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"No Drop" rides

Old 06-12-21, 09:54 AM
  #26  
caloso
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Is that local races? I know in the TDF and other major tour races, they do drop back and help the main GC contender if he needs it. I have to say, our group rides are more like the TDF races.

Ya know, I was training with a local team on crit rides. The guy who was in charge dropped back to help me out on the ride. 4 of us almost lapped the rest of the team on a one mile loop. I was helping and the 4th guy wouldn't but I got tired on the last 2 laps of 30. The guy dropped back and helped me out after the short little grade. Said I helped and he knew I could make it back up with a little help. I did but boy was I wiped out. But I helped the entire 28 before I faded so I think that is why he dropped back to pull me back up. I was surprised.

On the group rides, never once did someone drop back to help me out, or even volunteer to take the front.
The rides I am talking about are done by racers mostly, although that’s not a requirement. They’re sometimes called hammer rides or the Tuesday Night World Championship. Anyone can show up and there’s no leader, just a well established route. Starting time and place is traditional and it might be announced on social media, or not. Pre-social media, you’d find out by asking at the local roadie-focused bike shop.

I shouldn’t say that no one will wait for you. If there’s a crash or emergency, the group will stop. But if it’s just a flat or you just get dropped, a friend or teammate might sit up and wait but there’s no expectation on either side. That’s the honesty. It’s a training ride and we’re all responsible for ourselves, no hard feelings, see you next week and try to hang on a little longer next time. It’s how we all did.
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Old 06-12-21, 10:34 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser View Post
After retiring and getting back in to club rides again things have changed. No on stays in the back and they loosely sweep the ride.
times have changed and riders are more into their own ride and not so much into helping beginners.
They feel they should not attend a ride if they can not keep up with the group.
But that is the was society is today self inward looking and not thinking of others.
I guess some of this depends on what one means by a "club" ride. An open-to-the-public, anyone-can-come ride should definitely accommodate those who can't keep up by waiting or sweeping. But if it's an actual cycling club, whose members ride together regularly and are of known abilities, expecting the whole group to sacrifice the pace and tempo for some off-the-back rando seems selfish.

In my club, if a member brings a newbie on the weekly ride, the newbie is entirely his responsibility for the duration. If the guy or girl keeps up or shows promise, they might be invited to join the club. If they don't, there are other local rides better suited for beginners. They're always encouraged to try again later.

Last edited by Rolla; 06-12-21 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-12-21, 12:09 PM
  #28  
Sy Reene
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The problem with any "average" pace ride listing, for groups where relatively random strangers show up, is that you can't really define average for what. The course for that day? That would require everyone having ridden that course previously. Average speed for riding on flat ground? -- that might work in eg Florida, but otherwise you start hitting hills and some riders might be able climb at 1/2 the speed of the posted ride's pace, others at eg. 1/4 of that. Downhills, different comfort levels. Some club rides I've seen the pace set at some range of watt/kg value. That has its own limitations.
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Old 06-12-21, 05:42 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
How does your local riding club approach an advertised "No Drop" ride?

I've been on rides where the posted ride speed is immediately exceeded by 2-3 MPH, and invariably, someone will get dropped off the back of the main group, who will then wait at the next turn/intersection for the slower rider. Usually, as soon as the slower rider catches up, it's time to roll again, and the process starts all over.

Is that really a "no drop" ride, or a "nobody gets lost" ride?

I have, on occasion, led rides for some of our 'more seasoned' (i.e.: older) riders, many of whom (including myself) ride for health reasons - heart issues, bad knees, etc. We still enjoy riding, but our days of riding quickly are behind us. They are known as SORE (Slower, Older, Relaxed, Easy) rides. The advertised pace is (don't laugh) 13.5-14.5 MPH (it's hilly in the area), but at the start of the ride, I will announce that the group will ride at the speed the slowest rider in the group is comfortable with. No one rides alone, hoping to catch up. If the group agrees, we will bump the average speed up, but if someone tires, I'll slow it down again. If someone wants to ride at a faster pace, I tell them they had better know the route, because they are on their own.

On occasion, there will be someone who shows up at a ride knowing they cannot keep up with the posted average ride speed. Then, I have no issue with the "get dropped and catch up" format, so long as the ride is actually at the advertised pace. Post ride they will usually be invited to join in on a slower paced ride in the future, as it's not fair to the rest of the group to have to constantly wait for someone who shouldn't have joined in the first place.

Thoughts?
I hate rides that are posted as "no drop". I have been on several and a few at the front picks up the speed from what was listed, and some new rider starts to drift back. When I see that happen, I make it a point to go back and ride with him or them. And often as not the faster rider go off and leave us.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:49 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I hate rides that are posted as "no drop". I have been on several and a few at the front picks up the speed from what was listed, and some new rider starts to drift back. When I see that happen, I make it a point to go back and ride with him or them. And often as not the faster rider go off and leave us.
So, you prefer "drop" rides, then?
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Old 06-12-21, 10:38 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I hate rides that are posted as "no drop". I have been on several and a few at the front picks up the speed from what was listed, and some new rider starts to drift back. When I see that happen, I make it a point to go back and ride with him or them. And often as not the faster rider go off and leave us.
Maybe the slower rider took one for the team? "Okay guys, I'll drop back and take the dude on the bent with me, but you're all buying me beer when we get together after the ride."
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Old 06-13-21, 06:51 AM
  #32  
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We have no drop rides where slower riders get dropped 2-3 times and then the faster riders wait at the top of big hills. Not really grasping the concept of "no drop" in my view. Slower riders inevitably feel pressured to go faster.
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Old 06-13-21, 06:51 AM
  #33  
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The "stop and regroup" is not really all that great either. Just as the straggler(s) limp their way up, the refreshed group is ready to rip again. I've been on both ends of this. Better to just have a rider designated to hang back with slower riders. Then the main group can just do their thing.
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Old 06-13-21, 06:59 AM
  #34  
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Our local club "no drop beginners ride" almost put my new-to-biking wife off the sport.

