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Questions after first large group event

burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
edited October 2017 in Amateur race
First off, I don't deem this a race. It was a good size local sportive, about 200 people in the 50 mile group. But finishing at the front of the breakaway group is really nice. :mrgreen:

Anyway, I had a great time. I got some good experience in the fast bunch, tagged onto the break in the last 10 miles, taking a few short turns out front, and other things.

Afterwards, I have some questions about things I saw happen and what the standard convention is.

1. If a breakaway is taking turns, which direction does the leader of the train turn off if riding on the right (US or mainland europe)? I had assumed the signal was the chicken wing or butt tap, and was correct. That's what the group ride I've done uses. That group also usually rotates the right train to the right when you pull off, and the left train to the left. Nobody down the middle. I saw people trying both even though it was a single train break. I turned off to the right to pull back to several hearty "thanks". But I kept seeing people trying to form a second train behind me on the right as I pulled off. I would drift back behind as the break train was going past just to have a couple behind me right on my tire as if they expected a 2nd train to form.

2. If the group is about to hit an incline where people are coming out of saddle........how do you prepare so you don't hit the person behind you when you move out of the saddle? I've heard this is an etiquette thing, but I can't for the life of me understand this. Wouldn't the person in front need to call "slowing" and the person behind tap the brakes?

3. If the group is rolling downhill, but not steep, is the convention to maintain the same power-output if you're leading the train or should you possibly coast or not put out as much power downhill? I ride steady state by my meter, not a speedometer. I only really slow down if there's an incline or a curve sharp enough you must slow.

4. How quickly should you take a corner from one road to another? You call it out (right turn), then take it. I took it almost full speed on my turn up front. I feel a few in the break weren't entirely comfortable with that.

Still fun. It was right at about 22 mi/hr for the 50 miles and about 1700 ft. Not pan flat, but just a few rollers. So given the few little inclines and road-crossings where the group had to slow and cross, we were rolling in the 23 to 24mph range in the flat.

Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    1. If a breakaway is taking turns, which direction does the leader of the train turn off if riding on the right (US or mainland europe)? I had assumed the signal was the chicken wing or butt tap, and was correct. That's what the group ride I've done uses. That group also usually rotates the right train to the right when you pull off, and the left train to the left. Nobody down the middle. I saw people trying both even though it was a single train break. I turned off to the right to pull back to several hearty "thanks". But I kept seeing people trying to form a second train behind me on the right as I pulled off. I would drift back behind as the break train was going past just to have a couple behind me right on my tire as if they expected a 2nd train to form.

    Er in the uk we move over to the left so I presume right for the US ?

    2. If the group is about to hit an incline where people are coming out of saddle........how do you prepare so you don't hit the person behind you when you move out of the saddle? I've heard this is an etiquette thing, but I can't for the life of me understand this. Wouldn't the person in front need to call "slowing" and the person behind tap the brakes?

    Just before you get out of the saddle you need to put a bit of power down so that you increase the gap to the rider behind. The guy behind will be distanced ever so slightly and has enough space. Don't get up without increasing the power as the bike just gets thrown back.

    3. If the group is rolling downhill, but not steep, is the convention to maintain the same power-output if you're leading the train or should you possibly coast or not put out as much power downhill? I ride steady state by my meter, not a speedometer. I only really slow down if there's an incline or a curve sharp enough you must slow.

    Depends really - theres usually a regrouping after a climb - so I'd not push it on teh downhill unless it was a hardcore racing group. Most likely people are recovering.

    4. How quickly should you take a corner from one road to another? You call it out (right turn), then take it. I took it almost full speed on my turn up front. I feel a few in the break weren't entirely comfortable with that.

    Depends on the road - presumably you can see its clear and surface is good ? Riders behind can't so they may be reluctant to accept the speed of someone they don't know leading them out. I'd not worry about it unduly - but always do it within your limits. If you go down the rest will plough into you !
  • fenix wrote:
    3. If the group is rolling downhill, but not steep, is the convention to maintain the same power-output if you're leading the train or should you possibly coast or not put out as much power downhill? I ride steady state by my meter, not a speedometer. I only really slow down if there's an incline or a curve sharp enough you must slow.

    Depends really - theres usually a regrouping after a climb - so I'd not push it on teh downhill unless it was a hardcore racing group. Most likely people are recovering.

    Don't coast though - if you are coasting on the front, the people behind you are having to brake to not hit you.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Get out of the habit of riding to a 'power meter' .
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001

    1. If a breakaway is taking turns, which direction does the leader of the train turn off if riding on the right (US or mainland europe)?

