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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I got invited to ride with a group of about 10 or so with the local bike club! Apparently they go every Sunday morning for about 40 miles. This is kinda exciting cause I've wanted to try group riding but never really had a group. So, does anyone have advice for a n00b? I know the basic stuff like, ride in a straight line, don't read the serial number on someones rear brake, don't overlap wheels. But what are other things that I should know? Is there like a set amount of time I should spend at the front? just basically stuff that the experienced people don't really have to think of. Thanks!!
 

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Two skinny J's
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Do you know what pace the group will be riding? Is it a A pace fast bunch or more of a B pace no drop group? If you can ride and keep the pace of the group and get the chance to pull I would suggest no more than 2 minutes in front. Sounds short I know. If you do pull don't speed up, and try not to slow down to much, maintain the avg the group was doing. Course all the depends on the group you are riding with. If you don't know the hand signals I would most definitely brush up on them. I still remember my first group ride and the amount of concentration on everything that seemed to be going on vs riding mindlessly by myself. And of course, Don't get dropped :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you don't know the hand signals I would most definitely brush up on them.
There's hand signals!? Like the regular bike turn signal hand signals?

And I'm not sure what the pace is but when I said "I'd probably slow you down." They said "meh probably not." So I'm guessing they wont drop me unless they're about to fall over.
 

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Check out this thread, Dubgurl. Some good advice there (maybe I'm a little partial since I started it).

http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f30/road-group-riding-etiquette-2221/

Also, it's quite important to remember that when you're at the front, you're the eyes for the whole group. You need to point out any obstacles that will be in the path such as rocks, sticks, potholes, etc. You can do this by moving left or right of the obstacle while pointing towards the ground on what side the obstacle will be.
 

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This will be fun, and educational too - I learned a lot from riding in group rides. One thing I'll point out is that some group rides are really casual -- no real drafting & pulling -- and some are more geared toward a pace line where people take turns up front and ride fairly close to each others' wheels. So, it would be good to understand what kind of group it is before the ride.

Aside from being careful not to hit others beside you, some other tips:
Person in the back usually warns the group if there is a car approaching from behind by yelling "car back" or similar.
Person on the front likewise will yell "car up" "walker up" etc. if someone is coming from the front. Or "car left (or right)" at an intersection. Or "road kill" or "hole", etc..... (and pointing, as Xela mentions above)
Also good to shout "slowing" or "stopping" to let others know.
If the group is spread out, others usually repeat the warning so everyone hears.
Don't just follow the group at intersections -- look for yourself to see if it is clear.

The biggest challenge for me on group rides (non-pace-line) is going up hills. I'm a big guy and need to make the most of my speed approaching the hill -- so if I get stuck behind someone going slower at the bottom of the hill it really messes up my pace. Now, if I see a hill coming, I'll break off any conversation in saying "I've got to get some speed up for this hill, I'll catch you on the down side" and do what I've got to do to get up in my own stride.

Hope this helps -- have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Never thought about the water bottle thing. You'd think I would though. I've hit stuff before and it's quite a feeling to have the handlebars coming up to greet your face while the back of the bike goes seemingly miles off line!
 

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Look, listen and learn and be as relaxed as possible. Don't drop your waterbottle. One came down through the last group I was riding with - not good! A good way of learning to relax and ride a straight line is to ride rollers in the winter.
 

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Oh and snot rockets are not a good idea if you are leading the pack. Breaking wind is part of leading the pace line, but its highly advisable that it only applies to the aerodynamics of the bike. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mark, you should really meet my dad LOL. I have a feeling you'd get along. But please dear god, let me be in a different hemisphere when it happens! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think so. The weather channel says it's gonna be about 45 and sunny. Now, being a student of UND's Dr. Remer, I know to read what the weather channel has to say and chuck it out the window. But NWS is saying roughly the same thing and just a little colder, but I can deal with 40 if that happens. I'll make my own forecast tomorrow around noon (I suck at forecasting much past about 30 hours :/ )

So after the long convoluted explanation, YES! I'll go :D
 

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Well actually might be through Toledo in the not too distant future. The two main things I remember are the war that MI and OH fought over that stretch of land. Dundee was just up the road and every outdoorsman knows what is in Dundee. There was a place I am told served really great food right at 23 and the Ohio turnpike. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Should have listened to Dr. Remer. No wonder I only got a B in that class! Woke up and it was nowhere near 40* :( try 28* :( Considering I have no shoe covers and only a thin pair of capri's for my "winter" pants, I decided to skip the frostbite and stay inside. Maybe next week? This is Ohio, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute!
 

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Should have listened to Dr. Remer. No wonder I only got a B in that class! Woke up and it was nowhere near 40* :( try 28* :( Considering I have no shoe covers and only a thin pair of capri's for my "winter" pants, I decided to skip the frostbite and stay inside. Maybe next week? This is Ohio, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute!
I can't say that I blame you. I have winter riding gear and I just don't enjoy cold weather riding. If it's cool and by that I mean not much below 35-40 degrees and not windy I'll go out. I have ridden below 35 before but for me it's miserable. I try and ride New years day ( regardless of weather ) just to get the year started right :D
 

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It wasent to bad here in the South Jersey Swamp, 36 on the out door, but it looks like North Jersey realy got dumped on, lots of snow and downed trees.
 

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Should have listened to Dr. Remer. No wonder I only got a B in that class! Woke up and it was nowhere near 40* :( try 28* :( Considering I have no shoe covers and only a thin pair of capri's for my "winter" pants, I decided to skip the frostbite and stay inside. Maybe next week? This is Ohio, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute!
Can't blame you at all. After all, it's suppose to be fun and if you're not warm, it isn't fun.
 

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Should have listened to Dr. Remer. No wonder I only got a B in that class! Woke up and it was nowhere near 40* :( try 28* :( Considering I have no shoe covers and only a thin pair of capri's for my "winter" pants, I decided to skip the frostbite and stay inside. Maybe next week? This is Ohio, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute!

I've done cold weather riding a couple times last year found it some what enjoyable but only downside that wind if you don't have some kind of glasses on it hurts.

Coldest temps I have gotten out so far last year it was round 20ish maybe a tad cooler. Now if snow on the ground I just stay in. I don't use cycling clothing at all just bundle up in layers good heavy coat on top my watch cap on and heavy lined gloves keeps me nice and toasty. Oh and a good hot cuppa coffee out during the ride helps to :D


If ya haven't tried it that cold yet go for it
 
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