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I might have joined a cycling group


TrentonMakes
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We went to a friend's 4th of July picnic on Saturday. I know his wife has ridden in the "Battle Against Hunger", a small local charity ride.  He's apparently handled SAG duties.  The founder of this ride was killed when a dump truck crashed into the back of his car, stopped at a red light :( - I had met him at the last one of these I attended.

I had been thinking of signing up for this ride, at least one of the one-day routes.  I met a bunch of people from this group and they do training rides most weekends, leaving from a church about five miles from my house.  I got on their email list.... we'll be busy this weekend but probably the next weekend I'll ride with these people,  I'm apprehensive since I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up - but then again I have little experience riding in a group and maybe that's what I need to help keep the fire lit under me.

Plus my wife would love it if I rode with other people.  There's one section I rode yesterday that was nothing but woods and if a car had bumped me into a ditch they'd probably still be looking for me.

(that section I'm talking about was a blast though - flat and a little twisty, and the pavement was heavy on the tar and light on the stone so it was buttery smooth.  I was flying :D )

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We went to a friend's 4th of July picnic on Saturday. I know his wife has ridden in the "Battle Against Hunger", a small local charity ride.  He's apparently handled SAG duties.  The founder of this ride was killed when a dump truck crashed into the back of his car, stopped at a red light :( - I had met him at the last one of these I attended.

I had been thinking of signing up for this ride, at least one of the one-day routes.  I met a bunch of people from this group and they do training rides most weekends, leaving from a church about five miles from my house.  I got on their email list.... we'll be busy this weekend but probably the next weekend I'll ride with these people,  I'm apprehensive since I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up - but then again I have little experience riding in a group and maybe that's what I need to help keep the fire lit under me.

Plus my wife would love it if I rode with other people.  There's one section I rode yesterday that was nothing but woods and if a car had bumped me into a ditch they'd probably still be looking for me.

(that section I'm talking about was a blast though - flat and a little twisty, and the pavement was heavy on the tar and light on the stone so it was buttery smooth.  I was flying :D )

I love this thread. 

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Just tell the folks you're new to group riding, and that you'd like to stay in the back for the ride and watch how they work together.  Then watch.  I'm guessing they'll set up a paceline and rotate through, so observe how they do it, what hand and voice signals they use.  Don't feel bad about sitting on the back the whole ride.  The group, honestly, will probably feel better that you're not mixing in right away because you can quite frankly represent a risk to them because you're not familiar with their routine.

However -

Don't discount your abilities too quickly.  In a paceline you can easily add 2 or even 3 mph to your average speed so you may be right in there anyway.  And once you've watched at least one ride, maybe at the next one you ask if the regulars can coach you through the pace line a couple of times.

You will get the hang of it if you ride with them frequently enough.  You will need to pay attention and ride with a higher level of awareness than you do when riding alone, but that only adds to the fun in my mind.  And once you learn how to ride in one group's paceline, you can rather easily blend in with most other pacelines where the riders have similar abilities to yours.

And if you do the charity ride, send me a PM.  I'll send you a check.

Made out the charity, of course! :P

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