Just finished reading a well written article about the “Lost Art of the the Group Ride“. It essentially outlines how group rides have become mini-races with individuals or small groups trying to prove their prowess on the bike. Essentially, how someone who is “sort of fast on a bike” comes to the group ride with the intent of showing others just how good he/she is, without any respect or consideration for the others on the group ride.
The author is absolutely correct. There was a day when the group ride was about camaraderie and instruction WITH the understanding that no matter how fast you might be, there was always something more to learn about cycling. Group rides focused on the fundamentals of cycling in a pack: good form, steady pace, working as one unit. Today, so many rides turn into machismo battles to see who can win the town line sprint or get to the top of the hill first…. with little or no regard to either the other riders in the group or to the other users of the road.
Sure, these little mini-races are fun and can spice up a group ride and therefore should remain part of the ride, but not at the expense of sacrificing the safety of others or yourself.
Adding to the article’s list of things you used to learn in a group ride:
– To not try to sprint from 10+ place. Realize that if you’re sitting more than a couple of riders back from the front of the group, you shouldn’t try to win the sprint. You’re not a pro sprinter who can bounce off others, squeeze through tiny gaps and dodge road obstacles. Calm you testosterone-amped brain and realize the risk isn’t worth it to you or others. Save it for next time and learn that you should’ve gotten yourself into better position before the sprint.
- Guest Question: “Do I have to be a really serious cyclist to go on one of your bike tours?” (insitutravel.com)
- Cycling and Coffee: the perfect pair (insitutravel.com)
- GPS On Every European Bike Tour (insitutravel.com)