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Strategies on getting good workout in slow(er) group rides?

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Strategies on getting good workout in slow(er) group rides?

Old 11-17-21, 01:03 PM
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Radish_legs
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Strategies on getting good workout in slow(er) group rides?

I've quit doing the local A ride because of dangerous antics. Now that I'm doing the B ride, I'm trying to figure out how to get a better workout. I'm doing things like riding 20 feet off the back, going to the side of the lane with the most wind, trying to be out of the draft completely. Stuff like that. But is there actually any tech or out-of-the-box ideas? I remember reading about a wheel or hub in the past that would actually slow you down, but it was super expensive. I've tried riding with a 20lb backpack, and that just hurt my neck. Roads are pretty flat, so wt doesn't make a huge difference. Asking here because you are the guys who would worry about such things.
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Old 11-17-21, 01:33 PM
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Allow the group to go ahead then do some bridging intervals. Same thing for going off the front to the next turn. Always put yourself in the wind and shelter those who might be struggling. But, what you should NEVER do is blow up a B pace ride and be the reason why they're suffering because they're where they belong, you are a guest.

If you're truly an A rider, do your own A ride and advertise it via the local cycling calendar or whatever method they use in your area. Maybe there are others the the A group who feel the same way you do. That said, unless we're talking about running traffic signals/signs and being scattered across the road in a lump in lieu of a paceline or over lapping wheel crashes, I'd probably ride with them. You can get some kind of fit making sure you're always in a good position within a group of fast riders.
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Old 11-17-21, 02:11 PM
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Ride a mountain bike.
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Old 11-17-21, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Allow the group to go ahead then do some bridging intervals. Same thing for going off the front to the next turn. Always put yourself in the wind and shelter those who might be struggling. But, what you should NEVER do is blow up a B pace ride and be the reason why they're suffering because they're where they belong, you are a guest.

If you're truly an A rider, do your own A ride and advertise it via the local cycling calendar or whatever method they use in your area. Maybe there are others the the A group who feel the same way you do. That said, unless we're talking about running traffic signals/signs and being scattered across the road in a lump in lieu of a paceline or over lapping wheel crashes, I'd probably ride with them. You can get some kind of fit making sure you're always in a good position within a group of fast riders.
The A group does run red lights. And doesn't stop for any rider left behind. They also do lots of dumb things at the front the impact the safety of the people further back, and they don't care about it one bit. And the fact that it's now dark the entire time makes it worse. And there have been recent crashes.

I don't ride on the front of the B ride, because yes, I could easily blow it up, and their paceline is too easy. I've thought about starting my own A ride, but I don't feel like going through the backlash that would cause. And yes, I have tried and failed to get the A ride to seriously tackle the safety issues.
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Old 11-17-21, 04:04 PM
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dont do group rides if what you want is a controlled workout. they offer other advantages that are skills based and/or social, but you should be riding by yourself if you want to prioritize your workout.
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Old 11-17-21, 04:16 PM
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Also, start a new group! I'm also not a fan of running lights etc, doesn't earn us any more respect from motorists. Surely there are others in the group that are like-minded. The challenge will be keeping it civil and from turning into a ****show if other riders start catching on and your group grows.

Personally I don't do a ton of race-paced group rides any more for these sorts of reasons. Lots of long training rides with a small group, and of course lots of solo training outside or on Zwift. And racing of course! Im still racing.
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Old 11-18-21, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
dont do group rides if what you want is a controlled workout. they offer other advantages that are skills based and/or social, but you should be riding by yourself if you want to prioritize your workout.
This. If I have a road based work-out to do, I do it on my own. I might do it with another friend if she has a similar workout that needs doing. But group rides are for the social aspect (for me and my friends anyway).
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Old 11-19-21, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
The A group does run red lights. And doesn't stop for any rider left behind. They also do lots of dumb things at the front the impact the safety of the people further back, and they don't care about it one bit. And the fact that it's now dark the entire time makes it worse. And there have been recent crashes.
This product solves your problems. It's a bit expensive. A cheap alternative solution if your bike is using disc brakes (don't do this with rim brakes) is simply manually drag the brakes to artificially create your effort zones + adding a little bit of pre-adjusted drag to the brakes.

https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear...-training-aid/

Last edited by cubewheels; 11-19-21 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 11-20-21, 10:14 AM
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When I rode with non-cyclists, or cyclists coming back from time off or injury, I'd ride my mountain bike. One racer, I think he's substantially stronger than me when he's fit, asked me if I wanted to ride with him. He just started riding after 10 years off, and asked me to ride my mountain bike. It was perfect. I could go as hard as I wanted and it was all good. At some point I told him I wanted to open it up and did an effort on a windswept beach road. He was on my wheel fine, and I got to do a really hard effort. That ride led me to change crank lengths as my mtb had 175s, my road bike 170s, and I went really fast into a cross headwind on the mtb compared to the road bike in a mostly tailwind.

I've done the same when riding with families on tandems, with the Missus and some recreational cycling friends, when riding when the Missus is running, etc.

My mtb is set up as a road bike, with a long, low position, road pedals (I have Keos on it). I switched out the 2" knobby tires but ironically haven't ridden on the road since, except to ride to our storage unit half a mile away. The 2" knobby tires work well on the road at max pressure, 60 or 80 psi.

