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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

group ride mentality

"it puts the lotion on" posted something tinkly about some of the mind-lessness of boys on bikes when they lemming it up with each other for dominance and pack status.

Now, some may have heard me talk about my absence of group-ridethink. It's true, I haven't been on a group ride for many-a-moon, but ShawnyDog can sure enough tell you I've done them in my day. And, when the group is right, the laws obeyed, and the hammer safely thrown down in agreed upon moments ... it's really a lovely thing to observe and participate in.

And it can be good training.

But ~ and it's a big ole drippy BUTT i'm talkin' about here ~ if the group snarls through traffic pissing off vehicularites, bumps elbows like the rainbow stripes are on order, and is more measurement of weenie than trainee ... I have nothing but contempt for them. and i have been them.

That spat out - I really do believe there are good reasons to do group rides. If one wants to practice pack riding skills, wants to try-out some racing tactics, wants to test the legs against some competition ... these are all damn fine reasons to hit up a group ride.

... then there's that BUTT again ~ it's doing them week after week that might set staleness in, might toss up some limits on what your skills are and are not, might limit the ability to suffer alone on the high plains.



Chico Cyclist said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. I've had this dilemma myself every so often. But, all in all, I still do them......just to keep the ability alive every so often. 'Course, I'm not racin' every weekend either.

Man, those Specialized dudes sound like a bunchapunks to me.

Chico Cyclist said...

Wait a minute....Ron sits 3 bike lengths behind the pack for the entire criterium, then breaks free towards the end....and solos for wins/top placings???? What the????

Anonymous said...

You should come out for the Santa Cruz Tuesday Night Piggy Ride. It's all good.

shawndoggy said...

A good, well behaved group can be heaven. Long rides through crappy winter conditions. In the snow or ice or crazy freezy slush stuff, the promise of companionship has often been all that keeps me out there. And other times, after a long cold winter of solo training rides (is it still called a "ride" when you're stuck on the trainer?) you just need a little throw-down. It's good for the motivation, the psyche, the mojo.

But yeah, the 35 mph attack on the bike path stuff... not cool. Passing the box truck against the double yellow in a blind corner on the twisty descent (after riding in his blind spot for a mile or so)... dude, not cool at all. Karma being what it is, these people never seem to get theirs either.

Better yet is a small group of likeminded fellows with whom to share a true "training" ride. Somebody to suffer those 5:30 a.m. hill repeats with you. That's a group ride I'll take any day.

Velo Bella said...

The S dudes really aren't. But today, these few were.

Funny thing is I did a group ride with them a few weeks ago and raved about how well mannered they were. They even put a foot down on all the stop signs.

Just goes to show how unpredictable group behavior can be and how easily it can be swayed from safe to stupid.

Chico Cyclist said...

Yeah, I've seen it too.....guess it just depends upon the group, time, pressure, etc. Sux though.

PAB said...

I don't think I was ever on a group ride--at least not a group of more than 5 or 6--that didn't break the law and/or endanger riders and/or do something to piss off drivers.

I don't like to speak in absolutes, so I won't say that I'll never go on a group ride, but I certainly don't have any desire to...

Hick said...

I do em, big shocker I know......BUTT as soon as the ride goes outside the focus of being a workout that helps me target a goal I'm outta there.

diskzero said...

I had a hard time weaning off of them, but my training and racing has been so much better. Last year I was in many a ride with BJM, Wohlberg or Jackson Stewart setting the pace. Maybe they were doing their training, but I can tell you I was just surviving and losing fitness.

The SJBC twilights have been a good alternative to the outlaw races passing as group rides on this side of the hill.

Gianni said...

My fave- the P-town noon ride. We have a coupla rules , a coupla sprint points, a KOM spot.
I have been on some rides out this way that scare the hell out of me with the traffic blocking, echeloning into oncoming lanes, and shoving people around. Not cool at all.