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We were just discussing this very topic 2 weekends ago on a ride out at RPR.  I just came off a major illness and have only been back on the bike less then a month or so.  And I personally was worried about being the slowest person in our group.  How I pushed harder then I should have, cause I didn't want to be that "guy".  Since I haven't mastered swallowing yet, I have a hard time riding and drinking, so we had to stop more frequently to do this, and I was worried about messing up other peoples rides.

 

Yet when we have a slower rider in our group, it doesn't bother me one bit if they are behind, or if they have some troubles.  I feel like they are out here, giving it their all, and I am as encouraging as I can be.  And am truly happy they are outdoors, and enjoying themselves.

 

Eric

 

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A couple years ago I went on a group ride with The Tip... I'm not big on group rides but thought I'd do the social thing and participate. The Tip said they would be averaging 8 mph which is in my ballpark... But that went out the window within a short space of time and the average went up to more like 12 mph. It was my first time on maybe 70% of the trail we were riding which made me more uncomfortable riding faster. And we lost the sweeper because his son had to pull out. So I found myself constantly causing the group to have to stop and wait for me especially when hitting intersections. I eventually told The Tip to just keep on riding and don't worry about me. And although I got turned around a couple of times I figured the trail out and had a good 3 1/2 hour ride out and back.

Group rides are funny things... They really work best when all in the group are on the same page... And are at the same fitness and skill level.

Edited by RidingAgain

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12 minutes ago, Haught Diggity said:

Good reminder!  I'm that guy in some groups, and I wait for that guy in some groups.

I used to volunteer to be sweep on sportbike rides with newer riders. I ended up helping more than one pick their bike up after off roading on Lime creek. They seem to think they have to keep up with the group, but I was willing to wait for any of them. Ride your own ride, get better over time.

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This is why I don't don't big group rides any more. I used to lead regular BCGB rides every weekend, 10-20 people. And then it got to be a pain. Someone was always too slow. Someone always forgot to pack tools, someone always forgot to bring nutrition for a long ride, someone always got lost. When 19 people are waiting on the 1, over and over, it becomes untenable.

I prefer a smaller group of my friends who all ride at my pace and actually prepare for rides.

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From the slow, out of shape guy, there's just no benefit of riding with a group to me. I don't plan to ever be better, or develop new skills. I never know what mood or shape I 'm going to be like riding on any given day. What ever happens that day, just happens.  I'm way beyond needing to stroke my ego anymore by validation from anyone.

Of the few folks that I do ride with, they know to have very low expectations. 

I'm just so thoroughly thankful that I got to ride.

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Yeah you’re taking a very individual sport and forcing it into a group situation with group rides. I prefer riding alone. I get boosted, listen to music, and flow. I hate being the slow guy. I’d much rather faster riders just drop me and do their thing. 
The overall message of the original post is a good one though. It applies to life. I have been raising my kids to know this very thing... no one gives two shits about your hair, clothes, etc... if they act like they do, then they’re pathetic people who need to stand on your shoulders to reach the stars. Ugh. I need to ride. Been too long.

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I ride by myself 95% of the time. I ride where there are other people in case I do something stupid, I can be found. 

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I like group rides for a few reasons. They push me to ride faster than I do on my own. This makes the trails different from when I ride more slowly on my own. The group rides also force me to just ride. I have a problem in stopping all the time to fix things when I'm on my own. I also like having a "911 dialer" with me to allow me to try things I won't on my own. Not that I'm planning on getting hurt. But I frequently bypass things on my own that I want to do but don't because of the slight chance I won't make it.

And of course I like the social aspect of the group ride.  Not only during the ride but the apres ride activities too.

The matching of pace is a concern. But if the expectations are set at the beginning there usually isn't a problem with me being the slow guy. Sometimes the faster folk want to ride at a more social pace and are okay riding slower than they normally do. 

If anyone wants to try a group ride and has never had an opportunity come out for a Tuesday evening Crank and Drank. We've had up to 75 people show up and will always have at least 20. We try to break it down into groups of 10-15 sorted by ability.  Because the group is so large, and if you're shy, you can just show up and ride without having to socially interact with anyone. Or make some new friends. It's a very good group of folks. 

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7 hours ago, Anita Handle said:

From the top of the thread to the bottom, I went from "yeah, let's remember why we do this and groove together" to "I hate people."

Welcome to 2019. Let's hope 2020 is better.

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