The mtb has lower/easier gears, forcing a lot of pedaling when the speeds are higher (like on downhills, or faster flats). But otherwise it rides like a road bike

Long time ago at school an older kid (grad student looking) rolled up one day with big boots, jeans, jacket, etc, a book bag full of text books (it was gigantic), on a mtb, asked if he could join us on our ride. We hesitated but agreed, as we were going on a "harder" group ride (we were 3s and 4s). To our absolute shock he stayed with us for something like 45 minutes of short steep hills, attacks and chases, etc etc. Finally he cheerfully called out that he had to peel off and that it was fun. We were all a bit shell shocked that he stayed with us so easily. He came to our next team meeting and introduced himself. That's when I realized he was a Cat 1 / Pro from the area, he'd stopped riding because of back issues and was now starting school a bit late, Apparently that power / strength really doesn't go away. To give an example, he lapped the Junior field in the state RR on a 5km course. It looked like he was on a motorcycle, he flew by us so fast. He got 6th or something at Nationals that year. As a Senior raced briefly for Oldsmobile I think, and I think also for Mengoni (although every strong rider in the area seems to have ridden for Mengoni).
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Old 11-21-21, 06:23 PM
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Tires. If you own a cyclocross bike, ride that instead. You're down 30w or more immediately over some 25mm GP5000's and modestly aero wheels. Add then the aero loss of riding in a more upright position versus your roadie. If you don't own one, mount up some durable crappy touring road tires on it. Think worse than Gators. That'll be a constant minus 10w to 15w versus some GP5000's. Always ride the hoods or bar tops pretty far sat up with some pretty loose kit.

To put in perspective how that can work, I flatted my roadie at the start of weeknight worlds. They left me, no stops for mechs. Limped the 3 or 4min to the car, grapped TT bike out of back of car and stowed the roadie. I caught and passed the B group and caught the dropped A group riders. I would suspect a similar effect to the opposite end by going with a knobbie equipped cross bike.

So that's my vote, handicap it by riding cross bike with knobbies. Like a worn mud tire setup.
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Old 11-21-21, 06:31 PM
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More weight!!!



I had troubles getting the mill over 5 MPH. It was a long ride home!!!

I'm not sure of the dynamics of a trailer in a group ride. Make sure you approach with caution. Perhaps make sure you ride in the rear.
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Old 11-21-21, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
When I rode with non-cyclists, or cyclists coming back from time off or injury, I'd ride my mountain bike.
A little bit of problem with showing up with MTB with risk-averse roadies on their road bikes is the safety concern. It's not a question of your handling skills or having a wide handlebar but the flatbar or straight bar is a poking hazard in an accident / group spill.

A good solution if you still like MTB as an option is to do a dropbar conversion to your MTB. To make it cheap and easy, there's gravel dropbars that allows you to safely use your stock MTB brake levers and shifters like the Soma Gator dropbar.
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Old 11-21-21, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
So that's my vote, handicap it by riding cross bike with knobbies. Like a worn mud tire setup.
Some knobbies are still fast rolling! You're right with your earlier suggestion of using bulletproof touring tires with their thick armor layer. It becomes difficult to pedal at high speeds even under the benefit of drafting behind other riders . On the plus side it eliminates all worries getting a puncture.

Riding upright to increase drag may not be a good option. Your racing form remains important in race training for keeping the core muscles strong and remaining comfortable and flexible in slammed down aero position. Your main option to increase aero drag is wear loose, baggy clothes that flap in the wind, even a hoodie. They can increase drag like a small parachute. An MTB with plus tires and big suspension fork with be very draggy as well with suspension lockout off.

When using a MTB to train, you really have to slam down the handlebar to keep your racing form, if that's impossible given the MTB geometry, convert to dropbar and always ride on the drops.
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Old 11-21-21, 11:47 PM
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Wide angle lens makes it look shorter in length and taller in height.

Bars are super narrow, as narrow as possible - levers moved all the way in, grips cut down to the width of my hands.




I guess no one has said boo when I rode the mountain bike, but when I rode it, it was definitely known to be a casual ride. So either with very experienced (but not fit) riders, or with not experienced riders. So the bars and such weren't an issue.
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Old 11-21-21, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
...I'm trying to figure out how to get a better workout. ...
Gym?
Sprints?
You do not state why you want a better workout. You can certainly get faster by riding slower.
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Old 11-24-21, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Gym?
Sprints?
You do not state why you want a better workout. You can certainly get faster by riding slower.
It gets lonely to ride solo all the time.

I just drag my brakes, heavy touring tires, wear oversized xxxL "sun protection" quick dry jacket with hoodie (the kind that's opaque so you don't have to wear a shirt underneath). The kind of jacket you wear in the desert, oversized, flaps big time in the wind and hoodie, it's like a small parachute. You'll feel the extra resistance at 20 mph.

The jacket has a nice casual look to it to give you that casual ride vibe even if you're wearing proper cycling shorts, great for the whole group if they are slower.

Last edited by cubewheels; 11-24-21 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 11-25-21, 09:16 AM
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I'd think you might want to get your workout another way and use the group ride for social / fat burning. The net result might even be better.
You can change the bike. You can try a lower/fixed gear and see about spinning. If you are trying to also get faster on your solo rides, that might not be the best.
As the parameters were you are using a group ride to workout, I'm answering based on your OP, which is hard as group rides and working out might be different depending on your ability relative to the ride.

Many racers do not use group rides for anything but social as they are too fast or too slow for race training. Many more use the group ride as the race and don't race (I'm not a fan, it is just the reality).

Last edited by Doge; 11-29-21 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-28-21, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
dont do group rides if what you want is a controlled workout. they offer other advantages that are skills based and/or social, but you should be riding by yourself if you want to prioritize your workout.
Wisdom.
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