Don't be silly.

    18mph in warm conditions on good roads with little wind is remarkably easy in a group.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • okgo wrote:
    Moonbiker wrote:
    There slowest recovery rides are listed 18-20 mph average so seems thoose speeds are correct as seems they don't have many hills in florida & maybe not the same headwinds etc either as UK. 8)

    http://www.dailygrouprides.com/event/su ... e_id=43509

    http://www.strava.com/activities/87299712

    As for it being too cold in florida lame excuse :roll:

    Flat, windless....whatever. 18mph is not recovery pace in anyone's book.

    Don't be silly.

    18mph in warm conditions on good roads with little wind is remarkably easy in a group.

    Maybe so.

    It's still too fast for a true recovery ride in my book...
  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 109
    That is properly fast; one of our local segments has some slacker called Romain Bardet at the top of the leaderboard at under 13mph AND it is only 8.5 miles long.
  • Our local club is just starting to do "Steady Rides" once a month which are geared for beginners and supposedly will go at a gentle pace so anyone can keep up. Which is just the thing for me at the minute!
  • Those speeds sound like maximums to me. 25mph for 40miles..... really?

    Just Turn up and see what it's like. I've found clubs helpful to novices. If the slow ride look too slow, try an intermediate ride. If you get dropped.... oh well. Come back next week and go for a slower ride.
  • telesv650 wrote:
    Those speeds sound like maximums to me. 25mph for 40miles..... really?

    Just Turn up and see what it's like. I've found clubs helpful to novices. If the slow ride look too slow, try an intermediate ride. If you get dropped.... oh well. Come back next week and go for a slower ride.

    That's what I figure. There's a ride Sunday morning I'm going to participate in, 45 miles at 18-21 mph. I'll show up and see how it all goes, but I watched a few videos from their ride this past week and I should be able to keep pace with them.
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 847
    Go for it Stallion!
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