    Depends on the group, wind direction, or the circumstances. Trackies in the group will be expecting to peel off to the right.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Plenty of trackies in my group but nobodys ever pulled off to the right. I do see where you're coming from - but even trackies spend most of their time on the road.
  • jgsi wrote:
    Get out of the habit of riding to a 'power meter' .

    Explain?

    Perhaps needing to be able to work on "feel" better? To be clear, I'm not staring at a computer screen the entire ride. Taking glances when there's an effort worth looking at it for.

    I was focused on following my wheels, making sure to close any gap, calling out debris or pot-holes. It's not like I'm some Team Sky rider who can't live without it. I think I may have looked at it a couple times when we were going over a small hill or at the beginning of my turn so I knew I wasn't slowing everyone up or speeding them up too much.

    If I'm planning to be out for 2 hours riding solo, then the work needs to get done. And perceived exertion can be very deceiving when riding the flat for 30 minutes at a time.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    fenix wrote:
    Plenty of trackies in my group but nobodys ever pulled off to the right. I do see where you're coming from - but even trackies spend most of their time on the road.

    Versatility is the key. I don't think there's really a convention on this, either is fine. On the track, you need to pull up the track (ie to the right) to change, on the road the last handicap race I was in, our group worked on a r/h rotation.
  • Imposter wrote:
    fenix wrote:
    Plenty of trackies in my group but nobodys ever pulled off to the right. I do see where you're coming from - but even trackies spend most of their time on the road.

    Versatility is the key. I don't think there's really a convention on this, either is fine. On the track, you need to pull up the track (ie to the right) to change, on the road the last handicap race I was in, our group worked on a r/h rotation.

    I had to look this up, very intriguing concept. I feel like if it wasn't such a "cluster" of madness releasing 200 riders for a sportive......it would be a good idea for a less competitive ride also.

    Why?

    The weaker riders hung tight very well until mile 30 of 50 doing a good job. But after mile 30, the "peloton" fell totally apart. You could see it on some faces that they spent what they had in the first 90 minutes. Looking back at the flybys, it was our front break of about 15 people then another break of about 15 separated by some distance. Then both those were pulling distance hard on the main group until the end.

    We pulled a 7 to 10 minute gap from mile 30 to mile 50 on the original main group.

    It would have been REALLY fun to have taken those 30 folks that were in the two breakaways and handicapped us to catch the others.

    We did catch and fly by the riders who did the 20 mile event instead. That event started an hour after the 50.

    It was a big enough event to have had folks in chairs roadside watching, that was fun.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,142
    1 - in the uk most groups go up the outside and back down next to the edge of the road but more experienced groups it'll depend on the wind direction.

    2 - if you need to get out of the saddle try and keep pressure on the pedals to minimise the wheel moving back and if you are behind someone just be aware they may get out of the saddle on an incline. I wouldn't give a warning and haven't ever heard anyone do that.

    3 - A group might ease off a bit downhill for recovery or they may keep pressing on - no hard and fast rule.

    4- If people can't hold a wheel in a corner that'stheir lookout - up to them to close any gap they let open. That said in a sportive there will be a range of ability so no need to test the limits of your tyres and put others out of their comfort zone.

    Overall though so long as you are safe, contribute if you can and ride smoothly rather than upping the pace erratically that'sallpeople expect.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • According to British Cycling a 'through and off' group should rotate clockwise if the wind is coming from the right and anti-clockwise if it's coming from the left.
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/skills/article/izn20141117-Road-How-to-ride-through-and-off--chaingang----Racesmart-0
    'Hello to Jason Isaacs'
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    That's going to be for racing only. It'd get a bit tricky on the club run as you turn a corner and all of a sudden you're rotating the other way. Especially for the poor sod who's just done his turn.
  • fenix wrote:
    That's going to be for racing only. It'd get a bit tricky on the club run as you turn a corner and all of a sudden you're rotating the other way. Especially for the poor sod who's just done his turn.

    On my one of two turns, I was that poor sod.

    I pulled to the side nearest the edge of the road to allow the others to come up. Then as I'm going back, suddenly people started forming behind me in a second line expecting to be pulled. :evil:

    I ended up asking to get back into the left line that was properly rotating since the madness on the other side didn't appear it was going to end.

    We dropped the other "unruly" line over the next 5 miles or so, probably on purpose.
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