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Should I attempt my first chaingang? Too slow?

dannyjames1dannyjames1 Posts: 44
edited April 2018 in Road general
I feel like this is a bit of a daft question maybe, but I'm going to ask. For a while I've wanted to get involved on a chaingang. I've got some experience with group riding and know the technique but I just don't want to turn up only to drop off the back! I'm not exactly slow on the bike and can push myself....

My usual solo ride is about 50 miles with 2400ft elevation... 3 climbs of about 550ft each and a bit of rolling countryside which I rarely finish averaging less than 18 mph overall with the usual little bit of a headwind on the journey back home and a couple of stops for traffic.

Should I go for it? Will I struggle? Only one way to find out?
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Posts

  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    Your answer might be joining a club. Many of them will teach beginners to do group riding, just do some investigating in your area.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,598
    Just get out and try, would being dropped really be so bad? Assuming your local chain gang is a fast group who take no prisoners well I'm sure you wont be the first to get dropped.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,519
    Depending on the numbers there may be different groups (according to rider level).
    Even if only 1 group go along and try. It's good experience of riding at pace in a group.

    And if you get dropped you get dropped. Nothing to be ashamed of or worried about. It's just part of riding a bike in a group.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,338
    Most clubs will have several runs out and they tend to get labelled as fast / hares group or slow and intermediates. Most fast groups I know tend to ride at above 20 mph average and are normally made up of racers. Try finding a club that has a few different group runs aimed at different levels. We all have to start somewhere.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,244
    For a while I've wanted to get involved on a chaingang.

    I can assure you it's not THAT glamorous

    The-Warriors-Cast.jpg
  • For a while I've wanted to get involved on a chaingang.

    I can assure you it's not THAT glamorous

    The-Warriors-Cast.jpg

    One of my all time favourite films ugo.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    just do it. it'll be fine.

    its a bunch of clubbies riding along, not sagan et al.

    if they act like dicks just leave them to it and find some nice people to ride with.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Go with the expectation that you'll be dropped in the first 30 minutes and you'll be fine
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • j

    if they act like dicks just leave them to it and find some nice people to ride with.

    Sounds like my local club chaingang :lol:
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 3,007
    Go with the expectation that you'll be dropped in the first 30 minutes and you'll be fine

    This. Make sure you know the way home too, just in case. If you don't go, you'll never know.
  • MapaputsiMapaputsi Posts: 104
    I was in the same boat as you last summer, I decided to just go for it and ended up getting dropped 3 or 4 weeks in a row. Eventually made it all the way around a few times (barely). You will only gain in ability and confidence the more of them you do, they are great fun and usually end with a sprint finish which I really enjoy.

    If you are really blowing there is no problem with skipping a turn too, just hang on at the back.

    Good luck!
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,244
    For a while I've wanted to get involved on a chaingang.

    I can assure you it's not THAT glamorous

    The-Warriors-Cast.jpg

    One of my all time favourite films ugo.

    Yeah, a film with many layers... can be enjoyed at all ages and even many years later... and a great soundtrack too
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,839
    Only one way to find out?

    Bingo.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    For a while I've wanted to get involved on a chaingang.

    I can assure you it's not THAT glamorous

    The-Warriors-Cast.jpg

    One of my all time favourite films ugo.

    Yeah, a film with many layers... can be enjoyed at all ages and even many years later... and a great soundtrack too


    looks like a scene from gangbang 7 or other such similar grot..
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 3,007
    How would you know matthew? They your co-stars?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,244


    looks like a scene from gangbang 7 or other such similar grot..

    Blasfemy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Warriors_(film)
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Mapaputsi wrote:
    I was in the same boat as you last summer, I decided to just go for it and ended up getting dropped 3 or 4 weeks in a row. Eventually made it all the way around a few times (barely). You will only gain in ability and confidence the more of them you do, they are great fun and usually end with a sprint finish which I really enjoy.

    If you are really blowing there is no problem with skipping a turn too, just hang on at the back.

    Good luck!
    This! If you are averaging 18mph on a reasonably hilly 50 miles I suspect you won't be the first to be dropped unless it's a seriously elite chainy. If you do start blowing skip a few turns as above - after a few weeks you'll be contending with the best of them ;)
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    elite

    :)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571


    looks like a scene from gangbang 7 or other such similar grot..

    Blasfemy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Warriors_(film)

    infamy i tell you! infamy! they've all got it infamy!
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 416
    I had a go a few weeks ago. The local club has a loop the racers do one a few laps of one evening a week and were encouraging newbies. Pre-season apparently the pace might be a bit slower.

    It seemed a good time to try as I'd been riding through the winter and was feeling as strong as I have ever done. OK, so I got dropped a couple of times but they were nice chaps and I wasn't the only one. Definitely worth giving it a go. I haven't been back yet partly because the guy who organises it has been out of action.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,476
    If you don't try you'll never know.
    I heard one chap commenting about another guy who just about hung onto the group - that he should've gone with the slower group - but that's just it - you don't know unless you try.
    I went with the faster group on the basis that if I'm dropped, I'm dropped - I'm old enough to look after myself.
    Like Pro racing - chaingangs are an individual group ride - all the time you're in the group you can take a tow/shelter - once you're out the group, you're on your own ...
  • VslowpaceVslowpace Posts: 189
    Just go and see how you get on.

    It may be worth familiarising yourself with the route, check out where the hills are and if you are struggling then miss a few turns before the hills so you are not on the limit when it ramps up.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    kingdav wrote:
    I had a go a few weeks ago. The local club has a loop the racers do one a few laps of one evening a week and were encouraging newbies. Pre-season apparently the pace might be a bit slower.

    It seemed a good time to try as I'd been riding through the winter and was feeling as strong as I have ever done. OK, so I got dropped a couple of times but they were nice chaps and I wasn't the only one. Definitely worth giving it a go. I haven't been back yet partly because the guy who organises it has been out of action.

    A loop the racers do


    :)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • kingdav wrote:
    I had a go a few weeks ago. The local club has a loop the racers do one a few laps of one evening a week and were encouraging newbies. Pre-season apparently the pace might be a bit slower.

    It seemed a good time to try as I'd been riding through the winter and was feeling as strong as I have ever done. OK, so I got dropped a couple of times but they were nice chaps and I wasn't the only one. Definitely worth giving it a go. I haven't been back yet partly because the guy who organises it has been out of action.

    A loop the racers do


    :)

    its a bunch of clubbies riding along, not sagan et al.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,025
    Stick to Zwift
  • That'll be fine. In cycling money 28kph solo with 750m over 70km is good. The Cat1/Elites may well hurt you but skip a turn or just fall off the back and then try to use any descents to get back on. Part of the motivation of chain gangs is in getting dropped a few times.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 781
    Our club A rides average about 17mph in reality over about 70miles. 18mph solo is pretty good. Remember it is far easier in a group and you tend to get pulled along leaving enough energy for a quick go up front. I'd go for it. Even the Pros can't hack it up front all day. Years ago in Mallorca I ended up in the middle of the Shimano team peleton when they were on a training ride. Actually managed to stay with there for a bit, Unbelieveable! Might have been just seconds though :)
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Club A rides


    :)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Warriors, come out to play-aaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 416
    Do not ride with team Cinzano.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTZ0N7VTDtY
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