Not only was she dropped off the bat, but the group was impatiently waiting at the 'regroup" spot and took off again the instant she showed up. Never mind she, of anyone there, would have appreciated a small bit of the rest that the group had.

We haven't renewed our membership in years as a result - likely never will. Their beginners no-drop rides are really only races for people who can only beat ladies in their 50's with disabilities.
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Old 06-13-21, 07:33 AM
  #35  
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I think our club website mentions that scheduled rides aren't appropriate for beginners. The local shops have beginner friendly rides, likely a good way to generate business.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:03 AM
  #36  
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Our local club use to have a well-attended all-levels road ride on Saturdays. Then a couple guys started volunteering to lead and despite the “no drop” advertisements, managed to keep dropping people.

The rides quickly declined in attendance, and then ended.

I think the problem is that organizers want to say it is a no-drop ride, because otherwise, a lot of folks (even strong riders) are not going to show up. But then the folks leading to ride do not have the patience to follow through. Then people stop believing the no-drop advertising, and stop showing up for any rides.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:13 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
So, you prefer "drop" rides, then?
No, if the ride is listed at a no drop ride at a certain speed, I expect everyone to adhere to that. I only drop back with a slow rider to make it a no drop ride. If I or someone else dont, it might totally turn off new riders to group rides forever.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:55 AM
  #38  
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The best "no drop" system i have encountered is called "corners and sweep".

A rider with a distinctive looking jersey is selected to act as sweep. All that's required is to follow behind the slowest rider.

The ride leader appoints a corner rider to wait at each turn or other place where it's possible to get lost. As soon as they see the sweep rider approaching, they can hop on their bike and ride as fast as they'd like to catch up with the leader and maybe take another corner appointment. For corners, the ride can be an interval workout.

Takes a pretty good sized group to work.
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Old 06-13-21, 09:37 AM
  #39  
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What is a typical club fee? And what do people get for it? Only the organized rides or some other benefits?

No drop rides strike me as necessarily being an undemanding 'social rides' on some ability level, where the point is to stay together, where most participants can't expect to ride anywhere near their abilities most of the time.

Anytime people want to group ride to improve their riding ability, fitness, it should be unorganized, everybody is a free meat. Riders then separate into groups of their abilities quite naturally. It can be a norm that you get rides where it is expected the group will separate into two or three groups at some point quite regularly after the initial warm up. If that is expected, then no one feels bad about it. And if someone gets dropped all by himself, he has to join some group with lower abilities. Free market approach works much better than being too organized, you have much less bad blood, arguing and 'political' discussions.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:31 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
When I ride alone I prefer to be by myself.
Ive never been dropped when I ride alone. I like the route picked too!!!!
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Old 06-14-21, 02:54 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
What is a typical club fee? And what do people get for it? Only the organized rides or some other benefits?
Probably, around $30/year. Our club has a website and other related stuff (used for scheduling) that isn't free. LAB also provides liability insurance for club officers that also isn't free. We also provide incentives (not free) to people to lead rides. We also organize club events (that aren't free).

Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
No drop rides strike me as necessarily being an undemanding 'social rides' on some ability level, where the point is to stay together, where most participants can't expect to ride anywhere near their abilities most of the time.
In practice (in the real world) there is nothing that makes no-drop rides "necessarily" like what you describe. That is, it's one why to run things but not the only way.
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Old 06-14-21, 04:27 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
No drop rides strike me as necessarily being an undemanding 'social rides' on some ability level, where the point is to stay together, where most participants can't expect to ride anywhere near their abilities most of the time.

Anytime people want to group ride to improve their riding ability, fitness, it should be unorganized, everybody is a free meat. Free market approach works much better than being too organized, you have much less bad blood, arguing and 'political' discussions.
Most of the No Drop rides I’ve been in on haven’t been like Rydabent’s ‘keep everyone together and adhere to a rigid speed limit’.
It’s more of a ‘No sprints or attacking’. The group might speed up or slow down depending on terrain and who’s on the front, but it’s a tempo ride, not a race. Don’t deliberately try to shred the group.
There may or may not be a sweeper, but if you can’t hang on the last wheel, be prepared to make it to the rally point on your own.

They’re also usually the B- and C-groups, the ‘Full Gas’ ride is the every-man-for-himself hammerdog you think is the only way to ride.
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Old 06-14-21, 05:09 PM
  #43  
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Thx for replies.

You don't have to put it so extreme (every man for himself etc.), what I have in mind is like if people on motorbikes go for a sporting group drive and some of them have 350+ cubature and some only 125-250 cc bikes. Come first bigger hill, those smaller motorbikes will lag behind and it makes no sense for those on big motorbikes to repeatedly wait for those slower ones (it is a difference in class).

The bigger guys will cut slack for one of their average strength but not for those who obviously are a burden. When I was in my late teens, I joined a racing club which you may say is different but not really. We would start in a group around twenty and come first longer/steeper hill, fifteen of the guys would leave five of us younger ones behind since we couldn't even keep in draft (we knew up ahead that would happen). Then we continued on our separate rides in two groups, at our differing ability but within each group, it wasn't dog eat dog riding as you seem to read into my post.
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Old 06-14-21, 05:23 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
...repeatedly wait for those slower ones (it is a difference in class).
Generally, the riders in the group are more-or-less in the same class. That is, group rides have a particular "average" speed and you are basically required to be able to keep up.
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